The Lord’s zeal

March 9, 2020 § Leave a comment

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God.” This symbolizes the Lord, out of Divine love and so out of Divine zeal, calling all people who have a spiritual affection for truth and think about heaven, and summoning them to the New Church and to conjunction with Himself, thus to eternal life. (AR 831)

The Latin (zelo) could also be translated “very enthusiastically” or “passionately.” Thinking of zeal as passion, gives a different perspective for me on the Lord’s desire to save us from our sins.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Rev. 3:20; NIV)

Now I see this verse in Revelation differently. I hear the Lord passionately saying, “Here I am!” I hear the Lord knocking firmly and insistently on my door. It is urgent to open the door and let Him in.



March 7, 2020 § Leave a comment

I see a connection between this teaching (AR 818) and the quote below from Jon Meacham.

Angels in heaven are not superior to people, but are their equals, and therefore they are the Lord’s servants the same as people; and the reason is that all angels were once people, born in the world, and none were created angels directly, as can be seen from what we wrote and showed in the book Heaven and Hell (London, 1758). Angels excel people in wisdom indeed, but that is because they are in a spiritual state and so live in the light of heaven, and are not in a natural state and so do not live in the light of the world as people on earth do. But the more an angel excels in wisdom, the more he acknowledges that he is not better than people, but like them. (Apocalypse Revealed 814; Rogers)

Literalism is for the weak; fundamentalism is for the insecure. Both are sins, too, against God, for to come to believe that we are in the exclusive possession of truth about things beyond time and space, and thus to hold power to shape lives and decisions about things within time and space, is put ourselves in place of God. (The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus on the Cross, Jon Meacham, Convergent Press, 2020, pp. 69, 70)

There is also another book I am reading reflects the same principle:

Ideological totalists do not pursue this approach solely for the purpose of maintaining a sense of power over others. Rather, they are impelled by a special kind of mystique that not only justifies such manipulations, but makes them mandatory. Included in this mystique is a sense of “higher purpose,” of having “directly perceived some imminent law of social development,” and of being themselves the vanguard of this development. By thus becoming the instruments of their own mystique, they create a mystical aura around the manipulating institutions—the Party, the Government, the Organization. They are the agents “chosen” (by history, by God, or by some other supernatural force) to carry out the “mystical imperative,” the pursuit of which must supersede all considerations of decency or of immediate human welfare. Similarly, any thought or action that questions the higher purpose is considered to be stimulated by a lower purpose, to be backward, selfish, and petty in the face of the great, overriding mission. This same mystical imperative produces the apparent extremes of idealism and cynicism that occur in connection with the manipulations of any totalist environment: even those actions that seem cynical in the extreme can be seen as having ultimate relationship to the “higher purpose.” (Lifton, Robert Jay. Losing Reality (pp. 71-72). The New Press. Kindle Edition.)

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