From The Pastors

Regularly one of our pastors will share a sermon, reflections on religion, or what’s going on around the community and the world. Our current message is below:

Seeking Salvation

From
June 12, 2017

It is good to know that the Son of Man (the power of divine truth) is seeking me out to save me. For, even though I cry out to the Lord for understanding and deliverance, and even though I discover delight in His law, I know that too often I am a lost sheep; too short to see Him in the crowd of feelings and ideas swirling around in my head; and so separated from my Shepherd.

There are times when we feel a longing for a better life, happier times, clearer solutions to problems, but the accomplishment is unseen, obscure to us. Perhaps it is that we have fallen short of the mark to Lord sets for us. Maybe we have only a little conviction that we have done something wrong. Perhaps we feel very guilty.

Like this: “Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.” Luke 19:1-4

We are never told in the Writings for the New Church what Zacchaeus, the short statured chief town tax collector, symbolizes. But we can surmise that he describes a certain condition of the part of our mind connected to our senses – our natural mind. This part of our mind is very powerful and contains not only the facts we gather through our senses, but our reasoning from them, and the point of view. If this part of our mind is not influenced by the Divine Truth, it will certainly lead us into many troubles here, and even to hell after death.

When we respond to our earthly problems by seeking out higher truths, especially from the Lord’s Word, then, like Zacchaeus climbing a tree, we will be shown a path to salvation.

While we stand in the midst of all the teeming feelings and ideas our natural mind is constantly generating, examining and believing, we cannot see very far into our lives. In fact, our senses are constantly being fooled. We might think that variety is the spice of life and so avoid long and deep relationships. We may feel that self-gratification is the highest use and so hurt others while we “just do it.” Or we may feel that life owes us rewards, and so we “deserve a break today.” We may live as though this is all there is, and will have to suppress any dissatisfaction with the way things are.

We must find means to rise above this limited point of view. And the Lord has provided it: the sycamore tree. Trees generally symbolize our minds, from the roots (our deepest loves and ideas that feed our life) to the leaves (external ideas that exist temporarily and for the purpose of producing fruit). Specifically, the sycamore tree represents truths fit for our natural mind– true ideas that we learn through our senses, but which agree with higher truths. We all have these ideas already! It takes experience, including failures, to discover them, but they are already in our minds. Our task is to find them and them use them to rise above the crowd of feelings and ideas in our minds, and then to use them to flee from evil and do what is good

Curiosity about Lord is always rewarded.

Whenever you get a glimpse of Him, invite the Lord into your life, share whatever you have with Him and with your neighbors around you. It will change you as certainly as it changed Zacchaeus. You will discover, perhaps for the first time, the true extent of your spiritual wealth. And you will be able to freely share it, thus giving you a clear sense of purpose and joy that lasts to eternity. Make your religion your life and goodness will be there. The promise of the Son of Man will come true: He will save the lost!

Top