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:

Did you Forget?

May 20, 2017

You forgot something today, thank the Lord! Imagine if everything that occurred within the field of your senses was active in your consciousness! You would quickly go insane. Modern psychology has noticed that everyone develops filters to prevent this overload, and that we each have our own unique set, which in part explains our individuality. The Word tells us there is more to it.

Why do we remember some things and forget others? How do humans gather, store and handle thoughts and feelings; that is, how does memory work? The explanation is as complex as the human mind, and so beyond a sermon. But this much is clear: the higher, deeper levels of the mind influence and organize the lower, more shallow. Your spiritual ruling loves and cognitions determine how your natural desires and ideas are organized, accepted, rejected, remembered or forgotten. This is a principle revealed in the Writings for the New Church which goes against much of modern thought. It is never the case that external circumstances determine inner states. However, what we take in through our senses and make important by loving them are the building blocks of our spiritual character. It is therefore of the utmost importance to 1) provide only the finest materials in our memories and 2) allow the Lord’s love to be the organizing principle.

The 199th Psalm describes this process as keeping “His testimonies…hidden in my heart….I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word.” Our spiritual growth is assured to the degree that we enter into a living relationship with the Lord in which we offer Him only good ideas and pure loves and allow Him to remove evil loves and false thoughts. This process is at least as complex as the functioning of our memory, but our task is clear.

Joseph was rent asunder from his family, made a slave and a prisoner. Twelve years into this trauma he had a son and named him “Forgetfulness!” The organizing principle running his life is that God takes care to bring good out of every circumstance we find ourselves in. If we remember how valuable we are to Him, we will forget whatever does not serve His goals for us.

The most extreme example I know of this is when the young mother forgets to drop her child off at the daycare center and leaves her in the car while she goes in to work. The pain and anguish she felt when her child died are almost inconceivable. Yet after some time and giving it up to the Lord, her pain was removed and it left a open space for a deeper caring and new insights into love.

This happens because God created us with several levels of our being. The deeper, spiritual levels can be in control of the natural level, where our consciousness resides. Our task is to allow the Lord’s love to do this. Our strategy is to bring true ideas and good delights into our natural level and its memory which can receive the Lord’s love. And since the Word is the primary source of these truths and delights, our mission is to bring as much of the Word into our life as possible.

We begin as children, learning the literal stories and memorizing recitations. then we come to analyze them and appreciate their morals and deeper lessons. Finally as adults we are ready to see the internal meaning as it describes our own regeneration. this is how the Lord designed the human mind to grow.

An animal mind does not grow like this. An animal is born already knowing all it needs to know to survive. What it can learn is very limited. Forgetfulness is not an animal’s issue. The Lord created our minds with the ability – the necessity – to grow spiritually. A side effect is the possibility that we will forget.

So while it is normal that your natural mind will forget things; and while it is normal for us to forget to do things, sometimes tragically, let us not forget the Lord’s Word. Let us do whatever it takes to have the Word settled in our hearts, determining what is true and good for us. We will then learn the ultimate lesson, that the Lord Jesus Christ cares for you unceasingly and unconditionally. Even as He does not forget the most invaluable sparrow, He will not forget you, His child.