Ideas for discussion
- Divine revelation is what the Lord has chosen to reveal to us. In the New Church, we consider the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Heavenly Doctrines to be the Word of God.
- In the Heavenly Doctrines, the Lord revealed many new teachings which people were not ready for when He first came into the world. The Lord gave us the Heavenly Doctrines through Emanuel Swedenborg.
- The letter of the Word is what we first understand when reading the Old and New Testaments with its stories, psalms of praise, prophecies, and descriptions of the Lord’s life on earth. Hidden within the Old and New Testament are layers of spiritual meaning—a deeper, internal meaning sometimes called the “spiritual sense.”
- When people discover the teachings of the New Church, they find that many of their questions about the nature of God, life after death, the purpose of life, etc., are answered. This is partly because the revelation given to the New Church provides rational truths that people can understand.
- The Lord wants us to seek His guidance in His Word because this is how He speaks to us and answers our questions. If we look to the Lord with a desire to learn from Him, He will help us see how the truths we learn are relevant to our lives. These truths can also help us see the Lord and invite His presence with us.
- People are encouraged to seek answers to their questions and confirm truths by means of the Lord’s Word.
Read more about the Lord making all things new:
- “The Birthday of the New Church” by Patrick A. Rose (ages 3-12)
The New Church began on the nineteenth of June in 1770, so we celebrate June 19th as the birthday of this church.
- “What Is New about the New Church?” by Daniel Goodenough
Explores some of the unique teachings of the New Church.
- “All Things New” by W. Cairns Henderson (ages 18 and up)
What is new about the New Church? The author identifies several themes for which the Heavenly Doctrines for the New Church provides new ideas: the nature of God, the Word of God, true faith, eternal life, loving the neighbor, etc. These concepts have the potential to produce a new kind of life or religion in those who live according to them.
- “The New Church” by Walter E. Orthwein (ages 18 and up)
The revelation of the internal sense of the Word makes all things of religion new. It gives a new vision of the Lord Jesus Christ as the one God of heaven and earth. This new vision of the Lord is seen in the internal sense of the Word.
- “The Balance of Constancy and Change in the New Church” by Ray Silverman
In this fascinating article, Silverman discusses some of his journey as he joined the New Church.
Projects and activities for various ages
- The Word of the Lord Coloring Page by Lisa S. Buss
Shows the Lord holding His Word as if inviting us all to read the stories and learn the truths.
- Swedenborg and Clouds of Glory Coloring Page by Robert Glenn
Illustration of Emanuel Swedenborg writing as instructed by the Lord.
- The Open Word Snowflake (ages 9-14)
Fold and cut out this snowflake pattern to show the open Word.
- Blessings - A New Understanding
Two blessings to say at mealtime.
- Reading the Word with an Open Mind and a Willing Heart
How can we become more open to the Lord’s teaching?
- Making All Things New Journal Page (teens and adults)
As we develop a clearer understanding of the Lord’s Word, we will be able to make better use of His wondrous truths to renew our lives.
- For Reflection: Give Me Understanding (teens and up)
Explore ways we can increase our understanding of the Word by reading it with an open mind.
As we think about the Lord giving us the Heavenly Doctrines to help us more fully understand the Old and New Testaments and learn more about the Lord, these words might help us look to Him in the Word:
“Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34).
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