From The Pastor

Regularly¬†our pastor will share a sermon, reflections on religion, or what’s going on around the community and the world.¬†His current message is below:

“I Thirst”

April 6, 2017

When the Lord was on the cross, He spoke the simple words, “I thirst!” (John 19:28) The people assumed He was physically thirsty and offered Him a sponge filled with vinegar. But as the Lord hung on the cross, enduring His final temptation, He was thirsting for something much more profound than physical liquid. We read in the Heavenly Doctrines, “I thirst, means that from Divine love the Lord willed and desired the salvation of the human race.” (Apocalypse Revealed 386) In many ways, when the Lord wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41), He was thirsting for the same thing – Our salvation!

During His life in this world, everything the Lord did was motivated by His Divine love for the human race. He was never concerned for His own well being and happiness, but for the spiritual well being and happiness of the people He created. Even when He was suffering on the cross and involved in despairing combats against the entirety of the hells, the Lord’s only concern was our eternal welfare: “In all His combats of temptations the Lord never fought from the love of self, or for Himself, but for all in the universe, consequently, not that He might become the greatest in heaven, for this is contrary to the Divine Love, and scarcely even that He might be the least; but only that all others might become something, and be saved.” (Arcana Coelestia 1812)

In order to save us from our own evils and false ideas, the Lord needs us to acknowledge Him. Why? It is only as we approach the Lord and acknowledge that all goodness and truth come from Him, that He can lead us away from hell and towards heaven. Because of this, the Lord is always longing for a church that will acknowledge Him and Him alone as the One God of heaven and earth. We see the Lord’s Divine desire for a church that will acknowledge Him in these words from the gospel of Matthew: “Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.'” (Matthew 8:20) Because the Lord can only truly save us when we acknowledge Him, the Heavenly Doctrines teach us that when the Lord was on the cross He was not only thirsting for our salvation; as a means to this end, He also said, “I thirst” because, “He longed for a new church that would acknowledge Him.” (Apocalypse Explained 83)

This Easter spend some time reflecting on the simple yet profound words, “I thirst!” Yes, the Lord was thirsting for the salvation of the human race. But He was also thirsting for a church that would acknowledge Him. The Lord is thirsting for YOU to acknowledge Him every day and in every situation so that He can lead you into the life He created you for. We can quench the Lord’s thirst by acknowledging Him and allowing Him to lift us up into His heavenly kingdom.

“The passion of the cross was the last of the Lord’s temptations, by which He fully glorified His Human, as He Himself also says in Luke: Ought not Christ to suffer this, and to enter into His glory? For the Lord came into the world that He might subjugate the hells and bring back all things into order, even in the heavens, which was effected through temptations admitted into Himself; and the passion of the cross was the last of His temptations, by which He fully conquered the hells, and set the heavens in order, and at the same time glorified His Human; and unless He had done this, no one could have been saved.” (Arcana Coelestia 10026)