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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in the Lord's presence (3)


Meditate | The Essential Ingredient

Meditate is a monthly column in which insights gained from meditating on the Word are shared. We welcome your insights, too, in the form of comments, or better yet, your own article. Contact us if you'd like to write a submission for this column. -Editor

Outward worship is described as corresponding to inward when it contains the essential ingredient, which is heartfelt reverence for the Lord. Such reverence is not possible in the least except where charity, or love for one’s neighbor, exists. Charity, or love for our neighbor, contains the Lord’s presence. With it, we can adore the Lord from the heart. When we have charity, our reverence comes from the Lord, since the Lord gives us all the ability to revere him and all the vital essence of our veneration. It follows, then, that the kind of charity we have determines the quality of our adoration, that is, the quality of our worship. (Secrets of Heaven 1150)

How do I live worshipfully? This passage seems like the most basic teaching, pointing to the essentialness of love for our neighbor to life, for opening ourselves to the Lord’s presence. It is very useful for me to get reminded, to revisit the idea again and again. It is so simple and yet so easily navigated away from.

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A Study of the Sacred

For his capstone dissertation work in the Academy of the New Church Theological School (, Stephen Muires is studying the nature and process of the sacred. Included here is a brief abstract in which Stephen introduces the reader to the motivation which propelled him into this study and one section from his dissertation entitled “Relation Between Holiness and Our Life.” This is the second theological school dissertation digest. Last week Todd Beiswenger shared a little of his work on Creating Your Own Reality. Next week we hear from Pearse Frazier about the nature of Celestial Bliss. -Editor


The topic of my dissertation is holiness, or the Sacred. Why holiness? Because I am interested in the experience of religion, not just the understanding of religion. Holiness implicitly has an experiential side. Holiness is where meaning and value become obvious, without needing arguments as proof.

The topic has within it a development, moving from what is ordinary, given and part of the order of creation to the purpose, goal and process of human life. There is a movement from a state of holiness in objects and places, to a becoming or growing in holiness. This is also a movement from an external to a more and more internal reality.

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It Will Not Be So Among You

With excitement and urgency, Isaac Synnestvedt asks the reader to consider the Lord's powerful and present rule in this world and in the lives of all individuals. He considers the difference between useful and destructive loves of ruling. Finally, Isaac leads the reader to consider the amazing blessings in store when we “persist in charity against all odds.” -Editor.

In actual fact heavenly blessedness does not consist in wishing to have dominion and to be served by others but in wishing to serve others and to be the least, as the Lord teaches.... (Arcana Coelestia 6393:2)

Can our love and good works be filled with the glory of the Lord? Yes! if we prepare ourselves and receive Him. Can we shine from our hearts and rule nations and peoples in the presence of the mighty God of the universe? Yes! The nations we will rule are the affections of good flowing in continually from heaven that we will form into beautiful vessels receptive of life according to our art and skill. The peoples we will govern are the tools of thought and reflection that we will use with intelligence and increasing knowledge to shape our offerings of service. This humble rule will be ours as we turn away from any desire to exercise external compulsion of our neighbors' words or actions. We shall inherit our thrones as we decline the invitation to control our neighbors.

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