New Church Day

This week we will gather at Bryn Athyn Cathedral to celebrate the culmination of almost three decades of redemptive work that the Lord did over 250 years ago. We begin our celebration with a picnic. It is the one time in our church year that our whole congregation gathers to eat together. This is reminiscent of the yearly feasts in ancient Israel, and also of the feasts of love in the early Christian Church, which were “held in the early church by people who referred to themselves as a "family in Christ." These were parties that related to goodwill, because the people felt a spiritual kinship. These parties were also a source of comfort during times of adversity in the church; they were celebrations of the church's growth; and they served as a rest for the soul from study and work, and a chance to have conversations on different topics.” (True Christianity 434)

Sharing a meal together reflects the sharing of love in heaven. “There is in heaven a sharing by everyone with each individual, and by each individual with everyone.…Because the Lord's love is a love of sharing everything it has with everyone, it intends the happiness of everyone. Much the same love exists in individuals who love him, because the Lord is in them. So, there is a mutual sharing of angels’ pleasures with each other.” (Heaven and Hell 399)

Following the picnic will be the pageant, depicting events described in the book of Revelation. To me, those events are primarily about the love that the Lord has for all people, and the love that we can return to him when we receive him in our hearts. The Lord appeared to John, “and His eyes were like a flame of fire… and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.” (Revelation 1:15-16) The Lord is seen in the next life as the Sun, from which He fills the whole of heaven with warmth and light. The flame of that Sun is nothing else than Divine love.” (Secrets of Heaven 6645.3)

Later, we see the Woman Clothed with the Sun, which is the church clothed with the Lord’s love. “The woman here appeared clothed with the sun because the church is governed by love toward the Lord; for it acknowledges Him and keeps His commandments, and that is loving Him.” (Apocalypse Revealed 533) This mutual love between the Lord and His people is the marriage of the Lamb with His wife.