THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA (Concerning the Second Coming)
A Sermon by Rev. Patrick A. Rose
Cataloged May 4, 1997
This month we celebrate the Second Coming of the Lord. The Lord has come again. He has come, not in person as He did when He made His First Coming, but in the Word. “This Second Coming of the Lord is not a coming in person, but in the Word, which is from Him, and is Himself” (TCR 776).
It might seem, then, that the Lord has come in a fairly abstract way. Yet if by abstract we mean something that is unreal, the Second Coming is by no means abstract. The Lord actually has come, and we can actually see Him. In fact the very reason we can celebrate His Second Coming is that we have seen Him. We have seen Him in the form of truth.
We have seen the Divinity of the truth of the Writings. Perhaps we have doubts at times. Certainly there will be some things we do not fully understand. Nevertheless, despite occasional doubts and despite the fact that there are inevitable limits to what we can comprehend, we have seen in the Writings something most precious and most wonderful. We have sensed a power and a wisdom which completely transcend merely human ideas. We have sensed the Lord’s presence seen His wisdom. He has shone into our minds through the New Heaven. Perhaps only a few small rays of light have reached us. But that light which has reached us has blessed us with the ability to see clearly that it is the Lord Himself who is speaking to us within the sacred pages of the Heavenly Doctrines. This vision is a blessing we have not earned. It is something for which we thank the Lord from the bottom of our hearts.
The light we have seen and sensed in the Writings is the Lord Himself. He is beginning to shine in the minds of people here on earth. A star was the sign of His first coming. This same star is the sign of His Second Coming as well. This is why He says, in the book of Revelation: “I am the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16). The same God who came down to Bethlehem and was born into the house of David has now come again, shining in the darkness as a star, bringing light to the minds of men, a light which can guide their steps along the path of life.
This light is now just beginning to shine. But still, the dawn has come! In a world in which there is so much spiritual ignorance, we may at times despair. There is no need for despair. The dawn has already come. Even now the Lord is moving in secret ways to bring about a New Christian era here on earth.
As for us, our part is simple. We have seen the Lord. We must not turn away from Him. If we do not live what we know, then most surely the light will depart from us, and we ourselves will then see nothing but dry, uninteresting statements in the Writings. We must live what we learn, and we must learn more that we may live it. Then the light that we have seen -perhaps only a faint star far away on the horizon – will grow in splendor and magnitude as we follow it. We must pray both with our lips and with our lives that the Lord’s New Church may be firmly established here upon this earth. Let us neither doubt nor despair. Whatever may be the appearance at times, a new and glorious age is now beginning to dawn upon the peoples of this earth.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has come!