The social distancing many of us are practicing as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic can have us feeling isolated, anxious, and maybe even experiencing a spiritual crisis. There are parallels that can be drawn between us and Swedenborg during this unexpected trial.
In his mid-fifties, Swedenborg’s successful career was interrupted by a powerful spiritual awakening. He went on to devote his life to studying the inner, spiritual meaning of the Bible. His perspectives reveal the powerful messages of divine love and wisdom in the Bible’s text that could be helpful to many during this uncertain time.
There are two things that emanate from the Lord, divine love and divine wisdom . . . In its essence, the Word is both, and since, as already stated, it unites us with the Lord and opens heaven, the Word fills us with good desires that come from love and fills our understanding with truths that lead to wisdom, provided we read it with the help of the Lord and not just on our own. It fills our will with good desires that come from love and fills our understanding with truths that lead to wisdom. As a result, we gain life by means of the Word. (Sacred Scripture §3)
To keep your spirit connected to the Lord and the peace of heaven, we’ve compiled a list of free and low-cost content to watch and read from the Swedenborg Foundation, as well as online gatherings being offered by other Swedenborgian communities! Browse through and digest what you need for your spiritual nourishment:
“Where Does Swedenborg Fit in Today’s Conversations about the Bible?” – Scholars on Swedenborg
Sacred Scripture / White Horse – In these combined short works, Swedenborg provides the spiritual theory behind the verse-by-verse analysis found in his multivolume works Secrets of Heaven and Revelation Unveiled.
Secrets of Heaven – A verse-by-verse exposition of Genesis and Exodus, showing the correspondences (connections through symbol between the material and spiritual world) Swedenborg saw in the Bible’s text.
Bible Study Notes: Complete Six-Volume Set by Anita S. Dole – Now available for free after years of being out of print, the set offers a uniquely Swedenborgian view of the Bible. This classic study tool is perfect for a virtual group study and individuals who want a structured approach to learning from the Bible.
A Book About Us: The Bible and Stages of Our Lives by George F. Dole – Rather than only being a book about what God said to his people millennia ago, the Bible speaks in God’s voice to each of us today, developing an ongoing relationship between humanity and divinity that guides and empowers us on our journey through life.
A New Key to the Bible: Unlock Its Inner Meaning and Open the Door to Your Spirit
By Bruce Henderson – Based on Swedenborg’s writings, Henderson presents a transcendent way to interpret the Bible’s Creation story, as well as other famous parables, and the apocalyptic imagery of Revelation. He poignantly illustrates how Scripture stories written thousands of years ago still give meaning to the challenges we face along our journey in the present day.You can also browse through all of our free / low-cost e-books!
Divine Love and Wisdom – Download one of Swedenborg’s most-loved works, this audio version allows you to listen to his writings about the nature of God, the purpose of creation, as well as the relationship between the physical and spiritual worlds.
See all of our audio and video titles!
Our Watching & Reading Swedenborg Facebook group is a great place to connect with others who are also seeking spiritual support and camaraderie like you!
Here are a few other online gatherings and resources we found being offered by other Swedenborgian communities:
Bryn Athyn Church* – The historic cathedral is offering a host of worship services online, as well as group meditations and grief support groups on their Facebook page.
Wayfarers Chapel of California* – Rev. David Brown is livestreaming worship services on Sundays at 10 a.m. PST and a prayer service Wednesdays at 12 p.m. PST on their Facebook page.
New Jerusalem Church of Bridgewater, MA* – Rev. Susannah Currie is livestreaming sermons and worship services on their Facebook page.
*Not affiliated with the Swedenborg Foundation.
Find more interviews host Rev. Cory Bradford-Watts had with people from across the spiritual spectrum on the Swedenborg Foundation YouTube channel!
Stay well and we’ll be back with more resources to share next week!
The first task [of those who seek enlightenment when they read the Word] is to put together a body of teaching for themselves from the literal meaning of the Word. That is how they light a lamp in order to go further. Once they have put together a body of teaching and lit the lamp, they see the Word in the light of that lamp. (Sacred Scripture §59)