“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee.” – Zechariah 9:9

Readings

Zechariah 9 · Matthew 21:1-14 · Psalm 146

Sermon

These words of the prophet Zechariah were literally fulfilled when the Lord entered Jerusalem at the beginning of His last week upon earth. Palm Sunday was first celebrated in the early history of the Christian Church, and became increasingly popular, being celebrated by processions intended to dramatize the triumphal entry of the Lord into Jerusalem.

Because of the part that children played in praising the Lord with songs at His entry and in the temple, as recorded in the Gospels, Palm Sunday has come to be regarded as a specially fitting time for the introduction of children into the Church.

Certainly it is one of the duties of the Church to see that its children and young people are instructed in the teachings of the Church. For these teachings were revealed by the Lord that men and women might know them and direct their thoughts and their life according to them. The teachings of the Church of the New Jerusalem are the fundamental principles of human thought and life, without which it is impossible for anyone to live a truly sane and rational life. The first essential of all sound thought is a true idea of God. It may be a very simple idea, but it must be true; otherwise the basic falsity will infect all the lower ideas and planes of thought. Likewise there should be a true idea of the Word of God, a recognition of the fact that it is holy, and that it is the Divine wisdom for angels and men. And children should be taught the necessity of obedience to their Heavenly Father, and that all people should obey Him throughout eternity.

Please click here to read on.

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” – Isaiah 40:6-8

Readings

Isaiah 40:1-17 · John 10:1-18 · Psalm 103:8-18

Sermon

Today there are those who say, “All flesh is grass. What is man that God is mindful of him? We die like the beasts of the field. The rocks crumble, all flesh perishes, the sun will in time burn out, and omnipresent death will reign.”

And so from the changes which occur in the outer stratum of creation man reasons that there is no inner enduring creation, that there is no stable realm of everlasting life. We pass on. Our places are quickly filled.

But why does anyone believe these merely seeming truths? Our text tells us the reality: “The word of our God shall stand for ever.” There is a deeper meaning to the words “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth.” The grass is a lower form of vegetation, the first to spring out of the ground, and the basis of animal life. The first truths that come to us are like the grass. They are the basis of more vital things because they are external facts upon which interior things depend and rest. The grass is created before the herbs, the blade before the ear. And the flowers? They are spiritual truths unfolded in their beauty. It is the desert of the mind that the Lord promises shall blossom as the rose. So is pictured the soul of man beautified with spiritual truths.

Please click here to read on.

“Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.” – Isaiah 66:1

Readings

Isaiah 65:17-66:2 · John 15 · Psalm 48

Sermon

The great gap in the world’s knowledge is that of knowledge of the Lord. This is in part due to a lack of understanding of the Word. By the majority of Christians the Word is thought to be the work of fallible men. But when it is understood in the light of the revelation given to the New Church, it is seen to be the source and repository of knowledge of spiritual things.

Our text sets forth in very few words the three fundamental facts that lie back of the explanation of all things, namely, the Lord, the heavens, and the earth. Translated into more abstract terms it refers to the Divine life, the substantial spiritual world, and this ultimate realm of physical matter. This is the great trine into which the universe is resolvable, it being the expression in its broadest reach of the primal law of end, cause, and effect which, because it reflects the inseparable union of love, wisdom, and use in the one God, lies at the base of all unity and being.

Please click here to read on.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek.” – Isaiah 61:1

Readings

Isaiah 42:1-13 · Luke 1:1-17 · Psalm 145:8-21

Sermon

The season of Advent turns our thoughts toward Christmas and urges us to prepare for the contemplation of the most wonderful event of time or of eternity.

Christmas is properly a time of rejoicing. The announcement of the angel to the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night was, “I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.”

The coming of the Lord into the world is not an isolated event in the history of humanity. We celebrate Christmas in commemoration of an event which took place long ago, but our rejoicings at this season should be very personal. For this event of long ago has a very direct bearing on our own life.

Please click here to read on.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” – John 17:3

Readings

Isaiah 38:1-16 · John 17:1-17 · Psalm 51:1-11

Sermon

In the church year the second Sunday in Advent is designated as “Bible Sunday.” In the opening chapter of the book of Revelation we read: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep the things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

No man is wise who does not believe in God. A man’s idea of God may be confused, but however confused it is, he does not trust entirely in himself, but looks to One outside of himself as the source of life, power, and blessing.

Our text tells us that a knowledge of God is essential to eternal life. And we are also commanded: “Search the scriptures; for… they are they which testify of me.”

Please click here to read on.

The Water of Life, by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” – John 4:14

Readings

Deuteronomy 11:1-17 · John 4:1-14 · Psalm 104:1-23

Sermon

The second Sunday in December is set aside in the church calendar as Bible Sunday. This is good, especially in this day. The Bible is found in the home of almost every Christian and unless he has more than one Bible, he is very loath to lend it, even though he may seldom read it. It is God’s Word to us and the means of His presence. Isaiah writes, “O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit.” To the woman at Jacob’s well, which represents the Word, the Lord spoke of it as living water.

Much of the earth is water. Vegetation – the forests and grass and flowers that clothe the fields and hills – depends upon the rain and streams. Take away the streams and the land would become a desert and human life would also disappear. A river went forth to water the Garden of Eden, and in the Holy City there is a river. The Psalmist writes, “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God.”

We know that the physical world without is a reflection of the mental world within, and when we look out and see how much of the life and beauty of the world depends upon water, our interest is awakened to look within and discover the corresponding element in spiritual life. We are not mere physical beings. There are other demands than those of the body. Even if we have an abundance of natural things, life may be barren. It may be unproductive. Life may seem to be at a standstill and unsatisfying. New life is needed, new inspiration, new knowledge of the possibilities which are before us and how to realize them. And this encouragement, this instruction in what it is possible and right to do, we draw directly or indirectly from the Bible.

Please click here to read on.

“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
“But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” – John 5:46, 47

Readings

Deuteronomy 32:1-14 · John 5:24-47 · Psalm 73

Sermon

The second Sunday in December is widely celebrated throughout the Christian world as “Bible Sunday.”

The Gospel of John opens with the words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” and it is further declared that “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” The Lord who is the Word, whose very life is the life of the Word came to manifest Himself to us. So He declares, “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” Thus the Old and the New Testaments are made interdependent.

The burden of the Old Testament is the teaching that God the Lord would come into the world as its Redeemer and Savior. If men do not believe the prophecy, how can they believe the fulfillment?

Please click here to read on.

“For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
“It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
“Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
“But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” – Deuteronomy 30:11-14

Readings

Deuteronomy 30:1-14 · Luke 3:1-18 · Psalm 91

Sermon

The Lord gave His Word through the prophets, came into the world, and lived out the Word that men might know the things that are necessary to a heavenly life, and to teach us that the essentials of a good life are neither hard to know and understand nor hard to live. All creation testifies of the Lord and of His purposes for us. Paul writes, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

It is true that life is infinitely complex, that there are depths of meaning in the Word which neither men nor angels can fathom, that we can always find more to learn. But there are fundamental general truths that everyone can learn, understand, and apply. Life should not be a burden; the requirements of a good life are within the reach of all.

The commandments are such simple laws of life. They are not hard to understand nor impossible to keep, but are such as men and women in this world may easily learn and do, if they will.

Please click here to read on.

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” – Deuteronomy 4:2

Readings

Deuteronomy 4:1-13 · Revelation 22 · Psalm 40

Sermon

In the church calendar the second Sunday in December is set aside as Bible Sunday. The New Church has distinctive teachings concerning the Word which are much needed at the present time.

The Bible is the Book of Life. This applies equally to the Old Testament and to the New. In the Sermon on the Mount the Lord said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets,” and the Gospel of John begins with the words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” and says, “and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” The Lord’s life was the living out of the Word. He said, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The Lord who is the Word, whose very life is the life of the Word, could not destroy it. He could not abrogate or deny His own truth. He came as the truth, to manifest Himself to us.

Please click here to read on.