Sermon notes: 2/23/20 “Jesus: Filled with Light”

ncom-sunset“Jesus: Filled with Light.”

Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly

New Church of Montgomery, in Glendale


Moses was promised the stone tablets of instruction from God at the top of the mountain.  After six days of clouds, Moses disappeared for 40 days and 40 nights.  The Psalms warn that the Lord will be angry if we do not kneel in service to our God.  We are invited to the holy mountaintop.  The Lord God, the father anoints Jesus with his blessing because he is well pleased.  Heed this message as a lamp, like the morning star rising to your hearts; moved by the Holy Spirit of the Lord our God.

In John, the Gospel, Jesus took several disciples up the mountain alone.  He rose in light, as if transfigured, with a shining face and dazzling clothes of white.  Then suddenly they were joined by Moses and Elijah.  Hearing a voice from the cloud they knelt in fear.  Feeling the hand of Jesus touching them, they rose to His command, be not afraid.  And saw Jesus was with them.  And they were cautioned not to share what they had seen until after the Lord’s Resurrection.

Arcana Coelestia, Secrets of Heaven number 10811

We are blessed to see that the radiant fiery cloud was the presence of the lord surrounded by angels.


Each of the readings tells us of the shimmering white light presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ radiating from a cloud at the peak of the mountain top.

In some, he has disciples with him.  In another, he is alone.  In all, his presence is filled with light.  In all, we are promised the coming and the rising of our Lord God, present with us as a holy being of light.  What can be more special?  What can be more reassuring? That this Lord Jesus is verified as the Son of God, and as God, the Lord present and fulfilled.  Fully with us.  Indeed, we are blessed.  Amen.

Let us reflect for a bit in silence.  And then share together in conversation, how is it that you may have experienced the coming of God’s love to you, as the Holy One, as Jesus, as a being filled with light.

#FridayFeeling: Keeping a Dream Journal

Not everyone remembers their dreams.  Some remember them vividly.  Emanuel Swedenborg was a scientist and mystic theologian who kept a dream diary.  If you want to have success remembering your dreams, here are some tips from the Lucid Dream Society, and why it’s beneficial to keep a dream journal.  If you’re interested in groups that discuss their dreams, here is one–Trillium Center For Small Group Experiences.


#FridayFeeling Turning Bad to Good

Following a natural disaster, there might be an outpouring of love and support that inspires people to treat everyone better. Perhaps a person who helps during this time might decide to dedicate their lives to helping others, affecting thousands of lives for the better. Technologies may be developed that prevent bigger disasters down the road. With our limited perspective, it’s impossible to see all the positive consequences that might arise from a personal crisis or natural disaster. Part of faith is learning to trust, as Swedenborg assures us, that the Lord will not allow anything to happen if it cannot eventually be turned to good (Secrets of Heaven #6574). via

Ways to Turn Bad to Good:


Donations for Dayton Disaster

Foodbank Donations: bottled water and non-perishable food item donations, as well as volunteers to help sort food. The Foodbank ask that the non-perishable food items are easy to open.

Donate Type O Blood

Where to Donate Goods via

Matthew 25 Ministries :Monetary Donations, Non-Perishable Food, Personal Care Products, Cleaning supplies, Paper products, Baby and infant supplies, First-Aid items, New and gently used clothing, Candles and flashlights, Clean-up supplies


photo by Maggie Panyko

Finding things in Common #FridayFeeling #ReligiousPlurality


Zen meant giving up the love and sense of a separate self and living passionately in the moment so as to leave one open to the influx of wisdom and enlightenment. Zen included the notion of work or service. This was at the very core of the Zen monk’s education known as the “Meditation Hall.”

two sitting man praying inside building

Photo by Anton Trava on

The Spiritual Value of Groceries @swedenborgfound

The Spiritual Value of Groceries

Each moment in life, however small, is important. Swedenborg tells us that all of our actions and decisions, even the seemingly insignificant ones, contribute toward our sense of goodwill or love for others.

The first step toward goodwill is to remove evils and the second step is to do good, because there is a law that is universal to the spiritual world and also therefore to the physical world: The less evil we intend, the more good we intend. (True Christianity §437)

Swedenborg sees good and evil emerging not in big, dramatic moments of heroism or wrongdoing, but in simple, everyday acts. The more we do good, the easier it becomes to do good again.


grocery cart with item

Photo by Oleg Magni on

#FridayFeeling @NewportAquarium: Many Fish, One Ocean



Religious Plurality

Swedenborg saw and conversed with persons of many faiths and so urged acceptance of other religions long before ecumenism came into vogue. Chicago lawyer Charles Bonney, a Swedenborgian Church member, initiates and manages the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions, held in conjunction with the Columbian Exposition. Bonney’s vision brings representatives from all the world’s great religions to the Parliament, an event that later historians term the dawn of religious plurality in America.