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The True Meaning of the 7 Days of Creation: Spiritual Rebirth

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Creation: Rebirth of the Spirit

And God said, "Let there be light." And there was light. (Genesis 1:3)

The Creation story is a wonderful story to start out with in the Bible. You know how there is often a preface in a book, and the preface will tell you what the book is going to tell you. They always told us that in school: when you write a paper, first you tell them what you're going to tell them, then you tell them, then you tell them what you told them. The Creation story is God telling us what he's going to tell us in the whole Bible. He is summarizing the entire Bible, which is really, Swedenborg tells us, about our own spiritual growth. It's about our process from when we first start to awaken spiritually to the time when we become angels in heaven. The Creation story is a wonderful summary, in just a little over one chapter, of the whole Bible story. So if you don't have time to read the whole Bible, at least read the Creation story!

I'm hoping to give you a little enlightenment this morning about what this story means in terms of our own growth toward becoming angels--as we talked about with the little children. I'd like to go through each day, and tell you a little bit about what Swedenborg said was the spiritual meaning of these verses.

First of all, to look at the whole creation story, Swedenborg tells us that the first three days talk especially about the growth of our mind: about our thinking, our understanding, and our faith; and that the fourth through the sixth days speak especially about the growth of our heart: about the love that we have for God and for one another. So this is a wonderful summary, and it is very well organized to show us how we grow.

The First Day of Rebirth

We start first by understanding. That's why God said, "Let there be light." Because before there is light, there is darkness and void. Swedenborg tells us that the first state, which is the state that comes before our spiritual growth, is a state that starts from our earliest childhood and continues on through until the time just before we begin to consciously decide to grow spiritually--just before we consciously invite the Lord into our life, and decide that we want to not just be material beings, but to be spiritual beings.

That first state can last well into adulthood. There are people who don't decide to have spirituality in their lives until they reach thirty, forty, fifty, sixty years old. So this period of darkness can last a long time. We may be very intelligent, but we are dark spiritually in that we don't see that God is working in our spirit; we don't see that there is a higher purpose to life.

When God says "Let there be light," that, in us, is our first realization that there is something higher than all this material realm that we have been dealing with. There is light: there is deeper understanding. Light is a universal symbol of truth. When we say, "I see," we mean, "I understand." So the very first beginning of our spiritual growth is when the light dawns in our mind that there is a higher purpose to life; that there is something more than this material existence; that there is something more that we need to look to, to go for, in our lives. "Let there be light." This is the beginning of our spiritual growth.

"And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day." It is very significant that every day starts from evening, and goes to morning. Because this is how our spiritual growth happens. We start from not understanding so well, from a state of darkness and obscurity, and we progress toward daytime: toward understanding and knowing what our life is for, and what God wants for our life. We progress from evening to morning each stage of our spiritual growth. So "there was evening, and there was morning, the first day."

From:  Creation: Rebirth of the Spirit by the Rev. Lee Woofenden
Bridgewater, Massachusetts, September 17, 2000

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