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

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Day 4: Woofenden
Day 4 illustration
Day 4: Thomas
Day 4: Pitcairn



The Fourth Day of Rebirth

But Swedenborg says that up to this point, it's still a struggle--and it continues to be a struggle--because up to this point, we still think that we're doing these things by ourselves: that we're the ones that understand, that we're the ones that love, that we're the ones who are producing those fruits. And so, Swedenborg says, those fruits are not really alive yet. And the reason they're not alive yet is that all goodness and all truth really comes from the Lord. And as long as we think that it's coming from us, it's relatively dead because we don't have that living relationship with the Lord so that we can feel that everything good in us, all the love we have, is God's; all the truth; that everything we know is God's.

This is what begins to happen on the fourth day. It's a little bit strange, isn't it, that God says "let there be light" on the first day, but it's not until the fourth day that we get the creation of the sun and the moon and the stars. I like to think of this, in a physical image, in this way: up to this point, those waters above the firmament were pretty thick. In other words, there was a pretty thick cloud cover, and the light was actually coming from God, but we didn't realize it. Now the clouds are clearing, and we can see that everything good we have is actually coming from God, and we begin to feel that in our heart.

This is the fourth day, when God creates the sun, which is our love for the Lord and our recognition that God loves us in a living way. And the moon, which shines at night. In our dark periods, our times of difficulty, we have our faith, our knowledge that God is there. Even if we can't feel God right now, we know that God is there for us. That is the moon, shining in the dark periods of our lives.

And it says he also created the stars: those fixed spiritual principles that we guide our lives by through the difficult times. For example, if we are involved in some business dealing, and before we had been content to cut corners a little bit and figure that nobody is going to notice the difference. But at this particular point in our life we've decided we want to follow God, and yet God feels distant right now; we're not really feeling God close to us--it's a night-time period. At that point, we may say, "Well, it wouldn't be so bad if I went back to my old ways, and did my business the way business the way I was doing it before."

But then we think about something that we read in the Bible that said we shouldn't cheat our neighbor, that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. And we realize, "Even though I'd like to do this, my principles tell me that I shouldn't." And so the stars guide us through the night just the way the stars guide sailors through the night when otherwise they might go the wrong direction. Those principles that we have learned and we have put in our "heavens"--in our higher mind--guide us through the times when otherwise we might weaken and do what we know we shouldn't do.

So God gives us the sun: in our better times we feel the love of God in us, and that gives us life. And God also gives us the moon and stars to guide us through our darker times. "And there was evening, and there was morning, the fourth day."

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

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