How can we understand prophecies?

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. -Luke 1:78-79 

Dear members and friends,

According to Emmanuel Swedenborg, it would take a whole book to explain the meaning of one angelic word in human language. This is because there is a fundamental difference in the level of consciousness and spiritual depth between humans and angels. As language is the means to express one’s will, translating angelic will to a human language would take a great deal of explanation. If this were true, then there comes a question: what would it mean to say that a human prophet perceived the will of God and then described it in a human language? If we were to keep the integrity of our faith in the Creator – whose existence transcends humanity on all levels – we should then believe that when a prophet perceives the will of God, an automatic and inescapable degradation and filtration of His will occurs in order for it to be comprehensible to the human mind. Still, what is proclaimed by the prophet should be believed to contain deeper meaning, which is often concealed even to the mind of the prophet.   

Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, proclaimed a prophecy when he was moved by the Holy Spirit. His prophecy ended with this phrase, “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” As far as the literal meaning is concerned, Jesus and his ministry did not accomplish the prophecy, “to guide our feet into the way of peace.” The life of the Jews, nor the world at large, did not become more peaceful after the first Advent. What this indicates is a simple truth: the message of God requires in-depth spiritual cultivation to grasp its true value and meaning, which is often hidden within. Essentially, the will of God is more concerned with the state of human spirits than the wellbeing of human bodies, despite the fact that humans are always more concerned about their physical wellbeing and material possessions.    

This third Sunday of Advent, how can you nurture the wellbeing of your spirit? 

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee