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An On-line Advent Course Offering by Patrick Kennedy

You are invited to participate in the coming Advent Course offered by Patrick Kennedy.

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How can we become a lampstand? Revelation 1:20

The seven stars are the angels of the seven congregations,
and the seven
lampstands are the seven congregations themselves. (Revelation 1:20)

Through the centuries people have pictured the divine world as a world of light and fire.  The higher a person can look up, the more radiant is the light, the more scorching the fire.  It is no coincidence that the highest angels have the name of seraphim—it means the flaming ones.  When the prophet Isaiah received his calling, it had to be by a seraph touching his lips with a glowing coal from the altar of God.  Then only was he able to bring the fire of the spirit to the earth and prophesy.

We people of our time are no match for prophets—let alone seraphim.  For us to bear the fire of the divine world it has to be tempered down to a modest flame.  But even then, when an angel or an angel of the congregation brings this fire to the earth, it needs an earthly bearer, a lampstand.  If it found no bearer it would withdraw again to its own realm.  But where no angels can dwell, there is room for fallen angels, for demons.

How can we become a lampstand?  How can we unite our forces so that the fire of the spirit can get a place on earth?

The most precious thing we can give the spiritual world is our service, our worship service.  The question is not whether or not at the altar the fire of the spirit is kindled.  The angel of the congregation is already present before the first words of the Act of Consecration are spoken.  The question is, every time anew, whether we are able to unite our forces in common prayer.

It is no secret that some people in our congregations often have a difficult time with each other, that they annoy each other.  That is not to be wondered at; after all, we did not choose each other.  Coincidence—or perhaps the Lord of coincidence—brought us together seemingly arbitrarily.  The Christian Community does not consist of saints, but of people.  Just like the rest of the world, we have to find a way to make it together.

Am I ready to unite in prayer, not only with people who are dear to me, but also with those whom I dislike, who are an obstacle on my path?  Then only does a congregation become a lampstand.  Then can the Act of Consecration of Man be worthily fulfilled.


-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, October 31, 2021