Why Read the Bible?

Dear Friends,

Happy Lent. 

Today marks the beginning of a season on the Christian calendar called Lent. It is a forty-day period until Easter, which many use to prepare themselves. The forty days are based on Jesus' forty days in the desert before he began his ministries. Many churches use the ashes of palms to place a sign of the cross on their forehead. Some traditions suggest giving something up for Lent. I always liked the idea of taking something on that helps deepen my spiritual practice.

Many Christian traditions use the Lenten season to read the Bible. If you are looking for a spiritual practice, I suggest reading the Gospel of John for the next forty days. Let me know if you want to coordinate your daily reading with me, and we can share what we learn. If there’s a group interest, we could designate a time in the week to check in with each other.

Why read the Bible?

That’s a good question. That’s the topic of my sermon Sunday. I’ll review the many questions I received about the Bible, including:

What is the Bible?

How did it get created?

Should you read it literally?

How is it important today?

Why do we open it at the beginning of worship?

See you Sunday as we explore the Bible,


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Readings for The Coming Sunday:

John 1:1-5 - English Standard Version

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 5: 36-40

36 I have testimony weightier than that of John (the Baptist). For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Swedenborg Insight

Secrets of Heaven #3880

On our own we know nothing of heavenly and spiritual affairs, so we learn about them from divine revelation, which is the Word (Bible). 

Swedenborg Insight

Sacred Scripture #3

In its essence, the Word (Bible) unites us with God and opens heaven, the Word fills us with good desires that come from love and fills our understanding with truths that lead to wisdom, provided we read it with God’s guidance and not just on our own. It fills our will with good desires that come from love and fills our understanding with truths that lead to wisdom. As a result, we gain life by means of the Word.

Swedenborg Insight

Sacred Scripture #39

We can tell from this that in its literal meaning the Word (Bible)  is really the Word. There is spirit and life within; the spiritual meaning is its spirit and the heavenly meaning is its life.

C.S. Lewis - (Considered on the greatest Christian writers of the 20th Century)

The human qualities of the raw materials show through. Naivety, error, contradiction, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed. The total result is not ‘the Word of God’ in the sense that every passage, in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God; and we (under grace, with attention to tradition and to interpreters wiser than ourselves, and with the use of such intelligence and learning as we may have) receive that word from it not by using it as an encyclopedia or an encyclical but by steeping ourselves in its tone or temper and so learning its overall message.

Last Sunday:

Many thanks to Joy for her message about the importance of human connection by breaking down the barriers between us and them. Her powerful message challenged us at Church of the Holy City to take the challenge seriously to become leaders of bridge building that heals the divides in our country and the world.

Thank you, Joy!

A link to the recording of Joy's message can be found here and a full transcript can be found here.

New Church Visionaries Lecture Series:

Free Online Zoom Seminar from the Hellen Keller Center for Spiritual Life

The Hellen Keller Center for Spiritual Life invites you to journey with us as we learn about some of the greatest visionary minds of the New Church lineage. The influence of Swedenborgian ideas and spirituality has been one of enormous diversity and dynamism. This free lecture series is offered by the Helen Keller Center for Spiritual Life and the Cambridge Swedenborg Chapel and will run through the first half of 2023.


William Rowlandson – February 17th at 3 pm ET / 12pm PT - Jorge Luis Borges

Sage Cole – March 3rd at 7 pm ET / 4pm PT – Helen Keller

Robert McCluskey - April 7th at 7 pm ET / 4pm PT– Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Devin Zuber - May 5th at 7 pm ET / 4pm PT - Ivan Aguéli

Carl vonEssen – May 19th at 7pm ET / 4pm PT– William James

Jim Lawrence - June 2nd at 7pm ET / 4pm PT- John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed)

Rebecca Esterson - July 7th at 7pm ET / 4pm PT - Immanuel Kant

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 871 3006 6411

Passcode: Vision1757

Visit Website for More Information

Lenten Discussion of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets: 

A Four-Week Virtual Series

This Lenten season, we invite you to join others from the Comment community for a four-week virtual series exploring T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets hosted by James Matthew Wilson, Dhananjay Jagannathan, and Jeff Reimer. Each session will open with an orienting lecture from poet James Matthew Wilson, after which participants will break into smaller discussion groups led by our hosts.


Zoom events will take place from 8:00 to 9:15 p.m. EST

Tuesday, March 7 - “Burnt Norton” (1936)

Monday, March 13 - “East Coker” (1940)

Tuesday, March 21 - “The Dry Salvages” (1941)

Tuesday, March 28 - “Little Gidding” (1942)


Participants will need to acquire the text, which is available for free online or through most major booksellers and many local public libraries. 


Participants will be assigned to read one section a week to prepare for small-group discussions.


Registration is for all four dates and will close on March 6 or when maximum capacity is reached. We hope you’ll be able to participate in all four, but we welcome your attendance for as many or few as you can join. We are extending this invitation to Comment subscribers, but feel free to invite your non-subscribing friends.

Register for the Series

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