by Rev. Michaël Merle
In Chapter 21 of The Revelation to John (The Book of the Apocalypse: Revelation) we read part of the description of the New Jerusalem, a picture of a mighty vision experienced by John in the Spiritual World: “The city has a great and high wall and twelve gates. And on the gates twelve angels, and names were written on them: the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.” (verse 12)
This year we hope to uncover an understanding of the twelve ways in which we can enter the New Jerusalem.
The way of Benjamin
The description of Benjamin in Genesis is that he is a ravenous wolf: In the morning he devours the prey, and in the evening he divides the spoil. This may seem a rather aggressive description for the last born of Jacob’s (Israel’s) sons. It has been understood that this description captures Benjamin’s hunger for the Divine spark in all of existence. So, like a ravenous wolf he recognizes that his mission is to passionately seek the Divine energy embedded in matter, devour it, consume and elevate it.
Benjamin may also be depicted by a picture of the Temple. The area of the Temple belonged to all the tribes but in a geographic sense it was in the area of Benjamin (Jerusalem is in the land of Benjamin), falling into the larger lands of the Kingdom of Judah. The connection of the Temple, of Benjamin, with Judah, reminds us of the connection of Jesus as a son of Judah, and the body that bore the Christ as the builder of the new Temple of the inner life.
Twelve tribes and twelve paths: each a gateway into the New Jerusalem. Each one a way into the relationship with the new Temple builder: Christ.
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