WEDNESDAY EVENING READINGS
April 17, 2019
Hymns: 381, 317, 171
The Bible & Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy
JOHN (New Living Translation)
1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
MALACHI (Good News Translation)
4:2 for you who obey me, my saving power will rise on you like the sun and bring healing like the sun’s rays. You will be as free and happy as calves let out of a stall.
13:1…there is no power but of God:
1:27; 2:1,6-7,21 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them…But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul…And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam.
…The word Adam is from the Hebrew adamah, signifying the red color of the ground, dust, nothingness. Divide the name Adam into two syllables, and it reads, a dam, or obstruction… Here a dam is not a mere play upon words; it stands for obstruction, error, even the supposed separation of man from God, and the obstacle which the serpent, sin, would impose between man and his creator.
The name Adam represents the false supposition that Life is not eternal, but has beginning and end; that the infinite enters the finite, that intelligence passes into non-intelligence, and that Soul dwells in material sense; that immortal Mind results in matter, and matter in mortal mind; that the one God and creator entered what He created, and then disappeared in the atheism of matter.
11:32-44… when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!…Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone…Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality. Material sense expresses the belief that mind is in matter.
Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived or died in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body, and he could not have resuscitated it.
The true Logos is demonstrably Christian Science, the natural law of harmony which overcomes discord, — not because this Science is supernatural or preternatural, nor because it is an infraction of divine law, but because it is the immutable law of God, good. Jesus said: “I knew that Thou hearest me always;” and he raised Lazarus from the dead, stilled the tempest, healed the sick, walked on the water. There is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance.
He knew the mortal errors which constitute the material body, and could destroy those errors; but at the time when Jesus felt our infirmities, he had not conquered all the beliefs of the flesh or his sense of material life, nor had he risen to his final demonstration of spiritual power. Had he shared the sinful beliefs of others, he would have been less sensitive to those beliefs.
Since Jesus must have been tempted in all points, he, the immaculate, met and conquered sin in every form.
The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your being.
The human thought must free itself from self-imposed materiality and bondage.
JOHN (J.B. Phillips)
20:1-13 on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala arrived at the tomb, very early in the morning, while it was still dark, and noticed that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. At this she ran, found Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have put him.” Peter and the other disciple set off at once for the tomb, the two of them running together. The other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. He stooped and looked inside and noticed the linen cloths lying there but did not go in himself. Hard on his heels came Simon Peter and went straight into the tomb. He noticed that the linen cloths were lying there, and that the handkerchief, which had been round Jesus’s head, was not lying with the linen cloths but was rolled up by itself, a little way apart. Then the other disciple, who was the first to arrive at the tomb, came inside as well, saw what had happened and believed. (They did not yet understand the scripture which said that he must rise from the dead.) So the disciples went back again to their homes. But Mary stood just outside the tomb, and she was crying. And as she cried, she looked into the tomb and saw two angels in white who sat, one at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had lain.The angels spoke to her, “Why are you crying?” they asked. “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have put him!” she said.
My angels are exalted thoughts, appearing at the door of some sepulchre, in which human belief has buried its fondest earthly hopes.
The truth had been lived among men; but until they saw that it enabled their Master to triumph over the grave, his own disciples could not admit such an event to be possible.
This materialism lost sight of the true Jesus; but the faithful Mary saw him, and he presented to her, more than ever before, the true idea of Life and substance.
JOHN (J.B. Phillips)
20:14-17 Then she turned and noticed Jesus standing there, without realising that it was Jesus.“Why are you crying?” said Jesus to her. “Who are you looking for?” She, supposing that he was the gardener, said, “Oh, sir, if you have carried him away, please tell me where you have put him and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” At this she turned right round and said to him, in Hebrew, “Master!” “No!” said Jesus, “do not hold me now. I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go and tell my brothers that I am going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense. There were rock-ribbed walls in the way, and a great stone must be rolled from the cave’s mouth; but Jesus vanquished every material obstacle, overcame every law of matter, and stepped forth from his gloomy resting-place, crowned with the glory of a sublime success, an everlasting victory.
SH 43:27 (only); 44:5
The divine must overcome the human at every point…The lonely precincts of the tomb gave Jesus a refuge from his foes, a place in which to solve the great problem of being. His three days’ work in the sepulchre set the seal of eternity on time. He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate. He met and mastered on the basis of Christian Science, the power of Mind over matter, all the claims of medicine, surgery, and hygiene.
Our Master fully and finally demonstrated divine Science in his victory over death and the grave. Jesus’ deed was for the enlightenment of men and for the salvation of the whole world from sin, sickness, and death.
JOHN (J.B. Phillips)
20:18-23 And Mary of Magdala went off to the disciples, with the news, “I have seen the Lord!”, and she told them what he had said to her. In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples had met together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood right in the middle of them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he showed them his hands and his side, and when they saw the Lord the disciples were overjoyed. Jesus said to them again, “Yes, peace be with you! Just as the Father sent me, so I am now going to send you.” And then he breathed upon them and said, “Receive holy spirit.
They who earliest saw Jesus after the resurrection and beheld the final proof of all that he had taught, misconstrued that event. Even his disciples at first called him a spirit, ghost, or spectre, for they believed his body to be dead.
Divest yourself of the thought that there can be substance in matter, and the movements and transitions now possible for mortal mind will be found to be equally possible for the body.
The magnitude of Jesus’ work, his material disappearance before their eyes and his reappearance, all enabled the disciples to understand what Jesus had said. Heretofore they had only believed; now they understood. The advent of this understanding is what is meant by the descent of the Holy Ghost, — that influx of divine Science which so illuminated the Pentecostal Day and is now repeating its ancient history.
He laid the axe of Science at the root of material knowledge, that it might be ready to cut down the false doctrine of pantheism, — that God, or Life, is in or of matter.
JOHN (J.B. Phillips)
20:24-27 But one of the twelve, Thomas…was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples kept on telling him, “We have seen the Lord”, but he replied, “Unless I see in his own hands the mark of the nails, and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe!” Just over a week later, the disciples were indoors again and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood in the middle of them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your fingers here—look, here are my hands. Take my hand and put it in my side. You must not doubt, but believe.”
After the resurrection, even the unbelieving Thomas was forced to acknowledge how complete was the great proof of Truth and Love.
How little light or heat reach our earth when clouds cover the sun’s face! So Christian Science can be seen only as the clouds of corporeal sense roll away. Earth has little light or joy for mortals before Life is spiritually learned.
Truth will be to us “the resurrection and the life” only as it destroys all error and the belief that Mind, the only immortality of man, can be fettered by the body, and Life be controlled by death.
Whosoever lives most the life of Jesus in this age and declares best the power of Christian Science, will drink of his Master’s cup. Resistance to Truth will haunt his steps, and he will incur the hatred of sinners, till “wisdom is justified of her children.” These blessed benedictions rest upon Jesus’ followers: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you;” “Lo, I am with you alway,” — that is, not only in all time, but in all ways and conditions.
SH 329:26-7 If
If men understood their real spiritual source to be all blessedness, they would struggle for recourse to the spiritual and be at peace; but the deeper the error into which mortal mind is plunged, the more intense the opposition to spirituality, till error yields to Truth. Human resistance to divine Science weakens in proportion as mortals give up error for Truth and the understanding of being supersedes mere belief. Until the author of this book learned the vastness of Christian Science, the fixedness of mortal illusions, and the human hatred of Truth, she cherished sanguine hopes that Christian Science would meet with immediate and universal acceptance.
You may know when first Truth leads by the fewness and faithfulness of its followers.
As a cloud hides the sun it cannot extinguish, so false belief silences for a while the voice of immutable harmony, but false belief cannot destroy Science armed with faith, hope, and fruition.
Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts! Christ hath rolled away the stone from the door of human hope and faith, and through the revelation and demonstration of life in God, hath elevated them to possible at-one-ment with the spiritual idea of man and his divine Principle, Love.
SH 224:31 (only)
No power can withstand divine Love.
“Rolling Away the Stone”
By Herbert E. Bonham
The Christian Science Sentinel, March 1959
When early that first Easter morning Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, she peered into the sepulcher. The heavy stone had been rolled away, and her Master’s body was not inside. Writing of the significance of this event, Mary Baker Eddy asks (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 179), “What is it that seems a stone between us and the resurrection morning?” And she replies: “It is the belief of mind in matter. We can only come into the spiritual resurrection by quitting the old consciousness of Soul in sense.”… Is it not placing a stone in the way of a friend or a relative if we think of him as sick, sinning, aging, failing, or dying instead of seeing him as the man of God’s creating, ever free from such false beliefs? And when we allow a misunderstanding to dominate our thoughts or when we take offense and cherish resentment, are we not placing a stone in our own way? How can we ever resurrect ourselves from material consciousness if instead of rolling such errors as misunderstanding and resentment away through the demonstration of the truth of being, we keep turning them over and over in our thought?
Whatever is discordant in our thinking, whether it is envy, anger, impatience, self-pity, or some other false trait, must be removed. No matter how great a wrong may seem to be, we shall have to forgive and forget it. Only when the stone was rolled away could the Master at last come forth from the tomb and be seen. What a gulf between the human affection, which binds, and the divine Love, which makes us free! When one who is close to us goes from our sight, we may say: “The one I love is gone. I cannot see him, talk to him, or touch him.” But man is no more gone than is God. Man is inseparable from Him, eternally expressing Life. Consequently, there is no death, for death never manifests life. Is not grief a stone that must also be rolled away? The Master did not bow down to grief but rather healed it. He realized that there is just one Life, which is God, omni-active good.
No matter how dark the sepulcher seems, no matter how tightly bound we appear to be, there are always angels, inspired thoughts from God, to aid us in moving the stone and to release us. And if only we listen to these angelic visitants, we shall find the darkness has disappeared in the light of the resurrection morn. When we feel hemmed in on every side, when healing seems delayed for us, when we have struggled long and hard and still the light has not been glimpsed, when no way out appears in sight, do we work as uncomplainingly as did Jesus? There is no stone, however large, that cannot be rolled away, no problem so great that it cannot be solved. Every day can be an Easter day as we resurrect our thought from “the belief of mind in matter.”