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Key to a Happy New YOU! Application Ideas for Lesson Sermon on: "Christian Science" Dec. 22-28, 2003

Gary Duke, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Sunday, December 21st, 2003

Key to a Happy New YOU! (after a Merry Christmas)
Application Ideas for the Lesson Sermon on: "Christian Science"
Dec. 22-28, 2003
By Gary Duke, C.S. (St. Louis, MO)

Mrs. Eddy offers a powerful introduction to this topic: "The two largest words in the vocabulary of thought are 'Christian' and 'Science.' The former is the highest style of man; the latter reveals and interprets God and man; it aggregates, amplifies, unfolds, and expresses the ALL-God." (No 10:6)

Golden Text (Insight): The Psalmist recognized God as the blessed One, the Lawmaker, source of insight and of wondrous good resulting from His law.

Responsive Reading (Prophesy, Persistence & Sight): A blind beggar heard Jesus was passing by and got very excited. He obviously heard of healings attributed to Jesus and probably knew the prophesy of Isaiah 35:5 about the Messiah, "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened..." (RBG ~ Researched Bible Guide by Daybreak Publications). He yelled out, "Son of David," verbally acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah and begged for mercy. Some rebuked the blind man but he persisted even louder. This is an important metaphysical point ~ just as Jacob refused to let go of the angel until he received his blessing (transformation of character and change of name to Israel, "for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed" Gen. 32:28) we too must persist, making "strong demands on love" (Mis 250:16), no matter what our friends, family or society says. Jesus stopped and used this opportunity to teach, restore sight, and fulfill prophesy.

Section 1 (Comforter): Jesus promised another Comforter (B5) which Mrs. Eddy said, "This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science" (S&H 55:28), and "Our Master said, 'But the Comforter . . . shall teach you all things.' When the Science of Christianity appears, it will lead you into all truth." (S1) At this Christmas season of gift giving, aren't these the ultimate gifts ~ comfort, teaching, all truth! Mrs. Eddy further suggests Christmas continues throughout the year every time we recognize a new spiritual idea and nurture it, making it our own; "When a new spiritual idea is borne to earth, the prophetic Scripture of Isaiah is renewedly fulfilled: 'Unto us a child is born, and his name shall be called Wonderful.'" (S4)

Section 2 (Best vs. Good): Martha, sister of Lazarus, entertained Jesus and his disciples. Her sister Mary sat at Jesus' feet and listened to his teaching without helping Martha, which caused Martha to complain. (S8) Who of us hasn't played the part of Martha, sacrificing the best for merely the good? For instance, have we allowed ourselves to sacrifice prayer, spiritual study and church attendance for the good deeds of: doing homework, committee work, earning a living, exercise/sports, completing to-do lists, being social, charitable and other human endeavors? Jesus and Mrs. Eddy proved, by placing the "best" first, we don't lose out on the "good," but actually accomplish infinitely more "good" in less time and in different forms than we might have outlined. Isn't this true because the "best" includes the "good," but not necessarily vice versa? Check out the list above (homework...) and see how Jesus and Mrs. Eddy both excelled in every area. It's important to remember however, Martha's identity also included those Mary qualities as she demonstrated when Jesus came to raise Lazarus from the dead. Martha was the first to meet Jesus and recognize the Christ. (John 11) As reflections of Soul, we include all qualities of God. Therefore, what we admire in others we include too and have the privilege of expressing. We are never limited by our temporary shortcomings or labels.

Section 3 (Science and Health): Early in our studies of S&H and the Bible we may have thought, or known of others thinking, these books are too difficult to understand to be of practical value. Isaiah (B12) says as much, "And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned." Perhaps "not learned" is not only lacking ability to read effectively but more importantly, not spiritually attuned to God. (RBG) Mrs. Eddy suggests ways of thinking which combat these limiting suggestions like "thinkers" & "pioneer" (S10) and "man as perfect" (S12) which result in "well-authenticated cases of healing" (S13). Even children have read S&H both as patient and practitioner with marvelous healing results as testified in Fruitage. (S&H 612, 619, 631, 636, 637, 648, 654, 660, 684, 685) Therefore, isn't the solution to become more childlike? (S&H 237:1)

Section 4 (New Views): This New Year 2004 (and starting now) how do we "sing unto the Lord a new song?" (B13) The answer appears in the next citation, "how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day." (B14) Doesn't meditation mean to deeply think about these spiritual laws and practice assimilating them into our daily experiences? We must be willing to think and change radically or we'll "spill" the inspiration as the following illustrations suggest. "No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved." (B15) If a new piece of wool is patched into an old garment, it will shrink after getting wet and will create a worse hole than the patch itself. Similarly, slightly fermented grape juice will require a stretchy new skin bag ("bottle") because it will expand with greater fermentation tearing through an old skin bag and the wine will be "spilled." Mr. Clark experienced a radical change of thought via a healing described in S16,17 which Mrs. Eddy metaphorically explains, "Divine Science does not put new wine into old bottles, Soul into matter, nor the infinite into the finite. Our false views of matter perish as we grasp the facts of Spirit. The old belief must be cast out or the new idea will be spilled, and the inspiration, which is to change our standpoint, will be lost. Now, as of old, Truth casts out evils and heals the sick."

Section 5 (Little Child/New Man): Almost daily, doesn't a little child leave the old for the new as they're weaned from milk, rattles, diapers, crawling, baby talk, etc. Huge progress! We too have that daily privilege as we understand Science, "Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea." (S20) To the degree which we yield to that childlike exploration do we "put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." (B17) What a gift! Who has not secretly wished to begin again (relationships, school, job, life!) with one's current spiritual understanding? We can, just like little children, learn and then forget past mistakes, just living in the present without the baggage of the past. Saul of Tarsus experienced this transformation as he explained to King Agrippa. (B18) We too can shed our self imposed image, have our names changed from Saul to Paul and be freed of labels like nerd, workaholic, unattractive, slow, old, too young, poor, untalented, failure. What are the spiritual opposites of this list of self imposed fetters? Thankfully for us, Paul didn't dwell on his past cruelty and shortcomings, but embraced his discipleship and proceeded to establish Christianity among the Gentiles. Each of us can learn from his example and proceed to bless mankind.

Section 6 (New Jerusalem): Where are we to reside as this new child/man/woman? New Jerusalem of course! It is defined by John as a city with perfect proportions, "the city lieth foursquare..." (B21). Mrs. Eddy describes the four sides of the city in S27 as: 1. Word of Life, Truth, and Love. 2. Christ, the spiritual idea of God. 3. Christianity, which is the outcome of the divine Principle of the Christ-idea in Christian history. 4. Christian Science, which today and forever interprets this great example and the great Exemplar.

Isn't this description a progression or spiritual evolution as Mrs. Eddy suggests? (S&H 295:6) John says the city had no need of sun which implies we can't employ the light of the physical sun for spiritual guidance. (RBG) What is the reward and promise of New Jerusalem? A. The nations which are saved shall walk in the light of God. B. Kings, who are typically most resistant to God, "will lay down their honors within the heavenly city" (has this prophesy recently occurred?). C. Nothing can enter the city which "defileth or maketh a lie."

In short, this is the ultimate destination resort! Happy New Jerusalem and 2004 to all!

Section Summary Benediction: Spiritual insight reveals prophecy, encourages persistence and results in sight. The Comforter helps us stick with the "best" of spirit rather than settling for merely the "good" of the world. Science and Health offers new views revealing the innate child and new man, giving them passports and keys to reside in New Jerusalem.

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