Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Songs - Freedom from the 'spirit of infirmity'

A theme running throught this week's lesson is to 'sing a new song'. Yesterday I wrote about how Hezekiah did this by cleansing out the Temple and how we can do the same with our thinking about repeating 'the same old song' of some problem. Today, the next section of the lesson expands on that idea and shows how Jesus put it to practical use.

He was traveling around Galilee, teaching in the synogogues, preaching about the kingdom of God, and healing. One Sabbath day, he encountered a woman who had a 'spirit of infirmity'. We have all had this experience of seeing someone literally bowed down under some burden, looking careworn and ill. This woman was so bowed down with her 18-year struggle (one hopes it was not some teenage child causing this) that she couldn't even lift her head. She was always looking down, feeling hopeless. Jesus felt immediate compassion for her and although Jewish men did not speak to women in public, he called her to him. At least she had taken the time to attend a prayer service or had come to the temple to pray. There must have been some belief in God, but perhaps she was thinking of herself as unworthy. It may have been a false sense of personal responsibility. Jesus tells her that she is loosed from this infirmity. I'm sure he spoke with both gentleness and authority for the effect was instantaneous. Immediately she was made straight (a false belief about age and deteriorating bone structure?). Her reaction was to glorify God. Now, this must have been a new song, quite different from a repetition of her daily problems in the past.

Jesus, justifying his actions to those who were upset that he healed on the Sabbath day, describes her as one 'whom Satan had bound'. He did not condemn her but freed her from the aggressive mental suggestion that she had been in bondage to some unsolved problem. He knew she was not infirm, but suffering from the 'spirit of infirmity'. He saw her as divine Mind knows all of its ideas, he knew her as the child of divine Love, he claimed her true identity as the reflection of Truth, he understood her life to be Life expressing itself perfectly. Her thought was lifted and when the thought changed she was physically lifted as well.

Mrs. Eddy writes that 'In divine Science, man is the true image of God'. Understanding this, we can lift our thoughts, our 'spirit of infirmity' higher than what we had accepted before. Mrs. Eddy uses the term 'thought models'. Be sure your own thought models are pure and good and whole. Sing the right song.

Be at peace.

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