The Bible Lessons will now go through some of the synonyms Mrs. Eddy uses for God. This week it is Life and the theme revolves around 'new': a new song, a new understanding, seeing how God, Life, makes all things new. I look forward to digging in to that.
This morning, I worked mostly with the fourth section which tells of Elijah being sustained during a long drought. He is sent by God, Life, to stay at the brook in Cherith, which continues to flow despite no rain. There he is miraculously fed by ravens. Some Bible commentaries believe that it was not actual birds but Arabs. In either case, it would have been something arranged by a higher power. Let's go with the birds today. Those animlas were able to provide him with food to sustain him and he drank from the brook. Eventually, as the drought dragged on, even that brook dried up. Sometimes we seem to be in a long period of drought, when all our sources are running out. We may be miraculously able to stay alive but we do not see that end of the lack happening any time soon, in fact, it seems to get worse. In the glossary of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy defines miracle as something which is divinely natural, but must be learned humanly.
God, Life, then speaks to Elijah again. The first word spoken is a command to arise. Do you think he was just sitting there, taking what was given but making no spiritual progress toward seeing true supply? He needed to elevate his thought. So he obeys and goes to Zaraphath where God has arranged for a widow woman to sustain him. Here is a higher sense of life, from wild birds to a human being. She can not only offer him food, but she has some oil. In the glossary Mrs. Eddy defines oil as consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration. That is what is about to happen as the widow believes that if she shares the little that is left, she and her son will starve. But she is willing to do it. Elijah assures her, with his deeper understanding of Life, that the supply will not run out, it will be new every day. And that is exactly what happens.
The Fourth Section ends with the first line of Science and Health: "To those leaning on the sustaining Infinite, today is big with blessings". Let's rejoice if we find ourselves in a Cherith-like experience where we see signs of Good providing for us but don't stay there! Move on to a Zaraphath-like state of mind where you understand that you do not need to fear using up what seems to be the last of your finances, or your strength, or your patience, or your love. See that those things have a spiritual source that can never be depleted or run out. Today most definitely is big with blessings.