Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jesus' practitioners

As the time approached for the crucifixtion experience, Jesus was well aware of what lay ahead. He tried to prepare his students by telling them that he must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things from the authorities, and be raised up the third day. They could not or would not believe this. How was Jesus himself dealing with it? Well, he had certainly proved his ability to heal others and even to raise the dead. But he had not yet had to go through any physical attacks on his person. One time, when a crowd gathered to throw him off a cliff, he just walked right through and escaped. But according to the Scriptures he faced beatings, ridicule, and violence.

Jesus had no one to turn to in the way Christian Scientists might contact a practitioner, someone who has made the commitment to devote themselves full time to the practice of Christian Science healing. So he took his three most devoted students up to 'an high mountain apart'. And I can believe that both literally and spiritually. Because before their eyes he transformed himself, so that his face did shine like the sun and his clothing was as white as light. Not only did he do this but standing with him were Moses and Elias. Moses represented the law and Jesus was certainly familiar with the things Moses had done to lead his people from slavery in Egypt to the border of the Holy Land. Elias was one of the greatest prophets and it was in his writings that Jesus learned what awaited the Messiah. So he called upon them in his hour of need for inspiration and encouragement. Both had been dead, as far as the world was concerned, for hundreds of years and yet there they were in the flesh. The disciples recognized them as people and not as spirits. So Jesus uplifted his disciples thought even as his own was being lifted.

If you find yourself facing something too awful to deal with on your own, know that you are not alone. Help is only a phone call or email away. Practitioners are standing by 24/7/365 and so is God, our heavenly Father, divine Love. Those calls are answered, help is given, the situation gets resolved, but best of all, we gain a clearer view of God, His wonderful creation, and our place in it as His beloved children, safe in His unfailing care. Don't hesitate. Call.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house

This week our Bible lesson is on Christ Jesus. We are studying the story of his healing of the palsied man. Confined to his bed, unable to walk, this man was brought to Jesus by his friends who believed the Master could help him. What I am paying particular attention to in this story is how Jesus healed him. Those present believed that this type of illness was a punishment from God for a sinful life. Whatever that man had done, whatever choices he had made, he was now stricken with this condition. He was not born with this problem, he appeared to have brought it on himself. Palsy, however, was not a physical condition, only the physical manifestation of what this man accepted, and felt he deserved.

At my Association meeting our speaker made it very clear to us that we should never accept illness or error or limitation as a reality, as a condition that needs correcting. It is only a suggestion that there is another power present other than God, good, and that this other power has the ability to control us or harm us. It is a false belief about man as mortal. It tries to reverse the truth of our spiritual being. The Bible, the inspired Word of God, says clearly that man was made in the image and likeness of God, the divine Mind. We are one of His ideas, created whole and perfect, faultless. An image is the exact duplicate of the original. Like the image in the mirror, it cannot do anything but reflect the original. That is the reality of our being and Jesus was very aware of it at all times. So aware of it that he saw this in everyone he encountered. This true view of them broke the illusion and healing occured as one's true nature was revealed, the perfection that was always there, even when hidden by the mask of mortality.

He addressed the man with three commands and these are words you can pray with to reverse whatever error you are dealing with. First, he said 'arise'. Lift up your thought, don't accept this as your problem because it is not brought on by God, who is the only cause and creator. All that He causes and creates is good. He fills all space so there is nowhere for something He did not cause or create to exist. There is no other power to cause or create it. The reflection is always true to its original. Rise up your thinking to honor God in this way and to see that you are His beloved idea and child.

Then he told him to 'take up his bed'. He was to show his mastery over that which was trying to confine him. This symbol of his enslavement had no power over him, quite the reverse. He was not condemned to spend his days lying on a bed as a constant reminder of past mistakes. He was forgiven and cherished by his heavenly Father, who wants us to express all health and holiness and wholeness. Lift up your thought and then lift up your body. God gives us dominion.

Finally, he was to 'go unto thine house'. This man was to go home. Maybe he had been cast out by his family. Maybe he had chosen to leave them for a different lifestyle. Maybe he had been ashamed to go back once he was striken by palsy. Whatever the reason, he was to return to his home and his family. But Mrs. Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, takes this idea to an even higher leve. In her spiritual interpretation of the 23rd Psalm, she substitutes 'spiritual consciousness' for the word 'house'. As in, 'I will live in the house (the consciousness) of divine Love forever. This man was to go back to his spiritual consciousness, to the place where he always lives in God's house.

We can use all three of those directives as we work out whatever it is that is trying to tie us to a problem or challenge; physically, financially, emotionally. Remember, it is not a condition and it is not yours. It is only a suggestion, a lie, an illusion, about your unbroken relationship to God as His very own idea and child. Arise, show dominion, and go 'home'.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I love this week's Bible lesson

Yes,I love this week's Bible lesson for the way it is presented. The subject is Soul, which is all about our spiritual sense. Mrs. Eddy gives us a beautiful definition for spiritual sense in the chapter called Science of Being in her book Science and Health. She writes: "Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality."

That sentence is in the first of the six sections of the lesson and then each of the next sections works with one of those qualities. It is such a lovely progression of our spiritual growth. We may need to have intuition first, as Jacob did when he wrestles with the problem of being reunited with the brother he had cheated out of his inheritance. Growing beyond intuition comes hope. One definition of hope is to wish for something with expectation of its fulfilment. Doesn't that lead beautifully into faith!

There is an example of this in the Gospels when Jesus stills a storm. The terrified disciples had awakened him, sure they were about to perish. As if a ship carrying Jesus could sink. He calms the storm with a word and asks them where was their faith. Sometimes that is what we need when we pray for healing, faith that God hears us, loves us, and will bring it to pass.

So beyond faith comes understanding. It is not enough to have faith in the principle of mathematics. When we understand it we can apply it and get the right answer. Understanding.
Then with understanding comes fruition. In the chapter Footsteps of Truth Mrs. Eddy writes: "Knowing that Soul and its attributes were forever manifested through man, the Master healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and feet to the lame, thus bringing to light the scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies and giving a better understanding of Soul and salvation." And this is exactly what those who turn to Christian Science find today.

This spiritual reality is what we think of as heaven or the kingdom of heaven. And it is available to each of us instantly.