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'.

No comments: