Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fruit of the Spirit - part one

This week's Bible Lesson continues with studying the synonyms Mrs. Eddy has given us for God. It is about God as Spirit and as each of us as His spiritual image and likeness. We begin with one of Jesus' parables, the Sower and the Seed, an appropriate place to learn just what the result of being more spiritual brings to our human experience.

The Word of God reaches out to us through the Bible. You should have a copy to read, a copy you feel comfortable writing in, and at least one copy that is a translation. I turn to the 'clean' copy when I am seeking fresh inspiration and do not want to be distracted by things I have written from other times of study. I use the 'marked up' copy daily and love being reminded of things I have discovered. I have many translations but most recently hav been loving a Bible that includes four translations. I keep a paperback Bible in the car.

I am so grateful Mrs. Eddy set up our weekly Bible Lesson as over the years it has helped me be familiar with most of the Bible characters and their stories. It also has given me a sense of the progression of thought about God and worship moving through the Old Testament and into the New.

This Bible study is like that parable in the Responsive Reading. This morning I am looking back at my own growth as I have been studying the Word. There have been times when all my good thoughts and prayer seem to have fallen by the wayside. One Bible commentary describes that as the pathways that run beside cultivated fields, a place where things get trampled under foot. That was how I was feeling about my metaphysical work. Then I realized that none of God's words are ever wasted or unappreciated. Those who don't agree with what I believe cannot overwhelm me with their opposition or disregard. There have have times when I have felt like my prayers are a struggle with a stony reception or resistence as big as boulders. It is hard to dig down and find nourishment in such 'soil' or thinking. When I prepare a garden bed, I take time to rake it clean and work the soil to remove stones and debris. I add things to that soil to be sure whatever I plant there will be able to put down roots and find nourishment. I understand that this process takes time and even when it appears on the surface that not much is happening, there is really all kinds of activity going on. Then there are times when I have prayed about something using the same old familiar passages and gotten temporary relief, but when the claim asserts itself, it is tempting to give up and say, well, I did my best but it just isn't working. That is exactly when you have to refute that testimony and say, well, I did my best and it must be working because it is the law of God, the law of good, and nothing can stop it. No false claim can choke off my reliance on Christian Science or spiritual healing. Nothing anyone says can cause me pain or hurt my feelings. I am good soil, I know the value of the 'seeds' I have been given, I can expect strong growth and beautiful results.

Today, be sure you are seeing your life as a garden bed filled with good soil, free of rocks or obstructions, in a protected space, with deep roots anchoring you, and excellent fruitage. This lesson comes directly to you from the Master.

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