What an interesting Bible Lesson this week on the Doctrine of Atonement. As Christian Scientists we read that as at-one-ment with God but to others it seems to be about atoning for sins. We have all made mistakes in judgement at one time or another. In the process we may have hurt others, or we may have been hurt by others. How does one 'make up' for that or what does one expect someone else to do to correct a wrong? Is there an unforgivable sin?
Sometimes it is about giving up something that has taken over our lives, a habit or behavior that seems so important that we put it before anything else. Screen time with television or computers or the latest hand-held device, texting even when you are in the same room. It can become an obsession and it leads to isolation. Is that something you or someone in your family deals with? Once it is seen, is there a willingness to voluntarily change that pattern? What takes its place? Can you do this for God, to be a better reflection of His child? Would you give it up for Him? Do you trust Him enough to believe your life will still be filled with good and purpose if you stop doing it?
At the end of the Responsive Reading the author of Hebrews has some advice: "Let us hold tightly wihtout wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. (Heb 10:23, 24)
The Lesson starts with how God directed Moses and Aaron to make an atonement for the sins for the priests and all the people. But the prophet Samuel soon asks; "hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?" Why would God want burnt sacrifices? I loved that line in one of the Star Trek movies: "Why would God want a starship?" He wants us to be obedient to His commandments and our covenant with Him. He will be our God (no one and nothing else will) and we will be His people.
Mrs. Eddy writes; "Let us rid ourselves of the belief than man is separated from God, and obey only the divine Principle, Life and Love. Here is the great point of departure for all true spiritual growth." (S&H 91)
So that is our point of departure this week. Obey God. Follow His guidance. Take a careful look at how you are spending your time and focusing your attention. The kingdom of God is at hand.
Tomorrow - more about temptations.