Today I am following a line of thought sparked by references in the last section of this week's Bible Lesson. Many years ago, when I was first beginning my study of Christian Science, I attended a Wednesday evening testimony meeting. One of the men stood during the time for sharing healings and remarks and he gave gratitude for how practical Christian Science is in his life. I was impressed by his words and the incidents he shared where applying Christian Science had brought healings.
The final section of our Lesson has the word 'practical' in two citations from Science and Health. Luke was writing in his book of Acts about the first book he had written, the Gospel of Luke. It is a collection of eye witness accounts of the teachings of Jesus, including many healings he performed. Now Luke is following up with a second book that tells what happened after the crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus returned to teaching his disciples for an additional 40 days. He had 'shown himself alive...by many infallible proofs'. Assembling them together he commanded them not to disperse but to stay in Jerusalem for the 'promise of the Father'. Then he left them, ascending out of their sight.
Mrs. Eddy gives us some direction where she writes: "But the human self must be evangelized. This task God demands us to accept lovingly to-day, and to abandon so fast as practical the material, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual". There's that word 'practical'. The dictionary defines it as acquired by practice or action rather than by theory, involving practice. So we are to study Christian Science, accepting this directive lovingly, so that it a deeply satisfying search for Truth, the truth about God and His beloved image and likeness. We are to abandon - so fast as practical - the material. In Science and Health, in the chapter Footsteps of Truth she says: "God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won." That is in the Lesson but the next sentence reads: "To stop eating, drinking, or being clothed materially before the spiritual facts of existence are gained step by step is not legitimate. When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path". That is sound practical advice. This is how we work out the outward and actual.
The second reference to 'practical' says: "May the Christians of today take up the more practical import of that career!" We are to be Christlike. But Jesus did not just know that God supplies all human needs, he fed the hungry multitudes. He healed the withered hand so that man could earn his living. He opened blind eyes, deaf ears, and cast out disease. Our practice of Christian Science should also be practical, meeting and healing every challenge that comes along during our day.
That testifier impressed me with the simple way he turned to God, expecting an answer, finding solutions to every day things. That was what I was looking for, that was what proved to me that I had found it. You might enjoy using a concordance and looking up all the places 'practical' is used in Mrs. Eddy's writings. And putting them to use.