Our Bible Lessons are based on 26 topics Mrs. Eddy has given us, presented in order and repeated twice a year. But the content of the Lessons is always fresh, a new set of citations put together from the Bible and Science and Health. Some topics are simple and easy to work with. Others seem a bit strange, and some are in the form of questions. This week's Lesson is one I used to think odd. Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced. But as my study of Christian Science continues and deepens I see the wisdom is providing this study.
There are examples in the Bible of Ancient Necromancy. Necromancy is defined in the Merriam-
Webster online dictionary as conjuring the spirits of the dead to reveal the future or course of events. It is black magic based on a belief in evil. How relevant is that today? Very. Is it a term people know? Apparently. On Monday as I browsed through the news I spotted this...."The media necromancy of the web has resurrected yet another dead and decaying television show." The writer was familiar with the word necromancy and assumed readers would be as well.
That got me thinking. What other ways might one be using necromancy today? Do we sometimes wish we could summon up a loved one who has passed on to give us advice? Do we look at some character trait we seem to have and believe that it has been passed along to us by a relative? Do we dredge us memories of an unpleasant past event and continue to dwell over it wishing we could change what happened? Do we look to things in the past and believe they are having an adverse effect on the present, or the future?
Mrs. Eddy put necromancy on equal footing with mesmerism or hypnotism. Both of those terms were very much in the news in her day. Are they today? How about those commercials that attempt subtly and not so subtly to mesmerize you into wanting and purchasing things? I took the 'grands' grocery shopping yesterday and it was quite startling how many things they identified on the shelves. They wanted those products because they had seen commercials designed to brand them into their minds so they would have a favorable reaction when they saw them. Have you ever gotten so attached to a television series that everything else must be put aside to watch it? Do the characters and events provoke a reaction? Is it hard to wait for the next episode? Careful, you are being used.
This week's outstanding Lesson includes the story of Nehemiah rebuilding the destroyed walls and gates of Jerusalem and the attempts of his enemies to keep that from happening. I look forward each morning to finding more and more spiritual inspiration. This seems like the exact opposite of necromancy. It is turning to the Word of God for light and blessing. It is all about how not to be fooled or influenced erroneously. It's going to be a great week!