This week's Bible Lesson, Soul and Body, is packed with great ideas. I love having this Lesson ready and waiting each week. It has helped me be a better student of the Bible as we read and study different citations and get to know many of the Biblical characters. The full-text edition is a wonderful way to share Christian Science with others but I still mark my books as well. There's so much pleasure in turning to the different citations and being able to see what comes before and after them for deeper study. The ideas in Science and Health continue to provide fresh inspiration although that book was written in the 1890's. As part of my spiritual journey I am continually reading it. When I get to the end I just go back to the beginning and start over. There is always more to learn and I am in a new place every time as my understanding grows.
This week we have three stories that illustrate the Golden Text, ...ye are God's building. We are like a house built to His plan, His blue print and God is the Master Architect.
During an extended drought the prophet Elijah gets a message from God telling him to go to a certain city where a widow woman will sustain him. Elijah stays in her home and that is when the cruise of oil does not fail, in fact, it provides enough to sell the extra. the drought ends and another crisis occurs when her son falls ill and dies. Elijah takes the child from his grieving mother's arms and carries him up to the loft. There he prays and the child is restored to life. Elijah brings the child to his mother. It is not in the Lesson but her response is "Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth." It seems like she should have been convinced of his connection with God by the demonstration of the oil. When he arrived she was preparing a final meal for herself and the child and then fully expected to starve to death. I believe that drought had been in effect some time before Elijah arrived and it is not clear how long it continued but the biblical account says 'many day'.
Maybe she felt the supply was to save Elijah and she got the benefit of it by hosting him. But when they survived that challenge only to have the child die from illness she must have been sorely tested. She refers to some past sin and thinks that having Elijah there has brought her to God's attention. The restoration of her son, her only son, was a turning point.
What I am learning from studying this lesson is how important it is to daily affirm our true heritage as the child of God. God is our parent, our Father Mother, our creator. We exist as an idea in divine Mind. We have a spiritual identity. We did not have a birth, will not pass through stages of life, and then end with death. No birth process into matter at all. God is Spirit and 'man is not material, he is spiritual.' God is Soul and Soul is never found in a limited mind or a limited body. Much to ponder today.