Subject: Sacred presence
Golden text: Psalms 31:19-20
Oh [God], how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! 20 In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.
21st Century Science and Health
Our motives and inclinations are paramount in religion. However, when rituals and ceremonies are the crux of religion, the motives and inclinations of a person are concealed by formal procedures and human routines. Jesus, as modest as he was mighty, rebuked this hypocrisy. Hypocrisy offers long petitions for blessings on physical rituals, but veils the crime, latent in thought, which is ready to spring into action and crucify God’s anointed.
Spiritual leaders should pursue the dignity of God’s laws rather than pursue positions of church power. Inferior motives induce attacks on individuals who share Christ’s teachings by example of Mind’s healing power.
Truth should emanate from the pulpit, but never be strangled there. A special privilege is commissioned in the ministry. How will it be used? Sacredly, in the interests of humanity, not of self or sect.
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil from beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly. 3 Outside the veil of the testimony, in the tent of meeting, Aaron shall arrange it from evening to morning before the Lord regularly. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. 4 He shall arrange the lamps on the lampstand of pure gold before the Lord regularly.
5 “You shall take fine flour and bake twelve loaves from it; two tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf. 6 And you shall set them in two piles, six in a pile, on the table of pure gold before the Lord. 7 And you shall put pure frankincense on each pile, that it may go with the bread as a memorial portion as a food offering to the Lord. 8 Every Sabbath day Aaron shall arrange it before the Lord regularly; it is from the people of Israel as a covenant forever. 9 And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, since it is for him a most holy portion out of the Lord’s food offerings, a perpetual due.”
21st Century Science and Health
Human-made rituals are but types and shadows of true worship.
Whether you are utilizing conventional healing methods, or praying from a tenuous standpoint that relies on ceremonies and creeds, you must improve your mindset until you attain the understanding of the spiritual Science which heals.
Mechanical prayers or rituals are not progressive. Prayer is a privilege, not to be taken for granted or abused. Seeking Truth doesn’t include paying someone else to do your praying for you.
Surely, we need to do more than preserve unreliable and useless dogmas, derived from religious traditions and stamped with human approval or authorization.
Vanity and negativity desecrate the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the patient’s spiritual power to resuscitate themselves is damaged. The poor suffering heart needs its spiritual nutriment, such as peace, patience in distress, honesty, and a priceless sense of the dear Father-Mother’s loving-kindness.
I Samuel 21:1-6
Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” 2 And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” 4 And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” 6 So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.
21st Century Science and Health
The presence of natural nourishment should encourage self-disciplined, humble thought; it should discourage and reverse any sense of worry, inflammation, or eating for self-satisfaction.
To cure a patient, the practitioner must first dismiss their own moral evils. Purification allows the practitioner to attain the spiritual freedom and ability to drive physical evils out of the patient. Healing will not radiate from someone who is so spiritually unproductive that they are unable to give drink to the thirsty or reach the patient’s thought. Mental poverty alienates faith and understanding.
Insanity, inanity, sickness, and mental turmoil are comprised in human thinking, and do not belong to the divine Mind. They are without a real origin or being. They have neither Principle nor permanence but belong with all that is changeable and illusive. They belong to nothingness, which feigns the creations of Truth. Creations of falsities must return to dust, whereas Spirit’s creations are substantial and eternal. It’s a mistake to believe we are susceptible to a detachment from Spirit. Divine Science invalidates error and maintains our spiritual identity.
We call the absence of Truth, error. Truth and error are unlike. In Science, Truth is divine and can have no unlikeness. Did God, Truth, create error? No! “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” God, being everywhere and all-inclusive, how can the all-presence be absent? How can the absence of omnipresence and omnipotence even be suggested? How can there be more than all?
In his book, The Four Agreements: Wisdom Book, Don Miguel Ruiz presents a reasonable view of sinlessness based on the word “Impeccability.” Differing views of falsity help us grasp the fact that to infinite Spirit there is no sin, because all is sinless Spirit—all is divine Principle and its idea. The sacred influence of Truth is to abolish error and sin, so, can error be immortal? Truth spares all that is true.
One Sabbath [Jesus] was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”
21st Century Science and Health
Jesus recognized Spirit, God, as the only source and origin of all.
First in the list of divine responsibilities, Jesus taught his followers the healing power of Truth and Love. He attached no importance to dead ceremonies.
The epoch approaches when true religion will be built on the understanding of the truth of being. However, people are slow to understand truth because they are obsessed with fashion, pride, bodies, and opinions. Mortal fixations make us weary and old because they go against our higher nature. At some point, we will break through the fleeting and false and learn how Spirit, the great architect, has created us in Science.
Envy buries trust and love. The presence of mistrust, where confidence is due, is the rotten apple in a relationship.
The principles of Spirit are omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience—Spirit possessing all power, filling all space, and constituting all Science. These facts contradict the belief that human mind can be actual and reveal existence as the radiant reality of God’s creation, in which everything Mind’s wisdom made is pronounced good.
SCIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF SPIRITUAL DIVINE MIND
GOD: Divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Life, Love, Truth, Spirit.
PERSON (individual, man and woman): God’s spiritual idea, image, perfect, eternal.
IDEA: An image in Mind; “Synonyms – idea, concept, conception, thought, notion, impression, means what exists in the mind as a representation (as of something comprehended) or as a formulation (as of a plan).”
SCIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF HUMAN MIND
First Degree: Spiritual unawareness.
PHYSICAL. Evil thinking, obsessions, negative appetites, fear, corrupt will, self-justification, arrogance, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death.
Second Degree: Disappearance of self-destructive thinking.
MORAL. Humanity, honesty, constructive inclinations, compassion, hope, faith, humility, moderation.
Third Degree: Understanding.
SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.
In the third degree, human mind disappears and individuals as God’s image appear. Science reverses the evidence before the physical human senses.
Our Father in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious,
Hallowed be Your name,
One sacred nature,
Your kingdom come,
Your government is come; You are ever-present,
 James 3:11
 Ruiz, Don Miguel, The Four Agreements: Wisdom Book. California: Amber-Allen Publishing, 1997.
 By permission. From the Merriam-Webster Online,© 2007 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated (www.Merriam-Webster.com).