September 30, 2015

bible study imageSubject: Comfort

Golden text: Matthew 5:4*

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Amos 5:16-24*

Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord:

“In all the squares there shall be wailing,
and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’
They shall call the farmers to mourning
and to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,
17 and in all vineyards there shall be wailing,
for I will pass through your midst,”
says the Lord.18 Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
Why would you have the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, and not light,

21 “I hate, I despise your feasts,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
I will not look upon them.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Proverbs 17:24-26

The discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25 A foolish son is a grief to his father
and bitterness to her who bore him.
26 To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The press, internet, and media unwittingly send forth many sorrows among the human family. It does this by giving names to diseases and by printing long descriptions which mirror images of disorder and dysfunction distinctly in thought. A new name for an ailment affects people like the latest craze. Every one jumps on the band wagon to join the party of problems. A minutely described disease costs many human beings their earthly days of comfort. What a price for human knowledge!

The power of human mind over its own body is not understood very well. Human beings have “made a mess of things,”[1] not realizing yet that knowledge can save from the dire effects of knowledge. If materialistic knowledge is power, it is not wisdom. Temporal knowledge is but a vain force.

Suffering can waken human mind from its fleshly dream, and is better than the false pleasures which tend to perpetuate this dream.

John 19:16-18, 30, 41-42

So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The law of our Supreme Court decrees that whoever sins shall die; but good deeds are spiritual, bringing joy instead of grief, pleasure instead of pain, and life instead of death.

When [Mary Baker Eddy] felt as though [she] was near the edge of mortal existence, standing within the “valley of the shadow of death,”[2] [she] learned the following truths in divine Science. 1) All real being is in God, the divine Mind, and that Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful and ever-present. 2) The opposite of Truth—called error, sin, sickness, disease, death, fleshly mind—is the false testimony of temporal perception, of mind in matter. 3) The temporal perception evolves, in belief, a subjective state of human mind which this same so-called mind names matter, thereby shutting out the true perception of Spirit.

[Eddy’s] discovery—that human misnamed mind produces all biological functions and actions of the human body—set my thoughts to work in new directions. The new direction inspired [her] demonstration of the proposal that infinite Mind is All and human mortal mind is nothing in Mind-science.

John 20:11-18

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

From 21st Century Science and Health

If a Christian Scientist had said, while you were laboring under the influence of a grieving thought, “Your sorrow is without cause,” you may misunderstand the meaning, although the correctness of the assertion might afterwards be proved to you. So, when our friends pass from our sight and we mourn, the mourning is needless and causeless. We will perceive this to be true when we grow into the understanding of Life, and know that there is no death.

If grief causes suffering, convince the sufferer that affliction often causes a mental shift, and joy is found in ever present Love.

You will eventually learn that there is no cause for grief, and divine wisdom will then be understood. Error, not Truth, produces all the suffering on earth.

John 20:19-21

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Majesty prevailed. The disciples’ grief transformed into repentance. Their arrogance was rebuked and their hearts were renewed. Convinced of their unprofitable toil in the dark, and wakened by their Teacher’s voice, they changed their methods, turned away from temporal things, and threw their net on the right side. Their new understanding of Christ, Truth, gave them a new perspective on life in divine Mind, rather than in human mind.

II Corinthians 1:3-7

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Love does comfort the people who are yearning for something more than the history of perpetual evil.

In the following Psalm one word shows, though faintly, the light which divine Science throws on the Scriptures by substituting for the physical sense, the spiritual sense of Deity:

[Divine Love] is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

[Love] makes me lie down in green pastures,

[Love] leads me beside quiet waters,

[Love] restores my soul [spiritual sense]. [Love] guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for [Love is] with me; [Love’s] rod and [Love’s] staff, they comfort me.

[Love prepares] a table before me in the presence of my enemies. [Love anoints] my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the [consciousness] of [Love] for ever.[3]

 

*“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health,5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Eccl. 7:29 (The Message)

[2] Ps. 23:4

[3] Ps. 23 (Brackets added by Mary Baker Eddy)

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