Golden text: I Peter 2:11-12*
Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.
God, you’ve walked out on your family Jacob
because their world is full of hokey religion,
Philistine witchcraft, and pagan hocus-pocus,
a world rolling in wealth,
Stuffed with things,
no end to its machines and gadgets,
And gods—gods of all sorts and sizes.
These people make their own gods and worship what they make.
A degenerate race, facedown in the gutter.
Don’t bother with them! They’re not worth forgiving!
10 Head for the hills,
hide in the caves
From the terror of God,
from his dazzling presence.
11-17 People with a big head are headed for a fall,
pretentious egos brought down a peg.
It’s God alone at front-and-center
From 21st Century Science and Health**
Human mind is unaware of its false ego or it could never be self-deceived. If this mortal mind knew how to be better, it would. When human mind tries to believe in something besides itself, it only promotes its own image as deity, thereby becoming an idolater. Out of the necessity to maintain its identity the human mind has other gods and believes in more than one Mind.
The understanding that the Ego, I AM, is Mind, and that there is but one Mind or intelligence, begins at once to destroy the errors of human sense and to supply the truth of spiritual sense. This understanding makes the body harmonious; it makes the nerves, bones, brain, etc., servants, instead of masters. If humanity is governed by the law of divine Mind, the body is obedient to everlasting Life and Truth and Love.
What actually took place is this: I, [Paul] tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
From 21st Century Science and Health
As the true knowledge of God becomes evident, the outdated concept of God as a mighty hero, lord, or king, will continue to vanish. Creeds and rituals still need to wash their hands of religious lore. Years ago, spiritual advancement was opposed by sword and spear. Today, idolatry anger, envy, arrogance, and egotism, whisper “Crucify! Crucify!”
Beliefs that engender a national theology or political religion are the antithesis of true Christianity. Narrow systems and theories concerning God, human beings, health, and a religious society, are restrictive. Jesus, who set Christianity on the foundation of Spirit, was accused of “making himself equal with God.” Jesus taught as he was inspired by the Maker and would recognize no life, intelligence, or substance outside of God.
Jesus didn’t assume a mortal selfhood. It was his spirituality that made it possible for Jesus to heal the sick, drive out evil, and raise the dead.
Jesus showed us a whip is needed to drive tyranny and arrogance out of church. The strong cords of scientific demonstration, as twisted and wielded by Jesus, are still needed to purge churches of their vain traffic in worldly worship. Church should be made “a house of prayer for all nations,” where humility and divine Science are welcome.
If religious people accept church salaries and build churches, yet turn away the poor and stranger, they are shutting the door on progress. Let the story of Jesus’ birth in a manger, and death on a cross, deflate that arrogance and human egotism. Gratification of the physical senses will numb the right hand and cause the left to let go of its grasp on the divine.
Proverbs 16: 1-9
Mortals make elaborate plans,
but God has the last word.
2 Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good.
3 Put God in charge of your work,
then what you’ve planned will take place.
4 God made everything with a place and purpose;
even the wicked are included—but for judgment.
5 God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense;
believe me, he’ll put those upstarts in their place.
6 Guilt is banished through love and truth;
Fear-of-God deflects evil.
7 When God approves of your life,
even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.
8 Far better to be right and poor
than to be wrong and rich.
9 We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.
From 21st Century Science and Health
Human beings are egotists. They stroll around believing themselves to be independent workers, elite authors, or privileged originators of something God could in no way ever manifest. The creations of human mind represent the foibles of existence, whereas spiritual people represent the truth of creation.
The fleshly body, which you call me, is human mind, and this mind is limited in sensation. The body has originated and been developed by limited perceptions and is therefore material, limited. The materialism of parent and child is only in human mind, as the dead body proves; for when the human being has resigned the body to dust, the body is no longer the parent, even in appearance.
When human beings blend their thoughts of existence with the spiritual and work only as Truth and Love works, they will taste heaven and stop groping in the dark and clinging to the world.
People are the reflection of Soul, the direct opposite of tactile matter, and Soul is the one Ego.
Spiritual Ego never mistakes and is always conscious. Spirit never believes or decides, but knows; Soul is never born and never dies. Spiritual person is the likeness of this Ego. We are not God, but we are the outcome of God. We reflect God.
Our spirituality is designed by perfect Mind and reflects those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all false conceptions.
I Peter 3: 8-12
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things.
From 21st Century Science and Health
SCIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF HUMAN MIND
First Degree: Spiritual unawareness.
PHYSICAL. Evil thinking, obsessions and 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 man and woman as God’s image appear.
*Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
**Text from 21st Century Science and Health can’t be reproduced in part or as a whole without the written permission of Healing Science Today
 Mark 15:13–14; Luke 23:20; John 19:6
 John 5:18
 John 2:15
 Isa. 56:7; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46