Golden text: Psalms 71:5-6*
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. 6 Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
21st Century Science and Health**
We all must learn that Life is God. Ask yourself: Am I living the life that advances with supreme good? Am I manifesting the healing power of Truth and Love? If so, then the path will be “shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” Your accomplishments will prove what the understanding of God brings to man and woman. Hold perpetually this thought—that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Spirit and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based on its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being.
Holy Spirit. Holy Ghost; divine Science; the development of eternal Life, Truth, and Love; that which interprets divine Mind.
As we shift our faith and attention from the pains and pleasures of temporal sense to the study of the Science of divine Mind, we get better instead of worse. Suffering, imprisonment, and destruction are not natural disciplinarians. The whole human family can be redeemed through the excellence of Christ—through the perception and acceptance of Truth. For this magnificent result, Christian or divine Science lights the torch of spiritual understanding.
John the Baptist prophesied the coming of the immaculate Jesus, baptizing with Spirit, who, along with Elijah, presented the spiritual idea of God’s fatherhood. John the Revelator completes the picture with woman, typifying the spiritual idea of God’s motherhood.
John the Revelator writes in the tenth chapter of the book of Revelation:
Revelation 10:1–3. Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.
The “mighty angel,” or message, which comes from God, represents divine Science. To human perception, divine Science seems at first obscure, abstract, and dim, but a bright promise crowns its brow. Divine Science understood, is the prism and praise of Truth. An honest view of divine Science enables you to heal by its means. Science has for you a light greater than the sun, for God “is its lamp.” Its fiery legs are the foundations of Love and Truth. It brings the baptism of the Holy Spirit, whose flames of Truth were prophetically described by John the Baptist as consuming error.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
21st Century Science and Health
The advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked the first century of the Christian era, but Christ-spirit is without beginning of years or end of days. Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the divine idea—the reflection of God—has come with some degree of power and grace to all prepared to receive the Messiah, or Truth. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of Christ, which baptized these insightful people in the nature or essence of Love. The divine image, idea, or Christ was, is, and ever will be inseparable from the divine Principle, Truth.
It’s been written that at the time of Jesus’ birth, King Herod decreed the death of every male child so that Jesus, the masculine representative of the divine idea, might not be a threat to the king’s status. Jesus’ impersonation of the spiritual idea had a brief human history, however, “his kingdom will never end.” God’s idea, Christ, will ultimately rule all nations and peoples—imperatively, absolutely, finally—with divine Science. This pure idea embodied first by man, and according to the Revelator, last by woman, will baptize with fire. The fiery baptism will burn up the chaff of error with the fervent heat of Truth and Love, melting and purifying even the gold of human character. After the stars sang together and all was primeval harmony, the material lie made war upon the spiritual idea, but this only impelled the idea to rise to the zenith of demonstration, destroying sin and discord, and caught up to God, found in its divine Principle.
Revelation 12:6. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God.
Here we could have a comparison to when the children of Israel were being guided triumphantly through the sea into the wilderness. A promise of joy was anticipated while walking wearily through the desert of human hopes. Even so now, the spiritual idea will guide all right desires from limited perception to Soul perception, to the glory prepared for us who love God. Science is the guide, never pausing but leading to divine thoughts with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. In War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy depicts the guiding presence found in consciousness. The main character, Pierre Bezúkhov, “felt like a man who, after straining his eyes to peer into the remote distance, finds what he was seeking at his very feet. All his life he had been looking over the heads of those around him, while he had only to look before him without straining his eyes…He had learned to see the great, the eternal, the infinite in everything…And the closer he looked, the happier and more serene he was.”
Jesus was the offspring of Mary’s personal conscious communion with God, allowing him to give us a higher idea of life and demonstrate the Science of Love—his Parent, or divine Principle.
Born of woman, Jesus appeared in the flesh.
The evidence of divine Mind’s healing power and orderly control is to me as certain as the evidence of my own existence.
The effects of spiritual Science are not so much seen as felt. It is the “gentle whisper” of Truth expressing itself. We are either neglecting this expression or we are attentive to it and being improved by it. Willingness to become as little children and to leave the old for the new, prepares thought to receive the advanced idea. To cheerfully leave behind the false imprints and contentedly let them disappear, is the attitude that helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony. The purification of feelings and intent is a proof of progress. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
Unless our harmony and spirituality are becoming more apparent, we are not gaining the true idea of God. The body will reflect what governs it, whether it’s Truth or error, understanding or belief, Spirit or spirits. “Submit to God and be at peace with him.” Be attentive, sober, and vigilant. The way is straight and narrow which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life. It is a fight with the flesh in which we must conquer sin, sickness, and decay, either here or hereafter—certainly before we can reach the realm of Spirit or life in God.
We acknowledge and respect one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge God’s child, one ideal; we acknowledge the Holy Spirit or divine Counselor; and recognize man and woman in God’s image and likeness.
*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, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.
 Prov. 4:18
 Rev. 21:23
 Matt. 2:16
 Luke 1:33
 Exodus 16
 Tolstoy, Leo, War and Peace, translated by Ann Dunnigan. New York: Penguin Books, 1968.
 I Kings 19:12
 Matt. 18:3–4
 Matt. 5:8
 Job 22:21