December 23, 2020

Subject: Shepherd

Golden text: Psalms 23:1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Matthew 1:17-25

 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

21st Century Science and Health

The divine origin of Jesus gave him more than human power to expound the facts of creation and demonstrate the one Mind which makes and governs spiritual being and the universe. The Science of creation, so conspicuous in the birth of Jesus, not only inspired his wisest and least understood sayings, but was also the basis of his marvelous actions. Christ is the offspring of Spirit, and spiritual existence shows that Spirit does not create a wicked person or a human being who lapses into sin, sickness, and death.

Earth has little light or joy before Life is spiritually learned. Every agony of mortal error helps error to destroy itself and we perceive immortal Truth. This is the new birth going on hourly, by which human beings may entertain angels, the true ideas of God, the unlimited sense of being.

Dynamic modern research and altering social environments provide increasing data and evidence to contradict conventional scientific theories concerning our origin. Instead of debating the old theories, we can bless the human race by understanding why we are more than flesh and blood and why we can detach ourselves from limited concepts.

Natural history is richly endowed by the labors and genius of great people. Modern breakthroughs, biotechnology, in vitro fertilization, and cloning, have brought to light important facts in regard to supposed embryonic life. But, to suppose life germinates in anything other than Mind is a blunder. All theories within the material realm never reach past the temporal. They will finally give place to higher theories and demonstrations.

Matthew 2:1-6

 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

21st Century Science and Health

We are inundated with feelings and the false consciousness that life exists in the material body, yet we remember that in reality God is our Life and consciousness. We look at human events and timidly realize the day will come when we say, “I find no pleasure in them.”[1] 

How does the heavenly conviction of spiritual existence come about? How is a conviction so antagonistic to the testimony of the physical senses experienced?  According to Paul, it is “the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.”[2] Neale Donald Walsch, author of The New Revelations: A Conversation with God wrote, “Divine inspiration is the birthright of every human being.”[3] The divine law of Life and Love unfolds the demonstrable facts that matter, also known as human mind, possesses neither sensation nor life; that human experiences show the falsity of all temporal things; and that spiritual desires establish the truth that the only sufferer is human mind. Divine Mind can’t suffer.

“Now,” urged the apostle, “is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”[4] This doesn’t mean that now we must prepare for a future-world salvation or safety, but that right now we can experience salvation in spirit and in life.

Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
    that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry!”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
    and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
    when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
    surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever.

Go on up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
    O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
    lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
    “Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
    and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
    and gently lead those that are with young.

21st Century Science and Health

Human birth, growth, maturity, and decay are as the grass springing from the soil with beautiful green blades, afterward to wither and return to its native nothingness. These human impressions are temporal; they never merge into spiritual being, but finally disappear and spiritual being, which is eternal, is found to be the real.

As a physical, theoretical life-basis is found to be a misinterpretation of existence, the scientific and divine Principle of our spirituality dawns upon human thought. Consciousness is guided to “where the child was”[5]—even to the birth of a new-old idea, to the spiritual sense of being and of what Life includes. Thus, the whole earth will be transformed by Truth as enlightened thought displaces the darkness of error.

The human thought must free itself from self-imposed materiality and bondage. Don’t take the effort to ask the genome, heart, or lungs: What are our prospects for life? Ask Mind about life. Mind is not helpless. Intelligence is not mute before non-intelligence.

Not by its own determination does a star proceed to shine, or a leaf unfold its fair outlines, or a flower open.

The Science of being reveals individual spirituality as based on Soul. Physical sense defines humanity as based on matter and from this premise infers the mortality of the body.

Self-delusion may imagine that opposites attract; but in Christ’s Science, Truth never mingles with error. Mind has no affinity with material limitation and therefore Truth can cast out the ills of the flesh. Mind, God, sends forth the aroma of Spirit, the atmosphere of intelligence. Believing that gray matter and white matter, plus the chemicals inside the skull is mind, is a mockery of intelligence—a mimicry of Mind.

We are scientists of Spirit only as we quit our reliance upon that which is false and grasp the truth. We are not metaphysical Scientists until we leave human opinions for spiritual Truth. Human attitudes come from the hearing of the ear, from physicality, instead of from Principle. Limited perceptions come from the mortal, instead of from the immortal. Spirit is not separate from God. Spirit is God.

To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings. The wakeful shepherd beholds the first faint morning beams, ere cometh the full radiance of a risen day. So shone the pale star to the prophet-shepherds; yet it traversed the night, and came where, in cradled obscurity, lay the Bethlehem babe, the human herald of Christ, Truth, who would make plain to benighted understanding the way of salvation through Christ Jesus, till across a night of error should dawn the morning beams and shine the guiding star of being. The Wisemen were led to behold and to follow this daystar of divine Science, lighting the way to eternal harmony.

The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity. Contentment with the past and the cold conventionality of materialism are crumbling away. Ignorance of God is no longer the steppingstone to faith. The only guarantee of obedience is a right apprehension of Him whom to know aright is Life eternal. Though empires fall, “the Lord shall reign forever.”

*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] Ec. 12:1

[2] Eph. 3:7

[3] Walsch, Neale Donald. The New Revelations: A Conversation with God. New York: Atria Books, 2002.

[4] II Cor. 6:2

[5] Matt. 2:9

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