Golden text: I Peter 1:3-5*
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. 10 So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” 11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13 And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
21st Century Science and Health**
To our trained thinking, the human person seems to be solid substance rather than a likeness, but the human sense of substance involves error and therefore is divisible, vulnerable, and temporal.
On the other hand, our spirituality is the substantial entity and reflects the eternal substance or Spirit which mortals hope for. We reflect the divine which constitutes our real and ongoing identity. This reflection seems to mortal sense transcendental only because it transcends human vision, but it is made known through divine Science.
As God is substance and we are the divine image and likeness, we will wish for and in reality have only the substance of good, the substance of Spirit, not mortality. Believing that we have any other substance, or mind, is not spiritual and breaks the First Commandment, “You shall have one God,” one Mind. Mortal concepts and substance seems to be the self of human beings, while real self is “image,” idea. Delusion, sin, disease, and death come from the false testimony of physical sense, which from a supposed standpoint outside the focal distance of infinite Spirit, presents an inverted image of Mind and substance with everything rearranged.
Mistaken mindsets suppose soul to be an unsubstantial occupant in a substantial body, as a result, people feel confined and isolated, instead of free and unified. The body isn’t substantial in the bigger picture. Spirituality is not confined in mortality. Soul is not bound by relativity. Principle is not found in fragmented ideas.
Radiant with mercy and justice, the sword of Truth shines far. It also cannot help but indicate the infinite distance between error and Truth, between the material and spiritual—the unreal and the real.
The sun, giving light and heat to the earth, is a figure of divine Life and Love, enlightening and sustaining the universe.
So [Jesus] came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.
Mark 15:24-25, 40-41
And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour when they crucified him.
40 There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
21st Century Science and Health
At the cross, Jesus was rejected by everyone except John and a few women. Jesus endured the shame. He never strayed from sharing goodness. His reward was worth it, although the earthly price for spirituality in a materialist age was painfully high. The great moral distance between spiritual Christianity and material sensationalism precludes divine Science from finding favor with the worldly minded.
A selfish and narrow human mind may be unjust, but divine Mind is the immortal law of justice and mercy. It is just as impossible for sinners to receive their full punishment on this side of the grave as it is for the righteous to receive their full reward. It is useless to think the wicked can gloat over their offences, die, and go to heaven. It is incorrect to think that Love is satisfied by giving us only stressful work, losses, cross-bearing, trials, and tribulations. God doesn’t mock us in return for our efforts at well doing.
The time is nearer than we think, when human-made erroneous theologies, such as a select chosen, everlasting damnation, and ritualistic worship, will diminish as equality, mindfulness, and individual responsibility increase.
We are outgrowing the pedantic theology that regards Jesus’ crucifixion as an immediate pardon for all sinners who ask for it. Divine Science shows we are responsible for ourselves and can follow Jesus’ example of goodness. Divine Science also shows that Jesus’ death wasn’t meant to prove spirits can go in and out of bodies to return to earth. We are images of Spirit, unseen by flesh.
The crucifixion was effective because of the practical tendencies and goodness it demonstrated for humanity. The truth had been lived among humankind, but until the disciples saw their Teacher triumph over the grave, they could not admit such an event to be possible. After the resurrection, even the unbelieving Thomas was forced to acknowledge the completeness of the great proof of Truth and Love.
Although the great Teacher proved his control over sin and disease, he didn’t relieve others from proving their own spiritual power. Jesus worked as a guide, that people might also demonstrate the power of divine Principle.
Spiritual sense discerns the Principle and proof of the manifestation of God. Jesus was instrumental in setting forth Principle. His Christ-like proofs showed—by healing the sick, driving out evils, and defying death—his disregard of human mind and its fragmented laws.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
2 covering yourself with light as with a garment,
stretching out the heavens like a tent.
3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
he makes the clouds his chariot;
he rides on the wings of the wind;
4 he makes his messengers winds,
his ministers a flaming fire.
21st Century Science and Health
For victory over a single sin, we give thanks and magnify the Lord of Hosts. What will we say of the mighty conquest over all that is unspiritual? A louder song, sweeter than has ever before reached high heaven, now rises clearer and nearer to the great heart of Christ; for the accuser is not there, and Love expresses Her primal and everlasting symphony. A rule in Science is to fight against error and negate personal finite reasoning with infinite Truth. This rule clearly interprets God as divine Principle—as Life, epitomized by the Father; as Truth, represented by the Child; as Love, represented by the Mother. Every human being at some point, here or hereafter, must battle with and overcome the mortal belief in a power opposed to God.
Neither philosophy nor skepticism can hinder the movement of Science which is ever revealing the supremacy of Mind. The intuitive sense of Mind-power reinforces the glory of Mind. Nearness, not distance, lends delight to this view.
Quantum mechanics; molecular reactions; electronic bionics; the patterns and relationships between masses and forces; and so on, are of no real importance when we remember that they all must give place to spiritual truths by the translation of the universe and us back into Spirit. As this transformation occurs, our true selfhood and the universe will be found harmonious and spiritual.
Genome sequences, radiometric dating, seismic surveys, data from satellites and space stations, the paradigms of speculative theories, will all vanish in the presence of the infinite calculus of Spirit. Anything based on the hypothesis of physical law or material life and intelligence ultimately fades away.
Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God. Spiritual sense shows the supremacy of faith “accompanied by action” over faith in words. Spiritual ideas are expressed in “new tongues, and interpreted by the translation of the spiritual original into the language which human thought can comprehend.
The Old Testament assigns different functions to angels, to God’s divine messages. Michael’s characteristic is spiritual strength. He leads the troops of heaven against the power of sin or Satan, and fights the holy wars. Gabriel has the quieter task of imparting a sense of the ever-presence of ministering Love. These angels deliver us from the depths. When strong faith or spiritual strength wrestles and prevails through the understanding of God, Truth and Love are tangibly felt, even in times of anguish. There is no contest for Gabriel. To infinite, ever-present Love, all is Love and there is no error, no sin, sickness, or death.
*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.
 James 2:17
 Mark 16:17