Golden text: Psalms 43:4-5*
For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
And [Jesus] told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
21st Century Science and Health**
The phrase “serving the Lord” doesn’t mean public worship. Serving the Lord means work.
If Truth is overcoming error in your daily walk and talk, you are a better person and can finally say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” This is having our part in the reconciliation with Truth and Love. Don’t continue working and praying as if someone else’s goodness, suffering, and triumph will cause you to reach their harmony and reward. There is no surrogate savior.
Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated oneness with Spirit. Jesus’ accomplishments are worthy of respect. His lifework was done in justice to himself and in mercy to humanity; however, Jesus did not do our work for us. He showed us how to be responsible for our own thoughts and actions. Jesus acted boldly against the human perceptions self-authorized evidence, and against self-righteous dogma and practices. With healing power, Jesus proved the powerlessness of all that opposed goodness.
Jesus’ example was all-inclusive; not only was his life’s work carried out to the end for himself, but his work also shows us how to work out our own deliverance. We must do what he did and what he taught us to do. His purpose in healing was not just to restore health but to demonstrate his divine Principle. He was inspired by God, by Truth and Love, in all that he said and did. His persecutors were motivated by arrogance, envy, cruelty, and vengeance, inflicted on the physical Jesus, but aimed at the divine Principle, Love—the same Love that rebuked their unspiritual mindsets.
When navigating aircraft through a storm the pressure is shifting, the wind is shrieking, and air pockets are hiding in the air currents. We ask the pilot: “Do you know your course? Can you aviate safely among this turbulence?” Though brave, the dauntless aviator is not sure of safety because even aeronautical science is not equal to the Science of Mind. Yet, acting on his or her highest understanding, the pilot doesn’t avoid responsibility but keeps working, ready to act on divine guidance. This example of behavior can be useful in any stressful relationship, including a seething marriage. Be accountable, hope and work, willingly act on divine guidance, not private interests. Divine guidance will either force a graceful change or calm the enraged atmosphere.
In the refuge of sincere intentions, you must deny sin and affirm God’s allness. Become committed, “pray continually,” and go forward with a pure heart to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love.
I Corinthians 12:4-11
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
21st Century Science and Health
Empower yourself with the thought that substance is purely mental, and the movements and transitions possible for the human mind will be found equally possible for the body. Being is alive. Death is obsolete, although some insist that death is the necessary prelude to immortality.
A dreamer can find their self in distant places meeting friends. The dreamer’s body is carried through the air and over the ocean. But the onlooker sees the dreamer’s body slumped in bed. This shows the possibilities of thought. Hallucinogenic drugs also may temporarily cause the user to mentally travel far and work wonders, yet their bodies stay in one place, showing a grave disconnect and loss of control. Hallucination, delusion, and uncontrolled states of consciousness point to illusory knowledge.
Admitting to our self that person is God’s own likeness sets us free to master the infinite idea. This conviction shuts the door on death and opens it wide toward spirituality. The understanding and recognition of Spirit must finally come and we may as well improve our time in solving the mysteries of being through an understanding of divine Principle. At this moment, we do not know our true individuality, but we certainly will know this when we reflect God.
The Revelator tells us of “a new heaven and new earth.” Have you ever pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom?
Why do we think it natural, almost necessary, to love that which works against life, truth, and love? Why do we imagine lack to be pervasive and good absent? Truth should not seem as surprising and unnatural as error, and error should not seem as real as truth. Sickness should not seem as real as health. There is no error in Science, and our lives must be influenced by reality to agree with God, the divine Principle of all being.
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 divine Science of the Scriptures can’t be totally obscured, even up against all the odds of religious officials voting to decide what should or shouldn’t be considered Holy Writ, and readers making mistakes in its translations. As in the past, misinterpretations of Scripture occur today. However, the prophets’ healing work can’t be annulled or lost, and healing demonstrations are intact, confirming that “the stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.”
In a world where sin and sensuality scramble to rise in the ranks of power, it is wise earnestly to consider whether we are being influenced by the human mind or the divine Mind. Beware of ingenious human-made devices that merely claim to equal the work of wisdom. What the prophets of the Lord did, the worshippers of Baal failed to do (e.g. I Kings 18:16–40).
Do you say that the time is not yet here in which to recognize Soul as substantial and able to control the body? Remember Jesus, who over twenty centuries ago demonstrated the power of Spirit, was accounted to say, “Whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself,” and, “The time is coming, yes, and has already come, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in reality.” It is a privilege to read Paul’s words, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
Divine reason and revelation coincide. If we believe otherwise, we may be sure that either our logic is a fault or that we have misinterpreted revelation. Good never causes evil and good doesn’t create anything that can cause evil.
Good does not design a mind susceptible of causing evil or of being confused, for evil and confusion contend with creation.
It takes effort not to bury the spirit of divine Science in the burial clothes of its letter. If we would open the prison doors for the sick, we must first learn to bind up the broken-hearted. If we would heal by the Spirit, we must not hide the talent of spiritual healing behind ostentatious status, ritualistic activities, or even somber piety. In the presence of a sick person, employ tender words and spiritual encouragement. Patiently remove all fears, without gushing theories, stereotyped clichés, and rigid arguments which are so many misrepresentations of divine Science, aflame with divine Love.
Mental practice on the human level may seem for a time to benefit the sick, but the recovery is not permanent. Methods that act on and through the human mind and its brain counterpart, are only manipulations of the accumulated human imprints and activities.
If a patient is under the influence of human mind, that influence is removed by emptying the mind of its false stimulus and reaction of will-power, and filling it with the divine energies of Truth.
The prophet of today sees in the mental horizon the signs of these times, the reappearance of Christianity’s essence which heals the sick and destroys error. No other sign will be given. Body can’t be saved except through Mind. The Science of Christianity is misinterpreted by a material age, because brain imprints and physical sense can’t comprehend Spirit. The healing influence of Spirit is discerned by spiritual sense. Creeds, doctrines, and human hypotheses do not express Christian Science; much less can they demonstrate it.
The spiritual recompense of the persecuted is assured in the elevation of existence above the disorder and in the gift of divine Love.
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.” Neale Donald Walsch, author of The New Revelations: A Conversation with God wrote, “Divine inspiration is the birthright of every human being.” 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.
*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.
 II Tim. 4:7
 I Thess. 5:17
 Rev. 21:1
 Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17
 John 14:12 (JB)
 John 4:23 (Phillips NT) (Italics added by Mary Baker Eddy)
 II Cor. 6:2 (Italics added by Mary Baker Eddy)
 Eph. 3:7
 Walsch, Neale Donald. The New Revelations: A Conversation with God. New York: Atria Books, 2002.