January 5, 2022

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Subject: Growth

Golden text: Matthew 13:31-32*

[Jesus] told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Ezekiel 17:1-9, 16, 22-24

 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell it to the Israelites as a parable. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar, he broke off its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders. “‘He took one of the seedlings of the land and put it in fertile soil. He planted it like a willow by abundant water, and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs. “‘But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and full plumage. The vine now sent out its roots toward him from the plot where it was planted and stretched out its branches to him for water. It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine.’ “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Will it thrive? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it withers? All its new growth will wither.

16 “‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, he shall die in Babylon, in the land of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose treaty he broke.

22 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.

“‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’”

Luke 2:41-52

Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” 49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them. 51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Luke 3:23

Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph.

21st Century Science and Health**

There is no growth from material molecule to mind. Creation is the impartation of divine Mind.

It is difficult to heal metaphysically if we position ourselves on a material basis.

I became a member of the orthodox Congregational Church in early years. Later in life, I learned that my own prayers failed to heal me as did the prayers of my devout parents and the church. However, when the spiritual view of religion was discerned in Science, it was a present help. The spiritual sense is the living, palpitating presence of Christ, Truth, which healed and still heals.

Faith should enlarge its borders and strengthen its foundation by resting on Spirit instead of mindless matter. When we give up our belief in death, advancement toward God, Life, and Love, will be more rapid. Belief in sickness and death, as certainly as belief in sin, tends to shut out the true sense of Life and health. When will humankind wake to this great fact in Science?

We learn that the demands of mortal knowledge are harsh and have in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy.

I here present to my readers an allegory to illustrate the law of divine Mind against the laws of flesh and hygiene; an allegory in which the argument of Christian Science heals the sick.

Suppose a mental case to be on trial, as cases are tried in court. A man is charged with having committed liver disease. The patient feels ill, ruminates, and the trial commences. Physical Sensation is the plaintiff. Human Being is the defendant. False Belief is the attorney for Physical Sensation. Human Mortal Minds, Materia Medica, Anatomy, Psychotherapy, Physiology, Hypnotism, Envy, Greed and Ingratitude, constitute the jury. The court-room is filled with curious spectators and Judge Medicine is on the bench.

The evidence for the prosecution being called for, a witness testifies thus:

I represent Health-laws. I was present on certain nights when the prisoner, or patient, took care of a sick friend. Although I am in charge of human affairs, I was personally abused on those occasions. I was told to remain silent until called for at this trial, when I would be allowed to testify in the case. In spite of my rules to the contrary, the prisoner cared for the sick friend every night in the week. When the sick friend was thirsty, the prisoner gave him a drink. During all this time, the prisoner still performed his own responsibilities, causing him to eat at irregular intervals, sometimes going to sleep immediately after an unhealthy dinner. His liver could not take the abuse and I considered it criminal, inasmuch as this offence is deemed punishable with death. Therefore, I arrestedHuman Being in behalf of the state, Fleshly Body, and cast him into prison.

The Judge asks, is it possible for man to become diseased and merit punishment because he did a good deed for his neighbor? Governor Mortality replies in the affirmative.

Another witness is called for by the Court of Error and says:

I am Mortality, Governor of the Province of Body, in which Human Being resides. In this province there is a statute regarding disease—namely, that he on whose person disease is found shall be treated as a criminal and punished with death.

Judge Medicine then proceeds to pronounce the solemn sentence of death on the prisoner.

Ah! But Christ, Truth, the spirit of Life and the friend of Human Being, can open wide those prison doors and set the captive free. Swift on the wings of divine Love, there comes an appeal: “Delay the execution; the prisoner is not guilty.” Consternation fills the prison-yard. Some exclaim, “It is contrary to law and justice.” Others say, “The law of Christ supersedes our laws; let us follow Christ.”

After much debate and opposition, permission is obtained for a trial in the Court of Spirit, where Christian Science is allowed to appear as counsel for the unfortunate prisoner.

The law of our Supreme Court decrees that whoever sins shall die; but good deeds are spiritual, bringing joy instead of grief, pleasure instead of pain, and life instead of death.

Then Christian Science proved the witness, Nerve, to be a perjurer. Instead of being a ruler in the Province of Body, in which Human Being was reported to reside, Nerve was an insubordinate citizen putting in false claims, although calling them official or authorized. Nerve bore false witness against man and woman. Turning suddenly to Physical Sensation, by this time silent, Christian Science continued:

I ask your arrest in the name of Almighty God on three distinct charges of crime: perjury, treason, and conspiracy against the rights and life of God’s child.

The Supreme Bench decides in favor of intelligence, that no law outside of divine Mind can punish or reward Human Being.

The Jury of Spiritual Perceptions agreed at once upon a verdict, and a cry of, Not guilty, resounded throughout the vast audience-chamber of Spirit. The prisoner then rose, regenerated, strong, and free.

Asking God to be God is vain repetition. God is “the same yesterday and today and forever.”[1] God, who is immutably right, will do right without needing to be reminded. Human wisdom is not sufficient to authorize us to advise God.

When we expect pleasure from the body, we get pain. When we look for life in the body, we find death. When we search for Truth or Spirit in material things, we find uncertainty. Now reverse this process. Look away from matter into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Let your thought embrace the enduring, the honest, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience according to how often they occupy your thoughts.

Promiscuousness and self-centeredness are educated in mortal mind when human beings repeat the same thoughts over and over. This education is at the expense of spiritual growth. It is better to stop talking constantly about the body. It is better to stop expecting pleasure or pain from the body. 

To understand all of Jesus’ sayings as recorded in the New Testament, followers must advance into that stature of selfhood in Christ Jesus which enables them to interpret the ongoing vital spiritual meaning. Spiritual understanding knows how Truth dissolves error and heals the sick. Jesus’ words were the offspring of his deeds, both of which must be understood. Unless the works are comprehended, which his words explained, the words are uncertain.

Adversity teaches human beings not to lean on a collapsible crutch. Spiritual development doesn’t come from planting seeds in the dirt of materialist views. Those seeds rot whereas Love nurtures the higher joys of Spirit which have no taint of earth. We forget this when life is fine. But when mortals belch, or the economy goes sour, or people think their partner is boring, the heart is pierced with sadness until we remember that sorrow can be therapeutic, forcing us to enter the domain of spiritual happiness and reliance. God will take care of us as we travel a trajectory unfolding new views of divine goodness and love.

The plant grows not because of seed or soil or bioengineering, but because growth is the eternal rule of Mind. The immortal creative thought is from Mind, not from the ground of mortal thinking. Mind makes all, so there is nothing left to be made by another power. Spirit acts through the Science of Mind, never causing us to grow mortal thinking. Knowing this fact, we can overcome physical limitations and the mortal views of earth and its environments. We can discover conscious spiritual harmony and eternal being.

*Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.


[1] Heb. 13:8

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