Golden text: I Peter 2:2-3 The Message, copyright by Eugene Peterson
You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.
From there Jesus went to the area of Judea across the Jordan. A crowd of people, as was so often the case, went along, and he, as he so often did, taught them. Pharisees came up, intending to give him a hard time. They asked, “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife?”
3 Jesus said, “What did Moses command?”
4 They answered, “Moses gave permission to fill out a certificate of dismissal and divorce her.”
5-9 Jesus said, “Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways. In the original creation, God made male and female to be together. Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage he becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”
10-12 When they were back home, the disciples brought it up again. Jesus gave it to them straight: “A man who divorces his wife so he can marry someone else commits adultery against her. And a woman who divorces her husband so she can marry someone else commits adultery.”
21st Century Science and Health, copyright by Cheryl Petersen
Spirit cannot become a finite human mind nor be limited to human perceptions. Spirit cannot be developed through something which would resist it.
Relationships are blessed, or not, according to the expectations involved and fulfilled. Happiness is gained as we interact with individuals adapted to elevate existence. The desire to improve should be the motive of society. Unity of spirit gives new energy to a sense of joy, whereas lame or unreasonable expectations drag joy through the mud.
To give power and existence to error, sin, disease, and death is to try to unite Spirit with matter, good with evil, immortality with mortality. Error then calls this sham unity man and woman, as if they were the offspring of both Mind and matter, of both Spirit and structural humanity. Creation rests on a spiritual basis. We lose our standard of perfection and trash the proper concept of the Almighty when we admit that the perfect is the cause of anything that can become imperfect, or that God bestows the power to sin, or that Truth confers the ability to err.
The time approaches when human mind will forsake its limited biological basis, and consciousness will understand divine Mind and its formations in Science. Physical theories will stop interfering with metaphysical facts. God’s children are indestructible and immortal. We will learn that mortal mind constructs the mortal body with this mind’s own mortal materials. In Science, no breakage or dislocation can really occur. You say that accidents, injuries, and disease kill person, but this is not true. Our life is Mind. The physical body manifests only what human mind believes, whether it is a broken bone, a disease, or inappropriate behavior.
Divine Science doesn’t act through blind belief. Truth doesn’t act through human understanding. A prayer grounded in Truth advocates spiritual understanding. Jesus’ humble prayers were deep and conscientious affirmations of Spirit—of man and woman’s likeness to God and unity with Truth and Love.
Christ said, “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
9-10 “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
21st Century Science and Health
Ontology is defined as “the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being,” and reinforces all mental practice. This system of Mind-healing is supported by the understanding of the nature and essence of all being—by the divine Mind and Love’s essential qualities. Its pharmacy is moral, and its medicine is intellectual and spiritual, though used for physical healing. Yet this most fundamental part of metaphysics is the most difficult to understand and demonstrate, for mindless matter seems real to thoughts of flesh and blood, until such thoughts are rectified by Spirit.
Sickness is real, is true that is, to the patient’s frightened perception. Disorders and problems are more than imagination, they are solid convictions of fear or ignorance and therefore need to be dealt with through an accurate comprehension of the truth of being. If Soul-healing is abused by those who are wise in their own conceit, treatment becomes an irksome trouble maker.
Anatomy consists of dissecting thoughts in order to discover their quality, quantity, and origin. Are thoughts divine or human? That is the important question. This branch of study is indispensable to the excision of error. The anatomy of Christian Science teaches when and how to examine the self-inflicted wounds of ill-will, hostility, envy, and excuse making. It teaches the control of foolish ambition. It unfolds the sacred influences of honesty, philanthropy, spiritual love. It urges the government of the body both in health and in sickness. Through an understanding of mental anatomy, we can discern and deal with the real cause of disease, instead of analyzing only symptoms or effects that constantly fluctuate under influences not embraced in the diagnosis, and oftentimes cause a stumble or fall in darkness.
Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planted, God-tended root. If the primary root of the tree is holy, there’s bound to be some holy fruit. Some of the tree’s branches were pruned and you wild olive shoots were grafted in. Yet the fact that you are now fed by that rich and holy root gives you no cause to gloat over the pruned branches. Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you.
19-20 It’s certainly possible to say, “Other branches were pruned so that I could be grafted in!” Well and good. But they were pruned because they were deadwood, no longer connected by belief and commitment to the root. The only reason you’re on the tree is because your graft “took” when you believed, and because you’re connected to that belief-nurturing root. So don’t get cocky and strut your branch. Be humbly mindful of the root that keeps you lithe and green.
21-22 If God didn’t think twice about taking pruning shears to the natural branches, why would he hesitate over you? He wouldn’t give it a second thought. Make sure you stay alert to these qualities of gentle kindness and ruthless severity that exist side by side in God—ruthless with the deadwood, gentle with the grafted shoot. But don’t presume on this gentleness. The moment you become deadwood, it’s game over.
23-24 And don’t get to feeling superior to those pruned branches down on the ground. If they don’t persist in remaining deadwood, they could very well get grafted back in. God can do that. He can perform miracle grafts. Why, if he could graft you—branches cut from a tree out in the wild—into an orchard tree, he certainly isn’t going to have any trouble grafting branches back into the tree they grew from in the first place. Just be glad you’re in the tree, and hope for the best for the others.
21st Century Science and Health
Grafting spirituality onto something not spiritual is as foolish as trying to “strain out a gnat” and “swallow a camel!” Sin needs to be abandoned before forgiven.
The scientific relationship which exists between us and God must be worked out in life-practice. The will of God must universally be done.
The distinction needs to be clear between God’s ideal, person, and the human’s idea of person. God’s ideal is perfect, however, there is no perfect mortal human. To achieve the ideal of God, you must be careful not to fall into the human mind’s tendency to believe that a particular human routine or lifestyle will guarantee spirituality. To insist on a scrupulous human way of life as a means of achieving perfection, doesn’t achieve God’s ideal. For example, someone who thinks, “We do not seek sex; we do not try drugs; we do not take medicine; we do not go to doctors,” will be disappointed. To avoid sex, drugs, medicine, and doctors, is the same as robotically having sex, taking drugs, and going to a doctor. Neither are a means of reaching the spiritual ideal. The imperative point is to understand God’s ideal and let the divine understanding impel your thoughts and actions as a part of humanity. Our ideal directs our lifestyles, not vice versa. The teachings found in Science and Health, uncover spirituality and the understanding of God’s ideal.
Until the advancing age admits the supremacy of Mind and its power to produce an effect, it is better for Christian Scientists to leave surgery and the adjustments of broken and dislocated bones to the fingers of a skilled surgeon. The mental healer can restrict himself or herself chiefly to mental reconstruction and to the prevention of inflammation. Divine Science is always the skilled surgeon, but surgery is the branch of its healing which will be last acknowledged.
The basis of all health, purity, and spirituality is the great fact that God is the only Mind; and this Mind must be not merely believed but it must be understood. To get rid of anything that opposes Love is to deprive the opposition of any supposed mind or reality, and never to admit the competitor can have intelligence or power, pain or pleasure. You conquer error by denying it validity. Our various theories will never lose their imaginary power for good or evil until we lose our faith in them and make life its own proof of harmony and God.
To be “at home with the Lord” is to be in obedience to the law of God. To be with God is to be influenced by infinite Mind, not by finite minds.
Home is not a boundary of the affections, but is a framework from which to grow spiritually.
Moral and spiritual power belongs to Spirit, who gathers the “wind in the hollow of the hands.” This metaphysical teaching agrees with Science and harmony. In Science, you can have no power opposed to God and the physical senses must give up their false testimony.
 The Oxford American Dictionary and Language Guide, edited by Abate. F. s.v. “Ontology.” New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. By permission of Oxford University Press, Inc. Recent edition. Copyright © 2007
 Matt. 23:24
 The Unseen Shore by Thomas Simmons. Copyright © 1991 by Thomas Simmons. Reprinted by permission of Beacon Press, Boston.
 II Cor. 5:8
 Prov. 30:4