Sunday, August 6th, 2023 Roundtable

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Morning Prayers

… being His likeness and image, man must reflect the full dominion of Spirit — even its supremacy over sin, sickness, and death.

May meekness, mercy, and love dwell forever in the hearts of those who worship in this tabernacle: then will they receive the heritage that God has prepared for His people, — made ready for the pure in affection, the meek in spirit, the worshipper in truth, the follower of good.

Thus founded upon the rock of Christ, when storm and tempest beat against this sure foundation, you, safely sheltered in the strong tower of hope, faith, and Love, are God’s nestlings; and He will hide you in His feathers till the storm has passed. Into His haven of Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition which guides you safely home.

Exercise more faith in God and His spiritual means and methods, than in man and his material ways and means, of establishing the Cause of Christian Science. If right yourself, God will confirm His inheritance. “Be not weary in well doing.” Truth is restful, and Love is triumphant.

— from Divinity Course and General Collectanea, (the “Blue Book”), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 16, 152-153

Discussion points

210 — WATCH lest you attempt to pull down some of the main foundation stones in your spiritual building, simply because they appear to be human. Actually they are to be applied spiritually, and must be restored to their rightful category and understanding.

Expectancy is a very important quality in Christian Science that mortal belief should not be permitted to tamper with. Expectancy is the open door through which all good flows in to man; but the humanizing of expectancy, so that it becomes the agency through which animal magnetism brings forth its brood of evils, must be nullified, so that expectancy shines forth alone as a God given medium.

A sick man is apt to pray to God for health without expectancy, and then to wonder why his prayer is not answered; yet God is already pouring forth all that man needs, and more than he can ever comprehend. The sick man’s expectancy that nothing will result from his prayer, is greater than his hope of a change coming through spiritual means. Expectancy, therefore, must be taken from the grasp of false belief, and cherished as a God-given quality. Then man will find that he will daily expect and reflect more and more the presence of good.

— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter

GOLDEN TEXT: Jeremiah 31 : 3

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

Article “Expectation from the Lord” by Mary Beth Singleterry

…”spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God” (Science and Health, p. 209). In a most poetic way, Jesus further defined life, with respect to its normal manifestation upon this human plane, when he said of the growing grain, “First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.”

… Beauty is inseparable from the life of the springing corn. The rich color, the polished surface of the leaves that move and glint in Gothic lines, its sturdy upright anchorage in the soil, and its no less free response “in gentle curves of courtesy” to the summer breeze,—truly it is a picture for a poet’s pen, and this natural beauty pertains no less to growing men than to growing grain. To express the Christ-ideal is to be chaste, refined, unselfish, joyous, Christlike, and it is withal to be prophetic of and prepare the way for a harvest. “First the blade, then the ear.” There is nfoldment, but there is no separation between cause and effect. The ear is potentially present at every stage of the process and the blade is meaningless without it.

…This is the secret of the field; every least plant is at-one with both soil and sun. It calls vast forces to its aid, it has a genius for appropriation, and it never forgets its goal, “The full corn in the ear.” This, too, is the secret of genuine living in Christian Science. It is to be deeply rooted in the demonstrable truth of being. It is to be thoughtful ever of God; that it is ours to express the beauty and power of immortal Life. It is to rejoice in the sun, the Love that is man’s unfailing light. It is to make manifest the Mind that was in Christ Jesus and daily do his works

“Genuine Living” from Christian Science Sentinel, January 18, 1913 by John B. Willis

In Romans, St. Paul says, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.” We learn in demonstration that every effect has a mental origin or causation, and that things visible to this mortal vision may symbolize things that are invisible to this human sight. We get a chain of beautiful thoughts from David in the Nineteenth Psalm: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Whoever has traced the stars in their courses, noted the phases of the moon, studied the rising and setting of the sun, or trusted the seasons to come and go in their regular order, finds with proper study that each and all of this points to that invisible intelligence, the creator of the one creation. As we expand in thought and become more and more receptive, we discover new beauties and interests, thus receiving all we are ready to receive or have prepared ourselves to be capable of receiving, the world unfolding to us a grandeur and glory out of what was to us formerly emptiness or chaos.

In “Miscellaneous Writings” (p. 331) Mrs. Eddy very beautifully expresses her thought in these words: “As mortals awake from their dream of material sensation, this adorable, all-inclusive God, and all earth’s hieroglyphics of Love, are understood; and infinite Mind is seen kindling the stars, rolling the worlds, reflecting all space and Life,—but not life in matter.” We certainly get glimpses of the promise by seeing the beauty of human existence, in the same way that if we know and love our brother whom we have seen, we become more capable of knowing and loving God whom we have not seen. The world is only to us what we are conscious of, and often becomes one vast whispering gallery, though but a vacuum to the inattentive and heedless.

The artist must first feel and see mentally all that he would give to the public gaze upon his canvas, must absorb and study both consciously and unconsciously, voluntarily and involuntarily, all phases and conditions of his subject, until his whole being is filled to overflowing. Before he takes up pencil and brush his conception is matured, his work is done, and now his hands obey his will, the invisible is understood by that which is made. Likewise the sculptor masters first in thought every statue or monument by an indwelling communion with all the invisible beauties of his ideal, before he can or does eventually make the visible manifestation with tools that do his bidding, giving to the world the carved marble that glows with the inspiration of his genius. In “Miscellaneous Writings” (p. 86) Mrs. Eddy tells us that “even the human conception of beauty, grandeur, and utility is something that defies a sneer. It is more than imagination. It is next to divine beauty and the grandeur of Spirit. It lives with our earth-life, and is the subjective state of high thoughts.”

“Visible And Invisible” from Christian Science Sentinel, June 10, 1911 by Helen R. Platt

Article Chapter 7: “Pond and Purpose”, from Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy, page 203

Article “Infused with Inner Strength” by Mary Beth Singleterry

from “Overcoming by Obedience” Addresses by Martha Wilcox

from “Scientific Translations” Addresses by Martha Wilcox

Article — “Day” from Collectanea by Mary Baker Eddy, pages 34-35 of Addenda

Thoughts shared on the Lesson from readers:

He of God’s household who loveth and liveth most the things of Spirit, receiveth them most; he speaketh wisely, for the spirit of his Father speaketh through him; he worketh well and healeth quickly, for the spirit giveth him liberty: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

— from Message for 1902 by Mary Baker Eddy, page 10

Final Readings

The moment we set self aside and understand that we can of ourselves do nothing, or realize as did Paul when he said in his letter to the Corinthians, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God,” then and then only are we assured of the success in which discouragement plays no part. If, for example, we should be endeavoring to grasp some line of work or study which we have not undertaken before, it should be done with the understanding that nothing can be new to the one Mind, which man as the son of God expresses, and therefore that the particular endeavor is but an unfoldment of the knowledge man already has. And what is there that can claim to withhold or retard the unfoldment of this knowledge? It is nothing but a belief that we ourselves are trying to grasp something which is wholly unfamiliar and difficult, a belief which says that success depends entirely upon one’s own capabilities. Nothing could be more erroneous than a notion of this kind. Man knows all now because his sufficiency is of God.

What reality can discouragement have with the man who has planted his feet firmly upon the fundamental fact that God, good, is the only Mind and is his sufficiency? Discouragement can have no place at all in his thinking. To be sure discouraging thoughts may suggest themselves to him, but he does not open the door and let them in; on the contrary, he closes the door upon them. Almost any kind of erroneous thoughts may present themselves to a person, but that does not mean that they are going to be acknowledged. For instance, an honest man, finding himself absolutely alone in a store, may be confronted with the thought that he could take away with him anything he wanted and never be found out. But does he act upon that suggestion? Most assuredly not; it is not even a temptation to him, and he laughs at the very notion of it. Now, the suggestions of discouragement have no more power over God’s man than have suggestions of dishonesty. They cannot be known to him because they are not logical and cannot be derived from Principle, God, Mind, which is his sufficiency.

It goes without saying that we must be loyal to what we know to be true; that is, we must be consistent in our practice of the truth, no matter what the seeming problem. Under the paragraph heading, “Patience and final perfection” on page 254 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” Mrs. Eddy writes: “Individuals are consistent who, watching and praying, can ‘run, and not be weary; … walk, and not faint,’ who gain good rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement. God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won.” The only loyalty that can really exist is, of course, the loyalty to Principle; anything else is stubbornness in clinging to error. By refusing to entertain error of any kind, we are proving our loyalty to God and becoming worthy of the name of Christian Scientist.

Over and over again Jesus tells us that he himself was not responsible for the good he did but that it was God the Father who worked in him, and he also said that each and every one of us could do the same things and even greater. With God as man’s sufficiency what right has a person to limit himself for a moment to any amount of intelligence or good? To do this would be the same as admitting a weakness in Him who already knows all. We must examine our thoughts, be alert, and as we read in II Timothy, “be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” On the other hand, we must never forget that God is Love, who expresses His love in His care and watchful guidance of His creation. The second stanza of hymn 149 in the Christian Science Hymnal expresses most beautiful this thought:

Wherever He may guide me,

No want shall turn me back;
My shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him.

“Our Sufficiency” from Christian Science Sentinel, March 26, 1921 by Mildred E. Beans

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