Sunday, December 17th, 2023 Roundtable

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Morning Prayers

The basis of Christmas is the rock, Christ Jesus; its fruits are inspiration and spiritual understanding of joy and rejoicing, — not because of tradition, usage, or corporeal pleasures, but because of fundamental and demonstrable truth, because of the heaven within us. The basis of Christmas is love loving its enemies, returning good for evil, love that “suffereth long, and is kind.” The true spirit of Christmas elevates medicine to Mind; it casts out evils, heals the sick, raises the dormant faculties, appeals to all conditions, and supplies every need of man. It leaves hygiene, medicine, ethics, and religion to God and His Christ, to that which is the Way, in word and in deed, — the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

God creates man perfect and eternal in His own image. Hence man is the image, idea, or likeness of perfection — an ideal which cannot fall from its inherent unity with divine Love, from its spotless purity and original perfection.

— from Miscellany, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 260, 262

Discussion points

125 — WATCH lest you believe that the so-called claim of reversal is something apart from your own thought, that is liable to strike you at any time; so it must be handled as a definite enemy apart from you.

You must realize that harmony is the only reality, and that it has no opposite. This precludes the possibility of reversal. Your sense of good is not spiritual good, unless your concept of it is so universal and uniform that an opposite is unthinkable.

Once a student of Mrs. Eddy’s was ill, and his work did not seem to meet the suffering. He opened his thought to wisdom in order to detect what the trouble was, and the answer came back that he was seeking to regain his health by striving to establish a little globe of harmony for himself in a great world of discord. So he sought to realize the truth of the Scripture, “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea.” His effort had been to gain personal good without regard for suffering humanity in the world. This was a selfish effort to establish harmony, while he still retained a belief in the reality of discord, which rendered his effort unscientific and abortive. When this error was corrected, he was healed.

— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter

GOLDEN TEXT: Job 37 : 23

“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.”

“Mary” from Addresses by Martha Wilcox

Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

— Benjamin Franklin

…”Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”…

An experience of a girl who once found herself in the midst of some rattlesnakes’ haunt in a ravine in the Rocky Mountains, serves to prove this irrefutably. She had gone down the ravine to gather some wild roses which were growing on a pile of massive rocks at the edge of the stream that flowed along the bottom of the ravine. Having gathered the roses she was turning to descend the rocks, when a hissing sound began all around her, which was unmistakably that of rattlers. She hesitated, wondering which way to turn, for the direction of the sounds was indefinite, and they apparently came from the crevices of the great rocks on which she was standing. As she hesitated, the alarming noises grew in number and in volume, until they became a chorus of protest for this intrusion. For a moment she was completely at a loss. She knew the other members of her party were too far away for her voice to reach them. The sides of the ravine were too steep to permit climbing. As she lifted her thought from this belief of dismay and confusion to the source of all inspiration and guidance, seeking His will, suddenly the jarring noises of material sense were replaced with confidence and right purpose, as these words of a hymn came to her:—

I’ll answer: Dear Lord, with my hand in Thine, I’ll go where you want me to go.

Hesitating no longer she climbed down from the rocks, little heeding that the sounds were growing angrier, but realizing as she proceeded straight up the ravine that Love alone could lead and that this realization was her protection. This experience remained in memory, a blessing and an example in the years that followed.

— “He Shall Direct Thy Paths” (excerpt) from The Christian Science Journal, March 1920, by Nina Rockefeller Whitney

When Jesus dismissed all temptation to desire personal and isolated good for himself, angels came and ministered unto Him.

— Una Willard

After leaving Egypt, the first test of their new-found courage came when they were confronted by the Red Sea before and the power that would drive them back to servitude behind. There Moses, true to his vision in the desert, neither faltered nor failed, but steadfastly looked up to Truth to deliver them; and after their deliverance they sang in exultation, “The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation.” It was after this that the bitter waters of Marah were healed by a tree which “the Lord shewed him,” and here the people were given their first statute: “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, … I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” This is the first record of healing through obedience, and here Moses outlines his life work—to teach his beloved people freedom through obedience. How stupendous the task, and what a heroic figure he stands, through murmurings, complainings, idolatry, and the materiality that sighed for the slavery and the fleshpots of Egypt! Once only we hear him complaining of the burden—”I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.” His cry reached the great heart of Love, and the help came; some of the elders became imbued with his spirit, and they bore the burden of the people with him. Moses denied to no one the right to share his mission. When the word came to him that two men in the camp were prophesying, the heartfelt prayer sprang at once to his lips, “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets.”

— “Moses” from Christian Science Sentinel, November 17, 1917, by Ethel Munro Goss

Article — Selected writings about Christmas by Mary Baker Eddy

Final Readings

Article — “Excerpt From Confidence” by Martha Harris Bogue

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