Sunday, January 15th, 2023 Roundtable

We Are on the Eternal Road of Life

This week’s Lesson Sermon Subject: Life

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Morning Prayers

Be like a little child. Turn your thoughts to Love and say, O Love,
just take me in; give me one Mind, one consciousness and make me
love my neighbor as myself. Let your heart cry out to divine Love.
A child cries out to its mother for more light, more truth, more love.
Ask Love for what you need and for what Love has to give; then
take it and demand of yourself to rise up and live it.
God will direct you in all your ways, if you trust Him; faith must
take hold before sight or fruition, and this faith will, when instructed
in divine Science, become understanding and you will have no
doubts, but every proof of His promise, ‘Lo! I am with you alway.’
Trust Him, dear; read daily the Bible and Science and Health, and
pray the prayer of our Lord’s in your own words; ask for His
kingdom to come, for Love, Truth to govern all your desires,
aims and motives, to feed you with faith and a clear knowledge of
good, to make you patient, forgiving, long-suffering and merciful,
compassionate, even as the dear God is thus to you, and you desire
Him to be, and thus reflect this God, good, in all His qualities, etc.
My desire is that this year shall be crowned with mercies for you all.
Oh, keep me ever seeing Thee and seeing as Thou seest, my Life,
my joy, my All.

— from Divinity Course and General Collectanea, (the “Blue Book”), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 61

Discussion points

392 — WATCH that you rise to meet the claim of advancing age with alertness and activity.

“You will be amazed and delighted by the revitalizing effects of this confident attitude, your step will have the spring of youth in it, and the dread of old age will slink away out of sight.

“Another thing to guard against is mental and physical inertia, particularly the former; when your interests begin to narrow down to what principally concerns yourself, look out; this is one of the first signs of old age. By living on a diet of self, you will slowly but surely deteriorate into a dried up, uninteresting character, neglected and really unworthy of anything but charitable notice.

“Disinclination to go out among people finally produces physical disability to do so. Limbs stiffen and your body refuses to do your will without the suffering you dislike to impose upon it. All routine tends to produce atrophy of mental activities, and again has habit robbed you of your youthfulness. Instead of dreading changes and fighting off the opportunities for making them, welcome them eagerly as you would a glass of water to quench your thirst — they are youth preservers for you. But don’t make the mistake of holding fast to that youth which belonged to your twenties. The charm and poise of your assimilated experiences have far greater value as an asset for your attractiveness than anything of the distant past. You are fitted to meet the world from any source whatever, if you have lived and lived deeply.

— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter

GOLDEN TEXT: John 17 : 3

“This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

from “I AM” Addresses by Martha Wilcox, page

Article “I AM THAT I AM”, Collected Writings by Bicknell Young

Article — Time Is Not Toxic by Mary Beth Singleterry

Instead of being bound for the grave we must know we are on the eternal road of Life, that has no sense of death.

from “Essays Ascribed to Mary Baker Eddy” in Essays and Other Footprints
(the “Red Book”), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 13

Watching Point 392 — 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter

The author of the epistle to the Hebrews — one of the most subtle and beautiful minds among all the writers of the New Testament — tells us that Christ was made perfect through suffering, and that he was made what he was by the power of an endless life. What is that endless life which by an incredible magic gave to a brief life lived long ago the power not only to endure and increase but to stir and exalt us today as no other power known among men? He himself told us when he said, in that sublime, ineffable prayer at the close of his earthly ministry, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Truly here is a truth which we have not enough considered, one worthy of a long pondering and attuned to all the sweet hopes and memories of this day, — the revealing, redeeming, and constructive power of an endless life.

Manifestly by the endless life is meant something more than extent of time, though there is a grandeur and a terror also in that outlook. That there is no escape from life, no hiding in death; that life will pursue us forever; that there is no rest till we learn to live nobly,—that is a thought to fill us with awe. But mere extent of time, in itself a colorless illusion, has no power except what we bring to it and put into it. In time, it is true, man amasses truth, trains his choices, and learns to beautify his days; but each day brings to us only what we bring to it.[Rev. Joseph Fort Newton, D.Litt., in The Christian Commonwealth]

“From Our Exchanges” from Christian Science Sentinel, July 1, 1916, contributions from Joseph Fort Newton, Robert P. Doremus, Henry Kingman, L. George Buchanan

“Here in the body pent,
“Strangers from Thee, we roam;
“But nightly pitch our moving tent,
“A day’s march nearer Home,”—

The hymn says, and the writer went deeper, and nearer the heart of Truth, than he knew. Verily, if we shut ourselves up in our bodies, we are “strangers from God.” How they bind and fetter us! We are not the “Lord’s freemen,” when we consent to be so enslaved, and yet it is our own fault.

Our bodies are like unruly children, whose parents have always obeyed them, until they expect and attempt to govern everybody. We have consulted them on every point. If we wished to do certain things, we have turned around to our bodies, and asked, “Will it make you sick? Shall you pay me for this with a head-ache?”

If the wind happened to blow on us, we have inquired, “Are you cold?” or declared, “This will give me neuralgia in my head.” Virtually we have said to our material structure, “Come thou and rule over us;” and decided for ourselves that it had been done; and all this time we have been in bondage to a phantom.

For these poor earthly bodies have no life in themselves, and cannot declare themselves rulers over anything.

How changed is our condition, when we awake to this fact! When we learn that we can control our bodies, instead of having them control us, we begin to “try our wings,” as it were; and instead of being dragged down to earth, we fly aloft into a purer atmosphere.

We begin to leave our bodies behind, and reach out into the realm of Spirit, and then at last, catch a faint, gleam of what it means to be “present with the Lord.”

“Willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Ah, yes’ more than “willing” — eager, glad of this most happy exchange.

Who of us has not had this yearning, even before we knew aught of Christian Science, or ever heard the name of its Discoverer and Founder. But did ever one, however sincerely Christian, succeed in getting that despot, the body, out of the way, that the real presence of the Lord might be felt? Have we not been carefully taught in all systems of Theology, that to do this, we must pass the portal called death? Even those triumphant words of Paul, “O, death, where is thy sting? O, grave, where is thy victory?” were made to mean that death alone brought us into the presence of the Lord, “to go no more out forever.”

But now we have learned the new tongue. “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” “Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” Away then with these false claims of the body! Let us have none of this which shuts us out of His living, loving, abiding presence.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

“Absent From The Body, And Present With The Lord.” from Christian Science Journal, February 1894 by E. A. Everett

Final Readings

Our Master said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Then God and heaven, or Life, are present, and death is not the real stepping-stone to Life and happiness. They are now and here; and a change in human consciousness, from sin to holiness, would reveal this wonder of being. Because God is ever present, no boundary of time can separate us from Him and the heaven of His presence; and because God is Life, all Life is eternal. …

A material sense of life robs God, by declaring that not He alone is Life, but that something else also is life, — thus affirming the existence and rulership of more gods than one. This idolatrous and false sense of life is all that dies, or appears to die.

The opposite understanding of God brings to light Life and immortality. Death has no quality of Life; and no divine fiat commands us to believe in aught which is unlike God, or to deny that He is Life eternal. …

This generation seems too material for any strong demonstration over death, and hence cannot bring out the infinite reality of Life, — namely, that there is no death, but only Life. The present mortal sense of being is too finite for anchorage in infinite good, God, because mortals now believe in the possibility that Life can be evil.

The achievement of this ultimatum of Science, complete triumph over death, requires time and immense spiritual growth.

Because of these profound reasons I urge Christians to have more faith in living than in dying. I exhort them to accept Christ’s promise, and unite the influence of their own thoughts with the power of his teachings, in the Science of being. This will interpret the divine power to human capacity, and enable us to apprehend, or lay hold upon, “that for which,” as Paul says in the third chapter of Philippians, we are also “apprehended of [or grasped by] Christ Jesus,” — the ever-present Life which knows no death, the omnipresent Spirit which knows no matter.

from Unity of Good, 1910, by Mary Baker Eddy, pages 37, 38, 43

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