Sunday, March 26th, 2023 Roundtable

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Morning Prayers

The need of divine wisdom and Love – Christ’s assurance of prayer answered – and the absolute Science of God’s Allness, moves the Christian Scientist to pray for the peace, prosperity, and brotherhood of all nations and peoples. No will-power is used in the Scientist’s prayer, since human will must be lost in the Divine, for prayer to be efficacious. In the words of Zechariah, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

He who clothes the lilies will tend you and gird you with strength in Truth and Love, and so establish the labor of your hands in His vineyard. Never distrust, never doubt the All-Love, for it never faileth. As your day, so shall your strength be. Be patient, and let faith grow stronger and stronger each day of this pilgrimage.

— from Divinity Course and General Collectanea, (the “Blue Book”), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 62, 139

Discussion points

265 — WATCH lest you retain the beginner’s conception of Christian Science as coming to make this hell of mortal existence a happy place, by taking away everything discordant. This primary picture is what we have to present to the world, in order to win them over to our side, just as it is necessary to depict life in the navy in glowing colors, in order to entice men to enlist. The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is to banish forever the cause of all discord, namely, the human mind; but this warfare does not bring peace to this false mind, but a sword.

Sickness, sin and poverty are merely indications of the error connected with a mortal sense of existence, and it is this mortal sense that Christian Science comes to eliminate. At the same time, when a man is sick, he is in no mental condition to gain a comprehensive idea of the truth, because he is frightened, disturbed and confused. The sickness is the proof of this fact. So he must be healed, if for no other reason than to restore him to a mental state in which he will be able to grasp the truth. The price he is expected to pay for this release is that he will take up in earnest the work of overcoming mortality. He is like a man who is released on probation. He breaks his parole if he settles down to enjoy the freedom from distress that Science has brought him, and may have to go back to jail, until he learns the lesson, namely, that mortality, whether discordant or concordant, is not the reality of existence, and hence is to be dissipated, in order that reality may prevail.

— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter

GOLDEN TEXT: James 1 : 17

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Things to handle daily: from Watches, Prayers, and Arguments given by Mary Baker Eddy, compiled by Gilbert Carpenter

Christian Scientists are generally supposed to believe some very foolish things which very naturally afford a good many people a great deal of amusement. It was once my privilege to present the dignity of Christian Science to one who had previously considered it an absurdity. He said, “All I knew of Christian Science was, that I once met a Christian Scientist who said she wasn’t sick when she was, and I thought her a fool.” I then told him that she seemed foolish because he did not perceive the significance of the term “I,” adding, “Now when you say ‘I’ do you not refer to that which I see standing before me?” He admitted that he did. “When we say ‘I’ we do not refer to the flesh at all; we refer to being. When she said ‘I am not sick,’ she made no reference to the body, she meant her being was not sick, which was the gospel truth, was it not?” He admitted that it was, and added, “Then why don’t you all say so and be done with it?” And I answered, “I am saying so.”

“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” and the truth is, that being is never sick, and this truth frees from sickness. We do not declare that the man you call sick is not sick, but that your sick man is not the man himself. We do not declare that the man you see standing before you is not there, but that man is immeasurably more than that which you see standing before you. We do not declare that the earth you tread on is not there (when we claim there is no matter), but that “We tread on forces. Withdraw them, and creation must collapse” (Science and Health, p. 124). We do not declare that the objects which you see before you are not there, but that “Divine Science … resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of material sense with spiritual ideas” (Science and Health, p. 123). For instance, who can make 4? It always was. We may make a figure 4 on a blackboard with chalk, but does 4 lie in those particles of chalk which outline that symbol? The substance of 4 is something more than chalk or symbol? So the substance of creation is something more than matter.

“Whom Say Ye That I Am?” from Christian Science Journal, March 1903 by Kate Swope (excerpt)

The history of Abraham, who won the royal title “the Friend of God,” is the record of one who trusted God implicitly because he perceived that causation was spiritual. The eyes of his understanding were opened, and belief thus became faith. His unwavering trust in his heavenly Father impelled St. Paul to speak of him as the father of the faithful, — “of all them that believe.” Abraham saw the truth, and applied it, and his faith grew into spiritual understanding. Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual interpretation of this character, as given in Science and Health (p. 579), is worthy of our earnest study. She tells us that “this patriarch illustrated the purpose of Love to create trust in good, and showed the life-preserving power of spiritual understanding.”

After his arrival in an abiding-place in divine consciousness, Abraham built an altar or sanctuary to the worship of Spirit at Shechem. There he received the first promise: “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: … and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” These last phrases indicate that the Messiah was clearly in view when the promise was made.

Wherever this patriarch lived he always built an altar to the true God and publicly worshiped, thus supplying the implied condition on his part for the fulfilment of the covenant. Anything laid on the altar of God is purified and enhanced in the beauty of holiness.

“God’s Promises To Abraham” from Christian Science Journal, December 1912 by Helen L. Young (excerpt)

The blessings of earth become more real and enduring when it is understood that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” Christian Science increases the desire to lay up treasures in heaven, because it teaches that heaven is here, and that treasures in heaven are man’s to enjoy in this life. They are eternal; moth and rust cannot corrupt them, neither can the thieves of material sense take them away. Possession is mental; that which man understands, he possesses, and he has no fear of losing it. It is his for time and for eternity. The fear of losing the things of earth is man’s greatest torment, and the realization that nothing can take away the treasures of heaven adds to the joy of their possession.

True Christianity is not subtraction and division, dividing man’s pleasures and taking away his joys. It is addition and multiplication. It adds daily to his sense of harmony and multiplies his joys. It takes away that which is false but it gives that which is true. When man is assured that the eternal realities of being are his to enjoy now, it becomes evident that he has nothing to lose but everything to gain, even in this world, by laying up treasures in heaven.

“Treasures In Heaven” from Christian Science Journal, April 1904 by Willis F. Gross (excerpt)

“Giving Up and Going Up” from, The Christian Science Sentinel, November 13, 1915 by Louise Knight Wheatley

Final Readings

How many times do we allow error to whisper to us, when some prayer is answered, that it just happened so, or that we should have gotten well anyway, and we look no further than this. We are content that we have what we wanted, or that we are well; our prayer of thanksgiving is not made, we have robbed God of what rightfully belongs to Him—a grateful heart—and we have furthermore denied the Bible, for we are there told, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights,” and in place of recognizing this, we have given to “chance” the thanks due to God. What must finally be the result of this living at the mercy of chance? Sooner or later an avalanche comes upon us, and in the past not having recognized the source of all help and goodness, and that the prayer of the righteous availeth much, our faith in omnipotent aid is so weakened, if not entirely destroyed, that we sink beneath the load, not seeing the arms of divine Love ever bearing us up and protecting us from every evil. The hand to save is always present, but “We close our eyes and call it night.”

Dear friends, let us be ever ready to acknowledge our heavenly Father’s love and care, not in one way only, but in every way; let us turn to Him alone with our psalm of thanksgiving for everything that comes into our lives; with St. Paul let us rejoice at infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, and distresses for Christ’s sake. remembering “this self-same God is our Helper. … He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers” (Unity of Good, p. 4). If we do this we will learn over and over again, that the seeming distresses and necessities are angels entertained unawares, and that Love has been with us all the time.

What a glorious thought this is, that we live in Love! Could we possibly ask for more? Can we express our gratitude in anything less than earnest, consecrated lives? Consecrated to God, striving to have the same Mind in us that was also in Christ Jesus, consecrated to the steadfast purpose of proving that God’s kingdom has indeed come on earth, as in heaven.


“Gratitude” from Christian Science Journal, September 1901 by Herbert W. Eustace (excerpt)

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