Sunday, November 19th, 2023 Roundtable

Body is the Embodiment of Right Ideas

This week’s Lesson Sermon Subject: Soul And Body

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Morning Prayers

Think deeply for yourself. Muse on the allness of Spirit until it becomes a consciousness of perfection and harmony which will be manifested openly to the world.

Father, teach me how to still the clamoring of sense, and fill my place as listener, that I may hear Thy voice and grow to understand Thy Word, and so become Thy messenger. Then teach me how to banish pride and stubborn will that I may be Thy representative – with no false sense of human zeal, that every word may bless and heal, when I Thy message give.

— from Divinity Course and General Collectanea, (the “Blue Book”), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 144, 61

Discussion points

309 — WATCH that you hold a scientific thought as to the kind of a body Jesus had after the resurrection. Was it spiritual or was it material? Man never has but one kind of body. It is the material sense of it that is unreal. In an early edition of Science and Health we find this statement, “The heathen gods of mythology were as real as our bodies are …”

After the resurrection the disciples still saw Jesus’ body as material, while he knew that it was spiritual. On page 218 of Miscellany Mrs. Eddy writes that the spiritual body came with the ascension; yet we find her saying that he reappeared as idea. The conclusion must be that body is to us as we regard it. Viewed materially, it appears to be matter; yet Science teaches that there is but one body which is spiritual. If Jesus healed the sick by beholding the perfect man, he must have beheld his own body as perfect and spiritual also. Mrs. Eddy once said, “There is no space for a material body to occupy. There never was one thousand years ago.” See Miscellaneous Writings, 70:22.

— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter

GOLDEN TEXT: I Corinthians 6 : 20

“Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

The consciousness of power through reliance on Truth and Love, and the joy of victory,—these are the natural accompaniments and outgrowth of foundational work, of a consecutive line of right thought and action, rather than the immediate offspring of an event. Hence all Christian Scientists should work not for results and achievements, but for purification and spiritualization of thought and desire.

There can be no real or lasting defeat to an honest, loving heart, for the defeat of the human is the victory of the divine, and vice versa. The overcoming of false beliefs, fear, sensitiveness, self, etc., and the larger growth in meekness, patience, charity, generosity, joy, and love, are the mile-posts that mark the victor’s way. Righteousness and joy are inseparable qualities. The sense of hardship and the smoke of conflict linger not long with the victor over self, the one who has drunk deep of his Master’s cup. In her “Miscellaneous Writings” (p. 288) our beloved Leader tells us, “The selfish role of a martyr is the shift of a dishonest mind, nothing short of self-seeking; and real suffering would stop the farce.”

The ability to “rejoice always” comes of understanding that good is the only power. Because evil is powerless to produce suffering, it is likewise incapable of causing pleasure. No career that has not demonstrated this fact in Science can truthfully be termed successful. Are we working for dominion over evil suggestions and over self, or are we working for self-advancement and worldly achievement? The answer to this question will determine our courage and endurance and our ability or disability to rise above criticism, seeming defeats, and outward stress.

When the applause of the world rings gaily in our ears, do we remember to pray, “Thine, O Lord, is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory”? If so, then we can also rise and rejoicingly claim, when human condemnation pours forth its weighty flood, “I and my Father are one,” and “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Unity with God, spiritual dominion, is the divine purpose and the destiny of man, and it is in outgrowing the mortal, the claim of or belief in any other man, that we may all learn our lessons in the way we most need.

“The Victor’s Way” from Christian Science Sentinel, October 22, 1910, by Elizabeth Earl Jones

The centurion whose servant Jesus healed without needing to go to his house, illustrating thus what is meant by absent healing, understood intuitively the right sense of responsibility. He had his one hundred to control; and they were obedient. In his respectful message to Jesus he said, “I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.” It is to be noted that he does not speak of himself as a man in authority, but as a man “under authority.” To others he must give obedience; he was responsible for doing so. He might have said that the final authority under which he served was the empire, or the emperor; but, evidently, he recognized in Jesus responsibility to an authority other than could be seen. He could send his soldiers to go and disperse rioters; but when his servant lay helpless, there was nothing visible that he could fight. He needed aid, not material but spiritual; and he recognized that, in obeying God, Christ Jesus was under authority, and yet could say with authority to the leper, Be clean: to the lame man, Rise and walk; and so would be able to say with authority to his sick lad, “who was dear unto him,” Be strong. He knew that there were unseen beneficences to be dispensed, and likewise evil influences to be dispersed; and that when his servant had come under the authority of that which Christ Jesus represented, he would be well, because that authority was divine authority.

“Under Authority” from Christian Science Journal, September 1922 (excerpt) by William P. Mc Kenzie

Thoughts shared on the Lesson from readers:

2 Corinthians 5:7 “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”

“For we walk by faith, and not by sight. Faith is a grace which answers many useful purposes; it is the eye of the soul, by which it looks to Christ for righteousness, peace, pardon, life, and salvation; the hand by which it receives him, and the foot by which it goes to him, and walks in him as it has received him; which denotes not a single act of faith, but a continued course of believing; and is expressive, not of a weak, but of a strong steady faith of glory and happiness, and of interest in it: and it is opposed to sight by which is meant, not sensible communion, but the celestial vision: there is something of sight in faith; that is a seeing of the Son; and it is an evidence of things not seen, of the invisible glories of the other world; faith looks at, and has a glimpse of things not seen, which are eternal; but it is but seeing as through a glass darkly; it is not that full sight, face to face, which will be had hereafter, when faith is turned into vision.”

“WALK: To walk by faith, to live in the firm belief of the gospel and its promises, and to rely on Christ for salvation.”

Mrs Eddy tells us that “Only by persistent, unremitting, straight-forward toil; by turning neither to the right nor to the left, seeking no other pursuit or pleasure than that which cometh from God, can you win and wear the crown of the faithful.” (Mis. Wr.) Pg. 340.

— by Gill Bible Exposition

Matthew 16:23. But he turned and said unto Peter — Mark reads, When he had turned about and looked on his disciples, (who by the air of their countenances, probably, seemed to approve what they had heard Peter say to him,) he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan — That is, out of my sight. “He looked at him,” says Baxter, “with displeasure, and said, I say to thee as I did to the devil when he tempted me, Get thee behind me, for thou doest the work of Satan, the adversary, in tempting me, for self-preservation, to violate my Father’s command, and my undertaking, and to forsake the work of man’s redemption and salvation. As thy counsel savoureth not the things that be of God, (namely, his will, work, and glory,) but the things that be of men, (or the love of the body and this present life,) so it signifies what is in thy heart; take heed lest this carnality prevail.”

Our Lord is not recorded to have given so sharp a reproof to any other of his apostles, on any occasion. He saw it was needful for the pride of Peter’s heart, puffed up with the commendation lately given him. Perhaps the term Satan may not barely mean, Thou art my enemy, while thou fanciest thyself most my friend; but also, Thou art acting the very part of Satan, both by endeavouring to hinder the redemption of mankind, and by giving me the most deadly advice that can ever spring from the pit of hell…

We see in this example of Peter, how soon a person favoured with the peculiar approbation of the Lord Jesus may, through pride and self-confidence, fall under his heavy displeasure, and incur a severe rebuke from him. “Our Lord, immediately after pronouncing Peter blessed, on account of his faith and the noble confession which he made of it, and after conferring on him the high dignity before mentioned, did openly, in the hearing of all the disciples, call him Satan, or adversary, and declare that he had then no relish for the divine appointments, but was influenced merely by human views and expectations of worldly interest.

— by Benson Commentary

Final Readings

If you spiritually take less thought of what appetite craves or desires, about what you eat or drink, then you will drink water instead of coffee, tea or stimulants, and save much expense in cooking and groceries. Your clothing will abide instead of pass away. Your thought will so replenish yourself with wearing apparel that your clothing will be like the widow’s oil, rather than the fashionable ladies’ wardrobe from Parisian models and much time saved for usefulness instead of being expended on shopping, selecting and fitting garments.

You will desire that place in society and the world which removes you furthest from them. The fate of ambition is its snare, its only rationality is madness. We should yearn and aspire to rise above the world, …

What should be the objects of the Scientist’s affections, the things of sense or those of Soul? Certainly the latter. His affections will not cleave to corporeal personality which is error. He will not fall In love with error but fall out with it and depart from It and cleave to good, Truth, the impersonal good. The objects of his affections are spiritual, not material; his modes of action, success and happiness are removed from the shallows of matter into the grooves of God.

— by Gilbert Carpenter

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