August 13, 2014

Unlike the four rivers, today’s subject did not come with its own definition from the “Glossary” in Science and Health!  Sodom is described in the Book of Genesis as a “wicked” city that was destroyed before the patriarch Abraham could have the fulfillment of his promised child. To many of us, the word “Sodom” represents sensuality, but to Mary Baker Eddy, it symbolized a much broader attraction of error.  Of this state of thought, Mrs. Eddy wrote in No and Yes:
     “Sooner or later the eyes of sinful mortals must be opened to see every error they possess, and the way out of it; and they will “flee as a bird to your mountain,” away from the enemy of sinning sense, stubborn will, and every imperfection in the land of Sodom, and find rescue and refuge in Truth and Love.
     Every loving sacrifice for the good of others is known to God, and the wrath of man cannot hide it from Him. God has appointed for Christian Scientists high tasks, and will not release them from the strict performance of each one of them. The students must now fight their own battles. I recommend that Scientists draw no lines whatever between one person and another, but think, speak, teach, and write the truth of Christian Science without reference to right or wrong personality in this field of labor.  Leave the distinctions of individual character and the discriminations and guidance thereof to the Father, whose wisdom is unerring and whose love is universal.” (No. 7:10-2)
Mrs. Eddy was also asked about the meaning of Abraham’s bargaining with God for the number of righteous men in Sodom, so that message is included in the jsh-online link on the Readings page.
Have you ever wondered what sermons were like in Christian Science churches before the Bible Lessons were instituted in 1895? I have included a link to a VERY scholarly sermon on Abraham from 1887 which discusses much of the symbolism about Abraham’s journey, the Hebrew meanings of the places and people, and so on.  It is only a portion of the sermon, but it really shows what Bible scholars the people were in those days. I’ve been curious what these early sermons were like, and jsh-online makes it easy to read more of them!