November 26, 2014
In the readings from Isaiah 22, there is a reference to the “waters of the lower pool.” This pool of Siloam is familiar to us from the story of Jesus’ healing of the blind man’s eyes when he told him to wash in this pool. We also learned about the Gihon Spring feeding this pool when we were exploring the rivers in Science and Health’s Glossary this summer. (I love the correlations of these symbolic places in the Bible.) The link has some Bible notes on Isaiah 22.
There is also a link to a Jewish timeline. Last year, our Book Club studied the Book of Revelation in the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s Apocalypse chapter, and I was curious why Mrs. Eddy used the number of “six thousand years since Adam” (SH 560:3) with the 19th century. The paragraph preceding this one discusses the “Israelites of old,” so it occurred to me to look at a Jewish calendar (which begins with Adam) instead of our Christian calendar. The 19th century (such as 1866 CE) would be the 6th millennium on the Jewish timeline (or the year 5626).
I couldn’t find any article about Mrs. Eddy’s use of 6,000 years on jsh-online, so I suppose I’ve gone way out on a limb. However, I am always amazed at Mrs. Eddy’s grasp of Bible history (especially before the internet and its handy calendar converters!). I also appreciate her definition of millennium in Miscellany as “a state and stage of mental advancement, going on since ever time was.” (Miscellany 239:27) If anyone else has a better explanation (or further insights) for the 6,000 years in Mrs. Eddy’s paragraph, please feel free to share.
November 19, 2014
Our Wednesday readings are continuing to explore different aspects of the Bible in commemoration of National Bible Week. The topic for this Wednesday is the following statement from Science and Health: “The Bible contains the recipe for all healing.” (SH 406) What is that recipe for healing? What is that combination of scripture and inspiration that transforms us? What is so important about the Bible?
In the biography, Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science is quoted as saying, “Were I to have charge of a church today, I should have it founded on the Bible. I should talk to them from the Bible. I should direct their thought to the Bible, and I should expect them to be obedient to the Bible.” (p. 156)
November 12, 2014
Our Wednesday services will be exploring different aspects of the Bible over the next three weeks. We will be concluding during National Bible Week which has been celebrated the week of Thanksgiving every year since the beginning of World War II. (The history of National Bible Week is on the readings link.)
The topic for this Wednesday is the “Inspired Word of the Bible.” The first important point or religious tenet of Christian Science states, “As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.” (SH 497)
At a glance, this tenet seems straightforward, but what is the “inspired Word”? Do we skip over verses we disagree with in the Bible because we don’t think of them as the “inspired Word,” or do we have to dig more deeply for our own inspiration?
In this Wednesday’s readings are a few of those Bible verses (I Tim 2:11-15) which we tend to avoid. How wise of Mrs. Eddy to have a tenet taking the “inspired Word of the Bible” instead of the literal Word as these verses are quite discriminatory in Western culture today. I’ve included some commentary from the Oxford Annotated Bible explaining the history and authorship of those verses.
Justin’s solo on Sunday also made me think of these verses, and so he gave me permission to include the words to his solo on the readings link.
If you bring your inspiration to such passages (and knowing what Mrs. Eddy said about woman in Genesis 2), then you too will be blessed with not the literal but the “inspired Word of the Bible.”
November 5, 2014
Our readings this Wednesday are in honor of our servicemen and women in recognition of next Tuesday’s Veterans Day. May we all pray to support our military qualities of watchfulness, courage, obedience, strength, and sacrifice.
In the Bible readings is the story of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, who went into battle prayed-up and praising the Lord “for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” II Chron. 20:15. The military prayer strategy in part of this Bible story is so similar to a famous World War II story that I have included the link to “The True Story of the Patton Prayer.” Briefly, General Patton and the Third Army had not been able to advance in December 1944 due to sleet and rain, so the General asked the military chaplain for a prayer for the weather. There were no formal prayers on the weather in the chaplain’s prayer books, so he wrote out a short prayer. The General approved it, and then asked him to make 250,000 copies for every soldier in the Third Army. The soldiers carried their prayers into battle; the fogs ceased; and there were clear skies so that the Allied planes could assist in destroying the enemy. I realize that Patton’s prayer is not a Bible story, but I do hope that you will be inspired by this more modern-day adaptation for Veterans Day.