Exterminating error with Truth

April 29, 2015


My original topic was “Banishing Pain: a Call for Instant Action,” but since many of us are currently praying about plagues and pestilence, the readings have been changed to “Exterminating error with Truth.” (SH 469:13)
It should be no surprise that the Bible readings focus on the Egyptian plagues, and the spiritual lessons really stand out when you read them all together.  There are also some excellent early articles in Christian Science periodicals, and below is part of an article by Cyril Hewson from a November 28, 1925 Sentinel explaining about the change in people’s thought during the plagues:
     The Israelites, though believing in the power of God to save and deliver, still believed in the existence of both good and evil; and so evil claimed to manifest itself as power before them. As their understanding of God’s omnipotence grew, however, the correlative understanding of the powerlessness of evil was made manifest; for, as we see when we come to the third plague, the magicians found that they were unable to repeat it, and so, to that extent, the power of evil to delude by its illusions was destroyed.
     It is noteworthy that up to this point the children of Israel themselves suffered from the effects of the chemicalization produced in the land, because they still believed in the power of evil as well as of good. In the next plague, however, and apparently in all the subsequent ones, they, with their land and possessions, were exempt from the effects; while in the seventh plague we find that, even those among the Egyptians themselves who through these experiences had come to give regard to “the word of the Lord,” and read the signs of the times, were able to save themselves and their cattle from destruction. During this time the Israelites had been rising higher in the demonstration of faith in the power of good, so that, although the evil appeared to increase in violence, it had less power to harm them; and, moreover, this demonstration had the effect of benefiting others also who were ready to receive the blessing.
If you don’t have a subscription to jsh-online, but would like to read any of the articles listed, send me an email with its title, and I’ll email it to you.
Our Wednesday night service will be held outside in the parking lot, and we will be well covered, comfortable, and cozy in Lawrence and Louise’s RV.
Comment from a reader – 
Thank you very much for sharing with me. Very inspirational.

While reading your articles on your subject the thought came to mind, all spiritual, perfect, God created ideas are alway in our right place and cannot be otherwise.

Thank you again for sharing.


Healing: the Role of Music and Joy

April 22, 2015


     Last Wednesday’s readings were on “Healing: The Role of Mastering Fear,” and this Wednesday (due to our many Jazz Fest visitors), our topic is “Healing: the Role of Music and Joy.”
     I know there are many testimonies about hymns bringing healing, but are you familiar with this testimony found in Fruitage? Here is the testimony which makes a sweet connection between last Wednesday’s readings and this week:
I think I never realized what fear meant until I began to try and put into practice my understanding of Christian Science for my children. I have proved, however, many times, that fear can neither help nor hinder in our demonstration of truth. The first time I realized this was in the overcoming of a severe case of croup for my little boy. I was awakened one night by the sound that seems to bring terror to every mother’s heart, and found the little fellow sitting up in bed, gasping for breath. I got up, took him in my arms, and went into the next room. My first thought was, “O if only there was another Christian Scientist in town!” But there was not, and the work must be done and done quickly. I tried to treat him, but was so frightened I could not think; so I picked up Science and Health, which lay on the table beside me, and began reading aloud. I had read but a few lines when these words came to me as though a voice spoke, “The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” Almost immediately after, the little one said, “Mamma, sing ‘Shepherd,’ ” — our Leader’s hymn, that both the big and the little children love. I began singing, and commencing with the second line, the little voice joined me. I shall never forget the feeling of joy and peace that came over me, when I realized how quickly God’s word, through Science and Health and the beautiful hymn, had accomplished the healing work.  (Science and Health, page 619:18-14)
So, here’s a question for you (which I hope is answered in the Bible readings) — When should you sing or express joy?
     Kaspar Hauser is in our readings from Science and Health, so I have included a link to a podcast by Judy Huenneke about Kaspar Hauser.  Judy is an archivist at the Mary Baker Eddy Library and has shared her knowledge via SKYPE with our Book Club.
Comment from a reader

My! What an interesting talk about Kasper Hauser. Thank you!   Thanks also for sending your Wednesday reading.
You are so consistently organized!  Love It!


Healing: The Role of Mastering Fear

April 15, 2015


     The story of David and Goliath has an interesting connection to our previous study of Judah since “David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-judah.” (I Sam. 17:12) Ephrathites were a subgroup from the Caleb clan in the tribe of Judah. (Oxford Annotated, p. 425) What a courageous foundation David had!
     And for those of you thinking of taxes today, there is also a reference to being free from taxation in our readings. In I Sam 17:25, one of the rewards for killing the giant Goliath was to make your “father’s house free in Israel.” Being free in Israel meant being exempt from slavery, taxes, and compulsory military service. (Oxford Annotated, p. 426)  Just thought you might enjoy knowing what you could do to avoid taxes in ancient Israel!


Comment from a reader – I just read your lesson “The Role of Mastering Fear.” It was wonderful. Thank you for your dedicated work to the cause.


April 1, 2015


     We are completing our study of Jacob’s sons with Judah (although we might return to learn about some of Jacob’s other sons at another time).
     Last week the readings ended with Simeon remaining a prisoner until Benjamin is brought to Egypt to be presented to Joseph.  Reuben offered to kill his own sons if he did not return to Canaan with Benjamin, Jacob’s youngest son. This “eye for an eye” mentality did not persuade Jacob, and Reuben had already broken promises before, such as his infidelity with his father’s wife and his failure in shepherding (or watching over) his brother Joseph. Simeon and Levi had shown that they were controlled by wrath and revenge, so the next son in chronological order was Judah.
     Judah learned (and I think in a very embarrassing way) the value of keeping pledges and promises, and he offered to be a “surety” for Benjamin in returning him to his father Jacob. A surety means to be sure, and it also means a person who takes responsibility for another’s performance of an undertaking, such as the payment of a debt. Instead of the word “surety,” the Revised Standard Version occasionally uses the phrase “guarantee your servant’s well-being” (Psalms 119:122). The Book of Isaiah uses the word “Redeemer,” and Paul speaks of Jesus as being the “surety of a better testament.” (Heb. 7:22) Perhaps you were wondering what Judah had to do with the Easter story, but I love how this concept of the Messiah’s role was brought forth in Judah’s offering of himself for his brother. I had never made this connection until I read all the verses of Joseph’s story in preparing this lesson. In reading Judah’s speech before Jacob and Joseph, you can certainly feel the tone of Jesus statement: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  (John 15:13) 
     Jacob’s sons were all “wrestling with error,” (SH 308) much like their earthly father, so I’ve included a copy of Rembrandt’s “Jacob and the Angel” on the readings page. I also have a link to a short podcast on ”MBE Mentioned Louis Agassiz” who is in our readings (and who is mentioned more than any other contemporary individual by Mrs. Eddy).
Comment from a reader – Thank you for including me in your practice for the materials.  I see it also as the lesson about “being our brother’s keeper.” (pun not intended)