Roundtable Sunday, March 10th, 2024

Stay In The Father’s House

This week’s Lesson Sermon Subject: Man

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Morning Prayers

You are the child of the loving God, surrounded and protected by infinite Love. There is no hatred or evil to frighten you. You have no disease, you have nothing to fear, you are not in danger, you are entirely well, and continually held in the presence of God.

We are the channels, transparencies for the reflection of His goodness in proportion to the demonstration we have made over self, and the understanding gained of the Truth of being, the love for the brotherhood.

Abide in Love. Nothing can touch or harm you in Love. Know that you live in Love. Love is God as Life itself. Take this understanding with you and bless others with Love.

— from Divinity Course and General Collectanea, (the “Blue Book”), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 229, 65, 229

Discussion points

249 — WATCH lest you accept as your goal in Science, a sense of perfection as coming from any standpoint but that of reflection. This watching point is necessary because of the persistence of the suggestion from traditional theology that we can and must make this mortal self perfect.

— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter

GOLDEN TEXT: John 14 : 10

“The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

“Planting the Seed” from Christian Science Sentinel, March 23, 1918, by William D. McCrackan

The record of Jesus’ earth-life portrays his unalterable, inviolate unity with God, and nothing short of his understanding of this spiritual unity could have enabled him to express at all times and under all circumstances the power of the divine nature in the overcoming of every mode and form of evil.

When Jesus said to his disciples, “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works,” he revealed the secret of the success of his entire life-work. Because men have not understood the full import of Jesus’ work as the Way-shower to all mankind, they have failed to see that in these words of his there is the assurance to all men of such a unity with the Father.

“The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works”! …In “Retrospection and Introspection” (p. 28) Mrs. Eddy says, “He must be ours practically, guiding our every thought and action; else we cannot understand the omnipresence of good sufficiently to demonstrate, even in part, the Science of the perfect Mind and divine healing.”

… All the divine thoughts of which we are conscious are indeed from the Father expressing Himself through His children. And what a marvelous vista of joy and gladness does such a realization unfold! With such a consciousness, how impossible would it be to entertain as real any opposing belief in evil! To be conscious of dwelling with Spirit would certainly exclude all belief in matter as real or as having law or power. To be conscious of dwelling with Truth and Love would be the law of annihilation to all belief of error and hate. To be conscious of dwelling with Life would be the transforming power to all belief in inaction, inability, limitation. Even to catch a glimpse of our unity with God as His perfect spiritual child is to place our feet on that immovable Rock from which all storms of material sense are powerless to move us.

Then whatever the circumstances or condition, whatever the multiform problems with which a Christian Scientist may be confronted, his great necessity is to know that God is at hand doing the works. He should be sure that he divests himself of the false responsibility which would make him believe that he has something to do of himself unaided, since such a mistaken mental attitude invariably binds him with the chains of limitation and fear; and he will be all too apt to look upon the error of belief, which must be proved unreal, as a formidable something.

On the other hand, to start with the understanding that the only real activity is always the activity of divine Mind expressing itself through its ideas, and that he as the child of God is in and of this activity, starts him out with the sense of assurance that nothing can be impossible to him.

Jesus never failed, because he never once admitted that he could do anything apart from God. This did not tempt him into a belief that he could ever be mentally inactive; but, on the contrary, he was ever awake to every argument of any activity apart from the divine. Nothing so reveals to us the claims of error as the understanding of the omnipresence of God. The consciousness that the Father is ever present will uncover to the human consciousness every belief in another presence and power. But having begun with the truth of being, that “the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works,” we have not only the means for the exposure of all evil, but also the method of its annihilation.

“The Father… He Doeth The Works” (excerpt) from Christian Science Journal, February 1928, by Ella W. Hoag

In Science and Health (p. 305) Mrs. Eddy says, “As there is no corporeality in the mirrored form, which is but a reflection, so man, like all things real, reflects God, his divine Principle, not in a mortal body.”

… let us study the reflection of a rose in a mirror. Probably the first thing which will impress us is the fact that it has no corporeality whatever. Although in shape, size, form, and color it is the exact counterpart of the rose before the mirror, it possesses all these qualities without a single material accompaniment; in other words it is self-evident that its true substance is not in matter. All the substance it has is what it possesses as reflection. It is not the rose in the crystal vase, but it is the image and likeness of that rose. And is this not also true of man, of whom God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”?

… In referring to the subject of reflection Mrs. Eddy writes, “Call the mirror divine Science” (Science and Health, p. 515). Divine Science is the truth concerning God and man, and is not the truth about man the thing which protects him? As in some flawless mirror one sees his own reflection, so in divine Science one learns to behold himself as he really is, a reflection of the one perfect Mind, upheld by Life, governed by Truth, and controlled by Love. Did not our great Teacher, Christ Jesus, well understand this unity of good, and try to tell it twenty centuries ago to a dull and doubting world? “The Son can do nothing of himself,” he said, “but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”

Let us then stand as faithful witnesses for God, for all that is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and “of good report.” It is right that we should express beauty and joy. It is right that the world should be happier because of us. But in the midst of it all, let us be sure that as our reflected radiance thus shines before men, they may be led to remember whence it comes, and turn instinctively to glorify, not us, but the Father which is in heaven.

“Reflection” (excerpt) from Christian Science Sentinel, January 8, 1916, by Louise Knight Wheatley

Thoughts shared on the Lesson from readers:

John 15:4:

Commit yourself fully to the activities that you have proved to draw you closest to Christ, because it is from Him that all your fruits proceed. Any holy activity that will bring you to Him will help you bear fruit. The sun is, no doubt, a great worker in fruit-creating among the trees of the orchard: And Jesus is even more so among the trees of His garden of grace.

… when we have seen the utter emptiness and death of all earthly power, we have cried in anguish, ‘From Him all my fruit must be found, for no fruit can ever come from me.’ … the more simply we depend upon the grace of God in Christ and wait upon the Holy Spirit, the more we will bring forth fruit unto God. We must trust Jesus for fruit as well as for life.”

“The branch cannot bear fruit by itself.” from Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning, compiled in 2007 by Alistair Begg, page 333

Final Readings

We should not sentence ourselves by admitting traits of character or a disposition adverse to the Christ character, any more than we should admit the reality of sickness and its many phases. If we do, we shut out the manifestation of the Christ idea, and hold ourselves still in bondage to the Adam belief.

If God is the only Creator, the Father and Mother of all, and man is His offspring, then there can be no time when man does not express all that is beautiful and harmonious in character. He thus brings out all the “fruits of the Spirit,” “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

To be made “every whit whole,” is to have no nature apart from God. In speaking of a good-natured person, do we stop to think it truly means the nature of Good, God, expressed through that one? Wholeness, completeness, is the full expression of Good, in which health, character, and disposition are included.

“Good is Expressed in Wholeness” from Christian Science Journal, October 23, 1902 by G. M.

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