Sunday, May 5th, 2024 Roundtable

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Morning Prayers

Study the Bible constantly, daily, and, dear one, pray. Ask the divine Love every day to give you all that the Lord’s Prayer inculcates. Go alone by yourself one half hour every morning and ask God, good, “Thy kingdom come” – ask to establish the reign of honesty, peace and purity in your consciousness and to overthrow and cast out all that is unlike the Christ, Love. Ask to forgive those that wrong you even as God forgives you, and see how this must be for you to reflect God. Ask for deliverance from temptation, ask for patience, meekness, peace, and so may the grace of God be with you.

— from Divinity Course and General Collectanea, (the “Blue Book”), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 62

Discussion points

131 — WATCH lest you pray to infinite Love and wisdom to remove from your path those experiences which you need in order to increase your understanding and growth. A child may beg its father to let it leave school and have a holiday, or even to get a job. But the father knows that the child needs the discipline and the education.

Whatever we need to teach us to hold our scientific thought against false testimony and mental suggestion, God will provide. Never pray to have removed from your experience that which has come to help you, for the moment you learn the lessons such experiences have come to teach, they will disappear.

— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter


“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.”

… “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near,” … We should not wait for the so-called hour of danger in which to call upon divine Principle for succor, but should so prepare the thought when free from fear and all seems bright and joyous, by filling consciousness with grateful acknowledgment of Spirit’s all-power, that we may be ready for the possible test should it come. May we never forget to thank God for His tender care and His great love, to rejoice in His ever-presence, to be glad that His available law is operating now—and again, to thank Him!

“Preparation and Protection” (excerpt) from The Christian Science Sentinel, February 20, 1926, by Justine Roberts

Article — “Malpractice Unreal” by Herbert W. Eustace

There are probably few readers of the Bible who have not paused, on reading the incident of Jesus and the sinful woman, to wonder as to what he wrote on the ground in reply to her accusers. A selected article that appeared in the Christian Science Sentinel of May 17, 1900, states that Professor Gregory of Leipzig has discovered in an old manuscript a different reading of this passage, in which the ninth verse is thus rendered: And they when they read it went out one by one, etc. As the professor interprets it, Jesus wrote on the sand the secret sins of those who would have had their fellow-sinner stoned in support of their own self-righteousness. Their assumption of innocence in bringing a less fortunate culprit to punishment could not hide from the piercing purity of Jesus’ consciousness the sinfulness they had hidden from the world; and he turned upon them the sentence of their own moral distance from purity and goodness.

If this rule of our Master were generally obeyed, and those only who are “without sin” should cast the stone of condemnation at the erring, what a benediction of mercy and love would rest upon this saddened, sinful world. Too many of us are prone to find fault with all whose manner of life and conduct does not conform to our ideals, and to harshly condemn those who have yielded to temptations that may not have come our way or against which we may have been more strongly fortified. What have we to glory in with respect to our own righteousness, that we should sit in the place of judge over the brother who may have stumbled and fallen? How many of us would have done better under the same circumstances? How can any one think that he would have been a better or a truer man than the one he may condemn, had he been in the other’s place?

While the Christ-law condemns sin, and does not exempt the sinner from the punishment that may be necessary to bring him to repentance, it calls for compassion rather than condemnation, especially from those who are also liable to be tempted. Had Jesus spurned the woman in his natural abhorrence of her sin, instead of lovingly bidding her to “sin no more,” the result would probably have been hardening instead of redemptive. He declared that his mission was to save, not to condemn. It is Love that uplifts, and heals, and regenerates, that raises the fallen and recalls the wanderer. If our exalted Master could not fulfil his Christ-work among men without the exercise of a love that is beyond human imagination to conceive, how much more should they love and be merciful who follow his example so fitfully and so feebly? What Christlikeness can there be in bringing another into condemnation for doing what we have not ourselves risen above? If Christ Jesus were likewise standing in our midst when we are accusing others, what, think you, would he write upon the sand for us to read?

“The Writing In The Sand” (excerpt) from The Christian Science Sentinel, September 22, 1906, by Samuel Greenwood

And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

Ten thousand talents.—It is hardly necessary to discuss in detail the value in modern coinage of the sum thus described. Assuming the Greek “talent” to have been rightly used by the LXX. translators for the Hebrew kikar in Exodus 38:25-26, we have a basis of calculation which makes the talent equal to 3,000 shekels; and taking the shekel as equal to four drachmæ, this makes the 10,000 talents about £2,500,000 sterling. The sum is evidently named in its vague vastness to indicate the immensity of the debt which man owes to God, the absolute impossibility of his ever clearing off the aggregate, ever-accumulating, of sins of omission and commission which are brought home to his conscience when God “takes account” with him.

— by Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers, Matthew 18:24

I have been helped of late in thinking of the nearness of God. In Isaiah, 55:6, we read, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” The Christ was foretold as Immanuel, God with us, and through the help given us in Christian Science, it is our blessed privilege at this time to prove that God is with us. God is indeed near us when we truly know Him and reflect His love.

It is important to know how He is near us. There are two ways in which a friend may be near. He may be in the same room, and we say that he is near; but only as the friend is one with us in sympathy, only as he loves us and is glad to serve us, is he truly near. Again, though he love us, our own hatred may keep him afar off. Those are near who are one in purpose, sympathy, and life.

The Psalmist says, “For that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.” When our eyes are open we find God near in the bending heavens, in the opening flower in the lovelight that shines forth from the child’s eyes. Let us train ourselves to know that God is near when two hearts beat in kindly sympathy; when a true word is spoken to an open ear; when a loving deed of kindness is welcomed by a grateful heart; when selfishness gives way to sacrifice and pride falls before humility; when resentment is banished and brotherly love floods the heart. As the poet says,—

Then, brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother!
For where love dwells, the peace of God is there:
To worship rightly is to love each other;
Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.

“The Nearness of God” (excerpt) from The Christian Science Sentinel , February 6, 1904, by Rev. Irving C. Tomlinson

Thoughts shared on the Lesson from readers:

Story of Joseph:

I was deeply moved this week by the story of Joseph and how he deals with his brothers, who have done him wrong. When the brothers were fearful how he will deal with them, Joseph says, “Fear not: for am I in the place of God?” With this, I feel, he says, I am not God, I am not in the place to judge. Nevertheless, he acknowledges that his brothers have done evil, when he says “But as for you ye thought evil against me”. For me that sounds like an impersonal declaration of the wrong done, without condemnation. He neither judges, nor does he belittle what they did, by saying oh it was nothing, or it wasn’t that bad. No. Joseph “acknowledges the claim of error,” as it is often said here by saying “ye thought evil against me.” But he is not at all personally offended.

Instead he says “…but God meant it unto good”, in the sense that "all things work together for good to them that love God.” We know from the story of Joseph that he never got upset about his seemingly dire circumstances, but always trusted in God, and loved his God, and his situation always improved and he could be of use for God.

For me that this is such a wonderful lesson, to not be angry, upset or annoyed about people, things or circumstances. I want to be like Joseph, always seeing only God, Good in All and nothing else. And at the same time not allowing error to linger, but addressing it impersonally, and show love and mercy to all mankind. In theory I get this, but in practice I struggle every day. But at least I start to see my struggle to be always good.

This goes with citation # 7 in Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy on page 329, she writes, “There is no hypocrisy in Science. … Always right, its divine Principle never repents, but maintains the claim of Truth by quenching error.” And “If men understood their real spiritual source to be all blessedness, they would struggle for recourse to the spiritual and be at peace;” I feel my struggle for recourse has started, and I am grateful for it.

— by Michaela from Canada

Final Readings

“Become compassionate,” said Jesus, “as your Father in heaven is compassionate.” “He shall have judgment without mercy who has shown no mercy,” declared James. In Christian Science we are set free completely from one thing, that is, judging others; we are set free to love our brother. If there be a wrong it is God’s to avenge and vindicate the right. Man’s way is to take revenge and make the wrong greater. Resentment seems inseparable from human judgment; and such judgment implies the superiority of the judge above the culprit, such as was assumed by Caiaphas, who rent his clothes in pride of his sanctity and separateness from the Christ whom he called a blasphemer. Human judgment is the life and core of Pharisaism. It directs the gaze ever outward to the defects of others, and compares therewith the excellencies of the imagined self. But there is no tenderness possible, but rather hardness of heart, bitter injustice, selfishness, unruly will power, a life of lying, hypocrisy, acting. How can such escape punishment when their own acts against others react upon themselves?

But mercy rejoices against judgment. Mercy sets up one standard, not the self, but God. The merciful man sees how far he is from the compassion of his heavenly Father, and is humble; he seeks to bring others and himself to the right knowledge of God, and so is loving. It is in the very nature of things that the “merciful shall obtain mercy.”

Having the human self for standard means gravitation hellward until Pharisaism is purged by retribution. Through making God All-in-all, the heart is melted, man becomes merciful, and finds heaven on earth.

“The Quality of Mercy” (excerpt) from The Christian Science Sentinel, January 26, 1899, by W. P. Mckenzie

Love is the liberator.

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