Sunday, January 7th, 2024 Roundtable

In Him We Live, and Move, and Have Our Being

This week’s Lesson Sermon Subject: God

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Morning Prayers

God. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.

There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God. The humble Nazarene overthrew the supposition that sin, sickness, and death have power. He proved them powerless.

— from Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 587, 228

God is Father, infinite, and this great truth, when understood in its divine metaphysics, will establish the brotherhood of man, end wars, and demonstrate “on earth peace, good will toward men.”

— from Miscellany, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 279

Discussion points

132 — WATCH lest you conceive of the power of God as acting in your behalf to care for you and protect you only when you are consciously thinking right. Your demonstration is to establish the fact that your light is shining away the darkness of fear, whether your conscious thought seems scientific, or, for the moment, depressed. You must know that demonstration still goes on, and that the phase of mortal mind that is trying to call itself you has no power to interfere with the eternal operation and tender care of infinite Love.

You must outgrow the conception of God which says that, if you have a clear and scientific ability to argue the truth, His power is at hand; whereas His power is withdrawn when your scientific arguments cease.

God never withdraws Himself; mortals merely lose sight of Him.

It is the preponderance of good or evil in man’s thinking that determines what his manifestation will be. His consciousness of his relation to God must be renewed daily.

We should work, watch and pray, — study and argue truth, — not because we fancy that otherwise God will withdraw Himself and that we will cease to receive His care and protection, but because we see the importance of keeping the normal level of thought at that high point where there will be no loss of the inflow of that which we need for wisdom and life.

— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter

GOLDEN TEXT: Psalm 46 : 1

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Does the argument come to you that you didn’t come from a good family, or have the same opportunities as someone else? Stand on the fact that you came forth from God; that your background is God Himself.

You came forth from the background of the infinite grandeur of Mind — from the capabilities and capacities of Principle itself; you came forth from the sound and stable foundation of Truth. Sincerity, genuineness, and fidelity are the very nature of your being.

Thou art Truth’s honest child,
Of pure and sinless heart;
— Hymn #382

You came forth from, and are the substance of, Spirit; you are the loved of God. Your whole background is the background of Love, and Love only; and there never has been, and never can be, a power that can change the status of Love’s child. You emerged from the background of radiance and beauty.

You were made of the inspiration and stimulation of Soul; Life eternal is your life. You were not created delicate or weak or with a predisposition to take cold and have indigestion. You were created of Life-substance, and Life can never be less than vigorous and warm and energetic and spontaneous. You are Life expressing itself; then there is never anything less than life in your being. Your sense, faculties, and functions are operated by Life, Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Truth, Love.

Your Background by Una Willard

Dr. Charles Allen a beloved Methodist minister, tells the story of when a friend came to see him. His friend was nervous, tense, and he had literally worried himself sick. The man’s physician had suggested that he see his minister. They talked for a while, and then Allen took a pad of paper from his desk drawer.

“If you went to see a doctor, he would give you a prescription, and that’s what I want to do,” Allen said. “Take the prescription exactly as I write it.

“Five times a day for seven days I want you to read prayerfully and carefully the twenty-third psalm. When you awaken, before each meal and at bedtime, read the psalm.”

Charles Allen says that in a week his friend returned literally a different person healed of indigestion and nervousness.

The power of the Shepherd’s psalm is a prescription for the problems and pressures of our day.

— from Charles Allen

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

The word Love is the greatest and most blessed word in the English language. Voluminous are the books that have made it their theme. Fiction, history, art, theology have used this word; but no one has given it the true significance, since it was so talked of on all occasions by our Master, Jesus the Christ, until revealed in this nineteenth century by the author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Rev. Mary Baker Eddy.

Those, who through its teachings, have had glimpses of the meaning of the Master’s word Love, should be thankful that one has been inspired to give the true significance of what the word means to convey. God is Love; and Love brings out the Godly thought, showing us, without doubt, that as we overcome evil, bring out love, gentleness, charity and kindness, we manifest harmony. Harmony in music, is smoothness of tone and perfect accord, so harmony in Truth is peace. We are all struggling for happiness and peace, then let us manifest love and unselfishness. “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Have the body servant under subjection to the higher law—Mind.

Our Master commands— to command is to give orders and it is the rule for subjects to obey. “This is my commandment, that ye love one another” which putting it in another way is “having that mind in us which was also in Christ Jesus.” Assuredly to have that mind, would be having Love — for he was full of it. He followed and kept the Father’s commandment and abode in his Love.

We must so work with the tool of Love in our garden of thought that the true growth will go on, bud and blossom, and afterwards bring the fruit we wish, which was our intention when we made our garden. Our thoughts are the seeds, and after the seed has appeared in consciousness we must guard and watch it well, be not a sluggard, but watch that no impurity gains entrance. Jesus gives us constant lessons— says “I am the door;” then we must admit only good if we would have the great blessing and the sanction of the Father. He calls us friends if we obey his command. Jesus ever had Principle for his watchword and in that was he at one with the Father, as we are at one by obedience.

Take the opposite of love which is hate. Does it bring peace or harmony? Hatred is a poisonous weed that must be plucked from consciousness. The work is individual. Our text-book teaches that by living in line with the truths of the Bible of which it was the outcome, we reflect and radiate love our God-given heritage.

— “Watch” from Christian Science Journal, November 1895 by M. C. S.

“The Lamp”, from Christian Science Journal, August 1895 by Walter Church

In the 1st chapter of Genesis we are told God created man in His own image. If this be a true statement, then man is the image or likeness of good, the image of Truth, of Life, of Spirit, of perfection. Then all in our thought which is not like good, Truth, Life, Love, Spirit, perfection, is not like man. Turning to the New Testament, we find our Lord telling his followers to be perfect, “as your Father which is in heaven is perfect,” and St. Paul says to the Athenians, “In him [God] we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

Rightly applied, this teaching acts as the most powerful of wedges driven in between man and evil of all sorts, daily separating him from sin, fear, ignorance, devil worship, and from the ill health, sorrow, and poverty which are the outcome of erroneous, inaccurate thought. “With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

— “Words Without Weighing…” from Christian Science Sentinel, November 19, 1910 by E. M. Ramsay

Thoughts shared on the Lesson from readers:

Psalms 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

“God is our refuge and strength.” Not our armies, or our fortresses. Israel’s boast is in Jehovah, the only living and true God. Others vaunt their impregnable castles, placed on inaccessible rocks, and secured with gates of iron, but God is a far better refuge from distress than all these: and when the time comes to carry the war into the enemy’s territories, the Lord stands his people in better stead than all the valour of legions or the boasted strength of chariot and horse. Soldiers of the cross, remember this, and count yourselves safe, and make yourselves strong in God. Forget not the personal possessive word “our;” make sure each one of your portion in God, that you may say, “He is my refuge and strength.” Neither forget the fact that God is our refuge just now, in the immediate present, as truly as when David penned the word. God alone is our all in all. All other refuges are refuges of lies, all other strength is weakness, for power belongeth unto God: but as God is all sufficient, our defence and might are equal to all emergencies.

“A very present help in trouble,” or in distress he has so been found, he has been tried and proved by his people. He never withdraws himself from his afflicted. He is their help, truly, effectually, constantly; he is present or near them, close at their side and ready for their succour, and this is emphasized by the word “very” in our version, he is more present than friend or relative can be, yea, more nearly present than even the trouble itself. To all this comfortable truth is added the consideration that his assistance comes at the needed time. He is not as the swallows that leave us in the winter; he is a friend in need and a friend indeed.

— Spurgeon Blue Letter Bible Commentary

Final Readings

Since my study of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mrs. Eddy, the truth of the Scriptures has been illumined to me. In Psalm 46 : 1, I, find this beautiful promise, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” These words have been very helpful to me, for I begin to see that as God is good, good is our refuge, and that each of us may say “my refuge,” because this refuge is for the rich and the poor, for those who are well and for the afflicted alike, for all nations, at all times, in all places, under every circumstance. This refuge is necessarily unlimited, unchangeable, ever present, and a strong refuge.

According to Webster, refuge means a place of protection or shelter from an enemy. We know we have protection in God, good, from all enemies, evil thoughts or beliefs,—sin, sickness, and death. We learn that this protection is for all; it is as impartial as sunshine on a bright day. Each one may claim the sunshine and have full access to it without depriving his neighbor of any of it.

In Truth’s refuge there is no night, no sorrow, but infinite light, joy, health, wealth, intelligence, peace, the presence of Life, Truth, and Love. Through Christian Science it has dawned upon me that we can now find refuge in God, good; that now we are protected,—”under the shadow of the Almighty,”—free from sickness, sorrow, hate, poverty, malice, and death.

This truth is gloriously expressed in Revelation 21, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

— “Our Refuge” from Christian Science Sentinel, January 6, 1906 by Anna Robinson

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