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Thought for the Week - click here for last week's message 

LIFE   

The key to this lesson is in this passage from the book of Acts:  “”For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (17:28)   It is noteworthy that the books of Luke-Acts are attributed to a single author and are two parts of a continuous work.  Luke is believed to have been a physician and he focuses attention on Jesus’ healing and cure of the sick.  It was important to the writer as well as it is to us to comprehend God as the source of all life and health.  The first chapter focuses on the account in Exodus of the name by which God identifies himself to Moses:  “I AM THAT I AM”.  

In other words, God is Life itself , and Mary Baker Eddy thus summarizes this truth:  “Life is the everlasting I AM, the Being who was and is and shall be, whom nothing can erase.”  She adds:  “If Life is God, as the Scripture imply, then Life is not embryonic, it is infinite.” Her conclusion is that “…man and the spiritual universe coexist with God.”  (S&H 289:32 and 267:10-12)  

 Centuries earlier, the Psalmist declared:  “The Lord is my light and my salvation;  whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life;  of whom shall I be afraid?…I  had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Ps. 27:1, 13) The lesson includes the account in Exodus, Chapter 14, of Moses leading the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. 

When the Egyptians pursued the fleeing slaves, God made the sea dry land and the Israelites walked through its midst into safety.  Mrs. Eddy comments:  “As the children of Israel were guided triumphantly through the Red Sea…as they were led through the wilderness, walking wearily through the great desert of human hopes…so shall the spiritual idea guide all right desires in their passage from sense to Soul, from a material sense of existence to the spiritual, up to the glory prepared for them who love God.” (S&H 566:1)  

The lesson reminds us that God not only led the Israelites to safety but fed and preserved them for 40 years until they arrived at “the land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness;”  and “shalt not lack any thing in it;” (Deuteronomy 8:2-4, 7 and 9) The lesson emphasizes that Life is God—infinite, not finite, and that God and man in His likeness are “inseparable, harmonious, and eternal.”  (S&H 76:6-10 and 366:25-26)  

A portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is included in which he emphasizes the danger of being angry with or condemning of our fellow man and the necessity of being reconciled to our “brother” before we can bring to the altar of God any gift.  (See Matthew Chapter 5)   Mrs. Eddy points out that Jesus presented the “divine law of Love, which blesses even those that curse it.” (S&H 30:14-21)  

She writes:  “The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship.” (S&H 316:3-7)   It should be obvious that when we understand all to have one Mind, one God and Father, “war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established.”  (S&H 467:-13)  Included in Section 5 is the account of Jesus’ disciples bringing to him a woman taken in adultery. 

Moses had commanded one who committed such an offense to be stoned,  but Jesus’ response to his followers was:  “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”  Convicted by their own conscience, the disciples left.  Jesus’ then said to the woman:  “Neither do I condemn thee:  go, and sin no more.”  (John, Chapter 8)   If we wish to follow Christ, we too must “become more familiar with good than with evil” and most guard against false beliefs—controlling “evil thoughts and aims” which, Mrs. Eddy can “do no more harm that one’s belief permits.” 

She insists that virtue and truth will build a “strong defense” against any “evil thoughts, lusts, or malicious purposes.”  (S&H 234:26-3)   She writes: “when we learn that Life is God, then we’ll prove that “…evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or divine economy.” (S&H 327:17) 

The account in Matthew 17 of Jesus’ transfiguration when the disciples heard God’s voice declaring:  “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” is also included, and is true of each of us when we gain “the spiritual understanding of Life and Love” which is “a foretaste of eternity.” (S&H 598:23)   

Jamae van Eck