Christian Science Bible Lesson
Original date: January 11, 1920
Current date: January 13, 2019
Audio version – please click here
Golden Text: Romans 14:17. The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Responsive Reading: — Luke 22:1, 14-20, 25-27.
1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.
14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:
18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
The following Citations comprise our Sermon.
The Holy Bible
King James Version
(1) John 6:32, 51, 57
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
(2) I Cor 2:12, 13
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(3) I Cor 12:12, 13
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
(4) I Cor 5:7, 8
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,
by Mary Baker Eddy
We worship spiritually, only as we cease to worship materially. Spiritual devoutness is the soul of Christianity. Worshipping through the medium of matter is paganism. Judaic and other rituals are but types and shadows of true worship. “The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.”
The true sense is spiritually lost, if the sacrament is confined to the use of bread and wine. The disciples had eaten, yet Jesus prayed and gave them bread.
(3) 33:3-10, 18
His followers, sorrowful and silent, anticipating the hour of their Master’s betrayal, partook of the heavenly manna, which of old had fed in the wilderness the persecuted followers of Truth. Their bread indeed came down from heaven. It was the great truth of spiritual being, healing the sick and casting out error. Their Master had explained it all before, and now this bread was feeding and sustaining them. When the human element in him struggled with the divine, our great Teacher said: “Not my will, but Thine, be done!” — that is, Let not the flesh, but the Spirit, be represented in me. This is the new understanding of spiritual Love. It gives all for Christ, or Truth. It blesses its enemies, heals the sick, casts out error, raises the dead from trespasses and sins, and preaches the gospel to the poor, the meek in heart.
The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built. His sublime summary points to the religion of Love. Jesus established in the Christian era the precedent for all Christianity, theology, and healing. Christians are under as direct orders now, as they were then, to be Christlike, to possess the Christ-spirit, to follow the Christ-example, and to heal the sick as well as the sinning.
(5) I Pet 1:13, 18-23
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
(6) I Pet 2:1-5
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
In the walk to Emmaus, Jesus was known to his friends by the words, which made their hearts burn within them, and by the breaking of bread. The divine Spirit, which identified Jesus thus centuries ago, has spoken through the inspired Word and will speak through it in every age and clime. It is revealed to the receptive heart, and is again seen casting out evil and healing the sick.
(6) 40:25-28, 31-10
Our heavenly Father, divine Love, demands that all men should follow the example of our Master and his apostles and not merely worship his personality. The nature of Christianity is peaceful and blessed, but in order to enter into the kingdom, the anchor of hope must be cast beyond the veil of matter into the Shekinah into which Jesus has passed before us; and this advance beyond matter must come through the joys and triumphs of the righteous as well as through their sorrows and afflictions. Like our Master, we must depart from material sense into the spiritual sense of being. The God-inspired walk calmly on though it be with bleeding footprints, and in the hereafter they will reap what they now sow.
Remembering the sweat of agony which fell in holy benediction on the grass of Gethsemane, shall the humblest or mightiest disciple murmur when he drinks from the same cup, and think, or even wish, to escape the exalting ordeal of sin’s revenge on its destroyer?
A Christian Scientist occupies the place at this period of which Jesus spoke to his disciples, when he said: “Ye are the salt of the earth.” “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Let us watch, work, and pray that this salt lose not its saltness, and that this light be not hid, but radiate and glow into noontide glory.
(7) Isa 55:6
Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
(8) Job 22:26, 27
For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.
(9) Phil 4:6, 7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love.
(10) 4:12, 27-30
The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer. Its motives are made manifest in the blessings they bring, — blessings which, even if not acknowledged in audible words, attest our worthiness to be partakers of Love. Audible prayer can never do the works of spiritual understanding, which regenerates; but silent prayer, watchfulness, and devout obedience enable us to follow Jesus’ example.
In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God’s allness. We must resolve to take up the cross, and go forth with honest hearts to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. We must “pray without ceasing.” Such prayer is answered, in so far as we put our desires into practice. The Master’s injunction is, that we pray in secret and let our lives attest our sincerity.
Christians do not continue to labor and pray, expecting because of another’s goodness, suffering, and triumph, that they shall reach his harmony and reward. If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy.
(10) Prov 20:9, 11
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
(11) Job 8:5-7
If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty; If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
(12) Mark 10:35-40
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.
The illuminations of Science give us a sense of the nothingness of error, and they show the spiritual inspiration of Love and Truth to be the only fit preparation for admission to the presence and power of the Most High.
(14) 323:6, 28
Through the wholesome chastisements of Love, we are helped onward in the march towards righteousness, peace, and purity, which are the landmarks of Science. Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause, — wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory. The effects of Christian Science are not so much seen as felt. It is the “still, small voice” of Truth uttering itself. We are either turning away from this utterance, or we are listening to it and going up higher. Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, — this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony. The purification of sense and self is a proof of progress. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
Jesus urged the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” which may be rendered: Thou shalt have no belief of Life as mortal; thou shalt not know evil, for there is one Life, — even God, good. He rendered “unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”
(16) 31:17-22 (to 1st .)
Obeying his precious precepts, — following his demonstration so far as we apprehend it, — we drink of his cup, partake of his bread, are baptized with his purity; and at last we shall rest, sit down with him, in a full understanding of the divine Principle which triumphs over death.
(13) Heb 10:16-24
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
The finger-posts of divine Science show the way our Master trod, and require of Christians the proof which he gave, instead of mere profession.
If Christ, Truth, has come to us in demonstration, no other commemoration is requisite, for demonstration is Immanuel, or God with us; and if a friend be with us, why need we memorials of that friend? If all who ever partook of the sacrament had really commemorated the sufferings of Jesus and drunk of his cup, they would have revolutionized the world. If all who seek his commemoration through material symbols will take up the cross, heal the sick, cast out evils, and preach Christ, or Truth, to the poor, — the receptive thought, — they will bring in the millennium.
A musician demonstrates the beauty of the music he teaches in order to show the learner the way by practice as well as precept. Jesus’ teaching and practice of Truth involved such a sacrifice as makes us admit its Principle to be Love. This was the precious import of our Master’s sinless career and of his demonstration of power over death. He proved by his deeds that Christian Science destroys sickness, sin, and death.
The magnitude of Jesus’ work, his material disappearance before their eyes and his reappearance, all enabled the disciples to understand what Jesus had said. Heretofore they had only believed; now they understood. The advent of this understanding is what is meant by the descent of the Holy Ghost, — that influx of divine Science which so illuminated the Pentecostal Day and is now repeating its ancient history.
(14) John 21:4-6, 9, 12, 13, 15-17
But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
(21) 34:29-29 np
What a contrast between our Lord’s last supper and his last spiritual breakfast with his disciples in the bright morning hours at the joyful meeting on the shore of the Galilean Sea! His gloom had passed into glory, and his disciples’ grief into repentance, — hearts chastened and pride rebuked. Convinced of the fruitlessness of their toil in the dark and wakened by their Master’s voice, they changed their methods, turned away from material things, and cast their net on the right side. Discerning Christ, Truth, anew on the shore of time, they were enabled to rise somewhat from mortal sensuousness, or the burial of mind in matter, into newness of life as Spirit. This spiritual meeting with our Lord in the dawn of a new light is the morning meal which Christian Scientists commemorate. They bow before Christ, Truth, to receive more of his reappearing and silently to commune with the divine Principle, Love. They celebrate their Lord’s victory over death, his probation in the flesh after death, its exemplification of human probation, and his spiritual and final ascension above matter, or the flesh, when he rose out of material sight. Our baptism is a purification from all error. Our church is built on the divine Principle, Love. We can unite with this church only as we are new-born of Spirit, as we reach the Life which is Truth and the Truth which is Life by bringing forth the fruits of Love, — casting out error and healing the sick. Our Eucharist is spiritual communion with the one God. Our bread, “which cometh down from heaven,” is Truth. Our cup is the cross. Our wine the inspiration of Love, the draught our Master drank and commended to his followers.