First Church of Christ, Scientist, State College
(Christian Science)

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

 

Topic: Be Silent in Humility

 

Readings from the Bible:

 

1. James 4:6 God, 7 (to 1st .), 8 (to 1st .), 10

... God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. ...

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. ...

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

2. II Chron. 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

3. Prov. 29:23

A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

4. Matt. 18:1-4

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5. Matt. 20:20-28

¶ Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

6. Luke 7:36-47, 50

¶ And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ...

And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

7. Luke 18:9-14

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

8. Matt. 5:5

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

9. I Pet. 5:6

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Readings from Science and Health:

1. SH 2:8

God is not moved by the breath of praise to do more than He has already done, nor can the infinite do less than bestow all good, since He is unchanging wisdom and Love. We can do more for ourselves by humble fervent petitions, but the All-

loving does not grant them simply on the ground of lip-service, for He already knows all.

2. SH 8:10-18

If a man, though apparently fervent and prayerful, is impure and therefore insincere, what must be the comment upon him? If he reached the loftiness of his prayer, there would be no occasion for comment. If we feel the aspiration, humility, gratitude, and love which our words express, - this God accepts; and it is wise not to try to deceive ourselves or others, for "there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed."

3. SH 4:3-9

What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds. To keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has done.

4. SH 362:1-7

IT is related in the seventh chapter of Luke's Gospel that Jesus was once the honored guest of a certain Pharisee, by name Simon, though he was quite unlike Simon the disciple. While they were at meat, an unusual incident occurred, as if to interrupt the scene of Oriental festivity. A "strange woman" came in.

5. SH 363:1-31

She bore an alabaster jar containing costly and fragrant oil, - sandal oil perhaps, which is in such common use in the East. Breaking the sealed jar, she perfumed Jesus' feet with the oil, wiping them with her long hair, which hung loosely about her shoulders, as was customary with women of her grade.

Did Jesus spurn the woman? Did he repel her adoration? No! He regarded her compassionately. Nor was this all. Knowing what those around him were saying in their hearts, especially his host, - that they were wondering why, being a prophet,

the exalted guest did not at once detect the woman's immoral status and bid her depart, - knowing this, Jesus rebuked them with a short story or parable. He described two debtors, one for a large sum and one for a smaller, who were released from their obligations by their common creditor. "Which of them will love him most?" was the Master's question to Simon the Pharisee; and Simon replied, "He to whom he forgave most." Jesus approved the answer, and so brought home the lesson to all, following it with that remarkable declaration to the woman, "Thy sins are forgiven."

Why did he thus summarize her debt to divine Love? Had she repented and reformed, and did his insight detect this unspoken moral uprising? She bathed his feet with her tears before she anointed them with the oil. In the absence of other proofs, was her grief sufficient evidence to warrant the expectation of her repentance, reformation, and growth in wisdom?

6. SH 364:8-12

Which was the higher tribute to such ineffable affection, the hospitality of the Pharisee or the contrition of the Magdalen? This query Jesus answered by rebuking self-righteousness and declaring the absolution of the penitent.

7. SH 228:27

The humble Nazarene overthrew the supposition that sin, sickness, and death have power. He proved them powerless. It should have humbled the pride of the priests, when they saw the demonstration of Christianity excel the influence of their dead faith and ceremonies.

8. SH 270:22-24

The pride of priesthood is the prince of this world. It has nothing in Christ. Meekness and charity have divine authority.

9. SH 448:2-5

Blindness and self-righteousness cling fast to iniquity. When the Publican's wail went out to the great heart of Love, it won his humble desire.

10. SH 272:3-5

The spiritual sense of truth must be gained before Truth can be understood. This sense is assimilated only as we are honest, unselfish, loving, and meek.

11. SH 343:21

It would sometimes seem as if truth were rejected because meekness and spirituality are the conditions of its acceptance, while Christendom generally demands so much less.

12. SH 30:30

We cannot choose for ourselves, but must work out our salvation in the way Jesus taught. In meekness and might, he was found preaching the gospel to the poor. Pride and fear are unfit to bear the standard of Truth, and God will never place it in such hands.

13. SH 31:12-17, 25-28

First in the list of Christian duties, he taught his followers the healing power of Truth and Love. He attached no importance to dead ceremonies. It is the living Christ, the practical Truth, which makes Jesus "the resurrection and the life" to all who follow him in deed. ...

Referring to the materiality of the age, Jesus said: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth."

14. SH 33:18

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.

15. SH 367:10

This is what is meant by seeking Truth, Christ, not "for the loaves and fishes," nor, like the Pharisee, with the arrogance of rank and display of scholarship, but like Mary Magdalene, from the summit of devout consecration, with the oil of gladness and the perfume of gratitude, with tears of repentance and with those hairs all numbered by the Father.

Hymns: 151, 216, 359

 

 

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