Message to the Association for November 2013
Published on: 3 November 2013

Dear Fellow Students

What a joy it was to all meet together on Association Day a few weeks ago.  Thank you for all your notes of thanks and appreciation.  I was so grateful for all the love and inspiration you each brought to the day to make it such a special time.

I know that we can all “obtain and retain” the good that flowed in that day.  The way to retain it is to put it into practice, and then it is not a theory or a nice idea, but practical divine Science that can be applied and lived every moment, and that brings about healing. 

 What in life is everlasting?

 As you know, the title of this last week's lesson is "EVERLASTING Punishment", but we have the counter fact to this in the Golden Text and the first line of the Responsive Reading and throughout the whole lesson:  

"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the EVERLASTING arms."

"The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, "Yea, I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING love."

 "The Lord is good; His mercy is EVERLASTING." 

 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from EVERLASTING and to EVERLASTING."

 "Thy kingdom is an EVERLASTING kingdom." 

 

And Jesus words to the woman at the well: "the water that I shall give you shall be in you a well of water springing up into EVERLASTING life." 

 So we can rejoice that we are not having everlasting problems and everlasting difficulties, – we are experiencing everlasting LOVE that is embracing us in its everlasting arms; we are living in an everlasting kingdom of Love, and expressing everlasting Life – from everlasting to everlasting.   That surely, is enough to eliminate any beliefs of an everlasting punishment!

 Assignment (2013-2014):  Reading Science and Health

You might be interested in the following two extracts from letters that our Leader wrote about her Textbook.  They could be letters that were written to each one of us as students of her book, from our Leader;

“If you study Science and Health and hold to its teachings you need no other instructor save the standard, our Bible. God and these Books are your safe teachers. His dear Love should guide you, and dear one, it will if you trust in it.” (MBE to E. Blanche Ward, L05596) 

“I address you as my student because you study the little Book that our Heavenly Father has written through me for you and for all mankind… your gift to me of my last revised SCIENCE AND HEALTH saved from the fire that consumed all around it, but kindled not on its sacred pages, is a gift dearer to me than aught else this earth contains.” (L02570 – written to James B. Harrington, who must be the Christian Scientist who saved the Science and Health from the fire noted on page 178 of Miscellany.)

Last night I was reading some of the 70 pages of letters from those healed by reading the Textbook in Miscellaneous Writing, starting on page 401.  They are wonderful, and show so clearly the power of the Truth contained in the book. (They are very similar to the healings recorded in “Fruitage” in the Textbook.”)  Do take a moment to browse through some of them!

Perhaps my favourite testimony in “Fruitage” starts on page 667 and is entitled “Born Again.”

“It was in April, 1904, that I first heard the "still,
small voice" of the Christ and received healing through
Christian Science; and the blessings have been so
many since, that it would take too much space to
name them. Reared from childhood in an intellectual
atmosphere, my paternal grandfather having been an
orthodox minister of the old school for forty years,
and my father a deep student, ever seeking for the
truth of all things, I began early to ponder and to
study into the meaning of life, and came to the con‐
clusion before I was twenty that though God probably
existed in some remote place, still it was impossible to
connect Him with my present living. My highest
creed, therefore, became, "Do right because it is right
and not for fear of being punished." Then began the
suffering. Sorrow after sorrow followed each other
in rapid succession; for ten long years there was no
rest, the road was indeed long and hard and had no
turning, until finally the one thing that had stood by
me all through the trials, namely, my health, gave
way, and with that went my last hope. But the last
hour of the night had come, the dawn of day was at
hand; a dear friend left Science and Health upon my
piano one day, saying that I would gain much good by
reading it.
Glad to get away from my own poor thoughts, I
opened the "little book" and began to read. I had
read only a short time when such a wonderful trans‐
formation took place! I was renewed; born again.
Mere words cannot tell the story of the mighty up‐
lifting that carried me to the very gates of heaven.
When I began to read the book, life was a burden, but
before I had finished reading it the first time, I was doing
all my housework and doing it easily; and since that
glorious day I have been a well woman. My health
is splendid, and I am striving to let my light so shine
that others may be led to the truth. There have been
some mighty struggles with error, and I have learned
that we cannot reach heaven with one long stride or
easily drift inside the gate, but that the "asking" and
the "seeking" and the "knocking" must be earnest and
persistent.
For a long time I was always looking back to see if
the error had gone, until one day when I realized
that to catch a glimpse of what spiritual sense means
I must put corporeal sense behind me. I then set to
work in earnest to find the true way. I opened
Science and Health and these words were before me,
"If God were understood, instead of being merely be‐
lieved, this understanding would establish health" (p. 203).
I saw that I must get the right understanding of God!
I closed the book and with head bowed in prayer I
waited with longing intensity for some answer. How
long I waited I do not know, but suddenly, like a won‐
derful burst of sunlight after a storm, came clearly
this thought, "Be still, and know that I am God." I
held my breath — deep into my hungering thought
sank the infinite meaning of that "I." All self‐
conceit, egotism, selfishness, everything that constitutes
the mortal "I," sank abashed out of sight. I trod, as
it were, on holy ground. Words are inadequate to con‐
vey the fulness of that spiritual uplifting, but others
who have had similar experiences will understand.
From that hour I have had an intelligent consciousness
of the ever-presence of an infinite God who is only good.
— C. B. G., Hudson, Mass.

There is so much in this testimony to show us how to approach reading the Textbook.  The last part of the testimony (From 669:4) shows that the book has to be “opened”, read, and then “closed”. Then, with “head bowed in prayer”, “wait with longing intensity for an answer” – and the answer WILL come, and bring with it a “spiritual uplifting”, and “an intelligent consciousness of the ever-presence of an infinite God who is only good.”

May your daily study of the Textbook bring you unending inspiration and healing this year.  Your study of this book, together with the Bible is the most important activity of your day! 

With very special love, fellow readers.

 

  Jill

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