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An Oasis Awaits You: “Christian Science”

Application ideas for the Bible Lesson subject “Christian Science” for the week of June 21-27, 2004 by Bill Lampmann, C.S. of St. Louis, MO. References are from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy.

 This week’s lesson focuses on the river that went out of Eden to water the garden; and was parted, and became four rivers.  Where the waters of these four rivers flowed there was a virtual oasis or paradise, and where there was no water, desert or wasteland appeared.  These four rivers have been defined in the Glossary of Science and Health, and symbolize necessary keys toward our being Christ-like, morally and ethically, in our thoughts as Christian Scientists. The reader of chapter two in Genesis finds that “the tree of life” and “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” in the midst of the garden are the same tree.  It’s just a matter of how they appear to us in our thinking that makes them different. To be a Christian Scientist is to be a thinker of the highest order. We must more and more realize the immeasurable value and importance of our thoughts since they reveal divine Mind, or the divine Mind expressed. 

 The Golden Text and Responsive Reading establishes a foundation on which thought and action takes place.  Note in the Golden Text it is God who hears our prayers and answers them (Ps. 65: 2, 9).  In the Responsive Reading we can see that by turning thought to the Christ, Truth, our motives are made pure and desires realized.  When we love and obey God with all our heart, the rivers of living water flow freely, telling us what to do and how to do it (John 7:37-38).  What are the elements of Mind, which water symbolizes?  How are they important to us if we are to think rightly and act rightly?  Identify how these elements of Mind are important to our relationship with God?  How do they free us from physical limitations and enable us to discern the truth? Christian Science is our Counselor (Advocate).  Christ, Truth, dwells with you and is in you. Obedience to divine Principle, Love is manifested in thoughts that are creative and inspired (see those citations given from John 14). 

 Section 1: Here the Comforter, our Chief Counselor, Advocate, Christian Science leads us into all truth.  Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.  What are some of the valleys and mountains, crooked and rough places that are made straight through right thinking?  What changes in our thinking do we need to make if we are to realize more and more the infinite possibilities of good that surround us?  What testimonies can you share where thoughts of despair turned to joy-filled moments as a result of turning to your Counselor, divine Science?   God daily gives us fresh opportunities to obey and love his commands.  What are we doing to make sure self-will is being replaced with God’s will, and that we eagerly desire to do His will?

 Section 2: The River Pison which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good.  God is the light of true counseling, Christian Science showing us the right paths to take.  Havilah without water is a land of sand, a desert of primeval emptiness.  The water, however, that compasseth the land symbolizes, The love of good and beautiful, and their immortality, which is the gold of that land.  There is nothing impossible to God seeing he makes the desert bloom.  God truly supplies our need wherever we are.    Remember, real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God.  God gives us His thoughts.  How are we cultivating them in our daily experience?  Do we trust with humility our advocate the Spirit of Truth and Love, Christian Science, to overcome evil and reveal right thoughts to us?  Ask yourself: Am I on the right path?  Am I being humble about what I am doing?  Am I expressing a true sense of Love towards others?  Are my thoughts and actions worthy of the name Christian Science?

 Section 3: The River Gihon which compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.  To think rightly and be on the right path, we must turn thoughts to divine Principle, Love if we are to have right thoughts that can emancipate humanity, and supplant unscientific means and so-called laws.  The story of Elisha reminds us that just because our thoughts and actions may have been right in one moment, that we cannot become so preoccupied with thoughts of self and what we have done, that we overlook new opportunities  to bring a blessing to those we love.  It further shows that spiritual thoughts and deeds can years later be recognized and continue to bless the seekers of Truth. Explore the relationship of adversity and character, famine and faith in this and other biblical stories, to realize how Love as Father-Mother reveals the completeness of man and woman, and fulfills the commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself.

 Section 4: The River Heddekel which goeth toward the east of Assyria.  Recall the Wiseman, who “traversed the night, and came where, in cradled obscurity, lay the Bethlehem babe, the human herald of Christ, Truth.”  As the Wiseman saw the star in the east and followed it, so we need to listen and spiritually understand what God is communicating to us if we are to be rightly directed in our daily experiences.  Heddekel…Divine Science understood and acknowledged.  To see things clearly, we must respect our need for quiet time and to be alone with our thoughts. How have you humbly discerned what God is telling you to do?  In what ways have you felt the presence of God’s love strengthening you?  You cannot be passive in your approach to God.  Real thinking must be within the framework of divine Science if it is to heal and be aware of what is really substantial in our lives.  Science replaces a sense of inactivity with the outpouring of Love’s infinite bounty, and reveals a God at hand.

 Section 5: The River Euphrates which is defined in part as Divine Science encompassing the universe and man; the true idea of God….  This true idea of God must continually give rebirth to our thinking if we are to grasp the divine nature of our being – the city shall be full of boys and girls.  How are we bearing witness to our true selfhood, the Christ idea?  In what ways do you see yourself in the atmosphere of Love? Is that Love shining through you, and governing everything you do?   Let your meta physical be above the physical overcoming any indifferences to the needs and welfare of others.

 Section 6: We have God-given dominion to claim our good now!  Right thoughts demand right action.  It’s our opportunity to be doing good now. If we walk in the path of Love and obey His commandments, we fulfill the vision of the Apocalypse, and realize God’s omnipotence and the healing power of divine Love in what it has done and is doing for mankind.  Let’s constantly acknowledge that good flows from Mind and is the outpouring of divine Love, and that you can today demonstrate this Science by realizing your day is big with blessings because you “possess sovereign power to think and act rightly” (Pul. 3:7).  Are we claiming for ourselves through our daily experiences the real meaning of living and loving as Christian Scientists?  This means thinking rightly through loving one another.

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