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Live to the fullest your new freedom with its deathless “super-vision!”
— A Lesson Met on “Probation After Death” for April 21-27, 2003
by Gary Duke, C.S.

Isn’t the belief of death like being in jail; a glimpse of eternal life like being freed from jail but on probation with “super-vision;” and truly understanding there is no death, ascension?

Golden Text: “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14) This is a crucial question to ponder for as Mrs. Eddy says, “The relinquishment of all faith in death and also of the fear of its sting would raise the standard of health and morals far beyond its present elevation, and would enable us to hold the banner of Christianity aloft with unflinching faith in God, in Life eternal.” (S&H 426:23-28)

Resp. Rdg.: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” (Ps. 118:17) What would you begin doing now if you truly understood you were eternal and had the power of God as your source of creativity and action?

Section 1: “‘As the tree falls, so it must lie.’ As man falleth asleep, so shall he awake. As death findeth mortal man, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change.” (S&H 291:21-25) That is why suicide or thinking we’ll die out of a problem is never the answer. “The understanding and recognition of Spirit must finally come, and we may as well improve our time in solving the mysteries of being through an apprehension of divine Principle.” (S&H 90:29)

Section 2: Have you ever noticed how children don’t hold grudges, don’t care how you (or they!) look, and can brighten a room just by entering? “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.” (Mat. 18:2-4) Child-likeness must be our natural expression or Jesus would not have counseled us to recapture those innate qualities. “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.” (S&H 323:32-5)

Section 3: Lazarus was dead for four days before Jesus arrived to raise him. Why did Jesus wait so long? Was he attempting to overcome their false beliefs and more fully prove the power of God? The Jews believed the spirit of man remained with the body three days before leaving. What false beliefs of today can we overcome by daily resurrection? What about suggestions of pleasure in sensuality, the fear of “incurable” disease like the latest SARS virus or beliefs of stress with too much to do in the allotted time? “It is a sin to believe that aught can overpower omnipotent and eternal Life, and this Life must be brought to light by the understanding that there is no death, as well as by other graces of Spirit.” (S&H 428:32-4).

Section 4: “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.” (S&H 46:5-7) Though Jesus ascended two millennia ago, as disciples we too can walk daily with him as we yield to the Christ truth which is always revealing itself to us through prayer, our Pastor, periodicals, Manual and other inspired means.

Section 5: Even after being visited by Jesus twice after his resurrection, the disciples went back to fishing. There’s certainly nothing wrong with fishing, but they were instructed to be “fishers of men,” a higher calling! One night they caught nothing. Then Jesus appeared, “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.” (John 21:6) Similarly, Mrs. Eddy could have quietly remained healing others, never writing Science and Health, never starting a church or ever realizing her many other accomplishments. Instead she was spiritually impelled to go up higher and “cast her net on the right side” which brought about greater blessings for her and the world. Are we listening as modern day disciples and as Mrs. Eddy, to go up higher in our work, pleasure, studies, relationships, aspirations, etc.?

Section 6: Paul states, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Cor. 15:58) If your work is spiritually inspired and continually progressing higher, it has meaning and value and will not be in vain. Stephen and the other disciples understood this in addition to knowing their life was eternal. That is why they could face their hardships, even stoning, fearlessly knowing their salvation was assured. “SALVATION. Life, Truth, and Love understood and demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and death destroyed.”
(S&H 593:20)

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