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God’s continuous “care package” to you! Your spiritual identity & its expression
A Lesson Sermon Met on the Subject: “Soul and Body”
May 19-25, 2003
by Gary Duke, C.S.

Golden Text (God’s Decrees vs. Man’s Decrees): “Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.” (Ps. 93:5) One translation reads, “Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thine house…” Whereas man’s decrees can be wrong, unjust, even cruel, how comforting it is to know God’s decrees are very sure and understandable, which results in holiness (wholeness) when followed.

Resp. Rdg. (Servant): “O Lord, truly I am thy servant…thou hast loosed my bonds.” (Ps. 116:16) Isn’t it a paradox the only way we become a true master and free from bondage, is by becoming the humblest of servants? Jesus pointed out the way by washing the feet of the disciples and instructing them to do the same for mankind. (John 13)

Section 1 (Definition of Soul): “Soul is the substance, Life, and intelligence of man, which is individualized, but not in matter.” (S&H 477:22-24) Doesn’t this suggest to truly know ourselves and understand our unique individuality (what our gifts are) we must look to God, Soul for our identity and purpose? And if we look to matter (human family, age, circumstance, appearance, world view), “Mortal existence is an enigma.” (S&H 70:1) An enigma is a riddle or mystery which, in the case of mortal existence, can only be solved by Divine Science.

Section 2 (Drinking): Society counsels, “Don’t drink and drive.” The story of King Ahasuerus suggests, “Don’t drink and rule.” Christian Science offers the best solution, “Don’t drink, period!” Mrs. Eddy sums it up with, “The error, which says that Soul is in body, Mind is in matter, and good is in evil, must unsay it and cease from such utterances; else God will continue to be hidden from humanity, and mortals will sin without knowing that they are sinning, will lean on matter instead of Spirit, stumble with lameness, drop with drunkenness, consume with disease, – all because of their blindness, their false sense concerning God and man.”
(S&H 204:30) She also states, “The depraved appetite for alcoholic drinks, tobacco, tea, coffee, opium, is destroyed only by Mind’s mastery of the body. This normal control is gained through divine strength and understanding. There is no enjoyment in getting drunk, in becoming a fool or an object of loathing; but there is a very sharp remembrance of it, a suffering inconceivably terrible to man’s self-respect. (S&H 406:28-3)

Section 3 (Divorce): King Ahasuerus divorced his queen because she wouldn’t parade her beauty before the drunken king and his friends. The Bible counsels, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” (Eph. 5:25,28*) Queen Vashti was spiritually cared for (like all members of a divorced family are) as suggested in this passage, “From the logic of events we learn that selfishness and impurity alone are fleeting, and that wisdom will ultimately put asunder what she hath not joined together.” (S&H 60:12)
*Editor’s Note: For centuries women have suffered from prideful patriarchal attitudes and chauvinistic decrees like those in Eph. 5:22-24 that are falsely attributed to Paul. (See his praise of women church leadership in Romans 16) Here’s an early Christian “baptismal formula” to combat all divisiveness and sexist attitudes: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28) Demonstrating our oneness in Christ, Mary Baker Eddy overcame vehement resistance against her role as a female church founder and leader. Email for more on these subjects from his April 2003 talk to The Society of Biblical Literature about attempts to silence both Mrs. Eddy and the women preachers and healers of primitive Christianity.

Section 4 (Health): “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Ps. 42:11) We get discouraged when looking to the body for health and identity when we should be acknowledging God not only as our physician, but also as the very essence of our health. “Sooner or later we shall learn that the fetters of man’s finite capacity are forged by the illusion that he lives in body instead of in Soul, in matter instead of in Spirit.” (S&H 223:3)

Section 5 (“Difficult” Cases): The disciples couldn’t heal an epileptic child about which Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Jesus never spoke of disease as dangerous or as difficult to heal. When his students brought to him a case they had failed to heal, he said to them, ‘O faithless generation,’ implying that the requisite power to heal was in Mind. He prescribed no drugs, urged no obedience to material laws, but acted in direct disobedience to them. Neither anatomy nor theology has ever described man as created by Spirit, – as God’s man.” (S&H 147:32-8) Matthew 17 includes another version of the same story which concludes with, “Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, ‘Why could not we cast him out?’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.'” What a divine covenant! Didn’t Jesus say nothing is impossible and all it takes is a tiny grain of faith, even the size of a mustard seed, to remove the mountains of sin (sensualism, terrorism, even belief in lack of time…), sickness (SARS, cancer…), and death (discouragement, hopelessness, the sense of giving up…)?

Section 6 (Inseparability of God and Man ~ No Such Thing as Spiritual Divorce): It’s never too late to restore a sense of true identity which brings about healing. “He restoreth my soul: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Ps. 23: 3,4,6) Mrs. Eddy states, “If Life or Soul and its representative, man, unite for a period and then are separated as by a law of divorce to be brought together again at some uncertain future time and in a manner unknown, – and this is the general religious opinion of mankind, – we are left without a rational proof of immortality. But man cannot be separated for an instant from God, if man reflects God. Thus Science proves man’s existence to be intact.” (S&H 306:13) This explanation is helpful not only to our understanding of eternal life, but also to our ability to heal after the so-called “fact” of accidents, sickness and sin. Our recognition of inseparability from God can be retroactive, annulling any prior false claim or belief thereby reflecting Soul, the one Ego, which results in healing.

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