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Ken Cooper’s “POETIC POSTLUDE” shares Bible EXAMPLES that fulfil & bear witness to God’s grace and our perfection.
inspired by The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

 “Sacrament

for July 10, 2022


  • Ken’s YouTube poem, “The Woman of Samaria”, read by Sue, shows the grace of God in action.
  • In “Martha, Martha” we see the clash of what needs to be done from a material / spiritual point of view. Don’t we all have “to do” lists?
  • Ken’s monologue “Peter’s Repentance” gives a direct sharing of all that Peter had been through. Three times Jesus had found the disciples asleep …Peter was to deny him three times, … He went back to his old ways of fishing,

[Ken writes:] “The definitions of “grace” in Webster’s 1838 Dictionary are a source of inspiration, and can be applied to each of the sections of this week’s lesson. In particular the opening comment was illuminating, for grace comes from the Latin  gracia, meaning free, ready, quick, willing , prompt.  The word “Instinctive” comes to mind. What a lovely thought, a reminder of “I AM THAT I AM!”

Webster goes on to share these further definitions:

  1. Favour, goodwill, kindness, disposition to oblige another
  2. The free unmerited love and favour of God
  3. The favourable influence of God, renewing the heart and restraining from sin
  4. The application of Christ’s righteousness
  5. The state of reconciliation to God
  6. Beauty and embellishment

And further gives the meaning of the verb as “to embellish and dignify”. Mrs Eddy defines grace as “expressed in patience, meekness, love and good deeds (see Science & Health citation S3, p. 4:4-5, my underlining)

It made me think that SACRAMENT IS THE FULFILLMENT AND WITNESS OF GOD’S GRACE.

The Golden Text this week sets out the fundamental importance of grace in our lives:

“I do not set aside the powerful grace of God, for my life is governed by this grace” and the verse continues “and not by the cold letter of the law. If it were, Jesus died for nothing. We must live with and in his universal grace.”

THE POEMS THIS WEEK EACH HAVE THEIR LINK TO THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING AND THUS EXPRESSING GOD’S GRACE, – it is a quality that runs through the Bible, – for example “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. ¶ These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:8, 9). When we walk in the grace of God we find our perfection. What an important quality! It is inseparable from Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle. Linked in with last week’s lesson, grace can be considered as a law of God, revealing the active perfection of man and woman.

“The Woman of Samaria”, read by Sue, shows the grace of God in action. Against all the standards of the time, Jesus addressed a Samaritan woman, indeed also one of ill-repute. But looking at the definitions of grace above, each of these was in evidence. Jesus’s words and outreach of love transformed this woman.

“He speaks of God and worship true,
A spiritual start to all we do.
God not confined to single place,
Embracing all as face to face.”

The confirmation that Jesus was the Christ reached in to her heart, and swept her immoral and material past away:

“Touched by the Christ I’m now reborn.
New freedom with my past forlorn!
I leave the waterpot* behind,
Run to my home, – my friends to find!
I tell them all about this man:
My heart full-singing now it can!!

* prejudice, the old way of life, mortal thirst and expectation.”

When we live in grace, the past is gone, no more. What freedom that represents! In grace is freedom for everyone:

“The living water just o’erflows:
In Christ the flood of Life just glows!”

The story so well illustrates citation S5, p12:31 “In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as “a very present help in trouble.” Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” It does not matter what we may have done, how we may have previously identified ourselves, for the Christ sees only the NOW of grace and perfection, and the receptive heart is so blessed. Responding to her new found grace, the men she spoke to were able to respond, and they too found the Christ. What a lesson for the Jewish disciples!

In “Martha, Martha” we see the clash of what needs to be done from a material / spiritual point of view. Don’t we all have “to do” lists? Certainly when I was a partner in business, this is how my day at work would start. But my day had in fact started at home in reading the lesson.

“I’ll just do this before I sit down.
It won’t take long. Oh please do not frown!
It needs to be done; it’s plain to see.
Mary won’t do it. Has to be me!”

This wasn’t demonstrating freedom!  Grace does not blame! And how tempting it may be in blaming another to emphasise the work one is therefore having to do in compensation! Mary Baker Eddy writes in the text book, p. 242:15 “In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error, — self-will, self-justification, and self-love, — which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death.” This is exactly what Jesus did, and the universal solvent of Love, the action of grace, reached out to  her:
“Martha, my friend, the choice is with thee!
Mary has chosen eternity.””

Mary and Martha became close friends of Jesus. And it was to Martha that Jesus acknowledged that he was the resurrection and the life, to which Martha replied “…Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” (John 11: 27 Yea). The grace of eternity touched them all.

While Sacrament is for many the specific eating bread and drinking wine, for us it is the spiritual meaning that has significance, and this is exemplified in the experience of Peter.  The monologue “Peter’s Repentance” gives a direct sharing of all that Peter had been through. Three times Jesus had found the disciples asleep while he prayed for understanding and strength, to put God first. In this he was successful. Peter was to deny him three times, and despite seeing Jesus after the resurrection, still doubted what it all really meant. He went back to his old ways of fishing, a bit like Martha finding rationale in routine. But the call of the Master awakened him once more, and was to change him for good! – He dived off the boat-

“Powerful strokes gave the lie to previous weariness.
I reached the shore, stumbled through the dragging water,
Dripping joyously as I ran to him.
He was sat calmly by a fire of coals, with fish and bread.
“Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.”

With what grace must Jesus have spoken. No recrimination , – just the affluence of Love, knowing the power of Love would fulfill the sacrament that Peter was about to promise. GRACE BRINGS ITS OWN SUPPLY.

“Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.”
“Feed my sheep.”

 His final command confirms his forgiveness and re-establishes the purpose and rock of my being, the selfless demand to love God and not self, before which we all must bow. And in that true repentance of thought, changed wholeheartedly from self to God, I know I can never again go back. A new and deep awareness fills my being. Words are easy. I must now reach out and prove my love for Jesus by my love for others. No more denial, but stronger, so much stronger, the affirmation of God-based action!

My love for Jesus was to be shown in my love for others. “Feed My Sheep”
I looked at Jesus and he read my thoughts “I give you my oath, I will”.

 We too can share with Peter the commitment to grow in grace, – and look what he achieved!

 GRACE IN ACTION, BLESSING ALL, INCLUDES OURSELVES, AND SHOWS OUR PERFECTION!

 The last citation gives to us all the natural impetus of fulfilment. “The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love” (citation S27, 494:15 only)

 

GROW WITH GRACE and GO WITH LOVE!


 [Ken:] Copies of my poems are available in pdf format in color and B&W as DOWNLOADS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ONLINE VERSION OF THIS POETIC POSTLUDE to this week’s Bible Lesson.  The full range of Ken’s videos on YouTube can be found on KenGCooperPoetry.  All Ken’s poetry and other writings can be found on Ken Cooper Poetry.

A FREE copy of my combined translations is available on an excel spreadsheet for those who may be interested. They have been collated over several years from BibleGateway translations, taking the best from the many translations provided, and taking further inspiration from Christian Science in their compilation. They cover over a thousand key Bible verses, taken from both the BibleGateway verses for the day, and from the Weekly lessons. Reading all verses from any one book is insightful and motivating.  The spreadsheet also includes a genealogy from Adam to Jesus as I have set out, with related notes. Shared with love.

Write to Ken on kengcooper@btinternet.com.

 

 

 

 

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