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Ken Cooper’s “POETIC PRELUDE” for the
Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on “Probation After Death” for 10-24-2021
In the monologue The Magdalene’s Resurrection” we experience with Mary her anguish, being with Jesus at his crucifixion… His call “Mary” and her answer “Master” is one of the most moving and significant in the Bible.

We also have the story of “Doubting Thomas”, and in this monologue we share with Thomas his experiences of three years with Jesus, his witness of many miracles and healings, yet his doubts remained.


[Ken:] “Throughout recent lessons one key theme has been and still is the presence and reality of the kingdom of heaven, which Mrs Eddy defines thus: “KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.” (S&H p. 590:1). In this week’s lesson we see in the story of Jesus the culmination of man’s progress to the kingdom of heaven,  we see the proof of his spiritual being. Jesus is rightly called the Way-shower to the kingdom of heaven, making the point that it is here at hand.

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me”. (John 14:6).This is the promise and expectation of following his example. Jesus also commanded: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”.  This is the purpose of both probation and progress, for the two are inseparable and ongoing. Paradoxically, when we acknowledge present perfection, we make the most progress!

Mary Baker Eddy writes “Trials are proof of God’s care”. (S&H 66:10) God doesn’t set the trials. His Love lifts us out of them, and our greater understanding reveals more of His infinite kingdom. Jesus showed us the Way, and in this week’s lesson we have the moving accounts of The Magdalene and of Thomas the disciple, both showing different sides of Jesus’ love.

In the monologue “The Magdalene’s Resurrection” we experience with Mary her anguish, being with Jesus at his crucifixion, caught in the belief of physicality and death. On the Sabbath day she came to the sepulchre, seeking his body. The identical questions “Woman, why weepest thou?” from the angels and then from Jesus indicate a progression of thought, from her sense of loss to the clear rhetorical question of Jesus that there was no reason to weep. His call “Mary” and her answer “Master” is one of the most moving and significant in the Bible. (Bible citation 3). She understood the coming fruition of his mission. Her joy is shared with us, for she runs to tell the disciples the good news! We can also feel that same enthusiasm, the joy of knowing “progress is the law of God”. (SH p. 233:6). We are all part of that progress, because the kingdom is here and within. Her life was changed.

We also have the story of “Doubting Thomas”, and in this monologue we share with Thomas his experiences of three years with Jesus, his witness of many miracles and healings, yet his doubts remained. He needed physical evidence to believe in the resurrection. Jesus was clear in his remarks: … “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (B Cit 5 John 20:29 Thomas). We see in his story what we may well see in ourselves. When Mary Baker Eddy refers to “intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality.” (SH p. 298:14–15): whatever stage we are in this progress, we have the truth that reality is always now.  Thomas was trapped in the belief of mortal man, — this was his level of understanding at that point. And it is only mortal man that has doubts and fears, and in the absolute it is because mortal man has nothing to look forward to, indeed he starts from nothing, and has nothing. Our probation “after death” is the awakening from this dead error dream. This was the challenge for Thomas and it was not easy for him. Despite all the evidence he had directly witnessed, the implications of their reality were too vast. He had glimpsed the kingdom of heaven at hand, as had the other disciples, but in this monologue still asks the daunting question  But, am I brave enough, confident enough, to go in?” (to the waiting kingdom of heaven). Are we prepared to make it our reality? He said yes, and his life was changed.

It is so encouraging to know that despite the name “Doubting Thomas” he achieved great things, – his missionary work to India established some seven churches. We can see that probation after death is the progress we make as we progressively see the death of mortality. Whatever exists can be found. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

This is the beauty of the message of probation after death, — that despite all the doubts they are only the doubts of mortal man. Our inseparability from God never changes. It is forever. Reality is now. Immortal man is our reality, and it is doubtless with God.

Our probation is our guaranteed progress: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11). This is what Jesus proved.

Copies of the poems are available in pdf format in color and B&W as DOWNLOADS at the top right of the online version of this Poetic Prelude to this week’s Bible Lesson as well as of CedarS online Met this week.  (Audio of the Met yet to be added with the email then following soon.) The full range of Ken’s videos can be found on KenGCooperPoetry.  Ken’s email is kengcooper@btinternet.com.

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