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Ken Cooper’s “POETIC POSTLUDE” shares Poetry and selected “Combined Bible Translations” relating to this week’s Bible stories
as inspired by The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for Sunday, May 21, 2023

  • Click “THE SHUNAMITE: IT IS WELL”to hear and see Ken’s poem, read by Sue, on You Tube […the presence of God filled my heart. ]
  • Click “THE WITHERED HAND RESTORED” to hear and see Ken’s poem, on You Tube [“Stretch forth thine hand.” I said I was a witness. But how can you own up to seeing the impossible.] …  DO DWELL IN PERFECT LOVE as I reflect Thy will.]

 As “Man is the expression of Soul” (citation S2; 477:26) he is always resident in the kingdom of heaven, and living in constant harmony, for he is also therefore necessarily “governed by Soul”, (cit. S28; 273:18 only) with every thought in complete obedience to God. There is no other kingdom, and this is recognised by the Golden Text:Lord, You have been our home throughout all time, our refuge and place of sanctuary.”
With the kingdom of heaven (infinity) as our home the words of Isaiah in Section 2 ring so true: “Clear out more ground for your tents so they can spread far out, yielding more space than you think you need! Think big! BE REALLY EXPECTANT OF GOOD! Don’t hold back, lengthen all the cords, strengthen the stakes, and drive them deep and secure.”  This expectancy is fundamental to the practice of Christian Science. What a place to live! Thought ranges unlimited, unrestrained, in perfect harmony with I AM, as the expression of I AM.

In the story of the Shunammite (“THE SHUNAMITE: IT IS WELL”) we see the unfoldment of the perfect dwelling place, — for everyone concerned. And why not! Everyone was blessed. What God gives is never taken away: “IT IS WELL” is a statement of Truth, the everywhere kingdom of heaven, and was as true in their home, field, the special sanctuary, and the way to and back from where Elisha lived. The Shunammite had the assurance as given in the Responsive Reading that wherever she was, (wherever we are)  she could “wait quietly, dependent on God, for my hope and expectation of good is from Him alone. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me ever safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure. I cannot not be shaken by any threat for none can ever reach me.” (Responsive Reading Psalm 62:5,6).

“Elisha called for me to stand before him. I felt his gratitude, but his words, words I will remember for ever, shook me deep: “About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son.” I knew he was a great prophet, I knew about Sarah and Abraham, but this, for me, for us? I could not believe it. Was he teasing me?”

How often do we hear the words of Truth and doubt they apply to us? Truth does not tease. It is. In the same way that Love is universal, so is Soul, so is our dwelling in the kingdom of heaven. How can God withhold All-good, how can man not be conscious of it? Her son was born to mortal sense and all was

Well. Or was it? One day her dear son died in her arms. She spoke to her husband “I said quite simply “It shall be well.”  The Shunammite placed everyone in the kingdom of heaven, in God’s dwelling place, and sought Elisha.   He saw her afar off, and sent this message Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well:” (cit. B9; 2 Kings 4:26) When challenged by false evidence, the best response is to reaffirm the true evidence, to say in the kingdom. (See “Start, stay, stand, and stick with God” – shared Sentinel link, Judith Hardy Olson). This was the stance taken by Elisha when he arrived and went in to the boy. His prayers were effective, his sense of perfect home all-inclusive of good. “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations”. No exceptions.

 Gehazi suddenly called to me to come in, – I ran into the room, saw Elisha, and he said: “Take up thy son”. And there was my little boy sitting on the bed, happy and smiling just as though he’d just woken up, and was now already set to start the day.”

I looked again at Elisha. His eyes were shining with the light of Love, the proof of Life. The angel thought came once again “It is well”, and I sensed his thought “With God, it always is well”.

“… man cannot be separated for an instant from God, if man reflects God. Thus Science proves man’s existence to be intact.” (cit. S13; p. 306:18 man) Our existence with God is always intact because we are the manifest consciousness of God, the purpose of His kingdom.

In Section 5 we have this further proved. The monologue THE WITHERED HAND RESTORED” reaffirms the action of Science, the intactness of man: “The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind.” (cit. S25; 162:9). When faced with a material picture, our basis of thought is material, and the conclusions reached are material. Change the basis to the spiritual, change where you live to the kingdom of heaven, and the harmony of that kingdom covers every aspect of our lives, — the tent with no borders!

“Rise up and stand forth in the midst.”

 Get up, away from the material, stand with the confidence and authority of Christ’s command.

“Stretch forth thine hand.”

I said I was a witness.

But how can you own up to seeing the impossible. He obeyed Christ’s command.

Not “Stretch forth thine withered hand”, but “stretch for thine hand as God gave thee”.

His arm extended, fingers uncurling, filling out fully formed. We all looked at one another, knowing it was happening yet still disbelieving.

My friend’s face shone as his hand was restored whole as the other.”

 “Here was true authority! No longer mere words, but the consciousness of God’s kingdom here and now seen in health and completeness. Faced with full health, sickness had become impossible! Health the reality and sickness the dispellable illusion. This was the uncomfortable but wonderful import of what Jesus had been saying and had now proved!”

 When we witness something we confirm what we see. What did Jesus see? Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.”  (S&H p.476:32–2). In the perfect kingdom of heaven, this is all we can witness. It is where “we live, and move, and have our being;” (Acts 17:28 in (to ;)). IT IS OUR CONSTANT EXPECTANCY OF GOOD.

 “So that’s the real point I’m trying to make and so much want to share: the Christ is already here, with us even now, has always been here, will ever be with us all!”


[Ken writes:] Copies of the 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. His Christian Science published poems can be found on JSH Online.

Selected Bible verses, including the Golden Text, for this week’s lesson, can be found in my combined translations, a free copy of which is available on an excel spreadsheet for those who may be interested. The spreadsheet also includes a genealogy from Adam to Jesus, with related notes. Shared with love. Write to Ken on

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