The Pastor of our church is two books, the Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy. Christian Scientists everywhere study all week the same Bible Lesson that then is their Sermon read on Sunday. Especially in light of my role representing our church on our townâs ecumenical clergy council, I found the bits shared below (taken together) incredibly thought provoking. I hope you do too.
Acts 13:16, 26, 32, 33, 44-49
âThen Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience… Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent…And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee… And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.â
â…there is neither Greek now Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.â
â There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male nor fe,ale: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.â
Science and Health (S&H) 360:28-18
âOf old, the Jews put to death the Galilean Prophet, the best Christian on earth, for the truth he spoke and demonstrated, while to-day, Jew and Christian can unite in doctrine and denomination on the very basis of Jesus’ words and works. The Jew believes that the Messiah or Christ has not yet come; the Christian believes that Christ is God. Here Christian Science intervenes, explains these doctrinal points, cancels the disagreement, and settles the question. Christ, as the true spiritual idea, is the ideal of God now and forever, here and everywhere. The Jew who believes in the First Commandment is a monotheist; he has one omnipresent God. Thus the Jew unites with the Christian’s doctrine that God is come and is present now and forever. The Christian who believes in the First Commandment is a monotheist. Thus he virtually unites with the Jew’s belief in one God, and recognizes that Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God. This declaration of Jesus, understood, conflicts not at all with another of his sayings: “I and my Father are one,” â that is, one in quality, not in quantity. As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: âFor in Him we live, and move, and have our being.ââ
âThe term Lord, as used in our version of the Old Testament, is often synonymous with Jehovah, and expresses the Jewish concept, not yet elevated to deific apprehension through spiritual transfiguration. Yet the word gradually approaches a higher meaning. This human sense of Deity yields to the divine sense, even as the material sense of personality yields to the incorporeal sense of God and man as the infinite Principle and infinite idea, â as one Father with His universal family, held in the gospel of Love.â
âOne infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfills the Scripture, âLove thy neighbor as thyself;â annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, â whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.â
Happy Palm Sunday and Passover to my Christian and Jewish readers!