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Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Topic: Christ’s Appearing
Readings from the Bible:
1. Isa. 40:5
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
2. John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
3. John 3:16, 17
¶ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
4. Matt. 3:1, 2, 11–17
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judæa, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ... I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. ¶ Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
5. John 1:16, 17
And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
6. John 14:1–13
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
7. John 12:44–46, 49, 50
¶ Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. ... For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
8. Col. 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and
ymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
9. Luke 13:11–17, 22
¶ And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him. ... And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
10. Isa. 9:6 and, 7
... and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Readings from Science and Health:
1. SH 347:14–17
Christ, as the spiritual or true idea of God, comes now as of old, preaching the gospel to the poor, healing the sick, and casting out evils.
2. SH 315:21–3
Jesus’ spiritual origin and understanding enabled him to demonstrate the facts of being, — to prove irrefutably how spiritual Truth destroys material error, heals sickness, and overcomes death. The divine conception of Jesus pointed to this truth and presented an illustration of creation. The history of Jesus shows him to have been more spiritual than all other earthly personalities. Wearing in part a human form (that is, as it seemed to mortal view), being conceived by a human mother, Jesus was the mediator between Spirit and the flesh, between Truth and error. Explaining and demonstrating the way of divine Science, he became the way of salvation to all who accepted his word. From him mortals may learn how to escape from evil.
3. SH 333:23
Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of the Messiah, or Christ, which baptized these seers in the divine nature, the essence of Love. The divine image, idea, or Christ was, is, and ever will be inseparable from the divine Principle, God. Jesus referred to this unity of his spiritual identity thus: “Before Abraham was, I am;” “I and my Father are one;” “My Father is greater than I.” The one Spirit includes all identities.
4. SH 134:14
Man-made doctrines are waning. They have not waxed strong in times of trouble. Devoid of the Christ-power, how can they illustrate the doctrines of Christ or the miracles of grace? Denial of the possibility of Christian healing robs Christianity of the very element, which gave it divine force and its astonishing and unequalled success in the first century.
5. SH 142:26
Which was first, Mind or medicine? If Mind was first and self-existent, then Mind, not matter, must have been the first medicine. God being All-in-all, He made medicine; but that medicine was Mind. It could not have been matter, which departs from the nature and character of Mind, God. Truth is God’s remedy for error of every kind, and Truth destroys only what is untrue. Hence the fact that, to-day, as yesterday, Christ casts out evils and heals the sick.
6. SH 117:24–12
Evidence drawn from the five physical senses relates solely to human reason; and because of opacity to the true light, human reason dimly reflects and feebly transmits Jesus’ works and words. Truth is a revelation. Jesus bade his disciples beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees, which he defined as human doctrines. His parable of the “leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened,” impels the inference that the spiritual leaven signifies the Science of Christ and its spiritual interpretation, — an inference far above the merely ecclesiastical and formal applications of the illustration. Did not this parable point a moral with a prophecy, foretelling the second appearing in the flesh of the Christ, Truth, hidden in sacred secrecy from the visible world? Ages pass, but this leaven of Truth is ever at work. It must destroy the entire mass of error, and so be eternally glorified in man’s spiritual freedom.
7. SH 182:32–4
The law of Christ, or Truth, makes all things possible to Spirit; but the so-called laws of matter would render Spirit of no avail, and demand obedience to materialistic codes, thus departing from the basis of one God, one lawmaker.
8. SH 561:16
John saw the human and divine coincidence, shown in the man Jesus, as divinity embracing humanity in Life and its demonstration, — reducing to human perception and understanding the Life which is God. In divine revelation, material and corporeal selfhood disappear, and the spiritual idea is understood.
9. SH 230:6
This awakening is the forever coming of Christ, the advanced appearing of Truth, which casts out error and heals the sick. This is the salvation which comes through God, the divine Principle, Love, as demonstrated by Jesus.
Hymns: 170, 236, 392