First Church of Christ, Scientist, State College
(Christian Science)

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Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Theme: Understanding Strength

Readings from the Bible:

1) Ps. 89:8, 13, 15–17 (to :)

O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? ... Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. ... Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: ...

2) Ps. 91:10, 11

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

3) Isa. 30:15 (to :)

For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: ...

4) Deut. 33:25 as

... as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

5) Deut. 34:9–12

¶ And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. ¶ And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.

6) Judg. 16:3–5, 16–23, 25–30 (to 2nd .)

And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron. ¶ And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver. ... And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man. And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. ¶ But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. ... And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. ...

7) John 5:1–9 there

... there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

8) II Cor. 10:1, 3, 4

Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: ... For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

9) II Cor. 11:27–33

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

10) Isa. 41:10

¶ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Readings from Science and Health:

1) SH 512:8–13

Spirit is symbolized by strength, presence, and power, and also by holy thoughts, winged with Love. These angels of His presence, which have the holiest charge, abound in the spiritual atmosphere of Mind, and consequently reproduce their own characteristics.

2) SH 514:6

Mind, joyous in strength, dwells in the realm of Mind. Mind's infinite ideas run and disport themselves. In humility they climb the heights of holiness.

3) SH 226:22

I saw before me the sick, wearing out years of servitude to an unreal master in the belief that the body governed them, rather than Mind.

4) SH 377:12–15

Through different states of mind, the body becomes suddenly weak or abnormally strong, showing mortal mind to be the producer of strength or weakness.

5) SH 261:8

The effect of mortal mind on health and happiness is seen in this: If one turns away from the body with such absorbed interest as to forget it, the body experiences no pain. Under the strong impulse of a desire to perform his part, a noted actor was accustomed night after night to go upon the stage and sustain his appointed task, walking about as actively as the youngest member of the company. This old man was so lame that he hobbled every day to the theatre, and sat aching in his chair till his cue was spoken, — a signal which made him as oblivious of physical infirmity as if he had inhaled chloroform, though he was in the full possession of his so-called senses.

6) SH 199:19–7

The feats of the gymnast prove that latent mental fears are subdued by him. The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible. Exceptions only confirm this rule, proving that failure is occasioned by a too feeble faith. Had Blondin believed it impossible to walk the rope over Niagara's abyss of waters, he could never have done it. His belief that he could do it gave his thought-forces, called muscles, their flexibility and power which the unscientific might attribute to a lubricating oil. His fear must have disappeared before his power of putting resolve into action could appear. When Homer sang of the Grecian gods, Olympus was dark, but through his verse the gods became alive in a nation's belief. Pagan worship began with muscularity, but the law of Sinai lifted thought into the song of David. Moses advanced a nation to the worship of God in Spirit instead of matter, and illustrated the grand human capacities of being bestowed by immortal Mind.

7) SH 124:3

Physical science (so-called) is human knowledge, — a law of mortal mind, a blind belief, a Samson shorn of his strength. When this human belief lacks organizations to support it, its foundations are gone. Having neither moral might, spiritual basis, nor holy Principle of its own, this belief mistakes effect for cause and seeks to find life and intelligence in matter, thus limiting Life and holding fast to discord and death. In a word, human belief is a blind conclusion from material reasoning. This is a mortal, finite sense of things, which immortal Spirit silences forever.

8) SH 192:19

In Science, you can have no power opposed to God, and the physical senses must give up their false testimony. Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise.

9) SH 183:16–18, 21–22, 23

The supposed laws which result in weariness and disease are not His laws, for the legitimate and only possible action of Truth is the production of harmony. ... Divine Mind rightly demands man's entire obedience, affection, and strength. ... Obedience to Truth gives man power and strength. Submission to error superinduces loss of power.

10) SH 5:14–18

Saints and sinners get their full award, but not always in this world. The followers of Christ drank his cup. Ingratitude and persecution filled it to the brim; but God pours the riches of His love into the understanding and affections, giving us strength according to our day.

11) SH 80:1–3

We have strength in proportion to our apprehension of the truth, and our strength is not lessened by giving utterance to truth.

12) SH 454:5–10 (to 2nd .), 19–21

The understanding, even in a degree, of the divine All-power destroys fear, and plants the feet in the true path, — the path which leads to the house built without hands “eternal in the heavens.” Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned. ... ... Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action.

Hymns: 293, 248, 354

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