January 11th, 2015 Full Text |

SUNDAY JANUARY 11, 2015


SUBJECT — SACRAMENT


GOLDEN TEXT: I SAMUEL 15:22


“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”



RESPONSIVE READING: Deuteronomy 10 : 12-14, 18, 20

12.     And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

13.     To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

14.     Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

18.     He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

20.     Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.


LESSON SERMON

The Bible


1.     Psalm 141 : 1 (to :), 2-4, 8 (to ;)

1     LORD, I cry unto thee:

2     Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

3     Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

4     Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

8     But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust.


2.     Psalm 51 : 1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 16, 17

1     Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2     Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

6     Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7     Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

10     Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

16     For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17     The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.


3.     Matthew 20 : 17-28

17     And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,

18     Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,

19     And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

20     Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

21     And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

22     But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

23     And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

24     And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

25     But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26     But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27     And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28     Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.


4.     Matthew 5 : 1, 2, 5, 13-16

1     And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

2     And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

5     Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

13     Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14     Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15     Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16     Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


5.     Philippians 2 : 5-13

5     Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6     Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7     But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8     And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9     Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10     That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11     And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12     Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

13     For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.


Science and Health


1.     25 : 13-21

Jesus taught the way of Life by demonstration, that we may understand how this divine Principle heals the sick, casts out error, and triumphs over death. Jesus presented the ideal of God better than could any man whose origin was less spiritual. By his obedience to God, he demonstrated more spiritually than all others the Principle of being. Hence the force of his admonition, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."


2.     40 : 25-30

Our heavenly Father, divine Love, demands that all men should follow the example of our Master and his apostles and not merely worship his personality. It is sad that the phrase divine service has come so generally to mean public worship instead of daily deeds.


3.     25 : 22-32

Though demonstrating his control over sin and disease, the great Teacher by no means relieved others from giving the requisite proofs of their own piety. He worked for their guidance, that they might demonstrate this power as he did and understand its divine Principle. Implicit faith in the Teacher and all the emotional love we can bestow on him, will never alone make us imitators of him. We must go and do likewise, else we are not improving the great blessings which our Master worked and suffered to bestow upon us. The divinity of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus.


4.     325 : 20-29

Paul had a clear sense of the demands of Truth upon mortals physically and spiritually, when he said: "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." But he, who is begotten of the beliefs of the flesh and serves them, can never reach in this world the divine heights of our Lord. The time cometh when the spiritual origin of man, the divine Science which ushered Jesus into human presence, will be understood and demonstrated.


5.     22 : 11-29

"Work out your own salvation," is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God worketh with you. "Occupy till I come!" Wait for your reward, and "be not weary in well doing." If your endeavors are beset by fearful odds, and you receive no present reward, go not back to error, nor become a sluggard in the race.

When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving. Love is not hasty to deliver us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tried and purified.

Final deliverance from error, whereby we rejoice in immortality, boundless freedom, and sinless sense, is not reached through paths of flowers nor by pinning one's faith without works to another's vicarious effort. Whosoever believeth that wrath is righteous or that divinity is appeased by human suffering, does not understand God.


6.     20 : 6-23

To the ritualistic priest and hypocritical Pharisee Jesus said, "The publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." Jesus' history made a new calendar, which we call the Christian era; but he established no ritualistic worship. He knew that men can be baptized, partake of the Eucharist, support the clergy, observe the Sabbath, make long prayers, and yet be sensual and sinful.

Jesus bore our infirmities; he knew the error of mortal belief, and "with his stripes [the rejection of error] we are healed." "Despised and rejected of men," returning blessing for cursing, he taught mortals the opposite of themselves, even the nature of God; and when error felt the power of Truth, the scourge and the cross awaited the great Teacher. Yet he swerved not, well knowing that to obey the divine order and trust God, saves retracing and traversing anew the path from sin to holiness.


7.     28 : 9-14, 22-6

While respecting all that is good in the Church or out of it, one's consecration to Christ is more on the ground of demonstration than of profession. In conscience, we cannot hold to beliefs outgrown; and by understanding more of the divine Principle of the deathless Christ, we are enabled to heal the sick and to triumph over sin.

Remember, thou Christian martyr, it is enough if thou art found worthy to unloose the sandals of thy Master's feet! To suppose that persecution for righteousness' sake belongs to the past, and that Christianity to-day is at peace with the world because it is honored by sects and societies, is to mistake the very nature of religion. Error repeats itself. The trials encountered by prophet, disciple, and apostle, "of whom the world was not worthy," await, in some form, every pioneer of truth.

There is too much animal courage in society and not sufficient moral courage. Christians must take up arms against error at home and abroad. They must grapple with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished their course. If they keep the faith, they will have the crown of rejoicing.


8.     35 : 19-29

Our baptism is a purification from all error. Our church is built on the divine Principle, Love. We can unite with this church only as we are newborn of Spirit, as we reach the Life which is Truth and the Truth which is Life by bringing forth the fruits of Love, — casting out error and healing the sick. Our Eucharist is spiritual communion with the one God. Our bread, "which cometh down from heaven," is Truth. Our cup is the cross. Our wine the inspiration of Love, the draught our Master drank and commended to his followers.


9.     34 : 10-17

If all who ever partook of the sacrament had really commemorated the sufferings of Jesus and drunk of his cup, they would have revolutionized the world. If all who seek his commemoration through material symbols will take up the cross, heal the sick, cast out evils, and preach Christ, or Truth, to the poor, — the receptive thought, — they will bring in the millennium.


Love is the liberator.