Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

I live in rural America. Really rural.

A quick glance through the local newspaper told me it was “Movie and Cinnamon Bun night at Kellogg School” last night. So, off we went to Kellogg School in the nearest Hamlet of Treadwell.

About ten other neighbors came to the event. None of us had to pay a dime. Okay, the cinnamon buns didn’t appear, but there were cookies and popcorn and water. Also free. Pretty hard to complain. We watched “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” a 2017 flick about the evil First Order on a mission to destroy every last vestige of the Resistance. But Rey found Luke Skywalker and a remnant of the Resistance survived to destroy the meany Supreme Leader Snoke.

The movie was long, but I sure could relate to many of the concepts in everyday life.

Luke Skywalker was protecting the sacred texts of Jedi in a tree cave, until Yoda appeared to strike the tree in flames. So much for sacred texts, but the point is clear, words are nothing, no power. It’s the spirit of love and the fighting power to resist evil that is needed.

Skywalker quit sitting around waiting to die, and helped the Resistance defeat Leader Snoke’s ambition.

Rey stopped putting her hope in mortals and fought on the side of good. In other words, she got her priorities straight.

As for my life, it deals with Christian Science and a history with the church members who practice Christian Science. I remember holding tight the sacred books on Christian Science and basically waiting for the church to die, until I realized I was resisting the hope in sharing the spirit of Christian Science.

Christian Science or divine Science or whatever you call it, isn’t a church, book, or mortal person. It’s the law of God interpreting harmony. Yes, the practice of Christian Science can bring physical healing, but this is NOT it’s primary reason in the form of church. And, to act and talk like healing is the crux and pith of Christian Science is self-defeating. I believe the minds obsessed with using Christian Science to heal physical bodies is a reason the church is dying.

When I stopped talking as if healing physical bodies is the primary focus of Christian Science, hope returned. Not a blind hope that God would save the church. But a hope in infinite possibilities. I also started fighting. I started resisting evil and self-righteousness and the plain-old arrogance of sitting around blaming everyone else for my failures. I stopped making false promises that prayer can heal. I stopped acting as though Christian Science is successful because it is not. Christian Science is better described as a force. It isn’t a failure or success. Human beings are what we call successes and failures and to act as if Christian Science is successfully healing people today is real close to a lie, that shouldn’t be voiced or fought for.

It is respectful to acknowledge the failures in today’s Christian Science practice. It is respectful to think and talk humbly. It is respectful to fight for hope in light and life.

Christian Science helps me learn about life spiritually. There is a balance and when I put my weight on the side on honesty, things work out better. I want to resist evil, not good.

From 21st Century Science and Health;

Resist the temptation to believe in mortality as intelligent or as having sensation and power.

Advance in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made you capable of this and nothing can stop the ability and power divinely bestowed on your spirituality.

Resist evil—error of every kind—and it will cease to exist.

Resisting evil, you overcome it and prove its nothingness. Not human clichés, but divine beatitudes reflect the spiritual light and might which heal the sick.

Conspiracies, demotions, and absurdities make the headlines these days. But it’s no different from yester-year. Don’t be flummoxed.

Reading the second chapter in I Kings, we meet Adonijah, the half-brother of King Solomon. Adonijah went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, and asked her to ask Solomon for the hand in marriage of Abishag.

“So Bathsheba said, ‘Very well, I will speak for you to the king.’”

King Solomon anticipated that Adonijah was challenging his throne. Abishag was a woman from Solomon’s harem. And, Solomon put a stop to the challenge by telling his chief of bodyguard, Benaiah, to kill Adonijah. Benaiah took care of business, along with killing others who opposed Solomon’s kingdom.

Solomon also had Abiathar demoted for conspiring with Adonijah.

The whole story is disconcerting, but instead of comparing it to today, I use the figures found in the Bible as symbols of thoughts.

Conspiracy could be a mix of thoughts of arrogance, fear, and envy. Those are the culprits to get rid of.

I remind myself to expose thoughts that self-destruct and give voice to knowledge of humility, respect, and awareness.

I often hear about how people in the West “feel entitled,” and that the entitlement distorts our priorities. I just might agree with this analysis.

I am a Baby Boomer, who has strong ties to members of the Greatest Generation, who fought in World War II. The idea of freedom for oneself and for our neighbor was instilled in my psyche. Everyone is entitled to freedom.

On the heels of entitlement to freedom came entitlement to social welfare care, bailouts, and large pensions. The result was a slackened can-do attitude. We expect others to take care of us, which in turn makes us blame others for our own problems.

It’s a situation that isn’t so healthy for civilization and it reminds me of a story in the Bible.

Isaac had eleven sons, the youngest was Joseph. The elder brothers didn’t like Joseph, for a multitude of reasons including jealousy and anger. They felt as if their dad was treating them unfairly compared to Joseph.

So, behind dad’s back, the brothers sold Joseph to travelers passing by and he was eventually forced into slavery. Joseph worked the best he could and moved up in position but was again cheated and sent to prison.

Life on earth is unfair. That fact will not change, but how we react to the unfairness can change.

Joseph trusted God to deliver him to betterment, especially since he couldn’t rely on human beings to help him fairly. Eventually, Joseph was freed and made ruler over the harvests, to make sure the people wouldn’t starve.

Joseph’s brothers traveled to Joseph to ask for food. They didn’t recognize Joseph because he’d matured and held a high position (the brother’s selfish minds couldn’t even imagine the power of God that overcomes unfairness).

The story ended well. Joseph fed his family and revealed who he was by forgiving his brothers. In other words, he didn’t take advantage of entitlement.

I can be responsible for myself. I can be accountable and work for my entitlements, constantly. Entitlements on this earth are fragile and finite, but my ability and spirituality is able to infinitely achieve betterment.

Quoting from science & religion to God:

Spirituality isn’t in limited supply. It isn’t controlled by a person or organization. The spiritual idea and its healing power can’t be monopolized. The widespread belief that only specific people are entitled to spiritual authority implodes in light of the Biblical stand that all believers “will be called priests of the Lord.”[1]

The supremacy of Spirit entitles us to antidote the chaotic existence of relativity with Truth and Love. We establish the divine Being and its rule by demonstration, by destroying the imaginary partnership between matter and the eternal Mind. Where is unity found? Where is infinite meaning found? In the Being of infinite Mind.

[1] Ex. 19:6; Isa. 61:6; Rev. 1:6

Holy Friday and Easter has come and gone, commemorating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. But, I don’t forget to honor his ascension.

An ascension can be defined as: leaving no trace of death; no physical body left behind; attention focused on the spirit of an individual.

Jesus isn’t the only person to have ascended. Thousands of years before Jesus walked the earth, the Bible mentions Enoch and Elijah, who at different times, were said to have ascended also.

The ascension of Christ amounted to Jesus’ participation on earth for another 40 days. The number, 40 days, is usually used symbolically in the Bible and I don’t make it an arguing point. The point is, that although Easter is done and gone, I can think about the significance of this celebratory season.

In fact, I don’t want to forget the complete picture of Christ’s story.

I can imagine Christ Jesus talking with friends and people. I can imagine Jesus praying in quiet places. I can imagine him laughing and healing and touching hearts. I can imagine Christ alive on earth. All the time. Forever. Here and now.

Quoting from science & religion to God:

The spiritual growth that allowed Jesus to rise from the dead was increased even more to allow him later to ascend, prompting closure to his earthly record.

After the ascension, his students received the Holy Spirit, meaning they stopped interpreting people through human knowledge and turned their thoughts instead to divine knowledge.

Only as we ascend above all habituated feelings and sin can we reach the heaven-born aspiration.

The duality of the unseen and the seen—the spiritual and physical, the Christ and the flesh—continues until a pure ascension in thought. Through spiritual progress, the human concept, or body, disappears in Mind-science, yet the Christ spirit continues to exist and take away the sins of the world.