Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

Gethsemane Love   Leave a comment

A Daily Lift – 3 minutes of inspiration by Nate Frederick

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In the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed in the hours before his crucifixion he demonstrated a higher kind of love for mankind, a love that carried him through his impending ordeal, and allowed him to forgive and bless.  In this 3 minute talk Nate shows us how this kind of love is available to us all.

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Photo – 2012: 2000 year old olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane

Easter and its infinite possibilities   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_12416220“He is risen”! This joyful exclamation marked Jesus arising from death after his crucifixion (see Mark 16:6). It was first spoken by the angel at Jesus’ empty tomb to the women who came to look for him, and quickly became the happy greeting of the early Christians as a triumphant reminder of Jesus’ proof of everlasting Life.

Easter is the commemoration that nothing is impossible to God—that there is no fear so great, no obstacle so big, no darkness so absorbing, nor any death so final that God can’t redeem it. All this, Jesus’ teachings and works have proved and his resurrection has confirmed.

Jesus’ resurrection initiated a sea change of thought, which proved Life to be eternal and triumphant over death, and proved Love to be triumphant over hate. The resurrection changed lives with its promise of salvation for all—not only from sin and disease, but from death. It gave his disciples the necessary and convincing proof for them to continue Christ’s work in the way Jesus had shown them. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Through all the disciples experienced, they became more spiritual and understood better what the Master had taught. His resurrection was also their resurrection. It helped them to raise themselves and others from spiritual dulness and blind belief in God into the perception of infinite possibilities” (p. 34).

But does it seem naive or even presumptuous to think that Jesus’ resurrection could be our resurrection? What if one’s life seems to have caused or suffered irreversible harm? The aggressive argument that one is stained for life on account of some disgrace or tragedy may try to hang over one’s head like a curse or a personal Chernobyl…..

This path of life is described well in the definition of resurrection, given in Science and Health: “Spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence; material belief yielding to spiritual understanding” (p. 593)

I felt God’s redeeming love and better understood the profound implication of Jesus’ resurrection on my life. I felt that “great sanity” that Mary Baker Eddy writes about in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany: “A great sanity, a mighty something buried in the depths of the unseen, has wrought a resurrection among you, and has leaped into living love….

“… Man lives, moves, and has his being in God, Love. Then man must live, he cannot die; and Love must necessarily promote and pervade all his success” (pp. 164–165).


An Easter Talk by Bible Scholar, Madelon Maupin   Leave a comment

The Week That Changed The World

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Dear Friends,

We invite you, our global family, to experience a special Easter talk, entitled, “The Week That Changed The World” by bible scholar, Madelon Maupin, at Third Church of Christ, Scientist, in New York City. Our special Easter talk will take place on Friday, March 30th, Join us for festive organ music at 6:45pm, (NSW Australia this is 9:45 a.m Saturday) followed by musical performers at 7:00pm (10.00 a.m) Madelon’s talk will begin at 7:30pm. (Australia 10.30 a.m)

Is a 2000+ year old story relevant to an age of nuclear threats and nation-state saber rattling? How did Christ Jesus challenge the prejudices of his time to forever alter the freedom of mankind? Christ Jesus declared, “I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34). This man of unspeakable love that knew no gender, age, racial or ethnic biases was nonetheless ready to bring a sword to whatever would limit, imprison or undermine anyone. Our special Easter talk given by Madelon Maupin will delve into this remarkable story and its place in our lives today.

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photo[1]Madelon Maupin is a dedicated Christian Scientist and spiritual thinker who has traveled worldwide sharing her love of the Bible. She has devoted her life work to unwrapping the history, politics, and culture of the books of the Bible that lead listeners to their own spiritual alignment with a fuller understanding. She does this by providing Bible study resources, including online courses and workbooks. She also tours extensively giving talks on the Bible through her organization, BibleRoads.

Madelon’s training includes a Masters Degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Adventure Unlimited, a Christian Science Youth organization, the New Theological Seminary of the West in Southern California, the Southern California Faith and Order Commission, and she is a member of the national ecumenical team of The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, MA.

Madelon Maupin combines a strong business career of 35+ years with a great love for biblical principles. She has written over 70 articles on spirituality, including 35 articles for the Christian Science Journal and Sentinel, with the goal of helping people uncover and apply biblical guidelines to today’s challenges.

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Posted March 27, 2018 by cscanberra in Christian Science Lecture, Easter

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Easter – An Ecumenical Gift to Humanity   Leave a comment

Dramatic sky scenery with a mountain cross and a thinking person. A symbol of heavy inner struggles. Where to go? What do you say?One of the most beautiful and unique gifts Christians bring to the world is the joy of Easter.

At first, Mary Magdalene, who loved Jesus so much, didn’t recognize him when he stood outside the tomb.  Two other disciples, walking with him to the town of Emmaus after he was risen also didn’t recognize him for a while.  Thomas couldn’t imagine the idea of resurrection without physical contact with him.  His crucifixion was indeed jarring to all of them, probably leaving them feeling defeated and heartbroken.  But he had taught them all how to look again – how to reconsider what was going on – in order to find the living, timeless Christ among them.  (See the final seven chapters in the Gospel of John.)

Regardless of their individual struggles, Jesus helped each one deal with the meaning of this resurrection and to re-think the meaning of life and the relevance of God’s kingdom on earth.  He was their evidence of victory and hope, a sign that all the sorrows of the world – sin, pain, and even death – would ultimately yield to this Easter joy.

But interestingly Mary, the two unnamed disciples walking to Emmaus, Thomas, and the others all saw the situation from different points of view.  Their approach to the startling news of resurrection was ‘ecumenical,’ in that they witnessed the same Christ in resurrection, and yet they understood it from their unique points of view.  They were united in one Christ, as each one found just what he or she needed to experience resurrection in some fashion for themselves.

We are still witnessing the resurrection today from many different points of view.  …

Click here to read the full text of this article, Easter – An Ecumenical Gift to All Humanity, by Shirley Paulson. 

Easter Reminds Us that Religious Values Can Benefit Society in More Ways than Have Yet Been Explored   Leave a comment

Dramatic sky scenery with a mountain cross and a thinking person. A symbol of heavy inner struggles. Where to go? What do you say?We love to celebrate Easter.  And it’s not just the chocolate eggs, feasting and four-day weekend many of us enjoy.  There’s a national feeling of entitlement about this holiday.  Taking quality time to enjoy our “promised land” is as much a part of our collective psyche as is our propensity to forthrightness and our “she’ll be right” attitude.

Quaint as this may sound, the sense of being part of this wonderful country, which has historically upheld democracy, law and order, freedom of speech and religion, and equal access to opportunity, is integral to who we are.  Although we’re currently experiencing challenging repercussions from the overturning of some outdated attitudes about ourselves and our environment, these guiding principles continue to be borne out in our acceptance and mutual respect for people of every race, culture and religion.

To illustrate how this is evolving, a few weeks ago I sat at a table between an old friend, who is a Buddhist nun, and a Muslim Imam, who became a new friend.  Around the table were also Christians of several denominations, and men and women from the Jewish, Hindu and Baha’i faith communities.  We had come together at Parliament House, Sydney, under the auspices of APRO (the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations), which comprises national representatives from the various faith communities in Australia, to discuss the benefits of religion and its key values to secular society.

We’d been set the task to identify shared values or ideals embraced by our own faith traditions, which, if employed more widely by individuals, groups and governments to tackle issues, could have a real bearing on the progress of society in measurable ways and help heal its divisions.

We discussed how these spiritual values profoundly influence and enter the minutiae of the lives of people of faith.

For instance, participants told of how they feel compelled to practise honesty and equity over seeking unfair business or personal profits as they obey the Golden Rule, doing unto others as they would want others to do to them.  They shared how religious values teach non-partisanship rather than taking sides; how their beliefs give them strength to more often choose spirituality over sensuality, brotherly love over self-interest, and humility over self-promotion.  We found we each had experienced more peace in our lives as an open-minded approach that trusts in a higher power was adopted, rather than letting fear or outrage manipulate our actions.  And we collectively acknowledged that when we cherish the value of forgiveness, we promote healing.

While these values can’t be co-opted by any one group, religious or not, there is tremendous consequence in championing their utilisation by society in general.

Consider how these kinds of spiritual values could practically assist construction of the budget, social services policy or our asylum-seeker program.

The forum identified the need for increased interfaith dialogue and willingness to engage with secular society and institutions.  Many of us went away with a deep desire to examine our own faith traditions and practices, and to root out evidence of intolerance, discrimination or prejudice.

My Christian faith reveals that the overarching need for individuals and for societies is “the fruit of the Spirit” found in “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” as St Paul discovered.  When we seek these first, ideas that meet our current need will be revealed, as my recent experience illustrates.

After weeks of searching, I’d settled on the perfect new home; it ticked all the boxes.  The thing was, it would cost every dollar we had and much more, so my husband was not keen to proceed.  Tension was escalating between us, as circumstances dictated that a decision be made over the upcoming weekend.  Taking a moment to acknowledge a higher power as governing, it struck me that a solution that benefitted us both equally could only appear as I ditched the general belief in conflicting minds and personal agendas.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Christian reformer, Mary Baker Eddy, explains the science of this changed perspective: “When we realize that there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded; whereas a belief in many ruling minds hinders man’s normal drift towards the one Mind, one God, and leads human thought into opposite channels where selfishness reigns.”

Previous experiences I’d had where solutions resulted from a similar spiritual approach meant that I was not really surprised when a new home came on the market that day in the right area and at the right price. The agent met us there within the hour.  My husband and I were both moved – as if we had one Mind – to decide there and then to purchase it.  I was in awe of the power of humility and patience.

As a Christian Scientist, Easter speaks to me of Jesus, our great example; of a life that expresses God and enfolds everyone in honesty, love, humility, patience, healing.

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud who writes about the connection between consciousness, spirituality and health, and trends in that field.  She practices Christian Science healing www.health4thinkers.com

 

Can we really forgive our deadliest enemies?   Leave a comment

DSCN3472Father, forgive them; … for they know not what they do.

It never ceases to amaze me that in the midst of the physical and emotional agony of the cross, Jesus was able to look at the very people crucifying him and say — and, of course, mean — the hallowed words above.

So how did he do it?

According to Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy, a key aspect of Jesus’ Christian practice was his absolute consistency in rising above the surface view of what others were thinking and doing to what God was knowing of them spiritually.

She wrote: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 476)

He “beheld” in this way even those who so unjustly nailed him to that cross.

So what about us? What if we are feeling aghast and fearful at what we rightly see as the barbaric actions of terrorists around the world — from Brussels to Istanbul to Iskanderiyah to Grand-Bassam to Lahore?

Can we actually take up the challenge of accepting that Jesus’ forgiving love on the cross was an example to strive to follow, rather than a show of spiritual strength from another time and place, to be admired from a distance?

Surely, it would be a powerful, healing thing for us to do in the light of the fear and hatred manifesting themselves in such wanton acts of violence, and in some of the public and political reactions to them.

Could the stand Jesus took inspire us, too, to pray to the point where we can glimpse that “perfect man” — the spiritual selfhood that underlies even those driven by mortal hatred to commit such deadly acts of terror?

That’s by no means an easy demand. But it can be done.

A fellow church member took up the challenge to do this during a year of violent confrontation between two political factions in her country. It had led to several fatalities. One night, she saw the political figure she most despised on the news, but this time she glimpsed her profound need to pray until she rose above her hatred and saw him from a more spiritual perspective. And she committed herself to doing just that — however long it took — before she went to sleep that night.

After two hours of humbly and prayerfully seeking a diviner view, she got to the point where she actually felt God’s love for the true individuality of the person she had previously classified as Public Enemy Number One.

Interestingly, the year-long stand-off ended later that same week.

Coincidence?

Perhaps. But then again, perhaps not. Jesus’ forgiveness of his persecutors on the cross was certainly not the end of the crucifixion story. It was a crucial factor in his subsequent victory over death and the grave which is the joy at the heart of the Easter story. It enabled him to maintain that consciousness of divine Love’s infinite allness which was able to achieve the resurrection and lift him still further, beyond the perception of the material senses, in his final ascension that has inspired generations since.

Many of us who follow his teachings today would affirm that we, too, have seen our own more modest victories through yielding to Love’s divine view of ourselves and our neighbours. Doing so has proved powerful enough to heal discord in our families, workplaces and communities.

Is that enough? Or can we contribute something of value to the wider and more lethal manifestations of divisiveness?

That’s not to say society should ignore the crimes committed. Nor does it suggest that justice shouldn’t take it’s course or that we can afford to lessen our efforts at tightening up security.

But the world is also in need of the healing power of Christly forgiveness, to bear on the deeper roots of the divisions within our nations and across borders — divisions that would shred the very fabric of unity and civility which evidence the underlying spiritual oneness of humanity as the sons and daughters of God.

Can we take up the challenge laid down by the Easter example?

This article was contributed by Tony Lobl.  Tony is a full-time Christian Science healer, international speaker and freelance writer.  He has a deep interest in the role spirituality can play in restoring and sustaining health and he writes from that perspective.  You can find more of his articles on his blog, Connecting the Dots Between Spirituality and Well-Being.

The photo above is of sunrise over the Sea of Galilee.

What Does Easter Mean to You?   Leave a comment

shutterstock_175048484What does Easter mean to you?

This question was put to shoppers by a local television reporter. Most people said that Easter means a public holiday, an extended weekend, time off work to go camping. Others said it means Easter eggs and hot cross buns. Others spoke of its religious significance, and one woman said that for her Easter means sadness, a period of mourning. Christ Jesus had been crucified. Her Lord had suffered and died. For her, it was a tragedy.

I used to think that way, too, until I realized that to focus thought only on the crucifixion is to lose sight of the real meaning of Easter. The cross was only part of Jesus’ experience, and it was not the end of the story. … Read more …

This article, What Does Easter Mean to You? by Beverly Goldsmith, was originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel.  It is now available through JHS-online.  Beverly is a freelance writer from Melbourne.  She writes on the connection between spirituality and health.

 

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