Sunday, May 2nd, 2021
“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.”
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37. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38. And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
44. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an ever-lasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
12 Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
14 Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee:
1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 …and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
10 And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.
29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
7 …joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
25 Now his elder son was in the field:
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation;
6 Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.
8 Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
21 I have formed thee;
22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
The design of Love is to reform the sinner.
Divine Love corrects and governs man. Men may pardon, but this divine Principle alone reforms the sinner.
To cause suffering as the result of sin, is the means of destroying sin. Every supposed pleasure in sin will furnish more than its equivalent of pain, until belief in material life and sin is destroyed. To reach heaven, the harmony of being, we must understand the divine Principle of being.
"God is Love." More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go. To suppose that God forgives or punishes sin according as His mercy is sought or unsought, is to misunderstand Love and to make prayer the safety-valve for wrong-doing.
It is related in the seventh chapter of Luke's Gospel that Jesus was once the honored guest of a certain Pharisee, by name Simon, though he was quite unlike Simon the disciple. While they were at meat, an unusual incident occurred, as if to interrupt the scene of Oriental festivity. A "strange woman" came in. … this woman (Mary Magdalene, as she has since been called) approached Jesus.
Did Jesus spurn the woman? Did he repel her adoration? No! He regarded her compassionately. Nor was this all. Knowing what those around him were saying in their hearts, especially his host, — that they were wondering why, being a prophet, the exalted guest did not at once detect the woman's immoral status and bid her depart, — knowing this, Jesus rebuked them with a short story or parable. … and so brought home the lesson to all, following it with that remarkable declaration to the woman, "Thy sins are forgiven."
Why did he thus summarize her debt to divine Love? Had she repented and reformed, and did his insight detect this unspoken moral uprising? She bathed his feet with her tears before she anointed them with the oil. In the absence of other proofs, was her grief sufficient evidence to warrant the expectation of her repentance, reformation, and growth in wisdom?
Which was the higher tribute to such ineffable affection, the hospitality of the Pharisee or the contrition of the Magdalen? This query Jesus answered by rebuking self-righteousness and declaring the absolution of the penitent.
Truth, God, is not the father of error. Sin, sickness, and death are to be classified as effects of error. Christ came to destroy the belief of sin.
We acknowledge God's forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.
Reform comes by understanding that there is no abiding pleasure in evil, and also by gaining an affection for good according to Science, which reveals the immortal fact that neither pleasure nor pain, appetite nor passion, can exist in or of matter, while divine Mind can and does destroy the false beliefs of pleasure, pain, or fear and all the sinful appetites of the human mind.
Evil is sometimes a man's highest conception of right, until his grasp on good grows stronger. Then he loses pleasure in wickedness, and it becomes his torment. The way to escape the misery of sin is to cease sinning. There is no other way.
This conviction, that there is no real pleasure in sin, is one of the most important points in the theology of Christian Science. Arouse the sinner to this new and true view of sin, show him that sin confers no pleasure, and this knowledge strengthens his moral courage and increases his ability to master evil and to love good.
The basic error is mortal mind.
A moral question may hinder the recovery of the sick. Lurking error, lust, envy, revenge, malice, or hate will perpetuate or even create the belief in disease. Errors of all sorts tend in this direction. Your true course is to destroy the foe, and leave the field to God, Life, Truth, and Love, remembering that God and His ideas alone are real and harmonious.
Man's wisdom finds no satisfaction in sin, since God has sentenced sin to suffer. The necromancy of yesterday foreshadowed the mesmerism and hypnotism of to-day. The drunkard thinks he enjoys drunkenness, and you cannot make the inebriate leave his besottedness, until his physical sense of pleasure yields to a higher sense. Then he turns from his cups, as the startled dreamer who wakens from an incubus incurred through the pains of distorted sense. A man who likes to do wrong — finding pleasure in it and refraining from it only through fear of consequences — is neither a temperate man nor a reliable religionist.
The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love.
When we fully understand our relation to the Divine, we can have no other Mind but His, — no other Love, wisdom, or Truth, no other sense of Life, and no consciousness of the existence of matter or error.
The destruction of sin is the divine method of pardon. Divine Life destroys death, Truth destroys error, and Love destroys hate. Being destroyed, sin needs no other form of forgiveness.