Sunday, May 3rd, 2020
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
Click here to play the lesson audio as you read:
1. Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
2. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
5. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
8. Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
11. For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
16. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.
18. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
1 And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
5 And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:
6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.
9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
24 Bath-sheba his wife … bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.
29 And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it.
30 And he took their king’s crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David’s head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.
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.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
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.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8 And Zacchæus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
9 …for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
The design of Love is to reform the sinner.
Do you ask wisdom to be merciful and not to punish sin? Then "ye ask amiss." Without punishment, sin would multiply. Jesus' prayer, "Forgive us our debts," specified also the terms of forgiveness. When forgiving the adulterous woman he said, "Go, and sin no more."
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.
Prayer is not to be used as a confessional to cancel sin. Such an error would impede true religion. Sin is forgiven only as it is destroyed by Christ, — Truth and Life. If prayer nourishes the belief that sin is cancelled, and that man is made better merely by praying, prayer is an evil. He grows worse who continues in sin because he fancies himself forgiven.
Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform and the very easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity, — namely, reformation.
In common justice, we must admit that God will not punish man for doing what He created man capable of doing, and knew from the outset that man would do. God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil." We sustain Truth, not by accepting, but by rejecting a lie.
Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but the longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness.
Through repentance, spiritual baptism, and regeneration, mortals put off their material beliefs and false individuality. It is only a question of time when "they shall all know Me [God], from the least of them unto the greatest." Denial of the claims of matter is a great step towards the joys of Spirit, towards human freedom and the final triumph over the body.
There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Christ in divine Science shows us this way. It is to know no other reality — to have no other consciousness of life — than good, God and His reflection, and to rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses.
Lust, malice, and all sorts of evil are diseased beliefs, and you can destroy them only by destroying the wicked motives which produce them. If the evil is over in the repentant mortal mind, while its effects still remain on the individual, you can remove this disorder as God's law is fulfilled and reformation cancels the crime. The healthy sinner is the hardened sinner.
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.
Healing the sick and reforming the sinner are one and the same thing in Christian Science. Both cures require the same method and are inseparable in Truth. Hatred, envy, dishonesty, fear, and so forth, make a man sick, and neither material medicine nor Mind can help him permanently, even in body, unless it makes him better mentally, and so delivers him from his destroyers. The basic error is mortal mind. Hatred inflames the brutal propensities. The indulgence of evil motives and aims makes any man, who is above the lowest type of manhood, a hopeless sufferer.
Christian Science commands man to master the propensities, — to hold hatred in abeyance with kindness, to conquer lust with chastity, revenge with charity, and to overcome deceit with honesty. Choke these errors in their early stages, if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success. They will deliver you to the judge, the arbiter of truth against error. The judge will deliver you to justice, and the sentence of the moral law will be executed upon mortal mind and body. Both will be manacled until the last farthing is paid, — until you have balanced your account with God. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." The good man finally can overcome his fear of sin. This is sin's necessity, — to destroy itself. Immortal man demonstrates the government of God, good, in which is no power to sin.
A sinner can receive no encouragement from the fact that Science demonstrates the unreality of evil, for the sinner would make a reality of sin, — would make that real which is unreal, and thus heap up "wrath against the day of wrath." He is joining in a conspiracy against himself, — against his own awakening to the awful unreality by which he has been deceived. Only those, who repent of sin and forsake the unreal, can fully understand the unreality of evil.
"God is Love."
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.
The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer. Its motives are made manifest in the blessings they bring, — blessings which, even if not acknowledged in audible words, attest our worthiness to be partakers of Love.
Divine Love corrects and governs man. Men may pardon, but this divine Principle alone reforms the sinner.