Monthly Archives: September 2015

“Give us this day our daily bread” – Q&A #15

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

Question: Why does this prayer say give “us” daily bread, rather than give “me” or “my family”?

Answer: Do you recall that Jesus taught us to “love thy neighbor as thyself”? He wanted us to love others no less than ourselves, and to include them in our prayers. We do not limit the good we receive by this, but we expand our sense of love to embrace the world. We are united in brotherly love with all mankind.

“In the scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all, as Jesus showed with the loaves and the fishes, — Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply.”
(S&H 206:15)

“The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better
because of this asking?”
(S&H 9:5-7)

“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.”
(Rom. 12:10)

Because of the broad outreach of the Lord’s Prayer, it has become a universal prayer that can be shared in public church services, including the Christian Science church, and in
other meetings. You can see why Mary Baker Eddy once wrote:

“All Christian churches have one bond of unity, one nucleus or point of convergence, one prayer,
— the Lord’s Prayer.
It is matter for rejoicing that we unite in love, and in this sacred petition
with
every praying assembly on earth, — ‘Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.’” (Pul. 22:3-8)

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

Bread #15

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“Give us this day our daily bread” – Q&A #14

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

Question: Are we supposed to give up eating regular food for “spiritual food”?

Answer: No. As we have already learned, God gives us ideas. How these ideas appear to us, depends upon where our thinking is. So, we can gratefully acknowledge God as the source of all that is right and good for the life of mankind, no matter what form it seems to take. Mary Baker Eddy explains:

“The earth, at God’s command, brings forth food for man’s use. Knowing this, Jesus once said,
‘Take
no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink,’ — presuming not on the prerogative of his creator, but recognizing God, the Father and Mother of all, as able to feed and clothe man as He doth the lilies.” (S&H 530:6)

“Christ, Truth, gives mortals temporary food and clothing until the material, transformed with the ideal, disappears, and man is clothed and fed spiritually.”  (S&H 442:22-25)

It is important to know that just because Christian Science teaches that man is spiritual, and that spiritual ideas are our true daily bread, we do not stop eating food that our bodies need! Mrs. Eddy says that “it would be . . . foolish to stop eating until we gain perfection and a
clear comprehension of the living Spirit. In that perfect day of understanding, we shall neither eat to live nor live to eat.”  (S&H 388:26)

And elsewhere in the textbook, she writes: “I do not maintain that anyone can exist in the flesh without food and raiment; but I do believe that the real man is immortal and that he lives in Spirit, not matter.” (S&H 461:1-4)   

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Bread #14

“Give us this day our daily bread” – Q&A #13

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

Question: Can we really have faith that God knows about our deepest desires?

Answer: God always knows what our needs are because He has already given them to us. But humans must have faith in God, and grow into an understanding of this. They must learn that what we think we need may not come in the form we have outlined, or wished for.

Mary Baker Eddy writes:

“Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and deeds.” (S&H 1:10)

“Rest assured that He in whom dwelleth all life, health, and holiness, will supply all your needs
according to His riches in
glory.” (My. 186:13)

“Even if prayer is sincere, God knows our need before we tell Him or our fellow-beings about it. If we cherish the desire honestly and silently and humbly, God will bless it, and we shall incur less risk of overwhelming our real wishes with a torrent of words.” (S&H 13:14)

When we pray “feed the famished affections,” we must have faith that God has already
answered our prayer. Divine Life takes care of His creation always, and will not let us down. We may have to wait patiently, but at the right time, we will see that we have what we need. As Mrs. Eddy has promised: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” (S&H 494:10-11) 

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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such as Firefox or Chrome, or sign up for email posts]

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Go to the “Lord’s Prayer” page (use link at top of this page), to read previous posts, plus introductory and background material to help in teaching the lessons.

To print out the image below, which is from the original book, click on the image and save to your computer. To read explanation on how to use these “clip and carry” lessons, see the “About” page.

Bread #13

“Give us this day our daily bread” – Q&A #12

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

Question: Why does God give us our bread, instead of asking us to earn it?

Answer: Just as most parents love to freely provide for their young children’s needs, as well as offering special gifts for the sheer joy of giving, God loves us, and loves to give to us, too. Jesus explained:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you . . .
If ye then, being evil,
know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your
Father
which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt. 7:7,11)

When children are freely given their food by their parents, they are not expected to just sit around at the table and wait for the next meal. They are to go out and live! They are to do things with the energy that food is believed to provide. Likewise, when God freely gives us
grace, we are to go out and use that grace, as Mary Baker Eddy explains:

“Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the
blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.” (S&H 3:22-24)

Do you see that while God freely gives us all we need in abundance, we are expected to use and share what we receive? We should not expect others to earn the love and goodness we freely share, because it is a gift from God.

“No one can save himself without God’s help, and God will help each man who performs his own part. After this manner and in no other way is every man cared for and blessed.” (Ret. 86:21-14)

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Two: The Beatitudes”

Copyright 2002)

Bread #12

“Give us this day our daily bread” – Q&A #11

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

Question: Can man really feel satisfied with only “daily bread” from God?

Answer: God is not cheap, stingy, petty, or poor. We read at the beginning of the Bible
that God gave “abundantly” (see Genesis 1:20-23). He continues to give to His children
abundantly. Mary Baker Eddy tells us:  “Shall we plead for more at the open fount, which is
pouring forth more
than we accept?”  (S&H 2:26-28)

Mortal mind, with its hunger for matter, will never be satisfied. But man, reflecting
his Father-Mother, will always be satisfied. As Paul once wrote:

“Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is
certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
(I Timothy 6:6-8)

“The so-called pleasures and pains of matter perish, and they must go out under the blaze of Truth, spiritual sense, and the actuality of being. Mortal belief must lose all satisfaction in error and sin
in order to part with them” (S&H 296:14)

We do not have to worry whether or not God will supply us with all we need. And if we
see people in the news who seem to need help with their basic needs, we can seek God’s guidance for ways to pray, or offer practical help, so that no one lacks the “daily bread” of Truth or food.

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (Ps. 107)

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Bread #11

“Give us this day our daily bread” – Q&A #10

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

Question: How do we receive our daily bread, or grace, from God?

Answer: Because God is Mind, everything in His kingdom is a spiritual idea. God expresses Himself through these ideas. We have already read that “God gives you His spiritual ideas,
and in turn, they give you daily supplies.” (Mis. 307:1-2)
Therefore, God’s food is in the form of spiritual ideas, and it appears to us humanly in many different ways:

“Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love — be it song, sermon, or Science — blesses the
human family with
crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table, feeding the hungry and giving living
waters to the thirsty.” (S&H 234:4-8)

All spiritual ideas have their source in God, the divine Mind. They may seem to come to us
in the form of ideas found in books, art, or lessons from nature, for example, or from ideas shared by other people. Ideas come in daily prayers. God’s ideas may also come through a
“still, small voice” during a time of need.

Mary Baker Eddy provided a lovely avenue of communication with God in the form of the Daily Bible Lesson found in the Christian Science Quarterly. She writes of the two books used in the Lessons:

“Your dual and impersonal pastor, the Bible, and ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,’ is with you; and the Life these give, the Truth they illustrate, the Love they demonstrate, is the great
Shepherd that feedeth my flock, and leadeth them ‘beside the still waters.’” (Mis. 322:10-15)

* * *

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Bread #10

“Give us this day our daily bread” – Q&A #9

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

Question: What did Jesus teach us about “bread” and “grace”?

Answer: During the time of Moses and the Prophets, the children of Israel were “fed” by the Word of God. This was the Truth given to them in a way they could use and understand. It was often in the form of laws, which they were told to obey. But when Jesus came, he brought a new type of “bread:”  “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by
Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)

Jesus demonstrated God’s grace and abundance by providing food to thousands of people who had come to him to be fed by Truth. Jesus was proving one of God’s laws. Mary Baker Eddy explains:

“Jesus taught and proved that what feeds a few feeds all.” (My. 303:20-21)

Jesus used the concept of bread as a symbol for the Truth that was the Christ. He told his followers:

“I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall
never thirst.” (John 6:35)

We also read that “as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.”  (Matt. 26:26)

Although other religions have various interpretations of the above passage, in Christian
Science we learn that “this true flesh and blood were his Life; and they truly eat his flesh and drink his blood, who partake of that divine Life.”  (S&H 25:10) 

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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such as Firefox or Chrome, or sign up for email posts]

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Bread #9

“Give us this day our daily bread” – Q&A #8

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

Question: Why do we only pray for our needs one day at a time?

Answer: God is an ever-present Father and “knows our need before we tell Him or our fellow-
beings about it.”
(S&H 13:15-16)  We need to develop faith that God will provide us what we need daily. This idea is illustrated in the story of the Children of Israel during their journey in the wilderness with Moses. (see Ex.16)

God provided just enough food for each day, and warned the people not to gather more than they could eat, or else the food would spoil. However, they could gather double the amount on the day before the sabbath, so that they could rest on the sabbath, and not have to
gather food. That extra food did not spoil. God provided daily food for them for the entire
forty years that they wandered in the wilderness. Today, Hymn 46 reminds us:

Day by day the promise reads,
Daily strength for daily needs:
Cast forboding fears away;
Take the manna of today.

The importance of “living in the now,” is further explained by Mary Baker Eddy:

“We own no past, no future, we possess only now. If the reliable now is carelessly lost in speaking
or in acting, it comes not
back again. Whatever needs to be done which cannot be done now,
God prepares
the way for doing; while that which can be done now, but is not, increases our
indebtedness to God. Faith in divine Love supplies the ever-present help and now, and gives the power to ‘act in the living present.’” (My. 12:20-28) 

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

[Note: if this online post appears to have missing lines, you may wish to switch to another browser,
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To print out the image below, which is from the original book, click on the image and save to your computer. To read explanation on how to use these “clip and carry” lessons, see the “About” page.

Bread #8

“Give us this day our daily bread” – Q&A #7

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

Question: Does God give us only our spiritual needs, or does He also help us with our human needs?

Answer: Mary Baker Eddy answers that question this way:

“Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need. It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.” (S&H 494:10-14)

If “divine Love supplies all good,” then we can trust that God will give us what is best for us
in any given situation. He is wiser than any human parent, or organization, or charity, or neighbor, though it is often through these avenues that our good will seem to appear.

The Bible is full of stories in which God has met the human need for food or other help. Can you think of any? Do you know the story of Elijah, who was fed by the ravens and the widow woman? Read about Elijah in I Kings, chapter 17. The 23rd Psalm is a beautiful prayer of
praise to ponder. It reads in part:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: . . . Thou preparest a table before me in the
presence
of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Bread #7