"When I’m praying, whether it's for myself, my family, my church or the wider community and world, I very often begin with the Christian Science Bible Lesson. This is made up of citations from the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Students of Christian Science as well as others study it during the week and it forms the basis for the Sunday service in all Christian Science churches.
A couple of weeks ago the Lesson was on “Adam and Fallen Man”. I had found the ideas presented really helpful in several situations I was dealing with that week. They reminded me to be constantly on the alert to see myself and others not as the mythological, false Adam man in the second chapter of Genesis but as the true creation presented in the first chapter where “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” (Gen 1:26). I really worked with these ideas and put them into practice as best I could. I was grateful for some good progress as well.
I often find that the better I have studied and applied the ideas in the Lesson during the week, the more I get out of the Sunday service when I hear it read. There is always something new. This week, however, I was really in for a surprise. During the week there had been many accusations and some admissions of sexual harassment etc in the worlds of entertainment, politics and more. The news was full of it. I must admit that I had only given it passing thought and not really prayed about it. In fact, I was rather fed up with it and just wanted to hear some better news. But as I listened I realised that the Lesson dealt with it perfectly. Man is not fallen. He is the image and likeness of God and “...God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”(Gen 1:31). This doesn’t mean that we should ignore or excuse these wrong doings but in only accepting perfection for our fellow man the way will become clear for correction and for all those concerned, both accused and accuser, to move forward. Accepting only perfection and good for our fellow man also helped me to resist the temptation to label celebrities or those in the public eye or powerful positions as more likely to “fall” or give in to temptation. The omnipotent God moves in all circles and no one is left out of His care.
As I listened further I heard about the woman, Adam’s so called helpmeet who was created from one of his ribs. This, too, was a false picture of mankind or womankind and was very applicable to the week’s events. Generic man includes both man and woman. Each is complete and includes all the qualities of God as His reflection. One is not weaker or stronger than the other.
There is lots more to think about here but I can never be grateful enough for the Bible Lessons and our church services. They are the best news!"