November 12, 2008 - The Bread of Life

We are happy to share with you the readings from our Wednesday Testimony Meeting on November 12, 2008.  Please join us any Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Heritage Hall, 731 South A Street, Oxnard, California.

Hymn 236 Irving C. Tomlinson
O peace of the world, O hope in each breast,
O Bethlehem star that ages have blest,
A day of fresh promise breaks over the land,
Gaunt warfare is doomed, and God's kingdom at hand!
From cannon and sword shape tillers of soil,
No more let dire hate man's spirit despoil,
Let Truth be proclaimed, let God's love be retold,
That men of good will may their brethren uphold.
As stars in their courses never contend,
As blossoms their hues in harmony blend,
As bird voices mingle in joyful refrain,
So God's loving children in concord remain.
Our God is one Mind, the Mind we adore;
Ineffable joy His love doth outpour;
Let nations be one in a union of love,
God's bountiful peace, all earth's treasures above.
BIBLE (King James Version)
Neh 9:6-15
 Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous: And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea; And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day. And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters. Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.
Ps 105:37-45
 He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them. He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night. The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river. For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant. And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the Lord.
Ps 105:1-5,7,8
O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
 He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth.  He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
John 6:1,2,5,7-14,26-35
After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
 ¶When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
by Mary Baker Eddy

   Jesus acknowledged no ties of the flesh. He said: "Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." Again he asked: "Who is my mother, and who are my brethren," implying that it is they who do the will of his Father. We have no record of his calling any man by the name of father.   He recognized Spirit, God, as the only creator, and therefore as the Father of all.
   First in the list of Christian duties, he taught his followers the healing power of Truth and Love. He attached no importance to dead ceremonies. It is the living Christ, the practical Truth, which makes Jesus "the resurrection and the life" to all who follow him in deed. Obeying his precious precepts,--following his demonstration so far as we apprehend it,--we drink of his cup, partake of his bread, are baptized with his purity; and at last we shall rest, sit down with him, in a full understanding of the divine Principle which triumphs over death.
 Their bread indeed came down from heaven. It was the great truth of spiritual being, healing the sick and casting out error. Their Master had explained it all before, and now this bread was feeding and sustaining them. They had borne this bread from house to house, breaking (explaining) it to others, and now it comforted themselves.
 Our bread, "which cometh down from heaven," is Truth.
   When the first symptoms of disease appear, dispute the testimony of the material senses with divine Science. Let your higher sense of justice destroy the false process of mortal opinions which you name law, and then you will not be confined to a sick-room nor laid upon a bed of suffering in payment of the last farthing, the last penalty demanded by error. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him." Suffer no claim of sin or of sickness to grow upon the thought. Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that it is illegitimate, because you know that God is no more the author of sickness than He is of sin. You have no law of His to support the necessity either of sin or sickness, but you have divine authority for denying that necessity and healing the sick.
   "Agree to disagree" with approaching symptoms of chronic or acute disease, whether it is cancer, consumption, or smallpox. Meet the incipient stages of disease with as powerful mental opposition as a legislator would employ to defeat the passage of an inhuman law. Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit. Blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in sickness and sin. Then, when thou art delivered to the judgment of Truth, Christ, the judge will say, "Thou art whole!"
   The lame, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the sick, the sensual, the sinner, I wished to save from the slavery of their own beliefs and from the educational systems of the Pharaohs, who to-day, as of yore, hold the children of Israel in bondage. I saw before me the awful conflict, the Red Sea and the wilderness; but I pressed on through faith in God, trusting Truth, the strong deliverer, to guide me into the land of Christian Science, where fetters fall and the rights of man are fully known and acknowledged.
   Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression. Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free. Paul said, "I was free born." All men should be free. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Love and Truth make free, but evil and error lead into captivity.
   Christian Science raises the standard of liberty and cries: "Follow me! Escape from the bondage of sickness, sin, and death!" Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the "glorious liberty of the children of God," and be free! This is your divine right. The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your being.
   If God had instituted material laws to govern man, disobedience to which would have made man ill, Jesus would not have disregarded those laws by healing in direct opposition to them and in defiance of all material conditions.
   The transmission of disease or of certain idiosyncrasies of mortal mind would be impossible if this great fact of being were learned,--namely, that nothing inharmonious can enter being, for Life is God.
   "This is life eternal," says Jesus,--is, not shall be; and then he defines everlasting life as a present knowledge of his Father and of himself,--the knowledge of Love, Truth, and Life. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." The Scriptures say, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," showing that Truth is the actual life of man; but mankind objects to making this teaching practical.
   Every trial of our faith in God makes us stronger. The more difficult seems the material condition to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love. The Apostle John says: "There is no fear in Love, but perfect Love casteth out fear. . . . He that feareth is not made perfect in Love." Here is a definite and inspired proclamation of Christian Science.
   In the walk to Emmaus, Jesus was known to his friends by the words, which made their hearts burn within them, and by the breaking of bread. The divine Spirit, which identified Jesus thus centuries ago, has spoken through the inspired Word and will speak through it in every age and clime. It is revealed to the receptive heart, and is again seen casting out evil and healing the sick. 
Hymn 260
Frederick L. Hosmer
One thought I have, my ample creed,
   So deep it is and broad,
And equal to my every need,--
   It is the thought of God.
Each morn unfolds His blessings new,
   I take in trust my road;
And rising freshly to my view,
   Shines forth the thought of God.
To this their secret strength they owed,
   The martyr's path who trod;
The fountains of their patience flowed
   From out their thought of God.
Be still the light upon my way,
   My pilgrim staff and rod,
My rest by night, my strength by day,
   O blessed thought of God.
Hymn 90
William Williams
From his hymn in Welsh
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
   Pilgrim through this barren land:
I am Thine, and Thou art mighty,
   Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven! Bread of heaven!
Feed me now and evermore.
Open is the crystal fountain,
   Whence the healing waters flow;
And the fiery cloudy pillar
   Leads me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer! Strong Deliverer!
Still Thou art my strength and shield.


You and your family are invited anytime . . .

First Church of Christ, Scientist
Oxnard, California

Church Services & Sunday School
Sunday Services - 5:00 p.m.  •  Wednesday Testimony Meetings - 7:00 p.m.
in Heritage Hall, 731 South A Street, Oxnard
Sunday School (for young people up to the age of 20) - 5:00 p.m.

Christian Science Reading Room
Bookstore & Library
721 South A Street, Suite A, Oxnard  •  (805) 483-3041
Hours:  Monday - Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.