Notes and References from Sunday October 31, 1999
Moral Courage

Luke 7:37-47
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, 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. 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. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. 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. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 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.

The story from Luke illustrates moral courage. Understand that Jesus was at a party at the home of Simon the Pharisee. This was a private party and a very important event. There is a knock on the door. Oh no, itís Mary the town prostitute. (I suspect most of the men knew her wellóyes, in the biblical sense). How embarrassing, what was she doing there? Get rid of her or at the very least keep her away from the Master! (One does not have to be too imaginative to understand the awkwardness/delicateness of this situation.) What does Mary do? She goes straight to Jesus. The Pharisee and his guests by now are going nuts. Whatís worse is Jesus is reclining back in a Lazy Boy type chair with his feet up. She goes behind the chair and starts to wash his feet ďwith tearsĒ.

(Now wait a minute. How does one cry enough to produce sufficient teardrops to wash ones feet?) Well, there are two possible answers: (1) She actually used water and washed his feet while she was crying, or (2) she had a supply of tears. Most Bible scholars think it was the latter. You see, in those days people would save their tears in what was called a tear bag and it represented the sum total of lifeís grief. The belief was that if you were buried with your tear bag you would enter into heaven regardless of your sins. If this was the case then it was evident that Mary was sacrificing her ticket to heaven in exchange for washing the Masterís feet. Quite a sacrifice.)

Well, back to the story. The guests are really going crazy. Now she is rubbing his feet with oil, stroking his feet with the hairs of her head and kissing his feet. What gives, how could Jesus allow such a women to do this. Jesus letís Simon have it and doesnít spare his feelings in doing so. Then he forgave the woman.

It took great courage for her to enter that house. She showed resolve, purpose, and she didnít care what anyone thought. She expressed tenderness and might.

If we go to Science and Health and read about moral courage we find that it isnít a lecture about sex, drugs, drinking, swearing or ethics. MBE points out the qualities associated with moral courage and it isnít the qualities one might think. Itís the qualities Mary expressed.

S&H 514:7-19
Mind's infinite ideas run and disport themselves. In humility they climb the heights of holiness.
Moral courage is "the lion of the tribe of Juda," the king of the mental realm. Free and fearless it roams in the forest. Undisturbed it lies in the open field, or rests in "green pastures, . . . beside the still waters." In the figurative transmission from the divine thought to the human, diligence, promptness, and perseverance are likened to "the cattle upon a thousand hills." They carry the baggage of stern resolve, and keep pace with highest purpose. Tenderness accompanies all the might imparted by Spirit.

Letís break the paragraph down. First we are required to humble ourselves. This state of humility allows us to prepare out thought in order to make good decisions and give us the tools we need to do effective healing work. Have you ever noticed that many Christian Scientists refuse to react when something bad happens? Rose colored glasses? No! They remain ďundisturbedĒ and are not impressed with the so-called evidence of the material senses. This undisturbed stillness allows them to receive divine thoughts (inspiration-the still small voice) and then they act in obedience to this inspiration with diligence, promptness (always ready to act-right now), perseverance, resolve, purpose, tenderness and might. Those are the ingredients to good moral decision making and effective healing. I have listed them below in outline form.


Now look at how our Daily Prayer from the Manual coincides with this lesson. Your homework this week is to say this prayer every morning and go though each day this week doing your very best to remain undisturbed no matter what.

Man 41:19
Daily Prayer. SECT. 4. It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to pray each day: "Thy kingdom come;" let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!

See you all next week.

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