One day a student of Christian Science, when starting to read the weekly Lesson-Sermon in the Christian Science Quarterly, found that the words Responsive Reading had taken on spiritual significance. She realized that the Golden Text, the Responsive Reading, and all the citations from the Christian Science textbooks, the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, are inspired, but that the benefit accruing to the reader must always be in proportion to his responsiveness to spiritual instruction.

In the Responsive Reading, for instance, in one of the Lessons entitled "Life," the student discovered that the first four verses constituted an exhortation to recognize the enduring nature of God's mercies, and that His people should give thanks for the eternal nature of those mercies. The next verse brought out the great spiritual fact that confidence should be reposed in the Lord, and not in any human sense of power. The reading went on to disclose the reason for this trust. It stated, "The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation" (Ps. 118:14). Toward the end there was the prayer of intercession, the request to God, "Open to me the gates of righteousness." As used in our textbooks, gate or door symbolizes the entrance to thought, and usually the opening of spiritual understanding that the ever-present Truth may find entrance into human consciousness. In her principal work, Science and Health, the author says (p. 99): "Truth has furnished the key to the kingdom, and with this key Christian Science has opened the door of the human understanding. None may pick the lock nor enter by some other door."

Indeed, this introduction to the Lesson-Sermon may be considered as the gateway which opens the understanding and prepares thought to receive the messages which come to us weekly through the channel of those inspired writers who—of all who have lived on this earth—have shared with us their most exalted and inspired understanding of God and His Christ. The prophets of the Old Testament, the great Way-shower, Christ Jesus, his immediate followers, and the Apostle Paul, together with the beloved Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, give us each week more, far more, than we are able actually to understand and put into practice. However, there is always the comforting thought that in another six months the same subject, presented in some fresh aspect, will be ours to study and assimilate.

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December 9, 1950

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