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For the Lesson titled “Life” from January 13–19, 2014
Conspiracies can be as harmless as children hiding from a searching playmate, or as dangerous as a coordinated effort to inflict major damage. But the biggest conspiracy of all is exposed in this Bible Lesson titled “Life,” the fiction that man is trapped in an aging mortal body and helpless to stave off the destructive impact of time. “Time-tables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood,” Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 246, citation 10).
The book of Joshua provides powerful biblical examples of how individuals moved to a different rhythm than “the clanging bells of time” (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 418), a phrase from a hymn by Ellen M. H. Gates that captures the relentless march of time . Asked to undertake the important mission of investigating the land where the Israelites were headed, Caleb shared the reason for his success, as well as his vigor, more than four decades later: “I wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God” (Joshua 14:8, New Living Translation, see cit. 11.) [This article quotes Bible passages from a variety of translations. All of the passages in the Bible Lesson itself are taken from the King James Version.]
Centuries later, a woman would demonstrate the timelessness of the same life-giving principle that Caleb had discovered, when she wholeheartedly pursued Jesus and was healed of a debilitating disease. The story in Luke 8 (see cit. 15) explains that although crowds surrounded Jesus, he felt the touch of one individual who had exhausted not only her funds, but also possibly her hope, on physicians who had been unsuccessful in curing her. Because of her disease, the woman was considered ceremonially unclean under Jewish law (see Leviticus 15:25), perhaps accounting for her efforts at a secretive touch of the Master’s robe. “She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped” (Luke 8:44, New Revised Standard Version).
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About the author
Madelon Maupin enjoys sharing her love of the Scriptures through talks and Bible studies. She has a master’s degree in theological studies from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
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