The ‘unspeakable gift’

For the Lesson titled: "Christian Science" from December 22-28, 2014 

The Apostle Peter wasn’t much of an orator. But on the day of Pentecost, he gave an unforgettable sermon to his fellow Christians in Jerusalem. Just as Jesus had promised his followers before he ascended, the Holy Ghost suddenly empowered them all to speak “as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). Peter preached compellingly about the outpouring of divine Spirit they’d experienced and their mission to forward the gospel of the risen Christ. The climactic point of Peter’s sermon—his fervent invitation to them to “… receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”—forms the Golden Text for this week’s Lesson on Christian Science (Acts 2:38).

The Responsive Reading takes us to the Bible’s first mention of the Holy Ghost, the account of Mary being “found with child of the Holy Ghost” (see Matthew 1:18–23). Though Joseph had felt bound to separate from Mary for apparently conceiving a child out of wedlock, the angel Gabriel appears to Joseph and explains that the baby is of the Holy Ghost. Gabriel informs him that this baby, to be named Jesus, is destined to “save his people from their sins.” He would fulfill the ancient prophecy of the coming of Emmanuel, or “God with us”—through the royal lineage of David represented by Joseph.

Section 1, beginning with the prophecy of Israel’s “Prince of Peace” in Isaiah (9:6, 7, citation 2), traces the arrival of the Messiah in humble surroundings that preview his future ministry to the poor and unpretentious, among others. He’s born in a stable in King David’s hometown of Bethlehem, where Mary and Joseph place the babe in a feeding trough for farm animals. In Section 2, the angel of the Lord, with a chorus of angels, announces the Christ child’s birth to local shepherds (see Luke 2:8–14, cit. 5). Meanwhile, as a preview to Jesus’ later ministry to the Gentiles, Magi from eastern nations (“wise men” with knowledge of science, astrology, and medicine) travel to adore him (Matthew 2:1, 2, 9, 10, cit. 6). 

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Primary Class Instruction
Seeing it all more clearly
December 22, 2014

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