First Church of Christ, Scientist, La Cañada Flintridge

Wednesday Meeting Readings

Food and diet
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
The Bible
  1. Ps. 104:14

    14He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

  2. II Kings 4:38-41

    38And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.

    39And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.

    40So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof.

    41But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.

  3. Joel 2:23, 24, 26, 27

    23Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

    24And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

    ... 26And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

    27And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

  4. Dan. 1:1, 3-6, 8, 10-15

    1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

    3And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;

    4Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

    5And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.

    6Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

    8But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

    ... 10And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

    11Then said Daniel to Melzar whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

    12Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

    13Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

    14So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.

    15And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.

  5. Mark 7:1, 2, 14, 15, 20-23

    1Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

    2And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

    14And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:

    15There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

    ... 20And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

    21For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

    22Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

    23All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

  6. Luke 12:22

    22And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

  7. Acts 10:9-16

    9On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

    10And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

    11And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

    12Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

    13And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

    14But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

    15And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

    16This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

  8. Ps. 128:1, 2

    1Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.

    2For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
by Mary Baker Eddy

  1. SH 232:19

    Jesus never taught that drugs, food, air, and ex-ercise could make a man healthy, or that they could de-21stroy human life; nor did he illustrate these errors by his practice. He referred man’s harmony to Mind, not to matter, and never tried to make of none effect the sen-24tence of God, which sealed God’s condemnation of sin, sickness, and death.

  2. SH 389:13

        Our dietetic theories first admit that food sustains the life of man, and then discuss the certainty that food can 15Scripture rebukeskill man. This false reasoning is rebuked in Scripture by the metaphors about the fount and stream, the tree and its fruit, and the kingdom di-18vided against itself. If God has, as prevalent theories maintain, instituted laws that food shall support human life, He cannot annul these regulations by an opposite 21law that food shall be inimical to existence.

  3. SH 388:12-7

    12    Admit the common hypothesis that food is the nutri-ment of life, and there follows the necessity for another Sustenance spiritualadmission in the opposite direction, — that 15food has power to destroy Life, God, through a deficiency or an excess, a quality or a quantity. This is a specimen of the ambiguous nature of all material 18health-theories. They are self-contradictory and self-de-structive, constituting a “kingdom divided against itself,” which is “brought to desolation.” If food was prepared 21by Jesus for his disciples, it cannot destroy life.

        The fact is, food does not affect the absolute Life of man, and this becomes self-evident, when we learn that 24God sustains manGod is our Life. Because sin and sickness are not qualities of Soul, or Life, we have hope in immortality; but it would be foolish to venture beyond 27our present understanding, foolish to stop eating until we gain perfection and a clear comprehension of the living Spirit. In that perfect day of understanding, we shall 30neither eat to live nor live to eat.

        If mortals think that food disturbs the harmonious functions of mind and body, either the food or this thought 389 389:1must be dispensed with, for the penalty is coupled with the belief. Which shall it be? If this decision be left 3Diet and digestionto Christian Science, it will be given in behalf of the control of Mind over this belief and every erroneous belief, or material condition. The less we 6know or think about hygiene, the less we are predisposed to sickness.

  4. SH 385:22-1

        You say that you have not slept well or have overeaten. You are a law unto yourself. Saying this and believing 24Our sleep and foodit, you will suffer in proportion to your belief and fear. Your sufferings are not the penalty for having broken a law of matter, for it is a law of mortal 27mind which you have disobeyed. You say or think, be-cause you have partaken of salt fish, that you must be thirsty, and you are thirsty accordingly, while the oppo-30site belief would produce the opposite result.

        Any supposed information, coming from the body or from inert matter as if either were intelligent, is an illu-386386:1sion of mortal mind, — one of its dreams.

  5. SH 197:21

    21    We are told that the simple food our forefathers ate helped to make them healthy, but that is a mistake. Diet and dyspepsiaTheir diet would not cure dyspepsia at this 24period. With rules of health in the head and the most digestible food in the stomach, there would still be dyspeptics. Many of the effeminate constitutions 27of our time will never grow robust until individual opin-ions improve and mortal belief loses some portion of its error.

  6. SH 176:7

        The primitive custom of taking no thought about food left the stomach and bowels free to act in obedi-9ence to nature, and gave the gospel a chance to be seen in its glorious effects upon the body. A ghastly array of diseases was not paraded before the imagination. There 12were fewer books on digestion and more “sermons in stones, and good in everything.” When the mechanism of the human mind gives place to the divine Mind, self-15ishness and sin, disease and death, will lose their foothold.

  7. SH 220:26

        The belief that either fasting or feasting makes men 27better morally or physically is one of the fruits of “the Volition far-reachingtree of the knowledge of good and evil,” con-cerning which God said, “Thou shalt not eat 30of it.” Mortal mind forms all conditions of the mortal body, and controls the stomach, bones, lungs, heart, blood, etc., as directly as the volition or will moves the hand.

  8. SH 221:1-24 (to ;), 29

    221:1    I knew a person who when quite a child adopted the Graham system to cure dyspepsia. For many years, he 3Starvation and dyspepsiaate only bread and vegetables, and drank noth-ing but water. His dyspepsia increasing, he decided that his diet should be more rigid, and 6thereafter he partook of but one meal in twenty-four hours, this meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread without water. His physician also recommended that 9he should not wet his parched throat until three hours after eating. He passed many weary years in hunger and weakness, almost in starvation, and finally made up 12his mind to die, having exhausted the skill of the doctors, who kindly informed him that death was indeed his only alternative. At this point Christian Science saved him, 15and he is now in perfect health without a vestige of the old complaint.

        He learned that suffering and disease were the self-18imposed beliefs of mortals, and not the facts of being; that God never decreed disease, — never ordained a law that fasting should be a means of health. Hence semi-21starvation is not acceptable to wisdom, and it is equally far from Science, in which being is sustained by God, Mind. These truths, opening his eyes, relieved his stomach, and 24he ate without suffering, “giving God thanks;”27

        This new-born understanding, that neither food nor 30Mind and stomachthe stomach, without the consent of mortal mind, can make one suffer, brings with it an-other lesson, — that gluttony is a sensual illusion, and 222 222:1that this phantasm of mortal mind disappears as we better apprehend our spiritual existence and ascend the ladder 3of life.

  9. SH 222:4-6 (np)

        This person learned that food affects the body only as mortal mind has its material methods of working, one 6of which is to believe that proper food supplies nutriment and strength to the human system. He learned also that mortal mind makes a mortal body, whereas Truth re-9generates this fleshly mind and feeds thought with the bread of Life.

        Food had less power to help or to hurt him after he 12had availed himself of the fact that Mind governs man, and he also had less faith in the so-called pleasures and pains of matter. Taking less thought about what he 15should eat or drink, consulting the stomach less about the economy of living and God more, he recovered strength and flesh rapidly. For many years he had 18been kept alive, as was believed, only by the strictest ad-herence to hygiene and drugs, and yet he continued ill all the while. Now he dropped drugs and material 21hygiene, and was well.

        He learned that a dyspeptic was very far from being the image and likeness of God, — far from having “do-24minion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle,” if eating a bit of animal flesh could overpower him. He finally concluded that God 27never made a dyspeptic, while fear, hygiene, physiology, and physics had made him one, contrary to His commands.

        In seeking a cure for dyspepsia consult matter not at 30Life only in Spiritall, and eat what is set before you, “asking no question for conscience sake.” We must destroy the false belief that life and intelligence are in 223 223:1matter, and plant ourselves upon what is pure and per-fect. Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not 3fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Sooner or later we shall learn that the fetters of man’s finite capacity are forged by the illusion that he lives in body instead of in Soul, in matter 6instead of in Spirit.

  10. SH 254:6

    God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won. To stop eating, drinking, or being 9clothed materially before the spiritual facts of existence are gained step by step, is not legitimate. When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs 12our path. Imperfect mortals grasp the ultimate of spir-itual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to con-tinue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of 15being, is doing much.

From the Christian Science Hymnal
Hymn 327
Hymn 201
Hymn 330