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'Christ--the Light Shining in Darkness'

By Robert W. Jeffery, C.S.B., of Franklin, Michigan, lectures in Boston(c) 1982 The Christian Science Board of Directors, All rights reserved / February 16, 1982

"The Bible has been the chart of life for millions," says Christian Science lecturer Robert W. Jeffery. "Its light can show us our place in God's tender plan." His lecture, "Christ--the Light Shining in Darkness," was given at the strand Theater, Uphams Corner, in the Dorchester section of Boston, on Saturday. It was sponsored by Churches of Christ, Scientist, in Boston.

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Mr. Jeffery is a lifelong Christian Scientist who resigned from a career in engineering and management to devote his full time to the healing ministry of Christian Science. He is also a teacher of Christian Science. His appointment to The Christian Science Board of Lectureship has taken him to many cities to lecture on his Church's committment to Christian healing.

Mrs. Arnise Brown, a member of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston (Roxbury), introduced Mr. Jeffery.

An abridged text of the lecture follows:

Human experrience involves many kinds of darkness. We may even be in the dark about life's purpose, and what salvation is all about! But we don't need to stay there! We can rejoice over the prophet Isaiah's words: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined" (Isa. 9:2).

The navigator of a ship lost in the middle of the ocean would rejoice is he saw lights that he could recognize. For centuries seamen have used the stars to determine their position, and finding it, have confidently charted their course.

If we're at sea with a swirl of problems tossing us around, we need only determine our true position in God's universe. Then we'll be able to chart a course to better health, family harmony, job fulfillment, or whatever right goal we have. The Bible has all the light we need to find our place in God's tender plan. Christian Science has come to help us focus this light toward the practical solution of the problems of modern living.

Like all true Christians, Christian Scientists revere Jesus for the perfect example he set in following the light. Finding the spirtual beacon

Christian Science includes an expanded view of the Christ--not limited to the personality of our Master, Christ Jesus, but a still-available light, divine Truth speaking directly to human consciousness -to you and me. It tells us the Christ wast the divine influence animating Jesus, and it's still reaching out to animate you and me.

What is the nature of this great light?

The navigator knows he can't follow lights attached to his own ship. So we don't find the Christ, our spirtual beacon, in mere self-regenerated positive thinking. Like the starlight the navigator uses, the Christ light comes from a consistent, describable, eternal source beyond one's self. But unlike the starlight, the Christ affects us as light affects plants. It's the power of God's love to draw us back to good--to comfort, guide, and heal us. Its light is no harsh spotlight to incinerate sinners. Its beam is precise, but also soft, full of hope and joy. It's not mere emotion, nor is it bizarre. It's radical but not fanatical!

Let me tell you how a tiny glimpse of the Christ light helped me. I was a newly promoted chief engineer of a large hydraulics company. I suddenly found myself with a technical problem. It had defied solution by virtually our whole engineering department, in spite of several months of hectic work. Not only was my job at stake, but the very survival of our business was in jeopardy, because several million dollars was involved. We couldn't even determine the reason the product was failing.

Finally, in desperation, we suggested to our customer a modification we thought might help. He was willing to try anything, but he wanted us to make the change without telling the United States Navy, which was the ultimate customer. Everyone approved the plan but me. I vetoed the scheme on the basis that it wasn't honest to do this work under cover. My colleagues were despondent, because it seemed as if we had abandoned our only hope.