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Ascending and Descending: A Message to Sunday School Teachers

From the December 1968 issue of The Christian Science Journal

An old Bible story tells that Jacob once had a dream that has since become well known. "He dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it."Gen. 28:12; Jacob's dream illustrated the seeking and finding, typified by angels, or God's thoughts, that link earth with heaven; and this has a useful lesson for the Christian Science Sunday School teacher.

Every Christian Scientist, through daily Bible study, is learning certain facts of divine reality, or heaven. He uses these facts, in turn, to heal the fleshly ills perpetuated by human error and symbolized by earth. As he practices this healing, he becomes accustomed to seeking the correlation between the divine and human, or between heaven and earth. In Jacob's dream this relationship was symbolized by a ladder. In direct terms Mrs. Eddy writes, "To live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science."The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 160;

Two common mistakes sometimes prevent the student of the Science of Christianity from seeing this ladder in consciousness as clearly as he should. One mistake is to float on clouds of theory; the other is to crawl through the underbrush of worldly modes. The wise Sunday School teacher has some understanding of spiritual reality as revealed in the Bible and some familiarity with the problems of youth as depicted in modern literature. And he looks for an intelligent relationship, a ladder with "angels of God ascending and descending on it." He does not dwell excessively on evil, yet he relates spiritual truths to human experience so clearly that even the most perplexed thought can find the ladder's lowest rungs.

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