''Here's a crossword puzzle you might enjoy doing,'' I told my husband, handing him the local paper. ''You'll have to do it without peeking at the answers,'' I went on, ''because they give the solution only to yesterday's puzzle.''
''That's the story of my life,'' I added facetiously. ''I have answers only to yesterday's problems.''
That last remark was as fallacious as the belief that the Bible is not relevant to today's activities - that it, too, presents answers only to yesterday's problems.
Millions, however, will testify that the Bible plays a vital role in their lives. The spiritual messages in both Old and New Testaments can be applied to every aspect of modern living. They promote morality, justice, brotherhood, and health.
Spiritual concepts found in the Bible come from the one Mind, God, infinite Spirit. Therefore they elevate thought and action. They improve human experience. And they are timeless, relevant in any age.
Health and happiness can't be limited to any period. We are as concerned about them as were the multitudes by the Sea of Galilee. n1 The spiritual truths that enabled Christ Jesus to heal and feed those people are as effective today as they were two thousand years ago.
n1 See Matthew 15:29-38.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was a lifelong student of the Bible. The Church she founded proclaims as its first tenet, ''As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.'' n2 No time limits here!
n2 Manueal of The Mother Church, p. 15.
Christian Scientists look to Jesus as the Way-shower, who illustrated through his life and works how spiritual truth - the truth of God's allness, goodness, and perpetual care for His creation - is made practical in human lives. ''Jesus gave his disciples (students) power over all manner of diseases,'' Mrs. Eddy tells us; ''and the Bible was written in order that all peoples, in all ages, should have the same opportunity to become students of the Christ, Truth, and thus become God-endued with power (knowledge of divine law) and with 'signs following.' Jesus declared that his teaching and practice would remain, even as it did, 'for them also which shall believe on me through their word.' '' n3
n3 The First church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 190.
What are the ''signs following''? Jesus spelled them out: ''These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.'' n4
n4 Mark 16:17,18.
I was reminded of this verse one time in another country when I discovered I had drunk polluted water. Jesus had promised that I would not be hurt - if I believed his teachings. As a Christian Scientist I was a daily Bible reader. And so I indeed accepted our Master's teachings about God and man. I realized that because God is forever perfect, man, the reflection of God, can't lose his perfection. I identified my true being as that spiritual, perfect reflection of God.
Frequently Jesus indicated God's love for man. So I knew God loved me. And I saw that since God is Love itself, and the only creator, there could be no genuine source for anything unlovely, unlike God, good.
Jesus was so ''God-endued with power'' that he could apply these truths to all kinds of problems - so-called terminal illness, hunger, storms, even his own crucifixion - and with scientific certainty find healing solutions. Demand (the problem) and supply (the solution) were not out of balance for Jesus. I knew they need not be for me. God's law of harmony and perfection, which the Bible spells out for us, is just as operative today as it was in Jesus' time.
So there was no negative reaction to drinking the polluted water - for me or for anyone else in my tour group. Once again the Bible had a timely answer to a contemporary problem. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33