Thanks for a wonderful summer!

A Ken Cooper poem in the CS Journal called, “christian-science-practice”

Discover a deeper understanding of God that heals.
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Christian Science”
for June 27, 2021

by Lindsey and John Biggs, C.S of Maryland Heights, MO
541 460 3515 biggs.lindsey@gmail.com
541 418 1176 JohnBiggsCS@gmail.com

Introduction

This week’s Bible Lesson contains wonderful ideas on how we perceive the Word of God – an understanding already written on the hearts of every man, woman, and child. There are many ways to dive deeper into that understanding – the understanding that God has created all of us perfectly in His/Her image and likeness. The understanding of God is like a light that illuminates ignorance or fear with a real communion with God that enlightens and heals. Each section contains ways that this understanding of our relationship with God is brought forth through the revelation of Christian Science. Enjoy digging in and finding out more!

Golden Text

How comforting to know that we have our Pastor with us all the time! We can pack our Pastor in our bag, take it with us on a plane or a hike, and know that we have instant access to gain the insight and understanding we need.

In 1894, Mary Baker Eddy designated the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as the Pastor of the Christian Science church, replacing personal preaching by individuals, with Lesson-Sermons read from these two books.

In her reason for this, she states: “My students were preaching and sending me copies of their sermons. They grew worse and worse. Finally one came which was so great a mixture that if I had not known the fact, I should not have been able to tell whether the writer were a Christian Scientist, a spiritualist, a theosophist. I said to myself, ‘Something must be done and at once.’ I withdrew from all other work, and in solitude and almost ceaseless prayer, I sought and found God’s will. At the end of the three weeks, I received the answer, and it came to me as naturally as dawns the morning light: ‘Why, of course, the Bible and Science and Health.’” (A World More Bright, p. 151-152)

This is why she designated the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as our Pastor! It’s wonderful to hear the Word of God preached directly to us from our Pastor every Sunday and Wednesday through the wonderful Readers that are elected by churches. These Lessons-Sermons feed us “with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15) that we need, as the theme of our Golden Text states. What a gift to know that the Word of God does preach, heal, uplift, bless and transform.

“The Word of God is a powerful preacher, and it is not too spiritual to be practical, nor too transcendental to be heard and understood.”
(Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 11)

Responsive Reading

These passages from Jeremiah (31:33-34) are such a comforting reminder that the law of God is universal – is already written on every heart. Each child of God inherently knows the Word of God – inherently knows their identity as spiritual, whole, complete. This is why Christian Science healing is like waking up – waking up to the reality that we have innately known all along. Our spiritual sense tells us there is so much more to each of us – a beautiful and divine substance – than meets the eye. It is faith that tells us there must be more, and through prayer and study, this faith expands into spiritual understanding and demonstration of who we are as the beloved sons and daughters of God.

With each person we see around the community, we can affirm mentally that the law of God is already written on their heart – they are the spiritual image and likeness of God, already whole, complete, and free. They have a covenant with God, just as we do. We can bear witness to the spirit of Christ within them – their true nature and identity – which is constantly voicing good, Truth, to each human heart and consciousness. So, even if we do help someone to “know the Lord”, we are rejoicing in and affirming their already established relationship to God, and God will speak to them in exactly the way they can understand.

The Responsive Readings from Nehemiah (Nehemiah 8:1-10) continue highlighting the spiritual understanding that God gives to Her children. God doesn’t want, and could never allow any part of Her radiant creation to be kept in the dark. God wants to be understood because the understanding of God brings about the destruction of error and the salvation of the whole world. So, God helps us to understand Her in ways that are practical, tangible and a blessing to us. Ezra helped the people to understand the Word of God in such ways.

“So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” (Nehemiah 8:8 NRSV) The “Bible Lens” Research from the Christian Science Sentinel tells us this:

Although some people were probably literate at a basic level, most had little access to written documents. Now—after the triumphant rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem—they ask Ezra, their scribe and priest, to read the Mosaic law aloud….“From the morning until midday” encompassed five or six hours—an indicator of the reverent attention of the listeners. The account records that the reading was done “distinctly”—communicated to the people in a way that “gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8). Discerning the law makes them happy: “All the people . . . [made] great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them” (v. 12).

Section 1 – Let the Comforter reveal who you really are!

Jesus talks about the Comforter, or paraclete in the Greek, coming after he is gone. He tells us a little bit about the role of this Comforter. It will:

  • Be the “spirit of Truth”
  • Tell us all things
  • Bring everything to our remembrance that Jesus said

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:16, 17/citation B4)

So, the Spirit of truth already dwells within each of us! This hints back to Jeremiah in the Responsive Reading where we read that God has “put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people…. they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them…” (Jeremiah 31:33, 34)

Mary Baker Eddy knew that the Divine Science she discovered did all of that. She experienced the transforming effect of recognizing that God was the only Life when she quickly recovered after a near-fatal fall. But she wasn’t satisfied with just this one healing – she had a hungering and thirsting to know how she was healed. So, she searched the Scriptures, prayed, and put into practice what she was discovering. Others were healed, too, through the application of what she was gleaning. From then on, she realized that the healing she experienced, and that others were experiencing, could be taught and practiced by any sincere seeker of Truth because it was based on a universal Love and divine Principle called God. She taught her first student in 1866. Her students found that through her teachings about God as being all good, Life, and Love, that they could also be a witness to the healing of others through applying what they were learning from her classes. A new movement was born based on this understanding of the nature and laws of God.

Another translation for Comforter is Advocate. According to the Thesaurus, an Advocate (the opposite of adversary) is a backer, defender, lawyer, promoter, supporter, pleader, expounder, spokesperson, upholder. We can know that with every prayer we pray, it is the Advocate, our Defense Attorney, or Comforter defending our rights as the spiritual children of God! It is the Holy Comforter revealing a knowledge and understanding of who we are as the image and likeness of God. Our Comforter, or Advocate, is here with us to help defend, uphold and restore us, and abides with us forever!

Section 2 – Experience the spiritual awakening that comes from reading Science and Health

In Science and Health, one of the “Key to the Scriptures” chapters, entitled Apocalypse, conveys a spiritual interpretation of Revelation 10, 12, and 21. Mary Baker Eddy felt that the “little book” mentioned in Revelation 10:9 signified Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

After a major revision in 1891 that resulted in the 50th edition of Science and Health, she wrote:
“It gives me joy unspeakable to think of the good that I know it will accomplish. The old editions did their work and did it well. But the new has a new task, it takes into its office that of teacher as well as healer; it becomes a living power to uplift the whole human race.” (A World More Bright, p. 128)

It certainly does play the role of healer, as many attest to in the Science and Health chapter entitled “Fruitage.” Here is one example:
“Christian Science was brought to my notice, and I shall never forget the sublime moment when I perceived that an all-loving Father is always with me. Forgotten was all sorrow and worry, and after four weeks’ reading in Science and Health all my ailments had disappeared. I am today a healthy, contented woman.” (Science and Health, p. 655)

One early worker wrote, “the new volume seems to take us back to the College, to gather up its fresh methods and inspired sayings, so that little stretch of the imagination is required to convince us that the teacher herself again is before us, though this time in impersonal form.” (Ibid, p. 128)

Is it simply reading the book that brings healing? No. It is the spiritual awakening that occurs when we read the Truth. As we read, we feel ourselves remembering what we have already known – the beautiful Truth about God and man and the spiritual nature of things; it resonates with us on a deeper level – like the law that is already written on our hearts; and we feel the Christ in us – our spiritual nature – respond to the message; our whole consciousness yields to the message, and, as a result, healing happens!

In Science and Health we read, “The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, ‘as when a lion roareth’ ” (p. 559). I’ve often enjoyed this article: “The inaudible voice of Truth,” which describes the role of a lion’s roar and why Mary Baker Eddy may have used this as a metaphor for the voice of Truth. It says, in part:

“Its purpose is to (1) let the other lions know where he is, (2) show how big he is, and (3) warn lions from other prides to stay away from his territory. Doesn’t God’s “still small voice”—His silent “roar”—tell us He’s right here with us? And doesn’t it assure us how huge His omnipotence is? And doesn’t it warn us to forbid ungodlike thoughts from trespassing in our consciousness?”

Section 3 – The Leaven of Truth is always at work and we can witness it!

 Some sources say that Jesus told about 40 parables in the gospels. Clearly this was a method of communicating ideas that he valued! There are many resources available today that help us dive deeper into the meaning of these precious parables. You may have some favorites. I enjoyed the recent deep dive into “parables related to the economy” on BibleRoads.com.

Notice how Jesus gave the parable to everyone, but only those who were receptive to the message grasped the meaning of it. This reminds me of the Parable of the Good Sower, who sowed his seed on the whole ground, and it grew up in the hearts and minds that were ready for it. The Sower isn’t concerned with who will get the message or not, he just keeps sowing the seeds and trusting it will bring forth fruit at the right time and in the right way. It may be that way when we share Christian Science with friends! Perhaps they aren’t receptive right away, but at some point, they may realize it is just what they are looking for. We never have to be discouraged when people don’t get it right away – Jesus certainly wasn’t! He kept on going about his Father’s business, sharing the good news, and trusting it would speak to the right hearts and bear fruit.

We have the privilege, too, to bear witness to the leaven at work. Of course, the leaven is present everywhere in the world! We can be a witness to that leaven at work all the time, whether it’s in the compassion people express, an improvement in a school system, a more just and equal society. Each of these, and many other examples, are examples of the leaven at work! Once the leaven is placed in the bread, it simply does its work. We may not even be aware that anything is happening with the dough! But the leaven is causing the bread to rise, just like it causes the human consciousness to become spiritualized – to rise higher and higher to understand more spiritual and harmonious views of God and man.

In this particular parable of the “leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (cit. B8/Matthew 13:33), Mary Baker Eddy describes the leaven as being hid in “Science, Theology, and Medicine”. A spiritual science, a spiritual theology, and a spiritual medicine. “In their spiritual significance, Science, Theology, and Medicine are means of divine thought, which include spiritual laws emanating from the invisible and infinite power and grace.” (cit. S12/117:31-25) This is what Mary Baker Eddy revealed to us, and this spiritual leaven is causing all mortal thought to awaken to perceive these three areas – largely perceived as physical – in their inherent spiritual value and import.

Section 4 – Going to God

 

Starting on page 192 of Miscellaneous Writings, Mary Baker Eddy devotes five pages to reflecting on the Bible passage included in citation B11 from the Gospel of John. This paragraph in particular has helped me understand better: “The context of the foregoing Scriptural text explains Jesus’ words, ‘because I go unto my Father.’ ‘Because’ in following him, you understand God and how to turn from matter to Spirit for healing; how to leave self, the sense material, for the sense spiritual; how to accept God’s power and guidance, and become imbued with divine Love that casts out all fear. Then are you baptized in the Truth that destroys all error, and you receive the sense of Life that knows no death, and you know that God is the only Life.” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 194:19)

Going to our Father-Mother God, we naturally find that this impersonal, completely good and omnipotent Love is right here! There is no intermediary, no ‘level’ we need to reach before finding and experiencing the allness of God and His Christ. Sometimes we may feel lost in the desert – crying out for some sort of relief, or “balm in Gilead” (cit. B9/Jer. 8:22) and feeling no response.

If we’re with someone who needs help, who is crying for that peace, don’t fret about trying to find the perfect words. Go to God – admit that our Father-Mother Love is here, and in that admission, we are also admitting that God is right here for your friend, too. If we’re the ones who need help, how comforting it is to know that God adores you, and there is no legitimate power that can keep you from following Jesus in going to God.

As the passages from Science and Health elaborate, the healing effect of going to God is not just “…a phase of the action of the human mind…” (cit. S19/xi:1).  It is the action of God being witnessed and watched for!  How wonderful that this is not some complicated set of human actions, but a yielding to God’s presence – a yielding that we can practice!

 

Section 5 – Personal belief vs. Understanding based on God

The difference between belief and understanding is important. The human mind is not tasked with understanding every single thing about eternity – that isn’t possible from a limited sense of things. But when faced with discord of any sort, we can let our actions and thoughts be based on whatever understanding – firmness, consistency, substance – that we do have, through our practice of “going to our Father,” as Jesus taught and as we considered in the last section. To further help with this question of belief vs. understanding, Mary Baker Eddy gave a question and answer in Recapitulation, in Science and Health, starting on page 487. Check it out when you have time!

It is the “operation of divine Principle” (cit. S23/xi:9-21) which does the healing. Whenever we’re wondering how our healing work can be effective, we love to go to the divine Principle – go directly to our dear Father-Mother! – instead of insisting on the reasons why we personally are clearly so ineffective. Let Love show you what Love is doing. This is another wonderful gift that our Pastor presents to us – always available in thought, or right on our bedside table or even on our electronic devices – the gift of the immediacy of the Word of God.

The “facts of Christian Science” (cit. S26/417:10-16) will never change, so we don’t need to give legitimacy to any frightened sense that Christian Science is less effective with certain types of discord. God’s Word is God’s Word, and it’s not maintained through humans “toeing the line” but by the nature and power of Principle. So, again, we just can learn to love to go to God without insisting on whatever we think the problem is – and see, this day, what God is doing.

Section 6 – Accept and live your true nature today!

We can live this! We were made to go to God. We were made to hear Love’s Word, to feel the joys of Spirit, to be the expression of Soul’s purpose. One of the major theological revolutions that Christian Science brings to the table, is the fact that God doesn’t just love us despite our flaws. God loves us…and since God doesn’t know or include evil, since He loves us, we must be flawless. That flawless man and woman of God’s creating is who “[goes] through the gates…the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord…Sought out, not forsaken.” (cit. B14/Isaiah 62:10) Something about you isn’t flawless? Some problem, some fear, some haunting from the past? What a relief to know, therefore, that that ‘sore spot’ must not be truly yours.

We don’t need to be afraid if the truth of God’s love seems too good to be true. It certainly doesn’t make us egotistical or insufferable to be with; just because the supremacy of God’s Word runs counter to the world’s thought about action and reaction, inevitability, and so on, doesn’t mean we have to believe the world.

Thankfully, since the Word of God is a divine Science and is not just someone’s opinion, we can live it and see. The only requirement – as would be the same for anything you truly wanted to explore – is to test it honestly. Go to God and stay with Him.

However much we question or doubt the testimony of Christian Science, well, at least try extending that same doubt to the testimony of the material senses. How do we know that discord is a stubborn reality? How do you know the problem you’re facing is real? Try working out from the firmness of understanding grounded in Science, instead of staying on the level of human belief. God is here. She loves you and made you and holds you, and is sending angels to your side, to “comfort, guard and guide.” (Christian Science Hymnal No. 9)

Section 7 – Heaven is here!

The Word of God, the light of the world, is here. Christ is risen, the Comforter is come, the Science of Christianity – applicable and available to all and for all – is here. Thank heavens! What a comfort, to know that God is here in all His might and love.

Let’s not fret about trying to understand everything in a day. Let’s not be obsessed with coming up with answers to “what if” questions. Let’s love to go to God, to honor the Pastor of our church, to take Christ Jesus at his word when he said “the fields are white already to harvest.” (cit. B15/John 4:35)

This day, how can we learn more about our need for God, and take concrete steps to demonstrate our love for Christ and Christian Science? To show our love for our sisters and brothers? Our Pastor is for you and for all. Love to share – in deed, word, and book – however Love moves you. Thank you for your love for God and good!


Click here for initial Inspirational GEMs from Cobbey Crisler and others related to citations from this week’s Bible Lesson.


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