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Realize the presence and power of God and be set free!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Reality”
for September 26, 2021

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

 

INTRODUCTION
This week’s Lesson contains so many beautiful ideas about realizing — or awakening to — God’s perfection. As we realize who God is, we become more conscious of who we are as His/Her infinite image and likeness. As we stand as a witness of God, we express many spiritual blessings — including a consciousness of God’s goodness and freedom, and our permanent relationship to God. We realize that this material existence has nothing to do with our real identity because our oneness with God reveals who we are as spiritual, pure, upright, complete, and free. A realization of God gives us this radiant reality, healing, and an ability to shine and reflect this light on all. We feel deeply settled, content, and happy with the Kingdom of Heaven within and thereby are able to shine that light with others.

So, let’s explore and be in awe of God, divine Spirit, together!

GOLDEN TEXT “. . . stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14
Stand still. I love that idea of stillness. It is in the “quiet sanctuary of earnest longings” (SH, p. 15) where we realize our oneness with God and open our thought up wide to the healing influence of divine Love. Divine Love is always there in that quiet sanctuary to help us hear and feel what we need to know. We deny any selfhood apart from God and recognize our God-given ability to know our identity as She has made us – beloved, perfect, wrapped up, and completely free.

Check out this article (although written around Christmastime, it’s ideas stand and are so valuable today), Unwrapping the healing gift of stillness. It helps us understand the healing power of stillness and its healing effect. It says in part, “This does not necessarily require stopping our activity, but occurs as we let the Christ still our mental churning. Then, we can find a deep-settled calm and peace, even in the midst of a lot of things going on… As we cultivate an awareness of God’s divine presence as ever with us, we feel spiritual stillness. Acknowledging God’s goodness and peace working in our lives, we can take action from the standpoint of stillness…”

RESPONSIVE READING
Psalm 140 is really wonderful – can’t you just hear the psalmist standing in awe of God? He is clearly deeply considering the nature of God. The vastness, infinitude, power and presence of God are all portrayed in these verses. It reminds me of the divine speeches in the later chapters in Job and, as Bible Lens Research says, Genesis 1.

Similarities between this psalm and the creation account in Genesis 1 are marked. Some Bible authorities perceive the Genesis pattern in the psalm, from the order of the heavens to the assurance of goodness (see v. 28). (Bible Lens Research, Christian Science Sentinel)

I love the exegesis Mary Baker Eddy wrote on the book of Genesis, pages 501-557, in the Key to the Scriptures part of our textbook. It gives us such a clear view of creation – a spiritual reality, complete and distinct from matter. It always gives me such a sense of peace and gratitude when I read it – a sweet assurance of God’s perfection and love.

By learning more about God’s nature, we learn more about our nature as the image and likeness of God. When our thought awakens to who God is, and who we are as spiritual beings, healing happens!

Gaining a clearer sense of who God is and what God has already done relieves us of many feelings of pressure or burden as we yield to God’s complete, harmonious control.
Let’s take a look at some of the things God does:

  • God is clothed with honor and majesty
  • God is covered with light as with a garment (“in him is no darkness at all” 1 John 1:5))
  • God stretches out the heavens like a curtain
  • Laid the foundations (strong, stable, spiritual, secure) of the earth – that it should not be moved ever
  • Walks on the wind (dominion) and makes the cloud his chariot (God is infinite — big, really big!)
  • Sendest forth his spirit — we are created! (We are the effect! An indissoluble relationship)
  • God’s thoughts toward us are very deep (and good, holy, and loving).

Recognizing God as the Cause and each of us as the effect of God is such a help.
God is the DO and we are the ing.
God is the DANCE and we are the ing.
God is the SEE and we are the ing. (the effect of what God is seeing and doing).

So, what is our response? Psalm 86 tells us:

  • Give thanks to the Lord
  • Sing praises to God’s name
  • Be glad through the works of God
  • Triumph in the work of God!

SECTION 1 – SPIRIT OPENS YOUR EYES TO DISCERN THE BEAUTIFUL REALITY GOD CREATES
Psalms 119 has two beautiful prayerful petitions of God:

Open thou mine eyes…
Make me to understand…

Sometimes we need to ask God for help! Help me see, God, help me understand that all you have made is complete and perfect. When we need to ask God for help, it’s great to ask God to help us see more clearly what God is already seeing and knowing.

I often think of how Elisha prayed for his servant – that his servant could understand the power and presence of God right there with them. “LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17) What a beautiful, compassionate prayer. Elisha was already seeing the power of God and he knew his servant just needed a little help seeing clearly – spiritually discerning – the love of God that was surrounding them.

What opens our eyes? What causes us to perceive the holy ideas that are right at hand? The Holy Spirit — the Christ — the activity of the power and presence of God. Paul describes this in 1st Corinthians 2: “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW (with absolute certainty) the things that are freely given to us of God.” (cit. B2/1st Cor. 2:1, 4, 11, 12)

That’s grace! It’s the grace of God that freely supplies our needs without asking anything in return. Mary Baker Eddy defines the grace of God as “the effect of God understood.” (Pan, p. 10) Although this gift of God is freely given to each of us (we don’t have to earn it), we naturally want to say “thank you” for it. We want to live in gratitude for it! We are so grateful for the goodness of God, that we naturally want to live our lives in service to Him. It’s like a “thank you” card for the beautiful reality that God has given us.

The New International Version puts the passage this way:

“In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” (I Cor 2:11-13)

“The spiritual reality IS the scientific fact in all things.” (citation S1/207) The spiritual reality is the present tense fact and is the basis for our prayers. Consciousness yields as we awaken to this spiritual fact. Things that are “spiritual are the real and eternal”. (cit. S2, 289) is what makes us safe, comfortable, peaceful, content, and satisfied. By looking “deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things.” (cit. S4/129) we won’t get confused by the deceptive material senses around us. This type of perception is spiritual – it is revealed by the Spirit to each of us — it is not about what the material senses say about something. Looking deeply into spiritual reality reveals the spiritual nature of things, and it heals. It is the role and ability we each have as spiritual metaphysicians.

Mary Baker Eddy writes that “Spirit imparts the understanding which uplifts consciousness and leads into all truth.” (cit. S3/505:16-17) Just as she was healed through the Spirit awakening her up to her nature as completely spiritual, so the Spirit reveals the spiritual truth we need to see each moment. “This understanding is not intellectual [thankfully, it’s not the result of years of schoolwork!]…it is the reality of all things brought to light.” (cit. S3 continued /505:28-30) Light is illumination, spontaneity, freedom, clarity, discernment, perception. That means it always includes freshness and revelation! It is freely given to us — and to everyone regardless of educational background and economic status — wherever we go.

SECTION 2 – HELP
It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to ask for help. When you ask for help, you aren’t legitimizing the problem or making it more real. You’re just admitting that you need help. Thank goodness that
a) help is at hand, and
b) you were never made to stand up on your own anyway.
There IS no life without God, so to assume that there could be times when we DON’T need help, when we DON’T need God, is a bold assumption indeed!

It’s just that, when we ask for help, we need to be willing to hear the answer. Often, I find myself repeating the problem over and over, convincing myself of how terrible it is (and I say this gently! Because we all know that sometimes things are just really hard.). But right there, is where we have the right to just slow down, admit we need help, and then be still and listen. Asking for help is an implicit admission that a helper is at hand, right? So, let’s quietly rejoice in the fact that God is here, and that He can show us the way forward. We can make space in our hearts for the presence of Love. Since “all reality is in God and His creation,” (cit. S6/472:24-26 All) it’s in Spirit that we find our true answers.

I had an experience recently that helped me gain a deeper understanding of effectively asking for help. You can read a fuller account in the article titled “What is real?” (July 26, 2021 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel), but in brief, I was having trouble with a sore throat and was just trying to talk myself through the healing. This wasn’t feeling effective, and in pausing and going directly to God for help, I received a clear and inspiring answer that both entirely revitalized my sense of prayer, and brought complete healing. God is the only source of true information, I found, so any report from the material so-called senses is no information at all and is not a worthy basis for assessing our health. All health, all reality, is found only in God, pure good. This is a standard we can rely on.

SECTION 3 – LOOK TO THE TRUE CAUSE AND FIND HEALING
I love this story of the healing of blindness in the book of John chapter 9 because it really points to the question “why?” We often get caught up in wondering why we have a problem, what did I do, or what did I say, or what did I think to have this problem. Why is this person having this misfortune or this thing is happening, when the fact is (spiritually speaking) that it isn’t! Instead we can start with this question: why is this situation not true? Starting from God’s perspective leads to healing. The answer will always be because I am the blessed child of God. Because God loves me and never lets me go. Because the Christ is right here and now, and breaking every spell of materiality. Because I could never escape God’s grasp.

Jesus demonstrated that there wasn’t a cause for this problem – no one had thought anything wrong, or done anything, and matter certainly didn’t have the ability to recreate or obscure God’s spiritual creation. He proved the fallacy of life and intelligence in matter and demonstrated man’s inherent nature as the reflection of God as whole and complete. He demonstrated Genesis 1 as the only real origin “story”.

“The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship.” (cit. S15/316)

Bible Lens Research has this to say about this Bible account:

“In questioning the cause of the man’s blindness, the disciples reveal their belief in the theological doctrine of retribution—the teaching that God punishes sinners by sending misfortune or illness. Jesus refutes this concept in verse 3, addressing his friends’ spiritual blindness before he heals the man’s physical blindness.”

So, where do we want to keep our thought focused before, during, and after a healing? Always on God — the one true Source — the only true Why. We want to lose sight of a flawed, material selfhood to find our real identity in Christ — always spiritual, coming straight from God, as a perfect and blessed child.

“Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird which has burst from the egg and preens its wings for a skyward flight.” (cit. S17/261)

SECTION 4 – THEORIES
There are a lot of theories about reality, aren’t there. One theory is that when things are around long enough, they start to “age,” meaning they essentially go bad. But this ‘law’ is not evenly applied – trees do pretty well after a long time (check out the Great Basin bristlecone pine) while mayflies have a 24-hour lifespan. There’s no hard and fast delineation of what happens at various states in time. There’s not even a solid understanding within the physical sciences of why aging happens at all, let alone all the negative effects associated with it. So, what do we call it when a law isn’t 100% applied and reliable? That’s right – it’s simply not a law! So, there must be another law, another way of looking at life and reality, that gives us a firmer grasp or understanding than just wading through the muck of mortal assumptions. Check out the article Time Masters in the August 3, 2009 issue of The Christian Science Sentinel with contributions from Laurance Doyle for more on this subject.

I love Paul’s promise that “I will shew you a mystery…” (cit. B13/1st Cor. 15:51) It’s okay that we don’t understand everything! But we do understand some things, and we let our faith be grounded in an understanding that God is indeed good, here, and is Life itself. This understanding simply doesn’t leave room for the legitimacy of death. So, again, even though we don’t understand everything about everything, we do have every right to let our approach and treatment of ourselves and others be based in what we DO know and persist in turning to God to see more fully what this means. (In the case of Peter raising Tabitha from the dead in citation B14, he knew that Life was deathless from seeing both Jairus’ daughter and Jesus himself raised from death.) It’s important that it wasn’t Peter’s personal power that raised Tabitha. Death is an illusion – there is no “right time to die” – and Peter was willing to have his eyes opened to the law of Life, instead of being fascinated with the non-law of matter.

 SECTION 5 – PROMISES
This section has a beautiful blend of promises and action steps – things we are promised by God, and things we can promise to do. We can rejoice always, praise God ceaselessly (see Bible citation 15/1st Thessalonians 5:16, 19, 21). Sometimes this is hard – in fact, most of the times when we need help, things often seem so hard that we can’t praise God. Thank goodness God is not grading us or judging whether or not we praise Him well enough! The “wonderful works which [He] hast done” (cit. B17/Ps. 40:5, 16) are established forever and are always including us in their beneficial effects. You yourself are one of the wonderful things Spirit has done! God’s grace and peace are always given to us – and as we keep learning more and breaking more and more bounds of material so-called laws of reality, we’ll see fuller and fuller views of God’s nature. So, when it’s hard to praise God, take a sigh of relief that He loves you anyway, and just let yourself be still – refusing to be caught up in the storm of the moment – and let yourself consider the nature of Allness. Make space in your heart for the fact that Love is here, and that you are divinely able to admit that fact. There is nothing real aside from God and God’s expression; it makes sense, then, that it’s in turning to Him that we’ll find what’s really happening in our lives.

SECTION 6 – BLESSING
This section feels like a big blessing, a big blanket to wrap ourselves up in, a wonderful way to remember the fundamental facts, that God is here, He loves us, He made all His work to be good, and we are able to gently awake to these facts. The power is all God’s; we are glad to orient ourselves from His perspective and admit that all reality is found in Spirit’s eyes and in the arms of Love. All God’s works praise Him, faithfully represent Him, says the Bible (citation B20/Ps. 145:9-11); metaphysics shows us God’s creation in this true light (see Science and Health citation S30/269:14-20). The real, is real; it’s not abstract, somewhere out there, someday we’ll find it. The real is here, now, and we’re a part of it. Everything real is eternally here, and God’s love allows us to be awake to it.

I’d like to close this met by sharing a beautiful poem that speaks to me about the wondrous awakening and freshness that accompanies every new glimpse of reality. It’s titled ‘Practitioner to Patient,’ by Godfrey John (May 1976 issue of the Christian Science Journal):

“Listen, I’m so happy

about this spring—this

breath of right, this bloom of bright

things through you—

 “For as the earth

bringeth forth her bud,

and as the garden

causeth the things that are sown in it

to spring forth ….”

 God’s fragrance blows

from His thoughts sown along your days.

 But wait, there’s something more.

The old tree sprouts again: it does not yield

old leaves—!

 Your life goes on

just as lush and fresh and strong and free.

 I tell you, I’m so happy about this spring ….

This blooming of fresh ideas and views of reality is happening every day, and you are forever included in this sweet heaven.”

Have a blessed week!


New Virtual, Deep-Dive Bible Study!

Special Discount:  Take $25 off the online course rate
THROUGH MIDNIGHT ON MONDAY, September 20th. 

Our in-person Bible Study will continue this October at CedarS, and we will now offer a virtual Bible Study option by Zoom as well, designed to fit your timing and desire to expand your Bible-based spiritual growth!  

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE from The Campership Fund is available as needed for you, your family, and your Bible Study group. 

CLICK HERE for program details, enrollment links, & more on this special savings window for YOU & yours!


CLICK HERE FOR INSPIRING GEMs of INSIGHTS from COBBEY CRISLER and others!

[This is largely complete but may have additions before it is emailed.]


Also, check-out Ken Cooper’s “Poetic Prelude” for “REALITY,” the Christian Science Bible Lesson for 9-26-2021

  • In the monologue “Not born blind but born again” we see the blind man’s lifelong view of his limited reality changed by Jesus understanding of his true reality.
  • In the monologue “Tabitha” , read by Sue Cooper, we see a woman’s view of her best friend, Tabitha as dead awakened by Peter’s view of the immortality of her and her good deeds.  

CedarS is humbly grateful to God that we completed 12 wonderful weeks of hosting summer campers and staff as well as two recent weekends hosting youth groups! You can enjoy daily spiritual sense insights by scrolling down our Inspiration webpage for “Prac Talks” to start nearly every day (& activity) with a God-centered focus.  The last Prac Talk by David Price, CS, invited everyone to take home the best version of themselves that had been nurtured at CedarS and to expunge (as never-true fables) any lesser history. Abundant fruitage will continue to be shared!!

Heartfelt thanks to all you, greatly NEEDED and precious supporters, who continue to help CedarS give LIFELONG, DIFFERENCE-MAKING BLESSINGS to hundreds of families and thousands of individuals all across the U.S. and the world. To discuss how to play a vital, ongoing role in our work, feel free to call or text me (Warren Huff) at 314-378-2574 with your pledge or intent to give a planned gift, required IRA distribution or an endowment gift (that will be MATCHED!). Your ongoing support is needed to help us “love into view” continued, lasting blessings and legacies each year.

Click here to give to CedarS and support spiritual growth in CS youth. 

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