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Let the Holy Spirit move you today!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Christ Jesus”
for February 27, 2022

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


 INTRODUCTION

In this week’s Bible Lesson, we discern the supremacy of Christ, the works of Christ Jesus, and the power that comes from God to each receptive heart that is striving to follow Jesus.  It is the Spirit that bears witness to our spiritual identity and the illusiveness of matter. This spiritual sense corrects and heals various situations by giving us a spiritual consciousness that frees us from any despotic tendencies of material mindedness. The Christ is the power and spirit that comes to us with fresh inspiration, movement, and joy enabling us to bless, heal, and follow Jesus’ example.


GOLDEN TEXT

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils;” Mark 16:17

Where does the power come from in this text? The key word is believe.

The 1828 Dictionary defines believe as:
To expect or hope with confidence; to trust…To have a firm persuasion of any thing. In some cases, to have full persuasion, approaching to certainty; to believe on, is to trust, to place full confidence in, to rest upon with faith.

Mary Baker Eddy writes:
“The Hebrew and Greek words often translated belief differ somewhat in meaning from that conveyed by the English verb believe; they have more the significance of faith, understanding, trust, constancy, firmness. Hence the Scriptures often appear in our common version to approve and endorse belief, when they mean to enforce the necessity of understanding.” (Science and Health, p. 488 – emphasis added)


RESPONSIVE READING

“. . . God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:” (Acts 10:38)

God did the anointing. Jesus didn’t do anything of his own volition. It was the power of the Holy Spirit in him. This Spirit was so powerful and present with him that it flowed through him freely enabling him to do the good works that blessed and healed others. He was successful in everything he did. There were no decoys or distractions to take his thought away from the constant realization of the presence of God, good. He lived and demonstrated that “the kingdom of God is at hand”.

John the Baptist expressed this same humility. He knew that he wasn’t the Messiah. He was there to prepare the way – to help people to “repent” so they could be receptive to the message of Christ Jesus.

“No person can take the individual place of the Virgin Mary. No person can compass or fulfil the individual mission of Jesus of Nazareth. No person can take the place of the author of Science and Health, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.” (Retrospection and Introspection, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 70)

We each have a mission in following Christ Jesus. We can pray to cultivate that similar relationship with God, where we can hear and know God’s Word that enables us to help and heal.


SECTION 1 – THE SPIRIT DELIVERS US FROM FALSE LAWS

“. . . when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.” (citation B2/Galatians 4:4,5 NLT)

This Bible passage has a similar theme to these two passages in Romans:

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

The Spirit is constantly “making intercessions” for us and bearing witness to our true, spiritual nature as beloved, holy ideas of God. The Spirit, or Christ, is constantly awakening us from false laws. What are some of the false laws that Jesus came to free us from?

If the people were slaves to spiritual laws, there would be no need for redemption! But what kind of laws were they slaves to? Were those laws really ordained and sanctioned by God, the divine Principle? The Christ comes today to free us from such false laws.

“The so-called law of mortal mind, conjectural and speculative, is made void by the law of immortal Mind, and false law should be trampled under foot.” (Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 229)

And here we get back to the theme of where our power – our “oomph” – comes from!

“Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea, — the reflection of God, — has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth.” (citation S4, SH p. 333)

How do we be more “prepared to receive Christ, Truth”? By having the humility of the Master Christian who said “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30). Humility trusts that we are receptive to God and can be used by God. It’s not our human perfectionism or intellect that heals, but the power of Spirit that comes to human consciousness and breaks the dream with the Christly message of the Kingdom of Heaven at hand and the realization of the allness of Spirit.

This Spirit is the Christ awakening us to our real identity and spiritual nature. It erases, restores, uplifts, transforms, renews, blesses, and frees. It reveals the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and the actual reign of harmony within us.

“Humility is lens and prism to the understanding of Mind-healing; it must be had to understand our textbook; it is indispensable to personal growth, and points out the chart of its divine Principle and rule of practice.”
(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 356)


SECTION 2 – THE POWER OF CHRIST HEALS MENTAL ILLNESS

“We do live in the world, but we do not fight in the same way the world fights. We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God…We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” (II Cor NCV)

There is a great book called Stories of Healing from the Christian Science Reading Room that does a great job of paraphrasing this healing (and many other healings from the New Testament).

“One Sabbath when Jesus was teaching, there was a mentally ill man in the synagogue. In those days, people believed invisible beings called demons or evil spirits could make them sick. So the people in the synagogue thought this man had demons in him….Jesus knew the demons were just bad or wild thoughts. And he was sure that God, who is all-good and all-powerful, could destroy wild thoughts…Jesus knew that God is always in control and that demons, or bad thoughts, had no power over God or this man.” (Stories of Healing, p. 17)

The “Bible Lens” commentary in The Christian Science Sentinel has this to add:
“Devils or demons (Greek, daimonion) was the term for evil spirits believed to be responsible for physical and mental ills. Destroying them was central to Jesus’ ministry and teaching, and he conferred this ability on his disciples as well…” (“Bible Lens”, Christian Science Sentinel)

There are many wonderful testimonies on JSH Online related to mental health. You can find a whole section of them here. You will need to be a subscriber of JSH to view them, but, if you are not, you can look up the article you want to read in the Bound Volumes at your local Reading Room.  Here is one article you can read for free here: The Oneness of Mind and Our Mental Health


SECTION 3 – DISTRACTION-FREE LIVING!

Don’t divide your attention. Every day brings so many distractions – phones buzzing, weather patterns shifting, ads and people trying to get your attention… and that’s to say nothing of the things that we actually want to do, like spending time with our families, our careers, and with God. How can we make sure that we aren’t badly dividing our time out – corrupting what should be a good activity – with needless distractions?

Instead of trying to carve out time for God, and then carve separate time for this or that – sure, even for entertainment – there’s a way to feel a real sense of unity about all our activities. When is our time, NOT time with God? So, shouldn’t that assurance of God’s presence – and our consequent response to His presence – be an ever-present fact for us? Knowing we’re always with God shouldn’t make us walk around on tip-toes, or think we need to do this or that in order to deserve His love. Instead it frees us, showing us the infinite ways that God loves us and the infinite capacity we have to see and feel His love.

I wrote an article about this, called “Pulled in many directions? Let God shape each moment.” for the Christian Science Sentinel in June of 2020. You can read or listen to it here.

I think this part speaks right to what I’m getting at in our consideration of this section:

“Instead of thinking that devotion to God was just one activity among many, I saw that devotion to divine Love, to pure good itself, was the one true activity that encompassed everything else. Yes, even washing dishes was an avenue for living that prayer—some daily good to do, always for God. Engaging with this purpose of unifying every activity completely under the umbrella of loving and serving God rescued me from the exhaustion of feeling that I had too many hats to wear. It gave me the perfect hat for all occasions: the recognition that everything real, everything of value, is really all about, and for, God.”

Rejoice for every day’s opportunity to feel a deeper, fresher view of your unity with God!


SECTION 4 – FRESH VIEWS EVERY DAY

You may have heard the saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” We need to watch against the temptation to take things or people for granted! If we already think we know what someone’s going to say, or if our expectations of someone completely color our view of them, we may miss the fresh insights they have to share or the new ideas they might inspire. Similarly, in our study of our Pastor and of Mary Baker Eddy’s other writings, it might be tempting to just skip past certain parts, or tempting to just ‘fire off’ certain passages at people when they need help.

But God, Life, is expressed in vivacity, freshness, newness, unfolding views each day. Hymn 218 sings about this. The first verse reads:

O Life that maketh all things new,
The blooming earth, the thoughts of men;
Our pilgrim feet, wet with Thy dew,
In gladness hither turn again.
(Christian Science Hymnal, No.  218:1)

Fresh views are innately united with healing. We always have the right to a receptive heart, to a willingness to be of service. We cannot truly be deprived of our natural right to want to engage with the truth! And this right is something we can practice every day. When someone is speaking, really listen – not just to the words they are saying, but to what divine Mind is revealing in their natural transparency for Love. When someone approaches you, pray instead of reacting.

And, on the other side of the equation, if you feel like you and your good are not being appreciated –  if your purpose is seeming dimmed – how wonderful it is, to remember that your purpose is independent of any outside circumstance or person. God has ordained you and called you and equipped you to be His image and likeness! Not for one second have you left His guidance. Mary Baker Eddy encourages us to have this outlook: “Goodness never fails to receive its reward, for goodness makes life a blessing. As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing.”

(The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 165)

Love to shine, and love to watch for how other people shine!


SECTION 5 – LOOKING TO THE RIGHT SOURCE

Bible citation 12 is one of my favorite passages – “he was moved with compassion…” (Matthew 9:36) This compassion, this action of divine Love, must be remembered as the lens through which Jesus always acted and healed. Through the action of divine Love, which we can serve through our willing consent to “[behold] in Science the perfect man…” (SH 476:32), we can remain undisturbed by the scary, painful, or apathetic reports of the material so-called senses.

As Mary Baker Eddy clarifies in the Science and Health passages of this section, mere belief does not heal; it is understanding, and moving forward with firm faith based in that understanding, which allows us to see more clearly the action of God – to see what He has already done. God never made a physically or mentally disabled person. So, with compassion (rather than just merely trying to convince someone out of a problem), we can persist in looking to God to see what He has done.

Recently, I started feeling a lot of pain in my body. I caught myself starting to really wonder and be afraid of what was going on, so I stopped ruminating and started praying the Lord’s Prayer.

When I came to the line, “Thy will be done,” I realized this was a wonderful help. If God’s will is done, then there is no other influence or messenger I need to look to, to see what is happening. I realized this meant that the material senses simply could not report accurately on my state. And, if God’s will is done, my state must actually be included – and protected – in that will. I resolved to not let material sensation inform my prayerful work, and rather to start from the perspective that God’s will is, in fact, already done.

This fresh devotion to God completely replaced the fear I’d been feeling, and gave me a clear and straightforward direction to look. I thought out with genuine interest from that starting point, that God’s will is done. My prayer was also informed by Mary Baker Eddy’s spiritual translation of that line: “Enable [me] to know, as in heaven, so on earth, God is omnipotent, supreme.” I realized that my right to know and feel God’s omnipotence was a right that could not be taken away from me. I was not appealing to God’s law to please make the pain stop; I was honoring God’s law by looking to it alone for my status.

I prayed in this committed manner for several hours, and by the time I went to bed, all the pain was completely gone. I was so happy – certainly I was glad to feel normal again – but my real joy stemmed from the fact that I’d learned more about what Mary Baker Eddy was talking about when she instructs her readers that, “His work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of God’s rule in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 3:9)

Looking to the evidence of the material senses, or trying to pray out from a standpoint that only includes one’s own personal knowledge, is not the way to find greater views of what God is doing. We love to state the truth and stay with the truth, but we can’t just stay with what we personally know! We love to be humble, and let our understanding of God undergird our faith in Him and our willingness to learn a new thing, to gain a new view of His beloved creation. And this new view brings healing.


 SECTION 6 – LIVE IT!

As I study the weekly Christian Science Bible Lessons, I always like to consider the narrative flow – not just the theme, but how the structure of the Lesson illustrates, conveys and encourages present engagement with that theme. I’ve been struck by how this section in this week’s Bible Lesson feels like a very stirring conclusion! It’s not a wrap-up, ‘story’s over’ sort of conclusion at all! After reading this Lesson, the resounding bell ringing in my thought is, “What next?!” And what’s next is for us to live this. Not just to reflect dispassionately on facts about Christ Jesus’ career, or to rest in quiet thoughts about what he did and taught. I feel moved! As Mary Baker Eddy put it in Science and Health citations 30 and 31: “Christianity as Jesus taught it…was the demonstration of divine Love casting out error and healing the sick, not merely in the name of Christ, or Truth, but in demonstration of Truth….” and “It is possible, — yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, — to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.” (bolded emphasis added)

We have been given some very helpful instruction as to what it means to heal, raise the dead, and preach the gospel. I find these passages especially helpful: “The Lord’s command means this, that we should adopt the spirit of the Saviour’s ministry, and abide in such a spiritual attitude as will draw men unto us. … Mind demonstrates omnipresence and omnipotence, but Mind revolves on a spiritual axis, and its power is displayed and its presence felt in eternal stillness and immovable Love.” (Retrospection and Introspection p. 88-89)

We must refuse to be drawn in by worldly fears or scoffs that the power of Christ is no longer present or is ineffective. The truths of Christian Science, of God’s law, are not limited to one church or denomination but are the facts of being for all reality, including all men and women and children. No matter the situation, no matter the nationality or background, the power of Christ is able to rebuke, restore, transform. We are able to bear witness to this and to see the activity of Christ right here.

Near the conclusion of an Easter sermon, recorded in Miscellaneous Writings, Mary Baker Eddy instructs and urges us all: “What is it that seems a stone between us and the resurrection morning? It is the belief of mind in matter. We can only come into the spiritual resurrection by quitting the old consciousness of Soul in sense. … We must lay aside material consciousness, and then we can perceive Truth, and say with Mary, “Rabboni!” — Master!” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, 179:19–23, 28)

We can leave the old, false consciousness and rise into the consciousness of Christ’s presence, following Jesus’ teachings faithfully and lighting the way forward in honor of God and love for man.


MORE APPLICATION IDEAS & BIBLE-BASED GEMS FROM COBBEY CRISLER & OTHERS WILL BE EMAILED LATER IN THE WEEK to ALL CedarS “Met” subscribers. If you want to keep this and other insightful (and free) inspiration coming, PLEASE click the “Update Profile” link at the bottom of this email.When you do, you will receive an email to confirm which CedarS inspirational email offerings you wish to  keep receiving.   


Soon (and a few times more) Bible-story monologues & poems by Ken Cooper (of the U.K.)
will be emailed to ALL CedarS “Met” subscribers. If you want to keep this & other insightful (& free) inspiration coming,

Please click the “Update Profile” link at the bottom of this email.
You will receive an email to confirm which CedarS inspirational email offerings you wish to 
keep receiving. 


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