Enroll by January 31st for any summer program with a $100/wk deposit, and save $25/wk!

“Praise be!”
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“God the Only Cause and Creator”
for November 28 through December 4, 2022

by Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S. in Boulder, CO
ccern@mac.com • 720-331-9356 • christiecs.com (new video posted)

CLICK HERE & then on Listen button to hear Christie READ her Met.


INTRODUCTION: GOLDEN TEXT (GT) & RESPONSIVE READING (RR)

Throughout this week’s Bible Lesson, the springing forth and unfoldment of God’s goodness is illustrated with stories about David as the prophesized root and lineage to Christ Jesus. Alongside these stories are verses from Psalms, which are widely attributed to David, and show David’s way of praising God.

 Starting us out with praise, the Golden Text, or core idea, of this week’s Bible Lesson on God the Only Cause and Creator is the Psalm, “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.” (GT, Psalms 9:1). I love this simple Psalm of praise. Praise is perhaps the simplest form of prayer.

We can all practice purifying our praise and prayer. Imagine if a friend praised you—perhaps complimenting your outfit or your skill at a particular task—but you knew that they offered the praise because they wanted to ask you for a favor. We might label this as “insincere praise.”

In contrast, praise as prayer is praise without an expectation of reward. It is praising just to praise, just being the praise. This is sincere praise. We can take this to heart as we prayerfully proclaim, “Praise be!” Our lives—our being—is the praise! In this way, we are offering our “whole heart” in praise to Good, to God.

Lately, I’ve been striving more directly to read the Bible Lesson without an objective. In other words, I am striving to read it without applying it to a specific situation, just soaking in its truth. To me, this is a form of praising God because it is taking time to dedicate myself more purely to understand God, but not because of a need for healing or a specific application. Singing hymns is another form of praise, and we can sing hymns in praise without expectation of reward. Consider making a list of the ways in which you praise God. You could also make a list of the pure praises you find in this week’s Bible Lesson, like this one from the Responsive Reading: “Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” (RR, Psalm 8:9)


SECTION 1: FOUNDATIONS OF PRAISE

The first section of the Lesson lays foundations for our praise. It establishes that God is, by definition, the Good known from “the beginning,” “from the foundations of the earth.”  (citation B1, Isaiah 40, 5-28)

The two books of the Bible included in the first section of this Lesson are Isaiah and Revelation. The verses from Isaiah contain prophetic promises. And the citation from Revelation is like a final statement, or mic drop, on God’s omnipotence: on God, good, being the Cause and Creator of all existence and worthy of praise.

As I read the Bible, I find it useful to consider an overview of the whole canonical volume as well as the function of the various books within it. Here is my take on an overview (this summary should not be taken as gospel—pun intended. This is only my perspective.

The Bible describes humanity’s attempt to understand the Source and Substance of our existence (also called God the only Cause and Creator) and our relationship to the Source and Substance (God the only Cause and Creator) of all existence. Here’s an outline:

  • Genesis 1: the pure vision of existence as good and only good… “Let there be light…”; it is a “third-degree” (SH p.116) view of beginninglessness
  • Genesis 2: warns us not to be deceived, shows us what happens when we misunderstand the nature of reality, and then offers examples of the correction and awakening from misunderstanding as the Hebrews discover monotheism (God as only Cause and Creator)
  • Samuel, I King, II King and so forth…: An understanding of and obedience to the one Cause and Creator and offers glimpses of Christ-truth leading to healing and progress
  • Isaiah: prophecy and vision of the one true Cause and Creator and the promise of Christ (our awakening to and awareness of our inseparable connection with the Cause and Creator)
  • Psalms: praise as a source of comfort
  • Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John): four perspectives on the advent and ministry of Christ Jesus, who demonstrated the eternality and goodness of the Cause and Creator in practical ways, making Christ (our awakening to and awareness of our inseparable connection with the Cause and Creator) clear.
  • Acts and beyond: accounts of how the disciples came to understand Christ, healing, sharing, and living in Christlike ways without Jesus’ physical presence.
  • Revelation: the vision of the final overturning of all misconception and the glorious celebration as we come to acknowledge and understand the true Cause and Creator as only good and the only reality

This synopsis might make detail-oriented Bible scholars cringe, but for me it is useful to have a broad-brushstroke view before making a deep dive into specific stories. There are, of course, major themes like inclusivity and the power of Truth to overturn error, and Love to overturn hate, and Principle to correct false government. A theme that this week’s Bible Lesson highlights is the prophesied lineage extending from David to Christ Jesus.

The correlating statements from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy in this section unlock more meaning from the Bible citations on God the only Cause and Creator. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “God is individual, incorporeal. He is divine Principle, Love, the universal cause, the only creator, and there is no other self-existence. He is all-inclusive, and is reflected by all that is real and eternal and by nothing else. He fills all space, and it is impossible to conceive of such omnipresence and individuality except as infinite Spirit or Mind. Hence all is Spirit and spiritual.” (citation S1, 331:18)

Note that Mary Baker Eddy uses the masculine pronoun “He,” but she is in no way suggesting that God is a man-like entity.  As she states, “God is incorporeal,” which means not located in a body. God “fills all space.”


SECTION 2: THE PROPHET SAMUEL FINDS DAVID

The second section includes the account of the prophet Samuel identifying David as the future king. (cit. B6, Samuel 16: 1-12) As I understand it, this section emphasizes that God the only Cause and Creator is the root of all wisdom and knowledge. Prophecy like that shown by Samuel is not about a person having a special power to see the unknown, but is about tuning into divine Mind—another word for God—as the source of all knowledge, and yielding to Mind as the Cause and Creator of all thought and knowing. We don’t get wisdom from reading tea leaves or tarot cards, doing more and more research about the world, or from obsessing on news and weather reports. We get wisdom from tuning in to the absolute source of knowledge, divine Mind.

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “The ancient prophets gained their foresight from a spiritual, incorporeal standpoint, not by foreshadowing evil and mistaking fact for fiction, — predicting the future from a groundwork of corporeality and human belief.”  (cit. S7, 84:3-7). And later, she writes, “No wisdom is wise but His wisdom; no truth is true, no love is lovely, no life is Life but the divine; no good is, but the good God bestows.”  (cit. B6, 275:14) In the Glossary of Science and Health, she defines prophet as, “A spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth.” (SH, 593:4)

If we are willing to accept the gift of prophecy demonstrated to us by Samuel, we might start with the praise-based-prayer from Psalms: “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” (cit. B5, Psalm 143:8)

Note that Samuel’s prophetic ability to see David’s spirituality and worthiness to be king runs counter to the tradition of selecting first born sons. But, as the Bible Lens from the Christian Science Sentinel explains, “Sources note that God’s choice of David sets aside traditional preferences for firstborn males and recalls the selections of other younger sons, whose spiritual maturity and preparedness commended them over their older brothers (Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over Reuben, and Moses over Aaron, for instance; see Genesis 21:5–12; 27:1–40; 37:3–11; 49:22–26; Exodus 3:1–10; 4:27–31).” (Bible Lens, Christian Science Sentinel, November 28, 2022 Issue)


SECTION 3: DAVID’S SONGS OF HARMONY RESTORE RIGHT ACTION

The third section of the Lesson includes the account of David being asked to play the harp in court for King Saul, who struggled with mental disturbances. The harmony and inspiration of the music brought healing. (cit. B8, I Samuel 16: 15-23) If you’re curious about what the harp might have sounded like, here is a link to a musician who studies this  Perhaps as David was playing, he was pondering a psalm like this one: “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” (cit. B7, Psalm 5: 3, 4)

David’s healing music is an example of how prayers of praise can heal mental health issues.

The Christian Science Publishing Society has recently produced a series of Sentinel Watch podcasts addressing mental health challenges. Five podcasts offer prayer-based solutions to challenges from depression, self-harm, social media, feeling fatalistic, and suicide: 

The harmony in music provides a useful analogy for understanding our peace and comfort as we feel divine Mind’s governance. Healing of mental disturbance comes as we let go of a false sense that there could be any other source for consciousness than peaceful and divine Mind. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Harmony in man is as beautiful as in music, and discord is unnatural, unreal.” (cit. S17, 304:16)

David’s inspirational music restoring right activity shows how the unfoldment of good in continuous and is naturally and normally maintained by God’s harmony, now and forever.


SECTION 4: DAVID DEFEATS GOLIATH …. OF COURSE!

The fourth section includes the story of David and Goliath. (cit. B11, I Samuel 17: 4-50) Most people think of David facing Goliath as an account of an underdog defeating a fearsome giant. But as we look deeper, we can see it as an account of David using wisdom and faith to overcome fear and thus realize his advantage over Goliath. Recent research shows that David had the tactical advantage if he avoided hand-to-hand combat.

Recent research has shown that Goliath, while loud and large, was not as formidable as he seemed, and David had lethal accuracy with a sling. A recent article in Biblical Archaeology Review explains that slings were used for hunting at 30 to 50 yards, and had military effectiveness in battles at 200-400 yards. Slings were the “poor man’s weapon” so not always respected, but they had deadly force. In contrast, Goliath had hand-to-hand combat and a javelin, but the javelin was only effective up to 20 yards. As the Archeology Review article concludes, “David’s sling provided him the decisive advantage of staying out of range of his opponent’s weapons while still allowing him to hit Goliath’s forehead with enough force to penetrate his skull, so he could take down the giant and then finish him off with his own sword, thus winning the battle.”  (“Taking a Sling: How David defeated Goliath,” by Boyd Seevers and Victoria Parrot, Biblical Archaeology Review 48:3, Fall 2022)

Along these lines, here is a link to a Daily Lift video I made about David’s advantage over Goliath:  “Goliath never stood a chance.” (The video is also available on my web site). And I also gave a longer talk on this titled “Five Smooth Stones,” which is available here.

That David had the tactical advantage over Goliath does not lessen the inspiration of the story. For me, it increases it. David’s sense of calm wisdom enabled him to see the way to defeat Goliath, and resist being intimidated by the giant’s boasting. David’s faith gave him the confidence to overcome doubts and criticism from his brother and the King, and to have the confidence to run into the field of battle.

Just as David had the tactical advantage over Goliath, we too have the tactical advantage over fear, doubt, and discouragement as we depend on the tools of divine Science. Along these lines, Mary Baker Eddy uses Civil War imagery to describe the power of divine Science to defeat all enemies, “The powers of this world will fight, and will command their sentinels not to let truth pass the guard until it subscribes to their systems; but Science, heeding not the pointed bayonet, marches on. There is always some tumult, but there is a rallying to truth’s standard.” (cit. S20, 225:8)

We can adopt David’s sense of calm confidence going into battle as we face modern-day Goliaths, which might boast loudly, but are swiftly defeated with wisdom and truth. As we destroy these enemies, we can pray with the Psalm of praise, which perhaps David was singing as he went into battle with Goliath, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (cit. B10, Psalms 18:2)


SECTION 5: CHRIST JESUS….”THOU SON OF DAVID”

The fifth section connects Christ Jesus to the lineage of David.  The section opens with a verse from John, “For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.” (cit. B12, John 7: 42, NLT)

As I understand it, the inspired meaning of the lineage from David to Christ Jesus is about the unfoldment of God’s purpose. To infinite Mind, all is already known. To us, all is unfolding. The unfoldment of the Christ idea, whether in a moment or in what seems like hundreds of years, will never end. The Christ—our awareness of good, divine Love—never had a beginning. And the Christ is always unfolding. There will always be more and more inspiration from Christ. And the revelation of Christ from David to Christ Jesus, who exemplified the Christ idea more clearly than any other, is evidence of this unfoldment. Christ reveals to us that God is the Only Cause and Creator and this Christ-revelation is throughout all generations.

The fifth section also includes the account of Christ Jesus healing two blind men, who first called out to him, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.” (cit. B14, Matthew 20:30-34) When they called out to him in this way, they were acknowledging him as the true Messiah from the royal line of David. They were seeing Christ Jesus as the exemplification of the Christ idea, like the prophet Samuel was able to see that David was the future king. Note that two blind men were able to see, while others were not, that Christ Jesus was the Messiah from the royal line of David. The blind men saw Christ Jesus’ full role as the promised Messiah.  It is not a coincidence that these two men were healed of blindness. As we see Christ, our eyes are opened.

Note that both David and Christ Jesus came from humble beginnings. While many Jews might have expected their Messiah to show up as a prominent and wealthy man, he was of lowly birth, born in a manger. Likewise, David was the youngest son, a shepherd boy, who played music and fought Goliath with a poor man’s weapon. The humble beginnings of David and Jesus are part of a larger theme running through the Bible.

Remember the simplified outline of the Bible that I offered in Section 1? The theme of the unlikely hero—the humble and pure individual becoming an important spiritual influence—is a theme found throughout the bible. In the case of King David—the shepherd-king—his moral infractions seemed to result in a series of tragedies at the end of his reign. For Christ Jesus, perfect purity and love and Christlikeness enabled him to overcome the crucifixion and prove the eternality of the Christ through the resurrection. Perhaps we could see this contrast between David and Christ Jesus as further emphasizing how the purity of Christ-truth sets us free now and always.

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Christianity as Jesus taught it was not a creed, nor a system of ceremonies, nor a special gift from a ritualistic Jehovah; but 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, as must be the case in the cycles of divine light.” (cit. S21, 135:26)

God is the Only Cause and Creator that unfolds the Christ idea and we can each witness the unfoldment of Christ “in the cycles of divine light.” (cit. S21, 135:26) We can understand the Christ—our awareness of divine Love—as the demonstration of God the Only Cause and Creator. This is true healing. True healing is the revelation and witnessing of Christ, both in each moment, and “in the cycles of divine light.” (cit. S21, 135:26) As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “So-called mortal mind or the mind of mortals being the remote, predisposing, and the exciting cause of all suffering, the cause of disease must be obliterated through Christ in divine Science, or the so-called physical senses will get the victory.” (cit. S25, 230:30)

But, as David demonstrated in his battle against Goliath and Christ Jesus demonstrated in healing the two blind men, wisdom and truth are always victorious.


SECTION 6: PRAISE BE!

The sixth section concludes the Bible Lesson with praise. “Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth! Sing about the glory of his name! Tell the world how glorious he is. Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! Your enemies cringe before your mighty power. Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.” (cit. B15, Psalm 66:1-5, NLT)

The wonders of God the Only Cause and Creator are seen in moments of beauty and across generations “in the cycles of divine light.” As we read from the prophet Isaiah, “For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.” (cit. B16, Isaiah 61:11)

The Bible Lens from the Christian Science Sentinel explains that Isaiah often uses the image of God’s goodness springing forth as a plant from the ground. (see also Isaiah 42:9; 43:19; 45:8) The Bible Lens explains that Isaiah’s showing that “God’s purpose may be invisible, yet—like a seed hidden under soil—its fulfillment is certain. A scriptural expert remarks: “It’s a common feature of Old Testament prayer, as the Psalms illustrate, that you begin praising God for answering your prayer when you have heard the answer, even if you have not yet seen it. . . . the prophet thus declares his determination to keep praying until he and his people see God’s faithfulness expressed in God’s act of deliverance.” (Bible Lens, Christian Science Sentinel, November 28, 2022 Issue)

In correlation to this idea from Isaiah, Mary Baker Eddy writes about the ever-appearing creation, “This divine Principle of all expresses Science and art throughout His creation, and the immortality of man and the universe. Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source.” (cit. S28, 507:25-29)

The springing forth and unfoldment of good is inevitable, like the dawn of a new day. Dawn is inevitable because the sun is actually already there…the sun is not having to rise, the earth is turning to reveal or unfold the dawn light. Likewise, the unfoldment of God’s goodness is inevitable because divine Life and divine Truth are already present, and each successive stage of experience enables us to see this more clearly. As we have a calm and exalted thought—the receptive thought as exemplified by both Samuel in Section 2 and the two blind men in Section 5  —we can see God, Good, as the Only Cause and Creator. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Through divine Science, Spirit, God, unites understanding to eternal harmony. The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace. Thus the dawn of ideas goes on, forming each successive stage of progress.” (cit. S29, 506:10)


THIS IS A BIG WEEK FOR CEDARS WITH “GIVING TUESDAY”
and its MATCHING INCENTIVES —
PLUS with CEDARS MONTHLY HYMN SING ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4TH AT 7PM
AND ITS PRELUDE AT 6:45PM CENTRAL TIME.
YOU’LL HEAR MORE ABOUT BOTH EVENTS SOON!


GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas from COBBEY CRISLER & others will be POSTED and EMAILED later this week, so check your email (or junk mail) for them.  You can always check the  current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you have  SUBSCRIBED here to receive this offering.


Also later in the week, look for Ken Cooper’s “POETIC POSTLUDE”
contributions related to this Bible Lesson.


CLICK HERE and Scroll down to “What our Donors Say” about the reasons they support CedarS.  You’ll soon be able to see a video of campers and staff for “Giving Tuesday” with LOTS OF HUMBLE, HEARTFELT GRATITUDE to all you difference-making DONORS DO TO HELP US FEED & SHOE OUR HORSES, MAINTAIN & UPGRADE OUR FACILITIES, GIVE CAMPERSHIPS, KEEP OUR OPERATIONS “GREEN”  & MORE!

Thanks to you and to God, CedarS had another best-summer yet!  Your needed, ongoing support — whether it’s one-time, monthly, or forever (though an Endowment Matched gift), will help us continue to “love into view”  lasting, DIFFERENCE-MAKING BLESSINGS for hundreds of families and thousands of individuals, for generations to come, all across the U.S. and the world.

After hosting another  wonderful Bible Study Workshop and a great Methodist Women’s Retreat, CEDARS IS SEEKING TO UPGRADE OUR NORTH STAR DINING ROOM TO BE A MISSION-WORTHY CONFERENCE CENTER TO SERVE MORE SUCH EVENTS. For more about supporting this upgrade or about making a planned gift, a required IRA distribution or an endowment gift (that will all be MATCHED), feel free to call or text me (Warren Huff) at 314-378-2574.

American Camp Association

MAIN OFFICE
(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

CAMP OFFICE
(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

Back
to top