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The Government of Soul Illumines Man’s True Nature.
Metaphysical Application  Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Soul”
for the week ending August 13, 2023

by Kerry Jenkins, C.S. of House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com • 314-406-0041


CLICK HERE for a link to a virtual HYMN SING FROM CEDARS
TONIGHT AT 7PM CT! (See details in PS below)


INTRODUCTION

Soul is often equated with the sun, with ideas about identity, and, in this week’s Bible lesson, with government. It should be fun to see how many times we can notice the word light, and related words. But why does Soul get associated with these ideas? Something about the sun as a symbol works so well to illustrate God’s governing power and intelligence.

Our sun is not only the main source of light for our planet, of life, humanly speaking, but also this light reveals so much, literally and metaphorically. The sun, as the stationary star around which our planet revolves, symbolizes a power that is almost unimaginable when we think in terms of planets the size of Earth, and much bigger ones, being pulled in steady orbits for time untold. It may be distant, and yet we feel its warmth, enjoy its light, and revel in its beauty as it apparently rises and sets without fail, day after day.

The sun can even be used to bolster Soul’s consistent association with identity. What, after all, reveals everything, but the light of the sun? Were it not for the sun, everything would be in utter blackness, not even the slightest shadow revealing form, shape, presence. So, like the sun, we can think of Soul as the spiritual illumination that reveals man’s true “outline, form, and color”, man’s true identity. We can see Soul as lighting up the beauty of God’s universe, which man sees only when we allow our spiritual senses to govern our false, material sense.

In our Golden Text God is speaking, praising the Christ-man that is delightful, and illumines the universe. We are all this man when we are acting in a service role. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth;” Isaiah 42:1 (to 2nd;) This passage is part of the prophetic text in Isaiah, speaking of the Messiah. The Christ-man is in service to God, to Soul. And Soul governs this Christ-man. One of the oft-focused-on aspects of Soul is spiritual sense. This sense is how we perceive God’s, Soul’s, goodness and  beauty. So, we might even rewrite this Golden Text in part as: “My spiritual sense delights in my identity as God’s, Soul’s, servant.”

The prophecy is continued in the Responsive Reading, (also from Isaiah 42, verses 5-10, 11, 12). Again, the Christ-man is spoken of as being a “light”, of bringing sight to the blind, and freedom to those in dark, metaphorical prisons of material sense. This Responsive Reading is mostly a celebration of Soul and Soul’s creation that praises and expresses Soul’s beauty and goodness. It also implies the harmony of Soul’s government over this divinely controlled creation.


SECTION 1: SOUL, AS GOD, SUSTAINS US.

Soul, as God, gives us our spiritual understanding of all things. It is the light that reveals the spiritual sense of the Scriptures, and shows us God’s beauty and intelligence that surround us. Soul also reveals our spiritual identity. When we see ourselves spiritually, identify ourselves as Soul’s reflection, we see that we are spiritually sustained, upheld, cared for. It is like having on special lenses that reveal what is humanly invisible to our material senses.

Right where lack appears to be, Soul is governing with safety and abundance. We can experience this abundance on a regular basis if we are willing to set aside our limited, material views of life, and turn to Soul in confidence and steadfastness for true, spiritual information. As one small example this summer, I had a lovely experience that still inspires me in its timely and generous abundance of good that blessed me and my family.

While serving at CedarS as the Main Camp practitioner, a last minute need arose at home for care for my mom, who lives with us there.  I had about 24 hours to find someone who could not only help her with lunch and dinner, but also stay the night for three nights at our house. I was very tempted to panic and feel stress about this situation, but quickly reminded myself that I was serving God at camp and could expect God’s abundantly good answers. It took some effort to keep my thought there!

I was visiting with a patient in Care House, and received a telephone call from another patient, (actually a CedarS camper who was not at camp at the time)!  While hanging up after talking with the camper, a very strong suggestion came to me, almost in words: “Go inside, and tell the person you are visiting with there, that you are looking for someone to stay with your mom”.  I obeyed this voice, knowing it was inspired, but feeling a little weird just going in there and saying this out loud. Of course, she immediately responded that she thought her mom might be happy to do this. They apparently lived less than a half hour from our home. Her mom not only did this, but also was such a huge blessing, so lovely. She read and studied the Bible lesson with my mom, brought her delicious food, and even brought her granddaughter to visit as well. We texted and she sent joyous pictures of their fun times together.

This priceless provision was such a perfect example of Soul’s grand abundance, not just of adequate care, but of care overflowing with love and joy. When we allow Soul’s light to illumine our spiritual sense, we can all see God’s sustaining abundance of good in our lives.


SECTION 2: OUR SPIRITUAL IDENTITY IS “OUT OF JOINT” WITH THE FALSE, MATERIAL SENSE OF IDENTITY.

It is popular to ponder deeply, these days, the nature of our human identity. Mary Baker Eddy encourages self-knowledge when she tells us in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures “Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil.” (p. 571)
But the kind of self-knowledge that she is referring to is a knowledge based on a spiritual struggle to identify ourselves as Soul has made us, rather than a deep dive into our material, genetic, or corporeal selfhood. The knowledge that springs from our spiritual nature comes with great power because it relies on the government of the infinite Good, God.

Jacob is the Biblical “poster child” for identity crises. (citation B7/Gen. 32:24-30) He lived his youth, and much of his adult life, striving to establish his identity as the chosen, beloved, “first-born”, blessed, and so on. Since genetics and birth-order did not yield this abundance to him, he tried to exercise his human cleverness to steal this blessed position.

After causing a huge rift in his family, traveling to a far land and continuing to use human means to bring about success, Jacob was divinely led to return to his homeland and repair the breach with his brother. On his way home he was confronted with the fact that his brother was traveling towards him with what appeared to be an army, surely bent on destroying him and his family.

Jacob had a lot of wrestling to do in order to obey God’s command to continue his return. This wrestling was a personal struggle to release a false sense of self that constantly needed to deceive in order to prosper. He wrestled with this false sense through the night, until the false sense finally yielded through a spiritual sense, a touch of Soul that weakened the lying, cheating, belief of power, by putting it “out of joint” along with “the hollow of his thigh”.

Jacob’s spiritual identity, freshly identified as “Israel”, could only appear by letting go of the false sense of power in material cleverness. Our own spiritual selfhood is always “out of joint” with the false concept of self that we often labor under.  Soul provides the spiritual light that illuminates our spiritual sense and brings the revelation of our spiritual, ever-complete nature. When we are governed by spiritual sense, we are governed by God, and that’s a powerful, harmonious position in which to be. (cit. S7/125:12-16)


SECTION 3: SOUL’S POWER OVER THE BODY.

Sometimes it definitely seems like the body runs the show, so to speak. It can either be through pain, or through various types of desire, through pursuit of comfort, beauty, or just plain fun. It might seem harmless enough when it’s “merely material” pleasure, but with it, we can expect an equal or even greater measure of pain, even if it only seems to come with “old age”. (SH 9:19; My. 48:22; SH 6:12) The analogy of the sun is a perfect one in this section to illustrate the power of Soul over a material sense of body.

In Science & Health citation 11, Mary Baker Eddy compares the contradictory evidence of the sunrise, to the evidences before the senses that put our bodies in the driver’s seat and tell us how we should feel. She says: “As astronomy reverses the human perception of the movement of the solar system, so Christian Science reverses the seeming relation of Soul and body and makes the body tributary to Mind.” (SH 119:25-1) The light of Soul reveals all the good and grace that is available to us, withholding nothing good from our experience, as we truly yield to the spiritual sense of reality. (cit. B10/Ps. 84:11)


SECTION 4: SOUL BRINGS PEACE TO EVERY BATTLE WITH SELF.

Where does real peace and justice come from? Abigail beautifully illustrates the answer to this question in this scriptural story from 1st Samuel (cit. B15/1 Sam 25:4,5,14-18 one, 23,24 (to:), 28,32,33,35). Her husband Nabal is not a good man. He might be likened to an unrepentant version of Jacob.  His stubborn refusal to pay a tribute to David for David’s service and protection of Nabal’s shepherds and sheep, looks as if it will end in the utter destruction of his family and all his servants, as well as everything he owns. But Abigail, his wife, hastens to mend this rift through humble generosity and spiritual persuasion.

Abigail points out to David that he is clearly the Lord’s chosen one, doing good, and not evil. This recognition of David’s spiritual identity causes him to pause and listen and receive her gifts, giving up a vengeful and, frankly, self-destructive path. It was (still is) considered against religious law to take vengeance into one’s own hand. This would have made him a less likely candidate for King, had he disobeyed that command — and David recognizes and thanks Abigail for saving him from that fate.

Abigail’s courage and spiritual sense revealed a path to true power. She single-handedly, (well with God), saved her entire household from destruction and dramatically altered the course of David’s and Israel’s history. She revealed to David an “…enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace.” (cit. S17/265:5-15) She illustrates the power of Soul to bring peace to the willful battle with self that would cause us to engage in violence, vengeance, anger — all that is self-destructive.

Our true identity is one of harmony with Soul. It is always rewarded for good, and with good. And just because one “side” appears completely unreasonable, as Nabal appeared, does not mean that Soul has no power to govern. That kind of naked evil or error, is powerless to govern when Soul is admitted into consciousness, as Abigail so graciously demonstrated.


SECTION 5: MAN, AS SOUL’S EXPRESSION, IS THE GRATEFUL RECIPIENT OF SOUL’S ABUNDANCE.

In this section Jesus feeds the multitudes and heals “all that were diseased” (cit. B17/Matt. 14:14-22, 34-36). What abundance we can experience when we are identified as Soul’s expression, rather than limited mortals. This abundance is always present.  Soul’s light is always shining, much as the sun is always shining brightly whether it is stormy and cloudy or dark at night.

Our human needs are met, even when things seem dire. I can remember our first summer in St. Louis. We had spent beyond our means, using credit cards even, to race with the “World of Outlaws”. When we completely spent all we had, Doug returned to Alaska to sell our home and business and then came back to St. Louis area where we decided to live. We were initially living in a friend’s basement. Within a couple of months, one of their friends offered us a rent-free home that was empty because the renters purchased a home before their lease was up. We lived there for the summer, with a neighborhood pool practically in the backyard for our girls to learn to swim in. We were really living day to day with money.

One morning we woke to a box of cereal, a small bag of rice, and a jar of mayonnaise in the refrigerator. It certainly seemed bleak, but we had watched abundance unfold to us at every turn over those months, so we were ready to laugh and wonder joyfully how things would turn out. As I recall, we received a check in the mail that day, that we had no expectation of receiving. It was enough for some more groceries.

Every need was continuously met that summer, including a beautiful one week stay at CedarS Camps for all four of us! There were many times where it was very tempting to be afraid, or embarrassed. We were “adults” with two young children and no means to support them. I had even been elected to serve on the Board of Lectureship, and I couldn’t purchase the plane tickets for the two training sessions that I needed to attend. It was very tempting to feel like an impostor as I wrote the lectures I planned on sharing, while having to call and tell them that I couldn’t afford the plane tickets to get to these sessions! But, as we studied, prayed and devoted ourselves to seeing things through the lens of spiritual sense, we never failed to see daily evidence of Soul’s abundance.

Soul’s abundance even appeared in the form of dimes we found (often literally on the ground, or under couch cushions) for a local Dairy Queen that had ten-cent cones that we purchased to help encourage our youngest daughter in her endeavors to learn to read fluently as she prepared for second grade that fall.


SECTION 6: OUR HARMONIOUS GOVERNMENT COMES FROM SOUL, NOT FROM MATTER.

We can “Rejoice evermore” with Paul, as we “Pray without ceasing” (1st Thes. 5:16,17,23/cit. B18). Our Lord’s Prayer sums up this “Soul government” nicely. Mary Baker Eddy reminds us that it is “Only as we rise above all material sensuousness and sin…” that we can “…reach the heaven-born aspiration and spiritual consciousness, which is indicated in the Lord’s Prayer and which instantaneously heals the sick.” (S&H 16:20) This power that is embodied in the Lord’s Prayer is ours to practice and embrace. It requires us to give up the disjointed material view of matter’s supposed power to help us succeed, be healthy, or supply us with our needs. “Man is harmonious when governed by Soul.” (cit. S28/273:18 (only). That statement of Mary Baker Eddy’s pretty much sums it all up.


PS. CLICK HERE for a link to a virtual HYMN SING FROM CEDARS TONIGHT AT 7PM CT! (See details below)

Greetings Friends,

You are invited to our virtual hymn sing several hours from now this Sunday, August 6, at 7:00pm Central.

Theme: The hymn sing will be broadcasted from Mary’s Chapel, where our Family Camp is occurring. The onsite participants will be requesting their favorite hymns on the theme of comfort and healing.

Musicians: Matthew Hammond and Davya Flaharty

Privacy Notice: Out of respect for the privacy of families and staff, the cameras will show only the hymn sing hosts. We will not be panning the camera around to show the participants. Thank you for understanding.

Format: Recorded music will begin playing at 6:45pm Central. The live hymn sing will begin at 7:00pm, with seven-to-ten hymn selections. Following the hymn sing, we will say goodbye, so the families can continue with opening night introductions.

Zoom Link:

  • Join here with one click (password embedded).
  • Meeting ID: 276 331 031
  • Password: 736307
  • Please see details below to join by phone.

Join by Phone (you’ll need the Meeting ID and Password):

One-tap mobile:

+19294362866,,276331031# US (New York)

+13126266799,,276331031# US (Chicago)

Dial by your nearest location (if one of these lines is full, please try another):

+1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Maryland)

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Meeting ID: 276 331 031

Password: 736307

Find international call-in numbers: https://zoom.us/u/aeJGz7aKei

Please share this invitation with anybody who could be blessed by this healing activity. All are welcome!


Some GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from Cobbey Crisler & others) will be POSTED sooner this week.  You can always check  for current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you’ve  SUBSCRIBED here for this free, inspirational offering.


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


THANKS to all you PRECIOUS DONORS for ALL of your ONGOING SUPPORT!
Every camper & visitor will be blessed by your generosity, vision & LOVE!


ANOTHER MATCH WAS MET and its project operationally completed before camp!  Thanks to several generous donors to our special A/V Appeal we were able to finish building a CHAPEL AV BOOTH that will protect not only new, donated equipment, but also all our hymnals for worship services and for CedarS Sunday Hymn Sings, like tonight’s first one of our Fourth (2-week) Session of 2023!

If you haven’t lately checked out the GIVING TREE, there are still plenty of other smaller areas of need to fill yet this summer! Campers & staff will also be blessed bigtime by the donations made to additional areas of camp, including the horse program, activity equipment, camperships, and Christian Science nursing and practitioner services.

We’re deeply grateful for EVERY GIFT of love & support,
The CedarS Team

P.S. For more about ways to keep CedarS operations ever more green and flourishing and/or to make a planned gift, a required IRA distribution or an ENDOWMENT GIFT (that will all be MATCHED), feel free anytime to call or text me (Warren Huff, Executive Director Emeritus and Project Manager) at 314-378-2574. I can put you in touch with our Financial Advisor/broker who donates all fees for stock transfers and freely shares tailored, tax-advantaged giving approaches.

 

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