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Lift up your eyes to behold the ever-present Kingdom of God!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?
for June 18-24, 2018

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer of Lake St. Louis, MO USA

As I studied this Lesson filled with ideas about seeing and experiencing the kingdom of God, I was reminded of a recent conversation I had with someone asking if I thought Christian Science would have been discovered if the medicine of that time had been as advanced as it is today. That gave me the opportunity to share my understanding that Christian Science is far from being just an alternative medicine. It is the Science that reveals the universe to be entirely spiritual, rather than being constituted of particles of matter.

Learning to shift our view from limited, flawed matter to unlimited, flawless Spirit … Mind … the errors of disease, discord, war, poverty, etc. disappear and we see in their place health, harmony and abundant good. Rather than life seeming like a game of whack-a-mole where one problem is overcome only to have another (or the same) one pop back up, we see the foundation of discord destroyed and complete freedom realized. Truly, the kingdom of God (the reign of harmony) is here and can be seen and realized!

We don’t need to be afraid of trials that confront us. We can have the courage to confront them as we keep our gaze fastened on the reality of God’s kingdom. Trials will be seen as the breaking up of error, and we can go on our way rejoicing in the fact that evil is powerless to do anything but fall to total destruction, because it never had any real substance! How grateful we can be for the teachings and example of Christ Jesus and for Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery of Christian Science! What freedom a vision of Truth brings!

The Golden Text focuses our attention on the “kingdom of heaven” that is “within us” — in other words, right at hand. Unlike a universe made of fragile material elements, this spiritual kingdom cannot be damaged or destroyed. But, we have to learn how to see it and experience it — without being confused by the evidence of the physical senses. This lesson helps us think through how to do that.

Several things struck me as I explored the Responsive Reading. The idea of a seed is mentioned several times. Starting with God as the source of all creation and the seed being within itself, there is no room for anything (no material element) to be added to this creation. I find it very important not to think about the word “beginning” as used in Genesis 1 in terms of a measure of time, but of position. It can be translated as head, chief, or principal thing. It has its origin in a Hebrew word (ri-sa) that can mean sum.

What springs from the seed is something that expresses the original and nothing else. Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The infinite has no beginning. This word beginning is employed to signify the only, — that is, the eternal verity and unity of God and man, including the universe.” (SH 502: 24-27) That eliminates the possibility of a material universe (atomic force) co-mingling with Mind’s ever-present spiritual kingdom. As stated in Miscellaneous Writings, "Atomic action is Mind, not matter. It is neither the energy of matter, the result of organization, nor the outcome of life infused into matter: it is infinite Spirit, Truth, Life, defiant of error or matter.” (Misc. 190:1-4)

A seed represents both completeness and productivity. Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed inspires me to see how the tiniest of right ideas, when planted in thought, cherished, and nurtured grows into a productive, complete expression blessing all (providing good to others, as well as ourselves — as the mustard plant provides a dwelling place for the birds.) Why did Jesus speak in parables? It may have been so that he could teach a lesson to those who had a clue about what he was saying, but not confuse others and cause them to turn away.

As I considered the parable of the woman hiding the leaven in 3 measures of meal, I again saw the affluence, the vastness — the truly infinite, unlimited nature — of the kingdom of heaven, and the potential for unlimited growth in our lives. We need to think BIG! “Three measures of meal” was ten gallons of flour. That’s a LOT of bread making!! This woman refused to be limited. The New Interpreter’s Bible brings out the importance of the use of the word “hid”. It points out that the woman didn’t need to exert a lot of effort to make the leaven work. The source of the action was unseen that brought about the “extravagant” supply of bread. We can think of the kingdom of heaven as being extravagant like that … not wasteful but completely abundant (existing everywhere, actually.)

As we “hide” the leaven of Truth in the thought of the world (through individual action or the activity of our churches) we need to think big. “Hide” it everywhere and trust Truth to bring the increase! We don’t need to be concerned about what the flour looks like (science, theology, or medicine — as Mrs. Eddy calls it.) Just hide the leaven and let Truth do the work. And it doesn’t matter how big or small the problem seems to be. Just a little seed of Truth (like the mustard seed) is sufficient!

Section 1: God, Spirit — the only Creator — is not influenced by unintelligent matter

I enjoyed noting in the Bible citations how often the pronoun I — meaning God, the only Creator — was used. (B1, B3 & B4) God is the source of all being, thought, strength, aid, and action. I was struck by the list of solutions given in citation B3 which, to me, illustrated that it must be God (infinite Spirit and illimitable Mind) that provides all good. Love provides what material sense would deem impossible.

Isaiah compares making the mistake of thinking that we have to figure out solutions, or that anything other than God is the source of creation, to turning everything upside down. It would be like the clay being in charge of making itself into a pot — or trying to instruct the potter. (B3) Pretty absurd when you think about it like that!!

Christian Science teaches us to read the Scriptures through the lens of inspiration — searching for the spiritual essence and lessons taught by every part of it! (S3) Paying special attention to how Mrs. Eddy defines terms in the Glossary of Science and Health is especially helpful. I love how we are given the spiritual interpretation of words and then shown how this interpretation counters commonly-held beliefs. This week we see how understanding God to be the only Creator negates the possibility of matter — the opposite of God. (S2)

Section 2: We’re never stuck between a rock and a hard place — God opens the way!

Would God guide us out of a bad situation (anything that would enslave us or be limiting) and then allow road blocks to stop us from finding freedom? That’s not how Love works! But, the children of Israel certainly felt stuck. Finding themselves between a rock (an impassable body of water) and a hard place (the Egyptian army chasing them), they were “naturally” scared. But, Moses had learned that God doesn’t take us part way. He told the people, “fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to-day.” (B5) I love this instruction, and promise of immediate help!

Sometimes it seems impossible to stop being afraid. But, the secret is to refuse to look at the rock or the hard place and be still so we can see the solution that God, Mind, is providing! In this case the wind (which the Glossary defines as “that which indicates the might of omnipotence and the movements of God’s spiritual government, encompassing all things; Destruction;” — SH 597: 27-29) cleared away the water long enough for the Israelites to pass safely, but the Egyptians drowned. (B4)

Our textbook assures us that similarly, “the spiritual idea [will] guide all right desires in their passage from sense to Soul, from a material sense of existence to the spiritual …” (S9). Material sense enslaves … spiritual sense frees! As we practice being still and acknowledging God as the only power and always good, we can be certain that the way will be open for us to move forward (seeing more and more of our unlimited spiritual potential). Whatever mortal, enslaving thought-forces would threaten to stop forward movement will be destroyed. (B6 & S8) We’re told that we need to be “working and praying with true motives”. (S10) To me, that means staying focused on a desire to express our God-given spiritual nature (unlimited God-given talent) while bearing witness to this same spiritual nature in all. Then our Father-Mother opens our eyes to see the way we are to follow — unencumbered by blinding material sense.

Section 3: Bind the strong man — mortal mind’s misconceptions

In all that Jesus did, he brought to light the immediate presence of the kingdom of God — which the New Interpreter’s Bible points out is not so much a place, but a power. It means “God’s reign” or “the sovereign power of God functioning as king.” As I considered the healing of the man “possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb,” it occurred to me that accepting more than one power (believing that there is a devil — or evil — capable of taking possession of man) keeps us from being able to see and declare Truth clearly.

When we seem blinded to present good, or the voice of error seems louder than the voice of Truth, we can find healing by “lifting thought above error, or disease, and contending persistently for truth.” (B10 & S14) The Pharisees acknowledged that the man had been healed. But, they contended that there were two kingdoms, or powers, and suggested that the authority for this healing did not come from God, but rather from the devil. Perhaps this was said because the authority of the Pharisees was threatened by the people seeing this healing as an indication that Jesus was the promised Messiah (the Son of David).

Today, it may be argued that time, climate, the human mind, pharmacology, or some other material means has brought about healing rather than God alone. But, Jesus uses perfect logic to explain why Satan cannot cast out Satan (or matter heal matter), because the kingdom would thus be divided, and fall.

Jesus explained that the way he healed was by bearing witness to the “Spirit of God” which counters the suggestions of a material universe with its material ailments and limitations. The problem isn’t really with the body, but with “so-called mortal mind” — or the belief in a power separate from God — which Jesus called the “strong man.” Once that false belief is bound, it can’t cause fear or impact the body. (S13)

The light of Christ, Truth, destroys the darkness of suppositional life in matter — just as the light of the sun destroys the darkness of the night. The key is to not be influenced by the lies of the carnal mind, but take command of every thought [–not ever-other thought–] and bring it into obedience to Christ, Truth. Unless that it done, there is always left the possibility of a return of an ailment. As the New Revised Standard Version translates Paul’s words, “the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, (or fleshly) but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (B11 – NRSV).

I love the idea that we can rebel against thoughts and apparent conditions that would try to hold us captive. Instead, we arrest every unproductive thought that comes knocking on the door of thought and hold those false beliefs captive. In that way, we “lose the sense of sin and disease” as Christ, Truth, rules these lies out of thought and we “gain the sense of health.” (S12) So many diseases include the belief of some form of lack of productivity. We can arrest that thought and destroy those impositions!

Section 4: Faith in the divine power to heal makes us able laborers

Perhaps in an effort to encourage his students to do more than they were currently doing, Jesus spoke about the abundance of the harvest (or fruits waiting to be gathered — the healings waiting to happen), but the fewness of those equipped to do the actual work. (B14)

As I researched the idea of Biblical harvest, I noticed the emphasis placed on GOD being in charge. One source said, “Farmers needed to do their part in planting to be able to reap (Proverbs 6:8). But the focus in harvest revolved around the product and the work of the Lord in bringing it to completion. Even during harvest, the Sabbath rest was to be kept so that the focus would remain on the Lord.” (Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology – Harvest)

Who doesn’t want to be a more effective healer? Jesus’ disciples did, and they asked him …. why couldn’t we cast the devil out (heal this case)? Jesus told them that it was because of their “unbelief”. (B15) The Greek word translated as unbelief also connotes “disbelief” or “weakness of faith.” Interestingly, Jesus goes on to tell them that all that is needed is “faith as a grain of mustard seed.”

Having faith as a grain of mustard seed isn’t talking about how much faith is required, but what kind of faith … or faith in what! As hard as we try, it’s sometimes difficult to see through the false evidence portrayed by the physical senses. So, our faith — based on human wisdom rather than spiritual evidence and the power of God — falters, is weak. (B13)

Effective prayer acknowledges God as the all and only power. Perhaps the disciples were feeling (as we may also be tempted to feel) that it was their responsibility to heal this young man … rather than bear witness to the power of God to reveal His own likeness. The citations from Science and Health in this section substantiate this idea. Stated succinctly, “Truth, not corporeal will, is the divine power which says to disease, ‘Peace, be still.’” (S16) Because we respond to the activity of Mind, we can get personal sense out of the way (fast from it) and be willing, active, witnesses — able laborers in God’s field — which blossoms forth in healing.

Section 5: Material beliefs must be broken up before being completely destroyed

Although we’re told over and over that the kingdom of God (God’s supreme reign of harmony that cannot be shaken) is here, now — within us — sometimes that can seem pretty hard to believe IF we judge according to the evidence of the material senses. (B19) That’s why this statement from our textbook is such good guidance … “Let us learn of the real and eternal, and prepare for the reign of Spirit, the kingdom of heaven, — the reign and rule of universal harmony, which cannot be lost nor remain forever unseen.” (S25)

We don’t have to just sit and wait and hope that everything will turn out alright. We can devote thought to learning and preparing. Watch thought! Be a gatekeeper — letting in those thoughts which are productive and are aligned with the truth of God’s creation, and barring the gate to unproductive thoughts that include fearing, worrying or being sad about, or being impressed by a lie of disease, evil, and destruction.

Jesus told his disciples to not be afraid when they heard of wars and commotions (revolutions, insurrections) because they must come before the reign of Christ would come. (B16) This conversation started with the disciples commenting on the beauty of the temple in Jerusalem. Perhaps Jesus was helping them to stay focused on the eternal temple (which is defined in the Glossary, in part, as “the idea of Life, substance, and intelligence; the superstructure of Truth; the shrine of Love.”) A physical structure can be destroyed, but an idea cannot. It came to me that maybe these destructive events must happen to force us to give up reliance on the physical and seek the spiritual as the only reality.

As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “the lower appeal to the general faith in material means (commonly called nature) must yield to the all-might of infinite Spirit.” (S18) Before error can be completely destroyed, it must be broken up. Breaking up a big concrete structure is messy and noisy — but it must happen before the structure can be completely removed. So, let’s not be impressed by the temporary elements of destruction that can seem so overwhelming. Matter never was the source of good (or light). And God’s light (complete harmony, health, peace, and well-being) is ever shining. (B18) As we continue to “look up” we will see the harmony and light of Christ, Truth, appearing to thought and shaping our experience.

Section 6: Lift up your eyes!

This summary section puts a punctuation point on the fact that “God creates and governs the universe, including man.” The spiritual ideas that God “evolves … are obedient to the Mind that makes them.” (S26) To evolve can mean to “give off” or “emit.” All of creation — including man — is the very expression (the expressed idea) of omnipotent Mind. As this is realized, we are able to see the good — the harmony — of God’s kingdom, or reign.

We read that God had multiplied the children of Israel. (B20) This is written in the context of Moses feeling a need to set up judges to help guide the people. There were too many for him to manage alone. Prior to this verse we read that God spoke to the people at Mount Horeb and told them they had stayed long enough there and they needed to continue their journey. God said, “See, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land that I swore to your ancestors …” (Deut. 1: 6-7) But, as we know, their journey was successful only as they were obedient to God’s directing. We also have a Promised Land that has been set before us … it is the spiritual universe of God’s creating. And we need to move thought to be able to see it. Mrs. Eddy uses the analogy of a bird inside an egg. This environment seems quite natural until the bird pecks its way out of its shell and discovers a vast creation that it had no idea existed.

It’s easy for us to accept the mortal view — with its discord and limitations — as natural. But, Christian Science shows us the way to discover the unseen kingdom. What is required is to fix our “gaze on the realities supernal” and thus “rise to the spiritual consciousness of being.” (S27) Isaiah delivered similar instruction … “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things.” And then it talks about the completeness of God’s creation … not one element is missing! Not one detail is out of place in God’s kingdom. The star-filled expansive universe truly only hints at the illimitable vastness of God’s spiritual creation. To see it, we must start by looking beyond and through what the limited material senses reveal. Acknowledge God as the all and only power and bear witness to eternal good! Then the limitations of a universe supposedly evolving from atomic (or material) force disappear, and the harmony and limitless nature of reality appear!

W’s PS#8—KEN COOPER BONUS ADDITION (on citation B19) IS A DOWNLOAD IN UPPER RIGHT ONLINE! Ken sent the attached poem for "Is the Universe..", – "DNA or I AM" PLUS a reference to "Christian Science Practice", –

“a link I have given before, but one I trust is worth sharing again.”

Ken wrote of “DNA or I Am”
“Once we establish that Life has always existed, before the world began, the theories of evolution become irrelevant. The eternal "I AM" has always been now, and does not develop. It is an ongoing revelation.

Modern theories of multiverses as opposed to universes indicate a reaching out to fathom the unfathomable, daring to ask whether this existence is a fake."I AM" has the only answer.”

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