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[Be preserved eternally in unity! Experience the abundance & wholeness of your true being!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

God the Preserver of Man
for December 15, 2013

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
(314) 406-0041
[bracketed inserts by CedarS Director Warren Huff, letting the need be known that
CedarS is ~1/2 of the way to meeting a year-end, $25,000 Maintenance Musts Challenge Grant]

This lesson looks in an unusual way at how God, Love, preserves man.  It reveals a view of our nature as a whole, complete creation that includes a variety of people, cultures, differences, beliefs, all dwelling in unity, peace.  We are without conflict, war, destruction (the opposite of preservation).  We are a creation that God formed to work as a whole, both within each body, and with each other, with one divine source, Principle.

There is a theme of peace pervading the lesson, even though the word itself is used only about five times.  It brings to mind that sense of the “Prince of peace” that comes to thought so often during this season.  This is how the Bible sometimes refers to Jesus' coming, as the Prince of peace, and in this lesson we see how the light of the Christ reveals man's eternal state of unity, love, wholeness, through our spiritual senses.  This spiritual sense is most profitably expanded through our study of Christian Science, since this divine Science represents that Comforter, the second coming of the Prince of peace, to man.  This Science reveals our eternal state of safety, wholeness, and harmony, within and without.

The promises of the Golden Text (G.T.) and Responsive Reading (R.R.) are powerful and poetic. As we “fear”/respect/worship/strive to understand God, we begin to see and appreciate the great blessings of His power and protection.  The amazing symbolic might of mountains and hills being removed before God's kindness is taken from man, is a statement full of hope for the fierce nature of God's love for man.  We are promised that even those “tossed with tempest and not comforted…” (those who are struggling with depression, illness, living in war-torn places) will see, understand, the riches with which they are provided. They will be taught by God, their children also, and they will inherit peace from this teaching and understanding, and not “tempest”, or torment, and mental, or actual warfare and turmoil.

Section 1: We dwell with angels in the atmosphere of Mind!
What a place to “dwell”.  Mrs. Eddy included the 91st Psalm as one of the most important Scriptural texts along with the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.  In the midst of the imagery of warfare, strife, disease, we have the shepherd gathering the lambs with his arm, carrying them in his bosom, and gently leading those that need that extra care. (B3)  The war imagery continues in citation B4, represented by the drought and heat that will destroy any that are not “planted by the waters”/that aren't relying on Spirit, God, to inform them of the nature of reality.  When we turn to God for our information, we find that we are like that tree that is planted by a river.  No matter what suggestion of matter comes to us, we are receiving spiritual inspiration and Truth from that constant spiritual stream of Good.  When we rely on matter for our existence we experience the fluctuations of material supply: material supply of good, health, peace, etc.  When God is our hope, when we “plant” our thought by the “streams” of Spirit, then today can only be “big with blessings”. (S6)

Section 2: The “open fount” is available to all.
I've never quite seen this story in the light of the unity of man before.  It is proverbial that this story represents the seed of the continuing strife in the Middle East today. The idea that one child could be rejected or cast out in favor of another is truly an awful premise.  Yet in the context of this lesson we can see that what God says, is that out of these chosen offspring, He will create two nations (an expanded sense of family and good).  It is mortal mind that inverts this beautiful idea of expansion, and turns it into untold years of warfare, hatred, and conflict.  We cannot lean on our own understanding of things to tell us the truth about God's preserving, loving nature (B7).  Matter has a tendency to become very complicated and intractable.  Abraham and Hagar's story is one such example.  Citation S9 untangles the complexities of matter by lifting our thought above material claims to see the “harmonious results” of God's thoughts in action.  And finally in this section there is a lovely reference to the place where Ishmael grew up—the wilderness of Paran.  We are told in the My Bible Lesson notes that the word “Paran” likely comes from the Hebrew word beautify or glorify; and that it refers to the wilderness where the Children of Israel wandered just outside the Promised Land.  If you take that symbolically, it represents that time of work and prayer that comes before the promised revelation and healing.  It is like that “vestibule” that Mrs. Eddy refers to in her definition of “wilderness” in Science and Health, where a material sense of things is yielding to the spiritual sense.

Section 3: Man’s entire being is harmonious. (S12)
In this section our wholeness, harmony, is preserved above complicated obedience to complicated human law.  Jesus heals the man with the withered hand in opposition to those who feel that their laws prevent this sort of work on the Sabbath.  Jesus saw that man's harmonious being is not, never was, dependent on human laws.  Man can never be deprived of harmony based on any human law.  It was never a question of “whether” to heal for Jesus, but it was simply out of the question to accept as normal, any condition that didn't reflect God's preserving love for Her creation.  Love simplifies that complicated material picture.  It is always right for man to express harmony, and always in accord with God's law of love.  God is at peace with Her own creation [—and what better place than in church to let this peace, healing and wholeness shine forth! See PS  for a Cobbey Crisler commentary on this citation B9, Mark 3:1-5, AND for an amazing, quick and complete Christian Science healing of  a workman injured very seriously in 2011.]

Section 4: Higher sense of love or Love.
In citation B12 we have the lawyer tempting Jesus by asking him the question about what he should do to inherit eternal life.  What is his motivation for asking this question?  Jesus' answer highlights the man's selfish motivation here by pointing out the Two Great Commandments.  This little story is followed by the story of Peter coming to Jesus to ask how many times he should forgive someone who has wronged him.  It occurs to me that forgiveness is a sentiment motivated by a personal sense of a self that can be wronged.  The need to forgive is based on the misconception that we can be personally wronged—that we personally have to “give” our love/forgiveness to someone else because they hurt “us”.  This is not to say that we don't sometimes experience this emotion.  It happens for sure!  But such a sentiment can seem motivated by personal sense .  Remember the father in the parable of the Prodigal?  Is it implied that he had to find it in himself to forgive his son?  No!  He ran to meet him, to help him from just where the son was, literally and figuratively.  He didn't even put the son on some kind of “probation”.  He gave him his full and loved position, without hesitation.  This is because there is truly nothing to forgive if you look at something from a spiritual standpoint.  Forgiveness is a quality that is reaching toward the spiritual but comes from a place that is not without self.  It implies a self that is separate from, and not constantly upheld and maintained by God.  The father in the parable knew that the son could never have taken anything of value from him, all that he had, had the substance of eternity, couldn't be wasted or spent.  How many wars could be prevented by recognizing our wholeness as a part of such a God of Love that nothing could ever be taken from us, nothing could ever deprive us of the fullness of God's love?  Citation S21 points to this very elevated understanding of our spiritual provision, and the peace it brings.

Section 5: Love preserves all mankind.
The story of the Centurion's request for healing of his servant is a beautiful example of all that we have been talking about up to now.  Here is a man who would be considered the “enemy” of the Jews, being a Roman military leader, occupying the Jewish land.  And yet, he was calling for the help of Jesus, recognizing that Jesus had a special and divine authority.  And it is not lost on us that he is anxious to heal, not a family member, but a servant of his.  This story illustrates the universal nature of God's love for all mankind, beyond race, culture, country, religion and so on.  And Mrs. Eddy takes it further by pointing out that this kind of preservation for man is for all time, for eternity (S24).

Section 6: The light of the Christ reveals “secret beauty and bounty”. (S26)
The final citation of this lesson (S30) tells us that Spirit, unites our understanding “to eternal harmony”.  We attain that understanding really, through the revelation of divine Science, which makes God and God's love for man, clearer to us.  We see that man is preserved, at peace, harmonious, whole, through the lens of divine Science. This “secret beauty and bounty” is revealed to us through spiritual sense, through our practice of what we understand of Christian Science.  This provision and preservation for man is not visible to material sense (hence the “secret” nature here).  But it is showered on all creation.  Mrs. Eddy describes her “weary hope” of realizing this “happy day” when we will all recognize and love our neighbor as ourselves (S29).  It is then, when we have no false sense of self separate from God and others, that we experience the abundance and wholeness of man's true being!


PS: Cobbey Crisler’s commentary on citation B9, Mark 3:1-5 followed by a 2011 corelative healing that is amazing and well worth listening to and sharing as widely as possible.
“In Mark 3, Verse 1, we have a renewed definition for church where another healing occurs in the church context, namely, ‘the man that had the withered hand.’… According to an earlier, largely lost gospel called the Gospel of Hebrews, we find this man saying to Jesus, “I was a mason seeking a livelihood with my hands.  I pray thee, Jesus, to restore me my health that I may not beg meanly for my food.’  According to Luke 6:6, it was his right hand.  As a mason, you could not really pursue your craft. If that is an authentic recollection, it just adds a little more enrichment to our comprehension of the story.  Again, it’s the Sabbath and we find that prayer is a church activity.  It would be hard to find someone that would disagree with that no matter what denomination one belongs to.  Healing would have to take place, because prayer in no idle exercise without results. Healing follows prayer…
Verse 3.  Jesus stops the order of service again.  He says to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand forth.’ Would that electrify most congregational worship toady?  ‘Stand forth.’  Everything stops.  The priority is here.
Verse 4.  Then he asks the question, ‘Is it lawful,’ is it a church rule, ‘to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil?’ Notice his definition of ‘doing-good’ here. He must not remain on the surface.  Doing-good for Jesus would be what?  Healing the man.  Doing-evil would be what? Not healing the man.  He regarded not-healing as evil.  The normality of the spiritual function of healing is underscored here…
Verse 5.  Then he says, ‘Stretch forth thine hand.’ Why didn’t he go and stretch it forth for him? Again, the consistency of having dominion. Dominion doesn’t exercise you, does it?  You exercise it… ‘Stretch forth thine hand and it was restored whole.’” (What Mark Recorded, p. 31-33, B. Cobbey Crisler) This stone mason no doubt could earn a living again using his hands.  Click below to hear all about an undisputable Christian Science healing of a workman crushed under a huge, falling tree who was very quickly back on the job.  It was given at a testimony meeting in our church by Doug Jenkins (husband of this Met's contributor, Kerry' Jenkins) and repeated in a Time4Thinkers online chat. with Chet Manchester. at http://time4thinkers.com/t4t-events/healed/]     

[The Met application ideas at the top are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps. These ideas are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp!  YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ ]

[Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & bracketed, italic additions.]

[Please support: CedarS Matched “Maintenance Musts Fund” will be matched for proper upkeep of mission-critical buildings & equipment; our Matched “Adopt the Herd” fund for year-round horse care; and/or our ongoing FENCING NEEDS for our herd of wonderful horses that serves campers every day. Just write either “Maintenance Musts, Matched” , "Adopt the Herd, Matched" or “fencing for horses”]

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[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free — by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Manfred and Jeanette; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has been contributed.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "Mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and in a variety of useful formats as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-26) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-32). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist.  The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one.  We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]

 

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