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Easter’s message of Love answers this week’s lesson subject with a courageous “no”!
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Are Sin Disease and Death Real?”
for April 9, 2023

by Kerry Jenkins C.S. of House Springs, MO • 314-406-0041

*You are invited to our virtual hymn sing today, Sunday, April 2, at 7:00pm Central– See links & dial-in numbers in 1st PS. below.

Met Introduction:

One thing I noticed this year as I have been studying this lesson on the startling question “Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?”  is how perfectly it aligns with the Easter story. While, I realize that Easter does not always coincide with this lesson, it truly is a perfect match. What else can compare with this question than a story about Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and eventual ascension out of matter altogether? Isn’t every aspect of Jesus’ career pointing to a negative answer to this big question posed in our Bible lesson this week?

Surely Jesus’ healing record, his own resurrection and ascension, and the healing record of those following in his footsteps, points to a science behind the answer “no” to the question of the reality of sin, disease and death? And, while this answer may seem like a really “big deal” to material sense that finds sin, sickness, and death to be everywhere, I encourage you to read or revisit this article by Susan Booth Mack Snipes about what the “real deal” is about Easter…a hint…it about how we are worshiping God. To see or hear for yourself just click on Easter and the real deal behind Christian Science healing   — or cut and paste this shared-view version :

It is easy to confuse healing as the whole point of Christian Science, rather than the natural byproduct of a true love of and discovery of God, and, as a result, of man. When we are focused on our love for God we cannot fail. We cannot feel burdened that we have to “know enough”, “work hard enough”, “be experienced enough”. We simply have to focus on loving and knowing God, a wonderful, inspiring, and joyous endeavor. This focus removes our human sense of fear of failure. Can we fail to discover more about Love, or Life, or Truth, or Mind? Is there a weight of time, or pressure to “succeed”, when it comes to spending our days in worship, gratitude, appreciation? This effort to put the ‘horse’ (our worship and love of God) firmly in front of the ‘cart’ (the healing outcome of this love), takes away all that false striving that comes when we are trying to “whip” the horse into “pushing” a metaphorical cart! This doesn’t mean that everything is easy.

Material sense will always appear to tell us that we are fooling ourselves by thinking that matter is less than the substance of our lives. But it is significantly more simple than the process of trying to pray hard enough to make sick matter well, cease a particularly stubborn “sin”, or, even more, to revive dead matter — none of which is actually possible!

Our Golden Text (John 16:33 In the;17:1) this week is comprised of some of Jesus’ last words to his disciples before his crucifixion. They are encouraging words of overcoming “the world”, the sense of matter as “all”. Jesus proclaims that he has already done this, given us all the example of overcoming the belief of life in matter as constituting man. Woven throughout our lesson are examples of Jesus demonstrating over the limitations of the body and mortal thought. It is these examples that bring the Easter message its true “punch” if you will.

With Jesus’ life to inspire us from today forward, Easter becomes more than a celebration of a one-time amazing “miracle”. Instead it is the joyous message of victory over matter’s virtually continuous siren song that tells us it is felt, important, compelling. Jesus gave us hope that we do not have to live in bondage to a power opposed to God/Love/Life/Truth. That’s quite a message!

Our Responsive Reading this week is from Paul’s first message to the Corinthians (1Cor 1:1,3; 15:1,3-6 (to;), 7,8,12-14,20,22 in Christ). Paul is emphasizing Jesus’ mission to us all–to save and heal. But he emphasizes that without the resurrection the message is not complete. What does this mean?

Why is the resurrection so important? I don’t know if my answer is a complete one, but it seems to me that without that component of Jesus’ life (and especially without the ascension), we are left with death as the final event of his auspicious career. Without resurrection, his message would have been more of a footnote. In fact, he wouldn’t have been the Messiah at all. It is in his overcoming the claims of matter, from sin, to disease, and finally to his own death (as well as over death to several others in the Bible!) that we have the fullness of his claim to lead mankind to freedom from slavery to matter in all its forms.

Section 1: Victory, salvation and freedom are found through Christ.

While this may sound “religious” in tone, it is universal in power. Even if you have never heard of the Christ, you are not outside of the Christ’s influence or law of powerful healing presence. Christ is simply the “active ingredient” in God’s presence and goodness that is everywhere. Christ links us (humanity) to the laws of Love/Truth/Life, or God.

Christ makes it so that we can digest and understand what otherwise might seem to be miraculous, or random. Instead, through the presence of Christ we can recognize and feel gratitude for God’s goodness, for the serendipity of what seem like random instances of deep connection with man and God on a daily basis. This active Christ is that ingredient in Jesus’ life that made his healing consistent and repeatable by others beside himself. Jesus was clearly very special. He had a unique mission that is undeniable. His embodiment of the Christ and his demonstration of the power of Christ has not been repeated on his scale since, though it has been repeated in abundance through many, individually. This is because of his special mission as God’s son.

But Jesus’ demonstrations would have been pointless if they didn’t lead to a practical application today. Paul, his apostle and most vocal proponent, tells us in his letter to the Romans (cit. B4/Romans 8:2), “…the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” There isn’t much to improve on in this statement, but Eugene Peterson’s Message gives us an extra insight into this verse as well as its preceding one: “With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation.The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.” I think the “dilemma” that is referred to is that of choosing to “walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” as it says in the King James Version of this verse. Once we have chosen this path, we are no longer living under that “continuous, low-lying black cloud”! What freedom and joy we experience each and every time we overcome anything that makes us feel separate from the Christ presence or from Love.

Section 2: Our true self can never be separated from God/Love. (Overcoming sin)

We are told in first Timothy (1:1,14,15 to;/cit. B9), that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;”. Why is the healing of sin so vital to his mission? Because healing sin is integral to all healing. Sin is simply the belief that we can be separated from Good, from God.

Man, as the very expression of Good, cannot be separated from its source any more that a ray of sun can be separated from the sun itself. There is no way to do either of these things. The sooner we grasp the idea that man, as expression of the Divine is wholly connected, always, the sooner we can move past the seemingly inextricable webs of matter and its appeals to mortal sense.

Man is not in matter, and Jesus’ healing record proved that. He did not work to heal sick or sinful, or even dead matter. He worked to reveal to all of us that we are a spiritual expression. We are the way that Love is expressed, or Truth, or Life. Another way to say this is that Jesus worked to show us that God is Good alone, and that the true expression of this goodness, man, reflects only that goodness.

As Mary Baker Eddy tells us, “Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death. The real man cannot depart from holiness nor can God by whom man is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin. A mortal sinner is not God’s man.” (cit. S10/475:28-1)
I especially love this statement because it affirms that God would never “engender” or put within creation, the tendency to sin, etc. When we feel ourselves tempted by sin, by feelings of separation, we can always take that moment to stop, to acknowledge the presence of Good. Love is there, in our consciousness. We cannot leave God’s presence though it might seem that we can turn our back on it. Still, Love’s presence surrounds us even in our moments of greatest despair — maybe most tangibly in these moments. It is when matter most fails us that we remember to turn to our truest inner self to reach for the presence of the Divine.

Section 3: Christ’s message of healing is for all mankind. (Overcoming disease)

In the previous section Jesus sent his disciples to go out and heal and preach the Gospel to the Jews. This is earlier in his ministry, and perhaps this was all the disciples were ready for at that time. Later, he sends his followers out in larger numbers to a larger world beyond just the Children of Israel. In this section he heals the Canaanite woman’s daughter after her passionately humble and persistent request. This seems to mark a turn toward greater contact with the Gentile or at least non-Israelite community. (He did earlier heal a Roman officer’s servant, but by and large his early works were confined to Jews.) This story of the deeply humble Canaanite woman introduces the universality of the Christ message. It is one of several stories of healing in Jesus’ life that share the detail that the healing took place without his personal presence, but merely by his knowing of the truth about this young girl. To me, this makes the power of the healing Christ even more universal as it is not confined to place!

Section 4: We overcome death through the “sorrowful effort” of demonstrating Christly love. (overcoming death)

Well, that maybe sounds a little depressing with the “sorrowful effort” part, but compared with being crucified we mostly get off lightly. Of course it is often not with physical pain that we experience these seeming “crucifixions”. It is perhaps more often that we face mental anguish, as Jesus also experienced. Our way out of these times is through remembering and demonstrating the undying, limitless love that Christ Jesus expressed.

The deep, spiritual, healing  love that Christ Jesus encouraged, and modeled for us, was not limited to a race or religion, to friends or family. It was a love that was tested deeply–one that loves enemies, that turns a cheek when struck, that walks extra miles when called upon by an enemy (Roman soldier) to carry their things. It is a merciful love that forgave even those that betrayed and crucified him. There is no death without sin. Sin is the belief of separation from Spirit, or of life in matter. If we do not truly live in matter, then there is no death for us. But we have to make that effort, that is indeed often “sorrowful”, to live beyond the limits of human love that needs reciprocity, or is often conditional. Christly love knows no bounds. Christly love redeems us from the belief of life in matter.

Section 5: Crucifixion was necessary for the resurrection.

Have you ever noticed that your greatest joys often come from periods of deep challenge? When we grasp something from that period of struggle, we move forward to more inspired views. In a similar vein, Jesus’ mission required the crucifixion so that we could learn the true power of infinite Love. Having risen, he did not go back to the tomb and look inside. He continued to reveal deeper messages of Love to his disciples and to inspire not only them, but also generations to come with the power of Love to heal and redeem.

Each of us today can experience our own smaller “resurrections” from the beliefs that are attached to the dream of life in matter. We can experience them each and every day in some measure. We can walk, step by step, away from the “tomb” that would hide our best Christly demonstrations of Love.  I love that Mary was greeted at the empty tomb by an angel in this account by Matthew. (cit. B17/Mat. 28:1-3,5-8) This is the story of Easter, an empty tomb and an angel message of eternal Life. It is in our right worship of Life as Spirit and Love that we truly celebrate Easter and the nothingness of sin, disease and death.

Section 6: Easter is a message of Love.

John’s poignant account wherein Jesus asks three times if Simon Peter loves him, brings our Easter message of Love full circle. (John 21:1-17/cit. B19) This redemptive Love heals Peter from the sorrow of having denied even knowing the Master during the crucifixion.

Peter felt fear, separation from Love, when faced with Jesus’ crucifixion. This fear is redeemed by demonstrating love for mankind–by healing and preaching the Christ message to all mankind. This continued Easter message at the sea of Tiberias gave the disciples the courage they needed to finally leave their material nets, both literal and figurative, and follow in Jesus’ path of service. This message is not for Peter alone, or for his disciples, but for all of us throughout time. Mary Baker Eddy says it this way: “Jesus’ promise is perpetual. …The purpose of his great life-work extends through time and includes universal humanity. Its Principle is infinite, reaching beyond the pale of a single period or of a limited following.” (cit. S25/328:20-4)

Our worship of Love, of the Christly message of this Love, is what will reveal to us, step by step, the nothingness of sin, disease, and death. It won’t happen all at once. But we can assuredly demonstrate this healing power when we put God/Love first in our consciousness. Love for God and man was Jesus’ daily inspiration. It can be ours too.

Happy Easter to you!

*P.S. You are invited to our virtual hymn sing tonight, Sunday, April 2, at 7:00pm Central.*

Theme: The hymn sing’s theme will be The Promise of Easter: from Cross to Crown. Click here for the lineup of hymns.

Format: The prelude will begin at 6:45pm Central, followed by the hymn sing at 7:00pm Central. Matthew Hammond will lead us in singing ten hymns, including the Doxology. Afterwards, those who want to stay on the call can hear some brief updates on happenings at camp.

Musicians: Matthew Hammond

Zoom Link:
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  • Meeting ID: 276 331 031
  • Password: 736307
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Please share this invitation with anybody who could be blessed by this healing activity. All are welcome!

A special Easter-week offer is below— for a free viewing of the outstanding BibleRoads Easter talk that Christie Hanzlik recommends in her Met last week!

GIFT OFFER: Madelon Maupin and her BibleRoads team wrote:
e’d like to GIFT YOU this Easter talk at no cost if you become a member of BibleRoads.  This is the monthly webinar series with a 2023 focus:  “Women Of The Bible.”As a new member, you will receive:·        Access to the Easter talk:  “The Week That Changed The World”·

  • Access to Biblical Matriarchs Part 1 (Sarah, Rebekah and Hagar)
  • Access to Biblical Matriarchs Part 2  (Leah, Rachel and Tamar
  • Access to Talk 3 – Women on Moses’ Wilderness Journey (Hebrew Midwives,  Moses’ Mother,  Pharaoh’s Daughter)
  • Access to Talk 4 – Women on Moses’ Wilderness Journey Pt 2 (Miriam, Zipporah, etc.)
  • A $10 off member coupon for any product on the website in the online shop (120+ videos, workbooks, audio lectures.)

All of this comes with your single payment of $20 for the monthly BibleRoads membership.  You can cancel your membership at any time,  but we hope you will continue so you can enjoy the current “Women of the Bible” 2023 series as so many others are worldwide.

(Note:  The webinars are on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 4pm Pacific and last one hour; everything is recorded if you cannot join us for the live presentation.)

Click HERE to join the BibleRoads Biblical Community & receive all this.

NOTE:  This special offer is only valid until Good Friday, April 7th.

Some of GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from Cobbey Crisler & others) should be POSTED soon and others will be added to the string and EMAILED together later in the week.  You can always c
heck  for current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you’ve  SUBSCRIBED here for this free offering.

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

DEAR past & POTENTIAL, difference-making DONORS, CLICK HERE and Scroll down to hear  “What our Donors Say” about the reasons they support CedarS.  You’ll also be able to see a video of campers and staff sharing LOTS OF HEARTFELT GRATITUDE for all that you difference-making DONORS DO TO HELP US FEED & SHOE OUR HORSES, MAINTAIN & UPGRADE OUR FACILITIES, GIVE CAMPERSHIPS,

Thanks to you and to God, CedarS had another best-summer and fall 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”  SUSTAINABLE, 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 this Fall another wonderful Bible Study Workshop, a touching and joyous Celebration of Life Service, 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 other 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) anytime at 314-378-2574.

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