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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Probation After Death”
for October 17-23, 2022

by John & Lindsey Biggs, C.S of Maryland Heights, MO
541 418 1176 johnbiggscs@gmail.com
541 460 3515 biggs.lindsey@gmail.com


INTRODUCTION

We are given the opportunity in this week’s Bible Lesson to find an expanded sense of Life – from the woman at the well who is transformed by the “living water” of Christ, to the disciples who rejoice in a celebratory breakfast with the risen Jesus.

Let’s consider how to walk in this pathway of Life – how to live the spiritual qualities that are inherent in each of us – that give not just a sense of existence but the fullness of Life.

GOLDEN TEXT

“In the path of righteousness there is life, in walking its path there is no death.” Proverbs 12:28 NRSV

In the path of following God – in the path of right thinking and acting – there is Life (vitality, freshness, new energy, renewal, satisfaction, fulfillment and joy).

Walking in this path means there is no end to these qualities or our capacity to live them fully.

We are each the embodiment of spiritual qualities and in this path there is no separation from good – no separation from the Christ-consciousness that heals and saves. It is ever available to you each moment, wherever you are. In fact, these qualities make up your identity – who you are and who you will be eternally.

Mary Baker Eddy writes, “He sustains my individuality. Nay, more — He is my individuality and my Life. Because He lives, I live.” (Unity of Good, p. 48)


RESPONSIVE READING

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.–John 14:2, 3

There is a beautiful pamphlet called Place available in the Christian Science Reading Room and on JSH Online. It includes many wonderful articles which give an expanded sense of place from home, to right employment, to the safety of being in the right place at the right time.  The first article has a shared view link of https://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/25ehun1zan0?s=copylink .

The idea of place can be demonstrated in our experience which naturally includes all the goodness needed for work, home, companionship, supply, and safety. These are simply evidence of the real, spiritual place where we truly dwell. The only real place is God, our Father-Mother, and we “live, move, and have our being” in God, good.

An idea can only reside in the Mind that conceives it. So each of us are spiritual ideas dwelling safely in the divine consciousness of our Father-Mother God. We can never leave or be separate from this permanent place – the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the only Mind that conceives us, or thinks us. And we have a stainless, beautiful existence there. Oneness is the law of this Mind, and none of us can leave this perfect consciousness for even a moment. So, when praying, it’s good to ask ourselves “where am I truly located?” Am I located in a body on a material earth? Or am I an idea dwelling in the eternal consciousness of goodness, beauty, and perfection? When we start from the latter point, we are able to hear the messages from God affirming our wellness, wholeness, and perfection. So we don’t need to wait to experience this “place” that Jesus talks about. In Truth, we are already there, and we can experience and demonstrate it each day.

“…the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:16

It’s the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, that wakes us up to who we really are. It brings to us the spiritual consciousness needed to perceive our spiritual individuality and our oneness to God.


SECTION 1 – A WILLING DISCIPLE AT THE HEAVENLY GATE

“Whatever is governed by God, is never for an instant deprived of the light and might of intelligence and Life.” (citation S6, p. 215) Never for an instant! This eliminates accident, age, lapse in memory, inability, any claim of separation. God knows nothing about it! A reflection is never separated from its Source. So, man, as the image and likeness of God, can never be separated from his/her Source for an instant. Our prayers affirm this truth and deny today anything which would try to suggest otherwise.

How is our human self “evangelized”? (cit. S5, p. 254) I found greater clarity about this term through a statement in this article:

Jesus’ “highest achievement in being about the Father’s business was the evangelization of human selfhood, in which true individuality rules out material personality.” (The Father’s Business, Christian Science Sentinel)

Putting off a human personality and expressing more of our spiritual individuality is a great way to live as Jesus did and allow more of the Christ to be seen in our experience.

“Progress is the law of God” (SH, p. 233), and we have the right to demonstrate progress in all areas of life: business, health, companionship, and supply.

Mary Baker Eddy writes, “To-day, though rejoicing in some progress, she still finds herself a willing disciple at the heavenly gate, waiting for the Mind of Christ.” (Science and Health, p. ix)

Demonstrating the Mind of Christ evangelizes that human selfhood, and allows the light of Christ to shine through more and more clearly bringing salvation to humanity.

“The understanding that Life is God, Spirit, lengthens our days by strengthening our trust in the deathless reality of Life, its almightiness and immortality.” (cit. S2, p. 487)
Matter tries to boast that it has something to do with life, happiness, supply. But matter is nothing – simply limits, mortal measurements, a suppositional absence of Spirit. It isn’t life and/or intelligence. So, it doesn’t communicate and it isn’t real substance. Real substance is spiritual, beautiful, harmless, untouchable, intact, and permanent. Real substance is supply, dominion, health, happiness. So, we can demonstrate that it is Spirit, God, who gives us what we need – life, happiness, companionship, and supply – not in matter, but in spite of matter.

Bible Lens Research add this:
“One commentary suggests: “God offers the only real life there is. When we give ourselves to Him and walk in the light He provides us, in His Word and by His Spirit, we enjoy life to the fullest.”


SECTION 2 – LEAVE THOSE OLD WATERPOTS BEHIND

What strikes me about this Bible story of the woman at the well is “The woman then left her waterpot…” It’s as if she’s totally forgotten that she came all the way to the well, in the heat of the day, to get that needed water! Did she get filled with that “living water” in her encounter with Christ that she was so refreshed and replenished that she simply forgot about this basic daily water chore?  She was so eager to share her joy with others that she simply ran to tell others to come and meet the Messiah – Christ Jesus! Talk about a total transformation of thought. It’s similar to the disciples leaving their nets to follow Jesus, or when Peter dove into the water to swim quickly to see Jesus after his resurrection – no time wasted!

“Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, — this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony.”
(Science and Health, p. 323)

What are some things that you would like to leave behind to embrace Christ more fully?
Each of us can leave our waterpots and follow Christ – following Jesus words to “loose ourselves [from false opinions] and let ourselves go” (as when Jesus raised Lazarus); Leaving old thoughts, doubts, anything that would try to limit you from moving forward – we can leave those behind and embrace the new joy and life in Christ.

Christ says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The one Ego, the one “I’.

“Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth.” (cit. S9, p. 485) I love this passage. Mortal mind is prone to extremes. It either wants to go all one way or all the other way. It has a great experience, and it says this is what I’m going to do all the time!! Or it has a bad experience and says I’m never going to do that again!!

Gentleness is such a beautiful quality of God. It never pushes or pulls. It unfolds, naturally, and perfectly – like a blossom into a rose. “Tenderness accompanies all the might imparted by Spirit.” (Science and Health, p. 514)

We can be so tender with ourselves and with others. Tenderness means we have a more gentle view of ourselves – less thoughts of destructive criticism, pain, condemnation, etc. As we have a more gentle view of ourselves, we naturally expand that gentleness to include others and we feel less judged, burdened by opinions and more free to express our true spiritual selfhood.

The woman at the well may have experienced a gentling transformation like this, too! In the beginning of this story, she is at the well, alone, in the heat of the day, when no one else wants to come and fetch water. Perhaps she doesn’t want to be seen by others or wants to avoid certain interactions. However, she encounters Jesus at the well – and this glimpse into who and what she really is clearly wipes away that false view of herself as unworthy, unredeemable, of a bad reputation that needs to avoid others. Now, she runs to the others in the community (leaving those false landmarks behind) to share her joy of experiencing the Christ. The results of this childlike delight and loss of inhibition is that Christ Jesus stays in their community over the next couple of days so they, too, can experience the transforming power of Christ.

“The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? …So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” (John 4:40–42)

Imagine how her relationships and that community were transformed after that encounter!
[Warren: To help fuel your imagination of the background of the Samaritan woman at the well (and the rest of her story), you might enjoy the spin put on it by “The Chosen”  (“I Am He”) at 39:50 into it
as well as Cobbey Crisler’s insights (that will be coming by midweek in CedarS GEMs) on the lengthy conversation Jesus had with her.]


SECTION 3 — SIMPLE CONVICTION

As I’m reading the familiar story anew, of the healing of Jairus’ daughter (cit. B9, from Luke 8), I’m struck by the simplicity of this account. There certainly TRIED to be a lot of drama – people trying to rush Jesus, the despair of the reports as Jesus came closer, the people weeping and clamoring, and then the utter dismissal by the people of the possibility of healing…wow, what a hubbub.

But Jesus wasn’t concerned about the beliefs and actions of the people around him. He just said, “Believe, and she shall be made whole.” As Mary Baker Eddy explains in Science and Health, we know that this belief is not just a wavering opinion but instead it is faithful conviction. She writes, “The Hebrew and Greek words often translated belief differ somewhat in meaning from that conveyed by the English verb believe; they have more the significance of faith, understanding, trust, constancy, firmness. Hence the Scriptures often appear in our common version to approve and endorse belief, when they mean to enforce the necessity of understanding.” (488:7) Instead of wavering with all the varying claims of the day, based on the material so-called sense report, we have the right to pure, straightforward faith and conviction based in the firm understanding of God as entirely good. God, being whole and good, is naturally expressed in wholeness and goodness. And His dear family simply is included as part of that expression.

We don’t need to get caught up in the hubbub – or the apathy – of material so-called sense. God, good, shows us reality: how wonderful that we can always look to Him to see and feel His loving presence and what that means for us and all.


SECTION 4 – WE’VE BEEN TOLD IT FROM THE BEGINNING!

 We know we ought to love. We have been told this from the very beginning! Bible citation 10, from 1st John, rings this loud and clear: “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” It would be harder to be clearer than that!

And yet…how often do we forget to love. How often do we justify not loving others, or simply accept that love might not be possible in any given situation?

I had a really neat experience at CedarS when I was a counselor that really sticks out to me as an unexpected way to both live love and feel love!
I go into full detail in this article, From fear to love of horses, but in brief, I was absolutely rock-solid terrified of horses. Through the consecrated prayers of a Christian Science practitioner, as well as the lived love of my fellow counselors as they used their precious time off to help me – and my willingness to try to love the horses – I found complete healing. By learning to just turn to this primary, most clear of lessons – that we must love – I became able to be of service to the camp as a dedicated riding instructor and even today, going for horseback rides is one of my favorite things to do.

It’s never too late to lean more into our capacity to live love – and to be loved.


 SECTION 5 – NEVER GIVE UP

One of my favorite things about this story is how there was already breakfast prepared.

Here’s the story in part:
“Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a-fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine.” (cit. B13, John 21)

The disciples were living under a cloud of sadness and resignation, not having realized that Jesus really meant it when he said he’d rise again! So, they returned to their normal approach. From that standpoint, all they were going to find was more emptiness. Then they were given a reminder: try from this different perspective – literally throwing their nets off a different side. Consider this reflection from Mary Baker Eddy, shared in an “Address before the alumni of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College” from 1895:

“Faithfully, as meekly, you have toiled all night; and at break of day caught much. At times, your net has been so full that it broke: human pride, creeping into its meshes, extended it beyond safe expansion; then, losing hold of divine Love, you lost your fishes, and possibly blamed others more than yourself. But those whom God makes “fishers of men” will not pull for the shore; like Peter, they launch into the depths, cast their nets on the right side, compensate loss, and gain a higher sense of the true idea. Nothing is lost that God gives: had He filled the net, it would not have broken.” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 111:4)

We never need to give up. We can patiently and persistently keep waking to Christ’s call…and we will find that our provision, our morning meal, our daily bread, is already provided, already given by eternal Love. No matter what seems like is going on around us, we can always look to the Word of God – His light.


SECTION 6 – ETERNAL SAFETY

I love the anthem of comfort that rings through this section. We don’t need to be afraid of “big questions” we might have about life. As Isaiah says, “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,” (cit. B15, Isaiah 40:5); if we’re not yet seeing God’s glory, let’s keep looking to Him. We’ve been given this promise; we can love to actively engage in faithfulness and trust in God to see what He has to show. God is good! And all He is, His entire will, is good. So, our role is to devotedly and intentionally bear witness to God and love to see what He is doing. “We have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” This promise from Isaiah (cit. B16, Isaiah 25:9) is a promise we can make every day. This is how we avail ourselves of God’s presence: by living with this promise.

We are so loved. God will never let us go. We are His very expression, the outpouring of the existence of Love. Praise God! Thank you Father-Mother.

Have a blessed week!


GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas from COBBEY CRISLER & others should be POSTED and EMAILED by mid-week. Check the  current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, or later in your email, if you have  SUBSCRIBED on this webpage to receive this offering.


Ken Cooper is away on holiday, so do NOT expect his “POETIC POSTLUDE” contributions related to this Bible Lesson.


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