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Feel the healing comfort of God’s love today!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Christian Science”
for June 20-26, 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

This week’s Lesson has so many beautiful themes on the healing, comforting and restoring Love of God. This healing ministry was beautifully expressed through Christ Jesus, our Savior. It was then given to reside permanently with us through the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, which brings all good – our spiritual nature – to our remembrance for the healing benefit of all.

Through this Lesson, we have the assurance of God’s eternal love, showing us true knowledge about ourselves and others, and encouraging us to share this spiritual wealth with others as well.


GOLDEN TEXT

The word “comfort” comes from the Latin word comfortare which means “strengthen greatly”.

God’s love pulls you into those comforting arms of peace and love; they wrap you up, tucking you in and hiding you safely till the storms have passed. God’s love nurtures you until you feel restored, peaceful, and refreshed again. God’s love is strength and gentleness at the same time.

God’s comforting love helps you see yourself as Love sees you – pure, spotless, sinless, spiritual, perfect, and free – especially when you aren’t seeing yourself that way. Her love assures you that “you are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.” It enables us to take deep draughts of Spirit, to feel refreshed and at ease – like a gentle breeze. Her love makes us feel happy, comforted and strong – ready to run our race. Her love says “I believe in you; you can do it!” God’s love is like holding up a mirror to enable us to see and know who we truly are and where we truly belong. God’s love enables us to say “yes” to God – agreeing with God with all your heart and soul.

This comforting love enables us to trust in who we are as the spiritual offspring of God. It doesn’t see one speck of sin about us or in our identity.

This comforting love never leaves us where it found us. Its presence restores, blesses and heals. We never go away empty-handed. Instead, we “feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love.” (Science and Health, p. 264)


RESPONSIVE READING

The Responsive Reading follows with additional beautiful passages from Isaiah.

“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11

They echo the theme of God’s powerful, healing Love – God restoring, helping, and calming. Don’t each of us want to feel tucked into God’s bosom? Safe and calm and free. Holding our Daddy’s hand and letting our Father-Mother God do the work. These passages assure us that it is our nature to lean on God, and it is God’s nature to give us the strength, gentleness, courage, peace, and patience we need. God does the heavy lifting! We do the yielding and listening.

Just like the deep, beautiful ocean holds up a large, heavy freight liner; the same water holds up the baby geese. It doesn’t matter how heavy or how light the things are. It is a law of God that affects all. We are being sustained in just that same way with a love that is as powerful as the ocean and gentle as the tide. It is a powerful love that embraces one and all.

These passages are full of God’s action. God’s comforting, healing love buoys us!

According to Bible scholars, the book of Isaiah is broken into three parts:

First Isaiah (Isaiah 1 – 39) Isaiah of Jerusalem

Second Isaiah (Isaiah 40-55) Prophets in Exile

Third Isaiah (Isaiah 56-66) After the Exile

“One of the Hebrew Bible’s greatest poets, the anonymous prophet known as second Isaiah brought a message of hope and consolation to his fellow exiles during the last years of the Babylonian captivity (c. 540 BCE). Announcing that Judah’s time of punishment is fulfilled, Second Isaiah proclaims that YHWH not only has fully pardoned his people but also is granting them freedom, guiding them on a “new exodus” out of Babylon and back to the Promised Land.” (The Old Testament, An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Stephen L. Harris, p. 254)


SECTION 1 – GREAT IS GOD’S FAITHFULNESS

These passages in Lamentations (citation B1) and Deuteronomy (citation B2) are great passages for reminding us how faithful and good God is!

There is a great hymn that goes along with these passages perfectly:

Great is Your faithfulness!
Great is Your faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Your hand has provided.
Great is Your faithfulness, God, unto me!

(Christian Science Hymnal, No.  487:2)

“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”
(cit. B2, Deut. 7:9)

God is keeping His word! God is faithful!

The 1828 Webster Dictionary defines know as:  To perceive with certainty; to understand clearly; to have a clear and certain perception of truth, fact, or any thing that actually exists.

Know God with absolute certainty! That’s what Jesus did. He knew the Truth and the truth set everyone free around him.

The right understanding of God heals! Perhaps it’s knowing God is your Mind that provides the solutions you need; understanding the illumination and delight of Soul that governs your life; or the energy of Spirit giving you zest and vitality. Exploring each of the seven synonyms for God is a great way to understand God more fully!

It’s important to remind ourselves just how perfect and good God is, and deny anything that would prevent us from seeing this in our experience (such as a belief that matter has power, intelligence, action, etc).

Mary Baker Eddy writes about how the spiritual understanding of God heals:

“It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.”   
(Science and Health, p. 390:7–9)

In many of the testimonies and articles in the Christian Science periodicals, there is always a correlation between the healing and a new understanding of God – about the nature of reality and of God’s loving relationship with man. Oftentimes the author says, that the physical healing that occurred was the result of the incredible inspiration and insight they gained. That’s the way spiritual healing works. It illuminates our thought, getting rid of those mental tares, so that we gain a pure consciousness of light – a spiritual consciousness – and anything unlike good just fades out.

Here is one such beautiful healing: Skin Condition Gone

What does this have to do with Jesus? Jesus was and is the fulfillment of God’s promise to us. He completely embodied the divine idea more than anyone else, and he proved the allness of Spirit, God’s love, and the nothingness of matter.

Jesus came to show God’s nature to all of us! He clearly defined and expressed the great I AM. He knew God, his Father, so clearly that people were healed in his presence.

He said he didn’t do any of this goodness on his own, though: “I can of mine own self do nothing… I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

(John 5:30) It was the Christ, the consciousness of good through the Holy Spirit, that was working in him that brought about the healing works.


SECTION 2 – THE COMFORTER SHALL ABIDE WITH US FOREVER

“For the Lord shall comfort Zion…he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”

Isn’t this what we all want? To feel the joy and gladness of the Lord? Thriving, full of purpose, our cup running over? This is all the effect of God comforting us! God restoring us to soundness.

I love part of this definition for Zion in Science and Health:

“ZION. Spiritual foundation and superstructure; inspiration; spiritual strength.”
(Science and Health, p. 599)

These are the true qualities of each of us. This represents who and what we truly are.
Live, feel, and embody these qualities today!

From Bible Lens Research:
“Zion was originally the name for the highest point in the city of Jerusalem. After David captured this stronghold from the Jebusites (see II Samuel 5:7), it was often called the City of David. Over time, Zion became synonymous with Jerusalem and even the entire nation of Judah. Centuries later, the writer of Hebrews identifies Zion as “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (12:22). Comfort and renewal were enduring spiritual promises to beleaguered Judahites. Here these qualities are represented by blossoming plants and glad songs, illustrating God’s abundant care in every wilderness experience.”
(Bible Lens Research, Christian Science Sentinel)

“God is light and in him is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5) What is the role of light? It illuminates; it shines the way; it annihilates darkness so you can see clearly; it provides understanding.

Part of Jesus’ role was to be this light! To reveal the light of the Christ; to show us our true, divine nature. When people saw this light, they sensed who they truly were and how good God is, and they were healed. They leaped, they sang praises, they rejoiced! They couldn’t keep the light hidden. They just had to go out and share it.

Light always has an effect! [Whenever and wherever it arrives, it is never “in vain.”]

Jesus said: “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” (cit. B7, John 12:46)

The Master was such a clear reflection and transparency for Truth that he said when you saw him, it was like seeing the Father, God. Imagine being such a clear window for God – clearing off all that gunk of self, limitation, fear, false belief, etc. – that when people see you, they simply see the light of God shining through you.

This was the power that Jesus represented!
“the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” (cit. B8, John 14:10) It’s the Father that dwelled in Jesus, and the Father that dwells in us, that does the works.

From Mary Baker Eddy Christian Healer:
“As Christian Scientists see it, Jesus healed by reflection. He said, ‘The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do’ and ‘. . . the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.’ Mary Baker Eddy echoed this idea: ‘All I have ever accomplished has been done by getting Mary out of the way and letting God be reflected. When I would reach this tone, the sick would be healed without a word.’”
(Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Healer, Amplified Edition, p. 24-25)

Jesus also said the Comforter, or the Spirit of Truth, would remind us who we really are! This is what Christian Science does. It reminds who we are and where we come from. Perhaps that is why when we study the Word of God and hear God’s angel messages it feels like a true homecoming.

“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.” (cit. B8, John 14:26)

Bible Lens Research adds this:
“This Comforter, like the Master, is to be sent from God—but is to remain with them permanently.”
(Bible Lens Research, Christian Science Sentinel)


SECTION 3 – TRUE KNOWLEDGE AND CLEAN RIVERS

 Those devils and demons mentioned briefly in the passage from Matthew 8, shared here in Bible citation 10, were big deals in Jesus’ day. That word ‘demon,’ while always a bad word today, in those times was related to a Greek word which meant ‘knowledge.’ Demons were spirits of knowledge, some good, some bad, but it was their supposed power of knowledge about the state of man, which gave them their relevance to these healings. In other words, to cast out a devil or demon meant to remove a false statement about the status of a person – to refuse to accept the false knowledge about someone. If we want to see who we really are— and who any individual in the family of man really is— we need to make sure we are looking for an accurate source of knowledge.

What happens when you get in a river? Well, one thing that happens is you’ll get clean – the rushing water will remove layers of dirt that have built up. To relate to my earlier comments about false knowledge, the rushing water will reveal what is actually true about you: the fact that you’re not a muddy, dirty person, but are actually perfectly clean and clear. Many Christians want to be baptized in rivers as you can read about in a beautiful account, “Baptized in the Holy Spirit”, in the July 2022 issue of The Christian Science Journal. (It was written by CedarS alum, Roger Gordon, who has been serving as a Christian Science chaplain.)  Many other people worldwide also still do their clothes and dish washing in rivers, and get their drinking water from rivers – these are all things that help people feel safe, settled, and at home. Psalm 46, shared in Bible citation 9, describes this in moving metaphor: “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.”

Mary Baker Eddy defines “river” as: “Channel of thought. When smooth and unobstructed, it typifies the course of Truth; but muddy, foaming, and dashing, it is a type of error.” (Science and Health, p. 593:14–17)

As I combine these ideas – of healing blossoming out of true knowledge about God and oneself, and the symbol and power of a river – I see how important it is that our own channel of thought – literally the way we think – how important it is that we be governed by something truly good, truly trustworthy. This is what Christian Science, the law of God, offers.
“Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science” (cit. S17, SH p. 475) illustrates the importance of having a law and sticking with a law. Christian Science reveals the truth about man – spiritual and perfect – and so any demonic knowledge (any other supposed knowledge) about man must be allowed to just fall away. We must allow ourselves to admit the presence and possibility of God’s perfection undergirding and defining man’s perfection, and to rejoice in the wonderful things that says about our capacity, health and opportunity.


SECTION 4 – REJOICING IN GOD’S POWER, NOT OUR OWN

 Jesus “…gave [the disciples] power against unclean spirits…” (cit. B13, Matthew 10)

This Bible passage struck me in a funny way. It’s a description I’m familiar with, and usually scoot right past, but today I got really stuck thinking about…hmmm…was the power to heal a special, personal gift that Jesus bestowed? That didn’t line up with what the Bible record as a whole teaches about everyone’s innate spiritual nature. I turned to Mary Baker Eddy’s “Bible Lessons” section in her work, Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, and although this particular Bible passage is not explicated, a very similar idea, from the Gospel of John, is the first passage she considers. I found it very helpful for understanding this passage! She writes, first quoting a passage from John, and then her explanation:

“‘But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ — John 1:12, 13. …

Is man’s spiritual sonship a personal gift to man, or is it the reality of his being, in divine Science? Man’s knowledge of this grand verity gives him power to demonstrate his divine Principle, which in turn is requisite in order to understand his sonship, or unity with God, good. … His sonship, referred to in the text, is his spiritual relation to Deity: it is not, then, a personal gift, but is the order of divine Science. The apostle urges upon our acceptance this great fact: ‘But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.’ Mortals will lose their sense of mortality — disease, sickness, sin, and death — in the proportion that they gain the sense of man’s spiritual preexistence as God’s child; as the offspring of good, and not of God’s opposite, — evil, or a fallen man.’”
(Misc. Writings, p. 180:21; 181:3–8, 20)

It was really helpful to see how further study illuminated the substance of what’s really being taught here. The substance of this certainly applies to the account from Matthew as well. Through Jesus’ teachings and demonstration, we all learn of “man’s spiritual preexistence as God’s child,” and this allows us to heal – to see the revealing of what God has already done. The timelessness of this opportunity and capacity is so comforting, because it means that this active salvation is available for everyone. God’s law applies far beyond human creeds or backgrounds!


SECTION 5 – APPRECIATING OUR PASTOR

 The book of Revelation in the Bible is often a tough one for people to get into! I am so grateful we have Mary Baker Eddy’s chapter titled “The Apocalypse” in Science and Health, leading us through part of Revelation and showing how vital inspiration is to our study. This particular passage shows the importance of willingly receiving the truth, and truly engaging with ‘digesting’ the truth, studying and truly living it.:

“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey”. (cit. B14, Rev. 10)

I used to wonder why Mary Baker Eddy insisted on Christian Scientists owning Science and Health – not because I thought it wasn’t a necessary book, but because it just seems so obvious that a Christian Scientist would have the textbook! But then I caught myself over the years accidentally making more and more statements (to clients, Sunday School students, and those I was just sharing with) that were certainly indicative of my love for Christian Science, but were also more based in my opinion.
One day in my studies, though, I came across this statement:

“A Christian Scientist requires my work Science and Health for his textbook, and so do all his students and patients. Why? First: Because it is the voice of Truth to this age, and contains the full statement of Christian Science, or the Science of healing through Mind. Second: Because it was the first book known, containing a thorough statement of Christian Science. Hence it gave the first rules for demonstrating this Science, and registered the revealed Truth uncontaminated by human hypotheses.” (cit. S25,  456)

I realized that I was not following the spirit of this instruction. Science and Health honors each person’s capacity to understand and demonstrate aright the truths explained therein; the best gift I could give my clients and Sunday School students was a greater familiarity with the book (and with the Bible) and honor their own innate capacity to understand the letter and the spirit. I’m always so grateful to see how every question really is answered in the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s writings – sometimes we need to search for it, but the substance of every question we may have is certainly responded to in our precious books.

The Word of God is a living Word, and it speaks directly to each one of us. The following is shared with permission. I’ll never forget one evening I was asked to help a young man at a Christian Science summer camp, who told me that he was struggling with his belief in Christian Science, but he also really needed some help. I shared a few ideas but it was clear that this wasn’t cutting it. We were sitting across from each other in my office space at the camp, and I just opened Science and Health and began reading quietly. About 5 or 10 minutes went by, and he all of a sudden bolted up and said, “I don’t hurt anymore! I feel entirely better!” We rejoiced together, he asked what I’d done, and I just said I’d been reading Science and Health and knowing, while reading, that he was responsive to these ideas. We were both so happy, and he had a wonderful rest of the session. And as many readers of this newsletter know, the entire last chapter, “Fruitage,” is entirely comprised of accounts of healing strictly from reading Science and Health. It’s wonderful to see how we all respond to the truth!


SECTION 6 – SHOWING WHAT THE TRUTH IS LIKE

 It’s so important, and really fun, to actively participate in the effective sharing of Christian Science. We ourselves are the very expression of God – our true, spiritual natures show what God is like. So, testifying to and bearing witness of His law is not foreign to our nature. Now, everyone is God’s expression, of course, so the special role that Christian Scientists can play is not exclusive of what others have to offer, but is instead a warm, healing invitation to consider things from a perspective that is entirely spiritual. God is so good and our Father-Mother loves each of us so much. How wonderful it is to bear conscious, happy witness to Love’s nature, presence and allness.

The truth about God and man IS true, and nothing can change that. And we are joyfully, lovingly equipped to show that truth, because that’s how God made us.

Mary Baker Eddy’s words shed a fresh and invigorating light on the need for active demonstration:

“One thing is eternally here; it reigns supreme to-day, to-morrow, forever. We need it in our homes, at our firesides, on our altars, for with it win we the race of the centuries. We have it only as we live it. This is that needful one thing — divine Science, whereby thought is spiritualized, reaching outward and upward to Science in Christianity, Science in medicine, in physics, and in metaphysics.

Happy are the people whose God is All-in-all, who ask only to be judged according to their works, who live to love.”
(The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 126:28–6)


GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas from COBBEY CRISLER and others will HOPEFULLY BE POSTED and SENT soon. Check on CedarS INSPIRATION website, or in your email, if you have  SUBSCRIBED FOR IT HERE.


Ken Cooper POETIC POSTLUDE contributions related to this Bible Lesson will ARRIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERY WEEK going forward. When they do arrive, the poems will be POSTED on CedarS INSPIRATION website & be EMAILED TO THOSE WHO SUBSCRIBE FOR THEM HERE.


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