Join us for the best summer yet!

TO HEAR KERRY READ HER MET, click here first. THEN, scroll to & click on the  BLACK “LISTEN” BUTTON. 

Feel the Joyous Wholeness of True Substance NOW!
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Substance”
for week ending March 13, 2022

by Kerry Jenkins, C.S. of House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com • 314-406-0041


INTRODUCTION

Because these Bible lessons are divinely inspired, we can expect to have our deepest needs met within them each week.  I know I have found this to be true. Whether we notice that there are answers in a given Bible lesson might depend on how desperate we are for these spiritual answers. This gets at the root of one theme in this week’s subject on Substance — that of faith.

Faith can seem a tricky word. If we think of it as a blind trust in something for which we have no proof, that’s a fragile foundation on which to build a spiritually substantial life.  But if faith is, as one commentary from the Bible lens quotes: “…the proper mode of knowledge in relation to unseen realities.” it then becomes the basis for a life of spiritual substance. (italics added)

We will learn from several Biblical examples this week just how solid a foundation faith can provide when we rely on our spiritual senses for the truth or reality of all situations. This kind of substantial, bedrock, spiritual understanding can bring aid to war-torn Ukraine, it can solve interpersonal problems in families or business or school, it can help us see health where sickness seems present. It is “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Responsive Reading/Heb.11:1-6)  God is the consciousness of Love, of Mind, Soul, Life, Spirit, Principle, Truth. This is not something we see with our eyes. But the evidence of this divine consciousness is all around us.

And as we learn to build on a spiritual bedrock of faith, we find ourselves inspired to “Honour the Lord with [our] substance, and with the first fruits of all [our] increase:” (Golden Text-Prov. 3:9) This simply means that we put God first in our day. (It derives from an agrarian society in which the first fruits of harvest would be the most treasured, as you are scraping the bottom of the barrel, or pantry for the last of the previous year’s grain, potatoes, apples, etc.) Through our own demonstration, each day, of God’s truly abundant nature as substance, we find our faith unwavering, or at least easily shored up, because we are seeing that, as it says in the Living Bible  “By faith—by believing God—we know that the world and the stars—in fact, all things—were made at God’s command; and that they were all made from things that can’t be seen.”


SECTION 1: GOD IS SUBSTANCE.

This is stated directly and indirectly in at least eight citations from Science and Health in this week’s lesson. (Citations: S1/330:11-12; S2/468:16-24; S3/301:17-20; S8/124:25-26 (to 1st.); S22/259:1; S24/414:23; S27/477:22-24, 26 (only); S29/516:4)
How does the statement “God is substance” enrich our understanding of God?
Substance is Spirit, or spiritual and not material since material things always fade or wear away eventually. Substance endures, lives on forever, Truth is certainly substantial because it is founded in God, it cannot be dethroned except as it might appear to material sense. Mind, or intelligence is substance. This is stated in the first and second citations of Science and Health. “God is infinite, the only Life, substance, Spirit, or Soul, the only intelligence of the universe, including man.” And, “Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance.”

Many people will agree that there is spiritual substance—that the nature of Spirit as God has substantive power. But few will concur with the idea that matter cannot also be substantial. This belief, that there is spiritual and material substance, is dualism and we humans tend to engage in dualistic thinking every day. The trick for us, as Christian Scientists, is to recognize that this is a challenge and to continuously demand of ourselves that we see the true action of God in all circumstances, and to acknowledge this fact when we do see it.

It certainly goes against our physical senses to claim that matter is not true substance. This is why the only way to unseat this claim is to daily demonstrate spiritual substance. Maybe a small example from today will illustrate this. I have been married for a long time, and have been a parent for more than thirty-three years. My husband and I have had countless challenges over those years and disagreements over how our family should proceed have been ugly at times. Through daily study and prayer though, we have grown in grace and clarity and have a much deeper sense of faith in the solid goodness of God to govern all things.

When we get frustrated over something these days, even when it leads to some bitter words, we can pretty quickly change the dynamic because we know our motives are spiritually substantial. This morning we were hashing out an old argument that almost immediately had me in tears of frustration. But nearly as quickly, we had a huge breakthrough that has changed both of our outlooks. The breakthrough sprang from the foundation that we both know exists, that infinite Mind always has answers, even to problems that we have never been able to solve—problems that we may think just do not have a solution.

For Doug and me, this morning’s breakthrough was huge. We certainly don’t have those every day! But that doesn’t mean that nothing substantial happened in all the years that we have been trying to solve this challenge. Every ounce of prayer that we put into a challenge, every opportunity we take to pray, really pray, not just mull or stew over, erodes any material barriers that appear to be substantial for each of us. This includes situations as complex and destructive as the war in Ukraine, it includes decades-long marital frustrations. Knowing what is substance, and what is not, can change our experience for the good and substantial.


SECTION 2: SPIRIT IS SUBSTANCE.

Okay, I know this is going to look repetitive, but for most of the Bible lesson sections there is a synonym that is featured, and I think that’s pretty cool to notice! In this section about Caleb and his deep, substantial faith in God’s word, there is a distinct focus on the substance of Spirit versus matter.

Caleb valued the spiritual direction and insight that God gave Moses about the Promised Land. He denied the material view that seemed obvious to all but himself and Joshua. All the other scouts came back with reports that the land was inhabited by people that were too powerful for their small tribe to overcome. Here, Caleb comes to Joshua forty years later to claim what God promised to him and to Joshua for their faithfulness. Caleb is given not just any piece of land, but Hebron, one of the most holy places to both Jews and Muslims. Additionally, Caleb tells us that he is as young at 85 as he was at 40, strong enough to “travel and fight”, as it says in the New Living Translation of the Bible if you read all of verse 11!

If we accept a dualistic view of the world, we will constantly be confronted with challenges that are too great to overcome, with powers that cannot be defeated. When we lean on spiritual sense and practice seeing spiritually daily, we do get glimpses and sometimes grand views of Spirit’s power and government!


SECTION 3: LIFE IS SUBSTANCE.

What fun to have this familiar story of the three Hebrew boys and the furnace, and to find fresh ideas in its familiar verses. What might we be tempted to listen to that would cause us to “fall down and worship” something other than Life, God? What “music”, social trend, disease, lack, will make us so fearful that we forget that Life is not subject to laws of matter? We might think of these fears as the voices that are telling us that if we don’t bow down, we will find ourselves in the furnace of burning shame, lack, loneliness.

These Bible stories have a real power to show us today just what has not changed in a few thousand years! This story is not preaching a dogmatic approach to Christian Science healing, but a fearless one. When we have faith in the continuous, eternality of the consciousness of divine Life, we are more aware when “A false sense of life, substance, and mind hides the divine possibilities, and conceals scientific demonstration.” (cit. S12/325:32). This hiding and concealing is a natural companion to fear.

 

We find that we cannot see through the fog of fear easily at times. So, we can focus instead on Life, on Love, and not on the “problem”. Look for evidence around us of Life’s vibrant activity and power. Fear will abate. We then are not moving forward with some kind of bravado that has no foundation, but can walk confidently side by side with Christ into any circumstance, keeping our faith firmly founded on divine Life. You might say that a false sense of life/Life is burned away in the fire of spiritual growth that leaves us with a purer and more substantial view of being.


SECTION 4: TRUTH IS SUBSTANCE.

In this section we have the beautiful story of Jesus healing the woman who had been bent over with a disease for 18 years. He gives the command “loose her” to heal her, and when the ruler of the synagogue objects because of Sabbath laws, he links the act of freeing this woman to the way that any practicing Jew would lead his livestock to watering on the Sabbath. It highlights the need for us to see through religious, or church rules to the true spiritual substance behind them. Layered on top of this is Jesus’ recognition of the power of Truth to see through the false claim that there is substance in physique. The woman’s body, even though it had been bent over for so long, was not her identity.

Mary Baker Eddy speaks to physique not being identity in citation S17/369:5 “In proportion as matter loses to human sense all entity as man, in that proportion does man become its master.” It goes on to tell us that this view gives us a “diviner sense of the facts”. Once again these “divine facts” are not going to be obvious to material sense, but they were obvious to Jesus, and he told us we can do as he has done. That means that Truth gives us the accurate view of our bodies, of our circumstances, and of rules and laws.

Matter and its supposed laws cannot crush us, or “bow us together” when we understand that what is true comes from Truth, and has power to negate the lie of material substance.


SECTION 5: MIND IS SUBSTANCE

We can trust Mind to reveal the infinite possibilities of good—the infinite power of divine government. This Centurion unselfishly wanted healing for his servant. He came to Jesus with a faith that included a rock-solid understanding of what we might call the “chain of command”. He was used to soldiers under his command having faith that his orders were intelligent and wise. He was able to make the spiritual leap of understanding that Jesus was likewise, a man with authority, but that Jesus’ authority was divine.

What might we learn from accepting God’s authority as good, as reliable, as powerfully healing?
How might we learn to listen and yield when we have, perhaps a too strong opinion of what to do next? These are questions we can ask ourselves when we look at this story. We can test our plans by looking at our motives. Are they unselfish, lovely, joyous, wise, loving? These are substantive motives that always lead in paths that reflect Mind’s intelligence and receive the guidance of Mind. This Centurion glimpsed that  “When man is governed by God, the ever-present Mind who understands all things, man knows that with God all things are possible.” (cit. S26/180:25)


SECTION 6: SOUL IS SUBSTANCE.

By this time, we get the message that we are to honor God for the substance of good that Soul provides. All the Bible citations in this section encourage this gratitude that was introduced in our Golden Text. When I read Mary Baker Eddy’s question “Do you say the time has not yet come in which to recognize Soul as substantial and able to control the body?” (cit. S28/92:32-7) I felt prompted to ask “What are we waiting for? Do we need to “enjoy material life” first, or can we experience spiritually substantial joy and satisfaction right now by giving those “first fruits” to God/Soul each day? Such gratitude to God consists of letting go of a materially focused life—allowing the false substance of matter to lose its attraction through a vigorous embrace of Soul’s substance.

We needn’t wait for some future opportunity to feel Soul’s substantial satisfaction, health, abundance, joy or hope. It is present now, and it is the only real way to experience God. We can feel hope and let hope build into a solid, foundational faith, “…and when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere.” (cit. S29/516:4)


VERY SOON POEMS by Ken Cooper (of the U.K.) which relate to this Bible Lesson will be POSTED & EMAILED.

GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas from COBBEY CRISLER and others are yet to be excavated and refined and so WILL BE EMAILED LATER IN THE WEEK.

Both the Bible-related POETRY and GEMs will be emailed to all CedarS “Met” subscribers who have either specifically requested such emails or have NOT opted out of receiving such offerings. We hope you enjoy receiving and sharing these insightful (& free) inspiration emails as much as we enjoy making them available.  If you wish to change anything though, please click the “Update Profile” link at the bottom of this email.
You will receive an email to confirm which CedarS inspirational email offerings you wish to 
keep receiving.


HUMBLE, HEARTFELT THANKS to all you difference-making DONORS WHO HELPED US MEET OUR YEAR-END MATCHING FUND GOALS!  (Additional gifts are still greatly appreciated answers to prayer to HELP US FEED OUR HERD, MAINTAIN CedarS CAMPSITE IN KEEPING with OUR MISSION, AWARD CAMPERSHIPS…

LASTLY WE ARE FOREVER BEYOND GRATEFUL for a multi-year Endowment Matching Grant!  We’re just over halfway to our match and making steady planned giving progress.  Thank you for helping us share a love of Christian Science and its practical application with generations to come.

To discuss how to join me and many others in playing a vital, ongoing role in our work, feel free to call or text me (Warren Huff) at 314-378-2574 with your pledge or intent to give a planned gift, a required IRA distribution or an endowment gift (that will be MATCHED!). Your ongoing support is needed to help us “love into view” continued, lasting blessings and legacies of love each year.  With heartfelt gratitude for, and to, all you greatly NEEDED and precious supporters who continue to help CedarS EACH YEAR in giving LIFELONG, DIFFERENCE-MAKING BLESSINGS to hundreds of families and thousands of individuals all across the U.S. and the world.

American Camp Association

MAIN OFFICE
(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

CAMP OFFICE
(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

Back
to top