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Be enriched with spiritual substance by searching for it with all your heart… (and stop looking to matter for that substance)
Metaphysical application ideas on the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson titled

for the week ending September 10, 2023

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO • 314-406-0041

You are invited to our virtual hymn sing this Sunday, September 3, at 7:00pm Central (6:45pm prelude).

Zoom Link: Join here with one click (password embedded).
Meeting ID: 276 331 031  ·    Password: 736307

See call-in options, musician and more info in P.S. after the Met! 


Most, if not all of us, are looking for a deeper, richer life, whether consciously or subconsciously. Even a little child who resists the parental command to come inside for dinner is looking for just a little more satisfaction in their current activity. Paul tells the Romans in our Golden Text this week: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” This can give us a hint as to where we need to look for the satisfaction and real joy in life. It is a tangible satisfaction, felt to our core. But it does not always appear as matter. So, while a fat bank account or a healthy body may express one’s understanding of the depth of God’s substance, it certainly is not necessarily the case at all, and, in fact, is often not the expression of anything spiritual. The truer and consistent measure of our spiritual understanding of God’s riches, is in our joyful, persistent thirst for, and perception of, Soul’s present good. For me, this morning, as I’m struggling to manage a great number of demands, it came as a profound moment of peace as I watched a small downy woodpecker find his breakfast on a dead branch outside my office window. I began to contemplate the way we might regard the dead wood of this Redbud as ugly, needing trimming, or the dead twigs he was searching in the mass of ancient and messy Lilac, as unattractive and useless. Yet here these dead branches were not only feeding this small creature, but providing homes for insects, and staging this little play in view of my desk, inspiring my thoughts and filling me with gratitude. The substance of this moment is not in the beautiful matter of a bird. It is in the thirst I was experiencing for divine inspiration and peace, being met by the beauty of Soul, in a way that I could recognize and feel in my very core.

When we look to God for riches this means we look to Spirit for our joy, our satisfaction, our sense of success, our intelligence and ideas–really for everything worth having. In our Responsive Reading from Proverbs (8:1,8,10,11,14,17,18,20,21,33-35) and 1st Chron. (29: 11 (to:), 12) we find out that looking for our treasures in Spirit means that we find our life, our wealth, our harmony, already present and unfolding to our searching consciousness. In verse 34 of the part from Proverbs it refers to the Jewish practice of going to the gates of the city where important decisions were made, judgements dispensed, and where issues were discussed and problems solved. “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” This daily practice of looking to God for all the wisdom we need, for all the supply of good, for all of our needs, blesses us with the substance of peace, joy, and spiritual wealth that meets our human need.


God is the only source of substance, where substance is defined as that which is eternal, spiritual, real. Mary Baker Eddy tells us that “Neither the substance nor the manifestation of Spirit is obtainable through matter.” (citation S3/173:12-13 (to 1st.)  I found it helpful to divide this up into “Neither the substance of Spirit nor the manifestation of Spirit is obtainable through matter.” What does that mean? Maybe this: We can’t gain spiritual riches through material means–not through a good career or marriage, children, diet, exercise, education, travel, or friends. None of these things are bad, but if we are searching for spiritual substance and satisfaction through any of these material things, we will not find it. This sentence also implies that if man is “the manifestation of Spirit”, then we can’t look at matter or through material sense to discern the true nature and being of man–ourselves, or anyone else.

Spirit’s true substance is not visible to the eye or through any other material means. It must be discerned through spiritual sense on a deeper level. Perhaps the little woodpecker is an example of this. We can see him as a lovely manifestation of material variety, color, grace, and life. That’s pretty cool, and it might bring you some joy and gratitude. Or, we can see him as a spiritual manifestation, a message (to me) of peace, of Soul’s government and control communicating (to me), sharing its limitless spiritual wisdom, and resources.


The story of Daniel and three of his similarly inspired Jewish brethren refusing the king’s food in favor of simpler Kosher food is the central focus of this section. (cit. B6/Dan. 1:3-6,8,11-15,17 (to:), 20) It could be left simply on the level of not looking to food “…a deficiency or an excess, a quality or a quantity” (S10/388:12-20) as the source of our health. But, on a deeper level of spiritual substance this story tells of a “hunger and thirst after righteousness” (cit. B7/Matt. 5:6) such as Jesus tells us will bless. It is not about whether we are “good people”. It is about our deep continuous desire, our intense longing to understand what is spiritually right, and obeying that understanding to the best of our ability.

The Bible Lens this week shares the International Children’s Bible translation of this Beatitude: “Those who want to do right more than anything else are happy. God will fully satisfy them.” This gives us a taste of what it means to search for spiritual substance instead of material comfort (physical or mental), familiarity, ease, entertainment, and so on.


Jesus did this superlatively. In this section he is found travelling  “…about all Galilee” healing people from all over the place. (cit. B8/Matt. 4:17, 23-25) He encourages us in Matthew to sell all for that which is the most valuable–spiritual substance, the kingdom of heaven (cit. B10/Matt. 13:44-46). Proverbs also tells us to “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” (cit. B11/Prov. 23:23)

The really cool thing about “up-leveling” our sense of substance is that in getting rid of the attachments we have to matter, to material things, comforts, security–we find that we have all of these things in the kingdom of heaven. This is what Jesus was pointing to in his Beatitude “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” One Bible commentary points out that the “poor in spirit” here didn’t mean having a little, but having nothing at all! We can’t cling to just “a little” which is really nothing at all.

Every single thing that would separate us from the knowledge and confidence that God, Love is providing all good, needs to be challenged in our thought, and eventually, through demonstration, not dogma, be rooted out. We can prove this each day as we look for and choose the spiritually substantial, over the material view of things.

Just yesterday, one of my boys ran my car into a storm drain and destroyed a decent amount of the front right suspension, wheel, and body of the car. We had to get it put on a rollback and brought to our house. I knew, in the moment that I heard that he’d wrecked my car, that I could choose the material, limited view of “how will we pay for this?” “what was he thinking by driving while connecting his phone on the screen?”,… “I just got my car back after more than a month of work on it last spring and I don’t want to be without it again…”

As you can see I had a lot of material things that came to thought!!–I could choose these. Or, I could choose to recognize that this was what I was facing, like it or not, … so what now, are the spiritually substantial lessons I can gain? This is not a glass half-full exercise.

I recognized that my deepest desire is for my children to learn what they need to about humility, alertness, obedience, thoughtfulness, and safety. This is his opportunity in this moment. Yes, it is expensive, but children are. I knew that when I had them! Today he is diligently and patiently tearing apart the car to find what parts are needed. He will order them, put the car back together, and have greater skill, and hopefully more humility and care at the end of the project. These are spiritual qualities that are substantial and lasting! He is demonstrating those qualities, and I am demonstrating mine, a more spiritual view of day-to-day life.


This is just a way of saying that matter, or rather, mortal mind, creates its own, self-supporting, “reality”. All that it sees through its own senses, supports the version of reality that is limited, sick, sinful, or dying. Jesus proved that this view was not actually based in law. He healed the man with the withered hand, (cit. B14/Matt. 12:10-13) proving that matter, whatever its condition, or its length of time in that condition, has no law to support its “substance”.

That same “feed-loop” of matter-focused thinking not only includes the conditions that mortal thought imposes on the body, but also is reflected in dogmatic laws such as the ones the Pharisees were calling on when they were condemning Jesus for healing the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath. This dogmatic way of viewing even good laws, church rules, morals, etc. can be part of a material way of looking at things that could be seemingly “spiritual” in nature. So, we need to make sure that our spiritual senses are alert to what might deceive us along this line. The material senses can only report on matter…a closed loop.


God’s goodness is unchanging, “…no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (cit. B15/James 1:17)–it doesn’t even have shadows that shift with the sun’s position. Every day of human experience provides us with material views of limitation, trouble, lack, etc. Like the car accident yesterday in my life, we each have the opportunity to look at a situation through material sense, or take it higher and unflinchingly look through spiritual sense.

We can’t always know how something will turn out. (Ask me if we have the money to order the parts for the car…we don’t yet, but spiritual sense opens all kinds of doors so we can listen to infinite Spirit for the wisdom, creativity, and abundance of all good.  It allows us to feel that gratitude in advance that Jesus felt to his core and voiced aloud so that we would know how he fed the multitudes and raised Lazarus from the dead (Mark 6:41 & John 11:41-42).  This will open doors to the riches that material sense cannot see or be grateful for. Spiritual sense allows us to exchange “…the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul.” (cit. S29/14-15)
We can feel the “filled-up full” gratitude of spiritual wealth when we practice using spiritual sense in all the mundane corners of our daily lives.


The substance of our very being is God itself. Becoming increasingly conscious of this fact is our key, or pass to the ever-present kingdom of heaven within. Citation B19  says it this way: “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us, God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (cit. B19/1st John 4:16,19) The Amplified classic edition of the Bible puts it this way: : ” And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.” (cit. B19/1st John 4:16,19)

We can recognize and be more conscious of the substance of God’s love for us, all around us, and to our core within us. We can adhere to and rely on that love because it is substantial and tangible. No, our material senses don’t share this view, but Christian Science is all about spiritual senses, all about recognizing spiritual reality and the substance of Spirit in our daily lives. Let’s enjoy the process of genuine thirsting and hungering after true substance. Our efforts in this direction always yield deep riches, even if it’s as subtle as a little downy woodpecker in front of your window.

P.S. You are invited to our virtual hymn sing TONIGHT, this Sunday, September 3, at 7:00pm Central.

Why? CedarS Camps hosts hymn sings at 7:00pm Central on the first Sunday of each month. They’re a great way to start your month on a healing note, connect with the world-wide CedarS family, and keep praising God all year long! All are welcome– campers, staff, alumni, supporters, families, friends…

Who: This invitation is being sent to those who signed up to receive hymn sing notifications, as well as to all CedarS camper families and staff from summer 2023. To receive future monthly hymn sing notifications or the weekly CedarS metaphysical newsletter, sign up here.

Musicians: Stephen, Leslie, and Glenn Hanlin

Format: The prelude will begin at 6:45pm Central, followed by the hymn sing at 7:00pm Central. The Hanlin family will take approximately seven hymn requests from the audience and will close with the Doxology. Afterwards, those who want to stay on the call can hear some brief updates on happenings at camp.

Zoom Link:
·    Join here with one click (password embedded).
Meeting ID: 276 331 031
·    Password: 736307

·    Please see details below to join by phone.

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Please share this invitation with anybody who could be blessed by this healing activity. All are welcome!

With love,
The CedarS Team

The first cache of GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from Cobbey Crisler & others) will be emailed Monday and the second cache will be emailed later in the week.  You can always check  for GEM contributions in progress before then at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you’ve  SUBSCRIBED here for this free, inspirational offering.

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

THANKS to all you PRECIOUS DONORS for ALL of your ONGOING SUPPORT!  Every camper & visitor will be blessed by your GENEROSITY, VISION & LOVE!

ANOTHER MATCH WAS MET and its project operationally completed before camp!  Thanks to several generous donors to our special A/V Appeal we were able to finish building a CHAPEL A.V. BOOTH that will protect not only new, donated equipment, but also all our hymnals for worship services and for CedarS Sunday Hymn Sings.

If you haven’t lately checked out the GIVING TREE, there are still plenty of other smaller areas of need to fill yet this year! Campers & staff will also be blessed bigtime by the donations made to additional areas of camp, including our horse program, activity equipment, camperships, and Christian Science nursing and practitioner services.

We’re deeply grateful for EVERY GIFT of love & support,
The CedarS Team

P.S. For more about ways to keep CedarS operations ever more green and flourishing and/or to make a PLANNED GIFT, A REQUIRED IRA DISTRIBUTION or an ENDOWMENT GIFT (that will all be MATCHED), feel free anytime to call or text me (Warren Huff, Executive Director Emeritus and Project Manager) at 314-378-2574. I can put you in touch with our Financial Advisor/broker who donates all fees for stock transfers and freely shares tailored, tax-advantaged giving approaches.

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