Thank you for another best summer yet!

[Awake with God’s likeness to find the only sustainability and peace possible.]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

God the Preserver of Man
for Sunday, June 15, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

Bracketed italics by CedarS Director Warren Huff.  Life-transforming camperships needed!]

It occurs to me that there is a lovely logic to this lesson topic following on the heels of last week's subject of “God the Only Cause and Creator”.  If God went to the trouble to create a universe of harmony, beauty, order, and so on, then wouldn't it stand to reason that He would also want to preserve this creation and keep it safe?  What, exactly, is the creation that God is preserving?  Is it a lot of beautiful matter?  Is it physique and buildings and trees?  Our identity, our substance, our true, spiritual being—this is what is eternally safe, and governed in harmony. Our relationship with God, our coexistence with God, the way that we express Her being—these things are always preserved and safe in Love.  We are guaranteed to experience storms of all sorts—literal and figurative—we will be challenged by the suggestion of disease, injustice, aggression.  But as we “…awake, with thy likeness…” (Responsive Reading, Ps. 17:15), as we become consciously aware of our true nature, we will be at peace, just as Jesus was at peace in the midst of what appeared to be a life-threatening storm in citation B15.  This is a change of consciousness, not a change of our identity.  And this is a practical effort on our part.  Just because we are recognizing our safety through a change of consciousness doesn't mean that we only experience this safety in some “thought realm”.  Jesus actually stilled the storm (B15)and healed the woman with the issue of blood (B19); and David killed Goliath (B9), all through the recognition of the power and government of God.

Section 1: Excellent relationship with God.
This section begins with an acknowledgement of the trustworthy relationship we have with our Father-Mother. (“MyBibleLesson” points out the Hebrew translation of the word for “lovingkindness”—Hesed—describes the covenant or agreement relationship that God has with His people).  So, you see this “lovingkindness”, and forms of it, used throughout the lesson and bringing a different dimension to our link to God.  Not only does He love his creation, but this love is based in a trustworthy and unbreakable promise or covenant with this creation.  This is represented often by the idea of the parenthood of God.  Citation B4 uses motherhood.  But by bringing in the idea of a covenant, we go beyond, even, the powerful sense of the undying love of a mother for her children, to the divinely-unbreakable law of Love that God has for us. Because, let's face it, there are plenty of examples out there where the humanly beautiful analogy of motherhood or fatherhood don't hold up.  In other words: God's Father-Motherhood never fails us, is utterly trustworthy and dependable, gives us the tender affection and gentle nurturing that we all need, and the powerful protection and safety that we crave.

Section 2: It's all about God's strength and presence, not about “Goliath”. 
Goliath is an iconic symbol of aggression and of fear-inspiring, human might.  Goliath appears to each of us in the form of temptation to sin, (telling us we are inferior or weak), or to be afraid in the presence of disease, or simply to be afraid of pretty much anything!  When Mrs. Eddy gives us her spiritual translation of the 23rd Psalm in Science and Health, she translates “… I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” as: “…I will dwell in the house [the consciousness of Love] forever.”  So, when I look at citation B7, the beginning of the 91st Psalm, and see: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”, I don't think it's a stretch to say that we could look at this secret place that is under God's shadow, as a place of conscious awareness of Love's power and government.  This is that same “consciousness” that I mentioned in the Responsive Reading passage about “awake[ning]” in God's likeness.  And I see it in citation S11, where Mrs. Eddy says that we must know ourselves, know who we truly are, and then God supplies us with everything we need to overcome evil.

Some time ago my husband and I were with a friend, staking a claim to some land that opened up for homesteading in Alaska.  We left our friend's cabin at 4 am since it was difficult land to get to and we knew we'd need a long time to get to the land, choose a plot, survey and mark the boundaries, and return to the cabin.  This was a wilderness area with no trails; so much of the going was brushy and difficult.  But by far the most challenging part for me was crossing the “bridge” over the Chulitna River, a rushing, glacial-fed river, south of Denali Park.  All that was left of this bridge, many feet above the river, were two cables, about 50 yards long, stretching from one side to the other, and some rotting cow fencing hanging from these cables. There was virtually nothing left of the wooden planks that once spanned this crossing.  We climbed the structure that held the cables, put the cables under our armpits and inched across the river using our feet as best we could against the cow fence (which did not stay vertical, but rather moved forward with no planks to keep it in place); it was painful, scary, and exhausting.  I made it across, we spent some eight hours or more struggling through waist high brush in cold, Alaskan drizzle, picked our site, and marked it, and headed back to the bridge.  I was “played” by the time we got to the bridge.  It was still somewhat light out, thanks to the Alaskan summer, but it was late.  Did I mention that I really seem to struggle with a fear of heights?  It seems like one of those Goliath fears, irrational most of the time, I know, but one that is a challenge for me.  I got very quiet and began my return trip across this bridge.  I was probably only 15 or 20 feet from the end when I started to think that it seemed quite reasonable to just drop into the river and swim to the shore just downstream.  Remember the glacial-fed river?  It had standing waves that were taller than I am.  It was definitely not an option to “drop into the river and swim to shore”!  I recognize now that I was suffering from the early stages of hypothermia, which includes the suggestion that one loses clarity of thought.  People have been known to make some really odd choices when they are hypothermic.  Some have taken off all their clothes and laid down in the snow for a nap, obviously not a good choice when you are freezing cold.  There was no snow, but by this time, I had been wet for the better part of the day, it was probably 45 or 50 degrees, Fahrenheit, and I was really wiped out.  Fortunately, our friend was standing at the top of the cable structure at the end.  He could see me looking down into the river, and he began to talk to me encouragingly.  He too was a Christian Scientist.  He expressed no alarm, only calm and gentle encouragement.  I don't remember anything he said, but I remember as I came down the tower at the end, thinking, “wow! I was really considering that option of jumping as legitimate! How could I think that?”  It was so obvious to me that that thinking had not been “mine”.  It was not my conscious self.  My friend had interrupted those “non-self” thoughts, enough for me to become aware again of who I was.  This awareness, in turn, overcame the seemingly powerful “Goliath” suggestions that were presented to me.  This has been an inspiring example to me of how one can “awake” a friend to the need to “know thyself” so that God can supply whatever is needed at the time to overcome any “Goliath”.  [S11]  But it's always God doing this work!  Remember David tells Saul, “The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion… he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.” (B9)

Section 3: “Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses…” [S14, 306:25]
Spiritual sense is always unfolding harmony, so you can be sure that when we are faced with fearful demonstrations of “nature”, they are just so much raging matter.  They are not caused or impelled by God, and as we awake to that fact we can peacefully negotiate such rough seas.  Citation B12 is a poetic tribute to God's presence in the face of such destruction, and how this presence brings us fearlessness.  Through our knowledge of Christian Science, we are told in citation S17, we begin to discern the truth from God, and we stop looking for truth in matter. Christian Science reveals to us how we can demonstrate our dominion over fear and all kinds of matter-induced mayhem, and heal as Christ Jesus healed.  And citation S18, with its tremendous breadth, leaves no room for “bestial ferocity”, disease, aggression, any manifestation of power in matter.  We are reminded here, again, of our coexistence with God.  Never do we dwell separately from God, in matter.  It can be helpful, when faced with scary circumstances, to remember that we are each a purposeful creation of God.  We have a purpose that cannot be thwarted by matter or by the claims of matter, a purpose that God is forwarding.  I think Jesus was certainly aware of his own special place; and we too, as God's expression, have a divinely necessary purpose to fulfill. [Might not your “reason for existing” be to “impart truth, health, and happiness”? See Miscellany 16:20 and 2014 CedarS metaphysical theme, “Live to Give!”]

Section 4: A material sense of identity, is a vulnerable one.
“Quicken” is another word for bringing life to something or someone.  Citation B16 starts by asking God to bring him life.  Perhaps we, too, can ask for a better understanding of our life as divinely-given, spiritually-based.  And here again we have “lovingkindness”, that covenant promise between God and His people, to save and uphold.  A material sense of life as dwelling in matter is a fragile one.  There are so many intruding errors that can bring such a sense to its downfall.  The woman in this section was struggling mightily with this sense of life in matter, governed by matter.  Jesus showed us, more than any other single person, that our safety, health, life, is truly upheld by God, by Love.  Why did God send Jesus to do all these great healing works?  Did He send him to please Himself, or prove His power to man and to Himself?  Mary Baker Eddy tells us in citation S20, that to believe this is an act of betrayal.  God didn't need Jesus' help to show His power.  But mankind did.  And now we can take Jesus' example and learn from it that matter is not the true power—that we are subject to a loving God with whom we coexist.  If we look outside of God or Love for a healing solution, we are looking outside of “all”—at least all that is real!  What is there?  Well, nothing!  There is no “outside” of All.

Section 5: Where can we see our safe and secure self?
We can only see our true and safe identity in divine Science, the spiritually-elevated, spiritually-understood level of Christian Science.  Mary Baker Eddy tells us that the only real security we have for the claims we make about man's harmonious being, are found in divine Science (S28).  They are not found in matter or in “elevated”, scientific views of matter.  But they are found in “divine Science”, which dwells within the laws of God, not in laws of matter.  Divine Science operates without ceasing, sustaining man.  We have come full circle to the beginning where we declared that man, while meeting up with the suggestions that matter is ferocious, destructive, aggressive, and so on, is ultimately safe and protected when we are seeing him/her Scientifically.  There is no matter that can “persuade” us that we are separate beings from Love, as brought out in citation B24 (and in more from that passage in Romans 8 that is in the Responsive Reading).  We can claim our safety and harmonious being all we want.  But to see it, we must demonstrate Christian Science daily until our deepened understanding becomes more and more divinely insightful.  Pretty soon we will find ourselves “Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses…”, “asleep on a pillow” while the storm rages without us.  It brings to mind some of Mrs. Eddy's poem, “Christ My Refuge”, “And o'er earth's troubled, angry sea I see Christ walk, And come to me, and tenderly, Divinely talk. Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock, Upon Life's shore, 'Gainst which the winds and waves can shock, Oh, nevermore.”


[Warren’s P.S. from his December 5, 2002 Met on citation S-11 on how to prove that "Ability & Opportunity are coordinate ideas" & "Rise to the Occasion”: 
What occasions or opportunities are demanding your best these days?

1. Hard assignments, unbelievable work load and killer deadlines?
2. Important tests or due dates?
3. A big game, presentation or performance?
4. Group Leadership role(s)?
5. An important date or social event?
6. A sticky situation where taking a moral or ethical stand is needed?
7. A challenging relationship that keeps testing your patience, equanimity and integrity?

Whatever opportunities you face, you can meet them as their master by obeying this powerful two-word command.
"Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil."
Science & Health, 571:16, S-11

Know yourself as God knows you — as an ever perfect expression of "infinity, freedom, harmony and boundless bliss." (S&H 481:3) Totally accept and simply express each of these elements of your divine identity to eradicate their illegitimate opposites. Without a body-based sense of self, you will be open for God to eliminate from your experience: all of matter's debilitating drag of limited energy, funds, intelligence, speed, inspiration; all its sapping slavery of restrictions (injuries, red tape tie-ups); all its regular rub of inharmonious relationships and its constant cloud of frustration, unhappiness and potential mayhem. All gone! Never part of you or those you love.

In the next couple of days, "your assignment, should you choose to accept it," will be to simply do your part, know yourself spiritually, and watch God do Her part, to supply you with all the wisdom and occasions where victories are wanted. You may also enjoy highlighting in every lesson all of God's jobs in one color and all of yours in another.

A friend shed new light on our focus passage with this one-line insight:
"ABILITY (the wisdom) and OPPORTUNITY (the occasion) are coordinate ideas."

By accepting this divine law and knowing yourself spiritually, you will never have ability without being given opportunity to express it. (no unneeded bench-sitting) And, you'll also never be given opportunities (like the seven listed) without having the God-given abilities to rise to the occasion!]


[P.S. on Jesus healing the woman with “the issue of blood”. In his Commentary on Luke 8:41-48 (B19) Cobbey Crisler sets the stage for how the woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years was healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. “The woman… is at the absolute desperate end of a rope.  Here we find the receptivity.   Blessed are those are in this state. Happy are those because the state of mind can be changed.
“This radical change of thought was in the presence of the Christ-correction that Jesus was exercising in the mental realm. It’s going to be sufficient and the woman feels that it will help her. She’s lost all her money on physicians.[No health insurance…]Mark even tells us that she’s worse because of that choice. [Mark 5:26]  All she does is touch the border of his garment.  The issue of blood, the continuous hemorrhaging that had occurred for twelve years had kept her out of the temple, kept her out of worship and made her as unclean as the lepers…
“In Luke 8, Verse 48 he calls that lady, “Daughter.” Who’s daughter? Certainly, not his.  In fact, he lifts that word “daughter” entirely out of any sense of blood relationship. That was the woman’s problem.  He lifts even her identity out of blood.
“Daughter, be of good comfort” (Verse 48).  Look at how he’s addressing the thought of that woman. Not only the precious relationship to God, but the comfort.  She hasn’t experienced that in twelve years.  She’d lost all her money.  She was about to be thrown on the society.  There was nowhere to go when you were thrown on society. That may have happened to the woman who had been a sinner.  Prostitution was the only open career for many women when they were simply thrown out and discarded from normal humanity…
Jesus refuses to allow that woman to walk away from the scene thinking that physical contact with his robe had anything to do with the healing.  He says, again, “Your faith hath made you whole.” The word “whole” and the word “heal” in Anglo-Saxon have the identical root.  It implies that disease is something less than wholeness, that it is a fragmentation of our being. Healing is the condition of being made whole.”  Luke the Researcher, B. Cobbey Crisler, p. 163, 164]

 [The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp!  YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ ]

[THANK YOU in advance for MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE,
BY PHONE at 636-394-6162,
OR BY MAIL at:
CedarS Office, 1314 Parkview Valley Dr, Ballwin, MO 63011

[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free – by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Manfred and Jeanette; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has been contributed.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "Mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and in a variety of useful formats as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-26) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-32). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist.  The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one.  We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]

 

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