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“Follow the example of Jesus and triumph through Christ!”
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Christ Jesus”
for December 18-24, 2023

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

You’re invited to join our 2nd of two CHRISTMAS HYMN SINGS TODAY– Sunday, December 17 at 7:00pm Central Time, with a special extended prelude at 6:20pm CT.
We hope to celebrate with even more than the 150 CedarS friends & family who joined us virtually today for our 2pm CT celebration of the true meaning of this special, holy season!

Format: Tune in 40 minutes early for the prelude. Then, enjoy a 50-minute program of Christmas-themed hymns from a wonderful array of musicians, including Peter Allen, Cherie Brennan, Andrew Brewis, Ellie Chelton, Gwen Eagleton, Davya Flaharty, Desiree Goyette, Matthew Hammond, the Hanlin Family, the Jenkins Family, Gui Milla, George Napper, Camille Pruvost, & the Stevens family. Between hymns, the CedarS staff will read aloud the Nativity story from the Bible with selections from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy. [See Call-in options in the P.S. below.]

One click here to Join today by Zoom in CedarS Special 2023 Christmas Hymn Sing at 7pm CT and Prelude at 6:20pm CT


Introduction

This week’s Lesson includes many wonderful examples including Joseph, Simeon, and, of course, Christ Jesus himself. Let’s observe how the Holy Spirit was guiding each of these people as they followed God and demonstrated God’s goodness. Christ Jesus is a timeless example for us and is relevant to us each and every day.
Golden Text

I love this Golden Text because it shows us that the voice of Christ is like light. It shows what is real and true – what God is seeing and knowing. It awakens our thought to who and what we really are as the sons and daughters of God. It is the “inner voice”, our inner intuition, that tells us who we really are as spiritual, loved, worthy, complete, and holy. It heals by awakening our consciousness to true reality. It motivates us, guides us and guards us.

This verse promises us that it is the voice of Christ that it is natural and normal for us to respond to – — Just as sheep who know and fearlessly follow their Shepherd.  This Spirit of Truth helps us claim and accept who we are as the image and likeness of God.

Hymn 58 reminds us not to heed other voices.

We recognize the Christ voice – God’s voice speaking to us. We are like sheep that need a Shepherd, and our Shepherd guards and guides us. We include those qualities of a sheep – innocence, purity, humility, – which make it even more natural to hear and respond to what God is inclining us to do, feel, and think.

We feel that safety and protection from listening and following the correct voice – God’s voice.

Responsive Reading

This Responsive Reading includes the beautiful nativity story of Christ Jesus.

I love Joseph’s example here. So compassionate, tender, and discreet. Not willing to harass or shame Mary. He was quite earnest in his prayers – yearning to do the right thing, and wanting to know how to respond to Mary’s pregnancy and his betrothal to her. God comforted him and guided him. God gave him his own angel message to tell him the baby that was conceived in her was from the Holy Spirit. He must have felt the Truth of that message because he courageously moved forward with the plan to marry. And we have evidence that he continued to listen to God, as Mary did, for the further protection of the baby Jesus from King Herod. What qualities did Joseph express? Perhaps honesty, humility, and goodness are some of the qualities that you named.

I love the sweet fact that the Wisemen followed a star. We can think of what qualities the bright star might represent: light, brightness, hope, guidance, direction.

So the Wiremen were responding to the guidance that God was giving them through that bright star to discover the human Savior of all the earth. They followed this star on their long journey so they could worship and praise God through the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Daystar of God’s allness, light and love is continually guiding us. Let’s look to that star so it can keep us on track – mentally, physically, spiritually – on the straight and narrow pathway of Jesus Christ.


Section 1 – Christ Jesus, the perfect example

Here is another example of a good man — Simeon. The book of Luke describes Simeon as just, devout, and full of the Holy Spirit. And it says that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would get to see Jesus while he was on earth. So, clearly, this man was inspired! The Holy Spirit was already talking to him, communing with him, even before Jesus entered the earth! What a revelation. How wonderful it must have been for him to know that his hope – of seeing the Savior – would be fulfilled.

Mary Baker Eddy writes:
“Christ Jesus reckoned man in Science, having the kingdom of heaven within him. He spoke of man not as the offspring of Adam, a departure from God, or His lost likeness, but as God’s child. Spiritual love makes man conscious that God is his Father, and the consciousness of God as Love gives man power with untold furtherance. Then God becomes to him the All-presence — quenching sin; the All-power — giving life, health, holiness; the All-science — all law and gospel.” (Message ’02, p. 8:26)

Christ Jesus reveals the true man – the true, divine, spiritual nature and how that is expressed in the human experience. Christ Jesus reveals the maximum of good that is and can be expressed – which, of course, is patterned after the divine, spiritual ideal.

We can look to Christ Jesus to find out who we are. He can be and should be our Savior through his precious example. Everything he expressed was divine. His words expressed the simplicity of Christ, his deeds expressed the supremacy of goodness, and he vanquished hate and overcame sin and limitation at every turn. He overcame every material obstacle showing us who we are as the spiritual image and likeness of God.

We need excellent models to show us what is possible to us and for our demonstrations, and so we can be continually grateful for and look to the model of Christ Jesus to show us who and what we are and the power of God that exists now.

“Jesus was the highest human concept of the perfect man.” (Science and Health, p. 482:19–20)


Section 2 – The simplicity of the Christ

We can see how “ageless” the Christ is through this story  and that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was speaking to Jesus in his discussions with the rabbinical teachers of the law and at each point along his journey. (citation B5, Luke 2:40-52)

“all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers…they were amazed…” (part of citation B5, Luke 2:47, 48)

Just so, the Holy Spirit or Christ, comes to each of us regardless of our age. We aren’t too old to hear new, fresh inspiration from God. Simeon was devoutly serving God and still receiving new messages from God directly. We can’t be too young to hear God either, as our periodicals show us; God speaks to each of us with custom-tailored messages to meet us right where we are.

“O longing hearts that wait on God / Through all the world so wide; / He knows the angels that you need, / And sends them to your side, / To comfort, guard and guide.” (Christian Science Hymnal, No.  9:3)

Even as we advance in our study of Christian Science, it is still the simplicity of the Christ that heals. God never requires us to understand a copious amount of information before we can be healed. God enlightens our thought – causing us to grow lighter and freer until we yield to the influence of the Christ message. It may be just one simple pure idea that heals. Or, it may be a gentle leavening of thought day by day as we study and pray.

Though from this Bible account we can see that Jesus possessed great understanding, still he spoke to people around him in simple agricultural metaphors. His disciples were mostly “unlearned” fishermen. Yet after his resurrection these disciples were healing and preaching to people everywhere. Jesus said it was faith the size of a mustard seed that moved mountains.

We are each at one with God with equal measure. We never need to doubt that we don’t know enough. It is the tenderness of the Christ that speaks to us. It is our inherent goodness and spirituality that responds to the Christ-light as we pray and heal.


Section 3 – Turning to God’s embrace

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  This Bible citation 11, from Matthew 11:28, is so comforting to me. It’s helpful to remember that the Science of Christianity is not about taking on everything  ourselves and trying to find healing through personal effort and power. It’s about discovering, and being consistently faithful to, the immediacy and all-power of God, divine Love.

Our study of Christian Science should not feel like “cramming” for a final exam in school – rather, our genuine, natural interest in the practicality of Christ Jesus’ teachings is a commitment we can love to follow through on. And when things feel rough, how good it is to know we can go right to Christ, God’s embrace of humanity, and just let that divine presence lift us up. It’s very comforting to know that when we are in need, we don’t have to come up with the answer by ourselves.

As God’s expressions, we are made to look to Him to see everything that’s ours.  I had an interesting experience related to this several years ago. A beach-goer was in need, and while I wasn’t sure what to do, I felt impelled by God each step and with each thought. It was really freeing to see how the power of Christian Science was not dependent on person, but rather, it was just my role to go right to God – to see comfort, understanding, and clarity from God and God alone. That article was published in the July 15, 2019 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel:Feeling the power of God’s presence.”


Section 4 – Courage is consistency

I have loved this verse in Bible citation 14, from Joshua, for a long time. Courage … because God is here! Our divine right to have grit and stick-to-it-iveness, because God is here! We don’t even need to be dismayed — not because we cheered ourselves up, but because God is here!

But then I wondered. Why does that verse lead into the story recounted in Bible citation 16? I guess Jesus was being brave in throwing those folks out — he certainly wasn’t being timid — but as I continued to think about this, I realized I have just never actually thought of Jesus as being brave. He knew the truth completely! He had no qualms about turning to God in everything. This has helped me see that courage is not just about being scared, but still going ahead.

Courage is like active, bold consistency! Courage is to continue to be yourself – the conscious, unique, whole expression of God — no matter what. And that’s why Jesus had to “cleanse” the temple: in his active, daily engagement with the purity and singleness of thought that characterizes our nature and our relation to God, there just was no time for dividing up that place of worship with attention to unjust profit seeking and what amounted to thievery. His courage — his lived consistency as the conscious expression of God — could allow him to do nothing but what he did. He knew the injustice wasn’t right, and so he refused to give it place.


Section 5 – What does Love see?

 This section contains a story of healing that always intrigues me. In Bible citation 19, Matthew recounts the two blind men who call out for help. Jesus’ response to them is so interesting: what do you want? Well, Jesus…what do you think they want?! But we know that Jesus was not sarcastic — he was entirely pure and devoted to God — so I’ve come to see that question as really instructive for all of us. How would we answer that question?

The two men could have asked for money, or food, or directions to the nearest inn. And, while being blind was obviously a burden, they had a reasonable expectation that their needs would continue to be met by the charity of strangers…but if they could see, they would then need to go forth and make their own way. But they didn’t ask for the “easy” response from Jesus; they knew their sight could be restored and they were willing to cast all their weight on that assurance. And it was love that healed them — not pity, but the love that sees what divine Love made and maintains. Jesus was a clear transparency for that love. Seeing by that light, he didn’t see problems and then fix them; he naturally healed — revealed the truth.

We can follow in Jesus’ footsteps and keep the praise modeled in Bible citation 17 close to our hearts, consistently honoring and extolling God. Our Father-Mother did not create someone with a problem or make someone who could be prone to a problem. It makes sense that love would show us what God has done!


Section 6 – Jesus showed us the way, and the door is open!

Bible citation 21, from John 10:7, describes Jesus identifying himself as “the door of the sheep.” I love this idea of Jesus as a gateway. Many people may have set up gateways — or even barriers — in their lives that they feel they need to pass through, or struggle through, before they can progress. “If only so-and-so would stop behaving like that, I’d be able to move forward. I just need this much money before I can be happy. I’ll only be successful if I get into this particular college.” Gateways, barriers, and conditions like that — keeping our happiness, success, or even our health, contingent on changeable or uncontrollable factors. But if Jesus is the gateway — literally representing and teaching the Way of heaven — we can rejoice that we aren’t waiting on something changeable or untrustworthy, but are just watching for how we can follow in the Way Jesus taught and live as he did.

If we’re looking for a greater sense of success, we don’t need to look to untrustworthy, worldly sources for that; we’re bringing our native and natural success to whatever we’re doing. A student isn’t finally successful when they get their graduation diploma; they are bringing their success to that graduation ceremony. A person isn’t finally worthy when they get a job; they are bringing their worthiness and purpose and value to that employment.

The certainty of God’s love, which Jesus lived so seamlessly, is something we can build on and rest assured of. God won’t only love us once we’ve accomplished something; He loves us unconditionally, and we live that love. Our role, then, is to consciously live in such a way that honors and watches for that open door – that guidance and love — which Jesus represented. How can we really live his parables and teachings — how can we let his example challenge us and move us? These aren’t things that other people or outside circumstances are in charge of; we love to keep being more and more awake to and aware of every opportunity to live as Jesus taught!


Section 7 – God is causing you to triumph through Christ

 “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ…” (cit. B25 / II Corinthians 2:14) God is causing us to triumph through Christ – through the Word of God – to reveal the completeness and supremacy of good in human experience.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” (cit. B23 / Hebrews 13:8)

Jesus was steadfast and consistent in his demonstration of Truth while he walked on earth. And, even though Jesus isn’t physically here on earth, the Christ, or the Holy Spirit, remains a steadfast, constant, and continual presence enforcing and establishing God’s perfection, goodness, and permanence. The Christ will always be here – is always here – elevating human consciousness until all tares are destroyed – all belief in a life separate from God disappears. Then universal salvation will be seen: man and the universe revealed as the spiritual, perfect image and likeness of God.

We conclude this Lesson with a blessed benediction:
“…Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God’ and be free! This is your divine right.” (citation S32, 227:22-27)


Have a blessed week following Christ Jesus and
enjoying your divine right to freedom over all!



GREAT NEWS! Thru 2023, gifts will still be MATCHED to:

  • Complete needed facility RENOVATIONS for CedarS JR. LEADERSHIP’s upcoming 50th summer!
  • Support CedarS OPERATIONS excellence, horse program & needed GIVING TREE items

We hope you’ll enjoy a 3-minute video made to inspire donations from “Giving Tuesday” thru year-end with our vision for the JL 50th Project and for CedarS as a whole at these links:
Learn More about the JL 50th Project

Give to the Junior Leadership Renovation Fund

Donate to the Giving Tree


 GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from Cobbey Crisler & others) will be emailed later this week.  You can always check for in-process GEMs 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
”POETIC POSTLUDE”
contributions related to this Bible Lesson.


P.S. YOU’RE INVITED TO JOIN our second of TWO CHRISTMAS HYMN SINGS TODAY– Sunday, December 17 at 7:00pm Central Time, with a special extended prelude at 6:20pm CT.

Please share this invitation with anybody who could be blessed by this healing activity. We hope to share the true meaning of this special, holy Christmas season with even more than the 150 CedarS friends & family who joined us virtually today for our 2pm CT celebration!  All are welcome!

Meeting ID: 276 331 031

Password: 736307

·    Please see details below to join by phone.

Join by Phone (you’ll need the Meeting ID and Password):

One-tap mobile:
+19294362866,,276331031# US (New York)
+13126266799,,276331031# US (Chicago)

Or, Dial by your nearest location
(if one of these lines is full, please try another):
+1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
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Meeting ID: 276 331 031

Password: 736307

Find international call-in numbers: https://zoom.us/u/aeJGz7aKei

Merry Christmas,  Holly and the CedarS Team

One click here to Join today by Zoom in CedarS Special 2023 Christmas Hymn Sing at 7pm CT and Prelude at 6:20pm CT

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