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Generously Give Your All! [Our illustrated call to action and to grace!]
Metaphysical application ideas from the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for January 10, 2021

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

Here’s AN AUDIO LINK to enable you to hear Kerry Jenkins read “Generously Give Your All! [Our illustrated call to action and to grace!]— It’s her metaphysical application ideas on this week’s Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on “Sacrament” that you can also find at this address: Kerry Jenkins on Sacrament Bible Lesson for 1-10-2021 – CedarS Camps

Here are a couple of definitions that I found of Sacrament:
“1. (In the Christian Church) a religious ceremony or ritual regarded as imparting divine grace, such as baptism, Eucharist, etc. 2. the consecrated elements of the Eucharist–especially the bread or Host.”
We might think of Sacrament as a holy gift (“divine grace”) from God that deepens our ability to practically demonstrate Love as Jesus did. Throughout this week’s Bible Lesson, we have examples of the great generosity of heart that must be expressed if we are to worship and love God the way that Christ Jesus demanded of us. It is a “give all” call to action. Fortunately for us we have the examples of Paul (Golden Text and Responsive Reading), and Jesus, to illustrate how we might do this kind of giving. And we have a God who has already bestowed on His creation all good! God’s provision is abundant, constant, ever-present, even today, in practical ways.

We can also notice the regular appearance in this lesson of “bread” (definition in citation S#2) which could symbolize this kind of provision—think of the manna from the time in the desert with Moses, the multiplication and blessing of bread when Jesus feeds the multitudes in this week’s lesson, the breaking of bread in both the Passover feast the night before his crucifixion, and the breakfast on the shore of the sea when he fed his disciples after his resurrection.

Bread is a simple food that symbolizes our love for others when we share a meal—often referred to as “breaking bread.” Or, it can evoke a sense of blessing when we thank God before a meal for “bread”, or think of the line in our Lord’s Prayer where Jesus tells us to pray that God “give us this day our daily bread” and Mary Baker Eddy translates this line in Science and Health p.17 as: “Give us grace for today; feed the famished affections.” This is the call to action, the true worship that comes with our study of Sacrament and all that an understanding of this term includes.

God does give us grace, every single day. And with this grace we can help others see and feel that God is feeding them, nourishing them with love, a present sense of tenderness and care, of abundant good, of friendship or companionship—even in this era of challenging isolation! With this generous gift of grace from our Father-Mother, we can freely bestow it on others in our world, a world in desperate need of this kind of deep love and caring, of true, Christian, worship.

Paul is calling on his followers in the Church in Rome and Corinth in our Golden Text and Responsive Reading! He is first expressing his own desire to bestow a strengthening gift to the Roman church, and then admonishing his churches to show the same kind of active generosity that is found in the liberality of those in the churches of Macedonia, who, “…in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part.” And then, just beyond this, Paul says: “Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us—see that you excel in this gracious work also.” These last few words are translated in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible as: “…see that you excel in this generous undertaking”! Let’s follow this theme of generous giving that winds throughout this week’s Bible lesson!

SECTION 1: Our God gives all good.

This good that God gives comes as abundance. This divine good is always satisfying as the Psalmist says. “Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.” (citation B3/Psalm 145:16) This is echoed in Science and Health when Mary Baker Eddy tells us that “Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud.” (italics added to citation S2/518:19) The practicality of these statements is illustrated in several sections in this week’s lesson.

SECTION 2: Impart God’s Love; it’s His gift to all of us.

That first definition of Sacrament refers to a religious ceremony that imparts divine grace. This section might be seen in that light. In the eleventh chapter of Numbers Moses is told by God that Moses is to gather 70 men of the elders of Israel on whom God will bestow the gift of prophecy, in order to support Moses’ work. (cit. B5, Num. 11:16-29)

It is interesting to note that these men were taken from the camp into the holy tabernacle where this gift of the spirit that God bestowed on Moses was also bestowed on them and that they only prophesied once — and then were done. (The King James Version seems to be less accurate when it says:”…they prophesied, and did not cease.” (cit. B5/Numbers 11:16, 17, 25-29) — More recent translations from the original Hebrew say: “…and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.” The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Study Bible comments that it was a “temporary condition and not a permanent occupation.”

Meanwhile, inside the camp, prophesying nonstop for all to hear, are Eldad and Medad, who were not among the chosen inside the tabernacle! I don’t actually know the significance of them prophesying within the camp versus from within the Holy Place, but I like to think that their work was maybe more fruitful in that it was among the multitudes of the Children of Israel. Just a thought, not based in anything scholarly. It seems, however, that Moses was humble, as always, and interested not in special status, but in the act of generously giving to the people of Israel, and so, supported these men in exercising their gift. Perhaps we can take this as an encouragement to recognize that indeed we are all given the gift of God to bless mankind with spiritual insights, and should never be deterred by others who might discourage us from sharing?

SECTION 3: Give all you have and be infinitely blessed.

The poor widow woman who gave all that she had to the church is featured in this section. (cit. B9, Mark 12:41-44) This story is followed by the beautiful statement from the third chapter of Malachi: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse…” (italics added to cit. B10, Mal.3:10).

In the Science and Health portion we are given the encouraging news that because of God’s infinite capacity for good, we are never deprived when we hold nothing back and give our all. In fact, we are infinitely blessed, abundantly satisfied – as our first section implies!

One small example of the blessings of valuing church occurred when my husband and I lived in Alaska. It was our first year in Fairbanks after we had graduated from college. We had auditioned and joined an early music choral ensemble. It was a ton of fun, with a small group of interesting young people with whom we had a lot in common. Unfortunately, it met on Wednesday nights and made it impossible to attend our branch church Wednesday evening testimony meetings. We had attended services until the fall semester had started, but were frankly not missing these evening meetings that seemed uninsping with very long readings. .

By Spring, however, we were feeling like church was our right place. We had something to offer, and church attendance could only bless us. Perhaps the woman who threw in all the money she had in citation B9 couldn’t imagine how her few cents could bless the church? We knew that we had something to give, and something to receive from Church attendance and participation. So, at the end of the season, we told the woman who ran the ensemble that we could no longer attend because the rehearsals conflicted with our Wednesday evening church service.

As you might guess, not only was the rehearsal day altered so that we could continue to participate, but later there were changes in the church services that made them fresh and inspiring. This example isn’t precise. We were not exactly “of our want casting in our all.” But we were setting aside human desire in favor of devotion to God. Of course, as we see later in this lesson, Jesus gave his very life for this cause. Just because Jesus’ giving seems out of our reach, it would be a shame for us to not bother to look for ways that we can “give all” on a more regular basis! The infinite blessings of God await us as we are willing to lay aside what we think we really must have, or think we need, in favor of laying all on the altar of Love. Bible Lens shares that “Another commentator writes, “The poor widow is not a mere model for the charitable; she is a model of the Christ.” (from The Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. Vol. 7… as cited in The Bible Lens on “Sacrament” from the Christian Science Sentinel – January 4, 2021)

SECTION 4: Jesus’ gift practically feeds the multitudes.

Here too, it would seem “out of reach” to think that we could bless on the magnitude of the model of the Christ’s multiplication of the loaves and fishes (cit. B12/Matt. 14:14-21). But, most of the time, we are not being called upon to feed a multitude of people! What we are being asked to do is to be conscious of opportunities to “…act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being.” (cit. S20/264:10) After all, it is God who does the actual providing, we are opening our eyes to see Love’s abundance.

I have shared before some examples of how our awakened consciousness can become aware of God’s provision when we are praying regularly to see this present good. One such time was when I had been praying deeply to find the right kind of office space. It seemed like it had to be on our property, and it couldn’t cost a lot of money. But I was leaving my thought open to any option, just because I know that’s how Love’s abundance is most readily recognized!

One day I noticed a little shed on our property that we had previously hooked up to electricity and was, for years, acting as a storage unit. I was able to empty it, clean it, and furnish it with things that we mostly had already, all within a matter of hours. It has several big windows through which I can watch birds, the neighbor’s horses, sheep and pigs, and also gain a measure of privacy from my busy family!

Citation S19 reminds us: “In order to apprehend more, we must put into practice what we already know. We must recollect that Truth is demonstrable when understood, and that good is not understood until demonstrated.” (SH 323:13-16) This statement encourages us to make it our daily practice to recognize Love’s abundant provision in our experience. This act of conscious recognition is in itself demonstration because it brings into view the seemingly invisible spiritual abundance. Whether it is an issue of ill-health, poverty, or another need, God/Love has more than enough practical spiritual food with which to bless and heal mankind.

SECTION 5: Jesus’ most generous sacrifice.

The story of Jesus’ willingness to lay aside his own life in a most brutal and humiliating fashion is not one that we are likely to be asked to imitate. So, we can set aside our human desires, perhaps more readily, when we put it in the context of this section. Even knowing this, it can seem very hard to give up human will. Whether it is the human desire to just read a dumb book, eat an extra brownie, or scroll Facebook, watch Netflix, or buy something extraneous online, consciously turning away from any of these when we know we should, is just plain difficult!

None of these possible daily desires, in and of itself, is evil. But when we find ourselves facing a wall of resistance when we are trying to take up a New Year’s resolution to spend more time in prayer, eat less junk, exercise more, keep our home cleaner, not procrastinate, or get to bed earlier/get up earlier…whatever is meeting with this resistance, we know that we are facing an opportunity to generously sacrifice our human will for something so much more genuinely rewarding! This is our opportunity to give “all”.

It would be a mistake to assume that there will be some single great opportunity that we will face in the future where we will be asked to sacrifice something dear to us. These opportunities are daily, and usually small. We might be simply choosing to respond with patience and tenderness when we are feeling tired and frayed—that would be our “all” in that moment! This is our active worship and commemoration of Jesus’ sacrifice.

SECTION 6: The disciples learn to give all.

In the 21st chapter of John the disciples run into Jesus at the seashore after a fruitless night of fishing. (cit. B20/John 21:1-6, 9, 12) Peter recognizes him almost at once. Before they meet him in this instance they have not fully accepted the fact that he has risen from death. They have not fully accepted the truth of his nature as Messiah, even though they had earlier identified him as such. Somehow, they felt his mission had failed; their faith was misplaced. Perhaps it seemed like some kind of “magic show” that was “over”. Jesus immediately corrected this imposition and revealed that they needed to finally give their “all”. Leave their nets, their material ways and means of living, and continue the true mission that he had taught them was theirs over the few years of his time with them.

Again, we do not have to leave our human occupations necessarily to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. We can still be students in school, pursue interests, raise families. But, we can also raise our consciousness each day to see more of spiritual reality and how our daily lives and occupations can reflect the Christ call to bless, heal, and give our “all”. Our desire to do this must be sincere. That is, it cannot be a passing recognition that this is what we should want! That is why it is best to follow our more elevated passions as they rise ever higher into spiritual realms of thought and being, rather than precipitously to decide to dedicate ourselves to some seemingly more “spiritual” pursuit. Start where we are, demonstrate each day, move forward from a place of sincerity, love, and joy! Our “all” is different each day.

SECTION 7: God’s gift is the kingdom, we can share our understanding of this!

We are given this gift of understanding, especially as it is revealed in Christian Science. We can generously share what we know and demonstrate it, whether it is in word, or in deed. This can happen daily through conscious acknowledgement of God’s provision and good in our lives and in the world around us. This consciousness breaks through the ugliness of evil that appears.

Think, in this lesson, of the ugliness of crucifixion that is outshined by resurrection. The sadness of the Last Supper, outshined by the Morning Meal, final breakfast where the disciples finally absorb the Master’s true victory. We can share “in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.” (cit. S29, 37:22) Notice sweetness in the home, make a deal of it, notice helpfulness in someone around you, consciously give gratitude for it, notice the beauty of the ice encasing every single branch of a tree (we are in the midst of an ice storm here!). These are all evidence of God’s abundance of love, grace, beauty, intelligence, presence—the divine kingdom. Giving our all to the worship of God is a moment by moment endeavor. Enjoy!

CLICK LINKS below for more APPLICATION IDEAS from CedarS-team for this Lesson:

  • CedarS GEMs that will “grace” the giving & receiving of your best year yet! They will be sent soon with insights and application ideas from Cobbey Crisler and others to help you feel the grace of fulfilling your reason for being by generous, unselfish giving!
  • Hear on YouTube a Ken Cooper poem and monologue customized for this week’s Bible Lesson. This week’s audio link to YouTube is called: “Here am I” and is written from the viewpoint of the boys who generously gave his loaves and fishes to Jesus for him to feed the multitude.


Coming Soon: Starting on January 17th, Longyear Museum will be joining us each week for a feature presentation on one of Mary Baker Eddy’s hymns. We will focus on one hymn per week, in order of their composition. Prior to our final hymn of each hymn sing, a representative from Longyear Museum will share five minutes of historical insights on what was happening in Mary Baker Eddy’s life and the Christian Science movement at the time she wrote the poem. We will then sing the hymn together, before closing with the Doxology. We look forward to deepening our appreciation and understanding of these hymns, both in how they reflected Mrs. Eddy’s experience and how they continue to bring healing to our world today.
Invite family, friends and even neighbors to join us by Zoom every week for CedarS Sunday Hymn Sings: To start each week we’ve loved singing our prayers and praise to God for 30 minutes with friends of all generations. To date, we have had log-ins from all 50 of the United States as well as 20 more countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, and Switzerland.

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