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“Hearts singing God’s praise leave no room for error to gain a foothold.”
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible lesson on:

for the day of November 23, 2023

Prepared by: Valerie Minard, CS, Ballwin Missouri

Isn’t it wonderful to have the Thanksgiving lesson just before Christmas?  It reminds us of all the good God has given us before the commercialism and materialism of the Christmas season [at least in the United States] gets underway.

As the word implies, “Thanksgiving”  includes two words—“thanks” and “giving”— and these are inseparable from one another.  They are synonymous with “gratitude” and “love”.  If our hearts are sincere with gratitude then it’s natural to want to love and bless others with healing.

We have the example of the early prophets, Christ Jesus, and the apostles who practiced this. And Christian Science gives us the tools to bring the gift of healing to our family, community and the world to meet every problem.

Some may wonder why Christian Science churches observe this federal holiday with a special service.  Doesn’t this day remind us to honor one of the “daily” provisions in the Manual of The Mother Church?: “Gratitude and love should abide in every heart each day of all the years.” (Mary Baker Eddy, p 60:15–17)

As we gather together with family and friends, Mary Baker Eddy reminds us to not forget those who have suffered loss.  In her article titled, “Thanksgiving dinner”, she writes: “But, alas! for the desolate home; for the tear-filled eyes looking longingly at the portal through which the loved one comes not, or gazing silently on the vacant seat at fireside and board — God comfort them all!”…(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, p 231:29–1 (to !))

See also:


The Golden Text (GT) highlights the word “rejoice.”  The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines it as: “To experience joy and gladness in a high degree.”  For some, this kind of joy may seem out of reach if they have lost loved ones, homes, jobs or health.  But, 1st Chronicles promises that as we seek the Lord, our hearts will rejoice. (GT, 1st Chronicles 16:10)

When we turn away from the material picture toward Truth and Love, then it’s natural to feel hope and joy about what God has already done and will always do to bless us.

Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain; for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter. Now reverse this action. Look away from the body [loneliness, health problems, lack] into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality.  Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.”(SH, p. 260:31)


The Responsive Reading (RR) describes some of the wonderful ways God has blessed us…for God’s “lovingkindness” and “faithfulness”.  It also says that each of us have been “planted in the house of the Lord”, and made to flourish, [“thrive; to grow luxuriantly; to increase and enlarge, as a healthy growing plant”].  (1828 Webster’s Dictionary) This is our true home and no material circumstance can uproot us from feeling safe and secure.

No one is left out of this promise.  Because “love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” (SH, p. 13:2)

Gratitude is a wonderful form of prayer.  It affirms the truth of God’s goodness and puts more weight on the side of Truth than error.

The RR is filled with other action words like “sing praises”, “declare”, “give thanks”, “cries out”, “walk in truth”, “proclaim”, “tell all”.  If our hearts are filled with singing praise and proclaiming the goodness of God, then there is no room for error to have a foothold in consciousness. No room for fear or sadness to creep in.

Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 210:2)

My application of this idea resulted in this Testimony:
“A significant healing taught me the power of gratitude when I was a camp counselor at a Christian Science camp many years ago.  Campers were just about to arrive and I had an asthma attack and was stuck in the infirmary.

“My mom had suffered with it for many years and had warned me to be careful of certain weather conditions because the childhood disease might come back.  Just before camp, I had encountered those conditions.  So, I was fearful that now it had finally returned.

“I had watched my mom try many medical remedies to no avail.  So, I was ready to see how prayer in Christian Science could help me.  I called my Sunday School teacher, who was also a Christian Science Practitioner.  I told her my sad story and she told me simply to be grateful for the good all around me.  Grateful?  I didn’t feel anything like that.  But, I decided to listen and began looking for the good around me.  My attitude changed from fear and self-pity to hope and trust in God.  By day three, I was healed and it hasn’t returned.”

SECTION 1 — Give thanks because God is good!

The Bible starts out in Genesis 1 recounting how God made everything good.  “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good.” (citation B1, Psalm 107: 1 (to:) And this includes you as God’s beloved child!

Have you ever looked up the word “good’? I remember one time, many years ago, how a Sunday School teacher shared some of its many definitions.  It really impressed me and expanded my sense of what it means.

Here are just a few definitions in the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary: valid; legally firm; not weak or defective; having strength adequate to its support; sound; not false or fallacious; complete or sufficiently perfect in its kind; having the physical qualities best adapted to its design and use; having moral qualities best adapted to its design and use, or the qualities which God’s law requires; virtuous; pious; religious; conformable to the moral law; proper; fit; convenient; seasonable; well adapted to the end.” And the list goes on!  So, when we see the word “good,” we can substitute one of these other meanings– not only for God but for man, His reflection.

God, good, is ever present right now to help, no matter in what condition we may find ourselves. God doesn’t punish but delivers and saves us from evil.  Isaiah promises that “the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” (cit. B3, Isaiah 58:11)

Just like a mother will comfort her child, our Father-Mother God is present to comfort us in any circumstance.  “For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” (cit. B4, Isaiah 51:3) And in Joel it tells us: “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…”(Joel 2:25)

God will restore even the “waste places”  —whether it’s in war-torn regions, devastation from natural disasters, barren lives, or past trauma that would seem to rob us of peace of mind.

While it’s great to have all these promises of God’s goodness, we have to affirm and claim them as our own.  We need to be ready to answer and act on this question:  “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.”  (cit. S2, SH p 3:22)

We can have all the good in the world, but if we don’t recognize it and appreciate it, it’s worse than not having it at all.

Take the elder brother of the Prodigal son for instance.  Although he lived in his Father’s house and had all the good and privileges that went with it, he was jealous of his wayward brother.  He complained to his Father: “Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.” His Father gently reminds him, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”  (Luke 15:29–31)

And this is true for all of us.  We are always with the Father.  All that God has, we have by reflection.

But more than just being grateful for material things, we can go even higher:  “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace”, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.” (cit. S3, 4:3-5)

This may seem hard to do in the midst of a challenge.  But, expressing “patience, meekness, love, and good deeds” lifts our thought away from the problem above the mist that would keep us from seeing all the good already at hand.  As we exercise these God-given qualities, we begin to recognize them more and more in our experience.

My application of this idea resulted in this Testimony:
“I had a small example of how the gift of patience was what I most needed this week.  My daughter reminded me to be more patient the other morning when apparently I wasn’t.  I took this to heart, along with the above quote in mind.

“One of my errands that day was to get some new tires at a tire shop.  When I arrived, although I had made an appointment, I was left standing at the counter for over 45 minutes before even anyone helped me.

“Now you may ask, “why didn’t you go somewhere else,” etc?  Yes, I thought about a number of things I could do otherwise, but the idea came that this was a good opportunity to express patience!  Although it was tempting to get frustrated while waiting, I held to what I most needed was not necessarily new tires, but more patience— and this was a good lesson to learn.  So, while I waited, I prayed with my Bible Lesson and felt it was a time well spent!

“Finally, when the manager arrived, he apologized.  He said that another manager had just quit and walked off the job— short staffing them even further.  He was grateful for my patience and I was grateful for this ongoing lesson.”

SECTION 2 — Give thanks because God is a very present help in trouble!

2nd Samuel is described as David’s Psalm of thanksgiving for God’s mighty deliverance and protection from enemies like the Philistines and the constant attacks and threats of King Saul.  (cit. B7, 2nd Samuel 22:2, The, 3,7)

David describes God as a “rock” and a “fortress” that has protected and saved him from violence.  Even when things looked hopeless, without any present answers, he could still say: “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (cit. B8, Psalm 61:2)

Science and Health defines rock as: “Spiritual foundation; Truth…” (SH, p. 593:18)

Fortress is defined as: “Any fortified place; a fort; a castle; a strong hold; a place of defense or security; safety.” (1828 Webster’s Dictionary)

As a man of war, David could have trusted in his army’s strength, weaponry or human warfare strategies. Instead, as Psalm 91 tells us, he felt safe “dwelling in the secret place of the most High …under the shadow of the Almighty.” (cit. B9, Psalm 91:1, 2)  In other words, he relied on God as his spiritual basis of operation. Giving him answers of where to go, how to go, and what to do during times where human will and planning would have led him astray.

Even though David describes God as a “rock” and “fortress”, he also talks about God’s tenderness.  “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”  (cit. B9, Psalm 91:4)

While rock suggests God’s Fatherhood, “covered with feathers” suggests God’s Motherhood or “a very present help in trouble.” (cit. S6, 444:10)

Science and Health states: “God being everywhere and all-inclusive, how can He be absent or suggest the absence of omnipresence and omnipotence? How can there be more than all?” (cit. S7, 287:13)

SECTION 3 – Give thanks for church and Christian Science. 

Church is the place where we can all gather: to give thanks to God; to listen to our Pastor – the Bible and Science and Health; hear testimonies of healing–to heal and be healed.  We gather together in person to hear about God’s lovingkindness and to mentor each other in our spiritual journey.

Although Christ Jesus taught by the wayside and on boats, he taught and preached in the synagogues as well, “healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” (cit. B14, Matthew 4:23) He proved that “Church” filled with the Christ, heals!  And this serves as the foundation or basis on which Christian Science churches are founded.

Science and Health defines Church as: “The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle.” (SH, p. 583:12)

One of the important points or tenets of Christian Science states: “We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God.”  (cit. S11, 497:5-6) Jesus established his mission and church on the first commandment.  “The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built. His sublime summary points to the religion of Love.” (cit. S12, 138:14)

His healing work was not based on a creed or system of rituals but in demonstration of Truth.  Just as God saw that everything He made was “very good,” Jesus healing works were based on the perfection of man as God’s image and likeness.

But, more than just a building or place of worship, Paul expanded the meaning of church when he said:  “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” (cit. B16, 1st Corinthians 13: 16,17, 23)  He challenged us to demonstrate church on an individual basis.

Science and Health defines the spiritual sense of temple: “Body; the idea of Life, substance, and intelligence; the superstructure of Truth; the shrine of Love;” (cit. S15, 595:7-9;)  Given this definition, we can also think of temple and church as being synonymous.

Today, more people are identifying themselves as spiritual but not religious.  They no longer see church as relevant or meaningful in their lives.  Let’s not be duped to believe that’s true for anyone or even us.

If church has become routine or ritualistic, then it’s time to renew our concept of church by becoming “new born of the Spirit.”  Come to church “hungering and thirsting after righteousness” and you will be filled.

Science and Health states: “We can unite with this church only as we are new-born of Spirit, as we reach the Life which is Truth and the Truth which is Life by bringing forth the fruits of Love, — casting out error and healing the sick.” (cit. S17, 35:19-25)  This was the foundation by which Christianity was built and its healing Truth demonstrated.

“The chief stones in the temple of Christian Science are to be found in the following postulates: that Life is God, good, and not evil; that Soul is sinless, not to be found in the body; that Spirit is not, and cannot be, materialized; that Life is not subject to death; that the spiritual real man has no birth, no material life, and no death.”  (SH, p 288:20)

SECTION 4 – Giving thanks by giving to others.

Sometimes Thanksgiving may seem like a paradox.  On one hand, it’s about giving thanks for the good already received.  On the other hand, we can also be grateful for the opportunity to bless and give to others in our own healing practice.

It’s not a one-way street.  Healing is like a pebble thrown in the water.  It blesses all within its radius, including ourselves.  Luke tells us: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” (cit. B17, Luke 6:38)

There may be times, however, when we feel like we are on the giving more than the receiving end.  Personal sense may tempt us to feel resentful or taken advantage of. Then it’s time to examine our motives for giving.  Are we giving because we feel obligated or have no choice?  Are we giving in the hopes of getting something back?  Or, are we giving to glorify God? Paul tells us: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;” (cit. B18, 2nd Corinthians 9:7 (to;))

As we drop the burden of making things happen according to our own personal ability and look to God as the only “great Giver,” then responsibility shifts from our shoulders to God’s. (SH, p. 112:19)  Paul assured the Corinthians as he assures us today that “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:  Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” (cit. B18, 2nd Corinthians 9:8, 11)

Giving God the glory prevents us from feeling burnt-out.  Can you imagine Jesus ever feeling burnt-out?  That’s hard to imagine because he was always “moved by the Spirit,” God, in everything he did.  Didn’t he say, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matt 11: 28-30)?

The Apostles and early Christians proved this too. The book of Acts is filled with the wonderful healing work that they did.  Their hearts were on fire as they preached, taught and healed.  Instead of feeling depleted or burdened, don’t you get the impression that they met each task with joy, inspiration and courage?  Acts tells us: “…the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 13: 52)

Mary Baker Eddy writes: “giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us. We have strength in proportion to our apprehension of the truth, and our strength is not lessened by giving utterance to truth.” (cit. S21, 79:31-3)

Hymn 360 is a great summary of this section:

“True, the heart grows rich in giving;

All its wealth is living grain;

Seeds which mildew in the garner,

Scattered, fill with gold the plain.

Is thy burden hard and heavy?

Do thy steps drag wearily?

Help to bear thy brother’s burden,

God will bear both it and thee.


Is the heart a well left empty?

None but God its void can fill;

Nothing but a ceaseless fountain

Can its ceaseless longings still.

Is the heart a living power?

Self-entwined its strength sinks low;

It can only live in loving,

And, by serving, love will grow.

(Christian Science Hymnal, No.  360:1, 2)

SECTION 5 – Giving thanks for God being God!

Even if it seems there is nothing to be grateful for, we can still thank God for being God!  Have you ever done that?  Thanking God without any agenda or without any material thing in mind?  Isn’t that a wonderful pure prayer?  The Book of Hebrews counsels us, “let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (cit. B22, Hebrews 13:15 let)

As we fill our hearts with praise to God, it dispels any darkness or doubt that tries to creep into consciousness.  It reminds us what’s important– our first Love, God.

Science and Health states: “Man walks in the direction towards which he looks, and where his treasure is, there will his heart be also. If our hopes and affections are spiritual, they come from above, not from beneath, and they bear as of old the fruits of the Spirit.” (cit. S27, 451:14)

As we put God more front and center in our lives and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all those things you need will be added to you!  And that’s something to give thanks for!!

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