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IN 2022 LET’S DRINK CHRIST’S CUP to BRING OUR WORLD REVOLUTIONARY LOVE, PURITY, HEALING…
Metaphysical Application ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Sacrament”
for the week ending January 9, 2022

Kerry Jenkins C.S. of House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com • 314-406-0041


INTRODUCTION

This week’s lesson really presents us with a healthy challenge. But don’t let that deter you from mining its depths for the blessing that is mentioned in our Golden Text!! Being a lesson on Sacrament we first must have a sense of what that term refers to. Most of us who have spent a lifetime studying Christian Science are not steeped in the theology of the Sacrament rituals. We don’t practice the rituals of Eucharist or baptism in the traditional way that other Christians do. Instead our focus is on the spiritual demonstration that these rituals call us to take part in—the practice of taking up the mantle of Christ healing, purifying thought and deed, preaching the gospel, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

One traditional Sacrament involves the ritual sharing of blessed bread and wine during a church service. Our Bible lesson delivers a focused message about this practice of ritual theology: To truly celebrate the work and life of Christ Jesus, we must do the works that he did, including drinking of his “cup”. This practice will revolutionize the world, and “bring in the millennium”as Mary Baker Eddy tells us in the final citation of this lesson (citation S22/34:10). Our world could use some revolutionizing, purifying, love, healing…so let’s see how we can do this through drinking of Christ’s cup!

There are many references to this cup in this lesson: it is a cup of “blessing” (Golden Text/Ps. 16:5 & cit. B6/I Cor. 10:16); a “cup of salvation” (cit. B1/Ps. 116:13); “the cup our Father hath given” (cit. S4/67:1); the cup Jesus drinks/the Master’s cup (cit. B4/Matt.20:22, 23 and cit. S5/317:6-8); the cup that “shows forth his bitter experience”(cit. S9/32:3); “which he prayed might pass from him” (cit. S9/32:3 & cit. B7/Matt. 26:39, 42); “his cup of sorrow” (cit. S10/33:3-17);, “the cup of bitterness he drank”(cit. S18/43:21); the cup that is “the cross” (cit. S21/35:19); —and through it all, it is the cup that is filled with “wine” or, as Mary Baker Eddy tells us in citation S21/35:10-14, 19 “…the inspiration of Love, the draught our Master drank and commended to his followers.” Bitter as it may be, we can see why it is always a blessing when we are drinking from it the inspiration of Love that Jesus shared with us!

Our Responsive Reading describes the process of overcoming sin through immersing in God’s presence, purity, power. When we are constantly and quietly celebrating these Sacraments through self-renewal, through understanding our true spiritual goodness that isn’t moved by the push and pull of material existence, then, even when challenged with the suggestions of persecution, or injustice, we see, through it all, the blessings, the healing truth, the inspiration and joy that comes with this practice that wages open war on materiality. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Ps. 16:11, from the Responsive Reading) That sounds like a pretty great place to be!


SECTION 1: THE CUP OF SALVATION IS JESUS’ THEOLOGY (NOT EASY, BUT SIMPLE).

Since we are talking about theology when we mention the Sacraments, it is inspiring to consider what the Master’s theology truly was. He certainly laid it out pretty clearly through his actions and through his Sermon on the Mount. But Mary Baker Eddy also clearly restates his theology in Science & Health citation number 3 when she says: “Our Master said to every follower: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature!…Heal the sick!…Love thy neighbor as thyself!” It was this theology of Jesus which healed the sick and the sinning. It is his theology in this book and the spiritual meaning of this theology, which heals the sick and causes the wicked to “forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.””

Jesus’ theology is not complicated, it is three things: preaching the gospel, or spreading the “good news”, healing the sick, and loving your neighbor as yourself. This doesn’t make it easy, just simple! We are “saved”, we find our true salvation, joy, wholeness, when we take up his theological platform and practice it. This cup presents to us challenges, it makes the sources of deepest joy—family, Church, community, and so on, also the sources of keenest pain. And we are to “drink from this cup” until we transmute that pain into the realization that divine Love overcomes all and we can become conscious of this fact now. In other words, the kingdom of God is within us—something the Master also revealed to mankind! This subjective realization of our salvation comes through taking up Jesus’ command to heal, love, and save. Mary Baker Eddy asks us in citation S4/67:1. (And this is based directly on the Bible verse from John 18:11/cit. B8, where Jesus asks “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”) “The cup our Father hath given, shall we not drink it and learn the lessons He teaches?” Shall we not learn of our salvation?


SECTION 2: SUBMERGE IN SPIRIT AND FIND OUR TRUE “POSITION” IN HEAVEN.

The mother of Zebedee’s children asks for special placement for her sons in the kingdom, one on either side of Jesus. She recognizes his unique mission and role, and was one who remained at the cross throughout his ordeal, so her inquiry was sincere and heartfelt. Jesus’ response points us to the fact that as we follow his ministry, ministering to others (drinking his cup), we find that we are already in that “position”. This placement is our divine position as the sons and daughters of God, not a place that we get to after we die, or after we follow a proscribed theology, unless it’s the theology of Jesus. As we submerge ourselves in Spirit (true baptism), our focus on material things, success, wealth, pride, etc. falls away and we find ourselves conscious of our true place in the kingdom of heaven—in the presence of the Christ—here and now.


SECTION 3: WHAT IS THIS “COMMUNION OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST” STUFF?

Here it is, right here in the Bible: “And he took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (cit. B5/Matt. 26: 27, 28) And, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?” (cit. B6/1Cor. 10:16) How is Jesus’ blood shed for pardon of our sins? How is this cup the “intimate communication”/communion with Christ? I think sometimes we tend to sort of skip over these statements a bit.

We don’t follow the accepted Christian view that Jesus’ death on the cross somehow gave us blanket forgiveness of sin. What would be the point of that if we continue to live with no regard to the Master Christian? The forgiveness comes from overcoming the sin in our own lives, by demonstrating with Christ our wholeness or freedom from sin’s pull. And in this process, we find that there are no barriers between us and God, a central message of Jesus’ ministry. Sin is a perceived barrier, it cannot stand up to our wholeness, our perfection as a spiritual creation. But as we follow Jesus’ call to demonstrate purity, and healing, we drop our personal, material sense of limitation, of separation from Love. And when we are feeling at one with Love, we can truly say that there is no bitterness in that cup that we “drank” to get us to that point of oneness. Reminiscent of the story from the last section, we read in citation S11 that when we obey Jesus’ precepts and follow his demonstration,”…we shall rest, sit down with him, in a full understanding of the divine Principle which triumphs over death.” (31:17-22) It is that “full understanding” that eliminates the mortal fear of death, and puts us in the presence of Christ.


SECTION 4: LEARNING OUR PERFECTION/COMPLETENESS TAKES CUP DRINKING.

This lesson is thorough in its near complete inclusion of the events leading up to the crucifixion and they are a tough read! In this section Jesus is in Gethsemane, praying fervently for this “cup” to pass from him. Willing, as ever, to set aside personal will for the Father’s, he yields his resistance, accepts his lonely duty, and asks, “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (cit. B8/John 18:11) 

It is highly unlikely that we will be asked to suffer something as cruel, humiliating, and painful as the crucifixion. That said, we have to answer this same question when we are faced with unpleasant, painful, or humiliating challenges of our own. Are we willing to drink this cup? Or maybe even more to the point does the loving Father give us cruelty, misery, pain and humiliation? While I don’t think for a minute that God caused Jesus to suffer, I do think it was necessary in order for us to understand his mission. This may be what Mary Baker Eddy is alluding to when she asks if we have “…shared the persecutions which attend a new and higher understanding of God?” (cit. S14/33:27-30)

When we radically demonstrate Christ’s theology and unswervingly maintain his course, we will encounter difficulties, resistance, and these difficulties can take the shape of some pretty cruel suggestions. I tried to make a list this week of what persecutions I felt that I faced in my study and practice of Christian Science. It was kind of tough, actually, to come up with things at first. I don’t really care that my chosen system of health and faith is not highly respected in society. I don’t really care that I don’t fit into the modern health care model, I have seen the benefits of following this path.

The challenges that seem more real to the average person seeking to follow Jesus might look more like these: willingness to give up all resentment, discouragement, self-righteousness, material crutches or anything that masks a struggle with anxiety or the ability to deal with the day to day of existence. So, for example, giving up a constant distraction with cell phones, or snacking unnecessarily when just frustrated or anxious—these are masking strategies and do not keep us wholly on the path of following Jesus. We can ask ourselves what we need to truly relinquish, (what cup are we being asked to drink), that we might experience, through that struggle, our oneness and completeness with God and His Christ?

For some of us the persecutions are very real. Perhaps members of our own family are angry at us for our dedication to this path? That is certainly one such “persecution” that we may have to be willing to be subject to. And yet, through it all, we remain filled with love. Like it says in the definition of Gethsemane “love meeting no response, but still remaining love.” (cit. S12/586) In that Love, we will certainly find our wholeness, our perfection, and that will necessarily include our family and loved ones, even if they don’t know it!


SECTION 5: THE ANTIDOTE TO EVIL IS TO GAIN THE “TRUE IDEA OF GOOD”. 

In this section it would appear that evil is oh so real. This can certainly feel true at times for any of us! It is also true that without these kinds of crushing challenges we would become complacent in our materially placid lives. Matter is not reliable. Without the reminder of that fact we would trust matter to yield a satisfaction and joy that it never can give. Of all the verses and sentences in this section, one that I especially noted this week is the one that ends citation 20 in Science and Health. “He who has the true idea of good loses all sense of evil, and by reason of this is being ushered into the undying realities of Spirit. Such a one abideth in Life,–life obtained not of the body incapable of supporting life, but of Truth, unfolding its own immortal idea. Jesus gave the true idea of being, which results in infinite blessings to mortals.” (p. 325:2, Italics added)

Jesus’ gift to us was something that blesses us right where we are in our understanding. (cit. S20/325:2) It is not a “pie in the sky” blessing on those of us who fully understand the science of spiritual being (not that any such person exists!). This is the beauty of the Science of the Christ, it explains Jesus’ teachings. It gives us each the opportunity to glimpse the unreality, the powerlessness of evil through gaining a “true idea of good”! (cit. S20/325:2) Jesus certainly gave us this true idea of both the goodness of God and of man, God’s expression.

Goodness is obtainable here and now in a reliable, trustworthy way through taking up that cup, or cross, willingly drinking the “inspiration of Love” that fills it, and healing, preaching, and loving. This helps us understand the statement in citation S17: “The efficacy of the crucifixion lay in the practical affection and goodness it demonstrated for mankind.” (24:27-28) This affection and goodness lies at the foundation of every challenge and is the gold that is left after the refining process of divine Love.


SECTION 6: JESUS’ CUP IS FILLED WITH “THE INSPIRATION OF LOVE”.

It’s something to remember when times seem hard. There is only the inspiration of Love within the challenge at hand. Sure, we sometimes have to dig a little to see it, but it is always there. The disciples saw this to be true when they had their “…spiritual meeting with our Lord…” on the seashore after their fruitless night of fishing. (cit. S21/35:10) This was the turning point for them. They never went back to their old lives after this. They realized that the crucifixion had yielded to the victory of Life.

Jesus asked Peter the pointed question “…lovest thou me more than these?” (cit. B11/John 21:15) Do you love the Christ mission more than the simple material existence of fishing, of going to work and back, to school and back, of renovating your home, or planning the next outing? Are you willing to “drink my cup?” If yes, then we must also be willing to “feed his lambs/sheep”, to heal, love, minister to our fellow man. And while our cup is “the cross”, it is also filled with this “inspiration of Love”, an inspiration that yields healing, satisfaction, joy.

The empty nets of the disciples after their fruitless efforts symbolize the empty “rewards” of materially focused lives. It is challenging to accept the cup, yet, when all is said and done, it is a far greater and less rewarding challenge to simply live on the surface of a humanly “good” life. The promise of matter to fulfill if we follow certain “rules”, are empty. We can eat right, exercise, get a great education, marry well, have children, and yet find ourselves with poor health, sadness, disappointment, and more.

Jesus’ life promised the kingdom of heaven within each of us. We don’t have to cast our nets beyond that search within that yields the inspiration and love that is needed to heal and bless. Let’s grab that cup with both hands and drink it down. It is indeed the cup of blessing from Love!


CLICK HERE for more application ideas & Bible-based GEMs from Cobbey Crisler & others! [This is NOT YET complete and will have additions before it is emailed.]


Ken Cooper’s insightful POETIC PRELUDE” brings to life
Bible
EXAMPLES of the Science of Christ & its power to bless YOU & all mankind!

    • Ken’s YouTube poem, “LET” features qualities of purity, self-immolation & complete trust.
    • Ken’s new YouTube poem, What did Jesus do?” challenges us to drop mortal scenarios.
    • In the monologue “Peter’s Repentance” Peter promises & fulfils an oath to “feed my sheep.”

PDF copies are available under Downloads in the online version of  this Met.


THANKING ALL WATERSPORTS SUPPORTERS!
All our prayers about the need to update CedarS 2008 Malibu ski boat have brought steady and much appreciated progress!!   We now need only $2,000 to seal the deal! If it’s a right idea for you to give online whatever you can or by check please just text or call me at 314-378-2574 — or email warren@cedarscamps.org — that  the intent of your tax-deductible gift is to help us secure the ongoing excellence of CedarS watersports fleet. Virtual hugs in advance!!


HUMBLE, HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU HUNDREDS OF DONORS WHO HELPED US MEET BOTH OUR $75,000 WATERSLIDE RENOVATION GOAL
AND OUR $150,000 OPERATIONS GOAL TO FEED OUR HERD, MAINTAIN OUR CAMPSITE, AWARD CAMPERSHIPS…


LASTLY WE ARE FOREVER BEYOND GRATEFUL for a multi-year Endowment Matching Grant!  We’re just over halfway to our match and making steady planned giving progress.  Thank you for helping us share a love of Christian Science and its practical application with generations to come.

To discuss how to join me and many others in playing a vital, ongoing role in our work, feel free to call or text me (Warren Huff) at 314-378-2574 with your pledge or intent to give a planned gift, required IRA distribution or an endowment gift (that will be MATCHED!). Your ongoing support is needed to help us “love into view” continued, lasting blessings and legacies of love each year.  With heartfelt gratitude for and to all you, greatly NEEDED and precious supporters, who continue to help CedarS EACH YEAR in giving LIFELONG, DIFFERENCE-MAKING BLESSINGS to hundreds of families and thousands of individuals all across the U.S. and the world.

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