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LET THE LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINE TODAY!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Christian Science”
for December 26, 2021

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


INTRODUCTION
It’s fun to think about all the ways that light is portrayed in the Bible. Of course, light is an important theme in the Christmas story and in other chapters in the Bible! From the Magi being led by a star, to the shepherds seeing the angels that lit up the sky, to providing illumination to Mary and Joseph about which way they should go, it’s wonderful to know that the light of Christ is shining brightly and leading and guiding us. It is ever-present to shine in our thoughts, in our hearts, and in our communities now and for all time.


GOLDEN TEXT
The Golden Text is: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1

Thy light is come! Present tense. The light of the Christ is guiding you right now – it’s leading and guiding your consciousness to the Truth of being. It’s providing illumination, it’s opening thought to the healing power and presence of the Christ, and it’s being our Wayshower.

Some definitions for light are:
Something that makes things visible or affords illumination: (dictionary.com)
Illumination of mind; instruction; knowledge. (1828 Webster)
Bright; clear; not dark or obscure; (1828 Webster)

It’s fun to see themes continue throughout the weekly Bible Lessons as last week’s Lesson on “Is the Universe Including Man Evolved by Atomic Force?” also included so many references to light!

In speaking about spiritual light, Mary Baker Eddy writes this about the first day of creation in the book of Genesis:

“This light is not from the sun nor from volcanic flames, but it is the revelation of Truth and of spiritual ideas. This also shows that there is no place where God’s light is not seen, since Truth, Life, and Love fill immensity and are ever-present.”
(SH, p. 504:9–14)


RESPONSIVE READING (RR)
These passages from Isaiah (chapters 42 & 11) are often considered as Messianic verses that refer to the coming of Christ Jesus.

These passages talk about the spirit that Jesus manifested:

the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and of the fear [love] of the Lord; (all Isa. 11:2, RR)

This spirit that Jesus manifested certainly made him able to “judge the poor [with righteousness and fairness], and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth:” (Isa. 11:4) His mission was all about building up, encouraging, and restoring. The only thing he tore down was anything that hid, hindered, or oppressed the Christ-light from shining brightly.

Since Christ Jesus showed us that we are each the sons and daughters of God, these passages can refer to us, too. How good does it feel to know that God is holding your hand (Isaiah 42:6)?  And that God is keeping His covenant with you?

We can also manifest Christ and help bring that healing light to those around us.
Jesus said: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (B18, Matthew 5:16) This light is the light of our spiritual individuality. It’s the beautiful qualities we each manifest!

The Responsive Reading concludes with this beautiful verse about a universe filled with meekness, humility, and tenderness (with no carnal or material element to drive us):

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)


SECTION 1 – WE LIVE IN THE LIGHT OF GOD
It’s hard to not just be in awe of Christmas and this Christmas story. What a momentous occasion! Approaching Christmas with a spirit of childlike awe and inspiration is a wonderful way to celebrate that the Christ has come and shows us just how good God is and how much God loves us.
Mary Baker Eddy writes,
“I love to observe Christmas in quietude, humility, benevolence, charity, letting good will towards man, eloquent silence, prayer, and praise express my conception of Truth’s appearing.”
(Miscellany, p. 262:27)
So, whether we are in a house surrounded by people, or if we are quietly “all-one” with God on Christmas, we can let that eloquent silence, joyful praise, charity and good-will towards others fill our thought. As we fill other people’s mental and spiritual buckets (even if it’s just through the loving, inspiring thoughts we reflect towards them), we fill our own buckets as well.

The holy light that radiates from unselfed love, joyful praise and gratitude shines brightly whenever we stand in awe of the tender, gentle, first Christmas and its quiet glow of divine light that announced the priceless gift of Christ to all mankind. We can strive each moment to feel that holy appreciation for this greatest of all gifts, and relish the praise, awe and humble silence that comes from doing so.

Recently, as I was praying, I was trying to overcome a feeling of being burdened by a situation. The thought came “well what do you love about this [insert person, place, or thing].” What a neat idea and a great way to start praying – to start with Love! Doing so was just what I needed as so many of the qualities that I love and value came to thought and a rushing spiritual sense of light and love filled my consciousness.
This passage came to thought: “The consciousness of light is like the eternal law of God, revealing Him and nothing else.”(No and Yes, p. 30:22)
Wow, in that moment I realized that because “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5) that means that the consciousness of light is ALL! All that is ever going on each moment! All that we can be aware of as ideas of Light! Since we live, move, and have our being in Light! And this light is all that God sees and knows. Light is all there is.
This passage then came to me. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” I realized that Christmas is all about light (even though the situation I was praying about had nothing to do with Christmas). This healing revelation gave me a whole new sense of peace, light, and Christmas at the same time! The whole world is not on our shoulder, but the government of the entire world is on God’s shoulder! So, our prayer is being a witness to the fact that God is and God’s creation remains the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) – perfect in its original state!
“He’s got the whole world in His hands” (CS Hymnal 492). I was awe-inspired, grateful, and still cherish that time in prayer as I reflect on it.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (citation B1, John 1:1,4)

This is the foundation for our being – the Word, light, and Life! This is what we stand on. In the beginning was the Word – revelation, light! So, it’s natural and normal for us to understand and perceive the Word of God. This divine Life is light – not burdened or heavy, but joyful, spontaneous, uplifted, inspired, vital, active, and joyous! God is revealing Himself/Herself to us as Life that is light each moment and causing us to understand our spiritual being and the spiritual universe. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)


SECTION 2 – BE LED BY CHRIST TO DISCERN YOUR SPIRITUAL NATURE!
Readers may enjoy reading “What Christmas Means to Me” by Mary Baker Eddy in the book Miscellany p. 261 and “Christmas” in Miscellaneous Writings, p. 320. These articles are also likely available as a collection in your local Christian Science Reading Room.

Mary Baker Eddy reveals the spiritual identity of Christ and thereby reveals the spiritual, eternal nature of each of us. In “What Christmas Means to Me,” she writes:

“Christ is the Truth and Life born of God — born of Spirit and not of matter. Jesus, the Galilean Prophet, was born of the Virgin Mary’s spiritual thoughts of Life and its manifestation. God creates man perfect and eternal in His own image. Hence man is the image, idea, or likeness of perfection — an ideal which cannot fall from its inherent unity with divine Love, from its spotless purity and original perfection.” (“What Christmas Means to Me”, Miscellany, p. 261)

We are each made in the likeness of perfection! Wow, that is a humbling thought! This spiritual perfection is manifested in beautiful qualities such as intelligence, poise, grace, peacefulness, forgiveness, charitableness, etc. We each have a unique, sweet identity that is sustained by God. We don’t have to do a lot of work to get there; we are already there – forever dwelling in the bosom of God (citation S2, p. 29) – as the perfect, spiritual men and women of God’s creating. Each of us is a precious idea of God. Our Christ-identity is comforted, sustained and maintained by God’s pure, perfect nature.

Bible Lens Research from the Christian Science Sentinel has this to add about the gifts that the Magi gave to Jesus:

“The magi’s prostration before the Christ child was a cultural act that acknowledged social superiority, and their gifts were worthy of royalty. While the actual value is unknown, scholars surmise that the fine quality of the gifts may have provided for the family’s sojourn in Egypt. Tradition has also viewed the three gifts as symbols for defining characteristics of Christ Jesus: gold for a king, frankincense for a religious leader, and myrrh for one who died to save others. Gold is easily recognized as precious today, but frankincense and myrrh were prized just as highly in ancient times.”

[Warren: For a precious, unique animals’-eye-view of the Magi, their gifts and of the first Christmas, click a link in the online version of this Met for a free preview as well as a way to buy a full 2017 Sony animated movie called “The Star.”]

How beautiful to be led by the light of a star. God is like that star – our compass and guide leading us to behold the light of Christ in a whole, new way.

These two traditional Christmas songs echo this thought:

“O Holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appears and the soul felt its worth”

“Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, and all is bright
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace”


SECTION 3 – LET THE LIGHT GUIDE YOUR FOOTSTEPS
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that the great Red Dragon tried to hinder and destroy the Christ message through Herod’s jealousy, anger, and intimidation. Thankfully, God, the loving Father-Mother of this holy child, was there to protect, lead and guide Mary and Joseph.

“Egypt was a natural place of refuge for the young family—its border was only eighty miles from Bethlehem; several Jewish colonies had been founded there; and as a Roman province it was beyond Herod’s jurisdiction…The family’s move to Nazareth in southern Galilee is seen as fulfillment of an unidentified oracle: ‘He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene’ (v. 23).” (Bible Lens Research, Christian Science Sentinel)

While we don’t know how Mary and Joseph may have felt as parents, this article “Turn to Love’s parenting has some helpful ideas on parenting and how to let divine Love parent us!

“When we feel divine Love loving us, this love overflows to our kids…Pausing to turn to Love helps us to not live in reaction to our kids, or to anyone else…It helps us stop trying to calm the situation and lets Christ, the true idea of God, calm us. And as a result, the whole situation settles into the harmony of divine power over all…Turning to God, pausing in the midst of daily demands—or even upheaval—we can appreciate the childlikeness in our kids and ourselves and let it teach us of its beauty and wonder.”

One thing I appreciate about this story is how Mary and Joseph keep turning to God on their journey with a willingness to change course when needed. Even though Joseph heard an angel message that it was time to return to Israel with the child, he was then unsure if this was the best course of direction when he heard about the current events (that Archelaus, Herod’s son, was now reigning). So, he was open and receptive to gaining a clearer sense of God’s guidance. He received a new angel message saying to go to the region of Galilee to the town of Nazareth instead of going through Bethlehem.  As a result, they were protected a second time by avoiding Bethlehem.
The Bible says:
“After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

So, he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.” (Matthew 2:19-22 NIV)

Sometimes when we are praying for guidance and direction about something, we may need subsequent angel messages to get a really clear, precise message of what God’s is telling us to do. I love that idea of staying continually tuned in to God. If God is like the star guiding us – our continuous GPS – then we wouldn’t just listen to God’s guidance for the first step, but we follow the light of that star until it takes us “all the way”. Joseph, likewise, trusted God would bring them all the way to a place where they could make a new home and raise Jesus safely.


SECTION 4 – “MOVED WITH COMPASSION”
This section contains one of my favorite Bible passages. “Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:14, citation B11) Multitudes! He healed multitudes! And how? Through intense personal effort, wandering through the crowd, searching for everyone who needed a hand? The Bible record gracefully states that he “was moved with compassion.” The light of God, the activity of Christ, which Jesus personified, does not seek out darkness in order to destroy it. Light shines, and darkness…well, is not. Now, this light is not blindly shining out, making bold speeches and just expecting bad things to go away. This light is the activity of divine Love! Just like a night dream was never really real, but it’s only upon awakening that we discover this; so, the light of Love saves us by showing us – through Love’s action – what IS real.

What’s our role in this? Sometimes when I am serving at Christian Science summer camps, I host informal discussions on the topic of nurturing our individual practices of Christian Science. I like to ask the group, “who is the best healer?” I get a few confused looks, and then people hesitantly say, “Jesus? Mary Baker Eddy? Oh wait, no, it’s God, right?” Now, I’m not really being fair – I explain it’s just a trick question, and we’ll turn to the bottom of page 59 in Mary Baker Eddy’s book Miscellaneous Writings. It says, “That individual is the best healer who asserts himself the least, and thus becomes a transparency for the divine Mind, who is the only physician; the divine Mind is the scientific healer.” Transparencies rely on – you guessed it! – light! So, our role is to be a willing, active transparency FOR the light which is always present. This is what Jesus was modeling, when he was “moved with compassion.” Have you read Hymn 315 in the Christian Science Hymnal recently? It’s a wonderful, gentle instruction on some avenues in which we can specifically and intentionally practice being moved with compassion. Let’s see how we can all be very intentional about our roles as transparencies for the healing light of Christ!


SECTION 5 – EVERPRESENT LIGHT
How wonderful it is, that Christ Jesus’ works, teachings and promise were not confined to his time only. The Christ is truly timeless – always with God, always with God’s creation, including man. It makes sense that this eternal Christ would be present and practically approachable by God’s creation! It’s a beautiful promise that Jesus made: “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” (cit. B15, John 12:46)

Light allows us to see; the spiritual light of Christ allows us to actually see what God has made and what God is doing. Better than any material health diagnosis, or any thought process based on the input of the material senses, the light of Christ shows us the real and promises our capacity to engage with the real. We are rescued from darkness, not as the result of a battle between good and evil, but as the rising sun dispels any darkness from the earth. Now, that rising sun – that light from our closest star– is always present, so it’s really only our own individual sense of things which makes it seem like a rising sun (as in the solar system, so in this spiritual sense of things). But it’s good to know that that perfect light is here, and our role of being witnesses and sharers of that light is intact.

Recently, I lost a new knife in the woods while I was clearing some brush. I could only spend a few minutes looking for it, but I made plans to come back the next morning to look. Now, I wasn’t sure in which area of the forest my knife had fallen out, in, but I had a clear sense that I would be shown the way. The next day, I drove out and clearly admitted to myself that I was not desperately searching for a lost item, but was honoring God’s power to show me what He was doing. There was no mystical or ‘lucky’ feeling about it; I was declaring my gratitude for God, and walked literally directly to where my knife was half-hidden under leaves. I loved this experience because it showed me that light is not something we use in order to get harmony; God’s light shows us the harmony that is actually real and actually present. No matter what the discord that we are facing, we have the right to admit that our light, our Comforter, is risen and is present, and that we are safe in that warmth and light.

God’s activity – His Christ – shows us who we are and what’s real. Our role is simply to admit this, and conduct ourselves from that standpoint. And the wonderful thing, as Bible citation 17 explains, is that this greater sense of what’s real and deeper awareness of God’s light, allows us to bless others too! We can shine more clearly when we know the source of all true light is God, perfect good.


SECTION 6 – LOOK TO THE LIGHT
If we want to see, we should look to light. We don’t see by our own power, or because we know more than someone else, or because of any reason besides the presence of light. If there is light, then, we see. Bible citations 18 and 20 are such interesting and moving passages; to me, they highlight the forever-union of God and man, Father-Mother and child, sun and light. We are the light of the world, inasmuch as we follow what Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated. In other words, we are enabled to avail ourselves of the truth – that we are expressions of God’s light and cannot be defined or limited by darkness – in proportion as we yield to and follow ‘him that overcometh.’ (Bible citation 20, Revelation 2:26) In the Gospel of John, we hear Jesus comforting his disciples: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Christ – the literal Word and Light of God – is what overcomes the world. This Bible Lesson’s citation B20 is not encouraging some sort of test of wills, to see who gets the gold medal – or “the morning star” – for overcoming evil; rather, we’re being reminded to yield ever more lovingly to God’s law, the Science of Christianity, to see how we’re already God’s beloved children, His precious cities “… set on a hill” – able to help and heal. (See cit. B18, Matt. 5:14 & cit. S26. 367:17.)

Mary Baker Eddy’s instructions in this Lesson’s closing citations (cit. S27– S28, pages 367, 495 & 329) are so timeless, effectual and relevant. These are not things to yell at ourselves about, or to hold threateningly over someone else. These are reminders of our sacred right to be who we were made to be, and of our right to persist in looking to that which will instruct us and heal us in our “divine adventure” to be the best versions of ourselves as God’s likeness. (see Miscellany 158:9-10).

Hymn 592 summarizes how everything that we are and that we do is radiantly blessed and empowered by the borrowed light of God:
“We are all God’s children, expressions of one Mind,
Living in the radiance of Spirit all divine.
Every heart and nation is answering the call
To a true salvation knowing God is All-in-all.

We are walking, we are praying, We are singing in the light of God.
We are walking, we are praying, We are singing in the light of God.”
(Christian Science Hymnal, No.  592)

You are so very loved, and this wonderful Science of Christianity is forever holding, protecting, and showing you who you are – perfect in Love’s eyes. Thank you for your work for your community and for your love for God!

Enjoy walking in the light of God! — And have yourself your merriest Christmas yet!


CLICK HERE for more application ideas & Bible-based GEMs from Cobbey Crisler & others! [This is mostly complete but may have additions before it is emailed.]


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

  • In Ken’s Christian Science Journal poem, “Christian Science Practice” we see when we submit to “God’s Way”, what we practice is straight from God: “The infinite expression of true humility,
    Not what I practice, but what You do as me.”

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 $2,700 by year end 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!!


THANKS TO OVER 427 DONORS FOR HELPING US MEET OUR $75,000 WATERSLIDE RENOVATION GOAL!


$8,500 IS STILL NEEDED TO REACH OUR YEAR-END MATCH!
Thanks to generous donors, we are able to increase our matching challenge to $150,000 for any gifts to the Unrestricted Fund (greatest need), Maintenance Musts, and the Adopt the Herd horse fund. Donations to these areas total $141,500 from over 400 donors, with $8,500 remaining to meet our year-end matching challenge.

We’re so grateful to be able to grow the matching challenge to more closely reflect the actual needs of running camp!

Thank you for helping us share a love of Christian Science and its practical application with generations to come.


LASTLY WE ARE BEYOND FOREVER GRATEFUL for a multi-year Endowment Matching Grant!  We’re about halfway to our match and making steady planned giving progress.

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 give LIFELONG, DIFFERENCE-MAKING BLESSINGS to hundreds of families and thousands of individuals all across the U.S. and the world.


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