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[Be fully persuaded that you and we all are one with divine Love!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for January 27-February 2, 2020

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

Who doesn't want to feel that "…the God of love and peace shall be with you."? (Golden Text) This statement is at the end of Paul's letter to the Corinthians, (second Cor.). As in other letters to other churches there is much encouragement towards love and unity. There is a beautiful relationship here between understanding that our connection with God/Love (and peace), is always with us, and that this ever-present Love is reflected in action (demonstrated) when we are loving our neighbor. This Golden Text is surrounded by these words from Paul "…listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 12: Greet one another with a holy kiss." (New Revised Standard Version of the Bible)

Many things attempt to make us feel that we are separate from Love: loneliness, hatred and strife with others, actual war, anger and bitterness, fear and disease, and finally, the great red dragon symbolizing "…the belief that substance, life, and intelligence can be material." (SH p.563:8-9 the belief) As you might expect, each of these suggestions is addressed in this wonderful Bible lesson on Love. Dig in and enjoy your natural oneness with Love, learn to feel it, to throw out what would suggest anything otherwise.

One great way to expand our understanding of these ideas this week is to do a deep dive into Science and Health pp. 563-572:18. This is in Mary Baker Eddy's (MBE) chapter "The Apocalypse", and reading between some of the citations will add depth to our understanding of both the nature of the challenges that suggest our separation, and the truths that remind us that we are ever one with Love and can feel the peace of that truth.

The Responsive Reading contains the powerful and poetic statement of Paul's about being "persuaded" that there is nothing that can separate him from the love of God. Let's consider what it means to be "persuaded". Considering the verse 28, just before this, he says: "…we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Stay with me here!

I'm thinking that being "persuaded" rests on understanding, even claiming, that we are "the called according to his purpose". Every. Last. One. Of. Us. If we want to feel the love of God that exists, we have to know that we are called by Love, called for the express purpose of reflecting that love of God, spreading that peace. Try to imagine for a minute that you truly are called. No less than Jesus was put here to show us Christ's healing power and that God is a God of love, we are called on by Christ Jesus himself to preach, teach, heal, even raise the dead! We read this, of course, hear it in Sunday School. But how often do we think of this as Love actually telling us: "I'm calling on you to love, to heal, to bless"? (Notice too that there is this statement to annul the thought that this is too big a responsibility: "…he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it…")

I think our knowledge and acceptance of this calling can lead us all to being "persuaded" with Paul, that nothing can separate us from our Father-Mother Love. I think it is important to point out as well that Paul lived this persuasion. His statement here that "I thank God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy…" etc., was made from prison. No separation indeed!

Section 1: The comfort of Love destroys matter's claim of separation.

A mother's love (B4) is used to symbolize the sense of constancy and comfort that we can feel from our Father-Mother Love. While a mom might get impatient, frustrated, even angry because of a human sense of things, Love divine knows only our spiritual wholeness and our divinely loveable nature.

The more we strive to separate our understanding of Love from the limited human expression of love, the sooner we will let go our disappointments and feel the constancy of Love. Citation S3 illustrates this struggle that we all experience at times. The painful trial of having our personal sense of love "uprooted", leads us to reach for a deeper, more spiritual understanding of Love's constant presence.

Allow Love to exalt our desires, as Mary Baker Eddy says on page 1:11 of Science and Health. This process can seem like a painful one, as we give up things we thought dear. But the transformation of our “broken heart” (B1) into something "[crowned]…with lovingkindness and tender mercies" (B2) is beautiful and full of grace.

Section 2: We are one in Love.

This is the truth. It is not always easy to demonstrate. Let's think in terms of things on which we can readily agree. We are separate from what we think, say, behave. There is an identity that is truly loveable, good, obedient, joyful. As we acknowledge this first for ourselves, then for those we already find easy to love. We can begin to understand that these qualities exist in each of Love's reflections. Even when we never bear witness to such qualities in someone, we can affirm that such qualities are demonstrated around us in other ways, in other people, and from there, claim their presence in the one we are struggling to know.

Jesus loved, genuinely loved, those who crucified him, so this love is possible for us when we are treated rudely in traffic, at a store, in business, or school. It is not beyond our reach, but we have to acknowledge that this love is something that God has instilled in us, God expresses through us. We do not possess it in some limited mortal "stash". There is no other way for our world to move past the demonization of others for their opinions—political, moral, social. These are human opinions and do not encompass the identity or wholeness of a person. That person is the child of God that Mary Baker Eddy defines as: "The spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love." (SH 582:29)

The second half of Mary Baker Eddy’s “Glossary” definition of “Children” deals with the mortal beliefs that we sometimes face, “opposed to the Science of being” (SH 583:1). This is the "opposition" that material sense makes to being persuaded, as Paul was, that we could understand and accept the truth of our inseparability from Love—hence from one another. Remember that Paul wrote of this joy and unity from a prison cell. Our sense of unity with Love is not dependent on how we are treated, or where we are residing.

Section 3: Love reveals our safety, even in the presence of our enemies.

As in the previous section, our material senses do not give us the true evidence of our safety, and our "enemy's" powerlessness. It is with spiritual sense that we can behold the "chariots of fire" that Elisha's servant saw after Elisha prayed. Okay, maybe we won't see actual horses and fiery chariots, but we can experience the peace and fearlessness that accompanies a certainty that we cannot be separated from Love. If we doubt this we have only to look at the thousands of authenticated examples of people who faced violence and fear with the love of God and were kept safe themselves, as well as blessing those who were inflicting the violence. These examples fill our periodicals over the last hundred plus years!

It is valuable to notice that conflicts and challenges happen, they do seem to occur. The fact that we face such challenges is an indication not of God throwing up stumbling blocks for us poor humans to climb over. Rather, as Mary Baker Eddy says in citation S12 "Material sense does not unfold the facts of existence; but spiritual sense lifts human consciousness into eternal Truth." I love that she says here "human consciousness". To me that speaks of the closeness of Love, right where we are in our current understanding.

What does the following citation S13 say to us? "As material knowledge diminishes and spiritual understanding increases, real objects will be apprehended mentally instead of materially." The conflicts that we face are based in a material knowledge. I have included a link to one of many, many beautiful articles and testimonies where spiritual thinkers were able to find safety when faced with violence. I was particularly struck by ones where the blessings to the attacker were shared.

In this article an elderly lady kept hold on her purse while a man tried to take it, she continuously declared aloud his place as a child of God. You might say that she was very much "persuaded" of her (and the perpetrator's) inseparability from the all-powerful divine Love. And her conviction opened her eyes, and, in some degree his, to this truth.

Section 4: Bitterness, wrath, resentment—these feelings cause us to feel separate from Love.

Notice I said "feel"? Nothing can actually separate us from Love, but these sorts of feelings, when given harbor in our thought, can certainly make us feel like we are separate from Love.

We all know that to "abhor" something is to hate it. The My Bible Lesson commentary on this passage tells us something really interesting (B14). Abhor comes from a Greek root meaning to be totally separated from something! And then the word "cleave" (which, as we know, can sometimes mean to cut in pieces) here means "…to glue, join, or cement together." Think about what that means! We should "separate" ourselves from that which is evil, and glue ourselves to what is good. By separating from evil, we also naturally feel that we are cemented to Love.

Have you ever felt a deep resentment toward someone that you love? I have. I truly never think of myself as a resentful person, but in retrospect this certainly describes how I felt. I couldn't pin down my resentment and I struggled with disappointment in myself, but I did pray about it. I felt it was something that I needed to resolve in my own thought; it was "my responsibility". But after more than a year with what seemed like no change in my unhappiness, I was led one day to speak directly to this person about my struggles.

If you have ever felt resentment towards someone like I did, you will understand what Mary Baker Eddy is saying in citation S15 about the "adamant of error"—the hard, stone-like feeling. You may also have an insight into citation S16 and feel like you have been mentally "picking out the little bits of error" rather than washing it out with great "flood-tides of Love"! [W: See video link from a CedarS G.E.M.]

My healing of resentment did not come by venting all my grievances to this person. Rather, after digging deep for courage and spiritual integrity, I knew that I needed to rely less on a false sense of responsibility and allow Truth and Love to truly govern. The result was, after one long walk, I felt lighter than I had in over a year. I felt a deep and renewed sense of both love and affection for this dear one. Nothing in our situation overtly changed; it was all within thought. I welcomed Love, and was met with love from the other person.

Our closest relationships are rarely simple and easy to maintain steadily on a completely loving basis. But ridding ourselves of anger, resentment, disappointment in others (or in self) is a sure way to welcome in feelings of Love's presence and power in our experience. When we feel our genuine closeness to others, we cannot help but feel close to the source of love, Love Itself. Both citations B15 and S19 sum up beautifully, the road to growing in our understanding of Love. Let "…the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God…" and "Wait patiently for divine Love to move upon the waters of mortal mind, and form the perfect concept. Patience must "have her perfect work."

Section 5: Love brings fearless compassion.

Fear is believing that we are separated from Love. So, the key to fixing this false sense of separation is to fill our thoughts, and those of others, with a deeper sense of Love's ever-presence and power. Being persuaded ourselves helps tremendously, obviously. If you think about a time where you were with a young child who was afraid of something that you knew to be unreal, you were absolutely certain in your reassurances! You didn't falter in trying to help them lose their needless fear.

Going back again to the century plus of healing recorded in our periodicals, we have a right (and a great foundation on which) to feel fearless in our trust in Love. We can look to Jesus' life to show us how to live with the same kind of assurance when facing challenges that seem more "real" to us than childish fears.

Mary Baker Eddy says that the Christ which Jesus revealed to man, is "…the spiritual idea of divine Love." (S20) This is seen in the deeply compassionate, fearless work he did preaching and healing. While citation S21 can sound like a tall order, it is easiest to demonstrate when we remember that it is the healing power of this "spiritual idea of divine Love" or Christ, which is at work, and not our own "personal" prayerful efforts. I witnessed a healing of earache in a matter of hours when a young man mentioned this passage almost as a challenge when asking for treatment. It was turned around in part by rejecting a personal (fearful) sense of responsibility for this healing.

Section 6: Dragon: "…–the belief that substance, life, and intelligence can be material." (Science and Health p.563:8-9)

Isn't this the real "dragon" [W: or drag-on] that we face when we are afraid, be it from loneliness, violence, war, hatred, disease? The real "separator", the thing that makes us feel we are not one with Love, is the belief that there is reality, existence, intelligence, all in matter. If that is the case, then God or Love is something separate from us. But we have here (B21) in Revelation, the story of the "old serpent" deceiving us—"the whole world"!

The dragon’s "accusations" are before us [and seem to drag-on] "day and night". Mortal thought is a persistent little bugger! So, this does require that we tend our thought with some diligence to stick to and acknowledge Love's good in our experience. But such diligence is required of us in every walk of life where we wish to flourish!

Citation S28 speaks of an end to this "conflict between the flesh and Spirit". This end comes minute by minute in each of our lives as we are persuaded with Paul "…that neither death, nor life, nor angels , nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Stand on this great power and presence of Love, and be thoroughly persuaded!


Mine online for yourself Precious GEMs from C.A.M.P.! — (Christ’s Animating Mindset Practiced) as found in this week's Christian Science Bible Lesson. .[For more than two decades Warren Huff has enjoyed freely offering Christianly scientific application ideas from insights shared by Bible scholar Cobbey Crisler, poet Ken Cooper and others.] Blessings are "bound to abound" to all whenever we daily invite the application of priceless, inspiring gems from God's Word to "enrich the affections of all mankind and govern them" ("Daily Prayer," Church Manual, Mary Baker Eddy).

Your Current, Monthly and Planned gifts are ongoing proofs of infinite “LOVE made visible”! Gifts to the Endowment Fund and Adopt the Herd Fund are currently being MATCHED! You can help us guarantee the extended provision of CedarS essential services and inspiring programs & bring big blessings each summer and fall into the lives of almost 800 Sunday School students –tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered Movement!

With ever-new, heartfelt gratitude and love,
Warren, Holly, Gay, snd your whole CedarS Family

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