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Avoid repeated disappointment. Discover the Power of Divine Love as Infinitely "Enough"!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Love”
for August 5, 2018

by Kerry Jenkins, CS of House Springs, MO
Kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041

Can you think of anything that takes away a sense of dominion better than fear? Our Golden Text this week makes plain that there is an antidote to fear of any kind whether it be a sense of helplessness, terror, or deep shame—Love that is God (1John 4:8 and 16). Understanding this synonym for God more deeply will deliver us from fear of disease, enemies or bullies, from sin, and even the horrible sadness of betrayal or abandonment. Imagine the power we have when experiencing the dominion that is ours through Love. This power is Love's alone, and we reflect it infinitely, it is poured on us without limit! (citation B22 in this week's Bible lesson)

Responsive Reading: God does not give us anything but that which reflects Love. She has given us "power" and "love" and "a sound mind", which translates in the NRSV as "self discipline". We can get a clearer sense of what is meant by "power" as we make our way through this lesson. Obviously, the kind of power we are talking about is power for good—the only kind that would be reflected by Love. An early illustration of power is metaphorically expressed right away in the idea that mountains and hills will be removed, disappear, before Love's kindness and peace are taken from Love's idea! I particularly enjoy the idea that "…in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:" Confidence translates as "trust" and you will see that word reappear in the lesson a number of times. But I love that thought of confidence!

Don't we have the most confidence in that which we trust? Isn't confidence the opposite in many ways of fear? We are not confident in ourselves, but in infinite Love. And this confidence gives us power because we are basing our trust in the most trustworthy of laws, the law of divine Love. In fact, if our confidence is based in any way in matter, whether in friends, health laws, our own will power, even laws of chance, we will be disappointed, repeatedly. Through these disappointments we are driven to seek out the true power that we are given from our Father-Mother, Love. And we will find that power and demonstrate the abundant goodness of Love in our own experience!

Section 1: Love is with us through "thick and thin". [See W's PS#1 and #2 online]

We can trust Love to be there, even when we are having a hard time seeing this. The verse from Proverbs (B2) tells us that when we put our trust, our confidence, in God no one can knock our feet out from under us. Have you ever had that experience—having someone or something literally knock your feet out from under you? My dog sometimes barrels through me when she gets too excited, and this is kind of my experience on those occasions. Metaphorically though, when we rest our thought on Love, lean on Love each moment, we can never really lose our mental balance and peace. Yes, there will be times that are challenging to our sense of peace and balance, but when we look to Love, trust and keep our confidence not in our own ability (or someone else's), to solve a problem, we can find the support we need. We can never be deprived of Love's presence and power. Look at the definition of God in citation S1. Here it tells us that God is "all-acting". He never stands above us and watches us struggle and strive. Rather, Love shines on us so that we can clearly see that Love's presence replaces the ugliness of fear, and whatever is oppressing us. We don't have to struggle to find something outside of Love to meet our every need. Love is there, supplying us with insight, ideas, health, joy, intelligence, strength, and so on. (S2) Sometimes it seems hard to "trust" God. But if we practice using our spiritual senses, consciously being aware of goodness and beauty around us, we find that we feel the confidence in the power and presence of God/Love more easily. Just last week as I was praying for a dear one who was hospitalized for the second time in two months for different infections, I was given the inspiration that Love was right there with her, speaking to her and leading her to safety in just the way she needed. She has not been interested in hearing ideas about God in recent years, but I knew that I did not need to "say" anything in order for her to feel Love's presence. She ended up getting a sweet visit from a priest during her stay who helped her with several ideas about God who is Love. She has since shared many of the deep insights that have come to her in the week since she left the hospital. To me this is evidence that our prayer for Love's blessed presence to be felt throughout the world is powerful and effective. Love is pouring forth Her ideas with power and insight. Our support of this fact, our own trust in Love, is a power in itself!

Section 2: Love is enthroned in the kingdom, hatred is powerless. [See W's PS#3 online]

The NRSV Bible translates the first part of citation B5 as "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;" This is followed by the story of David choosing to prove to king Saul that even though Saul wishes to kill him, he has no desire to harm Saul. Saul enters a cave to relieve himself—leaving his army of 3,000 men outside. Unbeknownst to Saul, David and his men are hiding in that very cave. It is the perfect opportunity for David to kill Saul who has been hunting him down with an army for months. But instead, David secretly cuts a small piece off of Saul's garment and then shows it to Saul from afar after Saul has left the cave.

Coupled with this story, we can see that citations S7 and S8 reveal the fact that David has in some way glimpsed the kingdom within of which Jesus spoke. There can be no hatred in heaven, in thought that is in harmony with Love. This fact gives power to David, and likewise, removes seeming power from Saul. God's/Love's victory is more powerful than any human triumph can be. This is proven true in the continued, sad story of Saul and David. We can know our true identity (S9), and we will be able then to see that within our consciousness of the kingdom, there is no hatred, no power opposed to Love. It might help to think of this: hatred has no real "self". It has no identity except what we grant it. If we rid our thought of a self separate from Love, we literally cannot experience hatred, either our own, or from others. "Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power." S11 (underlining mine)

Section 3: When matter lets us down, it helps us reach out for Love's hand. [PS#4]

Often it seems like it takes unhappy or painful experiences for us to feel the need to reach out to Love for answers. This section could be seen as a more focused view of the last section. In fact, David and Saul were originally friends and allies. And David's closest friend was Saul's son Jonathan. Think of how difficult this whole thing must have been for David who loved them both. When we have reliable friends and family, we can be lulled into actually leaning on them for our sense of worth, love, and belonging. This is never completely satisfying ultimately.

Hopefully we don't have to experience betrayal and grief at the hands of friends or family before finding that Love is at the center of lasting peace and joy. But it does seem that "man's extremity is God's opportunity" as Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) quotes in citation S15. When we reach for Love and Love's comfort, we find not only the warmth and protection of Love, but also the power that comes with that. We have power to overcome feelings of hurt, betrayal and anger.

There is truly nothing more powerful than the ability to overcome through Love, these insidious passions and find that victory, peace, love and joy belong to us. I've had such opportunities, and found victory myself through allowing Love's messages of worth and tenderness to penetrate the hurt. I have always found that this healing comes along with a willingness to extend a truer sense of love (letting go a false sense of others in my thought—the suggestion that others could cause me pain). Just as David did in the previous section, and as Jesus advised in citation B7.

We might think of this process as MBE does in S16, as a process of allowing the "wintry blasts" to uproot the false concepts we hold of love, allowing a higher consciousness to take root. Once we've experienced a victory over these kinds of challenges, we are always left in a position of greater power and strength than before, because our understanding of Love is rooted more deeply in Truth.

Section 4: The power of Love gives man power over disease. [W's PS#5-#8 online]

Love knows everyone as loved. Love is the most powerful healer because it removes our sense of fear and unworthiness, allowing the truth of our loveable and good nature to shine into our consciousness. The leper in citation B17 was considered unclean. He would have been an outcast, living in isolation from most of society and unable to feel the human touch of love at all. The Christ that Jesus embodied fearlessly reached out to touch that man and this spiritual touch gave him the true sense that he was never "unclean", never unworthy or outside of Love's circle of goodness and worth. While in most societies today there are no overt groups of people that are called "unclean", don't you think that still today there are millions of society's most desperate, struggling to feel worthy of Love?

How can we, as Christians, help to elevate the universal consciousness of man to glimpse that Love gives each of us power to find that innate worth regardless of how much money we make, where we live, what our marital status is, what our health, employment, background, and habits are? What about the idea that some do not behave in a "worthy" manner? Jesus healed unconditionally (he did often say "go and sin no more", but he healed them first right?). He started from the basis of "…perfect God and perfect man…" (SH 259:11) This perfection is not human perfectionism. It has nothing to do with our lifestyle or actions even. This perfection is where we live with Love. Without that basis, there is no true Love.

Love starts us from the proper basis, proper foundation of the truth of man as idea. From the standpoint of our innate worth, we can then move higher in our actions and health, and so on. But when starting from the false sense of failure—"failure" of financial success, "failure" to find health, or even "failure" to reach some point of spiritual understanding—we have mentally cast ourselves outside of Love's circle. Even though we are never truly separated from Love, we can certainly feel that way when we are struggling with these kinds of suggestions. Our task as Christians is to recognize the genuine worth of mankind: those we disagree with, whose life choices we may frown upon, whose behavior may irk us. These are they that Jesus touched and healed. This kind of love in our thought permeates our Christian practices and blesses all. It seems clear that this kind of Love is what will heal rifts in society today.

Section 5: We rise to see the power of Love from a point of deep humility. [PS#9a and #9b]

This may sound like a contradiction of the last section, but it isn't. Recognition of our shortcomings and the fact that they are not our true nature helps us to heal and reform. The woman in this story (B19) had reached the end of her ability to live a life that felt separate from Love. She recognized in Jesus a Love that could heal and bless and change her sense of self from "wretch" to disciple of Jesus. I say "disciple" because it appears that she followed Jesus as faithfully, or more so, as any of his male disciples. Mary Baker Eddy begins her chapter "Christian Science Practice" with a retelling of this story. Why? Because in order to heal, not only do we need to recognize the true worth of man, but we need to have the humility and love of the Magdalene, a love that is completely focused not on self, but on Christ. She willingly dropped her false sense of self at the door of Simon's house. She entered that house with a sense of humility and repentance that was notable by her tears and the costly ointment with which she anointed Jesus' feet. As in the previous section, Jesus is demonstrating to man the authority of Love over the authority of religious creed. In the healing of the leper he touched the man, which was against the religious law of the day. In this section he explains to Simon that the repentant love of the Magdalene was worthy of forgiveness, over a worldview that might lack sympathy and human affection (S26 and S16) as Simon's did.

Jesus tells us that he did not come to destroy the law (meaning religious law of the Jews—Matt. 5:17). In that case, any law that he appears to have broken must not have been a law of Love. There is a list of things that Love does in citation S28: It "…inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way." If any seeming law that we are either supporting or believing in does not do these things, we can rest assured that not only is it not a law of Love, but it is not even a law!

We can humbly wait on Love to lead us in an inspired way that will help us to love others more deeply and truly. With this kind of humble seeking, we never hold our human opinions too strongly—following the path illumined by Love. Humility is not the same as "shame".

Shame puts self at the center of our disappointment. It is hard to correct anything from this standpoint. If we have done wrong, we can recognize and correct the wrong more constructively by accepting responsibility for the wrong but not identifying the wrong with who we are! "What we [all] most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds." (bracketed [all] added) This is what each of us needs. Not one of us is left out of that needed kind of prayer. It is a prayer of humility and tender love. It is a prayer of progress. It is a prayer of power.

Section 6: Love is abundant, fills every nook and cranny. Love is infinite and enough.
[See W's PS#10 online]

As with many of our Bible lessons, this section affirms all that has been presented to us in the lesson. It circles back to the Golden Text and Responsive Reading and it touches on citation S2. Understanding even a glimpse of Love's allness heals. It is enough to answer our deepest wants and fears. It pours out a blessing that we cannot contain (B22). Let's not "contain" it. Let's pour it out on others—much like the NRSV Bible translates citation B12 "And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work." This presence of infinite Love in our lives is powerful and we reflect that power in our thoughts about and experiences with mankind.


Thanks to ALL you precious and generous supporters!:
1. INCOMING GIFTS and pledges of CAMPERSHIP FUNDING have guaranteed that we will meet the needs of all who wanted to come to CedarS this summer! The RESULTANT BLESSINGS have already been life-transforming and greatly appreciated by over 400 worthy recipients and their families and churches.

You can see pictures of the opening of our best-yet summer 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sessions of an average of over 300 guests each session and Memorial Weekend of 220 Family Campers and staff at www.cedarscamps.org or on FaceBook or Instagram. (The password is CedarS.)

Please sign up to give whatever you can on a much-needed MONTHLY basis! You can start and adjust as you wish at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students (tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered church)!

2. Also, thanks to generous donors, we will be undertaking LOTS OF NEEDED UPGRADES TO KEEP CEDARS FACILITIES and vehicles FUNCTIONING UP TO THE LEVEL OF ITS MISSION! (UPGRADING our of vehicle(s) and replacing original Crown Lake spillway will start as soon as possible this fall! Strengthening our internet service for more efficient office operations and for our staff and fall guests and a few other items are still goals before next summer … more and details coming in a few weeks.)

3. CedarS “Adopt the Herd” Matching Fund has been met!

In the time since Giving Tuesday you helped raise ~$65k for the Riding Program, which will be doubled through the Adopt the Herd Matching Fund, for a total of $130k Adopt the Herd match!

With heartfelt gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

P.S. If you haven't yet given, or are blessed with more to give, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking on https://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/tree/.

You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 417-532-6699.

or MAIL to our Summer-Fall address at camp (in red below) your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization.

(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #44-0663883):

The CedarS Camps
19772 Sugar Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536

THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a huge proof of your ongoing LOVE made visible and are greatly appreciated!! They not only defray the costs of running this service but also provide greatly needed camperships and essential program and operations support.

The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/meta

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