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[Look to Spirit, not Matter, for ALL Good!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for September 11-17

[CedarS Director and editor of this "Met", Warren Huff, finds a prayer-focus and hope on this turbulent-weather anniversary of the extremism of September 11th in Mary Baker Eddy's Thankgiving message of long ago. Employing Christ's method of giving thanks in advance (even in the face of hurricanes) that we too can be grateful "that the atmosphere of the human mind, when cleansed of self and permeated with divine Love, will reflect this purified subjective state in clearer skies, less thunderbolts, tornadoes, and extremes of heat and cold;" .
The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany. p. 265:24]

Balance of the Met prepared by John Biggs, CS of Maryland Heights, MO
(541.418.1176 / / )


This week's Christian Science Bible Lesson provides us with opportunity for study and self-examination into the ways we may be tempted to look to matter instead of Spirit. Thankfully, we never are stuck – if we have been in a habit of looking to matter and material evidence for information, we can rejoice that God's grace is always present and lifting us to a higher, correct sense of what is true. As Mrs. Eddy clearly states often, especially in her article, 'The Way,' starting on page 355 of Miscellaneous Writings, self-knowledge is a crucial starting point for our progress and intentional demonstration, and this Bible Lesson is a great help as we examine our thoughts, behavior, and expectations.

Golden Text (GT): Is the Golden Text saying that the things we can see – including trees, puppies, campers and camp – are bad? No! We must be careful and sure to not wrongly instruct our campers, Sunday School students, children and anyone we are sharing with, about what the unreality of matter really means. For a helpful illustration of how to correctly explain the beauty and underlying reality of what we see around us every day, check out Mrs. Eddy's response to a question on page 86 of Miscellaneous Writings, starting on line 9. It's important that we don't wrongly teach people that the unreality of matter means that mountains and rivers aren't real; this is unfortunately something that many young people feel they have been taught and we all need to be very sure we are clear on these points!

Responsive Reading (RR): Are we casting a wide net in our beliefs and figuring that something will catch? Are we praying about finances, but also worrying about stock markets and hedge funds, and also worrying about childcare expenses, and also…? Prayer is like an acknowledgment of what we believe is true, and if we are worrying about – acknowledging – so many different influences, are we really open to feeling God's Word of light and love? Often fear masquerades as wisdom, leading us to feel justified in our worry. But wisdom is a quality of Mind, and Mind knows, it doesn't wonder, and we have the right to act confidently based on our love for and trust in Mind. [“With caution allied to Christly wisdom, we advance at God’s pace. Then more and more we both achieve spiritual good and bless our human environment.” These last two sentences of Peter J. Henniker-Heaton’s were quoted on Sep. 8, 2017 at the International Christian Science Nursing Conference from his wonderful article, "Caution: Ally of Fear or Wisdom?" in the October 30, 1976 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel It would seem that Paul threw caution to the wind in speaking boldly to the Athenians the words which Mary Baker Eddy identified as the precursor to her Scientific Statement of Being. Yet as Cobbey Crisler points out Paul brilliantly connects it to his surroundings and audience. See Warren's PS#1]

Section 1: Matter doesn't last, and Spirit does. At the end of the day, this is the problem with matter! We don't even have to get bogged down in the bizarrely easy-to-get-stuck-in question about whether some matter is good or useful; it's just that it isn't eternal and thus is clearly not of God and can't be yours or anyone's. We do not base our days, lives, relationships, supply, capacity, on temporal things; we base them on eternal things. It's a joy to let our prayers show us what is temporary and what is eternal. Citation B4 tells us we can discern this essential difference clearly in proportion to our praise of God, in proportion to the consistency with which we have God first in our hearts and lives. "I will give thanks unto [God] for ever!" Think of it! We love to be alert for opportunities to give thanks for ever, to love for ever, to recognize how loved we all are, to recognize heaven, health, harmony, forever. [More on this in PS#2]

Section 2: With these classic favorites, like David and Goliath, it can be easy to say “Thanks, I know it's important to trust in God more than in physical strength” and move on. And sure! That is truly a crucial lesson to learn, and a fact that both requires and offers countless hours of prayer and demonstration. But let's look for more; let's see what fresh food the angels are bringing us today. What comes to mind for me, is acknowledging how prepared David was for this experience. Sometimes material sense evidence suggests that no matter what we know / think we know about God, or no matter what we've experienced through prayer and the healings we've seen and experienced… this situation just may be different. You do need to be scared, because this…THIS!….is different. I think that David would have been reasonably (by material sense, anyway) justified in feeling that way! And yet, “David hasted, and ran” to meet Goliath! (B6, I Samuel 37:48) He didn't give in to those fearful temptations that must have been asking for admittance to thought. He knew he had protected his flock because of God's strength. He knew he was well equipped with his weapons and just did not need to give in to peer pressure to try something else. He even knew that his age was irrelevant. And he stuck with what he knew. Next time material sense evidence tries to convince us that maybe prayer isn't effective for this challenge, let's love to just humbly, joyfully stick with our well-known and used, “smooth stone”of the permanence of Spirit!

Section 3: This parable in citation B10 is a challenging one, and to be honest is one that I find easier to deal with if I completely make it about symbolism and don't look for any literal meaning in it. Now, of course, the Word, of the Bible, is a living Word and every Bible passage can speak to us in a fresh way at the exact moment we need it, so as with all these Mets, these reflections are not meant to state the way you have to read this parable! In my practice and study I have found it very helpful to take passages like this one, which are challenging, and dive into conversation with God about them instead of just quickly layering my own meaning over it. Considering the social context of Jesus' ministry, as well as the prophets who came before him and who he certainly was aware of, it is tough to divorce the literalness of this passage from the broader message of seeking Spirit first and only. Jesus is not saying money is bad, but this parable is pretty bluntly saying that if one has an abundance of resources, to just store it up with no thought for community and how one can bless others is the wrong thing to do. There is a wonderful parallel here to citation B7 in last week's Lesson: "if riches increase, set not your heart upon them" (Psalm 62:10) and to the story from the 6th citation last week, about Joash and the funding of the rebuilding of the temple (II Chronicles 24). Again, the point isn't the dollar amount at all; the point is, what are we doing with the resources and capacities we are aware of. Riches should not be our priority. Money is a tool, not an objective or goal; Jesus urges us to remember this as we plan out our days and lives. Citation B12 gives a wonderful promise, that we all shall be fed, so trust God and do good – live in a goodly / Godlike fashion – without fear of the consequences that material sense is always trying to whisper to us. [We need to repent from listening to worldly whispering as citation B9 points out in its short summary of the four foundations of Mark's gospel as spelled out in PS#3.]

Section 4: Matter is not the arbiter of health and activity! When someone calls to ask for help, when we get off the phone, the Christian Science healer doesn't say, "A person with a cold just called. God, help me unclog their nose." No, the healer will humbly ask to be a clear transparency for the light of Mind, and in so doing, to see what Mind sees and know what Mind knows. The material evidence just does not weigh in the picture. Sure, one may use mental arguments to remind oneself of the truth, but it is not the argument that heals, it is still and always thought being transformed by the acceptance of Mind's ideas. Sometimes it's easy to skip over passages like citation B14, because they might seem like intermissions or introductions to the meat of the upcoming story. But think of it! Jesus healed multitudes! It didn't matter what the false story was, or what the status quo dictated, or whatever. It mattered that Jesus was moved with compassion – he loved – and this true sense of Love cannot bear witness to something unlovely. [As related fully in Cobbey Crisler insight PS#4 on citation B15), Jesus saw the unlovely claim of a stone mason with a withered hand as an evil that should not be ignored in church. So, he interrupted the order of service to call upon the man to exercise his own dominion.] We love to follow Jesus' example and be faithful witnesses to the glory of God and dominion of man, expressed by all in [able-bodied] health, peace, opportunity, stability.

Section 5: Matter and the material senses can never give you correct information about your prospects. No matter how far you seem to have gone from home, from a clear sense of yourself, all you need is to recognize the light of Christ, let Christ's love fill your heart, and you will recognize heaven, home, right here. [“Even if you are in the midst of the sea with no apparent help at hand”, (“God Law of Adjustment”),] whatever the steps on the ground [or even on the water] may look like, the point is that only the “be not afraid” message of Christ has any true say or validity for your experience. Love every opportunity to “willingly receive him” into your ship, your thought, and to be immediately at your destination! [See downloadable pictures of one of many cabins of “disciples” this summer reenacting this story by fearlessly walking on water. Warren’s PS#5 from Cobbey Crisler also brings out more about this awesome demonstration and its prequel of Jesus feeding the multitude.]

Section 6: Matter doesn't improve, doesn't become more spiritual. [“the flesh profiteth nothing.” (B17 and PS#6)] Spirit remains Spirit, you are spiritual; you aren't benefited by behaving any differently. [“speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.” (B18)] Our spiritual sense, our innate clarity about who we are as the children of God, the outcome of the existence of pure good, Love is amplified by the citations from Science and Health… These things are the things of Spirit, and we love every opportunity to lift up Christ in our hearts and feel the freedom of God's perfect love for us. This day is God's day, and it never belonged to, or could be improved by, matter.

Enjoy a fresh sense of Spirit today! Thank you for your care for our community – local, national, global – and for your love for God.

Click to enjoy CedarS Online version of Warren Huff's addition of a Mary Baker Eddy insight and several Cobbey Crisler insights on select Bible citations from this Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Matter” for September 17, 2017.


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