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Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for Sunday, February 5, 2023
[CedarS next Hymn Sing by Desiree, details to follow]

by Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S. in Boulder, Colorado • 720-331-9356 •


This week’s Bible Lesson helps us to understand God as Spirit. Those who study the Science of the Christ, or Christian Science, often use analogies to help us understand God, divine Spirit, not as a manlike entity, but as the Source and Cause of all existence. In the past, I’ve loved the analogy of God being like the sun and man (us) being like the sun’s rays—the outpouring of good that emanates from God as the source, and that which is inseparable from the source. Lately, though, I’ve been pondering Mary Baker Eddy’s analogy of man being like a drop of water at one with the ocean, symbolizing God, divine Spirit. (SH 361:16-18) I like this analogy too because the drop of water (us) is distinct and yet of the same substance as the ocean (divine Spirit).  The drop of water is surrounded by and inseparable from the ocean, yet remains distinct, and it moves in the current and flow of the ocean harmoniously.

The analogy of the drop of water being at one with the ocean helps me understand what it means to say that God is Spirit, and to use Spirit as another term for God. As Mary Baker Eddy states “Spirit is not separate from God. Spirit is God.” (citation S6, 192:9) Like the ocean surrounding and encompassing the drop of water, Spirit, God, surrounds and encompasses us, and we are inseparable from the substance of Spirit. Spirit is the Source of all inspiration and goodness and substance, and man (us) is the individual outpouring and emanation of this Source, Spirit. We are of the same substance and yet we would not say that we are Spirit. We are “of Spirit.” The term for being “of Spirit” is “spirit-ual.”

Our source is Spirit, which makes us “of Spirit,” and thus spirit-ual. A material view of ourselves would be a limited, narrow, or distorted view of our spiritual being. We are of Spirit. We are spiritual. That fact does not change. We could have a material or limited view of our spirituality, but that doesn’t actually make us any less spiritual. The idea of “matter” or “materiality” is a limited and distorted view of the full truth of our spirituality—like looking at a whole beautiful ocean through a dirty pair of sunglasses with a big crack in each lens. If we want to see the truth of the whole ocean view, we would simply remove the dirty and cracked sunglasses. Likewise, if we want to see our whole spiritual nature, we remove—step by step—the limited and material and distorted view. The disappearance of matter—the limited and distorted view—enables us to see and experience the whole of Spirit.

This week’s Golden Text, or main idea, in the Bible Lesson on “Spirit,” introduces yet another analogy for our oneness with God. As I understand it, the Golden Text (GT) presents Spirit being like a field with us as the crop—the fruit—of the field. It states, “. . . if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life.” (GT, Galatians 6: 8)

The Responsive Reading contains yet another analogy of our oneness with God, Spirit…that of the Shepherd, God, who tends to His flock, us. It is important that we don’t allow the analogy of the Shepherd to make us start picturing God as a manlike entity who walks around a pasture. No. The Shepherd analogy isn’t about a guy in a long robe. It is about the tenderness and sense of belonging that we can feel as metaphorical sheep who belong to the divine Shepherd. The Shepherd analogy helps us feel a greater sense of belonging to Spirit and that we will be fed, gathered like lambs, and gently led as an inseparable part of the Shepherd’s flock. (2nd  Thessalonians 2:13, 15; Isaiah 40:10-13; 42:5, 8)


The first section of the Lesson introduces yet another analogy to help us understand our oneness with Spirit. In this section, God is described as a parent and we as the “children of God.” Thinking of God as a parent should not make us think of a man-like or woman-like entity that walks around the house doing laundry and drives kids to soccer practice. Instead, thinking of God as a parent and we as the children can help us feel a greater sense of belonging to God. We belong to Spirit. Spirit is the source of our being and we can feel a trust in this relationship in the way a child might trust an all-good and ever-present parent.

As Mary Baker Eddy states, “To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is.” (cit. S1, 275:6-14) In other words, to understand our existence, we must understand God as the Parent-substance of all existence. And God, Spirit, is not a mystery. Like a child knows their all-good and ever-present Parent, who never hides goodness from them, we can know Spirit. We can understand Spirit. (see cit. S4, 428:15-19)


The second section of this week’s Lesson introduces the idea of Spirit, God, being the source of all supply. Just as the sun is the source of a ray’s light, the ocean is the source of a drop of water, a Shepherd is the source of a sheep’s comfort, and a parent is the metaphorical source of a child’s existence, Spirit is the source of our substance and inspiration. Spirit is the source of our sustenance. Spirit sustains us. As we read in Job, “The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” (cit. B5, Job 33:4)

This section illustrates the outpouring of Spirit being the source of our supply with the story of the prophet Elijah finding the food and water he needed to survive with the ravens bringing him food and the brook giving him water. (cit. B6, I Kings 17:1-6)

Mary Baker Eddy states succinctly the idea of Spirit being our supply when she writes, “Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all things.” (cit. S8, 124:25-26) Later, she writes, “Spirit duly feeds and clothes every object, as it appears in the line of spiritual creation, thus tenderly expressing the fatherhood and motherhood of God.” (cit. S9, 508:3-6) Again, this “fatherhood and motherhood” is not about a person-like body walking around a house doing chores. It is about the concept of a child (us) belonging to our parent and being “cared for, watched over, loved and protected” by Spirit, the source of all good. (close to Hymn 279:1)

Mary Baker Eddy explains that the more conscious we are of the true nature of God and our relation to God, Spirit, the more that good unfolds in our experience. All good—all substance—already exists, but if we have a limited view of it—a material view of it—we may not be able to experience it. As we gain a more correct view of the Source of all good, we discover more and more good all around us. In her words, “As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible. When we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness.” (cit. S10, 264:13)

Clearly, Elijah’s pure prophet vision of divine Spirit as the source of all good enabled him to witness the full supply of food and water, right when and right where he needed it. In other words, as Elijah gained a more correct view of God and man, the food from the ravens and the water from the brook that were before invisible, became visible…and edible and drinkable too.


Yet another analogy to help us understand God, Spirit, is to think of God, Spirit, as the great foundation that supports and maintains all structures and buildings and homes. Every building can rest upon the sure foundation of Spirit, which undergirds and supports and strengthens all. And it is Christ—our awareness of God, Spirit—that makes us aware of our sure foundation. The foundation—God, Spirit—exists. And we exist. And it is Christ that makes us aware of God, our foundation. And Christ Jesus is the man who showed us how to recognize Christ, our awareness of God, the foundation of all existence. The inseparable relation between God and us is real and we feel this relation through Christ, that which makes us aware of God.

With this idea of God as the foundation and we as the building, consider this idea from Ephesians: “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,  in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (cit. B12, Ephesians 2:19-22)

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built.” (cit. S13, 138:14-15)

Sometimes it can feel like the task of understanding Spirit is unsurmountable. But a building does not need to understand everything about its foundation in order to keep from collapsing…the foundation does the work. A drop of water does not need to understand the whole of the ocean to be supported by the ocean. A ray of light does not need to understand the sun before it can shine. The ocean governs the drop of water, and the sun governs the ray. The Shepherd makes itself known to the sheep, and the parent makes themselves known to the child. Likewise, we can rest assured (literally) that God, Spirit, is making itself known to us and is the foundation of our existence. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Spirit imparts the understanding which uplifts consciousness and leads into all truth.” (cit. S14: 505:16-17, 22) In other words, Spirit imparts, unfolds, and reveals itself to us through Christ, enabling us to feel comfort and security.

God, Spirit, calls to us with wisdom and understanding to lead us and help us along the right path. (cit. B8, Proverbs 8:1, 20, 21) In Proverbs, we can read God’s promise to us, “Behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.”  (cit. B9, Proverbs 1:23) Spirit imparts understanding to us. Spirit inspires.


The fourth section of the Lesson delves into the eternality of Spirit and spirituality. There is nothing that can act in opposition to Spirit. In physics, friction is what slows an object down. In simple terms, when an object flies through the air, friction and gravity act against the object and eventually it falls back to earth. Friction and gravity are forces that act against an object. In divine substance—in the whole spiritual truth of existence—there is no friction or gravity that can act against Spirit to slow it down. All is Spirit. Spirit is all.  And there is no force that can slow or stop or interrupt the harmony of Spirit.  This truth makes it possible for the glory of Spirit to “endure for ever.”  (cit. B13, Psalm 104:24, 30, 31) This is frictionless being.

Christ—the influence of Spirit—has frictionless being because Spirit has frictionless being. Spirit never had a starting point, and thus Christ—the influence of Spirit—never had a starting point. Christ always has been. And with no opposing force to act against Christ, Christ has frictionless being. Eternality. Christ Jesus, because he most understood the true nature of Christ and felt the influence of Spirit completely, was able to demonstrate frictionless being. Even before the resurrection, Christ Jesus was aware of his eternality.

The eternality of the Christ is illustrated in this fourth section of the Lesson with the account of Christ Jesus speaking with the Pharisees at the temple. The Pharisees said to him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.”

As I understand it, Jesus was basically telling the Pharisees that they were looking at a material—a limited and distorted—view of who he was. It was as if they were looking at his being through dirty sunglasses with cracks in the lenses…they couldn’t see the whole of his existence and the meaning of his message of Christ, the influence of Spirit.

Jesus added, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.”

Then they said, “You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?” And Jesus replied, “Verily, verily, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.”  (cit. B17, John 8:1-58 NIV, KJV)

The Pharisees could not understand the eternality Christ Jesus was describing because they were not willing to see beyond the outward appearance of things. They saw a material view…a dim and mortal view…of Christ, and could not understand the truth of Christ Jesus’ words.

Christ Jesus’s statement of his eternality must have enraged the Pharisees because the very next line, which is not included in this week’s Bible Lesson reads, “At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.” (John 8:59 NLT)

To me, this part of the account is fascinating. Even though the Pharisees and others were talking to Jesus, when they picked up stones to throw at him, Jesus was hidden from them and able to leave the Temple without their seeing him.

The Pharisees’ material—limited—view of Christ Jesus meant that not only could they not see his eternality, but they lost sight of him even as he was standing right in front of them.

I think it would have been hilarious if, as he walked away from them, Christ Jesus used the teachable moment to call out to those who could not see him, “Having eyes, see ye not?” (Mark 8:18)

Fortunately, Christ Jesus’ true followers were able to see his frictionless being. In Hebrews we read, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” (cit. B18, Heb.13:8)

And it is, of course, possible for us to see Christ—the influence of Spirit—in all of its eternality. As Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.” (cit. S22, 246:27) And three pages later, she adds, “Life is, like Christ, “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” (cit. S23, 249:18-19, quoting cit. B16, Heb. 13:8)


The fifth section of the Lesson explains how we feel Spirit, God, and experience healing. In Psalms we are reminded to praise Spirit, God, for giving us strength. (cit. B19, Psalm 81:1) And in Psalms we find a prayer that we can say to God, Spirit, in praise: “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good.” And, “My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)

To illustrate how Spirit, God, is the source of our strength and power, this section includes the account of Christ Jesus healing the woman with an issue of blood. (cit. B22, Mark 5:25-34)

Unlike the Pharisees who couldn’t see Christ Jesus when he stood in front of them, this woman could see him for what he was…the manifestation of Christ, the influence of Spirit. She saw that “Jesus represented Christ, the true idea of God.” (cit. S25, 316:7-12, 20)

And he was able to sense her genuineness. He saw her wholeness and perfection and spirituality—the correct view. He saw that she was “of Spirit,” spiritual. He saw her faith and told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” (cit. B22, Mark 5:25-34, NLT)

In the Science of the Christ, the study of how Christ—the influence of Spirit—works in our experience, Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Christ, Truth, was demonstrated through Jesus to prove the power of Spirit over the flesh, — to show that Truth is made manifest by its effects upon the human mind and body, healing sickness and destroying sin.” (cit. S25, 316:7-12, 20)

Sin is the belief that we’ve missed the mark, that we’ve missed being at-one with Spirit. But this is impossible. A ray cannot be separated from the sun. A drop of water is surrounded by the ocean. A sheep is a part of the Shepherd’s flock. A child belongs to the parent. A crop grows from the field. And the building rests on its sure foundation.

Mary Baker Eddy discovered that a fuller understanding of our spiritual nature enables us to follow Christ Jesus’ example in healing.  She explained that as we understand more about the nature of God, we can “Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man [us] capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man [us].” (cit. S28, 393:8)


The sixth section emphasizes the divine fact that Spirit is the source of our existence. We are reminded that “Those that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.” (Psalm 92: 5, 13) And we are reminded that there is nowhere we can go, and nothing we can do, to leave the presence of Spirit.

As the Psalmist says, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. … How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. (Psalm 139:1-18)

We do not need to be afraid that we won’t understand enough, or be good enough to experience pure spirituality. We are “of Spirit”—spiritual—and Spirit makes itself known to us. Spirit imparts understanding and unfolds goodness and inspires us with wisdom. Spirit is tender like a parent, watchful like a shepherd, powerful like the sun, and all-encompassing like the ocean and solid like a sure foundation.

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “[We are] the idea of Spirit; [we] reflects the beatific presence, illuming the universe with light. [We are] deathless, spiritual. [We are] above sin or frailty. [We do] not cross the barriers of time into the vast forever of Life, but [we] coexists with God and the universe.” (cit. S30, 266:27)

And, she explains, “To have one God and avail yourself of the power of Spirit, you must love God supremely. … There is but one way — namely, God and His idea — which leads to spiritual being.” (cit. S31, 167: 17, 24-26)

GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from COBBEY CRISLER & others) will now be POSTED throughout the week and EMAILED later in the week as a summary string.  You can always check  for current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you’ve  SUBSCRIBED here for this free offering.

Also later in the week, look for Ken Cooper’s
contributions related to this Bible Lesson.

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