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Thanksgiving Bonus: Be Glad, Give Thanks, Rejoice!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Thanksgiving”
for November 22, 2018

by Christie C. Hanzlik, CS from Boulder, Colorado
ccern@mac.com 720-331-9356

The church service in which the Bible Lesson on “Thanksgiving” is read is typically the only one during the year in which Sunday School students attend. For this reason, here are five suggestions to help Sunday School students engage with this Lesson while listening on Thursday (it would be best to choose one of these five and not try to do more than one):

• Count the number of times you hear the word gratitude.

• List the different words that mean something close to gratitude, such as gladness.

• Think about why gratitude is important

• Listen for the bible story in the lesson (there’s only one) and try to figure out why this story was chosen for Bible Lesson on “Thanksgiving”

• Imagine what it would have been like to be each of the different people who are in the Bible story…what did they learn about gratitude?

The Golden Text and Responsive Reading introduce the theme of gratitude, but, at least to me, they also highlight a theme of unity. Our gratitude unifies us. We are “called in one body” to be thankful. We are drawn together with lovingkindness, brought from the “north country,” gathered from the “coasts of the earth.” We praise God with song, and this blesses heaven and earth, the seas, and everything that moves in the earth and the seas. Our shared gratitude and praise unify.

SECTION 1: WAYS TO SHOW GRATITUDE TO GOD/GOOD/LOVE

The Bible verses in the first section describe at least five ways in which we can praise God:

• ”Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High” (B1)

• “…praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.” (B2)

• “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth” (B3)

• “… sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.” (B3)

• “With my whole heart have I sought thee” (B4)

The correlating citations from Science and Health continue with more ways to show our gratitude to God.

• We can always aim to show our gratitude by asking ourselves if we "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." With this high goal in mind, we will see the “the surrender of all merely material sensation, affection, and worship.” (S1)

• Qualities that demonstrate gratitude: “Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection,” “Practice not profession,” and “understanding not belief” (S2)

• To show our gratitude, we can strive to understand God. In MBE’s words, “We shall obey and adore in proportion as we apprehend the divine nature and love Him understandingly….” (S3)

SECTION 2: WAYS TO SHOW GRATITUDE TO GOD WITH DAILY KINDNESS AND MERCY

Section 2 has more ways of showing gratitude to God, but emphasizes how we can show our love for God by being kind to one another. To love one another, and especially the most needy among us, demonstrates our gratitude for divine Love’s gifts.

The highest form of praise to God is to show mercy and kindness to those who need it most. Love asks that we show kindness to others. And to do this, we can aim “to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke…” We can demonstrate our love for God by giving “bread to the hungry,” and providing shelter to the ”the poor that are cast out.” We show our gratitude when we “seest the naked, [and] cover him.” (B5-B7)

To show our gratitude to God, we give and serve and then give some more. And as we do, we feel the reward…”the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” (B8) We feel the glory of the the Lord in tangible ways…it will “satisfy the afflicted soul,” and “satisfy thy soul in drought…”

We have beautiful passages in Science and Health to complement this idea of showing mercy and kindness to those in need. What a blessing to have Love’s tenderness felt by those in need. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father's loving-kindness.” (S5)

Our role is to show our gratitude by expressing divine Love’s loving-kindness. It is more than just a role. It is our duty, and the whole of who we are. “If we turn away from the poor, we are not ready to receive the reward of Him who blesses the poor.” (S6) We are unified “in one grand brotherhood,” as we see our brother’s need and supply it, and find satisfaction in blessing others. In Mary Baker Eddy words, “The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good. Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud.” (S7) The good and the kindness we show unites us. The blessings unite us. The blessings are “the effects of one universal God, the invisible good dwelling in eternal Science.” (S8)

With the last citation we again have the theme of blessing one another and thus uniting as one “human family.” (S9) Our gratitude and service unite us.

SECTION 3: SINCERE GRATITUDE TO GOD AND CHRIST JESUS, THE WAY-SHOWER

The third section again emphasizes the importance of our gratitude for God’s gifts. And it also includes the story of Jesus healing ten lepers, and only one of them returns and gives gratitude and glory to God. Not only was there just one of the ten who returned to give gratitude, but the one who did return was a Samaritan–a looked-down-upon stranger–and yet his gratitude and grace makes him stand out as a blessed member of our one “human family.” (B15, S9) The healed man’s gratitude makes us feel an immediate love for and kinship with him even two thousands years later. Imagine the love Christ Jesus felt for this grateful Samaritan who returned to give thanks.

We can all ask ourselves if we have been truly thankful as the Samaritan was. Are we grateful even when we are least expected to be? Mary Baker Eddy poses these questions to us, to make us think about the depth of our gratitude: “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.” (S13)

If we want to show our gratitude to God, and to Christ Jesus for being our wayshower, we must do good for others. Mary Baker Eddy explains how we can show Christ Jesus our gratitude, “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds. To keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has done.” (S15)

As we treasure the good we have received, we discover more and more good. "’Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’" (S16)

SECTION 4 GOD’S GOODNESS SURROUNDS US, RIPE FOR GRATITUDE AND PRAISE

Section 4 describes how we can see God’s goodness and it is even God that causes gratitude itself–”as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” (B16) God causes righteousness and praise to spring forth! “God’s goodness waters the hills and satisfies the earth with the fruit of his works.” (B17)

This section includes beautiful language about God granting us goodness….we are “ordained” to go and “bring forth fruit” (B21) “God is able to make all grace abound toward you…and increase the fruits of your righteousness…Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” (B22)

This good soil bearing fruit did not just exist in Bible times but is present and reappearing in all ages. Christ Jesus showed us the way of properly expressing gratitude and love for God’s goodness, and his example is for all times. In Mary Baker Eddy’s words, “The life of Christ Jesus was not miraculous, but it was indigenous to his spirituality, — the good soil wherein the seed of Truth springs up and bears much fruit. Christ's Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God.” (B17)

How do we know if we’re following Christ Jesus’ path? Mary Baker Eddy suggests, “Ask yourself: Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good? Am I demonstrating the healing power of Truth and Love? If so, then the way will grow brighter ‘unto the perfect day.’ Your fruits will prove what the understanding of God brings to man.” (S18)

When we set the high goal of sincere gratitude and praise and perfect love, we will walk in that direction. “Man walks in the direction towards which he looks, and where his treasure is, there will his heart be also. If our hopes and affections are spiritual, they come from above, not from beneath, and they bear as of old the fruits of the Spirit.” (S19)

As we walk in the way of Christ, keeping gratitude and love in our hearts, we feel “spiritual living and blessedness” and “feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love.” (S20) For this we can be truly grateful.

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (B19)


[If you're grateful for CedarS weekly Mets,

Get a headstart on #GivingTuesday at www.cedarscamps.org/give/]


Warren's PS#1: Check-out a JSH-Online Tip with links to the Thanksgiving Bible Lesson sent today:

"It’s almost Thanksgiving, and on Thursday special Thanksgiving services will take place in many Christian Science churches across the globe. The latest Bible Lens from the Christian Science Sentinel is full of insights and inspiration about this year’s Thanksgiving Bible Lesson. This special section of the Sentinel provides a helpful mix of information about Bible verses, including history, context, verse translations, and word studies to inspire further exploration of the Scriptures.

The Bible Lens is available to anyone, even without a subscription, so be sure to share this great resource with friends and family this holiday season."


W's PS#2: Ken Cooper sent a poem about Thanksgiving for this week's bonus Thanksgiving Bible Lesson. It can be Downloaded at the upper right corner of the online version of this Met at https://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/articles/2018/11/tg/ .

This has been recorded on my Ken G Cooper Poetry You Tube channel, – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv6edwM4E2y4wJ98jGEPUOw.

"Thanksgiving" is on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHCCdA4iuF0 Further comment can be seen under "SHOW MORE".

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