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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
THANKSGIVING
for Thursday, November 28, 2013

by director/alumni Jared & Allison Eggers, St. Louis, MO  mailto:Jared.Eggers@principia.edu
[with bracketed italics by a humbly grateful camp director/editor Warren]

Golden Text
This lesson begins with the highest focus: giving thanks to God.  Thanksgiving can be a wonderful blessing.  Families and friends take the time to gather to break bread, give thanks, and appreciate one another.  Unfortunately it can also be a trying and/or lonely time.  We should never let mortal mind try to take away one ounce of good by turning our focus from the true purpose of this day, giving thanks starting with God.

Responsive Reading
God takes care of us and supplies for us so completely that we are “satisfied with the goodness of thy (God’s) house.” (Ps. 65:4)  The word satisfied comes from the Latin satis and  facere which mean enough and make respectively.  In other words, God makes enough for all of us therefore we are satisfied and can be grateful for that. [See Warren’s Addendum for a great theme song about God knowing what you need and supplying it right now.}

Section 1: What’s not to be grateful for?
In case we might forget, this section covers the many reasons we have to be grateful.  In citation B1 we see that “The Lord is good to all” and “The lord is nigh unto all men that call upon him.”  “Nigh” means close, so when we need God and call upon him, we find that he has been close to us all along.

The book of Deuteronomy mainly consists of a discourse from Moses of the laws that the children of Israel were to follow.  Citation B4 comes from this section of Deuteronomy and from it comes the duty of blessing God after meals.  It describes a lush land of plenty (the Promised Land) not only in food, but also in valuable and useful minerals.  For a people who wandered through desert wastelands for generations, it would be hard to think of a greater promise.  With all those needs met, what is there not to be grateful for?

In citation S4 we get the classic question from Mrs. Eddy, “Are we really grateful for the good already received?”  It is a good question to ask.  When asked, “Are we grateful for our home?” we might answer, “Well it’s a bit drafty” or “it’s a little small,” or “it needs to be updated, but I can’t afford it.”  Would you rather sleep outside?  When asked, “Are we grateful for our bed?” we might answer, “It’s nice, but it’s lumpy.”  Would you rather sleep on the floor?  When asked, “Are we grateful for our job?” we might answer, “It doesn’t pay well enough,” or “I’m underappreciated,” or “my boss is terrible to work with.”  Would we rather have no work at all?  To show that we are truly grateful we must “avail ourselves of the blessing we have.”  “Avail” means to make use of, so we must make good use of what we already have and only then will we be ready to be blessed more.

Section 2: How to be grateful
A few years ago, the American government released a public service campaign with the tag line, “Verb, it’s what you do.”  I’m not sure what exactly they were promoting.  Maybe they wanted people to be more active, or maybe they thought the American people needed help with their grammar studies.  Whatever the reason, I will always know that a verb refers to an action thanks to those advertisements.  Citation B5 is full of verbs such as trust, dwell, and delight.  This section starts off by giving us actions that we can take to show we are grateful.  Citation S7 continues that thought with “Action expresses more gratitude than speech.”  How can we be grateful?  We can show it through our actions.

In citation B9 we have instructions from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount on how to pray.  He tells us to “enter into thy closet.”  The Greek word that translated into closet here is Tamieion, [word 5009 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance,] which is an “inner room, closet, storehouse… [In the online version click on the pdf attachment in the upper right called Cobbey Crisler’s Commentary on Matthew 6:6” for insights on thanks-giving prayer in a fully-stocked storeroom.] It is also interesting to note that the word closet is related in its roots to the word close.  So Jesus is instructing us to pray in a secret place where we feel close.  Close to what?  I would say close to God.  So another way we can show our gratitude is through prayer.  This prayer should be effective and fervent (sincere) like citation B6 says.  How can our prayers be effect and sincere?  Citation S9 identifies “the habitual struggle to be always good” as unceasing prayer.  Working to be always good must be effective.  And citation S10 says that we should “pray in secret and let our lives attest our sincerity”.  So, our good actions are testaments to our prayers and show gratitude to God.

Section 3: What Gratitude Brings (SPOILER ALERT, it’s healing)
In citation B12 we find Jesus preaching to thousands of people for three days.  They need to eat and the problem was that they did not have enough food.  When Jesus and his disciples took inventory of their food, they had seven loaves of bread and some small fishes.  His plan was to feed everyone with this small stock so he gave thanks.  Before he served the food, he gave thanks.  I’ll say that once more, he gave thanks before he gave out the food.  Jesus was about to demonstrate something that defied many material laws and before it was done, he gave thanks to God.  Jesus gave gratitude for what they had and the situation was healed.  Everyone was fed and there was even plenty to spare.  Was the human supply there all along?  Perhaps gratitude sees, and want overlooks.

On page 206 of Science and Health (S14), Mrs. Eddy says “whatever blesses one blesses all… Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply.”  So when we see any good in someone’s experience, we can give thanks because that good goes for everyone.  We can say, “Thank You God; That’s Mine Too!” (Warren says this “T.M.T. is more powerful than T.N.T.”… dynamite!) 

Section 4: Gratitude is an active expression
Gratitude never stagnates.  It’s not something that sits quietly in thought.  It is an active expression of being.  As you may have heard many times before, you need to have gratitude in your attitude.  Citation B17 says to “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.”  Showing our gratitude tangibly is an action that brings us into the kingdom of God.  

Gratitude may begin with thought, but that is not enough.  Mary Baker Eddy states “Jesus established what he said by demonstration, thus making his acts of higher importance than his words.” (S18, Science and Health pg. 473)  We must demonstrate our thanks.

Citations B16 and S19 both talk of Jesus healing 10 lepers.  They came to Jesus to be healed and he sent them to show themselves to the priests (the only ones who could legally declare them healed and permitted to rejoin society).  As they went on their way they were all healed.  Their action of trust enabled the Christ truth to manifest itself.  Yet, only one turned back to give gratitude.  All were healed, but just one recognized the healing of the Christ and actively gave gratitude.  For this action he was blessed. [Ten got cleansed; one returned to give thanks for good received.and in so doing also got Jesus' blessing of wholeness. See P.S. below.]


[P.S.: May God bless you with wholeness and divine favor for your highly-valued and vitally-important support of CedarS work in whatever form that takes To give even a dollar or two a month just click the “Support CedarS! Donate Today” heart at http://www.cedarscamps.org .  To see videos on what motivates CedarS alumni to be Monthly Donors, click on http://www.cedarscamps.org/videos ]

[Warren’s Addendum: Here’s an application idea and tune that have stayed with me from Cherie Brennan’s original song: “You Know What I Need and are supplying it. You know what I need right now..”)  It is Track 7 on her “You Are Loved” CD that may be found in some Christian Science Reading Rooms as well as downloaded for 99 cents per song at http://cheriebrennan.com/wp/?album=you-are-loved .]

 

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