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THE REAL YOU, THE EVER NEW YOU, IS ALWAYS THERE, AND IS FOUND IN CHRIST.
Metaphysical application ideas on the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on:

“Mortals and Immortals”
for November 14, 2021

Kerry Jenkins C.S. from House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com • 314-406-0041


INTRODUCTION
A couple of weeks ago, in our Bible lesson, we had Paul the apostle discovering a new sense of self in the desert when he experienced a powerful encounter with the eternal Christ. In last week’s lesson we had the mythological story of the man made of dust versus the Christ-man, made in God’s/Good’s image and likeness. This week we continue our journey toward understanding man’s true nature more deeply in the Bible lesson on Mortals and Immortals. The journey is made, as all true learning is made, step by step. Our sense of mortal selfhood, must, as Paul tells us in his letters to the church in Corinth, be “swallowed up”, not rejected. “For we that are in this tabernacle do groan…not that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” And: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (2 Cor.5:4/citation B16 and in 1 Cor 15:54/cit. B18) This is not an eradication of mortal selfhood, but a subsuming of this false concept by the true man who is best seen in Christ. Knowing that this process is a step by step journey, and not a moment that comes through a “death process”, gives us the courage and joy to forge ahead each day seeking fresh views of ourselves, of God, and of others.

Immortality is revealed as a “now” state, and not one that only comes at a certain point in time. Yes, we seem to toggle back and forth between the false, dualistic view of being—one mortal, the other spiritual and immortal. But through genuine desire to “know Christ” and to know God as written in John 17:3/cit. B9 “…this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”, we learn to identify more and more with the facts of Science that reveal man as the immortal reflection of God. Man is naturally disappointed with a false sense of self. Mortality can only give us temporary satisfaction at best. As we gradually and naturally relinquish our desire to find satisfaction in the illusory man that is “mortal”, we are given fresher views of that “superabundance of being” that Mary Baker Eddy refers to on p. 201 of Science and Health, in this week’s lesson. (cit. S16/201:7)  Who doesn’t want to feel a “superabundance of being”?!!


GOLDEN TEXT: “Put on our new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:24 This is a command! Are we listening? Are we obeying? Or just reading and nodding along saying to ourselves: “this is nice”? I love to stop and ask myself these questions and am often caught up short, realizing that I’m not digging deeply, or looking at a verse as if it is the first time I have ever read it. This is also the gift of reading from different Bible translations, it tends to help us see old verses in a new light!

Our RESPONSIVE READING explains our theme: that it is when Christ appears to us that we see our own glorious nature shining in that Christlike light. (Col 3:2,4,9,10,12-14,16 (to;), 17.) Of course, these are Paul’s words stemming from his own transformative experience. His life is such an inspiration because he took that one amazing experience, and followed it with a lifetime of healing, preaching, and teaching all across his part of the globe. He did not settle for one transformative moment, but continued in a literal step-by-step trek sharing his revelation, and continuing to demonstrate an ever deeper understanding of his relationship to Christ and to God. This is an encouraging thought when we feel like all our “healing” is in the past and that we are now just drifting along. It requires a vigorous and intent desire for renewal of self after Christ, Truth, in order to experience the kind of constant spiritual progress of Paul.

Another arresting question arises from the final verse of the Responsive Reading. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Col 3: 17) What if everything we said or did was done “in the name of the Lord Jesus” and in gratitude to God? “In the name of”, means to me, “in the nature or identity of”. This question, asked consciously on a regular basis, would change quite a few things in my day to day life… I’m sorry to say! I would have more consistently softer, gentler answers to my homeschooled boys at the very least! And isn’t this the incredible beauty of this quest to discover more about the Christ? It naturally yields a more loving view of humanity, a truer view of man’s goodness. It gives us the ability to, as it says in the New Living Translation of verses 13 and 14 or our Responsive Reading: “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us together in perfect harmony.”


SECTION 1: THE “SCIENTIFIC STATEMENT AS TO MAN”? MAN IS NOT MORTAL.
It is easier to say that man is only immortal, only spiritual, than it is to really feel that statement to be true. It requires constant demonstration to give us the confidence and steadfastness that convinces us in the way that Paul was convinced when he famously told us in Romans 8:38 that “…neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And If it sounds like a tremendous chore to daily prove man’s true nature, consider the feeling that Paul must have had when he made this statement. Consider the worth of feeling so inseparable from Love, from Life, that we live in a state of deep joy and satisfaction, hope, and conviction. That is a state worth pursuing! Our true self is only immortal. I found all of page 81 in Science and Health quite helpful to read for this section. (Our second citation is drawn from that page). In it Mary Baker Eddy likens man’s immortal nature to the nature of numbers and music. She tells us that even if we erase numbers from a page, or silence the tones of music, these ideas of numbers and notes still exist, and can never be eradicated any more than can man’s being. Just as numbers are infinite, eternal, and music can constantly be composed or played in infinite ways forever, so man is a spiritual idea that cannot be eradicated by the disappearance of a mortal seeming body. We can gradually rise from the illusion of this mortality each day through demonstrations of this Science. These may look like quiet meditation where we don’t allow any “mortal mind” thoughts to invade the space we are making for consciousness of Love/Life/Truth, for any period of time. Such demonstration might be a pause before responding to someone, allowing Mind to go first and give us the right words. It might be a walk in which we are mastering anger through noticing the presence of beauty, order, peace, around us. These are not insignificant examples of demonstration, and each leads not only to greater peace and joy in our own experience, but radically improves the unity and love of our communities and world, our sense of oneness with all mankind. Mortality, the belief in man separate from Love, always divides. Let’s side with the “scientific statement as to man”. (S4/300:5-12)


SECTION 2: GATHER THE FACTS FROM THE ONE MIND.
The slightly weird vision of Jeremiah’s basket of good figs and figs that have gone bad, is an illustration of the fact that God only produces good—that man is not a mixed bag (or basket!) of mortal and immortal qualities. We do have Mary Baker Eddy’s statement from citation S6/204:3 that “All forms of error support the false conclusions that there is more than one Life;” to help us understand why we sometimes struggle to see the present good of God.

It is the final statement in this section that encourages us that “To be immortal, we must forsake the mortal sense of things, turn from the lie of false belief to Truth, and gather the facts of being from the divine Mind.” (cit. S9/370:2-5) It is so interesting that she appears to be offering us advice on “how to be immortal”! 1. Forsake the mortal sense of things. 2. Turn from the lie of false belief to Truth. 3. Gather the facts of being from the divine Mind. These elements comprise any good Christian Science healing treatment. Don’t we have to be willing to walk away from the material appearance of things? Then further, turn away from our false beliefs, be willing to acknowledge that even though we struggle with believing a falsehood about ourselves or others, we want to and will turn towards Truth. And finally, we will look deeply into Mind for the facts, we will be still and listen for what Mind is revealing without allowing circular, mortal thoughts to capture our attention.

One time some years ago, I was working as I am today on writing one of these mets. I had awoken with a pretty horrible headache and was having trouble focusing my thoughts. One of the boys had a party that he was attending in the afternoon, and rather than drive all the way home and back to pick him up, as I live a distance from where the party was, I went to a bookstore, armed with my books, computer, and earplugs. As I sat in a chair with several hours ahead of me, I decided that I was going to just sit, and pray through simply listening. I wasn’t going to yield to the stressful thoughts that I had to get the writing done, that I didn’t feel well enough to even think of ideas, that time was running out, and so on. I was going to just “forsake” thinking about time and headache, turn away from the lie that I was really struggling, and look only to Truth for what was true in that present moment. I closed my eyes and just was still. It has been many years since this particular incident, but I clearly remember that I began to feel at peace, rather than so much discomfort. The discomfort did not immediately yield, but the anxious and frustrated thoughts were dispelling. It was a solid two hours of listening, striving not to fill that space with my own agenda. Sometimes I was successful, sometimes not, but after two hours I realized that I was completely free of pain. It was such a joyful sense of knowing that the “facts of Mind”, of Love’s goodness, had displaced this pain that the met was quickly written that afternoon and evening. It is true that, at times, the lie can seem oh so convincing. Through our efforts to turn from the fable and replace it with divine fact gathering, we can find our freedom and health!


SECTION 3: THE DIVINE ORIGIN IS OUR ONLY ORIGIN.
I love Mary Baker Eddy’s sentence in this section that: “The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man’s origin.” (cit. S11/262:27)  What a sweeping statement! It makes it clear that the leading challenge is for man to discover that we were never born into matter. Stop our over focus on death and aging, and start by understanding that man was never born into matter in the first place! Poor Nicodemus (cit. B11/John 3:1-7) struggled to understand the spiritual nature of Jesus’ demand that we must be “born again”.  His struggle illustrates the need we all have to view life as an eternal unfoldment of immortal newness. This newness is not a physical change of habits or practices, but a deep-seated spiritual rebirth!

This section also contains the clear definition of eternal life from John “…this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (cit. B9/John 17:3) You might call this our guiding light to immortality—knowing God, and knowing Jesus Christ. The steps to immortality in the previous section are really just another version of this Biblical statement. In knowing God and His Christ we naturally are turning from the lie, towards the Truth.

Mary Baker Eddy tells us in citation S12 that “The divine origin of Jesus gave him more than human power to expound the facts of creation, and demonstrate the one Mind which makes and governs man and the universe.” (539:27-30) This does not make the demand on us any less to demonstrate our own divine origin as God’s reflection. Think about it, a reflection must show what is making it. God is the very source of man’s being, and so, man’s being must be spiritual and immortal. While Jesus clearly had a special divine mission, we too have a spiritual origin, an origin that Jesus revealed to man so clearly through his healing and preaching. This truth of our origin, our immortal nature, is further clarified in this Science. Jesus showed us that our ancestry is “beautiful, good, and pure”. He proved that “Spirit is [man’s] primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being.” (cit. S14/63:5)


SECTION 4: MATERIAL FADS VERSUS THE “SUPERABUNDANCE OF BEING”.
Zacchaeus as a tax collector (cit. B13/Luke 19:1-10) followed the common fad or practice of taking more than was owed. This was how the law was set up. A tax collector was paid by collecting whatever he could, beyond what was owed to the Roman government. It was no wonder that they were reviled, and probably a pretty nefarious bunch. Yet his spiritual sense yearned for a more Christlike sense of self and this was illustrated by his deep desire just to see Jesus pass by. The Master’s perception of this man’s desire for spiritual newness was immediate. He looked up into the tree where the diminutive man had to climb in order to get a glimpse of Jesus, and told him to come to dinner with him. Simply Jesus’ recognition of this man’s innate goodness brought about Zacchaeus’ transformation on the spot. It erased the sin that obscured this man’s accurate view of himself. I love that Zacchaeus refers to who he is now—in the present tense. It was such a new sense of himself that he couldn’t even speak of it in terms of a past!

The opening passage from the Bible in this section (cit. B12/1st John 2:15, 17) encourages us not to love the “world” or the things that are in the world. When we are overly focused on matter, we are not focused on knowing God. We must grow out of the love of worldly things. We do this by striving to spiritually elevate, to the best of our ability, our human activities. We can choose activities that express beauty, grace, intelligence, courage, and that tend to lead us in the direction of blessing others. Most of us have found that pursuits that follow paths that are not rooted in any way in the divine tend to pass, often quickly.

Anything that demands all our attention in a self-focused manner will lead us away from knowing God and His Christ, will lead away from a true understanding of man’s immortality. When talking to my brother on the phone today, he likened living in mortality to living a string of “fads”. They are attractive, consuming, even fun for a while. But, eventually they change, disappear, go out of fashion. Only immortality stays, continues. Eventually, as it did for Zacchaeus, our pursuit of things material or worldly, will lead us to a recognition that there is something “more”— something that is so deeply rewarding that it does not depend at all on wealth or social status. The passing fads of mortal existence will not hold the appeal that they once did as we daily look to God for the facts of man’s being. Then these “fads” will fade in the presence of the “superabundance of being” mentioned in citation S16 (cit.201:7). That kind of being sounds like something that cannot be surpassed or diminished with time!


SECTION 5: IMMORTALITY IS NOW.
One thing that I discovered in reading this Bible lesson is the sense of present immortality. It is not something in the future, but rather a “now” thing.  Jesus’ raising of Lazarus (cit. B17/John 13:1-44) is proof of this present immortality. He raised him after four days in the tomb. And he raised him not by admitting “…that his body had died and then lived again. Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived or died in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body, and he could not have resuscitated it.” (cit. S24/75:12)

The key to experiencing immortality now is in the recognition that “…the spiritual status of man…” is “…outside of all material selfhood.” (cit. S21/467:17-22) Once again, we are being told to look to Mind for the facts of our being, they are not found in matter, in a tomb, in complaints from the body. If our spiritual status, including our immortality, is found outside of material selfhood, then it is a case of our conscious awareness of the presence of Love, of Life and Truth, and we can have that consciousness right here and now.

An important element of claiming and understanding our immortal nature is stated several times in this section through the image of mortality being “swallowed up of life”, “of victory”, “in immortality” (cit. B16/2nd Cor. 5:4) This image of mortality being “swallowed” by immortality confirms the fact that mortality is not something we are trying to “get rid of”, or “skip over”. We must gradually walk our way through demonstration of the facts of being that Jesus showed us, by spiritually and naturally elevating our human endeavors. Enjoy what you love! Work to make it more unselfed. Grow naturally into a deeper sense of your being as God’s idea. This is our path to experiencing our immortality here and now.


SECTION 6: OUR IMMORTALITY IS FOUND IN CHRIST.
I know I have already said this, but our sixth section sums this up. We began with statements of Paul, and Paul has the last word in the Bible portion of our lesson this week. His emphasis again is on the unity among us that comes with knowing Jesus, knowing God. We cannot help but feel a deeper love and oneness with each other when the mortal picture of man begins to fade from our view in the light of our growing understanding of the Christ man. This is a matter of consciousness. Mary Baker Eddy sums it up best in citation S28 “Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite. This spiritualization of thought lets in the light, and brings the divine Mind, Life not death, into your consciousness.” (407:24) So, immortality can be experienced now as each day we consciously welcome the light of Christ and the love of God, Life, into our experience.


CLICK HERE for more application ideas & Bible-based GEMs from Cobbey Crisler & others! [This is started and will have additions before it is emailed.]


Click on the titles of these insightful Ken Cooper poem/monologues to hear them read on YouTube by Ken:

  • In a new YouTube poem/video, “Guarantee” rejoice in the perfection of all as “MADE BY GOD!”
  • In poem/video “Bear Witness as God’s Child” fear the full Nicodemus story (cit. B11/John 8-13)
  • In the 3rd YouTube poem“I am God’s Treasure”, Zacchaeus tells of Jesus’ life-changing love. (cit. B13/Luke 19:1-10)

PDF copies are available under Downloads in the online version of  this Met.


THANKING ALL WATERSPORTS SUPPORTERS!
We’ve been praying about the need to update CedarS 2008 Malibu ski boat and about boat shortages and the resultant high prices.  A practitioner on the case was inspired to make a timely, inquiry call to a past CedarS Ski Camp coach and found out that his ski club was about to advertise  their one-owner, prime condition 2020 Malibu with relatively low hours at a very reasonable price.  We need commitments of “only” $13,80000 more WITHIN THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS to make this demonstration complete! It will bless hundreds of campers & staff for years to come!  To help us seal the deal, please give online whatever you can and then text or call me at 314-378-2574 — or email warren@cedarscamps.org — that  the intent of your tax-deductible gift is to help us secure the ongoing excellence of CedarS watersports fleet.


YOUR HELP IN OTHER AREAS IS ALSO MUCH NEEDED & APPRECIATED!

 Operations Support: Especially during this year, tuition will cover less than half the cost of running camp. Donations are needed for facilities maintenance, horse care and preparation for summer 2022.
Endowment Matching Grant: Support current and future generations of Christian Science youth by helping CedarS to meet our $1,000,000 Endowment matching grant. We’re about halfway to our match!

With heartfelt gratitude for and to all you, greatly NEEDED and precious supporters, who continue to help CedarS give LIFELONG, DIFFERENCE-MAKING BLESSINGS to hundreds of families and thousands of individuals all across the U.S. and the world. To discuss how to play a vital, ongoing role in our work, feel free to call or text me (Warren Huff) at 314-378-2574 with your pledge or intent to give a planned gift, required IRA distribution or an endowment gift (that will be MATCHED!). Your ongoing support is needed to help us “love into view” continued, lasting blessings and legacies of love each year.

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