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There is no sin, disease, or death in the kingdom, and that kingdom is here!

Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?
for October 4 – 10, 2021

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


INTRODUCTION

We have discussed over the last few weeks what is substantial, what is real, what is unreal…and now we are looking this week specifically at the question of whether sin, disease and death are real. We may know the “Sunday School answer” to this question–“no”.  But how do we answer this in our hearts so that we can honestly say that we feel connected, safe, and one with Love in such a way that we can answer this question in the negative with conviction? I think this answer lies in our daily work and demonstration of Christian Science healing.  As one example, do we respond to stressful situations with an acknowledgement of Love’s control, a conviction that Truth will naturally come to the surface? Or, do we succumb to despair or panic?

GOLDEN TEXT
Notice our Golden Text this week speaks of the assurance that “I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it:” (bold Italics added). There is certainty here. Since when have the human senses given us certainty of God’s power and presence in a consistent way? They don’t, and never can. But as we have learned over recent weeks, we can learn to use our spiritual senses to discern between true and counterfeit.

We can listen for Mind’s right guidance. We can wait on Love and feel Love’s presence when our thoughts are quiet and still. Will we always feel at peace and healthy? Not likely. The human condition is fraught with challenges. But each challenge can be forged into an opportunity to use our Scientific skills of Christ-like thinking. We can obey Jesus’ command in citation B12/Matt. 10:1, 8 to: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

As we learn, step by step, to overcome the suggestions of being separate from our all-good and all-powerful divine Source, we find ourselves feeling the confidence and conviction that comes with practice. We find that we are less and less impressed with the physical appearances of things, and more and more grateful and profoundly awed by God’s power and goodness around us. This is what gives us the ability to deeply feel the right answer to the question posed by this week’s subject even when we might be faced with physical evidence to the contrary.

RESPONSIVE READING
Despite the seeming physical evidence, there is, in fact, nothing missing in our experience with our Father-Mother Love. “…he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (part of our Responsive Reading (RR) this week from Ps. 107:9). God gives us abundant inspiration, ideas, understanding, and wholeness. Our task might be seen as being “hungry”, “asking” of God, and having curiosity. This beautiful passage from our Responsive Reading expresses this kind of desire and curiosity that brings into view the conviction and confidence that allows us to experience a life increasingly free from sin, disease and death. “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.” (RR/Ps. 143:8 and Hymn 457 refrain)

SECTION 1: GOD CAUSES ONLY GOOD.
Ordinarily this passage from citation B2/Isaiah 61:1 is linked to a prophecy of Jesus. But what if we were to think of it as applying to ourselves? What if we are to take up Jesus’ mantle, his command (declared later in this Bible lesson (cit. B12/Matt. 10:8), and continue his legacy of healing? What if this is what it means to not be “…conformed to this world:” but to instead be “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind”…so that we can “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”? (cit. B3/Romans 12:2) Isn’t this list much like Jesus’ command to heal the sick, raise the dead, etc.? (cit. B12/Matt. 10:8)

I find it helpful to turn Mary Baker Eddy’s statement in citation S6 backwards: We have to live above corporeal sense and correct it, in order to understand Life in divine Science.  (cit. S6 /167:6) Is not this act of living above our senses, and correcting them, an act of refusing conformity to the “world”, the material picture of things? She finishes this passage with this statement of fact: “Our proportionate admission of the claims of good or of evil determines the harmony of our existence, – our health, our longevity, and our Christianity.” (cit. S6 /167:6, bolding of admission added and applied below)

[Warren:  Look for application ideas.** ]
**As I walk through rugged terrain, nearly every weekend in pursuit of the best places to view my boys as they race their motorcycles, there are times when pain can crop up. I have found that with steadfast gratitude and a clear recognition and admission that my mobility, grace, balance, joy, energy, strength, connection to God are all spiritual, intact, and never residing in matter, that pain diminishes and disappears. I find my thought filled with the joy and freedom of being in the woods, whatever the weather, and filled with enthusiasm and expectation of good for all those racing. It is certainly my subjective, but Scientific, experience that as I exclude material claims I am freer to enjoy all sorts of activities. This is just one small example, and maybe not impressive here in writing, but is deeply felt as I hike up and down steep and rocky inclines and feel God’s presence and joyful power with me. There may be times when my cheering is from more accessible locations, but it is always with the admission to myself that God is the source of my painless movement, flexibility, grace, strength and so on.

In working from this basis, we can all find for ourselves that the claims of sense about our ability to live free from illness, decline, limitation of any sort, are not the law that they appear to be!  Living in this way – more and more admitting to ourselves the sole sovereignty of good – we begin to understand and prove first-hand, that God only causes good and “determines the harmony of our existence, – our health, our longevity, and our Christianity.” (cit. S6 /167:6.

SECTION 2: SIN IS DESTROYED BY SEEING IT HAS NO POWER, NO SOURCE.
Joseph’s brothers were overcome with fear after the passing of their father, Jacob. Jacob seemed their only protection from the revenge that Joseph would surely take on them for their horrible treatment of him. Yet this story in citation B5/Gen. 50:15-21 illustrates the powerlessness that sin had over Joseph’s thought and action. Just a few weeks ago he was found in our Bible lesson turning down the advances of Potiphar’s wife who tried to seduce him. Now, in this lesson, he only acknowledges the power of God in the brother’s actions.

Joseph affirms that through all the ill treatment that he appeared to suffer, stemming from his brother’s betrayal, he was here divinely poised to save them, as well as entire nations, from starvation during a seven-year drought. His mercy toward them stemmed from a conviction of God’s goodness, government, control. He must have had to hone this sense of faith, confidence and conviction over the many years he spent as a slave and prisoner!

And finally, as a married adult, Joseph was able to see that “…Truth destroys error, and Love destroys hate.” (cit. S9/339:1-19, 28-32) In reading Joseph’s story, it would seem that he never admitted power in sin, no matter his experience with the sins of others. He never succumbed to the hatred of his brothers, or to a sense of injustice at anyone’s hand. Trusting God’s control, he was able to rise above the temptation to harbor resentment, revenge, or hatred. Joseph stands as a shining example of a man who, despite all human evidence, never gave in to feeling victimized by the sins of others.

[W: What can a baptism of total forgiveness and an “expunged” record mean to you?]
**Like Joseph, we can also rise above the temptation to feel we are a victim of other’s evil. How freeing for us, and the whole world, to be truly willing to let go of a history of being enslaved and victimized. God has the only power over man, all seeming human power is gutted by our acknowledgement and demonstration of this fact.

Mary Baker Eddy amplifies this point: “The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged. … But St. Paul summarized the character of Jesus as the model of Christianity, in these words: “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself.” “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

It may be that the mortal life-battle still wages, and must continue till its involved errors are vanquished by victory-bringing Science; but this triumph will come! God is over all. He alone is our origin, aim, and being. The real man is not of the dust, nor is he ever created through the flesh; for his father and mother are the one Spirit, and his brethren are all the children of one parent, the eternal good.”  (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 22:1–21, bolded italics added)

SECTION 3: THERE IS NO LAW OF DISEASE.
Theologically it has been accepted that religion is here to free man from sin. But for most, it is at best a spotty resource for healing disease. This flies in the face of the example left by the master Christian, Christ Jesus. But if we make the mistake of distancing ourselves from Jesus by assuming that his healing power was an exclusive gift just for that time, or that Jesus was God Himself, we have just joined with the millions who see prayer as a hit or miss petition to a God who may or may not answer.  In order to experience the joy of healing disease in the way Christ Jesus healed (and told us that we could do!), we can start by admitting that God would never make a law that would contradict His goodness. (cit. S12/227:30)

** Very recently one of my boys came down with a pretty fierce cold. He was followed a week later by a second one of our sons. A few days after that, I started to experience these same symptoms. I had been praying diligently (and had been well-prepared over the last year and a half!) to understand more deeply the laws of God as the only laws. There could be no law of contagious evil to invade our home (our community, our world). The early symptoms continued to cling to me for a couple of days though it did not develop further. One afternoon I spent a solid hour in quiet contemplation of God, Love’s presence, goodness, power. No grand ideas came to me during that hour, just quiet gratitude and calm. The symptoms disappeared, and no one else in our family developed these symptoms.

The ruler of the synagogue in the story from Luke 13:11-17 wanted to deny the infirm woman her healing based on a supposed “law” of God. The only law that Jesus obeyed, ever, was the law of Love, Truth, and Life. We too can obey this law and experience freedom from the so-called law of disease!

SECTION 4: HEAL, DON’T SQUABBLE OVER MATTER AND ITS APPEARANCES.
Have you ever felt like you couldn’t take your eyes off of the suggestions of the body? You are not alone. This famous statement from 1st Corinthians spells out the challenge that material sense presents to us. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (cit. B10/1Cor. 2:9, 10) The material senses are generally not going to back up spiritual fact.

**Instead of looking to and submitting to the usually fake views and fables of the senses, we find spiritual facts and proofs through spiritual sense – through our calm, quiet listening, our practice of noticing God and Her goodness around us. Rather than “argue” with our body, wonder about why it is acting as it is, speculating on what the source of the problem is, or generally being afraid of what is going on, we can “…rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses.” (cit. S16/242:9) This ability is based in the fact that the kingdom of God is actually within each of us, not “outside” somewhere where we must search beyond our own consciousness. It behooves us all to look at the passage in Matthew10: 1, 8 (cit. B12) where Jesus gives power to his disciples and remember that we too are disciples. We too have been given this power, as God’s children.

SECTION 5: EXISTENCE IS NOT CONTINGENT ON MATTER.
Maybe that sounds farfetched. If life is confined utterly to matter then there is no explanation for the example in this section of Paul raising Eutychus from death, or the number of other examples of this kind of healing in the Bible and in our periodicals, as well as in the biographies of Mary Baker Eddy.

**We had a beautiful example this summer at CedarS Camps of a denial of what appeared to be nearly certain death of one of the horses. She was down and appeared unable to stand even with the best of our help. After some time, as we prayed aloud, sang hymns to her, and comforted her, she really appeared to be in the throws of death. Her legs were moving strangely and her tongue was lolling out of her mouth. We continued our work, at times speaking Scientific truths directly into her ear. We had called a vet to help us get her on her feet, and it appeared after more than an hour, that the vet might be needed to put her down. When he arrived he was able with the help of tools that we did not have, to get her on her feet. After that he listened to her heart, stomach etc. and checked her over. He asked us to offer her some grain which she ate with relish. He stood there for a few minutes and said “Well, that was a pleasant surprise!” He then packed up and left. Jasmine was let out into a paddock with grass and water. She has had a happy summer, full of life. The vet did offer some possible reasons for some of the side effects that we saw. But it was apparent to anyone present that lameness and a pinched nerve in her face did not explain the symptoms we witnessed. Something had taken place that was beyond human explanation.

While we acknowledge that ultimately, we may not here demonstrate over the suggestion of death, we never need consent to it as a present reality, or as power over God/Life. In Unity of Good, Mary Baker Eddy tells us that “The achievement of this ultimatum of Science, complete triumph over death, requires time and immense spiritual growth. I have by no means spoken of myself, I cannot speak of myself as “sufficient for these things.” I insist only upon the fact, as it exists in divine Science, that man dies not…Because of these profound reasons I urge Christians to have more faith in living than in dying.” (Un. 43:9-22, bolded italics  added)

And we have this from 1 John 5:11 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” In Robert Peel’s book Years of Authority, he quotes Mary Baker Eddy as saying: “There is in reality no death but I have never supposed that I should not pass the transition from this state of existence to another one.” and further on the page 355 “I have not yet reached the ultimate practical proof of absolute Christian Science…and may never reach it while remaining visible to the personal senses. But I have written it and my works teach it.”  This seems a wonderful affirmation to all of us that we are working together to demonstrate the laws of good that Jesus urged us to continue to practice, that we should never give up our efforts simply because, to material sense, things look bleak.

SECTION 6: SPIRITUAL SENSE IS THE SUBJECTIVE STATE OF SEEING THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITHIN.
Clearly there is no sin, disease, or death in the kingdom of God. This is the kingdom that John glimpsed and wrote about in Revelation. We can derive encouragement from the fact that John saw this vision, as Mary Baker Eddy tells us while “…on our plane of existence…”.  (cit. S27/573: 3-5, 13   This is true in each healing that we experience.

**Take some time today to sit still and ponder the presence of God, the power of Love and Life around us. We can take part in this revelation a little at a time when we make the space and time for it in our busy lives. Through this practice we find that sin, disease, and death diminish in their attempts to make us afraid, discouraged, hopeless. We experience the freedom of life in the kingdom, even the smallest glimpses of this are enough to bring joy, patience, calm, hope. It is totally worth the time and effort to practice what the Master called on each of us to do!


CLICK TO READ HOW A BRANCH CHURCH MADE CEDARS POSSIBLE FOR CHILDREN NEW TO THE U.S.


Click for more on CedarS New Virtual, Deep-Dive Bible Study! Our in-person Bible Study will continue this October at CedarS, and we will now offer a virtual Bible Study option by Zoom as well, designed to fit your timing and desire to expand your Bible-based spiritual growth!

[Warren: Maddie will help us to “make our own” the life lessons and world-changing blessings demonstrated in the book of  Genesis — through its last chapter 50 as featured in Section 2 this week.] 

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE from The Campership Fund is available as needed for you, your family, and your Bible Study group.

CLICK HERE for program details, enrollment links, & more!


CLICK HERE FOR INSPIRING GEMs of INSIGHTS from COBBEY CRISLER and others! [This is largely complete but may have additions before it is emailed.]


Click on Ken Cooper’s poem, “Ever Truth’s River,” to hear about the healing love of the Christ that takes a woman bent over for eighteen years with infirmity and despair to freedom and rejoicing.

Also hear in the healing monologue, “The Mother of Eutychus”, the moving words of a mother who is suddenly challenged to put Paul’s words into practice when her son appears to have died from a fall…


CLICK to read precious CAMPER FRUITAGE


Your Help Is Still Needed and 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, ski boat upkeep, 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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