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“There will always be more to learn about Truth and Love…hooray!”

Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“God”
for June 28 –July 4, 2021

by Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S. in Boulder, CO
ccern@mac.com • 720-331-9356 • christiecs.com (new videos posted)

 

INTRODUCTION

Last week during a Bible Lesson Study at CedarS, a camper asked, “What does God do with His time all day?”  I love this question because it forced me to think about the incorporeality—the unbounded and unconfined—nature of God.  There is always more to learn about God, and this camper’s question helped me realize once again that it can be extremely difficult to think of the word “God” without thinking of a corporeal body-based being.  With this in mind, I responded to the question by suggesting that we try re-asking the question using one of the synonyms for God.  For example, “What does Truth do with Truth’s time all day?”  Phrased this way, the question leads to lots of great pondering.  Note that in rephrasing the camper’s question, I avoided using the pronoun “His.”  I did this because as soon as “His” is in the question, it becomes easy to begin thinking of Truth/God in a corporeal and limited way.

A couple days later, I connected this insight with the way Mary Baker Eddy substitutes “Divine Love” for “The Lord” in the 23rd Psalm to steer us toward an incorporeal understanding of God:

“[DIVINE LOVE] is my shepherd; I shall not want.

“[LOVE] maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
“[LOVE] leadeth me beside the still waters….”
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 578:5–7)

This young camper’s question has led me to approach this week’s Bible Lesson on “God” as an opportunity to delve even deeper into the incorporeality of divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love.  Learning from Mary Baker Eddy’s example, this Met will sometimes make word substitutions with the intention of pondering God with a renewed sense of Truth’s incorporeality.

GOLDEN TEXT and RESPONSIVE READING – Praise!

The Golden Text and Responsive Reading start us off with praise for divine Life…”Thine, O [Life], is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O [Life], and thou art exalted as head above all.” (I Chronicles 29:11)

“Make a joyful noise unto [divine Life], all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of [Life]: make [Life’s] praise glorious. All the earth shall worship [Life], and shall sing unto [Life]; they shall sing to [Life]. Come and see the works of [Life.]”  (Psalm 66:1, 2, 4, 5 (to :), 7 (to 😉

This Bible Lesson is full of the “works of [Life]” and it shows how expanding our understanding of God enables us to overcome sin, disease, and death.

SECTION 1: TRUTH IS REVEALED THROUGHOUT ALL TIME

From Moses to Nathan to David and on through the ages, divine Truth has revealed Truth to us.  Truth is that Truth is, or as Moses heard this idea, “I AM THAT I AM.”  (citation B1/Exodus 3:14) See what I did there?  “I am that I am” is an interesting sentence in which to substitute synonyms, and maybe it doesn’t work as well as some other sentences.  But it shakes up thought so maybe that in and of itself makes it worth trying.  And, of course, we could substitute other synonyms for God in for this phrase…. Love is that Love is; Mind is that Mind is, etc.

In the “Glossary” of Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy, defines God: “God. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.” (citation S1/587:5)

She thus gives us a variety of terms that we could try substituting for God/Lord in Bible verses to gain a more incorporeal concept of the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving and eternal.

For me, the word “God” is the word we use when we want to think about all of these terms simultaneously.  So, we can substitute Love or Life or Truth when we want to think about God, but if we want to think about all of these ideas as one compound concept, we use the word “God.”  But, as I mentioned earlier, the word “God” often leads us to think of a corporeal being.

Mary Baker Eddy explains this concept, “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. Spirit, Life, Truth, Love, combine as one, — and are the Scriptural names for God. All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God.” (cit. S4/275:10–15)

In the following three sections, we’ll see how a correct understanding of God overturns sin (Section 2), disease (Section 3), and death (Section 4).

SECTION 2: UNDERSTANDING TRUTH AND LOVE OVERTURNS SIN—THE FALSE BELIEF THAT WE CAN BE SEPARATE FROM TRUTH AND LOVE

The second section illustrates how Christ Jesus’ complete understanding of Truth enabled him to heal a palsied or paralyzed man and free that man and others from “sin”—the false belief that they were separated from Truth and Love.  (cit. B10/Matt. 9:2-8) People in this time assumed that if this man was paralyzed than he must be a sinner, meaning that he was separate from and unaccepted by God. In other words, the belief was that palsy/paralysis was punishment for this man’s sin (separation from God). Christ Jesus healed this man’s physical issue by overturning and reversing the lie that this man was separate from God.  Overturning the false belief in sin results in physical healing.

When we rephrase this story using alternative words for God such as Truth and Love, we could say that Christ Jesus overturned the idea that this man could be separated from Truth and Love… how could anyone ever be separate from Truth and Love which fill all space?  There is no spot where Love is not, so how could we possibly be separate from Love?   What Christ Jesus did with this man was to demonstrate that sin—the belief of separation—can be overturned, and the result is effortless healing.  Start with healing the belief of separation and the rest of the healing is effortless.

Put simply, Christ Jesus shows how an understanding of Truth and Love overcomes sin—the false belief that we could be separated from Truth and Love.

Note how these correlating ideas from Science and Health use alternative words for God (highlighted) to help us to understand how this healing took place: “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 [the belief that we can be separated from Truth and Love].” (cit. S8/316:7)

“Palsy,” Mary Baker Eddy writes, “is a belief that matter governs mortals, and can paralyze the body, making certain portions of it motionless. Destroy the belief, show mortal mind that muscles have no power to be lost, for Mind is supreme, and you cure the palsy.” (cit. S9/375:21)

And further, “The time has come for a finite conception of the infinite and of a material body as the seat of Mind to give place to a diviner sense of intelligence and its manifestations, — to the better understanding that Science gives of the Supreme Being, or divine Principle, and idea.” (cit. S10/285: 17)

SECTION 3: UNDERSTANDING TRUTH AND LOVE ENABLES US TO OVERCOME THE “CAPTIVITY” OF DISEASE

In the third section, we find the story of Christ Jesus healing the ten lepers.  (cit. B14/Luke 17:12-16) Of the ten, only one of those who were healed turned around to show his gratitude and give glory to God, divine Truth.  We don’t have a depth of details about most of Jesus’ healings; and the only detail we have about the man who turned around to show his gratitude is that he was a Samaritan.  This is significant.  Jews at this time had serious prejudice against the Samaritans.  By mentioning that the one man who turned around and gave glory to God was a lowly Samaritan, Jesus and the author (Luke) were noting that anyone — even those who seem least likely to do so—can know Truth and give glory to Love.

In fact, throughout his ministry Christ Jesus embraces and heals those who other Jews disliked.  He even healed the servant of a Roman Centurion, the enemy of his people.  He spoke with women who were outcasts, like the adulterous Samaritan woman at the well and the woman who interrupted a meal at Simon the Pharisee’s house.  With each of these stories Christ Jesus embraces those who had previously been seen as outcasts—healing the belief that they were somehow separate from Truth and Love—and demonstrating that anyone and everyone can know Truth and Love.  No one is beyond the reach of the healing laws of Truth and Love.  No one is an outlaw, outside divine Law.

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Christ Jesus overruled the error which would impose penalties for the transgressions of physical laws of health…” She encouraged us to “banish sickness as an outlaw…”  and says it is our moral right to “annul an unjust sentence, a sentence never inflicted by divine authority.” (cit. S15/381:2, 27–4)   She explains that a purer understanding of how divine Love works in our life sets us free from limitation: “Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God,’ and be free! This is your divine right.” (cit. S17/227:23–26)

SECTION 4: UNDERSTANDING TRUTH AND LOVE CONQUERS DEATH—THE BELIEF OF AN END

The second section gave us a story in which Christ Jesus heals a paralyzed man who others thought of as a sinner.  In the third section, Christ Jesus heals disease when he heals ten lepers, including a Samaritan, thus showing that no one is outside of the realm of Truth and Love.  And now in the fourth section, we have the story of Christ Jesus overturning death when he raises the son of the widow woman.

These three sections show that a true understanding of God—Principle, Mind, Soul, Life, Spirit, Truth, Love—can overturn sin, disease and death.  As Mary Baker Eddy states, “The true understanding of [Truth] is spiritual. It robs the grave of victory. It destroys the false evidence that misleads thought and points to other gods, or other so-called powers, such as matter, disease, sin, and death, superior or contrary to the one Spirit.” (cit. S19/275:26)

We may sometimes feel as if we have to have everything figured out about God—Principle, Mind, Soul, Life, Spirit, Truth, Love—before we can heal.  And yet, since God is infinite, there will always be more and more to know.  We will always have more to learn about Truth.  We will always have more to learn about Mind.  We will always have more to learn about Love.  And this is a good thing.

As we actively seek to know more about Principle, Mind, Soul, Life, Spirit, Truth, Love, this is a form of prayer and praise.  We should never feel like we don’t know enough to heal.  We know about Love, and there is always more to learn.  We know about Truth, and there is always more to learn.  We know about Principle, and there is always more to learn.  This is the point.  Prayer isn’t about already knowing everything.  Prayer is about discovering.  If we get tricked into feeling bad that we don’t know enough about God, then this is the “sin”—belief of separation from Mind.  It is simultaneously true that we do know Truth and there is always more to learn about Truth.

As we’re discovering more about God—Principle, Mind, Soul, Life, Spirit, Truth, Love—we know that it is enough to keep faith, the desire to know more.  As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “When we come to have more faith in the truth of being than we have in error, more faith in Spirit than in matter, more faith in living than in dying, more faith in God than in [a limited view of] man, then no material supposition can prevent us from healing the sick and destroying error.” (cit. S21/368:14) When we’re tempted to feel like we don’t know enough, we can find comfort in the fact that we have a desire to know more.  We have more desire to know about Truth and Love than we have to know about limited things.  And this is enough!

SECTION 5: GOD IS INFINITE

For me, the fifth section expands on the fact that God—Principle, Mind, Soul, Life, Spirit, Truth, Love—is infinite.  And while infinite Love is knowable, it is also true that there is always more to learn about Love.  Love is both already complete and expanding.  With this in mind, look what happens when we substitute in the words “infinite Love” in these Bible verses: (cit. B22/Psalm 104:1–3, 24, 30)

“[Infinite Love is] very great; [Love is] clothed with honour and majesty.

[Infinite Love wears light like it’s a garment]: [infinite Love” stretches out the heavens like a curtain. light as with a garment

[Infinite Love walks] upon the wings of the wind: …

[Infinite Love] how manifold are [Love’s] works! in wisdom hast [Love] made them all: the earth is full of [Love’s] riches.

[Infinite Love sends] forth [Love’s] spirit, they are created: and [Love] renewest the face of the earth.” (cit. B22/Psalm 104:1–3, 24, 30)

Reading these Bible verses this way helps me to connect them with Mary Baker Eddy’s emphatic words, “The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is enough!”  (cit. S27/520:3–5)

Using the alternative names for God helps me to correct the tendency to think of God as corporeal, bounded, and compressed in a particular place.  And thinking of God with other terms helps me approach ideas with freshness.  Here’s a simple statement from Science and Health using alternative wording: “Everything in [infinite Love’s] universe expresses [Love].” And “That is enough!” (cit. S24/331:16, 20)

SECTION 6: INFINITE LOVE MAINTAINS A REIGN OF HARMONY

The sixth section contains Mary Baker Eddy’s definition for “Kingdom of Heaven,” and many of the Bible verses refer to the Kingdom.  Here’s Mary Baker Eddy’s definition, “Kingdom of Heaven. The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.” (cit. S28/590:1) Now that we have that definition, we can try out these words and the alternative words for God/Lord when reading the Bible verses.

Here’s a sampling…

[Infinite Love] is good to all: and [Love’s] tender mercies are over all [Love’s] works. All [Love’s] works shall praise [Love] and [Love’s] saints shall bless [Love]. They shall speak of the glory of [Love’s reign of harmony], and talk of [Love’s] power.” (cit. B26/Psalm 145:9–13)

We can also try this with the citations in Science and Health:

“Truth has furnished the key to the [reign of harmony], and with this key Christian Science has opened the door of the human understanding.” (cit. S29/99:9-11)

“The maximum of good is the infinite [Love] and [Love’s] idea, the All-in-all.” (cit. S32/103:15–16)

Any way of praying that helps us break free from a limited and corporeal concept of God is a blessing.  There will always be more and more to know about God—Principle, Mind, Soul, Life, Spirit, Truth, Love.  And we can rejoice in the knowledge that we have the desire to know more.  What an amazing gift it is that there is always more to know about Truth and Love.  Amen!


To see the Golden Text key to the pattern of  the Lesson click here for special GEMS! Cherish YOUR own breakthroughs on the great I Am’s ever-presence & power to solve all problems! – CedarS Camps

 


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