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“This day which the Lord hath made!”
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“God the Only Cause and Creator”
November 30 to Sunday, December 6, 2020

Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S. Boulder, Colorado
ccern@mac.com • 720.331.9356 • christiecs.com

Here's the Bonus Blessing of AN AUDIO LINK to enable you to hear Christie Hanzlik, CS, read “This is the day which the Lord hath made (her metaphysical application ideas on this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson.)

GOLDEN TEXT

The Golden Text for this week’s Bible Lesson on “God the Only Cause and Creator” is from the Common English Bible’s translation for Genesis 1:31: “God saw everything he had made: it was supremely good.”

For me, using this translation highlights the word “supremely” because many of us are used to hearing the King James Version’s use of the phrase “and it was very good.”

“Supremely” has a different connotation than “very.” When something reigns supreme, there is no comparison, supremacy is more than just far superior, it is untouchably dominating. That God’s creation is “supremely good” is a phrase worth contemplating.

A few months ago, my cousin shared an idea about “supremacy” that changed the way I think of the word. He said “In warfare, combatants are always working to gain the upper hand on each other. When one side or the other gains an edge over the other, this can be called superiority. In World War II, the Allies had to gain air superiority over the Axis air forces in order to make the Normandy invasion (D-Day) possible. This meant that while the Allies hadn’t subdued all of the enemy’s air forces, for the most part the Allies were able to control the air over the important parts of the Normandy coast during the invasion. Later in the war, the Allied air superiority had turned into air supremacy, meaning that not only could the Allies control the air in any one place, but they could count on control in all places at the same time. Axis air forces could muster no meaningful resistance to whatever the Allied air forces wanted to accomplish. In fact, it was difficult for enemy aircraft to even get off the ground, so complete was Allied domination of the air. When we think of God, we must always think of Him as supreme, not just ‘superior’ to whatever is unlike God. There is no other power that can assert itself or offer resistance to the all-presence of God, supreme over all.”

Applying my cousin’s insight to the Golden Text, God creation is supremely good, and nothing unlike good can even “get off the ground.”

RESPONSIVE READING

For me, the Responsive Reading (RR) highlights God’s as cause, and the citations emphasize God’s activeness. The RR is like a list of divine actions. Starting from the standpoint that “the Lord is good,” the list offers us insight into the divine activity of good:

• I have redeemed thee

• I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

• I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

• I have declared, and have saved

• I have shewed…I am God.

• I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth

• I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

• will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys:

• I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

• I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:

This account of the divine activity of good is a list of what has been done, what is being done and what will be done, highlighting the ideas that God’s goodness encompasses all that was, is, and will be true for all eternity. Eternity is not a linear timeline of past, present and future. Eternity is both forever and now, without any linearity. Eternity is a concept, not a measurement. God’s creation is supremely good for all eternity.

SECTION 1: BeginninglessNESS and ALLNESS

The first section opens with this sense of creation and eternity. God’s creation always has been—without beginning—and is, and always will be. Creation is both complete and ever unfolding—the eternal unfolding of good.

There never was a starting point. Creation is beginningless. It is eternal. The book of John describes this: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The roots of the translated phrase “in the beginning,” is actually “in the only.” Creation never began. Creation doesn’t mean a moment of when things were created. Instead, it is a concept describing all that ever was, is, and will be…eternally. All things that ever were, are, and will be were “made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” (citation B1, John 1:1, 3)

It seems to me that we can more fully understand creation as we’re able to let go of verb tenses—past, present, future. Love always has been, is, and ever will be. Love is tenseless and cannot be measured on a linear timeframe. Consider pondering the idea of tenseless creation. In divine Science, it is possible for an action to have tenselessness.

Some languages are tenseless. English is not tenseless in that our verbs indicate whether something happened in the past, present or future. But some languages use verbs that don’t have tenses. Imagine what it would be like to only think and communicate in a truly tenseless language…how would this change your understanding of eternity and timeless creation?

God’s creation is also omni-existent, both complete—"nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it”—and it is unfolding we are discovering more and more about it every moment. (cit. B3, Ecclesiastes 3:14 ) The light through your windows is new each millisecond, and yet always has been…could you trace the beginning of that light?

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy describes God as having “self-existence.” (cit. S3, 331:18–22) To me, self-existence means not having a creator, but being already created. Self-existence is inextricable from the ideas of eternality, tenselessness, and begininglessness.

Mary Baker Eddy also describes the “supremacy of God, or Truth,” reminding us that anything unlike good cannot even get off the ground. (cit. S4, p130:26–2)

Mary Baker Eddy refers to the “unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities” as “embraced in the infinite Mind.” (cit. S5, p502:29) Infinite Mind knows all, always. All good is already known, and yet is also unfolding because the process of unfolding is also good. The closest analogy that I can think of for the unfoldment of good is a rose seed. A rose seed is already a rose, and yet the rose is also unfolding. And one can ask, which came first the seed or the rose…because where could the first seed or the first rose originate? In truth, neither came first as Mind has always known the rose and the seed. This analogy helps us to begin understanding the concept of eternal unfolding and completion, and yet even our understanding of unfoldment is still unfolding.

Mary Baker Eddy describes Mind’s creation as ranging from the “infinitesimal to infinity.” (cit. S5, p. 502:29) Both of these words are concepts not measurements. Infinitesimal means “of the smallest.” What is the smallest thing in the universe? Let’s say it’s an atom. Well, then we can have a half an atom, a half of a half of an atom, a half of a half of a half of an atom and so forth. There is no smallest thing because we could always take half of that thing. Infinitesimal is the concept for the smallest-lessness of reality.

Infinity is also a concept, not a measurement. Infinity is not an amount. It is a concept. Infinity is measureless. There are whole theories of infinity. For a glimpse into the world of infinity theory in mathematics, perhaps you’ll enjoy a video that a counselor at CedarS introduced me to this summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s86-Z-CbaHA

All in all, the concepts of beginninglessness, tenselessness, smallest-lessness, and measurelessness are ways in which to understand the all-ness of God and the all-ness of creation.

SECTION 2: REJOICE IN God’s Creation

For me, the second section of the Lesson builds upon the first section, and introduces the idea that God’s creation is good, and our role is to rejoice in it, and also be the expression of it. Inert creation would not be enough. We must be aware of God and awake to good. Creation must be lived, must be celebrated and appreciated. We honor good/God/Mind as we honor good/God/Mind’s creation joyfully.

The words rejoice, joy, joyful and joyfully are emphasized in the second section, which is a great reminder…prayer is supposed to be fun.

The celebration of God’s creation is not a chore. It is uplifting. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Science inevitably lifts one's being higher in the scale of harmony and happiness.” (cit. S11, p 60:2)

SECTION 3: Behold

The word that stands out to me most in the third section of the Lesson is “behold.” It’s as if we’re being told, “Look, look! Look at the works of God!” And, “Look, look! Look at the divine cause of all good!” Over and over, we’re told to behold—to look at—and cherish the wonderful work of God.

This section includes the story of Caleb’s great vision in being able to see—to behold—the Promised Land for what it was long before others could. When Moses asked Caleb to be one of the twelve spies—one from each tribe— to explore the land of Canaan, only Caleb and Joshua came back and said, in effect, “yes, this is the Promised Land. Let’s settle here.” The other ten scouts frightened the Children of Israel away from the land. And then the Children of Israel journeyed for forty more years before returning to the Promised Land that Caleb had already identified.

Thus, Caleb and Joshua stand as symbols of “beholding” the good of God’s creation. They were able to behold the Promised Land and see good where others saw fear.

In the 14th chapter of Joshua, Caleb explains what happens when they finally circle back to the Promised Land forty years later: “So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.’ (cit. B10, Joshua 14:9)

Moses praising Caleb’s wholehearted allegiance to God is no small compliment! I imagine that Caleb could have been tempted to feel resentful toward those who hadn’t listened to him when he saw the Promised Land early on. I mean, he had to walk around for forty years with people who hadn’t listened to him. My sense is, however, that Caleb did not carry around with him a metaphorical backpack and heavy baggage of resentment and self-righteousness. Instead, he moved forward with patience and integrity, keeping his focus on God as the only cause and creator.

We can all strive to let go of resentment, remorse, regret or any of those backward-looking tendencies that seem to accumulate and prevent us from moving forward freely.

Freedom from the claims of aging was the result, of course, of Caleb letting go of possible resentment so that he could fully reach out for his next opportunity to serve God. As Caleb explains, “Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then.” (cit. B10, Joshua 14:6-11)

Clearly, Caleb’s ability to behold—to see—the good of God’s creation, protected him. Caleb’s journey could be described by Psalm 18: “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (cit. B11, Psalms 18:2)

Today, we can all strive to be like Caleb in beholding the wondrous works of God. We can be free of resentment and self-righteousness…and let go of false burdens. We can trust God as the cause, and lean on Spirit for strength and vitality.

Like Caleb, “We can, and ultimately shall, so rise as to avail ourselves in every direction of the supremacy of Truth over error, Life over death, and good over evil, and this growth will go on until we arrive at the fulness of God's idea, and no more fear that we shall be sick and die.” (cit. S17, p. 406:20–25 We)

And, also like Caleb, we can find that, “Step by step will those who trust Him find that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (cit. S18, p. 444:10)

SECTION 4: God causes peace

The fourth section highlights the concept of peace. In the opening citation, we read, “Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord.” (cit. B12, Isaiah 57:19)

The section includes the story of Abigail and loyally saving her “churlish” husband, Nabal. Nabal wronged David and David’s men, who had worked to protect Nabal’s three thousand sheep. When it came time to shear the sheep, Nabal had a verbal commitment to share a feast with David and his men to compensate them for their work, but Nabal refused to pay up. According to the traditions of the time, David had every right to punish Nabal for this flagrant wrongdoing. Abigail, rather than succumbing to the law of conflict and retribution, listened to God’s direction and went herself to bring gifts to David and his men. What a bold move for a woman of those times!

David was grateful to Abigail and blessed her for effectively giving him an out, giving him a way to avoid inflicting punishment. (cit. 13, 1 Samuel 25)

In this shared moment between David and Abigail, they demonstrated the divine law of peace. Rather than let the traditions of the time push them around to give in to the seeming forces of conflict, they allowed divine Love and Principle to be the only cause guiding their actions. They demonstrated the Psalmist’s words: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (cit. B14, Psalms 119:165) Like Caleb did, so did David and Abigail overcome the temptation to be resentful or self-justified, and rather to accept peace. (Here is a link to one of many videos that explain the significance of this story: https://youtu.be/U676qfUPGgE)

If you’re able to go to CedarS Bible Lands Park, a thirty-acre, scale model of the actual Bible lands, you could be fortunate enough to get a tour from Warren Huff (or a Bible character) along the “Time Traveler’s Trail.” It is a switchback pathway that climbs a wooded hillside to a cave and ziplines on top. Along the way it also serves as an “Answered Prayer (or A.P.) History” teaching tool with signs for each Bible era and key character in chronological order. When Warren leads groups up “Time Traveler’s Trail,” he mentions how Abigail changed the course of Hebrew history for David and the nation. Thanks to what Abigail taught David about mercy and peace, he took mercy twice on King Saul when he could have killed him – once when Saul took a rest stop in a cave where David and his men were hiding for their life and once when King Saul was sleeping. Thanks to Abigail, David proved the truth of one of Jesus’ future Beatitudes that “blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7). After David was merciful to Nabal, it was natural for him later to twice be merciful to King Saul. Then, after David became the next king, he himself obtained mercy when he really needed it, after he had wronged and killed the Hittite soldier, Uriah, and impregnated his wife, Bath-sheba (II Samuel 11:2+).

The correlating concepts from Science and Health emphasize the peace and blessedness of our being merciful when we truly understand our “real spiritual source to be all blessedness” and discover that God, good, is the only cause and creator. Only then can we release guilt and discord to find lasting peace. (cit. S20, 329: 26)

We can all find the “ultimate harmony” as we understand more about God as the only cause and creator. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.” (cit. S21, 390:7-9)

SECTION 5: God only causes health

The fifth section focuses on God as the only cause of health. Health includes physical health but also extends beyond it to include wholeness, well-being, happiness, and satisfaction. This section includes the account of Christ Jesus healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. Jesus “rebuked the fever.” After this, Simon Peter’s mother-in-law fed and cared for Christ Jesus and his disciples and then, as the sun was setting, Christ Jesus healed crowds of people. (cit. B18, Luke 4: 14)

I love this simplicity of the account of how Christ Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law …he rebuked the fever. He rejected it. The fever was not part of God’s creation, and therefore could be rejected. It had no source, no cause, and no place to be. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “God, good, can no more produce sickness than goodness can cause evil and health occasion disease.” (cit. S24, 230:16)

The fever threatened to disrupt the harmony of the day at Peter’s house. Perhaps some would have been irritated at the fever and become despondent about the household being in disarray. But instead of getting upset about the fever, Christ Jesus simply rebuked it and said “no” to a messed-up day. Nothing can interrupt God being the cause of all harmony. Harmony is the law of God, and God’s laws are unbreakable. And, after leaving Peter’s house, of course, Christ Jesus was able to meet the needs of a whole crowd of people.

In the third section, Caleb stayed true to God as the only cause in his life, and did not let the backward-looking tendencies of resentment, remorse, regret and so forth weigh him down and prevent him from moving forward with age-less grace. In the fourth section, David and Abigail accepted peace, as they felt the influence of divine Love and Principle as the only cause, rather than succumb to the cultural forces of a woman’s seeming lack of authority or a need for retributive punishment against someone who seemed to deserve it. And, now, in the fifth section, Christ Jesus shows how to overcome the seeming forces of a fever (or other illnesses) and yielding to the divine law of health and harmony as the only cause.

For me, these three examples in the third, fourth, and fifth sections are inspiration for us as we each pray to affirm that there is only one cause and creator—God, good. We can use this divine fact as a foundation in our prayer as we address the current crises including a pandemic, economic turmoil, rampant loneliness and isolation, and political strife. Divine Love is the only cause and creator. Divine Principle alone governs. Divine Mind knows all and directs all. Divine Spirit inspires all. Divine Soul causes beauty and defines our identity. Divine Life shines without interruption or shadow. And divine Truth corrects and aligns us with the truth of our existence.

We can follow Christ Jesus’ as the Way-shower in rebuking sickness and inharmony of any kind. Mary Baker Eddy explains how we can “rebuke” sickness when she writes, “Because the so-called material body is a mental concept and governed by mortal mind, it manifests only what that so-called mind expresses. Therefore, the efficient remedy is to destroy the patient's false belief by both silently and audibly arguing the true facts in regard to harmonious being, — representing man as healthy instead of diseased, and showing that it is impossible for matter to suffer, to feel pain or heat, to be thirsty or sick. Destroy fear, and you end fever.” (cit. S28, p376:18–27) This is what Christ Jesus did…he destroyed fear.

SECTION 6: This is the day the Lord hath made

God is the only cause and creator. God created this day. He made it. It is perfectly designed and we can rebuke any suggestion of inharmony. We can insist vehemently, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (cit. B19, Psalms 118: 24)

In truth, God governs all. At times we may seem to have a limited view (like the scouts who traveled with Caleb), but as we strive to see God as the only cause and creator, we will find more and more clarity about the true sense of things. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things. Where shall the gaze rest but in the unsearchable realm of Mind? We must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being.” (cit. S31, 264: 7)

Each day is a new opportunity to discover more and more about divine Mind’s beginningless, tenseless omni-existence— “from the infinitesimal to infinity” (cit. S5, p. 502:29). Each day we can discover anew that “Spirit and its formations are the only realities of being.” (cit. S31, 264: 28)

With untiring joy, we can move forward, confident that we will behold the ever-unfolding blessings of the promise: “This is the day which the Lord hath made…” (cit. B19, Psalms 118: 24)


CLICK LINKS below for more APPLICATION IDEAS from CedarS-team for this Lesson:

  • The initial, "rough-cut," ONLINE GEMs are in the works. They will be sent with insights and application ideas from Cobbey Crisler and others to help us more fully demonstrate anew, here and now, our spiritual nature as supremely good.

CLICK on LINKS (below) to CedarS-related, ONGOING OPPORTUNITIES for SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT!

1. ENROLL YOUTH TODAY IN FALL PROGRAMS that are continuing into December!
Here's a link to a NEW VIDEO about our ongoing FALL YOUTH CAMP offerings.
Our ongoing Fall “Take CedarS Home” Zoom sessions for grade grouping of campers continue each week into December to prove the healing power of childlike thought receptive to remote prayer. These Zoom session are gifts to children and their families that could be thought of as prayers to put love into action through practicing CedarS Five Fundamental concepts. [Great fruitage from summer and fall Zoom sessions is available. For
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