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Metaphysical application ideas for Christian Science Quarterly Bible lesson on:

“Adam and Fallen Man”

for May 9, 2021

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

Are you ready to rise a degree this week in accepting the idea that we, that is (generic) man, are actually a spiritual, deeply satisfied creation of God? That may sound “far-off”, but the most wonderful thing about living with Christian Science, is that we are aware that we have daily opportunity to demonstrate, in some degree, the truth of these kinds of Biblically based statements.

Our Bible lesson this week springs from the allegorical story following Genesis 1, of Adam and Eve. This allegory actually gives a pretty thorough set of reasons for why mortality is the way it is! We are faced with a daily choice (or minute-by-minute one!). Are we going to consult matter and mortal thought for how to respond to whatever we are facing? Or, are we going to turn to a more spiritually elevated view of man, of ourselves, and rise out of the limitations and complications that matter naturally entails. The serpent is a terrific choice for the twisted, tangled, logic of materially based “life”. Christ, and Jesus in particular, gives us a clear, spiritually simple, and powerful view of man, that leaves us with authority and deep satisfaction.

Food is a great metaphor for taking something into our consciousness. When we are fed spiritually, we feel satisfied, happy, inspired, and even wise. So, it isn’t surprising that food/eating/feeding appears in this Bible lesson throughout. Our Golden Text says: “…Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?…He sent them food to the full.” (The NRSV Bibletranslates the last verse as “…he sent them food in abundance.”) There is an echo of this “fullness” or abundance in our Responsive Reading “…thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.” There are other ways in which this fullness is echoed in some of our sections. We could think of Jesus’ Beatitudes, a few of which are included in our third section as one of these echos. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” ( That’s a lot! Certainly abundance!)

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” And,

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” That ability to see God, or understand our Father-Mother and see Her activity in our own experience is certainly a “filling” or rich ability!

It is also emphasized in both our Responsive Reading and in other sections that this “food” is the “word of God”. It is the Holy Ghost, the divine consciousness, that fills us with a true sense of our identity as God’s in Spirit, not matter.

SECTION 1: Matter closes our eyes to abundance.

It certainly appears to our senses that we must live subject to limitation. Abundance seems a temporary and fickle thing. But look at citation B1/Genesis 1:29 “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” (italics added)  There is nothing withheld in this statement, no “tree in the middle of the garden” that we are not to touch. This statement, it would seem, is a contradiction of what we appear to experience. It is a contradiction of what is written in the allegory that follows, where God tells Adam “…cursed is the ground for thy sake.”

How does matter and material existence so “charm” us that we are willing to walk away from the simplicity of the first creation story in Genesis 1? Mortal thought struggles to accept the idea that creation can be all good. What do we even do with such a claim? Is there any appreciation for good if there is no evil with which to contrast it? Would it be “boring” if everything were abundant and good? What does it mean to be genuinely satisfied? Can matter ever satisfy us?

 

No matter how good life is, no matter how much wealth, what kind of family, education, circumstance, human kind has always come up short when it has looked to matter for satisfaction and fulfillment. You have only to scroll through self-help books online, or check-out diet and exercise books to see that there is no end of claims that one system or another is sure to leave a person feeling “full”, satisfied, more beautiful, calm, centered, thin, healthy and so on. There is some truth to many of these claims, except the one that claims that any of these things will leave one finally fulfilled and happy. That is a moving target. But, if we are willing to take that tiny step each day that I mentioned in the introduction, toward viewing man as truly a spiritual, unfallen being, we can really feel that sense of satisfaction more and more often each day.

 

This wonderful feeling of deep satisfaction is predicated on spiritual progress, which, in turn, is predicated on demonstration–the act of constantly acknowledging God as the source of all good, recognizing this good, and being grateful for this good. Abundance just appears when we start to do this. We feel this abundance in a wealth of creative ideas to solve a problem, in a specific need being met unexpectedly, in a difficult physical limitation being reversed. Perhaps we need a little extra time to complete a task and someone offers to do an errand for you. This is spiritual abundance, the very evidence that God, Love, Mind, is supplying you with good. Take a moment to acknowledge and thank God for this abundance and we then find even more of these riches!

 

SECTION 2: True information about man comes from above.

In our last section we were given an example of man created from dust/rib/mist, and tempted by a creature who cannot get any closer to the earth, “matter”, than a serpent, unless they are literally digging through it! This section begins with the account of Jesus at his baptism: cit. B5/Mat. 3:16,17. In this citation Jesus’ identity as the son of God is confirmed by “…the Spirit of God descending like a dove…”! This contrasts in every way from Adam. Jesus is identified from “above”, from the divine! He is claimed by the Divine, not rejected. This is the man that Jesus wanted us to recognize through his healing work. This man that is worthy, whole, un-fallen.

Our Science and Health citations share this in higher view “Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality…” “Knowledge gained from material sense is figuratively represented in Scripture as a tree, bearing the fruits of sin, sickness, and death.” (cits. S10 and S11) In other words, material sense upholds that view that man is born into, and dies out of, matter, is subject to good and evil. But, if we consult only our spiritual sense—only look to God for true information—we get the real message about man’s identity. Like looking out the window yields a view, while staring at a wall will not, so spiritual sense spreads beauty, intelligence, grace, before us, while material sense is truly a “mixed bag”. Most spiritual healing comes through this act of turning to Truth for a right view, even when confronted by a convincing view of disorder, pain, grief.

 

One example for me came when I was struggling to maintain equilibrium when one of my daughters seemed deeply depressed. As I prayed I was overcome with the realization that Love was always communicating directly with her. My responsibility to her was a deep one, but not a human effort to think of how I could somehow “make” her happy, or share the right thought that would help. While I have been confronted with similar challenges over the years (I have five children, after all!), I have always remembered that nudge to rise to a higher view of my responsibility as distinct from God’s. It has given me a greater sense of peace about each of my children as they pass through their own struggles in life. I can always look to Truth, God, for a clearer view.

 

SECTION 3: We are lifted higher when we lose a material sense of self.

Our sense of self is often very wrapped-up in material measurements. We are “good at this”, “bad at that”, too fat, too thin, shy or outgoing, and so on. Yet the Love that expresses itself through man, would never conceive of that which would be lacking or limited—where’s the joy in that, the beauty? If we are focused on our love for God, looking for Mind expressed, Soul demonstrated, Love lived, at every turn in life, we lose a focus on material self. As we do this we find our needs more readily and abundantly met.

 

As Jesus tells us the meek are the ones who inherit the earth. (cit. B11/Matt. 5:5, 6, 8) Those who are especially un-selfed, who live knowing God as the one Ego, find that their dominion over matter is easier to see and experience because there is less substance in their material sense of self. They don’t have to struggle so hard with resentment, anger, injustice. Those who hunger and thirst after what is Godly, find that their true desires are more readily satisfied and filled, because they have found that matter just doesn’t fulfill. And the “pure in heart” find that there is less matter obstructing their view of God and God’s goodness. So, humility is a good goal for us if we are looking to get a clearer glimpse of our true self! Material self is a pretty opaque thing.

 

SECTION 4: Seek spiritual understanding over knowledge gained from matter.

Again we have references to food in this section, another excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount—B14/Matt. 6:25, 26, 33. When we are really setting our desire to know God and God’s man first, above all else, we are not so concerned with the ins and outs of food, of housing, of what car we need, what our next purchase might be. Sure these are things that we have to do, we just don’t need to think about them in a way that relegates God to a “back seat”.

 

One Christian Scientist friend shared the idea with me that “If it’s important enough to think about, it’s important enough to pray about.” The opposite is also true, that if it’s not important to think about, we probably should let it drop! Everything in life that is worth our conscious attention must be from God. If it is not worthy of such attention, then we are probably thinking and dwelling in material sense. Spiritual understanding leads us to see how it is that God is abundantly caring for us.

 

My family had a rocky transition financially when we moved to the St. Louis area from Alaska. We found ourselves one morning opening the cupboards in the house we were staying, to find only some rice, a box of cereal, and, in the refrigerator, a jar of mayonnaise, and not two dimes to rub together.  Not a lot you can do with those ingredients. But we had been honing our spiritual sense of abundance for many months by then and were humbly willing to take things one day at a time. I distinctly remember looking into the cabinet and refrigerator with my husband and young girls and thinking “hmmm, I wonder what good thing God has in store for us today?” And really feeling it! A couple of checks came in the mail that day that were not expected. We never went hungry, and never have. People showed up with groceries, or in one instance we were actually asked to clean out freezer, refrigerator, and shelves of food that lasted us several weeks. We got more work that was valued. And so it continues, each day as we remember to delight in God’s present abundance.

 

All good comes from God. Sometimes we have to dig for an understanding of this abundance, but it always shines through lack when we are willing to turn away from material sense toward Love.

 

SECTION 5: Mortals cannot “regain” a state of perfection that they never had. (cit. S26/476:13-15, 21-22)

As we practice looking away from the material model of life, we get better at not being fooled by the sneaky suggestions and false appeal of material “good”. As a Bible proverb puts it this week: “Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:” (cit. B15/Proverbs 23:6)  I love that “dainty meats” part! Those particularly “succulent” or  attractive things about matter that draw us in. These attractions differ from one person to the next! But the basic idea is summed up in I John “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…” (1 John 2:15)

 

The world is impermanent, because it is not of the substance of Spirit. This is why mortal joys are so fleeting. If we aren’t careful, we can fall for the complexities and enticing pull of the “world” and spend all our time trying to “regain” an illusory state of being.

 

How often do we see this state of so-called perfection portrayed in the media? (cit. S24/196:31-2) Have you ever seen someone’s Facebook page and thought “I wish my life was like that!”.? The thing is, we don’t know what someone’s life is really like by looking on Facebook! We don’t know if a celebrity’s life is what we see portrayed on television, magazines, movies. In fact, rarely are lives what they seem.

 

Far better we drop our efforts to find happiness in material pursuits and focus our energy on the spiritual good that lasts and has true depth, that blesses us deeply. We can be sure that we are heading in this direction when we have set aside self, and when God, good, Love, is at the forefront of our thought. As we keep this focus, the serpent suggestions tend to lose their luster. We don’t fall for them as easily as we once may have. And we begin to recognize that we have never, in our true state of being, lost anything that God has bestowed on us.

 

SECTION 6: Spiritual knowledge or understanding is ‘delicious’, but it can challenge us to be persistent.

True to form, our last section includes more analogies of eating and the nourishment of spiritual understanding. We are promised again that God is generously meeting our needs, feeding man with inspiration, understanding, satisfaction, joy. John’s vision in citation B20 from Revelation, chapter 10, (verses 1,2,8-10) is his inspired sense of how God is feeding man.

 

Divine Science is the “little book”, the message in Science and Health, and we are encouraged to “take and eat up”—to read, study, and practice its truths. The serpent will whisper in our ear that “surely you shall not really die” by dipping into material sense. This is error’s way of telling us that living a life supposedly separate from God is actually plausible, and “no big deal”. It is not. It’s supposed simplicity turns to complexity and confusion at every turn. Everything in matter decays and dies. Our persistent pursuit of spiritual “food” will bring us what everyone wants, deep joy and satisfaction, gratitude, a wealth of inspiration, and even excitement to awaken each day to see God’s kingdom within.  In short, awaken to your own, universally present, paradise, from which you have never “fallen”.

 

Please join us each week for a 7pm CDT Hymn Sing! You can sing along with CedarS host musicians and hundreds of worldwide friends hymns that you all request. Click here for a link and fuller details.

Invite family, church and other friends and even neighbors to join us by Zoom EVERY week at 7pm Central Time for CedarS Sunday Hymn Sings. (A precious prelude precedes each sing at 6:45pm Central Daylight-savings Time (CDT.) We encourage singing along in Zoom’s gallery view to share the joy of seeing dear ones in virtual family-church reunions that bless all generations.

To protect privacy and copyrights, these “brief, but spectacular” sessions are NOT recorded. So, calibrate your time-zone clocks, mark your calendars, and remind friends, so that no one misses any of these inspiring, weekly reminders of our precious, spiritual oneness with each other and with our ever-loving, Father-Mother God who owns and embraces us all!

Lovingly singing prayers and praise to God for 30 minutes each Sunday is such a warm, “Welcome Home” tradition to bless the start of each week with joyous, peaceful GRACE. (Our 2021 theme.) We have loved singing-in this grace with longtime as well as first-time friends—not only from ALL 50 of the United States, but also from 21 other countries! So far, our “Hymn Sing family” has clicked or dialed-in from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, as well as from each of the United States! In the universal language of divine Love, “the ‘still, small voice’ of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 559:8–10)

Here are some areas where financial support is needed to bless in very meaningful ways to thousands of dear ones served by CedarS:

  • ENDOWMENT GIFTS to help cover CedarS camperships and operations are being MATCHED up to $200,000/year ($1-MILLION total)!
  • And, always needed and welcome are UNRESTRICTED & OTHER MAINTENANCE AND HERD SUPPORT GIFTS! We send our special thanks in advance for clicking here to electronicallyshare your tax-deductible support. It’s especially needed during this reduced-income period to help “keep our oil lamps burning.”
  • Here’s our camp office address to MAIL your gift to:
    The CedarS Camps Office, 410 Sovereign Court #8, Ballwin, MO 63011
  • or call CedarS team at 636-394-6162(Gay, Kim or Jennifer) to share a credit card gift.
  • CedarS is a not-for-profit, 501-C-3 organization with a Federal ID # 44-0663883.

 

American Camp Association

MAIN OFFICE
(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

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19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

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