Join us for your best summer yet!

Click HERE & ON LISTEN TO HEAR KERRY READ HER MET: 

YOUR IMMORTAL LIFE IS RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“MORTALS AND IMMORTALS”
for Mothers Day, Sunday, May 14, 2023

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


INTRODUCTION, GOLDEN TEXT AND RESPONSIVE READING

It is so easy to get trapped into living a seemingly hybrid life where a material viewpoint exists side by side with a spiritual one. These two perspectives are not actually compatible. But the prevailing atmosphere of collective thought certainly tries to sell us the view that we exist in a material body which can be “bettered” by cultivating a spiritual perspective on human existence. This is not wrong, of course. Anything we can do to push human thought spirit-ward is beneficial. Yet, this idea, innocent as it seems, can also foster the false concept that is deeply steeped in old school theology, that we are a spiritual “being”, trapped in a material body. The ultimate of this circumstance in this theological model, is that when the body dies, this spiritual “self” is freed to move on to a more spiritual realm of existence. This might be a comfort to mortal thought, but it really isn’t what Christian Science reveals about man, nor does it align with Jesus’ gospel. In this model we must wait until some time in the future to experience true spiritual selfhood. It is dependent on death, for the most part. Jesus’ model is dependent on eternal life, on the recognition of man’s true nature and the kingdom within each of us that is our eternal, true, home.


In the Golden Text from 2nd Corinthians (5:4 we.) Paul states “…we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” This amazing Biblical statement of Paul’s explains vividly the mental challenge with which humanity is faced.

How do we understand our true, spiritual nature while faced with what seems a very real, human body? I am not sure we ever stop asking this question as long as we are waking up each day and brushing our teeth, etc. It’s just that the question gradually becomes more about a deepening excitement about how what appears to us as mortality, can be “swallowed up” by our growing spiritual understanding. This growth begins to displace any rising discouragement that we might otherwise entertain about mortality’s aggressive suggestions to us about aging, limitation, disease, or death. If we want to understand our true, immortal nature, then naturally we are going to have to reach past the boundaries of our material senses.


Responsive Reading: Paul has more to say about just this kind of reaching beyond boundaries in our Responsive Reading this week from Romans (8:16-19,21,24, we (to 1st:), 28,31 if,35,37-39). It is our spiritual sense that “bears witness to the truth about our nature: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” and then, we are “heirs”!…Later he states that this spiritual sense within us, the spiritual creation or “creature”, “waiteth for the the manifestation of the sons of God.” Our spiritual sense is ready, complete, just waiting there for this recognition to overtake the material, limited sense of who we are.

How perfect that this lesson follows in the steps of our last one on “Adam and Fallen Man.” We are learning this week to “bear witness” to the man of God’s creating, the one mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis. As our Responsive Reading reassures us, no matter our current experience and understanding, this true creation is here now, waiting to be understood and revealed to our consciousness. It is never separate from its source, divine Principle. This is stated as well in Paul’s famous words at the end of this passage from Romans. If there is no separation, then there can only be immortality, for death of any kind would indicate at least a moment where we were separate from divine, infinite, eternal Life.


SECTION 1: HOW CAN DIGGING INTO MORTAL MAN ACQUAINT US WITH OUR TRUE SELFHOOD?

The answer is that it cannot. The Bible makes this clear: “All flesh is grass…the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.” (citation B2/Isa 40:6 All, 8) There is no amount of internet research into the latest malady– into what Mary Baker Eddy calls “Human birth, growth, maturity, and decay…” (cit. S2/190:14), that will help us to shed our fear of what the body can do to us. The only way forward is to acquaint ourselves more thoroughly with the laws of Life.

Worship God in Spirit Jesus tells us in John (4:23 the, 24/citation B5). This implies an intelligent spiritual worship of the God that Jesus revealed who was neither a judgmental, nor a benevolent “being”, but the very law of Love that brings our consciousness into alignment with the kingdom of heaven where harmony is the rule. This is something to “dig into”!

This spiritual consciousness is where we find we are God’s children as Paul says in Galatians (3:26/citation B7) “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” The discovery of this heritage, this spiritual origin, causes the seeming material model to fade away with every step we take spirit-ward.


SECTION 2: THE “NEW MAN” IS THE CHRIST MAN, AND THE ORIGINAL MAN.

We learned a bit about the material model of man in last week’s lesson on “Adam and Fallen Man.” But Jesus modeled the immortal Christ-man. Not only did he model it for us, but he sent us all out to continue this work. While we are not literally members of his 12 disciples, Jesus certainly didn’t limit his teaching to these 12. Neither was the “new,” immortal man that Jesus revealed, limited to his own great demonstration of immortal Life. He called on us all to continue in his work.

Mary Baker Eddy discovered that the rules that Jesus demonstrated were indeed still vibrant in the modern era. Right now we are able to take part in demonstrating the immortality of our true, spiritual nature.  Jesus made it clear that our experiencing heaven is not meant for some other place or later time.

When Jesus was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (cit. B11/Luke 17:20, 21). There is certainly no time limit on this discovery of our kingdom within and our true Christly selfhood.

You know, sometimes it seems like this concept of ourselves as immortal, or spiritual beings, is quickly embraced by the young, child-like mind. Then it appears we go through a pretty long period of doubt and analysis of what appears to our senses as the “mortal man”. After all, this mortal man is so apparent, so tangible to material sense, and even sometimes, so entertaining. But then, as we experience the suggestions of aging, or of some deep unhappiness, we find that we are not so enamored of the material model of man, and we head back to our roots. This flow of discovery illustrates the way that Spirit is our true and natural source. It is that interior “witness” that is mentioned in our Responsive Reading — the witness that is there in that kingdom within, always ready and “waiting” for discovery anew. We can embrace it right now.


SECTION 3: ARE WE WAITING FOR DISCERNMENT OF OUR TRUE NATURE? OR, ARE WE MATURING SPIRITUALLY?

I love Jesus’ parable of the tares and wheat because it has infinite inspiration to unfold to us. (cit. B12/Matt. 13:24-30) In the context of this week’s subject I’m seeing the call to mature spiritually. This is how we find our seeming mortality “swallowed up” by immortality, the consciousness of our immortal nature. In Jesus’ parable the farmer tells his men that they need to wait for the crop to mature before separating the weeds from the wheat. This has a twofold purpose. One is so that the maturing process reveals which are wheat and which are tares, since these particular weeds look much like the wheat in their early stages. The second reason is to allow the wheat to mature enough to be more deeply rooted. These symbols of maturing thought are profound even today, more than two thousand years later.

We cannot hurry along our spiritual growth. It is something that matures as we daily, intentionally nurture this growth. We must watch, “cultivate”, “water”, “weed”, and fertilize with fresh inspiration and demonstration each day, until the wheat stands out so clearly in its maturity that no false claim from a counterfeit “look-alike” has the power to fool us. This process is never achieved through “waiting”, but through spiritual growth into maturity.


SECTION 4: TURN THOUGHT AWAY FROM THE “TEMPORAL DÉBRIS” OF THE MORTAL MODEL. (cit. S22/289:2-4)

Many of us would agree that our goal is not to live forever in a material body. What we want is to feel that we have left something that is lasting — a gift of Spirit that will leave a blessing forever upon humanity. Again, Paul comes to our aid in stating this idea in 1st Corinthians (1st  Cor:15:53,54,57 thanks, 58/cit. B16)  Towards the end of this passage in our Bible lesson he says: “…be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

Today, as I read this passage, I see embedded within it the statement that our work “in matter” is in vain. All our efforts to find satisfaction, joy, intelligence, reason, understanding, freedom, in matter– all of them — are in vain. But as we “abound” in the works of immortality, of Christ, we find that we shed the limitations that we so ache to be rid of. They fall away as our consciousness is “swallowed up” by the present Christ, Truth.

If our goal is to work in harmony with others, to get along with greater peace and joy with those whom we work or go to school, then we must turn away from the mortal “débris” of personality, hurt feelings, strong opinions, and clothe ourselves in the Christly garments of spiritual depth, maturity, understanding, patience, compassion, and deeper trust in the divine Will.

If we wish to experience greater bodily harmony, then we must turn away from the litany of symptoms, beliefs of collective consciousness, and readily, daily, uproot the dream of life in matter, and nurture instead a spiritual outlook of hope, certainty, conscious recognition of the presence and power of Love and Truth before us.

Mary Baker Eddy tells us to “Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” (cit. S23/261:2)  This is quite the recipe for ditching the “temporal débris of error” that she speaks of. (cit. S22/289:2-4)


SECTION 5: THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY BECOMES MORE REAL TO US…

Mary Baker Eddy tells us this evidence of our immortality “…will become more apparent, as material beliefs are given up and the immortal facts of being are admitted.” (cit. S29/428:3-6,22)  She also tells us that it is “The death of a false material sense and of sin, not the death of organic matter…” that “…reveals man and Life, harmonious, real, and eternal.” (cit. S28/296:4)

It is not the death of our body, but the decay of that material sense of life in matter, that dream that we call human existence, that reveals to us our immortal nature. We have to cultivate the qualities of immortal Love and Life, demonstrate them each day. In so doing, the evidence of the truth of our nature becomes clearer and clearer to us.

In this section Jesus raises the young man in Nain from death. This act springs from his compassion for the man’s mother who is left without husband or son to keep her from a life of begging or worse in the Bible era. In raising the son, he also raises her from a limited sense of life as reliant strictly on the “rules” of mortality.

By raising the dead, Jesus shows us all that Life, Spirit, has rules that bring freedom, harmony, good, and these rules supersede any so called laws of matter. We too can glimpse the evidence of the superiority of the laws of Life over the so-called laws of matter. Maybe it won’t be in such a spectacular fashion, but it is no less inspiring for all that. We are simply called to practice giving up the material view that is so prominent, for the spiritual view that is God-given. It is a daily, steadfast walk that reveals this evidence all around us in every moment.

Can there be a more precious”Mothers’ Day” gift than the return to life of a beloved son (or daughter) to a grieving mother? Perhaps we can regard this “gift” more broadly to include those moments of rapprochement between children and moms that come more subtlety. One prayer I have daily is to give each child my full attention–to consciously acknowledge their true identity apart from personality. Personality can be annoying, intrusive, thoughtless, or irritating. But our true, spiritual selfhood can be recognized or seen if we, ourselves are consciously looking. This process has never failed to renew my deep love of my children on a daily basis and to bless me as well with renewed joy in motherhood that  reflects more accurately and fully our divine Mother/God. This blessing is certainly not limited to moms, but embraces all mankind.


SECTION 6: ETERNAL LIFE IS NOW. (cit. S30/410:4-7)

The Revelator tells us in 1st John (2:24,25) “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us, eternal life.” (New King James Version) This is so encouraging from a couple of standpoints. One is, that it is a promise that as we abide or live in Christ–persist in growing in our spiritual understanding of the Truth we find in our study of Christian Science, we inevitably discover our immortal nature. The other is the use of the word “beginning” in this passage. It might be thought of as referring to the “beginning”, or Genesis 1 story of the creation that is spiritual, true, whole and harmonious. Let that model of creation and selfhood be dominant as we walk through our days. Allow that “beginning” statement of divine creation to “swallow up” all that matter presents to our senses. Recognize that this is a vision that is available to us right now.

Mary Baker Eddy embraces ever-available “nowness” when she says: “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine “powers that be.” Such is the true Science of being.” (cit. S32/249:6-10) It is this present rejoicing and feeling that encourages us to demonstrate our immortality today rather than sometime down the road. We can find this immortality in our current recognition of, and rejoicing in, Love’s presence, Soul’s beauty, Life’s freedom. This is our true selfhood, now!


Some GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from Cobbey Crisler & others) should be POSTED during the week and others will be added to the string and EMAILED together later in the week.  You can always check  for current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you’ve  SUBSCRIBED here for this free, inspirational offering.


Also later in the week, look for Ken Cooper’s
“POETIC POSTLUDE”
contributions related to this Bible Lesson.


THANKS AGAIN FOR RISING TO OUR EARTH DAY CHALLENGE!
Gifts poured in for over 100 new trees to be planted this fall at camp— as well as bushes, shrubs, and native wildflowers.  All campers and visitors will be
blessed by your generosity and vision for generations to come!

ADDITIONAL GIFTS: Campers & staff will also be blessed bigtime by the donations made to additional areas of camp, including the horse program, activity equipment, camperships, and Christian Science nursing and practitioner services. If you haven’t yet checked out the GIVING TREE, there are still plenty of needs before summer!

We are deeply grateful for this latest outpouring of love and support,
The CedarS Team

P.S. For more about ways to keep CedarS operations ever more green and flourishing and/or to make a planned gift, a required IRA distribution or an ENDOWMENT GIFT (that will all be MATCHED), feel free anytime to call or text me (Warren Huff. Executive Director Emeritus and Project Manager) at 314-378-2574. I can put you in touch with our Financial Advisor/broker who donates all fee for stock transfers and sharing tailored, tax-advantaged giving approaches.

American Camp Association

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

CAMP OFFICE
(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

Back
to top