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Happy New Year and new views of God's wonderful nature!

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
Posted Monday, January 1st, 2018

[Happy New Year and new views of God's wonderful nature!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God”
for the week ending January 7, 2018

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

Golden Text: I'm going to jump right in with this Golden Text and no introduction! Sometimes we read these passages about worship and singing to God as kind of like filigree—pretty, decorative words that just set a tone perhaps. On a long drive, I found myself pondering these words from our Golden Text this week: "...they shall sing to thy name." (Really all of it, but especially that part). What does it mean to "sing to [God's] name"? I love to sing, and frequently do sing, though I wonder about "to His name..." Many of you know by now that the word "name" has a special significance in the Bible. It is used more in terms of someone's identity than just their title. Singing to His name might be likened to praising God's very identity and being. What if you are singing to Love, to Life or Soul? What would that look like? Would it have to literally be vocal music? Or would it be a praise-activity born of understanding just how deeply loved, and perfectly, He made the universe, and just who He truly is as Love itself, Life itself and so on? We can't help acting with praise and "singing" when we really understand the magnitude of God's great goodness and His totally awesome, (in the truest sense of that word), identity or nature. Understanding more about God, means understanding who made us, and how we, as His reflections, must be likeable, lovely, harmonious, joyous, satisfied, intelligent, and just plain amazing! Through Bible lessons like this one, we can get a glimpse of, and deepen our growing understanding of God, so that we can't resist singing to His name in unique and individual ways.

Responsive Reading: It is hard to feel like God is praiseworthy in the midst of material challenges. I think that must be the source behind the beginning of our Responsive Reading this week: "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary." In matter and material sense, we can feel like we are living in a desert—a place devoid of genuine and steady love, joy, health and so on. When we look to matter to solve our fears, our needs and wants—we, at best, receive temporary solace or help. We will see several examples in this week's lesson, of how we can look in the wrong—and right—direction, for God's goodness. "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?...He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." We too can know this God that gives us strength, health, wisdom, and love. When we look to Him rather than matter, we are richly rewarded!

Section 1: A right sense of God's identity is freely given to us by God Himself (B4).

God declares Himself to us openly (B1): "The heavens declare the glory of God;...Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard." (English Standard Version) His goodness never ends in confusion and misunderstanding, nor is it found in human knowledge that tries vainly to reach some kind of pseudo-spiritual, materially-grounded understanding of God or man. The story of the tower of Babel, is not a story of God's dislike of human effort to get along and work together. It is the story of how a misplaced worship of knowledge and glory as being vested in matter ends in greater confusion and disagreement. I think the idea of the people being "scattered abroad" and having their language "confounded" is an excellent metaphor for how disagreements, strife, even war, spring from goals that are founded only in matter or material gain. And isn't it a propos that the effort here to glorify themselves, is veiled as an attempt to "reach heaven". God's identity is complete. This identity includes man and is expressed as reflection. No matter how much material sense declares that it needs "complex" understanding of matter and material life in order to achieve wholeness or glory (the claim of the serpent in Genesis 2), this kind of "knowledge" always falls in confusion, is self-destructive. Our completeness and joy, our health, our brilliance is discovered in our discovery of God's nature. And this discovery blesses us with a new sense of our freedom from the limiting laws of matter.

Section 2: When matter is silent and still, God is loud and clear.

Anxiety is a common challenge for many of us—even if we don't like to admit it. Maybe it is not some sort of medically diagnosed condition, but the tension we feel, even daily, over-accomplishing "tasks" of all sorts, the burden that we can be tempted to carry to finish a project—at work, at home—the worry over finances or children or health or marriage, these are all suggestions of anxiety—a kind of fear. Anxiety and fear are "noisy". They shut out our ability to hear God's constant hymn of goodness and provision that He is singing to us all the time. Material sense is rife with anxiety and self-importance. When we are still as in Psalm 46, citation B5, we have shut out our material sense of things. We are then practicing using our spiritual senses, our "...conscious, constant capacity to understand God." (S8). As mentioned in the above paragraph, God has made us to reflect His wholeness. Material sense will always attempt to "build" its "tower" of self-important achievement and sense of success. Yet, God's voice is speaking to us loud and clear in the silence of conscious and constant recognition that it is Love that we worship and work "for". Love is our constant and restful employer. Love refreshes and lifts and inspires us to the true height of spiritual understanding. Love causes us to want to sing praise to God. Hymn 533 in the new 2017 Hymnal says it best in its final verse: "The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, A fountain ever springing, All things are mine since I am His, How can I keep from singing?"

Section 3: Spiritual understanding gives us a day to rejoice in!

In the story of Ezra sharing the book of the law of Moses with an eager crowd "before the Water Gate", we have the beautiful opposite of the story of the tower of Babel. Here we have an inclusive gathering of townspeople. The fact that they gathered by the "Water Gate", meant that it was outside of the Temple area, so that even those that were considered "unclean" could be included in this opportunity to understand more of the nature of God! Appropriately for our discussion, this day later became the day of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). While that is different, perhaps, than our celebration this week of a New Year, it certainly seems appropriate to get that sense of newness from a fresh understanding of God and His laws of goodness, abundance, peace, and promise, for each of us in this coming year (and always!). This new and deeper understanding of God is received in humility and stillness. It is not revealed on a certain "day", but is the constant unfoldment of God's goodness and light, in which "objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding,..." (S9). It is the "calm and exalted thought" (S12) Mrs. Eddy tells us, and not the frenetic building of monuments to our human achievement, that brings true peace and progress. This is something to ponder when we are contemplating various New Year's resolutions to improve!

Section 4: Rebirth is not about a timeline, but a new understanding of God and His Christ.

And speaking of "objects of time and sense [disappearing]"...What a great example we have of this in the story of Nicodemus, and his less than sincere desire to understand God better. This man came to Jesus under cover of darkness, to "hedge his bets". (This is only my interpretation of this story, of course, but I feel like Nicodemus, being a Pharisee, wanted to make sure that if Jesus turned out to be the promised Messiah, he'd be found on the side of having supported him. And if Jesus turned out to be an impostor, then no one would know that he had approached Jesus to tell him anything, since he went in private, and at night.) But Jesus uses the opportunity to offer this man a deeper understanding of what it takes to know the true nature of God and His Christ, through rebirth. This rebirth comes in humility, is not dependent on a timeline. New understanding of the Christ that heals is available every minute through spiritual sense. Nicodemus' stubborn and literal interpretation of Jesus' words illustrate an all-too-human view of Spirit and the things of Spirit. This new view of man is born of a new view of God and His Christ. It is a rebirth of consciousness which is not a consciousness in matter and hence has no tie to physical development or a one-time event of human birth.

Section 5: A Christly understanding of God reveals our wholeness.

In this story of healing of the invalid at the pool by the sheep market, a spiritual understanding of the wholly good nature of God and His creation, is opposed by a false theological view of God's laws. Really this theme is sprinkled throughout the lesson. The true understanding of God is spiritual and blesses. The false, or material interpretation of God and His nature, either collapses on itself, or accomplishes nothing but evil—in this case, the desire to "slay" Jesus. Jesus reveals in this story, neither the power of "blind belief in God", nor a mere "human understanding of God" (S20). Jesus understanding derived from humble prayers of "...deep and conscientious protests of Truth, — of man's likeness to God and of man's unity with Truth and Love." Are not we capable of these same conscientious protests? I have had many healings through this kind of protest, and through the use of the passage in Science and Health that is our citation S22 this week. I had a very sudden cessation of aggressive stomach upset of some thirteen hours of constant vomiting. I had the support of a practitioner throughout. But at that hour I finally was moved to rise from the couch, and pace in circles declaring aloud and vehemently, my exemption from this incapacitating illness. Within twenty minutes I was completely free, with no after effects, no recovery. This useful and blessed understanding of the Master's kind of prayer can free us from every kind of imprisoning illness, disease, lack. It is God and His goodness that accomplishes this task, because He made us whole, and not lacking. It is not our personal vehemence, or personal understanding. Our ever-fresh views of God, which do come most often through our study and quiet listening, open to us the true nature of man and God. This view is what reveals our wholeness. This is the view that Jesus had, and the view of man and God that produced such an array of healing.

Section 6: God's good nature meets our human need.

This may not be apparent all the time. Again, we are encouraged to demonstrate this fact through exercising our spiritual senses and through "[seeking] first...the kingdom of God..." When God and His nature is a priority, meaning a first, and not "one among many" of our desires, we find we can see the truth of this statement all around us. There is no barrier between God and consciousness. He communicates clearly as this lesson points out numerous times. He speaks to us in "the flesh" (RR and B6), meaning, right where we are in our human understanding. His goodness is an "open fount" and flows to all without restraint. We can develop our spiritual sense of this abundance through the practice of stillness, of conscientious protests of Truth, of "singing" in all that we do of God's goodness and blessing. Our need is to set aside the constant clamor of material sense which tells us to pay attention to matter, to feel anxious about our abilities, our nature, or God's nature and ability to meet our stark wants. We will experience times of great joy, and of great challenge, but Jesus pointed out the way and the presence of God's Christ to walk with us, hand in hand. God's provision becomes visible, even amidst the seeming darkness, as we walk that Christly path.

Section 7: Love's goodness fills all space, and that is enough! (S28)

Through our rejoicing along the path of discovery of God's nature and goodness, we are shedding His light for all to see so that they can rejoice with us. "Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever:" we are told in citation B16. We can stand up to the suggestions of material sense that would try to keep us in bondage to sadness, sickness, poverty of any kind. "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (B2) God has led each of us out of that bondage. We were all "there" when God led us out of Egypt, out of slavery, through the Red Sea. This event is timeless, like the rebirth that Jesus told Nicodemus of. We can have that same experience of freedom because all is dependent on spiritual sense and not on the limitations of matter and its so-called laws. Today we can each rejoice and sing about the wonderful nature of God!


Click here for Warren Huff’s additions of insights and healing application ideas by Cobbey Crisler on some citations in the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “God” for January 7, 2018.
Watch for more to follow in an email.


We are VERY grateful to report. . .

Maintenance Musts Match Met (More info)

Adopt the Herd Matching Fund (Match not yet met)

In the time since Giving Tuesday you helped raise just over $35k for the Riding Program, which will be doubled through the Adopt the Herd Matching Fund, for a total of over $70k to help feed and care for CedarS wonderful horses. We still have approximately $30k to raise to take advantage of the full $65k Adopt the Herd match. (More info )

Many other Blessings:

Thank you for helping to raise camperships, replenish needed items, pray for today's youth, and launch our fundraising for summer 2018. Especially helpful are your much-needed MONTHLY gifts, past and ongoing, that can be started and adjusted as you wish at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students!

With gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

P.S. If you haven't yet had a chance to give, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking HERE.

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 636-394-6162.

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #44-0663883):

The CedarS Camps Office
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Ballwin, MO 63011

[THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!]

[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and essential operations support.

[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/

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