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Turn thought from a material universe (& Christmas) to see Spirit’s vastness infinite power!

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
Posted Monday, December 15th, 2014

 [Turn thought from a material universe (& Christmas) to see Spirit’s vastness & infinite power.]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

 “Is The Universe, Including Man, Evolved By Atomic Force?

for Sunday, December 21, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

[Bracketed italics added by CedarS Director, Warren, who’s grateful to announce that we just met our Maintenance Musts goal of raising $25,000 by year-end in matching gifts!  Thank you, donors, for your generous help.  We’re letting the need be known that CedarS still has $35,121 to raise toward our Adopt the Herd Riding Fund matching grant and many needed items (starting at $1) available for selection on CedarS Giving Tree.]

“Human doctrines or hypotheses or vague human philosophy afford little divine effulgence, deific presence or power.” (1st Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany 262:18-20)  These words of Mary Baker Eddy explain the spiritual vacuum left by a material, theoretical answer to the question of evolution.  While understanding these material theories, having respect for their answers to questions about matter, as Christian Scientists we are looking “deep into realism” (SH 129:22-24) for our answers about God's role in creation, His continued power and presence with us.  This is the only way for us to understand the true implication of so many events in the Bible—in this week's lesson—the conception of both John the Baptist and Jesus, and the healing work done by Jesus during his ministry.

Each year at Christmas time we are given this lesson subject to ponder, and each year I am amazed at how beautifully it dovetails with the ideas that we tend to cherish particularly during this season.  Turning our thought from a material sense of creation, (and, perhaps, a material sense of Christmas), we are gently led to see the vastness and infinite power of Spirit, who is “worthy” of all glory and honor and power (Golden Text).  That tiny babe may have seemed unimpressive at first, even incapable of anything more than most babies, but the prophet Isaiah saw that babe as the Christ idea, in its fullest sense. “...the prophet beheld it from the beginning as the Redeemer, who would present a wonderful manifestation of Truth and Love.” (Mis. 164:14 italics added.)  The prophet had the spiritual sight to recognize the mature healing power of God, even if it appeared first as a baby.  We too can give glory and rejoice in the power of God to share His healing Christ with us today and every day.

Section 1: Unfathomable Mind expressed!
The universe is a perfect metaphor of God's creation’s vastness, infinitude, variety, creativity, color, beauty, intelligence and so on...  We don't have to pretend that the beauty and usefulness that surround us in nature is “not real”.  It is the perfect reflection of infinite Spirit or Mind.  Each aspect of beauty, vastness, intelligence, represents a spiritual counter fact that is absolutely substantial and real.  We need to be “interpreters” and we have Christian Science to help us in this task of turning to God for the understanding that we need, to see the harmony of the true creation surrounding us (S4).  [As Mary Baker Eddy puts it in her Miscellaneous Writings “My sense of the beauty of the universe is, that beauty typifies holiness, and is something to be desired...  In our immature sense of spiritual things, let us say of the beauties of the sensuous universe: “I love your promise; and shall know, some time, the spiritual reality and substance of form, light, and color, of what I now through you discern dimly; and knowing this, I shall be satisfied.”  (p. 86:14… )

Section 2: Material theories based on sense testimony.
When we base our understanding of creation on material sense, we are left with many puzzling questions.  Each new answer comes with another host of questions.  This is not to say that the answers we get in Christian Science through our deep and earnest prayers are “easy” to get.  But they are clear, and leave healing in their wake.  It is interesting to think about “...relinquish[ing] all theories based on sense-testimony...” (S12).  When you start to really think about these things you can start to notice how many of our activities and thoughts are often based in material assumptions.  Contagion is a notable one, but there are many others as well.  And in giving up these “imperfect models”, we are not looking to replace them with perfect material models.  That can be a seductive suggestion, but material perfectionism is not the same as spiritual perfection. One derives from matter alone, and the other has its source in Spirit.

Section 3: Creation is in the form of ideas. 
Zacharias and Elisabeth were “righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (B10).  Is this a story about righteous people being granted a special gift from God because they “deserved” a reward for their righteousness?  Does God work around material laws of fertility, etc.?  If we pray “well” enough, will we receive “good” things?  These are some of the questions answered in this lesson.  No, God doesn't grant special exemptions from material law.  God never made such laws.  Man's goodness is a part of the gracious harmony of God's spiritual creation; and Her creation is formed of ideas, none of which are withheld from another.  Maybe it would seem like this story states it in this way, but we know from healing experience in life, that God would never keep back productive, good ideas from one another.  This doesn't mean, I suppose, that each idea comes as a child, literally. Rather, none can lead a life that is deprived in any way of God's fullness and good.  Angels of God, God's divine messages of Love, come to receptive thought and bless every one of us in our need.  And these blessings are wholly independent of so-called laws of matter.  God is the source of every true law. [See P.S.#1 on citation B10, Luke 1: 5-19.]

Section 4: True theory of the universe is found in spiritual development (S23).
The story of Mary's conception of Jesus is a story of spiritual development. In citation S19, the Holy Ghost is defined as “...the development of eternal Life, Truth, and Love.”  Compare this definition to the passage in citation B12 where the angel says to Mary: “...The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.” Certainly this development of Life, Truth, and Love overcame, or overshadowed (S20), Mary's material sense of conception/creation.  This is what we are called upon to repeat each day of the year.  We are being called on by the Christ through the Holy Ghost, to spiritualize our conception of man, of the universe—to see God as the only source, Spirit as the only reality and power in our experience.  This is spiritual development.  [See P.S. #2 on citation B12, Luke 1: 26-47.]

Section 5: Doing as Jesus did demonstrates divine evolution.
A true understanding of creation or evolution, shines in our hearts (B13), it is illumined in spiritual consciousness.  Material sense will not support this glorious and harmonious reality of creation.  We recognize the reality of this harmony whenever we experience healing.  Jesus answered John's question about his being the Messiah, by demonstration/healing.  We answer that same question today with our own spiritual healing.  Our own spiritual sight gives us the clarity, understanding, and power to heal as Jesus did and to demonstrate the divine law of creation.  It is reconfirmed in this section that this healing does not spring from a God who occasionally “sets aside” material laws (S24).  This makes it sound like there are material laws established by God originally, and now running the show.  Then, if we make the right pleas to God, He might hear us, and then intervene, if it suits Him.  This is not the God whose Love Jesus demonstrated by healing the multitudes and preaching that we should heal just as he did.  [See P.S. #3 on citation B14, Luke 2:52.]

Section 6: “To carry out his holy purpose, he must be oblivious of human self.”[Mis. 162:28]
I love that this lesson ends with an emphasis on our purpose as a divinely evolved creation. This is the very thing that comes up so lacking in a material sense of creation/Darwinian theory, where purpose is mainly defined as reproduction/survival.  But the Creator's purpose for Her creation is a blessed and holy one.  It is a purpose that is ever-unfolding for all to see and glory in.  All our hobbies, academics, careers, etc. are governed by and unfolded by divine Spirit.  They do not come through material channels; they are not governed by laws of material supply and demand. They are holy and fulfilling, unconfined by matter.  Like a very complete and yet ever-unfolding puzzle, our purpose grows, evolves, develops spiritually, ever-complete, never “missing” a piece, even when material sense cannot see that completeness at one time or another.

I'll leave you with a thought about this kind of creation that Mrs. Eddy shares in My. 262:12: “I celebrate Christmas with my soul, and so commemorate the entrance into human understanding of the Christ conceived of Spirit, of God and not of a woman—as the birth of Truth, the dawn of divine Love breaking upon the gloom of matter and evil with the glory of infinite being.”  Now that's atomic force!


[P.S. #1 on citation B10, Luke 1: 5-19: “We know that Zacharias and Elisabeth had a reputation for being extremely religious and deeply devoted to the monotheism of Judaism.  They had one domestic tragedy, however…” To read about this and the rest of Cobbey’s Commentary on this citation open the PDF file for Luke the Researcher, B. Cobbey Crisler, p. 108-113—shared on CedarS website (upper right) with Janet Crisler’s past permission.]


[P.S. #2 on citation B12, Luke 1: 26-47:

[Cobbey Crisler Commentary on Luke 1, Verses 26-47 on the Nativity:
“Gabriel has another assignment (Verse 26), to go to Nazareth.  Luke is a gospel that tells us quite plainly that Mary was a virgin… (Verse 27), “To a virgin espoused to a man.” That means we are dealing with a contract period prior to marriage, an engagement that nevertheless had that sanctity of marriage attached to it legally. If that contract were broken, especially through immorality, it was very severe.  A capital execution by stoning could be carried out. 
      “Gabriel announces to Mary that she is to be the mother of the Messiah.  Verse 29 shows that Mary does not take it entirely calmly.  She was “troubled at that saying,” and did not really know what to make of it, very similar to what we read of Zacharius.
   The human doesn’t know what to do in the presence of angels.  Of course, all it need to do is listen.  That’s why it’s so hard for the human mind.  But, Gabriel, true to character, begins the conversation (Verse 30) with “Fear not,” calming the fear, any sense of alarm in Mary’s thought.
   “The announcement is clear in Verse 31, including the name of Jesus, just as the name of John (later, the Baptist) had been given ahead of time to Zacharius. 
   “Verse 32 gives us some of the things that actually were synonymous with the Messiah in the expectations of the Jews, namely that he would be “the son of God.”
   “Would he be the only son of God?  Do we have any Scriptural authority for that, or for its opposite?  We do have the announcement (Matthew 3:17) as he came after baptism, “This is my beloved son.”  What about unique or “only begotten”?
   “When you realize that every Jewish mother prayed daily to be selected for that role, imagine when it came to Mary how overwhelmed and very deeply humble she must have felt.
    “Mary, in Verse 34, asks the only reasonable question one can ask, “How can it be possible, an immaculate conception?...
  
“…Mary yields (in Luke 1:38) to this event, “be it unto me according to thy word.”  And the angel leaves.
   “Mary immediately goes to help her cousin (Verses 30and 40).  It’s about 100 miles away from Nazareth…”
   “Our third use of Holy Ghost. Elisabeth is filled with the Holy Ghost (Luke 1, Verse 41). Imagine that major human laws of life on earth are being set aside… a very precious encounter for the whole human race…
   “Mary begins in Verse 46 what the Latin Church refers to as the “Magnificat.” Let’s study some of those words.  Mary said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”  That word “soul” in the Hebrew is very close to our word “identity.”  In this case we find that Mary is discussing her being as if it were a lens for God, a magnifying lens.  What a beautiful way to describe identity.  Would that we ourselves could look through our identity, and every time we did, we only saw the magnification of God and all the qualities associated with the divine nature, increasing more and more as the lens magnifies…”  To read the rest of Cobbey’s Commentary on this citation, open the PDF file for Luke the Researcher, B. Cobbey Crisler, p. 113-117—shared on CedarS website (upper right) with Janet Crisler’s past permission.]


[P.S. #3 on citation B14, Luke 2:52: “Verse 52 tells us “Jesus increased in wisdom and vigor, and in favour,” or grace, “with God and man.”  Kay Kyser, CSB once pointed out in a talk that when it states that Jesus increased in favor with God and man, that it implies quite strongly that he grew in both of the Commandments that he later gives us, love for God and love for man.” Luke the Researcher, B. Cobbey Crisler, p. 125]


The 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 operations support.  Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/ for more about how you can provide even monthly support online.  Or you can always call the Huffs at 636-394-6162 get information or discuss privately how to transfer securities or other assets to help support and perpetuate CedarS work.]


 [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 #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps, Inc. 
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

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

[LETTING 2 SPECIAL NEEDS BE KNOWNSignificant funding is still needed for these special opportunities:
1. Over 100 needed items are featured on CedarS Giving Tree that could fit the budget of every grateful Met-recipient and camper. You can choose for yourself $1-and-up ways to give to support CedarS needs.  Click here to see 2 young alumni tell their reasons to give.

2.  “Adopt the Herd” Matching Opportunity! Generous donors, aware of the ongoing need to care for CedarS herd, will match donations for our horse program! ($35.1k needed to reach $50k goal)]

Thank all who helped us meet our "Maintenance Musts" Matching Opportunity! 
($25k goal reached by 12-14-14—will be matched by generous donors in January 2015!)


[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/ ]

[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free – by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Manfred and Jeanette; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has been contributed in the past.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 14-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "Mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and in a variety of useful formats as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-26) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-32). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist.  The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one.  We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]

 

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