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Look for Love’s gifts of “might, immortality and goodness”!

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
Posted Monday, January 26th, 2015

[Look for Love’s gifts of “might, immortality and goodness”!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

 “Love”

for Sunday, February 1, 2015

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

[Bracketed italics added by CedarS Director, Warren, who’s very grateful for good support already received with more needed.  Now that enrollments and campership applications are rolling in to beat our Early Enrollment deadline of January 31, it is apparant that getting many to camp will depend on "Love's Provision" of campership assistance.  Won't you be an angel who gives a life-altaring and life-altering experience at CedarS?]

“...Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity.” (S&H 517:13)  As we study one synonym after another we are all gaining a clearer understanding of God, but we can trust this subject to almost always bring us greatest clarity.  It is a rare person indeed who has never glimpsed or felt the presence of Love, whether they would call it that or not.  The presence of Love or God is most often felt through Love’s expressions, the kindness of a friend, the tender care of a mom or dad, the encouragement of a teacher or camp counselor.  Our Golden Text this week makes it clear that these expressions are from God when it says: “…love is of God.”  And this tenderness is clearly illustrated in our Responsive Reading by the images of a shepherd looking after his flock.  Look at all the ways that Love is caring for Her flock in this passage—She not only keeps an eye out over Her flock, but She finds the lost, embraces and brings back the marginalized (those “driven away”), She “binds up the broken” and strengthens, or heals, the sick.  Wow, that’s quite the list!

Section 1: Not only “…love is of God”, but man is of Love!
Have you ever felt like you were one of billions, not important or special?  Why would God even know you exist?  This section really puts a lid on that thought!  Every passage in the Bible here indicates the tender care and love that have gone into your creation.  You are beloved by Love and known in every detail. “…he calleth them all by their names.” it says in citation B3, when speaking of the stars.  We here, with light pollution in the more settled areas of the world, cannot see even a tiny fraction of the number of stars that would have been clearly visible in Bible days.  This is an image that would have meant a great deal to people living before electricity.  Do you think that God would know the names of all the stars and not of each idea that He creates?  Surely he not only knows our individual identities (the Biblical meaning of “name”), but also loves every single one that He has created.  Does this mean He loves the murderer, the thief, other “evil" people?  No, not those qualities, but those qualities are not truly a part of God’s creation, therefore not a part of our true identity, or anyone’s, any more than they are of Love Herself.  As the expressions of Her very being, She has given us many gifts.  Check some of these out in citation S4.  She has given even “…to the least spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud.”  Look for these gifts of Love (might, immortality and goodness) in the rest of the lesson!

Section 2: All good is of God, we can trust that and never fear.
In the story here of Abraham giving Lot his pick of the best land for his herds (B6), we see a beautiful illustration of the gifts that we mentioned in the last section.  Clearly Abraham is expressing wonderful “goodness” by giving Lot the choice.  And then God tells Abraham that in reward for his faith and trust in God’s provision He will give him “…all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.”  This is “might” (having that kind of property pretty much meant might in those days, even now, to some extent, depending on the land), and “immortality”,  referring both to Abraham’s offspring for generations to come, and to the immortal Christ spirit of Love that Abraham clearly possessed.  We see this emphasized in citation S7 where she tells us that human thought that keeps itself in line with unselfed love “…receives directly the divine power.”   Ending with Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual interpretation of the 23rd Psalm, we can see in this section that even when things appear very rugged or desperate (valley of the shadow of death, table in the presence of the enemy), Love is always there before us, giving us everything we need to meet that challenge.  In fact the “cup” referred to in this Psalm and which Mrs. Eddy defines as “the cross” on p. 35:27 of Science &Health, meaning that truly horrible experience that we would like to be lifted out of, is here referred to in the Psalm as running over.  It is running over with oil: “Consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration.”  This is how she defines that oil from the Psalm.  So for every difficult experience we confront there is an overflow, (not just adequacy!), of consecration, charity and so on.  Truly, we cannot “want” for the abundance that Love provides!

Section 3: What does spiritual sight have to do with Love? Everything!
This section includes the story of Elisha telling the king of Israel ahead of time, how to avoid being ambushed by the armies of the king of Syria.  If you follow world politics at all, this section has some interesting insights.  Elisha was a prophet, he saw things spiritually and this spiritual view of things not only delivered the country of Israel from the Syrian army, but it also ended the invasions for that time.  He saw all humanity as being of Love.  This included the invading Syrian army which he delivered to the king of Israel in a state of helpless blindness, insisting that the king feed them and send them home rather than kill them.  Having that understanding of the one Father-Mother helps us see the “higher humanity” which “…will unite all interests in the one divinity” (S14)—a deeply needed message for today’s challenges. Citation S11 opens with “Are material means the only refuge from fatal chances?”  This statement is still steeped in significance for me because of the spiritual insight it delivered to me several years ago when I saw it in a Bible lesson one morning, all by itself.  It seemed almost as if it was highlighted and I took that as an indication that I needed to pay it some heed.   I prayed for quite awhile thinking about that message.  The thought that knocked on the door of my consciousness, strangely enough, was the idea that life seems to be subject to statistics—that having a number of children, “the chances are that something awful could happen to one of them”.  Okay, I know that’s a morbid thought, but that’s what came to me and I worked for some time to refute the suggestion of chance or so-called laws of statistics.  After a time, I felt peaceful and was able to move forward with the Bible lesson.  Later in the day, my oldest daughter, who was home from college asked if I would go for a walk with her, to which I agreed.  We had eaten dinner already and the little boys (three of them) were on the couch with their other sister, watching a movie.  Dad was in the shower and I mentioned that I was going for a walk and he was in charge.  I also mentioned this to my other adult daughter on the couch. Our driveway is 3/4 of a mile long and we often walk down it, cross a two lane highway (where cars are often going as fast as 60 mph), make a loop around a neighborhood and head back.  You can probably see where this is headed… Charlie, then two years old decided to head out after us.  Holly called me about 20 minutes into the walk asking me if he was with me.  I suggested she check outside.  I hung up the phone and paused briefly to pray, called her right back and said: “he has followed us, get in the car and drive down the driveway, and call me when you find him.”  She called me back shortly and said she’d found him, and we proceeded on our walk.  While feeling alert and prayerful, I never felt fear, even though our neighbor had recently related that his 7-year-old nephew had been killed on that highway many years prior, a gruesome thought that could have dominated my own consciousness if it weren’t for that moment of deep spiritual insight from Love that I had gained earlier in the day.  On arriving home I was filled in on the details.  Charlie had made it all the way down the driveway, crossed the highway into the neighborhoods and was standing on the other side in tears when Holly found him trying to cross back to our drive.  Never, not for one moment, did I think that we were “lucky”.  As I said, spiritual sight has everything to do with Love!  We all have access to this sight because we are all of Love. [See PS1 for application ideas on citation S14, 571.]

Section 4: Love inspires active compassion.
Citation B12 is often used as a kind of introduction or link in the Bible lesson to a story about Jesus healing someone or more than one.  But here I noticed especially this time that he wasn’t overwhelmed by the “multitudes” of needy people.  Probably their needs were obvious, often debilitating deformities and diseases.  And yet, he wasn’t moved by the pressure to heal all those people, or moved by disgust or fear of all the ugliness that must have been visible.  Rather, he was “moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd”.  Is this how we are moved when we see the homeless man or woman on the street?  Or, if you live somewhere where this is not prevalent, when you are confronted by someone who behaves rudely or unkindly?  Are you overwhelmed rather by compassion and love, than by the ugliness, or perhaps by personal hurt?  Jesus heals two blind men in this section who particularly stood out from the “multitudes” by their recognition of Jesus as the Messiah.  They referred to him as the “son of David” which was a term reserved in Jewish culture for the savior whose coming was predicted in Isaiah.  Having that kind of recognition of the presence and power of Christ brings this power to bear in our own experience.  This activity of Love is surrounding us at all times.  The compassion and power that came with Jesus is still here today, bringing healing to each idea.

Section 5: There is only one Father, and we are all His children.
Today, and throughout history, man has struggled with understanding and accepting this fact.  We all do in various ways struggle with this when you think about our challenges with getting along with those who believe differently than ourselves.  And don’t mistake tolerance for love.  Elisha didn’t “tolerate” the Syrian army.  It’s easy to think in terms of a sort of kind, humanistic approach to things, but the parable that Jesus uses to illustrate how we can have “immortal life” (remember that gift of Love from earlier?), does not mess around with any humanly-loving sentiments.  He purposefully chose the illustration to include a Jew being injured and two Jewish religious figures walking by him, while he is rescued by a Samaritan, someone who was considered to be a “lesser” individual in the day by the Jews.  These people were separated simply by seemingly-slight variations in religious beliefs (does that sound familiar?).  Yet the animosity between them was known and Jesus’ point would have been very clear.  No wonder the religious elite felt threatened by him!  If we feel like there is a long road ahead of us to truly love those with differing moral opinions, religious convictions, political beliefs, etc., we can take heart in citation S-21 seeing that Mrs. Eddy reassures us with the knowledge that: “When we fully understand our relation to the Divine, we can have no other Mind but his,—no other Love, wisdom, or Truth,…”.  We can focus our efforts not on trying to be more loving, but on understanding our own relationship to God or Love.  Through understanding this for ourselves, our thought expands outward naturally.  We become less judgmental, more compassionate and we become better healers. [See PS2 for a perfect reinforcement of Jesus’ instruction in citation B-17 to “Go, and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:37) in a 5-minute video: "Walk the Walk: how to live the love Jesus taught".]

Section 6: The "grand necessity of existence" and the “whole of man”.
The last section often will give us kind of a beautiful summary of the whole lesson.  Here I see a calling on each of us to expand our understanding of where our own love for man comes from through the action of spiritual living.  Gaining a proper sense of “what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in man” (S27) is a distinctly-personal endeavor.  She doesn’t say “in men”, but “in man”.  We can gain that divinely-spiritual insight that bestows safety on ourselves, even on entire nations; we can deepen our compassion for those in need to the point where we no longer feel a separation from others based on human distinctions—all through endeavoring to get a clearer sense of God as Love.  This is an ongoing work, I doubt we are ever “there”.  But our wholeness as being of Love, one in Love, can only be discovered and understood through our spiritual living, our own personal growth in understanding Love and ourselves as Love’s expression.


[PS1: Download the PDF file in the upper right of CedarS webpage on this "Love" lesson to simply put to use the all-changing, application blessings to you of "know(ing) thyself" as Love knows you. (from Warren's 12-5-02 CedarS Met about citation S14, 571:16)]
 

[PS2 Chet Mancester is giving a series of Christian Science lectures with a message that perfectly reinforces Jesus’ instruction in citation B-17 to“Go, and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:37).   For a 5-minute video version of this message by Chet click "Walk the Walk: how to live the love Jesus taught". For the details on Chet's presentation of these ideas in 1 of 4 events at Houston (sponsored by 4th Houston, 7th Houston, Bellaire, & Friendswood Churches of Christ, Scientist) over the February 21st-22nd weekend, or for questions, just click http://doesprayerheal.com/chet-manchester-talks.pdf]


[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 3 SPECIAL NEEDS BE KNOWN –
Significant funding is still needed for these special opportunities:
1. Now that enrollments and campership applications are rolling in to beat our Early Enrollment deadline of January 31, it is apparent that getting many to camp will depend on "Love's Provision" of campership assistance.  Could you be one of the angels who gives towards camperships and the  life-altaring and life-altering experiences they provide at CedarS?]

2. 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.

3. “Adopt the Herd” Matching Opportunity! Generous donors, aware of the ongoing need to care for CedarS herd, will match donations for our horse program! ($21,354 needed to reach $50k goal)]

Thank all who helped us meet our "Maintenance Musts" Matching Opportunity!
($25k goal reached by 12-14-14—has been 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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