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Have a Happy New Year with a Deeper Understanding of God—the Great I AM!

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
Posted Monday, December 26th, 2016

[Have a Happy New Year with a Deeper Understanding of God—the Great I AM!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God”
for Sunday, January 1, 2017

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

Understanding God is the key to understanding Scientific reality, and thereby, to healing. We have many topics in our year of Bible Lessons that specifically focus on understanding God better. This is one as are all the "synonym" subjects as well. What a great way to start our calendar year, by being better healers through understanding God as the divine Source of all that is real, all that is good, true, powerful, harmonious, substantial, loving, and so on. The more deeply we can turn our faith into understanding, the more permanent our health, joy, gratitude, vivacity.

In our Golden Text this week God calls the "earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof..." In many cases where I see the term "earth" used in the Bible, I see an opportunity to claim the fact that God meets us right where we are in our understanding and thought. God is not "out there" somewhere at a high and "too spiritual" level for us "mere humans" to understand and know. In this particular statement there is also the reference to the sun circling the earth. For me this represents that circle or symbol of infinity. God is constantly speaking to us throughout eternity, timelessly.

As we respond to this Golden Text (GT) with our Responsive Reading (RR), we feel God strengthening, helping, upholding us in righteousness. As God’s creation we see that He would naturally "call" or speak to us, and He would certainly know us (call us by name). He keeps us safe in times of struggle (deep water and rivers), in times of crisis (fire). And our Father-Mother, God, gathers us up, no matter how far we wander from Him, no matter what we do, how often, or rarely, we go to church, pray, read the Bible lesson ("...bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;"). And I count some seven times throughout the GT and RR where God says: "I am". While this is not strictly being used here in the exact way that it is used when he speaks to Moses in citation B2, it bears noting wherever it occurs throughout this Bible lesson. It may be thought-provoking to contemplate what the fire and waters/rivers are that you have been, and are being preserved from by your understanding of God. If you are currently undergoing such an experience[literally or figuratively], here’s a correlation worth thinking on and affirming: in proportion as you know that "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (S&H, p.494), your understanding of this circumstance is being elevated to a place where you can see that all along, these "water/fire" challenges are already 'dried' and 'quenched' in the harmony of God's control. As we "write" our life experiences we can write them more clearly, harmoniously, and vividly when we see that God is All that truly is. We are His reflections, ever expressing His harmonious activity and intelligence.

Section 1: I Am: the only I, only identity.

We can look at the story of Moses shepherding for his father-in-law, and expand our own understanding of the nature and being of God. Moses was on the "backside of the desert"—this, to me, portrays a certain loneliness, isolation, deprivation even, of material comfort, wealth or ease. Moses was dwelling in a certain kind of wilderness, at least mentally, if not literally. How often, in the Bible, and in Mrs. Eddy's writings, do we see God revealing Himself to man with more clarity when man is experiencing a time of deep searching in his own "wilderness"? I can think of Elijah, of Jacob, even Joseph, though his wilderness was amongst people. Jesus and Paul and many others in the Bible had these fruitful wilderness experiences where they came to recognize more clearly the true identity and being of God, right where they were. Mrs. Eddy tells us that "Moses advanced a nation to the worship of God in Spirit instead of matter..." (S3) To do this, he first had to notice that opportunity in the wilderness of thought—that burning bush that wasn't consumed. Then he had to recognize the holy nature of this experience and listen to God's command to "take off his shoes". This might be thought of as a chance to look with spiritual sense and not "step all over it" by bringing our material understanding to bear on a spiritual opportunity. I like to think of this as being spiritually conscious of each circumstance that we are experiencing. If we are staying home taking care of a loved one, what is the holy ground that we are standing on? What holy thoughts are we welcoming, seeing, cultivating, bearing witness to? In last week's CedarS Met, Kathy mentioned that Joseph seized on what appeared to be a challenging discovery—Mary's pregnancy before their marriage—and was open to what God might reveal to him. In like manner, Moses, in his childlike humility, was open to whatever God had to reveal to him and he too perceived its holy nature, courageously moving forward at God's command. When we truly desire to understand reality, we must begin with understanding God (S2). This requires a good deal of setting aside of our own personal desires, wants, fears... So take off those heavy, soiled shoes that have travelled miles through a material sense of existence, and walk on holy ground in God's presence.

Section 2: God is indivisible, so we are inseparable from Him.

Man is not a "splinter" off of a spiritual being. God is the I AM, the Only, the One. As such, He must have made, and be intelligently reflected by, His expression, spiritual man. We also derive safety, individuality and love from this connection (B8, S9, S10). We are part of His oneness, not separate beings with separate minds, no matter what evidence to the contrary. Many times, through the years, this has been proven to me when such contrary evidence was present. It is rare that we can make God's oneness and harmony apparent humanly when we approach it from a position of persuading another to give up their views and adopt ones that we think are true. In every Biblical example that I can think of, it was God speaking directly to man that brought about a profound change of thought. Rare indeed is the example of one person changing another's mind about important things. Fortunately, because God is One, and man a part of that oneness, we can trust God, Mind, to be communicating to each of us! Our role is to support this truth in our consciousness, listen at every opportunity for those holy messages in our daily existence. We too can go straight to God for the true assessment of our identity and nature. In fact, this is the only place we can go to find that truth of man's identity and God's! Our very consciousness and individuality are reflections of God (S9). As such, we can draw closer to God when we feel surrounded by evidence that society, church or family is splintered or fractured in some way. As we draw close in our thought, we see the light of God's oneness reveal with clarity, the true nature of church, family and society. This is supported by citation S10, "’God is Love.’ More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go." We can only look to Love for this truth/reality.

Section 3: I AM doesn't change, is never "I WAS" or "I WILL BE".

All the Bible scholars that I read on this subject are in agreement that the statement of God's name as "I AM" is indicative of timelessness—sort of like an eternal 'present'. Humanly this could seem boring. But when we understand God's identity clearly, we see that changeless Good ever unfolds. So, much like a flower bud opens slowly to reveal a fully open flower, God's changeless nature is complete and constantly unfolding to us in infinite detail. I just visited my first grandchild last week, and it could be tempting to look at the four generations present as a contradiction of God's changeless reality. Citation S14 states: "If Life has any starting-point whatsoever, then the great I AM is a myth." What then, was I looking at in that small and lovely package? Isn't she just "starting" life? No! God is not reflected materially as evolving beings. As a mom, I've had to think deeply about my children's true nature as God's reflection. Each certainly reflects the spectrum of Life's vivacity, joy, intelligence, creativity and so on. But this is in no way dependent on material development. They have always been whole, mature ideas, in the present tense. I get to bear witness to the unfoldment of God's qualities that they express. These qualities show in varying ways, but always in the present, and in fullness. Truly, we do see different facets of these qualities as experience unfolds—kind of like walking around a very large sculpture and seeing different surfaces as we turn each corner. But again, this demonstrates not a material development of these qualities, but a spiritual unfoldment. Sometimes, we even have glimpses of these fully mature qualities before they are manifest in an obvious human way. Then, we hold onto that revelation, and cherish and nurture it in our own thoughts and prayers until it becomes apparent to the one in whom we have seen it. "Death and finiteness are unknown to Life. If Life ever had a beginning, it would also have an ending." (S13) Much as light doesn't 'know' darkness, (there is none in the light!), so God, Life, can't be connected in any way with death which has no presence in Life. Our reflected oneness with the divine is continuous and unchanging in its joyful being.

Section 4: The I AM is best expressed in the Christ as healer. [B14, B18, B19, PS#1 & PS#2]

Healing is the most vivid way to see God's presence and power. This healing was best expressed through the Christ that Jesus lived. So it is no wonder that we get a healing in this section of the ten lepers in citation B17. Imagine healing ten at once with your clear understanding of God! Then we have the one, a "stranger", who comes back to thank God (and Jesus) for his freedom. This may be a really great way to understand Moses' state of thought in citation B2 where he turned aside to recognize that God was present in that impossible burning bush, and also, that he needed to pause and take off his shoes—recognize the holiness of that moment. Who knows what the other lepers thought as they went about their lives. I'm sure they were more than thrilled to be rid of that terrible disease. But this one man alone, out of ten, recognized the holiness of what had happened and had to express his recognition through gratitude and praise. This infinitely enriched his life. When we are grateful to God for good in our lives, we are aware of that good. It doesn't always come the other way around! So express that gratitude, dig deep for it, and then the power of Christ's healing presence will become visible. This fits well with the knowledge that God's goodness is ever-present and ever unfolding. Knowing that fact, we can confidently give gratitude and praise to our Good God for the presence of His abundance and grace in our experience even before it is apparent.

Section 5: God encircles and protects our year!

This is a rough translation of that beautiful blessing in citation B23. That passage would be a great one to ponder through the coming year. (The word "crownest" is from the Hebrew word "atar" which relates to being surrounded for protection). Knowing that God is One, and All, we can rest assured that we can see this more and more clearly throughout the new year as we strive to deepen this understanding of Him. This understanding, as it grows, not only unfolds more of His nature, and our own, but propels us forward to greater heights of demonstration and healing. He is first and last, He knows us from "least to greatest". He is omnipresent individuality, and man has access to this because of our oneness with Him. This understanding naturally brings peace to our experience and to our thought, even when facing great challenge, because knowing that He truly is All, the I AM, we can be certain, sure of His constant and unchanging present goodness in our lives.


[Warren’s (W’s) PS#1, Cobbey Crisler on Matt. 11:2-5 (B18), “Art thou he…?” Jesus answers by his religion of results
(Verse 2). John, at this point being in prison, sends a message to Jesus.
(Verse 3). Saying, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" What does he mean? Are you the Messiah, or should we look for another? Showing that John the Baptist has great confidence in the prophecy. He's just not sure at this moment, even though he was before when he was baptizing. But now in prison, wondering where this all will end.
He wonders whether Jesus is really the Messiah.
(Verse 4). Jesus response to John is to recount the works or results of Jesus' religion.
Verse 5 is almost a repetition of some of the prophecies in Isaiah (i.e. 42:7, B14) that said the Messiah would accomplish. It didn't say the Messiah specifically, but God's servant would accomplish the following things, "the blind receiving sight, lame walking," and so forth.”
Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax-Collectors Report, B. Cobbey Crisler]

[W’s PS#2, Cobbey Crisler on B19, “The Son can do nothing of himself…” (John 5:19
“John 5:19 is Jesus’ famous statement, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” Taking this apart, it really gives you what man’s role is. What is it? It’s reflection. It’s image.
Man is not original in what he does. What he does stems from the original which is God. Then it reflects originality. Otherwise there would be competition for the job of Creator. Under monotheism there is no possibility for such competition (“For what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”)
He took the Son of Man through every problem that the world could hurl at him and proved that even the Son of Man can be victorious and not a creature of circumstances when the understanding of his true nature as the Son of God can be applied.
Our understanding of the Son of Man and the Son of God, and the difference, might be heightened by realizing that the Christ comes to the Son of Man. The Christ doesn’t come to the Son of God because the Christ really presents the Son of God.
We’re on the human side of things, who fell the foot of domination on our necks from outside circumstances. Is that where the Son of Man belongs? Notice the argument of Bildad in the book of Job… It uses the very same phrase that Jesus does, elevating him way above the outlines of fleshly domination. So, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” Why?
John 5:20, “The Father loves the Son.”
John 5:30. The same point is repeated, “I can of mine own self do nothing.” Is this false humility or is Jesus actually giving us the facts straight out? What is the secret and source of everything he thought or did? What is the obstacle then between us and following Jesus? There’s something in there. Some kind of different concept of our selfhood than what he had. His was so transparent that there was nothing obstructing his at-one-ment with God, even on earth. His summons to us is to follow his example and shows his own expectation that we’re equipped to do it. So, we’re equipped to receive and to act on the instructions given us via communication. All we need to do is tune in.
We’re coming to understand Jesus’ view of himself, and where he thinks this authority originates, “The Son of Man can do nothing of himself. (John 5:19)]

Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple by B. Cobbey Crisler]

[W’s PS#3: You can buy your own transcripts (and audio CDs) of most of Cobbey’s 28 talks at a new website: www.crislerlibrary.co.uk Email your order or inquiry to office@crislerlibrary.co.uk, or directly to Janet Crisler, at janetcrisler7@gmail.com ]


[We met our Maintenace Musts Match!!--Thanks to a year-end outpouring of love and support, CedarS horses are also being "adopted" and supported at a record rate. As of 12-25-16, CedarS supporters have donated over $27,000 toward our $50k match for Adopt the Herd! (CedarS Adopt the Herd matching fund opportunity goes through the end of our fiscal year, 9-30-17.) Thank you way beyond whinneys for your past and ongoing, much-needed gifts at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ]

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime in our winter home/office 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 Office
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
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 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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