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Be Spirit’s song, “carefree and strong… perfect for all to see.”

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
Posted Monday, January 30th, 2017

[Be Spirit’s song, “carefree and strong… perfect for all to see.” (Section 7)]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Spirit
for Sunday, February 5, 2017

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

I found the Golden Text in this week's lesson on Spirit, to be beautifully and inextricably woven into the fabric of each section [and blended into the harmonic whole of this Lesson]. I suppose this may always be the case, (that is its role!), but as I am particularly seeing it this week, I'll be making something of it! Spirit knows us. I don't mean He knows who we are as "so and so, who loves horseback riding and art." But knows our true, spiritual, distinct, identity. Fortunately, He didn't just "spit us out" and then leave the scene! He continues to be with us every step of the waynote by note singing us out as “His song” (Hymn 453). We are spiritual expressions of His being and cannot be separated from the fabric of this being or from the harmony of its “grand concord” (Science & Health, 240). Maybe we could point out a particular color of "thread" in that fabric, or a unique vibrato in the chord, and say "there I am", but even that is such a limited way of seeing a completely unlimited expression of infinite, unlimited being! We are certainly not so many tiny, separate strands of thread in zillions of miles of fabric! [Not a solo, but sounding essential notes in His "grand concord". (240)] For now we will have to be content with expressing infinite ideas in human terms and find the spiritual substance behind the human language. Spirit does this "translation" hand in hand with divine Science, which resonates deeply with us, bringing light, understanding, harmony and healing to our human experience.

The Responsive Reading is divided, in a way, between Old and New Testaments. In the first part, from Luke, Jesus quotes Isaiah directly. He claims his place in prophecy and proves it through the works that he was then doing. [See PS#1.] The second part is from Paul's writings. He is pointing out that the same Spirit that was there with Jesus continues His presence in our hearts. This Spirit, he contends, makes us able to follow not just the letter of the law, but the Spirit or the active expression of that law. This is an illustration of the Golden Text's assertion that the spirit of God is present with us throughout time. It was present when that prophecy was heard and written in Isaiah, present when Jesus was walking the earth, present when Paul wrote that letter to the Corinthians, present now, in the 21st Century, with each one of us. As we proceed, we find that Spirit's presence follows (maybe surrounds is better!) man through barriers of time, death, matter, and material law. Its presence defeats the suggestion that there is an identity and power in evil, and plows through barriers of culture, age, and language. Spirit speaks to us all, in every circumstance. We have only to exercise our skill as listeners to feel and hear Spirit's direction, love, and power.

Section 1: The substance of our individuality is spiritual.

What makes Spirit substantial, real, and tangible in our experience? Healing. In Bible language: "fruit". In citation B1 Paul tells us that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.” This confirms that when Paul said to the Corinthians in the Responsive Reading, "...not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”, he was affirming that we can identify those that follow this spirit by their works (fruit). Our individuality is only seen in demonstration. It is not seen through the veil of matter but with "...open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord..." (The New RSV of the Bible translates that word "open" as "unveiled"). We are not identified by physical or mental characteristics that are founded in matter, but in the "...infinite light and harmony from which emanates the true idea..." (S1). Additionally there is no law that prevents us from demonstrating love, joy, peace, etc. whereas matter has constant excuses, often couched as laws, to prevent us from demonstrating these spiritual qualities. We could find ourselves stumbling over genetic laws that dictate ill health, unhappiness, miserable or otherwise limiting proclivities. Or perhaps there are environmental "laws". Whatever the excuse, Spirit is in the business of renewal, renewing our consciousness out of matter, and home to Spirit. We are known to Spirit, and we find "...all in God..." (S5), we find that we know ourselves, our completeness, when we turn to Spirit for answers.

Section 2: True being is continuously present with Spirit.

In this section, Elijah passes his mantle, his spiritual sense, to his successor, Elisha. Clearly, Elisha could not have taken on this mantle if he didn't already possess the spiritual discernment to see that Elijah could never be separate from Spirit. He was able to identify Elijah's departure by the horses and chariots of fire. This may seem strange to us, but it really just represents an illuminated and vibrant spiritual sense of power, life, protection and continuity. At least that's how I see it! True being is spiritual, it is now, it is always. Mary Baker Eddy says it this way: "Man is deathless, spiritual... He does not cross the barriers of time into the vast forever of Life, but he coexists with God and the universe." (S8) We are always in the presence of Spirit; we don't go away, somewhere else. It is matter that eventually disappears, as our consciousness becomes increasingly aware of the spiritual substance of being. Christian Science helps us to discern this spiritual reality. (S6)

Section 3: Spirit's law of good cannot be restrained from overflowing productivity.

Elisha heals tainted waters and the resultant barren land in a beautifully located city. He does this with a handful of salt—really? Here we have another opportunity to spiritually translate the Scriptures. On the one hand, salt can make water and land undrinkable and dead. On the other, salt represents something that gives foods richer flavor (see Jesus' use of the word in the Sermon on the Mount, Matt.5:13), and, in Bible days, was virtually the only preservative that they had. The fact that salt, in copious amounts, renders soil and water more barren, rather than less, proves that Elisha's use of it was entirely symbolic. The fact that it represents vibrant flavor and preservation, also purity and sincerity (see Bible notes in the My Bible Lesson), leads us to understand that God's law of vigor, productivity, purity and so on, is a spiritual one that is not dependent on material circumstance in any way. Divine Science is like this salt. It brings spiritual harmony into view in our experience. It helps us to see Spirit's presence and power. Spirit moves on the waters of mortal mind (B8) to elevate and purify. It does not manipulate matter, but transmits its ideas through divine Science so that we can discern and understand our spiritual, true individuality. (S13)

Section 4: "Human opinions are not spiritual" S&H p.192:6-7

This is one of Mrs. Eddy's pithier, brief statements, and I love it! How often do we find ourselves moved, emotionally, by other's opinions--political, social, personal. We are not pendulums swinging back and forth ("children tossed to and fro"—B15) by some wind-up law of matter (S18). We are Spirit's offspring. We are not being influenced by the "spirit" of disease, genetics, environment, opinion, or anything else. The only influence that is powerful and present is the divine influence of the Spirit of Christ’s cures that “healed all that were sick” [B13, PS#2]. We open ourselves to solid blessings of all kinds when we remember this fact and practice it. This is a wonderful fact to remember in all avenues of life. It is really useful and trans-formative in church work. At one time, after many years of service in a particular position at church, there was a new head of a committee to "oversee" my position. Ostensibly their role was to metaphysically support me, and others with me, but it quickly became clear that they felt their role was to critique and direct this position in a way that I found difficult to live with. I was quickly and dramatically healed of a personal sense about this when I realized that my unchanging job was to pray, heal and continue with my work, as well as to comply freely and happily with this person's requests as long as they didn't truly hinder me in this work. Immediately I complied, with a great sense of freedom, and continued in this healing and joyous position. I felt nothing but love for that person as well. We can use this same kind of discernment when we receive messages that try to convince us that we are terribly sad, feeling self-destructive and so on. We are spiritual creations that have been given dominion and authority. It may not always be easy to perceive that the messages that present themselves to us are no more that suggestions that Mind is not the only source of intelligence—that matter must have its say. It takes deep persistence sometimes, but going to Spirit for discernment and direction always yields a right path.

Section 5: Spirit knows His children as humble and persistent, undeterred.

I always love this story in citation B19 because I struggle to find something new and uplifting each time I read it, knowing that the message cannot be that Jesus would be harsh and hurtful to a mother seeking healing for her daughter. This time around I am rewarded by seeing it in light of Jesus' statement that he wasn't sent except to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel", and that it wasn't right to give these "children's bread to dogs". The lost sheep symbolically could be seen here as those Jews who were innocent, and searching for the truth. And Mrs. Eddy defines bread in S&H p. 35:26-27 as "Truth". Indeed it is not wise to throw the truth out there in front of those who show only derision for it. Their lack of discernment would only cause them to cast aside all your valued understanding and throw it back in your face in a destructive way. The dog is symbolic of those who are not discerning, or are materialistic thinkers. Perhaps this Canaanite woman didn't know a great deal about Jesus and the Jewish faith, (Canaanites historically worshipped many goods, including Baal), but she clearly had a pure, childlike desire to eat up the “crumbs” of Truth to help her daughter. She perceived the Christ power behind Jesus' works. She was undeterred by the tenor of Jesus' words, seeking humbly for whatever he would share with her. She would humbly glean, even crumbs from under the table, anything to find freedom for her daughter. And she was given a gift beyond just health for her daughter. Her spiritual identity as a child of God was recognized; she was receptive, teachable, and childlike in her search. If we ever find ourselves in need of help and meet roadblocks that seem harsh, we can find that even those roadblocks can be instrumental in healing. As Mary Baker Eddy puts it: "The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares." S&H p.574:27-30. Be humble, be persistent.

Section 6: The language of Spirit is understood by all. [As in the day of Pentecost, PS#3]

When we think of prayer, we often think of what we are in need of, what we want to ask of Spirit. But when we are silent, we hear what Spirit is saying in our own language, in terms that resonate with us. We understand Spirit's message because we are from Spirit—like being from a specific country where we were raised speaking that country's language, the "country" of Spirit is universal, one to which all belong. If we think we "never hear God", it might be because we have somehow materially outlined how God/Spirit speaks to us. I shared one healing awhile ago, where my, then, 8-year-old was tearfully claiming that he never heard God speaking to him, while all his friends seemed to. He was upset about some painful warts on his feet and wanted to have a healing. It was upon understanding that Spirit speaks in all that is good around us, all that is beautiful, loving, intelligent and so on, that he began to identify the infinite ways that we hear God's voice. Yes, sometimes we really hear something akin to a voice guiding us, but much more often it is like an old Christian Hymn that speaks of God this way: "...in the rustling grass, I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere." (This Is My Father's World). Once my son and I were noticing and remarking regularly on all the ways that we could hear God in daily life, he found that his identity couldn't include untoward growths of any kind. The warts disappeared. Spiritual sense is in us all, but we can cultivate it, be conscious of Spirit, and enlarge our capacity to discern Spirit's presence and governing power. Christian Science really helps us to deepen this spiritual sense, to understand Spirit!

Section 7: Spirit knows us because we are Spirit's children and song.

It is not usually surprising that a parent knows their child. Spirit knows us (as the Golden Text states), because we are Spirit's offspring. Both citations B25 and S30 affirm this fact.
As spiritual ideas we are the "fruit", or "...evidence that Spirit is harmonious and man eternal." As Spirit's child you are not childish, but innocent, receptive, naturally good and spiritually minded. As sung in the refrain of CedarS 2017 theme hymn (#453) “Carefree and strong, you are His song, perfect for all to see.” You, and we all, are the perfect proof that Spirit is here, and everywhere.


[Warren’s (W’s) PS#1—Cobbey Crisler on Luke 4:14-19 (RR)
“Luke indicates that he understands this [Jesus’ period of temptations in the wilderness] has been a power test for Jesus because in Verse 14 he uses that word, "Jesus returned" not in any form of power that Satan had tried to impose upon him [“to take personal power, political power, and priestly power”]. But rather, "in the power of the Spirit into Galilee"—[“in the law that relates man directly to God, the source of the only power there is. (CC)]

He appears in his hometown of Nazareth. Here is a hometown boy that has made good, locally, mostly in Capernaum, not far away. He comes back. "His fame has spread." They invited him to do some of the reading publicly (Verse 16). They hand him Isaiah (Verse 17). If they handed him a scroll, he would have had to spend some time unrolling it to find exactly what he was looking for. This particular verse is very close to the end.

Isaiah 61, Verse 1, is what Jesus is reading. Notice, it's very specifically a prophecy of the Messiah. The word related to Messiah appears in the word "Anointed. " In Hebrew that's the word relating it to the Messiah. "The Spirit of the Lord (is) upon me." Notice, Luke has just said in Verse 1 of this Chapter that "Jesus was filled with the Spirit." Here the prophecy says (in Luke 4, Verse 18), "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.”

Jesus is saying this in the congregation of the synagogue of his hometown. He's simply reading the Old Testament. If he read Scripture like he cited it spontaneously, like he healed with it, you can imagine you probably would have heard a pin drop in that synagogue. Add to that the fact that Jesus knew he was fulfilling every word of that prophecy in himself and in his own career. Think of the impact in that environment.

Here, then, is God's definition of the Messiah through prophecy:
Number one, the Messiah would do what? "Preach the gospel to the poor.”
Gospel doesn't just mean "good news," It means, in particular, news of victory.
What's the second one? "Heal the brokenhearted.”
he third, “Preach deliverance to the captives.”
he fourth, “Recovering of sight to the blind.”
The fifth, “To set at liberty them that are bruised.”
And finally, Verse 19, “To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

“Having said all those things, having defined the Messiah in the Bible, he closes the Book and he sits down (Verse 20). There is a long silence. Everyone is looking at him. He adds (in Verse 21), "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
Luke, the Researcher
by B. Cobbey Crisler

W’s PS#2—Cobbey Crisler on Matthew 6: 16 (B13)
“(Verse 16). "Many come, when the even was come to be healed." Why the evening? Because n the Sabbath is over and they could all come without any fear of recriminations from the Jews.”
The Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax-Collector’s Report
by B. Cobbey Crisler

[W’s PS#3—Cobbey Crisler on citations: B21, Acts 1:1, 2; B22, Acts 2:1-6; B23, Acts 5: 12, 16
CITATION B21:“I’m sure you realize the Book of Acts is a second volume of a two-volume work, the first volume being, Luke, right! And the reason we know that: What’s verse one in the book of Acts tell us? It starts out with…really giving us that information, doesn’t it? It says
Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

Now, why in that brief group of words do we have clues about the Gospel of Luke and similar authorship? Do you know? Well, the Gospel of Luke, if you check the opening verses there; you will find that that Gospel is addressed to “Theophilus” as well. Luke 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, And here, we’re told in the opening verse of Chapter One of Acts, “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus….” (See Acts1:1) So, it doesn’t take too much more than common sense to at least link the books in terms of the one to whom it was written and in terms of the author….

Now, Theophilus – who is he? No one knows, but translated from the Greek it means what? Do any of you know? What’s “Theo” like in theology, God and Logos. All right, it’s…well, not Logos, that was theology, but Theo-PHILUS, Philus meaning, like Philadelphia, love. So, God-loving, literally, which has again caused some to think that it might not be addressed to an individual named Theophilus; it could be to us if we qualify in that definition, collectively.

“O All those who are God-loving.” (Paraphrased) Again that is conjecture, but something worth considering… And the progress of the gospel, narrative wise, would take us, according to Verse 2, “until the day in which he was taken up after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.” …

Now, probably the most extensive use of the concept and phrase Holy Ghost is in the Book of Acts. So, we’re talking about not only church but a very close relationship to church of the concept of Holy Ghost. So, let’s review that a bit. The word Ghost in Greek is pneuma

Pneuma is spirit, or ghost, or wind, or breath, or air – and very much associated with movement, isn’t it? For instance, you know how the Bible opens: “The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen 1:2)

CITATION B22:Acts, Chapter 2, Verse 1, introduces right away the phrase that we’re to look for. What is it? “With one accord.” … “The day of Pentecost” is fifty days past Passover and when you realize the Jesus was crucified just prior to Passover and within the tomb roughly three days, how many days since Jesus’ actual departure via the ascension have transpired? … so it’s about a week since Jesus is gone. This is a real test for the church, isn’t it?

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. He’s not going to be back physically, personally, but he told them where they could find him, which is where? In the scriptures. And they seem to be obeying this, don’t they? They’re looking to the scriptures for inspiration for church decisions. And “in the day of Pentecost…they were all with one accord in one place,” there is church fulfilling its destiny – “all with one accord in one place.”

And suddenly, look at the result of this collective harmony! And it may be the reason why we haven’t heard this kind of thing. The “sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind…” remember ‘wind,’ pneuma, the movement… The church is an expression of the movement, then. “The rushing mighty wind…” spirit, and remember “holy spirit, Holy Ghost” is very much in the forefront in the Book of Acts. (See below, Paraphrased)

“It filled all the house where they were sitting,” showing that the early church started out in houses: the early house church. (See Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And, this wind is needed. It’s needed in our own consciousness today. It’s needed in our churches. It may start as a sound and then move to movement and then even become something visible in our midst as we work together, and arrive at something together that we never could have arrived at individually – namely the victory over collective problems because we’ve applied the solution collectively, to blow away the stagnant air around church, all those neatly stacked theories that we can line up on call – the encrustations of Ecclesiastism needs the wind of “the Holy Ghost.” And not only that wind but “cloven tongues like as a fire.”

Now, it’s talking about communication which you know immediately breaks down when you get more than one. Co-mmunication. Co- involves more than one. … Communication possible more than ever before possible for each individual, now that they’re working collectively. And they’re “filled with the Holy Ghost.” What a church meeting in consciousness: “Filled with the Holy Ghost” and feeling it, and seeing it, and able to do something that never had been possible individually. And they “began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Now, at this moment, let’s first explore why this combination of wind and fire is so important....If you remember, John the Baptist said that “his baptism by water would be succeeded by a higher sense of baptism, which Jesus would bring,” and what was it? -- “The baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire.” … So if we’re translating this mentally and this is the kind of baptism we’re talking about, it looks like a mental baptism, a spiritual thing. What would that suggest itself to you as being required or pre-requisite for this baptism to occur in our own thinking?

Step One is…uplift your thinking… Clear everything out, right? -- And give priority, unobstructed priority, to this threshing floor, because we’re about to sort-out things, which Jesus in many of his parables and other statements indicates is the kingdom of heaven – a sorting-out type of thing.

All right, now, once we’re on that exposed height available to the wind, there is something that is our responsibility, and there is something that belongs to God. Let’s make sure we don’t confuse the roles… Our responsibility with that mixed-up fact/fiction, truth/error, chaff/wheat, looking very much alike all bundled up together, which describes our own consciousness at times, what do we do? Man’s responsibility is to apply the fan…– it’s a fork, pitch-fork type of thing. And you go into the mixed-up mess, and then what do you do with the mess? You throw it into the air! That’s man’s responsibility…. It’s the Holy Ghost’s responsibility to do the separating. We dig into it, be willing to get up on that highest plateau of mental consciousness, dig into the confused sense of good and evil – throw it up to the air and the wind, and let the Holy Spirit blow the chaff, which is lighter, of no substance, away, while the wheat, productive, nourishing, heavier in content, falls back at your feet…

Now, today we have a great deal of emphasis on speaking with tongues. It’s reached into religion like never before; even established denominations are beginning to work with this concept, not just the Pentecostal and the Charismatics.

Let’s study it (speaking in tongues) as it’s introduced in its earliest form. We find in Acts 2, verse 4 that the early members here find they begin to “speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” ….

We’re about to see the first public presentation of the church, the first lecture, or sermon, publicly presented. And therefore, we want to see how it was done, because they were doing this “with one accord;” the spirit was impelling them to every move at this early period of the church… The inspiration which, really, was the Spirit of the scripture was with them at every point.

And, Acts 2, Verse 6, I think maybe sheds a little further light on this “speaking with tongues,” because it clarifies it somewhat by describing “that every man heard them speak in his own language.” … It seems to convey, then, that they were “hearing” in tongue, rather than speaking in tongue, which might make more sense because individual receptivity is preserved in that sense – tailor-made for each receptive thought, even in the language of their own country. The possibility, then, may be that it is hearing in tongues, rather than speaking in tongues, but I think very early there may have been a confusion of the two.

For instant, I Corinthians, Chapter 14, Verse 2, we will see Paul addressing himself to this very problem. In Verse 2 – this entire chapter is based on this “speaking in tongues.” Verse 2: “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him….” … Now, if church is designed for communication and harmony, are either one of those aided by speaking incomprehensibly? Or even in a lingo that isn’t comprehended by others… And I Cor 14, Verse 15 -- A beautiful thing for church members today as well as then: “Pray with the spirit…pray with the understanding…sing with the spirit…sing with the understanding….” So, church apparently has the necessity for simplicity to be conveyed, to help with this harmony and unity. (… more on church meetings from I Cor 14, Verse 19 and I Cor 14, Verses 23, 26, 28)… So, those are just to show you – we can go back to Acts – how Paul, himself, had to move into the speaking of tongues area and restore a common sense to it.

Back in Chapter 2, in Acts, they heard in their own tongue, and we find that the Bible is presenting here a solution or a remedy to something that occurred very early in the Bible.

Pentecost and what happened on the day of Pentecost is a remedy for what? The what? Tower of Babel. … Why? What was the effect and result of Babel versus Pentecost? Babel is the collective problem of not being able to communicate. It’s still around. Pentecost, the collective solution of showing that even human languages and their differences make no difference when the spirit communicates.

There is a uniting of humanity, when language disparity begins to break down as barriers and the spirit begins to take over in communication. I think that many of us perhaps in meeting those of other lands may have had the experience of, even though you cannot communicate in their language, you had very touching moments of being able to share the basic human yearning to be one and at one, and language has receded as the primary factor enabling you to communicate. And here it is subordinated completely after this being “of one accord”…

CITATION B23: Acts 5, verse 12, gives us our familiar phrase of unity. It’s what? “They were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.” … You see, they’re still connected with the temple. It’s still effectively Judaism really… Now, Acts 5, verse 15, shows that healing is occurring all over. … “Many came out bringing sick people,” in verse 16… “and they were healed every one.” … “And this stirs up – it seems like healing stirs up Ecclesiastism more than anything else,” because Ecclesiastism isn’t capable of getting to the level (apparently) which permits them to do such healing. And, in Acts 5, verse 18, “they high priest gets up and they throw the apostles in a common prison.”… Acts 5, verse 19, look at the power of collective prayer -- “It can open prison doors. And they go back to the temple, and they start talking.”…
The Book of Acts: After the Master What?” by B. Cobbey Crisler

[W’s PS#4: 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 ]


[Thanks to an outpouring of love and support, CedarS met our Maintenance Musts Match--AND CedarS herd of horses are also being "adopted" and a growing stream of campership applications can be granted. However, we still need over $250,000 to grant the campership request historically expected at this time of year. We also need about $17,000 to meet 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 everyone, way beyond words and whinneys, for your much-needed gifts, past and ongoing, given at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ]

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[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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