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Learn how to "sing a new song" to God every day!

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
Posted Monday, December 31st, 2018

Learn how to "sing a new song" to God every day!
Metaphysical ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

“God”
for January 6, 2019

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

What better way to start the new year than to learn something new about God that makes our heart "sing a new song"—that makes us feel a deeper joy and satisfaction in life? When things are humming along happily it doesn't always seem like knowing God is a really pressing issue. And maybe that's okay. But it is sure good to know that a deeper understanding of God, of reality, of us as His/Her expression or reflection is at hand just when we need to reach out and grab it! And, speaking of singing a new song, you may want to check-out our CedarS friend, Ken Cooper's poem in this week's (December 31, 2018) Christian Science Sentinel: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/1u5rgc2gf2o?s=e

Golden Text: [See Warren's PS#1 for Ken Cooper's offering, "I Will Never Go Back"]
What is this new "song" that we are to sing? Newness and gratitude are key to a lot of things when we are searching for progress in our lives. I've often heard people wonder aloud why it is that newcomers to Christian Science often seem to have so many impressive healings, while those of us who are "lifers" struggle to handle every illness and challenge that comes our way. My thoughts on this, center on what kind of freshness we are finding each day in our study and practice. How are we seeing God and man in a new light today, each day? If we are disappointed with our progress in healing, or in any endeavor in life, it is always good to think about what fresh thoughts we are gaining.

What new thing have we discovered about an old Bible story, about our understanding of family, age, some synonym for God? We are always presented with challenges—are we taking up the challenges that come to us with joy, enthusiasm, relish? Or are we wishing they would just go away so we can get on with "life"? Or do we wish that we had some other kind of challenge beside the one we are presented with? Don't worry, we've all been there! But we can change our direction right now! As we look more closely at who God is we can find fresh thoughts coming to us both about God and about ourselves.

Responsive Reading: [See W's PS#2a and #2b]
The perennial question of "who am I?" and "who is God?" are first up in the Responsive Reading this week. Look at what Moses asks: "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh...?" And: "Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you;...what shall I say unto them?" And God's answer: "I AM".

God communicated clearly, even both visually and orally with Moses, and not just once either!

When God communicates with us (and I promise you God does communicate with each and every one of Her children), do we stop to notice? Do we listen? Maybe God doesn't appear to us as a "burning bush that is not consumed" but what does this represent in life? Don't we each have important burning messages that tell us we should stop and take notice? Messages that say: "No, don't just continue on your way, listen and pay attention!" I get little versions (sometimes big!) of this every day when I slow down enough to listen, and you do to!

One, more stunning example of God “messaging” has been shared here before. I was reading the Bible lesson one morning when a passage stood out to me vividly from Science and Health. I had never noticed it before, maybe because it hadn't been in a lesson in isolation before, but more likely because it was God speaking to me in the way I needed to hear Her that day. "Are material means the only refuge from fatal chances?" (p. 392:24-25) These words seemed imperative that day. I sat there pondering that sentence, what did it mean to me? The thought that came to me at the time was: "In a family with a number of children, odds are that something terrible will happen to one of them." Okay, that was an awful thought, but rather than just dismiss it as random paranoia, I saw in this sentence, a scientific way to address this suggestion. Whose laws do we abide in? Who governs His children, their safety, their very lives? I stayed with these thoughts until I could answer that sentence with a firm "NO!" and a conviction that Love and Mind was guiding His children wisely, and every minute.

Fast-forward to that evening—an early summer evening with both daughters home from college. Dinner over, TV buzzing, dad in the shower, my oldest daughter suggested a walk with me. I put other college daughter in charge of the three boys, and also told showering husband that he too was in charge while we walked. We had walked for almost thirty minutes when I received a panicked call from daughter number two: "Is Charlie with you guys?" (Charlie was about 21/2 then) I paused and said "no"—and asked her to call me when she found him. Then I stood still listening and called her back. "Charlie followed us down the driveway (we have a 3/4 mile long dirt drive which ends in a two-lane highway which we can cross to get into a neighborhood). Get in the car and follow him." A bit later I got a shaky call from Holly saying she'd found Charlie. He had crossed the highway on his own, turned around to head home when he couldn't find us, and was crying, trying to cross back as cars raced by, when Holly found him. During this time, all I could think about was that sentence that I had pondered deeply and answered that morning.

I felt such peace that "chance" was not the law that governed this child's life. There was no panic, no rush on my part to find him. I had heard God's nudge to listen to that passage that morning, His voice was that sentence and the answer to it. No burning bush, nothing audible. A new view of that passage helped me and Charlie find safety and healing and peace that day. We may not have daily examples that are so dramatic, but they are there nonetheless. Using our spiritual sense we can find ourselves perceiving fresh messages from God, fresh ideas about His identity and our own reflection of that identity. And these ideas give us a better understanding of God's identity, and ours by reflection.

Section 1: God, the "all-knowing," is known by His children.

It is a common belief among Christians that there is an element of mystery to God, that He is the great "unknowable". Humanly speaking, this is largely true. With material sense we will never be able to get a deep sense of God's being and action. But with the spiritual sense bestowed on us through divine reflection, we can make definite, productive inroads into knowing more of His nature.

In citation S3 we have Mary Baker Eddy's definition of God, a great place to start in our search for a deeper understanding of our Father-Mother. This definition is the basis for each section of this lesson. So, if Section 1 addresses the fact that God is "all-knowing", then each subsequent section takes one of the other descriptions: "all-seeing", "all-acting", "all-wise", "all-loving", and finally "eternal". It's pretty cool! It is equally cool that you can look at how Moses' story in the Responsive Reading illustrates all these qualities of God. I wouldn't be surprised if Mary Baker Eddy found them clearly displayed in that story! Then consider that after the subject "Sacrament" (next week's lesson subject), we start in on the synonyms that encompass the second half of that definition, one synonym per week (except for Principle). So we should be pretty well acquainted with God by the end of this set of lessons!!

Throughout this lesson we are told that we understand God through spiritual sense (which He bestows on us). In citation B3 I see a new way to look at God's statement that you will find Him when you look for Him "with all your heart." If we think of using spiritual sense to judge reality, to see, hear, and feel God, then isn't using spiritual sense the only way we can seek Him "with all [our] heart"? Our heart isn't really "whole" if we are trying to make our material existence "reflect" God's abundance or comfort. Our wholehearted search for God must be based in a desire to know Him not for what He will do for us, or even what our knowledge of Him will do for us. Rather we seek Him with our whole heart because He is Love itself—He is real, and we will only know who we are if we know our source, Principle.

I have to mention here a stunning poem by Lona Ingwerson in this week's (December 31, 2018) Christian Science Sentinel as well. It points to this blockbuster idea of God's allness. This allness precedes every part of the definition of God in citation S3. Her poem is titled "What if?" https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/1t6bcywdnww?s=e

Section 2: God is "all-seeing"—man reflects this ability. [See W's PS#3 and #4]

In citation B5 we are told that everything God saw, that He had made, was "very good". If God is everything that Mary Baker Eddy defines Him as in citation S3, then certainly there cannot be evil in His creation. But this goes against much of what we see humanly on a daily basis. This indicates that there is a way of seeing the universe of Spirit right here and now that gives us clear, beautiful discernment. Imagine being able to "...see this true likeness and reflection everywhere." (S12) Isn't this an amazing goal—to see, perceive God's likeness in everyone we meet?

Mary Baker Eddy tells us that we can have this spiritual discernment when we "...subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science...". When God "saw everything that He had made", He saw it in the light. This light is a vital part of sight. Light reveals what is already there. In this case, spiritual light reveals the fact that this man's sight could not be confined to matter, but was ever part of spiritual creation, hence of this man. Jesus knew this and his Christly senses perceived this fact, bringing it to bear for the blind man.

In thinking about the role of faith in this man's healing, I was pondering its connection to light. I thought of Hymn 287 where the middle verse says: "Lo, to our widening vision dawns The realm of Soul supreme, Faith-lighted peaks of Spirit stand Revealed in morning's beam." It is our "widening" vision that catches this spiritual light. If you have ever watched the sun rise while camping in the mountains, you see it touch the peaks first and slowly move down the sides of the mountains, reaching the valleys last. What if our faith that we nurture with our spiritual senses gives our consciousness that extra lift that makes the light reach it first, so to speak? Was this the kind of faith that Jesus told the blind man "saved" him? With a nurturing of this faith we get to actually see the proof of God's all-goodness, His government that reigns supreme and harmonious.

Section 3: God is "all-acting"—and His man reflects His action! [See W's PS#5]

We are given such scope to do, think, express when we realize that we are reflection and not material bodies with different talents. The other night I was outside admiring the full moon. Its brilliance was astonishing as it climbed over the ridge across from our house. Yet the moon is 238,900 miles from earth, and all the light it sheds is reflected from the sun! It doesn't produce one bit of its own light. Our own "amount" of reflected activity of God is not dependent on a phase or orbit. Because we are spiritual reflections, we are never separated from our source of activity, inspiration, light, by some other "object", by miles, or even by material belief.

And because God is not a mere ball of fire, we are reflecting the light of intelligence, grace, strength, agility, and so on, infinitely and eternally as His ideas. Jesus made this so clear in citation B13, claiming no personal credit for his acts, even though he, more than anyone, could have been tempted to, as the son of God. His ability to heal, he recognized, came directly from God, his Father. I love the way Jesus tells us that even his judgment is just, not because he is personally "smart" or even especially spiritually minded, which he was, but because he is looking to do the will of God rather than his own will.

Similar to some of the things that we talked about earlier, this desire to know and see all in terms of God rather than for what God can "do" for us, is a perspective that brings harmony and joy into our experience, as well as greater and more rewarding activity that blesses all. It is inspiring to ponder and touch on the idea that our ability to act, to bless, to do good is an unlimited expression of God's being. As the sun sheds light and warmth on all the earth, and the moon its reflected light, so God's being is the source of our unlimited ability to bless and this source is shining on all mankind. Yet God is infinitely more than the sun, and man than the moon!

Consider the idea that man is created to reflect the activity of God. Jesus illustrated this most clearly. If you are given a wrench to fix a pipe leak, it is most functional and helpful if it is used for the purpose for which it was designed. You may be able to use it as leverage, as a hammer, or something else. But it will provide the most blessing when it is used as it is designed. In a similar way, God designed man to bless. We can pursue all sorts of self-fulfilling paths to seeming happiness, success and so on. But in the end, we only will find our happiness in that for which we were designed. Does that mean we are all doing exactly the same thing in life? No! But knowing that we are "doing the will of the Father" will bring our disparate paths together in the end because each path is a path of blessing.

Section 4: God, the “all-wise”—bestows His wisdom on man.

You know, when we rely on God's wisdom rather than our own, we can tap into the infinitude of wisdom that is Mind. Isn't this what Moses was worried about—that he had a limited amount of wisdom with which to lead an entire nation out of slavery? God's answer to him was that He would be with him, that He is. God is being itself and man reflects that being eternally and without limit because our identity is tied to the "I AM", not to our parents, our family, our friends, our career, our intellect, our creativity, our athletic ability. Knowing God as the all-wise helps us to develop our own "latent abilities". (S24) Why latent? Because God put all ability in us, we have only to develop or unfold this ability.

When I was a child and young adult I couldn't even stand up in church to share a testimony, I was so uncomfortable speaking in public! My sophomore year in college after deciding to major in music performance, I was given a lot of opportunity to perform for an audience. It was hard at first—I knew intellectually that sharing music, speaking in public, etc. was an unselfish endeavor. I knew intellectually that God was with me, that the audience was generally looking for me to succeed, not fail. But I sure struggled to feel freedom and joy in the whole process. It was that year at Thanksgiving that I was able finally to get up to share my gratitude for Christian Science in church (albeit shakily). As years went by I continually addressed my discomfort with ideas from the all-wise about the fact that my abilities were from Her (sort of like we read in the previous section). I didn't possess my own wisdom/talent separate from God.

Eventually I spent years sharing my music in church, I lectured for a year for the Mother Church and relished every minute of it, knowing that it was merely a sharing of the all-wise and certainly not a personal ability. I have given many talks, some as long as five-hours long. Always I find it helpful to remind myself that it is God's word that is being shared, no matter what the content. It is Her plan that I am reflecting, acting on, carrying out. All that I have to share is a reflection of the all-wise and so I, as Paul explains in citations B16 and B17, can draw on a bottomless well of insight, joy, energy, inspiration—never dependent on my own intellect—and so can we all!

Section 5: Perhaps the "all-loving" is how we know God best. [See W's PS#6]

When Philip asks Jesus to just come right out and "show us the Father", Jesus explains that it is by looking at himself, the works of love that he has done, how he has loved the disciples and mankind—it is in love that Philip (and all of us) can best "see" the Father. Love, in fact, is often the best way to implement the power of God. We see this in Mary Baker Eddy's statement in citation S29. Most of us have felt the power of love (and Love) before. We see it around us. Even when we experience what seem like dry spells, if we open our spiritual senses, we can see the love of Love expressed around us in gentle human interactions, generosity, caring, thoughtfulness, courtesy, and so on.

Recently my boys and I have been reading just a little each day of Henry Drummond's book "The Greatest Thing in the World", along with reading 1 Corinthians 13 before it each day. It is a revelatory practice in seeing the richness of Love and how it is expressed through a number of characteristics that Paul puts forth in his letter to the church in Corinth. God speaks to us through Love clearly. And we can see this Love reflected when we are patient, kind, generous, humble, courteous, unselfish, good-tempered, guileless, sincere. These are the “nine ingredients” or qualities into which Henry Drummond breaks Paul's statement of Love, based on Paul's words. Mary Baker Eddy tells us in citation S25 that "’God is Love’ More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go." So as we practice listening for Love in our day we will doubtless hear/see/perceive more of God's nature! And equally, we will express this love more fully.

Section 6: We will sing this "new song" eternally as we understand our place in His eternity. [See W's PS#1]

This section illustrates the final statement in Mary Baker Eddy's definition of God from the first section, before she begins to list the synonyms. God is the "eternal". These amazing statements of His nature as "all-knowing/seeing/acting/wise/and loving" are also "eternal"!!! They never fade away, die, get old, fluctuate. But they steadily illuminate creation throughout eternity. Not only that, but as this section points out, we can glimpse that eternity, that kingdom of heaven where these qualities are expressed without measure, right here and now. We can be conscious, we are told (S31), with the human consciousness that is God-bestowed, of this heaven now. It is the"... unillumined human mind..." to which this vision of heaven is invisible. Again, we are encouraged that it is our spiritual senses that will reveal God's nature and being.

We cannot look to matter for the truth about God. Try this—try accepting the fact that God is "the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving and eternal." This would not be a God that either creates or ignores evil. This is the God that brought us Jesus to heal and demonstrate for man that God bestows health, life, wisdom, peace, and so on. I'll bet that we can all agree that we haven't seen all of this heaven—that we have something new to sing about each day as we discover more of the God that put this kingdom within each of us.


LAST CHANCE FOR YEAR-END GIVING AND TAX-DEDUCTIONS:
A humble and hearty thank you
to all you good friends who have already given to our recently advertised needs--as well as to those of you who still want to make a big difference in CedarS vital work and blessing outreach in 2019!

While many of you helped us meet our "Maintenance Musts" Match goal of raising $25,000 by December 31 we still have a match to meet! You can still double your donation though by helping CedarS earn our "Adopt the Herd" $75,000 Match for the horses and riding program. (~$53k to go by Sept. 30, 2019.)

So, if you have been blessed by receiving this inspiration weekly and haven't given lately, or are blessed to be able to give more, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking on https://www.cedarscamps.org/give/.

Current and planned gifts are a huge proof of your ongoing LOVE made visible and are greatly appreciated!! They not only defray the costs of running this service but also provide greatly needed camperships and essential program and operations support.

Please sign up to give whatever you can on a much-needed MONTHLY basis to support CedarS life-changing work! [You can start at any amount and adjust monthly 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 (tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered church!

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

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

or MAIL to our Winter-Spring office address (below) your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization.

(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #44-0663883):

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. 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/meta

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