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Let Peace Prevail! Denounce the re-living of dead history...

David Price, CS, Denver CO
Posted Monday, November 23rd, 2020

Let Peace Prevail! Denounce the re-living of dead history...
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”
for Sunday, November 29, 2020

by David L. Price, C.S., Denver, CO
dlawrenceprice@gmail.com • 720-308-9500

Here's the Bonus Blessing of AN AUDIO LINK to enable you to hear David Price, CS, read “Let Peace Prevail! Denounce the re-living of dead history... (his metaphysical application ideas on this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson.

INTRODUCTION

This lesson is a good roadmap for the different ways each of us can feel a sense of peace. So, a way we might start this work is to come up with things that seem to have a hypnotic power, things which you just can’t seem to shake either because they are so appealing or so scary or even repulsive. Let’s use this Bible Lesson to help put us on the right track, to “Denounce” whatever is opposed to God, in order to feel the peace that comes with the presence and power of God.

GOLDEN TEXT AND RESPONSIVE READING (RR)

Boy it sure seems like the material world has a lot of power. So, the Golden Text is a great blow to the material world. Most of you remember the context of this statement “Peace, be still.” In Section 6 citation B21gives the fuller account. It is what Christ Jesus said to the storm that was threatening to capsize the ship which he and the disciples were aboard. Right after making this healing command, the storm was stilled immediately and completely. The very forces of nature and physics were no match for this spiritual certainty. I love that Jesus first declared an eternal Truth – “PEACE” – and then commanded the storm to “BE STILL.”

These words were not and are not an incantation or a spell that we can use today. (There’s no walking around, pointing at problems, uttering the words “peace be still” and then hoping things will be solved.) This is also not a conjuring of Jesus back from the dead like some séance or practice of necromancy. This was and is law. The Psalmist knew it as law when he wrote, “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” (RR, Ps. 107:29). Jesus knew this was law and proved it in practice. His disciples witnessed it and reported it in the Scriptures for us to read. But most importantly it is also a law that operates in our own lives right here and now.

Often when I read a Biblical story I try to put myself right into the account, maybe as an observer, sometimes even placing myself in the shoes of a disciple. “What was the reaction to Jesus’ presence, his speech, his healing power?” I ask myself. And I can hear Jesus, who must have been a little disappointed, say to those disciples, “Why are ye so fearful, How is it ye have no faith?” This is where you and I can change things around. We have spiritual power in this very moment. So, begin to release fear and doubt by seeing and feeling God as active and present, surrounding you, filling you up.

Go back to your list of things that seems to have had a hold on you – maybe it’s a video game that you just can’t stop playing, maybe it’s the news cycle feeding you the never-ending political saga that you seem so invested in. Now look at what God is promising you in the Responsive Reading:

God is your Refuge and strength;

A Present help in times of trouble;

God is unmovable, an early help, even during natural disaster;

God is your Refuge;

He satisfies the longing;

He fills the hungry seeker of Truth;

Call on God and he is already right there to save you.

So, what do we have to do? Well, let’s start with the simple task, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Ps 46:10, RR) Simple right? Well not always, but with practice it gets easier and easier. You can go back and think about Jesus’ command to the storm from the Responsive Reading and let that command inform whatever is disrupting your stillness. Once you stop the dialogue that’s going on in your head (that’s a type of necromancy, by the way, communing with the dead history that you think is important to re-live.) As you get to that sense of quietness, you can start really focusing on God’s tender relationship with you.

Here’s a little benefit at the conclusion of the Responsive Reading (from the New Living Translation),What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!” (Ps 107:30)

SECTION 1: Apprehending things spiritually brings peace. (This begins with recognizing and understanding the Allness of God!)

A few weeks ago, one of my children began to feel ill, and she began to exhibit a few troubling symptoms including a loss of smell. At the same time a relative was in town helping with the care of our children, after school had been canceled for two weeks. Boy did I feel overwhelmed with the prospect of supporting everyone in my family including myself, tending to my CS practice cases as well as my other responsibilities. So, I called my close friend and colleague who is also a Christian Science practitioner and we talked. With a possible long night ahead of me, my friend’s assurance “you are never safer than doing God’s work” was a comfort. Writing this now still makes me a little teary.

Citation B2 is always a comforting to me, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10) I also had written in my metaphysical journal for that evening the quote from citation B3 but from the New International Version of the Bible, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29: 11)

I was able to stay up most of the night in prayer, tending to my little one when she awoke. Around 3am she did finally fall asleep for the duration of the night. That next day, though some symptoms still persisted, she was filled with energy. I too was well and needed no additional rest time. We did take covid tests because of our involvement with a school community, and they came back negative. I’m happy to report no one else in the home suffered from any of the same symptoms, and the next day my daughter was completely well.

For me this demonstration of God’s care started and ended with a firm stand that regardless of what would happen in the future, whatever material condition might present itself, I was sticking with God, sticking with that feeling of spiritual power, presence and healing care. I refused to diagnose, I refused to feel a sense of regret, both of which are those hypnotic suggestions that say, “Yeah, yeah, God is all, BUT look at this power.” I’m most grateful to witness the healing presence of the Christ.

In a sense this first section is a mirror of Christian Science practice work. It always starts with “don’t be afraid,”— even if the human problem seems really, really big, like a flood. God’s with you! He hears you and knows you. (cit. B1, Ps. 93:3, 4) Don’t be afraid, dismayed, weakened, hopeless. God is tending to you and meeting your need. God gives you healing power to meet and overcome whatever problem comes up because God is ALL!

Citation SH1 reminds us that understanding the completeness of God’s power, a power which has no equal and cannot for a moment be interrupted or interfered with, this power “destroys fear, and plants the feet in the true path…” (SH 454:5-9).

That next evening, I texted my friend, “There is a calm and peace throughout our house.” (Peace is a common theme throughout this entire lesson.) So, the end of this section is the most important part of the healing: “The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace.” (cit. S7, 506:10-12) Physical healing is great, but the peace that comes from an awakening to God, this is the stuff we all need to hunger for and deserve to feel.

SECTION 2: How do I feel a sense of peace when there is so much confusion?

Have you ever been in an argument and instead of addressing one issue at a time, a whole list of opinions, ideas, even personal attacks all get wrapped up into the back-and-forth argument? It sure can be very confusing and difficult to sort through. I was really moved by citation B4) as an assurance that God neither creates nor sends confusion, and this is reflected in “all churches of the saints.” (I Cor 14:33) Here’s a translation from the New Living Version of the Bible: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.” (I Cor 14:33, NLV)

Yet, if you’ve ever been a church member, I imagine you have been involved with difficult and confusing conversation from time to time. This may even be the case today, as churches are still navigating whether to be opened or closed and all the hoops that must be decided on to make that decision. I was really thinking about citation B5 in that context. Who hasn’t felt helpless; who hasn’t roared, at least inwardly, during these types of discussions? But that doesn’t change the Truth of God’s enduring order and peace.

So, what are some things we can do? Well, citation B7 reminds us to start with and really get to know God in order to have peace. God made you, not of a fearful disposition, but “of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7) I really appreciate this translation from the New International Version – “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

The last passage in Science and Health in this section (cit. SH11) gives the metaphor of a sculptor. If you’re going to sculpt something beautiful, you don’t use something ugly as your model. These two questions really struck me – “Have you accepted the mortal model? Are you reproducing it? Then you are haunted in your work by vicious sculptors and hideous forms. Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually.” (SH 248:16-20, cit. S11). How do you remedy this problem of the imperfect model? Try using those kingdom of heaven qualities as listed in the last sentence of citation S11) “…Unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love…” If you let these attributes form the models in thought, “sin, disease and death with diminish until they finally disappear.” (SH 248:29, cit. S11)

Now think back to those interpersonal disagreements that are confusing and difficult, but this time think about the model you had in front of you. Did you assume the person whom you were speaking with was argumentative, wrongheaded, stubborn? What was the model you were using for yourself? Now try using those kingdom of heaven qualities to redo the conversation – this is the “emanation of divine Mind.” (cit. S9) The former way of thinking is believing there is another power separate from God, which is “the consequent wrongness of the opposite so-called action, - evil, occultism, necromancy, mesmerism, animal magnetism, hypnotism.” (SH 104:13, cit. S9)

SECTION 3: How do I feel peace when I witness bad or even wicked behavior?

I spoke with a friend on the phone this week. She was very disturbed by the sin that seemed to be enticing so many people. She spoke in general terms for a few minutes, and it appeared to me that we were challenged by the exact same thing. Then she said she wanted to tell me her experience, and it was at this point when I realized we were seeing the world through two different lenses. The call ended more abruptly than I would have hoped, which really made me reach out in prayer.

It was like we were both wearing glasses, but she had yellow lenses while mine were rose-colored. Now, I don’t know if this is true for you, but I really like rose-colored sunglasses. It just seems like the world looks better that way, as opposed to yellow lenses, which seem to make things too bright for me, even though I know they provide a clearer view of the contour of things.

Isn’t that what human opinion is like sometimes? You acknowledge that a different way of thinking from your own is helpful, but you like what you’ve subscribed to, and it fits with your worldview. So how do you resolve this? Well, I think it is actually simpler than it may seem on the surface. Start with God as supreme and all-powerful, the only God worthy to be worshipped and praised. And don’t be convinced that a material, so-called force should be your focus. Stick exclusively with God and what God is doing in your life. Let me assure you, God has given you spiritual power and spiritual understanding. You, we all, have healing work to do, and that work begins with us individually and then our family, our church and the world. Spending time learning and growing in that direction will continually bear such sweet fruit and provide you with a sense of spiritual peace, which even political instability can’t disrupt.

Now you say, “come on, David! How does that help?” Well, let’s use the example of politics for a moment. “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” (cit. B10, Psalms 10:8 to 1st.) Human politics does not seek after God; it seeks after power for itself. If you focus on God’s government, you are then focusing on what is true and what is all-power. This is what unites us.

You might say, “well if such and such happens, then the future is bleak!” There were some pretty awful laws written about in the accounts of Daniel. Didn’t Elijah have to contend with the prophets of Baal for the heart of the people? Christ Jesus had to contend with Jewish law as well as Roman rule. Human government is rarely ideal, and looking to that to solve problems is probably shooting a little low. Remember, God solved every one of the problems mentioned above.

In citation B11 the story of Absalom, the third son of King David, was very powerful and insightful for me. Absalom used his beauty and his power of persuasion to convince people that it was too difficult to get in and see King David, and instead they should bring their problems to him and he would judge and decide. Through circumventing the law, and through his manipulation, he was able to succeed in swaying the people to his side. So much so that for a time he drove King David out his own capital of Judah, and he himself became king. He “stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” (the end of cit. B11, II Sam 15:6)

Depending on which side of the political spectrum you might fall on, you could probably accuse someone of being Absalom right now. So, this is what I ask of you as you read this section of the lesson: how are you going to stop being Absalom yourself?

Citation S17 is a wonderful switch in perspective. It doesn’t say to start wearing yellow sunglasses, but instead it assures you that God will destroy the evil, and promote what’s of so much more importance — “affection and virtue in families and therefore in the community.” (SH 102:30-2, cit. S17)

The final citation in this section contains our marching orders – build a strong defense with virtue and truth. “Evil thoughts, lusts, and malicious purposes cannot go forth, like wandering pollen, from one human mind to another, finding unsuspected lodgment, if virtue and truth build a strong defence” [Mary Baker Eddy’s spelling].” (SH 234:31-3, cit. S18)

SECTION 4: How do I feel peace when attacked by mental malpractice?

Before continuing I hope you will indulge me a little and allow me to diverge. The first passage from Proverbs in this section is a favorite of mine, and it may have been one of the first Bible passages I memorized when I was young. [“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding…” (Prov. 5:5, cit. B14)] This sense of trusting whole heartedly in God and listening for God’s direction, not humanly outlining what God needs to do, has been a useful tool in my prayer toolbelt. And it was this quote that I would recite when testing my microphone as First Reader before a service.

Leading up to my term as reader years ago, I have to confess I was really lacking in confidence. I must have spent 20 hours preparing and practicing a week before my very first service. I was concerned that I might let the church down, I spent many sleepless nights worrying.

Finally, I had a great spiritual breakthrough. An angel thought came to me saying, “Instead of reading for yourself, or so you don’t let down your fellow church member, read for that one person who either has never been to church before or has left church and is returning for the first time.” I asked myself what I had wanted to see and feel when I came back to church after the many years I had been gone? I wanted to be assured that God really was present and good, all Love, embracing and forgiving, and I wanted to know that I was included.

My reading practice changed from that time forward. This new perspective changed the very basis for why I was reading. It humbled me, got me out of myself, and readjusted my motives. And I was finally able to sleep through the night. I love how Proverbs 4:25 assures us, “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.”(cit. B14)

So, actually, this is a good place for us to talk a bit about malpractice. What is mental malpractice? Well, Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way, “All mental malpractice arises from ignorance or malice aforethought. It is the injurious action of one mortal mind controlling another from wrong motives, and it is practiced either with a mistaken or a wicked purpose.” (Science & Health 451:26)

In one sense, I engaged in self-imposed mental malpractice, when I believed that my ability or inability to read had to do solely with my human brain and my speech. When I let all of that go and changed my motives, spiritualized my activities, my reading instantly improved. God did that.

Alright, this is a great opportunity to do a little self-reflection: How do you feel about your own readers in church? Do you feel they might be missing the mark, not quite up to the task? Are you nitpicking at little things they do or don’t do? Do you think their reading choices are lacking? If you had a little running commentary as you read these questions, recognize this is the outside force trying to disrupt your harmony as well as someone else’s (either malicious or ignorant malpractice). This outside so-called power, which is not really from you, called animal magnetism, really doesn’t want us to succeed in our church work. So, understand that this voice that answers the questions I posed above IS NOT YOUR VOICE. But, if you’re going along with this line of reasoning, you are falling into the trap.

Mary Baker Eddy and Paul helps us along these lines. “St Paul says, Work out your won salvation with fear and trembling…” (SH 442:25, cit. S19) Work out your own salvation, not someone else’s. This working it out, in and of itself, will not only help you, but it will also bless your family, church and community. And do it because the kingdom of heaven, harmony in this moment, is the worthy goal and is much better than the instant satisfaction that comes from nitpicking.

SECTION 5: How do I feel peace when tempted by the overwhelming evidence that discord and dismay have power and will prevail?

Whether you are a camper, counselor, parent or grandparent, I don’t think it’s possible not to believe that we are smack dab in the middle of the arena – not the horse show and riding arena, but “the arena for conflicting forces. On one side” you have whatever negative force you’d like to insert – pandemic, political disarray, isolation, etc. – and on the other you have God and God’s allness and omnipotence, which include the contagion of Love, the divine harmonious government, inclusion and eternal presence of divine Love, God. Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy really challenges us to stick to God and God alone, when she reminds us: “Material sense [what your five senses tell you is real and true] does not unfold the facts of existence; but spiritual sense lifts human consciousness into eternal Truth.” (SH 95:30-32, cit. S24) I really appreciate defining human consciousness as that middle ground. Human consciousness is either letting in the testimony of the five physical senses, or it’s at-one with divine Mind, revealing what is true.

Ultimately aren’t we looking for a sustaining sense of peace? So, what are some ways to find it?

Start and “stand fast” with Christ Jesus as Paul counseled the Philippians to do in order to find “the peace of God, which passes all understanding…” (Phil. 4:1, 7, cit. B16). First let’s take a look at his Jesus’ example. In citation B17 (Matthew 4:1-11), after 40 days in the wilderness without food, Jesus was tempted by the devil to turn away from believing that the only power worth looking to is our heavenly Father.

I think back to Jesus who fasted for 40 days and I find it to be so humbling. At that point, if I were “in his shoes,” I’d probably give up a lot just to have a sandwich. But if you really put yourself into Jesus’ sandals – and think about how difficult it must have been to be faithful to God and to resist the temptations he endured, maybe it becomes a little easier to resist whatever temptations you face in your life.

As you read citation B18 from Matthew 10 (verses 1-16), imagine you are one of the disciples who are given power. If only you accept it, we all have power to cast out unclean spirits, to heal the sick and the diseased. In the big scheme of things, would you really rather be arguing about material causes than be focusing on your own salvation and learning how to use God’s power to heal?

As you read citation (B19) from Luke 21 (verses 8-28), imagine Y yourself as one of the disciples asking, “But isn’t this going to be hard?” – Yup. Well, sort of – unless you can “look up, and lift up your heads” to see “your redemption…nigh”— right at hand despite severe global challenges "upon the earth, distress of nations … perplexity…the waves roaring…men’s hearts failing them for fear… the powers of heaven shaken.” (Luke 21: 8-28, cit. B19) Sometimes it is hard to love, right? Local and world events seem like barriers to loving more. But remember “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.” (1 John 4:18) And, once you are in the mode to express Love, it almost seems like something natural. Taking hold of your God-given, healing power of divine Love takes practice, but it’s there for you. Use this Truth as a new focus.

SECTION 6: How do I deepen my spiritual practice in order to feel an abiding sense of peace that is of God?

The last verse in Section 6 of the Bible is a great cause for Thanksgiving: “Now the God of peace be [is] with you all” (Romans 15:33, cit. B22). So, what does practicing Jesus’ peace and power mean for each one of us individually?

Here’s a little map to deepening your spiritual practice from this section’s passages from Science and Health. Remember when we discussed the words “Peace, be still” from the Golden Text? Well, when it is divine Truth that is using these words, that is where true divine healing power is derived. (SH 144:30, cit. S25) When Jesus used this phrase, it was because he knew God is always ready and is all-powerful. (SH 134:26, cit. S26).

Citation S27 reminds us not to argue from the perspective of mortal mind, where material, mortal power claims to be equal to or greater than God. Rather, it’s great to affirm and prove that “conflicting, mortal opinions… cannot be destructive to morals and health when … opposed promptly and persistently by Christian Science.” (SH 273:29-3, cit. S27)

Reading Science and Health is a great way to deepen your spiritual practice, your understanding of God and your identity as God’s child. But sometimes while reading, things are stirred up and you may see problems start to pop up. Rest assured this is actually a good and cleansing thing. Keep pressing on and those moral and physical symptoms will be destroyed (SH 422:5, cit. S28) as you calm the thought that says material conditions have power.

Finally, if you follow this map, you are getting at the crux of Christian Science practice, diving deep into the “calm, strong currents of true spirituality.” You will witness for yourself sin, disease and death destroyed and “… give everlasting place to the scientific demonstration of divine Spirit and to God’s spiritual, perfect man.” (SH 99:23, cit. S30)


CLICK LINKS below for more APPLICATION IDEAS from CedarS-team for this Lesson:

  • The initial, in-progress, ONLINE GEMs are in the works. They will be sent with insights and application ideas from Cobbey Crisler and others to help us more fully demonstrate anew, here and now, our spiritual nature and dwelling place.
  • Enjoy on YouTube Ken Cooper’s insights on citations shared in this week’s Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson. To help make these familiar passages and their stories easier to visualize and relate to, Ken freely offers a custom prose piece called “Perfect Peace” and a moving monologue called “Under His Shadow”.

CLICK on LINKS (below) to CedarS-related, ONGOING OPPORTUNITIES for SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT!

1. ENROLL YOUTH TODAY IN FALL PROGRAMS that are continuing into December!
Here's a link to a NEW VIDEO about our ongoing FALL YOUTH CAMP offerings.
Our ongoing Fall “Take CedarS Home” Zoom sessions for grade grouping of campers continue each week into December to prove the healing power of childlike thought receptive to remote prayer. These Zoom session are gifts to children and their families that could be thought of as prayers to put love into action through practicing CedarS Five Fundamental concepts. [Great fruitage from summer and fall Zoom sessions is available. For
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR TUITION
: US and Canada, please apply to The Campership Fund. They have funds available to support up to full tuition, as needed. International applicants, please apply directly to CedarS Camperships. CLICK FOR DETAILS, A VIDEO AND ENROLLMENT OPTIONS.

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