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Thanksgiving BONUS! Praise God for His ever-present goodness! Gratitude outlaws blindness to it! (5)

Lindsey Biggs, C.S., Maryland Heights, Missouri
Posted Sunday, November 15th, 2020

Thanksgiving BONUS! Praise God for His ever-present goodness!
Gratitude outlaws blindness to it! (5)

Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Thanksgiving”
for November 26, 2020

by Lindsey Biggs, C.S of Maryland Heights, MO
540 460 3515 biggs.lindsey@gmail.com

Introduction

The Thanksgiving Bible Lesson is such a joyful, uplifting one! Praising God is great to do anytime of the year, and how wonderful to have an entire Bible Lesson and church service dedicated to being grateful. Gratitude opens our eyes to the presence of good. It magnifies the goodness in our experience so that we feel and see evidence of God’s love all around us. Feeling the presence of goodness and Love brings healing.

Golden Text

Praising God! Being aware of God’s goodness and blessings. What a wonderful theme for this special Lesson. This Golden Text gives hints that we will praise God for the mighty acts He has done. From feeding the multitudes to a healing of lameness, this Lesson gives us many reasons to praise the mightiness of Spirit.

Hymn 595 (in The Christian Science Hymnal) tells us that praising our Creator brings comfort, courage, stillness, and goodness to our lives. It describes praising God as a simple prayer that we can do whenever and wherever we are. The psalmists would agree!

Responsive Reading

The Responsive Reading comes from I Chronicles and Psalms. The portion from Chronicles is all about praising God for his works. If it sounds similar to the book of Psalms, you are right! These psalms in Chronicles are quoted from Psalms 47-48, 96, 105, and 106. Take a look, and compare and contrast them!

In this portion of I Chronicles 16, David has just established that worshipping God will be central to his reign. David made arrangements for the Ark of the Covenant to be returned to Jerusalem, and the people are rejoicing and singing psalms to God with harps, lyres, cymbals, and trumpets. David wanted God to have a front-and-center presence in his reign. The word “Chronicle” means record of events and history. So, David and the people are looking back with gratitude at all the signs of God’s love and protection guiding them and caring for them -- from taking them out of Egypt to bringing them to a new land.

So here we have a sense of looking back with gratitude at how good God is. We, too, can rejoice in every moment of healing, security, and tender love that God has expressed towards us -- all the ways that God has and is meeting our needs.

Section 1 – Experience harmony by starting and sticking with God!

Notice how many times the Bible passages in this section start off with praising God and giving thanks to God! There are 5 great videos on ChristianScience.com about the book of Psalms. They talk about different kinds of psalms such as thanksgiving psalms, royal psalms, praise psalms, etc. See if you can figure out which kinds of psalms are in this section based on the tips these videos give you. Great to watch with kids, too! (Scroll down the linked page to get to the video section.)

Mary Baker Eddy tells us that the starting-point for our study and practice of Christian Science is that “God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind…” (SH, p. 275/S1) We want to start our day, our Thanksgiving, and our prayers with an acknowledgement of who and what God is (just like the Lord’s Prayer does). This opens our thought wide to see the allness of God and the nothingness of matter/error.

Mary Baker Eddy then continues to tell us that “If action proceeds from the divine Mind, action is harmonious.” (SH p. 239/ S4) Great! We all want harmonious action in our homes and in our lives, and this tells us where that action needs to proceed from. It proceeds from that one divine Mind who is governing all in harmony. When we yield to and acknowledge divine Mind we feel the flow of right and good ideas right through us! It means that harmony will be manifested in just the right ways this Thanksgiving as we turn to divine Mind to lead and guide us.

"Are we really grateful for the good already received?" (SH p. 3 /S5) This gives us an opportunity to pause and give gratitude for each and every little thing: the stove we are cooking on, the people in our lives, church, the food we have to eat, etc. This type of pausing to be truly grateful actually enables us to feel the Christ – the manifestation of the divine – awakening us to our oneness with God right now.

Section 2 – Putting our gratitude into action

This is a small, sweet section just for the purpose of highlighting the fact that we can live our gratitude! We can cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Grateful people feel happy and that happiness shines through them. Instead of magnifying the negative, we can magnify and voice the good, giving a positive and sweet assurance that our God is so good and present. This comes from a trust in good (part of the definition of Abraham in the Glossary of Science and Health is “the purpose of Love to create trust in good” p. 579).

Gratitude magnifies and grows when we put it into action. Have you ever noticed how giving and generosity make you feel richer? This Thanksgiving we each have opportunities to put that gratitude into action through reaching out to others, making meaningful donations, being inclusive – even if it’s through Zoom or other electronic devices.

As the wise hymn says “Our gratitude is riches, Complaint is poverty” (The Christian Science Hymnal, No. 249:2)

Gratitude has a way of making us aware of the presence of good. It takes our thought off the suggestions of fear and lack, and is a powerful acknowledgement of the good at hand. It breaks the mesmerism that says God is not present, or you don’t have enough. Keeping our minds filled with Truth and Love is a powerful assurance that God is all there is and there is nothing beside Him. This understanding heals!

One time, I was feeling very discontented and unhappy. It felt like happiness and peace were somewhere “out there” when I would be able to buy certain things to improve my situation. My thoughts were filled with a lot of wishing for things, and I wasn’t feeling very grateful at all. But then the thought came, ‘why don’t you try being grateful?’ However, being grateful seemed like just trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps instead of acknowledging what really needed to change – my physical circumstances! But I decided to give it a try. First, I thanked God for the hot water in my shower. It made me feel a little better. Next, I was grateful for my bed and the sheets and blankets I had. Ahh, now I was feeling more of Love’s presence. Then I became grateful for all the little things in our house. Next, I gave gratitude for having clean water to drink. After continuing like this and thanking God for each thing around me, I suddenly felt very rich! I realized all the good that was present. I felt loved, cared for, and in awe of the presence of good, God. It was a neat turnaround, and I felt happy, peaceful again.

There’s a lovely little poem that describes this feeling perfectly. It’s called “Divine Contentment Heals”.

Section 3 – Serving God with joy, peace, and patience

David wanted to build a temple to house the Ark of the Covenant after he had it moved to Jerusalem. However, it was told to him by Nathan the prophet that David’s son and successor would be the one to build the temple (II Chronicles 17). So, we have in this section Solomon as being able to build the temple because there is finally “rest on every side” after the many battles that David had fought. According to 1 Kings, it took 7 years to complete the building of the temple. Only the finest cedar, stone, bronze, gold and other materials were used.

“The highest and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work.” (SH, p. 519/S13) Whether we are actually building a monument, cooking a large Thanksgiving meal (which may feel like a monument), or overcoming the problems that seem monumental in our lives, we can do so with the conviction, joy, and courage of God’s love wrapping us up and enfolding us. We can never be separated from God’s love, so we can face every obstacle with the confidence that Jesus already conquered the world. We can all feel the satisfaction and rest that comes from serving God. We can have all the qualities, stamina, and poise required to do so. Since Spirit’s action is restful, we can have the joy, energy, and harmony needed to express God in whichever way is needed. “... greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

(I John 4:4)

God’s will for us is only good and this law of goodness is enforcing itself each moment in our consciousness and in the lives of those around us. Each heart is receptive to it and can yield to the infinite blessings of God’s goodness. We can all hope for and “feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love” (SH p.264/S14) as thought yields to the healing power of the Christ.

“When the destination is desirable, expectation speeds our progress.”

(SH, p. 426:8–9)

Section 4 – Fed by Love spiritually and physically

“Fed by Thy love divine we live, / For Love alone is Life”

(The Christian Science Hymnal, No. 30)

In this touching poem, Mary Baker Eddy assures us that divine Love is feeding us and sustaining every hungry heart. Sharing this practical Christianity with others may be just the way to feed someone this holiday season. Sharing “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” could be the best gift to give, and a way to enable someone to feel the touch of the Christ that has blessed and healed you.

Jesus demonstrated this in so many ways, including multiplying the loaves and fish to sustain each person present who wanted to follow him. It was quite similar to telling Peter and the disciples to cast the net on the right side, and they pulled up a multitude of fish. It’s as if to say, once you have started following me, you don’t need to turn back to your old ways – Spirit is here to sustain you.

Spirit, not matter, is the Source of supply (SH p. 206/S16). That means each of us has access to God, and God’s love, every second! None of us can be separated from the Love of God. The healing Christ is ready and here to sustain and heal us.

Whether we are hosting a meal or participating in a virtual Thanksgiving, we can pray that each person feels truly fed – feels that touch of the Christ – the healing power of divine Love. This makes for a Thanksgiving blessing that is memorable and lasts.

The article entitled “Supply as Spiritual Reflection” has been so helpful in understanding and demonstrating where our true supply comes from. It’s a great one as we support our demonstration of the law of God, good, that knows and supplies each person’s needs.

“God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment.”

(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 307:1–5)

Section 5 – Walking, leaping, and praising God!

We conclude this lesson with walking, leaping, and praising God! Peter and John gave what they had, although it wasn’t a monetary gift. They were rich in Spirit! And it was the Holy Spirit and the conviction that God was present and available to each person every moment that healed that man. Isn’t this the best kind of richness that we want to have? They had walked with Jesus; they had witnessed his healing works; they had seen him after his resurrection. And now they were ready and willing to follow in his footsteps.

This is God’s “unspeakable gift” (II Cor 9:15/B24)! The freedom, joy, health, harmony that Christ Jesus embodied so clearly belongs to us, too, as the reflection of God.

“...it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being.”

(SH, p. 496:15)

Nothing can stop the action of good in your life or in the world this Thanksgiving. You exist at one with the law of good – guiding, guarding, and sustaining existence. Let’s rejoice that each of us and our precious world are at one with this law of God, which casts out all evil/error. Gratitude opens our eyes to all the blessings that are at hand. [W: Miss Mary Kessler put it this way: “Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good.”] It makes us more aware of God’s presence and tips the balance of human consciousness towards the side of God, good, as an unopposable force in the world.

Being aware of the presence of good in our lives, gives us a feeling of contentment, peace, joy, and love. We can pray to affirm that each child of God can feel this same peace and contentment that comes from dwelling securely in the house of our Father-Mother Love. Our prayer for ourselves and the world will result in healing and enable us to participate in the ministry of following Christ Jesus.

“We thank Thee and we bless Thee, / O Father of us all, / That e'en before we ask Thee / Thou hear'st Thy children's call. / We praise Thee for Thy goodness / And tender, constant care, / We thank Thee, Father-Mother, / That Thou hast heard our prayer.”

(The Christian Science Hymnal, No. 374)

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