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Substance is spiritual reality, let's drop the material for the spiritual.

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
Posted Monday, September 7th, 2020

Substance is spiritual reality, let's drop the material for the spiritual.
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Substance”
for the week ending September 13, 2020

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

Click here to hear Kerry read “Substance is spiritual reality, let's drop the material for the spiritual.
(her metaphysical application ideas on this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Substance.”) Or paste into your browser https://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/audio/play/audio-met-on-substance-by-kerry-jenkins-cs/

A quick summary of the ideas in this amazing lesson on substance might look something like this: "There is only one thing of genuine value, and that is the reality that God has created, and of which we are part. So we had best get on with understanding what this is since it leads to the only real happiness and goodness that exist!" As we go through each section we learn, in brief, that:
1. Understanding this true existence or being comes from knowing God.
2. We must look beyond what matter presents to us.
3. Christian Science gives us a more substantial understanding of both religion and medicine.
4. We are to ask ourselves "what do I treasure or really love?".
5. God's indestructible universe of good must be demonstrated and shared with others in order to be really experienced. And then we are back again to the Golden Text idea that:
6. There is one thing of great value to us if we want to experience true being.
So, we had best drop our infatuation with material substitutes for satisfaction and joy, and get going with living the real and eternally valuable existence that God has bestowed on us.

Golden Text: Sometimes I like to think of selling all to buy the "one pearl of great value" (in Matt. 13:45), is much like totally following the First Commandment to love and worship only the one God. Once you have even a tiny inkling of the great value of God to man, you "sell" all, that is, drop the human compromise of living simply a good human existence, and commit to seeing existence through a spiritual lens, or spiritual sense only. Near the top of page 296 of Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy tells us "Progress is born of experience. It is the ripening of mortal man, through which the mortal is dropped for the immortal." (296:4-7) This ripening is what we are all engaged in when we study these Bible lessons.

Responsive Reading: If we think about the kingdom of heaven as a place of spiritual completeness, we can see that this part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is pointing to the fact that when we "take no thought" for the things of matter—food, clothing, money—we start to open that window of spiritual consciousness wide enough to start to glimpse the completeness of the kingdom within each of us. This is a place where every need is met, though it may not seem so from a vantage point of material sense. As we practice cherishing the treasures of heaven: kindness, grace, unconditional love, generosity, faith, diligence, wisdom, and so on, we start to lose our fear of lack because we begin to experience the presence and power of Love's provision.

Section 1: Knowing God is true riches.

You do not need money to experience the wealth of a life in God. It made me laugh this week when I got to "...let your soul delight itself in fatness" in citation B2. (Isa. 55:1-3 (to ;), 8, 9). When I thought "Why not delight in the fatness/abundance—maybe even deliciousness—of God and the understanding of God, instead of ‘dieting’ constantly on material beliefs?” Mortal thoughts seem to argue that we can get satisfaction from harmless (sometimes not so harmless) material indulgences of one kind or another. But actually, this is like being on a constant and strict diet of frustration, anxiety, fear. And, it really is like eating tree bark and grass!

What the human mind thinks of as satisfying is not the same as what God knows, and we need to be educated out of thinking that a knowledge of matter will lead us to a satisfying destiny. As Bible citations tell us: "… my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." (B2, Isaiah 8:8) And, "Riches and honour are with me;" (B3, Prov. 8: 18-21, italics added for emphasis). The knowledge of God will provide the only true riches that man can have. When we think about a moment of pure happiness in our life, it rarely, if ever, has anything to do with money. That is a good guideline to consider when we get wrapped up in, or fearful about, our human needs.

The Science and Health portion of this section gives us a definition of substance where Mary Baker Eddy references the Bible statement "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" to illustrate the unseen spiritual nature of divine substance (Hebrews 11:1 in SH 468:16, S2). We need to move to the realm of spiritual ideas, rather than material "things".

Early this summer at CedarS Camps, the counselors were asked to change some "things into thoughts” as they pondered the challenges presented to us as we face each pandemic protocol. This resolving “things into thoughts” idea comes from page 269 of Science and Health in this week's lesson (269:14, S4). For example, what is the spiritual "idea" of a face mask? It represents the idea, perhaps, of kindness and consideration, of safely communicating. It could be changed from a seeming "health safety" item, to a barrier against contagious thoughts of fear or doubt. You get the idea! This process of changing "things to thoughts" is a process of understanding the wealth of God that already surrounds us now.

Section 2: We have to look beyond matter.

It's true, sometimes matter can be quite beautiful. My thoughts on this are that this beauty is really a representation of the true substance of Spirit. If it is permanent and indestructible, then it belongs to Spirit. But, often what we see with the material senses is not so lovely. We have to be willing to look past our material senses and base our joy and wisdom on our spiritual sense. What is that? I like how Mary Baker Eddy's defines it in Science and Health: "Spiritual sense is the discernment of spiritual good." (505: 20) – And, "Spiritual sense is the constant, conscious capacity to understand God." (209:31).

In this section "hope" is used to describe something of man's capacity to know that good exists even when it seems hidden (as described in citation S11, page 298, line 4). Habakkuk describes this in citation B5—3:17, 18 and Jeremiah, in a fairly rare moment of hope in the midst of a dark time for the Jews during the Babylonian exile, shows his hope by purchasing land in Israel. This implies a future in which that land will have value to the Jews. There is no human logic in his purchase. There is only the solid, spiritual sense that there is spiritual value in understanding the substance behind the country of Israel.

In Romans, Paul wisely points out that "...hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?" (Romans 8:24, B7) I love where Mary Baker Eddy compares hope in the unseen to the chrysalis state (297:20-24, S8). When I was regularly raising butterflies with my boys, when they were young, we did some research on this process of transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. I was astonished to learn that within the chrysalis the caterpillar becomes not much more than liquid goo before rearranging himself into a butterfly. In other words, it is even more preposterous than the idea of a caterpillar somehow reshaping itself into a butterfly and "growing" wings! It liquifies, and the molecules rearrange themselves to form this whole other creature, but with the same DNA. Think about how symbolic this is!

The substance of our identity is spiritual, unchanging. But as we understand our higher spiritual selfhood in God, we transform and rise higher, from creeping along the earth, to soaring above it! But, if we were to look at that chrysalis, or even the caterpillar itself, there is no hint of what is happening or will happen to it. Similarly, we can know that: "To calculate one's life-prospects from a material basis, would infringe upon spiritual law, and misguide human hope." (319:5-7, S6)

Section 3: Christian Science gives us a more substantial understanding of religion and medicine.

This fact may not seem important, but think how it gives us the stepping stones to naturally progress Spirit-ward. The Bible passages in this section point to hoping in God for our health, and they are summed up by the former physician, Luke, in Jesus' healing of the woman who had spent all her money on medical cures for her illness and found no relief (Luke 8:43-48, B11). We can find the spiritual substance in both religion and in medicine when we look for it in the Science that Jesus practiced. His demonstration of the power and substance of God to heal and bless is the best example to us today of how we can get a higher view of both religion and medicine.

Christ Jesus understood "...the nature and essence of all being..." (SH 460:5, S15). Isn't this like saying that we can find the spiritual substance of existence in God, and find how to demonstrate this understanding of being through Christ Jesus, and through our study of Christian Science? Religion's substance and value, medicine's substance and value, should both be their power to bless and heal, to bring deeper understanding of the nature of God and man as permanent and complete. This was what Jesus certainly showed in his life. This is what Christian Scientists strive to demonstrate through the Biblically anchored understanding of man's true, spiritual nature.

Section 4: What do we treasure as dear to our heart?

I doubt that any of us would openly answer this question with "money". And for many that truly would not be a temptation. But, it is healthy to ask ourselves if we’d only experience peace when we have a good savings account, or enough money to pay the bills, etc. It is so difficult to truly "take no thought" for these things! I'm sure this is why Jesus speaks so powerfully about the subject of wealth in his preaching.

Money and wealth can be an easy, false "substitute" for true spiritual peace. This doesn't mean that we have to live on the ragged edge of survival in order to truly understand spiritual, substantial, peace and wealth. It just means that money can be a hindrance if we are not alert and diligently searching for true substance. When we think about Jesus' first Beatitude in his Sermon on the Mount, it is phrased in Eugene Peterson's The Message, as "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there more of God and His rule." I love this idea because it illustrates so clearly that it is when we are truly unable to meet our needs through any material means, that we finally really reach deeply for God. There are dozens of stories in the Bible that show this—one of them being the desperate woman bleeding for twelve years referred to above in Section 3! (Luke 8:43-48, B11).

The temptation that mortal thought offers is that we can live a life of balance between material pursuits and spiritual ones. To a point this can seem doable, but duality really is no short cut. It is doomed because there is no balance between what is real, and what, in the end, has no substance or reality. Even literally, you cannot balance nothingness with something of reality on a scale—one of those old-fashioned balance scales. If we find ourselves veering toward more material pursuits, we can always do a check to see what our heart is treasuring. Maybe all that is needed is a change of "things into thoughts" in order to bring these treasures into the realm of spiritual substance. (269:14, S4).

Section 5: God created a spiritually abundant universe which we had best prove and share.

How do we do this? One way, Mary Baker Eddy points out to us, is "Whatever furnishes the semblance of an idea governed by its Principle, furnishes food for thought. Observation, invention, study, and original thought are expansive and should promote the growth of mortal mind out of itself, out of all that is mortal." (195:15-16, 19 Observation, 28, S24) This is the best “pitch” for education that I can think of. Ultimately all that we do humanly, should educate mortal mind to grow "out of itself".

The best literature, science, history, art and so on, can all be a springboard for glimpsing the higher nature of man, which ultimately is spiritual. "Mankind will improve through Science and Christianity. The necessity for uplifting the race is father to the fact that Mind can do it; for Mind can impart purity instead of impurity, strength instead of weakness, and health instead of disease. Truth is an alterative in the entire system, and can make it "every whit whole." (SH 371:26, S26) We can strive to fill our thought with what “tends to alter” it for good – to be loving, true, generous, unselfish, intelligent, joyful, and spiritually substantial. As we focus our thoughts and efforts in this direction we will naturally share our developing spiritual understanding with those around us and bless and inspire others in their journeys to spiritual, substantial happiness.

Section 6: Everything substantial is spiritually real—so get on with understanding reality!

The one "pearl" of value is God, and the spiritually real kingdom within where God, good, governs. Why should we dabble in a false sense of existence, with "improving" this false sense? We can educate ourselves right here and now to move forward to a spiritually substantial view of life and being.

We don't need to live this "material life" fully, and then move on to a spiritual one. We can find the substance of spiritual existence right now and "sell" all that would get in our way of "buying" or striving for this truer, more substantial understanding of being. It does not require a change of address, new school, or friends or family. It only requires that we recognize the presence of the substance of Good around us, and continually strive to "purchase" and practice it by diligently following the spiritually substantial life of Christ Jesus.


CLICK LINKS below for more CedarS team APPLICATION IDEAS for this Bible lesson:

  • Hear on YouTube the Ken Cooper poem Reach Out,” read by Sue Cooper. You'll truly appreciate the way Sue conveys the end-of-her-rope desperation of the woman who was instantly healed by touching Jesus after she’d been hemorrhaging for 12 years. (Luke 8:43-48, B11)
  • View ONLINE GEMs-in-progress from Cobbey Crisler and others that will be sent later in the week.

CLICK MORE LINKS (below) to CedarS-related
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT

1. An upcoming Bible talk on Saturday, September 26, 2020, 9am - 4pm Pacific --“Genesis I: Where it all Began.” (This day long webinar that Madelon Maupin last delivered in a weeklong, deep-dive study at CedarS covers Genesis chapters 1 – 25. This September 26th webinar will prepare listeners for another deep-dive study of Genesis Part 2 at CedarS from October 21-25, 2021. For info on it click on https://www.cedarscamps.org/information/programs/adult-bible-study/

Maddie writes: “Remember that if you cannot attend the live September 26, 2020 event or be with us all of the day, you will have a replay for 30 days following. Also, the replay has a search feature where you can research key ideas you found helpful.

We’ve just opened registration now that the sponsoring church has sent out their invitation.

Simply click on this link https://seeker.bibleroads.com/GEN120CC for more information and to reserve your place.

See you in the Scriptures,”
Madelon Maupin
Founder, BibleRoads


2. CedarS weekly Online Hymn Sings: ENJOY A FUN, EVERY SUNDAY TRADITION TO START EACH WEEK! These global, all-generation gatherings are powerful, 30-minute “Prayer Sings,” since hymns are really healing prayers set to music. We’ve loved singing with friends from all 50 of the United States as well as from 16 more countries! They include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, and Switzerland.

3. Our ongoing Fall “Take CedarS Home” Zoom sessions for grade grouping of campers continue each week till December to prove the healing power of childlike thought receptive to remote prayer. These Zoom session gifts to children and their families could be thought of as prayers to put love into action through practicing CedarS Five Fundamental concepts. [Great fruitage from summer 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 FULL DETAILS, A VIDEO AND ENROLLMENT OPTIONS


4. A past CedarS camper, Jacob Ellis, and CedarS practitioner John Biggs, CS, wrote two of the articles in this issue of TeenConnect! This publication of the Christian Science Publishing Society and JSH-Online tackles the tough issues with articles and testimonies written by and for teens. Please check it out and share it with all you know!


  • Click here to electronically GIVE your tax-deductible support that is especially needed during this reduced income year
  • or MAIL gifts to our camp address: The CedarS Camps Office.
    410 Sovereign Court #8, Ballwin, MO 63011
  • or call CedarS support team at 636-394-6162 (Gay & office team) to share your support
  • CedarS is a not-for-profit, 501-C-3 organization with a Federal ID # 44-0663883.

With never-changed gratitude and full-strength love to each of you,

Warren, Holly, Gay, Kim, Jennifer, and CedarS Team


APOLOGIES if our team of CEDARS VOLUNTEER EDITORS, CONTRIBUTORS AND TRANSLATORS FOR THIS FREE SERVICE missed any needed edits. Thanks for your forgiveness and your needed, ongoing support!

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