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[Accept Spirit as all to leave behind nothing but limiting lies (called matter)!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Matter”
March 16-22, 2020

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer
kathyfitzer@gmail.com

I found this week’s lesson to be so clear and strong as it presents in a very logical manner why matter (the evidence and testimony of the physical senses) can be rejected and overturned through an understanding of the allness of Spirit — God. It illumines the Scientific Statement of Being as given in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “There is no life, truth, intelligence nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.” (p. 468)

As we follow the teachings and examples given in both the Bible and Science and Health we can awaken to the allness of God and demonstrate the powerlessness of material belief to have a hold on us. There is a law in operation — the law of Truth — that quiets fears and governs all mankind. As we bear witness to this law, we can insist on seeing its effect in the overcoming of disease, including so-called contagious disease (no matter how threatening it seems), as well as bringing about a general sense of stability, freedom and harmony in our own lives and throughout the world. This is not burdensome work, but a joy! Starting now, let’s accept the challenge, and embrace the idea of gaining a clearer sense of the allness of limitless Spirit and the nothingness of limited and limiting matter.

Golden Text: “… the Spirit is confirming the truth, the reality of God’s presence …” (The Message)

Truth is what we are all searching for — the only thing worth believing. The testimony of Spirit is true! As we tune-in to what Spirit is saying about any given situation, false (material) testimony is silenced. God (Truth) reveals Himself to us! Through spiritual sense we perceive the reality of God’s presence. “Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God.” (SH 209: 31-32) Claim spiritual sense as YOURS. Listen! Rejoice! See the truth of Spirit!
[W’s FYI: “The purpose of CedarS Camps is to give each camper an appreciation of spiritual sense and an abundance of wholesome, joyous activity.”]

Responsive Reading: I counted five times in this scripture where Isaiah explicitly states that God is the only God and created everything that was ever created — constituting righteousness and salvation! The prophet calls those who make and worship idols (graven images) ignorant (v. 18). But ignorance can be fixed with instruction. These verses instruct those struggling under false beliefs. The Responsive Reading selection from Isaiah 45: 9 has been translated, “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’” (NLT) Of course not! So, as God’s creation (ever upright and whole), let’s be sure we’re not arguing on the side of false evidence. God is ALL and has created all things in His image. Our privilege (which we MUST embrace) is to be God’s witness and go to God (look to spiritual sense) to find out what is really going on in any situation! Good reigns!

Section 1: Have One God Only

This section includes the First Commandment — reiterating the necessity of honoring as real only what God knows and has created. The Commandments are prefaced with the reminder that it is the God that delivered the people from the bondage of Egypt that is speaking. (B4) Today, this one and only God continues to deliver us from the bondage of every false material belief that would try to limit us in any way.

The section opens with a question: Are we going to focus on things that are fleeting? (B1) In this case, they’re talking about wealth or riches. But, it can be applied to any type of material pleasure — or pain, for that matter. Are we going to be mesmerized by the news of a pandemic, a variable stock market, political strife? Jeremiah gives us guidance. Where the KJV uses the word “glory”, several other translations use the word boast. And the Hebrew word can also be translated celebrate or commend. Bottom line … we shouldn’t take credit for anything or be tempted to think that it is material things that make us happy (or material conditions that make us unhappy.) Instead, we should celebrate that we understand and know GOD who delights in showering us with “unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth.” (B3, NLT, AMP)

Rather than becoming mesmerized by the news, or by physical evidence, we need to hold fast to the fact that matter is neither self-governing (and so out of our hands and outside the control of God, Spirit) nor is it the product of Spirit. Matter has no power — period! (S4) We need to “replace the objects of material sense with spiritual ideas.” (S5) For instance, rather than seeing mortals who are vulnerable to disease and incapable of stopping it — or subject to economic disaster because of conditions outside our control — see immortal man subject only to the laws of God — including unfluctuating health, harmony, and well-being.

Section 2: Emerge from the false view called matter into Spirit

Sometimes we get hung up on figuring out just what matter is. It can be disconcerting to say that matter is not real if we believe that everything around us (and even our own bodies) are, in fact, material. But what if we thought of matter as a misperception of reality — a false view? Then, all we’re getting rid of is the false view. The spiritual substance, which is totally tangible, remains. To me, Mary Baker Eddy puts it so beautifully when she says, “The realm of the real is Spirit. The unlikeness of Spirit is matter, and the opposite of the real is not divine, — it is a human concept. Matter is an error of statement.” The rest of the paragraph is worth serious study and concludes by reiterating the idea that matter is … “a human concept, sometimes beautiful, always erroneous.” (S7, p. 277) We’re not getting rid of the beauty, but seeing it as spiritual — permanent. The same goes for every aspect of health (physical, emotional, economic, political, etc.)

I wonder if the selection from Romans 8 can be thought of as saying that if we look at things from a fleshly (or material) viewpoint, we’re going to be influenced (feel the effects and limits) of the flesh, or matter. But, if we view things from a spiritual perspective — see the true essence of things as springing from the ideas of good that they are actually made of — we will find the indestructible substance of Spirit. (B5, Romans 8: 5, 9)

The Christian Science textbook instructs us to “emerge gently from matter into Spirit.” (S9) I have often thought of that as making a gradual transition. And certainly we proceed step-by-step as our understanding unfolds. But, when I looked up the word gently in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, the definition was “meekly, mildly, with tenderness; without violence, roughness or asperity.” Nothing about speed! I loved the idea of emerging meekly — leaning on God to guide us. Not thinking we have to willfully make the shift with our human mind. Mary Baker Eddy goes on to say, “Think not to thwart [that is oppose] the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit … through spiritual growth.” (S9, S&H p. 485)

Mary Baker Eddy gleaned all of her ideas from her study of the Bible. Perhaps part of her inspiration for the statements quoted above came from Paul’s instructions to the Thessalonians, “Quench not the Spirit. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (B6) To quench comes from a Hebrew word that also means to extinguish. It can be tempting to be so engrossed in the evidence of the material senses that we mentally extinguish the evidence of Spirit’s permanent ever-presence. This evidence may seem entirely covered-up by disease, death, or any number of issues. But Paul said to prove (or test) the evidence. If it’s not good or if it is variable, it’s not of God. And if it’s not of God, it cannot be true about God’s image and likeness. We then reject the human concept (regardless of how real it seems) and “hold fast” to the reality of good — of Spirit!

Section 3: Wisdom and understanding come from God

I’ve often put myself in Moses’ shoes. If told I was being sent to convince an entire population to follow me into the unknown and convince an Egyptian king to release his workforce, I think I, too, would have responded, “They will not believe me!” But, God was prepared to teach Moses (as He teaches us) that ability doesn’t lie within a mortal selfhood and that we must not believe the material sense testimony — ever!!!

God gave Moses examples of how deceptive the senses can be. If my rod turned into a snake, I would run, too. But, the question to ask ourselves is … would I be obedient to God’s voice — as Moses was — and come back and “handle” the serpent — revealing its illusionary nature? (B10, B11) The more we accept the TRUTH of God’s words, “I am God, and there is none else” the more confidently we can face error in all its guises and trust spiritual sense to reveal the facts of Spirit as the only reality! (B9, S13) It takes practice, but God is instructing us every step of the way.

“Matter and Mind are opposites.” “Both cannot be real.” Either “everything is matter” or “everything is Mind.” We (and everyone) must choose. But, once we stop vacillating, and realize there is only one power [Mind, Spirit], we can reach “scientific and logical conclusions.” (S14, p. 269) It takes discipline to not believe everything the material senses tell us, but as we proceed step-by-step, we find the rewards of dealing with the serpent are amazing! It becomes a rod of understanding to lean on!!

Section 4: Life is entirely spiritual. Matter has no life to lose.

This section includes the story of Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Jairus was one of the “rulers of the synagogue”, who were generally more open to Jesus’ teaching than the Pharisees. He came to Jesus, begging him to heal his daughter, who was ill. After the message came that she had died, Jesus simply told Jairus, “Be not afraid, only believe.” (B13) Wow! Such a response must have seemed incredulous to Jairus, but perhaps he was comforted by Jesus’ conviction.

Jesus knew that God’s creation, including man, is completely spiritual in nature. This being the case, life is neither in matter nor can it die out of matter. Maybe the Psalmist’s words resonated with Jairus: “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become restless and disturbed within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.” (B12, Ps. 42:5, 8 Amp. Bible)

Jesus’ words were followed by demonstration. (S15) Certainly, seeing his daughter’s life restored, Jairus must have become a believer.

Can Jesus’ great works be repeated? Absolutely! There was nothing magical about them. They were a demonstration of Jesus’ clear understanding that matter is not substance, nor can it be the “arbiter (the final judge) of life or the constructor of any form of existence.” As the Christian Science textbook tells us, “In proportion as matter loses to human sense all entity as man, in that proportion does man become its master.” (S17)

As we become more and more conscious that “Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, neither in nor of matter,” the complaints of the body will be silenced. (S19) We ALL have what it takes to demonstrate the reality of spiritual being and the nothingness of matter! Healing comes thought by thought.

Section 5: Truth that makes us free

Have you ever looked at something in a dark room and found that either you couldn’t see anything at all or it was distorted? Light is necessary to discern what is true. Thus, the connection between Christ Jesus identifying himself as the light of the world and his assertion to the Jews willing to listen to him that if they would follow his teachings they would KNOW the truth AND the truth would set them free. (B14)

In his letter to the Galatians Paul reiterated that Christ (the divine light illuminating human consciousness) makes us free. (B16) And, Mary Baker Eddy says a bit more about what that light of truth reveals …. “Christ presents the indestructible man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes, and governs.” (S21) The “indestructible”, spiritual man is all that is true. The false, distorted, material view exists only in mortal consciousness. “Hence, as we approach Spirit and Truth, we lose the consciousness of matter.” (S22)

As we perceive this truth of spiritual reality and discern the falsity of every material report of discord and suffering (or of material pleasure, for that matter) healing happens. The belief that we can suffer from “cold, heat, fatigue”, injury, contagion, etc. “is a human belief, not the truth of being.”

The healing of Mr. Clark — who was dying — shows that the authority to heal is not limited to Jesus’ day. Acknowledging the fact that we are spiritual — the outcome or reflected image of Spirit —, and not subject to physical “laws” does reveal wholeness! And we call that healing. (S24 & S25, p. 192-193)

Section 6: Celebrate the allness of God and nothingness of matter!

I have found healing in simply rejoicing in God’s all-power and presence. “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” is a wonderful prayer of celebration and lifts off fear and despair, allowing present perfection to be seen. (B18, Revelation 19:6)

We read, “God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter.” (S27) Somehow, that phraseology seems easier to wrap arms around than saying “matter is nothing.” To me, rather than feeling I have to get rid of something (matter) I just have to remember that everything is thought — idea. Thoughts of permanent good (health, well-being, harmony, supply, joy that can’t be taken away) are real — of God, Spirit. Thoughts of fleeting pleasures or pain and of inharmony of any sort — regardless of how tangible they seem — are not real. They are the misconceptions of a suppositional mortal mind, misnamed matter, and there is nothing to them because God, Spirit is all (everything) and “there can be nothing beyond illimitable divinity.” (S26)

The Lesson ends with part of the metaphysical theme adopted by CedarS this year. It is full of promise, and well worth considering! Here is the expanded version from page 265 of Science and Health: "Man understands spiritual existence in proportion as his treasures of Truth and Love are enlarged. Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, — they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite, — in order that sin and mortality may be put off. This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggest man's absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace.”

Enjoy gravitating Godward! Leave every limiting lie (called matter) behind!


[Warren:] PLEASE MAKE PLANS to be AT CedarS THIS SUMMER! and/or THIS FALL!
A #BestSummerYet! is being hourly planned and loved into 2020 view with the active efforts and spiritual support of "best fans" like you from all across the globe. "Of two things fate cannot rob us, namely, of choosing the best [summer yet!], and of helping others thus to choose." (Miscellany, 165:2) We continue to book 2020 registrations — both without camperships as well as with full (or partial) campership support, even for multiple sessions and programs, thanks to generous, best-partners-yet, like you. [For more on getting help see https://www.cedarscamps.org/information/financial-aid/ .]

As we all hourly "love into view" a "sovereign panacea" (all-ruling, cure-all) to a "great red dragon" of a pandemic, we can reassure all registered and soon-to-register 2020 visitors to the CedarS Camps that good always wins out! (Revelation 12)! And, that (if needed for any reason), CedarS can guarantee full tuition refunds, and even travel refunds!

Notes on CedarS 2020 adjustments and wise, preventative practices:
This Spring, out of hygenic wisdom, we are adding LOTS of handwash stations at CedarS. In fun, uplifting style typical at CedarS, we will practice proven protocols for regular, deep-cleaning handwashing "baptisms." Out of a deep desire to be compassionate to everyone's comfort level, we will follow social distancing etiquette. And to be obedient to the laws of the land, we will follow non-gathering guidelines in the short term to bless the longterm. With a long-range view always in mind as well, CedarS team is prayerfully and practically supporting the spiritual sense of a moment-by-moment closeness to, and even oneness with, God. This will be loved and thanked into view with a thought-by-thought testing process of mental inoculation! We plan to show that such a powerful, prayer-based “vaccine”
acting from the inside out , is not only always free and always angelically available – but also always affectionately administered and, always instantly effective!

As CedarS Prayer Watch continues daily, we plan to email links to healing ideas shared by our worldwide Prayer Watch team.

To love blessings into view amid travel restrictions:
A weekly schedule of CedarS Virtual Gatherings (CVGs) will be shared as it is developed. It is being planned by a team of CedarS Directors and Ambassadors to share our best program features with you and a community of interested families and individuals like you. We will host most of our upcoming CVGs from "Zoom Rooms" recently donated to and set up both at CedarS Camps as well as at CedarS St. Louis office.

Please call 636-394-6162 nearly any time to discuss your interests or to give your ideas and support.

or you can MAIL your tax-deductible support to our St. Louis area office address:
The CedarS Camps, Inc.
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011

CedarS is a not-for-profit, 501-C-3 organization with Federal ID # 44-0663883.

American Camp Association

MAIN OFFICE
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Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

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