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Editor’s Note: The following background information and application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp. If more information or the text of this Lesson is desired, please see the Director’s Note at the end. The citations referenced in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. (Other reference books are fully noted at the end.)

“And we solemnly promise ….” –  Application ideas for the Bible Lesson on “Sacrament”
for study from 7/4/05 to 7/10/05
by Corde Hanzlik, C.S. of Austin TX

The Golden Text for this Sacrament Lesson Says to offer God thanksgiving! Really for us at CedarS, we offer thanks to the Bible Lesson Committee! Thank you, thank you! One of the study themes for this summer is the Tenets of Christian Science. The Committee has given us one Tenet for each section! Meanwhile, we have our other focus, the Beatitudes, in the Journal every month! Thank you, thank you!
So on with the Lesson:
We make our vow, our pledges to God – to follow and obey. “And we solemnly promise ….”
The Responsive Reading basically says to stop wasting time with animal sacrifices and get on with the real purification – “Wash, put away evil, cease to do evil.” No matter what our “sin” has been, how “red” it should be, we are purified white as God knows us. “A clean heart and a right spirit” is our place of worship.

All of the sections will have as the central theme, a Tenet. For those new to the Tenets, you will find them on page 497 in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, The Manual of the Mother Church by Mrs. Eddy, the Quarterly Weekly Bible Lesson, and the Full Text edition of the Lesson.

Section 1 Inspired Word
“1. As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.”
We offer the true worship of God by living His Word. Our vows to God are our sacred promise to Him/Her (B1) Whether we have been raised knowing the Word when as “a child”, our childike trust in the holy scriptures is our salvation inspired by God. After what may be needed, “reproof, correction, instruction”, we are perfect, able to do all good works. (B3)
Inspired understanding of the Scriptures is the key to knowing God! (all S&H markers) The literal word is confusing and deadend.

Section 2 The Christ and the Comforter –
“2. We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God”s image and likeness.”
As Jesus showed Philip what Jesus thought was transparent – the Father/Son relationship. Jesus explains the Christ to Philip. Of course the bonus is the Comforter. We have the dialogue with Philip to help us understand Jesus’ explanation. Mrs. Eddy’s further explanation and enlightenment of the communion, gives us the freedom and direction of our divine heritage. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.”(B7) How many trinities are there? The triune Person – Life, Truth, Love. Then we read – Father/Mother, Christ, divine Science/Holy Comforter. (S&H7)

There are manyself examination questions in this Lesson. The first test questions are in S&H marker 10. These questions do not lead to pass/fail. We always pass!

Just in case we think that our track record isn’t very good, Mrs. Eddy tells us how to proceed. “Hold perpetually this thought, – that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you (me) to demonstrate, with scientific certainty (what a guarantee!) the rule of healing based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being.”

Section 3 We are not punishable mortals –
“3. We acknowledge God”s forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.” (S&H 14)
The woman who came to wash Jesus’ feet certainly knew whom Jesus represented. The Christ idea cleansed her of her false label, belief. Mrs. Eddy explains the inspired word of this story so beautifully. We are also asked more test questions in S&H marker 13. “The design of Love is to reform the sinner.” (S&H15) Re-form not condemn or give up on.
What is sin? We often hear of the old archery definition of “missing the mark (the target)”. Sin is anything less than the God-standard of thought. By seeing the nothingness of the material belief bondage, we are free. More than that we realize that the bondage was never real. Does it have hold on us or do we hold it? Either way, it is only belief. God doesn’t know sin. How could He?

Section 4 Jesus’ example –
“4. We acknowledge Jesus” atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man”s unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death. (S&H 19)

In the Sacrament Lesson we always have the true communion story – first with Jesus and his disciples, then with Mrs. Eddy’s explanation for contemporary communion. The Master guided his disciples through the ritualism of the communion. Mrs. Eddy gives us the symbolism of it. Aren’t we grateful that we have her explanations and know the example that Jesus set?
We have many more test questions in marker 17 of the Science and Health, 6 of them. Like all of the other questions in the Lesson, your answers are your own, between you and God.

Section 5  The risen Christ –
5. We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter. (S&H 20)

We can’t have the resurrection and final ascension without the crucifixion. What is most important in Christian Science as compared to most religions is the resurrection. Jesus was not left on the cross and the Christ was never crucified. The women went to the sepulcher to mourn and give homage, but instead experience earthquake and an angel indicating the rising up of Jesus. In John 21 (B14) Jesus appears to his disciples by celebrating life, preparing food for them, comforting them.
We, like the disciples, see the completeness of Jesus’ demonstration by his final feeding of the Truth. Jesus knew through the crucifixion experience that he was untouchable and untouched by death-belief.
So what is our spiritual communion? Bread/Truth, cup/cross, wine – inspiration. S&H 24 proclaims the practical application of the resurrection as “the living Christ, the practical Truth”.

Section 6 Our sacramental vow –
“6. And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.” (S&H28)

The last section is the prize for what Jesus demonstrated to the world. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”(B19) What more could we want than to totally rely on God and to receive all the good that He is constantly giving us. We put off our own self(ish) sense to follow. As we do what all of the test questions in the Lesson have asked of us, our vow to God is blest with right rewards.(B20)
So how do we pray? Fervently. Desiring what? Growth. In what? Grace. Manifested how? Patience, meekness, love, good deeds. (S&H25) We are all in one accord. So what is our final vow of allegiance? “And we solemnly promise to watch, (that is where the comma is) and pray for that mind which was also in Christ Jesus, ” live the Golden Rule, and be merciful, just and pure. (S&H28) As we promise, God has promised. We are His, He is ours! The covenant demonstrated.

Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a long series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms.Originally sent JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson in the books. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.)  

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