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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.)

Christ – The saving grace here for all time!
Lesson Application Ideas for “Christ Jesus” – August 22-28
By Kathy Fitzer, CS, of St. Louis, MO

Jesus was sent to save. As we acknowledge his Sonship and ours, the Christ indeed continues to “save” by delivering us from sin, disease, and death through God’s grace.

Golden Text: Christ Jesus (God’s son) had a specific mission on earth. It was to save – deliver – the world from the bonds of sin, disease, and death.

Responsive Reading: Mary delivered to this world the highest human representative of the Christ idea. By identifying Joseph as the “son of David,” the angel helped him realize the legitimacy of the birth of the promised Messiah, prophesied to be of the lineage of David. The name Jesus means Savior, and Emmanuel (or Immanuel in Isaiah) is interpreted as “God with us.” Look for how the messages of Sonship, being “with God,” and the gift of grace run through the lesson as we learn how the Christ saves and how we can and must follow the example Jesus gave us.

Section I: Spiritual Sonship – Coincidence of God and man!
Looking at Isa. 9: 6 (B-1), it is easy to see why some were reluctant to acknowledge Jesus as the promised Messiah. The government was to be on his shoulders. However, rather than a mortal kingdom with a mortal government, Jesus came to demonstrate the divine government of the kingdom of heaven which frees people from disease, weakness and infirmity (Amplified Bible – #3) Witnessing healing, multitudes started following Jesus. As they trusted in, adhered to (remember the duck tape?), and relied on Jesus’ teachings, they received power (the privilege or right) to be further blessed by the grace of God, which accompanies Sonship. (B-4) The power of Christ was not, of course, limited to a particular time. It is a forever power. (S-5) We, too, can demonstrate it (make it evident), as we understand, through Christian Science, that “God is the only author of man.” (S-3) We are all Sons (children) of God – even though it appears that we were born of human parents. As you read Mrs. Eddy’s explanation of Jesus and Christ, look for how the two correspond, and look for the definitions, characteristics and activities described in connection with Christ (or Messiah). Jesus “proved that Christ is the divine idea of God” and so we don’t need to feel the pressure to prove anything. Jesus showed in a visible way how the Christ dispels (drives away by scattering) the illusion of the senses. (S-4) As we recognize one existence – God and His offspring – we, too, will be prepared to receive Christ, Truth, illustrating the coincidence (the simultaneous occurrence) of God and man – God and each of us. You never need to feel alone or on your own!

Section II: Perfection – It’s Yours
Notice how many times perfection is mentioned in this section. Jesus told his followers to be perfect. (B-5) Did he mean we should all be human perfectionists? The danger is that judging things according to a human scale of good, better, best it may seem that we can never be good enough. The original Greek word translated perfect, however, may also be translated as complete or whole. Jesus healed by seeing the perfect man – the whole and complete Son of God. (See S&H p.476) Jesus taught us how to be perfect (whole) through his example and his teachings, including the Sermon on the Mount. The quality of thought demanded in the be-attitudes allows us to discover the “sinless joy” (a joy that can’t be turned upside down) that Mrs. Eddy says constitutes the only real, indestructible man. (S-7) Each of us has been given the gift of grace (B-6), which enables us to achieve this sinless joy. Accept nothing less – in school, in athletics, in relationships, in business, in health. As you let your light (the illumination of Love) shine, and love your enemies, you will discover your Sonship with your Father, which is in heaven (harmony.) (B-5) If your Father is in heaven, and you are inseparable from your Father, then, you too MUST be in heaven (harmony.) Follow Jesus’ example, realize that you are “hid with Christ in God” and start living up to your true potential as the forever reflection of a perfect God. Accept nothing less.

Section III: It just takes a crumb to destroy the works of the devil
Is there a real something called a devil that can make you do things you don’t want to do, that can tempt you, make you sick, or strike out and cause you harm? Devil is just one of the names used in the Bible for the supposititious opposite of God, called evil. We also have the serpent that tempted Adam and Eve, the red dragon of Revelation, and unclean spirits that Jesus cast out on more than one occasion. Mrs. Eddy defines devil as simply a false claim that there is intelligence in matter. Whether it is suggesting that it can help you or hurt you, it is still just a false claim. God, good, is the only source of help, and nothing can hurt you because Christ, Truth, destroys anything unlike itself. How much light does it take to destroy darkness – just a little. How much Truth does it take to destroy that which is untrue – just a little – just a crumb. The Greek woman whose daughter Jesus healed wasn’t deterred when Jesus suggested that she wasn’t one of the “chosen people.” She must have sufficiently glimpsed the universal nature of God to realize that there was enough good to go around. She knew it only took a crumb of Truth to destroy the erroneous belief that her daughter could be ill. (B-9) Jesus’ mission was to demonstrate the Christ (the Son of God) that destroys all evil. The willingness on the part of individuals to accept the fact that the Christ has come through all ages and to all of humanity to destroy what is not good, allows us to gobble up the crumbs that fall. Are we ever tempted to think that we need some special quote to heal us, or some dramatic thunderbolt to come crashing into our thinking in order for healing to take place? The question may just come down to, “Are we accepting every crumb of comfort that is falling our way every day?” Are we watching every thought, being sure we are being fully governed by God? (S-13) That means allowing no fear, no doubt, no impatience. And it means lapping up every hymn, every spiritual instruction, and judging all according to Science, rather than material evidence. (S-14) Finally, let’s be sure we’re thanking God (in advance), knowing that He always gives us the victory! (B-10)

Section IV: Have you accepted Christ as YOUR saviour?
The woman at the well knew of the promised Messiah. She knew that God had promised to reveal his Son (Christ) who would “tell us all things.” (B-11) What are the “all things” that we need to know? Isn’t it our perfection, our wholeness – that God is the source of our every thought and action? If we understood our nature as the inseparable, perfect child of God we would never feel lack of anything. There would be nothing to “thirst” for because we would have “in” us a “well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Jesus offered to give the woman living water – the grace and truth of which he was full (Dummelow). Grace is mentioned in almost every section of this week’s lesson. Here it is again. Grace is the divine influence that is reflected in our lives, bestowing on us all (impartially and universally) the goodness of God. Marker 18 of Science and Health gives a wonderful description of man as coexisting with God and with the universe. Life – like Christ – is inclusive. Your life is the reflection of the divine Life and is not dependent on body or background. Will you accept the signs that Jesus showed through his healing work? Will you accept the signs that appear weekly and monthly in the Sentinel and Journal? Healing comes as we give up faith in the water that can be depleted and drink in the water of “of Truth, unfolding its own immortal idea.” That water (the grace of God) is within us all -within consciousness. Stop your busy day long enough to listen and accept a drink from Christ -“the divine manifestation which comes to the flesh (right to where you are humanly) to destroy incarnate error (a deviation from truth appearing in a bodily or human form).” (S&H 583) Keep drinking and never again will you feel dissatisfied, or look anywhere but to God for satisfaction.

Section V: Looking for the Kingdom of Heaven?
Check the state of Mind you’re in.Jesus’ audience was made up of everyday people who understood those things they dealt with in their everyday life. So Jesus talked to them in those terms – seed, leaven, and nets. (B-13) Jesus presented Christ – Truth – in ways that everyone could understand. It is important to look for modern-day parables, ways that Truth is explained in ways that we can understand. It is also important to be sure we don’t fall into the habit of talking in Christian Scientese – the language that only other Christian Scientists can understand. There is a universal language – the language of thought and attitude that all may understand. It is this language that is the Kingdom of Heaven within. It communicates with such qualities as “unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love.” As we “let” these qualities reign within us, the result is that the belief of sin, disease, and death will grow fainter and fainter in our thought until they finally disappear entirely. (S-25) Health is right there with unselfishness and love. Health is a gift from God and a natural attribute of man. We can’t afford to make the mistake of thinking that it is something “out there” that we have to get. The kingdom of heaven (including all of the qualities listed above) is within your thought – your consciousness – now because heaven is “a divine state of Mind” and, as we learned in last week’s lesson we are the thoughts of God.

Section VI: Christ – all in all – for all in all time!
Christ was Jesus’ divine nature. It was spirit of oneness with God that enabled Jesus to do all that he did. (S-26) It was what made him who he was. Jesus, as a human being, wasn’t here very long, but his teachings are ongoing, and they continue to influence and change human lives in accordance with God’s law of harmony. (S-29) Jesus didn’t monopolize Christ – God’s idea. It is free to all – Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, male and female – all races and all nationalities. (B-19) We are “joint-heirs” with Christ because we are the children of God. (B-18) God has anointed each of us to be his child. (B-17) Having inherited the fullness of God’s government, we have a responsibility to fulfill our role as witness. A witness swears to tell the truth – no matter what. As we accept Christ as our divine nature, as it was Jesus’, we can expect to exercise our dominion over all human limitation – just as Jesus did. Don’t sell yourself short. Jesus’ purpose was to show us the possibilities of living in accord with our true nature – our Christly nature. The prophets that came before Jesus expressed Christ, Truth because Christ is the ideal of God – the perfect expression of Life, Truth, Love, Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit. And you have been anointed with that perfect nature!!! Don’t let a masquerade of parading false belief ever convince you otherwise. Take your stand, as Jesus taught us to do, and realize that you are sealed. Nothing foreign can enter your being anymore than contamination can enter a sealed can of food. Problems arise when you think you are someone you’re not. You are the child of God! And so is everyone else. And that’s forever and ever and ever! Accept the gift of grace! Be perfect!

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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