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Don’t be an “April Fool!”(by “raising a false report” to the level of Truth)
Consider the Reporter! If it’s not of God, Truth, the report will be False, unbelievable!
Lesson Application Ideas on “Unreality” for March 29 – April 4, 2004
by Warren Huff, CEDARS Director (a day late due to touring & office duties)

Did you know that the first “April Fools” were called this name in 1582? They were being ridiculed by the general French populace because these “April Fools” continued to celebrate New Year Day on April 1st instead of on January 1st as ordered by King Charles IX with his newly imposed Gregorian calendar. ( So this year why not chose to celebrate your own New Year’s Eve at Wednesday evening meetings on March 31st as you usher in the Passover and Easter season with newness of life (and maybe a fresh set of New Year’s resolutions)? When we follow God’s calendar and obey what he puts in our hearts, instead of what man or the physical senses tell us, we will never be fools. In her awesome article on “Obedience,” Mrs. Eddy writes: “According to my calendar, God’s time and mortals’ differ. The neophyte is inclined to be too fast or too slow: he works somewhat in the dark; and, sometimes out of season, he would replenish his lamp at the midnight hour and borrow oil of the more provident watcher. God is the fountain of light, and He illumines one’s way when one is obedient. The disobedient make their moves before God makes His, or make them too late to follow Him. Be sure that God directs your way; then, hasten to follow under every circumstance.” Misc. 117:22 According to God’s calendar, “Every day will be an Easter Filled with benedictions new!” (CS Hymnal 171) However, this week’s “April Fools” might be those who forget to set their clocks forward on Saturday night, April 3rd – and so show up an hour late for Sunday School and Church!

Golden Text: “Thou shalt not raise a false report:” (up to the status of truth or fact)
Exodus 23:1 (to:) Don’t pass on malicious gossip (From The Message by Eugene Peterson)
Here’s a working definition of UNREALITY: a False report that, if “raised” to the status of Truth and believed, would cause us to draw False conclusions about all we experience. Mis-education and/or ignorance can be harmful unless the error is shown to be false and is corrected. This week’s Bible lesson acts as a series of corrective wake-up calls to expose various lies and made-up conclusions arising from the “false report” that life, reality, power, cause and intelligence are in matter, where they are not. These truths of Christian Science are so practical that they can be applied with a Bible and Science and Health in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Recent headline news “stories” feature contrary reports that can’t both be true. How are we to know what to believe? Especially when a previously trusted source of information, like the New York Times, has a reporter admitting to the paid-off creation of false sources and the protection of these make-believe “witnesses” in order to advance his career and/or a political agenda. Politics and egos aside, please consider the sources of all the false reports that “ticker tapes” through thought (as if on Headline News). Let’s make sure to heed what God’s angel messages are always telling us to counteract the false reports of what mortals, the media and the material senses are telling us about our identities and our prospects for success, about the events of the day, about promoted epidemics of diseases and sensualism and about everything that comes to us.

As to our own truth-telling, let’s always behave as if under oath “TO TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP ME GOD.” This week’s lesson is a logical expansion of the 9th Commandment to consistently uphold integrity and avoid misrepresentation. (See Ex. 20:16 “Thou shalt not bear false witness . . .”) “Borrowing an appearance” for the sake of making a better impression or gaining advantage is “reproachable” and far below you and me and others (although many don’t see the great value of the integrity they forfeit by such action). I love the way Mary Baker Eddy esteems and describes this gem of character: “The man of integrity is one who makes it his constant rule to follow the road of duty, according as Truth and the voice of his conscience point it out to him. He is not guided merely by affections which may some time give the color of virtue to a loose and unstable character. The upright man is guided by a fixed Principle, which destines him to do nothing but what is honorable, and to abhor whatever is base or unworthy; hence we find him ever the same, – at all times the trusty friend, the affectionate relative, the conscientious man of business, the pious worker, the public-spirited citizen. He assumes no borrowed appearance. He seeks no mask to cover him, for he acts no studied part; but he is indeed what he appears to be, – full of truth, candor, and humanity. In all his pursuits, he knows no path but the fair, open, and direct one, and would much rather fail of success than attain it by reproachable means. He never shows us a smiling countenance while he meditates evil against us in his heart. We shall never find one part of his character at variance with another.” (Misc. 147-148)

Responsive Reading: 3 Wake-up Calls from “April Fools” Lies:
1. God is NOT far off!
“Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?”
(Jer. 23:23) The Science of the Christ can make God’s immanence, or closeness, feel to us as real, tangible and provable as it felt to Jesus. For you and me I pray (in Jesus’ name/nature) that our relationship with God fits the 2-word description plastered in huge letters on dozens of Florida billboards:
“Real. Close.”

2. False dreams NEVER come true, but turn into deadly nightmares!
“false dreams . . . cause my people to err by their lies and their lightness”
(Jer. 23:32) One of the most misleading dream that causes millions to err by its lies and by the lightness (of nothing seeming morally wrong) is the idolatrous obsession with sensual pleasures which Mrs. Eddy exposes as make-believe (“imaginary”), quirky, fanciful (“whimsical”) and illusory (“unreal”). She states: “The sensualist’s affections are as imaginary, whimsical, and unreal as his pleasures.” (S&H 241:8) Let’s not let ourselves be willing “April Fools” about the deadly, lying promises of finding lasting satisfaction in sex and body worship. Let’s often check out Paul’s definition of death and how we can overcome it: “To be carnally (sexually/bodily) minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) To avoid becoming “April Fools” and believing promises that can never be fulfilled, let’s see through the lies and “forsake the foolish (& self-destructive) and live!” Prov. 9:6

3. Obedience to God is NOT a burden!
(the world’s false dream) and sensualists (the dreamers) HATE wake-up calls! When they ask you if your stand for purity and discipline of thought isn’t too hard and heavy (a “burden of the Lord”) “thou shalt then say to them, What burden?” (Jer. 23:33) Like Jesus who “bore our infirmities” (S&H 20:14) and that heavy cross to become the first to overcome sensation in matter and death, we too can say with the passion of the Christ: “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:30 Speaking as if she were yet another Mary at the foot of the cross, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “when error felt the power of Truth, the scourge and the cross awaited the great Teacher. Yet he swerved not, well knowing that to obey the divine order and trust God, saves retracing and traversing anew the path from sin to holiness.” (S&H 20:19) As if a 39-lash beating and crucifixion weren’t bad enough, “The burden of that hour was terrible beyond human conception. The distrust of mortal minds, disbelieving the purpose of his mission, was a million times sharper than the thorns which pierced his flesh. The real cross, which Jesus bore up the hill of grief, was the world’s hatred of Truth and Love.” (S&H 50:26) As you help others by letting your obedient life example shine, you will encounter storms of hatred but can sing the truths of Hymn #360: “Is thy burden hard and heavy? Do thy steps drag wearily? Help to bear thy brother’s burden, God will bear both it and thee.”

Section 1 The Bible: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
Trash (the chaff/wrapper ) is NOT more satisfying or valuable that the inner treasure (wheat)!

But, mortal mind tends to focus on surface appearances, on the shell or wrapper (straw) that it can see and purchase, more than on the priceless essence of an individual and experience. (As a momentary redirection of focus, we can appreciate clever ads ending in: “Priceless. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”) (2) Jer. 23:28 “What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord” A life experience when our children were in preschool drove home a priceless lesson on how to value and treat what matters most to us (the wheat in the analogy). After coming home from a fun family weekend at CEDARS, my wife had left most of our kids dirty clothes, velcro shoes and Smurf sleeping bags packed up in trash bags in the utility room. Unaware of this I eagerly pitched these treasures of theirs into the back of a passing trash truck at 5am on Monday morning. Opps! But, we all learned a valuable life lesson: Don’t treat your treasures like trash! What treasures of yours (like Christian Science or family members) will you finally stop treating like trash this week? What trash (like mere “eye-candy” objects that can be viewed or bought) will you finally stop treating like treasure?
(5) Eph. 5:14
“Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light!” (The Message) Daylight’s burnin’! Stop hitting the snooze button!

Science and Health: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
“Error of any kind (may run, but) CANNOT hide from the law of God!” (1) S&H 95:11

continued with more snooze button warnings: “Lulled by stupefying illusions, the world is asleep in the cradle of infancy, dreaming away the hours.” So when teens (or any of us) get stuck on “stupefying illusions” and images that we think will make us “adult” and all grown up, we have actually made ourselves mere infants – MENTALLY way younger than our years, unable to discern between and separate the false and the true, real and the unreal!
(2) S&H 505:29-2
“The mortal, erring and finite are human beliefs, which apportion to themselves a task impossible for them, that of distinguishing between the false and the true.”
In explaining how to “lift and separate” the mixture of true and false ticker-taping though our heads, Mrs. Eddy picks up on the chaff and wheat theme raised in the Bible and takes it to a new level (as usual). Better than HD (High Definition) TV are her “High Definitions” of most Biblical terms, including “FAN. Separator of fable from fact; that which gives action to thought.” (3) S&H 586:7 Since a fan gives action to thought, to awake from sleep, we need to “hit the fan,” instead of the snooze button! Although a fan in Bible times was not electric, it did perform a similar function: that of allowing the Holy Ghost, or Spirit, God (Pneuma in Greek which is also the word for air and wind) to blow away the chaff. After harvesting wheat, it is all mixed in with the chaff (straw and wheat husks) and cannot be used to make bread and other foods that nurture and sustain life. Without modern farm equipment, which costs a fortune, the most effective way to separate the mixed up mess and save the valuable wheat, is to carry it all together to the highest point (Higher Ground) and toss it up into the air with a pitch-fork-shaped-“FAN.” The wind (Spirit, pneuma) will blow the lighter chaff downwind into a waiting fire, never to blow back into the mix, while the heavier wheat falls into a “save pile.” According to late C.S. Bible scholar B. Cobbey Crisler, this perfectly describes what John the Baptist meant when he prophesied that Jesus would “baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matt. 3:11) (Dick Davenport says Christian Scientists don’t baptize with water, because we “Dry clean.”)
(4) S&H 466:26 “The Science of Christianity comes with fan in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat. Science will declare God aright, and Christianity will demonstrate this declaration and its divine Principle, making mankind better physically, morally and spiritually.” Why not hourly do our job of lifting up the mixed-up mess of physical health theories (diets, exercise and all) along with our daily duties and decisions and the moral dilemas that abound and let God’s divine wind do its job of blowing away all the chaff, fluff and stuff!

Section 2 The Bible: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
You are NOT separate from God or inadequate to fulfill your mission & demonstrate your right place!

The land of Canaan scouting party report in (8) Numbers 13 is a great life lesson to not have “distrust of one’s ability to gain the goodness desired!” Here’s that quote from Mrs. Eddy in context: “Science reveals the possibility of achieving all good, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; but distrust of one’s ability to gain the goodness desired and to bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one’s wings and ensures failure at the outset.” (S&H 260:13) It’s fitting that “The present state of Israel uses the logo of the two spies carrying an immense cluster of grapes on a pole as the symbol of the Department of Tourism. The Bible doesn’t specify which of the men carried the grapes; the modern tourism department supplies the names freely: Caleb and Joshua!” (p. 7, 9 in The New International Commentary on the Old Testament by R.K. Harrison as found in The Researched Bible Guide for April 2004 by Daybreak Publications 561-776-5711)

Let us stop false reports and rumors and be confident and faithful like Caleb and Joshua! (A good follow-up to the Matter lesson “miracle” for Joshua at Jericho.

(8) Num. 13:30-32 (to;),33
“Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, Let’s go up and take the land-now. We can do it. But the others said, We can’t attack those people; they’re way stronger than we are. They spread scary rumors among the People of Israel. They said, We scouted out the land from one end to the other-it’s a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we saw was huge. Why, we even saw the Nephilim giants (the Anak giants come from the Nephilim). Alongside them we felt like grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers.” (The Message)
(7) Heb. 11:1,2 “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” (The Message)

Science and Health: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
You are NOT a limited, mortal VICTIM, but a VICTOR!

(9) S&H 516:19-21 “Man, made in His likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion over all the earth.” That dominion includes freedom from allergies falsely associated with and advertised as part of this season! Just as we never find one part of your “character at variance with another.” (Misc. 147-148), so not one part of God’s perfect creation is at variance with any other part of it!

Section 3 The Bible: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
You will NOT wear out, wear down, swell up or fall short!

(B10) Isa. 53:1 “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” If “arm denotes power put into action,” (ITC) the children of Israel and we clearly have reason to believe God’s true report.

(B11) Neh.9:12 “thou leddest them in the day by a by cloudy pillar; and on the night by a pillar of fire”
We can expect as clear guidance on and defense of our journey out of the slavery that would seem to ensnare and pursue us. For the 40 years in the wilderness, the children of Israel were sustained and provided for till they were ready to enter into the promised land.

Science and Health: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
Your WILDERNESS experiences are not your worst, but your BEST times of growth!

Another current billboard (can you tell I travel a lot in the spring?) reads: “Lonely? Confused? Alone? Depressed?” This fits Mrs. Eddy’s definition of the material sense of (S11) 597:16 “WILDERNESS. “Loneliness; doubt; darkness.” Make a note of that period, or “Full stop!” as described in the “King’s English!” Let’s never allow the material sense to continue and mingle with our spiritual sense. When we entertain a spiritual sense of ourselves and of all being, it’s like entering a vestible where our outer garments and burdens (listed above) are removed and we spontaneously feel the unity, clarity and light imparted by “the great facts of existence.” (S11) 597:16

Section 4 The Bible: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
Military or material might does NOT determine true strength or guarantee peace and freedom!

(B14) II Chron. 20: 17 “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still and see the salvation of the Lord with you”
How cool that no matter what conflicts we face, they can all be peacefully settled by God’s all-powerful ever-presence and that when armed with a song of praises to God, our so-called enemies are disarmed and destroy themselves. Martin Luther said that when he sang, he prayed twice! Why not sing to “double your pleasure, double your fun” (with the G.U.M. of a perfect God, Universe and Man.)
(B15) Ps. 98:1 “Sing unto the Lord a NEW SONG” The spiritual sense of Wilderness and it’s spontaneity are refreshing and needed! Never settle for dull and the same old song of a graven image rut.
(B16) Ps. 9:6 “destructions come to a perpetual end” (full stop!)

Science and Health: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
Evil “can NEVER destroy one iota of good”- only itself!

As we refuse to “stand aghast at nothingness,” and instead learn that (S18) 207:9 “evil is the awful deception and unreality of existence”, of course we will feel like we are fighting a defeated foe!

Section 5 The Bible: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
Spiritual healing work NEVER goes unnoticed or unrewarded!

Jesus’ fulfillment of prophesy with his victorious Passover procession on a donkey (a week before his resurrection and the first Easter Sunday) came about because people were taking notice and celebrating his “miracle” of raising Lazarus from the dead.

Science and Health: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
Mind, NOT the body governs you! Wake up and be free!

(S22) 226:22-29 “I saw before me the sick, wearing out years of servitude to and UNREAL master in the belief that the body governed them, rahter than Mind.” Mrs. Eddy brought great new freedoms along with the Science of Christ healing to our age.

Section 6 The Bible: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
“Idol tales” and even death threats do NOT intimidate or impress you! (much)

“blundering dispatch”
Idolatry and intimidation (both based in a belief in a power apart from God) didn’t work on Jesus, who knew he was fighting a defeated foe.” He said “Rejoice and be exceeding glad for I have overcome the world.”(John 16)

Science and Health: Another Wake-up Call from another “April Fools” Lie:
“Life & intelligence are (NOT) in matter” (S27) 476:7 and “mortal man is not the real essence of manhood!”(S26) 292:31

(S29) 264:7,18 For the true report to cancel the false: “Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things” – finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness.”

Have a great week! (NO FOOLIN’!)

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