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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 C.S. 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. These two books are the pastor for Churches of Christ, Scientist, worldwide for which the Bible Lesson-Sermon is prepared and from which it is read.  Other reference books are fully noted at the end.)

Let Spirit breathe new life, new inspiration, into all you do!
Application Ideas on “Spirit”  (Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson for Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2005)
by Julie Ward, CS (Westwood, MA)

he word “spirit” comes from the Latin spirare, which means “to breathe.”  As you  read the lesson, watch for the ways in  which Spirit animates, activates, quickens,  inspires.  It breathes new life, new inspiration, into all that we do. There are  many requests to God in this lesson – lead me, teach me, instruct me, search me, try me. This week, let’s read the Lesson from that standpoint – from that deep desire to  know and do the will of God, that  willingness to listen and drink in what God is telling us, and to follow His leading in all  that we do.

GOLDEN  TEXT  “…he leadeth  me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”  (Ps. 23:3)  God constantly leads us in paths of right thinking, because that is His nature.  This is a promise! He will never  leave us in the dark, wondering what we should do or how we should think.  It is not in His nature to withhold the answers that  we need, for His nature is Love.  He doesn’t force us to play guessing games.


God knows everything about us –  we can’t hide from Him, and we wouldn’t want to. Even if we make our bed in the hell of rebellion, disobedience, stubbornness, or self-destruction, God is there to lead us and to hold us – to hold us safe in His love and care. He lights up even the night of discouragement and depression. Our job is to stay hungry – never to just be satisfied with  where we are spiritually, but to keep on  asking again and again, “Teach me to do thy  will;  for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”

SECTION I –  God is Spirit,  so man knows Him through spiritual sense alone.
God has created us in  His image, the image of Spirit. “The spirit of God hath made me,  and the breath of the Almighty hath  given me life.” (B1) It’s Spirit that animates us,  and Spirit that enables us to understand all  that we need to know. Material eyes and ears can’t see it or hear it; material hearts can’t comprehend it. “But God hath revealed it unto us through his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”  Only Spirit has the big picture.  Only Spirit can “tell it like it is.” And how does it tell us? Through spiritual sense – “the discernment of spiritual  good.” (S&H 5)  And how do we know when spiritual sense is speaking to us? “Spiritual  sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality.” (S&H 4) As you continue through the lesson, look for these qualities of spiritual sense, and look for them in your own thought. Note how naturally one quality leads to the next.

While the material belief of mind in matter  is always unstable, “alternating between  a sense of pleasure and pain, hope and fear, life and death,” (S&H 4) spiritual sense is steady and tells us of the permanence of good.  Our hope is not just wishful thinking, but scientific demonstration. “When the real is attained, which is announced by Science, joy is no longer a trembler, nor is hope a cheat.”(S&H 4) Don’t be afraid to be happy! Just be sure that you place your happiness on the basis of Spirit, not matter.

SECTION II –  Intuition: A  healing of depression
This section begins with the Psalmist  imploring God, “Search  me,  try me, lead me!” (B 5) Do we ask God to do all of that  for us? And then he makes another urgent request: “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy  free spirit.” (B 6) Only Spirit can restore our joy  when we are in the depths of discouragement and depression. Elijah discovered this when he was under the threat of death from  Jezebel.  She had in effect put a contract out on him. Feeling tired, lonely, and over-whelmed, he went into the wilderness (check out the definition in  S&H 597:16), sat  down under a juniper tree, and asked that he might die. We’ve probably all felt at times the emotion he expressed: “It is enough.”  He fell asleep,  just as we often do when we feel so over-whelmed that we just want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over our heads.  But, God just wouldn’t let him go. He sent an angel to awaken Elijah and feed him. And even though he went right back to sleep, the angel came a second time to awaken and feed him, And this was no ordinary meat!  Elijah “went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.”  If you are in the midst of sadness and discouragement, you can trust that God will send the just-right angel to awaken you, nourish you, and send you right on up to the mountain-top, where you can  see the unreality of every destructive force,  including those that are called self-destructive. And what are those angels? They  are “holy thoughts, winged with love.” (S&H 7) Angels guide us through the gloom.  They  restore the joy of Spirit’s salvation. They never leave us where they found us. “These upward-soaring beings never lead towards self, sin, or materiality, but guide to the divine Principle of all good, whither every real individuality, image, or likeness of God,  gathers.” (S&H 9)  If  you are ever lonely,  let divine Principle guide you to this perfect gathering-place of right ideas. While self,  sin, and materiality isolate and alienate, Principle gathers together its own ideas in perfect oneness.

SECTION III – Hope: Begin the  journey today, and avoid detours!
Love, the “Shepherd of Israel,” really does lead us in the paths of righteousness. To the material senses, there sometimes seems to be another attraction, another law, another  path. But the only real attraction is the Christ, which leads us into all Truth. The only way for us to avoid the entanglements of mortal sense is to recognize one law, one attraction, one path –  that of Spirit. When we walk in (live consistently in) the Spirit, we will not be pulled and tugged by “the lusts of the flesh.” (B11) When we know that there’s only one law governing us, we will be grateful for every step along the path of righteousness. “Every step towards goodness is a departure from materiality,  and is a tendency towards God, Spirit.” (S&H 12) We can’t stay in neutral, and we can’t move in two directions at once.  Ask yourself often, “Where am I placing my mental weight? Am I trying to keep one foot in the realm of Spirit and the other in the (imaginary!) realm of matter?” If  we are, then we’re fighting on both sides in the battle between Spirit and flesh. It may seem as if there’s a long path ahead of us as we demonstrate the fact that God is the only Life.  But, remember Mrs.  Eddy’s reassurance: “to begin aright and to  continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being, is doing much.”  (S&H 15) No step on this path of righteousness is insignificant.

SECTION IV – Faith: Keep  on the path  of radical reliance on God. 
The woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years “had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather  grew worse.” (B 15) How many of us have been in that position?  She knew, though,  that even a touch of the Christ could make her whole. Are we reaching out with the same deep desire, and the same unshakable faith that the Christ is the only true healer? 

How did Jesus know that the woman had touched him when the crowds were jostling about him? Didn’t he feel the touch of her  thought, her whole-hearted desire to be healed? (Check out Unity of Good 57:10 for more light on this healing.) Jesus said to her, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole.” The woman had to put her whole faith in the power of Spirit to heal her.  She couldn’t “expect to work equally with Spirit and matter.”  Neither can we.  Unequivocal trust in Spirit is required, and “timid conservatism is ABSOLUTELY INADMISSIBLE.” (S&H 18)

SECTION V – Understanding: Love’s specific leading reveals the Christ.
There is a spirit in each one of us and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth us understanding. This is a promise! When  Philip went to Samaria to preach Christ,  there was great joy in the city – it was well  received.  But the Spirit guided him to a desert place, Gaza.  The wonderful thing is that he didn’t question this guidance. “He  arose and went.” Do we do that? In that  unexpected place he found a man of Ethiopia sitting in a chariot reading the book of Isaiah.  His thought was being prepared to  receive the Christ.  He must have been  listening and following just as Philip was. Again, Philip received a specific direction from the Spirit, “Go near and join thyself to  this chariot.”  He was given each step, each  word, each thought. In the same way, we’ll  be guided to those who need what we have to share. We just have to listen and be ready  and obedient. Philip didn’t have to convince the eunuch.  He was ready! And after he was baptized, “the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, and he went on his way  rejoicing.”  (B 17) There was no personal  preaching here, and no personal responsibility for the eunuch’s growth.  Every step was taken at the behest of the Spirit.

This lovely unfoldment is a perfect example of the easy, natural, spontaneous development described in (S&H 20).  This is my pick for memorization in this lesson,  for it is a perfect promise, no matter what seems to be unfolding in our individual experience. This gathering, unfolding, and revealing of right ideas is going on constantly. You can  see it in a term paper, a relationship, a home,  a family, a healing. And it’s going on in  each individual consciousness as our growing understanding of Christian Science.  It’s just as natural for us to turn toward Truth as it is for the flower to turn toward the light. (S&H 24)

SECTION VI – Fruition and Reality: When  Spirit comes first…..
Here is a promise from God: “And it shall  come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all  nations shall flow unto it.” (B 18) So far  above all the little hills and valleys of mortal  belief (where joy is a trembler and hope is a cheat), the consciousness of Spirit will be established as our ONLY consciousness.  It’s interesting to note that the promise that “all nations shall flow unto it” defies the normal  sense of gravity, and shows that our natural  flow is upward, not downward.

Do you remember how the lesson was filled with man’s requests to God to teach me,  lead me, show me, instruct me? This section has God’s loving answer: “…he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.”  (B18) The result? Walking in the path of righteousness eliminates war.  We will not learn war anymore, because we’re too busy learning about God. Our swords are beaten into plowshares so that we can  reap the harvest of the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,  goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. (B 19) Look  for these qualities expressed in  your life. They are the signs that we really are walking in the path of righteousness    the true landmarks.

Here is a wonderful test of healing. Instead  of asking ourselves if the symptoms are  disappearing, we can ask, “Is divine Love becoming nearer,  dearer,  and more real  to” me?, Mrs. Eddy tells us that, if this is happening, “matter is then  submitting to  Spirit.” (S&H 27) We’re being healed! Let’s be glad to leave the “false landmarks” and to turn in a new direction (S&H 28). Let’s turn  to the top of the mountains, the Lord’s house, the consciousness of Love. Are we “striving to enter in”? Are we constantly turning away from material sense, and looking towards “the imperishable things of Spirit”? Are we honest and earnest in our striving? Are we gaining a little each day? Then, we’ll follow that path of right thinking right up to the top of the mountains, and  finish our course WITH  JOY! (S&H 29)

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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