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Receive & Share the Greatest Gift:  God, the super Preserver!
Application Ideas for “God the Preserver of Man” (Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson for 12/6 -12/12, 2004)
by Corde Hanzlik, C.S. (Austin, Texas)

God, the super Preserver! As we have entered the Christmas holiday season, let’s look at the Golden Text and Responsive Reading as a gift not only for ourselves, but for everyone. God, our Preserver, cares for each of us not matter where we are. A rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, horn of salvation, high tower, refuge, saviour, God saves us all from the ambushments of material sense. God makes us “super-man/woman” as He is the source of our strength and power, which we reflect. What an amazing gift – a gift that keeps on giving. As we work our way through the Lesson we will find that we have a super hero showing us the way to use our gift. His name? Paul. (At least after the second section.)

Section 1: The Authority for Reflecting
How can we claim our authority to claim and use this gift? In the beginning, God made man in His perfect image and likeness. (B1) He gave it to us as His rightful heirs. The promise of the 3rd marker (Prov. 3:24) is a wonderful relief from any sleepless nights. There is no fear that can disturb our peace. Simply with lightweight feathers (B4), God takes care of us. As His likeness, why wouldn’t we be satisfied – completely cared for? We might say of the final verse, “I shall be satisfied as Thy likeness”. (B5)

The Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy confirms the Bible citations. We are all one family with one Parent. Mrs. Eddy’s comparison to a mirror/reflection is always so simple, yet very comforting. (S&H 2) Of course, all of the citations expand the full aspects of reflecting. Love, light and harmony are necessary for good reflections and good reflecting. (S&H 4)

In the next 5 sections we’ll see how Paul proved his reflecting abilities. It took a major wake up shock at first. 

Section 2: Saul sees the Light!
John 12 (B6) sets it up – Jesus Christ – the light.
Saul was not a nice guy. He was merely a young man who had misdirected fervor. He was out to get all followers of Jesus. Struck with blindness, he saw the Light. His fervor was then redirected as a soldier of Christ. We should all have the drive that Paul exemplifies. Ananias was obedient and trusting in his mission. (It is not in the Lesson, but remember that he wasn’t sure about his assignment.) IChron. (B8) was definitely for him. Ananias was serving God.

Science and Health – As reflections aren’t we ‘all prepared”? The answer is, “YES!” We must refuse to be ignorant of God. (S&H 9) We have the light of understanding. (S&H10) We can all have Paul’s fervor and Ananias’ obedience and trust.

Section 3: Preacher Paul begins his work
Everywhere Paul goes, he stirs up religious or political trouble. Remember that he has 3 citizenships – Jewish, Greek, and Roman. He can go anywhere and say anything, but he is always making some group angry. The crowds gathered around him to hear the truth, yet, he was persecuted by others.

Science and Health – Paul had seen the light in his blindness, remember? He saw his mission with such clarity and purity that there was nothing was going to stop him from his duty. Paul had a determination through his understanding of God that nothing could stop him. Can we be so determined? No fear! (S&H 14)

Section 4: Shipwrecked! (The Responsive Reading is most literal in this section for Paul)
Paul very politely told the ship commanders, “I told you so!” about leaving port as he comforted them that no lives would be lost.

Science and Health tells us that God is an always-present help. The accident citation is interesting in that had the ship commanders listened to Paul there would not have been a shipwreck. But under divine guidance, what appeared “accident” turned out well. Sometimes we find ourselves in a little bit of trouble, or much trouble, but it is what we do with the challenge that brings us the blessing. No shipwreck could separate any of the sailors or prisoners from the love of God or God’s love for them. (S&H 18) Love has to have her expression.

Section 5: It’s not over yet, Paul.
The viper fastened on Paul. (Literal serpent attack.) He had to have understood that it had no power to destroy him. Maybe we need to do more shaking off. It is amusing that the people believed two opposite extremes – first, Paul is a murderer, then he’s a god. They never get the real point. Ignorance. We know where Paul put his trust.

The Science and Health is quick to explain the ‘fear factor’. (S&H 20) If Paul had been afraid of snake bite, he would have been liable to the penalty. Remember, FEARforgetting everything about reality – cannot have an effect when we know God as the only power. S&H 22 is an especially good reminder that truth does the removing. The truth ? “A spiritual idea has not a single element of error”. First step? Decide quickly. S&H 23 is an except from 3 pages (390-393) in Science and Health that Mrs. Eddy gives many directives, commands, as what to do in Christian Science treatment. Sometimes when it seems like we can’t think or don’t know what to think, these pages are wonderful. She tells us!

Section 6: Success for Paul
Paul’s healing ministry spreads as he travels. His practice took him to Rome. He was provided for comfortably. Remember the wing and feathers in the Responsive Reading? The final Bible citation refers us again to the protective care of a mother bird as the baby is carried between the shoulders until ready to fly.

Paul is our proof talked about in the Science and Health. (S&H24) The citation clearly indicates that the gift of support, protection is for everyone. Now!  We do understand and are not deceived. (S&H 25) Now! Moth-like error destroys itself in the light of Truth. “We are the expressions (reflections) of God’s being.” (S&H 28) Now!  

Camp Director’s Note: As the latest in a long series of CedarS weekly lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed 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. Sent originally JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue in their homes and Sunday Schools the same inspiration felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily lesson study in the books. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit of 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 applications.  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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