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Seek for and expect unlimited man – Find the immortal you!

Mortals and Immortals – 5/12-5/18, 2003
A lesson-met prepared by Kathy Fitzer, CS

A mortal is one that is destined to die. The word mortal comes from a Latin word that means “to fall” – like Adam. An immortal is “one who is exempt from death.” To be immortal is to have “no principle of alteration or corruption.” The visible world continually declares that we are mortal – fallen and falling apart, every day growing closer to our ultimate destruction. Do we accept this? If we are to believe the Bible and follow its teachings, we find that our immortal (limitless) selfhood is just a view away. What it takes to see it is a constant turning away from the material appearance of things to see what God has created. The view may be imperfect now – as looking in a steamed up mirror is imperfect, or even obscured. But, in order to see yourself clearly in the bathroom mirror you don’t have to change you – or your image – you just have to clean the mirror. And you have to keep your eyes on the mirror. If you turn your back on it, you’ll never see the image as the steam dissipates. So, keep your eyes on God – on Truth. Becoming involved in the trappings of this world is like turning your back on God. When you do that, you see only the mortal (limited) picture of you. Seek the clear view of man in God’s image and you find an unlimited, immortal self that is the only real. Check out how often this concept of seeking and finding is mentioned in the lesson.

The Golden Text urges us to look with expectancy to see the son of God here and now. J.B. Phillips translates it this way: “The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own.” (Rom. 8:19)

The Responsive Reading from I John lets us know that we’re not being asked to do anything new. The demand now is the same as it always has been: Love God, not the common trappings of the world. I John 2: 17 (in the Phillips translation) reads, “The world and all its passionate desires will one day disappear. But the man who is following God’s will is part of the permanent and cannot die.” So, why chase the parade of the easy life being found in the fast track of ease in matter, when its just going to disappear anyway. Why not invest, instead, in the enduring practice of honoring Truth, Life, and Love? Everything worthwhile is worth the effort of practicing the principles related to it. Practice being Godlike in everything you do. What is promised is eternal life! And that includes an eternal ability to do whatever is required of you – without limitation.

Section I: Once we decide to receive the promise of eternal life by putting God first, the next step is to realize that there is only one reality, and one power that redeems man from the false belief of life in matter. All we have to do is accept the promise. He redeems us. The original Hebrew word that has been translated “redeem” referred to performing the role of next of kin, which meant doing whatever was necessary to save an individual from harm or destruction. Isa. 43 refers to calling the children of Israel home from where they had been scattered in captivity. The same promise comes to free us from whatever would hold us captive – whether it be called illness or unhappiness, apathy or burden. We are assured, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. Our name is “the perfect child of God.” When we respond to that name, we don’t respond to any other label. And we know that we are purely spiritual. All material evidence is a lie – a falsity – not to be respected or responded to! S&H 572 assures us that in Science we are the children of God – right now – just as Romans tells us that we are, when we are “led by the Spirit of God”!!!

Section II: Action is required. We must put off the old man and put on the new. This takes conscious effort, but the choice is obvious when we look at the options: “to be carnally minded (old man) is death; but to be spiritually minded (new man) is life and peace” (Rom 8: 6) Mrs. Eddy explains how to do this in S&H 370: 2-5. “To be immortal, we must [1] forsake the mortal sense of things, [2] turn from the lie of false belief to Truth, and [3] gather the facts of being from the divine Mind.” We must be ever alert mentally to be willing to give up what the world says is attractive, but which we recognize to be damaging to us. As we do, the ever-present Christ will appear. We’re not changing anything, just taking off the blinders of mortal thinking in order to see the promise of immortal freedom – unlimited by the so-called laws of matter. Why in the world do we want to hang on to things that will just hold us back? It is like choosing to be tied up, rather than accepting a gift of freedom!

Section III: We see here that we don’t really have to change anything that is real. We just need to recognize that “mortals are the counterfeits of immortals.” To detect a counterfeit, we have to fully recognize the authentic. Nicodemus struggled with the concept Jesus presented of needing to be born again. But, you can’t change a counterfeit into the real. You have to give up one for the other. I Cor. 15: 52 talks about the corruptible (falling apart man) needing to put on the incorruptible (that which is free and immune from decay – Amplified Bible). We have to have a change of thought – replacing a limited, perishable sense of ourselves, with the correct view of our enduring nature – and then act that way! Science and Health (#11) tells us to “earnestly seek the spiritual status of man, which is outside of all material selfhood.” Seek and you will find!

Section IV: Don’t be fooled my material calculations of time and age. Don’t make a god out of the calendar and the clock! God works in terms of NOW – the forever now! Ecclesiastes 3: 14 puts it this way: “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it:” And everything God does is good. So, that good cannot fade or fall. (Whether we think we’re running the race of life or a physical race, or a race against time) Again, we need to look in the right direction. S&H marker # 16 (p. 246) puts it plainly: “Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.” And that goes for all of us. Don’t accept any stages of life – whether it seems you are young or old. There are downsides to every age, according to material belief. You can’t run out of good when you stay in the nowness of the presence of eternal Good!
“Science reveals the glorious possibilities of immortal man, forever unlimited by the mortal senses.” (S&H 288) So why not get on with keeping our view riveted on the mirror of Science, expect the mist to lift, and see the possibilities realized!

Section V: The Science of the Christ (the Truth) is available to all – regardless of race, religion, or economic status. The disciples scorned the woman of Canaan because she wasn’t like them. But she assured Jesus that all she wanted was the left-over crumbs of what he was sharing with his disciples. She knew that just a little of the Truth would restore her daughter. And Jesus knew that (as it was later written in S&H p. 12) “In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as ‘a very present help in trouble.’ Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.'” It is required, however, that you come to the waters – you have to be willing to drink (you remember the old story about you can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.) The decision to drink in the Truth – seek God – is up to each one of us. But we can help our fellow man, as well as ourselves, by maintaining the “correct view of man” (S&H #21) as Jesus did. Look in the mirror of Science with enough diligence to see the perfect man, and you’ll find the perfect man staring back at you.

Section VI: This section ties it all together. We see that the misconceptions we have entertained about a limited life must give way to the true idea of good – unlimited, imperishable, eternal! Notice that Paul uses the present tense in his letter to the Colossians (3: 4): “When Christ who is our life, shall appear [and it will appear as you steadfastly seek for it], then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Check this out from The Message (a Bible translation by Eugene H. Peterson) of v. 9&10: “Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it.” And the next verses that aren’t in the lesson continue, “Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet, strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” So, that’s the man we’re putting on and keeping on every day. Check out how S&H elaborates on Col 3: 4 in marker #26. It is worth the effort to “be found, in His likeness, perfect as the Father, indestructible in Life…” And if you’re not seeing the view yet (and there’s always more to see), keep looking. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort and a bit of patience to de-fog the mirror!

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