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Be newborn of Spirit and watch the limits of matter disappear!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on Matter for the Week of September 11-17, 2006
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. of St. Louis, MO
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 (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp.
Golden Text: The Holy Spirit vitalizes us – causes us to live! The flesh, or carnal mind, isn’t useful for a single thing! So, why check with the flesh (matter) to see where we came from, how we’re doing, how strong we are, or smart we are? Why expect matter to ever be a source of help? With every movement, FEEL the vitalizing force of Spirit moving you – like the wind moves the sailboat. Trusting matter is like keeping the boat in dry dock and wondering why nothing is happening. Get in the water, set your sails, and go!
Responsive Reading:  Nicodemus recognized Jesus’ holy nature. That was a first step. Jesus now tells Nicodemus that in order to see the kingdom of God he has to be born again – regenerated (Strong’s) How? By submerging in Spirit – leaving behind all ties to the flesh. The Greek for “water” here can mean rain or a shower. Spirit comes from the Greek word, pneuma, which in addition to Holy Ghost also means wind or breeze. What a great picture – being washed in the shower of Spirit, and dried off by the natural breeze of the breath of Life. If you think you’re born of the flesh, or the carnal mind, then you’re going to feel the weight of the flesh and carnality. But, get out of the belief of the limitations of the carnal mind and you find yourself free and unconfined as the spiritual offspring of Spirit. The power of the wind is felt even though it can’t be seen. Similarly, as thought is inclined (listing) to Spirit, we’ll feel the power of Spirit moving us forward – just like the gracious sailboat is moved with the wind! Get out of matter’s dry dock and start the new-birth adventure of Spirit today!
Section I: Your story was written by God ALONE!
In speaking to the people, Moses rebukes them for having forgotten that God made them and is our rock – our refuge and strength (Strong’s). (B-1) Jesus’ “birth” proved that the Holy Ghost (pneuma – Spirit) – not matter – is man’s source of life. (B-3) Isaiah prophesied Jesus’ birth, specifying that his name would be Immanuel – God with us, but he would eat the standard food of infants (honey and curdled milk) and learn, as he grew up, to distinguish between good and evil. (B-2) As Mary perceived the spiritual nature of man – understood that “God is the only author of man” (S-5) she was able to put aside the material “laws” of birth and demonstrate that God is the Father of men. (S-1) Thus, Jesus was born without a man and a woman coming together. Why is it so important that we understand the significance of this? Isn’t it because it proved the fallacy of believing that “God creates man through man”? (S-4) There is ONE author – one creator – of man. That creator is Spirit (pneuma). Spirit is supreme and the totality of our substance. Maintaining that fact allows us to annul (blot out and reduce to nothing) the limiting claims of matter, and lay off mortality! (S-6) Jesus overcame ALL limits, yet he started out drinking his milk, just like the rest of us. Just because our moms and dads came together before we were “born,” doesn’t mean we should think we’re stuck with the belief that we were formed of their DNA. (Editorial Addition: Remember that in Christian Science DNA stands for Does Not Apply!) Jesus taught us to be born again, to wash away the belief of a material origin, and act like the spiritual ideas that we are!
Section II: What God says goes! We are NOT matter and Spirit combined!
We are made in God’s likeness – to resemble Him. (B-4) Isaiah refers to God as Mind when he talks about God “thinking”. As God thinkspurposes (determines) – things are! (B-5) No matter how well educated someone may be in the ways of the world, the conclusion will always be wrong when the reasoning starts from the misconception that life is combined matter and Spirit. (B-6 & S-7) Mortal mind turns things upside down. It would have us believe that even though we are the “image of infinite Mind,” we’re still “subject to non-intelligence.” (S-7) That would mean that even though God made us in the image of His all-acting, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-hearing, all-good nature, we could be hurt and unable to move freely, capable of losing our memory or not being able to do math or understand what we’re reading or whatever, able to lose our eye-sight or our hearing, or be tempted to do what we know isn’t our highest sense of right. Think about it logically. As Mrs. Eddy says, a snake can’t give birth to a bird and a lion can’t give birth to a lamb. So how could pure and holy Spirit create an impure and limited mortal? (S-8) “Like produces like.” (S-10) Spirit can’t make material man! So, stop being confused by false beliefs produced by false education. We’re born of Spirit – and totally unlimited!
Section III: Get it straight – Spiritual evolution is where it’s at!
Look up the definition of evolution. Although Darwin’s theory of evolution, stating that organisms spring up from previous organisms, has been generally accepted, evolution is also defined as development through unfoldment. God is man’s source – the fountain from which Mind’s idea, man, flows. Mortal mind – the supposition that there is something that exists outside of Mind, God – has formulated its own ideas and committed two evils. First, it has turned away from God. Second, it has come up with its own theories to explain man’s origin. But, these theories can’t hold up. (B-7) It is hard to understand the consistent nature of numbers when you turn your back on mathematics, seeking an understanding of numbers by studying the formation of numerals. But that’s what’s happened as mortal mind has tried to figure out the origin of man, while refusing to look to God – the eternal source of man – for answers. Man doesn’t have an “origin” any more than God has an “origin.” (S-14) Truth, Life, Love, Soul, Principle, Mind, Spirit don’t start – they just ARE! Darwin’s theory describes the development of mortal belief, but it is not scientific. (S-13) It insists on dealing with changeable matter. (S-11) Matter has nothing to do with man. God – Spirit – created man! Matter is simply a false conception of mortal mind. Being born again demands that we give up the “inventions” of mortal thought, stop looking at things from an “upside down” perspective, and see yourself, your neighbor, and the universe as God made it – upright! (B-8&9; S-15) (Editor’s addition: In this media-analyzed and politicized week of the 5th anniversary of 9-11, let’s make extra efforts to keep our views of our neighbors in the U.S. and in the world from being caught up in the supposed reality of terrorism. Don’t get turned “upside down” from the true view.  Be-hold ALL from the perspective of God’s counter-terrorism team of all-powerful angels. See ANGELS defined in Science & Health, p. 581:4)
Section IV: Heredity vs. Heritage
Mortal belief tries to explain its own existence and its own problems, but searching in the dark, it is impossible to find a satisfactory answer. Jesus brought the light of Christ, which allows us to shed the old beliefs and be new born of Spirit. The Bible clearly debunks the theory of heredity, including the bad habit of blaming a current situation on something our parents either did or didn’t do. Ezekiel told the people they should no longer believe their teeth would be “set on edge” because of the sour grapes their parents had eaten. (B-10) Understanding God allows each one to discover their rightful heritage as the child of God – inheriting only good! (B-11) Jesus dispelled the belief of heredity when he healed the man who had been born blind. Rather than blaming the parents or the man, Jesus spat on the belief that the man had any material origin at all. He sent the man to wash off the belief of being the dusty offspring of Adam and Eve, in order to recognize Christ- the light of Life – as the source of his sight that could never be extinguished or dimmed. (B-12) How can matter transmit characteristics to be passed down from generation to generation? It can’t! (S-17) Don’t be duped! If we accept either bad – or good – characteristics as coming from our parents, or going from us to our children, we have denied Jesus’ teachings that there is ONE God – one creator – who makes man in His image, the image of Sprit! Do you feel a need to share opinions (beliefs) with your parents about fashion or politics – just because they think a certain way about them? Or be afraid of the things they are afraid of and suffer because of that fear? Then, why do you feel a need to share their opinions (beliefs) regarding some disease or personality trait that has seemed to be true of them?  We are all the immortal offspring of Spirit, so none of us is subject to the beliefs (we won’t even go so far as to call them laws) of mortal mind, alias matter. As we understand Christian Science and our status of immortal being, we are freed from the belief of heredity AND sin. (S-18) And we are born again, having accepted our goodly heritage. (B-13)
Section V: Where’s your faith?
Jeremiah recognized that the medical wasn’t meeting the needs of the people in his day (B-14) and Jesus healed a woman instantaneously after she had spent twelve years and all of her money trying to be cured by the doctors. And what did Jesus credit for her healing? Her faith! (B-15) So, where is our faith? The medical and pharmaceutical industry pushes the easy fix these days. It can be so tempting to think the answer to a physical problem is in a pill, a drug, or some kind of procedure. Doctors are certainly kind, well-meaning individuals. (S-22) But there are major differences between the approach of the medical world (physiology) and the approach Jesus taught. Look at citations 19 and 20 in Science and Health for some specifics. The biggest difference is that physicians look to matter as cause, and generally overlook the influence their and their patients’ thoughts and fears have on the condition. By talking about disease as solid reality, fear is often increased in the patient’s thought. And fear is a major cause of disease. (S-21) Although at this point we may be at different places in our approach to healing, ultimate freedom comes only from being planted in Christ – the true idea of God. (S-23) There is no wavering or doubt in a thought planted! There’s never any searching in the dark for a cause or solution when we are governed by God. God is “the ever-present Mind who understands all things” and with God ALL things are possible! So, where’s your faith?
Section VI: You can only serve one master – no wavering!
It is pretty clear that you can’t split your loyalty and do justice to either side. (B-16) Paul makes a strong case for choosing Spirit as the master you will serve, leaving matter (or the flesh) out of the equation. Last section we talked about being planted in Christ, now Paul tells the Galatians to stand fast. Again, no wavering! Christ – the true idea of God – has made us free, so why do we allow ourselves to be tempted by the bondage of matter? Matter is fickle – it changes its approach and opinions – and it leads to dead ends. Spirit is constant and active! The first chapter of Genesis established the fact that man lives in Spirit. Paul now instructs us to walk in the Spirit. In other words, act out what we know to be true! (B-17) And why? Because “the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]” and it penetrates the “deepest parts of our nature” in order to discern our deepest thoughts. (B-18 – Amplified Bible) Nothing can hide from God’s wisdom, and it is that wisdom that heals permanently. (B-19) How do we benefit from that wisdom? By loving God supremely. It just doesn’t work to split our allegiance between Spirit and matter. (S-25)
But, what if we’re not finding healing through Christian Science treatment? Keep trusting God and we will be led to the right use of temporary, as well as eternal means. Only Spirit can heal permanently, but always we can count on God to meet our human need. (S-26) Ultimately, mortal mind will give up its material basis of belief and “material beliefs will not interfere with spiritual facts.” (S-27) In a mirage the water on the road doesn’t ever interfere with the road or the cars on it, but as long as someone believes the water to be real, it could keep someone from trusting the safety of traveling on that road. Christian Science healing is going on all over the world. (S-28) As we continue to view life through the perspective of Spirit (metaphysics), we will find that matter simply must disappear – just like the water on the road disappears as we drive, and the perspective changes. (S-29) As we are born again of Spirit (of Mind), matter – with all its limitations – will disappear.
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 citations referenced (i.e. B1and S28) from this week’s Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. 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.)

Warren Huff, Director

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