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Behold the glory of God and His harmonious universe!
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”
December
14-20, 2020

Kathy Fitzer from Lake Saint Louis, MO
kathyfitzer@gmail.com

Click here to hear Kathy Fitzer read her metaphysical application ideas (or Met) that she prepared for this week's Christian Science Bible Lesson. She titles it "Behold the glory of God and His harmonious universe!" Kathy doesn't read the sources for specific quotes, but If you'd like to find any of the references and citations she used, you can find them in writing in either the online version on the CedarS webpage, or in this email that was sent to you.
Audio is at:
https://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/audio/play/kathy-fitzer-s-met-behold-god-s-harmonious-universe-for-12-20-2020/

INTRODUCTION
This week, as you prepare for Christmas and go about your daily activities, see and feel embraced by the glory of God — feel the weight of God’s presence. If the so-called weight of the world seems to be suffocating you, acknowledge the significance of God’s power — that is lifting us up, rather than weighing us down. It is the only reality of being.

The fullness of God’s glory that was expressed so completely by Christ Jesus, has existed forever, and continues to be a healing force here and now, dispels all that is unlike good. No matter what seems to be going on in the inverted picture that we call our world, all that really exists is God’s thoughts. Jesus overcame every mortal limit by thinking and acting in accord with what God knows. Nothing can keep us from perceiving this reality — this bountifully good spiritual universe — as Jesus did.

THE GOLDEN TEXT AND RESPONSIVE READING
The Golden Text has been paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in The Message as, “Look around you: Everything you see is God’s—the heavens above and beyond, the Earth, and everything on it.” (Deuteronomy 10:14)

From this, we can confidently conclude that the universe, including man (all mankind, all nature and every living creature) is not, and never has been, evolved by atomic force. The substance of God’s creation is not constituted of — nor limited by — particles called atoms and molecules coming together to form a vulnerable substance called matter. God’s creation is the expression of Mind — the divine Intelligence that designs and constitutes all that really is. It looks like we’re living in and dealing with matter in all its forms. We’re actually living in, governed by, and constituted of Mind’s ideas — vibrant, pure, complete, invulnerable, and totally good! And, so the Lesson will reveal!

The Responsive Reading repeats that the heaven, the earth, and the fullness of the world have been established by God. The beginning of Psalm 89 confirms the goodness of God by speaking about how God led the Hebrews out of the bondage they had experienced in Egypt. God forever frees us from whatever would bind us. Notice the mention of God’s qualities that show His sovereignty, how wisely He governs His creation, and how much God loves and cares for mankind always.

Consider qualities such as greatness, power, glory (think honor), victory, majesty (think excellency), mercy, strength, faithfulness, justice, judgment, and truth. All of that goodness and authority belong to God and to God alone — and are freely bestowed on God’s creation. The psalm does point out in later verses the consequences of turning away from God, but never loses sight of the fact that God’s love is perpetual, and there are always answers. All that’s required (as the last verses of the Responsive Reading assure us) is to know God, and respond to His steadfastness by staying close, following His law of Love, walking in God’s light, rejoicing in God’s goodness, and being lifted up by God’s righteousness.

I love this translation of verse 17. Speaking of God, it says: “You are their glorious strength. It pleases you to make us strong” (New Living Translation). It pleases God to make us strong — to exalt our horn (a symbol of power and strength). So, whenever facing a challenge —- and there seem to be many these days — we need to remember who’s in charge (right here in this world, who’s in charge of all things), and confidently rejoice — even if we haven’t quite seen a resolution yet. God will reveal it!

We must never allow ourselves to be so mesmerized by the material evidence of disease, division, lack, and destruction that we lose sight of the supremacy of God’s law of love, health, wholeness, and righteous government! The light — the glory — of God always destroys the darkness, and the way opens up!

SECTION 1: THERE’S NOTHING BUT GOD & HIS COMPLETE CARE OF HIS CREATION!

If we haven’t gotten the message yet, it is again repeated in this first section … the heaven, earth, and all that “dwell therein” belong to God (citation B1; Ps. 24:1). God formed this earth to be inhabited, and there is nothing but God (cit. B3; Isa. 45:18)! God established a covenant with His creation, promising to “open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house” (cit. B2; Isa. 42:5-7). The Hebrew indicates that a covenant between God and man is an alliance of friendship; a divine ordinance with signs or pledges. It’s not vague! Acknowledging that this covenant has been established, we will see and feel God’s presence and goodness.

We don’t have to be “out and about” in order to “inhabit” the earth. Inhabiting has a lot less to do with what we’re doing than how we are thinking and responding. Looking at the Hebrew word translated inhabit, it has to do with dwelling, abiding, sitting down, being settled and still. Those are important qualities, and can bring a sense of peace and purpose if we let ourselves feel embraced by God’s presence — His glory.

The Science and Health part of this section speaks of unfoldment rather than accretion. Accretion is based on a necessity for growth and increase — adding to a limited beginning to get what we need. On the other hand, unfoldment starts with things being complete (an idea, ability, peace … whatever is needed) and coming into view at just the right moment (citation S4; 68: 27-30). We can move forward with confidence — regardless of outward appearances — as we affirm that “All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power” (cit. S2: 515: 22). There’s never stagnation or lack of productive progress in the earth that God inhabits. Acknowledge it right here and now!

SECTION 2: THE UNIVERSE — & ITS INHABITANTS — WERE MADE FOR GOD’S GLORY

To correctly understand our place in the universe Christian Science (based entirely on the Bible) teaches us to totally reverse concepts presented by traditional teachings and the testimony of the physical senses. Remember that what God thinks is what constitutes reality. What God purposes is what is. And there is no other power to limit or cancel God’s authority (cit. B4; Isa 14: 24, 27).

When things seem out of control, we can trust God’s assurance, “Fear not: for I am with thee” (cit. B5: Isa. 43: 5-7). We can trust God, perfect Love, to restore all the good inherent to His children so that His glory will be seen. I asked myself, “What does it mean for God’s glory to be seen?” With the help of a Bible Dictionary, I saw more clearly that the Hebrew word kahbob, translated glory, includes the root idea of “weight,” and “honor,” from which is developed the sense of “splendor.” It is used to symbolize God’s presence. God’s glory was seen in the radiant light that rested on Mt. Sinai and filled the Tabernacle. Where the light of God’s presence fills consciousness, there can be no consciousness of darkness and discord.

As God restores good to man, His presence and His importance are demonstrated. The mistake we make is to think that we are in charge — that we make ourselves and are responsible for caring for ourselves and our offspring — and can get ourselves into a hole so deep that we can’t find our way out! Instead, we need to rejoice that God makes us — makes all (cit. B7 Ps. 100: 1, 3)! All good comes directly from God as a gift to man. It isn’t variable — it doesn’t change or disappear (Cit. B6; James 1: 16-18). James 1, verse 18, has been translated, “God decided to give us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made.” (New Century Version) Each and every individual is important to God — made and maintained by Him. And, His design for us is good!

In an effort to explain what our eyes tell us, other theories of creation have been developed, such as Darwin’s theory of evolution. Here, the suggestion is that “Mind produces its opposite, matter, and endues matter with power to recreate the universe, including man” (cit. S8; 547: 15, 25). To me, the biggest drawback to this theory is that it leaves us to deal with the very limits it imposes on us … challenges of heredity, imbalance, uncertainty and helplessness in the face of disease, as well as what are called natural disasters, injustices, war, violence, and conflict of all sorts.

Some would argue that they can’t trust what they can’t see and they can’t see God. Or they resist depending on God’s law because of all of the atrocities that have occurred over the years in the “name of God/religion.” But, time and time again it has been demonstrated that starting with God as the Father of all creation, sets free imprisoned thought. Then, the spiritual universe — harmonious and eternal — is seen here and now. (cit. S6; 114: 23)

SECTION 3: WITH GOD, THE “IMPOSSIBLE” BECOMES POSSIBLE

The gospel of Luke opens with the birth of John the Baptist. Zacharias and Elisabeth had given up hope of having a child because they were well past the age when it was thought a woman could bear a child. But, apparently Zacharias — a priest, and clearly devoted to God — hadn’t stopped praying. So, there’s a lesson in that … never stop trusting our lives to God. The irony is, that when the angel told him that Elisabeth would have a son, he argued… how can that be? Hmmm … do we ever pray for something that seems like a right desire, but still don’t really believe that it can happen?

I love the angel’s response when Zacharias argues … but I am old and my wife is old, so how could we have a child? And the angel responds: I am Gabriel! I stand in the presence (glory) of God and I’m bringing you God’s message! Gabriel immediately turns Zacharias’ attention away from the human circumstances to the spiritual facts! We’re also told that after Elisabeth discovered she was expecting, she hid it for five months — simply rejoicing and cherishing how powerful God is (cit. B9: Luke 1: 5-25). Nothing is impossible to God, and we would be well served to remember that, and consistently celebrate God’s power with, “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (cit. B10; Rev. 19: 6).

What is our response when bombarded by the news of spikes in the pandemic, economic challenges, social inequity, political unrest, and general chaos? We say we are praying about these things — and that is good! We must not stop praying! But are we truly acknowledging God’s supremacy and entertaining His angels (“the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality” that counteracts “all evil sensuality, and mortality) — expecting healing (cit. S12; 581: 4)? Even when we falter, we can trust that God is still sending His angel to respond to our doubts and excuses with “I am Gabriel, I stand in God’s presence. I was sent to speak to you and to bring this good news to you.” (Common English Bible)

God is sending His angels to us — in order that we might see God’s reality. What to the human mind appears as a miracle, is truly natural to God. Man is not governed by material laws that need to be set aside. (cit. S10; 83: 12) There is one Mind … and that Mind shines by its own light (revealing its glory) and governs “the universe, including man, in perfect harmony” (cit. S14; 510: 28-1). Our eyes can be opened to see God’s government as naturally as Zacharias’ and Elisabeth’s eyes were opened. We can’t be made to doubt what God can do!

SECTION 4: GOD AS FATHER SHOWN IN JESUS’ BIRTH — NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!

Remember that Elisabeth kept her pregnancy a secret for the first 5 months. So, Mary couldn’t have known that her cousin was expecting. But now, in the 6th month, Mary learns of the “miracle” as she entertains the angel telling her that she will be having a child without ever having had intimate relations with a man.

Just as Zacharias “argued” that the message he received couldn’t be real because Elisabeth was too old and was obviously barren, Mary “argued” because she hadn’t gone through the human footsteps that were assumed to be required in order to have a child. But, as the angel told Mary, “with God nothing shall be impossible!” The circumstances of Jesus’ birth prove the spiritual nature of man, with God as the Father. And I love the tenderness with which God delivered the message to Mary … including the provision that she could go and see Elisabeth for confirmation (cit. B11: Luke 1: 26-47).

The birth of Jesus was unique. He was the promised Messiah, the Savior. How pure Mary’s thought must have been to yield to the divine message that God is the sole author of man. Jesus’ birth demonstrated to all mankind that “God is the Father of men” (cit. S19; 29:14-24). We have to accept that fact as we see through the false picture that presents man as “a material germ rising from the imperfect and endeavoring to reach Spirit above his origin” (cit. S17: 246: 6).

What we call matter is subservient to Spirit. Spirit will always be superior to it! Unless we start with Spirit, we can’t expect to achieve the perfection of Spirit. So … resist the temptation to begin with the problem, or to look for a material source for a solution. Start with the supremacy of Love to overcome hate, the supremacy of Principle to overcome the chaos of disease; the supremacy of limitless Spirit to overcome the limitations of lack. Nothing is impossible to God!

SECTION 5: JESUS REVEALED AS THE SON OF GOD

John the Baptist preached in the wilderness, prophesying that the Messiah — and the kingdom of God — was coming. He preached that the people needed to repent in order to be ready to receive the promised Savior. He baptized them with water towards this goal, but he also told them that the Messiah would baptize with the Spirit, indicating his higher nature. At the time there was quite a bit of social and political upheaval, and this is believed to have encouraged people to seek out this new prophet.

Imagine John’s surprise when Jesus, who John recognized as the Messiah, came to him to be baptized. Have you ever thought about why Jesus took that step — and what it could mean for us? Jesus responded to John’s objections with “suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” The Bible Lens for this week (which can be found at https://sentinel.christianscience.com/columns/bible-lens) says that “Christ Jesus underwent baptism not to be purified from sin, but rather ’to fulfill all righteousness’ — to be faithful to God’s righteous plan. His humble submission accomplished several purposes, according to one commentary: (1) Jesus joined with the believing remnant of Israel who had been baptized by John; (2) He confirmed the ministry of John; and (3) He fulfilled the Father’s will.’ Another source writes, ‘The baptism marks the point at which Jesus publicly commits himself to the role for which he had been destined at birth.’”

It was right after being baptized that Jesus was identified by a “voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (cit. B13: Matt. 3: 13-17). And, of course, after this, Jesus began his healing ministry and fulfilled the prophecy that the glory of the Lord would become widely known (cit. B14; Matt. 15: 30-31; cit. B15; Hab. 2: 14).

What does all of this have to do with us? Certainly, Jesus illustrated for all time the limitless, indestructible nature of “man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes, and governs” (cit. S22; 316: 20-21). Later, what Jesus demonstrated became defined as divine Science. This Science reveals laws that have existed forever but can now be put into practice by all who are willing to accept this Science.

The textbook of Christian Science states plainly, “mortals gain the sense of health only as they lose the sense of sin and disease” (cit. S24: 69: 2-5). Each has a role to play in this unfoldment of Truth to human consciousness. John foresaw the coming of the Messiah and was willing to do his part by preparing thought and baptizing Jesus. This enabled Jesus’ mission to be made publicly known.

Jesus was willing to illustrate God’s law of liberty, healing and teaching, and ultimately fulfilling prophecy through his crucifixion and resurrection. And, now it is our turn! We have the privilege of knowing the Science of creation … that the universe is created and governed by Spirit alone and is not constituted of material elements. We must not be discouraged by human circumstances any more than John or Jesus was, but persevere and “come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth” (cit. S25; 485: 14-17). It is all for the glory of God!

SECTION 6: STAY THE COURSE; FIND GOD THROUGH HIS CHRIST

John’s ministry was all about preparing the way for Christ. He recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah, baptized him, and witnessed the pronouncement by the Angels. And yet, doubt snuck in and he checked back in with Jesus … Are you really the Messiah, or do we need to keep looking? In response, Jesus told the disciples to go back to John and tell him about all the healing they had witnessed (cit. B16; Luke 7: 19, 21, 22; S26; 27:1).

If we are ever tempted to wonder if Christian Science holds the answers to freeing the world from sin, disease, and death and revealing the true essence of the universe as being entirely spiritual — without an element of matter or error — we need to take the same approach as was suggested to John. Look at the record of healing over the 100+ years since Mary Baker Eddy discovered this law of God — Christian Science. Remember healings (big or small) that you have personally experienced or witnessed. And, know that “Truth is God’s remedy for error of every kind …” (cit. S29: 142: 31).

The reports of the world would try to overwhelm us and perhaps cause us to doubt, and our faith to falter. But, know that God is enabling you to “hold thought steadfastly to the enduring the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thought (cit. S30: 261: 4). It is indeed our duty and privilege to “follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness” (cit. S27; 37: 20-25). That statement has been in the Lesson on a number of occasions recently. We can’t be afraid to take it to heart.

God always gives us whatever we need to face any challenge we are presented with. God is in charge — is ALL! The heaven, the earth, and all that is therein belongs to God! Nothing is impossible to God. Jesus showed us how to face challenges without flinching. And nothing can move us from the conviction that Spirit is supreme, and atomic force (the limited, material forces that seem to be so much in our faces) have never had anything to do with the universe of God’s creating —- the only universe — so can have no effect!

So, let’s accept the creation of the universe and all that is therein as being entirely spiritual — no atomic force involved. And let us feel the presence of Christ, revealing all the glory of God! The message of this traditional hymn seems appropriate in reminding us of our focus this Christmas:

“O little town of Bethlehem, / How still we see thee lie; / Above thy deep and dreamless sleep / The silent stars go by; / Yet in thy dark streets shineth / The everlasting Light; / The hopes and fears of all the years / Are met in thee tonight.

O morning stars, together / Proclaim the holy birth, / And praises sing to God the King, / And peace to men on earth; / Where charity stands watching / And faith holds wide the door, / The dark night wakes, the glory breaks, / And Christmas comes once more.

How silently, how silently, / The wondrous gift is given; / So God imparts to human hearts / The blessings of His heaven. / No ear may hear his coming, / But in this world of sin, / Where meekness will receive him, still / The dear Christ enters in.”

(The Christian Science Hymnal, No. 222 or 544:1–3)

Merry Christmas to you, and much peace throughout the year!


CLICK LINKS below for more APPLICATION IDEAS from CedarS-team for this Lesson:

CedarS ONLINE GEMs will be sent soon with insights and application ideas from Cobbey Crisler and others to help us more fully demonstrate, here and now, the forever coming anew of the Christ light to heal and save mankind.

  • Enjoy Ken Cooper's reading of his custom, moving poem in this YouTube link called “The Birth of Jesus."

CLICK on LINKS (below) to CedarS-related, ONGOING OPPORTUNITIES for SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT!

1. Here's a link to a full flier about a 12-22-2020 Christmas talk by Madelon Maupin
FYI, From October 21-25, 2021 CedarS is again hosting a deep-dive Bible Study with Madelon Maupin. Click here for more on that. To appreciate Maddie's great love of and healing inspirations from the Bible, you're invited to join her in a celebration of Christmas at a challenging time in our history — when too many crises would try to drown out this light of Christ that has always been present to save a weary world.

This on-line talk is sponsored by 2nd Church of Christ, Scientist, Ventura CA

We will look at the story Christians have been telling and rejoicing in through the centuries, seeing how it applies to our times. There will be a PowerPoint with handouts for those who register.

This is a non-denominational Bible talk so please feel free to invite your friends and family to this virtual talk.

  • Date: Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020.

  • Time: 4:00 PM Pacific Time

  • Non-Member Price: $10.00 (to cover technology costs)

  • Members: free (our Christmas gift to you)

    (if you would like to explore membership, please click HERE)

2. Invite family, friends and even neighbors to join us by Zoom every week for CedarS Sunday Hymn Sings: To start each week we’ve loved singing our prayers and praise to God for 30 minutes with friends of all generations. To date, we have had log-ins from all 50 of the United States as well as 20 more countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, and Switzerland.


  • GIFTS to grow CEDARS ENDOWMENT will be MATCHED up to $1-MILLION!
  • And, UNRESTRICTED & OTHER GIFTS WILL BE MATCHED UP TO $100,000 by year-end! We're getting close to that goal, and send our special thanks in advance for clicking here to electronically share your tax-deductible support that is especially needed during this reduced-income year to help "keep our oil lamps burning."
  • Here's our camp office address to MAIL gifts to:
    The CedarS Camps Office 410 Sovereign Court #8, Ballwin, MO 63011
  • or call CedarS support team at 636-394-6162 (Gay, Kim or Jennifer) to share your credit card support over the phone.
  • CedarS is a not-for-profit, 501-C-3 organization with a Federal ID # 44-0663883.
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