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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

for May 16-22, 2016

Subject: Soul and Body

Prepared by:

Kathy Fitzer, CS of Lake St. Louis, MO and Park City, UT


This lesson sets things straight in terms of how we think about our body — and our identity. It can seem that the body is self-acting, is in control, and that we are the slave to its appetites, pains, and limitations. General belief tells us that we have an individual nature (a soul) that is encased in a body — and subject to it. But, Christian Science teaches that there is one Soul infinitely expressed in eternal individuality. It explains that what appears as a material body is actually just a limited view of a delightful and unlimited expression of this eternal individuality that constitutes God’s infinite universe. We don’t need to change a body — or get rid of it. We just need to change our concept about the body — embrace it in thought, clothe it in its spiritual nature and expect to experience the freedom that is forever ours as the children of God.

Golden Text:
We are God’s — the expression and reflection of Spirit! Body is not separate from thought. As we expect thought to manifest the fullness of God’s being, so we can expect our expression of body to manifest the fullness of God’s harmonious being, full of all the strength, health, and beauty that are integral to Soul.

Responsive Reading [See *P.S.1 for Cobbey’s insights on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount]:
Jesus reminds his listeners of what a great job God has done of taking care of His creation. Looking around at the beauty of nature, we don’t see the flowers and the birds worrying about how they look, comparing themselves with others around them to see how they match up, or fearing how their needs will be met the next day. Surely God is providing for our needs just as abundantly and beautifully! We can expect to experience the fullness of God’s care as we keep thought focused on the abundance of God’s goodness … as we consciously look for (seek) what constitutes HIS kingdom. God’s bounty is expressed humanly — and we find it as we start and stay with God as the source!

Section 1: Discover Life unconfined — understand that you live in God, not in body.

As we recognize that we truly live in God … and not in a material body, limitations fall away. There is a commonly held belief that we each have an immortal soul that takes up temporary residence in a material body, someday to be released. But, the Bible tells us that God is our “dwelling place.” (B1) As Paul observed the many temples that the Athenians had built for their gods to dwell in, he helped them understand that rather than having to provide a place for God to live, they needed to realize that they “live, move, and have [their] being” in Him! And, because we dwell in God, we can understand that it is God that gives us “life, and breath, and all things.” [B2, *P.S.2] Many generations prior to this, God explained to the people (speaking through Moses) that man is holy (healthy and whole) because God is holy (health and wholeness.) (B3, [*P.S.3 “Daily Lift”]) As we understand our relationship to God, several things happen. First, we see that Soul (eternal identity) is not in man — and certainly not confined within matter. Rather, Soul is fully reflected by man. Man is what reveals the fullness of Soul — how the infinite individuality of Soul is expressed and seen. Second, this being the case, it is incumbent upon man (a requirement) to acknowledge the only-ness and all-ness of God as the only identity. (S1) And, third, as this reality dawns in the consciousness of man — as we recognize the falsity of the illusion that man “lives in body instead of in Soul, in matter instead of in Spirit,” we are freed from the “fetters of … finite capacity.” (S3) Limits are dropped as we get the order of things right. We live in God — not in a material body!

Section 2: You are unique — and your identity is perfectly maintained [*P.S.4, CC B9]

Every idea of God is perfectly maintained in Mind. God is infinite — limitless and incapable of being measured. So, there is no limit to how uniquely and individually God’s being is expressed. Every plant, animal, star, person has a specific niche to fill in God’s infinite universe. And, each one is known by God and maintained by God, “as distinct and eternal.” (B8 & B10;S7) The Psalmist talks about identity (soul) being held in Life — incapable of ever moving outside of Life. (B6) This section has a lot in it about reflection. We often think about the reflection that we see in a mirror. As long as the mirror is unflawed, the image is an exact image of the original, and moves in accord with the original. Thus, the inseparability of the two. But, an image in a mirror is just that … an image! It is not corporeal, but has only the substance of light. And yet it expresses all the form, color, and action of the original. This is how man reflects God (his divine Principle or origin) … not in a mortal, corporeal body, but expressing the fullness of Spirit. Reflection can also be thought of as expression — enabling the original to be seen. Without the rays of light emanating from it, the sun would not be expressed — could not be seen. God is seen in the spiritual universe and spiritual man (the only universe and the only man) just as the sun is seen in the light emanating from it. (S8 & S9) It is tempting to think of our individuality in terms of material characteristics — the color of our hair and eyes, the height of our stature, or other physical and personality characteristics. But, the color, form, and unique expression of individuality has nothing to do with matter. What appears as a material body is simply the distorted and limited view of the individual nature of man as the expression of Soul (the reflection of Spirit) — “individualized, but not in matter.” (S11) We must never forget that we are “coexistent and eternal with God”! Matter is inherently limited. Man is inherently unlimited.

Section 3: Let the belief of death be swallowed up in Life

We’re constantly bombarded with evidence suggesting that we live in a material body, can’t escape the burden of dealing with its feelings and limitations, and must wait to “leave” our body in order to find heavenly harmony. But, that evidence is as wrong as the evidence that says “the earth is in motion and the sun at rest.” Astronomy reverses the false evidence of the sun and the earth, and Christian Science reverses the “seeming relation of Soul and body and makes body tributary to Mind.” (S17) Paul understood that although we face challenges, we can be confident (or courageous) that all the beliefs of mortality will be “swallowed up of life.” The Greek word translated “swallowed” indicates a devouring without a remainder. So, we don’t have to be satisfied to “live with” bits and pieces of mortality. The “earnest of the Spirit” is the present understanding that serves as a down-payment, assuring us of the good that will come as our understanding is perfected and the full view made apparent. The Holy Spirit is Christ, Truth, continually coming to human consciousness and enabling us to see reality. Paul did not teach that we need to get rid of a material body, but simply clothe the false concept of body in the truth of spiritual identity. The need is to be “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord.” (B12) Mrs. Eddy put it all in the mental realm. As we give up our “material belief of mind in matter,” and have “one Mind” we will be able to experience Mind’s likeness expressed as a “sensationless body,” including an individual expression of harmony and immortality. (S14 & S15) So, yes, this material sense of body is temporal. But we don’t have to worry about getting rid of it so that a spiritual selfhood trapped inside can be freed. We simply clothe our sense of body with the reality of being entirely spiritual — the embodiment of Mind, and subject to Mind! The possibility of death is then swallowed up in the certainty of Life — and Life is expressed bodily!

Section 4: Body as the servant of Soul [See *P.S.5 and *P.S.6 for CC insights.]

The man sitting by the pool of Bethesda had been ill for 38 years. (B14, *PS6) He was surely hoping for healing, but was he really expecting it? Anyone who has dealt with a chronic problem can likely identify with the man — even sympathize. Jesus had compassion, but he didn’t accept anything as chronic, unyielding, or incurable. He saw only a fresh opportunity for healing! He also didn’t buy in on healing agents (such as a pool of water) that only offered healing for some. He knew that God doesn’t know time, nor anything about stubborn error. He knew that “Soul and its attributes [are] forever manifested through man.” He understood how the divine Mind acts scientifically on “human minds and bodies” — bringing healing to both body and thought. (S19) And, he understood the importance of staying focused on God alone (singleness of eye.) [B13, *PS5] So, as Jesus approached the man, he asked him a question, even though it seems like answer would be obvious … “Will you be made whole?” Although the man started with an excuse as to why he hadn’t yet been healed, it appears that was the last time he balked. The man was asked to take specific action, involving three steps. He apparently didn’t resist. This is how I’ve interpreted the 3 steps spiritually. (1) Rise — lift thought up to acknowledge the presence of Christ. Stop feeling helpless or looking for reasons why healing hasn’t come. (2) Take up your bed — stop waiting for something to change, and courageously face the challenge that has kept you tied to inactivity and (3) Walk — move forward (mentally and then physically.) In this case, there were Jewish laws prohibiting this action because it was the Sabbath. Have we accepted laws that would prohibit us from taking up our bed, too? Maybe we’ve accepted that our understanding isn’t sufficient, or there must be something in our thought that we still have to uncover and correct, or even that because of all the medical thought in the world today, Christian Science just doesn’t heal like it used to. But, we can reject (and challenge) those suggestions just as the man challenged the law about carrying his mat. The healing that came to this man came through the authority of the Word of God — through Truth! Sometimes, as Christian Scientists, we think we’re seeking healing. And, we’re usually doing the best we know how to do. But, we can always be more single-minded and always yield more to the authority of the Christ. These are not empty words on the part of Jesus: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.” (S18) Jesus’ works didn’t just bring physical healing. When he later saw this man in the temple Jesus reminded him that his healing included the necessity to stop sinning. And, Mrs. Eddy reminds us that “the genuine Christian Scientist is adding to his patient’s mental and moral power, and is increasing his patient’s spirituality while restoring him physically through divine Love.” (S21) Sometimes we’re tempted to feel that we’re “growing spiritually” but nothing is changing with the body. Other times we fall into the trap of feeling a bit desperate — just wanting the body to get better — rather than wanting more than anything for our thinking to be literally re-formed, or transformed. True healing involves both. We have been given authority by God to recognize that the body is not a self-acting something outside of our control. Rather, the feeling and action of the body responds to the thought embracing it. God enables us to resist what isn’t good and persist in chiseling thought to correspond to Truth’s model. (S20) Realizing this, we can confidently expect healing!

Section 5: Yield to God’s Care

I love how the Bible citations in this section naturally follow one another. First the desire is expressed …. good health and prosperity. (B15) Surely this is something we would love to have everyone experience — including ourselves! And, it is what God has designed for all of His children. In a letter to churches in Asia Minor suffering religious persecution, Peter gives direction as to how to find health and prosperity … humbly cast all care on God, knowing that God cares for His people. No better advice could be given today — regardless of the challenge. How often do we think that WE have to find an answer. There is a human tendency to think we are responsible for solving our own problems — or the problems of others. OR we pay more attention to what a body says about our health than what God says. But the most important thing we need to do is turn it all over to Mind, to Love, to the infinite resources of Soul in order to humble ourselves “under the mighty hand of God.” (B16 & S23) Get out of self and into God! The idea that we must be “willing … to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” is emphasized again here. (S24) We are bombarded with the model of checking in with the body to see how its doing (how we are doing.) A much better approach is to leave the body alone as much as possible and focus on where thought is. Even as we feed and clothe the body, we can translate those actions into thoughts about how we are being receptive to the good God is constantly providing us and acknowledge qualities such as satisfaction, beauty, balance, efficiency, radiance, and control as inherent in man — gifts of God. I loved the idea of whispering “the moral and spiritual facts of health” into thought. (S26) We don’t have to just mindlessly ride the waves of mortal thought — letting ourselves be carried along with fears and obsessions about the body. Rather, we know that God has given us the ability to “hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true.” (S27) It can feel tempting to think “I’m DOING that, and the problem is still there!” But, by definition, “steadfastly” means: “firmly; with constancy or steadiness of mind.” So, there’s really no room there to peak or allow anything to be entertained in thought except health and prosperity. Then, by law the enduring, good, and true must take form in outward expression. As we bow before God — letting go of all personal responsibility — we are able to respond to God’s will for us … health and prosperity.

Section 6: Tirelessly run the race from sense to Soul

Paul talks to the citizens of Corinth about the impossibility of winning a race unless you run in it. (B17) OUR race is the race from sense to Soul, and the prize is limitless freedom of mind and body! Although everyone can attain that prize, we have to make the conscious decision to run the race — to participate. And, in this particular race, I like to think that the objective is not a “finish line” but the prizes attained all along the way. Here’s how the New Living Translation puts the last part, describing how Paul advised effectively running the race … “I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” In a similar way, we must discipline every thought and watch what we’re allowing to influence us. I thought this was a great translation from The Message of Romans 12: 1,2 … “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.” (B18) Mrs. Eddy speaks of depriving (divest) “thought of false trusts and material evidences …” (S28) God has given us the ability to discern what is of God — and so true — and what is simply a suggestion of the carnal mind. As we go through our day we have to remember that God has given us dominion. He made us to be free. So, we can (and must) challenge any report that comes from circumstances — or from the body — suggesting lack of harmony. Viewing things from a spiritual perspective, we see Life is infinite and Soul has never been in matter. Body has never had a mind of its own, but expresses the thought embracing it. So, let’s realize that divine law governs … rather than material sense … and we will find indestructible, spiritual man. (S30 & S31) Our full-time job (the race we’re running) includes continually pausing to wait on (patiently watch, listen, and delight in serving) God. (S32) In so doing we are free to be who God made us to be. No need to get rid of or change our body … simply free it to express the unconfined nature of infinite Mind that we naturally express!

[Warren’s *P.S.1 on part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and Cobbey Crisler’s insights on Matthew 6:24-33: (See the two verses preceding this in P.S.5)

Matthew 6: “Verse 24. See the logic here. ‘No man can serve two masters: either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.’
(Verse 25). Now he is going to show us how to control our thinking better than we have been able to thus far. This is the first of several verses which begin ‘Take no though’ or utilizing that concept.
“Let’s determine just what thought-taking is. Does it mean to be thoughtless? Thought-taking is the way Jesus is using this in context. It’s anxiety, it’s care, it’s concern. Alright, let’s ask ourselves how we do in this test.
‘Take no thought for your life, what you are going to eat, drink, or wear.’ How much time do we give in any day to those three objectives, eating, drinking, wearing? Then Jesus said, ‘Do you know what? It’s not the menu that counts so much as your life which is bigger than what you’re eating, and your body, or identity, much bigger than what you wear.’
(Verse 26), 'Look at the fowls of the air; they don't sow or reap, but your heavenly Father feedeth them.' I'd like to say that that thought-taking also can run to the taking of photographs because I'm convinced there was something more than a human hand in one of the photographs. Gordon Converse and I were traveling in a little yellow Volkswagen down by the Sea of Galilee. I saw a field of wheat blowing in the wind, just beautiful. I said to him, "Hey. there's our Biblical verse, ''the wind bloweth where it listest' (John 3:8). Let's go get that wheat."
That was a human plan, as we found out very shortly. Because we got down there and Gordon opened the window of our little Volkswagen and rolled it down. Got his camera ready. Right in front of the camera came forty to fifty birds. And there they are, feeding right off the wheat.
You would have to stand there a century to get that picture. And here it was a couple of feet in front of us. If you study this those birds carefully, you will see that some have the wheat in their mouths already, some have some are just landing. He froze those birds positions with his camera. I looked at Gordon thunderstruck because I said, 'I'm sorry, we'd better change the Bible verse, we've just been handed another one.' That is, 'Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.' …
(Verse 28). Or, 'What you're wearing, why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.' They're disappearing from the Holy Land rapidly with all this building, but you can still see some of them…. all red anemones behind the snow-covered 10,000 foot peak of Mount Hermon is absolutely magnificent. There's no difficulty at all when you're visiting teh Holy Land in the Spring to love your anemone. They're simply magificent.
(Verse 29). You can understand really why it says, 'That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.'
(Verses 30 and 31). So, 'if God so clothed the grass of the field, why should we be so concerned and anxious about what we wear?
(Verse 34). Again, he repeats, 'Take no thought.'
(Verse 33). And then Jesus gives the priority equation, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." In other words, is what we eat, drink or wear of no significance? They are natural and normal on earth. He's not wiping them all out as if it were a branch of some ascetic cult. But rather, 'Seek God first and all these things will be added.' Added. The heavenly law oof mathematics is priority first and all those that we would normally take thought of would come into our experience naturally. Instead of wating so much good mental time, taking thought, worrying, and being anxious, we spend that same time seeking the kingdom of God, and all those things come naturally as a result of that."

(Excerpts from a transcription from a live recording by B. Cobbey Crisler on Vol. 1, “Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax Collector’s Report”. For a full transcript email Cobbey’s wife, Janet, at]

[Warren’s P.S.2 on Mary Baker Eddy’s “reiteration” of Paul words in Acts 17:28 (B2):
“St. Paul said to the Athenians, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” This statement is in substance identical with my own: “There is no life, truth, substance, nor intelligence in matter.” It is quite clear that this great verity has not yet been fully demonstrated, but it is nevertheless true. If Christian Science reiterates Paul’s teaching, we, as Christian Scientists, should give to the world convincing proof of the validity of this scientific statement of being. Having perceived, in advance of others, this scientific fact, we owe to ourselves and to the world a struggle for its demonstration.” Retrospection and Introspection, 93: 17 ]

Also, Cobbey Crisler shared these insights on the context of Paul’s words to the Athenians in Acts 17 (B2): “Well, now Paul is heading for the cultural capital of civilization, Athens. And you can’t even go to modern day Athens without appreciating somewhat of what Paul saw, looking around at the remnants of that great city and “the columned buildings that were dedicated to so many gods. It must have moved Paul.” …

“And so he opens his mouth and begins right away to talk in Athens. Now this is a tough area in which to introduce Christianity, except at least they were willing to listen because everybody talked about anything. I mean there were a lot of weirdo sects and ideas that they welcomed without question in Athens because everybody liked to dispute these ideas anyway.

“He’s in the market, the agora, as well as in the synagogue. He runs into Epicureans; he runs into Stoics.” Now Tarsus where Paul came from happens to be a Stoic stronghold. So he must have been certainly aware of that philosophy…

“They bring him to Areopagus, the hill of Mars or Aries, and they asked him to explain what he has to say.” …

Acts 17:22  Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

Paul, standing there, shows how a lecture can be tailor-made to any environment. And, it’s better than uniformity if you want to get the ear of the locals. And in this way, you will find at no point does Paul mention the Old Testament. Why? (Pause) What would that mean to the Athenians? (See below, Acts 17:23, paraphrased)

Instead, he kind of says, “On my way to the forum…you know. In other words, here I was, and I saw something you had back here. And, it says TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.” (See Acts 17:23 …

“Would everybody be listening? It relates. He’s picked up something locally. And, would you also be listening if he said “That monument you put ‘TO THE UNKNOWN GOD’, I want to tell you a little something about him. He’s unknown to you, but here’s some information that might be helpful… “And then, in Acts 17, verse 24, he describes “that God who made all, and therefore, couldn’t dwell in temples made with hands.” (See below, paraphrased)

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, neither dwelleth in temples made with hands.

We’re reminded of whom? Yes, but since Jesus, we heard that from Stephen, remember? As Saul, himself, he had heard that.

“He dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” (repeated paraphrased)

What do you think that comment does when you’re looking at the Parthenon and buildings like it? “God doesn’t dwell in all of this. He made everything. How can you contain Him?” (See below, paraphrased) Very interesting point.

Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

And also, Acts 17, verse 26, if you want to see where the concept of church was in Paul’s thinking. “He hath made of one blood all nations….” (See below, paraphrased)

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Have we even arrived at that point today in our thinking? “One blood all nations.” (See above, partial)

I doubt the Athenians had either.

“That everyone should seek the Lord,” Acts 17:27. (Below paraphrased)

Acts 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

“The search where God is…” will end up with the conclusion in the last line of Acts 17, verse 27, “that He’s not very far from every one of us.” (See above, paraphrased)

And then Paul very cleverly introduces lines from local poets: “In him we live, and move, and have our being” and “for we are also his offspring” – parts of poems we have identified, and they even know the authors. (See below, partial)

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being**; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Excerpts above are from a B. Cobbey Crisler Talk, “After the Master, What? The Book of Acts”. For a full transcript email Cobbey’s wife, Janet, at ]

[Warren’s P.S.3: Click the following link to hear the inspiring May 16, 2016 “Daily Lift”—“You are holy” by Linda Kohler on citations B3 & B4 in this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson. ]

[W’s *P.S.4 on Cobbey Crisler’s insights on Job 23:13 (B9):
“In Job 23:13 we find two revelations from God to Job about God’s nature. Because there’s only one way that you and I can ever find out anything out about God who is the only one who knows who God is, God [Himself/Herself]. God must do the revealing and here Job has two concepts revealed to him about God. And you know we don’t get anything unless we’re ready for it. Job is ready. He needs this, doesn’t he?… Why does Job need to know God as “one [mind], and as soul”?
What’s been his problem? One problem is identity. He said (in Job 9:21, 22) even “[if I said] I am perfect… Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul:” Here if soul is identified with God, where does one find one’s identity? The, whatever he was thinking about as his soul, if he had it, would have to image forth the One Soul. How many souls are there? If you relate the word “soul” to God, there is no other possible alternative than for a monotheist to see one, with whatever is revealed to us about God. That may be tough logic, but if soul is related to God, as a synonym, then there can only be One. So, to seek his identity in that oneness-of-God will tell him more about himself.
What about one mind? Why did he need to know that?[Voice: Because it was God?”] That’s right. And he’d been having a dialogue with many minds, hadn’t he? Nothing but just One Mind as opposed to many, polytheistic gods, or many minds, many opinions… Just think of that beautiful revelation that comes as a solution to all that.”
Excerpts from a transcription from a live recording by B. Cobbey Crisler on Vol. 2, “The Book of Job: A Mental Court Case”. For a full transcript email Cobbey’s wife, Janet, at]

[W’s *P.S.5 on Cobbey Crisler’s insights on Matthew 6:22-23 (B13):
(Verse 22). “Should we be surprised when it says, ‘The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single’? Haven’t we been prepared for that in Jesus’ theology up to now?

Single, not double vision, duality. Commitment to something other than one God, dividing our sight between what is corrupt and what is pure. Because “if our eye is single,” here’s an equation again. You can make that into an equation. “if thine eye be single”, how does the body respond? Your body is whole. Your body’s single too. Not fragmented.
(Verse 23) But, ‘if your eye is evil,’ see the parallelism? His definition of evil is what? The opposite of single. ‘If your eye is single,’ he says, on one hand,on the other hand, he syas, ‘if your eye is evil.’ So evil is something other that single. He is showing that it’s the devil’s outlook, diabolos, in Greek, the attempt to put dualism on the throne, or have a divided throne.
Isn’t that why in the Book of Revelation (4:2), one of the greatest revelations vouchsafed to John as a seer, was the fact he saw a throne in heaven and one sat on the throne. Just that single vision, according to Jesus, would result in instantaneous healing in our bodies, to see the throne in heaven and only one on it. No one, or no thing, or no thought other than what comes from God can have ascendancy or sovereignty, then, in our being, because ‘our body is full of light’ from the one that sits on the throne. (Matthew 6:22)
There’s something about divine logic that always coincides with divine revelation. The divine logic that Jesus is showing here was coincident with the revelation that John got.”

(Excerpts from a transcription from a live recording by B. Cobbey Crisler on Vol. 1, “Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax Collector’s Report”. For a full transcript email Cobbey’s wife, Janet, at]

[W’s *P.S.6 on Cobbey Crisler’s insights on John 5:2-9 (B14):
“John 5:2 We’re now at the famous incident at the “Pool of Bethesda”. Near what serves as an occasional sheep market today, there is still a pool that has been excavated, that has archeological remnants that suggest the five porches. There is apparently, if this is the correct location of the pools, a structure that had two pools, each with two porches. Down the middle was a fifth porch with pools on either side. It may have been the ancient equivalent of a hospital.
John 5:4 There’s some indication that it might have at some point in its history a spot that might have been associated with Aesculapius, the pagan founder of medicine, and that this superstition may have gotten to the point “that those who stepped into the pool when the water was troubled would be instantly healed.”
John 5:3 At least “an awful lot of peoplewere waiting around for that event,” so the news must have spread that this occurred.
John 5:5 Here we run into a man that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. “He’d been there for thirty-eight years.” I’m sure that many of us would feel for him. We all have been sitting around our own pool of Bethesda waiting for something to happen, something miraculous, something fatefulWe have all waited for something unexpected from the outside to lift us out of a condition that we haven’t made too much of an effort to do anything about.
There was an environment there that did not help the problem. As a matter of fact, here’s how Professor Dodd describes it. I like this:
‘There is another story about a man who had given way to a chronic disability, and for years had nursed a grievance which excused him from doing anything about it.’
John 5:7. “Someone else always gets in before me.” If that sounds like a familiar excuse, then Bethesda isn’t so far back in history. So he translates Jesus’ statements this way. Do you want to recover? That pinpoints it, doesn’t it? Do you see who that translation exhibits Jesus dealing with the thought of the patient? Where must it happen?
If communication from God to man must work, where must we work? In the thought of the receiver. Do we want to recover? That almost sounds silly to people who have been in a longtime condition, but it may very well be the core of the issue. Do we really want to be healed? Or have we become so settled into our condition that for thirty eight years, we just sit there with our friends and talk about our operations? Misery loving company is a quality that attaches itself to human nature.
John 5: 6. Here’s how Dodd again translates Jesus’ question and then his demand on the patient. “Do you want to recover?”
John 5:8, “Then, pick up your bed and walk.” Jesus wasn’t about to volunteer to pick up his bed for him.
That says a lot. How else do we know Jesus, but to study his thoughts, his words, his methods, his messages, his intent, the logos, not but the word, but the thought behind it? What is required for the healing of a paralytic condition that has lasted practically a generation? It’s the very thing that he thought he couldn’t do, to pick up his bed and walk. Do you want to be healed? ‘Let there be light!’ (Genesis 1:3) That’s permission. Let it in.
John 5:9, “Immediately the man was made whole.” We don’t have any sense that there was a convalescence period. “He took up his bed and walked.”

(Excerpts from a transcription from a live recording by B. Cobbey Crisler on Vol. 4, “John, the Beloved Disciple”. For a full transcript email Cobbey’s wife, Janet, at]

[S.O.S., Please Save Our Summer with a sweet $9k more! ($7k given or pledged last week to our unforeseen $16k need) Please help CedarS continue to be a camp founded on results that proves the theory that every right need is always met! In opening CedarS kitchen for this season to serve over 4,000 meals, we discovered three significant needs.
1) Our fire suppression system (hood, tank, nozzles… ) needs to be totally replaced at a cost of ~$7,000; 2) our kitchen air conditioner needs to be replaced at a cost of ~$7,000; 3) a large, gas, tilt skillet needs to be bought at a cost of ~$2,000, with trade-ins). To make an online donation click here. To mail in or call in a needed donation, please follow the instructions below for campership donors and tell us to “Feed the Children!”


[You can also CALL 636-394-6162 to reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime. Either one of the Huffs or their daughter Holly Huff Bruland is likely to answer.

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011


[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support.

[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at ]

American Camp Association

(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

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CedarS Camps

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