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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

Mortals and Immortals
for November 17, 2013

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
(314) 406-0041
[bracketed inserts by CedarS Director Warren Huff, letting the need be known that
CedarS is ~1/3 of the way to meeting a year-end, $25,000 Maintenance Musts Challenge Grant]

Golden Text and Responsive Reading—creations of light!
Last week's lesson gave us a couple different views of creation, a true one and a false one. This week's lesson on mortals and immortals gives us an even more rarified view of man as a creation of light, of understanding. Existence/being is light/understanding. This light is God's Christ, shining through our pure, childlike consciousness, and illuminating the universe. We get to enjoy exploring together our immortal status as God's children, all brothers and sisters, inheriting only Her blessing and harmony, progressing always through purity, eternally, until the dark view of man as mortal, made of matter, is completely annihilated through that brilliant Christ light in our consciousness. This is the consciousness of our immortality.

Section 1 – Look to God for the true account of creation.
This section opens with the “other” account of spiritual creation.  I love this account because it is often associated with the coming of the Christ in the form of Jesus, and because like everything that is associated with the coming of Jesus, it is full of light.  Think of the star that appeared to the Wise men.  Think of the bright light that shone around the shepherds who were watching their sheep the night Jesus was born, and of the fact that it shone in the darkness, to dispel the darkness of human belief.  Even Saul, more than 50 days after Jesus' ascended saw the risen Christ as a blinding light when he was walking through the desert!  When Moses heard God speak to him, he was attracted by a fire, by light.  There are other examples of the illumination that comes from the presence of the Christ and this passage really sums up the understanding (light) that comes with the “Word” of God (B1).  This “creation” story points to the immortal, Christ-man of God's creating and is central to this week's lesson.

Citations B2 and B3 can be seen as the supposed opposite side of the creation “coin” – the matter or mortal side.  The first part of B2 speaks of the conflict of “potsherds” (broken bits of pottery), arguing with their creators.  I use that term in the plural because it reminds me of the mortal view of many parents with mortal children that can grow to conflict with their parents and depart from their “heritage”.  Then we have citation B3 where there is a suggestion that, at least for a time, others of these children could be viewed as something to be proud of, they might be “successful” and show the “glory of man”.  Both these views are temporary, based on a material lineage, on separate minds that decide things apart from a divine Father.  These are “…conceptions of mortal, erring thought [that] must give way to all that is perfect and eternal.” (S6)

A truly beautiful moment in this section is in verses 11, 12 and 19 of citation B2.  These command us to ask God rather than our own mortal sense of things, what to think about man and about creation.  I witnessed a beautiful healing with a great influx of light into my consciousness a couple of years ago when my oldest son Huck had a bicycle wreck on a steep hill of our gravel drive.  When I reached him he was very scraped up and his bicycle was too bent to ride.  After some prayer and rest, he decided to continue on our walk through the neighborhoods.  He complained of being dizzy a mile or so later so I let him ride in the stroller that I'd brought for the younger two boys.  He played the rest of the day, maybe not as energetically as usual, but not in any obvious distress, once we had cleaned up the scrapes.  But the next morning he complained of a headache, and then was sick to his stomach.  It was a Sunday and I have duties at church, so I left him home with his dad and proceeded to church.  I was struggling to find peace about Huck's condition.  I felt that I had not been perceptive about the crash.  I'd noticed the significant “road rash” but didn't realize that he had received a blow to the head and very likely had a concussion.  I do realize that as a Christian Scientist, it doesn't matter what the claim is, but nonetheless I was having a hard time getting my thought clear about God's constant control and love.  When I got to church the First Reader asked about where Huck was and I explained.  She immediately shared with me this passage, which was also in that week's Bible lesson: “Ask me of things to come concerning my sons…” (italics added).  And then she proceeded to share how that had brought healing, maybe two days before, to her own son, who—you guessed it—received a concussion from a line drive in a baseball game he was playing.  The sense of relief and illumination I felt as she read that line, with the emphasis on “me”, was palpable.  I just was overwhelmed with peace that came from realizing that I didn't have to ask myself what I should have done, should have known, should know then.  I just needed to ask God what He knew!  That was so clear.  Talk about bringing purity to the situation, a really clear sense of man's immortal nature! (more on that later).  Huck had a wonderful healing that day and was perfectly himself when he returned to school on Monday.  I have never looked at that passage in the same way.  It is a great starting point for a treatment… asking God what He thinks of someone… and this week we have the added bonus of verse 19, which ends: “I declare things that are right.”

Section 2 – Brotherhood:
What does brotherhood have to do with immortality?  Well, let's think in terms of darkness (mortality) and light (immortality).  Have you ever had a time when you were really angry at someone or felt betrayed by a friend, ever been in conflict with someone?  Of course, everyone has at some time.  What does it feel like?  Doesn't it feel like you are immersed in a dark cloud?  Like you can't get happiness or light into your consciousness.  This, I think, is why brotherhood is a natural component of divine creation, a creation that stems from light.  All divine light is from one source, Principle/Love.  This source blesses all with fair bestowals of good, of understanding and harmony.  Since we are born of Love (B9), we live in Christ, we exist in immortal truth.  This love is within us, in our hearts.  We are created to feel and express this love.  So when we don't feel it, we can be sure we are looking at our fellow man through an impure, mortal lens.  This idea of purity within is emphasized more in section 3.  Really seeing, perceiving true brotherhood, takes effort.  Mortal existence can be impressive in its cruelty, violence, aggression.  But we can turn to God for a truer view to be illuminated for us.  Citation S2 states: “Being is holiness, harmony, immortality.”  Put that together with Mrs. Eddy's statement:  “Man is the expression of God's being”(SH 470:23-24) and you get to see that God's being is holiness, harmony and immortality so man's being must be holiness, harmony, immortality.  Anything less than these things, must represent a mortal, un-illumined view of creation!

Section 3 – Re-creation:
Not to sound cliché, but have you ever noticed how children get really excited about just about everything?  That's because many things that we take for granted, really are new to them!  It is as if everything is created new, just for them.  I took some pre-schoolers for a nature walk the other day, and one of them noticed a big shady patch of frost on the grass.  She yelled “FROST” and they all ran to the frost, dropped to their knees and began either licking the grass or picking the frost up in their mittens and licking it off the mittens.  This excitement about what is familiar to an adult can be really refreshing and inspiring.  It is a great reminder to nurture that purity and childlikeness within each of our hearts, especially since we are told that the “pure in heart” are blessed and see God!  Maybe you've read a familiar statement in the Bible or Science and Health and suddenly it is really new to you, you might say illuminated.  Our third section is about this re-creation… about this new, unclouded, pure way of seeing things.  We often use children to represent this because of the fact that they haven't yet picked up all the baggage of thinking about themselves as created in mortality, out of matter.  Adults have usually given that a lot more thought and have kind of allowed the accumulation of material experience to fog their view of man and of existence.  But this section gives us fresh hope that we can progress in purity rather than accumulate matter thought.  “Beloved, now are we the sons of God…” (B15)  And in citation S17 we see that true progress comes from growing in purity (remaining children in “knowledge”) as we progress in the understanding of man's higher nature, not in the understanding that the serpent recommended in last week's lesson!

Section 4 – Divine inheritance:
Speaking of re-creation, this section delves into the false belief that man inherits certain good things, and mostly bad things from material parentage.  The story of the man born blind that Jesus heals is detailed on page 117 of the Abingdon Interpreter's One Volume Commentary.  Here they mention the idea that Jesus could have healed this man on any other day of the week, but apparently chose the Sabbath day for a reason. “…to Jesus the Sabbath is a sign of the new age of God's work of re-creation; not a mere day of rest closed by the night…, when no one can work.” (on John 9:4, B19)  In this story we have both the element of the light brought by the Christ understanding vs. the darkness of living in matter, and we see that God's man is created with a divine inheritance, one that doesn't include living in the dark, in blindness.  In this story, Jesus is showing the blind man the way forward. The pool that he refers to as Siloam means “sending forth”.  So Jesus is sending him forward, moving his thought forward to progress out of blindness into that pure clear consciousness of the Christ.  Interestingly, in Isaiah 8:5-8 it mentions that these are the very waters that Israel had “refused”, symbolizing the rejection of the power of the Christ to heal through the realization of man's divine and immortal relation to God.  I love the way Mrs. Eddy refers to the disappearance of sin and disease from our consciousness as like darkness yielding to light (S21). This is how Jesus healed.  He always let the light of truth overcome the suggestion of matter being the substance of creation.  The sin of believing that life is in matter brings with it a kind of blindness, whether figurative or literal.  Light comes from life in Christ.  [For more insights from Bible scholar Cobbey Crisler check out a CedarS Bible Reenactment Skit by clicking a link in the upper right of our web posting of this Met called “Jesus Heals a Blind Man”.]

Section 5 – Light of Life:
This lesson just keeps insisting that we contemplate childlikeness, children, and the qualities that children ideally embrace.  In this section we have a child that is apparently dead being raised to life by Jesus.  Death is the ultimate darkness from which it is believed there is no return.  In fact the father in this story is told that he shouldn't bother Jesus since his daughter has already passed away.  But Jesus insists on the light of Life that reveals man's immortality.  His understanding that this little girl had never lived or died in matter, his “…present knowledge of his Father and of himself – the knowledge of Love, Truth, and Life” delivered the girl from this claim that she was ever a mortal being.  There is no sense in this story that she is progressing by dying.  Jesus rejects that idea by healing her.  Her progress is here and now through living, existing, being.  I like that the story ends here with “…straightway the damsel arose, and walked;” and then the next citation tells us to “…walk as children of light” (B22, B23).  The only way we can “walk”, make progress, move forward, is to walk in the light or understanding of God and man as immortal.  [For more insights from Bible scholar Cobbey Crisler check out a CedarS Bible reenactment skit by clicking a link in the upper right of our web posting of this Met called “Jesus Heals Jairus’ Daughter”.]

Section 6 – Disappearance of matter and mortality:
In this section we rejoice in the way that mortality is “swallowed up in immortality” (S28).  In this same way, light dispels darkness.  The darkness doesn't go anywhere; it just disappears in the presence of divine light, understanding.  Once we understand what is true, we are no longer convinced that that matter has the final word.  We are looking through that pure window of a consciousness no longer cluttered with the darkness of fear.  Light has a way of overwhelming dark.  The sunrise doesn't battle with night, it just irresistibly replaces it.  This is how our progressively childlike consciousness is welcoming the light/understanding of our nature as God's immortal children.  Day by day, the light of Christ dawns on our thought and we move inexorably and joyfully forward to see our “real existence as a child of God” (S29).


The above application ideas are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps. These ideas 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 http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ ]

[Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & bracketed, italic additions.]

[Please support: CedarS Matched “Maintenance Musts Fund” where $25,000 is needed & will be matched for proper upkeep of mission-critical buildings & equipment; our Matched “Adopt the Herd” fund for year-round horse care; and/or our ongoing  FENCING NEEDS for our herd of wonderful horses that serves campers every day. Just write either “Maintenance Musts, Matched” , "Adopt the Herd, Matched" or “fencing for horses, pre-matched”]

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[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free — by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has been contributed.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and 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, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "Mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and in a variety of useful formats as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-26) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-32). 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 the 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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