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CedarS Metaphysical Application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Christian Science”

for December 29, 2013

by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & Met Founder  (see P.S.)
[a last-day sub for a 5th-Sunday guest contributor]
 

May your celebration of Christmas be filled with the healing vitality and light of the Christ!  This divine light is always shining to show us the sure way to totally overcome the supposed pull of selfishness, impurity, sadness, weakness, sickness, mortality… The lasting value and brilliance of the Science of the Christ infinitely outshines not only all dark lies, but also all humanly good gifts that could be put under a tree.   It would be a shame to be so unappreciative of, and so blind to, our precious, divine legacy that we “make light of” the awesome gift we’ve received and fail to fully use what has come to us as the result of so much love, prayer and sacrifice.  Each citation and section of this Bible Lesson sheds new light on how we can honor God by more fully appreciating and using His greatest of all gifts.  As Julie Ward, CS says in a “Daily Lift” she calls “Christmas Every Day”: “When we’re expecting God’s gifts, we’ll spring out of bed, too! Start the day with gratitude and expectancy. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (II Corinthians 9:15)!   (See jsh-online.com, volume 115, issue 51, Christian Science Sentinel for Dec. 23, 2013, p. 15)

In the Golden Text, the Hebrew words for “glory of God” (kaved YHWH) mean to honor or give weight, importance and significance to the existent one, eternal one. (“…conversely we make light of something if it is a mockery, not important or significant” See http://renovateyourmind.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/reinterpretation-of-isaiah-601-3/ ] This lesson shows how “Christian Science does honor God as no other theory honors Him, and it does this in the way of His appointing, by doing many wonderful works through the divine name and nature.” (S&H 483:27)   So, here’s to honoring God though our enthusiastic practice and sharing of Christian Science and its “wonderful works.”

[Warren’s application idea of honoring God with a rear-view mirror: One way that I strive to honor God and to give significance to the “rich legacy” of the light of Christian Science in my life is to take an occasional glance at a rear-view mirror that I keep on my desk, topped with a bow.  One glance at this symbol reminds me that I am here today as a gift from God, back from “standing already within the shadow of the death-valley” (S10).  My full healing is thanks to “Christian Science [that] brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies.” [See the first full paragraph on page 162 of Science & Health and my Thanksgiving 2009 PS for a fuller testimony.]  Like a wise driver we should only take quick, occasional glances at the rear-view mirror—at our past victories and divine blessings in order to express gratitude that the same God who cared for us then is caring for us now and will do so in the future.  And, to banish all regrets over any past “potholes” we may seem to have encountered, we can give retroactive treatments to see only good—like God does.  Like a good driver we should focus fully on the conditions at hand and be grateful for our present good.  [Click here to see a CedarS Facebook post and rocking chair picture about worry being “ingratitude in advance”.]  As we navigate through each day and each task, let’s stay focused on being grateful for the right-now gift of Christ-light that is impelling and invigorating us to “arise, shine for“thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1, in our Golden Text)

The Responsive Reading (RR) continues the theme of “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:2).  It also includes a prophesy of a coming Messiah: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6, 7)  It’s comforting to acknowledge that thanks to the “zeal of the Lord”—“the reflected animation” of Life, Truth, and Love” (599:4)—the government of “a new heaven and a new earth” can be “pictured” –visualized here and now as peaceful, just, wise, and orderly because it is resting on divine shoulders, and is reflected by “beings under the control of supreme wisdom” (S&H, 91:3). This model of “divinity embracing humanity” (561:17) is way better to visualize than the widely-televised model in which divisively-motivated politicians are in (or out-of) control.  Isaiah’s affirmation of good governance is an especially helpful application idea for us as U.S. citizens to pray together about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the rights of Christian Scientists.  (Click here for the Latest Updates and here for Frequently Asked Questions about the ACA with answers from the Christian Science Federal Committee on Publication.) 

The remaining verses of the Responsive Reading from John offer great food for thought.
“Jesus said… Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father…” (John 14:12) Christine Irby Williams nicely tackled the tough question of what works could possibly be greater than what Jesus did in a wonderful precamp inspirational talk to CedarS staff this May as well as in part of an inspirational address for the Christian Science Nurses conference at CedarS this September. She essentially said, in part: “Have you ever wondered what in the world Jesus meant by greater works?  It does sound a little daunting.  We read almost every week in the Bible Lesson something such as Jesus “went about…healing ALL manner of sickness and ALL manner of disease among the people.”  He fed 5,000 men plus women and children with what had appeared to everyone else as a few loaves and fishes.  He walked on water and suspended time and space.  He raised to life a child who appeared to have just passed away, a young man who was on his way to be buried, and Lazarus, who had been in the grave four days already.  And then, of course, he raised himself after the crucifixion, and he ascended. So what could possibly be greater than any, much less all, of that?  I’ve often wondered, and I’m still pondering his promise… There has been one particular area in which it’s likely that we’ve all been aware that there is plenty of room for “greater works,” and that is working together, or what might be called collective demonstration: in families, church work, any kind of organizational work—in a church context or otherwise, in neighborhoods, in governments of all sizes, in nations, among the people, and in the world at large.  Would you agree with me that these are areas that could benefit from the light of Truth, the touch of the Comforter—the healing and saving ministries of divine Love? Might we be so bold as to think about tackling the environment? World peace? World hunger?  If not, why not?  If so, let’s get on with it!  Let us “then up and be doing,” as our hymn [#18] says!” You can read more inspiration on this and other topics from Chris that she shared at the 2012 Fern Lodge Annual Meeting at http://fernlodge.org/2012/11/jesus-promise-you-will-do-greater-works/

 Another greater work might be the discovery and recording for all mankind of the “definite rule for demonstrating this Principle of healing and preventing disease.” (S6, 147:26)  This is prophesied by Jesus in the closing verses of the RR: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you…”  (John 14:26)

Our “Prince of peace” closes the RR with a promise that we can demonstrate inner peace right in the midst of all the busy-ness and conflicts that would threaten to intimidate and undermine our joyful and peaceful hearts. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” “Let Your Hearts be Joyful” is brand-new song that kicks off CedarS new video show that will go on tour in 2014.  It was written and performed by CedarS Resident Practitioner and Met contributor Craig Ghislin of Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), Illinois.  You can hear a teaser copy by going to the online version of this Met and under the Downloads listed on the right.  There click on “Let Your Hearts be Joyful” song by Craig Ghislin.  For easy access on our new website Craig’s past CedarS Mets (as well as those by other contributors) are indexed. You can see all of Craig’s at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/authors/craig-ghislin/  

Section 1
Citation B1 from Isaiah has been embraced by Christians as a Messianic prophesy of the virgin birth of “Immanuel, or ‘God with us,’ — a divine influence ever present in human consciousness” (S18, xi).  “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (B1, Isa. 7: 14)  As you read citation B2 from Luke’s Nativity story, citation B3 from Matthew’s Nativity, and the Science and Health Nativity citations (S1 thru S4), look for take-aways—new ways to apply this familiar story to present day situations.  No matter what “decree from Cæsar Augustus” (B2) is issued these days, it will work to your advantage; you will be guided with prophetic precision to fulfill your divine destiny and will arrive right on schedule at your “Bethlehem… exactly when and where your favored idea has perfectly matured to “be delivered.” (B2)  

And, remember to be grateful even when there is “no room… in the inn”, because the simplicity, meekness and protection of arriving in a lowly manger—in “cradled obscurity” (S1, vii: 4)—is exactly how your infant idea can best be nurtured.  Click to see Chris Irby Williams’ Fern Lodge address again that starts with a great section about how the humble blessings of loving an infant idea in “cradled obscurity” is far better than horn-blowing and P.R. strategies.   Slick marketing techniques are rarely part of the formula for successful service to God and Her loved ones.  And, you can know that the “wise men” and “prophet-shepherds” who are needed to recognize and support your idea will be divinely guided to you by “the day star… in your hearts” (B20 & S1), while any Herod who would snuff it out will be out-maneuvered at every turn by divine Mind.  

Citation S4 reminds us of the forever now-ness lessons of the rear-view mirror “…the Christ is without beginning of years or end of days. Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea, — the reflection of God, — has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth.” (333:16–23)  (You may want to highlight the words all and every throughout this lesson to get a more expansive view of Mrs. Eddy’s vision of how Love’s “arm encircles me, and mine, and all.” (Hymn 207:2) Some of our dear church members are expressing this all-embracing care by helping to build a “Habitat for Humanity” home right after the holidays.

Section 2
Citation B4 sets forth the most desired outcome of spiritual growth for every cherished child in one’s charge—at home or at camp:  “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” (Luke 2:40)  Citation B5 reminds us of Jesus’ unparalleled success in healing “any sick with divers diseases … every one of them” (Luke 4: 40).  Also sections 4 and 5 both start with Bible verses about “Jesus healing all…” (B11) and sending out his disciples, giving “them power and authority over all devils” (B14).

Mary Baker Eddy devoted her life to bringing Jesus’ teachings (words) and healing practice (works) to the level of scientific applicability to “enrich… all mankind” (“Daily Prayer”, Church Manual, 41: 24).  I had the honor of accompanying Christian Science Lecturer Geith Plimmer, C.S. of the U.K. during his last lecture tour in the U.S…  I’ll never forget his point that we best honor Sir Isaac Newton and other ground-breaking physicists, not when we verbally extol their virtues and findings, but rather when we use the legacy of the principles they discovered to build bridges and other things to bless mankind.  He said the same holds true for ground-breaking metaphysicians, Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy, who we honor most when we use their “rich legacy” (S9) to bless all mankind.  I’ll never forget Geith’s forceful emphasis (as added) when he quoted the citations below:
 

  • “Our Master healed the sick, practised Christian healing, and taught the generalities of its divine Principle to his students; but he left no definite rule for demonstrating this Principle of healing and preventing disease. This rule remained to be discovered in Christian Science.”  (S6, 147:24) 
  • “There are various methods of treating disease, which are not included in the commonly accepted systems; but there is only one which should be presented to the whole world, and that is the Christian Science which Jesus preached and practised and left to us as his rich legacy.” (S9, 344:19)

Section 3
We love the last verse of citation B8 so much that we had it carved in granite—between our Bible Lands Park’s “holy hill, and… tabernacle” (B9) —at the base of CedarS (Bible) Time Travelers Trail (TTT).  As listed below, Psalms 119:105 is our selected Old Testament verse that is engraved above our New Testament and Science and Health selections. [See Addendum for more info on connections to CedarS Bible Lands Park.]

  • Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (B8, Ps. 119: 105)
     
  • Before Abraham was, I am.”  (Jesus statement in John 8:58)
  • As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.”  (1st Tenet, S&H, 497, 1 page before the “Key to the Scriptures”)

Weekly book learning expectations:
While our Sunday School class fully acknowledges the importance of “holy, uplifting faith” (S12, 109:16) we also emphasize the great value of familiarity with our Pastor that deepens our faith and understanding of  the greatest gift—Christian Science—that we have been given.  The parents of our 7th grade boys are helping them to read at home about 20 pages a week of Science and Health during the 39 weeks of class time we have together.  They start by skimming through the Marginal Headings to see where and how they are amplified in the adjacent paragraphs. For the rest of this section the Marginal Headings are:

  • “Perusal and practice” that spells out “The book needs to be studied, and the demonstration of the rules of scientific healing will plant you firmly on the spiritual groundwork of Christian Science.” (S13, 147:14–20)
  • “Rapidity of assimilation” that promises that “any student, who adheres to the divine rules of Christian Science and imbibes the spirit of Christ, can demonstrate Christian Science, cast out error, heal the sick, and add continually to his store of spiritual understanding, potency, enlightenment, and success.” (S14, 462:1)
  • “Truth’s volume” that instructs us to “Take divine Science. Read this book from beginning to end. Study it, ponder it.” (S15, 559:20) [Hope you’ll reap with us the blessings of this daily discipline of reading Science and Health.]

Section 4
This section simply and elegantly shows that, in the science of Mind healing, it’s never just a patient’s body that needs to change. It’s always the patient’s underlying pattern of thought and action.
Citation B13 contains Luke’s version of Jesus’ healing of a palsied man who was paralyzed with guilt, worry, depression…  Check out the Bible Reenactment Skit with questions (in the upper-right download list) for insights from Cobbey Crisler on how Jesus first cheered up the patient with forgiveness of his supposed status as a miserable sinner and with gratitude-in-advance. Also to be gleaned are Jesus’ steps of thought-treatment that will heal today such conditions as “writer’s block”, listlessness, sluggishness, or stoppage of any kind.

Section 5
In citation B15 Jesus tells us that we are the chosen ones who are divinely ordained, forever fruitful and fully supplied!
“I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you…”  (B15, John 15:16)  That’s the comfort (literally being made strong) that comes right along with the Comforter that— “I understand to be Divine Science” (S20, 55:27) —“even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father (B15, John 15: 26) which “will guide you into all truth.” (B16, John 16: 13)

Citation S21 is another carved-in-stone favorite: “Christ’s Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God.” (271:1–5)  To enhance your appreciation of both this citation and citation S26, you will LOVE a wonderful series of podcasts called “Christ’s Christianity Podcasts” at http://christianscience.com/community/circle-of-faith-ecumenical-and-interfaith/christ-s-christianity-podcasts .   The above citation has been engraved in granite, framed in cedar and suspended by chains at the top of the Bible Timeline Trail at CedarS. For more information see the Addendum below.

Section 6
Citation B17 emphasizes the New Testament theme of “declaring unto you the testimony of God…  in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (I Corinthians 2:1, 4, 5)

 And, citation B20 emphasizes the Christian theme of the grace of Christ:  “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord…” It ends by taking us back to our Golden Text theme that Christian Science is like the “light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (II Peter 1:2, 19)

It’s exciting to see some “Daystar” Christian Broadcasting programs (like Joel Osteen sermons on Sunday nights) emphasizing the healing power today of God-centered attitudes, thoughts and prayers.  Citations S24, S25 and S26 relate to this growing trend:

  • “Christian Science is dawning upon a material age… The proof that the system stated in this book is Christianly scientific resides in the good this system accomplishes, for it cures on a divine demonstrable Principle which all may understand.” (S24, 546:23)
  • “The prophet of to-day beholds in the mental horizon the signs of these times, the reappearance of the Christianity which heals the sick and destroys error, and no other sign shall be given… Beyond the frail premises of human beliefs, above the loosening grasp of creeds, the demonstration of Christian Mind-healing stands a revealed and practical Science. It is imperious throughout all ages as Christ’s revelation of Truth, of Life, and of Love, which remains inviolate for every man to understand and to practise.” (S25, 98:4–7, 15)
  • “Christian Science and Christianity are one.” (S26, 372:17–18)
    In the development of CedarS Bible Lands Park and the tours given so far to Christian groups from other denominations, we are emphasizing the common theological points that unite us ecumenically as Christians.  The 10 Commandments, Beatitudes, Bible places, people and timelines…)  [See Addendum below for more on Bible Lands Park outreach.]  A common place to meet going forward and to exchange inspiration is turning to the spiritual sense of the Bible as a basis for finding answers to our needs today.  To be more aware of this trend, including our dialogue with the National Council of Churches, check out the blogs at https://community.christianscience.com/community/ecumenical_and_interfaith

 


[Warren’s P.S.: CedarS Bible Lesson “Mets” were “born”14 years ago when I sent to Sunday School students Bible Lesson application ideas (alternating weeks with a team-teacher).  It was natural to want to share these ideas that fulfill CedarS mission with our staff and campers and their families, so I asked some CedarS resident practitioners to become regular monthly contributors of application ideas.  As the ideas shared proved helpful in applying the precious Science of the Christ, Met recipients shared them with friends. Now we are blessed with subscriber-friends from all over the world who joyously put CedarS Met ideas to use in their own situations.]

[Addendum of CedarS Bible-based spiritual growth tools: The verses mentioned in Section 3 at the start of Time Travelers Trail and at the heart of CedarS Bible Land Park are reminders spanning 3,000 years in history of how God Answers Prayers (GAP) for every period and situation.  (See more in the 5th section, S21.)  Our “Ruth’s Run”—a “Back-to-the-Bible” zipline transit system to and from the Park—and our “Walk On Water” cable watersports system—that teaches daily applications of the Beatitudes—are uniquely fun tools to boost spiritual growth and Bible literacy. 

Citation B21 in Section 5 about “Christ’s Christianity” being “the chain of scientific being” is graphically illustrated by a chain (serving as a railing) that runs from the bottom of the trail to the top, uniting each Bible period in “the design of God” and “maintaining… obvious correspondence with the Scriptures” with posts supporting the chain at all step-ups on which are engraved in granite the names of significant Bible characters in chronological order.  The trail is over a quarter mile long with switch-back, reenactment platforms at turning point periods like the Exodus, United Kingdom, Babylonian Exile, and Roman Era.  This teaching-tool trail climbs through a beautiful, Oak-Hickory-Dogwood forest rising over 100 feet vertically from a spring near the Patriarchal and Matriarchal Period to a cave at the Christian Era.

Our Bible-based facilities are among CedarS most popular, not just for the 1,200 Christian Science campers and staff who cherish their time at CedarS & our BLP each summer, but also for our fall weekend programs for CSO Summits, CS Nursing Conferences, Bible Workshops, school groups and other church and youth groups.  Bible Lands Park has proven to be packed with good bridge-building and outreach tools in our “shoulder seasons” that we have opened to visiting groups of all faiths and ages.  See (as an upper-right attachment) my unfolding business card that I share to reach out to neighboring groups of any denomination.  While free-will donations from visiting groups are expected to underwrite this outreach, we welcome gifts designated “Outreach 2014” to help prime the pump for upcoming benevolence and ecumenical sharing opportunities].

[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 http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ ]

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

[GREAT NEWS!  CedarS met its $25k Maintenance Musts Challenge Grant, THANKS to all you dear givers! It also looks like donations will cover the re-building of all the old fences for our horses– with the exception of one $6,000 riding arena.  So, please pray about supporting this and CedarS Matched “Adopt the Herd” fund for year-round horse care; and/or our need to underwrite applications coming in daily for 2014 Campership funding!]

And, HUGE THANKS to our current Monthly Donors of all amounts.  See a recent video from 4 monthly donors about how significant your support is! 
THANK YOU in advance for MONTHLY MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE,

BY PHONE at 636-394-6162
OR BY MAIL at:
CedarS Office, 1314 Parkview Valley Dr, Ballwin, MO 63011

[Check out CedarS with its Fundamental Concepts, Unique Facilities and Features designed to transform lives! Click to see testimonials in writing!]

[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 Manfred and Jeanette; 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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