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Editor’s Note: The following background information and application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp. If more information or the text of this Lesson is desired, please see the Director”s Note at the end. The citations referenced in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. 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. (Other reference books are fully noted at the end.)

Choose Wisely and Live!
Lesson Application Ideas on “Mortals and Immortals” for Nov. 7-12, 2005
by Corde Hanzlik, CS of Austin, TX

After the Lesson on “Adam and Fallen Man,” (are we the Genesis 1 or Genesis 2 man?) we are presented with what seems like a choice or follow up. Are we mortal or immortal? Why does Mrs. Eddy use the connector “and” rather than “or”? Confusing? That is what mortality tries to do to us – confuse us through the ‘eye’. Watch for the different types of ‘eyes or ‘Eye’ vision in this week’s Lesson.

The Golden Text tells us straight out what the choice is. To “mind” something is to be in obedience to or subject to the power of that something. To what will we be obedient? Flesh gets fleshly limits, problems, death. Spirit gets spiritual freedom, activity, life.

The Responsive Reading continues the comparison with the concept of the inward man (spiritual, face to face, know the I AM, full of grace, renewed, eternal) and outward man (flesh, dark, not know God, perish, temporal). Again, what are we seeing?

Section 1: The litmus test (litmus paper is used in chemistry to test a chemical substance to see whether it is an acid or a base. The paper reacts in color to show the substance content.)Perhaps the reason for the continued presentation of contrasts, mortal verses immortal is so it will become more obvious to us which one is truly real. To find an answer to a question we begin with what we know. The 1st section is establishing what “I” know about God, all that He is and does. So naturally “I will be satisfied when I awake” – understand – my likeness is His likeness. (B 3) That understanding will be a result of revelation from God, not what the lying ‘eye’ would tell us. (B 4)

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures tells us in the first and fifth markers what is real and what isn’t. We again have the ‘eye’ contrast. What will we believe? Mortality is only belief. Our litmus test must be more than a piece of paper. It must be on ‘a higher plane’ as to the origin of an idea in Mind, not matter. (S&H 3) No matter how real the false conception appears to be, it must yield to the true. (S&H 4) Mortality yields to immortality.

Section 2:  Whoa! What do the eyes behold?
The correct ‘Eye’ sees God as God sees! It was easy for Elisha to trust God without seeing physical evidence. The prophet of God, Elisha, was able to ‘see’ what the King of Syria of doing so that he was able to warn the King of Israel of danger. Wouldn’t you be upset if someone always knew where you were going or what you were getting and beat you to the place and got the prize? Sure. The King of Syria’s servants were smarter than the king was. They knew what power the prophets of God had. Poor Elisha’s servant didn’t get the picture. What ‘eye’ was he using? He needed to see the protection around him, while Elisha trusted completely, chariots unseen. B6) We have the test again – physical sense or immortal truth? (S&H 5) What testimony should we believe – the material or the spiritual? Mrs. Eddy states the conflicting argument of both, but only one is correct. The six types of vision in S&H 7 – intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality – indicate varying degrees of visual trust. The greater the spiritual sense, the right and only sense, the clearer the vision. The Bible stories in the Lesson are examples of the different types. See how you would classify each character. For example, Elisha had a full sense of every quality except hope. He was way beyond hope. He knew! His servant, on the other hand, was still only in the hope realm. He hoped that all would be well, but he lacked the conviction that in this case was chariots. You have all watched a butterfly. They cover great distances in their migrations, but rarely is it direct point A to B. They really do flutter around, get wind driven. We have our orders for the recovery of such “feeble flutterings”. “…rise above the testimony of the material senses, above the mortal to the immortal idea of God. These clearer, higher views inspire to God-like man to reach the absolute center and circumference of his being.” (S&H 8) Sight unseen.

Section 3: The vessel half full or half empty? How do we look at things?
In marker 9, Elisha saves the day again using his unlimited vision of God’s abundance. As the woman and her sons had no money to pay off their bills, the woman was desperate. Turning to God’s representative, she showed her intuition, hope and faith in God. The woman was totally trusting of Elisha. Her obedience brought her full reward. The neighbors would have thought the woman and her sons were crazy if they told them why they were borrowing the vessels. She and her sons “shut the door” on material sense that would argue doubt and limit. They aligned themselves with right vision. So we, too, pray, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (B 10)The Science and Health confirms the point that Elisha proves. We must not fall victim to what the material ‘eye’ sense testimony says. It is always false. Even if something appears to be good, even good matter, is not real and true unless based in Spirit. Whatever the form matter might take, we must refuse to be disturbed. (S&H 10) How hard is that today when evil seems so aggressive or a friend seems to hurt us? The test question in marker 11 is a good litmus test for anything that challenges us. Which theory do you accept? Mrs. Eddy makes it so obvious that there is only one right answer, a “Well duh” concept. It seems hard to wrestle the false testimony down sometimes. When we recognize the true, doesn’t that automatically deny and dissolve the wrong? Yes. Let’s stick to the Truth! We will then see it too! (S&H 13)

Section 4:  Evidence shows God’s safety net is forever
No matter our age, what we have done, God still and always cares for us. “Old or greyheaded” we can “run and not be weary, run and not faint”. (B 11&12)What qualities are undying, ageless? Virtue, truth, manhood, good, beauty, vigor, freshness, promise, immortality, loveliness, continuity. (S&H14) There is no age in Science. There is no progression of life, no dimming eye. There is only fulness and wholeness continually unfolding good. We do not live between certificates – birth to death. “The great spiritual fact must be brought out that man is, not shall be, perfect and immortal.”(S&H 16) What evidence are we believing? We have an ever-clear ‘Eye’.

Section 5: Jesus beholds – by what eye?
Jesus doesn’t see the man sick of the palsy, but sees ‘their faith’. He then speaks to the man, “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” Sins forgiven? Of course! Jesus knew that that man was innocent of mortal, limited belief. Jesus had the correct vision. The scribes only saw with their eyes of limited theological doctrine, blind to the Christ light. (B 15) As was stated in the Golden Text, what do we accept – fleshly dead end or obedience to Christ-power?How does Jesus behold? “In Science, the perfect man.” (S&H 19) Can the perfection that Jesus beholds be wishy-washy? No! Do we believe a mortal transmission or immortal? Look at the options in marker 17. The victor is always the Christ idea! (S&H 18) There us no dualism (last week’s Lesson). There is one man, the Genesis One man, beheld in Science. The real sense is intact. (S&H 21)

Section 6: What does Cornelius see? How about Peter?
(Go to the Bible and read the part of the story about Peter’s experience.)If we take people at face value, we might not get to know lots of different people because we are biased, too selfish or narrow-minded to accept them. Cornelius was a good man, but upon seeing an angel, he was afraid. He was obedient to go find Peter as directed. Cornelius’ friends went to get Peter to vouch for the integrity of Cornelius to Peter. Meanwhile, an angel told Peter not to be so proud and arrogant in judgment of others. The Jewish law did not allow Jews (Peter) to mingle, have contact or otherwise have any dealings with the non-Jews (Cornelius). God told Peter off. Peter was not to judge any one or despise any other people. We must see with pure vision the man of God’s creating. Incorruptible! (B18)Loving one another is the most pure way of seeing our neighbor. Mortal eyes don’t do the job. We see in Science. Error can’t hide. Science “destroys all error and brings immortality to light.”(S&H 23)” Love Inspires, designates, and leads the way.”(S&H 24) Notice that the verbs are present tense. Love is doing all of the time, constant vigil and activity. We know this as our Mind is as in Christ Jesus. What and how are we beholding? In “true light” all is beautiful and immortal. (S&H 25) What have we always known and seen but the absolute God Principle of oneness of idea and identity. The false ‘eye’ testimony is gone. There is only right vision. “…the children of God, will appear (be seen, added) as the only and eternal verities of man.” (S&H 26) We have a complete visual on God’s man, us, perfect, indestructible, a full vision, no eyes needed. The Eye has it! Reality!

Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a long series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms.Originally sent JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson in the books. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.) 

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