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C’mon – be a doer to “get real!”  Look to and trust God!

Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Reality”

For the week of September 24 – 30, 2007

Prepared by Janet Hegarty, C.S. of St. Louis, MO

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 (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp!   You can sign up free to have these mets emailed to you in English by Monday or in French or Spanish by Wednesday: CHECK www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ FOR FREE TRANSLATIONS.

              

Golden Text:  Look to and trust God – the one and only power! 
Mary Baker Eddy reinforces the Psalmist’s thought when she says, “God is at once the centre and circumference of being.” (Science and Health page 204)  Where else, then, would we want to put our trust?   Would we feel more secure if we were to trust the evidence of sense testimony – the unreliable testimony of the material senses?  Citation S15 explains, “The testimony of the material senses is neither absolute nor divine.”  What about medical theories?  Would we feel more secure if we depended on these ever changing man-made theories that are based on the unreliable testimony of material sense?  Why would we trust in or fear these theories when we have the reliable positive testimony of spiritual sense?  This spiritual testimony is based on an understanding of the one and only intelligent Creator, on real unchanging goodness, on unfailing Love and on ever present and all-powerful Spirit, God.  Now that’s something we can really trust!  Join your heart and voice with the Psalmist.  Look without reservation to God, to the real Science of being and the testimony of spiritual sense and sing – O God, in thee do I trust!  [Possible Sunday School Topic: (P.S.S.T!) When you look to God, you automatically look away from false trusts and landmarks.  Which ones will you be glad to be done with and which may you be reluctant to leave behind?  Discuss what happened to Lot’s reluctant wife (Gen. 19:14-26) and what will give rise to or “precipitate the ultimate harmony” S&H 324:2]

 

Responsive Reading:  The beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10) 
These verses from Psalms might be thought of as God’s resume.  They describe both the trustworthy qualities of God and the practical application of these qualities to the life of man.  The glory of the heavens show the majesty of God, the creator.  God is a maker of good laws, His testimony (spiritual sense) is trustworthy, His commandments are uplifting.  The works of God are great, honorable, and righteous.  Graciousness and compassion describe all of His actions.  God’s perfect success, which is assured throughout all time, is man’s great blessing.  By the power of God’s majesty, man is purified, provided with all the wisdom he will ever need, spiritually enlightened, and given reliable guidance to a happy life.  Be wise, study to know God better and you’ll have the solid courage and clear vision to trust God and consistently DO what you know to be right.
(See Jesus’ parable in B13 about doing versus not doing.) [P.S.S.T!  “good understanding have they that do his commandments” (Ps. 111:10)  Celebrate “The Top 10 Laws of Freedom” by actively doing them.  How can you adapt the following possible ways of being a daily doer to the opportunities you face this week? i.e. In your toughest classes and challenges: 1) Keep your thinking and acting inseparable from God because you are “one in being; (S&H 361:16)  2) Live up to your identity as the present image of God by not worshipping images engraved in the past; 3) Affirm that your actively taking Love’s nature (name) will never be in vain, but will have healing results; 4) Lighten up by remembering that each part of God’s creation is already perfect and complete; 5) Show respect to all authority figures, who are in charge thanks to God alone – see John 19:11;  6) End the spreading of anger and discouragement with gratitude; 7) Protect your childlike purity from being adulterated; 8) Live to give, not to get; 9) Be a witness to the whole truth, and nothing but, so help you God; 10) When good happens to others, work to genuinely feel “Thank You God, That’s Mine Too!”]    

 

Section 1: “the reality of all things brought to light” (S4) “is spiritual.(S6)
Is there a source of power or intelligence beyond God, Spirit?  The verses from Genesis and Isaiah give us a definite answer to this question – NO! (B1, B2)  God is the only source, the only power, the only intelligent Creator – essentially, God, Spirit, is the only light of the universe.  There is nothing higher than God to appeal to.  God is the divine creative Principle of the universe and of man.  If you want to understand real existence you can be sure you will find the truth when you look to God for answers.

 

Divine equations:  Spirit/light = reality, matter/darkness = illusion. 
Reality is defined as, “Actual being or existence of any thing; truth; fact; in distinction from mere appearance.” (Students Reference Dictionary)  “Reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal.” (S1)  Spirit, God made the command, “Let there be light.” (B1)  Mary Baker Eddy explains, the light of God is spiritual ideas, the true explanation of being.  This light, spiritual understanding, is always present to meet all of our needs. (S3)  Darkness, on the other hand, is the false concept of a material creation.  Darkness is defined as, “absence of light.” (Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)  Just as darkness is not a thing in itself, but is only the absence of light, a material sense of things is not reality but is only the supposed absence of Spirit – which is impossible. (S3)  Through spiritual sense, reasoning based on a spiritual understanding of creation, we discover reality.  God continuously communicates this spiritual understanding to you.  God gives you light!  Seek reality and with God’s help you will surely find it and its 6 elements as defined by Mrs. Eddy’s in citation S6 and as developed in sections 1-5. 
[P.S.S.T!  Strive to see yourself and those around you with spiritual sense this week! (S4)  Tell your class what a difference you made by holding such a true view.]

 

Section 2:  Man’s true light (S8) shines in harmonious reality!  
The book of Job was written to address the question:  Why do the righteous suffer, or why do bad things sometimes happen to good people?  It also refutes the idea that all suffering is the result of sin.  Job struggles hard against the arguments of his friends, who insist that he must be a sinner.  Job knows he is innocent and he has been faithful, throughout his many trials, to maintain his trust in God.   As he continues to defend himself Job comes to the realization that God will ultimately uphold his innocence. (The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible)  Job had risen above the popular concept of God as one who punishes man and man as an inevitable sinner, to discern the spiritual reality.  The spiritual light that had come to him during this struggle revealed to him that God’s purpose was not to punish sin but to maintain goodness.  In this section of the lesson we enter Job’s humble conversation with God that followed his realization. (B5, B6)  The beautiful verses from Psalms emphasize the light of spiritual understanding that was the result of Job’s mental journey.  The healing and harmonizing effect of Christian Science verifies the reality Job discerned – man is the good child of God and God is a loving creator.  No one is condemned to suffer or to sin.  “Man and his Maker are correlated in divine Science.” (S8)  Correlated means, “either of two things so related that one directly implies or is complementary to the other.” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)  The harmony and goodness of God is “repeated in the action of man and the whole universe.” (S7)  [P.S.S.T! In what areas of your life would you like to experience more harmony (and therefore more reality) this week?]

 

Section 3:  Christ Jesus, the saving light, (B12) illuminates that DOING his word is like building on an immutable rock (B13)
Christ Jesus brought the light of the true understanding of reality into the world.  He taught and proved that God, the Principle of all reality, is all-loving, all-powerful, and absolutely unchanging and reliable.  His parable of the house built on the rock shows the contrast between the reliable evidence of spiritual sense, which is built on an understanding of the goodness of God, and the unreliable testimony of the material senses. (B13)  The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary explains “In Palestine there are many dry stream beds in which a foolish man might more easily build than on the safer slopes.”  These dry streambeds are sandy and fill with water when the rainy season comes. The rushing water would quickly wash the house away.  Mary Baker Eddy refers to this parable, also, when she describes the spiritual reality that Jesus taught as a house built on the rock. (S15)  She describes “all other systems” which are only the products of information that comes from the material senses as “reeds shaken by the wind.” (S15)  A reed is a tall grass that is easy to break and shakes very easily in the wind, just like the shaky and fragile evidence of the material senses that have no root in Truth.  To build on Christ’s sure foundation be a doer of Jesus’ sayings (B13) and let the light of Christ shine unchanging joy into your life.   [P.S.S.T!  Doing Jesus’ sayings means living his immutable Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount and cherishing their correlated blessings. This week seek the higher peace and blessings of being a doer who is: “free from pride; … quick to forgive; … pure in heart; … a peacemaker(s)” who “wins without a fight.”  From The Beatitudes song written for CedarS by Larry Groce]

 

Section 4:  Three steps to be immortal (S20)
Step 1: “Forsake the mortal sense of things.” (S20)  When Jesus healed Peter’s wife’s mother of the fever he wasn’t impressed by her physical condition.  He didn’t take her temperature or ask how long she had been sick.  His thought was so filled with the Christ light – the complete conviction that this woman was forever the perfect, whole reflection of perfect God that he healed her instantaneously. (B14)  You can do this, too.  The scientific statement of being on page 468 is a good tool to use to “forsake,” to let go of, the mortal sense of things and open your mental door to the light of spiritual reality.  Step 2:  “Turn from the lie of false belief to Truth.” (S 20)  To keep your mental violin in tune, like Jesus’ thought was always in tune with the Truth, search the Bible lesson each day to find the clear and active statements of Truth each lesson includes.  This will give you alertness, strength, and wisdom to turn away from the lies of false belief and to stand firm in the Truth.  Step 3:  “Gather the facts of being from the divine Mind.” (S20)  Think of yourself as if you were on the witness stand in a court case.  A friend is on trial.  You know your friend is innocent because you were with your friend and saw what really happened on the day in question.  Certainly you would give a clear, strong, statement of the true facts that prove your friend’s innocence.  God has made us all innocent of sickness and sin.  Get the real facts of being from the divine Mind and keep a firm mental hold on these facts.  Then you will be a positive witness for yourself and others, and sickness and sin will disappear. 
[P.S.S.T! What ways can you overcome death and be immortal this week? How about using the 3 steps in (S20) to turn: deadlines into lifelines; dead-ends into new beginnings; declines into advancements?]

Section 5:  Paul and Eutychus (B18) prove that Life is real, divine, eternal!!! (S21) 
What a wonderful promise and reminder of the spiritual wealth that we each have:  “…his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” (B17)  Paul was assuredly aware of “the things that pertain unto life” as he preached late into the night.  When Eutychus fell from the loft and “was taken up dead” Paul put what he was preaching into practice.  With conviction he comforted his listeners, “Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.” (B18)  Paul responded to this apparent tragedy with a clear conviction of the presence of spiritual reality.  “Life is real, and death is the illusion.” (S21)  Paul was not fooled by the illusion and he brought the young man back to life.  He showed us that we have the authority to put down the false beliefs of physical laws and demonstrate the life-sustaining laws of God.  In her discussion of accidents in citation S24, Mary Baker Eddy points out that your “thought is more powerful than the accident itself, to make the injury real.” (S24)  Then she encourages us to “reverse the process” as Paul did.  Put your thought to work on the side of Truth and be free!  [P.S.S.T! In what areas today can you reverse the belief in accident, chance and other unreal processes?]

 

Section 6: Let yourself be “lightened.” (B20)  

The book of Revelation was written to encourage the Christians at a time when they had been living under severe oppression for a long period.  Both the Jews, for religious reasons, and the Roman government, for political reasons, persecuted them.  Wealth and opulent festivities were common but the Christians were barred from both the festivities and personal successes.  There were many temptations for the Christians to lose faith and to turn to heathen practices. (Dummelow) The message of Revelation was intended to keep the Christian’s thoughts focused on their spiritual intent and their collective goal – to follow Christ.  The inspired vision of John is timeless for the Christian.  The promises in verse 4 speak to each of us every day, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (B22)  In her discussion of this passage Mary Baker Eddy offers more comfort.  “Take heart, dear sufferer, for this reality of being will surely appear sometime and in some way.” (S26)  If you are tempted to doubt, when material-mindedness presses down on you, and the needed answer to your prayers seems delayed, don’t give up hope.  Turn wholeheartedly to the spiritual vision of reality, ponder the life and works of Christ Jesus, read healing accounts in the Christian Science Sentinel and the Christian Science Journal, make a mental accounting of the healings you have had and the healings of your friends and family.  You, too, will see John’s pure vision of spiritual reality and your thought will fill with light!   [P.S.S.T! What seemingly hopeless situations would you like to see reversed and filled today with all the light and hope of reality? “Fill us today with all thou art” CS Hymnal #23:5]


Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians [with bracketed, italicized notes and “Possible Sunday School Topics” offered by me as editor]. 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. 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 citations referenced (i.e.   B1 and S28) from this week’s Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30)  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 these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.  Have fun unwrapping, cherishing and sharing your special, spiritual gift(s)!  

Enjoy!

Warren Huff, Camp Director     director@cedarscamps.org<span>     (636) 394-6162
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LETTING A SPECIAL NEED/OPPORTUNITY BE KNOWN – Thanks to many of you, our CSO Summit subsidy and 4 summer Lectures at CedarS have been underwritten!  Funding is still needed to help us take advantage of a “Maintenance Musts” Matching Grant offer!  A generous donor who is aware of ongoing maintenance needed to make CedarS facilities measure up to its mission will give two dollars for every dollar donated!  (Up to the $25,000 needed goal)  A $25,000 grant will be available by the end of September and another $25,000 by the end of December, IF we raise $25,000 by then.  (~$20,000 more to go)

   

MyBibleLesson is a new, visually oriented and very helpful resource for study of the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson.  It is being produced by The Christian Science Publishing Society and can be found at: myBibleLesson.com.  What a great auxiliary to lesson study — maybe even reading beyond citation markers using the handsome new student books now sold in Reading Rooms.   MyBibleLesson contains word definitions, Bible background info, fun topical cartoons, timelines and translations, plus many healing ideas to use.  Why not check out this vehicle to help bring new meaning and life to each beloved Bible lesson in order to bless the youthful thinker and Sunday School student (and teacher) in us all!  
 
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