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Demonstrate YOUR God-given dominion!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Man”
for March 1-7, 2021

by Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S., • Boulder, CO
ccern@mac.com • 720-331-9356 • christiecs.com

Click on: Audio Met on “Man” by Christie Hanzlik, CS – CedarS Camps to hear Christie read Metaphysical Application Ideas for this week’s Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on “Man.” Or, paste in your browser the address below: https://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/audio/play/audio-met-on-man-by-christie-hanzlik-cs-1/

INTRODUCTION

The Bible Lesson on “Man” is a deep dive into what we are…our very being. In her writings, Mary Baker Eddy used the word “man” as a gender-neutral term for “the family name for all ideas, — the sons and daughters of God.” (Citation S2, 515: 21-8) Perhaps we can think of “man” as a gender-neutral term kind of like cat is the name for all cats regardless of their gender.

For many people today, the use of the masculine pronoun as “neutral” is restricting, and for some it is offensive. Modern-day writers tend to be careful to use gender-neutral language. There are even academic conferences for scholars who study “gendered language” and many scholars are critical of the use of a generic masculine pronoun to mean both men and women. For me, I strive to take in the insights of the Bible Lesson on “Man” without letting gendered pronouns interrupt the inspiration.

Along these lines, notice that the Responsive Reading includes various pronouns for “man”: he, her, they, thee, ye. In Jeremiah 17: 8, the author uses both he and her to refer to man in the same paragraph: “For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river….”

Mary Baker Eddy was thoughtful about pronouns. In the third through the fifteenth editions of Science and Health, for example, Mary Baker Eddy refers to Spirit, or God, in the feminine gender as She and Her in the chapter “Creation.” (marybakereddylibrary.org)

Clearly Mary Baker Eddy saw the limits of language to convey spiritual concepts. Consider her statement: “The chief difficulty in conveying the teachings of divine Science accurately to human thought lies in this, that like all other languages, English is inadequate to the expression of spiritual conceptions and propositions, because one is obliged to use material terms in dealing with spiritual ideas. The elucidation of Christian Science lies in its spiritual sense, and this sense must be gained by its disciples in order to grasp the meaning of this Science. Out of this condition grew the prophecy concerning the Christian apostles, ‘They shall speak with new tongues.’” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 349:13)

GOLDEN TEXT AND RESPONSIVE READING

I confess that I didn’t understand the Golden Text when I first read it, so I looked at where it comes from in Deuteronomy. It is from a list of promises and blessings Moses offers to the various tribes of Israel before he passes. The Golden Text phrase “as your days, so shall your strength be” has also been translated ‘may you be secure all your days” (NLT) and it is part of Moses’ eternal blessing for the tribe of Asher. I also looked up the definition for Asher in the “Glossary” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. It reads, “ASHER (Jacob’s son). Hope and faith; spiritual compensation; the ills of the flesh rebuked.” (p. 581:15) Connecting these ideas about eternal strength, hope and faith and the ills of the flesh rebuked, I began to see that Moses’ prophetic blessing is a promise of dominion over mortality for all of us, for all times, for all days.

This little bit of research was well worth the effort because the Golden Text, as usual, provides the central theme of the lesson. This pithy phrase offers a prophetic promise of strength, security, and dominion for all the days.

The Responsive Reading begins with another blessing: “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” And then we see a description of the blessed man: “he shall be as a tree planted by the waters…” (Jeremiah 17: 7,8)

This blessing, of course, is a promise of constant protection and provision from God, divine Love. Man cannot exist separately from God—the only cause, provider, protector, and know-er. God’s abundance is our abundance. The Responsive Reading concludes with a concise statement of the secure bond that unites all-loving God and man and that gives us our authority: “ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.” (Jeremiah 30:22)

Each of the sections of the Lesson, at least the way that I understand it, connect to the idea of strength and dominion. Here’s one way to see the outline of the Lesson:

Section 1: Man has God-given dominion.

Section 2: Man has dominion over [a limited sense of] body

Section 3: Man has dominion over cloudy thinking.

Section 4: Man is upright and indestructible with God-given dominion.

Section 5: Man has strength and dominion and does not tire.

Section 6: Man runs to win…with dominion!

SECTION 1: Man has God-given dominion.

The first section establishes the fact that man has dominion. Dominion, which includes “strength and power” comes from the fact that our source is all-powerful. (Citation B1, II Samuel 22:33)

We have dominion because we are made in the image and likeness of God, who has supreme dominion…there is no force that can compete with God, and therefore no force that can compete with us. We have dominion.

Animal lovers sometimes find it problematic that the Bible says we have “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air…,” but I’ve found this a very helpful principle when praying for animals. (cit. B2, Gen 1: 26-28) Having dominion over animals does not mean being domineering or acting more important than they are. Instead, it can mean that we have a spiritual sense of their true nature, and our awareness of divine Love’s absolute control over all subdues animalistic tendencies like fright, terror, predatory instincts, or violence.

Man possesses the Christ-sense and can see beyond the outward appearance of things, and is aware of Love’s presence and government. I have heard several testimonies from Christian Scientists who have expressed spiritual dominion when working with spooked horses or felt safe when unintentionally coming across predators like mountain lions and grizzly bears. There’s a great article in the Christian Science Sentinel about a man who prays his way through saving an injured shark in the ocean. (“The Shark We Saved,” William Deane, April 19, 2010;

https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/44kd3cn614?s=e)

Dominion isn’t about being mean or controlling. It is about having a constant and abiding awareness of divine Love’s control over all, and being undisturbed and free from fear and other animalistic tendencies. Mary Baker Eddy states, “Man, created by God, was given dominion over the whole earth.” (cit. S1, 545: 10-11)

We have dominion because God has dominion and we reflect God. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.” (cit. S3, 516: 21)

SECTION 2: Man has dominion over [a limited sense of] body.

I’ve never before quite understood Isaiah 2:22, “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” Here are a couple ways to understand this verse:

• “Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?” (NLT)

• “Quit scraping and fawning over mere humans, so full of themselves, so full of hot air! Can’t you see there’s nothing to them?” (MSG)

In other words, turn away from looking at mortal man as a source of strength. Instead, we are looking to a higher, more permanent view of man, that is “wonderfully made” and whose strength comes from divine Love. (cit. 6; Psalms 139:1, 14) We experience dominion to the degree that we lean on the sustaining infinite instead of corporeal man for strength.

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, man is more than brain, heart, blood, bones and the material body and mind, which are temporal (limited). The real man is unlimited and beginningless. (cit. S5, 172:23; cit. S6, 302:3)

In my conversations with other Christian Scientists, I’ve found that many of us seem to have a contentious relationship with “body.” But, it is possible and desirable to love and be in harmony with the right sense of body. We find health when we are at peace with the body…and understand the spiritual nature of body.

I find it helpful to apply the concept of the three degrees on page 115 of Science and Health as I’m thinking about body…

First-degree body: Brain, heart, blood, bones, etc.; Mortality; uncontrollable functions; aging; subject to the symptoms of personality, pain and unsatisfying pleasure; governed by so-called hygiene, nutrition, medical law; subject to sin (separation), sickness (inharmony), and death (an end); physical

Second-degree body: intelligent, beautiful, tender, structured; athletic, patient, virtuous, employed, orderly; less and less focus on self, growing in grace; individuality overcoming personality; discovering unity with God; takes pleasure in the “higher enjoyments” (SH 60: 31); moral; releasing a belief in sin (separation), sickness (inharmony), and death (an end)

Third-degree body: understood as satisfied, radiant, harmonious, immortal, spiritual, individual, and eternal; “the light of the world”; spiritual (of Spirit); free from sin, sickness and death

The third degree is, of course, our purest understanding of body, and the clearest view of reality. Through prayer we discover more about the third-degree truth of our being. To “behold in Science the perfect man” is to see the third-degree. Through prayer, we gain a greater degree of understanding about body and gain clarity about our true spiritual being. In fact, perhaps we can define prayer as moving toward a third-degree consciousness, which is Christliness. In my daily experience, I seem to spend most moments in the second degree, striving to be alert to first-degree tendencies, and, through prayer, I have more and more moments of third-degree awareness. When physical irritations try to nag at me, I use this as a reminder to become more aware of the reality and permanency of third-degree understanding.

Healing happens in the third degree, and even a glimpse of the third degree—like a glimpse of the sun through the clouds—is enough for real healing. Christian Science treatment is, in a manner of speaking, the application of third-degree awareness to a specific situation. For many of us, when we study the Bible or Science and Health, we find wonderful moments of third-degree awareness in which we are “absent from the [first-degree] body and present with the Lord [dwelling in third-degree awareness].” (II Cor: 5:8; SH 14:1-22) We all exist in the third-degree body—individualized in Soul—forever, and this truth of our being is constantly unfolding to us.

Consider this statement from Science and Health as a way to rise from a first-degree sense of self/body to a third-degree awareness of our true being: “To divest thought of false trusts and material evidences [first degree] in order that the spiritual facts of being [third degree] may appear, — this is the great attainment by means of which we shall sweep away the false [first degree] and give place to the true. Thus, we may establish in truth the temple, or [third degree] body, “whose builder and maker is God.” … We must realize the ability of mental might to offset human misconceptions and to replace them with the life which is spiritual [third degree], not material [first degree].” (cit. S9, 428: 8, 19)

Our spiritual awareness gives us dominion over the first-degree sense of the body.

By the way, if you find this application of the three degrees helpful, consider reading the whole of page 115 and applying the degrees to other concepts, like: food, home, family, relationships, government, law, church, career, health, romance or intimacy, and so forth. And feel free to share your insights with me.

SECTION 3: Man has dominion over cloudy thinking.

The third section, to me, is all about steering away from things that would take away man’s dominion. In other words, steering clear of things that would induce cloudy thinking, or that would make us less than clear-minded and alert. The section opens with a statement about denying worldly lusts to ensure that we live “soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world.” (cit. B9, Titus 2: 11, 12) The Bible story accompanying these ideas is about avoiding drunkenness, or foggy-thinking. (cit. B10, Jeremiah 35: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 18, 19)

During a tumultuous time in my life, I found alcohol tempting and I seemed to find all kinds of ways to justify and rationalize social drinking. It seemed difficult to overcome the temptation when I viewed it as something to indulge in…like, “oh, I deserve this, because” or “oh, this is fun and it’s not hurting anyone else.” But, over time, I realized that this temptation was self-centered, and led to a feeling of self-loathing and shame. And it definitely didn’t lead to a lasting sense of joy, stability, and progress. And, while I didn’t understand this point at the time, I now see that a tendency toward any self-centered indulgence is a distraction from our true purpose….to shine, to give, and to bless…this is God’s calling for all of us!

What helped me to entirely overcome any desire for alcohol and find the ultimate freedom from this temptation is that I realized that drinking led to cloudy thinking. Cloudy thinking interferes with strong qualities like authority, dominion and alertness. Getting drunk is literally called being “under the influence,” and I realized that even one drink would be yielding command to the influence of alcohol. The idea of mental fogginess became so utterly distasteful to me that the temptation dropped away. I never want to be foggy, nor do I want to support an industry that promotes foggy or any kind of “under-the-influence” thinking or acting.

God gave man dominion, and our dominion ensures that we have a natural alertness. Man cannot be “under the influence” of anything but good. None of us wants to be taken advantage of by anyone or anything other than good. We have a natural and innate desire for dominion. Drunkenness means impaired judgement and susceptibility to influence. It means giving up some of our dominion and authority. In Truth (in third-degree awareness), man cannot give up dominion because man is the reflection of God. God cannot get drunk. So, by reflection, [third-degree] man cannot get drunk.

Mary Baker Eddy summarizes these ideas: “Obedience to Truth gives man power and strength. Submission to error superinduces loss of power.” (cit. S11, 183: 23)

SECTION 4: Man is upright, indestructible, and has God-given dominion.

The fourth section illustrates how to use the ideas of man’s dominion to address physical issues and bring us “out of [our] distresses.” (cit. B14, Psalm 25:17)

The section uses the story of Christ Jesus healing the man with dropsy on the Sabbath, challenging the lawyers and Pharisees rhetorically, saying “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?” (cit. B18, Luke 14:2-4)

The Bible includes details on only some of Christ Jesus’ healings; however, seven of these occur on the sabbath day. I’m sure there is good Bible scholarship on this point, but, to me, anytime I see that a healing occurred on the Sabbath, it is a reminder that Christ Jesus was overturning laws that would limit man. The laws that try to limit man include Pharisaical, dietary, and medical laws. Divine Law maintains and protects man and gives man dominion. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Every function of the real man is governed by the divine Mind.” (cit. S18, 151:20)

She continues, “That mortal mind [first-degree mind] claims to govern every organ of the mortal body, we have overwhelming proof. But this so-called mind is a myth, and must by its own consent yield to Truth [third-degree awareness]. It would wield the sceptre of a monarch, but it is powerless. The immortal divine Mind takes away all its supposed sovereignty, and saves mortal mind from itself.” (cit. S18, 151:31-5)

Christ Jesus held the perfect Christly thought and saw right through the limits of mortal law that would try to govern the [first-degree] body. His correct view of man healed absolutely. Mary Baker Eddy studied his healings to discover principles that give us the dominion over disease so that we can heal too. She writes, “When the first symptoms of disease appear, dispute the testimony of the material senses [limited view] with divine Science [the Word of God].” She continues, “Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit. Blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in sickness and sin [first degree]. Then, when thou art delivered to the judgment of Truth, Christ, the judge will say, “Thou art whole!” (cit. S20, 390:12-13, 32)

Man cannot be turned upside down or sideways or inside-out by false laws —“…man is neither inverted nor subverted, but upright and Godlike.” (cit. S21, 200:16)

It is our clear and Christlike vision that enables us to see the real man, our true being, the third degree.

SECTION 5: Man has strength and dominion and does not tire.

The fifth section emphasizes the concept of man’s tireless being. A sunbeam does not tire from shining any more than man tires from expressing Love. Being loving, being truthful, being wise is not tiring. Man has dominion over fatigue and never tires from doing right.

In Matthew, Christ Jesus states, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (B20, Matthew 11:28-30). In other words, as we follow the way of Christ, we find that our path is free of heavy burdens.

As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Mind-science teaches that mortals need ‘not be weary in well doing.’ It dissipates fatigue in doing good. Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us. We have strength in proportion to our apprehension of the truth, and our strength is not lessened by giving utterance to truth.” (cit. B22, 79: 29-3)

She adds elsewhere, “Whatever it is your duty to do, you can do without harm to yourself.” (cit. S25, 385:17-18) And, “Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power.” (cit. S26, 192:30)

SECTION 6: Run to win…with dominion!

This sixth section is a wonderful treatment for expressing athleticism —mental and physical. It encourages us to adopt a metaphorical stance of dominion and run each “race” with joy. The section opens with wisdom from Paul’s writing, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” (cit. B22, I Cor 9:24, 25, NLT)

The added notes from the Sentinel Bible Lens researchers are especially helpful for putting Paul’s statement in context. The researchers write, “Paul’s sports metaphor would have had immediate meaning to his readers. In addition to the Olympics held every four years in Olympia, the popular Isthmian Games took place biennially near Corinth (where the apostle had spent a year and a half teaching; see Acts 18:11). As today, competing athletes were highly honored and winners feted….

The researchers continue: “In this image, Paul compares preparation for running to spiritual discipline. In the same way that athletes require rigorous training and self-discipline to achieve victory, Christians need wholehearted commitment to the mental ‘training’ that brings eternal salvation.” (from the Sentinel Bible Lens research notes dated March 1, 2021 for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on “Man” at https://quarterly.christianscience.com/lesson) Free trial offerings at the previous link to online offerings until March 15, 2021 and thereafter Subscription Assistance!

There is such depth to the Bible when we understand more and more of its context. Imagine what the author of Nehemiah was pondering at the time this was written, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (cit. B25, Nehemiah 8:10)

Mary Baker Eddy expounds on Paul’s insights about strength and dominion. She explains, “St. Paul wrote, ‘Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us;” that is, let us put aside material self and sense [first-degree body], and seek the divine Principle and Science of all healing.” (cit. S28, 20:270)

And the section/Lesson concludes with what we could consider a wonderful description of our God-given dominion: “The sinless joy, — the perfect harmony and immortality of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness without a single bodily pleasure or pain, — constitutes the only veritable, indestructible man, whose being is spiritual.” (cit. S32, 76:22-26)

Thank you for tuning in to this Met, and I pray that you have a joy-filled week full of opportunities to demonstrate your God-given dominion and strength. Amen.


CLICK below for more APPLICATION IDEAS for this Lesson from CedarS-team:


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Lovingly singing prayers and praise to God for 30 minutes each Sunday is such a warm, “Welcome Home” tradition to bless the start of each week with joyous, peaceful GRACE. (Our 2021 theme.) We have loved singing-in this grace with longtime as well as first-time friends—not only from ALL 50 of the United States, but also from 21 other countries! So far, our “Hymn Sing family” has clicked or dialed-in from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, as well as from each of the United States! In the universal language of divine Love, thestill, small voice”’ of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 559:8–10)


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