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[Discover that the Kingdom of Reality is at Hand!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Reality”
September 10—16
, 2018

By Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, Colorado
ccern@mac.comwww.christiecs.com

One more nice, 2-person room with bath is still available in a home at CedarS for a
Bible Study with Madelon Maupin of the book of Mark. Enjoy fall-color hospitality,
great meals and a lifelong network of close friends, October 11-15
.
Call 417-532-6699 today to reserve your place or Click to sign-up online!

INTRODUCTION

The concluding statement from last week’s Bible Lesson on “Matter” segues perfectly to this week’s Lesson on “Reality,” which is all about us discovering that, in reality, we live and move and breathe in the kingdom of heaven. The statement from last week reads, "Let us learn of the real and eternal, and prepare for the reign of Spirit, the kingdom of heaven,—the reign and rule of universal harmony, which cannot be lost nor remain forever unseen.“ (citation B32 from “Matter”) I love that this citation connects the two lessons because last week’s lesson helped us prepare to understand “reality” as we each lift the Ark, “the understanding of Spirit, destroying belief in matter.” This week’s lesson affirms that we all live and move and breathe in the “kingdom of heaven,” and explains how we can each learn to see through the mist—the gloomy, limited, matter-based view—that would try to obstruct our correct view" of perfect reality. You may enjoy counting the number of times “kingdom” is mentioned in the Lesson. I tried to count them here in the Met, but maybe you’ll see some that I missed.

While each of us may understand intellectually that the “Kingdom of God [is good] and is at hand,” and “is within us,” most of us have had gloomy moments, days, and even years in which this has not seemed true at all. Maybe we seemed to have an uninspired or painful moment in which the kingdom of heaven seemed quite out of reach. Well, this Lesson sheds light on the reality of good, piercing the gloom, and promises that the “mist” of inharmony inevitably dissipates.

GOLDEN TEXT AND RESPONSIVE READING [See W’s PS#1 and #2]

The Golden Text (GT) starts us out with the theme, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (#1…I’m starting the count) The thing that makes a kingdom a kingdom, of course, is that it’s ruled by the king. We know the kingdom of heaven is ruled by divine Love, the ultimate King, who is only loving, only good, and is omniscient and ever-present, meeting all of our needs and doing good works throughout the land. The Responsive Reading highlights the various ways the “works” of divine Love are seen in the kingdom of heaven. It begins with a reminder to “give thanks” for Love’s—our King’s—"wondrous works." We are reminded to thank Love, and be grateful for the loving thoughts Love has for us—“they are more than can be numbered.”

We are reminded that "The Lord [the King] is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works….They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom (#2), and talk of thy power; Thy kingdom (#3) is an everlasting kingdom (#4) , and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The Lord [the King] is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord [the King] is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.”

Today, just like in Bible times, it is comforting to turn away from political conflicts, and affirm that we are all, in reality, governed by one always loving, always good, and always righteous King, who treasures each and every one of us as a newborn child.

SECTION 1 [See W’s PS#3]

Section one opens by affirming the greatness of God—the King—and reminds us that "all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, (#5) O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.” (B1)

In Science and Health, we find the explanation that “the Scriptures also declare that God is Spirit. Therefore in Spirit all is harmony, and there can be no discord…” (S1) But our experience may not always seem wonderful. As Mary Baker Eddy states, "To material [limited] sense, this divine universe is dim and distant, gray in the sombre hues of twilight; but anon the veil is lifted, and the scene shifts into light.” (S2) In other words, our limited view of reality may seem dim and distant at times, like shadows at twilight, but as our limited way of seeing (the veil) lifts, we see clearly the crisp brilliance of goodness all around.

There are several phrases in this section and throughout the lesson that could define "kingdom of heaven":

  • Kingdom of Heaven— "in the vast forever, in the Science and truth of being” (S3)
  • Kingdom of heaven— "is harmonious and is the ideal of Truth” ((S4)
  • Kingdom of Heaven— "all the glories of earth and heaven and man.” (S6)

and here are ideas from later sections…

  • Kingdom of Heaven— "the actual reign of harmony on earth.” (S18)
  • Kingdom of Heaven— "unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love” (S21)
  • Kingdom of Heaven— "“the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love.” (S30)
  • Kingdom of Heaven— "The true sense of being and its eternal perfection” (S31)
  • Kingdom of Heaven— "spiritual, harmonious, immutable, immortal, divine, eternal.” (S32)
  • Kingdom of Heaven— "The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.” (SH 590: 1)

SECTION 2

In Section two, we learn about the King—infinite Mind—who is always thinking of us with forgiveness and love. "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” (B8) It is comforting to find that our King—divine Love—knows so many good things about us.

When the Psalmist says “more in number than the sand”—I can’t help but to picture how long it would take to try to count even one beach of sand. If we tried to count it, more sand would come onto the beach before we could even finish counting…it’s impossible. The sand can be counted, but we could never really count the last grain because more would be created before we could finish counting—countable infinity! This symbolically represents all the good that God knows about you—it is countable but more good emerges about you before we could possibly finish counting. You are so good!

The story from Genesis of Jacob’s vision and the ladder makes me think of the “veil” mentioned in the first section. For Jacob, his vision of the ladder with the angels—God’s thoughts—helped him see through the veil—limited view—to take in the unlimited view that the Lord—divine Love—is not far away, but was with him right where he was. (B9)

These angel thoughts that Jacob saw were “spiritual realities.” (S7) "Life, Truth, and Love are the realities of divine Science.” (S8) Right where we may feel like "this divine universe is dim and distant, gray in the sombre hues of twilight," angel thoughts shine through the veil and "dawn in faith and glow full-orbed in spiritual understanding. As a cloud hides the sun it cannot extinguish, so false belief [the mist] silences for a while the voice of immutable harmony, but false belief [the mist] cannot destroy Science armed with faith, hope, and fruition.” (S2, S8)

Jacob’s vision of the ladder enabled him to see—with unlimited (spiritual) sense—the inseparable connection between God and man. As Mary Baker Eddy states, "What is termed material [limited] sense can report only a mortal temporary sense of things, whereas spiritual [unlimited] sense can bear witness only to Truth….Spiritual [unlimited] sense, contradicting the material [limited] senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality.” (S8)

Like Jacob, we can look beyond a limited, aka material, view of reality, and find the “angels of His presence.” These angels are our “guardians in the gloom.” In other words, the angels comfort and assure us that we are, in reality, in the kingdom of heaven. (S9) The ladder symbolizes the unity of God and man, and we can all discover that "Through divine Science, Spirit, God, unites understanding to eternal harmony.” And as we trust this eternal harmony, "The calm and exalted thought [the unlimited angel message] or spiritual apprehension is at peace. Thus the dawn of ideas goes on, forming each successive stage of progress.” (S10)

SECTION 3 [See W’s PS#4– #7, newly transcribed from Job]

Section three uses the example of Job to emphasize that even when everything seems to be taken from us, even when our whole lives seem to be in shambles, we can turn from the gloom, and listen for “the calm and exalted thought” to hear that all, all is well. For Job, even though his life seemed to be in the darkest valley, he was able to reason and see through the gloom—the veil—and trust in God’s power and goodness. Even when Job’s life was in turmoil, Job says to God, “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.” (B14)

Job’s story of trusting in the goodness of God, and seeing beyond the limited picture of events even when his life seemed to be destroyed, can help us to understand this statement from Science and Health, "Befogged in error (the error of believing that matter can be intelligent for good or evil), we can catch clear glimpses of God only as the mists disperse, or as they melt into such thinness that we perceive the divine image in some word or deed which indicates the true idea, — the supremacy and reality of good, the nothingness and unreality of evil.” (S11)

Everything good seemed to be taken away from Job. But he was still able to reason rightly. He was still able to reason and look beyond the gloom with "intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality”—the angel ideas that were also helpful for Jacob. While Jacob had a vision that helped him trust that the kingdom of God was at hand, Job used reason to trust in the kingdom even when he couldn’t yet see its goodness. As Mary Baker Eddy states about reason, "Reason, rightly directed, serves to correct the errors of corporeal sense; but sin, sickness, and death will seem real (even as the experiences of the sleeping dream seem real) until the Science of man's eternal harmony breaks their illusion with the unbroken reality of scientific being.” (S12)

Job had two theories of man to choose between…
1) "One is the mortal testimony, changing, dying, unreal.”
2) "The other is the eternal and real evidence, bearing Truth's signet, its lap piled high with immortal fruits.” (S12)
Job chose the second, and ultimately discovered the immortal fruits. Since both the first and second theories cannot both be true…."How important, then, to choose good as the reality!” (S13) Job got it right, and so can we.

We can all learn to turn away from the limited view and find that listening to our Father helps us find that our "thought is turned into new and healthy channels, — towards the contemplation of things immortal and away from materiality to the Principle of the universe, including harmonious man.” (S14)

SECTION 4 [See W’s PS#8]

The Old Testament stories of Jacob and then of Job show how even before Christ Jesus’ ministry, it was still possible to catch glimpses the Christ-view of reality. Christ is our awareness of God, our consciousness of good. Christ Jesus demonstrated a constant Christliness, a constant awareness of God’s infinite goodness. He didn’t waver from his understanding of reality. Jesus knew that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the kingdom of heaven is within.

As an illustration of this point, the fourth section of the Bible Lesson contains the story of a man who was “possessed with a devil.” We could say that, unlike Job, this man seemed no longer able to reason rightly. It was as if his physical condition was forcing him to adopt the first of the “theories of man” that we read about in the previous section—“"One is the mortal testimony, changing, dying, unreal.” (S12) But Jesus saw the man clearly as being in the Kingdom of God, in his right mind, and his clear view of the man, healed him.

The Pharisees challenged Jesus as to whether he was sent from Satan, which is why he could expel the “devil” out of the deranged man. But Jesus explained that their accusation didn’t make sense. If Jesus sided with the kingdom of Satan (not a real place!) then destroying the “devil” would have divided the kingdom he was living in. Why would he be working against himself. In Reality, Jesus was affirming the ever presence of the kingdom of heaven, and thus could expel the devil out of the kingdom by recognizing that there can be no inharmony in harmony, no darkness in light, no evil in the kingdom of good. (B16)

The Pharisees also demanded to know when the kingdom of God would arrive. Jesus knew that the kingdom of God was not a far off place, in a distant land, but was already right here, right now, and comes with understanding and seeing through the mist of materialism, the mist of limitation—"behold, the kingdom (#5) of God is within you.” (B17) In other words, Jesus was saying, “See? We’re already in the kingdom of good!” As Mary Baker Eddy explains, "Jesus said, 'The kingdom (#6) of God is within you;' that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God's image is unfallen and eternal. Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom (#7) of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy.” (S16)

Jesus was able to see the “correct view” of man, and not buy into the outward appearance of deranged inharmony. And his "correct view of man healed the sick.” (S16)

The "Science of Christianity” is what Jesus taught. When life seems gloomy and the veil of inharmony seems to be blinding us, the “Science of Christianity," is "the light shining in darkness…” (S17) Again, our experiences do not alway seem to show us the spiritual view, but through prayer we can see through the gloom. As Mary Baker Eddy states, "The evidence of the physical senses often reverses the real Science of being, and so creates a reign of discord, — assigning seeming power to sin, sickness, and death; but the great facts of Life, rightly understood, defeat this triad of errors, contradict their false witnesses, and reveal the kingdom of heaven(#8), — the actual reign of harmony on earth.” (S18)

To heal ourselves and others, we can "Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love — the kingdom(#9) of heaven — reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.” (S21)

SECTION 5 [See W’s PS#9]

God, divine Love, does not keep reality a secret from us. God is constantly revealing reality, the kingdom of heaven, to us and showing us the comfort of Love. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”—these debts of riches of wisdom and knowledge are being revealed to us constantly! (B18) We may think that life is not going well, but when we listen to the voice of Christ—our awareness of God—and look in the right direction, we will see that there is abundant good right here and now.

This idea is illustrated with the story of the disciples fishing all night and finding no fish. Jesus instructs them to cast their nets again, and even though they complained at first, they did what he said, and ultimately found "a great multitude of fishes.” (B21) Those fish were there all along, but the disciples needed to listen to Jesus and cast their nets properly.

Likewise, "We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things.” (S22) We cannot just take the surface view, but must “look deep” for the “fish” that are there for us at every moment, ready to supply us with abundant good. We must look "beyond fading, finite forms” if we want to see our full supply of good. The only way we can see perfect reality is to look in "realm of Mind” (S25)

As we "gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible. When we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness.

Spirit and its formations are the only realities of being.” (S25) This is an amazing statement. Just like the disciples were suddenly able to discover all the fish they needed when they listened to the Christ message and gained a more correct view of God and man, we too can find the “multitudinous objects of creation, which were before invisible.” (S25) There is infinite good around us, ready to supply our every need, and as we understand God better and better, we will be able to see more and more of this reality.

SECTION 6 [See W’s PS#10 and #11]

The final section affirms that the vision of reality, like Jacob had, and the absolute trust in the reality of good, like Job had, are present possibilities for us all. We don’t need to wait—God said, “none of my words be prolonged any more. but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God.” (B22) The "worlds were framed by the word of God,” and we do not need to wait for the reality of God’s Word to be true. (B6)

Jesus preached "the gospel of the kingdom (#10) of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom (#11) of God is at hand:” We do not need to wait for a future salvation. In the Book of John, we read that "now is the time for the harvest” (B24) We do not need to wait for the kingdom of heaven.

John is very specific—we do not need to wait “yet four months” for the harvest. “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (B24) The harvest is the realization of the ever presence of the kingdom of heaven. We do not need to wait for the harvest. We do not need to wait.

It may seem like I’m repeating myself a lot here, but this section of the lesson is emphatic about the point, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,' said Paul.” We do not need to wait. (S28)

This lesson has outlined the way to understand reality, the way to understand the kingdom of heaven. In fact, "There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Christ in divine Science shows us this way. It is to know no other reality — to have no other consciousness of life — than good, God and His reflection, and to rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses.” (S29)

We can all feel, right here and right now, “the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love.” (S30) This is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is “the true sense of being and its eternal perfection” and it should “appear now, even as it will hereafter.”

The kingdom of heaven is reality. And, "Reality is spiritual, harmonious, immutable, immortal, divine, eternal.” (S32)


Thanks to ALL you precious and generous supporters!:
1. INCOMING GIFTS and pledges of CAMPERSHIP FUNDING guaranteed that we met the needs of all who wanted to come to CedarS this summer! The RESULTANT BLESSINGS have already been life-transforming and greatly appreciated by about 400 worthy recipients and their families and churches. Lots of new reports of life-changing fruitage will be shared this fall.

You can see pictures of our best-yet summer-yet at www.cedarscamps.org or on FaceBook or Instagram. (The password is CedarS.) We're grateful to say that CedarS 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sessions averaged over 300 guests each session and that our Memorial Weekend and August Family Week totaled well over 400 Family Campers and staff.

Please sign up to give whatever you can on a much-needed MONTHLY basis to support CedarS life-changing work! [You can start at any amount and adjust monthly as you wish at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students (tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered church!

2. Also, thanks to generous donors, we will be undertaking LOTS OF NEEDED UPGRADES TO KEEP CEDARS FACILITIES and vehicles FUNCTIONING UP TO THE LEVEL OF ITS MISSION! (UPGRADING our of vehicle(s) and replacing original Crown Lake spillway will start as soon as possible this fall! Strengthening our internet service for more efficient office operations, academic programs and for our staff and fall guests and a few other items are goals that, God willing, will happen before next summer … details to come.)

3. CedarS “Adopt the Herd” Matching Fund has been met!

In the time since Giving Tuesday you helped raise ~$65k for the Riding Program, which will be doubled through the Adopt the Herd Matching Fund, for a total of $130k Adopt the Herd match!

With heartfelt gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

P.S. If you have been blessed by receiving this inspration weekly and haven't given lately, or are blessed to be able to give more, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking on https://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/tree/.

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PHONE at 417-532-6699.

or MAIL to our Summer-Fall address at camp (in red below) your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization.

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THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a huge proof of your ongoing LOVE made visible and are greatly appreciated!! They not only defray the costs of running this service but also provide greatly needed camperships and essential program and operations support.

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/meta

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