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Don't be fooled by the distorted view of mortal sense.   You have always been… and will always be… YOU.
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for 11-11-12
Subject: Mortals and Immortals
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S.
As you read this lesson, remember that the sense of mortality involves limitation, decay, death. The reality of Immortality is limitless, indestructible, life. No matter how much you appear to be mortal…. no matter how real mortal pain or pleasure seems… God's creation (including you) is immortal. God's creation is what is real and enduring. God's immortal creation can be seen here and now! Accepting the Scientific explanation of creation, immortal reality will appear, and can be experienced by you!
Golden Text: Of the flesh? or of the Spirit?
Let's think about what it means to be “of the flesh.” The New Oxford American Dictionary describes “the flesh” as “the human body and its physical needs and desires.   According to Strong's, the original Greek meaning is “the body (as opposed to the soul or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or (by implication) human nature with its frailties, physical and moral.” The concept hasn't really changed over time. “The flesh” is clearly full of limitation (i.e. mortality.) Who would opt for that? Gratefully, we don't have to be satisfied to accept a limiting and limited fleshy identity. The fact that God “dwells” in us means we are constituted of the substance of God, i.e. Spirit – freedom and purity — unlimited immortality. Starting from that premise, you can reject every bodily report and experience the promises of limitless, undecaying Spirit.
Responsive Reading: 
Notice the audience that is being addressed…. “ye that seek the Lord.” The fact that you're reading this indicates that you are one of those seekers. So, here's God's promise to you… He comforts you… always in all ways. And, this is what is demanded of you… stop looking at the distorted version of things.  Rather than either honoring or fearing a body of flesh and blood that can wither and fade like grass… or a world that can be destroyed by a storm… acknowledge the eternal presence of God's incorruptible (everlasting, not subject to death or decay) creation. This immortal creation is the “revelation of Jesus Christ.”  Jesus brought this immortal (never dying or decaying, unlimited) creation into view… for all to see… as he replaced the lie with the truth of being. The result was healing.  In order to follow Jesus' example, and reap the rich rewards, we must be “born again.”  Obediently thinking out from a spiritual perspective concerning all things, striving to be holy (pure and whole) in our thinking and conversation, unites us with our holy Father and allows us to feel the power of God's enduring word… the immortal TRUTH of being.
Section 1: Stay focused on the ever-appearing creation of Mind
If you are a regular reader of the Weekly Bible Lesson, you are very familiar with God's words recorded in Isaiah: “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:” (B-4)  Hymn 444 in our Hymnal Supplement offers a wonderful rendition of this sentiment.  To gird, in part, is to surround, encircle, prepare, and strengthen.  God girds us… whether we are conscious of it or not… by being ALL. Because God — immortal MIND — made the earth and man, and blessed it, nothing can be added or taken away from God's creation. The Christian Science textbook explains that this creation is “ever appearing.” (S-1)  Mind isn't static, but is constantly revealing its complete, always good, infinite idea. So, why doesn't everything always appear to be good? Certainly, we all have issues to deal with. Mrs. Eddy explains, “Mortal sense inverts this appearing and calls ideas material. Thus misinterpreted, the divine idea seems to fall to the level of a human or material belief, called mortal man.” Several key words jump out… inverts, calls, seems. Turn something upside down, give it a different name and it will seem (to the uninformed thought) to BE something else.  Or show only a small part of a whole picture, and the same thing happens.  That's how God's perfect creation SEEMS to be imperfect. Sometimes we get stuck… focusing on the wrong concern. We're more worried about how all of this “turning of things upside down” happened instead of remembering that we're dealing with what seems to be, called mortality. Christian Science reveals what is… just as astronomical science reveals the truth about the revolutionary patterns of the sun and the planets… contrary to how things seem.  Trust the Science that teaches “there is no such thing as mortality, nor are there properly any mortal beings, because being is immortal, like Deity… or rather, being and Deity are inseparable.” (S-2) The upside-down/partial view will be righted, and reality seen, as thought stays focused on what is true. The result is healing… mortal discord fades as the reality of immortal harmony is revealed.
Section 2: You've existed always… inseparable from Mind!
The Psalmist could speak of the Lord as his dwelling place, because we all dwell in Mind as idea. (B-6) I know I've mentioned this idea before, but it is so helpful to me.  Consider ideas you have and how safe those ideas are in your thought. No one can touch them or change them without your consent. And, as long as you think that idea, it exists.  It is inseparable from you. Because you (and all people) are God's (Mind's) idea, you have existed as long as God has existed… forever… and are forever safe. God didn't begin, so you didn't begin… you've always been.  Love doesn't un-think an idea it created… so you can't be un-thought.  You can't die. Part of being new-born is to give up the belief of “human generation”… stop thinking of man as the creator of anything, and see God's creation that has always having been and is forever appearing. (S-7) You know from experience that the only way to see something clearly is to look at it… focus on it… with nothing in the way to obstruct your view.  Divine Science (the systematic study of the truth of God) clarifies the view by rolling back “the clouds of error.” (S-10)  Stick with the facts… You reflect Mind… Mind is expressed by you. (S-8)  Think about how light reflects off the water as sparkle. You are Mind's sparkle… forever full of light!
Section 3: Accept Christ… eternal and unchanging… as the light of your identity
I can understand the Jews' difficulty in comprehending what Jesus was trying to teach them about the eternal nature of Christ. They were looking at Jesus as a human personality. He was talking about his spiritual identity. They thought of themselves as the descendants of a human Abraham. Jesus saw Abraham as a spiritual seer who recognized and demonstrated Christ (the divine idea or manifestation of God with us) long before Jesus appeared as a corporeal form. Thus, “before Abraham was,” Christ (the divine nature that Jesus recognized and demonstrated as his own) is. Because God has been forever, Christ (God's idea) has been forever.  Jesus taught the distinction between the human concept and the divine idea.  Although the human concept (the personality assigned to each of us by mortal sense) is not eternal, Jesus demonstrated that the spiritual idea of each of us… our distinct and individual Christ nature… does dwell forever with God.  The Christ-light illumines human experience to reveal ever-present good. Jesus' message to the Jews (and to those who have followed) was to give up a false sense of mortal origin, follow his teachings, and discover the unchanging truth (Christ) that sets us free from a limited, upside-down, mortal-sense view. (B-8, S-13) Life isn't boring because it is “like Christ, ‘the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” Rather, it is full of the promise of a continuous unfolding of Life's goodness, opportunity, vitality, health, and wholeness. (S-14) This perfect view is seen as we accept the eternal presence of the healing light of Christ… chasing away the clouds of distorted views.
Section 4: Decay-free living [even when out-voted]
It's pretty silly, actually, to think that the number of times we've travelled around the sun has anything to do with the quality of our life or the health of our being. Caleb and Joshua demonstrated that for us so beautifully! They were willing to be obedient to God, trust themselves to him, and enter the “promised land” when they first reached it. But, they were out-voted. Patiently, they continued in the wilderness, with the others, for another 45 years. When the time came to make the big move, they were as ready and as strong as ever. (B-10) And, why not? Would a God of Love really create an idea designed to gradually decay and die? That whole concept is another lie, resulting from the distorted view of mortal sense. In reality, “Love, the divine Principle that obtains [is established] in divine Science” destroys the false sense of things, and reveals a man that is “the reflection of his Maker” and “not subject to birth, growth, maturity, decay.” (S-16)  We can't accept human birth and then try to reject human death. That which has a beginning, has an ending. A lie has a beginning and an end … but truth just is! So, as we stick to the truth of being… that “Spirit is [man's] primitive and ultimate source of being;” that “God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being”, we can expect not only to not decline, but also to grow stronger and more wise as we go forward… as our eternal, spiritual identity, comes into view. (S-17 & S-19)
Section 5: Put out the illusion of life in matter and raise the dead to life
The eternal, immortal, Christ was sufficiently recognized by Peter to enable him to see through the illusion of mortality and death.  He put the mourners out of the room who were focused on the personality of Dorcas (or Tabitha)… blinded by what they saw as the end of her good human works instead of insisting on seeing the immortal, eternal good of her very being that must be continuously expressed. Peter must have also put out of thought all material evidence and mortal thoughts of doubt or fear. He turned right to the body (the present representation of the person) and called Tabitha out of the dream. The call of Christ… the light of Truth… was so strong that Tabitha responded with a full expression of Life. (B-12) What's the lesson here for us? I'm sure there are many. But, what came to me was to not be fooled by appearances… no matter what form discord takes… but stay with the facts. “God is not the author of sickness”… or discord of any nature… and “neither Life nor man dies.” (S-20) If we believe that life is in matter, life can be discordant and eventually come to an end. But life (as the reflection of Life) is not – and never has been – in matter. So, it's not governed by the so-called “laws” of matter. Getting the facts really clear in thought enables those facts to be seen in experience.  
Section 6: Choose spiritual existence (and immortal safety) as the reality
In God's creation, there are no surprises… no ups and downs, but rather consistent good. Mortality involves starts and stops. Immortality is the highway of all green lights. The book of Ecclesiastes tells us, “And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God's purpose is that people should fear him. What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.”(B-13, NLT) And, so, we have the same opportunities to demonstrate the supremacy of Spirit as the ancient prophets did, as Jesus and his disciples did, as Mrs. Eddy and the early workers in the Christian Science movement did, and as our children and grandchildren will have. The whole point of every experience we have is to teach us to “fear” God… in other words, to respect His almighty nature and lean on immortal Truth to correct the misconceptions of mortal sense. The same Spirit that “raised Jesus from the dead” is with us. It is this Spirit that gives life to (quickens) our mortal bodies. (B-16) How? By being all… by being the only reality. Mortal consciousness HAS to yield to the scientific fact of being as naturally as 2+2=5 HAS to yield to the fact that 2+2=4. (S-26)  Spiritual existence and immortal, eternal life aren't something we aspire to in the future. They are the facts of being now and forever. “Man in the likeness of God as revealed in Science cannot help being immortal.” (S-28) Accepting that fact, and acting in accord with it, allows the true sense of being… “perfect and forever intact”…. to appear in our experience. (S-24) Don't be fooled! Throw out every mortal “turned upside down” misconception and demand to see and experience reality… undecaying, undisturbed immortal man, the image of God, the only Creator.

 [These application ideas from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons daily 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 at   Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & bracketed, italic additions.]
1st “Emerge ‘n See”: A severe shortage of rainfall throughout the Midwest this summer dried up our hay and grazing pastures so that CedarS' June 1st (smaller) cutting of hay needed to be fed out to our herd throughout the summer. Fall rains gratefully restored pastures for fall grazing, but were not enough to give us a second cutting of hay. So, CedarS needs to buy quite a bit of hay for our horses to make it through the winter. We have trimmed back our herd and are rationing their hay consumption, but we need donations ASAP to cover the proper feeding of CedarS' well-loved horses this winter. ( shares details.) Based on wonderful responses to last week's plea, we were able to proceed with buying some hay at a below-market rate! Thank you SO much!! We still need to raise over $11,000 to cover the unbudgeted expense of not being able to grow all of our own hay this year. Fortunately, MATCHING FUNDS DONORS FOR “ADOPT THE HERD” have committed to match your gifts up to $50,000 to buy hay and to underwrite the excellence of CedarS' popular and effective Riding Program.  Here's a sample of fruitage: “I am getting to know about horses and how to ride them. … I am very grateful to know that God is at my side all the time.” Camper
2nd “Emerge ‘n See”: We recently discovered that several of CedarS' original cabins and structures whose electrical wiring was not in metal conduits, have become fire hazards due to critters gnawing through the wire insulation. Running new wire inside conduit (plus fixing our backhoe and doing other needed — but more routine — maintenance throughout camp will cost $50,000.  The good news is that about $1,700 in recent phoned-in and mailed-in donations as well as e-gifts to have enabled work to proceed and that MATCHING FUNDS DONORS FOR “MAINTENANCE MUSTS” will match your gifts up to $25,000 till year-end!  “What a wonderful experience it was to be at CedarS over Labor Day weekend. I will keep it in my heart forever: the beautiful surroundings, the embracing architecture, the loving and selfless staff. CedarS and all who love it and serve it is… a very special and holy place.” College Summit Participant
[We have an inspiring, non-partisan gift for anyone wanting it during our U.S. Election and Thanksgiving seasons. No matter what candidates win, you can click to hear now via that link (or to order a free CD by this link), two inspiring, non-partisan talks, designed to rally us together around the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.  Thanks for e-giving, calling or mailing to our winter office (address below) your greatly appreciated & needed gifts to help support CedarS horses, buildings, and programs that all support Christian Science youth and their appreciation and application of the Commandments, Beatitudes and Scientific Statement of Being. “I will carry with me always the lessons learned, friendships made, and spiritual understanding gained.” Counselor
[CedarS Camps Office, 1314 Parkview Valley Dr., Manchester, MO 63011
or to make a credit card gift or monthly pledge over the phone call us at 636-394-6162.]
[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 Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio.  A voluntary French translation by Pascal or Denise cannot be guaranteed due to their busy schedules. An “official” version of the weekly Portuguese translation should be coming soon on a new webpage for CedarS Mets, but in the meantime you can email Orlando Trentini to be added to the list. 
 This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 11-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 subsequent emails.) 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 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 as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at or 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-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-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 the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]

[PSST: Mortal or Immortal – You Pick!!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson – November 11, 2012
By: Heather K. Libbe, CS (

Just some “food for thought” — In recent Sunday School meetings, we have been taking a closer look at the Bylaws of The Mother Church Manual which pertain to the Sunday School. Article XX, Section 2 states: “The Sabbath School children shall be taught the Scriptures, and they shall be instructed according to their understanding or ability to grasp the simpler meanings of the divine Principle that they are taught.” One thing that stood out to us is that Mrs. Eddy highlights the Scriptures, specifically, in regard to what we are teaching the students. Furthermore, the first sentence of Article XX, Section 3 goes on to say: “The first lessons of the children should be the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17), the Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), and its Spiritual Interpretation by Mary Baker Eddy, Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3-12).” Someone within our group then pointed out that 75% of those items come directly from the Scriptures – how neat!

We also spoke about what a wonderful opportunity Sunday School is to really engage with the Scriptures, especially in thinking about how we can be connecting with our Christian friends. To me, this was really helpful & has shifted the way that I have been teaching Sunday School recently, as I've really enjoyed (even with the little ones) diving deep into the Scriptures, as highlighted by our weekly Bible Lesson. For me, it's also resulted in some really fruitful discussions with individuals in ecumenical settings.

Because of this, I am hoping this week to present some questions which will help us all dive in deeper to the “inspired Word” of the Bible… hopefully some of these may be helpful to bring up with your students!

[PSST — Golden Text]  (Romans 8:9 ye (to 1st .)
What does that mean to be “not in the flesh,” but rather “in the Spirit”?

[PSST — Responsive Reading] 
(Isaiah 51:1 (to :), 12, 13 (to ;)), I Peter 1:13-15, 23-25 (to 1st .)
We read in I Peter, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation…” How might we do this? What does it mean to be “holy in all conversation”?

Thinking about the idea of being “born again,” what does this mean to you? How might we respond to a friend who, being concerned for our well-being, asks us if we have been born-again or saved? Where else in the Bible does it talk about being born again? (John 3:3) Is there anything in Mrs. Eddy's writings that could help us think about what it means to be born again? (Note: There is an account in Fruitage called “Born Again” and also an article in Miscellaneous Writings called “The New Birth”)  


[PSST — Section 1]
What can we glean from all the passages in Isaiah? I love thinking about the idea of “blessing,” which is mentioned several times throughout Section 1. What does the promise outlined in Psalms 45:2 mean? How have you seen blessings in your life recently? Especially in this season of Thanksgiving, why is gratitude so important? Could gratitude be considered a form of prayer? (YES!)  Does the idea of the “seasons of Mind's creation” (S4) tie into any of the passages from The Bible?    

Looking at the citations from Science & Health, how do they relate to the subject of the Lesson? With the recent election, how can we apply the idea that “Infinite Mind creates and governs all” (S1) to the country? (If you'd like to talk more about the elections, Mrs. Eddy has a great article in Christian Science vs. Pantheism called “Prayer for Country and Church” & it might also be helpful to bring in the recent Sentinel focused on elections, as there were some great articles in that)

[PSST —  Section 2]
What does it mean that God has “been our dwelling place in all generations?” (B6) I was also reminded of Job 28 while reading the passages from Proverbs (B7) where God speaks of all (S)he created.

This might be a really great opportunity to talk about cause & effect and how both cause & effect are in God. (S5) Where have your students seen this in operation? How does cause & effect relate to the idea of mortality & immortality?

In thinking about the idea of “unfoldment,” (S7) it might be nice to tie in the three degrees in the “Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind” from Science & Health pg 115-116. How does creation and unfoldment go hand-in-hand? How about reflection? Where does Spirit fit into all this? (S7, S9)  Are we spiritual or material? (S8)

[PSST — Section 3]
There are several key Bible verses that could be highlighted and discussed here from citation B8: What does Jesus mean when he says, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”? (John 8:12) How might Christ illuminate any darkness we might be experiencing? What does it mean when Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I am”? (John 8:58)  How can we experience immediate freedom by knowing the Truth? (“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32))

“Never born and never dying, it were impossible for man, under the government of God in eternal Science, to fall from his high estate.” (S11) This is the second time we've read “never born and never dying.” How does this idea tie into Jesus' words about his connection to Abraham and Abraham's seed? How comforting, too, it is to realize that we cannot fall from our high estate! How might this tie into last week's Lesson about “Adam and Fallen Man”? How might that statement address the idea of man being a sinner?
As I was looking up the word “Christ” in Science & Health earlier this week, it was fun to discover how often Mrs. Eddy pairs “Christ” and “Truth” together. What do we learn about the Christ from the passages in citation S12? What are some specific ideas that Mrs. Eddy shares about Christ? (ex: “without beginning of years or end of days,” “the spiritual idea, – the reflection of God,” “the divine image”) What does it mean that Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” (S14) Where does this come from in the Bible? (Hebrews 13:8 – it might be neat to point out here how many Bible references Mrs. Eddy makes throughout Science & Health, as it can be easy to forget that there are two books in our pastor) How does Mrs. Eddy connect Abraham and Jesus? What does Mrs. Eddy say about the human and the divine relation?
[PSST — Section 4]
In this section, we read another story that relates to the idea of age. (B10) How might students begin defending themselves against age already? (Note: Christie Hanzlik, CS gave a really great Prac Talk about celebrating an “unbirthday” which is available to hear online at )
What does Mrs. Eddy say about age & ancestry? (S17 & S19) How might this relate back to the “days and seasons of Mind's creation”? (S4) What does it mean to be the “offspring of Spirit”? (S19) Instead of all the suggestions tied to heredity such as a disease, bad temper or obnoxious mannerism, what does Mrs. Eddy say constitutes our ancestry?
[PSST — Section 5]
Notice, the story of Peter raising Tabitha from the dead stands alone in this section. It's interesting to note that Peter is the one to do the healing. (Sometimes I need to be reminded that the accounts of healing we find in the Bible were not just by Jesus – hence his command to, “Go & do likewise”) What can we glean from this story? What is significant about Peter making everyone leave the room? What does he say to Tabitha? In which other New Testament stories is the patient told to “Arise”? (It's interesting to look at how Mrs. Eddy uses the word “arise,” as well, throughout her writings)
What does Mrs. Eddy have to say about death in the Science & Health citations from this section? (S21-S23) How can death be an “illusion” when it seems so real? How can we “shut the door on death” and “open it wide towards immortality”? (S23) Have we seen others do this? In the Bible? In Mrs. Eddy's life? In the early movement? Now? Do we believe it's possible to raise the dead?
What consists of “man's individual being” and what makes it immortal? How might this tie back into the qualities of being which were mentioned in Section 2? (S6) What does Mrs. Eddy say are the “two essential points of Christian Science”? (S20) How do these tie into the subject of this week's Lesson: Mortals & Immortals?
[PSST — Section 6]
Bring it home! What does it mean that “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it:” (B13) and how does this apply to the idea of creation? Might there be a connection with some of the passages from the Responsive Reading? How do we overcome the world? (B14) How does the law of the Spirit free us from the law of sin and death? (B16) What does it mean to “live, and move, and have our being” in God? (B17) How does this tie into the idea of being in Spirit from the Golden Text?
What does Mrs. Eddy say is a “great spiritual fact” that we should be aware of? (S24) Are we aware of this? How might this contrast with what the world tries to tell us? How are we to recognize our “genuine selfhood” with what is constantly before our gaze? How can we appreciate the “good & true” in ourselves? Our family? Our friends? Our classmates? Our Sunday School class? Are these qualities mortal or immortal? What happens when we reach out to others and express our gratitude for the good and true? Have you seen effects of this within your own experience? What are some examples of healing that resulted when Jesus did this for others?
How wonderful it is to know that, in divine Science, we cannot help but be immortal (S28) and that it is divine Science which “rolls back the clouds of error with the light of Truth, and lifts the curtain on man as never born and as never dying..” (S10) – what a relief!
Heather K. Libbe, CS
26101 Hull Prairie Rd
Perrysburg, OH 43551
419-343-7870 (cell)

[PYCL: “Take that frown and turn it upside down!”]
CedarS PYCLs–P
ossible Younger Class Lessons for:  
Mortals and Immortals”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for November 11, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]
 [PYCL:  “Take that frown and turn it upside down!”(to be a smile) is a line of a camp song]
What is mortal and what is immortal? Talk about this together and come up with ideas. Check out what Kathy says in her lesson expansion this week about things being upside down (S1). Even the very young children will understand that things look similar but different when you invert them. Can you bring some things in to show them this? The reading crowd could try to read upside down (or rather with the book upside down!). Think about trees if they were upside down. Their root structure might remind us of a tree, but they are designed for sucking up water and nutrients from soil, not for converting sunlight into energy as the leaves of a tree are designed for. What does this say about what inversion does? It makes us not work as well. Now I realize that this is an inversion of a material object, so the comparison has limitations, but maybe you can think of a more appropriate idea. Otherwise, even within the limits of this kind of example it can still be a useful illustration of how matter can confuse us and try to convince us of its veracity and reality. Man is designed to thrive, soar, understand, be creative and wise and peaceful. Matter tells us that all these things are occasional and subject to heredity, luck, wealth and so on.
There is a beautiful description of the immortal man in citation B4. You could talk about how we are “dressed” or formed by God. This is the opposite of the Adam story of creation from last week. You might say that the Adam story is an inversion of this account! While Adam (mortal man) was raised from dust and rib, this creation is “raised..up in righteousness” and directed by God in every way. Where is the room here for man to be tempted and step away from God's good path? Our being is inseparable from God's being…we are coexistent with our Maker. (S2 and S10 and also born out in Jesus' statement about how “before Abraham was, I am”, meaning that the Christ spirit is ever coexistent with God and God's creation, man). You could come up with immortal qualities with which God has “girded” us. The youngest could put these qualities onto sticky notes and attach them to their clothes or write them on life-sized tracings of their bodies. As you trace their bodies on large sheets of paper (you can buy brown shipping paper or butcher paper for this), you can have them talk about these qualities that last forever and only develop and grow and expand as we go through life, never decay or grow dimmer. This way there won't be huge dead spots in the class time where you are just tracing bodies!
What does Jesus mean in citation B8 when he says “I say unto you, if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.”? Talk about the way that keeping Jesus' sayings (what are they?) helps us to see the universe of Spirit, where Life is only God and we know that God doesn't die–that dying is a product of being conscious of living in matter. This is why we go to Sunday School each week. We get some time to specially focus on what is real, what is true. We can become more and more conscious of the true and immortal universe of God and who God is and who comprises God's creation. (This for those who have kid's like mine who are always asking why they have to go to Sunday school each week). The Adam myth gives us a good example of how sin-seeing man as comprised of good and evil-brings with it mortality. Some of the kids may get pretty involved in wanting to discuss death. I'm not sure if bringing it up is necessary, but if they ask questions we don't need to shy away from it. We are not trying to live forever in matter. We are learning to understand our true nature as immortal man and to rise above the “inverted” picture of man made from matter or subject to matter.
On the heels of that discussion you can talk about the practical nature of this understanding. Look at section 4 where we have Joshua and Caleb who explain to Moses that they are as strong and vibrant at 85 as they were at 40. Further study of this story (not included in the lesson) shows that not only were these men spared the usual process of aging, but even the shoes and clothes of those traveling through the desert with them were not worn out. Why didn't Joshua and Caleb get older? Weren't they the ones who really saw what God had presented the Children of Israel with 45 years before? They glimpsed the true nature of the land that God provided for them, the fact that those riches were theirs, were God's gift to them. The others saw only the power of those that lived there, and the comparative weakness of the wandering tribes of Israel. They saw only what material sense provided them with. Joshua and Caleb used spiritual sense to evaluate the scene. You can assume that they continued to use that spiritual sense in their subsequent wanderings. Therefore they experienced less material limitation than others on that journey. Talk about the logic of why we should develop more strength and wisdom and skill as we grow, rather than reach a peak and then become decrepit, dotty or useless. What kind of sense does that make for God to create? Matter must not therefore be the true reflection of God's creation!
Talk about recognizing our immortality right now. Should we wait until it seems like we are closer to dying? Nope! Right now we can daily understand more of the true creation and how we coexist with God! What does coexist mean by the way? That's a cool word! We can use this lesson to discover something of our own immortal nature and also how we can practice this knowledge and expand our experience of this kind of timeless, immortal activity in our life every day.
Have an awesome Sunday.
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