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[Don’t be fooled by mirages claiming reality, life, truth, intelligence…]
 Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

October 7-13, 2013

Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer
314-323-4083                      kathyfitzer@gmail.com

Golden Text:  Are we going to live with error (i.e. sin, disease, and death?) No way! Instead, recognize them as simply darkness – unfruitful, and untrue. Then, expose that darkness to the light. Just put it out there – and let divine light (Christ, Truth) destroy it!

Responsive Reading (RR):  Imagine being asleep in a dark room – dreaming.  Suddenly a bright light shines in your eyes and you are awakened out of sleep.  What happens to the dream – whether good or bad?  Exposed for what it was – a dream – it’s gone! Well, the same thing happens to the “waking dream” that we entertain as we unconsciously go along with the currents of mortal existence.  It’s easy to slip into the “comforts” of material pleasures or fall for the “discomforts” of mortal pain.  But, neither are any more real than the dreams entertained while sleeping.  And, they too, must vanish as we wake up.  What awakens us from these “waking dreams”? The light of Christ!  Consider the first line of the Responsive Reading (from the New Revised Standard Version🙂 “the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.”  Then look at all that God’s light does for us: provides strength, perfects our path, forgives us, heals our diseases, saves our lives, pours out love and mercy on us, brings justice, delivers us from danger, supplies our needs and brings us comfort.  And that’s only a partial list!  All of that happens as this bright light of Truth awakens us from the dreamland of material thinking.  Let’s respond as the Psalmist did… sing praises to God.  The last line is translated in the New Living Translation as: “I will wake the dawn with my song.”  Dawn brings light!  As we are awakened by God’s light, we can let that light be reflected in our lives and, in turn, wake up the whole world!  Darkness just can’t survive in the presence of light!  [See notes about the renewing of our youth "like the eagle's" in Warren RR addendum.]

Section 1:  If it’s not from God… if it’s not good… it’s NOT!
We receive so much information every day.  Reports come from the media, from our senses, from our bodies…. and directly from God.  How do we tell what is coming from where – what to believe and what to discard?  Give it the test… is it lastingly good?  If not, recognize it as a lie about God, good – and see that it is NOT!   Jeremiah, in speaking to the Hebrews during a time when they were enslaved by the Babylonians, encouraged them not to be taken in by the lies of “false prophets.”  We’re constantly bombarded by such lies today… conflict, weak economies, war and terror, the threat of disease, to name a few.  But, Jeremiah also repeats God’s promise of peace and an “expected end” for His children.  The New Living Translation puts it this way: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (B-1)  We have to view anything discordant as the testimony of darkness and put it out in the light to be destroyed.  Our job is to stay awake, realize that all mortal existence is a dream, and trust the light of God to “strip off [the] disguise” of sin, sickness, or death. (B-2, S-3 & S-4)  Just because something seems real to human belief doesn’t make it real.  Clearly, “there is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in” a mirage!  And that’s all the claims of matter are… a mirage!

Section 2:  Choose what governs you!
We’re told here not to be tricked by sin, but stay awake and make conscious decisions about what we do and how we act.  As the New Living Translation puts it: “Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning.” (B-4)  We hear people say (and may sometimes think to ourselves,) “I just can’t help myself!”  True… if we start by identifying ourselves as weak mortals.  But, reasoning out from God’s perspective, we can choose to be governed by God’s pure goodness rather than the ups and downs of mortal sin and sensualism.  Remember, pleasure and pain are just the flip sides of the same worthless coin.  Real value and lasting bliss is only found as we “harmonize” (become consistent) with our divine Principle, divine Love – the basis of our being! (S-6)  Paul told the Romans not to yield to sin but yield to God, because if we yield to sin we’re signing on as servants of death; but if we yield to obedience to God, we’re signing up for “righteousness” – things fitting together with equity. (B-5)  According to Strong’s [Exhaustive Concordance], the Greek word translated yield can also mean “to stand beside” or “assist.”  So, we’re not just choosing what to go along with but what we will stand up for and help along!  That puts a new spin on Isaiah’s instruction to “put away” or “cease to do” evil. (B-6)  We can have the courage to stand up for what is right – for ourselves and for others.  Are we going to be governed by the pleasures (and pains) of matter, or the consistent good of Love – choose sin, or righteousness?  It’s up to each of us to make those moment-by-moment choices.  Rather than thinking right and wrong, think about how we can help ourselves and our friends make choices that will result in lasting happiness – without regret. By reasoning things through logically, and by patiently trusting God to reveal HIS goodness to His children and lead all to His light, we’ll be attracted rightly! (S-7)

Section 3:  Understanding the divine origin of man frees us from sin.
The battle with sin would be too big if we thought we had to fight it out with human willpower.  A huge help in getting a victory over that which we don’t want to give in to is to start with who we are and what our birthright is!  “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell all the Israelites: I am the Lord your God. I am holy, so you must be holy.’” (B-8, Easy-to-Read Version)  Was that a suggestion? … Or was God helping us understand that we really have no choice in the matter!  As the offspring of God – the image and likeness of God, it’s not in the nature of man to sin – anymore than it is in God’s nature. (S-8)  The seed can’t produce something the opposite of itself.  Put an avocado seed in water until it sprouts, plant it, and you’re going to get an avocado tree… not a sour apple tree!  God has planted his seed of goodness in us (in everyone.) (B-9)  Because of that relationship, man is (all are) “linked by Science” to the Maker of all!  Linked by the truth of being!  Does that play out in never being confronted by sin?  Hardly!  But, understanding that this is the truth of being allows us to do something when we see evidence of sin (destruction.)  We have to recognize what really is, even in the face of what seems to be.  Look right at what appears as a sinning mortal (or mortals) and SEE God’s man, made in the image of God, reflecting God’s goodness (holiness.) (S-9) Acknowledge the true, indissoluble relationship of God and man (the seed remaining in itself.)  Recognizing God’s being as “holiness, harmony, immortality,” it follows that this is the true nature of man’s being.  Holding on to that knowledge the best you can will bring healing! (S-10)

Section 4: Disease is recognized as a non-existent lie as Truth awakens thought
The Psalmist desired to awaken and see himself as God’s likeness (the likeness that is the only true being of all mankind.) (B-12)  That desire to “be clean” of the clouded Adam-dream was the impetus for the leper coming to Jesus to be healed (whether he was conscious of it at as such or not.)  Jesus responded, “BE clean.” (B-14)  Jesus recognized that God’s man is forever free of the belief of disease – and so was able to confidently heal all disease – regardless of the form in which it appeared.  Even now, the light and Truth of Christ awakens us to the incredible fact that disease is not real – and frees us from the “enactments of mortal mind” that would hold us (and others) captive.  Will we honor the false pictures and predictions of “human theories relating to health” with fear and acceptance?  Or, will we “understand [our] way” out of these false (even if well-intentioned) theories, and “BANISH sickness as an outlaw” as Jesus did!  God’s law is one of “perpetual harmony.” (S-13)  That’s the law that we must remain forever awake to and conscious of!  We’re told to “insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him.  There is no disease.” (S-15)  I know… that’s seems a lot easier to say than to do.   But, that’s because we try to argue out from the standpoint of a limited, mortal sense of ourselves – conquering some “big bad real error.”  Now… start from the standpoint of the Christ-light constantly awakening thought!  Start from MIND being the knower… knowing its own idea!  Mind can’t do anything less than impart strength, understanding, and health… because that’s what constitutes Mind. (S-15)  And that’s what constitutes US!  We can be strong and vehement and clear about our being because God is clear – and ALL!

Section 5:  Fast from disease and insist on health!
What is health?  Is it something that comes and goes, depending on the state of the material body?  No!  It is the forever state of man as God’s reflection; and it is available to be realized right here, right now.  Health is a condition of Mind.  And, Mind is ever-present.  Thus, health is an ever-present state to be claimed!  If it were otherwise, the Bible would have continued to elaborate on “health laws” including what to eat, what to not eat, etc.  But, as we know, those kinds of laws are constantly changing.  The Bible is also full of [heavenly] health laws – eternal laws of how to think about our relationship to God, the source of health.  Fasting is not a new concept.  Strictly speaking, fasting comes from a Hebrew root meaning “to cover over (the mouth.)”  It includes sacrifice and self-denial.  But, if it is just done for show, it doesn’t accomplish its purpose of bringing an individual closer to God.  Isaiah rebuked the type of fasting (giving up of food) that was just an empty outward sign of devotion.  Instead, he describes the fast that God desires as that of breaking bonds, caring and freeing people.  It is through this kind of fasting that salvation and health will come – like the dawn (immediately and certainly.) (B-18)  So, how does that translate to today?  Not only do we fast – abstain – from our “favorite” foods or activities in order to demonstrate “self” control, but we denounce those things that are unlike God, good (fast from believing in error) and thus bring out the wholeness and health that is of God.  Isaiah emphasized the realization of health and wholeness – not just denial. We recognize health as natural because it is from God, and everything limiting as unnatural because it’s not of God.  It’s just that simple.  We have to fast from whatever the material senses report on the subject. (S-1) We’re told to “mentally insist that harmony is the fact, and that sickness is a temporal dream.”  And keep insisting until that fact is seen in the human experience. (S-18)  But, refuse to keep checking in with matter to see how you’re doing.  That’s what we need to fast from!  Focus on God. “God’s being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss.” (S-20)  So, that’s OUR being, too!  Don’t forget the boundless bliss as you see evidence of infinity, freedom and harmony all around.  And, where you don’t see it at the moment, insist on the fact that it is there… and don’t stop insisting until you’re convinced!

Section 6: Get out of the dark wake up to the light!
Have you ever thought of death as just the “work” of darkness?  And darkness as simply the suppositional absence of light?  Death, then, can’t overtake life, any more than darkness can overtake light.  Jesus never accepted death as a permanent condition… any more than we would think of sleep as a permanent condition.  In each case, the individual is in a different state of consciousness than those around.  But, we need to realize that there is ONLY the consciousness of divine Mind… and Mind is ever conscious of its ideas; and its ideas are truly always conscious of their parent Mind.  Paul told the Romans it was time to awake out of sleep and to “cast off the works of darkness, and… put on the armour of light.” (B-19 & 21)  Couldn’t he be saying to all of us, that it is time to awake out of the belief of the inevitability or permanence of death and keep ourselves armed with the permanence of the light of Christ, Truth?  When Jesus was called to heal Jairus’ daughter – and then raise her from the dead – he responded confidently, and without hesitation.  He was never afraid that the darkness of death could overcome the light of Life.  He even told the people that the girl wasn’t dead.  She was simply sleeping.  [See some Cobbey Crisler insights about this in Warren's 6th section addendum at the end.]  When the [paid mourners and] doubters laughed at the thought that she was just sleeping, Jesus put them out of the room.  And then he called her; and she responded to the light – awakening to a Life that cannot be lost. (B-20)  Sometimes such scorn and disbelief comes in the form of our own thought… doubting that healing will really come.  We must put out those thoughts so that we are free to respond to the Christ calling us forward – out of the darkness of dead-end thinking, and the dream of death, and into the light of life.  We don’t need to wait until we seem to go through the so-called “death-process” to awaken to the fact that “There is no death, no inaction, diseased action, overaction, nor reaction.” (S-22)  We can “feel the divine energy of Spirit” right here, right now.  As we let go of the widely-held supposition that we’re separate from God and part of a cycle of ups and downs – life and death – we can start to let go of all of the limitations that would constantly present themselves to us. (See the list in citation S-25)  But, just as the wind blows away the fog and the sun eliminates the darkness, as we awaken to the ever-presence of divine Life living us, the darkness of ALL limitation, including death is destroyed!!!

Section 7: Stay in the light… Recognize your eternal coexistence with God!
“Life is… independent of matter.” (S-28)  Man “coexists with God and the universe.” (S-27)  Those are strong statements – powerful – and freeing!   We see this idea of coexistence – God and man dwelling together – clearly expressed in the vision of St. John in the last chapter of Revelation.  In this New Jerusalem, all the components of mortality (death, sorrow, crying, pain) are washed away and God’s children are invited to freely drink from the fountain of “the water of life.” (B-24)  Had God been holding out on His children… and is finally making an appearance?  Of course not!  Every suggestion of separation is the mortal (limiting, deathlike) dream.  The vision of Christ came to John to reveal reality.  Throughout the Bible, the Christ-light has revealed promises such as the one from Isaiah, “the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light.” (B-22)  Everlasting light doesn’t grow dim!  It doesn’t age.  It doesn’t die.  It is [sustainable,] like a perpetual noon. (B-23) That perpetual light is eternally present.  As we keep our eyes open to this light of Christ, we’re able to recognize the kingdom of heaven as our eternal dwelling place.  Heaven is not a place we go to when we die.  It is that state of consciousness that dwells within us that assures us we can never die!  Sin, disease, and death disappear for good as we allow “unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, and love” to reign (prevail) in us. (S-30) These qualities are inherent in God. [By reflection,] they are ours – and belong to all mankind!!!  We ARE awake to them.  Claim them all!!


[Warren RR addendum: Notes about the renewing of our youth "like the eagle's" more likely refer to the Golden Griffin Vulture as described in http://www.thewonderofbirds.com/griffon-vulture/bible.htm .]

[Warren's 6th section addendum: Here are some Cobbey Crisler insights about the raising of Jairus' daughter: "…the news comes back that she has died in the mean time (Luke 8: 49). That is the human news.  Jesus goes right in and clears the environment out (Verse 51). Notice, again, this must be telling us something about what is required in order to heal.
"The thought of death is so weighted down with its inevitability and grief that Jesus had to clear it out.  Notice how he does so, incisively and brilliantly.  He couldn't clear them out while they were weeping.  That was acceptable at a funeral. Jesus would have occupied the villain's role.

"So, he simply tells them something that was an absolute fact to him, 'That maid right there that you see horizontal, no movement, no breath, no pulse, no anything, that little girl, she's not really dead.  That appearance that you see there is like sleep (Verse 52). And I am going to awaken her life.'  All the paid mourners  who were earning their salary for conducting a funeral service, and everybody else who had witnessed the tragedy associated with this girl passing away laughed (Verse 53).
"Can you clear laughers out of funerals?  There is clearly more justification from a social standpoint than with weepers.  It also shows how deeply their grief had run.  Forgetting every reason why they were there, they turned to laughing him to scorn.  He put them all out.
"He went to the little girl, 'Maid, arise' (Verse 54).  'Her spirit came again, she arose straightway ' (Verse 55)  And that beautiful practicality of Jesus, 'Give her meat,' give her something to eat (Verse 55).  What else would a twelve-year-old girl want anyway?  It was an announcement that everything was quite normal."  (Excerpts from a talk by B. Cobbey Crisler called "Luke the Researcher")]


[The above application ideas are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps. These ideas 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/metaphysical/ ]

[Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & bracketed, italic additions.]

[Please support: CedarS Matched “Maintenance Musts Fund” where $25,000 is needed & will be matched for proper upkeep of mission-critical buildings & equipment; our Matched “Adopt the Herd” fund for year-round horse care; and/or our ongoing  FENCING NEEDS for our herd of wonderful horses that serves campers every day. Just write either “Maintenance Musts, Matched” , "Adopt the Herd, Matched" or “fencing for horses, pre-matched”]

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[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, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has been contributed.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-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 emails to follow.) 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 serve as 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 and in a variety of useful formats as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. 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-26) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-32). 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.]

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