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Don’t be the “frozen chosen!” Share the born-again spirit of “Christ’s Christianity!”
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: “Spirit” for February 8, 2009
by Dan Carnesciali, CS of Ballwin, MO
[with additions in bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

Editor’s Note: The following application ideas for this week and the Possible Sunday School Topics that follow are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free — in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. (We no longer have a translator available for German.) JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

The world has great need of you! During these times of world challenge, the world needs your poise, your right thinking and acting as well as [your fearless enthusiasm] and understanding of the powerlessness of obstacles to progress and peace. To respond to the world’s great need will require much spiritual growth of you. But, through it you will discover what it truly means to be a son or daughter of God.

Golden Text:
This psalm is a different look at the 1st Commandment. It asks who you will recognize as your God. Spirit is wholly good. Good is that which is excellent, worthy, high-quality, kind, reliable, healthy, sound, valid, cheerful, free of distress or pain, genuine, not counterfeit, financially sound, well-behaved, right, proper, agreeable, rich, loyal and favorable. (Random House Dictionary) The intense desire to be good, not just experience comfort, is required. In the Old Testament, “land” is quite often symbolic of the Promised Land, a state of spiritual perfection. To reach it, the Children of Israel had to leave their beliefs (doubt, complaining, idols and self-focus) behind.

Responsive Reading:
Don’t you love Nicodemus’ appreciation of Christ, of divine good at work? Jews had been taught that salvation came through the whole nation of Israel’s faithfulness to Mosaic Law. Jesus recognized however that something more radical is needed. We must be individually renewed, totally remade in God’s image and likeness. As Jesus put it we must be born again, or “born from above” as some translations put it. This was confusing for Nicodemus, a Pharisee. It meant that he had been pursuing the wrong thing. Jesus discerned that strict adherence to rules was not bringing about the salvation and redemption of mankind! He directed us to give up the belief that we are matter or matter and spirit. This week, consider whether your identity is the child of God or as the Bible puts it whether you were born of the flesh or the Spirit.

Section 1 – Stop obsessing & idol worship to find Peace in Undivided Loyalty to God
As Mary Baker Eddy pointed out in Unity of Good, “God is a Spirit” is a mistranslation. It should have been God is Spirit. She continues, “If God is Spirit, and God is All, surely there can be no matter; for the divine All must be Spirit.” (Un. 31:5.) Material sense cannot imagine that there is anything beyond matter. It resists anything that would bring about its destruction. The prophet Azaraiah encouraged Asa and Israel to follow the Lord and trust Him. Asa responded by casting out idols from the land. [See CS Hymnal 12]  What idols should we cast out from our mental landscape? Certainly sadness, heartbreak, depression, or lack! These thoughts are invaders and must be cast out. One of the best ways to do so is to realize they are not your thought. [WH–It’s important to realize this also about other “invasive species” of the more attractive variety -such as obsession, preoccupation or worship of the body, of food, movies, friends, sports, … Students from our Sunday School in Creve Coeur, Missouri shared on video ways they reprioritized these potential obsessions to see their primary connection with God, the source of all good. Our whole Sunday School pledged–in a cheer with trumpets and all–to keep God as Number 1. See http://tmcyouth.com/lesson/ ] The people [of Judah are our model who] responded to Asa’s plea to stop idolatry by pledging an oath to God-good. They didn’t do this timidly. They shouted it out. They blasted their trumpets. “All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.” (B2 NIV) “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (B3 NIV) Pray for peace, realizing there is no “us” and “them.” There are only children of God. “We worship spiritually, only as we cease to worship materially. Spiritual devoutness is the soul of Christianity.” (S2) Our Leader does not leave us much wiggle room here. We are worshipping materially when we let diet, symptoms, frustration become a god. Let us have only one God. The third citation of Science and Health mentions surrender of all material sensation, affection and worship. Surrender isn’t comfortable, but it brings healing. It is the recognition of the full control of Spirit, Mind, the realization that Soul, not our sense of what is right, is the master. Today is the day to pray for release from human will. (S3) By surrendering human will, personal sense and mind in matter we will not lose anything substantial; we gain peace. “[Father,] not my will, but Thine be done.” (Luke 22:42 not) “The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace.” (S6)

Section 2 – Enthusiastically play your part in the Continuity of Spirit!
As you have discovered, the even sections in this Bible lesson are one citation each. This is a fresh approach. God’s goodness is never-ending. It lasts, it is substantial. God is trustworthy. He is infinite. (B4) Continuity is the state of being continuous and also has the sense of a connected whole. Here, it is the recognition of the allness and inclusiveness of Spirit. (S7) (Properly, the words continual and continuous are similar, but not synonymous. Continuous means constant, without cessation or interruption. Continual means repeated, frequent. Continuously would have been a better translation.)
[WH–As Warren recorded it, Creve Coeur Sunday School students– from preschool to college students and teachers-gave a shout-out/cheer to each other and to you: “We’ve got Spirit, yes we do! We got Spirit, so do YOU!” Let’s do all we can to perpetuate that enthusiasm for “Christ’s Christianity … the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God.” (S&H 271:2)  In Spirit there is no room for the complacency of the “frozen chosen”! See our Section 2 video soon at http://tmcyouth.com/lesson/ ]

Section 3 – Is Spirituality Profitable?
According to myBibleLesson.com, profit has about 50 synonyms in the English language. (The root of profit in Latin is facere, the verb to make.) At it basis there is the concept of there being gain, advantage or beneficial. “God teaches you what is good and leads us along the paths to follow.” (B5, NLT) I am God, your God, who teaches you how to live right and well. I show you what to do, where to go. (B5, The Message) Profit in it its right sense is natural. In Genesis, we are commanded by God to be fruitful and multiply. We all have different God-given gifts. (B7) Some of us are good athletes. Some of us sing well. Some of us are good at business. Some of us are great at math. Some of are artists and musicians. Jesus’ wanted us to develop our spiritual talents. You can read about this in the parable of the talents Matt 25:14. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you.” (B8) God expresses profit in man in two ways. First, through individual gifts, individuality. (S8) Secondly, God grows us, causes us to be productive. (S9) If you have a service or product to offer, it is right that there be a demand for that service/product. If you have a talent, it is right that there is an opportunity for its expression. [WH- “Ability and opportunity are coordinate ideas,” as Jean Stark Hebenstreit, CSB always used to say. See its corollary passage: “Know thyself, (spiritually) and God will supply the wisdom (ability) and occasion (opportunity) for a victory over evil.” (under-employment). S&H 571:17] God creates the environment to develop these talents and the environment for them to be fully manifested. If God’s expressions were not properly utilized that would be a waste of His talent. “The human capacities are enlarged and perfected in proportion as humanity gains the true conception of man and God.” (S12) It is God’s will that you achieve your true potential.

Section 4 – Lighten Up!
Several years ago, there was a testimony of healing by a man who was canoeing alone and a deep, deep fog set in so that he couldn’t navigate at all. He became fearful and then prayed. He became still and the thought came, “Stand up!” He realized that this wasn’t the wisest thing to do in a canoe, but he was obedient. When he stood up, his head was over the low lying fog. A little altitude helped in his situation. Let’s practice some attitude altitude this week. Honestly recognize obstacles in your path. No obstacle is an immoveable obstacle. It loses the power to impress you and hold you up when you realize that nothing that opposes good has any scientific foundation. Without a foundation it cannot stand. In all cases, Truth overturns error. [Not your canoe.] It is your right to witness this. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” (B9) What gives you the power to do this? The strength of Spirit does. (S14)

Section 5 – Disease is No Match
Spirit is our life, our energy, our substance, our drive, our whole being. To Spirit, what are problems? Mistakes. Misconceptions. Suggestion. Christian Science has taken a lot of heat for calling disease an illusion over the years. It may not seem rational to material sense, but it is in line with what Christ Jesus preached and lived. He didn’t believe that anyone was subject to sickness. Instead he healed mental and physical problems in the name–that isthe manner–of God. (B10) A government official from Capernaum met Jesus in Cana and pleaded with him to come back to Capernaum to heal his boy who was dying. He knew that it would take many hours to travel the 20 miles between the two towns. When Jesus told him his son was healed, did the father keep pleading with Jesus to come right away? No. He returned home full of faith. He believed Jesus without seeing the change in physical evidence. He didn’t need to see his son healed to believe in God’s healing power. He had faith in the healing power of the Christ. Jesus perceived his openness to spiritual healing. Where does this healing faith in God come from? It comes our inseparable relationship with God. Coming from God, it is always present. As it says in Romans, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (B12) What makes it possible for obstacles to healing to be shattered? It is the law of Christ or Truth that makes it possible. Law is unchanging and ever in operation. (S16) Divine Principle (law) makes you whole and harmonious. (S20) This law overrules anything opposed to your health.

Section 6 – Friends of Job
As myBibleLesson.com relates, “Job is an extended poem or play that tells the story of a good man who suffers horribly.” Job’s so-called friends believed that he must have done something to deserve his suffering. When something bad happens [to good people-every one of God’s children really], rather than entertain these bad “friends,” refuse to give entrance to them [or to this faulty Deuteronomic theory. Use your “spiritual sense” to maintain your innocence as Job did to end up like he did-with “twice as much as had before.” Job 42:10 and S21] If you understand to refuse to accept evil thoughts [or theories or guilt] as your own, you are not subject to them. God’s dominion is within you. (B13)

Section 7 – Divine Purpose
Spirit has given you a holy purpose. Since the same Mind knows this purpose, communicates it and is hearing it, you must be aware of it. The same Mind that is communicating that purpose is hearing it, and opening the way. (B14) [WH -The way that Spirit opened the way to multi-racial inclusion in Christianity is related in citation B15, Acts 8] Phillip’s mission was to proclaim that Jesus was the Messiah. This Spirit directed Phillip to the south and directed him to a eunuch from Ethiopia. Although the eunuch served the queen in the inner circle of the royal court, he was barred from joining the Jewish congregation. The eunuch asked why he couldn’t be baptized. Phillip agreed that if he believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, he could be baptized. (B15) This is important because the early followers of Jesus did not think of themselves as Christians as we know it, but as Jews who followed Jesus Christ. It is apparent from Acts that the Spirit is what brought about this change in the Church.
God is continually bringing renewal and rebirth to our lives, our Sunday schools and our churches. (S22) The early Christians faced severe persecution for their beliefs. Our Leader also felt the sting and hatred of the established religions. She guides us that, “One must fulfil one’s mission without timidity or dissimulation, for to be well done, the work must be done unselfishly.” (S23)

Section 8 – Walk with Spirit!
We have learned a lot about how Spirit is authentic. We have learned how Jesus felt the power of Spirit and healed. We have learned how Spirit multiplies good, profits us. We are promised that if we are born again, if our hopes and affections are from above, they will bear the fruits of the Spirit. (S28) In Galatians 5:22, 23, the fruits of the Spirit are defined as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” An interesting paraphrase of this passage from Galatians is: “Since we are utterly dependent on the power and prompting of God’s Spirit, let us live in relation to his purpose.”
(B16, The Interpreter’s One-volume Commentary of the Bible)
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This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers & staff blessed each summer at CEDARS, as well as to CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it. However, current and planned gifts are needed to help cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving to read fruitage due to your help; to review current needs; and to find more about how you can give online or talk privately about how to make a special gift to help perpetuate CEDARS work.
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Camp Director’s Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 8-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner’s ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the “Possible Sunday School Topics” come on a following page or subsequent email.) This weekly offering is 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” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and new angles on daily applicability to 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 eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e. B1 and S28) from this week’s Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor. Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director, director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162

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Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
[with bracketed italics by Warren]
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: “Spirit” for Feb. 8, 2009

Golden Text and Responsive Reading – The Golden Text and Responsive Reading provide indicators of leadership. At this time in our country and in the world there is a demand for leadership.
What is the prayer of petition for leadership in the Responsive Reading?
Rebirth – how can one be born again, how can one change one’s ways? Outgrow them, be educated out of them, be experienced out of them, be punished out of them, change one’s thought and one’s experience changes. How does Nicodemus express a change of thought? What do you know of Nicodemus and the role he played in Jesus’ life? Even though he came under the cover of darkness initially – the fact is that he came to Jesus and later risked his reputation and career by helping to take Jesus’ body from the cross and burying it in a newly hewn tomb reserved for himself. Jesus had promised believers eternal life. Nicodemus chose to stand as a believer. This is true leadership. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Section 1 – How did Asa demonstrate leadership, guided by Spirit? What oath did those gathered with Asa take? What was the result? Can you see the parallel of leadership in this section with our new president and his cabinet? What is the oath they all take? What is the command for all those who listen to God, Spirit in S&H Marker 3?
[WH-What distractions (idols) are keeping you from achieving your full potential as a God-ordained leader for good? Identify as not part of your own thought the “invasive species” that are eating up your energy and natural resources. How are you doing at weeding out an obsession, preoccupation or worship: of the body? of food? Movies? Friends? Sports? … Students from our Sunday School in Creve Coeur, Missouri shared on video ways they reprioritized these potential obsessions to see their primary connection with God, the source of all good. Our whole Sunday School pledged–in a cheer with trumpets and all–to keep God as Number 1. See http://tmcyouth.com/lesson/ Consider adding your own videos!]

Section 2 – What promise is given in this section that permits leaders to not be afraid? Good does endure forever, life and substance continue. You can never be without, never be deprived, as you align yourself as listening to Spirit, This is true for all others as well, including leaders.
[WH-As a leader for Spirit you have no room for the complacency of acting like one of the “frozen chosen.” What do you think this term means? What can you do today to perpetuate an ongoing enthusiasm for “Christ’s Christianity … the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God!” S&H 271:2 Check out Warren’s recording of the Creve Coeur Sunday School students– from preschool to college students and teachers-giving a shout-out/cheer to each other and to you: “We’ve got Spirit, yes we do! We got Spirit, so do YOU!” See our Section 2 video soon at http://tmcyouth.com/lesson/ ]

Section 3 – Is the manifestation of Spirit restricted to the mighty few? How can you, as a Christian Scientist, pray in support of our national or local leaders, whether in politics, church, school or business? What is the promise given in the Bible Markers 7 & 8?
[From Dan Carnesciali’s “met”: As a leader “If you have a service or product to offer, it is right that there be a demand for that service/product. If you have a talent, it is right that there is an opportunity for its expression. [WH- “Ability and opportunity are coordinate ideas,” as Jean Stark Hebenstreit, CSB always used to say. See its corollary passage: “Know thyself, (spiritually) and God will supply the wisdom (ability) and occasion (opportunity) for a victory over evil.” (under-employment). S&H 571:17] God creates the environment to develop these talents and the environment for them to be fully manifested. If God’s expressions were not properly utilized that would be a waste of His talent. “The human capacities are enlarged and perfected in proportion as humanity gains the true conception of man and God.” (S12) It is God’s will that you achieve your true potential. Where are your talents being under-utilized? How will you know yourself (spiritually) so that your true potential is achieved?]

Section 4 – On whom is the glory of the Lord risen? (B9) Is it exclusive to only one individual, country, or people? The promise in this section is that goodness rests on everyone, including leaders. Who bestows this goodness? Why?
[From Dan Carnesciali’s “met”: Let’s pray that our leaders and you will “Honestly recognize obstacles in your path. No obstacle is an immoveable obstacle. It loses the power to impress you and hold you up when you realize that nothing that opposes good has any scientific foundation. Without a foundation it cannot stand. In all cases, Truth overturns error. It is your right to witness this. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” (B9) What gives you the power to do this? The strength of Spirit does. (S14)]

Section 5 – The role of leadership is extensive, it benefits those present and those who are not at hand. Review the two healings in the Bible portion of this section. What made these healings possible? (See S&H Marker 16) Sometimes argument may be employed to bring about healing. With whom is that argument conducted? (See the first two marginal notes in S&H Marker 17 as indicators: “Eloquent silence” and “Insistence requisite”.) What is the basis for this mental insistence, this assurance of healing, or sure-footedness that serves one well to take a stand or to stand firm; another quality of leadership? (See S&H Marker 19)

[Jesus and the centurion both show a leader’s confidence to delegate. Do you trust your treatments and God to get the job done for you? From Dan Carnesciali’s “met”: “Christian Science has taken a lot of heat for calling disease an illusion over the years. It may not seem rational to material sense, but it is in line with what Christ Jesus preached and lived. He didn’t believe that anyone was subject to sickness. Instead he healed mental and physical problems in the name–that is the manner–of God. (B10) What healings have you witnessed? What are you still working on that you’d like to address privately within the class or with a Christian Science practitioner?]

Section 6 – Now we get to the ultimate assurance in this section. What is resident in man that provides understanding? (B13) How does Spirit work in man? What does Spirit provide to man? (S21)
[From Dan Carnesciali’s “met”: “When something bad happens to good people-every one of God’s children really-can you be enough of a spiritual leader to refuse to look for a cause and for guilt and blame? How can you use your “spiritual sense” to maintain everyone’s innocence to end up like Job did-with “twice as much as had before?” Job 42:10 and S21]

Section 7 – How was Phillip demonstrating leadership in the Bible portion of this section? (B15) What leadership qualities was he exhibiting? What qualities of leadership are outlined in the S&H portion of this section? (B23, 24)

[From Dan Carnesciali’s “met”: WH -The way that Spirit opened the way to multi-racial inclusion in Christianity is related in citation B15, Acts 8] Are you as willing as Phillip was to take a lead in breaking down social barriers when Spirit directs you to do so?]

Section 8 – From where does the leadership vision come? When one has the vision what is required? Not just to “talk the talk” but to “walk the walk”. Can one fail if Spirit is at hand to indicate the right path? What do you think the fruits of the Spirit are? Who benefits when a leader aligns with Spirit? How can you be such a leader?

 

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