Thank you for another best summer yet!

[Move up to a higher sense of self as blessed in a way that precludes the desire to sin. (5)]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Everlasting Punishment”
for Sunday, November 1, 2015

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
(314) 406-0041

Of course these Bible lessons were established, and continue today for the purpose of deepening our understanding of God. "To reach heaven, the harmony of being, we must understand the divine Principle of being." (S6) The theological subject of everlasting punishment gives us another opportunity to discover more about the one God who is a loving and merciful creator. It offers a chance for us to glimpse more clearly, the fact that God is the creator of everlasting, eternal good. His creation is sinless, perfect (whole, complete). This fact gives us the foundation for deposing the suggestion that sin is a natural part of man, a normal part of man's being. It also gives us the key, through Christ Jesus' teachings and Christian Science, to find freedom from the oppressive chains formed by the model of man as a material sinner, driven by chemicals, nerves, brain or any other less than a spiritual source.

Follow the word "everlasting" in the Golden Text this week. See how it is connected not to "punishment", but rather to "good", "mercy", "life". This is the heritage that God has given us, not one of punishment. Where does this seeming punishment come from? Well, it comes from the sin itself. If it seems that you are suffering from something that does not require of you reformation, then you can dismiss it as sourceless, powerless. We only suffer from sin because we are enjoying the fruits of living in matter, an impermanent, non-spiritual, and frankly, unreal state. If you are making a reality of matter and material "existence", then the end result can only be death. Spirit and Spirit's creation enjoy permanent, effervescent being.

Section 1 and Section 2: God makes us sinless. So learn to love divine correction!
Maybe that title sounds contradictory to you? If we are sinless, where is the need for correction? I think we all pretty much can agree that the truth of man's being is established, but we are confronted with a lie that seems to set us at odds with God. The lie presents man as sick and sinful. We must take aim with our spiritual consciousness at this lie in order to see the harmony and goodness of God's creation. This is the path to scientific healing. We take a stand on the side of Truth against the suggestions of material sense, and material sense is revealed as the liar. By gaining an understanding of our nature and God's government of our spiritual nature, we then have a foundation upon which to demonstrate scientifically our natural goodness. This understanding is gained through setting aside material sense testimony—by reformation. When we put understanding God at the center of life, we are allowing God's love for us to lead us out of unproductive or sinful paths. These sins do not need to be something with a heavy tag of evil attached, though they can be. They can just be thoughts that lead to anxiety about money, school, friends—anything that puts matter first and God second (or third…). Acknowledging that we do have things to correct can be one way of opening our thought to hearing God's guidance. This does not imply the need for a "witch hunt" within our consciousness—we aren't looking for some hidden sin that we have to name and "get rid of". That would be a bit like looking for a diagnosis of an illness in order to heal it. But it is true that sin likes to stay comfortably hidden, and in case you haven't noticed, it isn't comfortable to have our shortcomings pointed out (B7). "The design of Love is to reform the sinner." (S5) Comfort isn't the goal, understanding God and man is. And when we purify our consciousness of anything incorrect about ourselves and about God, we find that correction comes with less resistance and shame, two things that hinder the clear view of our beautiful nature. Citation B2 nearly begs God to point out anything that needs to be corrected. When is the last time we honestly did that (begged God for correction)? Is our goal in life to protect and bolster a fragile sense of who we are? Or, is it to rise above that fragile sense to a powerful and radiant (not to mention accurate and truthful) understanding of self? It should become clearer to us that we are not taking sinful mortals and turning them into God's children. Through our deeper understanding of God and His creation, we begin to see ourselves as God has always seen us, sinless and perfect. Through this understanding we have regular and dependable healing and joy. I've also discovered, over the years, that unless we embrace reform on our own, we are usually afforded opportunity to grow through challenges that come our way. These challenges are not from God, they arise from a material sense that needs uplifting and purifying.

Section 3: Jesus showed us God's desire for reform not condemnation.
People do have a strange tendency to take great law, intended to give us increased freedom, and gradually turn it into something that strangles this original intent. Moses came to spiritualize a nation's concept of God, to give them a greater freedom. (see S&H p. 200). The Ten Commandments are an example of laws that helped to build a society that didn't just use physical retribution as a measuring stick for justice. He helped his people to look beneath the surface of things and struggle with the more spiritual ideas that lift us toward more spiritual living. (He even went so far as to condemn envy or covetousness!) Gradually Judaic law became law that was often used to bludgeon one another instead of to elevate society. Many of Jesus' most poignant teachings center around moments where men, well-educated in Judaic law, became incensed and offended when Jesus' healing unveiled the hollowness of law that, improperly executed, has no love for the people that it protects. The story (B11) of the adulterous woman that the scribes and Pharisees brought to him is one such example [that a brilliant Cobbey Crisler commentary makes clear in a CedarS online Download.] These holy, educated men were not motivated by love to help this woman to have a better concept of herself. They were motivated by the desire to "catch" Jesus breaking Mosaic Law. They wanted to find something that they could hold against him. Not to put too fine a point on it, they wanted to be able to say "gottcha", "nananana boo-boo", or some such immature impulse. Why? Condemnation of others tends to temporarily make us feel better about our own shortcomings. As long as these men could point out their supposedly superior understanding of the law, they felt that their own lack of love would somehow not be so starkly apparent. The only way truly to feel the joy and satisfaction that comes from knowing our true self is through reforming our consciousness. This is what Jesus revealed when he suggested that whoever had not sinned should feel free to throw the first stone at the woman. Let us hope that these men, who recognized their shortcomings and left, took this opportunity to rise above the suggestion that Moses' laws were meant as opportunities to judge rather than to reform and grow. Perhaps they came to see that as Mrs. Eddy says in citation S16: "God's being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss." When we recognize that "Man is the expression of God's being." (S&H 470:23-24), then we can go the extra step to see that "[Man's] being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss." That is the real power or potency of grace and Truth (S11). The power to grant us freedom from the lie of sin's attraction!

Section 4: True law is from God/Principle.
We never need to accept subjection to a law that isn't genuinely good. Only God's laws have true power, no other law does. The woman in this section is proof of this. [See P.S.] Once again we have the church leader, educated in Mosaic Law, standing against healing, and using the "law" as a bludgeon to keep her bound in body and in material thought. Through the example of watering their animals on the Sabbath, Jesus revealed the inhumanity of ignoring the physical needs of this woman, perversely following the letter of the law but denying the law of Love which never condemns His children. Here is a model for all of us, for all time (from "generation to generation"!), to contradict the suggestions that man is a material creation subject to laws of disease and sin that cripple and limit us. We can accept the promises in the Bible of God's goodness and mercy and love as superior to the so-called laws of matter. Jesus did, and so can we.

Section 5: Growth, labor, fervent desire, habitual struggle–yup, it's hard work…
That doesn't mean it's not worth it though! Have you ever felt the real joy of a spiritual breakthrough, a healing, or maybe you've felt the victory of succeeding in an endeavor that required a lot of effort, study, practice, sweat. There is no feeling like that! Sometimes it is hard to remember that when we are in the midst of such a struggle. Citation B17 is from a Psalm that was written following the prophet Nathan's revelation to David of the sin involved in stealing Bathsheba from her husband (and having her husband murdered to cover up David's adultery). The Message puts it this way in these two verses: "God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice." God created man with a purpose, stated eloquently in Jeremiah (B19): "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." That would be a statement of our eternal being, not one condemned to sin and death. Sometimes it takes that heart that is completely "broken", no longer holding on to some shred of a sense of self that hinders an expansive view of our true self. Holding too tightly to a material sense of self (especially one that we think of as "humanly good") can keep us from moving forward to an even higher sense of ourselves as blessed in a way that precludes the desire to sin. That's a place to dwell! (B1)

Section 6: God doesn't have to rethink/reform His creation; we have to rethink/reform our concept of God and man.
When we are sick and tired of the suggestions of man as material and sick or sinful we can rethink our sense of self, and of God. As it tells us in citation B21, we can find God a "refuge", a safe place, and when we "fall" short of this through sin or whatever tempts us, his "everlasting arms" are "underneath" to catch us. I know that is corny, but I'd never seen that statement quite that way. We are never that "fallen", sinful man, because God is underneath us to lift our consciousness into the pure light of Truth. The truth of our nature is always there to replace that false picture, to purify that false sense, to re-form that false image we might have entertained. This truth is powerful because it is true, from God. And while sin leads to death, it is not a "punishment" meted out by a vengeful God, it is only the result of believing so vividly that we live in matter whose ultimate destruction is assured only because of its falsehood. God's gift to us is life eternal, not life in matter, and certainly not death or punishment, in or out of matter!

[P.S. A Cobbey Crisler insight on (B14, Luke 13:11-17) about Jesus healing the woman bent over for 18 years: “A woman with spinal difficulty is in a synagogue. Notice that Luke doesn’t say she has an infirmity. Luke, who is reputed to have been a physician, doesn’t even diagnose it as an infirmity but as a ‘spirit of infirmity,’ a sense of infirmity, a concept, a spirit, a thought. ‘She was bowed together. She couldn’t lift up herself.’
Verse 12. Jesus comes and announces to womanhood something that could be applicable in many ways, not just this one time. ‘Woman, you are free from thine infirmity.’ Verse 13. ‘She’s made straight and glorifies God.’
Verse 14. (& beyond, outside the Lesson) Incredible, ‘the ruler of the synagogue’ in which this grand healing and correction in thought occurred ‘answered with indignation’.
Jesus’ explanation about the cause of disease is Verse 16. No longer should there be any room in Christian thought that disease stems from God or is God’s will when Jesus attributes it directly to anything that would oppose God. Only what would oppose God could impose something on man that God Himself never created in His whole man. Is this a new theology? Satan and disease linked, and not God as the cause of loss, or pain, or sickness?
Because if it is, Jesus defines Satan as a liar in John (8:44). Satan has bound this woman with an infirmity that has her bent over, and has accomplished this for 18 years (Luke 13:16). And Satan is ‘a liar and the father of it.’ Satan’s works must be lies as well. If they are, they can be corrected mentally, by a full recognition of what is true. Notice that Satan does the binding. Jesus said (John 8:32), ‘Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.’
It’s a contest between the truth and the lie about God and His theology, about man, about woman, about children and about disease. If Satan is a liar, he will never change his character. Our idea of God may have gone haywire, but God has never moved.” The Gospels, Volume Three, Luke the Researcher, B. Cobbey Crisler, p. 176]

[[W's PS: "Seed Money" Welcome!: After a bulldozer sculpted both ends of CedarS 30-acre Bible Lands Park to level steep slopes of unmowable weeds, the director personally paid for the placement of over an acre of biodegradeable, erosion-control, fertilizing mesh to protect and support the growth of grass/winter wheat there. We were blessed within hours after seeding with the promised "latter rains" that are continuing this week. Your prayers and financial partnership are welcome. $3k needed to matched initial gifts.]

[We are forever grateful for all the good already received and are LETTING BE KNOWN not only ONGOING NEEDS, BUT ALSO GOOD NEWS! Thanks to generous donors responding quickly to our announced need to replace washed-away fencing, we finished the job and turned-out our 77 horses into our lush lower pastures! We, and they, are SO grateful!!]

Significant funding is still also needed for in these three special areas:
1. “Adopt the Herd” Matching Opportunity! Generous donors, aware of the ongoing need to care for CedarS herd, will match donations for our horse program! (~$6.4k needed to reach $50k goal)]

2. "Maintenace Musts" Matching Funds! This hugely helpful matching grant offer has been renewed by dear supporters to match up to $25,000 through year-end 2015! Thanks to recent gifts for repairs, we have "only" ~$17.3k to raise for other repair needs by 12-31-15.

3. Over 100 needed items are featured on CedarS Giving Tree that could fit the budget of every grateful Met-recipient and camper. You can choose for yourself $1-and-up ways to give to support CedarS needs. Click here to see 2 young alumni tell their reasons to give.

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 636-394-6162

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501C3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps, Inc.
19772 Sugar Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536

[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 big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support. Click for more about how you can provide even monthly support online. THIS WOULD BE A HUGE ANSWER TO PRAYER! Or you can always call the Huffs at 636-394-6162 to get information or discuss privately how to transfer securities or other assets to help support and perpetuate CedarS work.]THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

[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 ]

[For additional "Director's Notes" on the history, development & 4 translations of CedarS weekly Bible Lesson "Mets" go to Notes in our online version of it.]

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