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Look at what IS … not at what seems to be … and find spiritual reality!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Subject: “Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”
for June 17-23, 2019

Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer

[See W’s PS#1 for today’s topical Christian Science “Daily Lift” on evolution.]

Golden Text: This is the first of several references in this week’s Lesson which speaks of God as the creator of all things. God (and all of creation) dwells in the kingdom of God — created by God (Mind). There is nothing left for man to create or to be the creation of anything other than the goodness of God. Have you noticed that some variation of this theme of God’s allness has been in every Lesson for quite some time now? It just might be worth paying attention to! Think of it as the key to seeing the harmony of being, present now, revealing a universe untouched by “atomic force.”

Responsive Reading: Running throughout the old and new testament of Bible is the message of the allness and onliness of God. Along with this message is the corresponding assurance that there is no need to fear because there isn’t any power other than the goodness of God. God made all things. We’re told that God formed Israel to be God’s servant. To form comes from the Hebrew, yatsar, and indicates “squeezing into shape” as a potter would mould his or her beautiful design. To be God’s servant includes being subject to God and a worshipper of God — owing allegiance to Him and being governed by His laws. Understanding that, we find freedom from the limitations of a material creation or being subject to the control of human doctrine and mortal influences. “For from Him [all things originate] and through Him [all things live and exist] and to Him are all things [directed].” (Rom. 11: 36, Amp.) Later in the Lesson we will consider the idea of translating things into thoughts. The last line of the Responsive Reading hints at how we can view the things around us while seeing the qualities and ideas constituting God’s spiritual creation.: “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature.” (NLT)

Section 1: God has given us the gift of perceiving the good creation of infinite Spirit, Mind

The theme of God being the creator of all things continues. But, now we’re introduced to the infinite nature of this creation — having no beginning, and certainly no ending or interruption. This creation is the complete, unfolding idea of Mind. Nothing is too hard for Mind, God — so every right idea (every solution to every perceived problem) is ever available. (B1) To make this fact practical in our lives, we need to start by reasoning rightly from the basis of the 1st chapter of Genesis. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (v.1) “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” (v. 31) God and His creation being infinite — boundless — there couldn’t have been a beginning to it, as we think of beginning in mortal terms. Mrs. Eddy says that “the word beginning is employed to signify the only, — that is, the eternal verity and unity of God and man, including the universe.” The Hebrew translation of the word beginning includes “the chief or principal thing” and the Greek means “the prime substance, cause, source, or origin of anything.” So, the substance of all of creation is Spirit (like God) and is good. It would be impossible for unlimited Spirit to create limited matter. And without the Word (command) of God, or Spirit, nothing could be made. As long as we start with God as the only cause and creator, it’s logical to see goodness as the only reality.

It’s cool to think of how many times Mrs. Eddy refers to “the universe, including man” or “man, including the universe.” (S1-3) Oneness of creation. No separation. No conflict of any kind between man and nature. That discounts the possibilities of allergies, reactions to plants or animals, threats of weather, contamination by things called germs and viruses, and so much more. Understanding this enables us to bring healing to ourselves, our fellow man, our animals, our climate, our government, our relationship with others, and any other suggestion of discord. God makes it all and makes it good. Our job is to perceive this as reality and see through the lies posed by the false testimony of the mortal senses. The Bible tells us why we are able to do this. “We have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.” (B3, New Living Translation) God (divine Love) has given us the ability to see Her creation and not be fooled by the testimony of physical sense. It’s a gift! All we have to do is accept the gift and practice putting it into use.

Section 2: Spirit is the only real substance and is perceived through faith and understanding.

As we said, unlimited Spirit couldn’t create its opposite, limited matter. I find it helpful to simply think of what we call matter (that which is believed to be created of atoms that can react or become ill-arranged and harmful or destructive) as any view of limitation or suggestion of evil or inharmony. Really think about Mrs. Eddy’s explanation of “matter, with its mortality” given in citation S9. Mortality is a state of being subject to death. We want no part of that! But it’s also true that because matter is subject to death, we can dismiss it as having no lasting effect. Its so-called reality and authority must come to an end — must die — leaving only the substance of harmonious Spirit. Because substance is Spirit, it “is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay.” (S6) How awesome is that … INCAPABLE of discord and decay. Matter is not a separate creation. There aren’t two things — matter and Spirit — just two perceptions. And, so as we change our perception, we are able to see through the discord of matter (in whatever form it may present itself) to discover the ever-present harmony of Spirit. I believe that’s basically what Paul was saying when he wrote to the Hebrews, “the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.” (B5 New Revised Standard Version)

It takes faith to see what is rather than what appears to be. (B5) And it takes humility to trust what we are taught about God’s creation — and praise God for what He is and does — rather than trust the evidence before the material senses or depend on what we think we know based on human knowledge. (B1) Faith isn’t something out of our reach — something we have to struggle to get. It is something that we can claim for ourselves as a rightful gift and something that we can practice every time we’re tempted to believe something staring us in the face that we know would not be created by Love. Mrs. Eddy describes faith as higher than belief. Looking at synonyms for faith we find such things as conviction, expectation, aspiration and buoyancy. And the Greek can be translated conviction and fidelity. To me, those are qualities of thought that can — and must be — practiced. We can start with the little things in order to strengthen our ability to maintain faith in the face of seemingly tougher issues. Mrs. Eddy describes faith as a “chrysalis state of human thought.” A chrysalis is a preparatory or transitional state (as when a caterpillar transitions into a butterfly.) In this state “spiritual evidence, contradicting the testimony of material sense, begins to appear, and Truth, the ever-present, is becoming understood.” We start with faith — the conviction that what divine Science (the knowledge of God’s creation) tells us is true rather than what the physical senses are reporting — and gradually we come to understand that all reality truly is indestructible Spirit. Once we understand that, we are unfazed by the false evidence of matter’s suppositional lies, and right there we see the reality of health and harmony.

Section 3: Divine Science resolves things into thoughts [See W’s PS#2 for an app for B6.]

When God sent Samuel to Jesse to choose one of his sons to be the new king who would replace Saul, he was instructed to not look at their outward appearance, but at the “heart”. In other words, Samuel was to consider the character of the individual selected. And, so, David, the humble and alert young shepherd was chosen by God through the prophet Samuel to lead Israel when he was only 10-15 years old. (B8) He didn’t start his reign until he was 30. During those years he faced trials and was given opportunities to learn and demonstrate skills that he would later need in his rule of Israel. How could Samuel have known this was the one if he had not been given the insight by God to look beyond the outward appearances to David’s true nature? We, too, have been given the ability to have such insight. We can’t stop at the outward appearance.

We again have a citation that we had in a recent lesson, “The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.” (S12) In this context, I’m seeing an expanded sense of this. It relates to much more than just seeing true beauty in ourselves or others. I think it can be expanded to a wider application of how to see the harmony in all things by looking beyond the illusion of outward appearance to the true essence of the character (of anything we’re looking at) as created by Soul, or Spirit. And so we see harmony where discord would seem to reign because everything that God has made is good! As we view things from the standpoint of the “infinitude of Mind”, we discover that “matter must be unknown." And, so we are no longer fooled by false appearances — whether they appear as pleasure or pain. Harmony comes into full view.

Mary Baker Eddy says, “Divine Science, rising above physical theories, excludes matter, resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of material sense with spiritual ideas.” (S14) Just as we depend on astronomical science to reverse the testimony that says the sun moves around the earth, we depend on divine Science or the knowledge of God to enable us to see all of creation in terms of harmonious thought — ideas held secure in Mind. The distorted view of vulnerable matter then fades. Translating the things we see into the qualities of thought they were designed to represent, we find the good of God’s creation to be indestructible. As the scientific reality comes into view, the evidence of inharmony is changed to reveal the harmony that has always been! It takes practice — but the more you focus on translating, the more fun it becomes and the better you get! Try it!

Section 4: How do we measure success? [See W’s PS#3 for more on citation B6.]

I know that it can seem tricky to consider this subject of how to measure success. Is it wrong to be “wealthy” in the traditional sense of things? Or is the question one of not how much we have, but on what it is we value — and how clearly we see God as the source of all good? (B10) Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.” Or, in plainer language, “The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing.” (NLT) (B11&S15) Jesus seems to have been stressing the importance of following the spirit of his teachings and of living according to his example — leaning on God as the source of all good. The “rich man” appears to be totally focused on his material riches, which he believes have come from his own human effort. In so doing, he is either burdened by what to do with all of his wealth or focused on material ease and pleasure. (B12) But, what about the sense of balance and well-being that comes from understanding our relationship to God and how beautifully our Father/Mother provides for our needs? In all we do we simply need to ask ourselves if our purpose is to find ease in matter — or increase matter — or to be the expression of all that God has made us to be? Isn’t our purpose one of letting God’s goodness shine through us, and constantly turning to God for direction in all we do — acknowledging the “sustaining infinite” rather than material resources or personal wisdom — to be the source of all good? This surely allows limitless blessings to be seen by us and those upon whom our lives have an impact. Then, how full and rewarding our lives are have nothing to do with material circumstances.

Sometimes it’s helpful to consider what “false foundations” we may be trying to build on. These could include depending on a human education, human intellect, tactics that have worked in the past, how much money we have, psychological theories, etc. to solve a problem. But, we read in Science and Health that “the way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-times of Love.” (S16) To me, that means approaching everything we do from the standpoint of our love for God and for our “neighbor” — being the best listener we can possibly be, trusting God to lead us, and knowing that right solutions bless everyone involved. Material sense presents a picture of inequality, ineptness, the need to sometimes just settle for an unhappy outcome. But, as we see Mind as the source of all right ideas and “strive to enter in” to the realm of Spirit as the only true reality — as we “look towards the imperishable things of Spirit” — we can expect to see (without outlining) the abundance of God’s goodness evident for all. (S17) Spirit, Love, loves to bless!

Section 5: Looking deep into realism, we discover that “miracles” are natural to Science!

You may sometimes hear people talk about Jesus performing miracles. This section speaks of two — Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding and bringing back to life the son of a nobleman. (B14) Unfortunately, too many believe that such “miracles” are extraordinary events and beyond the powers of “ordinary” people like you and me. But, Jesus came to show us what is possible for all as we gain a right understanding of God and God’s spiritual universe. The Greek word translated miracle can also be translated as sign. So, what if we thought of miracles as simply a sign of what really is. Such things as communicating by telephone, much less all the other things we do with our smart phones and computers certainly would have sounded like miracles to past generations, not to mention things like self-driving cars (or even cars themselves) and sending a man to the moon! But, we know those things aren’t miraculous. They are simply the outcome of applying scientific principles. As time goes on I think we will be less surprised by what can be accomplished because we have come to appreciate the potential of scientific applications. Now, it is time to realize that Jesus was practicing and demonstrating the principles of divine Science — the principles of absolute Truth! And these principles are available to all. “Miracles” should become less surprising to us all the time! As Mrs. Eddy says, “the miracle … unfolds the primal order, establishing the Science of God’s unchangeable law.” (S22)

When Jesus looked at a situation, he didn’t stop at what things appeared to be — a shortage of wine or a dead boy. He saw what was true according to God’s law — unlimited supply of good and eternal life! He looked “deep into realism.” And that’s what we must do, too! (S25) God’s spiritual universe — the only universe, and the one with which we are united — is limitless and all harmonious. So, when discord appears — in whatever form — look beyond the surface of things, expect to see a “miracle” (or that which is divinely natural) and “take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action.” God has made us capable of rising “in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good,” and “nothing can vitiate (impair or destroy) the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.” (S26) Recently I have found it helpful to think about taking possession of my body as mentally embracing a correct sense of identity, and choosing to see it as entirely spiritual rather than defined by material elements. By taking that approach, we are free to shape the condition of our body (or other circumstances we’re faced with) according to the truth of God’s being rather than the distorted view presented by matter. And then we can expect the outward appearance to “miraculously” correspond to the divinely scientific view!

Section 6: Pray to see the new view of what is, rather than what seems to be
[See W’s PS#4 and #5 for more on citation B16 & B17.]

How wonderful that John wrote down his vision of the spiritual universe, as recorded in the book of Revelation. Right where others would have seen what they always had seen, John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem. Here, there was no division between God and man and nothing but harmony (no more tears, death, sorrow, crying, or pain.) He saw that the former things (the things that had formerly been believed to be true) had passed away. And God made it known that “Behold, I make all things new.” (B17 & S27) This idea of newness is the metaphysical theme for Cedars this summer. How appropriate that it should be in this week’s Lesson — corresponding to the first session of camp! Looking at the original Greek, we can think of this idea of new as fresh. We never have to get stuck in an old belief — or think we know how something is going to play out because we’ve “been there before.” We need to pray with the psalmist for God to open our eyes to see the amazing things that come from God’s instruction (or law.) (B16) According to one study Bible, law is used in this psalm as a synonym for revelation. God’s law reveals to man the nature of God’s spiritual universe! And as we learn to look beyond what appears to be, and refuse to be duped by the mirage of a so-called material universe, we can see the eternal good that is — and that continues to appear in fresh ways. (B16)

Mary Baker Eddy tells us that “we must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being.” (S30) Even though we aren’t generally able to see things as clearly as St. John did, if we keep looking in the right direction — keep looking out from the perspective of the spiritual law of good and act with the confidence that God’s law is the only law, the spiritual view will come more and more into view and we will be blessed by a fresh perspective, free of the imitations of the beliefs of a universe “evolved by atomic force.” Actively look to the ideal of God’s creation, and the old view will fade and the new one will appear — where God’s law of good is seen to be the reality! And there is nothing else!!!

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[Warren: Wow!! Thanks to the generous support recently received from CedarS Newsletter subscribers and supporters, CedarS time-sensitive need is being met to upgrade to new safety standards for the four Ziplines to and from CedarS Bible Lands Park (BLP)!! This activity will annually bless thousands of visitors! It will make Christian Science Sunday School students, teachers and church members more Biblically literate and alive each summer and fall. And it will show “shoulder-season” visitors of all faiths how Christianly practical and Bible-based Christian Scientists are. From Mary’s Chapel behind Dawn Lodge all users can zip back in time to the Bible and BLP, climb its switch-back “Time-Travelers’ Trail” and learn A.P. (Answered Prayer) History lessons to take “back to the future.”

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