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(Editor’s Note: The following background information and application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the C.S. Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp. If more information or the text of this Lesson is desired, please see the Director’s Note at the end. The citations referenced in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. These two books are the ordained pastor of Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. Other reference books are fully noted at the end.)


 


God has made you whole; sound; healthy; restored; healed!
Application Ideas on “Man” (Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson for February 28-March 6)
by Julie Ward, C.S. (Westwood, Massachusetts)

Most of us spend our lives trying to answer the questions, “Who am I? Where do I belong? Why am I here?” This lesson answers these questions – sometimes in very surprising ways. As you read it, remember that it’s about you – not just some far-off metaphysical concept. You can put yourself right into the various statements about man and ask yourself how to actually demonstrate these facts. Let’s begin with the …… 

GOLDEN TEXT – Behold (Look at this!!!!), God has made you whole! Here are some definitions of “whole” from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: 1. containing all component parts; complete. 2. Not divided or disjoined; in one unit. 3.a. Sound; healthy. b. restored; healed. 4. Constituting the full amount, extent, or duration. 5. Having the same parents ( as a whole sister).6. Mathematics. Integral, not fractional. (From the Middle English wholle, sound, unharmed). 

As you read the lesson, look for the assurances of your wholeness as a perfect idea of God. Be especially aware of the references to man’s individuality. (Individual comes from the Latin individuus. which means “indivisible”.) 

RESPONSIVE READING
Do you ever think of yourself as being named for Christ Jesus? To be named for someone is a special sign of love and affection, and “the whole family in heaven and earth is named” for him. To carry on his name – his nature – is a very solemn responsibility, one that we all have. The Responsive Reading immediately takes up the theme of oneness – one body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, and most of all, “one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”(Eph. 4:4.6) And that one Father gives grace to all. The wonderful thing is that this grace is uniquely and individually expressed by each one of us. So just as there are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, there are athletes, dancers, singers, inventors…. each with his own special role. What unites us? “… We all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” There’s no competition here, no greater or lesser man. There’s only one measurement of man – wholeness. 

SECTION I – God creates man in His own image. 
There is no addition or subtraction for God’s man. We are created in God’s own image, and that will never change. And why were we created? As God’s witnesses, as His servants. He says, “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” (B3) This is our reason for being.

In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy explains that man is a generic term, including male and female qualities. She reminds us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. It’s never the other way around – God made in the image of man. The last passage in this section (S&H 2, lines 15-22) deals with personality versus individuality. There is one infinite Person, God, and “His personality can only be reflected, not transmitted.” This infinite Person is never divided into little personalities, but is individually reflected by man.

SECTION II – Man includes all true beauty.  
“God is no repecter of persons.” (B4) He doesn’t judge by the outward appearance, but sees true beauty in all of His creation. When Samuel was sent to anoint the next king, he was directed to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse. Presented with the first – and very attractive – son, he assumed that he must be the one because he was such a hunk. But God said to Samuel, “The Lord seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (B 5) Is that how we look at one another? Where do we find beauty? Is matter ever its indicator? Ultimately, Samuel passed over seven sons of Jesse before settling on David, who was the little brother, the least likely candidate . We can remember this when we go for a job interview, audition for a role, or go out for a team. The decision belongs to God, not to people, and “the Lord looketh on the heart.” There is a right place for you, and God knows that place.

Here is my favorite promise in the lesson: “Spirit, God gathers unformed thoughts into their proper channels, and unfolds these thoughts, even as He opens the petals of a holy purpose in order that the purpose may appear.” (S&H 3) Whatever holy purpose is ripening in your heart, God will unfold it in just the right way at just the right time. The seed is within itself, and the completeness of the right idea ensures its right unfoldment. No two blossoms come to bloom in the same way at the same time. Don’t compare yourself to the other blossoms. Just thank God that He is bringing all these unformed thoughts into their proper channels so that they can’t be misused or over-looked. It’s God – infinite individuality – “which supplies all form and comeliness.” If you wish to have a greater sense of beauty in your life, cherish the concept of infinite individuality.

SECTION III – Man includes strength and courage. 
J.B. Phillips translates (B 6), “The truth is that, although we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. The very weapons we use are not human, but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemy’s strongholds.” . (The New Testament in Modern English) The story of David and Goliath shows the victory that comes when we refuse to fight error on its own terms. David refused to resort to any of the traditional modes of defense. He ran out to meet Goliath. Do we run out to meet our “giant” problems, glad for a chance to prove more of God’s omnipotence?

In a sense, Goliath could stand for any “giant” problem in our lives. It’s that arrogant, intimidating error that struts up and down in our consciousness bragging about its invincibility and taunting us with the suggestion, “You’ll never beat me!” Any claim of incurability could be a Goliath to us. Why was David so willing to fight Goliath when everyone else was cowering in the bushes? What did he know? Five little words (Were they the five smooth stones?): “The battle is the Lord’s.” Remember this if you are faced with a Goliath problem. The battle is not your personal battle. “The battle is the Lord’s.”

David understood his spiritual individuality, and this made him “more real, more formidable in truth.” (S&H 9) The more that we understand our spiritual individuality, our indivisibility from God, the more we will feel and live and demonstrate His power. Remember, “The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise.” (S&H 10) Whatever the Goliath you are facing, you have but one thing to do: “Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil.” (S&H 11) Know yourself as God’s perfect, whole idea, and you’ll find that you’re never given the occasion for a victory over evil without the wisdom to see it through.

SECTION IV – Christ Jesus – the ultimate demonstrator of man’s dominion. 
This section opens with a little bridge – a prophecy from Jeremiah that God will raise up “a righteous Branch” from the roots of David, “and a King shall reign and prosper,  and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” That righteous Branch was Christ Jesus. In this section, we see Jesus asleep in a ship when a big storm blows up. The disciples, assuming that he’s ignoring the error, ask, “Carest thou not that we perish?” Often, people assume that praying is doing nothing, just ignoring the problem in hopes that it will go away on its own. Is that what Jesus was doing? NO! But he was so aware of God’s complete control over His universe that he didn’t have to worry or wonder. Like his fore-runner, David, he didn’t have to fight error on its own terms. He knew that the storm was not an external circumstance, but an internal suggestion. He simply said, “Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”

Can we still the storms in our own thought, the storms of emotion and passion and fear? Yes, we can say with Christly authority, “Peace, be still.” Peace is a fact. It is always present. The storm – whatever its form – is the lie that good is unstable. But God, Good, is Principle. He never varies. When we know this, we will feel “a great calm.” The disciples asked, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” He was the Christ man, the dominion man, the man who knew that God had made him whole. How logical, then, that as he walked the streets, “as many as touched him were MADE WHOLE.”

Man is not what the material senses say he is. He is “forever unlimited by the mortal senses.” (S&H 13) Only spiritual sense can reveal him. And what does spiritual sense reveal? “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.” (S&H 16) God expresses in YOU that infinite idea. 

SECTION V- Wholeness is the basis of healing.  
Wholeness, completeness, oneness – these qualities of God, acknowledged  and understood,  bring about healing. J.B. Phillips writes, “As the human body, which has many parts, is a unity, and those parts, despite their multiplicity, constitute one single body, so it is with Christ.” (The New Testament in Modern English) Peter must have glimpsed this wholeness and oneness when he healed the man who was sick of the palsy.. He said, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.” He simply stated the fact, just as Jesus had stated it before him. In the wholeness of man, there are no rebellious parts that can refuse to go along. Peter must have realized what Mrs. Eddy said centuries later: “Palsy is a belief that matter governs mortals, and can paralyze the body, making certain portions of it motionless. Destroy the belief, show mortal mind that muscles have no power to be lost, for Mind is supreme, and you cure the palsy.” (S&H 19) Man is not a collection of parts, but a whole idea, always under the control of the one Mind.

As you pray through this section of the lesson, take time to put yourself right into the definition of man (S&H 18) phrase by phrase. Here’s an example: “I am idea, the image of Love; I am not physique.” Then see how many rules for healing you can find in (S&H 20). Take just one rule each day this week and see how you can become more obedient to it.

SECTION VI – The Lamb’s wife – a symbol of spiritual oneness. 
This section opens with a wonderful promise: “When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (B 16) As we realize more and more the wholeness of God’s idea, that which is fragmentary and divided will disappear from our experience. The whole, indivisible idea is really already here. The only thing that has to change is our view of things. “….Now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.”(B 16) This section gives us a glimpse of that view, which sees only oneness, wholeness, completeness. First comes the the full acknowledgement  of God’s omnipotence – “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”(B 18) Then comes a special blessing: “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (B18) Mrs. Eddy explains this so beautifully, “To John, ‘the bride’ and ‘the Lamb’ represent the correlation of divine Principle and spiritual idea, God and His Christ, bringing harmony to earth.” (S&H 22) This realization of the indivisibility of God and His idea, man, sets us free. “In this divinely united spiritual consciousness, there is no impediment to eternal bliss – to the perfectibility of God’s creation.” (S&H 23) The Christ is saying to us all, “Behold, thou art made whole!”

Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a long series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms.* Originally sent JUST 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 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 in the books. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. 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 these 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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