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Application Ideas on "God the Preserver of Man"
(Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson for June 11, 2006)
by Corde Hanzlik, C.S. (Austin, TX)

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 (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp.

In the Golden Text and Responsive Reading let’s look at the who, what, where, why, when questions in our "God the Preserver of Man" Lesson.

First, who.  Who’s the keeper – The Lord. Who’s the receiver – thee, the redeemed, the wanderers, the hungry, the thirsty, the criers, the healed, whoso is wise.

The what – we have the description and testimony of the Lord’s care when things look so bleak. The blessing of increase. Look at His care – feeding, leading, satisfying, giving life, healing, watering, a new city, fields, and vineyards.

Where? –whether going or coming (like those coming to CedarS 1st Session Opening on June 11th), all on a spiritual journey are divinely preserved. Whether they appear to be in the land and hand and of the enemy, or in a wilderness, we spiritual travelers never leave the city of God’s habitation.

Why? The Lord cares for those who cry onto Him in their troubles. He keeps His covenant with His people, to care for them.

When? From this time forth even for evermore. Look for other answers to the who, what, where, why, when questions in the Lesson.

Section 1 – Responsive Reading redundantly repeated, againIf we are the good man in B5, and we are, we receive the blessing and reward of this section that duplicates the Responsive Reading. It is comforting that while we sleep, we know that God is awake guarding and guiding us. (B1) He is our mother bird. (B2) Again, like the RR, even in the midst of trouble, God cares for us. (B3) It is timely for the summer months that God is our shade/shadow keeping us cool and protected, (B1,3) while He also keeps us safe from everything from bugs to the boogey man.Mrs. Eddy then tells us "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" as though the Bible statements aren’t enough! (S&H1) Notice too, that she says "step by step will those who trust." That hints of a need for patience, perseverance and prayer in trusting. When we trust God fully, watch out! All is possible! In marker 2 we have the third time that we are told the God doesn’t ever sleep. Aren’t we always conscious as we reflect Mind, even while we sleep? We can rest peacefully and securely because He is looking out for us. He is the best security service, without wires, sensors, and alarms! We are given 3 directives to find all in God, Mind – see and acknowledge, yield, and follow. (S&H3) The questions that Mrs. Eddy raises seem silly when you think of the rewards when we do pray. Yet, isn’t that why she asks the question? To remind us of the answer? Everything is already harmonious in the Science of being. (S&H4) So the bottom line answer to all challenges is the promise of Divine Love to meet every human need. (S&H5) Is there such thing as a divine need?

Section 2 – The First Example of God’s preserving – sustenance, food for thought
Elijah is one of the Bible characters who totally saw and acknowledged, yielded and followed what the Lord told him to do. Just as the drought that the Lord warned him about became severe, the Lord takes care of Elijah by a raven carry-out service. Ravens are not considered to be the most elegant of birds. They are scavengers actually, but they brought Elijah what he needed. He got the last of the water from the brook Cherith. Elijah’s next assignment was to help the widow woman of Zarapheth. As he found her collecting sticks that she was going to use to cook a last meal for herself and her son to eat, his instructions were to fetch him food and water. After hearing her sad tale, he repeated his request. Basically, he said, "Trust me. Do it." She was obedient and got her reward. Her barrel of meal and cruse of oil never ran out! Do we ever ignore what God says only to find we "run out"? We must be obedient.

God knows what we need without telling Him. (S&H6) Material law has nothing to do with the feeding and sustaining of man. God’s Law does. Do we doubt? What phase are we in? (S&H8) S&H 9 says it all. God is in total control. Yet, we are not stupid enough to run around naked and refuse to eat. Rather, we get the right understanding of our needs and how they are met. (S&H 10)

Section 3 – Preservation from wickedness
We have the comforting tone of Psalms to present the appeal or prayer to God to care for us from the bad guys. The names that God is called – strength of my salvation, rock, fortress, deliverer, buckler, horn of salvation, high tower, refuge, habitation – give us the courage and conviction to go forward with joy. (B9, 10, &11) He is taking care of us. There is no enemy that can defeat us. David proved his safety without armor in our recent Lesson. Read the rest of Psalm 91 for more names and to see all that God preserves us from. Mrs. Eddy explains the angels mentioned in Ps. 91 as ever-present messengers. (S&H 11,12,13) We can see, hear and feel their care when we are alert. They can take many shapes and forms. All around us, they are constantly doing their jobs. What is an angel? God’s thought. (S&H 13) When God sends His thoughts, is it always when we are listening? No, He’s always on guard, even ahead of the game. If there is no wicked mortal, what does Mrs. Eddy advise us to be alert to? Sin, lust, hatred, envy, hypocrisy, revenge. Those evil traits would try to use man, but seen for what they are, erroneous suggestion, they are destroyed and we get the benefits. Sometimes there is a struggle. That’s chemicalization. It is the natural, needed putting off of materialism. Mortal error vanishes. (S&H15) It bubbles away. There’s no mixing of good and evil. Evil may try very hard to hold onto its operation, but there’s no chance – ejection. And, what is the result? Ultimate perfection!

Section 4 – Preservation for future attack
Good old Hezekiah. He was the king of the Jews’ Southern Kingdom of Judah with its capital in Jerusalem from 715 to 687BCE and turned to God when he saw the bad guys coming. In this case it was Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. "Senny" had already been causing trouble for Israel (the Jews’ Northern Kingdom with its capital in Samaria.) "Heze" was a very wise king. He turned to God for protection. The prophet, Amoz, delivered the answer to his prayer. Isaiah, the son of Amoz, reported God’s message to Heze. Heze had nothing to fear. God would save the city Jerusalem. No army would even come close to the city! (B14, 15) Could Heze done it on his own? Look at B12 again. Aha, more of Psalm 91! Heze was in his secret place, mental quietude and communion with God under the shadow.

How strong is God? Sooooooo strong! We could add Almighty to our list of names. (S&H16, 17) There is no power stronger, more capable, and more complete than the all of God. What is omnipotence – omni=all, potence=power. In the Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy doesn’t mention a person, as being the opponent, but fear and hate are the bad guys. Fear and hate tricks us into lots of trouble if we respond to their suggestions. The Almighty won’t let us get into trouble! God’s watching. Without fear or hate, we have our omnipotent protector – Love, guiding us. (S&H 18, 19, 20)

Section 5 – "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me" or preservation from lies.
When evil is exposed by Love’s omnipotence, it will try the back door of thought by using others to convince you of evil’s claims, nothing as obvious as a huge army coming. Slander (gossip, damaging talk, accusative verbiage) (B17) If we’re not being called the Son/Daughter of God, then we are not being spoken to. Jesus gives us the blessing for persecution. We will have our reward. (B19) It is never pleasant to be the object of teasing or bullying, but God is ever-present to comfort us as we are like Christ Jesus, persecuted by the "pride of man."

We don’t want to be haunted by "resistance to Truth." Yet sometimes it seems like we are. Rather, we are blest when we stick to our righteousness. (S&H 21,22) Jesus presented us with the ultimate lesson of grace by his crucifixion. (S&H 23) We all have crucifixion experiences. Not reacting to labels or name-calling is quite difficult to do some times, but we must as we are reassured of our true selfhood to attain "a higher understanding of the divine Life." (S&H 22) We can all help each other. (S&H 24) We are the spiritual idea in Christ, forever. (S&H 25)

Section 6 – The righteous will triumph even when the persecution gets physical
When words are not enough for the enemy, "the workers of iniquity," (B 20) God is still taking care of us. Paul was not afraid to preach and teach about Jesus and his works. The Jews thought that they were rid of the Jesus-problem with the crucifixion. Really, many of the followers of Jesus were empowered by the demonstration of Jesus. God will keep us safe as He kept Paul safe. (B 21, 22) Hopefully we won’t ever have a be "a basket case" with a basket rescue. The promise of our well being in B24 is a true comfort when we are dealing with a problem that doesn’t seem to yield. Evil has no power! We are preserved, for evermore.As we are leaning with meaning, we receive. (S&H 26) This is one of our favorite graces at camp mealtimes. We like big days, big blessings! There is no reward for martyrs except the fullness of Life. What more could we need? We have the courage. We gain more abilities to overcome evil through our proofs. (B28) Our strength comes from God, the spiritual idea is never destroyed. We are not martyrs at all! The examples (Elijah, Hezekiah, Jesus and Saul/Paul) of God’s preservation in this Lesson are only some of the ways God showed His care for individuals. They won their battles to show us that we can win ours. We have the Science, the how-to, to eliminate the persecuting sense of evil and mortality. (S&H 29) No impositions, external forces, physical or mental, can reach us. Why? God, Love, loves us! Where could we possibly look for any stronger power? (S&H 30) We are preserved completely. Always! It is logical. Why would God make such wonderful ideas like us if He weren’t going to care of us? Let’s not try to go any higher or farther.

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 citations referenced (i.e. B1and 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 these 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, Director     
director@cedarscamps.org
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