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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 Christian Science 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. The Bible and Science and Health 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.)

“Here Comes the Bride!”
Notes on “SOUL” (Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson for August 8-14, 2005)
by Corde Hanzlik, C.S., Austin, Texas

In the Golden Text, God makes a covenant with the prophet Hosea using the word betrothal. God’s love and commitment for His prophet was evident. Although not in the Lesson, Hosea’s devotion to God was clear while his country’s, Israel’s devotion, was not. Hosea’s personal life had a similar arrangement in that although married, his first wife was unfaithful and eventually became a harlot. What does betrothed mean? To be betrothed is as sure a marriage promise as the actual ceremonial marriage. It is a most committed promise. God has made this promise and betrothal to us, too. Shouldn’t we be totally married to Him/Her? We must be.

The Responsive Reading is a total tribute to God. Look at what He does for us! He’s good, does wonderful works, satisfies, fills us, gives us drink, has power, glory, lovingkindness. Wow, with all of that, in abundance, how can we not praise God? What a great marriage companion!

Section 1: Jesus example of blessing a marriage
Marriage as blessed by Jesus demonstration of wine supply would be so amazingly honored! Jesus took care of the human need. Jesus’ mother saw his ability. Why wouldn’t Jesus make the best wine since he is the best himself? Some wonder why he made wine, since Christian Scientists don’t drink wine or any alcohol. Wine in biblical times was better than the drinking water as far as purification. Also, there wasn’t the obsession with it as there is today. We don’t consume the alcohol so as to keep our thought pure and functioning, giving no authority to a chemical additive. Take the time to look up the definition of wine in the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Other citations in the Bible indicate God’s care for us in our marital covenant with Him/Her. God pledges further, His care for us in Jeremiah. (B3)  Our marriage vow is in the 3rd marker of Science and Health as well as Deuteronomy (B2). Do we “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”? As Love presides over the ceremony (S&H 4) our witnesses are Christ, Truth (S&H 5).

Section 2: Guidelines for picking a spouse (as well as a companion, group of friends, church, camp, . . . )
Abraham had his servant’s promise to obey, pray and listen to find the right woman for Issac, his son. To Abraham, ancestry was important in the purity of his family line. His choice was ethnic, it seemed, but really it was in the spirit of being God-blest and pure. So what qualities was the servant praying for? A woman of the right heritage, perceptive, thoughtful, caring for man and camel, and generous of her time and work. But, in the first place, his desire was to find the woman who would be responsive to prayer, who could feel and hear God’s thoughts and be obedient to them. As it was, he found a cousin of Issac’s.  God directs all of our lives and decisions in His order and government. He does such a fantastic job you’d think we would pay closer attention! He orders and fills our purpose. (S&H 7) What do we look for in a marriage, even if we are and have been married for even some time? “Kindred tastes, and aspirations”, (S&H 8) beauty, beautiful character, protection, strength, centre for the affections (S&H 8), masculinity/femininity, courage, harmony, purity, tenderness and natural renewal. (S&H 9) Oh my, more – “unselfish ambition, noble life-motives” give us “true happiness, strength, permanence.”  Moral freedom! (S&H 10)

Section 3: The knot is tied!
Rebekah’s brother strikes a deal with the servant of Abraham. Ten days go by while Issac waits for his chosen bride-to-be. Read the missing parts in the Bible. It’s a great story. The marriage destined to be the start of “thousands of millions” is totally the result of prayer and God’s design. It had to be right. Right-companioning is properly ordered by God. Even our marriage wardrobe is perfect.CedarS’ newest little guest cabins are defined in this Soul Lesson – bride and bridegroom. Is there mention of physicality in the definitions? Of course not. Right relationship is right ideas, qualities. Truly, our only relationship is with God. It is easy to be confused with people issues. Soul’s resources meet every need mentally in an outward understandable application.(S&H 12) “Love enriches” when? The whole reference is present active. It is continuous and constant. What is the litmus-test question in citation 13? Unblest or blest how? It would seem that society has changed as far as the usual breadwinner of the family – both men and women work as well as care for house. Is not home an idea of Love cherished in each individual that then moves into a house? The campers know that they have brought home with them when they come to camp. “She that is married careth” are symbolic words for mother and wifely qualities, not literal servitude. (S&H 14) First and foremost the key is unity rather than domination, possessiveness or traditional territorial roles. (S&H 15)

Section 4: Youthful endurance and well-keeping in our true marriage – romance
Life knows no age. Life is continual renewal of everything, including our betrothal to God and Him to us. This section is the husband’s view of marriage maintenance. (B11 and 12)  Soul’s qualities are always new, permanent. Immortality and everlasting beauty are ours to claim and experience. Let’s all be cooks and use the recipe that Mrs. Eddy gives us. The prime ingredients are Soul, unchanging calm and glorious freedom. (S&H 17)  Life in Soul is ever refreshed. After the recipe we have the feeding – “Immortal Mind feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness, supplying it with beautiful images of thought and destroying the woes of sense which each day brings to a nearer tomb.” (S&H 18) Compliments go farther than criticisms. (S&H 19) (Try using more compliments and fewer criticisms in your cabin and home life.)  Life only gets better. It should be obvious that in marriage (as in cabin bonding and workplace unity) there must be mutual work and giving between co-workers, not because of obligation, but out of love and respect.

Section 5: Jesus wins the doctrinal battle
The Sadducees and Pharisees are always trying to trip up Jesus in his new doctrine. As sticklers for rules, they usually miss his point, contending that Jesus is violating Mosaic Law, the law of the Sadducees and Pharisees. The first question that they ask Jesus in Bible marker 15 seems absurd. Their rules cover every aspect of life. Their law does include the belief in life after death. They are unable to see the concept of the resurrection as not a material process, but actually as an awakening to the fact that there is no death and that marriage is irrelevant in the hereafter. Marriage is a human institution to protect and care for mankind, giving man a higher sense of love. Each individual is already complete as the male and female of God’s creating as we read in Genesis 1. This would symbolize the true marriage.  The second question that the Pharisees raise, Jesus explains in two short commandments. Mrs. Eddy thoroughly embellishes the commands as demands in S&H marker 24. The purity of mankind as a whole becomes more apparent as divine Mind leads the way. In order to simplify and purify every aspect of your life, simply focus on these clear demands.

Section 6: Here comes the bride!
New Jerusalem (look in the Glossary of S&H as well as the description of the city four square in the Apocalypse Chapter) is all decked out in full beauty. Don’t we have angel tours of New Jerusalem through John’s description? The healing of the blind and dumb man to both see and speak was for him to witness and declare the Christ blessing – his marriage with God. Refuse to allow yourself to be struck blind and dumb by material sense, by today’s wave of sensualism.  New Jerusalem is where we live in our marriage with God. We are wedded with Love, united with God. We have the very best food and wine (the spiritual), and should be totally satisfied with it. (See Section 4 recipes again.) The definition of our nature is beautifully explained in S&H marker 26. We are compound ideas of God, perfect and immortal, male and female united. We are married to God by the law of Soul, spiritual existence, right theology. (S&H 28) Never to be divorced, or separated, from our best and ever friend, God!

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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