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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 the 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.)

If God didn’t say it, you can’t believe it!
Application Ideas on “God the Only Cause and Creator” Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson for November 28-December 4, 2005
by Julie Ward, C.S., Westwood, Massachusetts

GOLDEN TEXT – It all started with the Word….and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It’s interesting to note that Word is capitalized here, and Word is singular. One infinite God equals one infinite Word. What is the Word of God? What does it do? Can it be heard with the ears or read with the eyes? God made all, “and without him was not anything made that was made.” If God didn’t make it, it has no reality whatsoever, no right or might or power.

RESPONSIVE READING – The Responsive Reading begins with a promise: “The word of our God shall stand forever.” Nothing temporary belongs to it. The second verse (v. 10) is especially helpful when you begin a Christian Science treatment. God’s “reward is with him, and his work before him” Before you ever begin your work, your reward is with you, for your work is God’s work reflected. God can’t be measured with any material measurement. He’s absolutely incomparable, and can’t be defined in finite terms. “To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” (verse 18) And here’s another reminder when you start to give a treatment: “For that he is strong in power, not one faileth.” (verse 26) Because omnipotent Love never fails, Love’s perfect reflection can’t fail, either.

SECTION I – One God, one Word, one creation
Notice how the idea of the Word runs like a golden thread through this lesson. One way to follow this is to ask yourself, “What is God saying?’ What He says stands forever. “He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” (B1) One good way to check your thinking is to put the words “thus saith the Lord” in front of any thought that’s coming to you and test its logic. For instance, would it make sense to say, “Thus saith the Lord, I’m really tired? Or sick? Or afraid?” Can you imagine, “Thus saith the Lord: I can’t stand that guy”? If God didn’t say it, you can’t believe it.

God is the All and the Only. He says (the Word!), “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.” (B4) How could a material universe spring from a spiritual God? His creation has to be just like Him – spiritual and eternal. “This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas, which are embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected.” (S&H 4) Do you think of yourself that way – “embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected”? If you do, you will know that you’re never alone, you’re always supported, you’re always progressive, and you’ll never be on hold or off course. Love will never let you go!

SECTION II – “How long halt ye between two opinions?”
Elijah’s question to the people remains the question for us today. Do we go back and forth between the conviction that God is the one only cause and the belief that mortal mind can also be a cause? This is the moment to decide. If we argue on both sides, there is no stability and no real progress. Elijah’s conviction that God was omnipotent was so great that he could challenge the prophets of Baal to a kind of spiritual duel, knowing that the victory of Truth was already established. He knew what he was doing and why he was doing it. He said, “Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done these things at thy WORD.” (B6) If we can say that when we give a treatment, we know that the healing is assured. And we know that the result will be like Elijah’s – it will end in the complete recognition of God’s power and glory by all who witness it.

In our day, the “duel” is not so very different. Are we going to worship one infinite, all-powerful Mind, or are we going to worship mortal mind? We all must ask ourselves, Is it the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing me? (S&H 5) It’s a question that we should ask often. “The point for each one to decide is, whether it is mortal mind or immortal Mind that is causative.” (S&H 6) Mrs. Eddy gives us the answer in (S&H 8): “Cause does not exist in matter, in mortal mind, or in physical forms.” I like to break this one up as I reason metaphysically. For instance, cause does not exist in matter, so food, weather, and other external conditions can’t cause man to suffer. Cause does not exist in mortal mind, so fear, anger, or discouragement can’t keep us from experiencing healing. And cause does not exist in physical forms, so we can’t be predisposed to illness or injury by our gender, race, age, or body type. See what unfold to you as you take this sentence apart.

SECTION III – A new definition of “convenience food”
In the Proverb, “Feed me with food convenient for me,”(B8) the word translated “convenient” is not just “handy,” but “lawful.” The New English Bible translates, “Provide me only with the food I need.” This is followed by a wonderful example – the feeding of five thousand men by Jesus at the time of the Passover feast. How could this be done with only five loaves and two small fishes? To the physical sense of law and order, that would be impossible, but it wasn’t impossible to God. Why? Because God sees wholeness, not process. The disciples started with a sense of finiteness, so they could only see lack. Jesus started with infinite good, so he could only see abundance. The disciples were trying to divide, but Jesus multiplied. The men who were waiting to be fed had to sit down. They had to be humble, expectant, trusting. Jesus took the loaves. He didn’t just shrug them off as not being nearly enough. Then he gave thanks. Do we give thanks for what we have, especially at times when it doesn’t seem like enough? Then he distributed to the disciples, who distributed to the men who were seated. And there were twelve baskets of leftovers – glorious proof that God’s blessings are always “pressed down and running over.”

If we “begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is,” (S&H10), we will see that the things of Principle’s creating are whole, without the need for material processes to bring them to completion. Jesus knew that he didn’t have to wait for seed to grow to wheat, for wheat to be threshed and processed, for bread to rise and be baked. He saw the idea of bread in its completeness. Even more – he saw man in his completeness – including the idea of necessary food. There is no process in Mind’s creation. The seed is within itself, untouched by time, so there is no such thing as “too soon” or “too late.” Mrs. Eddy says, “Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source.” (S&H 13) So we never have to fear lack – lack of inspiration, lack of courage, lack of knowledge, lack of supply, even lack of time. And here’s the good news – because the source is infinite Spirit, no idea ever has to compete with another. “…We find that whatever blesses one, blesses all.” (S&H 15) The law of mutual blessing! The people sitting in the back rows got as much as the ones in the front. Why? Because infinity is indivisible. And man is not the multiplier. “…Mind is the multiplier, and Mind’s infinite idea, man and the universe, is the product.” (S&H 14)

SECTION IV – “…Principle is not IN its idea.”
As you read this section, look for that little word “in.” Did you know that “in” is defined in the Glossary of Science and Health? Check it out (588:22) God is not in His creation, but His creation is in Him. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (B12) I love to put the seven synonyms for God into this verse. Here’s an example:- In Spirit I live, so I live in order and purity and beauty. My home is heaven.- In Spirit I move, so I move with grace and freedom and joy, and my movement meets no resistance, no inertia. It’s never stiff or burdened.- In Spirit I have my being, so my being is changeless and eternal.

Note the definition of “pantheism” in (S&H 17). If we think that Spirit is breathed into matter, we’re practicing pantheism, not Christian Science. Pantheism “seeks cause in effect.” Isn’t that a dead giveaway of animal magnetism? It would trick us into reasoning backwards. If you find yourself fretting about a problem, stop and ask yourself, “Am I seeking cause in effect?” Why is pantheism wrong? Because it starts from a material sense of God. If we start with God as infinite Spirit, we know that Spirit can’t be confined by time or space. “The greater cannot be in the lesser.” (S&H 19) Don’t you love that clear, simple logic?

SECTION V – Healing by recognizing that God is the only Cause.
This section is an interesting parallel to Section III. Just as he saw God’s infinite ability to FEED the multitudes, Jesus could see God’s infinite ability to HEAL them. He didn’t have to heal them one by one, problem by problem. He knew that there was only one kind of man – the perfect idea of God. And he knew that there was only one kind of problem – a misunderstanding of who that man was and how he related to His perfect Father-Mother. “As many as touched him were made whole.” (B14) Why? Because he could only see wholeness. He taught, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (B15) The New English Bible translates this verse, “There must be no limit to your goodness, as your heavenly Father’s goodness knows no bounds.”

“The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, – perfect God and perfect man, – as the basis of thought and demonstration.” (S&H 22) This is a good rule for us to check in with often. Is “perfect God and perfect man” OUR “basis of thought and demonstration”? Nothing less will do.

As you read (S&H 23), be sure to pick out the rules for healing. Choose one rule each day and try to be obedient to it throughout the day. Here’s an example: “Suffer no claim of sin or of sickness to grow upon the thought.” Be sure to do your mental weeding!

SECTION VI – Every whit whole!
The glorious conclusion – because God is all, infinite, indivisible, all of His ideas reflect His wholeness. His gifts have “no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (B16) So every quality of God that we reflect is invariable, and can’t lapse into its opposite. Strength can’t turn into weakness; love can’t turn into hatred; enthusiasm can’t turn into apathy. Why? Because these are infinite qualities, flowing from one infinite source. The mortal view of life is an obstructed view. It knows “in part” and prophesies “in part.” (B18) But there are no partial ideas of God.

Jesus demonstrated this when he healed the man with the withered hand. At Jesus’ command, he stretched forth that withered hand, “and it was restored WHOLE, like as the other.” (B19) Again, there’s a parallel with the loaves and fishes. Jesus didn’t have to wait for cells to divide and for muscles to regain their strength. Why? Because strength and movement and symmetry had never been divided. They had never really been absent. Mrs. Eddy writes, “The palsied hand moved, despite the boastful sense of physical law and order.” (See Unity of Good 11:13-26) Jesus was not impressed by “theboastful sense of physical law and order,” and we shouldn’t be, either. The ” greatness and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty” belong to God – not to the problem. (B20)

“Principle is not to be found in fragmentary ideas.” (S&H 27) Principle’s ideas know no addition or subtraction, and no division. They can only multiply, and the only multiplier is Mind. The result, then, must be infinite, indivisible. “The harmony and immortality of man are intact.” (S&H 28) Nothing can change that fact.

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.)
Enjoy!                                                          
                                                                   
Warren Huff, Director      director@cedarscamps.org
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