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Invite Spirit to Make All Things New
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Spirit
August 5 – 11, 2019

Prepared by: Christie C. Hanzlik, CS • Boulder, CO
ccern@mac.com • 720.331.9356
www.christiecs.com


CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. The Met application ideas are in no way meant to replace your individual research and study, but rather are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp!


INTRODUCTION

This week is family and fine arts session at CedarS. Like with the eight weeks of regular sessions earlier this summer, this session began with an outdoor hymn sing Sunday evening in Mary’s Chapel, complete with views of the two large lakes that surround Bible Lands Park and of tall trees with bright green leaves blowing in a pleasant August breeze. Opening each session with a hymn sing inspires campers, staff, and families with a shared spirit of joy. Each week’s hymn sing is different, and yet all are beautiful. Hymn sings at camp have both endless variation and complete harmony. Community hymn sings lift thought above the mundane and encourage us to “feel the divine energy of Spirit.” (S19)

When we “feel the divine energy of Spirit,” what are we feeling? To lead us toward an answer to this question, this week’s Bible Lesson on “Spirit” offers many ways to understand Spirit as a synonym for God. Here’s a simple definition: “Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all things." (S2) Anything that is of Spirit is spirit-ual. We are spirit-ual because we are of Spirit. Spirit inspires us with joy. Spirit imparts us with understanding. (S4) One way to answer the question, therefore, is that when we “feel the divine energy of Spirit,” we are feeling "the life, substance, and continuity of all things.”

This week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson describes the activity of Spirit, showing us ways to understand how Spirit moves us, and how we can feel the Spirit. Spirit inspires. Spirit imparts. Spirit uplifts. Spirit renews. Spirit frees. Spirit is ever-present. We can look for these action-oriented ideas about Spirit throughout the lesson. Spirit is not inert. Spirit is active. As we read this week’s Lesson, let’s allow for new ideas about “Spirit.” In other words, "Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine 'powers that be.’” (S19)

Golden Text & Responsive Reading [See W’s PS#1 for GT & B21 insights.]

The Golden Text (GT) and Responsive Reading (RR) use the word “spirit” and “Spirit” in several different ways. In the GT, we see the phrase “my spirit.” What does this mean? To me, the phrase “my spirit” is about my awareness of Spirit. So, the GT could be read in this way: “How [my awareness of] spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” Or maybe “my spirit” means our connection to Spirit. In that case, the GT would read, “How [my connection to] spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” Perhaps you might find it helpful to define what the phrase “my spirit” means to you.

Here are some other ways in which the word “spirit” is used in the RR:

· “my spirit” – from God’s point of view: “I will pour out my spirit…”
· “his Spirit” – “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.”
· “the spirit,”– “for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
· “spirit of man”
· “Spirit of God”
· [not the] “spirit of the world”
· "spirit which is of God"

Seeing this variety of ways in which the word Spirit/spirit is used makes me realize even more the importance of understanding the word “Spirit" clearly. One way to get more out of the GT and RR would be to write out a clear definition of Spirit in your own words, and then see how that definition applies in each of the ways in which “spirit” or “Spirit” is used.

SECTION 1: Invite Spirit to inspire you with understanding [See W’s PS#2 & PS#3 for B1 & B4 insights.]

Spirit is inspiration, breath, and life. “There is an [inspiration] in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” (B2) We cannot exist outside of Spirit—the inspiration, breath, and life. “For in [Spirit] we live, and move, and have our being…” (B4) This scripture is complemented so well by this statement in Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all things.” (S2)

Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) explains the action of Spirit, or, in other words, what Spirit does: “Spirit imparts the understanding which uplifts consciousness and leads into all truth.” (S4)

Anything that is of Spirit is spirit-ual. That which is spirit-ual is inspired by Spirit. Man is the “offspring of Spirit,” so man is spirit-ual, of Spirit. (S5) In fact, as we understand the allness of Spirit more and more, we can see that all is spirit-ual, all is of Spirit. Thus, “Spirit and its formations are the only realities of being.” (S7)

We often read about the relationship between divine Mind and idea…man is Mind’s idea. "All is infinite Mind and man is its infinite manifestation…” A corollary to this with the synonym of divine Spirit could be that man is Spirit’s inspiration…. man is of Spirit. Man is spirit-ual. (SH 468)

SECTION 2: Invite Spirit to inspire you with clarity [See W’s PS#4 for B5 insights.]

The second section opens with a lament… "…Hear me speedily, O Lord: my [awareness of] spirit faileth…” And then the Psalmist's lament becomes a prayer, with the Psalmist turning to Spirit: “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” (B5) In this Psalm, the writer is turning to Spirit for inspiration and instruction.

In the new Christian Science hymnal, this Psalm-prayer is put to music in a beautiful hymn that is staff favorite at CedarS. (Hymn 457). [W: As mentioned in my PS#4, you can hear and see a short video clip of the whole camp singing this hymn during a recent Hymn Sing at https://www.cedarscamps.org/videos/ ]
If you haven’t sung it already, please try to do so this week. We’ll be singing it Tuesday morning during the CedarS “Prac Talk” this week… (click here after 10am CST on Tuesday to hear it…. https://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/audio/ )

Here is the refrain of the hymn:

"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; /

Teach me to do Your will, O God. /

Cause me to know the way where I should place my feet /

To walk in the pathway of Your love. (Hymn. 457)

The second section of the Lesson also contains the phrase “thy free spirit,” as in "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (B6) To me, “thy free spirit" connotes God/Spirit’s spontaneity and constant refreshing inspiration…the newness of good. This fits so well with the inspirational theme at CedarS this summer…”Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev: 21:5)

Here’s another interesting phrase about Spirit in the second section: “Spirit’s senses….” as in, "Spirit's senses are without pain, and they are forever at peace." (S8). This phrase is worth pondering. We read about “spiritual sense” often in Science & Health, but what does “Spirit’s senses” mean?

Material sense (S9) is limited, distorted, dim, misleading…like looking through a dark shattered mirror, or a “glass darkly.” Spiritual sense is the opposite of this. Spiritual sense helps us “discover what belongs to wisdom and Love.” (S10). Spiritual sense or “spiritual apprehension is at peace.” (S11) Is our spiritual sense the same as "Spirit’s senses"? I think there is a difference… I’m going to pray and listen for inspiration on this phrase…. Feel free to send me your ideas about what you think “Spirit’s senses” means.

SECTION 3: Spirit inspires with power; no power exists beyond Spirit

The third section explains that the “spirit of the Lord” makes us stronger, more courageous. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (B14) Spirit is the source of strength and power. As MBE states, "Spirit is symbolized by strength, presence, and power, and also by holy thoughts, winged with Love.” (S14)

All true power is from Spirit. There is no force outside of Spirit. As MBE states, "Moral and spiritual might belong to Spirit, who holds the 'wind in His fists;’” (S16)

Newness, freshness, and vitality—the inspiration—of life is only from Spirit, and there is no force that can act against Spirit. MBE explains, "Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine 'powers that be.’” (S19) The "divine energy of Spirit” is the unlimited power of inspiration, and it, by definition, never runs out. The “divine energy of Spirit” is always fresh, always powerful, and there is no power that can act against it.

SECTION 4: Invite Spirit to inspire you with freedom [See W’s PS#5 for B17 insights.]

There is much to ponder in the first citation of the fourth section. I looked it up in other Bible translations to gain some insight. Here’s how it reads in the NLT: “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, 'Abba, Father.' For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (B15) When I read this translation, I get a sense of divine Spirit embracing and encircling us, and making us aware of our freedom. Spirit surrounds us, but we are not Spirit’s captive, we are Spirit’s children. We are not in bondage. We are not constrained. We are free from limitation. It could be tempting to think of something that surrounds us and contains us as being confining. But Spirit does not confine. Spirit does not restrict. Spirit inspires and illumines. Spirit surrounds and contains while not making us “fearful slaves.”

The fourth section includes the story of Jesus freeing a demoniac Gadarene who claimed the name of Legion from the “unclean spirit(s).” To me, this means freeing Legion from a false sense of multiple forces acting upon him. Only Spirit governs man. Jesus demonstrates this fact, and shows the “the triumph of Spirit, Mind, over matter.” (S20) In other words, Jesus showed "the triumph of Spirit, Mind, over [a limited sense of existence].” (S20)

There is nothing apart from Spirit. Nothing apart from Spirit “is present or has power.” (S21) The name “legion” suggests many—many minds, many powers, many personalities, many forces. Each of us may have felt at some point or another in our experience like we had a legion of issues to face. When we pick up the newspaper it often feels like there’s a legion of headlines with negative suggestions. These headlines often sound insane with news that is shocking and seems to come from the most debased distortion of humanity. We may feel tempted to associate these news reports with actual people. We may feel tempted to allow the personalities in the news to make us think that mankind is splintered, sensual, violent and governed by uncontrollable external forces.

But what if we treated newspaper reports as Jesus treated Legion's symptoms? Jesus didn’t react or entertain each of the symptoms in Legion. He stayed calm and called them out with Love and the power of Spirit. He knew that only Spirit governed this man. The man may have called himself “Legion,” but Jesus knew there was only one power governing him. Jesus made the separation between the false suggestions of evil in this man and the man himself. Jesus made the separation, and then threw the false suggestions off the cliff.

We can do this too as we pray for the world. We can strive to have a clearer and clearer view of "the harmony and immortality of man.” (S23) We can strive to understand our spiritual being. In other words, our being—what we are—is “of Spirit.” Our being is spirit-ual. Our being is of Spirit. We don’t have existence outside of or beyond Spirit. Spirit is the whole of what we are. We exist in Spirit, and nothing apart from Spirit “is present or has power.” (S21)

Following Christ Jesus’s example, we can each recognize that there is no legion of forces acting upon man. There is one Spirit governing man. The oneness of Spirit is perfection, continuity and power. As MBE affirms, "When spiritual being is understood in all its perfection, continuity, and might, then shall man be found in God's image.” (S24)

SECTION 5: Invite Spirit to renew you. [See W’s PS#6 & PS#7 for B19 & S28 insights.]

The fifth section emphasizes the power of Spirit to renew. Like a breath of inspiration, Spirit renews and breathes new life constantly. We are simultaneously complete ideas and yet continually refreshed. Breath symbolizes this. But the breath of the body is just a hint… just a limited view… of the way in which Spirit breathes constant newness into us. As we read in Job, "The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” (B18)

There is no clear explanation in physical science for the beginning of life in the universe. There was no starting point for life in the universe. Life always has been. There was no start for life. Spirit, which has no beginning, always has breathed life, given life…. there was no starting point; there was no first breath. Again, there was no first breath. The spirit of God always has been and always will be, and this is what made us, and yet we have no start, no first breath. The “breath of the Almighty” is sure and strong and has no beginning and no end.

The “breath of the Almighty” is renewing, and ever-present. We can "let the Spirit renew [our] thoughts and attitudes.” (B20) This “renewal of Spirit,” results in the “transformation of the body.” (S25) Christ (our awareness of Spirit), “presents the indestructible man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes, and governs.” (S26)

A fuller awareness of Spirit’s power to renew constantly gives us a fuller breath, a fuller inspiration. A fuller sense of Spirit overturns false suggestions about the body, resulting in a more harmonious experience.

The idea that "the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” is illustrated in the story of Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) healing the woman who had difficulty breathing when the “wind was from the east.” (S27) This woman was bound by her belief that she couldn’t breathe well when the wind came from a certain direction. MBE doesn’t describe her exact prayer when she "sat silently by [the woman’s] side a few moments.” But she offers this healing just after making the following statements about mortal belief: "The so-called laws of health are simply laws of mortal belief. The premises being erroneous, the conclusions are wrong. Truth makes no laws to regulate sickness, sin, and death, for these are unknown to Truth and should not be recognized as reality. … Belief produces the results of belief, and the penalties it affixes last so long as the belief and are inseparable from it. The remedy consists in probing the trouble to the bottom, in finding and casting out by denial the error of belief which produces a mortal disorder, never honoring erroneous belief with the title of law nor yielding obedience to it. Truth, Life, and Love are the only legitimate and eternal demands on man, and they are spiritual lawgivers, enforcing obedience through divine statutes.

(SH 184:1-15)

As Mary Baker Eddy sat silently by the woman’s side, she was overturning "the beliefs of mortal mind.” She was correcting the false belief of limitation and knowing that the “Spirit of the almighty” breathes without resistance. Spirit’s inspiration overrides limited mortal belief. Mortal belief is feeble and cannot withstand the “breath of the Almighty.” As MBE states, “God is more to a man than his belief, and the less we acknowledge matter or its laws, the more immortality we possess. Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew.” (S28, W’s PS#7)

This concept is summarized in Hymn 565: "Holding your thought to the good and the true, / Spirit will form you anew."

SECTION 6: Acknowledge Spirit to be ever-present with you. [PS#1, #8 & #9 on GT, B21, B22 & S31.]

The first five sections of the lesson offer insights into the activity of Spirit, Spirit is not inert. Spirit is not fixed or contained or limited. Spirit is free, ever-present, and unlimited. "For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom…” (B23, NLT)

The ever-presence of Spirit is a breath of inspiration that renews continually. Spirit’s ever-present and comforting inspiration is described Psalm 139, "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” (B22, and Hymn 599, PS#8)

The ever-presence of Spirit inspires and renews. Spirit offers a constant breath of understanding, clarity, power, and freedom. Each of the first five sections elucidates facets of Spirit’s activity. And this last section, to me, is like a symphony’s crescendo, building to this inspirational finale about the freedom of Spirit:

• “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (B23)

"God's being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss. 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.’” (S31, NEW—W’s PS#9 application idea for you with a picture)

Since I am at CedarS while writing these ideas, I’ll conclude by connecting this week’s Bible Lesson to the CedarS theme for this summer—“Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev: 21:5) To me, this week’s Bible Lesson and CedarS' theme for the summer are both in a hymn about freedom, inspiration, and newness. In the hymn's last stanza, this hymn describes the “the freer step,” “the fuller breath,” and the Life that “makes all things new.” Here’s the whole hymn, written by Samuel Longfellow:

O Life that maketh all things new,
The blooming earth, the thoughts of men;
Our pilgrim feet, wet with Thy dew,
In gladness hither turn again.

From hand to hand the greeting flows,
From eye to eye the signals run,
From heart to heart the bright hope glows,
The seekers of the Light are one:

One in the freedom of the truth,
One in the joy of paths untrod,
One in the heart's perennial youth,
One in the larger thought of God;—

The freer step, the fuller breath,
The wide horizon's grander view;
The sense of Life that knows no death,—
The Life that maketh all things new.
(Hymn 218 and Hymn 542)


Thank you, dear friends who have already given to the needs that we have made known—as well as to those of you who still want to make a big difference in 2019 to CedarS vital work, outreach and blessings!

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