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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Christ Jesus"

for Feb. 25-March 3, 2019

By Kerry Jenkins CS House Springs MO
Kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041

Here is the Golden Text from the NRSV translation of the Bible: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;" And "cornerstone" can also be translated as "keystone". Have you ever looked at an old stone building with arches? The stone at the very top that is somewhat V shaped, is the keystone. This is the stone on which the structural integrity of that arch depends. The weight of the arch leans on that stone, and it is the "key" to keeping the arch in place, to the functionality of the arch!

This statement of Jesus' is actually a quote from Psalm 118:22. On great Israelite festival days they would chant several Psalms, including this one, so, I'm thinking that this statement would be one that was quite familiar to Jesus' listeners! Jesus is telling us here, that the integral piece that we need in order to live and heal like he did, was, and is, rejected by those who are living only, or even mostly, on a material level. Rather than rejecting this keystone of Christian living, let's find out, in this Bible lesson, what qualities and habits help us to see and understand the truth that Jesus came to reveal to us. [Attached as a Download to the online version of this Newsletter ias well as to Warren's Post Scripts is a Ken Cooper poem titled "Jesus Our Foundation Strong" based on the Golden Text and the lesson for this week. A narrated version of the poem can be found on Ken Cooper Poetry You Tube https://youtu.be/9C5UYkSD_Yg ]

Right away Isaiah asks us, in the Responsive Reading, who has believed our story–the story of God's goodness, to whom is God's power made visible? And then it supplies a number of answers throughout the Responsive Reading. The "poor and needy"—both literally, and figuratively—are those who are desperate, hungering for comfort, peace, health, joy and so on. Why are these people the ones to whom God is most easily revealed? Well, they are the ones for whom matter has failed to meet their need. They have given up on material solutions and are looking anywhere else. So you might say that their "door" is open to God's message of comfort, to the Christ.

We will learn later in this lesson, some other qualities that help us to see the Christ in action. Together our Golden Text and Responsive Reading this week are setting the stage for us to understand better that we are not "strangers" or "foreigners" to Christ, but that we actually are part of God's own "household". The prophets and apostles before us constitute a rich, strong, powerful, healing foundation, the keystone of which is Jesus Christ himself — his life and example. [W's PS#2]

Section 1: The eternal Christ is saving the world today, no less than when Jesus was here. The question is, do we see this Christ activity, or reject it? [W's PS#3 & #4]

The eternity of the Christ, the "the godliness which animated" Jesus, is here animating us—bringing us life, purpose, understanding, power—today. (S3) Jesus is once again quoting the Old Testament when he speaks to those in the temple in citation B2. He is reading prophetic words and revealing himself as the object of that prophecy. Have you ever heard the saying that "familiarity breeds contempt"? This is an example of that. Jesus is preaching in his hometown of Nazareth. They knew him as the carpenter's son, saw him grow up, play with other boys. How could he possibly be the savior of Israel that is prophesied in the writings of Isaiah?

Is there something of the Christ today that we are rejecting, or are blind to, because we simply think it's too insignificant, familiar, unlikely, to be worth noticing? When we are called upon each day to "love our neighbor as ourselves" and we work like crazy to express that love even when we want to react to something unkind that our brother or sister, mother, father, husband, wife, or friend said…that's an opportunity to accept the simple and powerful call for the Christ to be made visible.

We can take possession of the power that Christ offers us to control our temper, to overcome our impatience, to accept the salvation and peace that Christ Jesus showed was ours from God. Jesus refers to himself as the "light" in citation B3, and Mary Baker Eddy tells us that "the world", that is material sense, didn't even acknowledge his righteousness, because the world, material sense, cannot see the Christ, is blind to this light! (S4)

Just today I witnessed an example of how the Christ spirit can overcome the blindness of anger and frustration. My kids tend to be high on the emotionally volcanic scale, if there is such a thing. Mostly they are full of love, sweetness, silliness and joy. But they also seem to struggle with deep lows, and one, especially, with a volatile temper. We have been working daily to see not only that this is something that is not a true part of his character, but also that, with self-government, (which Mary Baker Eddy describes as government by God, Science and Health p.105:9), he can find genuine freedom and peace in his days, no matter what materially aggressive thoughts knock at the door of his consciousness.

Our 5th section this week tells us more about how the destructive elements of material sense can try to convince us that the Christ is long gone, that the power to heal, and to experience the discipline of God's government and the peace and harmony that come with that, are a thing of the past. But a small example for my son did not pass us by today. He was terribly upset by several events this morning. We sat together and prayed, (for us this might mean me hugging him very tight and closing our eyes and thinking aloud together about how the kingdom of Love is the only thing we have to pay attention to.

We don't need to feel worry or stress, respond to other's impatience or rudeness. We are living in the kingdom of Love, in harmony with Christ. We have the ability to live in that divine harmony no matter what tries to get our attention. He was able to calm down, stop tears, and then followed that by some demanding violin practice with one of his brothers. This kind of ensemble practice is usually a hotbed for anger and frustration. But not today! Even when the going was tough, he showed, through his calm persistence, that the Christ was present and active in our kitchen. We didn't reject this seemingly "small and familiar" opportunity to bear witness to Christ's presence. And the rest of his demanding day has gone on in peace and productivity!

Section 2: What is the prayer that heals? [W's PS#5]

In this section we have the story where Jesus heals the epileptic boy in citation B7. The disciples ask him why they couldn't heal the boy, and between Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy we are given several ingredients that contribute to healing and answer their question. Jesus tells us in citation B6 that we must: 1.deny self 2. take up our cross, and 3. follow him.

He also says that the kind of sickness that was healed here had to be done with "prayer and fasting". (B7) What does that mean for us today? Well, prayer in Christian Science, the kind of prayer that Jesus employed, is a prayer that acknowledges God's allness, goodness, omnipotence. And the fasting part is telling us that material sense gets in the way of seeing this power in action. So we need, basically, to overwhelm our material sense with our sense of Christ's presence and power.

Mary Baker Eddy tells us that some of the ingredients in this healing are: "…absolute faith that all things are possible to God", "a spiritual understanding of Him", "an unselfed love"–all essential ingredients in Christ Jesus' healing power! (S10) In citation S11 she also tells us that using "truthful arguments" and "especially by the spirit of Truth and Love which [we] entertain" we can heal like Christ Jesus. I wonder if these aren't the same requirements that Jesus laid out for his disciples and followers today?

Denying self and "unselfed love" certainly correlate. If we "take up the cross" we are accepting the challenge presented to us and arguing, with understanding, the truth, that there is no power in that cross to harm, kill, sicken, sadden and so on ("all things are possible to God"). And aren't we following Christ Jesus most closely when we are consciously and consistently entertaining "the spirit of Truth and Love"? (S11)

Does this all seem too complicated? We are healing because the laws of God support harmony, health, joy, activity, intelligence. If we were working against God, we couldn't do these things. Jesus was revealing to us that in fact, God created us to be harmonious beings. His view of God and man was demonstrated in healing multitudes!

There are additional simple ingredients in this lesson that help us figure out how to demonstrate this powerful healing love that Christ Jesus illustrated. But for this section let's think of it simply as,
1.denying our false sense of material identity (denying self),
2.willingly, gratefully, joyfully approaching each challenge that comes, knowing that it is not from Love. We are willing to see the challenge/cross as an opportunity to know more about God's all-power, and that's nothing short of a joyous opportunity!
And 3. following Jesus—consciously "entertaining the spirit of Truth and Love." This consciousness effectively wipes away the lie of whatever challenge comes to us.

Section 3: To progress and heal, be childlike. [W's PS#6 & #7]

I think healing hinges on progress. If we are moving forward spiritually, consciousness is being elevated, understanding more about God, and as we are putting into action this new understanding, we find healing. Children are beautiful examples of progress in action. Let's list some childlike qualities: meekness and humility (no strong sense of personality or false self), innocence, enthusiasm and joy for each new day/activity, curiosity, open mindedness, quickness to forgive and forget, expectant of good… these are only a few of the many qualities I'm sure you can think of. Why are these qualities so useful in healing? Because they are ready for the freshness of Truth, unburdened by any accumulation of fearful, material beliefs.

Mary Baker Eddy describes age almost humorously as "…halting between two opinions or battling with false beliefs…" (S14) Halting and battling – these are not happy terms! Can we maybe think in terms of leaping and jumping with joy when we are presented with the temptation to "halt" between human opinions (which MBE tells us are not spiritual p.192:6-7 of Science and Health.) Why should we stop or halt at something that isn't even spiritual, isn't from God? We should not allow material opinions to be stumbling blocks to our spiritual and joyful progress in healing! These opinions might be religious dogma or creeds that have nothing to do with Christian Science, but rather much to do with our opinions of Christian Science.

I find it helpful to go directly to Mary Baker Eddy's writings to determine if what we are thinking is actually Christian Science, or just a human opinion. And "battling"…sometimes we do feel like we are "battling false beliefs". Can we adopt a childlike stance to end that "war"? Most healing comes, in the end, when we recognize the unreality of material belief. What is left to battle when we see that the "enemy" is unreal?

Material belief will always argue that we are limited in our options, that good is limited, sometimes present, sometimes absent. In an ongoing desire to see more joyful love and harmony in my busy life with practice and homeschooling boys, I found that when I stopped going in circles and "battling" with the false belief that there just wasn't enough time, and engaged in genuine, childlike, open thought to all the possibilities, I found a way to bring an hour and a half more time into my day! That's quite a lot! The burden and stress that I'd been entertaining left when I was able to stop the battle with the lie, and articulate in a truly childlike way, what I needed.

My husband, who is a dedicated student of Christian Science (and a great example of childlikeness!!), was the one who came up with a simple solution that opened that space in my day almost a year ago. This has been a daily game changer for me, and for my family. There are many ways that this progress continues in our family, but it comes through that "Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new…" which gives us these "advanced" thoughts from God! (S16)

Section 4: "Hold perpetually" to Christ healing. [W's PS#8]

The only way that we can truly hold onto something is to understand and love it. Mary Baker Eddy says in citation S18 that the reason the "70" that Jesus appointed in citation B13 are not heard from again in the Bible is because "…they never truly understood their Master's instruction." The implication being that if we do understand what the Master Christian is instructing us to do, we could never fall away from being active healers. We do this not out of obligation, duty, dogma or creed,–nor out of a sense of gaining a reward, but out of love and joy in doing such work. This is true in any area of life. If we are taking joy in our day to day lives, following Jesus' example to the best of our ability, we are then bringing the Christ healing touch to all that we do.

Over and over in the Bible we have examples of people experiencing amazing and marvelous examples of Love's care, and then experiencing doubt, sometimes coming back to work, sometimes wandering for forty years as the Children of Israel did. They experienced, first hand, the power and love of God at the Red Sea, with Manna falling from heaven, water from a rock…and yet they lacked a deeper understanding of God, even when given the Ten Commandments by Moses!

Elijah witnessed God's answer to his call for fire when he was trying to prove God's reality to the prophets of Baal (1Kings chapter 18)—and then wandered into the desert and asked God to take his life! (He, of course rallied and went on to more, great Christly works—when he gained a truer understanding of God at the cave in the wilderness!) (1Kings 19) The difference in these examples may lie in Elijah's willingness to delve into demonstration of God's nature. He healed many people with his understanding and love of God.

In citation S20 Mary Baker Eddy tells us that Christ healing is beyond "frail…human beliefs" and that it is above creed, or rules and religious laws and traditions. There is something more of Love in actually reaching out and healing with the Christ, which reveals the truth of God's and man's nature. We must rejoice in our true identity and demonstrate that in order to continually follow Christ Jesus. Isn't this what Jesus enjoins in citation B13 when he says to rejoice not because "…the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names [your true selves, your God-like identity] are written in heaven."? Our true nature is safe, whole, secure in the kingdom of God. That knowledge is the foundation of healing.

Section 5: Don't be dismayed/"troubled" by matter's chaos and destruction.

Part of learning to heal as Christ Jesus taught is to recognize that matter and material sense are not telling us the true story. I even mentioned the encounter in chapter 19 of 1Kings, where Elijah sees the "earthquake, wind, and fire" and finds that God is not to be found in any of these destructive elements. A few of the things that Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) urges us to do in this section, in order to move toward better Christ healing, include: rejecting material belief (matter's ugly chaos), letting Science triumph over material belief, recognizing the Science of Christ (loving our neighbor as ourselves), and realizing God's omnipotence. These steps certainly overlap with those in earlier sections of this lesson.

There is not really a choice of how to live, or whether or not to "be" a Christian Scientist here. This is Truth that stands when matter crumbles around us. This is why Christ Jesus continues today as a light to humanity, a model for action and demonstration more than two thousand years later. Jesus set the example for how to respond in life's darkest and most destructive moments. His humble desire to do God's will brought about his resurrection and eventual ascension. We can call on the Christ to help us respond with the same courage in the face of matter's ugliness. As Mary Baker Eddy says in citation S27 "The promises will be fulfilled."

Section 6: Christ is the same throughout eternity. [W's PS#9a, #9b & #10]

Jesus the man may not be here. But the Christ he embodied continues to actively heal today. His presence caused many to follow, crowds to be healed. There is no less a presence of this power to heal today in the living, eternal Christ. What would keep us from—cause us to reject—this powerful, healing love today?

In citation B17 Jesus explains that he is "the way, the truth, and the life:" and he promises that we will do even greater works. Let's root out fear and any "grown up" embattled beliefs, and accept as little children the power and grace that Jesus showed is bestowed on us for all eternity. He revealed that we are a work of God, of Love. We are worthy, spiritual beings that the Christ reveals as already whole, healthy, and joyous. Matter's chaotic and distressing arguments are powerless against God's omnipotence.

We not only have the example that Christ Jesus set for us, but also have Mary Baker Eddy's writings that deepen our spiritual understanding of his work. Our active devotion and love to following the Christ example brings light and healing to the world. Christ Jesus' example, his life, is the keystone for our own present day demonstration of healing and love. We can lean on that stone, it will not fail us.

A humble and hearty thank you to all you good friends who have already given to our advertised needs—as well as to those of you who still want in 2019 to make a big difference in CedarS vital work, outreach and blessings!

We have a wonderful matching gift challenge to meet! You can double your donation by helping CedarS earn our "Adopt the Herd" $75,000 Match for the horses and riding program. (still ~$45,000 to go by Sept. 30, 2019.)

So, if you have been blessed by receiving this inspiration weekly and haven't given lately, or are blessed to be able to give more, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking on https://www.cedarscamps.org/give/.

Current and planned gifts are a huge proof of your ongoing LOVE made visible and are greatly appreciated!! They not only defray the costs of running this service but also provide greatly needed camperships and essential program and operations support.

Please sign up to give whatever you can on a much-needed MONTHLY basis to support CedarS life-changing work! [You can start at any amount and adjust monthly as you wish at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students (tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered church!

With heartfelt gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE, now at 636-394-6162.

or MAIL to our Winter-Spring office address (below) your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization.

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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 above 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! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/meta

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