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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Weekly Bible Lesson on Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?  For 6/24/07

Prepared by Janet Hegarty, CS of St. Louis, MO 

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!   You can sign up free to have these mets emailed to you in English by Monday or in French or Spanish by Wednesday: CHECK FOR A FREE TRANSLATION of this weekly “met” offered in FRENCH by Pascal Bujard of Switzerland AND NOW in SPANISH by Ana Arcioni of Spain. 

Golden Text:  The earth belongs to God.  The question in the lesson subject this week – “Is the universe including man evolved by atomic force?” – has a question behind it:  Is everything composed and evolved of matter? or is everything the outcome of Mind, God?  Christian Science answers with this sentence from the scientific statement of being: “All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all.” (SH 468)  Can Mind include matter?  No.  Then we know that the earth that belongs to God is not a thing or a group of things, but rather it is the outcome of Mind — composed of God’s thoughts.  (Here’s another way we love to adapt and apply the Golden Text: “The CedarS is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the cabins and the corrals and they that dwell therein.”)


Responsive Reading: “The heavens declare the glory of Him who made all things.” (Hymn 329)  Nature, the reflection of God’s thought, is our teacher.  The evidence of God’s glory surrounds us.  To learn about the good and loving nature of God the Psalmist encourages us to look at our natural surroundings.  Animals and flowers of infinite beauty and variety are right outside our window.  The landscape produces majestic scenes in every season.  The sun and the moon give us light without fail and the stars forever smile on us to cheer the night.  As we consider these natural phenomena, it is apparent that the creative power of the universe is intelligent and good.  Psalm 97 invites us to sing to God, the creative Mind and Principle of all that is.  In her book The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, Mary Baker Eddy says, “Beloved Christian Scientist, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them.  It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full.” (page 210)  Let’s keep our minds filled with the glory and praise of God!  We will never be “confounded,” fooled into believing that matter and supposed matter-based laws are real, when our thought is filled with songs of God, Spirit.  Look, learn, and sing a song of rejoicing!


Section 1:  The evolution of Mind.  In this section we are again invited to “sing” to God who is: full of glory; great beyond compare; the creator of the heavens; full of majesty; a king who reigns for ever; the one and only creator of the earth and man; an all powerful, righteous guide; the only power. (B1, 2, 3)  God who made the heavens is compared to “all the gods of the people (which) are idols.” (B1)  The definition of “idol” in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary includes this description: “a form or appearance visible but without substance.”     The idols, which can be seen, are lifeless, mindless, powerless creations of men.  Though God cannot be seen, all that He creates is true enduring spiritual substance.  Pay close attention to the use of the word evolve in the citations from Science and Health.  Evolution is “the act of unfolding or unrolling.” (The Student’s Reference Dictionary)  Matter has no power within itself by which to evolve.  God, Mind, Life, is the only power of evolution, unfolding spiritual ideas.


Section 2:  The metaphysical basis. (S12)  Mrs. Eddy describes the metaphysical basis as “looking away from matter to Mind as the cause of every effect.” (S12)  This is the keynote of this section and this idea is also included in the first Bible citation (B5).  Dummelow paraphrases this citation from Hebrews as follows, “Faith enables us to perceive the invisible cause of the phenomenal world.”  What we see comes from a source or cause that we cannot see.  As we seek to learn about this cause (God, Mind), that we cannot see, we also discover the true spiritual nature of what we do see.  In the place of the material elements (earth, air, water & fire), that seem to have evolved by a material processes, we find that in Truth these elements are representatives of God. (S5)  Earth, we discover, is the expression of “eternity” (S7); River, the movement of God’s “thought “(S8); Wind, “God’s spiritual government” embracing all (S9); Fire, trials “purifying and elevating man.” (S10)  The Bible citation from 2Peter gives a vivid description of the moment when all material elements will be dissolved.  However, vs. 13 points out we need not be afraid because those who seek the spiritual will already be fully conscious of the wholly spiritual nature of existence. (B6)  On page 291 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy concurs, “No final judgment awaits mortals, for the judgment day of wisdom comes hourly and continually, even the judgment by which mortal man is divested of all material error.”  Seek what is not seen and you will find real substance.


Section 3:  Oh, My! What did you put in the soup?  Elisha was having dinner with “the sons of the prophets.” (B10)  These were young people who were trained to be helpers in the prophet’s work. (Dummelow)  Prophets and their trainees were sometimes supported by private donations or as in this case they relied on the fruits that grew in the wild for their food. (The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible)  At this gathering someone had picked up some bad gourds that were considered to be poisonous.  When this became evident to the group, fear swept over them.  Elisha was calm knowing that God’s creation did not include anything dangerous for his children.  Perhaps as a means of teaching this truth to the trainees, instead of throwing out the soup and starting over, he simply added meal to the existing soup.  His perfect perception of the goodness of God’s creation and his untroubled response to the situation removed the fear. (B10)  Let’s be alert to any bad gourds in our thinking – the things that make us afraid.  Then like Elisha, let’s neutralize these errors with Truth, (S14) cast out the fear through an understanding of the pure goodness of God’s creation. (S17)


Section 4:  A good example to follow.  Elisha definitely had a clear understanding of the spiritual reality of the elements and man’s God-given dominion with regard to them.  He parted the waters, caused an iron ax head to float, and supplied water for a large army during a drought.  His spiritual understanding gave him power to cast out the false beliefs that others readily accepted and suffered from.  In this section he is in a city that suffers from poor water quality.  He pours a bowl of salt into the spring of water and the water is healed. (B13)  The bowl of salt was merely a symbol for the God ordained purity of the water. (Dummelow)  One bowl of salt could never reach throughout the entire water system and create a chemical correction.  Elisha was confident in God’s Love. (S19)  His uplifted thought removed the imposition of the people’s false beliefs about the water.  They had “endowed matter with vague spiritual power.” (S21) But, as Science and Health points out, “we cannot really endow matter with what it does not and cannot possess.” (S21)  Follow Elisha’s example, make a confident stand for the power of perfect Love, harmony, and goodness.  This will bless you and all those whose lives you touch.


Section 5:  By His wisdom and love God made the universe and man.  What, then, is there to be afraid of?  This section opens with a description of what God is from Jeremiah:  true; living; everlasting; creative; wise; powerful; the only cause. (B15)  Add to this Mrs. Eddy’s description of the love of God from section four (S18, 19) and it is clear that the power which created and rules the universe and man is both powerful and gentle, a kind king, all good in substance and action.  So where does all the fear come from?  Fear comes from false beliefs – the idea that even though God is all-powerful there are other powers – and the fear of them.  We need to decide what we accept as Truth. (S23)  Then, remove the false fears from our consciousness. (S24)  There’s no need to be afraid.  Set your thought on God and His all power.  Then, you won’t be fooled into believing in false fears.


Section 6:  “As gold by fire is tested.”  Hymn 15 continues, “Its purity shown forth, So cleansing fires of Truth may prove To man his native worth.”  The thought of being tested and baptized by fire can seem negative and somewhat alarming.  This does not mean literally with fire and the spiritual significance of this concept reveals the depth of God’s love for man.  Let’s take a closer look.  Warren shared that former Daycroft School Headmaster and Bible scholar B. Cobbey Crisler gave these helpful insights on the baptism by fire reference in Luke. (B21)  Here John the Baptist states that Jesus “will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (Luke 3:16)  Cobbey said that this refers to a harvest time practice still used in less developed countries in order to separate the useless chaff from the wheat.  First, a fire is built downwind.  Then, the mixed-up mess is taken to the highest point and tossed into the air using a pitchfork-looking fan (see S&H definition, p. 586).  The lighter chaff is blown by the pneuma (wind or Holy Ghost) into the fire so that it will no longer circulate, while the heavier wheat falls into a pile to be made into bread.  Cobbey always noted that it was man’s responsibility to take the mixed-up mess of our daily harvest of thoughts up to the highest place and lift it heavenward.  It was God’s (Pneuma’s) job to do the separating, and not ours.  


In a similar way, the process of refining gold and silver makes them far more beautiful and useful.  The refiner knows the process of dross removal is complete when He can see His own reflection on the surface of the molten metal.  In both the refining and harvesting analogies, the function of fire is not a promise of coming destruction, but a promise of progress.  Who is it that will do the refining?  “The Christ … — yea, the divine image and likeness.”  (S&H 332:11)  We know the Christ is a healer manifesting the Love of God.  We certainly don’t need to be afraid of that, we even hope for the presence of the Christ in our lives.  So this is good news then.  The verses from 1Corinthians continue this theme.  In this paraphrase from The Message you can see that the point is not for any of us to be destroyed, but for each of us to prove we are the image of God:  “Eventually there is going to be an inspection.  If you use cheap or inferior materials, you’ll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won’t get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn’t, your part of the building will be torn out and started over.” (B 22)  Don’t fear the spiritual “fiery baptism” of the Christ. (S27)  As with the Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace who only had their bonds burned off, the only thing you will lose in this process are those elements of human character that are restrictive and useless.  The perfect goodness that remains will shine even brighter than ever before! 

Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a 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. 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.   B1 and 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.   Spirituality is your innate estate that connects you moment by moment with God. (See S&H 258:30) Christ is the gift of light that Jesus gave. This Christ light of spiritual understanding comes with and reveals infinite blessings. So, have fun unwrapping and cherishing your very special, spiritual gift(s)!   Then, wherever you are, share them with all as big blessings that make the Infinite difference!


Warren Huff, Camp Director (636) 394-6162


The 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. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support.  Click for more about how you can provide support online or to get information or discuss privately how to make a special gift to help perpetuate CedarS work.

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