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Let God Preserve You Every Step of “the Way” to the Promised Land!
CEDARS Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: “God the Preserver of Man” for December 7-13, 2009,
by Meg Dendler, C.S., of Houston, Texas
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

[Editor’s Note: The following application ideas for this week and the Possible Sunday School Topics that follow are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free — in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. SIGN UP at]

This week’s Lesson links the events of Moses and the children of Israel leaving Egypt and finally ending up in the Promised Land with God’s caring, guiding, and compassionately-preserving nature. Only portions of the story are shared, but this epic journey is actually great to read from beginning to end. I have vivid memories of curling up in my parents’ bed each night, over a couple of weeks, to have a portion of the story read aloud to me–and understanding all of it. Pick your favorite translation of the Bible and, starting with the prophecy-fulfilling birth of Moses all the way through to the entrance into the Promised Land, just read it through as it would have been shared around the fire for generations before it was ever written down. My favorite video version is the animated “The Prince of Egypt” with Val Kilmer as Moses–and, of course, “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston (a bit cheesy for today’s audiences, but still a great version of the adventure). Take some time this week to become familiar with the WHOLE tale.

[Like when Jesus took time to bring 3 disciples with him “to a high mountain apart” (Matt. 17:1-9), it’s “high time” for us to also commune with Moses (& Elijah) and to soak in their life-lessons of how God sustained them through some very tough times. CEDARS is hosting a summer series of (spiritual-sense) Sustainability Workshops (and also building Stage One of a 600-foot-long version of the Holy Lands) in which we’ll share J.E.M.-stones from Jesus, Elijah & Moses. They each overcame even “the last enemy” or limit of death. Jesus had to feel encouraged by Moses & Elijah’s examples of everlasting identity and was so inspired by their lessons of “leaning on the sustaining infinite” (S-13) that his very being glowed. We too will be aglow as we soak in and apply this inspiring Bible lesson to “ourselves, and our times and obligations”!  Mis. 176:25]

Golden Text (G.T.) — What a glorious promise! We can feel confident and safe, totally free from fear, no matter where in the world we go or what problems are facing us.

[You may want to note “No exceptions!” in the G.T. margin and every time you see such a carte blanche promise in the lesson–like Christine Irby Williams does. She shared this practice a week ago at Creve Coeur church in an inspiring Joint Institutional Committee talk called “Captivity Captive”.]

It is always good to find the context for the Lesson citations–what is going on in the Bible surrounding it–especially for important things like the Golden Text. The words of this GT are actually the conclusion of the message that God sends to Joshua, the man who was willing to go into the Promised Land right from the start and has served God loyally all through the 40 years in the wilderness. Now, Joshua is taking over leadership of the Children of Israel as Moses leaves them. Joshua is entrusted with actually leading all of the tribes into the Promised Land (and leading them into war with the people living there). It might seem like an overwhelming task, but God assures him: “Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take” (The Message). And that is the promise of this whole Bible Lesson. God’s care and love are with each of us every moment, in every place, and in every step of the way.

[These G.T. ideas are wonderful “No exceptions!” quotes to record on 3×5 cards and to memorize for an “Undisturbed!” game that our Sunday School class hopes to develop and share. Thanks for your patience for more in coming weeks.]

Responsive Reading (R.R.) — The portions of Isaiah here are often seen as a prophecy concerning Christ Jesus. Used in that way, it may seem a bit out of place since we will be mostly talking about Moses, but in Section 6 we’ll discuss the fact that Moses promised the coming of Jesus (B-15) and that there is a line of succession between these two thought leaders. Moses brought the law to man, and Jesus expanded on his teachings and brought to the law a sense of grace and truth (B-18). It seems to me that this R.R. is focusing on the fact that God is always providing us with channels for our care and protection. We will be able to hear and see and understand new things that we never would have considered before (Isa. 52:15) through these channels–in this case, Moses and Jesus. Moses led the Children of Israel to freedom from slavery in Egypt, but Jesus gave people the path to total and complete freedom from every material lie that would try to enslave them. Both of these men assured the people: “God will save and care for you!”

[The liberating assurances of these “mountain men” is summarized in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and in Moses’ 10 Commandments from Mount Sinai. Mrs. Eddy wisely chose these good-news messages of salvation as the foundation for the curriculum of Christian Science Sunday Schools (Church Manual p. 62). Grounding in an understanding of the healing authority and stability of the Commandments and Beatitudes gives us “beautiful feet” for our prayers. Our beautiful feet will be always ready to take each God-ordained step-with enough light to just see “One Step at a Time” as Sarah Hyatt shares in a recent Daily Lift.]

Section 1:   Obey Your Mission [–one step at a time–] even if it Seems Impossible
We step right into the story of Moses here with the moment that he is called from his reborn simple life as a shepherd (as opposed to being raised in the royal palace of Egypt) to return to his homeland and lead the Children of Israel out of several centuries of slavery. In the complete text, Moses argues with God that there is no way he can do this huge job – and why would the people even follow him if he tried. In line with our subject this week, God assures him: “Certainly I will be with thee:…” (B-2).  [Why not learn this “by heart”?]  Moses is poised to learn what S-5 states so confidently: “No power can withstand divine Love.”  [Why not learn this “by heart”?]  Divine Mind will care for His creation (S-4) and that care certainly involves freeing man from every form of bondage and enslavement. The S&H citations link freedom to truth (both in caps as God and in lower case). The straight and narrow way to freedom is to follow the leadings of truth (S-4), and Truth will bring the elements of liberty into our experience to aid us (S-5), as it did for Moses. God’s power brings freedom and protection, and we can experience that care now.

Section 2: God Will Take You ALL the Way [–every step and every leap!]
Now we take a HUGE leap through chapters and chapters of the story, to the point where Moses has already gained the confidence to follow God’s directions, returned to Egypt, through God’s power and might convinced Pharaoh to let the slaves go, and now they are all heading on their way to the Promised Land. But when the personal influence of Moses is gone (possibly Pharaoh attached the plagues to some power of Moses instead of to God), Pharaoh has a change of heart and decides to challenge God’s government one more time and bring the slaves back by force. But God’s preserving power does not leave the people vulnerable. Again, read the WHOLE story, because it is really cool–with a pillar of smoke and fire and the total destruction of Pharaoh’s army. God does not take us halfway to happiness and harmony. Whatever God’s plan for us, He will help us overcome every obstacle and lead us in the right pathway. “With God all things are possible” (S-6). The fulfillment of God’s agenda is not a miracle in the way that we use that word now, but it is certainly an awe-inspiring sign and wonder. In the end, the Lord (not Moses) saved His children, because Love, God, is the liberator (S-8).

[I’ll always remember how Ruth Huff, my mom and the Founder of CEDARS, asked God for a sign that starting the camp in 1961 was His plan and time and that my grand-dad’s “Ozark oasis” was the place. After a rainy 7-hr. drive to CEDARS, we were convinced when the sun shone brightly on an arrow-shaped cloud throughout our scouting visit. A steady rain started as we left.]

Section 3: “How is it that you have no faith?”
(Mark 4:40)
You’d think the Children of Israel would trust Moses without question by this point. After the plagues, that little parting-the-sea thing, [the pillars of cloud and of fire], all the wonders that they had experienced first-hand-well, you’d just think they’d be ready to see the next thing God could do for them. Instead, they start grumbling. And they grumble every time they don’t immediately get what they want. Of course, God does not take us half of the way. Water, bread, and meat are provided. But what is also interesting (but not included in the Lesson) is that they couldn’t stockpile the food. They had to trust that God would sustain them day by day (S-10). Anything they tried to hold overnight (just in case God forgot about them the next day) would get moldy and have worms in it (YUCK!). The only time they could get more than they could immediately eat was for the Sabbath, so that they would not need to “work” by collecting food. That’s a pretty good wonder! And God didn’t provide only for the good and obedient people. EVERYONE was sustained and provided for (S-12). This need to lean on God and not fuss and bother about the future is wonderfully put to music in our hymnal (#46 & #47) to remind us that: “Day by day the manna fell/O, to learn this lesson well/Still by constant mercy fed/Give me, Lord, my daily bread.” It’s a lesson of trust in God’s protection and care that we still need to be reminded of. Don’t grumble; just gather the manna of today–all of the good at hand. “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (S-13). BIG!! Not skimpy or limited or only for certain people. FULL of blessings. Gather it all up!

Section 4: “No Worries”–When We Obey the Law
It may seem odd to link laws and commandments with liberty, but that combination is actually very prevalent in the Bible-especially in the Psalms. Obedience to good is what brings freedom and joy and harmony. The Ten Commandments (B-12) are generally seen to be about two things: God’s relationship with man and man’s relationship with each other/his neighbor. The first four commandments are about God and man. The rest are about how we are to interact with and treat each other if we are going to honor man as God’s creation.

[Click here to see cool, new graphic illustrations as you hear from Barry Huff a “short and sweet” summary of the context and possible applications of the 3rd Commandment. It is a TMCYouth-sponsored Sunday School resource for students of all ages. It illustrates a part of our “vertical” relationship to God. Click here to see “totally rad”, new graphics as you hear the context and possible applications of the 6th, 7th and 8th Commandments also on the Website. They illustrate essential guidelines for our “horizontal” relationships to our fellow men.]

These rules are the “straight and narrow way” (S-18) that lead to a life in line with God’s goodness and blessings. When we sin or wander away from that pathway, then we lose sight of that relationship with God and who we are as His creation (S-15). But when we are aware of our inalienable right to total liberty, we are free from all suffering and slavery to mortal, material law. Then we will be able to bear witness to the goodness of God–all the blessings that divine Love is providing every moment. And when we can see it, we can experience it. Then we will only be aware of what is real and harmonious and eternal (S-18).

Section 5: Demand Freedom from ALL Slavery
In this Bible citation, we have a bit of a recap of the story of Moses and the Children of Israel (since we didn’t have it all in the Lesson). MyBibleLesson says that these verses are a part of a prayer being given by the priest, Ezra, after the later generations of the Children of Israel have returned to Jerusalem after yet-another captivity–this time in Babylon. Ezra is reminding the people that God is always caring for them, even when they are difficult and grumble like their ancestors did while wandering in the wilderness. The S&H citations relate this care to all of us here today. Like the Children of Israel, we can all be led through our own personal wildernesses (and we all have moments when we feel like we are alone, lost, and wandering) and can be guided out of a material sense of life and existence, up to all the wonders and glories and care and safety that God has ready for us every moment (S-20). When we understand that, as children of God, our heritage is one of freedom, not slavery–then we will stand up for it. We will demand our “God-given dominion over the material senses” and “assert (our) freedom in the name of Almighty God” (S-21). Then we can stop grumbling and wandering and worrying, and we will clearly see the fulfillment of the Scriptural promise that the Kingdom of Heaven (Promised Land) is already here, now, and within us right this moment.

Section 6: Grace is Natural, and Normal, and YOURS!
As we discussed earlier, B-15 talks about the fact that Moses promised that a prophet would come, like him, and that future generations should pay attention to what this prophet had to say. Christians feel that this “prophet
[like unto me”] is Christ Jesus. [See Deut. 18:15. You might want to explore the ways that Jesus’ many miracles reminded Israelites of Moses’ manna and water miracles as Cobbey Crisler suggested in his “Walk to Emmaus” Bible talk.] The next citations confirm this by citing Jesus’ healing works and power, and B-18 relates his teachings as the next logical step beyond what Moses taught. It was a struggle for the Children of Israel to grasp the very basic laws that Moses gave them. They rebelled frequently and doubted even more times. For hundreds of years, just learning the lessons that Moses taught was enough. But, when it was time to take another step in understanding, Jesus came to “kick things up a notch” and to push us farther (or, as Warren would say, out of our comfort zones and into our growth zones!!). This section goes back to the fact that all these “miracles of grace” are simply natural demonstrations of God’s law, which is always governing and caring for man. The whole Lesson closes with a statement that graces the walls of most Christian Science branch churches: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (S-26). Through divine Love, fetters fall and we, in this present generation, can feel freedom from slavery to every material law–from all sickness and disease and disorder of every kind. Healing like this may sound miraculous to someone who has never felt the healing touch of the Christ (and I hope each of you has felt it personally, even if just a tiny bit), but Mrs. Eddy assures us that there is nothing unbelievable going on in healing. The end of S-26 could be paraphrased: “The wonders of grace are not out of the ordinary to God.” We can expect to experience every wonder of grace, every caring touch of divine Love.

At the end of the sessions when I have worked [as a Resident Practitioner] at CEDARS, I have been asked to share a quick “MET” with the kids before they head home on Saturday morning–sort of a benediction for their travels. The first time, I reached quickly for what was right at hand. Whenever we took a trip, my father would always pray with us the Psalm that opens this Bible Lesson (B-1). But I only had a copy of The Message left unpacked, so I turned to how this Psalm was stated there. What I found has become my traditional last word to the campers, and I have them echo it back to me line by line using “me” instead of “you.” Read it aloud to yourself like {this}:

Conclusion to Psalm 121 from The Message: “God guards you {me} from every evil, he guards your {my} very life. He guards you {me} when you {I} leave and when you {I} return, he guards you {me} now, he guards you {me} always.”

And this is true for each of YOU!–when you leave, when you return, now, and always!!! Have a fabulous week walking with Moses and the Children of Israel, and learning about God’s loving and protecting and preserving power.

[This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who were blessed this summer at CEDARS–as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or find it weekly on our website. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships for such inspirational opportunities.
Your support is always tax-deductible and appreciated–but this year and month your help is especially needed! Precious donors have challenged us to raise $25,000 by year-end for our “Maintenance Musts” in order to receive a Matching $25,000 Grant! So, during this ideal time before snow flies, and with several gifts already in, we are happily starting needed “Maintenance Must” projects. We look to God–and to friends like you–to keep them going.
With no delay please “freely give” today, in your chosen way:

1) Write a tax-deductible check payable to CedarS Camps and mail it to the office: 1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011; or
2) Call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162
to charge your gift or to discuss any short-term or long-term gift that you are considering; or
3) CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK with an online gift using, which can be funded using a Visa or Mastercard account.]

[Camp Director’s Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 9-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner’s ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the “Possible Sunday School Topics” come in a subsequent email.) This weekly offering is intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and 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, application 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 and background as well as new angles on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at or The citations referenced (i.e. B-1 and S-28) from this week’s Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-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 the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]
Warren Huff, Camp Director (636) 394-6162


P.S.S.T.-[Use Jesus’ method to cast out evil with the authority of “the finger of God” that wrote each Commandment! See PS]
Possible Sunday School Topics
for “God the Preserver of Man”
the Christian Science Bible Lesson for Dec. 13, 2009
By Amy Robbins, St. Louis, MO [with bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

PSST for the Golden Text
Why do we not need to be afraid? What comfort and courage comes from knowing that God is with us always? What are some examples of how you’ve experienced God with you, showing that you can “be strong and of a good courage”?

PSST for the Responsive Reading
What does it mean to “know my (God’s) name”? Why is it so important to know someone’s name? How does that change your relationship? What does knowing God’s name say about your relationship with God?
      [Click to hear Barry Huff’s “short and sweet” summary about knowing and using God’s name with cool new graphics for the the 3rd Commandment.]      Side note:  What did the Jews call God (Yahweh)?   [This is answered in Barry’s illustrated TMCYouth podcast.]    Wherever you go God will be with you [as well as “before you: and… rereward”. God even “has your back” – just like a “best-ever friend” would! Hymnal #224:1]       What are some ways that you have witnessed or felt God’s presence and protection? As you read through the lesson, look for the references to our freedom in each section (there is more than one per section!). Think about how God preserving us makes us free, and what it frees us from.

PSST for Section 1 – [Let God’s light of Love Lead You out of Slavery!]
What must have been going through Moses’ head when he saw the burning bush? What would you do if you saw a burning bush?     [“The menorah is said to represent the burning bush which Moses saw, as related in the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh). Historically, there was a menorah used for ritualistic purposes in Jerusalem during the time of the Temple. This menorah burned olive oil…” A Jewish celebration of the victory of good over evil -in the reclaiming of the holy land against all odds –is called Hanukkah (which last from Friday, December 11-19th). It is also a celebration of lasting light since a day’s supply of olive oil in a menorah burned for 8 days-similar to “the bush (that) was not consumed.” (B-2) The “Principle that operates unspent” fuels the everlasting light from the menorah and the burning bush which are great symbols for those working towards “green” sustainability and for CedarS Spiritual Sense Sustainability Workshops-our 2010 theme. Read Mrs. Eddy’s definition of lasting OIL (S&H 592:25) and watch for more in coming months.]

When God calls us [with an angel message or special sign] do we–like Moses–really say, “Here I am”? How can we make that regular effort? What would that require of us? God tells Moses that he is to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt, and Moses responds, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh…” Have you ever been asked to do something but feel like you aren’t cut out for that job? What comfort do you think Moses felt when God assured him that He would be with him? What are you capable of when you know that God is with you at all times? Give an example of an experience that you have had, or how you can apply this at school. [Click for an illustrated testimony on how the 9th Commandment helped a student turn around a hated class and conflict.]

In S-1, Mrs. Eddy writes, “God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more?” The easy answer is no. Is there more than Love? Is there such a thing as more than all? The citation goes on to explain that God always does good and right, no matter what. Why does this matter to us? What about in S-5 when she states that “no power can withstand divine Love.” Give an example of how you’ve seen this happen.

PSST for Section 2 [Let Love’s light remove all barriers and limits!]
How do you think the children of Israel felt being pursued by the Egyptians and heading towards the Red Sea? Do you ever feel trapped or stuck? Moses gave the children of Israel three directions; fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. (B-4). How can we follow these three directions in our own experience? How will they help to both comfort us and help us out of situations where we feel trapped or stuck? In Section 1, we talked about God being all. If this is true (and we know it is), how does this help us to not be afraid, to fear not? When we trust that God is all and God is Love, it’s easier to not be afraid, and to be prepared to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Have you ever had this happen to you?

Citation S-6 says that “with God all things are possible.” Is this something that we inherently know to be true, and expect to see regularly, or do we limit what God can do? Think about what all really is, and how we see it in our daily experience. What is a miracle? Webster’s defines miracle as “An event or effect contrary to the established constitution and course of things, or a deviation from the known laws of nature; a supernatural event, or one transcending the ordinary laws by which the universe is governed.” In other words, a miracle is something that can’t be explained in any way other than it being God’s work. Citation S-7 explains that “a miracle fulfills God’s law, but does not violate that law.” Do we always remember and expect to see God’s law fulfilled, or are we surprised, and say it’s a miracle? What is your expectation of God? What sets us free? (S-8)

PSST for Section 3 – [Let Love’s light supply your every need!]
Why do you think that the children of Israel started complaining in the wilderness? (B-6) Do we ever doubt that God is in control? Do we ever want to go back to a not-so-great situation, rather than trusting God unconditionally? If God gives food and water in the wilderness to a group of people that aren’t expressing any thanks or gratitude, what can we expect when we actually are trusting and thanking God regularly? God preserves us when we don’t have what we need. Do we have to do anything to earn or deserve this provision? In a country where the economy is still struggling and the holiday season is at hand, why does this matter to us? How do we know that God will provide everything that we need, no matter what?

Are we more inclined to turn to God when we have lots of great things going on around us, or when we have challenges? (S-9) Think about when a child turns to his or her parents. What would a parent do to care for their child? How much more does God do for His/Her children? Think back to Section 1, where we talked about God is Love and God being all. How does that apply? Why is it important to recognize that God blesses every single one of His/Her children? What does it mean in citation S-12 when Mrs. Eddy writes that “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals”? Are blessings only for certain people and not for others? What is your definition of “big”? What are some ways to see today as “big with blessings” (S-13)?

PSST for Section 4-[Let Love’s light show you 10 areas where it’s unwise to skate! See PPS]
Why do we keep God’s law (B-9)? What is the benefit of following God’s directions, or pattern? [Check out the “Daily Lift” by Lois Marquardt called “Pattern by Life” to be in sync with the “pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.” (Ex. 25:40)] What is so important about the 10 Commandments? (B-12) Do you see the 10 Commandments as limiting or as freeing? [Barry Huff presents all ten as “The Top Ten Ways to be Free” in a series of TMCYouth podcasts.] If you follow the Commandments, what good will you experience? Why do we often want to rebel against them? Why do you think God gave the Commandments to the children of Israel? Why are they significant to us today? There’s so much to dive into with the 10 Commandments. Look deeply at each Commandment and ask yourself, “how am I living this regularly?” [If you have a laptop and Wi-Fi access, you may want to consider sharing with students new, “totally-rad” graphics as you hear the context , “resonant examples” and possible applications of the 6th, 7th and 8th Commandments as a TMC-Youth sponsored Sunday School resource.] Consider that perhaps these aren’t just commands for us to follow, but promises of good that we witness in our experiences, that we will not kill or steal or covet what isn’t ours, because of the infinite blessings from God. Another way of thinking about it is that the statement isn’t “you should not kill”, but you just plain cannot kill, because you are incapable of doing anything but good. How does this change how you look at the Commandments? Citation B-13 encourages us to follow the Commandments for our blessing and benefit, so that God can continue to preserve us. Is this valuable?

What does it mean to be “present” or “with the Lord” (S-14)? How do you feel present with God on a regular basis? Look at S-16. What would make us captive? What sets us free? How do we maintain our freedom, and end human bondage? Citation S-17 talks about how the Christianly scientific man can be a law unto himself. Note the marginal heading over this section: “The panoply of wisdom”. Panoply is defined as something that covers and protects completely, typically a complete suit of armor. How do we arm ourselves with wisdom and laws of God? When we are wearing the panoply of wisdom, what good will we experience?

PSST for Section 5-[Let Love’s light lead you through the wilderness of disobedience and of “Loneliness; darkness; doubt.” After this material sense definition of Wilderness (S&H 597: 16, Geith Plimmer, a past Christian Science lecturer from Great Britain emphasized that Mrs. Eddy uses a “full stop” (British for the punctuation Americans call a period.) When we are really ready for loneliness and doubt to come to a full stop, we’ll be ready to make a change-which happens in a passageway where changes happen-called the vestibule of Spiritt by Christine Irby Williams in her great inspirational talk “Captivity Captivre”]
What happened with the children of Israel? Did they regularly and consistently follow God’s direction? Do we ever stray from what God asks us to do? What does God do when we make mistakes? In citation B-14 Ezra’s prayer describes God as “ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great patience”. This is a God who loves us unconditionally, filled with grace and compassion for us. Whenever we make a mistake, God forgives us. What kind of comfort is this for us? On the other hand, how can we make sure that we just do the right thing in the first place? Think about how many mistakes the children of Israel made. God was always there to help them out when they did the wrong thing. What do you think would have happened if they had just done the right thing the whole time? How long do you think they would have been in the wilderness? What good do we see in our lives when we follow God without any distractions?

Look at the definition of children of Israel in S-19. A key part is that they have “wrestled with error, sin, and sense”. What are some ways that you have wrestled with error, sin, and sense in your own experience? How have you been blessed as a result of this wrestling? How are we led and guided just like the children of Israel were? This section once again talks about freedom (S-21). What are we free from when we trust God? What are some examples of the enslavement of man? What else is “not legitimate” besides the enslavement of man? (S-21) How can you spot what is not legitimate? How do we enter our “heritage of freedom”?

PSST for Section 6-[Let Love’s light -or grace–change everything-turn captivity upside down!]
Citation B-15 talks about how God sent Jesus to bless the world. How is this an example of God preserving man? What are some of the ways that the Christ blesses us? Think about what Jesus did during his ministry (B-16)? What were the long-term effects of these healings? Remember that the healing of Simon’s wife’s mother occurred before Jesus asked Simon to be one of his followers. How do you think that healing affected Simon? How do you think it must have felt to have your first interaction with Jesus be witnessing a healing of one of your family members? This is how the early workers in the Christian Science movement shared Christian Science with so many people, by actively healing and teaching. What are you doing to share and preach the good news?

What gave Jesus authority to heal and preach (S-22)? Do we have that same authority ourselves? How do we claim it? What are some of the ways that Christian Science frees us from “servitude to an unreal master” (S-24)? What are some examples that you have witnessed in your own experience? What does the statement “the miracle of grace is no miracle to Love” (S-26) mean to you? Give some examples of the “miracle of grace”. How can we feel that grace every day? How is the miracle of grace an example of how God preserves us? The statement “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” is found on the walls of most Christian Science churches. Why do you think this is? What is so significant about this statement? How have you witnessed divine Love meeting all of your needs?

[P.S. The “Finger of God” wrote the Top Ten Laws of Healing: Jesus said that he cast out devils, not by Beelzebub, but by “the finger of God.” (Luke 11:20) Bible Scholar Cobbey Crisler pointed out that “the finger of God” was what wrote The Ten Commandments (Ex. 31:20). What a great hint Jesus gave us about the authoritative, healing power of obeying the 10 Commandments! No wonder that Mary Baker Eddy writes that “Obedience to these commandments is indispensable to health, happiness, and length of days.” ~ Mis. 67:15
What problem(s) would you like to see healed ASAP? Can you find in the lesson or in the links in CEDARS application ideas a way to better keep each of God’s laws (commandments) that will bring about healing by “the finger of God”?]

[PPS Like warning signs of thin spots on a frozen lake. “The Ten Commandments have been compared to signs on a frozen lake, pointing out spots where the ice is thin. God is saying to these people who have just been freed from slavery that you can ice-skate on the whole lake of freedom except for these ten areas of thin ice which will abruptly end your freedom skate.” (Barry’s podcast, ibid.)
Q. Which warning signs/commandments do your friends choose to ignore? How can you help them without coming off as “holier than thou?” Do you have an obligation to warn them of the danger? (A. S&H 571:12, 452:10)]

[PPPS Click here to look back at CEDARS Met for the classic, first lesson of the New Year on the 10 Commandments that Craig Ghislin summarized very well. At the very end of CEDARS Met for this January 4, 2009 Bible Lesson is my take as a registered architect on the Ten Commandments. It is an invitation to look at each one as if it were one of God’s architectural building specifications to preserve the quality of His product and to guarantee its perfection forever. It encourages looking hourly for new ways to live up to these specs for your highest identity as “God’s building.” (I Cor. 3:9)]

Warren Huff, Executive Director The CedarS Camps
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