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View Life from a fresh perspective …Sing a new song and be blessed!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Life”
for January 11-17, 2021

prepared by: Kathy Fitzer
kathyfitzer@gmail.com

Here's AN AUDIO LINK to enable you to hear Kathy Fitzer's read "View Life from a fresh perspective …Sing a new song and be blessed!" It’s her metaphysical application ideas on this week’s Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on “Life” that you can also find at this address: Hear Kathy's "View Life from a fresh perspective …Sing a new song and be blessed!" – CedarS Camps

Singing, rejoicing, and expectation of fresh blessings! To my way of thinking, it doesn’t get any better than that!! Life is pouring forth blessings — caring for all of creation — and providing the new view that heals. As we open our hearts to fresh ideas, we will see what we need to see, and receive all that we need to go forward.

If it ever feels like our prayers are getting stale, the Golden Text offers a solution. We need to be sure we’re not making our prayers about us — either our problems or what we think we need to do to solve them. Instead, we need to let our hearts sing with a sense of freshness and put all the weight of our praise on God! The Message, by Eugene Peterson, says, “Sing God a brand-new song!” (Psalm 96:1, 8) To me, this means to expand our sense of God, praise His infinite nature. Refuse to simply repeat well-known prayers, verses, or phrases (although there is always a place for getting fresh inspiration from well-known words.) LISTEN to what Love is revealing and shout out gratitude for all the good that is present! I find it helpful to pray with the seven names for God given in Science and Health on p. 587, and see how many fresh attributes I can think of for each name. Then, I confidently affirm (and am grateful) that it is these attributes that constitute LIFE — fully reflected in my life, your life, and the lives of all!

The Responsive Reading continues to acknowledge God as a living God — ever-present, deserving our praise, and giving us fresh inspiration. We rejoice that God will never withhold anything good from us … and pray that we will continue to love doing God’s will, keep His law in our hearts, seek Him, and magnify His goodness. When something is magnified sufficiently, all else disappears. Then, all we can see is what has been enlarged in thought — divine Life!

SECTION 1: Life is God — Choose Life to experience renewal!

Again, we’re told to sing a new song (citation B2; Ps. 98:1). The word new, as used here, comes from the Hebrew word, chadash, meaning “to be made new”, or fresh, but can also be thought of as meaning, “causatively, to rebuild.” I love that sense of rebuilding as we deal with the temptations to feel discouraged or impatient, wondering when a healing will come, or when things will “get back to normal.” Rebuilding holds so much more promise than just getting back to something!

The verses included from Isaiah 52 are full of promise. Jerusalem is being restored after years of suffering in exile at the hands of the Babylonians (cit. B3; Isa. 52: 9, 10). Earlier, King Hezekiah fought valiantly to resist Assyrian take-over, and was also saved from a life-threatening illness by “reminding” God that the dead can’t praise him … only the living! Thus, it was important for him to live. He was, of course, healed (cit. B4; Isa 38: 18-20). In his farewell speech, Moses tries to warn the people that they can’t think about the future in terms of averting catastrophe, but in terms of renewal and recovery even after the worst has happened. He asserts how important it is to love God, obey him, and cling to him because God “is thy life” (cit. B6; Deut. 30: 19, 20).

So, no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we must “choose life” because only through living are we able to love God and obey him. Over a thousand years later, Mary Baker Eddy would reiterate that God is the only Life, and so must be eternal and self-existent (citation S1; Science and Health 330: 11-12). We also learn, “neither Life nor man dies, and … God is not the author of sickness” (cit. S2; 289: 32). And finally, she writes, “We all must learn that Life is God.” (cit. S5; 496: 9) Life is forever unfolding good, promise, and comfort. It is forever new. So … during these times when it is easy to focus on disease, death, divisiveness, limitation, and destruction, let’s recognize that no one can ever be separated from infinite Life, God. Refuse to be afraid … knowing that God is light and is perpetually saving His children (cit. B1; Ps. 27: 1). Choose to see and celebrate Life as uninterruptible, undivided, bearing witness to evidence of rebuilding going on here, now, and always! Let’s keep the message of the opening line of Hymn 135 from the Christian Science Hymnal close to our hearts, and sing it from the rooftops: “I know no life divided, O Lord of life from thee; In Thee is life provided for all mankind and me:”

SECTION 2: God’s complete care for us is not dependent on material circumstances.

After declaring that no moisture would be available — in the form of dew or rain — the prophet Elijah is directed to a wadi, a dry riverbed that would presumably only be full of water during the rainy season. And, yet, it provided water for him as long as he needed it. Ravens are birds of prey — an unlikely source to bring food to share. And, yet, these were the sources of provision for Elijah (cit. B8; I Kings 17: 1-6). To me, there is a lesson here to not judge our circumstances, or look for solutions, based on “normal” expectations.

God doesn’t work within “normal” constraints. Our needs aren’t met by standard material means. God sustains us through His Word (cit. B10; Deut. 8: 3). Are we willing to take a fresh look at our circumstances and accept solutions that don’t correspond to what we’ve come to expect? Do we judge according to outward appearances, or take a fresh look through the lens of Spirit to see what God has in store for us, being willing to consider the most unlikely solutions?

I see this sentence from Science and Health as key … “We cannot deny that Life is self-sustained, and we should never deny the everlasting harmony of Soul, simply because, to the mortal senses, there is seeming discord” (cit. S8; 390: 4-9). Simply put … refuse to accept the mortal testimony! We are now and are always sustained by God — and God has infinite solutions (cit. S9; 530: 5-7). That doesn’t mean just lots of solutions … it means there is no limit to God’s solutions!

So … let’s remember to start by rejoicing in this unlimited nature of Life that loves to provide for man! We (ALL) “are subject to the divine ‘powers that be’” (cit. S10: 249: 6-9). Keeping our thought open, and refusing to give in to doubt, fear, or discouragement, we can expect to be cared for as naturally as Elijah was — and perhaps in a way just as unexpected.

SECTION 3: Cultivate the soil of Spirit and of Life and reap a bountiful harvest.

The parable of the sower and the seed can be interpreted at so many levels and from so many different perspectives. Staying with our theme of newness, we have the great opportunity this week to seek a fresh view of this familiar scripture. Hopefully, we can each expect to get fresh insights as the week goes on — as Mind unfolds infinite ideas (cit. B12: Luke 8: 4-8).

As I’m writing this Met, it strikes me to look at the parable specifically from the perspective of the soil. After all, we’re told that the seed sown in good soil — that which was deep and clean and well-prepared — brought about a harvest 100 times the amount of seed sown. Typically, farmers would have been happy with a harvest of 7-10 times what they had planted. So, if the promise is that of a hundredfold harvest, it is worth thinking about what constitutes good soil. If we think about God as the sower, the seed as opportunities or ideas coming to us from God, and the soil as thought, we want to be sure that we are cultivating the purest thought — and therefore the most sincere and productive thought – possible.

Let’s look at what Paul had to say to the church in Galatia. Is the soil we’re preparing constituted of the “flesh” or the “Spirit”? If we are placing our confidence in conclusions based on the “flesh”, we will find ourselves dealing with corruption, that is decay and destruction. In the case of the Galatians, this would have included the belief by some that they needed to be circumcised to truly be a Christian — that following Jesus, and loving as he taught them to love, wasn’t enough. In our case, it could include believing that even though we trust God, we still believe that we live in a mortal body and are subject to material conditions and to the limitations of sin, disease, and death — or to any form of discord or division.

Truly planting our faith in the soil of Spirit, we reap “life everlasting” (cit. B13; Gal. 6: 7, 8). Paul offers more clarification in his letter to the Corinthians where he tells them (and us) that if “any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (cit. B14; II Cor. 5: 16, 17).

Paul is basically saying that we have to stop judging things from the perspective of outward appearances (the flesh). Being in Christ means adopting Jesus’ perspective of his oneness with God, acknowledging that there is nothing impossible to God, breaking down all material barriers, and loving purely and completely — standing firm in the faith that God is all good and the only Life. This brings about a new perspective, revealing God’s reality of abundance, harmony, righteous government, health, and lasting peace and joy.

Mary Baker Eddy reiterates that we will never see this new view of harmony — “rise from the temporal debris of error, belief in sin, sickness, and death” — until we learn that “God is the only Life” (cit. S13; 272: 6-8). There are not two creations — two realities! As we admit that God is the only Mind and the only Life, there is no room for anything but good (cit. S15; 276: 17).

So, what are we waiting for? God is sowing His seed of right ideas and perfection. Yield to the power of Love which is nurturing the soil of your thought. As you admit only that which is based on Truth — based on Life that is eternal, infinite, and all good, the seeds of right ideas and clear views will grow and produce a bountiful harvest, unimpeded by weeds and stones.

SECTION 4: Lay aside the old view of man for the new.

It seems to me that a big part of Jesus’ mission was to reveal to us (and to all of mankind) our genuine relationship to our Father/Mother God. Jesus demonstrated power over sin, disease, and death. He allowed himself to be crucified in order to give all mankind a more abundant sense of life — a realization that man’s life, that springs from Life itself, is eternal and indestructible (cit. B17; John 10:10).

Paul tells the Colossians, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven” (cit. B 18; Col. 3: 1, New Living Translation). He tells them to not lie to each other, but to “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Isn’t it a form of lying if we are seeing ourselves and others as mortals — subject to discord, disease and death? Jesus saw himself and others as made in God’s image. If we’re going to “put on the new man” we need to consistently maintain that view. As we do that, we can expect to experience the kind of dominion over earthly conditions that Christ Jesus experienced, and demonstrated for others.

Recently I was listening to a researcher describe the urgency they felt to develop a vaccine to fight Covid-19. Their love for mankind was clearly evidenced in their passion to use their talents and knowledge to help save their fellow man. I felt compelled to ask myself … am I feeling that same kind of love and urgency to mentally rise above this imposition of disease? Not just for myself, but to see the total impossibility of an invasive virus having the power to attack, disrupt and destroy life?

Are we, as Christian Scientists, putting as much weight and expectation of good in our prayers as Jesus did? Isn’t it through this kind of consecrated prayer that we are to “glorify” (or magnify) God? As we magnify (or glorify) God, all that is un-Godlike (sin, disease, and death) disappears — moves out of the range of view — and cannot harm, interrupt, or destroy life (cit. B16; John 17: 1-3).

We’re told to “shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight” (cit. S17; 246: 27). That is a non-stop, joyous, full-time job that can be done no matter whatever else we are doing. Just keep checking your perspective.

We read in Science and Health the story of a man named Mr. Clark from Lynn, Massachusetts. The medical doctor had given up hope, seeing only a dying mortal. Mary Baker Eddy walked in on the same scene, but approached it from an entirely different perspective. Just as Jesus viewed man as indestructible, so did this modern healer. She perceived that “Life is God and that the might of omnipotent Spirit shares not its strength with matter or with human will” (cit. S19; 193: 1-14, 17-20, 32). Such a view heals! Our world is in need of healing. Let’s be sure we are staying true to what is true by viewing all things from a spiritual perspective, and never giving up!

SECTION 5: Hunger and thirst for the new view!

How badly do we yearn to see things from a fresh perspective of eternal, uninterruptible Life? Jesus taught, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (cit. B20: Matt 5: 6). Do we get as “obsessed” over developing a right relationship with God as we do with a favorite food or drink? Hopefully more so!

As I read the story in this section about the Samaritan woman at the well, of whom Jesus asked for a drink, I tried to look at it from a fresh perspective. The quarrel between Jews and Samaritans was long-standing — having gone on for more than 400 years. And, on top of that Rabbis didn’t talk to women in public — sometimes not even their own wives or daughters! By talking to this Samaritan woman, Jesus was breaking down barriers. And, he went on to compassionately reveal his nature, offering her living water — refreshment that would forever nourish her soul, as well as anyone who would embrace the Christ. When the woman was willing to put aside her pre-conceptions, she recognized that Jesus was the Christ!

So … I asked myself what barriers have I put up that would separate me from either receiving or sharing the Christ, Truth? What pre-conceptions do I have about who might be “receptive” to seeing divine Life as the perpetual spring, or source, of unchanging good in our lives? Or, am I, like the woman, thinking that a bucket or other material remedy is necessary to meet a need? For instance, am I falling for the suggestion that it is necessary for a vaccine to be fully distributed before this pandemic can end? Or, do I recognize that as I hunger and thirst for a right relationship to God (even while following recommended human guidelines,) and recognize that it is natural for all of God’s children to feel the presence of Christ and accept the living water of Truth, then ALL shall be filled — cared for.

Jesus stood firm on that foundation of universal and all-embracing Spirit, that continually bubbles forth Life-giving water. As we give up the foundation of material science (with its limited view, no matter how well-intentioned) and fully embrace the fact that there is one Life that has “no consciousness of the existence of matter or error,” we will glimpse the new view of divine Truth, Life, and Love that “gave Jesus authority over sin, sickness, and death” — and gives us that same authority (cit. S24; 205: 32; S25: 201: 7-9). As we let go of pre-conceptions, and quench our thirst with Truth, nothing can separate us from seeing reality and being healed!

SECTION 6: Lean on the sustaining infinite!

What do we depend on for happiness, health, supply, joy, etc? It’s all too easy to think that all of those things, and more, come from some material circumstance or condition. That’s what the world is telling us all the time, right? But, material conditions are changeable, and leave us subject to all of the “age-old” downfalls and vulnerabilities that mortal sense says life includes.

I, for one, choose to believe the promises of the Psalms that tell us that God loves us, strengthens us, guides us, lights up the dark places, protects us, and commands the blessings of Life to be ours (cit. B24: Ps. 18: 1, 28, 29, 31, 32, 35, 46; cit. B25; Ps. 133: 3).

So, as we begin this new year, let’s agree to stay close enough to the Life that is the only life — the Life that lives us — that we can lean on it, and be sustained no matter what challenges are thrown at us. God is Truth. Anything that doesn’t correspond to the truth of harmonious Life lacks power to influence.

Christmas has recently reminded us that the “new-old idea” of Life revealed by spiritual sense has come (cit. S29: 191: 8). Grab hold and rejoice! God’s blessings are here and now and always! Stay focused on that new view and refuse to let go! No matter what trouble and strife seem to be crowding in, lean on Love and find Life that sustains (cit. S31: vii: 1-2). Sing a new song — gain a fresh perspective — and give God the glory!


CLICK LINKS below for more APPLICATION IDEAS from CedarS-team for this Lesson:


CLICK below for UPCOMING/ONGOING OPPORTUNITIES for SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT!

CedarS Sunday’s Hymn Sing on 1-17-2021 features singer, Desiree Goyette, & author, Heather Vogel Frederick:
On January 17th, Heather of Longyear Museum (and the author of “A World More Bright”) will be joining us for a feature presentation on “Christ My Refuge,” the first of Mary Baker Eddy's poems to become a hymn. We will focus on one hymn per week, in order of their composition, through the last Sunday in February. Prior to our final hymn of each hymn sing, a representative from Longyear Museum will share five minutes of historical insights on what was happening in Mary Baker Eddy's life and the Christian Science movement at the time she wrote the poem. We will then sing the hymn together with Desiree Goyette next week, before closing with the Doxology. We look forward to deepening our appreciation and understanding of these hymns, both in how they reflected Mrs. Eddy's experience and how they continue to bring healing to our world today.
Invite family, friends and even neighbors to join us by Zoom every week at 7pm Central Time for CedarS Sunday Hymn Sings. (A precious prelude precedes each sing at 6:45pm CT.) To start each week we’ve loved singing our prayers and praise to God for 30 minutes with friends of all generations. To date, we have had log-in, sing-along friends join us from all 50 of the United States as well as 21 more countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, and Switzerland.


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