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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 see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp. If more information or the text of this Lesson is desired, please see the Director’s Note at the end. The citations referenced in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. 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.

Life – and only Life – NOW!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Bible Lesson on “Life” for January 9-15, 2006
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, CS, of St. Louis, MO

God is Life. There is no other life. Be alert to the subtle suggestions that you live in matter now and will some day die out of matter and find Spirit. Spirit, God, is the only Life there is – a dependable, secure, and good Life that you live NOW!

Golden Text: Spirit and breath are closely related, both derived from the Greek word, pneuma. They include inspiration and expression. You are the expression of the vitality of God, inspired and full of Life!

Responsive Reading: Choose life. There is nothing to fear – ever!
The fountain of Life never dries up, so Life is forever supplying man with strength, health, peace, and every right idea. When you read the references to house of the Lord and his temple, think about the idea of temple and house being body. You live in Spirit and are moved by Love. What is the purpose for living? Isn’t it to “declare the works of the Lord”? So, make the decision – you will NOT die. You won’t let hope die or faith die or enthusiasm die. You won’t let fear make you believe that you can ever be outside of Life. God preserves you!

Section I: Life is God expressed NOW! And there is nothing else!
In the beginning – before all time – was the Word – the Christ idea, one with God. (B-1) That’s life! That’s NOW! The first chapter of Genesis tells it all! Man and all living creatures are created to be the shine of God – the expression of God’s being. And all is GOOD. (B-2) That’s all there is. God does the doing (the performing)! (B-4) And nothing happens without God. (S-2) Notice how the words all, always, everything, etc. are used in contrast to the words not, no, nothing, independent, etc. All is all! Evil doesn’t exist in God’s universe. Nothing happens without God. Reason rightly from the basis of marker 5 in S&H (p. 515). Ask yourself; does this idea move in accord with God? It is good? Does it express divine power? If not, it is an illusion. Don’t fall into the trap of faulty reasoning, starting with evil and questioning how God can allow it. God displaces the darkness with the light of the Word – He’s not responsible for the presence of darkness (evil), nor can the darkness (evil) displace the light (good.)

Section II: The law of Life – not random matter – the source of all movement NOW
Sheep without a shepherd – randomly wandering – waiting for direction. (B-5) People waiting at a pool, hoping they can get be the first one in when the water moves randomly. (B-7) Fleshly muscles moving when they feel like it, and stopping when they feel like it. (S-8) These concepts are all part of the same lie that there is a power, or law, other than the law of Life, God, and that the omnipotence and omnipresence of God is not here NOW! Jesus told the man at the pool of Bethesda to take up his bed and walk – now! We can follow that command every time a problem tempts us: rise higher in thought, take up whatever limiting pre-conceptions you’ve accepted about your identity, and walk forward. Sometimes the waiting for the moving of the water may be compared to waiting for just the “quote” or just the “inspiration” that’s going to come and magically heal. Instead, realize that an understanding sufficient to remedy the problem is already at hand – separate from the problem. Notice that Life divine reveals spiritual understanding and reveals the consciousness of man’s dominion. (S-10) This understanding is the gift of God that we reflect and we can put to use. CLAIMING this understanding, we don’t have to wait, and watch the body, but we speak “as one having authority” and we move forward. We have the promise that the law of Life renders null and void every supposed law of matter (S-6). Jesus never feared or obeyed error in any form, and we must not either. (S-7) He freed himself and others, and we must do likewise – NOW!

Section III: Reflection – Father (Life) and Son as one NOW!
Jesus defended his actions of healing on the Sabbath by pointing out that his Father worked on the Sabbath, so he did, too. (B-8) There was no need to wait a day or two after the Sabbath to heal, as God works in the NOW. Jesus claimed his Sonship with God. In response to the Jews’ questioning, Jesus pointed to his works as evidence that he was the Christ. It’s fun to be able to think of ourselves as a sheep – as responding to the voice of the shepherd, rather than having to be the shepherd. (B-9) If Jesus never claimed intelligence, action, or life separate from God (S-13), we sure shouldn’t – even when we’re tempted to think we don’t need help from God. Mrs. Eddy says that the Christ was the divinity of Jesus. (S-11) Divinity generally relates to the nature or essence of God, but one definition in the Student Reference Dictionary (Webster) talks about “the science which unfolds the character of God.” So, the Christ unfolds God’s nature – just like a shepherd unfolds a sense of direction and care to the sheep. You are God’s reflection. There is only one reflection – the upright and Godlike reflection (S-16). So, if that’s not the image that you see, check what mirror you’re looking at. (S-15) Humanly, a cracked or distorted mirror will reveal a cracked or distorted image. Make sure you’re looking at the image reflected in the mirror of divine Science (the truth of God) rather than the mirror of erroneous material belief (based on the testimony of the five physical senses). Looking rightly, you can see the true image NOW!

Section IV: What’s controlling you – mind or Mind?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the translation of Rom. 12: 1,2 (B-11) from The Message, by Eugene Peterson, I have to share it: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” We have to deal with this human life, but we don’t have to roll over and be its slave, or act out of fear of what the flesh can do us. (B-13) Remember, fear can have a double meaning – to be afraid, or to respect. We don’t want to be afraid of or respect (give attention to) the power of a fleshy body to make conditions for us. Fear would like to act as if it is so powerful that it can control us, whether we want it to or not. But, “fear never stopped being and its action.” Mind – God-controls you, not a human mind. (S-17) But, we have to correct the misconceptions of mortal mind, or they will appear to govern us. (S-18) Misconceptions! Think about it … a misconception can’t change what is actual. But, it can change how we act, based on what we think the facts are. If you have $500 in the bank, but a mistake in recording causes you to think that you only have $400, you’ll limit your actions based on the misconception of how much money you have. Once you discover the truth, you’re immediately free to use all of the money in your account. You didn’t have to do anything to increase the amount, or even figure out where you made a mistake. You just have to discover the truth, and act accordingly. The same is true when considering your health, intelligence, or ability. A misconception makes you think you are sick, and you are limited accordingly. But, your health has always been there – your God-given freedom is intact! Give up the misconception – “remove the leading error or governing fear” of mortal mind, understand God as the only Life, and healing happens! (S-20&21)

Section V: Death is not to be feared or accepted, but disbelieved – NOW!
Eternal life is the gift of God! (B-14) Jesus knew that and demonstrated it, so that everyone could know it. Jesus didn’t just reject the belief that Lazarus had died, he started by rejecting the belief of terminal disease. (B-15) Jesus saw only an opportunity for healing – for glorifying God. Sometimes there is confusion that Jesus was suggesting that God sends disease or death for His own glorification. That couldn’t be. God is Life! Jesus refused to see a problem, and saw an opportunity for correcting a misconception instead. Responding to the Christ – the shepherd – the divine manifestation – is the only way to eternal life. Claiming your identity as one of God’s flock – as Life’s reflection, it is natural to respond to the shepherd and to be governed by God. As such you’re “never for an instant deprived of the light and might of intelligence and Life.” (S-22) Jesus showed that if you believe in Life, you really can’t believe in death. (S-24) Watch for the various ways death suggests itself. For instance, saying you (or another) can’t remember is buying in to the belief that intelligence can be lost – can die. Never seeing death is a duty and a privilege. (S-25) Regardless of the sense testimony, awaken from the material declaration to hear Truth’s statement that there “is no death, no inaction, diseased action, overaction, nor reaction.” (S-25) Notice, it is a material declaration – a statement – not a fact or an event. It can seem like a big order, but we must not put it off. Do it NOW!

Section VI: Now, now, now is the day of salvation!
Salvation isn’t something to put off. Begin to experience it today! (B-20; S&H 26&27) Salvation is the preservation from destruction and the redemption of man from the bondage of sin and liability to eternal death, and the conferring on him everlasting happiness (Webster). Mrs. Eddy defines it in the glossary of Science and Health as “Life, Truth, and Love understood and demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and death destroyed.” (p. 593) Getting rid of the belief that life involves time and stages is a big part of demonstrating present salvation. God only knows now. What we call a thousand years or one day are all the same to God. (B-18) All there really is the knowledge of God, and that isn’t dependent on time. Where do we live and when? (B-17) Does Christ – or Life – change over time? (S-30) The reference to “God requireth that which is past is” has sometimes puzzled me. But, the Hebrew word that is translated requireth is a primary root, meaning “to search out.” I like to think that God searches out whatever needs correcting from the so-called past and adjusts it to fit with the eternal state of harmony in which God and all that He creates abide. The Message translates those two verses from Ecclesiastes this way: “I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. Whatever was, is. Whatever will be, is. That’s how it always is with God.” (B-16) To sum it up, God IS – Life, IS – so all we can be is BE! No more measuring according to time, but rather in moments of divine consciousness. (S-28) One thought at a time, respond to the gift of understanding and eternal Life! Do it NOW!

Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a long 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 in the books. 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 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.) Enjoy!

Warren Huff, Director   <BR>The CedarS Camps Office
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