Thank you for another best summer yet!

Be made new by seeing God’s creation in its true light!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson
for Sept. 2-8, 2013

Subject: Man

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer of St. Louis, MO and Park City, UT
314-323-4083                     kathyfitzer@gmail.com

You know how deceiving it can be to look at things in the dark, or in a distorted mirror? Turn on a light and everything looks totally different – things are seen from an entirely new perspective.  This lesson shows us that we can’t see ourselves (and our surroundings) clearly unless we see them in the light of Christ.  God’s creation is scientifically described in Genesis 1.  Jesus demonstrated the healing power of life lived in accord with God’s law.  And St. John received and shared Christ’s revelation of the “new” heaven and the “new earth”.  The view presented by Science is consistently clear and always good!   And WE CAN see it and live in harmony with it – now!

Golden Text: Let yourself be changed.
Until we start looking at things in the light, we’ll always be stuck with a murky view presented by the distorted mortal senses.  That light is the glory (the luminosity) of God, perpetually shining.  It is the light of Christ.  As that light (Spirit) illumines our view, our perspective and our experience changes for the better.  We just need to stay in the glory – the light – of God to see the man of God that has always been – and identify ourselves as that harmonious man!

Responsive Reading: Let God’s grace make you new!
Grace is a gift of God and has amazing powers to transform.  Grace is the gentle presence of Love that wipes the slate clean and draws a fresh image according to God’s perfect specs.  This letter to the Gentiles of Ephesus can encourage us – as it did them – to stop going along with “crowd think.”  It’s so easy to identify ourselves and others with a particular personality – what we think we’re like – or what others are like – and not move off that position.  But, that’s the “darkened understanding” based on ignorance of God that would suggest we can be “alienated” from Him.  As we accept God’s grace for ourselves, we express that grace.  We can let go of all preconceptions and let every moment be new.  And, we can make sure that in our conversations we are seeing ourselves and others in the light of God, good, so that everything we say is kind, compassionate, and forgiving – and intended to have the effect of building (edifying).  We can respond to others that way because that’s how God responds to us! 

Section 1:  Get to know yourself as you REALLY are.
Let’s keep thinking about reflection and mirrors.  We often look in a mirror to check ourselves out.  But, at least for me, the report I get from this mirror has its ups and downs.  Now… what if we only looked in the mirror of “divine Science”? (S-2)  That would tell a whole different story… and be consistently good!  Basically the description of man given in Genesis 1 is the story told by this mirror of Science.  It is what is true, and cannot be changed!  It tells us we’re made in the image and likeness of God and have been given dominion. (B-1)  And, it explains that not only has Spirit made us, but also that we “magnify” Spirit and are Spirit’s witnesses – so we are necessary in order for Spirit to be seen. (B-2, B-3, & B-4)  So, when we’re getting a report from the body that doesn’t correspond with the goodness and power inherent in Spirit, we need to check our mirror!  You know that a reflection can’t act on its own or contrary to the original.   So, the report of the mirror of Science must consistently reveal a spiritual IDEA that responds to the movements of Spirit itself – absolutely free and unencumbered by material parts.  No corporeal body – no good matter or bad matter – in the mirror of Science, because Spirit can’t express its unlimited nature through limited substance! (S-3)

Section 2: Be watchful!
We’ve got to be so alert not to take our eyes off of that mirror of Science.  Looking around us, we’re likely to get sucked into the “counterfeit” creation of mortal mind – believing that the material pains and pleasures that we see around us (and seem to experience) are part of the man God created.  The key is to remember that we are “the children of light.”  Staying in the light, we won’t be fooled by the illusions that seem so real in the dark.  Try this test… if it’s temporary, if it’s changeable – it’s an inverted version of reality and not to be accepted.  We shouldn’t confuse “material personality” with God.  Rather than trying to fix personality traits – or be satisfied with them – and rather than checking the status of matter to see how we’re doing – it should be our desire to “put off” this material man and “put on” a fresh concept of man based entirely on the Scientific model given in the first chapter of Genesis.  It takes real discipline of thought to stay with the real.  Especially when things are comfortable for us, it’s tempting to be content to stay in the dream.  Kind of like at night… we don’t mind dreaming pleasant dreams.  But dreams –waking or sleeping – have the potential to turn bad, and no one likes that.  So… stay awake!  Acknowledge the source of all good to be God, and remember that God made ONLY good!  Genesis 1 should be our perpetual model!  Whatever doesn’t match this model has no authority!

Section 3: Turn water into wine!
The story of Jesus turning about 150 gallons of water into wine (and high-quality wine, at that) [takes place only a few miles from Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth.  Not long after this 1st miracle of his public ministry in Cana he performs his 2nd miracle there also when he “heals at a distance” the near-death son of “a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.”  (John 4:46-54)]  This miracle occurred 3 days after Jesus had called his disciples and they were with him at the wedding.  But it was Jesus’ mother who pushed him into starting his ministry earlier than he had planned.  [Click on the downloadbale pdf file in the upper right corner to check out a play about this miracle and the motherly encouragement that prompted it as written by CedarS Bible Lands Park Ranger and counselor, Lauren Cornthwaite.]  I was struck by Jesus' sense of grace and willingness to yield.  Things don’t always go as we expect them to!  It must have been very thrilling for his new disciples to get a sampling of the “greater things” Jesus had promised they would witness.  What was the bigger point of this demonstration?  I think it may have been to show his huge sense of unselfed love and his propensity to continually transform the old (common thought) into the new (inspired thought.)  [Geith Plimmer, in a Christian Science lecture in 1973, pointed out that there were 6 water pots and that the number 6 in the Bible usually represents everything in the human.  He then stated that Jesus took everything in the human scene at the wedding, manhood and womanhood, and spiritualized everything by transforming it into its inspirational, spiritual essence. The Christ-view of everything in our human situations, even when it’s not a “biggy”, has immediate, transformative power.]  Once Jesus started, he didn’t stop performing “miracles.”  When the people gathered for the Passover, many had seen what he did and proclaimed their “belief” in him.  But, Jesus knew that to really “believe” in him included more than just being impressed with outward signs. (B-10)  The big question of the day was when the “kingdom of God” would be coming.  Jesus responded that it wouldn’t be found by looking for it because it was already here!  Some translations say that it was “among” them.  Where Christ is, the Kingdom is.  But, until the Christ was recognized as the Son of God, the Kingdom wouldn’t be seen. (B-11)  The Kingdom can only be seen by looking in the right direction… that of Science or Truth.  I love the idea of Christ being at every bridal altar (every time there is a new beginning; every time ideas come together in a fresh way; every time there is an expression of love.)  Christ, Truth – the “divine idea of God outside the flesh,” turns the mundane into the inspirational. (S-13) Jesus – being the highest human expression of Christ and the best example of God’s perfect man – taught us how to escape from “evil” – anything that isn’t perfectly good. (S-14)  How?  By never moving from the perfect model of Science – by seeing God’s creation right here, right now.  We can now and forever dwell in God’s kingdom of Spirit that is within us – to be seen!

Section 4:  Identify with divine law and be free.
The Psalmist prayed to be taught God’s law so that he could see the truth of being. (B-13)  When Jesus arrived on the scene, he didn’t just teach vague theory, he demonstrated God’s law of harmony by healing.  And his audience responded by giving God the glory – the honor and praise. (B-12, Matt.15:29-31 with a 2nd possible play to reenact from a downloadable script in the upper right )  We need to let our light shine, too.  As we live our faith – our understanding of God and His creation – our light will be seen, and consequently light will be shed on the path of others, as well.  This is the kind of enlightenment that was (though very slowly) changing some of the opinions of the Pharisees – and continues to tear down strict, pharisaical-like thinking today.  According to their interpretation of the law, healing was work and work was not allowed on the Sabbath.  But, Jesus, seeing the need of a man at the feast asked permission to heal him.  Jesus took the silence of the Pharisees as “permission” and the man was healed – but with no fanfare or any real acknowledgement. (B-15)  We can take the same advice Paul gave to the Galatians… Christ has made us free; don’t let yourselves ever again be enslaved to a false law. (B-16)  Jesus healed the body by understanding that the mortal body is simply the creation of mortal thought and does not determine our identity.  It is only a mistaken view that grows out of the darkness of mortal mind.  Turning to the Christ-light, we see ourselves and others as God sees us and the body must correspond to that clear view. (S-16 & S-17)  So-called material law would put all kinds of limitations on us.  But we’re not subject to any such so-called law.  Mrs. Eddy tells us very clearly what to do as soon as symptoms of disease appear.  Go into the light of divine Science (the Genesis 1 story) and refuse to let anything that doesn’t correspond to that description of man occupy even a little bit of your thought!  Dismiss it as quickly and firmly as you would any kind of false accusation made about you.  You know who you are.  You know that you are governed by God’s law.  Shut out everything else!  Stand in the light and let yourself be judged by Christ, Truth.  You are free! (S-19)

Section 5: Yield to God to stop doing what you don’t really want to do!
Most of us have such good intentions of doing the right thing.  But, unfortunately, most of us end up messing up more often than we’d like to admit.  Paul had the same problem.  He explained to the Romans that nothing good dwelt in his “sinful nature.”  He said that what he did wasn’t the good he wanted to do, and the evil he didn’t want to do is what he did.  (New International Version)  Like Paul, we don’t mean to get off the straight path.  We don’t mean to let thoughts of sickness, sin, and death take over our consciousness and experience.  So… what do we do about it?  The same thing Paul did… stop thinking that we are bad, and see that it is an imposition of sin on us.  And, then we have to recognize that we are saved from this sin by Christ. (B-18)  We have to completely give up the belief that we have an identity apart from God that is prone to stumbling around and falling down in the darkness.  Instead, we have to identity ourselves according to Science – created in the light of Genesis 1.  Christ is this ideal man of God’s creating and Jesus showed us how to be that man.  As the Psalmist said, “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” (B-20)  It all goes back to keeping our eye on the perfect model and not giving it up!  Mrs. Eddy tells us that we have to “master the propensities.”  (S-21, 405:5)  In other words, let know who’s boss any inclinations of thought that would take us in a direction we don’t want to go (whether of sin or of sickness).  And stomp on the suggestions when they first come!  Now, it’s never too late, but it’s easier to throw out one intruder than it is to throw out a huge army of party crashers.  But, regardless of when you wake up to the need of cleaning house, the foundation you stand on as you’re being strong is the fact of “perfect God and perfect man.”  That’s the only reality and is the light that destroys every vestige of darkness!

Section 6:  The revelation of Christ
Jesus isn’t here anymore.  Paul isn’t here anymore.  Mary Baker Eddy isn’t here anymore.  But, the Christ message is as present now – and speaks as clearly to us – as it has always spoken.  This Christ spoke to the apostle John long after Jesus had ascended, and revealed to him the Science of being that “must shortly come to pass.”  If we judged that coming according to time we might wonder what was going on… would it ever come?  But, remember what Jesus said about the Kingdom of God being at hand?  Couldn’t that be true of John’s revelation, too?  As we stay in the light we’ll experience the reign of the “Lord God omnipotent.”  God has to be acknowledged as supreme.  The voice John heard commanded that praise be given to God. (B-22)  We can do that, right?  The marriage is between the Son of Man and the “new Jerusalem,” or as Mrs. Eddy discerned “the correlation of divine Principle and spiritual idea, God and his Christ (ideal man) bringing harmony to earth.”  Jesus demonstrated the harmony of God, dwelling with man.  Now it’s our turn to come to this marriage and accept this union of God and man.  Accepting this unity of God and man in His image brings to view the “new heaven” and “new earth.”  The old conceptions of darkness disappear in the light of revelation.  The new city is perfectly balanced and God is clearly seen to dwell with his people.  This vision reveals a realm free of matter – no temple (or body) there and man as not a sinner but the “blessed child of God.” (B-23 & S-23, S-24 & S-25)

We are the light of God… not mortals, but complete ideas (male and female) as described in the Scientific report of Genesis 1 and culminating in Revelation.  We don’t have to wait, but can claim this state of freedom as man today!  Be transformed by light!

 

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