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Claim your inheritance as the child of God! Abide in the Kingdom!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson, March 3-9, 2014

Subject:  Man

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

[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff.  Life-transforming CedarS camperships needed!]

Do we take seriously enough the fact that we are the children of God?  Do we think and act accordingly?  At least for those of us who have studied Christian Science for any length of time, the words, “I’m God’s perfect child” or “I’m made in the image and likeness of God” can roll off the tongue pretty easily.  But, how often do we stop to really consider the implications of such statements… the amazing promise that accompanies the status of being God’s pure child?  And, do we fully realize the implication of the fact that everyone is purely the child of God?  This week’s lesson helps us get a clearer picture of what God’s child is like, what needs to be dismissed as not being part of God’s child, and to more fully understand all the wonderful blessings that come as we accept our rightful role as the beloved child of God, dwelling in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Exciting new heights of thought to be attained and amazing vistas to be revealed!

Golden Text:  Although I imagine  “living God” was simply the term used to signify the God that we all know as the only God, I love to cherish the sense of a LIVING God… not stagnant, indifferent, judgmental or blob-like… but alive, vibrant, productive!  We’re the children of THAT God… the God that is Life itself!  So, we are living children! Yay!

Responsive Reading:  The King James Version of the Bible uses the term “sons” of God where most more-modern translations [based on the original Hebrew] use “children”.   I had fun looking at the definitions of “sons” and “child/children” in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary because the definitions in this dictionary use biblical examples to expand the definitions.  According to Webster, when used in the Bible, the plural form, sons, simply means descendants in general. So, it shouldn’t be thought of as gender specific. The dictionary indicated that in the strictest sense, children (or sons) are the “shoot, issue, or produce of the parent.”  Produce is “the effect, result; whatever is made.”  Produce as a verb is “to cause or bring into existence.”  An issue is the “sending out” or “offspring.”  An issue springs directly from something else (as an issue of water flowing from a spring.)  A shoot also comes out of something else.  In each case, the substance of the offspring is the same as the original.  It is important, then, to understand the original!  I found that helpful in considering the verses from I John 3 at the end of the Responsive Reading (that are read at the conclusion of each Sunday Service as the Correlative Scripture to the Scientific Statement of Being.)  It was also fun to think about being the “servant of God” in order to learn all there is to know about the “Kingdom business” (as a friend of mine uses the phrase.)  We are thus better prepared to accept our inheritance of permanent residence in this Kingdom (of God and of Heaven.)  Eagerly learning every lesson, we know we are being blessed and prepared for all the good that is forever ours… given to us by our Father-Mother Love!  We are God’s child today and forever!  No waiting!

Section 1: Man is the offspring of Spirit
We must define man… meaning all of God’s offspring… in relation to God.  Although man is not God, just as a number is not the principle of mathematics, the two cannot be separated! (S-6)  The Bible says God made man in His “image.” (B-1)  And, according to Strong’s, an image is a “representative figure.”  As a “true” image, man has to be made of the same “stuff” as God – and of nothing else.  The offspring of living Spirit isn’t inert matter. (B-3 & S-1)  We don’t want to be guilty of honoring a “graven” image, including a mortal body and material world – always limited.  Jesus came to open our eyes and give us a clue about our divine nature as the likeness of God.  This likeness isn’t seen by the material senses, but it can be clearly discerned (here and now) by the spiritual senses that God has given us all.  Jesus looked like us – and his human body functioned as ours does.  But he consistently thought out from God and this transformed his human experience, to be aligned with the GOOD of God’s creating.  Through his example and his teachings, we can perceive our Father-Mother in the true light of Spirit and act out our lives from the perspective of being an heir of God… inheriting all that is good and perfect and spiritual (and nothing else!)  No need to wait for good.  As we let our lives be lifted up by the Christ ideal, presented by Jesus, we perceive reality.  (S-4 & S-5)

Section 2:  Cherish child-likeness, and claim citizenship in the Kingdom
My husband and I have been enjoying skiing in Utah this winter.  Watching the little children fearlessly zoom down the mountain on their tiny little skis is a delight.  They appear to have no fear.  They put on their equipment, trust their instructor, and then just smile and go!  Isn’t that how we should zoom through life as citizens of the Kingdom of God?  Trust God, trust the leadings of Christ, Truth, trust our understanding, put on a smile and go!  Jesus, in fact told us that the only way to enter the Kingdom is to do so as a little child. (B-9)  It’s important to identify ourselves (and our “kids”) as children in the highest spiritual sense of the word, because that maintains the purity of child-likeness.  Mrs. Eddy defines children as “spiritual thoughts and representatives of Truth, Life, and Love.”  (S-7)  A spiritual thought springs forth directly from Spirit, from Mind.  And to represent is “be a specimen or example of” something.  The child of God springs forth from and is an example of absolute purity!  We’re told that “Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness of right.” (S-8) What a great world – if we recognized these qualities as inherent in ALL, as God’s children.  This is the quality of thought that constitutes the Kingdom of God and it is within the consciousness of each one of God’s offspring. (S-10)  Let’s get busy not only embodying these beautiful child-qualities, but also seeing them in others and knowing that they are the only condition of God’s man.  Let’s walk away from the old “landmarks” of identifying ourselves and others according to personality traits, hereditary labels, past behaviors, government log-jams, and habitual negative thinking.  Become like a little child – and see the purity and innocence of little children in all – while whole-heartedly following the leadings of Truth today and every day.  God is in charge!  We’ve got to believe that—without wavering—as we see all (including ourselves) as the full and obedient representatives of the one Mind – Love!  As we claim citizenship in the harmonious Kingdom of God, we can expect the things “of this world” to come in line with the Kingdom world, and harmony to reign!

Section 3: Redemption Exchange human beliefs for your divine heritage
God assured Israel that he had redeemed them. (B-10)  According to the original Hebrew, this was “to liberate, or rescue from captivity or bondage, or from any obligation or liability to suffer or to be forfeited.”  Would God make a promise to a few of His children, and not to all?  No way… not the God of universal Love!  So, as we read the promises of the Bible, and the reports of healing, we know that they apply to us — and ALL — equally!  We have in this section the healing of the man born blind.  Up to this time, such a case had never been healed.  What was different about Jesus’ approach?  Seems to me, he pulled out the problem by the root.  Correctly identifying the origin of the man, there was no room for cause or blame on anyone’s part! [See the 3rd section Cobbey Commentary P.S.] This was God’s child… not the offspring of material elements, but of pure, healthy, whole Spirit. (B-11)  As we’re reminded in Psalms, we’re not self-made, nor made by other mortals. (B-12)  So, whatever causes may have been assigned to our problems… heredity, human circumstances, birth order, mistakes made by us or others, etc., etc…. they can (and must) be thrown out the window!  I’m as guilty as anyone of “seeing” a parent in a child (who does the baby look like sort of thing.)  But, we really should resist such things.  “Jesus beheld the perfect man …”  He saw “Gods own likeness” every time he looked at someone. (S-12) That view enabled all of the divine characteristics to be seen and the human baggage to be dropped.  It’s easy to want to “keep” what appear to be the good parts of heredity and “toss” the negative parts.  But, whatever GOOD is apparent was never the result of material heritage anyway!  Good is of God… and God makes only good.  So, like Jesus, let’s plunge “beneath the material surface of things,” to find “the spiritual cause.” (S-13)  Spirit causes only good and all good.  Seeing God as the only cause eliminates any other effect.  Consistency is the result… no ups and downs, comings and goings.  Perfect (complete) God and perfect (complete) man! (S-14)  Maintaining this view isn’t easy.  But, with practice we can get better and better at it!

Section 4:  Claim your inheritance, and watch as capabilities are revealed
How do we achieve the kind of view that Jesus consistently maintained, when everything around us is screaming something different?  By accepting the gift (the inheritance) God is continually bestowing on us… “the spirit which is of God.” (B-14)  We don’t have to earn this gift, just accept it and use it!  We each have different talents, but we all have the exact talents we need at every moment. They are the gifts of God, and (if used) they all lead to a discernment of reality. (B-15)  I think the key is to recognize God as the source of every bit of good (and spiritual sense) there is, and accept that the gift of spiritual understanding has been given to EACH of us!  “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself…”  And, “the human capacities are enlarged and perfected in proportion as humanity gains the true conception of man and God.” (S-15)  So, the key is looking at everything from the perspective of man (all mankind) as possessing “no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflect[ing] spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.” (S-17)  The reward for such devotion of thought is the overcoming of all material limitations that suggest temporary separation from God. (B-16)  We will then recognize that our birthright (“the natural and moral right possessed by everyone”) is “dominion, not subjection.” (S-18)  It’s never too early—or too late—to stretch abilities, and claim what has always been ours (a perfect relationship with our divine Parent,) as demonstrated by Jesus!

Section 5:  Accept the oneness of Christ (and all mankind) with God, the Father
Jesus attempted to prepare his disciples for the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension that he was about to experience.  It was important that his followers understand that there is no separation of man from God… regardless of how human circumstances appear.  The New Interpreters Bible observes that “in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, the glory of God–-God’s identity—will be made visible.”  Making God’s identity visible seems to be what Jesus’ mission was all about.  He knew he had always been with God (“before the world was.”)  It’s so impressive to me that Jesus wasn't praying at this point to be delivered from this experience, but that all may learn of their oneness with their Father—and thus with each other—as a result of it.  And, his prayer wasn’t just for those present, but for US… for all those that would learn of him as the teachings were passed down throughout the generations. (B-17)  Paul certainly continued the message of oneness in his letter to the Galatians.  We are all God’s children!  So racial, sexual or geo-political differences that would divide us are only mortal distractions and we have to move past them!!!  We “are all one in Christ Jesus”—one as the ideal man, the children of God, inseparable from our Father-Mother, and thus from each other. (B-18)  To me, the analogy of the ray of light being one with the sun and a drop of water one with the ocean is such a clear image! (S-24)  Because we are all one with God, we are all one with each other, and we all reflect the fullness of God… the fullness of Love, the fullness of divine substance, the intactness of Mind!  Use your spiritual senses to tell you what is true, even when it doesn’t look like it.  It looked like Jesus was dead, but he knew better.  No matter what matter and the material senses try to tell us, we can know better too!  No separation between God and man… and thus no separation or division between individuals!  Let’s KNOW it!!!

Section 6:  Maintain the model of perfection that comes from your DaddyGod
If we believe the testimony of the material senses, we are liable to see all kinds of lies parading as Truth.  The resulting concepts of ourselves and of our fellow men are then subject to distortion and fear.  But, as we reject [cease from] this sham and “put on” the man of God’s creating, we discover an eternal relationship with a Father-Mother that is so close that we are led to call God, “Abba” (Daddy.)  (B-20, B-21, B-23)  In his letter to the Romans, Paul speaks of being led by the Spirit. (B-23)  As the early Hebrews followed the flame and the cloud (representing God’s presence) out of a state of servitude in Egypt, through the wilderness and into the Promised Land, we are led out of a state of slavery to mortal sense and into Sonship as we faithfully follow Spirit.  As we recognize our indissoluble oneness with God, we see the naturalness of being perfect as our “Father in heaven” is perfect. (B-24) The offspring includes the same properties as the original.  To perceive this present perfection it’s necessary to perpetually hold before consciousness the correct model of perfect God and perfect man. (S-28)  In this way, we re-clothe thought in the “building of God” that is forever whole, complete, incapable of discord. (B-22)  We are children of Spirit, pure and forever intact.  As we know what is true in the face of the false reports of material belief, God’s image will appear and be seen as the only real man… here and now!

[P.S. for 3rd Section: Cobbey Crisler’s Commentary for John 9 (B11)
John 9:2. “Who did sin? (A) This fellow over here? Or (B) his parents?”
John 9:3. Jesus had that paper before him, as in the examination room, on that point many times before.  “He says, (C), none of the above… [Or per Warren proposes (D) DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA) the molecule that supposedly carries encoded genetic instructions Does Not Apply!)]  Neither hath this man sinned or his parents.”  What’s that saying about origin? Where is that man?  His roots are not in parents of in some reincarnated experience…”
Notice what he does in John 9:6 and what it may remind you of.  “He spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle.”  That reminds you of man being made of the dust in the Second Chapter of Genesis Verse 6 and 7, doesn’t it?  Would Jesus ever mock God if he considered that was the real way that creation occurred? Yet, it almost looks like a mockery of that.  He’s taking on that concept of the man of dust.  He’s spitting on that ground, into the dust, making clay of it, and slapping it on the eyes of the blind man.
John 9:7, “The man goes to the pool of Siloam.  He can’t see his way there.  He’s got mud all over his face.  He doesn’t go seeing.  He comes seeing.” He comes only after he has washed off that symbolic making or formation of man out of the dust.
In a way, it might even give us a greater hint on what the true meaning of baptism is, the immersion in Spirit, nativity, and washing off every trace of the dust man.” The Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple, p. 52-53]

[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp!  YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ ]

BY PHONE at 636-394-6162
CedarS Office, 1314 Parkview Valley Dr, Ballwin, MO 63011

[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free — by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Manfred and Jeanette; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has been contributed.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are 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 "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as 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 (and angels) 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 and in a variety of useful formats as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. 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-26) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-32). 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.]


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