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[You choose, picture book man or God’s man, the Christ will tell you which is you!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for the week ending March 11, 2018

by Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden. Germany
rickstewartcs@aol.com +49 351 312 4736

One of the first books we have as children is filled with pictures of animals, favorite objects, or even people. You see the picture and each is clearly identified: dog, cat, cow, duck, fish, chicken. Or boy, girl, mama, papa. Maybe you even remember going through the book with your parents or grandparents and proudly identifying each picture. And so your education begins about the world around you! You knew what a cat or dog was! You knew what a boy or girl was! And you knew what you were! Well, sort of.

Picturing the world in material forms with assigned names is often the early education we all share. So basically we learn the names of things around us and what they look like. And that includes people, human beings, our family members, and even ourselves. But is that really the final story of who we are and what is the world around us?

Some of us share an early education that included another element. At home and in Christian Science Sunday School we learned about another “me.” This is the spiritual “me” we find at the very beginning of the Bible and right on through to the very end. We find out a lot about this me from the life of Jesus. It is a me that does not come out of the picture books. This is a man that comes out of the holiest of Books, the Bible. From beginning to end of the Bible we can find this man of God’s creating. And also learn through those who chose to distort this man.

Through Jesus’ life we discover the clearest picture of this spiritual man through the message of the Messiah, the Christ. We begin to discover a man that is spiritual not material, eternal not temporal, perfect not flawed, happy not sad, strong not weak, fearless not afraid, healthy not sick, complete not lacking, seeing not blind, hearing not deaf. In other words we discover through the Christ a man that is God-like. The image and likeness of God.

In this week’s Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson we find several examples of people who lived their lives as examples of this real man. You might say they were in this world, living normal lives, but lives that reflected the best picture of the man of God’s creating. Their lives became examples that have lasted for centuries showing a picture of what the real man or real woman is. Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, David, Daniel, Bartimaeus, and of course our Master, Christ Jesus.

Some of these Biblical individuals were a lot like you and me. Sometimes they got everything just right and you would say, “Wow, way to go!” And sometimes they messed up and were less of the picture of God’s man and more of the picture-book, material man. But then that is where the Christ, the Messiah comes in and saves the day!

The Bible Lesson begins with a Golden Text taken from Psalm 100. Psalm 100 is the only Psalm identified as a “Psalm of Thanksgiving.” It is thought that Psalm 100 was part of the service in the ancient Jewish Temple and nowadays it is part of the daily prayer service in Jewish synagogues.

Golden Text: Psalms 100:3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Isn’t a great place to start, being reminded that God is our maker and we are His people!

The “secret place,” whereof David sang, is unquestionably man’s spiritual state in God’s own image and likeness, even the inner sanctuary of divine Science, in which mortals do not enter without a struggle or sharp experience, and in which they put off the human for the divine.

My. 244:15-19
From Concord Express – A Christian Science Study Resource: The King James Version of the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy's published writings

Responsive Reading: translations of Psalms 91:9–11; Daniel 10:1 (to 1st .), 7, 16–19

NKJVBecause you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.

CEB – Because you’ve made the Lord my refuge, the Most High, your place of residence—no evil will happen to you; no disease will come close to your tent. Because he will order his messengers to help you, to protect you wherever you go.

MSG – because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door. He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go.

Dan. 10:1 to 1st . , 7 16-19 to 2nd !NLT – In the third year of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) had another vision. Only I, Daniel, saw this vision. The men with me saw nothing, Then the one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing in front of me, “I am filled with anguish because of the vision I have seen, my lord, and I am very weak. How can someone like me, your servant, talk to you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe.” Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning. “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!”

The messages that came to Daniel as here in the Responsive Reading and later in the Lesson citation B7 are an example of the eternal messages of the Christ that came to individuals throughout the Bible.

Isn’t that an inspired message similar to what came to Joshua many years before, “Don”t be afraid, for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong! “

And that introduces us to what the Bible Lesson has in store. Yippee.

Section 1: The picture of who you really are!

Someone once said to me if you really want to know who you are start with Genesis, Chapter One! And with this lesson you could say, “Start with Genesis One and include every Bible and Science and Health citation in this section!”

Citation B2 | Genesis 1:27, 28 God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Citation S1from Science and Health continues “The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science.” (475:7–13)

Now getting back to those early childhood picture books, we find that as we begin to understand who we are in reality as God’s image and likeness that that can be a great blessing to our animal friends also. Just as man and woman are not just a bunch of material bones, so in reality the infinite ideas in creation that we know as fish, birds, animals are also absolutely spiritual in their true nature.

As a teenager I visited the Sunday School in Pompano Beach, Florida. My teacher was a Christian Science Practitioner, Max Bauer. He had a little dog he loved dearly and he explained that he had had many healings through Christian Science with that dog. And also with other pets and animals in his public practice. His approach in prayer had always been based on a truth from Science and Health, that is part of the answer to the question, “What is man?”

“He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas;” (475: 14-15)

Max had reasoned that if the definition of “man” included all right ideas—and God’s creatures are certainly right ideas—that man’s God-given dominion regarding all God’s creatures gave him the right to claim their God-given perfection.

And I can say that I have also used that basis for prayer for pets and wild animals ever since. And with great effectiveness. It is the powerful fact that man and woman and all creation are spiritual and included in God’s spiritual creation.

Section 2: Perhaps Daniel would agree it is possible to live in harmony with animals after his night with hungry lions!

What a perfect time for a reread of the beloved story about Daniel in the Lions’ Den from Daniel Chapter 6 (B7). Although some scholars refer to Daniel as a legendary figure I just have to say he has inspired me since childhood. And if he was a legend that was conceived to inspire and encourage the Jews in exile, then he certainly accomplished that and also many, many other people for thousands of years!

You may know the story. Daniel, a young Jew living in exile in the royal court of Darius the Mede, is an exemplary man. He is promoted to high office and then faces the envy and jealousy of other government servants. They make a plot to trip Daniel up and seem to succeed. Daniel is condemned to be thrown in a lions’ den full of hungry, vicious beasts. The idea is Daniel will be eaten alive in punishment. But the fact is Daniel was innocent. And Daniel is loved by the King who although not able to stop the process affirms that Daniel’s God will save him. I love the line from the King, “Now the King spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” The King even joins in prayer and fasting. And in the morning it is not a scene of slaughter, but rather salvation. Daniel has not been touched by the lions and Darius is so impressed that he decrees that Daniel’s God shall be honored in every dominion of Darius’ kingdom. Wow!!! [See Warren’s PS#2 of how Mary Baer Eddy was inspired by this story as well as the custom Ken Cooper poem with pictures about Daniel and the Lions’ Den that is offered this week by clicking on our online version and again on the Download in the upper right.]

My Christian Science teacher, Virginia Guffin, used this inspiration as a practical spiritual tool in her Sunday School class one time. A little boy came into class and was covered in mosquito bites. He was in summer camp there in Tennessee and was literally being eaten alive by mosquitoes. He told Virginia that he was going to have to leave camp and go home because of all the bites. During Sunday School the two of them talked about the story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den. They also used the definition of Man from page 475 in Science and Health. They reasoned that man is not material; not made up of blood, and certainly not subject to attack from any of God’s creatures. And that just as Daniel was innocent and not meat for the lions so Virginia’s little friend also was innocent and not food for the mosquitoes.

The next Sunday the picture had completely changed. The little boy walked into Sunday School without a single bite. And he got to stay at camp. He was very happy!

Which picture are we going to see as man? Material or spiritual? Main course or not on the menu? Innocent, protected, fearless or shivering in a corner in fear.

This immunity, exemption, protection is not only our right, but why not include the Max Bauer approach in praying for our beloved pets regarding fleas, ticks, or other so-called parasites? And why not pray for animals around the world subject to poaching, invasive exotic predators, or diseases?

As a beloved hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal says,
Hymn 83 by James Montgomery Adapted INNOCENTS Old French Melody

“God made all His creatures free; Life itself is liberty;”

Section 3: Lessons from Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz

In citations B11 and B12 (from Ruth chapters 1 and 2) is the beautiful story of a woman with a book of the Bible named after her! Ruth had married a Jew and forsaken her Moabitish background. When all the men of the family had died and there was a famine then Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi was heading back to her homeland in Bethlehem. Naomi encouraged Ruth to go back to her people, but Ruth’s famous answer has inspired many over the years, “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:”

Naomi and Ruth had to make do and Ruth went out into the fields at the time of barley harvest. The Bible says that “her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging to Boaz.” Boaz became aware of Ruth and encouraged her to gather (glean) the left-over grain from his field. Boaz was related to Naomi’s family and therefore to Ruth by her first husband. So the two ladies were supplied. And in what might be called the “rest of the story”, Ruth married Boaz.

Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi was rewarded. Not only were Ruth and Naomi saved from starvation but you might say the world was blessed. Ruth and Boaz became the parents of Obed, who became the father of Jesse, the father of David. (King David. Shepherd boy. Psalmist. and ancestor of Jesus!)

Citation S11 comments on how our divine connections are anything but incidental “Step by step will those who trust Him find that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (|444:10)

Citation S12 continues “In divine Science, man is sustained by God, the divine Principle of being. The earth, at God’s command, brings forth food for man’s use.” (530:5–7)

The clear and faithful expression of true manhood, true womanhood that we see in Ruth makes it clear the importance of living our highest sense of selfhood. This is important not only for our immediate experience, but for generations to come.

Ruth stated, “I am only a foreigner”—don’t these words from the narrative ring true to our current times? We can never forget the significance of each single idea of God! Creation’s success and harmony depends on every idea in God’s creation. God has no expendable children. Each of us is needed, wanted, cherished by our Father-Mother, God. From Boaz and Ruth’s citation B12 exchange according to the NLT: “Boaz went over and said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked. “I am only a foreigner.” “Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” (Ruth 2:, 8, 10–12)

Section 4: Bartimaeus reaches out to the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of David! [See PS#4]

When Jesus healed it was always a significant event. There is always a lesson in what has been chosen. Obviously, we should never forget that what appears in the Bible concerning Jesus is just the tip of the iceberg. As it says in John And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25, KJV)

But sometimes we might miss little things that are involved in the healings shared in the Bible. For example a beggar seated by the highway. We are told when he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was coming soon.

As the NLT translation puts citation B15 – “Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.” (Mark 10:46-52, NLT)

Significance? By calling Jesus the Son of David, was Bartimaeus actually recognizing Jesus publicly as the promised Messiah? And this beggar threw off his cloak, jumped up and came to Jesus. Bartimaeus wanted to see and Jesus said it was his own faith that healed. His faith in Jesus’ fulfillment of prophecy, the Messiah. Bartimaeus followed Jesus down the road. The road we could say to real manhood, whole, healed, and having found and declared the Messiah as present in the life of Jesus!

How did Jesus establish his claim to the Messiahship? Mrs. Eddy writes, “Jesus established what he said by demonstration, thus making his acts of higher importance than his words. He proved what he taught. This is the Science of Christianity. Jesus proved the Principle, which heals the sick and casts out error, to be divine.” (S16 | 473:26–31)

Jesus proved by his acts that a man, when receptive to the Christ, to the Messiah, could rise from being a blind beggar, to be a follower of the Christ, a representative of the man of God’s creating.

Section 5: God’s man, unlimited, strong, transformed!

Strength, endurance, dominion, and transformation await each of us as we claim our spiritual identity as God’s spiritual man. It is often heard, “Well, nobody’s perfect.” How true, no mortal, material man is perfect. But is that the picture of the man we are finding in our Holy Bible picture book?

Paul encourages us to look higher than the world’s picture to find our real identity as man,

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (B18 | Romans 12:2)

In Science and Health we read about this true picture of God’s man,
“The standard of perfection was originally God and man. Has God taken down His own standard, and has man fallen? God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection, man, remains perfect. Man is the expression of God’s being.” (S22 | 470:18–24)

“God’s being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (S23 | 481:3–5) [See upper right photo of the 4 elements of God’s being (in bold above) carved in 12”-high capital letters to launch each CedarS Cable Ski rider with a goal to express them on their ride. See also SH 470:23]

On January 1, 1981 a friend and I were climbing one of the Collegiate Peaks in Colorado. We had camped in the snow the night before. And it was a beautiful day. We were nearing the summit and I was kaput. I was not a mountain climber. The closest thing to a mountain in Florida is an overpass on Interstate 75! I felt like I could not take another step. But it seems that God wanted me to change my picture of myself just a little bit. Like I said I was at the end of my strength. But then with the help of a Bible verse my strength changed from “mine” to “thine!”

I remembered this Bible verse in the Lesson, “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (B16 | Isaiah 40:31)

I did not see any eagles. But I began to think about eagles. The picture of them soaring high and free was very vivid. I did not see them struggle as they rose on updrafts and soared for miles. Then I began to think if they soared with that ability it was mine also. Now, I did not suddenly jump off the cliff or take to flight. But I was immediately free of fatigue and no longer out of breath. In just a few minutes I caught my climbing partner and we peaked out shortly thereafter. I realized I was not a mountain man, I was not a flatlander, I was God’s man. And that was a great feeling.

Section 6: Your right to divine manhood is for now!

It is pretty incredible to realize that we do not have to fit into any picture the world may hold of us. We are not limited in matter. We are not governed by matter. We are not made up of matter in any form. As the Scientific Statement of Being states, on Page 468 of Science and Health,

“Question. — What is the scientific statement of being?

Answer. — There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.” SH 468:8-15

This incredibly powerful statement does not invent or create an unknown man, it powerfully declares the man we find throughout the Bible, throughout God’s universe, the throughout Creation. It is determined by the picture we are looking at—the picture in our picture book of Spirit is spiritual.

Paul wrote it like this “henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (B19 | II Corinthians 5:16, 17)

And Luke puts it like this “behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (B20 | Luke 17:21)

Mary Baker Eddy concludes “This kingdom of God “is within you,” — is within reach of man’s consciousness here, and the spiritual idea reveals it. In divine Science, man possesses this recognition of harmony consciously in proportion to his understanding of God.” (S27 | 576:21)

And: “The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship.” (S28 | 316:3–7)

Finding the real man of God’s creating is a discovery, not an invention. There is one sweet moment I remember from a lecture in Argentina. I had traveled to Santa Fe or Rosario, at this point I do not remember which one. I visited the child care room before my lecture and there was a young man there about 10 years old. I invited him to come out to the lecture and promised it would not be boring! He sat on the front row and was with me all the way. After the lecture he came up to me and looked like a sunbeam. He was just glowing. He walked up and blurted out, “I never knew I was the son of God.” But now he did. I guess you could say after that he was a “Son beam!” What a joy for him to make that discovery. What a joy if you take a look in your picture book of spirituality and discover that you are now and forever the man or woman of God’s creating.

It is God that has made us and not we ourselves. We are His!
[As Ruth Huff wrote: “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it!’]

Look for an email coming soon with Warren Huff’s additions of insights and application ideas from Cobbey Crisler on some citations in the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Man” for March 11, 2018. Click here for online version now.

We are VERY grateful to report. . .

Maintenance Musts Progress! (More info)

Adopt the Herd Matching Fund (Match not yet met)

In the time since Giving Tuesday you helped raise over $50k for the Riding Program, which will be doubled through the Adopt the Herd Matching Fund, for a total of over $100k to help feed and care for CedarS wonderful horses. We still have a little less than $15k to raise to take advantage of the $65k Adopt the Herd match. (More info )

Many other Blessings:

Thank you for helping to raise camperships, replenish needed items, pray for today's youth, and launch our fundraising for summer 2018. Especially helpful are your much-needed MONTHLY gifts, past and ongoing, that can be started and adjusted as you wish at:www.cedarscamps.org/giving ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students!

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[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a huge proof of your ongoing LOVE made visible and are greatly appreciated!! They not only defray the costs of running this service but also provide greatly needed camperships and essential program and operations support.

[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) athttp://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/

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