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Live as the perfect image and likeness of a perfect God – Complete!
Metaphysical Application Ideas (a.k.a. Met)
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for March 4-10, 2013
Subject: Man

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S.
314-323-4083  – kathyfitzer@gmail.com

Just as a sunbeam expresses, and has all the attributes of, the sun, so man expresses, and has all the attributes of, God.  To understand sunlight, you must understand the sun… and how a sunbeam is like the sun.  Similarly, to understand man, you have to understand God, and how man is like God.  As you study this lesson, notice how each section focuses on one of the synonyms of God.  Also, look for references to “perfect.” To be “perfect” is to be complete.  You are the perfect (complete) image and likeness of a perfect (complete) God!  You owe it to yourself to get to know God and His likeness!

The Golden Text tells of God creating man “in our image, after our likeness.”  The Message (by Eugene Peterson) paraphrases “after our likeness” as “reflecting our nature;” and the New Living Translation has, “to be like us.”  We are made to be just like God, reflecting the nature of God!!!  I’ve often wondered about the use of “our” here.  There’s only one God, after all.  It has occurred to me (and especially as I studied this week’s Lesson) that the our may refer to the multi-faceted nature of God… of His/Her infinite nature… as expressed by the seven synonyms identified by Mary Baker Eddy in the Christian Science textbook.  Six of these synonyms, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love have direct references in the Bible (and have formed the basis of recent Bible Lessons.)  The seventh, Principle, embraces all the other synonyms.  This Lesson on Man directs attention to God as source, and man as outcome.  We really can’t understand the outcome (the image and likeness) without fully understanding the source.

The Responsive Reading acknowledges the gifts and blessings bestowed on man by God.  It is David’s song of thanksgiving and praise (the first part coming after he was delivered from Saul.)  God’s way is perfect, and He makes man’s way perfect.  From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance we learn that the Hebrew for perfect, tawmeem, comes from the root, tawman which means complete.  God’s way and our way is “without blemish, complete, sound, without spot, upright (-ly) whole.”  Feet being on solid ground… not slipping… is mentioned a couple of times.  That applies literally to our safety, as well as to being led to take the right steps as decisions are made regarding absolutely everything!  David realizes that “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;” (NRSV, Ps. 138: 8)  The verb “perfect” used in this verse in the KJV comes from the Hebrew, gawmar. It means to end (in the sense of completion or failure.)  I loved thinking about that…. God performs all good, bringing every right idea to completion… while causing every “error,” which would hide God’s, (and – by reflection, man’s) infinitely good nature, to fail, cease, or come to an end. God does it all… and will never forsake His magnificent work – MAN!

Section 1:  Made in the image and likeness of Mind, as idea

Although not included in this week’s Lesson, Science and Health, gives a really great translation of Gen. 1: 25 from the Icelandic, “And God said, Let us make man after our mind and our likeness; and God shaped man after His mind; after God's mind shaped He him; and He shaped them male and female.” (p. 526)  Image has been defined as “a mental representation or idea.”  You can’t separate an idea from the mind (or Mind) that thinks it, right?  Another definition relates to backing up a computer and refers to computing an exact copy of the original. I like being an idea, or an exact copy.  An idea – safe in Mind can’t be messed with, can’t be changed unless the creative Mind makes the change.  A copy doesn’t deviate from the original.  God needs you to be YOU as part of the “infinite idea” that is “forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.” (S-4, p. 258)  There is no starting point… no bottom that we’re building from.  It’s just infinite Mind expressing itself, unfolding a complete (but totally unlimited, without beginning or end) creation.  Each and every idea is necessary for the full expression of the whole.  Imagine a digital picture missing pixels… the picture no longer accurately represents the original.  Every pixel is vital to the whole.  Similarly, for God’s image (picture) to be complete, every idea (or pixel) must be in place!  And it is!!!  When it seems as if things aren’t going in the right direction, it feels like we’re functioning outside of Mind… on our own, or at the mercy of circumstances apart from the control of Mind. God, Good.  It appears that something has been added or taken away.  We need to re-think!  The Psalmist tells us that God made everything “in wisdom”, no mistakes! (B-3)  So, the distorted picture is only the result of a distorted, mistaken view.  Make sure you’re following the correct projection!  We’re told in Psalms to “Mark the perfect (“complete, undefiled”) man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” (B-3)  To “mark” (according to the Hebrew) is “‘to hedge about’, guard, protect, observe.”  Protect your view… measure it according to the “dominion” (reign, sovereignty) that God has given us. (B-2)  If it’s not good, it’s not from God, and so it’s not ours, and we’re not subject to it!  Understand yourself to be idea, image, the exact expression and reflection of God, and guard that understanding!  Then, there is nothing you can’t do. (See S- 3 & S-4)  And there is nothing error or evil or ignorance can do to you!

Section 2:  Made in the image and likeness of Spirit, forever linked

In the first section, we read part of the answer to the question, “What is man?” from Recapitulation. (S-3, 475)  Here we have the beginning.  It starts by clarifying that man (the real identity and substance of each of us) is not matter.  An image is like the original in every way… not its exact opposite.  Spirit (unlimited vitality) and matter (vulnerable limitation) are opposites.  One cannot produce the other. (S-6, 475)  Mrs. Eddy tells us that God’s offspring are in and of “Spirit, divine Mind.” (S-5, 267)  Let’s continue to think of identity in terms of “idea.”  An idea can’t rebel against, or act in opposition to, the Mind that creates it and holds it, any more than pieces of clay can talk back to the potter.  In Isaiah, God compares Himself to a potter… He made the earth, man, and all of creation, and nothing else did.  “I am the Lord [Spirit] and there is none else.” (B-6, chapter 45)  It certainly appears to the mortal senses that there is something else… a lot of “not good” something.  Sometimes it may even feel like we’re just broken pieces of pottery… left to fend for ourselves.  That’s the claim of matter, mortal error… that we were born, and will ultimately die.  But, what GOD says is true, and every other report is not true and can be rejected and replaced!  To replace the lie, REALIZE your forever connection to your perpetual Creator.  You are LINKED to Spirit… as a sunbeam is linked to the sun.  You are an idea LINKED to MindYou’ve never been separated from Good.  Change channels!  Turn from the graven image of matter (fear, discord and limitation) and watch Spirit’s projection… it’s perfect (fully informed and never defective)!

Section 3:  Made in the image and likeness of Soul, with perfect vision

Just as Mrs. Eddy linked Spirit to Mind, she also links Soul to Mind.  Remember, we are (all are) unlimited idea, governed by the Mind that is unfolding, opening, expanding our being!  We are promised in Isaiah, chapter 40, that the glory, the richness and splendor of God, will be revealed or uncovered. (B-8)  And Paul tells the Corinthians that even though now we only see things in part (like when we’re peering into the dark, or looking through a clouded glass or through fog), we will see things as God has made them.  When “that which is perfect” (complete) is clearly seen in consciousness, clearly understood, then we’ll get the complete picture. (B-11)  We all know the difference of looking at things in the dark or in bright sunlight… through a dirty, or a clean, lens!  Impaired vision never has anything to do with physical eyes.  Eyeballs, optical nerves, etc. have nothing to do with vision.  We read in Matthew about Jesus healing two blind men.  It says that he “touched” their eyes. (B-10)  We really can’t know exactly what happened, but there is no doubt that healing resulted from Jesus’ touch of his understanding of their oneness with Soul, his knowledge that “Soul and its attributes were forever manifested through man.” (S-10)  Nothing about their physical eyes changed.  Sight was restored as thought was changed.  Hold perpetually to the fact that there can be no interruption to the perfect (complete) government of man by our perfect (complete) Father, the Soul of man. (S-8)  The view is interrupted, or distorted, when conclusions are drawn from evidence gained through the material senses (darkness.)  To see the rich, clear, undistorted, glorious view of Soul, we must look through the clear lens of Spirit.  If false beliefs have clouded the view, get out the “glass cleaner” of spiritual sense.  See everything as God sees it… pure, innocent, perfect.  The reflection must correspond to the original.  With practice, we will more consistently see as God sees!

Section 4:  Made in the image and likeness of Principle, upright and whole

I enjoyed thinking about Principle as both Creator and the foundational law or general truth that governs all of creation. (Webster, 1828)  The Psalmist refers to the law, the testimony, and the statutes of the Lord. The Message translates Ps. 19: 7, 8 this way:  “The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.  The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.” (B-12)  Principle mandates that we live in accord with (as the expression of) perfect Mind, Spirit. (S-12)  I love this definition of reflection… “the expression of thought.” (Webster,1828)  We are God’s “expression of thought!”  Principle, being always upright, full of integrity, can only think upright thoughts.  (Notice again, the connection to Mind.) God gives us understanding.  It was Jesus’ God-given understanding of man’s oneness with God that gave him the authority to heal.  Claim the understanding that we DO have by reflection, that makes us love God’s law of good and makes our way harmonious.  The Hebrew word, mikshol, translated “offend” in the KJV, also means “stumbling-block.”  So, how about this translation… “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”  (B-13, Ps. 119: 165)  We can think of that stumbling literally or figuratively… no falling, faltering, or failure when we love the perfect Principle that upholds our every action as God’s perfect image.  All that ever needs correcting is our concept of God… of what is governing. (See S-16)  Principle reveals present perfection!

Section 5:  Made in the image and likeness of Life, undying

It is so important that we get a clear sense of what Life really is… and know that we are the image and likeness of this Life, Life that doesn’t begin and can’t end because it just IS, just as Truth IS.  Life is never in a material body!  I love realizing that I don’t “live life” but “Life lives me!”  In other words, the source of life isn’t in me, but I am the expression of the one and only Life that is infinite Mind… never born, never decaying, never dying, simply being and forever unfolding without interruption.  Life pours forth from the Almighty (the I AM of all being) like a fountain that never dries up. (B-16)  Jesus demonstrated this Life to be forever expressed when he healed the nobleman’s son.  Jesus rebuked the nobleman for not believing in the power of Christ to heal unless he saw “miracles.”  But, the “ye” or “you” here is second person plural, a part of speech that indicates a broader audience than just the nobleman.  Are we willing to believe in the power of Christ to heal before the completeness is outwardly visible?  The nobleman was unfazed by the rebuke.  His compassion for his son outweighed his indignation, or his doubt.  He pleaded with Jesus to come to his house.  But, when Jesus didn’t come… but simply assured him that his son would live, the man believed him and headed home.  And, of course, the son was healed right at that moment. (B-18)  What’s the lesson for us?  The Bible tells us to “be perfect” as our Father “is perfect”, to be complete as our Father is complete. (B-17)  How?  By choosing what we believe!  By refusing to give audience to error of any sort!  By not believing in a life apart from Life.  By refusing to believe that sickness and death are inevitable parts of life, no matter how much they seem to be! (S-19)  It’s not enough just to deny the lie.  We have to accept the undying nature of God’s creation and believe the testimony of Christ (Truth) today just as much as the nobleman believed Jesus’ testimony.  When we fully embrace spiritual being, we’ll understand the indestructible nature of man as the reflection of that being… we will be “hid in Christ” where mortal mind can’t even find us! (S-20)  It may seem like we’re a long ways from “raising the dead” but we need to start by BELIEVING that Life is the law of being.  Every time we overcome any kind of limitation… any suggestion of the stoppage of good; every time we can believe in God’s omnipotence regardless of the physical evidence, we are one step closer to demonstrating that man has only one life… indestructible, perfect Life!

Section 6:  Made in the image and likeness of Truth, totally undefiled

The Psalmist wrote, “As for God, his way is perfect.” (B-20)  Here, perfect means not only complete, but “undefiled, without spot.”  We’re also told that God rewards according to one’s “righteousness.” (B-20)  Righteousness is defined as “conformity of heart and life to the divine law.” and is related to holiness, including honesty and virtue. (Webster, 1828)  The image and likeness of Truth must be righteous by the very nature of Truth.  Jesus sought out Zacchaeus to demonstrate how God seeks us, to bring out the inherent good in each of His children.  Zacchaeus cheated people in his role as tax collector.  Like all in his profession, his profit was determined by how much extra tax he collected.  But, there was clearly inherent good in him.  He ran to climb a tree to catch sight of Jesus.  How undignified!!!  He didn’t care what people thought, he was so drawn by the goodness of Christ Jesus.  And, it was important to Jesus to show the people that all men are inherently good because they are the image and likeness of Truth… of integrity.  We often think of Jesus being the champion of the poor, but here he was saving a “rich” man, too!  When Jesus called Zacchaeus down from the tree, Zacchaeus hurried to come down, and volunteered to right the wrongs he had committed.  By asking to go to Zacchaeus’ house, Jesus illustrated the real purpose of Christ… to restore innocence and perfection to those that appear to be lacking it.  Jesus acknowledged that Zacchaeus was worthy to be called the “son of Abraham” and be counted among God’s children, regardless of anything he had previously done.  Zacchaeus, being touched by Christ, changed his course as easily as we make a U-turn when we discover we’re headed the wrong direction driving down the road.  Just as naturally as iron filings are drawn to a magnet, man is drawn to righteousness (right acting.)  We can trust Christ to seek out each of God’s children and enable them to do “the right thing.”  Trust Christ, Truth, to do the “judging” of others.  We just have to make it a priority to run to see God’s message and hurry to follow when we’re called to change directions.  [An important part of CedarS 2013 theme is to “turn yourself around” or repent.]  That’s how we discover our Truth-given freedom.  (S-21)  Following honesty and integrity, we keep thought pure… then we see God and are free!  (S-25)

Section 7:  Made in the image and likeness of Love, purified in response to Love

Each Sunday, attendees at a Christian Science church services hear the “Correlative Scripture” read from I John, chapter 3.  This message needs to remain fresh!  I went to the New Interpreter’s Bible for inspiration, and I really liked this thought about it … “The child of God is a responsible agent and is responseable – enabled to respond – by the endowment of God’s prevenient (preceding) love.”  In other words, because God loves us, we respond to that Love, we image forth that Love.  We are God’s children (His offspring) NOW.  We don’t strive to keep ourselves pure in order to earn God’s love.  We already have it!  We are naturally able to keep thought pure in response to God’s love, and so see things as they really are, not how they appear through the clouded lens of adulterated “world thought.” (B-23)  When Paul told the Corinthians to “be perfect,” the Greek word he used meant “to repair or restore.”  The NRSV translates this verse as, “Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (B-24)  Love is ordered, and includes no disorder, no intimidation, fear, aggression, or inequity of any kind.  Mrs. Eddy says that the “human footsteps leading to perfection are indispensable.” (S-28)  We don’t get there in one giant leap.  It doesn’t yet appear what we “will be” when Christ is fully seen.  But, we have to start by knowing that “God IS Love!”  Because God is All, Love fills all space… in every corner of the world. (S-26 & S-27)  And, this Love is purifying all thought!  As we know this, and live it in our own lives, we can bring about peace and freedom to all here and now, one step at a time!!!  Man IS God’s reflection… the image and likeness of Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love!  That fact cannot be forever hidden from view!  We demonstrate it one thought at a time.  Let’s get started!  Man is perfect because God is perfect!


The application ideas above are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps. They are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of study and application of 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/

Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & its bracketed, italic additions.]

[While our herd of horses still needs your "adoptive" support to be fully fed, trained and ready for camp, our focus now goes to filling camp with worthy campers!  Our main funding goals for early 2013 are raising funds for campership applicants and for operations support.  If you'd rather not give online or over the phone,

[Thank you for mailing your checks to:
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Or for calling us at
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[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 Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio.  A voluntary French translation by Pascal or Denise cannot be guaranteed due to their busy schedules. An "official" version of the weekly Portuguese translation is now available for CedarS Mets, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for the Portuguese version.  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 subsequent emails.) 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 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 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-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-30). 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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