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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God the Preserver of Man”
for Sunday, December 11, 2016

By Rick Stewart, C.S. Dresden, Germany
+49 351 312 4736

Have you ever heard a message that came to you in a moment of the greatest need that just calmed all your fears? A message that lifted you up, encouraged you, eased your pain, guided you, or just left you feeling completely loved and protected? Well, that is how the Golden Text in this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson struck me. Simple, direct, assuring, and encouraging:

Golden Text: Daniel 10: 19 . . . “O man greatly beloved, fear not:”

As I read the chapter of Daniel where this quote came from I discovered that many Bible scholars and translators think it is a message from the angel Gabriel coming directly to Daniel. In chapter 10 the messenger is not identified as Gabriel by name, but in earlier chapters, Daniel 8:15-26 and Daniel 9:21-27 Gabriel appears to the prophet and explains the significance of Daniel’s visions to Daniel.

In Daniel chapter 10, Daniel had been praying and fasting in great spiritual hunger. God’s messenger came to him with these words of encouragement, “ O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. 12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.”

We read of angels in both the Old and New testament, and how they brought inspiring, comforting, and encouraging messages… and not just to Daniel! As Christmas nears we are reminded of angelic messages that came to the Father of John the Baptist (Zacharias) and to Mary, the mother of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1.

Mary Baker Eddy speaks of angels in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, including on pages, 298 and 299. For example these excerpts

“Angels are not etherealized human beings, evolving animal qualities in their wings; but they are celestial visitants, flying on spiritual, not material, pinions. Angels are pure thoughts from God, winged with Truth and Love, no matter what their individualism may be. Human conjecture confers upon angels its own forms of thought, marked with superstitious outlines, making them human creatures with suggestive feathers; but this is only fancy. It has behind it no more reality than has the sculptor’s thought when he carves his “Statue of Liberty,” which embodies his conception of an unseen quality or condition, but which has no physical antecedent reality save in the artist’s own observation and “chambers of imagery.”

“My angels are exalted thoughts, appearing at the door of some sepulchre, in which human belief has buried its fondest earthly hopes. With white fingers they point upward to a new and glorified trust, to higher ideals of life and its joys. Angels are God’s representatives. These upward-soaring beings never lead towards self, sin, or materiality, but guide to the divine Principle of all good, whither every real individuality, image, or likeness of God, gathers. By giving earnest heed to these spiritual guides they tarry with us, and we entertain “angels unawares.” (SH 298-299)

Isn’t that a wonderful message of inspiration to hold onto at all times, God telling us that we are greatly beloved and we do not have to be afraid.

This message of being chosen and beloved continues in the Responsive Reading that comes from Deuteronomy, Chapter 7. The passages making up the Responsive Reading are some of the most encouraging in the Bible. These verses tell of God setting his love upon his people, choosing them, freeing them, loving them, blessing them and multiplying them. These verses tell of God’s guidance for forty years in the wilderness, humbling and searching the heart of his people, clothing, feeding, and providing them with water and food. Every human need was provided. And God opened the way for his people, the Children of Israel. But as I read a little deeper in this chapter I ran across another theme that has always puzzled me. There were already tribes of people in these lands and sometimes they were cast out or actually defeated, “ When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites,” Deut. 7:1

So, I had a lingering question, not really a doubt, but a curiosity to know why God would bless and love one people and cast out others? Then the idea came, “Read the Lesson thou beloved of the Lord.” Yes, I was going to jump into the Bible Lesson and look for my answers!

Section 1: Adored by the “Adorable One,” our Father-Mother, God

A willingness to consider ourselves as the beloved children of our Father-Mother God is a powerful step. And that is what this section of the Bible Lesson bears witness to. A people or a person beginning to recognize a relationship, a child or children of a loving Father-Mother. B-1 Matthew 6:9 is the beginning of the prayer we know as “The Lord’s Prayer.” A prayer Jesus shared with us. “Our Father which art in heaven.” In citation, S-4, SH 256:7 Mrs. Eddy writes, “Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.”

Suddenly I had a first glimpse of the answer of why God chose to love the Children of Israel and seemingly cast away the other tribes. And it had to do with math, mathematics, you know good old arithmetic!

Have you ever heard someone say, “I hate math!” You know the frustration that comes out of not understanding something? Well, I always seemed to love math and reaped the fruitage of that love. In second grade my teacher, Ruth Urquhart, encouraged me and Barry Mitchum in our love of math. She would give us exercise book after exercise book. As soon as we finished one she would give us another. Eventually we had worked our way up to sixth grade problems! And we had had fun doing it.

As I was reminded of that episode in my life, I thought of the Children of Israel and the other tribes, let’s call them the “ites.” Through Moses’ leadership the Children of Israel were slowly learning to follow God, trust God, listen to God. It did take them quite a while to stop grumbling and simply follow, but they learned and God was patient with them. The other tribes, the “ites” in the region continued in forms of worship that included multiple gods and ritualistic practices that were at times quite evil. The “ites” were in fact often engaged in practices that were counter-productive to harmony. You might say like someone who is unwilling to obey the principles of mathematics either out of ignorance or shear stubbornness. Or simply do the math, and reap the benefits.

As you choose to learn of God, Father-Mother, divine Love, divine Principle you will be in the realm of a practical understanding. And it might seem that you become one of the chosen, and the false fears and practices are simply cast out of your experience. All the “ites” are gone and you are sheltered in the Promised Land.

If you want some inspiring insights into how important it is to begin to claim divine Principle, Love as your Father-Mother enjoy these Podcasts from Bible Scholar, Barry Huff. (For anyone without internet capability please be in touch with CedarS or with me and we will see that you get Barry’s wonderful insights!)

You can find spiritual insights in each verse of the Lord's Prayer (B1) in audio podcasts by Bible scholar Barry Huff at . (Podcasts 1, 2 and 8 relate to the lines in citation B1; The group of 8 podcasts are especially recommended on the website for Sunday School teachers and Sunday School students ages 11-17.)

Section 2: Father Abraham in full fidelity.

Another guy that chose to follow God and was blessed, is the great Bible Patriarch, Abraham. All of this section tells us of a man we first hear of as Abram, who later becomes Abraham. Faithfully following God’s direction Abraham went out from his hometown in search of a new home. We read in citation B8, “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. “ Hebrews 11:8, 10 8

The Voice translation says, “By faith Abraham heard God’s call to travel to a place he would one day receive as an inheritance; and he obeyed, not knowing where God’s call would take him. By faith he journeyed to the land of the promise as a foreigner; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, his fellow heirs to the promise because Abraham looked ahead to a city with foundations, a city laid out and built by God.”

In the “Glossary” of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (S5), Mrs. Eddy defines “ABRAHAM. Fidelity; faith in the divine Life and in the eternal Principle of being. This patriarch illustrated the purpose of Love to create trust in good, and showed the life-preserving power of spiritual understanding.” (579:10–14)

Stepping out in faith begins our walk with God. Not only did Abraham’s willingness to launch forth bless him and his family, but it has proved an inspiration for thousands of years, and laid the groundwork for those who followed him in generations later.

Abraham trusted and learned. As Citation S8 says, “Step by step will those who trust Him find that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (444:10)

Section 3: The divine Principle, Love provides our needs.

We read in the Bible that the Children of Israel in the journey out of bondage and towards the Promised Land came into the desert of Zin. See B-10, Numbers 20. Some scholars think that this is also an area that Abraham travelled through on his journey to Egypt.

But whereas a “Promised Land” may wait in the near future, the Desert of Zin sounds just a little less ideal a piece of real estate! Listen to the description in citation B10, “And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. “

But rather than remembered as a great blessing or miracle, the water here serves as a reminder of rebellion, of the Israelites, grumbling and griping, and also of Moses and Aaron as they tried to work things out separate from God. Instead of “provision” or “water-of-plenty,” the place is known as Meribah (“rebellion”). They are to remember their lack of faith and their active rebellion against God their savior every time they mention this place. And this was close to the end of their journey, perhaps 38 years into it. It is here that Aaron dies and his office as priest is passed to his son.

But it could have been different. And isn’t that something for us all to remember. We can listen, follow, rejoice in giving God another opportunity to provide. For example! My very first summer at CedarS as Main Camp Practitioner, CedarS’ founder, Ruth Huff, shared the most simple, but powerful example of a willingness to trust God. As camp was just about to begin she got word that the cook she had counted on could not be there. What was Ruth’s response in this emergency? She told me she turned to the Father and said, “Well, Father, I can’t wait to see how you will work this one out!” Shortly after that Ruth was driving back to camp along the country roads near CedarS and noticed a neighbor hanging out clothes to dry. This was a stranger to Ruth, but she decided to stop and greet the neighbor. As they chatted Ruth asked the new friend what her job was. The neighbor explained, “I am a cook for the school system.” Ruth in humble joy asked her, “Would you be interested in cooking for a summer camp?” She replied, “Yes.” And for the next seven years that lovely lady of Love’s providing served up delicious meals at CedarS!

Section 4: The beloved of the Lord, Joshua and you are ageless!

Faithfully following our Father-Mother, without fear, brings us step by step into a realm where mortality, age, and time do not govern. In this section we have a specific example as Caleb reminds Joshua about their faithful following of Moses directions. When they were first called into service at 40 years old they were faithful, and 45 years later, Caleb stood before Joshua, 85 years old, with this declaration, “As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me:” (B14, Joshua 14:11)

In the Book of Job (B15), we have a sort of an individual statement of how to walk into the Promised Land as the beloved of the Lord, and how the ultimate “ite”—the Adamite—might be cast out before you! Are you defined by a concept of man that is a descendant of Adam, an Adamite? And are you thereby limited by what this concept of man includes. Job gives a promise of what we might encounter in a Promised Land of Spirit: “If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; if iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear: And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.” (B15)

The Science and Health citations in this section are like a road map to the Promised Land of lively Life without aches and pains and with “”vigor, freshness, and promise”…”wisdom, beauty, and holiness.” (S19, 246)

Citation S17 reminded me of a wonderful example of how “A woman of eighty-five, whom I knew, had a return of sight.” (247:4) Our family got fresh eggs every week from a church member who drove 10 miles to church each week. Mrs. Ryder was around 90. I remember her as a spunky, delightful little lady. It appeared she had nearly lost her eyesight, had to stop driving, and called my mom for prayerful help. A short time later I remember her driving up to the house. She told mom she had been sitting with a copy of the Christian Science Journal in her hands, unable to see. Suddenly she said the print on the page jumped out at her, greatly enlarged. As she cried in great joy, the print reduced to a normal size, but was absolutely clear and dark. She realized she was seeing perfectly.

Section 5: The eternal and beloved child of God’s creating.

Mary Baker Eddy asks in Science and Health, “Does God send sickness, giving the mother her child for the brief space of a few years and then taking it away by death?”

“Can there be any birth or death for man, the spiritual image and likeness of God? Instead of God sending sickness and death, He destroys them, and brings to light immortality.” (S19, 206:19-21, 25-28)

How could Mary Baker Eddy dare to write such a statement? Where did she look for proof of these facts? Was it a dream land or a Promised Land that she was envisioning? What had inspired her to state this? Could it be the clear teaching and example of our Savior, our Master, Christ Jesus?

In citation B18 we read “behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. 23 And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.” (Matthew 9:18–26)

Below you will find some great insights by Cobbey Crisler into this powerful healing. And for you to know just a little about him I share this info:

Christian Science Bible Scholar, B. Cobbey Crisler, went on from a successful academic career at Harvard and Oxford, taht ultimately led to a PhD. He met the love of his life, Janet, and proposed one week later. His father, a successful journalist encouraged Cobbey, “Son, you want to get married. No more education. You get a job.”

Cobbey then had a successful career in advertising in New York City. He was asked to get involved with Daycroft School, the preparatory school run and staffed by Christian Scientists that he had attended. He eventually became Board President and responsible for running the school. All of his life he had been fascinated by Bible Studies. During this time he taught himself ancient Greek and Hebrew and feeling the children in the school needed a deeper understanding of the Bible, Cobbey began to teach a Bible Studies course. These courses became extremely popular with his students and eventually with all who attended his courses held all across the U.S and around the world. These steps into the Promised Land of understanding the Bible unfolded into a career as a Bible Scholar, researcher. tour guide and archeologist. Cobbey after making a unique discovery in Ephesus was listed in the Who’s Who in Biblical Archaeology.

As a someone who loved young people, Christian Science, and the Bible he had a great love of this story about Jairus’ daughter being healed by the Master.

Cobbey shared the following on the Christ putting the funereal thought of paid mourners out of the house before raising Jairus’ daughter. (B18, Matt. 9:18-26)
In context, after Jairus asks Jesus to come heal his daughter who was “at the point of death” (in the version related in Mark 5:23), a woman in the crowd presses through it to touch the fringes of Jesus’ prayer shawl. Although she’d been “unclean” with non-stop hemorrhaging for 12 years (the age of Jairus’ daughter), “The woman was made whole that very hour.”… Jesus stops, realizing that one healing does not affect the outcome of the other.”
“(Verse 23) ‘And he goes into the ruler’s house, with all sorts of instruments and noise.’ There were paid mourners. We’re told by Josephus that even the poorest family had at least two pipes and a couple of horns playing at a funeral. So you can imagine what a (funeral paid for by the) ruler of the synagogue would have sounded like, probably like a symphony by Shostakovich. Jesus comes in there. Just think of the atmosphere that’s going on. Jesus alters the atmosphere before he heals.
(Verse 24) ‘He says the maid is not dead but sleepeth.’ That apparently means he felt unable to affect a cure, a raising of the dead, in the presence of the weight of grief. If he’d kicked everybody out while they were crying, he would not have been supported by the social custom of that day or this, would he?
You don’t go into a funeral and sweep everybody out who’s crying. That’s why they’re there. They came to cry. Notice what Jesus does. This was pointed out to me by someone who is really respected for her Scriptural insight. I’d really missed the point. Jesus changed the whole environment.
He made a statement that was perfectly true to him but which was ridiculous to the average human thought. He said “The maid is not dead, she’s only sleeping in there.” So, notice how deep the grief ran. They all suddenly laughed. You and I know, you don’t laugh at funerals.
(Verse 25) ‘So he could actually clear everybody out who was laughing and then proceeds to raise the child.’]

Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, a Tax-Collector’s Report”, by B. Cobbey Crisler

Didn’t our Master actually do what Mary Baker Eddy describes in citation S23, “Divine Science rolls back the clouds of error with the light of Truth, and lifts the curtain on man as never born and as never dying, but as coexistent with his creator.” (557:18)

Section 6: The Master shows his and (our) oneness with the Father.

I love to picture Jesus talking to a group of people, sharing ideas, some in the audience listening and some in the audience just stewing in their objections to his words. For example this occasion when he spoke on the Mount of Olives. He had boldly shared, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Wow. Now that is a promise! But his words were challenged by the Pharisees. These were men who were known for strictly following the laws given by Moses, but also who gave intricate instructions on how people had to follow that law. They might have found that Jesus’ ideas violated their interpretations. But Jesus deep understanding of his relationship to “his Father,” was a fact—a fact we can embrace for all. The Master explained about his ever-present Father (and ours!): ”And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. it is my Father that honoureth me; Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.“ (B21,John 8: 29, 54, 56–58)

The Bible portion of this section concludes with Jesus’ remarkable statement that indicates the reason behind the healings and perfection in all he did: “I and my Father are one.” (B22, John 10:30—put to song as referenced in the closing paragraph)

The citations from Science and Health clearly explain that oneness that Jesus understood and demonstrated. Mrs. Eddy writes: “That saying of our Master, “I and my Father are one,” separated him from the scholastic theology of the rabbis. His better understanding of God was a rebuke to them. He knew of but one Mind and laid no claim to any other.” (S27, 315:3–7—put to song as referenced in the closing paragraph)

In commenting on the statement of our Master regarding Abraham and himself Cobbey Crisler shared this insight.

“The statement in John 8:58 really started a popular commotion. Jesus says, "Before Abraham was, I am.” Does that fit into his statement about, "no man ascendeth up to heaven save he that has come down from heaven, even the son of man that is in heaven"? Is there a beginning for man, divinely speaking? Does it hold within it the key of eliminating the last enemy called death?”]
Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple”, by B. Cobbey Crisler

Section 7: Beloved, blessed, and forever one with our Father-Mother

I found this grouping together of Bible citations B23 to B25 according to The Voice translation a sweet version of His message to us:

Psalms 121” The Eternal keeps you safe, so close to Him that His shadow is a cooling shade to you. The Eternal will keep you safe from all of life’s evils.” (B23)

I John 3. “Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us – He calls us children of God! It’s true, we are His beloved children. And in the same way the world didn’t recognize Him, the world does not recognize us either.

When we feel like we are not good enough to be loved by God, we should remember that God’s love is greater than our doubts. We must silence the sounds of condemnation so we can hear the voice of God’s loving assurance and remember that He has selected us to be part of His family.” (B24) [a version of the “correlative scripture” that Mrs. Eddy selected to be read after the “Scientific Statement of Being” at the close of each church service]

Daniel 10: 19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly regarded by God. May peace rest on you and make you whole; be strong; be brave. At his words, I grew even stronger.”

Mary Baker Eddy confirms that love and oneness that holds us all, “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (S-31, 361:16)

Warren Huff, CedarS Executive Director, shared that Cherie Brennan, a Cedars mom, has consistently been winning awards as an inspirational, country music singer and songwriter. He wrote, “Hope you get to see and enjoy one of her original music videos that ties together Citations B22, S27 and S31 from this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson. To hear “I and My Father” just click on the following link:

It is available on the Christian Science Publishing Society as a single (4th song) or as part of her whole album “You Are Loved”—which is a theme for this whole lesson— at .

[Warren’s PS: It’s fun to read how feeling God’s love and protection applies in a summer camp setting. Check out the testimony by CedarS Ski Camper, Brittany Duke, verified by Gary Duke, CS, at the end of this week’s MyBibleLesson. You can find the original, ‘Spiritual armor’ at summer camp, published in the April 30, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.]

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