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Put your whole self in!  Humbly walk with – worship – God!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson
for July 8-14, 2013

Subject: Sacrament

by Kathy Fitzer, CS
314-323-4083              kathyfitzer@gmail.com

The Latin origin of the word sacrament involves a sense of obligation. And part of the definition in Webster’s 1828 dictionary reads a ceremony by which “obligations to him [Christ] are renewed and ratified.”  Our obligation to God and His Christ (light and truth) is summed up in the Golden Text and elaborated on throughout the lesson.  Fulfilling our obligation to God never depletes us, but strengthens us.  So… why wouldn’t we want to put our whole selves into the worship of God!

[CedarS Note on the Golden Text: This citation forms the basis for CedarS Ground School requirements before using “Ruth’s Run” ziplines to Bible Lands Park: “… what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly (showing a just right fit for all gear), and to love mercy (showing mercy to your catching support staff by being able to brake safely), and to walk humbly with thy God?(showing you can travel hand-over-hand on the cable as needed)” (Micah 6:8)  Last year our son, Barry Huff, a Principia College Bible Studies Professor, made the connection for me between this passage and the last part of our 6th Tenet, where Mary Baker Eddy asks Christian Scientists to make the biblically-based solemn promise “to be merciful, just and pure.” (SH 497:26) He shared that the first parts of our 6th Tenet promise are also biblically-based, coming from the Golden Rule and from Paul’s admonition in Phil. 2:5 to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”.]

Golden Text and Responsive Reading:  The Requirement of Humility
This week’s lesson focuses on the Lord’s requirement “to walk humbly with thy God.”  The Message (by Eugene Peterson) puts it, “don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously.”  That’s kind of a fun take on humility or meekness. To be humble is to be “lowly, modest, meek, submissive; as opposed to proud, haughty, arrogant or assuming”. (Webster 1828.)  To me, true humility, true meekness, is being totally submissive to God – [totally pure] as Jesus was. And that is an indication of strength, rather than weakness.  In what we have come to know as “The Beatitudes,” Jesus teaches us how to align thought with God and so achieve true and lasting happiness and prosperity.  [Pledging to live a Beatitude (i.e. to be “quick to forgive” or “free from pride”… is a required aligning of thought with God and the mind of Christ before “walking on water” at all CedarS Cable Watersports activities.]  The third beatitude specifically speaks of humility, or meekness.  But, check out how the other beatitudes, illustrated in the various sections of this lesson, also tie in with humility.  Jesus’ teachings require us to give it all over to God… to put our whole selves in.  [And isn’t that the ultimate purity?]  Humbly “putting our whole selves in” never burdens us or weakens us, but always enables us to be strengthened by God and His Christ!

Section 1:  Put your whole self in NOW as you worship God.  See the blessings!
Isaiah tells of a wonderful promise God makes to us, His people.  It says that God dwells with them (with us) and leads, heals, and comforts them (us.)  So, what’s required of us? To be humble and contrite enough to adjust our thoughts and actions so they are more in line with God, Spirit, than with matter, or with all the stuff of the world. (B-1 & S-1)  It’s how we think that really matters.  We read in John that “true worshippers” should “worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” (B-3)  What does that mean?  Worship includes adoration, devotion, and sacrifice. The more good we know about something, the more we adore it, are devoted to it, and are willing to sacrifice for it.  It is important to continually increase our understanding of God through study… as we study anything we want to know more about.  As we spend time learning more about God, we find there is more to love.  But, be careful not to measure how much someone worships God by how much time he or she spends reading words. When people eat a meal, some take big bites, some take small… some eat a lot, some eat a little.  But, what matters is the nourishment that comes from the food that people eat and how they use the energy gained from their meal.  So… some may spend a lot of time studying, others less.  But, it is what we do with what we’ve learned – how inspired we are – that translates into an understanding of God, a love of God, and a love for God’s children.  That is worship!  If we truly love God, we’ll show it by tangibly loving our neighbor. (S-4)  We reflect God – nothing can change that.  But, it is understanding God that enables us to experience the life that Life expresses.  Mrs. Eddy says that understanding God “is the work of eternity.”  (S-5)  So, if it’s going to take forever anyway, what’s the rush?  STOP!  Eternity isn’t a measure of time… it is that which is without time.  It is NOW!  So, don’t wait!  With every moment of now throw your whole self in to acting out what you know about God and in to getting to know Him better all the time.  Worship Him with your whole being and watch for His blessings!

Section 2: Put your whole self in by giving up human will and forgetting self be humbly poor in Spirit!
Naaman was a commander in the Syrian army.  Hoping to find freedom from his leprosy, he agreed to go see the prophet Elisha in Israel, a nation subject to Syria at that time. Naaman would have been happy to have spent his fortune to receive a cure, but he wasn’t prepared for the simple demand Elisha made on him.  Sound familiar?  Are we ever guilty of desiring a change in our experience – provided it doesn’t require too many sacrifices on our part – or ask us to be too flexible or to swallow our pride too much?  Are we really willing to acknowledge our need for God… to be poor in Spirit? “Go wash in the river Jordan,” Naaman was told.  Here was a man who was used to people falling all over themselves for him, and Elisha didn’t even show up.  And the messenger asked him to wash in a muddy, ugly river in Israel!?! (B-5)  Naaman didn’t understand why he couldn’t just go to one of the beautiful rivers of Damascus instead.  But, Elisha knew that the river wasn’t the healing agent!  To be free of the skin disease, Naaman had to be washed clean of pride and the need to be in control.  He simply needed be obedient and yield.  It was important for Naaman to recognize the authority Elisha exercised as a prophet in Israel… important to acknowledge the God of Israel as the healer.  How often are we tempted to outline the solution to a problem – or to give credit for a blessing to a thing or to a person, instead of to God?  All power belongs to God, and He must be given all the glory.  Mrs. Eddy identifies human will as “hiding the divine Principle of harmony.”  She determined that it “is destructive to health, and is the cause of disease rather than its cure.”  (S-8)  That’s really strong.  But, when Naaman gave up His human will, “the divine Principle of harmony” was revealed and health was restored!  Human will can sometimes be subtle.  Seeing the nothingness of error on the basis of God’s allness is different than a human determination to simply not give in to error.  The latter approach may temporarily relieve the symptoms, but we are really healed only as we selflessly recognize God as omnipotent, and yield to His power to eliminate the opposite of Himself.  “Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers.” (S-9)  Forgetting self includes giving up preconceptions, opinions, and outlines.  In the short-term self-forgetfulness can seem scary and less than desirable (like bathing in the muddy Jordan).  But, in the long term, as we put off our “material beliefs and false individuality” we come to know God better. (S-7)  And to know Him is to understand and love Him, and experience His realm of harmony! 

Section 3: Put your whole self in by being willing to beg for and value the crumbs be meek!
A woman of Canaan [from the Phoenician-Lebanese cities of Tyre and Sidon] came to Jesus begging him to heal her daughter.  This was not the norm.  Jesus, by his own words, was sent only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  There has been a lot of conjecture regarding this story as to why Jesus appeared to respond so coldly.  Maybe he did believe it was his mission to bring salvation to the Jews… perhaps thinking that later the rest would also be “saved.”  One thing is interesting… Jesus at first “answered her not a word,”… just as he didn’t respond to Herod or Pilate.  When his disciples demanded that he turn her away, he instead turned to her, explaining that he wasn’t there to feed the “dogs.”  Gentiles were, at that time, referred to as dogs by the Jews.  But, the woman refused to take no for an answer.  She threw her whole self into her request – her prayer – for her daughter to be healed.  She had faith that even a crumb of Truth was enough to bring healing. (B-7)  “Meekness and charity have divine authority.” (S-11)  This mother clearly possessed both of these qualities.  Her love for her daughter was met by Jesus’ love for mankind.  And her meekness allowed her to depend on the omnipotence of God – trusting the crumbs – while she asserted her courage to stand firm and “fight” for what she knew would heal her daughter.  She wasn’t too proud to “beg.”  Meekness is not weakness!

Section 4: Put your whole self in to being as a little child humble, pure, receptive be pure in heart.
Jesus loved and valued little children… not the typical attitude of the times.  Perhaps the example he made of children served a couple of purposes.  When his disciples were arguing about which of them was the best – who would have the highest rank in the kingdom of heaven, – it was important for them to understand that entrance into the kingdom – the consciousness of harmony – isn’t dependent on personality or even on accomplishments.  It is a state of pure consciousness – of innocent receptivity and wonder, a consistent readiness to learn and discover more… never resting on what has already been accomplished.  Jesus’ disciples — then and today — need to be willing to give up all that they thought they knew, and be as humble and pure as a little child! Also, in order to truly value Jesus, there was/is a need to value little children. (B-8)  The phrase, “in my name” can mean, for my sake.  Jesus always saw himself — and others — as children of God.  To understand Jesus rightly is to view children rightly — and develop our inherent childlikeness — purity of heart.  Mrs. Eddy says that for thought to be receptive to understanding the realities of God, we have to “leave the old for the new” as little children do… let go of what we’ve outgrown just as naturally as a growing child discovers he can’t still fit into last year’s clothes. We need to relish growing spiritually as much as a child gets excited about how much taller he’s growing! (S-18)
[CedarS Side note: Almost every day in CedarS Bible Lands Park time-traveling seekers for scriptural answers to prayer take a “Ruth’s Run” zipline ride onto a landing platform called the “Horeb height where God is revealed” (S-17, 24).  Here, at a burning bush like Moses was, they are invited to “leave the old for the new” (S-18, 323) as they come face to face with a purer view of God, of themselves and of a divine commission to take back to their futures.]

Section 5:  Break bread with Christ, and put your whole self in to understanding and expressing God’s love be merciful and receive mercy!
Previously, I’ve thought about our need to receive the bread (Truth) of Christ and be willing to drink of his cup — meet whatever challenge (or cross) that comes our way —  with the inspiration of the wine in the cup. (S-22)  But, this time, I thought about the necessity of being present with Christ — to consciously stand in the Christ-light — so that we may partake of the Christ-truth, and share this truth and God’s love with our fellow-man.  Was the act of breaking bread any less active, or demand a lesser response on our part, than the washing of feet?  Jesus washed his disciples’ feet with the expectation [and demand] that they would then wash each other’s feet.  It was expected [and commanded] that they (we) would love as Jesus loved.  It requires doing whatever is necessary to show our love of God — even when it’s not humanly easy or comfortable.  Our celebration of the last supper (our Eucharist) must be an active celebration.  We persist in understanding more of Truth every day — even if the obstacles seem insurmountable.  Humanly, we are benefited by eating and drinking as we digest (assimilate) what we take in.  Similarly, we are benefitted from the bread of Christ (the truth of God) as we digest it… understand it.  Mrs. Eddy teaches us that this assimilation only comes as we are honest, unselfish, loving and meek. (S-20)  What clearer example of unselfish, meek love than for the Master to play the part of a servant (by washing feet.)  We are servants of God, and demonstrate that we understand God as we tenderly serve (love) others.  This is God’s requirement!  Through showing our merciful love to others we feel and are strengthened by God’s merciful love for us. 

Section 6: Put your whole self in to watching and praying to do what God requires hunger and thirst for righteousness!
Jesus surely would have loved to have had the support of his disciples during his very trying time in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night he was unjustly arrested before being unjustly tried and crucified.  But, no matter what, he patiently and persistently prayed and loved.  He met his disciples where they were, and allowed them to grow at their own pace.  He certainly didn’t clutter his own clear thought with resentment or impatience.  Finding them asleep, he urged them to watch and pray “that ye enter not into temptation.”  Watching and praying is making it a priority to do what God requires.  That was always Jesus’ priority.  Turning from his disciples, he continued praying.  Even though it wasn’t his first choice, he was humbly willing to drink the cup… to face whatever came his way, including the cross. (B-12)  This isn’t the same as resigning himself to suffer.  It was simply putting his entire self in as he trusted God to take him ALL the way… whatever path that way included.  Other people won’t always be there for us, but what’s important isn’t how others respond to a problem, but how we respond.  Are we willing to yield to God and love for the sake of loving? (S-24)  If so, we’re treating our Gethsemane experience as Jesus treated his, and we will be strengthened.
[CedarS Side note: The final stop on CedarS Time Traveler Trail before our “Cross to Crown” Zipline ride “back to your future” is our Garden of Gethsemane where zipline travelers get a clear glimpse of what Jesus would have seen well in advance – the approaching line of torches held by his would-be tormenters as they snaked their way down from Jerusalem into the Kidron Valley to climb to where he was watching them and praying on the Mount of Olives.  A vivid scene and application ideas for today are outlined in an article called “The Way of Gethsemane” from the April 1945 Christian Science Journal, by Lucy Hays Reynolds where she states, “The Master proved that the way of divine glory was one not of personal glorification, but of total self-renunciation. We are told in the Scriptures that Jesus fell on the ground and earnestly prayed three times: that if it were possible the cup might pass from him, nevertheless that God's will be done; then again he prayed that if it were not possible, still that God's will be done; finally, reiterating this willingness, he reached the sublime pinnacle of self-surrender and went forth from Gethsemane fully prepared to demonstrate the capacity of the divine nature to overcome the world.”]

Section 7:  Put your whole self in to responding to the risen Christ – don’t be afraid of being persecuted for righteousness sake (doing what God requires).
The disciples were surely confused by Jesus’ crucifixion and frightened at the prospect that they, too, might be persecuted if they followed his example.  They didn’t believe Mary Magdalene when she told them that their Master had risen.  So, Jesus came to show himself to them directly. (B-14)  Do we doubt the Science of Christ when we don’t seem to have a healing in the way we’d like, or see others who apparently haven’t been healed through Science?  Isn’t that denying the presence of Christ here and now… denying the risen Christ?  Are we tempted to go back to old ways of thought (as the disciples went back to old ways of fishing?)  Yet, as they responded to the commands of Christ – casting their net on the right side, they did catch fish. Their perspective changed.  They recognized the living Christ. (B-15)  They felt God’s grace, and were gently drawn back to the path that Christ had prepared for them. (B-16 & S-29)  If we find ourselves thinking we might not have what it takes to practice Christian Science as we’d like to, or we see those we love drifting away from their practice of Science, KNOW that Christ meets each one of us on the shore of our experience – and with grace leads us back.  Respond!  Don’t let anything pull you away from the pursuit of Truth… of gaining a deeper understanding of God every day.  [Let his resurrection be your resurrection (SH 34:20)]  And, know with certainty that Christ is calling each one individually to cast their net on the “right side.”  [See endnote about a “right side” CedarS scriptural reenactment script and video.]  Neither fear, doubt, apathy, nor any other claim can keep any of God’s children from recognizing, pursuing, and feeling the blessings of Christ, Truth!  True worship includes meekly responding to God – and trusting all (everyone) to Him.  Yield – and walk humbly with God.  It is a sure path!


[Warren’s endnote: Check back later in the week for a video reenactment skit of Cast Your Net on the Right Side”You can download a PDF-formatted script with follow-up questions by clicking on the link in the upper right corner of CedarS current metaphysical webpage.  This summer, as cabin groups of all ages tour CedarS Camps Bible Lands Park, they will have the opportunity to re-enact stories like this one from the current Christian Science Bible Lesson.  Each week, videos of selected skits will be posted on the CedarS website as well as on a community webpage for TMCYouth.com.  These scripts and follow-up questions may be downloaded free of charge by those seeking Bible-centered activities and contemporary applications for Sunday School classes and/or Bible study groups. These Bible skits were written by Sara Romo, a current CedarS counselor, as part of her Girl Scout Gold project. Sara raised over $1,000 to set up the initial costumes, props, and scriptural sets, and with your ongoing support, we hope to keep up this exciting new resource and improve it.]

[The above application ideas 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 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/

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

[Happy results from our recent LETTING NEEDS BE KNOWN:  
CAMPERSHIPS: Wonderful contributions needed for camperships have recently been given! Now, CedarS can fulfill its top priority of having a camp filled with Sunday School students having fun experiences in applying Christian Science to take home in transformed livesClick here to apply online for the camperships now available for CedarS remaining 4th, 5th and 6th session programs, for which one can enroll online.

OUR LIVESTOCK FENCING NEEDS:
Over $21,000 was given last week by 3 individuals who saw the need to do more than just “band-aid” long sections of our dilapidated pasture fencing.  Won’t you match their generous support as you are able to help provide the remaining $25,000 needed to finish upgrading the fences around our horse pastures and riding rings?  And, with “only” $4,000 more, we could build suitable new fences around our Bible Lands Park so that it could be noiselessly and sustainably “mowed” by 12 sheep offered on loan from our immediate neighbor!  What a Biblically-appropriate, “green pastures” scene and petting area this will provide for all visitors to our Bible Lands Park!

BIG THANKS in advance for MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE,
BY PHONE at 636-394-6162,
OR BY MAIL at:
CedarS Camps Inc. 
19772 Sugar Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536

 [Remember, it's NOT TOO LATE to enroll or encourage others to enroll or to get CAMPERSHIP AID; but to help finalize affordable flights and arrangements, CedarS needs campers who are "on the fence to SIGN UP ONLINE ASAP!  Explore easy ONLINE Enrollment for campers & families as well as for Parents, Grands or Sponsors to join our team in home-style accommodations!
Any FINANCIAL AID requested is available as needed!]

[Check out CedarS with its Fundament Concepts, Unique Facilities and Features designed to transform lives! Click to see testimonials in writing!]

[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, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Pascal or Denise cannot be guaranteed due to their busy schedules. 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 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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