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Pray to have your blinded eyes opened to behold the invisible things of Spirit!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

September 17-24, 2017

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, CS, Lake St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT

[Warren:Thanks for considering helping to meet CedarS NEEDS OF THE WEEK.]

The first thing I noticed about this Lesson was the many references to eyes and seeing. Some of us may feel the need to apply the references to the literal opening of blind eyes. But, regardless of our supposed visual acuity, we all need to be praying to have our eyes opened to behold more of the infinite universe that is the realm of Spirit, and to fully recognize Christ (“The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error”; “the ideal Truth”). We never need to change reality. We can perceive what God has created by depending on spiritual sense in order to “look deep into realism” and to see and experience perpetual harmony!

Golden Text: This is one of my favorite verses. To me, it is a prayer that acknowledges that the only thing needing to change is our view — our perspective. We know how differently things can look when viewed from different angles. And, in this case we acknowledge the power of God to open our eyes in order for the perspective to shift from limited matter to infinite Spirit. Our job is to praise God for His goodness, have faith that God will reveal reality to us, and be willing to stick to the true, spiritual view, even when it appears dim. In the original Hebrew, the word translated “behold” means to pay attention to and look intently at. As our eyes are opened to God’s law of good and we are focused on that good, it becomes all we can see. Anything that isn’t good loses the power to impress us, fades, and cannot influence us!

Responsive Reading: [Relevant 1-liners: “Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good.” Mary Kessler
“Where there is loving attention, memory is inevitable.” Grace Wasson, CSB (W’s Sunday School notes)]
Figuratively we talk about looking up to see the help that comes from God. Of course, God is all around … but looking up indicates a desire to look at things from an unlimited spiritual perspective, rather than a material (or limited) one. We acknowledge God as the source of all things, and accept that God (the divine Principle, Love) has established a covenant (or spiritual contract) with His people that provides a lighted path that is always there to help us navigate this human adventure that we call life — and to see through its perceived limitations. Notice all that God does! God is taking complete care of us! All we have to do is respond … be willing to hear, look, and see. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance breaks down the Hebrew for us. To hear, look, and see all includes the idea of paying attention (just like behold). To hear includes the idea of obedience. AS we pay attention — give our FULL attention to what God is revealing — we won’t be distracted by what seems to be. The goodness of God will then be ours to perceive and experience!

Section 1: Spiritual Sense and Faith

Abraham serves as such an amazing example of obedience and of a willingness to trust God’s promises more than surface appearances. (B2) If we really accept that everything that is anything (that is “all forms of reality”) has its source in God, and that it is very good, we never have to be concerned about someone else getting ahead of us — or that we won’t have what we need. (B1, S2) We can afford to be generous (as Abraham was when he let Lot have first pick of land) knowing there is never a shortage, but rather infinite good available to all! Paul really nailed it when he pointed out that Abraham was looking for a “city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (B3) So often we’re tempted to look for a particular answer to meet our needs, and judge how well things are going by physical evidence. But, material conditions are changeable by their very nature. In seeking a “city … whose builder and maker is God,” Abraham was willing to rely on spiritual sense to reveal what was not visible to the physical senses. (S4) Although represented by the fertile land we call Israel — the inheritance God was actually revealing to Abraham was a spiritual state of consciousness in which God’s ever-presence can always be perceived, and Mind is recognized as enveloping every spiritual idea in the realm of good. (S2) As we look at our world, we need to rely more on spiritual sense to [be able to] see through the carnage, disease, and discord. Right where these appear are actually peace, health, and harmony. To say this isn’t being oblivious to what’s going on around us, but it is contradicting the material sense testimony and correcting the false report [the actual “fake news”]. Mrs. Eddy lists 6 qualities of thought that are inherent in this spiritual sense. It seems to me that they build on each other. Although we may not be able to perceive the reality of every situation, we can (like Abraham) trust God — the law of Good — enough to let our intuition that God will meet our human need build to hope to faith to understanding to the point that we see an answer come to fruition and finally glimpse reality. (S3 & S6) Abraham was just like us. And we can be as trusting as he was. Recently I was in a national park that was inundated with smoke. I couldn’t see the mountains, lakes, and glaciers. But I trusted that they were there. Proceeding one step at a time, we’ll stay on the right track — whether we can see where the trail leads or not. Love does reveal spiritual reality — which is always good.

Section 2: The invisible becomes visible

The Golden Text is repeated in this section. (B5) Wondrous things can be thought of as things beyond one’s power to perceive, or difficult to understand. Some might even call them miracles. (Strong’s)
In other words, they are things or outcomes that can only be discerned through the kind of spiritual sense that comes as God opens our eyes to see beyond what is apparent to the physical senses. Through obedience to God’s law, we are led out of darkness into light — where things that had been hidden can now be seen. Elisha had already demonstrated his ability to see beyond what the physical senses revealed. Prior to this story we read how he had multiplied the widow’s oil, predicted the birth of her child, raised her son from the dead, healed Naaman of leprosy and retrieved a lost ax head. And now he had repeatedly warned the King of Israel of impending attacks. But his servant needed to see God’s presence, too! And Elisha’s prayer that HIS eyes be opened was answered — cancelling the fear that resulted from judging according to the outward appearance. We can all be prophets — “spiritual seer”(s) — and help others see past the physical evidence, too. (S7) We must never be satisfied with the evidence presented by the material senses. God’s universe of good is the only reality and we can perceive that reality as we let our “gaze rest … in the unsearchable realm of Mind.” Then, things that are invisible to the limited human view — things we may not even be able to imagine — will “become visible” to spiritual sense — like the “horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (S11, B6) The key is to not outline how an answer will appear — or what it will look like. It is enough to know that there is always an answer and that God will reveal it as we pray to have our eyes opened, and have faith that we (and others) can see the good that God is forever providing..

Section 3: Christ opens the blind eyes

Jesus restored sight to the blind, “saying, According to your faith be it unto you.” (B9) The story that we have here in Matthew mirrors, with a few differences, the one in Mark (10: 46-52) of blind Bartimaeus calling after Jesus. (B9) Matthew has 2 men and there is reason to believe they were followers of Jesus (at least to some degree) before being healed. I think it’s helpful to see what each party brought to the table, so to speak. In each case, the man or men confidently called after Jesus, begging him to heal them. Jesus, being the full representation of Christ, completely understood that man has no life separate from God. He never accepted the limited mortal view, but “beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.” (S13) To him, there were no blind men. But, faith was required on the part of those needing healing as a way to receive the blessing of sight. They had not yet achieved that level of understanding, but their faith cracked open the obscurity of the material senses. To me, it is comforting to realize that “Life, Truth, and Love” (“the realities of divine Science”) “dawn in faith and glow full-orbed in spiritual understanding.” (S14) We don’t need to give in to frustration or feel defeated if we think we lack a sufficient understanding of the spiritual nature of man. It is the Christ, Truth, which heals. Maintaining our faith enables us to feel the healing touch of Christ in our experience! It is also helpful to claim that we have all the spiritual sense that we need in order to heal in any given situation. Mrs. Eddy tells us “Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God.” (S17) It’s not something that we need to get — although we do need to constantly cherish and cultivate it. We need to claim spiritual sense as ours, and maintain the faith that God is opening our eyes so that we can see the infinite good that constitutes God’s creation!

Section 4: Recognizing Christ [in our daily walk – & in The Walk to Emmaus, PS#1 & #2]

It seems to me that the opening of the disciples’ eyes as they spoke with Jesus on the road to Emmaus can also be considered a healing of blindness. Although their physical sight was intact, they were so blinded by grief, discouragement, fear and misunderstanding that they were unable to recognize Jesus as he walked beside them and talked with them. They were headed out of Jerusalem — leaving behind their old lives of discipleship. As they walked along, “a stranger” appeared. Can you imagine not recognizing the Master, with whom they had spent so much time? Before the crucifixion, his disciples had been sure that Jesus was the promised Messiah. But, even though he had tried to tell them that he would be crucified and return from the grave, they just couldn’t accept that part. Perhaps their vision was “restrained” (Greek for holden) because they had much more to learn about the Christ before they were ready to carry on the work for which Jesus had been preparing them. It seems they didn’t totally understand the significance of the Messiah as a spiritual savior. They thought the Messiah would fully redeem Israel — and that hadn't happened before Jesus left them. They clearly hadn’t accepted as fact all of the prophecies concerning Jesus. But as Jesus spoke with them, he began “with Moses and all the prophets [and] he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” They still didn’t get it. And yet, they begged him to stay and spend the night with them when they reached their destination. That was a good thing, as it was an instance of entertaining “an angel unawares.” It was after that invitation was extended — while Jesus was breaking bread with them (as he had done so many times before) — that “their eyes were opened.” Then Jesus was gone. But, they finally recognized that their hearts had been “burning” while he spoke with them. They realized something special was going on, and finally received the full revelation — suddenly felt the presence of Christ and recognized Jesus. (B12) This part isn’t in the lesson, but they were so struck by their awakening and new-found vision that they turned right around and walked back to Jerusalem — at night, something that just would not normally have been done. They must have felt so encircled in the love of Christ that their safety was of no concern. They were greeted by the other disciples and learned of Peter’s encounter with the Master, too. Their eyes remained open as they proceeded to share the good news of the risen Christ. How often are our eyes closed to the presence of Christ? How often do we feel as though we have become separated from God and wonder if we will again feel that unity? We may even doubt that what we thought we knew about God and man is really true, or at least wonder whether we can demonstrate what we’ve thought we knew. We may feel that although we are certain that the Christ is real, at any particular moment we can’t see the “divine manifestation” coming “to the flesh to destroy incarnate error.” (SH 583: 10) There probably isn’t a moment when someone isn’t feeling that way. And it’s an awful feeling. But, we discover something in Paul’s letter to the Colossians that tells us how we can help the dear ones that are feeling that way — and be helped by others when we find ourselves in that boat. Paul tells the Colossians that he is praying for them. He praises God who he knows is giving them the understanding and faith that they need — is opening their eyes! He praises the Colossians for their faith and hope — even if they’re not seeing things as clearly as they eventually will. He is confident that their faith will not let them give up — and they will come out victorious. (B13) Shouldn’t we be including in our daily prayer support for our fellow seekers? And, we can also be comforted when we need support, knowing that others are praying for us! Too often we judge things (and are blinded) by outward appearances. Perhaps we think we’ve lost our connection to God — lost sight of Christ — because our body or other hardships (such as storm damage or economic challenges)) tell us so. But Christian Science rightly teaches that “spiritual sense, and not the material, conveys the impressions of Mind to man.” As we hold to what spiritual sense is telling us, “being will be understood and found to be harmonious.” (S19) I love how Mrs. Eddy uses the illustration of the cloud hiding the sun. Similarly, “false belief silences for a while the voice of immutable harmony, but false belief cannot destroy Science (Truth) armed with faith, hope, and fruition.” (S20) We naturally include sufficient faith and hope and understanding. And they can’t be forever covered by the clouds of mortal sense. Mrs. Eddy describes understanding as “the reality of all things brought to light.” (S23) It is not gained through an intellectual process. Rather, we must yield to the burning in our hearts — the heart’s desire — and know that nothing can keep the Christ from shining so brightly that we are awakened and our eyes are opened. Blindness flees and we see the harmony that has always constituted God’s universe!

Section 5: The Holy City — visible here and now

John’s experience was the ultimate in demonstrating spiritual vision — enabling him to see a new heaven and a new earth — radiant reality — right where he was! To the physical senses, John was not in a good place, imprisoned on the rocky and barren island of Patmos. But, John was able to see through the mist of matter to recognize the eternal reality of heaven within — within the hearts of each of us, so ever available to be seen and experienced. The book of Revelation opens with the explanation that this revelation of reality came from God to Jesus who, through his demonstrations, showed us what can be seen when eyes are opened to the presence of God’s Kingdom. It then came from Jesus to John through God’s angels. John was told to write down his vision so that we could all have a record of it! Aren’t we grateful for that? Revelation is written in symbolic language and represents the height of spiritual vision. It is important to embrace the possibilities and “beholding the infinite tasks of truth”, to “pause — wait on God” and “push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory.” (S28) John demonstrated for us that our eyes, though blinded by material sense, can see reality (the Holy City or New Jerusalem) here and now — regardless of human circumstances. Mrs. Eddy defines New Jerusalem in the glossary as “Divine Science, the spiritual facts and harmony of the universe; the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony.” (SH 592: 18) Mrs. Eddy explains how John saw what he did — “because St. John’s corporeal sense of the heavens and earth had vanished, and in place of this false sense was the spiritual sense …” John’s experience provides “Scriptural authority for concluding that such a recognition of being is, and has been, possible to men in this present state of existence, — that we can become conscious, here and now, of a cessation of death, sorrow, and pain.” (S26) This is what Christian Science teaches! Christian Science isn’t about putting limitations on us — what we aren’t allowed to do — but opens the way for us to see the Holy City — “a new heaven and a new earth” where there is no more sea. (B15) What does “sea” represent? It could be thought of as a false sense of man’s origin. The sea was sometimes considered an ungodly world from which beasts arise. It divides land and people and can be seen as constantly changing from glass to a place of perpetual unrest. In other words, it represents the general belief of changeableness and inconsistency. But, as our eyes are opened to the Holy City, all of this disappears and there is found unity with God and man and perpetual peace. [In Warren’s PS#3] Cobbey Crisler connects the idea of no more tears to no more sea …“no more salty reminders of the sea in our bodies chemically.” The realization that all things are NEW frees us from such things as the baggage of past mistakes (ours or another’s), of thinking that we can suffer for things like spending too much time out in the sun without protection, or making bad choices in general, or even being born into difficult circumstances or inheriting “bad genes.” It’s amazing how most of what we see as our problems relate to something in the past. But, we don’t have to get stuck there! We can see the fresh view as we view life through God-given spiritual sense and recognize every moment as new! Christ opens our eyes, and we can see “absolute Christian Science” — the eternal reign of harmony right here, right now!!! Let go of the past and embrace the new view. The blind shall receive their sight! That’s a promise!

Click to enjoy CedarS Online version of Warren Huff's addition of several Cobbey Crisler insights on select Bible citations from this Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Reality” for September 24, 2017.


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