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Remove the tares from the wheat to find the kingdom of heaven and uncover its unseen and unlimited treasures!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson on the subject “Matter”
For the week of March 16-22, 2009
Prepared by Janet Hegarty, C.S. of St. Louis, MO

Editor’s Note: The following application ideas for this week and the Possible Sunday School Topics that follow are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free — in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

There are some things that are impossible to define unless you know something about their opposite. For example it isn’t possible to explain what silence is unless you first understand what sound is. This is also the case with matter. To understand what matter is (or what it isn’t) we also need to have an understanding of Spirit. Because of this, in the lesson this week we will hear a lot about the relationships between opposites.

Golden Text: A full life springs from heavenly thoughts. “Let your whole thought be set on heavenly, not on earthly things.” (Dummelow) “Be concerned with the heavenly things, not with the passing things of earth.” (J.B. Phillips) The Golden Text for the week is from Paul’s letter to the Colossians. In this letter Paul encourages the Colossians to participate fully in the life of Christ. To do this he explains the Colossians will want to think as Jesus thought, value what Jesus valued, be motivated by the same desires that motivated Jesus. Along this same line of reasoning, Mary Baker Eddy says, “Our thoughts beget our actions; they make us what we are.” (Miscellany 203:15) Jesus set his “affections” on goodness, honesty, and love. The life of Jesus was certainly full. His life still has an enormous impact on the world even today. You could say that Jesus was and still is famous. However, Jesus didn’t use any of his thinking or effort to make himself famous. Jesus devoted his thoughts to a completely unselfish goal. His goal was to make God’s love evident to mankind. Jesus thought and lived love. His thoughts were focused on the things above, on the things of God. These heavenly things are unlimited and eternal. This is what made Jesus’ life so expansive. Keep your thought filled with heavenly things and you are sure to see your own life expand.Section 6: In the kingdom of Spirit there is no matter. Sound and silence, light and darkness, cold and heat all have relationships with each other similar to the relationship between Spirit and matter. We can bring a light into a dark room and light it up but we can’t bring the darkness into a light room to make the room dark. If a room is light we have to remove the light to make the room dark. Even though darkness seems very real, darkness is actually only the absence of light. In the winter we often encourage one another to open and close the outer doors of our home quickly in order to keep the cold out of the house. But what we are really doing is keeping the heat in the house. Like darkness, cold, is not really something, it is actually a lack of something, a lack of heat. When a cell phone rings breaking the silence of the library study room, the librarian doesn’t bring in more silence to counter act the sound. She asks the owner of the cell phone to remove the cell phone. She removes the sound. Silence, like darkness and cold, is only the absence of the opposite positive quality. The relationship of Spirit and matter is very similar to these relationships with one exception. Spirit, God is ever-present and has all power. If light, heat, and sound were always present there wouldn’t be any darkness, cold, or silence would there? (S28) This is the reason why Mary Baker Eddy says, “The three great verities of Spirit, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience….contradict forever the belief that matter can be actual.” (S28) You are safe in the kingdom of Spirit and are governed by the laws of Spirit. Rest assured, you are forever free from the false laws and limitations of matter!

Responsive Reading: Choose the things you love, wisely. The Responsive Reading includes three short parables. Each parable shows how important it is to choose what we treasure carefully. The things which we value most determine how we will live and how well prepared we will be if our security is challenged. Earthly treasures, material things (like clothes, cars, money, fame, etc.) are easily destroyed. These treasures can be damaged or broken. They can be stolen or lose their value. Even though material treasures are very attractive, they are not a guarantee of happiness or permanent security. However, heavenly treasures, spiritual things, (like goodness, kindness, forgiveness, honesty, etc.) hold up forever. Spiritual treasures cannot be destroyed or spoiled or stolen and these treasures keep us strong in trying times.

The parable of the “two masters” encourages us to make our number one priority to serve God. But this doesn’t mean that if we serve God we have to be poor. “The point is not that possessing wealth and serving God are incompatible, but that serving one’s possessions (mammon, from an Aramaic word meaning “property” or “riches”) cannot coexist with the service of God.” (Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary) This agrees with the reassurance Jesus gave us when he said, “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt 6:33)

Section 1: If you find tares in your wheat don’t be hasty. Have you ever made your very best effort, intelligently followed the best known ways of doing a job, carefully done everything that needed to be done, at the right time and in the right way, only to discover things didn’t work out as planned? If you have, it’s likely you can understand how the servants felt when they discovered that there were tares among the wheat they had planted. They were shocked, disappointed, and even fearful that the householder might lose a part of his income. The servants suggested that the weeds should be pulled up right away while the plants were still delicate. The householder, however, was willing to be patient, waiting to separate the tares until the wheat plants were strong and fully developed. Even though he couldn’t bring the field into a perfect state immediately, he trusted the good seed that had been planted and the good work that had already been done. He was sure that the wheat would grow strong and produce a good crop if it was allowed to come to maturity undisturbed. (B6) This is a good reminder that we don’t need to react to error, by making a big deal out of it and giving it all of our attention. This will only make things worse. Error is only the appearance of a false thought that has come from the mistaken idea that matter is real. (S4) Thoughts that have anything to do with matter are “the unreal and temporal.” (S1) Because these thoughts and whatever appearance they take are always false we know they will not last forever. This doesn’t mean we should just ignore the problem, though. Like the householder, we should turn our attention away from the error (“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?” (B2) and give our full attention instead to that which is “real and eternal.” (S1) Focus all your thoughts on God, good, and on the real and perfect man who reflects this goodness. (S2) This will properly remove the tares (error) and allow the good wheat (spiritual perfection) to appear.

Section 2: The Pharisaical laws of today. Jesus came to fulfill the law of God and to reveal the powerlessness of material laws. He said, “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” (New Living Translation) (B8) Before Jesus healed the man with the withered hand, the Pharisees, looking for a reason to condemn Jesus, asked, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?” (B9) According to Dummelow, “Only malice could call healing by a word, without labor or medicine, a breach of the sabbath. Even the use of medical assistance was not forbidden in all cases on the sabbath.” The Pharisees seemed to view the law as a tool that was to be used to condemn good people. Isn’t this similar to the popular view of the laws of matter today? On a cold day you will hear friends warn each other not to violate the laws of matter — “Be sure to bundle up so you don’t catch cold!” they’ll say. It sounds a lot like the Pharisees doesn’t it — “If you break this cold-hearted and rigid law, you will be punished.” There are laws that govern man, but these are the laws of God, the moral and spiritual laws. The laws that oppose God’s government and condemn His children to suffer are the so-called laws of matter. These are not laws at all, they are totally false and have no power behind them to enact their mistaken ideas. (S10) Real law is the compassionate law of Love which Jesus taught and demonstrated. This law is a protection to man and a sure guide to a peaceful and happy life. This true view of law is seen in the third verse of Hymn 134: “Embosomed deep in Thy dear love, held in Thy law, I stand: Thy hand in all things I behold, and all things in Thy hand. Thou leadest me by unsought ways, Thou turn’st my mourning into praise.” Jesus proved there are no real laws of matter. Review the ten commandments (The law of Moses) this week. Then let these moral laws together with Jesus’ command that we love our neighbor, protect and guide you.

When we choose to value spiritual things more than we value anything else our life is motivated by love. Love makes us strong because it inspires us, to exercise our spiritual character, to put aside our own desires and to be unselfish, to patiently forgive our enemies and to set our thought instead on the faultless spiritual man. Then like the wise man who built his house on the rock we have a strong foundation that will withstand any storm. Where are your treasures, on earth or in heaven?Section 5. Unlimited Spirit is the source of supply. The beautiful promise in this section from Philippians gives us a glance into the unlimited supply of Spirit. “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (New Living Translation) Let’s think about those glorious riches. How rich God must be! Infinitely rich, no doubt. Rich without limitations. So rich, that His wealth will never run out no matter how many demands are made on it. On page 307 of Miscellaneous Writings this is explained, “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn they give you daily supplies.” Spiritual ideas, not material things are the riches of God. Jesus must have understood that the loaves and the fishes were not things but that they were only ideas which he could multiply in the same way that we multiply numbers. As Adam Dickey explains, in his article entitled Possession, because numbers are ideas, there will always be an infinite supply of numbers. We can agree that if there is one number 5 there is also an infinite quantity of number 5’s. To Jesus if there was one idea called a fish, then there was also an infinite quantity of ideas called fish. Mrs. Eddy explains it this way, “From the infinite elements of the one Mind emanate all form, color, quality, and quantity, and these are mental, both primarily and secondarily.” (S24) While we may not yet be able to demonstrate these ideas to the extent that Jesus did, we can trust that Love will unfold all the ideas we need for progress as we let go of the material beliefs about existence and reach for spiritual realty.

Section 3: On the spiritual path. The verses from Job (B10) which open this section are part of a larger poetic chapter that explores the question, “Where then does wisdom come from?”(NIV, Job 28:20) The chapter points out that this “path” to wisdom is hidden from everyone. Hidden from material observation but able to be discerned through spiritual understanding. “God understands the way to it….And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'” (NIV, Job 28:23,28) Christ Jesus is on this spiritual path but many of his fellow countrymen, lacking in spiritual discernment, could only see Jesus as a material personality. Some of the people who hear Jesus speak in the synagogue are impressed with his speech. However, some others appear to doubt the power of his words. They are skeptical and ask, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” They know that it is Joseph’s son, and because he is a common man who as lived in their own community, they cannot accept the idea that he could be the Messiah.(Interpreter’s One Volume Commentary) Because of his spiritual understanding, Jesus is able to save himself from the violent anger of the crowd. Jesus moved on to Capernaum where the people were ready to accept his spiritual status and he healed many people there. Let’s be sure that our thought is ready to freely accept the healing power of the Christ as the people of Capernaum accepted it. To peel away any matter-based ideas that would hide the Christ from your sight, study the citations from Science and Health in this section.

Section 4: Let’s cut matter down to size. Matter is really boastful. It claims to control everything. It says, “I can make you sick, uncomfortable, tired or all three.” It claims that it can prevent us from being good and doing good. But can it? Jesus had authority over matter and he taught his disciples how to have authority over matter. (B13) Jesus was so sure that matter was powerless and that we could prove this, just like he did, that he commanded all of us to, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, [and] cast out devils.” (B13) Jesus taught and proved that matter is not substance nor has matter been given any authority to decide the quality of our life. (S16) Christ Jesus proved that God, good, has all authority and doesn’t share its power with matter. Mrs. Eddy’s healing of Mr. Clark in Lynn also proves, even though matter is a boaster, matter is really nothing but a powerless mistaken belief about life. Matter had seemed to keep Mr. Clark in pain for many years of his life. However, Mrs. Eddy healed Mr. Clark in less than 15 minutes. It was not matter, but fearful thoughts about matter, that had made Mr. Clark suffer for all those years. Mrs. Eddy’s prayer changed Mr. Clark’s thought, removed his fearful thoughts, and he was healed. This is why she says with absolute authority, “…the might of omnipotent Spirit shares not its strength with matter or with human will.” (S19) Matter will continue to boast. So, just to make sure that you’re not fooled by its lies, take a few minutes each day to consider a healing from the Bible or from the periodicals and make a mental note of how the healing proves that matter has no power or control over man.

Section 5. Unlimited Spirit is the source of supply. The beautiful promise in this section from Philippians gives us a glance into the unlimited supply of Spirit. “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (New Living Translation) Let’s think about those glorious riches. How rich God must be! Infinitely rich, no doubt. Rich without limitations. So rich, that His wealth will never run out no matter how many demands are made on it. On page 307 of Miscellaneous Writings this is explained, “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn they give you daily supplies.” Spiritual ideas, not material things are the riches of God. Jesus must have understood that the loaves and the fishes were not things but that they were only ideas which he could multiply in the same way that we multiply numbers. As Adam Dickey explains, in his article entitled Possession, because numbers are ideas, there will always be an infinite supply of numbers. We can agree that if there is one number 5 there is also an infinite quantity of number 5’s. To Jesus if there was one idea called a fish, then there was also an infinite quantity of ideas called fish. Mrs. Eddy explains it this way, “From the infinite elements of the one Mind emanate all form, color, quality, and quantity, and these are mental, both primarily and secondarily.” (S24) While we may not yet be able to demonstrate these ideas to the extent that Jesus did, we can trust that Love will unfold all the ideas we need for progress as we let go of the material beliefs about existence and reach for spiritual realty.

Section 6: In the kingdom of Spirit there is no matter. Sound and silence, light and darkness, cold and heat all have relationships with each other similar to the relationship between Spirit and matter. We can bring a light into a dark room and light it up but we can’t bring the darkness into a light room to make the room dark. If a room is light we have to remove the light to make the room dark. Even though darkness seems very real, darkness is actually only the absence of light. In the winter we often encourage one another to open and close the outer doors of our home quickly in order to keep the cold out of the house. But what we are really doing is keeping the heat in the house. Like darkness, cold, is not really something, it is actually a lack of something, a lack of heat. When a cell phone rings breaking the silence of the library study room, the librarian doesn’t bring in more silence to counter act the sound. She asks the owner of the cell phone to remove the cell phone. She removes the sound. Silence, like darkness and cold, is only the absence of the opposite positive quality. The relationship of Spirit and matter is very similar to these relationships with one exception. Spirit, God is ever-present and has all power. If light, heat, and sound were always present there wouldn’t be any darkness, cold, or silence would there? (S28) This is the reason why Mary Baker Eddy says, “The three great verities of Spirit, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience….contradict forever the belief that matter can be actual.” (S28) You are safe in the kingdom of Spirit and are governed by the laws of Spirit. Rest assured, you are forever free from the false laws and limitations of matter!

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Camp Director’s Note:
This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 8-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner’s ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the “Possible Sunday School Topics” come on a following page or subsequent email.) This weekly offering is 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” 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, background and new angles on daily applicability to 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. B1 and S28) from this week’s Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) 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.
Enjoy!
Warren Huff,
Camp Director, director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162

Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for the lesson: “Matter”

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. – Golden Text] – What is it that you love? Make a list and then put the items in priority order. Now identify each item on the list as to whether it is a material or physical object, or whether it is a spiritual or God-derived quality.

Responsive Reading – What is there in the Responsive Reading about Jesus’ doctrine (teaching or sayings) that astounded his listeners? Which of these doctrines astonishes you? Here are some words to define from the RR: moth, rust, corrupt, mammon, authority, scribes. Look up the definition of Rock in the Glossary of Science and Health (pg. 593:18). There are two parts to the definition. Which part applies here?

Section 1 – How do we see things that are not seen? What does the word “Repent” mean in the Bible, marker 5? Why would one want to repent (think again, choose again, do over again, discover)?
Use S&H marker 2 and apply that information to the story of the tares and wheat. What kind of seed was there at the beginning of the story? What kind of plant was there at the end of the story? If you say tares, then re-examine the S&H citation. Can something exist that God did not create? Is there in fact, absolutely, an enemy? From where would such an enemy come, from where would it originate? (See S&H marker 5 as an aid to the answer.)

Section 2 – What is the Sabbath Day? Why did “they” ask Jesus about the healing he had just performed in the Bible, marker 9? To what law was Jesus referring in the Bible, marker 8? What is a law? What is the test for whether something is a law? Is it permanent, is it universal, is it usable by or applicable to anyone? Can a law of spirit be set aside?
Choose a problem in your school, city, or country and write out a Christian Science treatment that affirms the laws you know about and are available to aid you.

Section 3 – Here again we have two groups that are astonished at Jesus’ healings. What was the outcome for each group? What actions were taken? Why? Can matter have any power? If so, who empowers it? (See S&H page 468: 8-15.)

Section 4 –What is the command Jesus gave his disciples in the Bible, marker 13? What is the experience shared by Mary Baker Eddy in S&H markers 18 & 19?
What is the substance of Mr. Clark in this experience? Can matter speak for itself? Who gives it voice? Well stop it, only speak the truth and see what happens?

Section 5 – How can this be, seven loaves fed four thousand? What is going on here? Who is the supplier that meets every human need? Can you expect to have your needs met? (See S&H 494: 10) Memorize that statement. (See also the Bible, marker 15.)

Section 6 – What is the prayer of affirmation in the Bible, marker 19 and the prayer of petition in the Bible, marker 18? What are the three great verities of Spirit in S&H, marker 28? Define verity. It is from the Latin, Veritas = truth. What truths are stated in this section? (See S&H, markers 28 & 29.)

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