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Let go of helplessness and embrace God’s help!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for the week ending January 14, 2018

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

[A downloadable, Ken Cooper poem for listening for the lessons of
Sacrament is in the upper right of the online version of this Met.]

Overwhelming! School, work, family—life at times can seem just that, overwhelming. Life can seem daunting, challenging, insurmountable, confusing, even hopeless. And although I have never thought of a Bible Lesson on Sacrament as just the help I needed to cope, this week our Bible Lesson Committee has delivered, big time. After studying this lesson for several days I found myself thinking in terms of rescue, help, victory, and of course salvation! Not just for me, but for all. What a treat we have in store this week!

As I began to study this lesson I was reminded of something that happened to my mom. When she was a teenager she had already become a member of her local Christian Science church in Perry, Iowa. Her first vote was a “yea” to building a new church. So, she was a committed student of Christian Science. She and her family had had lots of healings. But, she loved to visit other churches on Sunday afternoon or evening. She liked learning what they thought. One evening she accepted an invitation of a school friend and landed in a very active evangelical church. At one point the preacher came down into the audience and was loudly asking individuals directly, “Are you saved?” As he came to my mom, he grabbed her by the arm, pulling her to the stage, and asking, “Are you saved? Are you saved?” Suddenly mom stopped, pulled her arm away, and loudly declared, “Yes, I am!” Then she ran out of the church. We often laughed about her experience over the years. But one thing for sure, mom lived a life where it was clearly evident that yes, she was saved!

Our Golden Text sets the tone of salvation and—with a few extra translations—we can see how multi-faceted salvation really is. You see salvation is the theme that runs throughout this lesson. Your salvation. My salvation. Mankind’s salvation. Earth’s salvation. Just exactly what is salvation and how does salvation work? I found several translations of the Golden Text that gave me some insights into salvation that were a little different for me.

Golden Text: Psalms 3:8 Salvation belongs to the LORD. Your blessing is upon Your people.

Common English Bible (CEB) Rescue comes from the Lord! May your blessing be on your people!

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Lord, the victory[a] is yours! You are so good to your people.

Good News Translation (GNT) Victory comes from the Lord— may he bless his people.

The Message (MSG) Real help comes from God. Your blessing clothes your people!

New English Translation (NET Bible) The Lord delivers; you show favor to your people

The Voice (VOICE) Liberation truly comes from the Eternal. Let Your blessings shower down upon Your people.

Wycliffe Bible (WYC) Health is of the Lord; and thy blessing is on thy people. (Victory is from the Lord/Salvation, or deliverance, is from the Lord; and thy blessing is upon thy people.)

As we explore our Golden Text in Scripture we begin to see how broad and complete our salvation really is: Rescue, victory, help, deliverance, and yes, even health! (See how fitting the title of Mary Baker Eddy’s textbook is, “Science and Health.”)

And these alternate translations from our Responsive Reading continue in the insights.

Psalms 32:2, 5, 7, 11 NLT – Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

Psalms 99:9 NLT9 Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem, for the Lord our God is holy!

Psalms 24:3–5 VOICE – 3 Who can possibly ascend the mountain of the Eternal? Who can stand before Him in sacred spaces? 4 Only those whose hands have been washed and hearts made pure, men and women who are not given to lies or deception. 5 The Eternal will stand close to them with blessing and mercy at hand, and the God who redeems will right what has been wrong.

Section 1: We are not alone, God helps!

Citation B1 kicks off this section with “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16, 17) Or as the New Living Translation puts it “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (NLT)

God helps us, corrects us, and guides us through Holy Scripture. God’s ideas, God’s love made evident in the lives of individuals in the Bible and their inspired words have helped, saved, delivered countless people for thousands of years. Often it is through specific scriptural phrases or texts that come to thought in difficult situations. And that continues today. I shared the following experience five years ago in a CedarS Met.

About thirty years ago I spoke on the telephone with a man named, Tony Roberts. One of my favorite, "Gramma and church" stories came from this phone conversation with Tony. Back in 1986 I heard Tony share his testimony on television. I was so impressed that I called the television studio and asked for his number. I gave him a call. Tony told me of a dark time in his life. He had been a member of the Black Panther party, a radical Black activist group in the 1960's. He had been involved in drugs and violent crime. And he had hijacked a plane to Cuba. He was arrested and held in terrible conditions. He would work long hours in the sugar cane fields and then return to a horrible prison cell. He had no hope of ever being released. Then one night he found himself remembering his grandmother.

Tony remembered when he was 7 years old and his Gramma took him to church. Tony said he liked the way this memory made him feel. So, each day as he returned to his prison cell. Tony would try to remember everything he could about that time with his grandmother. Suddenly one night he heard a message, "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."

Some of you might recognize that phrase as coming directly from the Bible, Joshua 1:5. It is in God's promise to Joshua that God will be with Joshua as He was with Moses. And God affirms, "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee." Now Tony, had never, ever studied the Bible. He had only gone to church with his Gramma. But when Tony heard that voice he liked the way it made him feel. And almost like someone inviting a guest for dinner, every night Tony would think about his Gramma, church, and the promise from that voice.

Suddenly things began to change around Tony. He had been told he would never leave that prison alive. But he was soon transferred to another prison that had much better conditions. Tony had been told he would never be returned to the United States. But he soon found himself on his way to prison in America. It might seem a funny thing to be happy about going to prison, but Tony was. Because the conditions he had in his cell in America were like heaven compared to Cuba. And he also had access to the Library and the Bible. He began to read the Bible. And his life continued to change. When I was talking to Tony in 1986 he was a free man, married, with a family, and active in church.

The power of one Scriptural phrase taken to heart is enough to bring the help, hope, deliverance we need.

In Science and Health citation S1 we find a definition of “SALVATION. Life, Truth, and Love understood and demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and death destroyed.” (593:20)

What do you think that Tony feels about the saving power of Scripture?

Section 2: Baptism and the purification from all error.

I remember a time shortly after college when I was asked to give a talk on Christian Science to a youth group in another city. One of the first questions was about Christian Science and baptism. I had just recently read sections of Science and Health regarding baptism. So I immediately answered that Baptism was a very important teaching in Christian Science. One in the audience was surprised and said they had heard that in Christian Science we do not believe in baptism. I remember the feeling I had as the words that came to me about our view of baptism were shared. It was kind of like listening to someone else speak. And from that day I had a clearer understanding of how important baptism is to an understanding of Christian Science.

Do we have a ritual water baptism that we practice? No. But when you read this section of the lesson you will see the significance of baptism in Christian Science.

Citation S6 contains the definition from the Glossary of Science and Health “BAPTISM. Purification by Spirit; submergence in Spirit. We are “willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (II Corinthians v. 8.) (581:23–26)

Other citations expand on baptism:
S7; When our great Teacher came to him for baptism, John was astounded. Reading his thoughts, Jesus added: “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” Jesus’ concessions (in certain cases) to material methods were for the advancement of spiritual good.” (56:1)

S8; “Our baptism is a purification from all error.” (35:19 (only))

S9; ”The baptism of Spirit, washing the body of all the impurities of flesh, signifies that the pure in heart see God and are approaching spiritual Life and its demonstration.” (241:27)

When I was in college a dear family friend in her eighties, came to me quite concerned because some of her family were insisting that she be baptized. Emily was a member of my mom’s Christian Science Association. Emily, a native of Alabama, had studied and lived the teachings of Christian Science for years. There were members of her family who were also Christian Scientists and then others that were devout Christians of another denomination. Emily did not want to create any kind of rift in the family, but she certainly felt “saved” as some of those in the South put it. She knew she had always depended on God as her help, her deliverer, and her Savior.. And although she felt no need of a physical baptism to insure her being “saved,” the following Bible verses had come to her.

Matthew 3 13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

So Emily agreed to be baptized at her grandchildren’s church. The grandkids were very happy. And Emily said to me after the experience, “Rick, I realized very clearly that we are all the beloved children of God and that can never be taken away from us.”

Section 3: Salvation through the example of Christ Jesus

Jesus had an encounter with a Roman Commander of 100 soldiers, a Centurion. (See B10, Matthew 8, PS#2). The Centurion asked Jesus to heal one of his servants. Jesus was so impressed with the faith of the Centurion regarding the healing that he said, “Verily I say you, I have not found so great faith, no, not In Israel.” And the servant was healed.

In Science and Health citations we read,

S12 | 138:17–22 Jesus established in the Christian era the precedent for all Christianity, theology, and healing. Christians are under as direct orders now, as they were then, to be Christlike, to possess the Christ-spirit, to follow the Christ-example, and to heal the sick as well as the sinning.

S13 | 51:19–21 His consummate example was for the salvation of us all, but only through doing the works which he did and taught others to do.

S14 | 37:22–25 It is possible, — yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, — to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.

As many of you know the sponsor of these Bible newsletters and studies is CedarS Camps. From the very beginning CedarS has been a place in the world where Christian Science practice and healing has been encouraged and nurtured for all in the CedarS atmosphere. One summer while serving as a resident practitioner at camp I had a most interesting experience of profound faith. Kind of like the faith of the Centurion. At lunch time a gentleman came up to me and introduced himself. He started out, “I heard you were the guy to come to if someone had a problem and that you could heal it.” Well, I qualified what my job was as Camp Practitioner, and hopefully in a good clarification shared how we expected to see God heal whatever we were presented with. He was on camp working with the horses and had just been severely injured. I don’t believe he had said anything to anyone else. I am not sure about that. But he had been very descriptive of his injury and it might be classified as severe. But I must say he was also very receptive to getting it taken care of quickly so he could get back to work. I said I would be glad to pray for him. Not long afterwards he found me again. His comment, “Now that is some good stuff. I’m ready to go. Thanks a lot.”

Salvation by following the example of Christ Jesus and practicing the teachings of Christian Science is for all mankind from a Roman Centurion to a cowboy!

Section 4: The spiritual significance of sacrament.

In this section we have the story of what has come to be known as the “Last Supper.” And as you probably know it is the event that forms the basis for the “Communion” in many churches. (B14, Matthew 26: 17-30, PS#3).

In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy comments on these events,

S17 | 32:3–21 3 In ancient Rome a soldier was required to swear allegiance to his general. The Latin word for this oath was sacramentum, and our English word sacrament is derived from it. Among the Jews it was an ancient custom for the master of a feast to pass each guest a cup of wine. But the Eucharist does not commemorate a Roman soldier’s oath, nor was the wine, used on convivial occasions and in Jewish rites, the cup of our Lord. The cup shows forth his bitter experience, — the cup which he prayed might pass from him, though he bowed in holy submission to the divine decree. “As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all of it.” The true sense is spiritually lost, if the sacrament is confined to the use of bread and wine.

S18 | 35:25 Our Eucharist is spiritual communion with the one God. Our bread, “which cometh down from heaven,” is Truth. Our cup is the cross. Our wine the inspiration of Love, the draught our Master drank and commended to his followers.

I find myself often praying about the spiritual significance of this event and the remembrance of Jesus and his sacrifice. How can we best honor how our Master lived and loved us all in his life and example? Is that holy communion with God and His Christ limited to certain rituals in a church? In the 1980s I was travelling in Michigan on a lecture tour. At one of my stops I got to know a young woman who had found Christian Science and immediately begun to practice it in her life and it had a significant effect on her work. She was an operating room nurse. She found that as she studied Christian Science her work was blessed. She became the most requested nurse on staff. Every doctor sought to have her in the operating theater. Surgeries were successful, complications were basically eliminated. There was an almost a holy atmosphere that was tangible to the doctors and nurses, and most importantly to the patients. The presence of the Christ was not just being remembered, it was being felt. This young woman had literally revolutionized her work environment.

As we read in citation S20 “If all who ever partook of the sacrament had really commemorated the sufferings of Jesus and drunk of his cup, they would have revolutionized the world.” (34:10–13)

Sacrament’s spiritual significance becomes clear when it is lived in our lives and the touch of the Christ is felt and loved.

Section 5: Jesus’ example rising above hate, evil and bearing witness to Love’s triumph.

There is nothing nice about the mocking, the beating, the hate that was expressed to our beloved Master, Christ Jesus. He had done nothing to deserve this treatment. But as we learned it did fulfill prophecy regarding the nature of mortal thought, completely evil, and the power and purity of the redeeming nature of the Christ.

As Mary Baker Eddy wrote and rewrote about the importance of the resurrection as well as the crucifixion (as you can see in Warren’s PS#5 that shares the research done by the Mary Baker Eddy Library on the development of the six Tenets of Christian Science). The first citation in Science and Health for this section is the 5th Tenet of Christian Science: “We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter.” (S21, 497:20)

Other Science and Health citations expand on this world-changing event and Tenet:

S22 | 51:6–15 “Jesus could have withdrawn himself from his enemies. He had power to lay down a human sense of life for his spiritual identity in the likeness of the divine; but he allowed men to attempt the destruction of the mortal body in order that he might furnish the proof of immortal life. Nothing could kill this Life of man. Jesus could give his temporal life into his enemies’ hands; but when his earth-mission was accomplished, his spiritual life, indestructible and eternal, was found forever the same.”

S23 | 39:1 “Meekly our Master met the mockery of his unrecognized grandeur. Such indignities as he received, his followers will endure until Christianity’s last triumph. He won eternal honors. He overcame the world, the flesh, and all error, thus proving their nothingness. He wrought a full salvation from sin, sickness, and death. We need “Christ, and him crucified.” We must have trials and self-denials, as well as joys and victories, until all error is destroyed.”

You will also find very illuminating the observations of Christian Science Bible Scholar, Cobbey Crisler, which Warren has made available as his PS#4.

Cobbey writes, “Now, I ask you to study the next 10 verses and see how beautiful the logic of Peter is in this first lecture sponsored by the first Christian church.

Acts 2:26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Acts 2:28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Acts 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Acts 2:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

As our Leader writes in citation S24, “Our Master fully and finally demonstrated divine Science in his victory over death and the grave. Jesus’ deed was for the enlightenment of men and for the salvation of the whole world from sin, Victory over the grave sickness, and death.” (45:6–10)

A victory that is the insurance of our salvation, successful as deliverance, help, and indeed victory.

Section 6: Breakfast with our Master, fresh caught, over the coals, it doesn’t get any better than that!

A night of fishing with nothing to show for it. What fisherman hasn’t experienced that same thing? But it was a little more significant for seven of Jesus’ disciples. They thought they had lost their Master and felt like they had lost their way. So what do you do? Back to the familiar. Back to the mundane? Back to the world? Back to the nets?

They went out on the boat. Lowered their nets. And caught nothing. A fruitless night in the dark of gloom and sorrow. But in the morning a call to try the other side. A cry from a stranger on the shore. A stranger that actually knew them better than anyone they had ever known. When they got to shore with a full net, there he was, their Master, their Teacher. In complete victory over all. And with fish and bread already baking over the coals.

Warren has some great Cobbey insights on this event in PS#6. Also reading and re-reading this account this week will fire you up for sure.

And now a little fish story to wrap things up. It all started at a dinner. New friends and dinner time conversation. And in the conversation one of the hosts starting to tell of what Christian Science does to people. He began to relate the death of a teenage girl, as he told it all because of Christian Science. Before it got too far I stopped and told our host that I was a Christian Scientist. And that I knew that family well, and I asked would he like to know what really happened. By the time I got through with the truth of the situation, tried to explain how a Christian Scientist would approach a problem, and gave an example of what I had experienced in my life—I had a candidate to go to church with us the next day. He and his wife attended church and got their very first “blue book,” a copy of Science and Health.

This friend, H.B., began to read Science and Health. And he became a good friend. At that time I was living on a large ranch 20 mile from Ocala. There were springs on the ranch and a beautiful, crystal clear river. I invited H.B., my dad, and my brother out to my cabin to overnight. And the next morning we planned a canoe fishing trip on the river. But before we headed out, we all read the Christian Science Bible Lesson together and finished with the Lord’s Prayer. H.B. was in a canoe with my brother, Gary. When they returned in the afternoon they had had the “best fishing trip” of H. B.’s life. He was beaming and proclaiming that is how you should always goes fishing, start with the Bible Lesson and prayer. He was a believer!

But the fishing with the Christ story continues in its lessons. Gary and H.B. had caught 26 bass. There was a little lake right next to my cabin. So they cleaned the fish in the shallow water of that lake. The filets from the fish were saved. The skeletons and innards were discarded in the lake. We had a great fish fry. And we all had another example of putting God first and finding success in all things. Christ first, victory, salvation, health, help follows!

But the story of success continues. The little lake by my cabin had been completely sterile, not a fish in the lake. After numerous attempts at catching something there was nothing there. And then….one year later two of my little cousins, their mom, and Gary came for a visit. They asked to fish in the lake. I said sure they could, but there was nothing to catch in that lake. On the very first catch Holly, one of my cousins caught a fish. She was screaming with excitement. Those kids proceeded to catch a fish with every cast. We threw all the young bass back in the lake. They stopped their fishing adventure after having caught 67 bass!

It seemed the cleaning of the first catch of bass in the shallows had left behind lots of roe, or eggs. They were fertilized in the mixing of the remains. They hatched out. They fed on an endless supply of tadpoles and grew profusely until discovered by my little cousins. The bounty was unbelievable. But it had all started with a case of persecution being directed toward the Christ. It was answered with patience and love. It came to fruition not just in fish. Our friend H.B. had many healings in Christian Science. Including one of what was believed to be an incurable disease. Communion with our Savior. The love of Christ is ours to use, to live, to love, and most important to share.

Click for Warren Huff’s additions of insights and healing application ideas by Cobbey Crisler on some citations in the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Sacrament” for January 14, 2018.

We are VERY grateful to report. . .

Maintenance Musts Match Met (More info)

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In the time since Giving Tuesday you helped raise almost $49k for the Riding Program, which will be doubled through the Adopt the Herd Matching Fund, for a total of almost $98k to help feed and care for CedarS wonderful horses. We still have approximately $16k to raise to take advantage of the NOW $65k Adopt the Herd match. (More info )

Many other Blessings:

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With gratitude and love,
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[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and essential operations support.

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