Join us for the best summer yet!

Sacrifice a false sense of self! Actively love as Christ loved! Discover at-one-ment!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Doctrine of Atonement” for April 13-19, 2009
Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer, C.S.

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

Is life about getting, or giving? Do we pray for a more blessed life, or to love extravagantly enough (as Jesus did) to live a life of blessing, and experience the doctrine of at-one-ment?

[Go to TMCYouth.com to find ways for the young and young at heart to be at-one with the blessings of a giving life. Please support or attend upcoming Youth Summits, check out current Lesson videos, …]

Golden Text: A Command to love!
The command to walk in love is more than a suggestion, and no one said it would be easy. But, the only way to realize the Father/son at-one-ment relationship with God (that Jesus realized) is to imitate Jesus’ example. God loves – Christ loves – we must love! Atonement isn’t about sorrow and suffering. It’s about the sweet smell of victory over the limits of material belief, achieved through love and sacrifice! Jesus loved enough to sacrifice everything in order to show us how full Life in God (the life of Love) is. As we follow Jesus’ example, we’ll also find a victory that blesses all!

Responsive Reading: Love One Another [to live “in atmosphere of Love divine” CedarS ’09 theme-Hymnal 144]
Bottom line …. if you’re not really truly, loving, you’re not really, truly connecting with God, so you’re not really living!   What Paul wrote to the Corinthians is still true: you can say brilliant things, appear to have an inside track with God (be the star of your Sunday School class), have all the faith in the world and do all sorts of good deeds, but if your heart isn’t full of genuine love, it doesn’t mean a thing!  So, what does love look like? Combining several modern translations: love (1) is patient and kind – never gives up and cares more for others than for self; (2) doesn’t envy, isn’t jealous, and doesn’t want what it doesn’t have; (3) isn’t full of pride, so doesn’t boast or brag, and isn’t rude; (4) doesn’t insist on having its own way or being first, and doesn’t force its agenda on others; (5) isn’t irritable; (6) doesn’t even think bad things about others, isn’t resentful, and doesn’t keep score of past wrongs; (7) isn’t happy when another makes a mistake or does poorly, but rejoices whenever good (or truth) is evident; (8) never gives up, always trusts God, is always hopeful, never looks back, and persists to the end. (I Cor. 13: 4-7 ESV, NLV, Message) As we learn to love this way, we’ll find we’re able to know and see God (good) more consistently. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “love you more.” How about, “loved you first”? That’s how God responds to our love. We are able to love each other because God loved us first and sent His message to human consciousness through His Son (Jesus Christ) to show how it’s done. Sin (the belief of separation from God, or a rupture in man’s relationship with good) disappears in the presence of Love! As we practice reflecting Love like Jesus reflected it, we’ll bless the world as Jesus blessed it and realize our (and all of God’s children’s) oneness with Him!

Section 1: Sacrifice Self to Feel God’s Mercy and Love!
The Bible continually speaks of God’s mercy and love. God’s love is unconditional, but in order to feel Love’s mercy (His kindness and grace), something is required. In order to feel the warmth of the sun, we have to step out from under the shadows, right? So, what “sacrifices” do we need to make…. what do we need to give up (or what limits do we need to come out from under) to get something better?  People used to bring their best lambs (or other animals) to offer to God. But, giving God things isn’t the point. That’s too easy. We have to give of ourselves. Give up our pride and arrogance (B-1) and do what is right, have mercy (compassion) on others, and put God first (be humble). (B-3) Always easy?  No, but Jesus showed us “the way.” John the Baptist made sure people understood that he wasn’t the promised Savior, but pointed them to Jesus. He called Jesus the Lamb of God — the one who would make the “ultimate” sacrifice to take away “the sin of the world.” (B-4) Jesus gave up all sense of personal selfhood in order to demonstrate to everyone that life couldn’t be destroyed. (S-2) This self-immolation, combined with his absolute innocence and purity, destroyed the imposition of sin — the belief that man can be separated from God or act independently of Him. (S-1) Jesus showed us how — but we have to follow his example. (S-3) God and man have an indestructible relationship — and it is a mutual relationship. So, if we’re going to feel God’s mercy and grace, we naturally have to desire grace. Both our sincere desire for, and the grace itself, is expressed (notice the action!) in our practice of patience, meekness, love, and good deeds. (S-4) Make a list of the qualities required in order to feel God’s mercy. Then, as often as possible this week, practice those qualities, notice others practicing them, and express gratitude for God’s mercy — His GOODNESS! 
Give God credit for ALL good! You’ll find plenty to celebrate. As we sacrifice self-pity, pride (expressed as ego or self-doubt) and concern over what’s happening in OUR lives, we start looking UP and OUT – like Jesus!

Section 2: A truer sense of Love brings timeless redemption from sin and death
To redeem is “to free from what distresses or harms”. (Webster’s 9th New Collegiate) The Bible tells of Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and Jesus freeing mankind from the slavery of material bondage. It’s up to us – as Jesus’ disciples to perpetuate this mission. The verses from Isaiah describe [and predict] the sacrifice of an unnamed servant on behalf of the greater good. The death of one was for the redemption of all — so that all could see and experience the salvation of God. (B-5&6)  Jesus wasn’t the first to suffer for his rejection of commonly held beliefs, and he won’t be the last. But, more than all others, Jesus taught and lived the Love that demonstrates man’s oneness with God. This Love – this law of Spirit that shined through in his compassion – freed Jesus and those he touched from the law of matter. (S-6) As Elijah restored the life of the widow’s son at Zarephath, Jesus stopped the funeral procession at the gate of the city, Nain. They loved too much to accept the imposition called death (for the son) and grief and certain poverty (for the widow). Instead, they asserted God’s life-giving authority. (B-8) Jesus saved and healed by understanding “the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good.” He expected those that believed in him to sacrifice their false sense of self, accept the scientific relationship of God and man, and bear witness to the healing power of Love, as he did! (S-8 & 9)  Divine Love stops the funeral processions of sin, disease and death constantly parading across our television sets, appearing at the center of conversations, and begging to take up residence in our consciousness. Will we accept the challenge to stop this parade, reject human reasoning (put it on the altar) and follow Christ? (S-10)

Section 3: Practice outwardly demonstrating Love
Willingness to sacrifice oneself for the sake of another is the highest expression of love. (B-9)  It was the time of Passover — two days before the crucifixion. Jesus and his disciples, along with other Jews were celebrating the safe passage of the Hebrews out of Egypt, led by Moses, approximately 1,500 years before. Jesus had told his disciples that he would be crucified, but at this point, most appeared to be proceeding with business as usual.  According to the report in Matthew, Jesus and his disciples were at dinner in the home of a man whom Jesus had healed of leprosy, when a woman came in and began anointing Jesus’ head and body with very fine, and expensive, oil. While the disciples criticized the woman for wasting the expensive oil, Jesus saw only the love this woman was pouring out to him, in preparation for his burial. (B-10) Burial is generally thought of as an end, but for Jesus, it was just a temporary (and necessary) detour. Check out Mrs. Eddy’s definition of burial. (S-11)

Jesus was about to sacrifice his human sense of life in order to demonstrate, through the resurrection, his (and OUR) oneness – here and now – with eternal Life. What he was about to do was a HUGE sacrifice — demonstrating his love for all mankind. He wasn’t looking forward to leaving his friends and going through this ordeal. Did he really have to do it alone? (S-12) This woman’s love, evidenced in her tender care and acknowledgement of his mission, must have meant so much to Jesus! He chastised his disciples for their lack of vision — and perhaps for taking for granted that which they were about to lose — his presence. Are we ever guilty of avoiding an awkward situation, thinking the problem will resolve itself if we don’t talk about it? Do we love enough to outwardly acknowledge another’s holiness, and support them on their journey? We all face challenges as material sense is annihilated, and immortality is brought to light. (S-11) We need to practice Jesus’ meekness, courage, strength and steadfastness as we face these difficult situations. But, we also have to practice expressing and accepting the grace, tender affection, love, and unselfishness expressed by the woman who faced a room full of disapproving men in order to support and bless her neighbor. We may be tempted to think that those we look up to (whether someone like a parent, or someone that seems more spiritually advanced than ourselves) don’t need our support. But, Jesus sure seemed to appreciate it! If we’re not outwardly expressing this genuine love, are we fully acknowledging Jesus’ atonement (his life and sacrifice that brings man into harmony with God) that sprang from his love for us? (S-14)

Section 4: Meek and Patient love
Is there any better example of meek and patient love than Jesus’ response to his upcoming crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane? (B-11)  Naturally, he would have preferred to avoid the cup (the cross — the hard part), yet he prayed and meekly yielded to His Father’s will. He loved his Father and his brethren enough to steadfastly work his way through a painful human condition in order to demonstrate his dominion over matter, and rise superior to it. And he loved his disciples enough to let them work out their own experience. This was his cross. As much as he cherished the woman’s affection and support (in section 3), and as disappointed as he must have been in his disciples’ inability to stand by him at this time, he let them sleep. He twice urged his disciples to stay awake — for their sakes, as well as his. But, he didn’t try to force his demonstration on them. The third time, he let them sleep. They would learn their lessons in their own ways. Jesus came to the garden to pray. If Jesus resorted often to prayer, we need to realize the importance of taking this step before facing challenges in our lives. The essence of the preparatory work was just pure love — love for God and love for those he was sent to save. It looked like his prayers weren’t “working.” There was no change in the outward appearance. BUT, as Mrs. Eddy explains, “if divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter IS then submitting to Spirit.” (S-19) That is the healing. To a great extent Jesus’ thought was healed before he was put on the cross or in the tomb. Jesus, continually conscious of his oneness with Life, saw the evidence of that healing APPEAR three days later in his resurrection from the grave — freeing us all from the law of sin and death through Love.  
Are we really going to give in to discouragement when a healing seems delayed?  Or persistently pray with total devotion and unselfed love?

Section 5: Nail sin to the cross and emerge in Love’s freedom
Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice in order to show us how to love our neighbor and to walk in response to the Holy Spirit.  The flesh is constantly fighting for our attention — whether in the form of pain or pleasure. But, Christ Jesus showed us how to overcome the attractions of the flesh. Several Bible  translations speak of “those who belong to Christ” (appearing in the King James Bible as: “they that are Christ’s.”) Look at Webster’s definition of belong: “to be an attribute, part, adjunct, or function of a person or thing (ex: nuts and bolts belong to a car.) Having accepted the teachings of Jesus, we belong to Christ — are at-one with the Spirit – Truth, Life, and Love. And as such, we “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (New King James Version) And, they have no hope of resurrection! (B-12) Spirit, like a strong breeze, is strong, but not heavy. Responding to the Holy Spirit (as a kite responds to the wind) we can, as Jesus did throughout his career, “lay aside the weight of sin” and “run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1, B-13)  Jesus showed us the way!  He endured not only the pain, but the shame of being scorned and nailed to a cross for doing right. Most of his “friends” turned their backs on him. But, he persisted, and walked out of the tomb!  Now, it’s our turn. Are we willing to “lay down all for Truth, or Christ?” (S-20) What does that mean? Heal what comes to you!  Don’t ignore or simply avoid the temptations of pleasure or pain in matter. (B-13)  Fight for your freedom!  Respond to the wind of Spirit. Rather than let yourself be pinned by sin (the belief of separation from God) pull a reverse and pin the temptation!  Sometimes sin looks like fun, sometimes it feels awful — but it is always a temptation to believe you can be separated from God! Turn constantly away from material sense (what the material senses are telling you things look like) and look towards the “imperishable things of Spirit.” (S-21)  Look at what IS — at what God, good, reveals as real — no matter what! The command is to “work out your own salvation.”  That’s what life is about. We never want to settle — just exist or go along with the general trends of the world.  We can demand the freedom that includes immortality, boundless freedom, and sinless sense. It won’t come in a day and it won’t come as a result of another’s work. (S-22)  But, keep sacrificing a false sense of self — a self separate from God — and keep loving your neighbor!  Truth WILL destroy the suffering SENSE of error and you WILL find your freedom and evidence of the atonement — at-one-ment with God — and sin and suffering WILL “fall at the feet of everlasting Love.” (S-23)

Section 6: Following Jesus’ commands binds us together in Christ
Jesus never acted as though he was better than anyone else — even though he was acknowledged to be the Son of God.  He clearly understood his inseparable relationship with his Father, but knew that this relationship is true for ALL identities. God is ALL, so there isn’t something outside of that All! (B-14 & S-25) Jesus humbly served mankind to teach us, by example, how to love as he loved, overcome evil as he overcame it, and to make “evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God.” (Amplified Bible, B-15 & 16)  Cologne can have a wonderful fragrance, but it can only be widely appreciated if it is worn. Doesn’t do much good if left in the bottle. Christ is God’s message, the idea of divine Love. (S-24) An idea can’t be separated from the Mind that forms it! Jesus demonstrated that God’s image or idea (man – us) is inseparable from the divine Ego, or infinite individuality. (S-26) God and man coexist, as notes co-exist with music and numbers co-exist with mathematics. So, what keeps us from experiencing the freedom and dominion that Jesus experienced — and shared with others! Just the BELIEF that man is separated from God. Obedience is inherent in coexistence. Numbers are obedient to the laws of mathematics and notes are obedient to the properties of harmony because they are coexistent. As we accept our relationship with God to be intact — as Jesus taught and demonstrated it — we can expect to soar in our spiritual understanding. (S-27)  The stone of mortal attitude — hate, fear, doubt, envy, lust, sensuality, etc. — would hide from us the reality of our inseparable relationship to the one Ego. But, Christ has rolled away that stone! (S-28) We are free to come out of the tomb as we give up a false sense of self. As we live the life of Christ — are obedient to the law of Love — we follow Jesus’ path and discover the peace and joy of at-one-ment! Being one with God, we are one with each other. Even if we don’t always agree with each other, we are united as children of God and bound together in Love! 
Ask yourself: what false sense of self, as separated from God do I need to give up; how can I more actively walk in love as Jesus did? Then generously splash on the sweet fragrance of at-one-ment and let everyone be blessed!

This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers & staff blessed each summer at CEDARS, as well as to CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it. However, current and planned gifts are needed to help cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships.
NOW, CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK ONLINE!
Your always-welcome, tax-deductible support is especially needed
for Camperships this year and for an “Adopt the Herd” Matching Fund.

You can always call in a charged gift to (636) 394-6162 or mail a check to:
CEDARS Camps, 1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011

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

COMING SOON–Possible Sunday School Topics

 

American Camp Association

MAIN OFFICE
(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

CAMP OFFICE
(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

Back
to top