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Metaphysical Application ideas for the Lesson on “Soul and Body”

For the week of May 21-27, 2007

By Janet Hegarty, C.S. of St. Louis, MO


Editor’s Note: The following background information and application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp!       You can sign up free to have these mets emailed to you in English by Monday or in French or Spanish by Wednesday: CHECK  FOR A FREE TRANSLATION of this weekly “met” offered in FRENCH by Pascal Bujard of Switzerland AND NOW in SPANISH by Ana Arcioni of Spain.  


Golden Text and Responsive Reading: Ps. 84 is one of the pilgrim psalms.  This psalm describes the pilgrim’s joyous entry into the Holy City to celebrate a religious festival.  They have traveled a great distance to arrive at the festival and are in awe of the majesty of the temple.  Verse 2 underscores the natural human longing for a spiritual closeness to God: “my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”  The pilgrims may have come with the expectation that this longing would be satisfied when they arrived at the temple.  While this shows a material sense of God as if God could be confined within a physical location, verse 5 introduces the more spiritual concept of God as ever-present.  “God’s blessing is not confined to the temple but radiates outward to those in remote places whose minds are set on the pilgrimage to Zion (vs. 5).” (Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary)  God and man have never been separated by space or time or in any other way.  It is a material sense of life, believed to be dependent on a matter body and a mortal mind for existence that leads us to believe in a false sense of separation.  The remaining verses of the Responsive Reading guide us to see the value of the spiritual journey that brings us to a right understanding of God and man.  Verse 7 promises that our strength will increase, rather than fail, as we work to clarify how we understand God and man.  Verse 10 shows the great value of making spiritual understanding our number one priority.  If we realize our true relationship to God for only a day, this one day will be worth more than 1000 days of ignorance.  If we only make modest gains in our search for spiritual truth, we will be much happier than if we had great wealth and status but knew nothing about our relationship to God. We will find our longings satisfied as we let go of the false concept that man’s life and mind are contained in matter and accept the spiritual truth of man made in the image and likeness of God, forever at one with Soul. (Ps. 65:4)  (You’ll be glad you used D.I.A.L. — Divine Image And Likeness —  and so will everyone else!)


Section 1:  An image reflects the original.  The beautiful Bible passages remind us of these key points about Soul: Soul fills all space (B1); Soul’s all-power is throughout all time (B2); “Only God [Soul] can bring us gladness, only God can give us peace.” (Hymn 263  & B3); Soul delights in and tenderly cares for his children. (B4)  God, Soul is the original, the only.  Man does not contain Soul, man reflects Soul.


Yesterday, I looked out my front window at the house across the street and saw a great blast of light shining out from its door.  It was as if a powerful floodlight was shining in my direction.  Soon I realized that the light of the sun was hitting the reflective surface of the neighbor’s small brass doorknob at just the right angle to project an image of itself.  Obviously, the doorknob contained no light of its own but it perfectly reflected the glorious light of the sun.  This view from my window presented a good example of our relationship to Soul.  We each reflect the glory of Soul by the power of Soul “which forms only reflect.” (S2)  Take your highlighting marker and go on a treasure hunt for the words reflection, reflect, reflects, and reflected in this section.  The treasures you find will reveal the beauty of Soul in your daily activities.


Section 2:  What do you crave?  This section opens with a call to awake to the ever-present light of Soul.  “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”(B5)  Good is here, already.  God, good, is the light of your being, the light you reflect, the light that is your all-in-all.  But why do we still have cravings?  “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” (B7)  Perhaps we have not fully identified ourselves as the image and likeness of this glorious light.  Paul explains the struggle: “So long as we are clothed in this temporary dwelling we have a painful longing, not because we want just to get rid of these ‘clothes’ but because we want to know the full cover of the permanent.” (J. B. Phillips) (B8) We long to be fully aware of our true being, “to be present with the Lord.” (B8)


“Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man.” (S10)  We   will never find satisfaction in matter.  Can material food or drink satisfy a craving for the spiritual?  Can matter-based health theories satisfy the needs of spiritual man?  To find satisfaction for our “human cravings” (S9) we must search out the “glories of limitless, incorporeal Life and Love.” (S9)  What does man crave?  Spiritual understanding.  To be wholly satisfied and happy, go hunting for the abundance of spiritual food in the lesson this week.   


Section 3:  The beauty of holiness.  “‘Tis what I know of Thee, my Lord and God, That fills my soul with peace, my lips with song.” (Hymn 195, vs. 3)  The citations from the Bible in this section glow with the joy of those who seek to find satisfaction in Soul instead of in material sense.  The  “human craving” to dwell with God is satisfied through a devotion to hold God foremost in one’s thought, to study to know God better, and to be obedient to God’s direction. (B9)  The yearning to be “clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life,”(B8) pointed out by Paul in the previous section, is here satisfied by God who “hath clothed me with the garments of salvation.” (B10)  We are clothed with the beautiful, eternal, clothing of spiritual unfoldment.  God’s power to cause “righteousness and praise” to rule all nations is held up for us to contemplate and affirm.  (B10)   The “new song” gives all power to God – to save us from enemies and to pour out blessings and prosperity to our families.  This is “the beauty of the Lord our God” (B12); this is real substance.


“The recipe for beauty…”(S13) The “illusion” of material existence with its supposed laws, can have no attraction for us.  Its promises are all empty.  No matter how attractive they might seem on the surface, underneath we know that there is a gaping void that only Soul can fill.  Let’s give “less and less … intelligence to matter” and embrace the satisfying Soul-empowered model of man in our thought.   Soul’s promises are always fulfilled.            


Section 4:  Escape the food culture.  We live in a food culture.  Every major street intersection has its fast food store, sometimes more than one.  The grocery stores get bigger and bigger.  Restaurants of every cuisine line the streets.  Apparently, food is big business.  Then there’s the anti-food business.  Diet and health magazines line the bookstore shelves.  Every neighborhood has its own weight-reducing club in the strip mall.  Advertisements for diet plans fill the airwaves.  Radio pundits discuss eating disorders for hours on end.  It seems we are living in the midst of a food war!  If you’re looking for an escape route, this section of the lesson will lead the way.  I love how the four Hebrew boys, empowered by their faith, took control of their own situation.  With conviction, these boys stood firm in their spiritually-based food choices.  They had no concern for their health because they trusted the maintenance of their health to God.  Christian Science gives each of us the tools that we need to have a balanced approach to food.  Feast on these spiritual truths – man is not “bidden to obey material laws which Spirit never made…” (S16);  “Immortal Mind feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness…” (S17);  “…food does not affect the absolute Life of man…” (S18); and many more.  Follow the example of the Hebrew boys.  Be empowered by your faith in God and use the tools of Christian Science to escape the food war.


Section 5:  God-given authority over disease beliefs.  The centurion understood Jesus’ authority over the body.  This man had people under his authority.  Because of his authority the people under him did whatever he commanded them to do.  “The centurion expresses his faith that angels and spirits and diseases are as obedient to Jesus as his soldiers are to him.” (Dummelow)  It was clear to Jesus that any inharmony of mind or body is void of authority.  He proved that the supposed physical laws of matter have no authority.  God has never given His authority to discord.  Only the creations of God have authority.  Harmony, health, and Life have divine authority.  There is no other authority or power.  We, too, can follow Jesus’ example of spiritual healing.  When we do, we act with the same authority that he did and effective healing is the outcome.  


Section 6:  “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” (B20)  Remember, the doorknob was not the light and did not contain the light.  It simply reflected the light of the sun.  Because the doorknob reflected the sun, I was able to see the sun in the doorknob.  As we see everything around us as truly reflective, we will see not the material object, but rather the source, God, being reflected by it.  Soul is not in you but the light of your being is the light of eternal Soul.  You are free to rejoice and to reflect Soul forevermore!   

Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms.* Originally sent JUST 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 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 in the books.  The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied.   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 these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.   Spirituality is your innate estate that connects you moment by moment with God.  (See S&H 258:30) Christ is the gift of light that Jesus gave.  This Christ light of spiritual understanding comes with and reveals infinite blessings.  So, have fun unwrapping and cherishing your very special, spiritual gift(s)!   Then, wherever you are, share them with all as big blessings that make the Infinite difference!
Warren Huff, Camp Director (636) 394-6162
The 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 operations support.  Click  for more about how you can provide support online or to get information or discuss privately how to make a special gift to help perpetuate CedarS work.
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A new, visually-oriented and very helpful resource for study of the weekly Bible Lesson is being produced by The Christian Science Publishing Society and can be found at:  What a great auxiliary to lesson study — maybe even reading beyond citation markers using the handsome new student books now sold in Reading Rooms!   MyBibleLesson contains word definitions, Bible background, timelines and translations, plus many healing ideas to use. Why not check out this effort to help bring to life each beloved Bible lesson in order to bless the youthful thinker and Sunday School student (and teacher) in us all!

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