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[See Mind’s Unfolding Universe!]

Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for
June 17-23, 2013

Subject: “Is The Universe, Including Man, Evolved By Atomic Force?”

by Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
+49 351 312 4736 /rickstewartcs@aol.com

The Golden Text: Proverbs 3:19   “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens;” This verse definitely sets the course for this week’s Bible Lesson. 

We will discover how Mind, i.e. “wisdom” and “understanding,” has unfolded this incredible universe.  As I first read the Bible Lesson, I thought of people over the years that have asked me, “But what about all that I see before my eyes?   Are you saying it just doesn’t exist?”  Often these were thoughtful individuals that wanted to embrace Christian Science, but had somehow accepted the false premise that Christian Science denies the beauty and wonders of our world. 
[Here is how Mary Baker Eddy answers that question in part: “To take all earth's beauty into one gulp of vacuity and label beauty nothing, is ignorantly to caricature God's creation, which is unjust to human sense and to the divine realism. In our immature sense of spiritual things, let us say of the beauties of the sensuous universe: "I love your promise; and shall know, some time, the spiritual reality and substance of form, light, and color, of what I now through you discern dimly; and knowing this, I shall be satisfied. Matter is a frail conception of mortal mind; and mortal mind is a poorer representative of the beauty, grandeur, and glory of the immortal Mind." See fuller answer at Miscellaneous Writings 86:9 – 87:14]

[This passage along with] this week’s Lesson will show that it is not necessarily about denial of matter’s existence, but rather a deeper understanding of reality.   As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Atomic action is Mind not matter.”

An Irish philosopher, George Berkeley, asked in the 1700’s, “What is mind? No matter.  What is matter? Never mind.”  (George Berkeley, 1685 – 1753) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Berkeley

Berkeley in his day argued against Newton’s concept of an absolute space, time, and motion.  What might be considered his primary achievement was advancing a theory called, “immaterialism.”  Later it has been referred to as “subjective idealism.” This theory denies the existence of material substance and offers the concept that objects like tables and chairs are ideas in the mind of perceivers and exist only through being perceived.  His ideas are considered precursors to the views of Einstein.

So for years there have been thinkers that searched for the understanding of what is presented to our senses and that includes powerful ideas from the Bible as we will discover.

I hope your adventure with this wonderful lesson will clearly explain that it is not the infinite beauty and wonders of the universe that we deny, only that they are outside the control of Mind, based upon or resultant from matter, or the “atomic force,” of matter.   Our journey with this week’s Lesson will teach how, “God creates and governs the universe, including man.”  (S-1, p. 295)  Enjoy!

The Responsive Reading from the Book of Job introduces us to the idea that we must keep “the Lord” at the center of creation.  Job is asked, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?”…”When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”  For a long time I have loved to answer this question with, “Well, all the sons of God shouted for joy, and I am a son of God, then I must have been right there.”  We all must have been right there!    And in the Responsive Reading we find for Job what we might call an “Aha moment” [or as Chris Irby Williams calls it a B.F.O.— a Blinding Flash of the Obvious”]. The moment Job declared, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.” 

Well, perhaps we all can expect that through this Lesson we will also begin to see creation as it really is, or as the greeting in James Cameron’s movie, “Avatar, “I see you.”  Won’t it be wonderful when we see each other and see our universe as it really is?  We will learn to appreciate, love, and understand not only each other, but our Creator, His creation, and our universe.

Our greeting to God’s incredible, unfolding universe, “I see you,” as God makes you.

Section 1: See a universe evolved by Mind.
I find it extremely helpful to remember that Mary Baker Eddy did not invent Christian Science, but rather discovered its principles and then spent her remaining lifetime in explaining its concepts.  Like a scientist researching and exploring a new concept, Mrs. Eddy did the same with her discovery.  We know from biographies that she was well read and very interested in the developments of her day and also the concepts from history, but she remained first and foremost a student of the Bible.  So, is it surprising to discover that her firm understanding that Spirit, Mind evolved our universe finds firm support in Scripture?

Section one shows us that indeed God, Mind does create and govern the universe,

Citation B-3, Hebrews 11, states: “through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

J.B. Phillips translation puts it this way.  “And it is after all only by faith that our minds accept as fact that the whole scheme of time and space was created by God’s command—that the world which we can see has come into being through principles which are invisible.”

Let’s deepen our view of the universe through spiritual understanding so we can truly say, “I see you.”

Section 2:  What you think counts!
This section gives us a goal —Discovering the unchangeable nature of the universe as we shift from mortal thought to more spiritual thought. 

We read: in citation (B-4) “I am the Lord, I change not.”; in citation  (B-5) “How is the gold become dim!  How is the most fine gold changed!”; in citation (B-7) “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.”

Science and Health states: in citation (S-6) “Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees.  It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts.”  In citation (S-8) “The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thoughts of mortals.”  And in citation (S-11) “Belief is changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless.”

How can this be practically applied in our daily lives?  What we are seeing or feeling affecting our experience?  Well, you may have heard it said that animals can sense our fear?  But isn’t the counter fact that animals, or even the whole universe can sense our Love?

Some years back I received a phone call from one of my surfing buddies.   Kenny, my friend, was working and could not come home.  He had received a call that his dog, “Bear”, had gotten out of his fenced area and neighbors had called the police out of fear.  The policeman was not able to get near the dog and did not know what to do.  (He was also afraid.)  Kenny called me and asked if I could go and help.  I began praying immediately.  When I arrived at the scene it was very tense.  The policeman was worried he would have to use his pistol.  I first assured the policeman that all was well, nothing to worry about.  And then I handled my own thought.  I was affirming that “Bear”, a very large Rottweiler, was an idea of God’s creating just like me, and was in truth Love’s idea.  At first I thought through my prayers that Bear would just let me come up and pet him and lead him back inside.  But that did not work.  He felt he had a job to do.  (Rottweilers may have a bad reputation with some people as dangerous, but they in fact are a very old and beloved breed here in Germany.  They were stock dogs, or herding dogs and pulled carts way back to Roman times. )  It came to me that I did not need to be his buddy, just allow him back where he wanted to be.  He allowed me to open the gate and I simply called for him get back inside. He immediately responded and all the barking and growling ended.  He could do his job and everyone was happy. 

If we have occasion to interact with our universe we can expect it to be harmonious, not dangerous.

Section 3:  God’s universe is never derailed.
There is a path that leads to light, understanding, and truth.  It is the acknowledgement of Spirit, God as in control.  And it is important that we stay on that right path if we want to understand the universe.

The Lord spoke with the Prophet Jeremiah, “Listen, people of Israel, and I, the Lord, will speak.  I was never unfair to your ancestors, but they left me and became worthless by following worthless idols. … You, my people, have sinned in two ways—you have rejected me, the source of life-giving water, and you’ve tried to collect water in cracked and leaking pits dug in the ground.”  (B-10, Contemporary English Version)

In citation B-12 (I Timothy 6:20) we read  “keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:”

This section does a good job of alerting us to not be distracted, diverted, nor derailed in pursuing material theories about the universe. 

The Science and Health citations give us an overview of some of the material theories that try to explain the evolution of the universe.  But Mrs. Eddy echoes the Biblical thought regarding how we best understand our origin and the origin of creation, we look to God.

In citation S-15 she states,  “Searching for the origin of man, who is the reflection of God, is like inquiring into the origin of God, the self-existent and eternal.”…”Creation rests on a spiritual basis.” (S-15, 555:16)

Section 4: Seeing man’s spiritual origin heals.
This section examines and deals with the belief in mortal heritage and inheritance.  And it includes a beautiful healing by Jesus that shows that mortal beliefs about DNA really “Do Not Apply.” (One of Warren’s favorite acronyms.)

In citation (B-15), John 9 we read of Jesus’ healing of a blind man.  The disciples asked the Master about who was at fault, the man or his parents, “that he was born blind.”  Jesus answer was firm and short.  “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”  Jesus healed the man and he saw.  “I see you.”  I see you as God made you.  I see you in your completeness.  I see you in your perfection.

 “My Bible Lesson”  available from the Mother Church includes this interesting note: “The ancient Israelites believed that children “inherited” and could be held responsible for their parent’s sins, but Ezekiel said that each person was responsible for his or her own sins.  Centuries later, the disciples must not have gotten the message, or they wouldn’t have questioned Jesus about the man’s sin.”(http://christianscience.com/bible-lessons/mybiblelesson)

The Science and Health citations in this section (S-16) through (S-21)  equip us with tools to meet so-called hereditary diseases. 

Lately there has been quite a bit in the media about diseases that seem to just be waiting to get us.  “Look out there is a monster just hiding and waiting to eat you up.”  Sounds a little like childish fears to me.  But the so-called basis for these fears is genetic codes that researchers say dictate susceptibility to these hereditary diseases.  And to me that sounds just about as believable as the old Jewish proverb about “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” (B-14,Ezek. 18)

In the 1899 issue of the Christian Science Journal there is a beautiful testimony of healing by Grace H. Wilmot.  She was suffering from hereditary consumption (Tuberculosis) and was one of the last surviving members of her family, all others having died from this belief. Her beautiful testimony can be found through , JSH Online, or from the bound volumes, Christian Science Journal,  Volume 17, Issue 6, September, 1899. http://journal.christianscience.com/issues/1899/9/17-6/hereditary-disease-healed

 She had relocated to Colorado in hopes the climate would help.  Her fondest hope was a cure since she had a seven year old daughter she did not want to leave.  She had studied her Bible diligently and had little progress.  Then on the same day she received two letters.  One from her husband saying he had requested Christian Science treatment for her.  And the second from a stranger in Chicago who had been healed of the same disease six years earlier. She had written in encouragement.  She put up the letters in her Bible.  A little later she took out the letters, read them, and then turned to her Bible again.  This time she was led to Ezekiel 18:1-3, 32. (B-14)

She was completely healed.

Section 5:  “Seeing” God’s unfolding creation?
“Christian Science presents unfoldment, not accretion; it manifests no material growth from molecule to mind, but an impartation of the divine Mind to man and the universe.” (S-24, 68: 27)  This section includes Jesus feeding of five thousand men plus a great number of women and children.  (B-18, Matthew 14:14-21). [See Warren’s Endnote for a script & skit video of feeding the multitudes.]

A Bible Note from the “My Bible Lesson,” says” that this is the only one of Jesus’ achievements, other than the resurrection that is mentioned in all four gospels – Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9, and John 6.  This may indicate how important this event was to the early Christians.”

The Science and Health citations (S-22), (S-23), (S-24), and (S-25) give us the scientific basis for this wonderful demonstration of God’s provision.  But these citations also take it out of the hands of miracle or wonder and place it firmly in the hand of spiritual fact, of “seeing” what God is doing for His creation.  There are other demonstrations of the divine fact of God’s ever-present supply in the Bible with both food and water. 

Food:
Exo.16:12-15 – [God miraculously supplied quail & manna in desert]
Num.11:18-20 – [God sent a month's supply of quail] (See vs.31,32)
Psa.78:23-29 – He opened the doors of Heaven, & rained down manna…corn of Heaven…angel's food…meat to the full (See also Psa.105:40)
Psa.132:15 – I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread
1Ki.17:4 – I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there
1Ki.17:16 – The barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail [during the 3-1/2 year famine]
1Ki.19:5-8 – An angel said unto (Elijah), "Arise & eat"…& behold, a cake baken on the coals, & a cruse of water
2Ki.4:42,43 – [Elisha fed 100, multiplying 20 loaves & some corn]
Mk.6:34-44 – [Jesus fed 5,000, multiplying 5 loaves & 2 fishes. 5,000 men, besides women & children Mat.14:21]
Mk.8:1-9 – [Jesus fed 4,000, multiplying 7 loaves]

Water:
Gen.21:14-19 – [Hagar dying of thirst, God showed her a well]
Exo.17:1-6 – [At Horeb, the Lord brought water out of a rock]
Num.20:2,7-11 – [At Meribah, God again brought water from a rock]
Judg.15:15-19 – [God supplied water from a jawbone for Samson]
2Ki.3:9,17,20 – [God miraculously supplied water for an army]
(See also Psa.78:15,16; 105:41; Isa.41:17,18.)

Purifying food and water:
Exo.15:23-25 – [Bitter waters of Marah miraculously made sweet]
2Ki.2:19-22 – [Undrinkable waters of Jericho healed]
2Ki.4:38-41 – [Poisonous gourd in the pottage rendered harmless]
(See also Mk.16:18a)  http://www.deeptruths.com/bible-basics/supply.html

Does not sound like a negligent Creator to me?  Isn’t it time that we “see” what God is doing and has already done for His creation?  As Mrs. Eddy says in Science  and Health,” There is to-day danger of repeating the offence of the Jews by limiting the Holy One of Israel and asking: “Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?” What cannot God do?” (SH 135:17)

Section 6: “Seeing only Thy creation”…
Well, we have seen a lot in this week’s Bible Lesson and in our conclusion we can join Isaiah in being a spiritual seer, a Prophet. (See Science and Health, Glossary, page 593)

Citation (B-20, Isaiah 65:17, 18) reads:   “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”

When I was working as an Assistant Committee on Publication for my university, the state COP, Michael Rissler, shared an interesting insight.  He was speaking about the prophet Isaiah and his visions of God’s kingdom and God’s Christ.  Michael commented, “Rick, you know I don’t think Isaiah missed out on seeing the Christ.  His visions, his prophesies were his spiritual vision at work.  He was indeed “seeing” the Christ as having come and Isaiah was “seeing” God’s universe as it really existed.”

That insight has stuck with me for over thirty years.  I agree with Michael that with spiritual vision, true seeing, we can see God’s universe and creation as it is and will always be.  And what does our Leader tell us about that universe?

In citation (S-28, 513:6–10) she states: “Advancing spiritual steps in the teeming universe of Mind lead on to spiritual spheres and exalted beings. To material sense, this divine universe is dim and distant, gray in the somber hues of twilight; but anon the veil is lifted, and the scene shifts into light.

As stated in the Christian Science Hymnal in Hymn 58, written by Elizabeth C. Adams:

Seeing only Thy creation,

We can share Thy happiness,

Share Thy joy and spend it freely.

Loyal hearts can feel no fear;

We Thy children know Thee, Father,

Love and Life forever near.

A universe ever unfolding in beauty, color, supply, individuality, diversity, order, harmony, health is a wonder to behold.  And isn’t it wonderful to be able to rejoice and say,

“I see you.”


[Warren endnote: Feeding a multitude — and “the famished affections” — will be reenacted all week at CedarS in a skit about Jesus' awesome example of Love’s provision and of Answered Prayer (A.P.) History.  This summer, as cabin groups of all ages tour the CedarS Camps Bible Lands Park, they will have the opportunity to re-enact stories from the Christian Science Bible Lesson. Each week, videos of selected skits will be posted on the CedarS website and at TMCYouth.com via a YouTube vimeo link. We will also post scripts and follow-up questions, which may be downloaded free of charge by those seeking Bible-centered activities and contemporary applications for their Sunday School classes and/or Bible study groups. These Bible skits were written by Sara Romo, a current CedarS counselor, as part of her Girl Scout Gold project. Sara has raised $1,000 to cover the initial scripts, props, costumes, and scriptural sets, and with your ongoing support we hope to continue offering this exciting new resource. Please note “for Sara’s project”.]

[The application ideas above are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps. They are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp!  YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) athttp://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/

Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & writer of its bracketed, italic additions.]

[LETTING NEEDS BE KNOWN: If you haven't given thanks lately for CedarS freely-given Mets, NOW would be a perfect time to do so!  $8k needed for camperships has been recently been given to help demonstrate our top priority of a camp full of Sunday School students who are ready for a fun, life-transforming experience in applying Christian Science!  Also greatly appreciated are operations support and our herd of horses still needs your "adoptive" support. At least $6k more is needed to fix horse pasture fences, and as of a few days ago at least $3.5k more is needed to repair or replace a camp bus. BIG THANKS in advance for MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE, BY PHONE OR BY MAIL! 
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[And, it's NOT TOO LATE to enroll or encourage others to enroll or to get CAMPERSHIP AID; but to help finalize affordable flights and arrangements, CedarS needs campers who are "on the fence to SIGN UP ONLINE ASAP!  Explore easy ONLINE Enrollment for campers & families as well as for Parents, Grands or Sponsors to join our team in home-style accommodations!
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[Check out CedarS with Unique Features that transform lives through:

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[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free — by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio.  A voluntary French translation by Pascal or Denise cannot be guaranteed due to their busy schedules. And a weekly Portuguese translation is now available for CedarS Mets, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are 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 "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as 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 and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of 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.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-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.]

 

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