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“Seek God’s immortal likeness — let go of a limited mortal view and see God face to face!”
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Mortals and Immortals”
for May 10 through May 16, 2021

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer
kathyfitzer@gmail.com

 [To hear Kathy read this Met click: Seek God’s immortal likeness — let go of a limited mortal view and see God face to face! – CedarS Camps ]

I noticed a lot in this lesson about seeing God’s face—that is experiencing God’s presence. What reveals God to be ever-present is the Christ light of the spiritual sense shining in thought.  We discover and radiate this growing glow of spiritual sense or light of Christ, Truth as we choose to let go of the mortal model — that which is limited and destined to die — and embrace immortal reality — full of life and limitless vitality.  This spiritual sense of all being meets us where we are, and reveals the freedom of man as made in the image of God.

GOLDEN TEXT (Psalm 17:6, 15):

Most of us have people in our lives that we think of as role models.  We strive to learn from them and be like them because we know our lives would be better if we expressed (in our own, unique way) the qualities we see in them.  Well … what if we had God as our role model and sought to express (in our own unique way) His/Her nature in everything we did?  We’ve all been made in God’s likeness.  That’s an unchangeable fact!  Sometimes that likeness seems to get lost in the fog of mortal belief or covered up by the mortal dream, but the Golden Text is full of the conviction that God hears, and responds to, our desire to see Him and be like Him.  As we “call upon him” we can be confident that we will awake with the likeness of Life, Truth, and Love, and feel satisfied in all we are and are “called upon” to do. (Ps. 17:6)

RESPONSIVE READING:

Are we willing, as the Psalmist was, to truly seek God’s face?  (Ps. 27:8) And, what does that even mean?  It can be helpful to think of God’s face as God’s presence (as the Hebrew can also be translated). We tend to look at a person’s face in order to get to know them and recognize them. We look in their eyes to learn more about them.  And, so, seeking God’s face could involve wanting to really recognize God’s presence and develop an intimate relationship with our Creator and Maintainer.  This is especially important at times when we may feel distant from God for one reason or another.

This was likely the case for Jacob.  He had been away from home for a long time, escaping his brother’s anger after he cheated him out of his birthright.  Chapters 31 and 32 of Genesis tell the story of God telling Jacob to return, and leading him every step of the way.  Jacob was obedient, but on the night before meeting Esau he was feeling alone and really scared.  We’re told that at that point he humbly reached out to God — seeking to see his face, so to speak.  (Gen. 32: 9-12) And, of course, God responded.  But, it wasn’t without a struggle on Jacob’s part.  He had to wrestle — as most of us have had to wrestle at some time in our lives — with doubt, fear, guilt, pain, etc.  And, we, like Jacob, have been faced with the temptation — as things get better and the day breaks — to let “the angel” go.  To me, that means a willingness to be satisfied with the progress made, but not insist (as Jacob insisted) on a complete healing — on a blessing that will change our thinking so completely that we never mentally return to where we were.

Jacob’s name was changed to Israel to reflect his change in nature.  No longer was he a “supplanter” or “deceiver”, but now was seen as “a prince or soldier of God,” or, “one who perseveres with God.” By seeing “God face to face,” Jacob saw his true nature reflected in that face. And there was never a return to his old name or nature. As we genuinely reach out to God, seeking to really know Him, we can expect a similar response!

Jacob then asked the name of the one with whom he had been struggling.  Rather than giving a direct answer, God asked Jacob why he wanted to know. And then He blessed him.  One source says, “the fact that the question is followed by a blessing suggests the latter as an indirect answer; God is a God of blessing, a deity positively disposed toward Jacob.” (NIB, 12 volume commentary; vol. 1) Being incorporeal, God doesn’t have a single name the way humans do.  God’s name (Her nature) is infinite in scope. He/She simply is a God of blessing, meeting each individual right where they seem to be and raising them up to reveal what they truly are.  We’re not stuck … nor is anyone! God’s angels are actively revealing God’s nature to man, enabling each one to see that nature in themselves and in each other.

SECTION 1:  Jesus responded to the CALL to LIGHT the way & REVEAL OUR FREEDOM!

Just as the angel enabled Jacob to see God’s face (experience God’s presence,) Jesus came as a light to the world to reveal God’s presence to all mankind … to bring all people out of the prison of mortal belief (See citation B1/Isa. 42: 5-8, 23). Spirit (immortal light) is our very source! The darkness of mortality (fleshly beliefs) can do nothing to make us “perfect,” that is to bring complete fulfillment (cit. B2/Gal. 3:3).

Jesus revealed this light of Christ that continues to reveal the path of righteousness (or right relationship with God).  Now, we need to remember, and really trust what Jesus taught.  The author of James warns against being “double-minded” (cit. B3/James 1:8). I think of that as  falling for the “Yeah, buts.”  Things like, “Yeah, I’m spiritual and I know God is all and takes care of me, BUT …. !  And, after that “but” can come lots of doubts and fears and arguments on the side of matter rather than Spirit.  As long we’re placing our trust equally in matter and Spirit (mortality and immortality) and believing that “darkness is as real as light,” we’re not going to make much headway.  A boat can’t move while it’s still tied to the dock!

Notice, I’m talking about where we place our trust!  Jesus made concessions when it was for the good of the whole.  He paid taxes, and fed people, and touched people he healed when it seemed helpful. But, he always knew that it was Love that was meeting every human need.  At one point, I found myself in a situation where it seemed right to get medical help.  I was grateful for it.  But, I was determined not to lose sight of the fact that this was temporary help and the true source of all good was then, and always is, God.  Even if we are asked to navigate what appears to be two very different worlds, nothing can make us be “double-minded”, or truly work from two standpoints. (cit. S4/182:12) God always will be ALL!

We have to be careful that we are willing to be “doers” and not just “hearers” of God’s Word (cit. B3/James 1:23-25). As hearers, we learn about God, but when things get tough we find it easy to forget what we know.  As we practice keeping thought focused on the light … focused on what is true, regardless of what the mortal senses are saying … we will be able to mentally follow-through and hear God’s instructions and assurances that “all is well” regardless of circumstances. To me, that sticking to the truth is being a “doer.”

 

SECTION 2:  CLOTHE YOURSELF IN THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF IMMORTALITY.

Mary Baker Eddy describes different qualities of thought as degrees of mortal mind.  They are summarized as “depravity (unreality), evil beliefs disappearing (transitional qualities), and understanding (reality).” She says that “in the third degree mortal mind disappears, and man as God’s image appears” (cit. S7/115:19-5).  It is helpful for me to realize that the third degree (understanding) is reality.  So, “wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, and holiness” constitute the actual state of our being.  They aren’t out of reach, but can be demonstrated as we trustingly seek God’s face, and reflect His presence in our lives.

The story of how Noah’s sons responded to his situation is a great example of how these states of thought can be practiced.  Noah had gotten drunk and was exposed.  The first son, Ham, saw his father’s state, and did nothing about it, but ran and told his brothers.  He was operating in the physical, or first degree. His father later declared that he would be relegated to being a servant or slave. His brothers, on the other hand, approached their father respectfully and covered him up, sparing him further embarrassment.  These two brothers expressed the moral qualities of compassion and affection and were rewarded by their father (cit. B6/Gen. 9:20-23, 24, 26, 27). When we see someone struggling, how do we react?  Hopefully we do what we can to help and heal rather than magnify the problem or have a laugh at someone else’s expense.  As we practice the Golden Rule, surely we will be able to bless while being blessed.

In her definitions of the sons’ names in the Glossary of Science and Health, it seems to me that Mary Baker Eddy identifies Ham with the 1st degree, Shem with the 2nd degree, and Japhet with the 3rd degree. (cit. S8/587:21; cit. S9/594:14; cit. S10/589:8) Most likely, we find ourselves entertaining thoughts from across this spectrum at different times.  But, as we start from the standpoint of spiritual reality, we can claim the qualities of the third degree as already being ours.  Then, we strive to consistently practice expressing the moral qualities of the second degree.  Thought-by-thought, we express more and more of our real nature, and see God’s image appearing.

SECTION 3:  GOD CALLS US OUT OF THE DEPTHS OF DISCOURAGEMENT

Sometimes it’s hard not to feel discouraged when it seems things just aren’t going the way we think they should.  Joshua had been one of the two original spies who was ready to enter the Promised Land.  And, after wandering with the rest of the people for forty years, he became the leader of the Children of Israel.  But, now, after having lost a battle, he succumbed to discouragement and asked God why he had even bothered to bring them out of Egypt.  God, of course, roused him (cit. B8/Joshua 7:7-10).  Reading the rest of the story, we find that after some disobedient activities were uncovered, the Israelites were again victorious over their enemies.  Sometimes we have lessons to learn.  But, instead of feeling discouraged, we need to see the opportunities and confidently move forward!

I had an experience last year when I was feeling discouraged because physical freedom wasn’t coming as quickly as I thought it should. Gratefully, God shook me from the dust! (cit. B9/Isa. 52:2) I had been doing a lot of praying about God.  But, then I read the line we have here, “I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine”.  (cit. B10/Isa. 43:1, 2, 11, 19).  The verses surrounding this line are all very reassuring.  But, I wondered how God can really know me in such a huge universe. I realized that the system of mathematics knows every number.  And, I thought about the relationship of a parent and child.  I only have 3 children, but I certainly know each one of them, and they know me. Because our Father/Mother is infinite Mind, there is no limit to His/Her knowing. So, yes, God knows the name — the individual nature — of each one of us!  Similarly, we don’t just know about God, but we each know God — intimately.  I realized then that there was nothing to be concerned about because God was surely meeting my every need out of Her love for me!  First my joy and confidence returned.  And close behind came complete healing.

SECTION 4:  PUT ON IMMORTALITY.

Those who have been caving at CedarS, or those who have gotten “down and dirty” doing anything, know that to get clean you start by taking off the dirty clothes and putting on clean ones.  Same thing when you want to shed the baggage of mortality — the limitations of the flesh.  As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “By putting ‘off the old man with his deeds,’ mortals ‘put on immortality’”  (cit. B11/I Cor. 15: 51-54; S6/262:7-16, 24).  The Greek word translated “mortal” means, in its simplest form, “liable to death.”  That would include liability to the death of life, but also of joy, hope, love, employment, etc.  As the offspring of God, Life, man can’t possibly be liable to death of any kind.

Just as it’s not effective to put clean clothes on over our dirty clothes, or try to make the dirty clothes look and smell fresh, we don’t try to put immortality on over the belief that we are basically mortal.  Instead of trying to make matter better — instead of working to extend a mortal life — we need to completely stop looking for “life and truth in matter.”  It’s not there!  Instead, we need to keep our eye on the light.  Take the light of Christ out from under the covers. Change the clothes of thought. Transform the false belief of limitation and death into the freedom of boundless life, which is God’s gift to all!

SECTION 5:  HUMBLE YOURSELF AS A LITTLE CHILD.

One of the problems of becoming an adult is the possible tendency to start depending on ourselves too much … to think we have the answers.  We may be tempted to either feel we don’t need God as much, get too busy to think as much about God, or to be more hesitant to adopt new ideas.  But, Jesus emphasized that in order to enter God’s Kingdom — to mentally recognize the reign of harmony — we have to maintain the openness and humility of a child.  And that we have to embrace the purity of children in order to embrace and experience the purity of Christ. (cit. B12/Matt. 18: 2-5, 10)

We talked before about not being “double-minded” – but rather whole-heartedly embracing the truth of man’s immortal nature as the image of God, Spirit.  In teaching younger students in Sunday School, I’m struck by their absolute conviction that God is always with them, so they can’t be hurt.  In the heat of the moment, they may forget that momentarily.  But, in general there is a very strong conviction about what is true and what is not.  This is illustrated in Science and Health by the story of the little girl who hurt her finger and immediately responded with “there is no sensation in matter,” happily bounding off “with laughing eyes.” (SH 237:4)   As adults, we may repeat those words.  But, only through child-like trust do we really feel the conviction of the truth of the statement.  It is that absolute yielding to immortal truth that brings healing.  Let’s know that God only has children!  We can’t grow out of our childlike innocence.  It’s how God made us, and that can’t be taken away!

SECTION 6:  REACH OUT TO CHRIST, FEEL THE TOUCH OF CHRIST, AND BE HEALED.

I was struck by two things in the story of the man that Jesus healed of leprosy (cit. B14/Luke 5:12-13). One was that the man humbly called out to Jesus and asked for help.  The second was that Jesus willingly reached out and touched the leper, who was considered by society to be untouchable.  We must be willing to emulate both of these acts.  When we are dealing with any kind of issue — especially one that has gone on a long time and may be deemed “incurable,” do we ever find ourselves just “living” with it, rather than sincerely and wholeheartedly calling out to God and His Christ for healing, with the conviction of the leper in this story?  I’ve been guilty!  But, Christ — the light of Truth — is always able and willing to bring healing.

We must persist by “turn[ing] from sin (or the belief that we can be separated from God) and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship.” (cit. S23/316:3) We are all the sons/daughters of God, made and maintained as the immortal image of immortal God.

Check out the definition Mary Baker Eddy gives of Jesus: “The highest human corporeal concept of the divine idea, rebuking and destroying error and bringing to light man’s immortality” (cit. S22/589:16). Jesus may have been the highest human concept of God, but he wouldn’t have told us, as his disciples, to go and do the works he did if we weren’t also a human concept of the divine idea.

Jesus rebuked and destroyed error in order to reveal man’s immortality.  It is the light of Truth that did and does the rebuking.  Darkness can’t resist the rebuke of light.  Darkness can’t destroy light.  This is the basis for our conviction that disease can’t destroy life.  And death doesn’t save man from sin or sickness.  Only Life saves us.  Understanding that, and simply admitting that “man is God’s own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea” (Cit. S27, 9-: 24-27).  It is our right to both reach out to Christ and also respond by touching others with our view of the “spiritual facts of health” (cit. S26/370: 2, 18-20). How we view things is up to us!  And, holding the correct and accurate view of man as the immortal image of God heals!

SECTION 7:  SOAK UP THE SHINING LIGHT OF IMMORTALITY.

This section opens with a traditional blessing … a hope for safety, for God to shine on the worshipper and lighten their load, and for God to bring mercy and be gracious (cit. B15/Numbers 6: 24-26). Aren’t those the gifts that Jesus and his disciples went on to bring to those who followed them?  Stephen is such a great example of someone who put his whole self into ministering to others — both practically and spiritually.  He was apparently so clear that he was reflecting the power of God that his whole being acted as a transparency for God’s immortal spirit.  There is reference to his face looking like “the face of an angel” — similar to the description of Moses’ face shining after he had been in the presence of God (cit. B16/Acts 6: 8-10, 15)

The Common English Bible translates II Corinthians 3: 18 this way: “All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (cit. B17/I Cor. 3:18) What would the veil be that would keep us from seeing the clear image of God, and reflecting it in clarity, joy, freedom, fearlessness, and knowledge of our immortal nature?  Isn’t it the mistake of starting from a mortal standpoint … thinking that we are made of flesh and blood and subject to the limitations of mortal elements?  All of that — no matter how convincing — simply isn’t true!  No matter how dark things seem, darkness can’t stand up to the influx of light.  And so, no matter how convincing the beliefs of mortality are … that we are destined to die and it’s just a matter of time and what’s going to “cause” it … those beliefs can’t stand up to the influx of the light of immortal Truth that cannot be stopped!

It’s interesting that Mary Baker Eddy says, “cold disdain, stubborn resistance, opposition from church, state laws, and the press, are still the harbingers (or forerunners) of truth’s full-orbed appearing.” (SH 224:19) But, think about it … it was after he was crucified that Jesus’ teachings really started taking hold.  And it was after Stephen was martyred that Paul’s conversion happened and Christianity spread so widely to the Gentiles.  Truth cannot be stopped!  So, no matter how impressive the evidence of morality seems, nothing can withstand the light of immortal Truth!

Don’t give in to the testimony of the senses!  Instead, “let Christian Science (the truth of being and law of God), instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant (supersede and replace) error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony” (cit. S31/495:20).  Seek immortal Truth, and God will reveal your limitless, immortal nature!  It is inevitable!!



Please join us each week for a 7pm (Central Daylight-savings Time) Hymn Sing!
You can sing along with CedarS host musicians and hundreds of worldwide friends hymns that you all request. Click here for a link and fuller details.

Invite family, church and other friends and even neighbors to join us by Zoom EVERY week at 7pm Central Time for CedarS Sunday Hymn Sings. (A precious prelude precedes each sing at 6:45pm Central Daylight-savings Time (CDT.) We encourage singing along in Zoom’s gallery view to share the joy of seeing dear ones in virtual family-church reunions that bless all generations.

To protect privacy and copyrights, these “brief, but spectacular” sessions are NOT recorded. So, calibrate your time-zone clocks, mark your calendars, and remind friends, so that no one misses any of these inspiring, weekly reminders of our precious, spiritual oneness with each other and with our ever-loving, Father-Mother God who owns and embraces us all!

Lovingly singing prayers and praise to God for 30 minutes each Sunday is such a warm, “Welcome Home” tradition to bless the start of each week with joyous, peaceful GRACE. (Our 2021 theme.) We have loved singing-in this grace with longtime as well as first-time friends—not only from ALL 50 of the United States, but also from 21 other countries! So far, our “Hymn Sing family” has clicked or dialed-in from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, as well as from each of the United States! In the universal language of divine Love, “the ‘still, small voice’ of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 559:8–10)

Here are some areas where financial support is needed to bless in very meaningful ways thousands of dear ones served by CedarS:

  • Always needed and appreciated are UNRESTRICTED & OTHER MAINTENANCE AND HERD SUPPORT GIFTS! We send our special thanks in advance for clicking here to electronicallyshare your tax-deductible support. It’s especially needed during this reduced-income period to help “keep our oil lamps burning.”
  • ENDOWMENT GIFTS to help cover CedarS camperships and operations are being MATCHED up to $200,000/year ($1-MILLION total)!
  • Here’s our camp office address to MAIL your gift to:
    The CedarS Camps Office, 410 Sovereign Court #8, Ballwin, MO 63011
  • or call CedarS team at 636-394-6162(Gay, Kim or Jennifer) to share a credit card gift.
  • CedarS is a not-for-profit, 501-C-3 organization with a Federal ID # 44-0663883.
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

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