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Seek Parental Guidance (divine PG) for this week’s series of Bible “Soap Operas” on “Mortals and Immortals”
Application Ideas on the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson for 5-14-06
by Corde Hanzlik, C.S., Austin, TX

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.

With the Golden Text gift that we have received from God, “his only begotten Son,” we should be claiming our immortality as fact! Right now! We too (as “joint heirs with Christ”) can claim that we are “only begotten” by God, not begotten by a series of mortal parents of sometimes-questionable goodness. We are not both mortals AND immortals. As found in Julie Ward’s met last week, “We are not on a womb-to-tomb treadmill.”

The Responsive Reading gives us the command, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come,” not coming, maybe, but here and now and for all mankind. Of course, all of us at CedarS when we read the Responsive Reading passage from Isa. 60:13, are grateful that our special campsite near “Lebanon”(Missouri) is where sons and daughters of God come from near and far to better glimpse this light, but we know the light is everywhere, for everyone. All people will “inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands” to the glory of God. Neither sons nor daughters will be forgotten as we’ll see in the Lesson. To get the gist of this week’s Lesson, read the opening chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. His begats are all for the purpose of connecting the very zigzag genealogy dots from Abraham to Jesus as prophesied. (Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 4, page 629 discusses this.)
“The first four women in Matthew”s genealogy of Jesus were Gentiles with sexual histories that would have raised a few eyebrows, yet each of these women played a vital role in the history of ancient Israel,” explains Barry Huff, one of our camp Bible scholars. There’s great value in thoroughly reversing the false sense of man’s origin that’s presented so graphically in this week’s Bible Lesson. (See S&H 262:27) You can’t come to right conclusions, if you begin from the wrong starting point.

Let’s see what wrong starting points need to be corrected as presented in the Lesson. It is somewhat of an X-rated Lesson, or at least PG. Kids (of all ages) might need some help from their human and divine parents.

Section 1: One big family, one parentage, divine.
Look at all of the family terms – sons, adoption, children, heirs, joint-heirs. This same passage from Romans tells us of many mentions of Spirit as well – “Spirit of life,” Spirit of God,” “spirit (lower case s) of bondage,” “Spirit of adoption, “Spirit itself”. Have we got the Spirit? (B 1) Watch for other mentions of Spirit in the other sections, too.

Yes, Mrs. Eddy tells us. We are spiritual and immortal without counterfeits. Would the real man please stand up? (S&H 1) Don’t be like some characters in the lesson and in life who don’t stand for the real man, and so fall for almost anything. What do we do to see this real man? (Turn) We are already linked. (S&H 2) Marker 3 gives us the results of seeing through a counterfeit in order to get results. What transmission are we receiving? We will achieve our model! (S&H 4)

Section 2: Tamar’s stand for Principle – wisdom and courage expressed
When you read the chain of begat, begat, begat … remember that as “joint heirs with Christ” (B1- Romans 8:17), we are “only begotten” by God. Where does the mortal sense end? Or start?
Heed the Second Timothy (B2) warning – take the inspired Word of the Bible. (Hmmmm, might that be a Tenet of Christian Science? S&H 496) We will follow the Mosaic law as our stories begin. (B4) Remember, while this law attributed to Moses was intended to protect widows, it is not necessarily divinely or humanly perfect. So in Marker 5, Tamar is supposed to marry Shelah according to Mosaic law. Tamar was going to hold Judah to his word, according to law. She’s a clever girl, but Judah is a creep. (Why would we “watch” such soap operas? It’s all in the Bible, even in the first book! Such waymarks (of what to do as well as what NOT to do) are there “for correction, for instruction in righteousness” as Timothy says in B2.) Because Tamar stood for the law, plus had the foresight to get key tokens from Judah, she was protected from his “indiscretion.” The lineage went on. This widow was not oppressed! (B6) Psalms alerts us to follow the Lord. He’ll keep us safe.

What proofs of Judah’s i.d. did Tamar ask from him? His signet, a seal of identification. (It worked as a primitive version of DNA in this case.) Error was exposed. (S&H5) Tamar didn’t have to expose the error. The human error exposed itself! Justice prevailed. (S&H 6) Judah was definitely one of the “children of men” instead of a family guy in S&H 7. How often do we think that we have to do the exposing of error only to have our plans backfire or lead to discouragement? (S&H 8) S&H 9 gives the results of evil’s counterpoise (counterfeit) exposed. Self-destruction!

Section 3: Yeah for Rahab! (a “Re-hab”)
It would help to read all of the introductory issues and understand some terms before this biblical episode of “Daze of Our Lives” with Rehab begins. What is a harlot anyway? “A woman who prostitutes her body for hire; a prostitute” according to Webster. To summarize, Joshua is following the instructions of Moses (who had just handed him the torch of leadership) to cross the river Jordan (on dry land Josh 4) to claim the Promised Land where Jericho was. Of course, this land was not vacant. There were the inhabitants to contend with, specifically, the king of Jericho, who wasn’t about to give up his city to anybody. So, we pick up the story at the point where Joshua sent his spies to check out the city. To be willing to help the Jews, Rahab, a Canaanite, must have had a strong desire for redemption or great fear of them.. Apparently she understood their destiny as God’s chosen people. At any rate she helped them. “She risked everything for her conviction about the God of Israel, and her faith was vindicated.” (The Bible Study Commentary, pg 36) (Read Joshua 6 to see what happens to Jericho.) Note, too, that Rahab had the wisdom to ask a “true token” as a guarantee of safety.

Rahab probably understood that “mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual”. (S&H 11) In this case, Rahab was the “lesser idea” as far as social status, but she was the real winner. (S&H 12) As error is destroyed, there is progress. Look at the rewards in Marker 14 – longevity, purity, elevated character, immortality and light.

Section 4: Ah, a more familiar story, Ruth (a short book, 4 chapters, read it)
See where we are on the genealogy chain in Matthew. (B12) We’re getting close to Jesus. But please note that, thanks to the virgin birth (described in Matthew 1:18-25), the closest the chain of begats gets to Jesus genealogically is to Mary’s husband Joseph who had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus who was “only begotten” by God. Ruth is always a “feel-good story.” We should all aspire to be as loving and dedicated as Ruth is to her mother-in-law, instead of accepting the world belief about mother-in-laws. Her motives are blessed and pure. Boaz is obedient to Mosaic law by taking Ruth as his wife. The Lord God is watching His plan.

Four of the markers in this section are from the chapter called “Marriage” in Science and Health. Perhaps along with Matthew, Joshua, and Ruth, we should read this entire chapter too! Principle wins out. (S&H 19)

Section 5: A deviation from Principle. Oh, David.
The lineage continues …. The story of David and BATH-sheba is another source of soap opera material or rent the movie. After David’s confession as set up by Nathan (II Sam 12), David is ultimately redeemed through his life’s miseries (constant war). His appeal to God is probably most heartfelt. (B18)

The Science and Health citations all build on the sanctity of fidelity and purity in marriage, but also acknowledge the destructive errors that can accompany wrongdoing. We must win the war over sense, the flesh, “before we can reach the goal of Spirit, or life in God.” (S&H 23) The victory over the mortal is immortality!

Section 6: Our heroine, Mary, of pure understanding
We know this special story. The Word was made flesh. (B22) Mrs. Eddy explains it all so well – the divine conception, the birth for all to see and understand. (S&H 26) Does the lineage end with Jesus? (This is not a Da Vinci Code question.) No, it does not, as we are the heirs, the joint heirs with Christ, as the Responsive Reading told us. We are the man in Science. What is our ancestry? Note, “offspring of Spirit.”(S&H 27, 28 and 29) Our immortal existence is intact! Mrs. Eddy’s promise, “The evidence of man’s immortality will become more apparent, as material beliefs are given up and the immortal facts of being are admitted.” (S&H 30)
(Editor’s reference: “Mere historical incidents and personal events are frivolous and of no moment, unless they illustrate the ethics of Truth. To this end, but only to this end, such narrations may be admissible and advisable; but if spiritual conclusions are separated from their premises, the nexus is lost, and the argument, with its rightful conclusions, becomes correspondently obscure. The human history needs to be revised and the material record expunged.” Retrospection and Introspection 21:25)

No human taints or limitations have hold on our true selfhood. All of the women in this week’s Lesson proved their pure worth. We thank them and Mrs. Eddy for shaking off their mortal histories and helping us come to “rightful conclusions” as to our true spiritual origin as Mary Baker Eddy has documented so clearly in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Because of passages in this Lesson we all know that we are all of one divine Parentage, our Father-Mother God, immortal, and joint-heirs with Christ!

Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a long 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 in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. 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.)

Warren Huff, Director           
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