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["Make your own" and share the gift of Christian Science, “the law of God, good”!]

CedarS Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson
for the week of June 24-30, 2013

Subject: CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

Prepared by: Heather K. Libbe, CS (heather.libbe@gmail.com)

 

If you asked ten different people what Christian Science is, you would probably get ten different answers.

Reaching out to a few friends around the country and world drew the following responses:

  • A system whereby one confronts the notion in thought that there can be any separation from God and dismantles it, which results in healing
  • The science of divine law enabling those who study it to replicate the healing works performed by Jesus Christ and his followers in the early Christian church
  • A tool to learn the whats, whys, hows, and wheres so we can progress in our understanding of God and where we fit into Her grand creation, individually and collectively
  • The extension of God’s loving embrace that is placed into a divine science that we as His children can see, understand, and feel
  • Witnessing the laws of God in action, recognizing that these laws are present and active here and now; it is a way of life, abundant with joy
  • A framework to interpret the world, one that uses as its foundation, ideas like Truth, Mind, Spirit, Love
  • The spiritual awakening of Truth, allowing people to be free from limitations through reliance upon God
  • A metaphysical system of healing based on the teachings of Christ Jesus
  • The Science of the Christ that teaches us how to hear the Word, share it with others and follow the Way of Christ Jesus who taught us how to heal and love one another in the most meaningful way  

 

Recently, I’ve enjoyed thinking of Christian Science more as a Science than a religion – a Science that, like mathematics, is available to be studied and practiced by all.  Instead of seeing membership to The Mother Church as an exclusive club of healers, I’ve enjoyed discovering how every single member of God’s creation has equal access to the healing power of the Truth and can apply and demonstrate the laws of God within their own experience. 

In Rudimental Divine Science, Mary Baker Eddy answers the question “How would you define Christian Science?” She says, “As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony.” (pg 1) Notice, this definition does not specify a certain time period or certain group of people.

This week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson gives us the opportunity to dive in deeper with our understanding of Christian Science as the law of God, good, and might even give us a little nudge to take further steps towards making it our own in following Christ Jesus, rejoicing in spiritual leaven, healing the sick and the sinning, listening to the “still, small voice” and sharing the gift of Christian Science with the world.

Golden Text
“… the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5 the)

Isn’t it nice that the Holy Ghost – the communication of God, angel messages, the Comforter, Christ, Truth, the “still, small voice” – is just given to us? We don’t have to do anything to earn it or go on a large hunt to find it. Rather, “His priceless pearl of gifts” (Christian Science Hymnal, Hymn #345) is always there for us to turn to. And, no one is excluded from God’s angel messages!

Responsive Reading
Also given to us is the ability to recognize the good of God and be grateful. While it can be easy to make comparisons with others, whether we’re looking at material possessions, relationships, education levels, socioeconomic statuses, employment, number of friends on Facebook, fashion, places visited, opportunities and experiences or physical appearance, we need only to compare “spiritual things with spiritual.”

We read in Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, “The effects of Christian Science are not so much seen as felt.  It is the "still, small voice" of Truth uttering itself.  We are either turning away from this utterance, or we are listening to it and going up higher.  Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea.  Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, — this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony.  The purification of sense and self is a proof of progress.” (pg 323)

Again, it is each of our divine rights to hear the “’still, small voice’ of Truth” and go higher in our demonstration. Moreover, as we work to purify sense and self, we can’t help but progress in our understanding of the Science of the Christ. 

Section 1: Christian Science, as the Holy Ghost and “natural law of harmony which overcomes discord”
Because “divine Science derives its sanctions from the Bible,” (S2) we can look to the Scriptures for inspiration and evidence of the healing power of Truth. In fact, this healing power has been around forever – even before Jesus’ time – proving that the Holy Ghost, divine Science, cannot be limited by time or space.  

Elisha and his servant had very different reactions to the Syrian army’s attack. (B2)  [To see a moving (June 14th) reenactment at CedarS Bible Lands Park of this story of Elisha and the Peaceful End to War click http://www.cedarscamps.org/videos/categories/2425012/   For a skit script and follow-up questions see Warren’s endnote.]  Whereas Elisha’s servant was rather panicked to wake up and see all the horses and chariots surrounding them, Elisha saw right through the alarming picture of danger and held to God’s protecting care instead.  Because of this, he was able to help his servant do the same.  Psalms 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth him,” which only encourages us to pray that our eyes may be opened so that we can be aware of God’s omnipotence.  The Interpreter’s Bible states, “The trouble with us is not that God’s help is not always there, but that we cannot see the horses and chariots of fire.”   As Christian Scientists, we know that God is an ever-present help.

Knowing what challenges arose in the first half of Mrs. Eddy’s life – from her first husband passing away six months into their marriage to a myriad of health challenges, being kicked out of her home time and time again and having her child taken from her, it is interesting that she uses the words “graciously prepared” to describe her experience leading up to the discovery of Christian Science. (S4) However, she, like Elisha, was able to see through the discord and seemingly daunting material picture into what is real and true.

As Wendell Philips says and is quoted several times through Mrs. Eddy’s other writings, “One on God’s side is a majority.”  I have also heard it said that one on God’s side not only is a majority, but also is a monopoly!   How wonderful it is to see how both Elisha and Mrs. Eddy were able to realize this and apply the “divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love.” (S4) Instead of being fearful of the unfavorable odds before them, they were able to demonstrate the healing power of the Christ, Truth.

Section 2: We, as followers of Christ demonstrating Truth
Because Jesus was able to heal all sickness and disease, it isn’t surprising that he was followed by “great multitudes of people.” (B5)  Nevertheless, it might seem that “the labourers (we)re few” because he only had eighty two students – twelve disciples and another seventy whom he appointed to go into the cities before him. (B7)  These individuals were charged to both heal the sick and inform the people who were living in the cities that the kingdom of God was a present possibility.  They were given the same authority over sin, sickness, disease and death as Jesus had because they believed his works.

It can be rather temping to look around and feel as though we are a small group and that the Christian Science movement is dwindling.  There is no hierarchy in healing and we each play an important role in “plung(ing) beneath the material surface of things,” (S8) to discover reality and bear witness to the activity of the Christ.  So, what are we waiting for?!?  Why not leave all for Christ and heal sin, sickness, disease and death, if “the age seems ready to approach this subject, to ponder somewhat the supremacy of Spirit, and at least to touch the hem of Truth’s garment”? (S10)

Notice, though, that his followers did not go about their work begrudgingly.  Rather, they “returned again with joy,” (B7) encouraged to see the effectiveness of the Science of the Christ.  Do we find this to be our experience, as well?

No matter how many members our Church appears to have, we are all practitioners and can be demonstrating divine Love each day.

Section 3: Christian Science, as spiritual leaven 
The following stanza from Hymn #58 is very helpful as we are praying about how to be followers of Christ and actively demonstrate the laws of God, good:

“Come we daily then, dear Father,
Open hearts and willing hands,
Eager ears, expectant, joyful,
Ready for Thy right commands.
We would hear no other voices,
We would heed no other call;
Thou alone art good and gracious,
Thou our Mind and Thou our All.”

Like Jesus, we can move throughout our days with the same sense of compassion that he had when he saw the people who were like “sheep not having a shepherd,” (B9) going about with open hearts, willing hands and eager ears as we work to better acquaint ourselves with God and celebrate His allness. (S12)

Furthermore, in thinking about science, theology, and medicine as the “three measures of meal” (B10) or “three modes of mortal thought,” we can rejoice that the Science of the Christ is ever at work, helping to leaven the “whole mortal thought” to a higher understanding of Science, Theology and Medicine that includes the laws of God, good. Christ, Truth, is “ever at work” helping us to move beyond the Adam-dream that we are material and created from dust instead of made in the image and likeness of God.  As Christian Scientists, we can also pray each day for opportunities to better understand God and our oneness with God, which eliminates the “apparent discord” that results from an ignorance of God, good. (S15)

Section 4: Christian Science, as the Comforter
How often do we think about Jesus’ statement that, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” and consider that we are able to do greater works than Jesus? (B11)  Though this may seem like a rather daunting statement, Jesus had total confidence in his followers because he knew who was actually doing the healing work.  It wasn’t a personal Jesus.  It was God.

The only thing that is required of us to heal the sick and sinning as Christ Jesus did is to “lay (our) earthly all on the altar of divine Science and (drink) of Christ’s cup now.” (S16)  We do not have to manufacture any type of healing ability nor come up with it on our own. Because we are at one with God, it is innately ours.

Jesus also prayed for God to send another Comforter, which Mrs. Eddy defines as Christian Science.  This Comforter is here forever and is available to all.  Hymn #412 invites everyone to “leave thy dreams for joyful waking, O captive, rise and sing, for thou art free,” though there isn’t any type of formula to doing so.  Rather, God shows us each the way to put off any “false sense of life, substance, and mind.” (S17)  In reality, there is only one Life, Substance and Mind and we are not separate from it.

Section 5: Heal the sick AND cast out sin
Through our prayers, the sick are healed. (S19)  However, not only does disease lose its “reality in human consciousness” through divine Principle’s operating. (S18) Sin does, as well.  

In response to another question in Rudimental Divine Science, Mrs. Eddy says, “Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness. The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin;…” (pg 2)

What is sin?

Instead of the commonly held theological definition of “wrongdoing,” historically the word sin comes from an archery term that means “missing the mark.”  The Hebrew word chata’ah – used almost 300 times – is the most frequently translated word for sin in the Old Testament and the Greek word hamartia – used almost 175 times – is the most frequently translated word for sin in the New Testament.  Both coincide with the archery term, though it can seem like there are many different ways that we can miss the mark.

In Retrospection and Introspection, we read, “Sin was, and is, the lying supposition that life, substance, and intelligence are both material and spiritual, and yet are separate from God.”  (pg 67) Original sin lies in the second account of creation where Adam is created materially from the dust, instead of being created spiritually in the image and likeness of God.

How do we overcome and heal sin, then?

Getting rid of any belief in separation from God is definitely a great start! This includes eliminating the notion that there is man with a separate mind, life, intelligence, spirit, soul, love or will and all the false pains and pleasures of the sense. Mrs. Eddy says, “Silencing self, alias rising above corporeal personality, is what reforms the sinner and destroys sin. In the ratio that the testimony of material person sense ceases, sin diminishes, until the false claim called sin is finally lost for lack of witness.” (Ret, pg 67)

Fortunately, as we learn in this week’s Lesson, it is Truth that destroys error, only that which is not true. (S22) So, our job then is to yield to the omnipotence of Truth and our oneness with Christ, Truth.

Section 6: Christian Science, as the impersonal “still, small voice”
Considering ourselves to be “citizen(s) of the world” comes with all kinds of great privileges that extend beyond just getting to enjoy the “glorious liberty” that Mrs. Eddy describes. (S26)  More than just moving beyond identifying ourselves by our birth country and nationality, identifying ourselves as a child of God makes us part of a universal family.

Together, we get to bear witness to and celebrate our divine rights, which include freedom, health, happiness, joy, purity, hope, peace and love.

Peter declares to Cornelius that “God is no respecter of persons.” (B16)  The Good News Bible translates this as, “God treats everyone on the same basis.  Whoever fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him no matter what race he belongs to.”  No matter where we are from, what culture we are most familiar with, what language we speak, our background or who we are related to, the “still, small voice” – God’s abundant angel messages – can be heard even in the “globe’s remotest bound.” (S25)  In fact, each and every moment, we have a legion of angels surrounding us, comforting, guarding and guiding no matter where we are on the planet; and not only do these angels speak to us in the exact way we need to hear, they are also bringing us to the place that God has prepared for us and protecting us along the way, as it says in Exodus 23:20.

Section 7: Christian Science, as a gift
“Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.” (B19)  Because we have received the great gift of Christian Science and all the blessings that it brings, why not share it with others?  As it says in the Sermon on the Mount, we needn’t hide our great light under a bushel.

Today, as Mrs. Eddy predicted, we are seeing tangible evidence that “ethics and temperance have received an impulse, health has been restored, and longevity increased,” (S28) which can only help encourage us as we move forward.  And, the gift of the Holy Ghost also enables us to go about our healing work with both joy and confidence. 

“Look again, the fields are whitening,
Harvest time is surely here.”    -Hymn #97


[Warren’s endnote: A PDF-formatted script of a reenactment skit of Elisha and the Peaceful End to War with follow-up questions is downloadable by clicking on the link in the upper right corner of CedarS current metaphysical webpage.  This summer, as cabin groups of all ages tour CedarS Camps Bible Lands Park, they will have the opportunity to re-enact stories like this one from the current Christian Science Bible Lesson.  Each week, videos of selected skits will be posted on the CedarS website as well as on a community webpage for TMCYouth.com.  These scripts and follow-up questions 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 over $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.]

[The above application ideas 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) at http://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!  Our herd of horses still needs feed and more fencing as part of your "adoptive" support. And, as of a few days ago at least $3.5k more is needed towards repairing or replacing a camp bus that developed engine problems during 1st session.  
BIG THANKS in advance for MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT of support ONLINE, BY PHONE at 636-394-6162, OR BY MAIL at:
CedarS Camps Inc. 
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Lebanon, MO 65536

 [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!
We're confident that any FINANCIAL AID requested will be available as needed!]

[Check out CedarS with Unique Features that transform lives through:

·         Role-model activity and cabin counselors, 1 per 2-3 campers, aiming to follow our Founder's 5 Fundamentals to give "an appreciation of spiritual sense & an abundance of wholesome, joyous activity";

·         Unique RECREATIONAL RESOURCES with:
* 2 miles of private "onshore assets" like the state's only Cable Watersports Park;
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* Services for 20-400 at Summits, Retreats, CS Nurse Conference, BluCamp…;
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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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