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Shine Forth as Soul’s Limitless Expression!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for Christian Science Bible Lesson

Subject: Soul and Body
May 20-26, 2019

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer

This Lesson beautifully describes how completely Soul governs our being — as the sun governs its rays. It makes it clear that our identity (our entire being, including body) isn’t subject to any claim or circumstance of so-called matter. It’s really important to get the relationship straight … Soul governs, and the true sense of body is simply the outward expression of man’s spiritual identity, reflecting all that God is. A material sense of body must yield to the harmony and wholeness of Soul. As the Lesson concludes, “The human capacities are enlarged and perfected in proportion as humanity gains the true conception of man and God.” (S31) Bottom line … it’s all about God, Soul! Man shines forth as Soul’s limitless expression!

The Golden Text brings out the totality of freedom that comes from understanding Soul’s government of His creation. It tells us that God, Soul, makes man holy whole, entire or perfect. According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, “We call a man holy when his heart is conformed in some degree to the image of God, and his life is regulated by the divine precepts.” This verse says that, the blameless freedom that comes to “the whole being” will appear “at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Couldn’t we think of this as when the light of Truth dawns in consciousness, revealing the true relationship of God and man — Soul and body?

As I read the Responsive Reading I paid attention to what it says God does and what man does to respond. Among other things God preserves, is steadfast and merciful, reveals the path of life, is great and the source of strength, joy, and beauty. In response, man is designed to trust, follow, rejoice, give God the glory and reflect the salvation that comes from God. God is the source of all good. Our job is to accept and trust that good. But, remember, even that ability to trust and accept has its source in God. Man expresses the holiness of God.

Section 1: Soul — outside the body, never in it — governs man

There are plenty of examples in the physical universe of things not being as they appear. Perhaps the most common example (and one referred to in this first section) is “the movement of the solar system.” (S4) It sure LOOKS like the earth is at the center and the sun, planets, and stars, circle around us. But, long ago, scientists made discoveries that reversed that evidence. Since then our understanding of space has expanded and the view has become clearer and clearer. And, so it appears to the physical senses that soul (or life) is in a body and subject to the whims and vulnerabilities of matter to determine the quality of this life — determine whether it will be healthy, happy, and beautiful or diseased, disturbed, and marred.

Science (Christian Science) reverses that false evidence and reveals that man reflects the perfection, health, wholeness, beauty, joy, etc. of Soul! A reflection (whether considered as the expression of thought, an exact image, or the throwing back of light) cannot possibly be corporeal (consisting of a material body). A reflection can’t be constituted of, contained in, or defined by a mortal sense of body — any more than infinite Soul (the source and definer of identity) could be contained in or defined by a mortal sense of body. (S2) Let’s not be mesmerized by what appears to be the relation of body and soul any more than we are mesmerized (or confused for moment) by what appears falsely to be the movement of the solar system. Instead, let’s exalt (set on high) God — Soul — as that which governs all of creation, including all that concerns us as His children. As the Psalmist says, “The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” (B1) NO exception! “Man is the reflection of Soul.” (S7) The rest of the Lesson helps us understand just what that means.

Section 2: The beauty of holiness — the beauty of Soul

The 16th chapter of Chronicles describes King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem where it would remain a prominent reminder to “seek the Lord” while the temple was being built. As the ark was dedicated, the people were encouraged to “give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.” (B7 – NLT) The King James Version calls this holy splendor the “beauty of holiness." Psalm 100 reminds us that God “hath made us, and not we ourselves.” (B8) Another translation reads, God “made us, and we are his.” (NLT) A commentator says about this, “The Lord is the one who determines who his people are.”

Man is governed in every way by Soul. Being governed by Soul must include reflecting the beauty that has its source in Soul. Think about what this “beauty of holiness” would look like and how that relates to building the temple (which Mary Baker Eddy defines in part as body — SH 595). It wouldn’t have anything to do with a mortal or material definition of beauty. And that corporeal definition changes anyway — skinny is beautiful in one age whereas a plump, round figure was considered beautiful in another era. Some prefer different heights, hair color, shape of eyes or size of mouth. NONE of which we have any control over!

But, notice other references to beauty in this section, and let’s see what spiritual qualities of Soul, reflected by man truly constitutes a sense of beauty that is lasting and achievable by all! The Psalmist speaks of the meek (or humble) being beautified (adorned) with salvation (victory, health, and prosperity). (B9) Isaiah speaks of the beauty of those who proclaim the end of the Exile and point to the peace and salvation of the age to come. (B10)

Wouldn’t this apply to the beauty that is seen in those today who — through the way they live their lives — spread the message of hope and of God’s presence and power of deliverance? Isaiah compares God clothing his people with the benefits of his salvation (safety, victory, welfare) and righteousness (right relationship with God; justice) to being adorned as a bridegroom or a bride. Does anyone generally look better — more beautiful — (because of their great joy) than on their wedding day? (B11) This sense of beauty has nothing to do with the condition of a corporeal body!

And Job says “thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; though shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.” (B12) A person doesn’t have to look the same as they did in high school or college — or whenever they think they looked their “best” to have the beauty of the most glorious sunrise and joyful glow of the morning light. A few verses before this in Job may reveal the secret… “If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you. Then ….” (Job 11: 13, 14 NLT)

So, expressing the beauty of Soul has nothing to do with the details of a body, but with how we live in relation to God, Soul — claiming as ours all the good that is God and resisting all of the illusions of sense which would suggest we can be separated from that good — separated from our source.

The citations from Science and Health explain that beauty is eternal; that the changing sense of beauty is defined by custom and education but that immortality has a glory (or beauty) of its own and that beauty is independent of matter, dwelling forever in eternal Mind (or Soul) and reflected by man. (S10) Our job is to shape our views correctly and not be duped by false definitions. (S8) Everyone can be out-of-this-world beautiful (men and women) by expressing the “beauty of holiness”. Considering the Greek, we can think of holiness as setting oneself apart from material standards and focusing on our sacred relationship with all that is good — the beauty of Soul. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “the recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul …” (S10) That means not being fooled by the illusion that says the outward appearance (as defined by fashion and mortal opinion) is either physically beautiful or not! The beauty that is governed by Soul will shine through and can’t be confined to material definition!!!

Section 3: The joy of Soul

No matter how dark things may seem at times, nothing can keep us from expressing joy! I remember a time many years ago when I was driving my children to school. I have no idea what was going on in our lives, but I do remember feeling very disturbed about whatever it was. After dropping off the last one, it occurred to me that nothing could keep me from smiling. And, so I plastered a smile on my face although at that point there seemed little reason to be expressing joy. By the time I got home (only a 5-6 minute drive) that smile had worked its way in from the outside to the inside and my entire outlook had changed. I saw that whatever was disturbing me would certainly be resolved and my thought was now ready to receive the inspiration that God had in store for me!

“To make a joyful noise” is considered an appropriate way to acknowledge a monarch. In this case, God is the ruler of all the earth. (Ps. 100, B13) What better way to approach our prayers than with the expectancy of joy? While facing the difficulties of traveling through the wilderness, the children of Israel always had the hope of the freedom that awaited them in the Promised Land. And, so, we are assured that “the spiritual idea [will] guide all right desires in their passage from sense to Soul, from a material sense of existence to the spiritual, up the glory prepared for them who love God.” (S13)

True joy can never be found in the changing conditions of mortal life that seems to include highs and lows. So, we need to stop looking to material conditions or people or circumstances to find that joy and claim that it is forever ours as we seek it in Soul — in the sunlight of Truth that governs all things rightly. Denying every claim of matter — including those that say our bodies, our relationships, our prosperity are controlled by material circumstances — gives us a huge step forward in finding the unchanging joys of Soul. (S15)

Joy is a permanent attribute of Soul … as light is an attribute of the sun … and as we turn to Soul, Spirit, we will see that we can’t help but see that joy, just as we see the light as we turn toward the sun. So, no matter what, put on a smile (even if it’s just on the inside), fill your heart with gratitude for God’s eternal presence, and walk through the dark times with expectation and the never-ending and uninterruptible joy of Soul!

Section 4: The strength of Soul

There is a lot of emphasis these days on developing physical strength through diet and exercise. But, that model — that starts with the body — is just the opposite of what is needed to express the strength that has its source in Soul and is fully reflected by man always! Starting with matter, we buy into the model of time and having to wait for strength to develop, or being at the mercy of a change in a physical condition.

The man at the pool of Bethesda had been waiting for 38 years for what he believed to be the unattainable goal of getting into the water at a certain time that it was being stirred. When Jesus commanded the man to pick up his mat and walk, what was the only thing required of the man? Obedience! Not questioning the method — although he had certainly been full of excuses earlier — he now obediently responded to Jesus’ command. And his body was obedient in its response to Soul. It is as natural for us to obey God, as His reflection, as it is for our bodies to obey the control of Mind, or Soul. We read in our textbook, “The universe is filled with spiritual ideas, which He evolves, and they are obedient to the Mind that makes them.” (SH 295:6-8)

Responding obediently to the authority of Truth is natural when we understand that strength never had its source in bones, sinews, nerves, muscles, etc. Matter doesn’t govern the spiritual expression (or reflection) of Soul. We need to decide which side we will choose to argue on. As Mary Baker Eddy says, “we do not multiply when we should subtract, and then say the product is correct.” And so, we don’t put faith in vulnerable material sources of strength when we want to demonstrate unfailing, eternal, lasting strength. Jesus spoke with the authority of Truth (divine Science), and the man responded. And, so we speak with that same authority, affirming what is absolutely true about God’s man — the reflection of Soul — knowing that it is divine Mind that heals. (S18)

We are given specific thought-steps to take in order to argue on the right side … speak with authority, “look away from the body into Truth and Love”; “hold thought steadfastly to the enduring the good, and true”, “rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter”; “blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in sickness and sin.” But, ultimately we obediently respond to the authority of Truth, leaving “soul to master the false evidences of the corporeal senses and to assert its claims over mortality and disease.” (S19, S20, S21) God is the healer and we can count on Him to reveal to us step-by-step the strength and freedom bestowed on man as the reflection of Soul. (S22)

Section 5: The health and harmony of Soul

Building on many of the same ideas expressed in the fourth section, we learn how important it is to understand the relationship of Mind, Soul, and body. Although the verse from III John is addressed specifically to the recipient of John’s letter, with wishes that his health be as strong as his spirit, we can take this as God’s wish for each of His children, too. (B23) Health (wholeness and holiness) is a divine attribute that is naturally reflected by man.

As the Psalmist says, “I shall yet praise him (God), who is the health of my countenance …” (B21) I was interested that I didn’t find any other Bible translations that used the word health here. The Greek can also be translated as salvation, help, prosperity. But, isn’t that what health is? Salvation (or being saved or rescued) from that which God did not create — from that which has no place in Soul — thus no place in body or identity, as the expression of Soul.

Jesus understood the complete spiritual nature of man — “knowing that Soul and its attributes were forever manifested through man” — whereas his disciples had not fully gleaned that yet. Thus, Jesus was able to “rebuke the unclean spirit”, or the false suggestion of a reality apart from God, and heal the child. (B22) We learn in Christian Science that the healing results from “the scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies.” (S23)

As we acknowledge this action and “banish all thoughts of disease and sin and of other beliefs included in matter” — as we “delineate upon [the body] thoughts of health, not of sickness” —we are able to see through the inverted, false sense of disease to see the natural, healthy, whole condition of man expressing the holiness and harmony of being governed by Soul, outside the body. (S25, S28)

We should never focus on fixing a broken body (which must be what the disciples were mesmerized by). We are simply magnifying God and recognizing the true relationship of Soul and body. From a material perspective, good is changeable — joy can slip to sorrow, painlessness to pain, health to disease, prosperity to lack. But, when we understand that we are governed by changeless and eternal Soul, and not by material sense, we can demonstrate the changeless good that is inherent in perfect Soul and reflected in perfect man. (S27)

Section 6: The magnificent, infinite capacities of Soul

The man of Soul’s expression — and that is you and me and all — is entirely unlimited! The Psalmist describes God as “clothed with honor and majesty.” (B24) Excellency and splendor are other words that fit there. And, guess what … if God, Soul, is clothed in excellency and splendor, so are we by reflection. Those qualities (expressed in wonderfully unique, individual ways) define us!

That splendor, excellence, glory and greatness can’t be confined to a corporeal body or limited by a sense of human capacity. Soul (infinite identity) is Spirit and so limitless and fully reflected by man. (S30) Soul cannot exist independently of its expression, man, nor can man exist independently of Soul — any more than can the sun and its rays, music and its notes or mathematics and its numbers, be separated.

I invite you to really cherish the last citation of this week’s Lesson. Think what it means for God to express in man “the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.” (S31) To express can mean to reveal or to make known.
God makes His infinite nature known through man. Again, I find it helpful to think about it in the same way I think about the sun making itself known through its light and music through its notes.

Jesus was so clear that we don’t do anything of ourselves. It’s all God — Soul governing our being! So, in order to discover our infinite capacities, we “magnify (make great) the Lord” and “exalt (or praise) his name” (or nature.) (B25) That which is infinite is boundless, limitless, immeasurable, perfect, whole, complete, eternal, perpetual, unbroken, uninterrupted. (The Synonym Finder by Rodale) Understanding that we are the expression of God, Soul, means our abilities and experience are never defined by circumstances, history, IQ, or any kind of measurements. We are as without limits as Soul, Spirit is without limits. All we have to do is remember to give God the glory!!! Bless HIS holy name!

[Reminder: Yet to come are Cobbey Crisler and other insights this week.]

UPDATE! [Warren: Wow!! Thanks to the generous support received over the last few weeks from CedarS Newsletter subscribers and supporters, CedarS time-sensitive need is being met to upgrade to new safety standards for the four Ziplines to and from CedarS Bible Lands Park (BLP)!! This activity will annually bless thousands of visitors! It will make Christian Science Sunday School students, teachers and church members more Biblically literate and alive each summer and fall. And it will show “shoulder-season” visitors of all faiths how Christianly practical and Bible-based Christian Scientists are. From Mary’s Chapel behind Dawn Lodge all users can zip back in time to the Bible and BLP, climb its switch-back “Time-Travelers’ Trail” and learn A.P. (Answered Prayer) History lessons to take “back to the future.”

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