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[Simply Listen and Wholeheartedly Obey!}
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson
for July 28, 2013

Subject: “Truth”

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

We know that our Christian Science Bible Lesson is prepared with lots of prayer.  And there are countless prayers around the world as people study the Lesson.  So, should we be surprised when we pick up the lesson and immediately have wonderful spiritual insights?  “No!”

That is what happened to me the first time I read this week’s lesson.  I looked at the Golden Text and said, “Oh, I get it, I get it.  Obedience is not “I will try, obedience is “I will!” 

The setting for the Golden Text of this week’s lesson was when Moses read from the Book of the Covenant and the people listened.  Moses shared what God had instructed and the people agreed wholeheartedly to obey.

Golden Text:  “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.”  [taken from the full verse in Exodus 24:7]  “And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.”

As the New Living Translation  puts it: “We will do everything the Lord has commanded. We will obey.”

Responsive Reading:  The Responsive Reading from Isaiah and Psalms introduces us to the great benefits that come to us when we simply obey, Isaiah 1: 19 “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:”

[In winning ways] our Bible Lesson this week [and CedarS Bible Lands Park (BLP) and “BLP Rangers” every week] present a group of Bible characters who learned how to obey.  These individuals discovered the great value of obeying God’s directions.  Since you are reading this Bible Lesson aren’t you just like them, learning how important it is to wholeheartedly obey God? [In a couple of hours I will be sharing this message and Mrs. Eddy’s awesome article on “Obedience” (Misc. 116-120) with about 40 new “Jr. Leaders” as part of a Bible Lesson study and a talk on CedarS 2013 theme of “Put Your Whole Self In”.  We will also review how obediently answering God’s call and guidance for each step has led to many seemingly miraculous healings and divinely-sequenced events as well as to “The Origin and Growth of the CedarS Camps.”  A book with this title written by my mother, Ruth E. Huff, the Founder of CedarS Camps can be ordered by clicking the link or by using the contact info at the end of this Met.]

Section 1: God’s call to obey.
In citation B-1 God promises, “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.” (Deu.32:2)  As the New Living Translation puts it: “Listen, O heavens, and I will speak!  Hear, O earth, the words that I say!  Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew.  Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants.”

Saturday afternoon at CedarS we were blessed with a wonderful thunder shower.  At first there was lightning and rumbling all around, but no rain.  Then for a full hour we were blessed by a steady, soaking rain.  The grass was refreshed, the dust was settled, the air cool and fresh.  As I prepared this MET, I remembered that rain.  I understood that God pours forth His Truth like the rain.  He calls us to bless us.  Obeying, listening to His call is like that wonderful, refreshing rain.  We can joyfully and gratefully let that rain wash us and refresh.  We can come out of the rain knowing that God has poured forth His truth.

Truth, God comes to each of us, like gentle rain drops on a dusty face.  Do we turn our face to the Truth, let it bathe us, let it wash away our dustiness, materiality?  Or do we turn away, run away? 

Let this Lesson encourage you through the examples of others.

Final Draft of Section 2: Got God?  Nothing to fear.  The example of Caleb (and Joshua).
You know some people see a spider and they freak out.  Or other people look at a problem in front of them and they scream, “Oh no, what are we going to do!”  And then there are individuals like the CedarS family I spoke with yesterday. This family is in the midst of finding a permanent home for the whole family.  The mom simply told me, “I never think of problems,  I always use the word, challenge, and I know that every challenge has a solution.”  She reminded me a lot of Caleb and Joshua in this section.  No matter how big the challenge appeared, Caleb and Joshua knew God could handle it.

In citiation B-6 (Joshua 14) we read Caleb’s words about the scouting party he had taken part in 45 years earlier.   Moses had dispatched 12 scouts to check out the Promised Land, one representative from each of the 12 tribes.  The Children of Israel had a goal.  They wanted to enter the Promised Land.  They yearned for a safe, secure home.  The assignment of the scouts was to see if the Promised Land was fertile, what the cities were like, and how it was defended.  After a 40-day reconnaissance trip they reported to Moses that the “land flowed with milk and honey.”  But, although it was a beautiful land, 10 of the scouts said it was too dangerous, and that some of the inhabitants were like "giants: [and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (Numbers 13:33)]

Only two scouts, Caleb and Joshua, from the tribes of Judah and Ephraim, returned a positive report. “30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”   (Numbers 13, 14)

The members of the community murmured against Moses and Aaron and rejected Caleb’s plea [and the encouraging "minority report" that he and Joshua gave]. The people were so intimidated by the scary report of the 10 scouts that not only did they say they should have stayed in Egypt, but they also threatened to stone Moses and Aaron (God’s appointed leaders.)  So the children of Israel did not enter into the Promised Land at that time.  Instead they wandered for 40 years without a home.  They ran away from their promise and from God’s provision for them.  (Doesn’t that sound like each of us sometime?  We have glimpsed a promise from God, but we are too scared to seize it and claim it as our own?)

In this citation B-6 we learn that Caleb and Joshua’s reward for this courageously obedient stand was a long, full life.  At the age of 85 Caleb said he was just as strong as when he was 40.  [Joshua 6: 7-11) Caleb and Joshua who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land were the only adults who left Egypt who had not only the courage but also the staying power to make it into The Promised Land. (Numbers 14:30)  The 10 scouts who brought an "evil report. upon the land died by the plague…" (Num. 14:37)]

Citations S-7 to S-11 outline how you and I take our own Promised Land stand.  We learn how like Caleb we can enter into a full, productive, healthy life.   The Science and Health citations show what a courageous stand for Truth can bring to each of us.  As we enter our Promised Land of divine Science, live with Truth instead of running from error, we too are rewarded.

Section 3:  Stop, Look, Listen.  The Yellow School Bus and Elijah
The wheels of the bus go round and round!”  In America lots of students ride to school on one of the typical, big yellow school buses.  It can be a rather noisy ride.  The driver’s responsibility is to deliver his passengers safe and sound to school.  When the bus comes to a railroad track crossing the road he is required by law to stop his bus, open the doors, look both ways, and listen to make sure no train is approaching. You may have noticed CedarS busses have to follow the same procedure.  Stop, look, listen!

Isn’t this like the prophet Elijah who learned that God is not found in the rampaging roar of material elements?  (B-12, I Kings 19)  Elijah was in a tumultuous, terrifying situation.  It appeared his life was in danger and that he was actually the last of the prophets still surviving.  The danger was imminent.  The roar of the material elements threatened to silence God’s presence.  But then Elijah learned his lesson. God taught Elijah that there was nothing to fear. It was clearly demonstrated that God was not in the destructive wind, not in the earthquake, and not in the fire.  The Lord was in the still, small voice.

Some years ago I answered the telephone and heard, “Rick, it’s Mary, our house is going to burn down.”  There was a forest fire raging on the west side of the Ocala National Forest.  Their house was right in the path of the fire and they had just been told by the Sheriff’s Department to evacuate.  The story of Elijah came to thought so I simply said,  “Mary, you, your family, and your home are in the presence of divine Love and Love is not in this fire.  It cannot be destructive.”  The fire immediately shifted course, it did what the regular, normal fires do in Florida, which is, burn out the underbrush and leave most of the pines standing intact.  And this family did not have to evacuate and their home was untouched.

We do not have to cringe before the rampages of mortal thought.  We have every right to declare that there are no destructive elements in God’s universe.  We are not helpless victims.  We are able to stand before wind, earthquake, and fire.  And we are able to listen for the “still, small voice of God.”

I love citation S-15 where it says, “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.”

Section 4: Jonah out of the belly of a fish into obedience.
Have you ever had an idea come to you that you simply ignored?  You know a good idea, a constructive idea?  You just turned a deaf ear?  Well, think about that.  You might understand Jonah a little bit better.

The Bible says, “Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah…” (B-14 to B-16)  Jonah was instructed to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach to them.  He was told to tell them to change their ways, to repent.  He refused to go and instead travelled in the exact opposite direction.  He got on a ship and sailed away.  When a fierce storm threatened the ship Jonah was on, he was eventually thrown into the raging sea.  Immediately the sea calmed.  But Jonah did not drown; instead he was swallowed by a “great fish.”  Jonah himself repented and asked God’s forgiveness.  At that point the fish spat Jonah out on dry land.  When God called him the second time Jonah went to Nineveh, he preached the need for them to change their actions, and they did.  Everyone, right down to the king.  And the king decreed a fast and the wearing of sackcloth for everyone and this even included the animals!  I mean they were sincere in their repentance if even the donkeys were in sackcloth. 

Now if Jonah had realized how receptive the Ninevites would be he probably would have saved himself being fish dinner, that is a dinner for a fish.  Isn’t this something for us to think about?  If we are led to share the truth with others shouldn’t we go where God leads us and trust His power to bring in the fruition?

Now something I love about this story is that it can be verified.  First let’s establish the fact that Jonah was a real man.  He existed.  This is not just some wild fish story.  The story of Jonah is found 1) in the Bible, 2) in the Jewish Tanakh, and 3) in the Qur’an.  In Jewish tradition Jonah is even thought of as the boy that Elijah raised from the dead.  Jonah lived just a few miles north of Nazareth.

Over the years fish and whale experts have even explored possibilities of a “great fish” that would have been capable of swallowing Jonah.  Dr. E. W. Gudger, an Honorary Associate in Ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History points out that even though a whale shark has a mouth large enough to swallow a man that its throat is only four inches wide, so that candidate is out.  But a sperm whales is a viable candidate. Sperm whales can reach a size larger than a school bus.  They have been found with giant squids in their tummy that were forty feet long and weighed over four hundred pounds. And much of what they swallow is not even chewed!  Sounds like a possibility to me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonah

One of my favorite views of this story is that people can learn to be just as obedient as all of God’s creatures.  The whale had no difficulty in obediently spitting Jonah out on the shore.  And eventually Jonah himself was ready to listen to God’s voice and be obedient!

 As another proof of Jonah having actually existed is Jesus’ reference to his example,

“38 Then some teachers of the Law and some Pharisees spoke up. “Teacher,” they said, “we want to see you perform a miracle.” 39 “How evil and godless are the people of this day!” Jesus exclaimed. “You ask me for a miracle? No! The only miracle you will be given is the miracle of the prophet Jonah. 40 In the same way that Jonah spent three days and nights in the big fish, so will the Son of Man spend three days and nights in the depths of the earth. 41 On the Judgment Day the people of Nineveh will stand up and accuse you, because they turned from their sins when they heard Jonah preach; and I tell you that there is something here greater than Jonah!”   (Matthew 12)

You can read the story of Jonah in its entirety in the book that bears his name.  The book of Jonah is read every year, in its original Hebrew and in its entirety, on Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement, as the Haphtarah at the afternoon prayer in the Jewish synagogue.

Section 5: Simple obedience leads to healing – Pool of Bethesda
As students of Christian Science we love to read the Bible.  We are very familiar with Jesus’ teachings and we love the healings we read about in the Bible. We also love to read of healings in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. (The last 100 pages of Science and Health are testimonies of healing written by people that simply read the book and were healed.)  And the magazines published by the Christian Science Publishing Society always include testimonies of healing that have been verified, actually over 50,000 of them.

There are physical locations around the world that sometimes people identify as miraculous healing sites.  People travel there or wait there for a miraculous cure.  In this section we read of a man that had waited at such a site for years.  All that changed when Jesus spoke with him.

In citation B-21 we read that Jesus healed a man who had been sick for 38 years.  First Jesus had to be willing to listen to God. He had to be obedient and expectant.  He asked this man, “Wilt thou be made whole?”  The man then started telling Jesus what he lacked.  Then Jesus simply commanded the man, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”  And the man was made whole.

Now the man could have remained with his reliance on the magical powers of the pool and he might have been waiting there the rest of his life.  But the man did turn away from the promised healing properties of the pool and instead obeyed the call of the Master, “rise and walk.”

Science and Health citations S-24 to S-29 guide us in our shift from reliance on matter to a reliance or obedience to Truth, God.  As Jesus encourages, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)  

Will you?  Will you let the verses in this section inspire you and encourage you?  Will you “know the truth” and allow the Truth to heal those that come into your experience?

 

Section 6: Listen and obey unselfishly – you are needed!
Jonah learned in a rather wet way that when God calls, it is better to listen and obey.  Sometimes we think it is humility to not accept a call.  But it really isn’t humility is it?  It is often selfishness, self-doubt, fear, and a false sense of ego.  “No, I can’t or won’t do that” is not something we want to say to God.  Our God would not ask us if He did not think we could do it.

Soak in the inspiration of citation B-24:  “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” [and is obeyed here and now, as in the last words of the Communion Doxology hymn that is traditionally sung at the end of every CedarS hymn sing and Big Surf Trip — “till Thou art here and now obeyed” (Hymn #1)]

[As we obey God's call and step-by-step guidance we can be assured of Truth's promises]:  “Truth’s immortal idea is sweeping down the centuries, gathering beneath its wings the sick and sinning.  My weary hope tries to realize that happy day, when man shall recognize the Science of Christ and love his neighbor as himself, — when he shall realize God’s omnipotence and the healing power of the divine Love in what it has done and is doing for mankind.  The promises will be fulfilled.” (S-30)

These concluding verses in this week’s Bible Lesson give us a sense of the awesomeness of the call.  And this call does include you and me.  When I was 19 I worked on a special project in the neighborhoods near the Mother Church.  While in Boston I thought it would be good to learn as much about the work of my church as possible.  So I made an appointment with the Chairman of the Christian Science Board of Directors, DeWitt John.  I just wanted to talk about our church.  And Mr. John was delighted to take the time.  I was a little embarrassed that I was so dirty after my day at work, but Mr. John took no notice. 

He graciously took time to answer my questions and to share his vision of our church and the world.  And then I remember him saying, “Rick, you know the decisions that are made here by the Board of Directors are not just about our church, but they affect the entire world.”  It was the first time I glimpsed the global influence and responsibility of our church.  And also to glimpse the selflessness and humility that the Board expressed as they each accepted the call to listen and obey.

About 14 years earlier my brother had a similar glimpse.  He was working as a mail boy in the Board of Directors office.  He also had the daily duty of preparing the Board’s meeting table.  He sharpened pencils, arranged note pads, and made sure the books were in order for the Board’s use.  As he moved one hymnal at the table a slip of paper fell out.  It was obviously marking the place of a much studied hymn.  It was Hymn 5.   He read the words there in the Board room and realized the significance of that hymn to the Board work.  It is a hymn written by the early Christian Scientist, Irving C. Tomlinson,

Hymn 5
Written by Irving C. Tomlinson

“A voice from heaven we have heard, The call to rise from earth; Put armor on, the sword now gird, And for the fight go forth. The foe in ambush claims our prize, Then heed high heaven’s call. Obey the voice of Truth, arise, And let not fear enthrall.

“The cause requires unswerving might: With God alone agree. Then have no other aim than right; End bondage, O be free. Depart from sin, awake to love: Your mission is to heal. Then all of Truth you must approve, And only know the real.”

Shall we simply [wholeheartedly and unswervingly] obey?
[For the perfect timing of when to "make your move" see Miscellaneous Writings p. 117: 27-32]


[The above application ideas are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served and is currently serving 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 studying and applying 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 & of the bracketed, italic additions.]

[Happy results from our recent LETTING NEEDS BE KNOWN:  
CAMPERSHIPS: Wonderful contributions needed for camperships have recently been given! Now, CedarS can fulfill its top priority of having a camp filled with Sunday School students having fun experiences in applying Christian Science to take home in transformed lives!  Click here to apply online for the camperships now available for CedarS remaining 5th and 6thsession programs, for which one can enroll online.

[OUR LIVESTOCK FENCING NEEDS:
Just yesterday, on the opening Sunday of 4th session, a grateful grandparent gave the $4,000 needed to build a suitable new fence around our Bible Lands Park so that it could be noiselessly and sustainably “mowed” by 12 sheep that have been offered on loan from our immediate neighbor!  What a Biblically-appropriate, “green pastures” scene and petting area this will provide for all visitors to our Bible Lands Park!  And over $31,000 has been given recently by a foundation & 3 other individuals who saw the need to do more than just “band-aid” long sections of our dilapidated pasture fencing for our herd of wonderful horses that serve our campers every day.  Won’t you match their generous support as you are able to help provide even a small part of the remaining $15,000 needed to finish upgrading the fences around our horse pastures and riding rings?  Just say “fencing for horses”]

BIG THANKS in advance for MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE,
BY PHONE at 636-394-6162, 
OR BY MAIL at:
CedarS Camps Inc. 
19772 Sugar Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536

 [And PLEASE remember, it's NOT TOO LATE to enroll or encourage others to enroll or to simply apply online for and get CAMPERSHIP AID; but to help finalize affordable flights* and arrangements, CedarS needs campers who are "on the fence” about coming for the last session of regular camp (our only one week session, 5th session) 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! Any FINANCIAL AID requested is guaranteed to be available as needed! *You may even want to join our “club” Frequent Flyer mile donors who are standing by to give their miles (that may be expiring soon anyway) to worthy campers so that they can travel to camp and back with life-transforming results!]

[Check out CedarS with its Fundament Concepts, Unique Facilities and Features designed to transform lives! Click to see testimonials in writing!]

[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, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has just been offered.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! 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 and in a variety of useful formats 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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