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[Be Risen with Christ to the Reality & Newness of Life!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for March 31, 2013
Subject: "Reality"
John Biggs, 
C.S. of Bend, Oregon
johnbiggscs@gmail.com / +1.541.316.0809 / footstepsdrawingnear.com

As I’ve been reading this lesson, I kept thinking of a wonderful article on Christian Science from the March 25, 2005 Christian Science Monitor. It’s titled, ‘My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’ and gives a brilliant lens through which to consider the familiar resurrection story.  You and I know that Christ Jesus rises from the dead, so when we read the Gospel accounts, we don’t tend to read with baited breath.  We know the victory that’s coming.  But this article from the Christian Science Monitor encourages us to look at the story from the viewpoint of someone there, perhaps standing right at the foot of the cross.  Are all the things you’ve been taught and seen now crashing around your ears?  Or are you able to hold on to the hope and healing you’ve seen and know that Jesus will rise?  The article then encourages us to look at our own lives with the same assurance with which we read the crucifixion and resurrection.  Near the end, it has this beautiful call: “Could it be that we can live with the same assurance of not being forsaken by our God? Is it possible that Jesus' resurrection is a promise of our own?”  There’s much more to the article – it has helped me through many challenging times, and I hope you’ll enjoy it – but that lens is something I’ll be using to study the Lesson this week: Can I live today with the same assurance of the presence of the risen Christ? I’m looking forward to joining you in this adventure!

As a brief side-note, did you know that there are resources available for you every single week online which are specifically geared to each week’s Bible Lesson? You can find these resources on the page titled This Week’s Bible Lesson on the Sunday School area of christianscience.com. There are related videos, blogs, podcasts, and even examples of related content from Radical Acts. We have such a bountiful garden of resources and opportunities available to support us in living church and bearing witness to the risen Christ in our own lives and communities. I hope you’ll enjoy diving in to these resources!

Golden Text (GT) and Responsive Reading (RR): Foundation
What a wake-up!  It is so important to start off on a solid foundation.  Just like Olympic sprinters start with their feet firmly planted in starting blocks, so we want to start our spiritual journeys firmly grounded on a rock.  Now, that’s not to say we can’t have questions!  But let’s start with something solid and go from there.  So, Christ is real!  OK!  Let’s see where we launch out from here.

The Responsive Reading takes us right into a discourse from Paul.  Today, I’m seeing this as an admonition to make sure we really are sure of what we are saying and living. Instead of being ‘clothed’ with doubt, wishy-washiness, or timidity, we can instead put on the qualities of thought which spring from our deepening sense of closeness with Christ – mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, love. With these qualities of thought, we’re more able to see how Christ truly is risen – and how we can live that fact today.

Section 1: That settles that
The kingdom of God is within you.  Is Jesus saying this to his disciples?  No – he’s saying it to the Pharisees. Are we willing to see the kingdom of heaven in others, no matter who they are? If we’re having trouble with that, it can be helpful to be really clear that the kingdom of heaven is within YOU… and then, would God keep some good away from others that He’s given to you? No!

What about those patterns of thought which are not heavenly? John the Baptist has that amazing description of the nature of Christ – baptizing with fire and a fan (defined later in the citations from Science & Health). As we learn to respond more and more to the presence of Christ, right here, we can more willingly let our thought be cleansed to reflect more clearly that kingdom within. As Mary Baker Eddy illustrates in citation S1, Jesus’ life demonstrated that cleansing.

So, we know how that worked out for him and the disciples – sadness changed to joy and the glorious witness of the ascension. But does that same cleansing of thought, that same redemption, exist today? We already admitted that it does, in the Responsive Reading – so we can confidently listen to, and live, that cleansing Christ today. This whole lesson is a call to action, to see these different aspects of Christ right here, in REALITY. It’s natural to us to be fresh and whole – the cleansing is only destroying what was never yours.

Section 2: Will you hear Christ?
Is Jesus making fun of people, or excluding people, in citation B9? Or is he really encouraging us to hear, to be willing to let God speak to us? As I’ve been mentioning, we know how this story ‘ends,’ but we often are tempted to freak out about stuff happening to us. Can I find healing? Will that person ever love me?  Can I find success? As we ask these questions, are we willing to then stop and listen for Christ’s assurance – to see how the fact of the presence of Christ already gives us certainty? Your life is not a mystery; it’s fully and only the expression of God – and any clouds that might hide that fact aren’t substantial and never will be (see S9). Christ is ALREADY present – we just get to listen and live what we hear. This Daily Lift from Mark Swinney, CSB, gives a beautiful example of what this listening has to mean. He quotes Mrs. Eddy’s poem, “I will listen for Thy voice…I will follow and rejoice.Are we willing to follow what we hear, or do we keep checking back and forth between the clouds and the sun?

Section 3: Does flailing around prove our devotion?
Sometimes I think back to my years of playing high school sports. I played football for 3 years, wrestled for 4, and started my study of dance before graduating. I ran, lifted weights, practiced, studied plays and wrestling moves… but I always struggled to really improve. One evening, during a wrestling match against an athlete who was certainly stronger than I, I was just about to get pinned (and lose the match) when I had this flash of inspiration: Keep going.  Now, this may not sound revolutionary to you – of course success requires persistence – but it was the first time I realized that I wasn’t just going through motions. I didn’t have to rest on saying ‘well I did my best;” I could keep wrestling. Anyway, I don’t know quite what I did, but I managed to break his hold on me and I flipped him over and pinned him instead. That season included a host of other challenges, but I ended up pinning almost all of my opponents from then on during that season. I realized I had been working out, practicing, and studying from a sense of ‘Yeah this is what I’m supposed to be doing,” but I hadn’t really been committed to the sports. I was able to take this renewed understanding of really committing and enjoyed a very successful 5 years of dancing in college, as well as many intense games of ultimate Frisbee.

The reason I share this story is because for me it relates to the disciple cutting off the soldier’s ear in citation B10.  You’d think that defending Jesus would be important – you’d probably even think the other ear (and maybe a bit more) should be cut off as well. Hey, you’re a disciple of Jesus, and you want him to stay safe! That’s the human game plan – going through the expected motions. But did this act ACTUALLY follow the spirit of Jesus’ teachings? Was it truly the act of someone who understood Jesus’ message, of someone who was persisting in hearing Christ? No. In fact, all Jesus asked was that they watch with him – that they stay awake, for goodness sake. Watching with him would have been the true persistence in following Christ, while flailing around with a sword was just fulfilling the motions of defending Jesus. I’ve found that success in sports (and in anything) comes from diving in to the truth, you might say, of that endeavor, and really striving for it. Are we listening for the real substance of Christ’s message, and persisting in living it, or are we just attending church because we’re ‘supposed’ to? Yes, I know it’s a far cry from swinging swords around to halfheartedly attending church! But it’s good to examine why we are engaging in what we’re doing. How would a greater sense of confidence in the presence of Christ inform our actions this week?

Section 4: Now what?
So here we are – the point where everything got messed up. Jesus got killed, his followers are probably being hunted, even the traitor is dead…where’s love now? Plus we can get mad at Pilate for giving in to peer pressure and at the people who behaved in mob fashion. Of course, this isn’t where the story stops, and I’d be surprised if you waste even as much time as I’m doing here with resentment at these folks’ behavior! We know that Jesus is resurrected.

So now, what about our own lives. Do we waste this much time with complaints about what’s not right? Well…I’m afraid I have been known to waste much more time than this on complaints. But what if I was willing to follow citation S17 exactly: “The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship.” What if, just like when we read this portion of the Bible story, what if I DIDN’T spend time stomping around in the swamp of complaint and instead turned AWAY from sin and mortal selfhood? If I knew that Christ was here – and knew that my relation with God was forever intact, that ‘my story’ doesn’t stop here – I can’t imagine I’d complain at all. Tall order? Perhaps. But I don’t remember anyone saying that that baptism of fire was easy. However, we do know that we can do this – remember, the kingdom of heaven is within you! We were MADE to respond to Christ – to be the very outcome of the existence of God (see Science & Health p250 for more on that).

Instead of saying “Now what?” we can learn to say, “God is now and I know it.”

Section 5: Are we surprised?
Well, are you surprised at what happens in this section? Probably not…unless you are reading the Bible for the very first time, you probably know that this happens, in various re-tellings as given in the Gospels. So, for a moment, imagine with me that you ARE reading the Bible for the first time – or better yet, that you’re with Mary and her friends. Are you amazed, shocked, crying with joy? Probably! Yes, a good close look at everything Jesus taught and demonstrated couldn’t lead to any other conclusion, but it is still SO GOOD to see how the presence of Christ is manifested in our lives! Really let a spirit of rejoicing fill your heart as you read this section (and the whole Lesson, of course!) and see what that joy reveals about the presence of Christ for you.

So now, is there anything happening in your life that you really wish you just knew the conclusion to so you could quit worrying? Can you let this assurance – this celebration! – of the presence of Christ illumine this situation in your life? Can you realize a deeper sense of how your individuality is so precious and will never be unknown by God (see citation S23 for more on this)? Can we live the fact that ‘Christ is risen’ even in our daily, most humdrum activities?

Check out that article from the Christian Science Monitor again to see what the author talks bout with persisting in living love. Can we accept that same assurance of being loved, right now?

Section 6: Preach the Gospel
Does this mean you need to go knocking on doors?  That’s certainly an important aspect of some faith traditions, but it’s not a specific directive in the practice of Christian Science.  Actually, knowing how to preach the gospel is something that a lot of folks struggle with – we don’t want to be perceived as annoying, domineering, proselytizing…

So what if we revamp our sense ofpreaching the gospel? This card from Radical Acts/the Game (a sort of spiritual conversation starter, based entirely in sharing and hearing examples of how you and your friends are living Jesus’ radical teachings) includes a quote from St. Francis of Assisi which gives insight into how we can preach the gospel. In the course of following citation S27, we will be preaching the gospel with our lives.

When I was a counselor at CedarS, I enjoyed leading songs that were sung in rounds. Citation B16 was one of my favorite rounds – it just keeps going and going.  What would it be like to live citation B16 as a round, in your day?  What would we be rejoicing about? Good line ups in March Madness, good grades in school, tax refunds…? Sure, those are all nice things…but it’s best to place our reliance and joy and eternal substance. Could we rejoice about a ceaseless blessing: the presence of Christ?

This whole Bible Lesson is filled with concrete facts, and the closing citation from Science & Health is quite a send-off.  With those spiritual facts already established, we can let go of any worry about our lives, days, relationships, health, finances, government…and let the fact of the risen and always-present Christ be our guiding light.

Enjoy living this gift of a week!

Oh – and if you’d ever like to join in playing Radical Acts/the Game with Sunday School teachers and staff, check out this page on the Sunday School area of christianscience.com. We play every Tuesday, allowing time for a once-monthly exploration of the Sunday School area and of time4thinkers.com. It’d be great to have you join us!



The application ideas above 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 & its bracketed, italic additions.]

[While our herd of horses still needs your "adoptive" support to be fully fed, trained and ready for camp, our focus now goes to filling camp with worthy campers!  Our main funding goals for early 2013 are raising funds for campership applicants and for operations support.  If you'd rather not give online or over the phone,

[Thank you for mailing your checks to:
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Or for calling us at
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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. An "official" version of the 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 the Portuguese version.  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 subsequent emails.) 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 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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