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[Accept God, Soul, as your Sun and Shield and you will never stumble in the dark again!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for Sunday, August 13, 2017

by Rick Stewart, CS, Dresden, Germany
(+49 351 312 4736)


This week CedarS Camps is wrapping up another wonderful summer of spiritual discovery. Throughout the summer campers, counselors, and staff discovered the joy of spiritual adventure and experienced countless healings as they lived our Metaphysical Theme for 2017, “Carefree and strong” where you belong. Our theme came from Hymn 453 from the Christian Science Hymnal Supplement with words and music by Peter B. Allen (Hymn 565 in the new Hymnal). The hymn and the Bible quotes it references were the basis for our exploration of healing, freedom, purpose, harmony, and belonging as we were “right in this moment, doing God’s will.”

And now, Session 5, Family Fine Arts Camp, the last session of the summer is going on this week. Families, singles, and couples will be making new spiritual discoveries and having fun as they live the purpose of The Cedars, as expressed by Ruth Founder Huff, “to give each camper an appreciation of spiritual sense and an abundance of wholesome, joyous activity.”

During the summer many of us had the opportunity to make the choice that Hymn 258 speaks of, “twixt the darkness and the light.” Wonderful Christian Science healings came quickly to many of us and the dark fears and false beliefs just fell away revealing the ever presence of God’s Light and Love. What a joy it is to chase the darklings of error away and bathe in the Light of the Christ.

But haven’t we all had times when darkness seemed so real, so terrifying, so confusing? I remember a moment when darkness seemed, well, very dark! In June, 1974 I had flown back to Florida after a six week trip to Colombia, South America. At that time there was a world-wide energy crisis. All public buildings, including airports, had certain energy saving methods in place—one of them was that all lights stayed off when not needed. This included bathrooms when not in use. As I exited the Customs/Immigration area I had one goal, to find the nearest bathroom! My eyes lit up when I saw the sign. Yippee. As I entered the bathroom the first door remained open briefly as I hurriedly ran inside. But suddenly the door closed behind me and I was standing in complete darkness with not the slightest glimmer of light. I literally could not see my hand in front of my face. And suddenly I had no orientation. I tried to find a light switch. No luck. I continued to search in vain. My situation was desperate. In the darkness I could find nothing. I stopped and forced myself to turn to God. There was no physical light, and I was really in need. I simply said, Father, help! Within a moment I found the light switch, with one flick all was bathed in light, and I could see again. Needless to say, I was very grateful!

A little light—and a desperate situation resolved! I cannot tell you how many times I have remembered that situation and been reminded of the importance of light in dispelling frustration, fear, and the sense of being lost. But I also remember the power of the lesson I learned that when in the dark, turn to God. And it is in exactly that light that we find this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson an incredible help in understanding God and Soul in the true Light. Mortal existence without God is like that blind search in the dark. Understanding God, Soul can bring the light to any dark corner of existence.

In the Golden Text, the Psalmist speaks of God as the greatest source of light, our protection, and the source of our good.

Golden Text Psalms 84:11 . . . “the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

Those words were written around 3,000 years ago and they still bring Light! Although not a certainty, many scholars think those words were written by David. (You know the singer and musician who also took down Goliath!)

About 500 years after they were written they had to be an incredible comfort, an inspiration, and the source of light in the darkness for the authors of this week’s Responsive Reading, Jeremiah and Isaiah. Bible scholars could probably add some specific dates or clarifications, suffice it to say that David, Jeremiah, and Isaiah wrote a long time ago and also at different times. Their inspiration remains, as in the Golden Text and the Responsive Reading:

Responsive Reading Jeremiah 31:14 my; 32:38–40 (to ;), 41; Isaiah 43:6 bring, 7, 10

14 . . . “my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord. 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; 41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.”

“6 . . . bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. 10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.“

It is believed that the prophets, Jeremiah and Isaiah, lived around the same time, around 600 BC. I read one commentary that stated that Isaiah may have been a mentor for Jeremiah. But one fact is for certain, the times these prophets wrote were not happy times for the nations of Judah and Israel, which were no longer a united kingdom. According to the Hebrew Scriptures many were worshipping another god, Ba’al. There may have even been those who built altars for the sacrifice of children. All these things seemed to indicate a time when the worship of the true God was a long ways away. And the covenant between God and the children of Israel seemed distant and dark. At this time Jerusalem was destroyed and Solomon’s temple destroyed. For a prophet like Jeremiah, calling for the return to proper worship, it was a sad and very dark time. He is even known as the “weeping prophet.” According to religious tradition, Jeremiah authored the Book of Jeremiah, the Books of Kings and the Book of Lamentations.

As you read the Books of Jeremiah and Isaiah you discover they continued in the Light and encouraged all who would listen, to join them. Perhaps you could say that Jeremiah and Isaiah would look to the one true God for just a little sunshine in the sadness.

Jeremiah's ministry was active from the thirteenth year of Josiah, king of Judah (626 BC), until after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of Solomon's Temple in 587 BC. There were five kings of Judah during Jeremiah’s ministry: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. Jeremiah's final year of his ministry was around 595 BC.

But was 595 BC really the end of Jeremiah’s ministry? Perhaps not, since you and I are studying his words of wisdom leading us to the light of Soul. Because this week we have the opportunity to read his words in the Responsive Reading and let him introduce us to this week’s Lesson. So in effect his ministry continues through you!

Section 1: David, Isaiah, and Jeremiah continue to encourage us towards God as the source of unlimited good.

B 1 | Isaiah 45:22 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

B2 | Psalms 107:8 “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness”. (Psalm 107. Is written by King David, this psalm is a song of thanksgiving to God, who has been merciful to his people and gathered all who were lost. It is loved by sailors due to its reference to ships and the sea (v. 23).)

B4 | Jeremiah 31:14 “my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord.”

In one way the following citation from Science and Health cautions against falling into a false worship. If we believe in a mortal existence, soul inhabiting a mortal body we begin to lose sight of the Light, the true worship of Soul as God.

S6 | 311:19 “So long as we believe that soul can sin or that immortal Soul is in mortal body, we can never understand the Science of being. When humanity does understand this Science, it will become the law of Life to man, — even the higher law of Soul, which prevails over material sense through harmony and immortality.”

It is just as important today as in the days of the Prophets to choose rightly. Nowadays there are so many ways to communicate ideas around the world in an instant; email, WhatsApp, Messenger, Texts, Skype, lots more. And these messages can either reflect the Light of the Truth or the darkness of mortality. Individuals have been healed through messages of Light. And others have been abused and destroyed through hateful messages. So, in some ways the Battle of the Prophets (perhaps a good name for a new movie or video game!) remains. A call to worship in the Light of the Lord and to cast down the messages of the false gods.

For example—on Saturday I was driving through Poland with my family. We were on our way home after a short 1 and ½ day trip. During this trip I found lots of time for prayer and listening to God. I had continued my prayers for those who had contacted me earlier. And I was all prayed-up for any new requests. And then came a very short phone message from one of our members in the Dresden Christian Science church. She said she was feeling “schlapp”, listless, worn-out. And she asked for prayerful support. My prayers began immediately. When she checked back in a few hours later, she sounded like another person. She left a message that she felt wonderful. And she was in her place at church Sunday morning. We proved and discovered together that God “satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness”. (B2)

Section 2: Soul, God satisfies and pours forth good on all creation.

The citations from the Bible and Science and Health in this section clearly illustrate the action of Soul in blessing mankind.

B8 | Psalms 145:9 “The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. 10 All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. 11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; 16 Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.”

Check out this version from the New Living Translation Bible.

B8 | Psalms 145: NLT – 9 The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. 10 All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you. 11 They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power. 16 When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.”

The question we can ask ourselves is, “Who satisfies? Who meets the need? What do we need: talk, counsel, advice?—or Soul?”

Noah, Johann, Alma and I witnessed many provisions of Soul as we prepared for our two weeks at Cedars. Way back in December we began our adventure as we looked for our flights. Noah discovered on the internet an “error fare.” This was a posted fare that for whatever reason was an offer beyond belief, but legitimate. We booked and paid for our flights at a fraction of the normal cost, with the help of CedarS! Very cheap seats, cheaper than economy, and in business class! We were indeed happy campers. But then the booking agency cancelled our flights without our permission. Noah had printed out all of the conditions of the fare. So we continued our prayers and called and stated our case. Eventually the booking agency made good on their offer and with even better connections. Still the bargain price. That was only the first of many, many demonstrations along the way to CedarS.

But there was one thing bothering me. For one year I had been opening our Christian Science Reading Room at its new store front location from Monday to Friday. I was not happy about having to close the door while I was gone, so I prayed. It came to me to invite my brother, Gary, to come and keep the doors open. He came. But Gary only knows one German word, the one most Americans know from politely responding when someone sneezes, “Gesundheit!” Did it make sense for someone who only spoke English to come and open the Reading Room? Well, what satisfies? What answers the need? Eloquent words? – or the language of Soul?

The answer came the first day Gary was here. We had arrived back in Dresden after I picked him up at the airport in Prague. I got him settled in his new digs at the back of the Reading Room at 3:30 a.m. Gary woke up around 9 a.m., began to study and pray, and opened the Reading Room doors. In the meantime after having been up all night I slept in till about 9 a.m. and arrived at the Reading Room around 10 a.m. There was Gary with the doors open and three visitors sitting with him. They were engaged in a lively conversation. (But you said Gary did not speak any German?) The visitors were tourists in Dresden for three days. Their last scheduled visit was the Christian Science Reading Room. Mother, Father, and teenage daughter from Trenton, Michigan. The mother was the librarian in Trenton. They spoke no German! But they did not need to, the attendant spoke perfect English, but most importantly he spoke the language of Soul.

And even more proof over the next three weeks Gary reached out to a number of new visitors with this same Soulful expression. Some even asked for prayerful support and saw results. It is Soul the world yearns for, and Soul answers.

As our Leader writes, “Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul. Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man.” (S8, 60:29–1)

Section 3: Soul silences mortal sense with spiritual sense through the Christ.

In Bible citation B13, a woman with a daughter “vexed with a devil” appeals to Jesus for his help. But she is a “woman of Canaan,” usually not one of Jesus’ customers! One of the reasons was that the people of the area were known to worship many gods and Jesus explained he was there to reach out to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The woman continues in her plea and refers to Jesus as “the son of David.” Using that term implied that you believed Jesus was the promised Messiah. Perhaps Jesus began to see she was a little special for sure, and it could be that the Master sensed this from the beginning. When she persisted in her pleas for help with real importunacy Jesus stated clearly, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter as made whole from that very hour.”

You might be familiar with Eugene Peterson’s Bible translation, The Message? I love his translation of Jesus remarks, Jesus gave in. “Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!” Right then her daughter became well.”

Jesus’ faith in Soul is also reflected in what Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health,

S17 | 234:4 “Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love — be it song, sermon, or Science — blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to Crumbs of comfort the thirsty.”

S18 | 210:11–16 “Knowing that Soul and its attributes were forever manifested through man, the Master healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, feet to the lame, thus bringing to light the scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies and giving a better understanding of Soul and salvation.”

I remember a postcard that was sent to our family when I was around 8 or 9. It was to the whole family. A letter of thanks from a patient of my mom’s. A woman who was a winter resident in our home town of Leesburg, Florida. As I remember it, she seemed to lose her mind. At one point she even chased her husband around with a butcher knife and he did not know what he could do. He reached out to God and called my mom for prayerful help. The immediate crisis was met through prayer and my mom simply said “Bring her to me.” She stayed with us for several days. Quickly her normal, joyful identity returned and the confusion and depression left. She returned to a grateful husband and happy home. I remember her post card was from Cleveland when she got home reporting with a grateful heart that all was wonderful. It is those kind of Soul-filled reports that make one eager to share what this Science of Soul can accomplish.

There certainly are times we have to let go of the testimony of the material senses and let spiritual sense testify to God, Soul’s presence!

As in citation S19 “The divine Mind is the Soul of man, and gives man dominion over all things. Man was not created from a material basis, nor bidden to obey material laws which Spirit never made; his province is in spiritual statutes, in the higher law of Mind.” (307:25)

Section 4: Children of God are naturally receptive to Soul. We are God’s children.

In this section we have all the wonderful encouragement Jesus gives to let the children come to him. The New Living Translation gives an interesting view of Jesus’ actions,

B16 | Mark 10: 13 “One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. 14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.” (NLT)

While serving recently at CedarS as resident practitioner for the Main Camp, every day was filled with evidences of the receptivity of childlike thought. But not just from the little squirts, from all of the “children of God.” From minor problems to major challenges, quick healings were the rule. It was an inspiration to observe or experience.

The spirit of the first fundamental concept of CedarS was clearly in evidence every single day. Ruth Huff, CedarS Founder, articulated Five Fundamental concepts with the first being, “1. We regard each individual at camp as a child of God, who reflects alertness, joy, peace, ability, love…”

What a joy it was to know that every single individual in camp was considered as a Child of God.

My nine-year-old daughter, Alma, enjoyed her fourth year at CedarS as a member of the Junior Riding Camp. Everyday she participated in the fun activities of Main Camp, but also enjoyed two full hours of riding, caring for, and learning about CedarS wonderful herd of horses. As in all CedarS activities, Alma and her fellow campers began each activity, or each riding session with a short metaphysical preparation. So Alma was prepared, prayed up when the horse she was riding tried to kick another horse. Alma told me her horse, Ginger, did not want to get along with another horse, Jewel. Ginger tried to kick Jewel. So I asked Alma, what did you do? Did you get all scared? Did you scream and cry?

“No, I just listened to what Yulia, the Wrangler told me. She is kind of like the boss of MIM, the Girls Camp corral. She just told me to keep on trotting and everything would be okay. And it was!”

Even the horses are loved and treated just like they are God’s children, Soul’s perfect expressions.

As most of you know CedarS always employs a Christian Science Practitioner and a Christian Science Nurse during camp sessions. And it is clearly understood that we always begin with prayerful support and treatment. Rather than just running down to the Christian Science Nurse for a Band-Aid or other practical care, campers and counselors start their prayerful work immediately. And then the practitioner and nurse are there in support of the healing and demonstration.

This year the healings were so quick, even some major ones, that Cathy Farrell, the Christian Science Nurse working with me during Session 3, said “I am definitely taking this heal quick attitude with me back to Peace Haven.” (Peace Haven is the Christian Nursing Facility in St. Louis.) “Why shouldn’t our older patients accept and experience this same childlike receptivity and its certain blessings!”

Isn’t that really important that we daily identify ourselves as the Children of God? Won’t we always be God’s children? So let’s act like it in our receptivity and expectancy and enter into the kingdom of heaven just like the child of God we are.

Here is another version of citation B17: Romans 8:16 from the Living Bible, “For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we really are God’s children.” Romans 8:16.

Section 5: Soul, God enables us to love our neighbor, for example, to be the Good Samaritan.

It is always so interesting to me how Jesus almost always makes the hero of his parables and healings those individuals who would be considered outsiders, foreigners, and not the “Chosen” so to speak.

Jesus encourages keeping of the two great commandments; “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” B19

Thanks to the My Bible Lesson from The Mother Church we have the following interesting explanations related to the Good Samaritan story.

“The trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was rough and treacherous. This 18-mile (29-kilometer) long road featured an elevation change of over 3,000 feet (914 meters) —roughly the height of three Eiffel Towers! The road was used by many people. Trading caravans, Roman military convoys, pilgrims, and holy men (such as priests and Levites returning from work at the Temple) all traveled it. With so many travelers on the road, it was a target for roaming bandits. By the time Jesus told this parable, hatred between the Samaritans and Jews was longstanding. The Samaritans were a mix of Jewish people, who remained in the northern kingdom of Israel after it was conquered by the Assyrians, and the pagan tribes who came to colonize the area. When the Jews who lived in the southern kingdom of Judah were allowed to return home after being exiled by the Babylonians for seventy years, the two groups began to clash over many issues, mostly to do with religion.”

It is clear that kindness, generosity, and unselfishness are not the private reserve of only a certain people. Often those whom we might expect to express generous hospitality can be a little lacking in that area. But, if you are willing to take Jesus example for your inspiration, you might ask yourself, what can I do to be more of a Good Samaritan? Or, what might keep me from being a Good Samaritan?

I think the answer is pretty simple, fear. Fear that we do not have enough to be able to share with another. Fear that we will not be able to help. Fear that we do not have enough time to help. Fear that we will be taken advantage of. Fear that our attempts to help will not be accepted. Bottom line, fear!

What defeats fear? Love.

I John 4. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:”

When I was 19 I was walking through the Prudential Center in Boston with my friend, Sue Ballenger. Suddenly a man collapsed in front of us and several people began to call, “Does anyone know first aid?” Well, I was a trained Red Cross Life Guard and had received first-aid instruction. But that is not the training that stepped forward. For most of our lives, both Sue and I had been in Christian Science Sunday School. And to be honest, there is no better first-aid than the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth that Jesus promised! So as others ran around calling for help, I kneeled down and took the man’s hand. I simply opened my thought to the truth that God is Life. I knew Sue was praying with me. And I became completely oblivious to all the stir all around me. Instead I felt God’s presence, Love’s presence, Life’s presence. I have no idea how much time passed. The next thing I knew I felt someone squeeze my hand, opened my eyes, and was looking into the open eyes of the man on the floor. He squeezed my hand again, said “God bless you,” and he got up and walked away.

Step forward with Love, fear not, and God will enable you to be a Good Samaritan.

Section 6: Inhabiting the Kingdom of Heaven where Soul is supreme.

About three thousand years ago King David shared the following words as he was turning the throne over to his son, Solomon.

“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.” (B22, I Chronicles 29:11–13)

I remember these words as one of my first assignments in Sunday School to memorize! A message from 3,000 years that has been a guide in my life. It is these ideas, these messages, these truths that allow us to enter into the kingdom of Soul. We actually inhabit Soul’s glorious, light-filled kingdom as we make these truths ours.

In the Glossary of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy gives this spiritual definition,

“KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.” (S30, 590:1)

God, Soul has given us the keys to this Kingdom. His Prophets: David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, our Savior, Christ Jesus have honestly shared God’s message of salvation. Countless others have kept the light burning and held it high over the centuries. Our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, has given us the Christian Science that our Master lived and practiced. Our grandparents, our moms and dads, counselors, Sunday School teachers, and many, many others have shared Soul’s light in our lives

How about we return the favor and make it our job this week to remember that we are indeed God’s children, walking in the Light, sharing the sunshine of Soul, and living in the Kingdom of Heaven?

As citation S32 states, “When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man’s spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God’s creation, — all the glories of earth and heaven and man.” (264:28)

Remember this and you will not stumble in the dark, but live in the Light of Soul!


  • "Maintenance Musts" Matching Funds! This hugely helpful matching grant offer has been renewed by dear supporters to match up to $25,000 through December 31, 2017!
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