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[Be who you were made to be! Let the light of God shine out in your life! (GT)]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Soul and Body"
May 21-27, 2018

prepared by John Biggs, CS of Maryland Heights, MO
(541.418.1176 / JohnBiggsCS@gmail.com)

When we have light, we can see. There seem to be many influences affecting what we see, or what we know – time, fear, other people's opinions are just a few. This week's Christian Science Bible Lesson brings a spiritually based view to the table: that the only thing we need to take into account when assessing our life, our prospects, our health, is what we see in the light of God.

Golden Text: The Easy to Read Version of the Bible has this translation: "The only source of light for the body is the eye. If you look at people and want to help them, you will be full of light." This is an intriguing look at the 'living' or the expressing of Jesus' great commandments, to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. Being who we were made to, letting the light of God shine out in our lives (see Matthew 5:14-16), we will love our neighbor because we will see them as they truly are.

Responsive Reading: These are like descriptions of what it means to be a child of light, to be the outcome of God's existence. These activities and habits will be hallmarks of your life. It's interesting, too, that we have both relational and individual practices listed here; comfort, edification, and treating others well, in addition to the admittedly more individual practices of rejoicing, praying, thanksgiving…and yet, those practices can also be relational and communal. How wonderful that in the light of God, we see others as well – being one with God doesn't mean we leave others out!

Section 1: Witnesses for God

We are God's witnesses (see citation B3). What role does a witness play? Is it up to the witness to make the truth, or to make the truth apply? Or is it simply to faithfully see the truth and tell the truth? Sometimes I find myself thinking I need to somehow make Truth more true, or help Truth be more true. This mindset sometimes leads me on a frantic search to find quotes from the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings that will hit the spot, and always is accompanied with the depressing thought that I don't have enough inspiration to begin with.

This section is such a gift, lifting us out of this inherently self-centered mindset. Citation B1 says to me: "God, we have always lived in You and because of You! God's work can't be hidden from His children, and we have been given all we need in order to see His work." What a difference from the scrabbling thought that assumes we lack inspiration and need to somehow find more truth, to make Truth apply. While being a faithful witness to God certainly requires devotion, it's a joyful God-first devotion that honors His infinite provision, instead of belittling or fearing the effects of a limited view engendered by me-first thinking. It's better to spend time praising God than fearing a lie! The citations from Science and Health further elaborate on this theme of God-first thinking instead of body- or limits-first thinking. We see because of God and His goodness, not because we are so great. Love to glorify God in everything and every thought.

Citation B5 is a verse from Mary's glorification of God during her pregnancy with Jesus. Click here for a link to a delightful song about this story, which includes this citation (although in a different paraphrase). Mary's example of pure, wholehearted, unreserved willingness to trust and honor God is a deeply moving example for us all. (For those reading this from a printout, I'll copy the exact link at the bottom of this email so you can go online and listen for yourself.)

Section 2: Be sure what you're seeing (Don't 'kick against the pricks!')

Make sure that what you're focusing on really is light and not darkness! Light allows us to see and thus both what we have been given, and how we can give…darkness makes us draw inward and think much more about a limited sense of self. Saul (introduced in citation B11) is an interesting example for this. He clearly thought he was doing the right thing in his persecution…and yet note what he hears from his vision: "It is hard for you to kick against the divine impulses you've been hearing." (Acts 9:5, using Strong's Concordance for researching the Greek) What's this?! Saul HAD been hearing messages from God that his course of action was wrong! But he was so wrapped up in the reigning hierarchical order of his Pharisaical upbringing that he couldn't recognize the 'still, small voice' that God is always imparting. But his inner, innate, essential devotion to God won out and allowed him to see, hear and feel this Christ-message beyond the shadow of a doubt.

So, for us. When we are so, so convinced we are right…what is doing the convincing? Is it personal sense, or any evidence that bases its reality in a limited view of the world? Or is your sense of rightness truly built on the Rock of the recognition of the presence of Christ? Mary Baker Eddy has a whole article called 'The Way' (collected in her Miscellaneous Writings, starting on p. 355) which clarifies that self-knowledge is the first essential step in our spiritual growth. Are your beliefs – your witness – based on human opinions, social conditioning, reactionary screeds…? Or are you truly letting your life simply be a transparency for the divine, all-seeing, all-knowing, all-providing Principle of the universe that is Love itself? Again in Miscellaneous Writings, Mary Baker Eddy makes it clear that it is this intentional transparency which allows healing to be seen in the light of God. “That individual is the best healer who asserts himself least, and thus becomes a transparency for the divine Mind, who is the only physician; the divine Mind is the scientific healer.” (Misc. 59:26)

Love to take advantage of every opportunity to practice listening for and responding to God's call. The more accustomed we are to His Word, the less we'll be interested in the claims of fearful, egotistical, harmful and apathetic lies. In the course of this faithful listening, deeply-held political, social, economic, health and relational beliefs may be challenged…and then you get to decide if sticking with the status quo is best, or if it's best to follow that light of God and see what He has done. Don't 'kick against the pricks!'

Section 3: How do we see others?

In the Responsive Reading we saw a few examples of both relational and individual shining. This section illustrates a life-changing – perhaps we might even say world-changing – relational shining. In citation B13, we see Ananias wrestling with what he has been told by God to do. Perhaps similar to Saul, he was getting divine impulses to welcome, heal and instruct Saul in the gospel. Thankfully, Ananias listened to God much more readily than Saul did! By looking only to God to illuminate his path forward – instead of the supposed reasonableness, yet ultimately fear-inducing nature, of material sense and past history – Ananias was being informed only by the love of God. His sense of his own personal safety, as well as his sense of his brother Saul, was transformed (see citation B14) – and this transformation was a huge help and model for Saul in his literal transformation to Paul.

In your interactions with others – and even in your thoughts of others – can you say you are glorifying God (B15) [like Ananias did, by seeing each one as “on his/her road to Damascus”]?
Are you seeing yourself with the light of God, or with the supposed light which is actually the darkness of limits and fear? Do you live with the glorious permission of God to see Him in everything, or do you live in the darkness of mistaking humanly circumscribed statuses (like social position, intellectual capacity, even contagion and other health issues) as the truth of your [or another’s] being? Science and Health citation S12 succinctly and gracefully shows us that we can expect our entire experience to be transformed with this light of divine Love. [“The Bible teaches transformation of the body by the renewal of Spirit.” (241:13)] Don't settle for anything less than full transformation!

Section 4: New Views to live by

In these Bible citations, we have a lovely glimpse into the new view that Paul has, of God, himself, and the whole family of man. Even in his self-introduction in citation B16 he acknowledges the primary role that God has in his life: "…called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God…" [I Cor. 1:1] Is that an introduction you could give, too? Why or why not?

God didn't make the material body as a hoop you have to jump through before finally being spiritual; we are spiritual now. So what are we to make of this very material-seeming existence? We're given some clues in this section in both the Bible and Science and Health.

  • Demonstrate your dominion—take every opportunity to show that sin does not master you. [“For sin shall not have dominion over you.” Romans 8:14, B18]
  • Recognize that each day is full of opportunities to really live like (as if) you are spiritual – unlimited. [“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25, B19]
  • If you're the expression of good, then treat yourself – treat your concept of your individualized expression of God – as befitting the child of God [–“absent from the body, and …present with the Lord.” SH383:3, S21).
  • Nurture habits of liberty by maintaining your God-given dominion over “the thoughts ever recurring to one’s self about the body, and by the expectation of perpetual pleasure or pain from it” and live like satisfaction comes from Spirit alone [SH 260:24, S20].

In short, in recognizing that you are in fact spiritual, and in seeing with God's light which necessarily entails seeing yourself as He made you, live like (as if) the truth about you really is true! And treat others like the truth about you is also true about them.

Section 5: Truly, put God first – not self

Look to God! We are here for each other, yes. We are here, in part, to show each other what the kingdom of heaven is like, and to nurture each other's awareness of the true nature of God and His expression. But all this desire to see truly – to see in the light of God – means nothing if we do not remember that it's all about seeing God.

I remember a time in my practice of Christian Science that, in retrospect, had become very much about me: what a relatable young guy I was, how neat it was to have so many great connections with teens and young adults, and isn't it basically awesome how awesome I was. In retrospect, I realized I had slowly started to think I was praying and practicing Christian Science so that, eventually, I'd be able to heal lickety-split without even needing to turn to God at all. I discovered that I'd started to think that someday I wouldn't need God at all.

Well, long story short, I had a rather rude – but very needed – awakening that showed me that standing on only my own personal two legs wasn't going to take me very far or enable me to be of much service to others. My entire focus needed to be on God. I was NEVER going to not need God; rather, my practice, if done faithfully, should show me day by day, more and more how very much I need God. If I want to find out ANYTHING about myself, another person, a social situation, a world issue, I can only find out the truth by going to God.

As citation B20 states “Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.” [Ps. 25:15] Isn't that imagery excellent? It's easy to get caught in that net…but the tragedy is when we think the net is where we belong. In healing – both the activity of healing, and the promise of healing – we have our hearts opened to the possibility that all this limited stuff, this dark view, is not actually true. And it is God who lifts us out of that bondage, and in His light we see our freedom.

No matter what religion we subscribe to – or even to no religion – we all have faith in something. Citation S28 is a firm invitation to see the new, broader possibilities of our sense of ourselves when we stop having faith in matter. “Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew.” [SH425:23, S28] Examine your life – your daily thoughts, your plans, your expectations of how you're going to treat yourself and others – and see how much of that is based in or informed by a faith in matter.

Section 6: See with light!

At the end of the day, it's a simple fact that with light we see, with darkness we don't. What's more, with light we see what is present…with darkness, we don't. So, when we are letting the light of God be our light, we see the very presence of God. And where God is present, the possibility of ungodlikeness (matter, fear, separation, anxiety, egotism, selfishness…) is precluded and impossible. In II Corinthians 5:8 Paul issues us such an invitation. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (B23) Love to accept this invitation and its promise, this encouragement: be willing! Be willing to see what God is always showing. Be willing to be present with God, and thus consciously absent from the beliefs of ungodlikeness.

Citation S30 spells out in no uncertain terms what it means and doesn’t mean to be “present with the Lord.”
“To be “present with the Lord” is to have, not mere emotional ecstasy or faith, but the actual demonstration and understanding of Life as revealed in Christian Science. To be “with the Lord” is to be in obedience to the law of God, to be absolutely governed by divine Love, — by Spirit, not by matter.

Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, — neither in nor of matter, — and the body will then utter no complaints. If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well.” (SH 14:6-16, S30)

Seeing with the light of God is what we were made to do. Be willing to demonstrate your God-given dominion over the thoughts that suggest anything else. And that light is a joyful light! Love to be alert for every opportunity to see with God's light, to rejoice in what you see, and to share that light with others.

Link mentioned in this email:

Mary's Song by Christa Seid-Graham (referenced in section 1): https://www.christianscience.com/youth/sunday-school/resources/music/mary-s-song-christa-seid-graham


For Your Information and Support, PLEASE:
1. MANY, MANY MORE CAMPERSHIP FUNDS ARE NEEDED AS MORE APPLICATIONS COME IN DAILY! Thank you for giving camperships that are so greatly needed and forever appreciated for our fast approaching summer of 2018. Especially helpful are your much-needed MONTHLY gifts, past and ongoing, that can be started and adjusted as you wish at:www.cedarscamps.org/giving ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students (tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered church)!

2. CedarS “Adopt the Herd” Matching Fund is close to being met!

In the time since Giving Tuesday you helped raise ~$60k for the Riding Program, which will be doubled through the Adopt the Herd Matching Fund, for a total of ~$120k to help feed and care for CedarS wonderful horses. We still have ~$5k to raise to take advantage of the $65k Adopt the Herd match. (More info at http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/adopt-the-herd/)

With advance and ongoing gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

P.S. If you haven't yet given, or are blessed with more to give, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking on https://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/tree/.

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 636-394-6162.

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #44-0663883):

The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

[THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!]

[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a huge proof of your ongoing LOVE made visible and are greatly appreciated!! They not only defray the costs of running this service but also provide greatly needed camperships and essential program and operations support.

[The Met application ideas above 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) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/

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