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Editor’s Note: The following background information and application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp. If more information or the text of this Lesson is desired, please see the Director’s Note at the end. The citations referenced in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. (Other reference books are fully noted at the end.)

Stand Unshakable on the Rock of Truth
Lesson Application Ideas for the Week of July 18-24, 2005
Subject: Truth
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, CS of St. Louis, MO

Notice all the references this week to rock, foundation, and cornerstone. How do these relate to the subject, Truth? Hint: Mrs. Eddy’s definition of rock is, “Spiritual foundation; Truth.” and Webster’s definition is, “something that resembles a rock in firmness : foundation, support : something that serves as a defense or refuge.” What is our foundation? How do we effectively build on this foundation? What is required to remain unshaken, feet planted in Christ, and stuck to the Truth! Look for examples of how individual natures (and names) were changed when individuals had the courage to go through a struggle, repent (change their view), and be redeemed. Follow Christ! Heal!

Golden Text: I Samuel 2:2 There isn’t anything as holy (perfect in righteousness and divine love : infinitely good : worthy of complete devotion and trust : commanding one”s fullest powers of adoration and reverence) as God. There isn’t anything except God. You’ll never find a more sure foundation, support, or refuge than God! So why bother looking anywhere else for truth – for security, health, or happiness? Stick to Truth!

Responsive Reading: Jesus gave full credit to God – to his Father. He knew that he and his Father (God) were inseparable. Everything he did was done to please God. We are told that to be Jesus’ disciple, we must live in accordance with his teachings. As we do, we will know the Truth (Christ) as Jesus knew the Truth – knew his Christly nature. And this Truth (Christ) will make us free! We are told that if we ask, seek, and knock, we will receive, find, and have doors opened for us. And Jesus used a parable to teach us to build (establish) our house (our consciousness) on the rock of Truth. Having a strong foundation, the house built on the rock stands – period!

Section I: Be a thinker! Stand on the rock of purity and see God’s view!
Do you ever feel you’re being asked to do something that is just too hard? Moses felt that way when God told him that he was to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. But God offered Moses a deal (a covenant). God told Moses that He would go with Moses, in fact prepare the way for him, and give him rest. He told Moses that he would cause him to stand on a rock – stand on the solid foundation of Truth that is unshakable! (B-1) Isn’t it reasonable to think that God has offered us the same deal? – that Truth also goes before us, preparing the way for us, and giving us rest – no matter what we are asked to do? God knows no limits! And what is our role? To follow, and to make “a joyful noise to the rock or our salvation.” (B-5) That’s not so hard!!! We can rejoice – express faith and gratitude in advance – because we know that we can depend on God – the rock of Truth – in every and all situations! This rock – “spiritual foundation; Truth” (S-1) “gives shadow and shelter.” (S-3) So, we need to trust that we’re always safe. We’ve got to be thinkers! (S-4) It’s not surprising that we get scared if we look at things from a material perspective (as Moses was tempted to do.) BUT, climb up on that rock and get a different view!!! See “the facts of Science.” What are those facts? That God made ALL THINGS in his likeness – unlimited, safe, perfect! (S-3) What about ALL THINGS do we not understand? All means all! It leaves no room for fear, disease, inability, or lack of any kind! We must be obedient to God by seeing things as He sees them. (S-4) To find health and holiness (wholeness) we’ve got to go to the mountain-top of pure inspiration. We must see ONLY what God sees and do only as God does. Then we’ll build on the rock of purity! (S-5) And our consciousness (our house) will stand!

Section II: Don’t Be Afraid of a Struggle – Be willing to work for what you’re looking for. The rock of Truth is a sure defense. Victory is assured!
Do you ever feel vulnerable – possibly even feel that you deserve what might happen to you? Jacob was scared when, on his way home, he heard that his brother Esau was coming to meet him. Jacob could understand that Esau might still be angry with him for stealing his birthright years earlier. At that time Jacob had run from his brother and God had assured him that all would be well, and His presence would always be with him. So far, that had been true. But now God had told Jacob to go home (back to the promised land) to face misunderstandings of the past and make things whole. Jacob was scared! During the night, the angel of God (which appeared to Jacob in the form of a man) wrestled with Jacob. Perhaps the angel was wrestling to free Jacob from a sense of doubt, fear, dishonesty and lack of self-worth. Maybe the struggle with the angel represents the fact that God doesn’t allow any of us to run away from the lessons we need to learn. The struggle enabled Jacob to see that he could deal with conflict and spiritually hold his own. Afterward his nature was transformed, and his name was changed to Israel. (B-7 & S-6, S-7) We’re tempted to think that the battle is with someone or something out there. But it is really a struggle within consciousness to accept the error of belief that says there are many minds. Jacob refused to let go of the angel (the opportunity to stand on solid ground) until it blessed him. Blessings can’t be stolen (as Jacob had tried to do). Blessings are the gift of God – and available to all! But we must be obedient to God’s commands and committed to claiming the blessing. Being willing to really work for what we ask for, we are able to see the good that God has in store for us. (S-9) We can’t just sit and pray a bunch of words. We have to back up our prayers with action (as Jacob did by being willing to fight with what looked to him like an attacker, but turned out to be God.) Are we willing to fight our fears, challenge ourselves, refuse to accept disease or fatigue or unhappiness? If so, we, too, will find that “Truth is always the victor.” (S-10)

Section III: Build a Strong Foundation of Righteousness and Live in the Kingdom!
To repent simply means to change your mind – change the direction of your thought. (B-9) If you’re traveling down a one-way road going the wrong way, you’ll never get to where you want to go, will you? The kingdom of heaven is some place we all want to be, because the kingdom of heaven is harmony – where everything works in perfect order and feels great, with no chance of things getting messed up. The kingdom of heaven is the promised land that Moses and Jacob were led to. And the kingdom of heaven is here! So, don’t pass it by! If we’re heading in the wrong direction, down the path of pride and satisfaction with matter, we need to get on the right track. Even if that means struggling (like Jacob). We need to “hunger and thirst after righteousness” – really WANT to act in a way that is acceptable to God – to have a sense of wholeness, integrity, uprightness, virtue, purity. (B-10) That’s how to get to the kingdom of heaven. Imagine the conversation going like this: “God, who gets invited to dinner at your place? How do we get on your guest list?” God replies: “Walk straight, act right, tell the truth.” (B-12, The Message) In Jesus’ parable, the Pharisee thinks he’s doing everything right. But he misses the point – it’s not what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside that counts. (B-11) How blind we can be to our own faults. How easy it is to recognize when others are messing up. But, as we realize that we need and want to live totally unselfishly, we follow Christ down the road that leads to the kingdom. Building on the strong foundation of righteousness, we are safe. Take a look at the citations in Science and Health, looking for the building materials you want to use, and what you should avoid. Build on a strong foundation with enduring materials and you will find your completeness in “the realm of unerring, eternal, omnipotent Mind” in “the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.” (S&H 590, def. of Kingdom of Heaven). Established there, you’ll find the only things missing are things like accidents, allergies, disease, emptiness and lack of any kind. Those things won’t be missed, will they!?!

Section IV: Be alert! Refuse to build on an undependable foundation.
Jesus warned his disciples (and remember that’s us!) to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” But he wasn’t talking about food. He was talking about the doctrine – the teachings – of those who had gotten things all turned upside down! Mrs. Eddy refers to them as human doctrines, or mortal testimony. (B-15 and S-16) Jesus clearly showed us the foundation that is dependable – the foundation of Christ, Truth. The Science (knowledge) of Mind can always be counted on. The physical senses always lie – so don’t try to build on them. Even when the physical senses say things are going well, don’t trust them. The slightest wind (slightest problem) comes up and everything can suddenly crumble! That’s no way to build! (S-17) Belief is good – and belief in Truth is definitely better than belief in error – but no amount of belief is good enough. Faith is the next step, but it is understanding that is really needed – an understanding of the allness of Truth, of the dependability of Christ. According to Webster, belief and faith are often used interchangeably, but belief is more dependent on evidence. Faith is believing, even when there isn’t evidence or proof. Understanding is to have a complete and clear idea of something, so there is a basis for the faith. Belief can be thought of as building on a foundation of loosely laid bricks. The bricks are strong, and better than sand, but they can easily shift. Adding an element of faith may be like arranging the bricks so they form a more solid foundation, but without mortar to hold them together – make them as one – they are still liable to slippage. Understanding (the mortar) is required to really make the foundation sure and able to withstand whatever would try to bring it down. (S-18). What is it that we must understand? That Truth is real and error is unreal!!! (S-19) It is that simple!!! Hold every thought up to the standard of Truth – of God. Build with that which is true and enduring – like God. Toss that which is unworthy, because it is unreal! Soon you’ll find your foundation is sure and unshakeable, and worthy of building on!

Section V: Remember – Christ, Truth is responsible for healing – not you!
Do you ever fall into the trap of thinking that you are personally responsible for healing yourself or others? Keep the role you play and the role of Truth clear! If you enter a dark room and turn on the light switch, the darkness disappears. But did you get rid of the darkness – or was that the work of the light? Look at all the things God is and does as described in B-17. Isaiah prophesies that God will establish His temple on a very firm foundation. This foundation is tried – has been proven effective – is precious, and sure. (B-18) Is a material foundation being described – or even the person, Jesus? Wouldn’t it have to be more lasting than that? Doesn’t the foundation have to be entirely spiritual? Isn’t it the Christ? This Christ (Truth) is God’s gift to all, and it destroys what is untrue. (S-20) Jesus demonstrated the power of the Christ to heal (B-19). He taught us how to turn on the light switch, so to speak. He built on the foundation. We are told to be “good stewards” of the grace – the gift – of God by using what we have been given. (B-20) If we are to help others, Mrs. Eddy tells us that we should be “models of virtue.” (S-22) Virtue is goodness, but it is also strength and courage. It takes courage to face up to error, and sometimes fear and doubt sneak in. When that happens, we just have to remember to plant our feet (and our patient’s feet) on the foundation that has already been established – “on the rock of Christ Jesus, the true idea of spiritual power.” (S-22) If you plant your feet, you can’t be pushed around. And if you plant your thought in Truth, you won’t be pushed around by fear. Get tough! Stick to the Truth like glue and argue on the side of Truth. But remember, it is Truth that does the work. “Truth is affirmative (assertive) and confers (bestows or gives) harmony.” (S- 23 & 24) So, employ (put to work) truthful arguments and entertain (throw a thought party for) Truth and Love. Heal!

Section VI: Recognition of the Christ – a strong foundation for a church that heals
Jesus was constantly healing the sick, but most people didn’t recognize this as a sign that the Messiah – the promised saviour or Christ – had come! (I wonder how we would have done if we had been there?) Simon did see it, and as a result his nature was transformed and his name was changed to Peter (meaning rock). Jesus founded his church on a foundation of this understanding of the Christ as “the spirit of God, of Truth, Life, and Love, which heals mentally.” (S-26) He expected his followers to heal. And they did for the first hundred years or so – until people drifted away from the Truth, got caught up in ceremony, and confused the man Jesus with God. They lost sight of the Christ. The Christian Science church was established to “reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.” (Manual 17:8) Now it’s our turn to follow Christ! Let’s be sure we’re lapping up “the sincere milk of the word” so that we can grow and go. At times we might be “disallowed of men” – not accepted by people who base everything on what the material body is telling them – on what they believe is necessary in order to have either happiness or health in matter. But being “chosen of God, and precious” means we can avoid the ups and downs of matter and discover our spiritual wholeness. (B-23) It is way more satisfying and dependable. We’ll find that the Truth (Christ) is in us – in consciousness – as we walk in the Truth. (B-24) In other words, we have to practice! Every time you look at something, see only what is true – see only what God sees. Build on a solid foundation by recognizing the presence of the Christ – Truth – in everything – even when it is not obvious. Don’t believe what your physical senses tell you. Jesus didn’t! Let the Christ, Truth, show you health where disease appears, honesty where dishonesty appears, completeness where there seems to be lack, and one Mind where there seems to be many minds. Jesus would not have commanded us to do something we couldn’t do. Be a “lively stone.” (B-23) Build on the foundation on which the “structure of Truth and Love” (Def. of Church – S&H 583) is built. Heal!

Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a long series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms.Originally sent JUST 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 and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson in the books. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. 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 these 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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