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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 C.S. 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. These two books 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.)

The Answer is “NO!”
Application Ideas for the Bible Lesson on “Are Sin, Disease and Death Real?” for April 4-10, 2005
by Corde Hanzlik, C.S. of Austin, TX

We already know the answer to the question proposed by the Lesson. Of course, the answer is “No!” This Lesson is always to confirm why we know so. As we learn from the Golden Text, Jesus taught, preached and healed, so that we would have his example to do likewise.

The Responsive Reading expands on his example despite the opposition to his teaching and proofs. Murmuring scribes and Pharisees couldn’t stop the drumbeat of the Christ. Levi’s experience was proof of Jesus’ love.

Section 1: God rules by God’s rules
Sometimes we may overlook the first section of the Lesson as it usually doesn’t have a healing and often has repetitious verses telling us of God and all that He/She does for us. But isn’t the bottom line of the whole Lesson, of Christian Science, to know our relation with God and what that includes? Study the Bible and the Science and Health with that idea in thought. Look what God does for us and is to us. He really loves us no matter what! He is All! We are redeemed from all of the worldly accusations and impositions thrown our way. Are we the “holy people, the redeemed”? You betcha!

Where do we begin? By “reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is.” (S&H 1) What are some of God’s attributes in this section – good, merciful, light, healer, deliverer, one, known by His children, substance, intelligence, wisdom, immortality, cause, effect, power, scientific, ….. It is obvious that we must “spiritually discern and scientifically understand” that God is the only God. Then watch out for the blessings! Some of your folks or grandparents would remember the tv show, “Dragnet”. Ask them what the detective always said to the witnesses he questioned. “The facts, nothing but the facts.”  Look at our fact in marker 3. It is a good fact to memorize – spiritual reality.

Section 2: Is sin real, Zacchaeus?

As is usual with this Lesson, the first suggestion handled is sin. God doesn’t know sin or wickedness. His Law is forgiving, as there is no history to error. Little did Zacch know that in his eagerness to get a glimpse of Jesus that Jesus would “see” (expose) his evil deeds. Zacch realized the Christ light and repented by paying all of the “over charged” taxes back to the people. The murmurers  again murmured, but they were only talking to themselves. They had no real voice of strength and clarity.

So if good is all as God created, how can sin exist? It can’t. “Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power.” (S&H 5) It is our turn to prove that sin has no power to fool us to be its tool.  Sin must destroy itself! (S&H 7)  We only need to understand this and be good (expressed). We don’t have to do the destroying.

Section 3: Is sickness real, palsied man?
God formed man in His image and likeness. Can there be deformity? We have all had the experience when supposedly ill, that someone comes along and says, “It’s okay. Be happy!” and you feel like saying, “Yeah, right.” The palsied man did believe in the good cheer that Jesus told him. He was free from all past labels. The murmurers tried again to impress doctrinal doubt, but had no voice. Jesus knew their thoughts and dissolved the restrictions.

We must silence the murmurer of matter. It claims much, but none of it is true. I, I, I, – what should the “I” statements really claim? God is the only I. Does He suffer, die, be sick or well in matter? No way! We are not sinners breaking a moral or physical law. We must claim our freedom from the imposition of any expression of disease. “Expose and denounce” (S&H 12) De-noun – take away any existence of person, place, thing, suggesting error. Mrs. Eddy tells us how, “Detect it, remove  the mask, point out the illusion, and thus get the victory over sin and so prove its unreality.” (ibid)  In the next marker, we see that Jesus did his work that way. (S&H 13) Let’s follow his example.

Section 4: Is your son really diseased, father?
It is tempting to see a health condition as a long-term problem that is inevitable or normal, but is it? The father told Jesus that his child has been ill for a long time. Jesus simple request to believe what he knew to be true, not what looked real to the father (and apparently to the disciples), was the key. Jesus handled the parental fear. The child already knew his innocence.

The majority of opinions have no control over us, but we do need to be alert to their claims of power. What is omnipotence? Can there be another power if there is one omnipotent God? (S&H 15) Marker 17 of the Science and Health again outlines what Jesus did as our teacher and guide. Let’s follow his lead.

Section 5: Is there death, Mr. Clark?
Jesus’ immediate students did what he told them to do. They went to the lost sheep and healed, raised the dead. Then 70 more disciples went out! Our turn! In John 14:12 (B 16) explains to us to believe on him, but we understand more as we have the Key to the Scriptures.

We know that Mind not matter is the answer to all. (S&H 18) We are students/disciples. What is our commitment as Christian Scientists? “to lessen evil, disease, death!”  Mrs. Eddy healed Mr. Clark. Again, historical background did not keep him earthbound. Mind does it all! “The coincidence of the spiritual idea of man with the divine Mind.”  (S&H 22)

Section 6: Is there sin, disease, or death, people?
There is none. “It is done.” (B19) What is a tabernacle? For the Children of Israel, it was a “tent of meeting” – literally, a tent as they were wandering in the wilderness they couldn’t have a permanent structure. Meeting whom? The God of Abraham. Moses provided material symbols for spiritual communion with God. The very first symbol is a door. One must desire to enter in. In the New Testament, rather than using material symbols, Jesus taught our oneness with the Father/Mother God as well as teaching the true nature of God. We are in constant communion with God. So the passages from Isaiah (B18) are the Old Testament ideas of tabernacle. Revelation (B19) tells us of Jesus’ way. (Get out your Bible reference books to read about the 7 symbols of the tabernacles. Edyth Armstrong Hoyt’s “Studies in the Bible for the Modern Reader” (pages 45-50) is a great resource, and we could email copies of these pages to those who request it.)

Is there sin, disease or death? The Science of Mind says the answer for the question is definitely, “No!”  S&H marker 23 really sums up the Lesson in all ways. We are not fooled by matter’s suggestions to see, feel or hear anything unlike God, Mind. Either God’s goodness is everywhere or it’s not – we know that it is. We will follow the way of Jesus’ teaching and example. We must!

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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