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Totally trust your Shepherd! Instantly obey and rush the wolf!

Christian Science Bible Lesson application ideas for: “God the Preserver of Man” for Dec. 4-10, 2006

by Corde Hanzlik, C.S.  Austin, TX

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 (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp.

We sometimes ask why bad things happen to us if God is ever caring. What is unique about Christian Scientists is that we don’t get hung up on the “why” questions as we know that God’s care is so present that we aren’t fooled by the “bad” events. We know their falsity. We heal them. Actually they give us proofs of God’s all-caring power! It is not a matter of why, but of “no way.” When challenged, error disappears into its native nothingness.  (Like the wolf in the excerpt below from Song of our Syrian Guest)

The Golden Text in the Lesson this week tells us, we are delivered (preserved) from every evil work. It has no power over us! We are in the heavenly kingdom.  We are the sheep in the Responsive Reading. We know that our Shepherd cares for us, prepares our pasture, keeps us together, secure, fed, rested. Even though in verse 16 as bad events are suggested, the Shepherd is there/here, with peace and protection. We may be tempted to think of sheep as dumb, but we’re not. Let us think of ourselves as fully trusting. Trusting our Shepherd.
 (Editor’s addition from Song of our Syrian Guest by William Allen Knight, downloadable free at www.gutenberg.org/etext/12615)
“Sometimes, in spite of all the care of the shepherd and his dogs, a wolf will get into the very midst of the flock.  The sheep are wild with fright.  They run and leap and make it impossible to get at the foe in their midst, who at that very moment may be fastening his teeth in the throat of a helpless member of the flock.  But the shepherd is with them.  He knows what to do even at such a time. He leaps to a rock or hillock that he may be seen and heard.   Then he lifts his voice in a long call, something like a wolf’s cry: ‘Ooh! ooh!’

 

“On hearing this, the sheep remember the shepherd; they heed his voice; and, strange to tell, the poor, timid creatures, which were helpless with terror before, instantly rush with all their strength into a solid mass.  The pressure is irresistible; the wolf is overcome; frequently he is crushed to death, while the shepherd stands there on a rock crying, ‘Ooh! ooh!’  ‘_I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.'”)

 

Section 1: Two required demands

The first section of the Lesson (both Bible and Science and Health) repeats the promise of the Responsive Reading that God is always caring for us. God is continually giving us good. Why we don’t have to worry about the “small stuff.” It’s all small stuff – food, clothing, etc. However, taking no thought for those items is not license for indulgent abuse or over consumption. We have the kingdom of heaven. What then, are the demanded requirements for “getting” the goods? We must repent (B2) and “seek FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness!” (B3) Repent – correct or change our attitude or proclivities from any sinful sense or wrongdoing. As we seek the kingdom first, don’t we realize that we don’t need many of the things? With this seeking, we find “enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace.” (S&H5) Marker 2 in the Science and Health is a great one to memorize. Mind is maintaining. Mind is all that there is, forever.

 

Section 2: No peaks and valleys, ups or downs

The material world is full of opposites – happy/ sad, up/down, in/out, black/white, yes/no, push/pull, light/dark – the list can go on. The spiritual world – the kingdom of God – the only world/universe, is always steady, full, complete, safe, full of light.

With no day nor night, God’s allness is always constant and consistent. (B4) Saul needed the peace of David’s calm assurances to gain his peace. David came with a complete resume of qualifications most important of which was “the Lord is with him.” All valley needs were met for Saul. No depressed thought. (B5)

What is the saying? When you are at the very bottom, the only way is up! We don’t need to stay in the valley-thought. It may seem scary and lonely, but we grow spiritually in our valley experiences. The valley buds and blossoms. (S&H6) It is a spiritual growing time. Harmony is the law, upheld by law, Principle. It’s not an exception. (S&H7)

Where does harmony go when we seem not to feel it? It can’t really be in a place. It is within each one of us. Markers 9 and 10 in the Science and Health confirm that the faith and understanding that we have in God, Mind, preserves our life experience in ever-present peace and harmony. Material claims can’t tempt us to believe otherwise.

 

Section 3: A whale of a tale, but as in the Responsive Reading, not even an evil beast shall get the sheep!

No matter what our own opinion is, God knows the BIG, all-Love picture as Jonah found out. Jonah didn’t feel the loving compassion or any compassion for the people of Nineveh, whom he felt were the scum of the earth, clearly not the Lord’s chosen. So in direct disobedience to the Lord, he went the opposite direction of his assigned mission (of blessing his enemies) thinking that he could get away from the Lord. He paid for that disobedience and endangered the lives of the innocent mariners as well. The simple act of the mariners – to throw the troublemaker overboard – freed them from danger. Jonah still had to face up to his wrong. But, at last Jonah remembered to pray, in total humility, to the ever-present Lord. Needless to say, Jonah learned a major lesson by his experience. (B7,8,9) Are we ever tempted to do something that we know isn’t right to do and hope to escape the penalty? Nah. (For fun, rent the “VeggieTale” DVD version of “Jonah and the Big Fish” to watch. It’s great!)

So what does Mrs. Eddy say? Divine Love corrects. (S&H11) Being swallowed by a whale is rather severe, but haven’t we all had experiences where we feel swallowed up by materiality? It “forces” us to pray. If we choose to disobey the law, we should have no expectation of the law to protect us. That is hypocritical! There is no mocking of Principle if we want Principle’s help. (S&H13) Not even a little bit of dishonesty. We can change as marker 14 suggests, but our motives and reformation must be sincere. No lesser loyalty! (S&H15) What do you expect from your friends? Do you expect and trust them to be totally honest with you as you are with them. God demands that same love from us. What is our reward? “Power and strength.”

 

Section 4: Sheep are cared for in any wilderness of nature, of words or of human organizations, no matter who it is!

The Lord is our complete protector. There is nothing that can get to us with our protective armor on. (B10)  Jesus didn’t happen to wander into the synagogue on the day he read. (B11) It was the scheduled reading for that day and he knew it. He knew what the demand of loyalty meant. He knew, too, that as he was proclaiming the historical synopsis of prophets that he was making his accusers angry. But, they couldn’t even see or touch him when they wanted to throw him out of the city.
Can we be invisible as Jesus was? Yes! Invisible to error’s attempts to include us in its web of sins. It is no miracle when we align our thoughts with God, our Fortress. Divine Love is always our help. (S&H17) In any Sentinel testimonies over the years, witnesses have spoken of the peace they have felt while in a serious situation. They have been undisturbed as they have known Principle is in control. (S&H18) (Read the Sentinels or articles/podcasts shared on www.spirituality.com. We can learn so much from others’ experiences.)

We truly are not seen to mortal mind in our invisibility cloak (panoply). (S&H19) Better than Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak (and his special map of the fictional Hogwarts School), our connection with the protection of divine Love and direction of the one Mind is always with us to guard and guide us forever.

 

Section 5: Sheep without age

Marker 12 of the Bible has the reward of our oath of loyalty – “because thou hast made the Lord … thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, … nor plague.” Let’s be sure to include all that live in our dwelling (our consciousness and home) in the blessing. God cares for all of His children –  of all ages – “past measure” (as Hymn #361:1 states.  In the Bible story from Luke, not only were the mourners’ needs, the disciples’ needs, Jairus’ father-needs met, so were his daughter’s as Jesus raised her up from the death picture. (B13) Jesus cleverly spoke a truth that made the paid mourners laugh out loud, making them expendable as ones who violated their professional role. Their departure freed up the sad scene and allowed a healing atmosphere to rule.  The Student’s Reference Dictionary gives a definition of laugh as “to treat with some degree of contempt.” Didn’t Jesus have contempt for the tricks of error to fool God’s ideas into believing the lie of life and death in matter? It was Jesus, not the error or the paid mourners, who had the “last laugh.”  Why? He had no fear of the scene. (B14) (While reading the Science and Health part, pay attention to the direct commands/instructions that Mrs. Eddy gives us to follow. I see 9 or so.)

Error’s tempting pictures try to make us afraid in so many ways. We can laugh at it, refuse to be tricked. What is the first step in treatment that Mrs. Eddy gives us? “Allay the fear.” (S&H21) Since it is only in our own thought that we handle any suggested error, aren’t we allaying our fear first that any patient (be it us or someone else) can be afraid? We are then reassured in complete peace as “harmony is the fact,….”(S&H22) Note, too, that Mrs. Eddy doesn’t give error any wiggle room at all. “Stand porter at the door of thought.” (S&H23) Even before error can get in our thought-door, we shut it out. The next paragraph there would try to make the error a logical possibility because of popular belief or acceptance, but she says to shut them out! Why, with what authority? We have the knowledge of Science. (S&H24)

 

Section 6: The flock is safe!

We have blessed reassurance in all of the citations in this section that we are all safe now in the Father’s care. He/She loves us with enduring, forgiving, parental love that is present now, even if we think that we may not deserve it. There was a Sentinel article years ago (Sentinel  Aug 30,1999, p 14) that mentioned an innocent, six year old’s response to her mother’s lament of being a flop of a mother, “Fear not, little flop, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” We are all entitled! It is ours. Let’s claim it! Fear not, fellow sheep! There are no flops in the Kingdom!

 

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 citations referenced (i.e. B1and S28) from this week’s Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) 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 these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.)

Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Director        director@cedarscamps.org

CedarS Camps Office  (where you can now mail support or requests till the office moves back to camp in May)
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(636) 394-6162


The 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 giving contributions are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships,programs and operations support.  Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving for more about how you can provide support online or to get information about how to confer privately about making a special gift to help perpetuate CedarS good work. You can also just mail your tax-deductible support to: The CedarS Camps, Inc., 1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011.  And, we’re thrilled to announce that, until January 1, 2007, a Matching Fund Grant will double your gifts (up to $25,000) for needed “Maintenance Musts!”

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