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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 the 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.)

Trick? or Treatment? Remove the Halloween costume of death & be treated to life!
Lesson Application Ideas on “Probation After Death,” October 17-23, 2005
By Gary Duke, C.S., Saint Louis, Missouri


Are we headed toward death? No! There is no death as Jesus proved in his resurrection and ascension. We are eternal and privileged to give up the belief in death. Therefore, referring to the subject of the Bible Lesson, aren’t we in the “After Death” paradigm right now and currently experiencing “Probation?”

The definition of probation, from the 1828 American Dictionary Mrs. Eddy used, reads in part: “Trial; examination; any proceeding designed to ascertain truth; moral trial; the state of man in the present life, in which he has the opportunity of proving his character and being qualified for a happier state; ‘Probation will end with the present life–Nelson.'”

Golden Text: Absence of Divine Scales.
What are we weighing when stepping on a scale? Mass—a quantity of matter. When do most of us usually want to weigh ourselves? Isn’t it in the morning when we’re feeling lightest or if we’re pretty sure we’ve lost some weight lately? Similarly, when do we want to be examined by God? When we’re feeling spiritual having done some good things recently; when we’ve dropped the weight of mortality in some way. And that is what Job was saying, “Let me be weighed—that God may know mine integrity” (Job 31:6).

Isn’t it ironic though, God doesn’t use any scales as our mistakes aren’t seen or measured by Love! Those who are righteous like Job, want to be measured, but God recognizes each idea as already complete and perfect. Those who are doing wrong, fear the wrath of God. But God is only Love, no wrath—it is the wrong doing which punishes itself. God uses no scales as He knows nothing more nor less than perfection!

Responsive Reading: Path, Joy, Satisfaction.
What path shall we take in life?
“Thou (God) wilt show me the path of life” (Ps. 16:11).

How can I be most happy?
“In thy (God’s) presence is fullness of joy—pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11).

When will I feel most deeply satisfied?
“I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy (God’s) likeness” (Ps. 17:15).

Section 1: Salvation. What is “being saved” all about?
Saved from what? We need to be saved from any belief opposed to God such as: too little time; don’t know enough; don’t have enough; too young or old; comparison; etc. Otherwise, we remain imprisoned in our unhappiness.

How can we be saved?
(S2) First, study Mrs. Eddy’s definition of salvation which spells out clearly it is the understanding of God which overcomes sin, sickness and death.

(S3) Heaven, a divine state of Mind, is achieved right here by progression and probation.

(S4) Concentrate on the goal, which energizes with expectation, rather than being discouraged by counting all the steps to get there.

(S5) Invert the funnel, taking in through the straight and narrow only the good and true, leading to wide expression in God’s kingdom. If you take in through the wide part of the funnel, the world beliefs about happiness and completeness, this leads to prison, literally or figuratively, which is a very narrow expression in God’s kingdom.


From the Bible we find the following keys to salvation: examination and integrity (B1); desiring truth and purging (B2; hyssop is a plant used in ceremonies); recognizing life not death (B3); acknowledging the perfection and protection of God (B4).



Section 2: Forgiveness.
Chapter 12 in S&H is titled “Christian Science Practice” and begins with a three page analysis of the Bible story of the sinful woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, wiping them with her hair, kissing his feet and anointing them with expensive ointment (B7, S6). Contrast her penitence with the arrogance of the Pharisee Simon who is critical of Jesus for allowing this class of woman to touch him. Remember what example Jesus gave us to follow? Wash each others’ feet just as he washed the feet of the disciples (John 13:1-17). For us to practice Christian Science most effectively, isn’t Mrs. Eddy suggesting we ask for forgiveness as the woman did, and grant forgiveness as did Jesus?



Section 3: Belief to Light.
Little children are sometimes scared by the dark. What reassures them? Light. Same with us big kids. When scared by challenges of all types we are reassured by, “Spiritualization of thought lets in the light” (S12), resulting in healing as occurred with the epileptic boy (B9). The disciples couldn’t heal the boy and his dad brought him to Jesus who declared it was simply an issue of belief; “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” The dad, and to some degree the disciples, had blind faith which can be shaken. Jesus had “spiritual understanding and confides all to God” (S8; also see S&H 297:28).



Section 4: Resurrection and Ascension.
Paul told the Corinthians, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith is also vain” (B10). Why is there all this emphasis on Jesus being crucified, his resurrection and ascension? Wouldn’t his legacy be assured even if he hadn’t experienced this triad personally? After all, he did heal sin and sickness for others and even raised the dead many times. But in none of the other resurrections was there the degree of hate and malicious wounds to be overcome. In addition, ascension wasn’t achieved for anyone else. So by Jesus’ demonstration, “He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate—the power of Mind over matter, all the claims of medicine, surgery, and hygiene” (S14).


So why wait? Since life is eternal and we’re not going to escape anything by dying, we might as well solve our challenges right here and now. “Now is the day of salvation!” (S16).



Section 5: TMT-That’s Mine Too!
When good things happen to others we can say TMT, That’s Mine Too! Why? Because all talent, abundance and recognition are from God and as His reflection, we include all the good we are witnessing for others. That is why the demonstrations of Jesus were not personal and limited to him, but can be proved by everybody at all times, just as Peter raised Tabitha (B12; Tabitha is Aramaic and Dorcas is the Greek equivalent). It is understanding the Spirit which overcomes death (B11; S17).


Another belief overcome during this resurrection is that good deeds sometimes wear us out, as might have been the thought about all the Christian charity work done by Dorcas. Mrs. Eddy refutes this claim by stating “one cannot suffer as the result of any labor of love, but grows stronger because of it” (S18).



Section 6: The Halloween Costume of Death.
This Halloween we might see skeletons, dead people, coming to the door asking for treats. Hopefully we won’t be tricked into making a reality of death, but instead will be reminded that the appearance of death is a Halloween costume which may be removed, revealing an innocent child of God reflecting Life. “Death is swallowed up in victory” (B15). “Life is deathless” (S21). “If you or I should appear to die, we should not be dead” (S22).


What does the recognition of eternal life free us to do? “We may as well improve our time in solving the mysteries of being” (S23). Independent from speculation about cause and effect other than God, we are free to remove many other costumes in our lives.


Section Summary Benediction:
Love uses no scale to measure mistakes; God knows us as perfect. As we demonstrate this understanding our path is revealed, yielding joy and satisfaction. Forgiveness is a key element in our progression and probation as it frees belief to accept the light of the Christ Spirit whereby we experience daily resurrection and ascension, oneness with God. TMT—That’s Mine Too is what we are privileged to say when witnessing good happening in another’s life; it is the recognition of Spirit which heals, not personality. Let us not be tricked by death, but remove its Halloween costume and be treated to life!



Resources:
American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster 1828, 800-352-3223,

website www.face.net


Researched Bible Guide, 561-776-5711, e-mail DayBreakPlease@cs.com<br />


The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, by Eugene H. Peterson,

NavPress 800-366-7788, website www.MessageBible.com


The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible, by Henry Gehman


The One Volume Bible Commentary, by J.R. Dummelow


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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