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[Be engrounded in Truth and thrive on its “living waters!”]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Truth
for July 29, 2018

by Christie Hanzlik, CS from Boulder, Colorado
720-331-9356 • christiecs.com

INTRODUCTION

In college I spent a semester aboard a ship. It took awhile for me to get used to walking and sleeping to the movement of the ship, and then, when we docked after two weeks at sea it was bizarre to have wobbly legs on land. This phenomenon, of course, is what people refer to as getting their "sea legs" and "land legs.” I like “land legs” as a metaphor for the wobbliness we may feel in unfamiliar experiences such as starting a new school or job, moving to a new home, or entering any new phase of life. Most of us have faced at least one experience in which we’ve felt that we’re on shaky ground. For thoughtful metaphysicians, it seems wise to find our grounding—a firm foundation—on which we can stand everywhere we go, in any situation.

The discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy (MBE), seemed to face a lot of shaky situations—a sickly childhood, a brother, mother, and first husband passing away early, being separated from her son, and a philandering second husband, are just some of the examples. But it seems clear that her trust in Divine Truth as a source of comfort stayed with her, and guided her search and discovery of the truth she named the Science of the Christ in 1866. It was only two years later, in 1868, that she wrote the poem that became a hymn, “Christ my refuge.” In the hymn, she describes how her newfound understanding of Divine Truth offered her lasting security:

"Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock,

Upon Life's shore,
'Gainst which the winds and waves can shock,
Oh, nevermore!” (hymn 253)

What a wonderful image! Finding a greater sense of Truth offers us a greater sense of stability—no land legs or sea legs! As we find ourselves “enground” upon the rock—the spiritual foundation—no wind or waves or new experiences can shock us. As far as I can tell, the word “enground” doesn’t exist in any dictionary, including the 1828 Webster’s dictionary that was current in MBE’s day. But, “en” typically means within, so we could understand the phrase “Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock,” to mean that Truth places us within the rock, not just standing on it or clinging onto it.

This week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Truth” offers ways for us to find our rock and the courage to share it with others.

GOLDEN TEXT AND RESPONSIVE READING

The Golden Text (GT) and Responsive Reading (RR) establish the premise that God is Truth: “. . . the LORD is the true God and the God who is Truth.” (GT) As we follow Truth, we can “walk at liberty”—walk free from fear—because we know we are safe. Standing with Truth gives us a structure and solid grounding that doesn’t change no matter what. This structure—the rock—which guards and guides us is described in the RR as

“thy statutes” ( statutes are a written law )

“thy word” (word is a promise or assurance)

“thy precepts” (precepts are a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought)

“thy judgments” (judgments are a decision of a court or judge)

"thy law” (law is a thing regarded as having the binding force of a formal system of rules)

“thy commandments” (commandment means a divine rule)

As we come to understand the security offered by these words—statutes, word, precept, judgments, law, commandments—we find ourselves not only standing upon the Rock of Truth, but engrounded within the Rock, secure and safe and confident. We are unshakable as "Truth engrounds us on the rock upon Life’s shore."

SECTION 1—The Rock of Salvation

We can know that any idea or opportunity from Truth is good, and only good, with no wobbliness, irritation, or mistakes. As we read in James, "Every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (B1)

The rock—the solid foundation—of trusting in the Law of Truth to only bring about good, with no variableness, gives us the strength to walk forward with confidence and strength. We can all be grateful for this rock of Truth. We can walk forward, singing, "The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and [may the God of my salvation be] exalted.” (Camp song adapted from Ps 18:46; associated with citation B4, II Samuel 22:47)

MBE defines Rock as "Spiritual foundation; Truth.” (S1) And she reminds us that "The great rock gives shadow and shelter.” In other words, “The great [spiritual foundation] gives shadow and shelter.” (S3) With a foundation in Truth, we don’t need to worry about change or variableness—“no change my heart shall fear.” (Hymn 148) We are engrounded in the rock, we are perfectly protected on all sides. There is no variableness—“nor variable love.” (S4). While we cannot trust our physical senses to tell us what is real or not real, we can turn toward "the revelations of Christian Science [to] unlock the treasures of Truth” so that we are always on (and engrounded in) solid Rock. (S6)

SECTION 2—Truth is the Rock

In today’s political climate it sometimes seems difficult to know what is true. The struggles portrayed in the news media seem to make it difficult to feel calm and peaceful about government. Regardless of our stance on issues, it does seem as though people are being pitted against one another in polarizing debate and fracturing dissent. [That’s the opposite of the “think without strife” directive in Ruth’s Huff’s original CedarS song.] Amid this “variableness” and “shadow of turning,” my prayer has led me to take comfort in realizing that every great prophet or healer that I can think of lived during a time of tumultuous political struggle. From Moses, to David, Deborah, Elijah, Elisha, Jesus, Peter, and Paul….and up to present day—the prophets and healers who inspire us, looked to the higher Law to govern their lives [engrounded on “Truth infinite, — so far above all mortal strife, or cruel creed…”(CS Hymnal 23.4)] Moses and Jesus were both born into a time in which rulers were killing babies! It was imperative to find a more assuring form of government. The struggle to identify a clear, political truth and a reliable, unifying government is arguably what led these prophets and healers to turn to the higher Law.

Each of us, right now, has the opportunity to turn to the Law of “Truth infinite” and find unity in the face of what seem to be polarizing debates. We can recognize that we are all engrounded in the same Rock of Truth, and that the winds and waves of political turmoil cannot shock us from the peaceful prayer that brings about real progress that blesses all mankind. When we think of people who may seem to be our political adversaries, we can pause, pray, and picture those individuals engrounded in the Rock of Truth, governed by Truth. None of us can actually live outside of Truth. In proportion as we come to understand more and more deeply that we are all engrounded in the Rock of Truth, we will see increasing evidence of harmony and forthrightness.

The second section offers great insight for seeing Truth/God as the Rock, and for not feeling pushed around by errant human opinion. We get the clear affirmation of God as perfect Truth: "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (B5).

As an example of this, we have the account of King Solomon needing to decide between the stories of two women who both claim to be the mother of the same baby. Instead of being flummoxed by the polarizing debate, Solomon turns to a higher law, knowing that “Truth is revealed in every place, throughout all time throughout all space.” (Hymn 453) He offers a third way to let the truth of the scenario come to the surface, trusting Truth to do Her good work.
And, of course, the mother of the baby is revealed and the whole kingdom gains more respect for Solomon for his ability to discern Truth. (B9)

We can apply Solomon’s third-way wisdom in our experience when news reports seem to suggest polarizing, fracturing ways to see the world. Like Solomon, as we listen to current events, we can apply the “sword”—"The idea of Truth; justice.” (S8)

It is not up to us to force truth to be true. Truth is already true. Solomon did not force truth to be true. Solomon let Truth reveal itself. As MBE states, "Let Truth uncover and destroy error in God's own way, and let human justice pattern the divine.” (S9) This is such a beautiful way to conceive of Truth. Truth is revealed. We do not need to reveal it. We can trust in Truth’s own revealing and get out of the way. When we seem to face a deceptive situation, whether in the news or in our daily lives, we can take a step back and affirm that Truth is present, that Truth is in action, and that Truth must be revealed. If we feel like we have to say something for Truth to be revealed, it’s probably time to pray some more. There will be times in which Truth compels us to speak, but our prayer begins with knowing that Truth is the actor and that it is Truth’s nature to be revealed properly.

That we should get out of Truth's way and let Truth be revealed does not mean that we do nothing. MBE has good instructions for how to uncover lies. She explains that we can overturn lies by knowing that "Truth creates neither a lie, a capacity to lie, nor a liar.” (S11) Our clarity on this point is trusting that Truth does its own revealing. Prayer is not doing nothing. Prayer is gaining the confidence and trust in Truth that enables us to let go and let Truth be revealed. Like Solomon, we are not doing nothing when we pray, we are trusting in the highest Law to reveal exactly what needs to be revealed.

SECTION 3—How do we know what is true? [PS#1 & #2 from Cobbey on B12 & B13]

It may sometimes seem difficult to figure out what is true. We may feel as though we are taking in a lot of information, but how do we discern what is helpful and what is not? The third section addresses this question. In the section, we find Christ Jesus’ parable in which he describes the kingdom of heaven as a “gianormous” fishing net that is cast into the sea, and catches all kinds of things. When it is dragged to shore, the fishers gather the good to keep and cast the bad away.” (B13) As I understand them, these nets were sometimes a quarter of a mile wide and would have gathered things from the sea indiscriminately. Some people may interpret this parable as meaning that the net is metaphorically catching people, and those people will be sorted into who should "stay in” (understand) the Kingdom of Heaven and who should be cast away. But Jesus’ parables need a multidimensional inspiration to understand them fully. I find it more useful to think of the parable as helping us see that we take in a gazillion ideas—like a giant net—and that we can each learn to comb through those thoughts and only keep those ideas which are good and pure, and cast away icky thoughts.

In today’s information age, we do seem to take in a ton of information. Some researchers suggest that we have between 50,000-70,000 thoughts of our own per day. We also have access to other peoples’ ideas in bookstores, libraries, television, radio… And to gather and collect and store this information, we have the InterNET. While I don’t think the InterNET is the type of net Christ Jesus was talking about in the parable, the concept could still apply. Like the fishing net, the Internet is cast into the sea of data, and we are supposed to sort through it to determine what is true or what we can cast away. There is arguably more useless information on the Internet than there is valuable knowledge, which makes this process seem even more overwhelming. It may even make us feel fearful that we’re overlooking something valuable.

Perhaps the fishermen in the Bible, like those of us who may feel lost in a sea of data, also felt like they could never get all the value out of the sea, and they worried that they would miss out on the good and collect too much of the bad. But this would be a short-sighted way of seeking Truth. In fact, Truth seeks us. Both in Bible times and now, Christ-Truth draws near to us and illumines our path. What we can do is to listen carefully to what God-Truth wants us to know, and trust that we already have what we need. Christ-Truth calls us, just like Jesus called to Peter and Andrew. Jesus was able to see in Peter and Andrew their ability to discern good—to sort through the giant net of thoughts—and become fishers of men, and so he called them to be his disciples. (B12) Each of us is capable of this as we are willing to trust Christ-Truth to reveal what we need to know, and as we are willing to “cast the bad (thoughts) away.” (B13) As MBE writes, "The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity.” (S&H vii) Christ-Truth is calling on us to be thinkers, to be fishers of men.

When we’re deciding on whether we should keep or throw out ideas, it is helpful to have a standard for what is good. In Science and Health, MBE writes, "What can be the standard of good, of Spirit, of Life, or of Truth, if they produce their opposites, such as evil, matter, error, and death? God could never impart an element of evil, and man possesses nothing which he has not derived from God.” (S13)

This reminds me of the concept that if we're wondering whether an idea is “derived from God,” then we can add the words “Thus saith the Lord” at the end of it. For example, “I am exhausted [thus saith the Lord]” does not make any sense at all. But this sentence makes complete sense: “It is such a joy to see people laughing [thus saith the Lord].” This is one way to test if a thought is “derived from God.”

The parable Jesus offers describes sorting through the contents of the net, but there is a difference between the fishing net, the internet, and the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven—which is ever-present—does not allow for good and bad, for truth and error, to mix together. Unlike the fishing net and unlike the Internet, the Kingdom of Heaven does not have any commingling of good and bad. As MBE writes, "It is false to say that Truth and error commingle in creation. In parable and argument, this falsity is exposed by our Master as self-evidently wrong.” (S13) We each have the innate ability to discern right from wrong, good from bad, and these contrasting thoughts “never mingle.” (S18) Just like light and dark cannot mix, neither can truth and error.

SECTION 4—The power of Truth [PS#3a & #3b from C. Crisler & Ken Cooper on B16]

Truth is powerful. It sets free the captive mind, like light eradicating darkness or water flushing out impurities. As we read in John, "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (B14)

Jesus was able to teach and preach about Truth, and he also demonstrated Truth's goodness by healing. (B15) When he encountered a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, he overturned a limited view of the man’s physical deformity and witnessed the truth of the man’s wholeness. But, along with this physical healing, Jesus also healed the limited thought of those around the man who were obeying a limiting law that would prevent healing on the Sabbath. While Christ Jesus didn’t convince the Pharisees to reject “rabbinical error," multitudes of Truth-seekers followed him to learn about their freedom. (B16, S19)

The Truth of our being frees us from physical and mental limitation. As MBE states, "Truth brings the elements of liberty. On its banner is the Soul-inspired motto, 'Slavery is abolished.' The power of God brings deliverance to the captive. No power can withstand divine Love. What is this supposed power, which opposes itself to God? Whence cometh it? What is it that binds man with iron shackles to sin, sickness, and death? Whatever enslaves man is opposed to the divine government. Truth makes man free.” (S20)

MBE gives us clear instructions on how to use Truth’s power to heal:

1) Stick to the truth of being in contradistinction to the error that life, substance, or intelligence can be in matter.

2) Plead with an honest conviction of truth and a clear perception of the unchanging, unerring, and certain effect of divine Science.

3) Then, if your fidelity is half equal to the truth of your plea, you will heal the sick. (S23)

In other words, we pour in truth to flush out from thought anything that is unlike good—“The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love.” (S23)

SECTION 5—The “living waters” of Truth [PS#4 & #5 from C. Crisler on B18, B19]

"Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness." (S&H332) And, Christ Jesus was the man, who more than any other man taught, and demonstrated the Christ, the way, the truth, and the life. (B18) Christ is our awareness of Truth, and the Christ-Truth heals, restores, and transforms.

In the fifth section, we read about Christ Jesus calling out (to all of us), “if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” (B17) What Christ Jesus offers is the “living waters.” In a dry and arid landscape, the idea of “living waters” holds great meaning. The more barren our landscape, the more the “living waters” quench our need.

When Christ Jesus met the Samarian woman at the well, Jesus spoke to her and told her she should be seeking the “living water.” It was remarkable that a Jewish man would speak to a woman, and a Samarian woman at that, but what truly startled the woman into accepting the “living water” Jesus offered was that he saw through her lie that she had no husband, and called out the truth that she had been indiscreet with men.

For me, the most important point is that Christ Jesus still spoke to her despite knowing of her indiscretions. Her indiscrete actions did not define her. Christ Jesus could see her willingness to drink the “living waters.” He wasn’t condemning her for her actions with men, he was offering a way—the way, the truth, and the life—to find a fuller sense of her worthiness and honor. The power of Truth enabled him to reach her thought, free her to see Truth, and place her on the path of the way, the truth, and the life. (B19, S25, S26) He healed her sin. He healed her belief that she was separate from good. He gave her the “living waters."

We too can offer the living waters. When we see people thirsty for the “living waters” they may not look like what we expect. Jesus did not approach an upstanding Jewish man with the “living waters.” He approached a disreputable woman from Samaria. He saw the sinless—un-separated from Truth—nature of her identity and freed her from captivity. We can do this too. We can look for the receptive ears—"Millions of unprejudiced minds — simple seekers for Truth, weary wanderers, athirst in the desert — are waiting and watching for rest and drink. Give them a cup of cold water in Christ's name, and never fear the consequences.” (S27)

As each of us discovers that we are truly "enground(ed) upon the rock upon Life’s shore,” we can, like our way-shower, share the Truth that sets the captive free. "It is possible, — yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, — to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.” (S29) We can each drink in the “living water,” find "the footsteps of Truth—the way to health and holiness—and share it freely." (S30) MBE predicted that we are approaching the epoch "when the understanding of the truth of being will be the basis of true religion.” (S31) We can all seek Truth, while also knowing that Christ-Truth is already with us, and leading us in the footsteps Truth, leading us in "the way, the truth, and the life."


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1. THANKS TO INCOMING GIFTS CAMPERSHIP FUNDING NEEDS WILL HOPEFULLY SOON BE MET! RESULTANT BLESSINGS are life-transforming and forever appreciated by over 400 worthy recipients and their families and churches.

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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. MUCH MORE FACILITY MAINTENANCE FUNDING IS STILL NEEDED (ALSO OVER $200K total) TO KEEP CEDARS FACILITIES FUNCTIONING UP TO THE LEVEL OF ITS MISSION! (Reliable shuttle vans and stronger boat-tow vehicle(s) are needed; our original Crown Lake spillway needs to be replaced; stronger internet service would be a huge help to office operations and for our staff and fall guests… more and details coming in a few weeks.)

3. CedarS “Adopt the Herd” Matching Fund has been met!

In the time since Giving Tuesday you helped raise ~$65k for the Riding Program, which will be doubled through the Adopt the Herd Matching Fund, for a total of $130k Adopt the Herd match!

With heartfelt 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/.

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PHONE at 417-532-6699.

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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/meta

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