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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.)

Understand Mind’s Control of the Universe.  Discover Your God-Given Dominion!
Lesson-application ideas for June 13-19, 2005
“Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, CS, of St. Louis, MO

Golden Text:  Atomic Force? … or Mind?  You decide and then act accordingly.
If wisdom and understanding made the earth and heaven, ALL must be Mind. So where does that leave the theory that the universe sprang from atoms – the tiny particles which constitute matter?  Why continue looking to matter for life?  It really makes no sense!

Responsive Reading:  The search for Wisdom
Don’t these verses suggest that regardless of how much we look to the material world for satisfaction, health, and wealth, what we’re really looking for is wisdom?  Without wisdom nothing else much matters. Man is able to go into the deepest mines and find the ore that he needs and beautiful gems and underground streams, but where is wisdom and insight? (v. 3-12) At the time this was written, the earth and the sea were literally worshipped, and man spent a lot of money and time erecting shrines and looking for security from the “universal forces.”  But he didn’t find wisdom there. Where are we tempted to look for wisdom?  Do we think it comes from a brain?  Or drugs? It is suggested that drugs can expand the mind, but in fact they do the opposite.  Do we look for wisdom in psychology – learning theories? Do we look to our friends to make us smart – instead of to God? Do we even give power to food to enrich our stamina, make us hyper – or keep us up so we can study – make us sick or well? We’re not going to find wisdom in any of those things. The poet finally gets it – wisdom can be found ONLY by looking to God.  God created the universe through his wisdom (Mind).  In order to find wisdom, in order to see things clearly, we must go straight to God and reject evil. (v. 28)

Section I:  Look to Mind to interpret the universe – God has given you the understanding needed to see it as God has made it – spiritual and good.
God is the source of ALL wisdom and strength.  So, as you look around at nature, at the animals you encounter, or at your fellow man, see God shining through.  Look for the God-like qualities expressed by, and in, everything you come in contact with.  If you see something that is not God-like, reject it and keep looking until you see the actuality of Truth that is there.  Give God the credit for all the wonder and grandeur of the universe – praise Him, thank Him, and acknowledge Him as the source of all. (B-1)  If God made all that is made, including the beasts, the fowl, the fish and man, then ALL must be good and harmless and strong and wise! (B-2) God’s word (God’s creation) is settled, established.  It is good.  AND God has given us understanding. We are able to see what God has made, see that it is governed by God’s law of truth, and we can LIVE – not just exist, but live! (B-4)  If God made all, then ALL is Mind! (S-2)  Look at the citation on p. 275 and check out how often the word all is used.  All means all!!!  So, if something seems to be unlike God – unlike the goodness and completeness of Mind’s idea, recognize its non-existence!  Light exists.  Darkness is simply non-existence that disappears with the light.  Weakness is non-existence that disappears with the recognition of the omnipresence of strength; sorrow is non-existence that disappears with the recognition of the omnipresence of love; etc.  ALL ideas are obedient to the Mind that makes them. (S-4)  Our job is to acknowledge the ever-presence of this Mind. Then harmony must reign!

Section II:  Have you seen a miracle today?  Reason rightly – miracles are natural!
Miracles only seem miraculous if we start with effect rather than cause.  The children of Israel looked around, and with their limited vision they saw a desert wilderness.  Moses, recognizing God to be the supreme cause, responded to God’s direction to “speak” to the rock and strike it with his rod, his shepherd’s staff.  With everyone watching, water poured out of that rock. (B-7)  A miracle?  Not to God.  God provides for the care of His creation – always!  Just because mortal belief sees lack doesn’t make lack true!  We just need the wisdom to look in the right direction to find whatever is needed.  Perhaps you think you lack funds, health, friends, or talent. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by the evidence of war, accident, bad weather, or natural disasters. Are you looking at things from a limited or an unlimited perspective?  Start with the abundance of God’s provision (remember, God is ALL!).  Then reason out from that basis and you “arrive at Truth, or intelligence, which evolves its own unerring idea” and does not have a counterpart in “human illusions.” (S-8)  Why waste time believing an illusion?   Everything that seems to start with matter (and thus subject to limitation) “must give place to the spiritual fact by the translation of man and the universe back into Spirit.” (S-9)  Get started translating.  See the qualities of God in every activity in which you are engaged – in the world around you, in the people of the world, in the wind and waves.  “In proportion” as you translate correctly, from the basis of Mind, “man and the universe will be found harmonious and eternal.”  (S-9)  Then what are sometimes called miracles become perfectly natural!  Demand to see the Truth!  “Miracles” happen!

Section III:  God gives us dominion over ALL things – including food!
Man’s health is not determined by the food he eats!  God puts “all things under his feet.” (B-9)  God gives us our food, so rather than being afraid of some foods, or craving others, let’s just be grateful to God for His provision. (B-10)  If you eat and drink to the glory (praise, gratitude) of God, (B-10) you won’t worry about the medical theories surrounding what you’re eating – including the theories regarding fat and carbs.  At the same time, you will eat in a balanced manner because you are eating to praise God, not to satisfy mortal appetite or be a slave to mortal fashion.  God has given man dominion “from generation to generation.”  (B-12) That eliminates all beliefs of heredity, as well as impositions relating to food and age:  is the baby getting enough to eat? are teen-agers going to get into trouble with eating disorders? do people have to be more concerned about food-related health issues after a certain age?  Food is Love’s provision, so can’t be the source of evil or disease – ever!  “Mortals gain the sense of health only as they lose the sense of sin and disease.”  (S-11)  Can dwelling on health theories regarding food ever be beneficial?  We have the story of the dyspeptic (suffering from indigestion) who found no relief from the medical remedies he tried, but was completely healed through Christian Science. (S-12)  Being a slave to food certainly isn’t having dominion!  We are told that if indigestion (or diabetes, food allergies, heart disease, or being overweight) is a problem, we should not look for a solution in matter but can freely eat whatever is served us; that “we must destroy the false belief that life and intelligence are in matter, and plant ourselves upon what is pure and perfect.” (S-13) We have to start from the one cause – God’s allness – if we are to reach the desired effect – not the other way around!  An interesting note – one definition in Webster’s dictionary of dyspeptic is, “showing a sour disposition.”  Can’t blame that on food!  Let’s know that we also have dominion over those “disposition” disorders!  And why?  Because we are all “coexistent and eternal with God” and we “forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.”  (S-14)  No separation – no limitation – ever!

Section IV:  Trust the properties of Mind – have dominion over all things!
“Adhesion, cohesion, and attraction are properties of Mind.”  (S-18)  That is so cool! We’re not subject to slipping, falling, or sinking because Mind causes all things to stick together! Jesus (and Peter until he let fear get in the way) walked on the water. (B-13) Cohesion is “molecular attraction by which the particles of a body are united throughout the mass.”  If Mind makes the rules, why shouldn’t the mass of water be cohesive enough to support the weight of a man, yet fluid enough to drink and to flow?  God gave man dominion over ALL things!  Jesus accepted that gift of dominion, and was able to see the calm right there in the midst of the apparent storm.  Peter saw the storm and would have drowned in his fear, except that the Christ – the Truth – lifted him up! Jesus demonstrated the power of the Christ, which “illustrates that blending with God, his divine Principle (origin and governing law), which gives man dominion over all the earth.” (S-19) The world is ALWAYS governed by the immutable (unchanging) law of God, good.  Thus, “there is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance.” (S-17)  Accept that authority and depend on it.  We take the authority of experts all the time when we’re making decisions about things we don’t totally understand.  Trust the authority of God and don’t believe the testimony of the material senses!  When driving a car in the rain, trying to walk across a rope up in the tree-tops, trusting a horse on uneven ground, or working to pull plans together, realize that adhesion (the sticking together of two different surfaces) is a law of Mind, so it is dependable – no slipping!  Bodily growth is also governed by this property of Mind, so it must be normal, without inflammation, tearing, or breakage.  Because attraction is a property of Mind, man is attracted only to good.  Relationships and friendships are secure and natural. As we stop judging by physical attraction or physical characteristics, and see only the expression of Love in each other, the qualities of Love that are present in each of us will become apparent, and companionship will be natural and non-competitive.

Section V:  Christ, the offspring of Love, vs. brutes, who can’t possibly know God
Through all the children of Israel experienced, divine Love assured them, “I have dearly loved you from of old, and still I maintain my unfailing care for you.” (B-14, New English Bible) This doesn’t change. Even when it seems that things aren’t going the way we’d like them to, God loves us and cares for us always.  In order to feel that love, we must choose to walk the God-path.  If we respond to challenges like a brute (purely physical, animal-like, violent, and harsh) we can’t know the love of God – we miss the good that is ever available. (B-15) Choosing to respond to God’s law, following the example of Christ Jesus, we find the dominion that he demonstrated. (S-22)  Ever feel frustrated when things don’t go the way you’d like them to, or a healing isn’t coming as quickly as you’d like it to, or someone isn’t doing things the way you think they should?  What’s your response?  Paul reminded Timothy of the abundant grace Jesus exemplified; that Jesus came to save sinners and to bestow mercy on them so that they could, in turn, see God and realize their sonship with Him.  (B-17)  To realize that “Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man” frees us from all limitation associated with the dust-theory of creation – brute instinct, anger, disease, disappointment, limitation of any sort. (S-20&23)  If you’re traveling from one place to another, you may choose to take one route over another, and your experience will vary as a result. Similarly, we decide how we’re going to think about different things, and our experience responds accordingly. There’s really only one logical choice.  Sin (the belief of separation from God) and death are not the results we’re looking for.  So, we must admit God to be the ONLY Mind and Life, and act accordingly.  Change your view. Determine to SEE the Principle of the universe, including harmonious man, and your experience will reflect that view.  (S-24)

Section VI:  Victory – New Jerusalem and its harmony is seen!
By changing our view from matter to Spirit, we see the glory of God, and with it comes light and freedom! (B-19) So, when it seems as if things are really bad and there’s no way out, don’t give up!  Isaiah promises that “the former shall not be remembered” and there is a promise that God’s people will rejoice because they will see the good that God has created for them.  (B-20)  The apostle John, while exiled on the island of Patmos (not a great situation to be in – humanly speaking), writes to the troubled Christian churches, encouraging them with his vision of New Jerusalem.  Check out John’s description (B-21), and then rejoice with him: “Alleluia:  for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”  (B-22)  Remember, John didn’t wait until life seemed easy before he rejoiced. He saw, as Mrs. Eddy later saw, the unreality of “so-called material pains and material pleasures.”  They saw that the pains AND pleasures were “unreal because impossible in Science.” (S-25)  This view of spiritual harmony – “infinite space … peopled with God’s ideas, reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms” (S-27) – allows us to see through the testimony of the material senses – to find freedom!  In this realm, all are equal.  Check out the parable in Matt. 20 to understand the reference to “the last shall be first, and the first last.” (S-28)  Be alert – don’t get sucked into the trap of life in matter – don’t get overwhelmed by the seeming problems OR get lazy because things are going so well.  Keep your sights on the fact that God – Love – is governing all.  Be willing to go forward with grace (patience, meekness, love, and good deeds) and you, too, can look through the testimony of the material senses until you see the New Jerusalem, the reign of harmony, (S-26) right where you are!!!

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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