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[Clear the clutter of unreal evil and discover the ever-present Good!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for the week ending April 8, 2018

By Rick Stewart, CS Dresden, Germany +49 351 312 4736

As I cleaned off my desk top to have room to work on this Met I found several “lost” items I had been looking for! I was immediately reminded how often I tell my kids, “When you straighten up, you always find things you thought were long lost!”

People that know me would probably chuckle away because they know I am not the most organized person on earth,quite the contrary. But when I do straighten up, I have been delighted to find lots of things I had been looking for! And most importantly I never wallow in the remorse of “things are such a mess!” I begin by declaring the presence of divine order far above mortal messes. I have learned to always put God first even in the search. For me I always begin by declaring, “Order is heaven’s first law.” The affirmation of an order beyond and above mortal messes.

Mary Baker Eddy writes in her autobiography, Retrospection and Introspection, page 87, “The poet’s line, “Order is heaven’s first law,” is so eternally true, so axiomatic, that it has become a truism; and its wisdom is as obvious in religion and scholarship as in astronomy or mathematics.” (The “poet” Mrs. Eddy quoted was English poet, Alexander Pope, 1688 – 1744.)

I have learned the affirmation of that fact can bring an order, or demonstrate an “order” that is far above human order. Affirming this divine order can bring needed items right to our hands. We lift ourselves out of disorder and chaos, and find we are never held hostage to seeming disorder or discord. Divine order can wipe away a seen of disorder or a diseased condition in the flash of an eye, or the flash of an “I.”

You see God is the “I” of divine order and the “I” that destroys seeming disorder, the mess of mortality. This week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson is going to make that abundantly clear to each of us. When you get the mess out of the way that does not belong to God’s creation you will find all the wonders of God’s goodness right at hand. And that is the importance of the unreality of the mess and the presence of Good.

And where do we look for the Good we need, well the Lesson gets us started in the right direction,

Golden Text: Mark 10:18 . . . “there is none good but one, that is, God.”

I can still picture standing in the parking lot of the Christian Science church in Ocala, Florida right after Sunday School. A fellow student in the class, Rob, simply said, “You know there is no human good.” I was so ready to argue with that statement. “Of course there is human good, lots of it, it is all around.” And then he explained what he meant. He did not mean that there was not good present all around us, he was simply saying what the Golden Text above says, that God is the only source for good. Since God is the source of all good, then the source of seeming evil is the belief that God is not all. And that is why it is so important to see the unreality of all forms of evil. And this Bible Lesson is a great help.

The Responsive Reading introduces us to concepts we need to understand. [W's PS#1 ] Here are some alternative translations:

Jeremiah 23:23,24-26 NLT – 23 Am I a God who is only close at hand?” says the Lord. “No, I am far away at the same time. Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the Lord. 25 “I have heard these prophets say, ‘Listen to the dream I had from God last night.’ And then they proceed to tell lies in my name. 26 How long will this go on? If they are prophets, they are prophets of deceit, inventing everything they say.

Ps. 14:1,2 NLT– Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.

Ps 73:11,22,23,25,26,28 NLT – “What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” I was so foolish and ignorant—23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

Ps 97:7,12 CEB – 7 All those who worship images, those who are proud of idols, are put to shame. 12 Rejoice in the Lord, righteous ones! Give thanks to his holy name!

Section 1: We begin with the Mind that is Good!

Years ago I was single and living in a large house in Palatka, Florida. I at times opened my house to boarders. One of them was a wonderful man, Parker Adams. He would begin every day with a quiet time just thinking and praying. The effect of this putting God first was awesome. Such a peace surrounded Parker. Squirrels and little lizards would climb over Parker’s shoulders like he was a playground. One time a small hawk landed right on his shoulder with no fear. The effect of his peaceful, still thought just naturally attracted God’s creatures. Parker’s day started with God and you could see the result in his peaceful countenance.

I also know many students of Christian Science that make it their practice to begin their day with prayer and study of the Christian Science Bible Lesson. The results of putting God first and foremost are their ability to feel God’s goodness throughout their day and their ability to reflect the Christly consciousness that naturally dismisses the messy, mortal elements of unreality such as sin, disease, discord, and even deathly suggestions. Like the Psalmist who writes in citation B1 “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” (Psalms 5:1, 3, 4)

Since God is the source of all good, then the source of seeming evil is the belief that God is not all. And that is why it is so important to see the unreality of all forms of evil. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health citation S5 “Since God is All, there is no room for His unlikeness. God, Spirit, alone created all, and called it good. Therefore evil, being contrary to good, is unreal, and cannot be the product of God.” (339:7–10)

Knowing that is a great way to begin every day. That consciousness and understanding won’t just attract God’s little creatures to us, but will draw our friends, neighbors, and family that are hungering for the peace that comes from the understanding of God as Good and evil as not.

Section 2: Daniel’s shared his wisdom with King Belshazzar.

In this section the wise man, Daniel, saw the “writing on the wall” in its true significance. (B7) When invited by King Belshazzar to explain the meaning of the appearance of a hand writing on the wall, he warned the king of an apparent forgetting of God in his reign and in his life. And also warned Belshazzar of his praising the gods of silver, gold, brass, iron, wood, and stone. He evidently was praising idols and forgetting to glorify God.

This experience evidently was to teach the importance of worshipping God and being willing to let go of “idols.” And it is clear that this lesson still remains today as very relevant—even though our idols may have changed.

Science and Health citation S6 states “Befogged in error (the error of believing that matter can be intelligent for good or evil), we can catch clear glimpses of God only as the mists disperse, or as they melt into such thinness that we perceive the divine image in some word or deed Perceiving the divine image which indicates the true idea, — the supremacy and reality of good, the nothingness and unreality of evil.” (205:15 )

I remember a time when I learned to let go of some idol-like actions and establish a firm worship of God, Spirit. During 10th grade in high school I was often challenged with coughing and congestion in the night. I was unable to sleep through the night and would be up coping with the problem. My routine became one of getting up, getting a glass of cold water, going into the living room and taking a Christian Science Sentinel in hand, and sipping and reading. After a while my breathing would settle down and I could eventually go back to bed. But this lack of sleep was not helping my need to be rested and ready for school and swim practice. Finally one night as I sipped away, it occurred to me that the water had become a sort of medicine, or dependence to cope with the breathing problem. So that night I put the water down and really dug into my studies in the Sentinel. And in a short time the problem was resolved and I was able to sleep through the night. Results: no more dependence on the water for relief and a deep appreciation for the inspiring articles in the Sentinel. And physical freedom. A healing! And that reminds me. It is high time I share this healing!

I was not worshipping idols as in bowing down to a statue. But my dependence was indeed on matter and I was awakened to the need to lift my thought to God.

Section 3: Separate Good and evil, the parable of the tares and wheat. [W's PS#5 & #6]

Years ago after I had fallen into some thick, dark, gooey Florida muck, my brother and I came walking home and my father did not at first recognize what was coming across the street. But wise dad that he was he simply took the garden hose in his hand and squirted me off. Soon the mud was gone and his son stood before him unharmed and clean.

Bible citations B10 – B13 share the wisdom of the Prophet Hosea encouraging Ephraim (the largest tribe in Israel and sometimes referring to the whole nation) to get their act together and stop worshipping idols and also that they were not realizing that God healed them. (Hosea 11:3)

Hosea desired a little bit of the separating of the mud from the boy, or the sin from the nation as in,

Citation B13 states “I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.” (Hosea 14:5, 8)

Citation B15 (Matthew 13:2, 24–30) records Jesus’ parable of the tares and wheat. What a helpful parable this is when we are trying to understand the seeming mixing of good and evil in the world around us.

In Miscellaneous Writings Mrs. Eddy shares, “The student of Christian Science must first separate the tares from the wheat; discern between the thought, motive, and act superinduced by the wrong motive or the true — the God-given intent and volition — arrest the former, and obey the latter. This will place him on the safe side of practice. We always know where to look for the real Scientist, and always find him there. I agree with Rev. Dr. Talmage, that “there are wit, humor, and enduring vivacity among God’s people.” Mis. 117:4

A friend Rosemarie shared the story of a significant healing with a beloved family dog, Sammy. The whole family was praying and also a practitioner. She remembers finding a testimony from the Christian Science Sentinel.

The article shared the healing of a cat with a parasitic condition.

She said, “I remember when Sammy was having a problem we were all working on it, but what stood out to me was that testimony from the Sentinel about the healing of a parasitic condition in Savvy the cat using Jesus parable of the tares and wheat.”

This is what she loved about the testimony she read written by Ted Gast, “

“I called a Christian Science practitioner for prayerful treatment and told him about the situation. The practitioner shared Jesus’ parable about a man who learned that weeds had been sown in his wheat field by an enemy (see Matthew 13:24–30).

The weeds were sprouting side by side with the wheat, and the man’s servants asked if they should begin to pull them out. But he explained that pulling up the young plants while they all looked alike would ruin the field: “Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.” He explained that they would need to wait until after the “harvest,” when servants could distinguish the wheat from the weeds.

The practitioner helped me see that the problem faced by the servants—while it appeared to be about removing the weeds—was really about correctly identifying the wheat. I realized that my thought needed to change from believing that Savvy was a material being susceptible to inharmony, to seeing Savvy as a harmonious spiritual idea of God.

A few days passed, and I continued seeing evidence of the condition. I asked the practitioner to pray with me again. We dug deeper into Jesus’ parable and realized that there was no mention of a point of attachment between the weeds and the wheat. We reasoned, therefore, that there is no point of attachment between a parasitic belief and a spiritual idea. We also acknowledged Mary Baker Eddy’s statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that “a spiritual idea has not a single element of error, and this truth removes properly whatever is offensive” (p. 463).

Pet’s parasitic condition overcome By Ted Gast From the August 28, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Obviously Savvy the cat was healed and Sammy the dog was as as we made the separation of good from evil.

Section 4: The healing of the withered hand and Jesus’ undaunted courage and love. [W's PS#8]

Have you ever been afraid to heal or to offer to help in a situation? Were you worried about what others might think about Christian Science when you were presented with an opportunity to heal? Did you worry you might get in trouble? Were you stopped in your offering of the Christian healing?

Whether for yourself or another, never fear the consequences, you are not alone. God, Good and His Christ are at hand!

Jesus often faced such situations; he can be your inspiration!

Here is a translation of the story in the lesson found in citation B20.

“Jesus returned to the synagogue. A man with a withered hand was there. Wanting to bring charges against Jesus, they were watching Jesus closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Step up where people can see you.” Then he said to them, “Is it legal on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they said nothing. Looking around at them with anger, deeply grieved at their unyielding hearts, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he did, and his hand was made healthy.” (Mark 3:1-5 CEB)

About 20 years ago I had guests at my house for New Year’s Eve. I had planned no fireworks but these guests wanted fireworks. They purchased some fireworks at a stand nearby and we had fun setting off those fireworks. Soon they were all gone. Then I thought of some containers of gun powder that were in my house and the idea came that it would be better to use up that gun powder and get it out of my house. There were two types of powder, modern and black powder. I first used up the modern, slow burning powder in some displays. And then I brought out the container of black powder. I used an old salt container that would hold about one pound of powder. Added some chemicals for colorful display and was all set. But I had made a grave miscalculation. An error of judgement. A mistake.

I set a match to my homemade bomb and “boom.” As I emerged from the huge cloud of smoke there were open mouths forming a combined, “Wow.” They thought it was funny like some cartoon explosion. It immediately came to thought I had to play along with that belief. There were kids there and although I was in shock and pain, I played along as if all was well.

I excused myself to go inside and I immediately called my mother, a Christian Science Practitioner. The burns appeared to be very serious to my hand and were very painful. I showered and the black soot just flowed down the shower drain. My mom was praying and I was finding it easier to also join in those prayers. As I cleaned myself up I discovered that the cold water seemed to bring relief from the pain. But every time I attempted to get away from the water the pain would begin.

In a short time I knew I had to decide where my healing would come from, cold water, or the Christ. Although I decided to forego the water it was not easy at first. But shortly after that decision for full reliance on the Christ I was free from pain.

My mom and I both continued our prayers. The suggestion before my eyes was a badly deformed hand. I was serving as First Reader at our local church and the picture seemed to be that I would have to do the job with one hand. And aggressive suggestions came to thought that the condition would be permanent, a withered hand.

The Wednesday reading seemed to be a crucial point in my experience. Almost like the threat Jesus faced of being charged if he healed spiritually, I felt like I might suffer permanent damage for relying on spiritual healing. That Wednesday night that fear was faced as I read, and the fear vanished.

Two days later I was doing some fiber glass work with two surfing buddies. One of them had been an EMT riding in an ambulance for several years. When he saw my hand he remarked about the seriousness of the burns but said it was looking great. And the next day I was with him surfing in the Atlantic. Needless to say the hand was healed and at this point there is no way to know which hand it was.

Our Leader writes in citation S16 “Human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene, fetter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man’s birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself. I saw before me the sick, wearing out years of servitude to an unreal master in the belief that the body governed them, rather than Mind.” (226:18–24 18)

As Jesus clearly demonstrated with the healing power of the Christ, there is never a reason not let God’s Good clearly shine through all the mess of evil’s suggestions. No law of matter, no accident, disease or discord of any kind can stand before the Christ. And there is no law of condemnation facing any of us, as Christ has set us free from condemnation.

Let’s remember, God is good and only the source of Good, never evil.

Our textbook tells us in citation S18 “Inasmuch as God is good and the fount of all being, He does not produce moral or physical deformity; therefore such deformity is not real, but is illusion, the mirage of error.” (243:32–3)

Section 5: Reality’s goodness shining through the unreality of matter.

Across many nations of the world April 1 can be a day of fun and jokes, April Fool’s Day, or as it is known in German, April, April. Friends down in the German city of Heidenheim had a little fun with the family. Antonia and Joel colored the milk blue! Their mom, Nicole said, “I knew it was perfectly normal milk, but the sight of it makes it hard to drink. I almost expect a yucky taste. Sometimes we have to close our eyes to stop the suggestion!”

The truths of Section 5 echo that sentiment. Job writes in citation B21 “Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.” (Job 34:4)

A choice to be made, a discerning, or as Nicole suggests we just have to reject what is before our eyes with its aggressive reports, “blue milk,” yuck!

And as the Apostle Paul instructed in his letter to the Philippians in citation

B25 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

The effect of seeing through the illusion of evil, sin, disease, pain, accident, and ultimately death is the discernment of God’s creation in all its glory, goodness, and harmony here and now.

The Bible Lesson concludes with the following three citations from our textbook,

S23—“The realization that all inharmony is unreal brings objects and thoughts into human view in their true light, and presents them as beautiful and immortal.” (276:12–14)

S24—“Christians rejoice in secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God.” (15:25–26)

S25—“All reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal. That which He creates is good, and He makes all that is made.” (472:24–26)

What power and dominion we claim as we realize that all inharmony is unreal and not of God. That firm faith is what Jesus asked of us his followers. Faith in the eternal reality of God’s goodness. And an unwillingness to accept the unreality of evil in any form as legitimate and God-given.

It is so wonderful to have this Bible Lesson on unreality immediately after Easter. What better example can we be given than that of the risen Savior shining forth in all the glory of God’s eternal Life for all to see. All the evil of the world seemed to conspire to silence Christ’s victory, but to no end but God’s glory. The reality of God’s goodness and the utter unreality of evil’s claims.

A friend wrote a few days ago, “There is a beautiful set of passages in Miscellaneous Writings about Easter, I am sure you know them, how Mrs. Eddy dispensed with ritual but embraced the awakening of Life. Interestingly, and I hadn't realised this, it is Easter when Peter is released from prison by the angel who opens the door. I hadn't realised Easter was mentioned in the bible, but of course it was a pre-Christian festival.”

“That door is always opening for each one of us in divine Science, and it can do the same to each one of us in our awakening learning and preparation for our association. My prayer is that you feel the all embracing reciprocity of the association with you, as we feel your generous understanding touching us.”

“Yesterday I walked for five miles in the mountains in Wales, there was snow on the peaks and the abundant awakening of new spring life. I was able to pause at a waterfall and experience the simplest peace. And all this after being flat on my back last week and quite unable to move. Imagine my joy!”

Many Easters ago Mary Baker Eddy shared these thoughts,
“My friends, I wished to be excused from speaking to-day, but will yield to circumstances. In the flesh, we are as a partition wall between the old and the new; between the old religion in which we have been educated, and the new, living, impersonal Christ-thought that has been given to the world to-day.

“The old churches are saying, “He is not here;” and,
“Who shall roll away the stone?”

“The stone has been rolled away by human suffering. The first rightful desire in the hour of loss, when believing we have lost sight of Truth, is to know where He is laid. This appeal resolves itself into these questions: — 

“Is our consciousness in matter or in God? Have we any other consciousness than that of good? If we have, He is saying to us to-day, “Adam, where art thou?” We are wrong if our consciousness is in sin, sickness, and death. This is the old consciousness.

“In the new religion the teaching is, “He is not here; Truth is not in matter; he is risen; Truth has become more to us, — more true, more spiritual.”

“Can we say this to-day? Have we left the consciousness of sickness and sin for that of health and holiness?

“What is it that seems a stone between us and the resurrection morning?

“It is the belief of mind in matter. We can only come into the spiritual resurrection by quitting the old consciousness of Soul in sense.

“These flowers are floral apostles. God does all this through His followers; and He made every flower in Mind before it sprang from the earth: yet we look into matter and the earth to give us these smiles of God!

“We must lay aside material consciousness, and then we can perceive Truth, and say with Mary, “Rabboni!”  — Master!

“In 1866, when God revealed to me this risen Christ, this Life that knows no death, that saith, “Because he lives, I live,” I awoke from the dream of Spirit in the flesh so far as to take the side of Spirit, and strive to cease my warfare.

“When, through this consciousness, I was delivered from the dark shadow and portal of death, my friends were frightened at beholding me restored to health.

“A dear old lady asked me, “How is it that you are restored to us? Has Christ come again on earth?”

“Christ never left,” I replied; “Christ is Truth, and Truth is always here, — the impersonal Saviour.”

“Then another person, more material, met me, and I said, in the words of my Master, “Touch me not.” I shuddered at her material approach; then my heart went out to God, and I found the open door from this sepulchre of matter.

“I love the Easter service: it speaks to me of Life, and not of death.

“Let us do our work; then we shall have part in his resurrection.”

Mis. 178:27-180:19

There truly is no clutter in this world of Easter gladness. No unreality to hinder our demonstration. We see through the “blue milk” and enjoy all the goodness of our Father-Mother. And as our Leader invites, “Let us do our work; then we shall have part in his resurrection.”

Look for an email coming soon with Warren Huff’s additions of insights and application ideas from Cobbey Crisler on some citations in the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Unreality” for April 8, 2018. Click here for online version now.

We are VERY grateful to report. . .

Maintenance Musts Progress! (More info)

Adopt the Herd Matching Fund (Match not yet met)

In the time since Giving Tuesday you helped raise over $51.25k for the Riding Program, which will be doubled through the Adopt the Herd Matching Fund, for a total of $102.2k to help feed and care for CedarS wonderful horses. We still have ~$13.75k to raise to take advantage of the $65k Adopt the Herd match. (More info )

Many other Blessings:

CAMPERSHIP APPLICATIONS COME IN DAILY! Thank you for giving camperships so much needed and appreciated for our fast approaching summer of 2018. Especially helpful are your much-needed MONTHLY gifts, past and ongoing, that can be started and adjusted as you wish ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students!

With 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 HERE.

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