Join us for the best summer yet!

[Watch what you buy into! Choose & live-out salvation & freedom in Spirit—now!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

October 19-25, 2015

Subject: Probation after Death

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, CS 314-323-4083

[See PS to help magnify God's word and works at CedarS Bible Lands Park.]

The concept of “probation after death” can be thought of much more broadly than the traditional sense of what happens after someone passes on from this earth. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, to be dead is to be “no longer alive.” That can apply to anything that no longer seems relevant or important; that which is characterized by a lack of activity or dull; not circulating or no longer functioning. Have you ever felt “dead” at the end of a long day? When we think of it in this larger sense, it brings to thought the need to challenge (test) every thought that suggests stoppage of any kind — whether in the body or in thought and activity (including economic activity or negotiations of some kind.) Probation after death could be thought of as challenging the belief of hopelessness or finality. Nothing is hopeless where good (God) is present.

What would happen if we all decided to embrace the challenges of the world as opportunities to demonstrate our oneness with God and experience His mercy and love? It seems to me that that’s what life is all about — “working out our salvation” by dropping the shackles of mortal belief as we claim our freedom as citizens of God’s kingdom. That kingdom — and that freedom — is here and now. It doesn’t come as the result of the so-called death process. And the belief of death — of any sort — has no place in the Kingdom of Life. Let’s not wait another moment to discover the life of liberty that springs from understanding God’s law of eternal Life.

Golden Text: Basically, the message is … be careful what you buy into! Just because a present verdict — or the latest theories — are telling us something, we don’t need to believe it! What we need to do is take it to God — see what God’s law (rather than mortal belief) is saying. Consider the word “prove”. The Greek word, dokimazo literally means to test. It can also mean to discern, examine, and try. So — when a thought comes saying there is danger, or something to be afraid of, or something that can hurt you — check that thought out carefully. Avoiding danger is, of course, a good thing — but we can trust God’s angels to take care of us. We don’t have to be afraid that going about our daily activity is going to threaten our health and well-being. At the same time, as we consider whether or not to engage in an activity, we need to check out (examine or test) how worthwhile that activity is. Hold on to what’s good, and walk away from what’s not! How can we tell what we should be holding on to? If we’re really willing to listen, we can trust Life, Truth, and Love to tell us. As we practice, it gets easier.

Responsive Reading: Imagine how the disciples’ despair was turned to joy after seeing their master risen from the grave. How strengthened their faith must have been! This evidence of eternal life gave them the hope and faith that indestructible life is truly the inheritance reserved for them (and for all.) It is a spiritual inheritance that can’t be corrupted (as the earth was in the time of Noah) or defiled (as the ancient Temple was) or fade away (like flowers and fruit.) It is an inheritance of salvation — or safety and health, according to the Greek. Dumelow’s Bible Commentary says that the phrase, “in the last time” (when this salvation — safety and health — will be revealed) means, “in a time of extremity, when things are at the worst.” Although it may not be easy, we can remain steadfast and hopeful and joyful at those difficult times. Jesus’ resurrection serves to encourage even those of us who weren’t there at the time. As gold is purified by fire, so are we. That purification — and salvation — is all that can truly result from any death experience. So, let’s not retreat from challenges, but rise to meet them!

Section 1: Recognize God working in you as you discover the kingdom within.
At times of great difficulty, we may be tempted to ask the same question the Pharisees asked — when is this kingdom of heaven coming? Or, we may be tempted to find solace in the belief that everything will be better after death — then we’ll find heaven. But, Jesus said that “the kingdom of God is within you.” (B-2) That harmony — that salvation — is always within reach. We don’t have to wait for it! But, we do have to work for it! (B-3 & S-6) Struggle all by ourselves? No … lean completely on God (“which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”) The New Living Translation puts it, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (B-3) So, God is the power — God is the Doer — but we have to be willing to respond. We have to turn toward God’s directing, rather than away from it — towards Life, rather than away. And, as we do, we will find — and stay on — the straight and narrow way “which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life.” We will engage in “warfare with the flesh” and “conquer sin, sickness, and death.” (S-5) Whether the war is apparently won “here or hereafter,” victory is assured! There’s no reason to delay putting off the “old man.” Sin — and a false material sense — must be put to death before we can find the Life that is “harmonious, real, and eternal.” Experience brings progress. (S-4) Let’s get started!

Section 2: Do what’s right and Life will sustain you
Jezebel felt totally justified in threatening to kill Elijah, because he had killed her prophets of Baal. But, this story can be a source of great comfort if we feel that we are being attacked (even if the opposing party feels totally justified in their actions.) The situation might feel so hopeless that we’re tempted to just give up! Elijah was ready to stop fighting and just die. Maybe he thought things would get better if he just let go and moved on. But, God had other plans!!! Death is never the answer. As Mrs. Eddy writes, “death must be overcome, not submitted to, before immortality appears.” (S-9) Ultimately, Elijah demonstrates that — ascending right in front of the eyes of Elisha. In this case, God wakes up Elijah, urging him to eat and drink and continue on his journey. (B-7) Elijah heads for Mt. Horeb (another name for Mt. Sinai,) apparently in search of God, and also to avoid Jezebel’s wrath. God continues to support him there in the cave — revealing to Elijah that God is in the still, small voice and sending him out to continue his mission. So … what’s the message for us? We don't find Life and peace through death, so we need to resist any and all suggestions that death is a friend. (S-7 & S-8) And, as we seek to do God’s will — live to express God’s goodness and be about our Father’s business — we will be sustained by God. We can fearlessly respond to the demand to “be … perfect” and walk in that pathway. As we do, Love will sustain us. Whether it seems we make rapid progress or we’re only taking baby steps. As long as we keep walking in the direction of God (following the leadings of Spirit) — and refuse to give in to discouragement — we can trust God to sustain us and cause us to live!

Section 3: Good works cannot be killed — Walk through the valley!
Those who thought that John the Baptist’s influence could be stopped by beheading him were very much mistaken. King Herod’s wife, Herodias, managed to trick her husband into killing John because of his criticism of her immorality and the circumstances of her marriage to Herod. But, when the Jews heard what had happened, they flocked to Jesus all the more. And, Jesus healed them. (B-11) None of John’s good work was wasted. It had, after all, been his mission to announce the Messiah. John couldn’t really die. His life fulfilled a unique niche and mission. The influence he had on others continues. (B-13) Subtracting a number from an equation (or not using a particular number) doesn’t keep that number from existing — because its existence was never defined by matter. That’s true of each individual idea called man, as well. We can safely and fearlessly “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” as we understand that “Life is real and death is the illusion.” (B-9 & S-13) We tend to be afraid when we don’t understand the nature of something AS illusion. The illusion seems real, and death is believed to be inevitable, until we truly recognize the difference between a human concept (illusion) and reality. (S-16) All of the claims of matter are truly illusion — whether they appear as life in matter or death out of matter. Man is harmonious as the idea of Life itself, and nothing can interfere with that harmony. (S-14) So, let’s walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil, because nothing can stop our active expression of Life.

Section 4: Abandon the material and work out the spiritual.
Paul taught that death is not a permanent state of being, but is something to be overcome — “swallowed up in victory.” (B-17) Jesus not only demonstrated dominion over death for himself (and others) but also taught us how to think and live, in order to experience the kingdom of heaven (where death and decay have no place) that is “at hand” — right here, within reach. (B-14) The specific instructions that get to the heart of living infinite Life are included in the teachings commonly known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” There’s so much out there these days about getting the right exercise and eating the right foods in order to live longer. But, anything materially based is inherently limited in scope. What if, instead, we focused on thinking the right thoughts, keeping our actions in line with those thoughts, and expecting to be ‘perfect as [our] Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Those thoughts and actions include — but are not exclusive to: (1) wanting to do what is right more than what material convention says is required; (2) being merciful (showing compassion and forgiveness) — to ourselves and others; (3) embracing pure thoughts and actions (uncontaminated by common human hypotheses and theories.); (4) loving, blessing, doing good, and praying for those who appear to be in opposition to us. (B-15) [See CC commentaries on B-15 and B-16 in CedarS online Met Downloads.] As we read in the Christian Science textbook, “We cannot choose for ourselves, but must work out our salvation in the way Jesus taught.” (S-19) And, that means choosing to think and act in accordance with God’s law, and being alert to avoid all the detours and callings of mortal sensuousness. Seeking pleasure in matter or judging our well-being according to material conditions is a dead-end road. The kingdom of heaven — with its elements of goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, and love — is eternally expansive, leading to new views and wonderful adventures that last forever and ever! Letting the qualities of that kingdom reign in thought, we will see sin, disease, and death loosen their grasp, and finally disappear. (S-23) And, we will know what it really means to LIVE!

Section 5: Demonstrate Life with each ascending thought.
Jesus’ body appeared no less material when he emerged from the tomb than it had when he entered the tomb. Death did nothing to make Jesus more spiritual. However, as thought ascended above the confines of mortal belief, Jesus first picked up his body and continued his mission of revealing the light of Christ to his disciples. Then, when his mission was accomplished, exaltation continued until Jesus’ body was seen no more. (S-24) Jesus’ mission was to bring light to those dwelling “in the land of the shadow of death.” (B-18) Jesus was “the way.” Through his demonstrations, he showed all of us the way out of limiting material belief. (S-24) And, like the disciples who responded — as they truly beheld the risen Christ — what they saw and heard during those forty days between the resurrection and the ascension— we too “should walk in newness of life.” (B-20) Christian Science reveals the fullness of the “great spiritual fact … that man is, not shall be, perfect and immortal.” Nothing can “overpower omnipotent and eternal Life.” Joyfully, we demonstrate our oneness with that Life (as Jesus did) as we (step-by-step) overcome each temptation to believe that life is in matter — bringing every thought and every action (one-by-one) in line with limitless Life! (S-27)

Section 6: Advance in the race that lies in front of us!
Daily — moment by moment — we have the wonderful opportunity to patiently and persistently run a race along the path that leads to an understanding (and demonstration) of the fact that “Life is God” — “eternal, spiritual, perfect, harmonious in every action.” (B-21, S-28 & S-30) Jesus certainly showed us the way — through his example. And, it is our privilege to stay on the path, dropping the weighty thoughts of mortal belief that would hold us back. We are assured that, as we follow God’s leading, God will be with us until we see Christ, Truth, evidenced in complete healing. (B-22) Just as dawn bursts forth into full sunlight, we will see the fullness of reality as we remain faithful to the path of right thinking. (B-23) The last citation of the lesson is a blueprint for working out our salvation — finding freedom from the limitations and downward tendencies of belief in a matter-based life, including the belief of the inevitability of dying out of matter. We should constantly turn away from matter to Spirit. We need to start the race in earnest and take steps each day that move us in the right direction. (S-31) We have to keep in front of our thoughts the perfect model (Life that is harmonious, governed completely by God), and do our best to hold thought and actions in line with that perfect model. When we slip up, the weights of discouragement and disappointment may try to hold us back. But, just like when an athlete falls down while running a race, we need to pick ourselves up, brush off the dirt, and continue running — impelled by Love to achieve victory after victory. Love never fails! Life is the only way!

[W's PS: While a bulldozer is at CedarS, it would be ideal to have it sculpt our Bible Lands Park to make it easier to groom and our Mediterranean shore to beach watercraft following Paul's journeys by sea. Total $4k, gifts up to $2k matched.]

[We are forever grateful for all the good already received and are LETTING BE KNOWN not only ONGOING NEEDS, BUT ALSO GOOD NEWS! Thanks to generous donors responding quickly to our announced need to replace washed-away fencing, we finished the job and turned-out our 77 horses into our lush lower pastures! We, and they, are SO grateful!! A short video is to be posted on CedarS Facebook page.]

Significant funding is still also needed for in these three special areas:
1. “Adopt the Herd” Matching Opportunity! Generous donors, aware of the ongoing need to care for CedarS herd, will match donations for our horse program! (~$6.5k needed to reach $50k goal)]

2. "Maintenace Musts" Matching Funds! This hugely helpful matching grant offer has been renewed by dear supporters to match up to $25,000 through year-end 2015! Thanks to recent gifts for repairs, we have "only" ~$17.4k to raise for other repair needs by 12-31-15.

3. Over 100 needed items are featured on CedarS Giving Tree that could fit the budget of every grateful Met-recipient and camper. You can choose for yourself $1-and-up ways to give to support CedarS needs. Click here to see 2 young alumni tell their reasons to give.

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 636-394-6162
or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501C3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps, Inc.
19772 Sugar Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536

[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 big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support. Click for more about how you can provide even monthly support online. THIS WOULD BE A HUGE ANSWER TO PRAYER! Or you can always call the Huffs at 636-394-6162 to get information or discuss privately how to transfer securities or other assets to help support and perpetuate CedarS work.]THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

[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 ]

[For additional "Director's Notes" on the history, development & 4 translations of CedarS weekly Bible Lesson "Mets" go to Notes in our online version of it.]

American Camp Association

(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

to top