All gifts will be doubled for the JL 50th renovation and operations matching grants!

Click here & then on Listen bar to
hear Christie  read her CedarS “Met” for the week

We are One in God’s Creation.
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for August 28–September 3, 2023
(Mark your calendar to join CedarS monthly, virtual Hymn Sing on
Sunday (Sept. 3) at 7pm CT!  Watch for an invitation and details.) 

by Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S.,  Boulder, CO •


This week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Man” asks us to ponder metaphysical concepts about gender and the male and female of God’s creation. In this context, “Man” refers to the gender neutral term “man,” and yet this week’s Lesson emphasizes the “daughter, wife, mother, female” characteristics–the female characteristics of divine Mind that each of us expresses. Each story in the Lesson demonstrates the way that divine Mind overrides the limitations of gender as a material/physical concept, and overturns the limits falsely imposed upon the concept of woman.

Using the term “Man” as gender neutral can be confusing. In English, there are words for “person” and “people,” but “person” and “people” are not quite the same as the concept of generic man. Imagine if our Bible Lesson was titled “People”…it doesn’t quite fit. To understand “man” properly, we can listen for what has been called the “new tongue”–inspiration that goes beyond the limits of language (SH 114:17). Unless we are alert to it, the limits of language would threaten to dull spiritual understanding.

I found fresh inspiration on the gender neutrality of the term “man” while at Family Camp at CedarS. I met a woman who is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and who studies Christian Science. Watching her sign sophisticated metaphysical concepts intrigued me. I asked her to show me the sign language for the “Scientific Statement of Being” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 468). One of many insights from our discussion was learning that ASL has a sign for gender neutral “man” as well as a sign for “man” and “woman.” I may not be describing this accurately, but as I understand it, my friend used the gender neutral “man” as she signed the “Scientific Statement of Being,” which concludes, “Man is not material, he is spiritual.” In English, although we may say that “man” can be gender neutral, it is the exact same word as “man” which means the masculine gender. In contrast, ASL has a distinct sign for the gender neutral that is not the same as the word for “man.” (Now, the CedarS Met is translated into several languages, so perhaps the translators will add more context on this for the non-English readers.)

In addition to the issue of gender neutrality, divine metaphysics inspires insights about pronouns–I, you, he, she. In 1955, Paul Stark Seeley explored the concept of pronouns and individuality in an article titled “I-YOU-HE-SHE” in the C.S. Journal. He writes, “Note how often you think and speak the personal pronouns, and you may be surprised at the place they have in your consciousness. We use them to designate the identity of ourself or of someone else. Because true identity is so important to the one who is trying to think with scientific accuracy, he must watch carefully the meaning he consents to give to the personal pronouns.”  In simple terms, pronouns can imply a personhood separate from God when used without thought. As Paul Stark Seeley explains, it is “impossible to get far on the way of liberation from the bondage of matter and mortality as long as one consents to think of “I,” “you,” “he.” and “she” as meaning a mortal person.”


As I see it, while we are striving to understand spiritually–beyond the limits of language–we cannot allow personal opinions and world opinions about gender and pronouns to keep us from accepting the “new tongue”– inspiration that transcends language. The “new tongue” is what heals the whole of it. While world belief seems to want to divide us with opinions about gender and “gender identity,” the Science of the Christ offers us a Christ-way forward to discover more about our true identity beyond physical features and beyond mortal limits.

Note the Golden Text (GT), or main idea, of the Lesson:
“Thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations,

And set up My standard for the peoples;

They shall bring your sons in their arms,

And your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders;”
(GT, Isaiah 49:22, NKJV)

What an awesome image! God–not an anthropomorphic being, but the power and might of omnipresent Mind–asserting a standard for the people in which the sons are held in their arms and the daughters are carried on their shoulders. By the way, if you’re flummoxed at first by the pronouns in the Golden Text, you are not alone…it definitely needs inspiration to understand.

The Responsive Reading includes the story of the five daughters of Zelophehad, who had died without male heirs. The five daughters bravely stood in front of Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the princes, and the congregation (presumably all male), and asked that they should inherit what their father owned. Moses “brought the case to the Lord,” and his prayer led him to change Jewish law in a precedent-setting way so that daughters could inherit property. (Numbers 27:1 (to :), 2, 4–7)

Before this change in Jewish law, inheritance applied to males. But, after this change, inheritance could include women. To understand more of the significance of this change, consider the hundreds of mentions of “inheritance” and “heirs” in the Bible. For example, we read in Romans, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (RR, Rom. 8:16) Before the daughters of Zelophehad stood their ground, even a phrase “joint-heirs with Christ” could have implied that only men could be joint-heirs with Christ. Now, after the change, it is possible to think of women as joint-heirs with Christ. Thank you, daughters of Zelophehad! These daughters were indeed carried on the nation’s shoulders!


The first section of the Lesson establishes the “sons and daughters” and “male and female” of God’s creation. In Genesis, we read “God created humanity in God’s own image, in the divine image God created them, male and female God created them” (citation B2, Genesis 1: 3-27, CEB).  Some may read “male and female” as meaning that both males and females are created, and some may read it as meaning that each of us is made with both male and female characteristics. I love that the Christ-way inspires thought and lifts us beyond the limits of language. As I read this, I strive to go beyond mortal opinion and discover deeper truths about spiritual identity. Here is a simple prayer that resolves confusion on the matter: “We are thine” (cit. B4, Isaiah 63:16-19). When in doubt about how to understand gender, we can simply declare that universally, “We are thine.” (cit. B4, Isaiah 63:16-19)

In Science and Health, we read, “Man is the family name for all ideas, — the sons and daughters of God. All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power” (cit. S3, 515: 21-26). This statement elevates thought beyond the limits of gender as a physical identifier. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “There is but one creator and one creation. This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected. These ideas range from the infinitesimal to infinity, and the highest ideas are the sons and daughters of God” (cit. S4, 502: 29).

When we want to know more about our identity, we can pray: “We are thine” (cit. B4, Isaiah 63:16-19)


The second section continues the theme that “from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (cit. B5, Mark 10:6). This section emphasizes the concept of us as children. It is important to recognize that man–the generic description that includes all kinds and sorts–can mean both man collectively and individually. When the word children–a term that also includes all kinds and sorts–is used, it inspires me to think in terms of us belonging to God, divine Mind, and being inseparable from God, divine Mind.

In Romans we read, “They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God.” This does not mean that some people are not from God and some people are from God. The “children of God” describes true man, the only man that is, which includes all kinds and sorts. The “children of the flesh” describes counterfeit man…that which is mortal, limited, and separate in mind and body from God. In truth, there is no such thing as “children of the flesh” as this would imply that something exists outside of divine Mind’s creation. We could define “flesh,” as used in Romans, as material, limited, and merely hypothetical–the inverted image, the counterfeit, of spirituality. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “In Science we are children of God; but whatever is of material sense, or mortal, belongs not to His children, for materiality is the inverted image of spirituality” (cit. S5, 572:8).

She also explains that man is a generic term, and that “Gender is mental, not material. Gender means simply kind or sort, and does not necessarily refer either to masculinity or femininity.” She continues, “The intelligent individual idea, be it male or female, rising from the lesser to the greater, unfolds the infinitude of Love” (cit. S7, 508: 13–14 Gender, 17–19, 23).

I love how Mary Baker Eddy’s inspired understanding of gender shakes up thought. Lately, I have been praying with the question, “Is my sense of the Christ-light influencing the world or is the world influencing me?” I raise this question in my spiritual practice so as to be alert to the ways in which the world tries to influence each of us. Applying this line of reasoning to gender, I could ask, “Is my sense of true man and true gender, influencing the world, or is the world influencing me?” I do not identify as a woman as women are portrayed on the cover of fashion magazines. And I do not identify as a man as men are portrayed on the cover of GQ or other men’s magazines. I neither aspire to be like the two-dimensional images on the cover of the magazines, nor do I see those images as ideal types of gender. What world belief and the influence of the world suggests that gender should mean does not compute. So, what does gender mean for each of us? In truth, each of those individuals on those magazine covers has spiritual beauty and an individualized expression of Soul beyond that which is portrayed on a glossy cover. For me, praying about the question–what does gender mean?–leads to spiritual progress.

Mary Baker Eddy’s insights on “the mortal model” that the world suggests to us constantly is poignant when thinking about gender. She writes, “Have you accepted the mortal model? … Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually. The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your life-work, and adopt into your experience the angular outline and deformity of matter models….

“To remedy this, we must first turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way. We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives. Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love — the kingdom of heaven — reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear” (SH p. 248:17 (only), 19–32). Now that’s a mode1!-”unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love.”

As we are alert to making sure that our purity is influencing the world instead of letting the world’s model of man influence us, we will make spiritual progress. Here is the “lettuce” or “let us” diet that enables us to reject the world’s limiting influence:  “Let us accept Science, relinquish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals; and so let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence. Let the “male and female” of God’s creating appear” (cit. S9, 249:1–5).

We can all remember the “recipe” for beauty, strength, endurance, wisdom, and peace about gender. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony” (SH, p. 247:31).


Section 3 describes Deborah as a model of man worth admiring. Note that describing Deborah as an exemplary man feels a tad awkward even though the term “man” is supposedly generic. This awkwardness suggests that the English language still has a ways to go before it can describe generic man accurately.

The Bible Lens Research from the Christian Science Publishing Society (CSPS) helps explain Deborah’s importance:
“During the two hundred years after the death of Joshua, Israel was led by a succession of 12 judges. Deborah, the fourth judge, is celebrated both as a female ruler in a patriarchal society and as a successful military commander. She is also one of several prophetesses recognized in the Hebrew Bible—including Miriam, Hannah, and Huldah.

“At the time Deborah served as judge, Israel had strayed spiritually and been tyrannized by a Canaanite king for some twenty years. In addressing these challenges, she demonstrates greater wisdom and courage than the warrior Barak. When she directs him to attack the Canaanite army, he requests that she accompany him into battle. She agrees, with the warning that the honor of victory will go to a woman (see vv. 8, 9).

“Deborah’s army comprises only 10,000 men, while the enemy general Sisera has a multitude of fighters and hundreds of iron chariots. Yet reliance on God overcomes this great disadvantage and brings certain triumph.”  (cit. B11: Judges 4: 4-23)

The Bible Lens also explains the importance of the “Song of Deborah” in Judges 5:
“The “Song of Deborah,” considered one of the oldest texts in Scripture, commemorates Deborah’s and Barak’s decisive military victory. Some translations assume verse 7 to indicate that Hebrew warriors had grown lazy until Deborah roused them—and that country life had virtually ceased because people fled to the walled cities for protection. Whatever the sense, Deborah is credited with strong leadership. A scholar calls her “Israel’s spiritual and emotional pillar.”

Verses 20 and 21 portray God’s might in marshaling heavenly forces and flooding the Kishon River to overcome the Canaanites.”  (cit B12, Judges 5: 1021)

To say that Deborah was a great judge and military leader “for a woman” would be an understatement. Deborah was a great judge and military leader for all humankind, including all kinds and sorts of man. That Deborah was a woman shows only that she had even more to overcome and accomplish than if she were identified as male. Her reliance on divine Mind for her perspicacity and grace enabled her to express her spiritual individuality without hindrance from the gender mores of the time. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The understanding of his spiritual individuality makes man more real, more formidable in truth, and enables him to conquer sin, disease, and death” (cit S11, 317: 18-20).  In relation to Deborah, this sentence could read, “Deborah’s understanding of her spiritual individuality makes her more real, more formidable in truth, and enables her to conquer sin, disease, and death.”

Deborah–as a wise judge–must have known herself clearly and been tuned in to the wisdom of divine Mind. She wore the “armor of divinity” and embodied the wisdom Mary Baker Eddy offers here: “At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil” (cit. S14, 571:15–18).

In her victory, Deborah demonstrated that “Evil is not power” (cit. S12, 192: 17-24). And, much later, Mary Baker Eddy demonstrated this again, showing that “In this revolutionary period, like the shepherd-boy with his sling, woman goes forth to battle with Goliath” (cit. S15, 268:6). While Mary Baker Eddy almost always uses the generic man in her writing. This has made me curious about the way in which she uses the term “woman” in this sentence. Clearly “Goliath” is a metaphorical enemy. But does “woman” refer to herself? Is she using “woman” as a generic term? Is this a reference to the woman in Revelation? I’ll keep pondering.


The fourth section emphasizes the specific wisdom of “greyheaded” women as an example of wise man. The section includes the story of Jesus–born of a woman–with a focus on Anna, a prophetess. In Luke, we read that Joseph and Mary brought newborn Jesus to the Temple, and while there both Simeon and Anna recognized Jesus as the prophesied Messiah. That Luke saw Anna as worthy to mention in his gospel indicates to us that there is a lot to learn from her example as the man of God. Again, the awkwardness we may feel while referring to Anna as a model of man is a reminder that the English language still has a ways to go in its ability to use the term “man” generically.

Anna was from the family of Phanuel in the tribe of Asher. After her husband died, she stayed faithful to him and lived alone. Some interpret the Bible as saying that Anna was 84 at the time she met Jesus. Others reason that her husband had died 84 years before she met Jesus, so if she was 14 when she married, was married 7 years, and it had been 84 years since her husband’s passing, then she would be around 105 when she met Jesus. This latter interpretation emphasizes how long Anna stayed faithful to the Temple and loyal to her husband. Either way, the Bible says Anna never left the Temple and she is noted for her faithfulness and wisdom. She worshiped God by going without food and praying day and night. When the infant Jesus arrived at the Temple, she was standing there, thanking God. And she talked about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem. In other words, Anna, along with Simeon, was one of the first to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. (cit B16, Luke 2:21-40)

Anna did not need to see Christ Jesus grow up and begin a ministry to see the Christ in him. She saw, as Mary Baker Eddy explains, that “Life is, like Christ, ‘the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever’” (cit. S16, 249:18–19). The Christ-consciousness in Anna could recognize the pure Christ in Christ Jesus. Her spiritual sense–her “prophetessness”–came from her “true conception of man and God” (cit S19, 258:21).

Anna’s “prophetessness” did not come from age. It came from her dedication to Christ-truth, her allegiance to the temple of Good. And age could not diminish her “prophetessness.” As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Except for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, man would enjoy more than threescore years and ten and still maintain his vigor, freshness, and promise. Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness…Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight” (cit. S20, 246:20, 28).

Anna is a model man, who overturned the false lying claims of age, demonstrating the eternal loveliness, freshness, and continuity that come from Christ-consciousness.

When someone says that a child is “old beyond their years,” it typically means that the child is wise, patient, courageous. This should wake us up to drop the falsities about age, and accept the true model of man, like Anna, knowing that “Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness” (cit. S20, 246:20, 28).


The fifth section includes the account of Christ Jesus healing the woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years. This means that by Jewish law, this woman would have had to either hide her bleeding or been seen as unclean for twelve years. Christ Jesus, of course, beheld the glorious woman, whole, upright and free…perfectly worthy. As he sensed her faithfulness, he was able to say, “Daughter, be of good comfort; your faith hath made you whole: (cit. B22, Matthew 9:20-22)

While it is not in the Lesson, the chronology of this healing is remarkable for establishing the worthiness of all man, regardless of age or social standing…

  • Christ Jesus offers the parables about not putting new cloth into old garments, and not putting new wine into old bottles
  • A prominent ruler approaches Christ Jesus to ask him to heal his young daughter (around 12 years old) who has died. Jesus follows him.
  • On the way, Christ Jesus notices the older woman with the issue of blood for 12 years (this woman has been bleeding and an outcast for perhaps the same amount of years as the important young girl he had just been asked to heal)
  • Christ Jesus stops to heal the older woman, seeing her worthiness, even though the young girl would seem to be of more social worth
  • Christ Jesus raises the young maiden

The chronology of these healings helps us to see that Christ Jesus saw the worthiness in all man, and didn’t see the older woman with the issue of blood as any less worthy than the young maiden. The lies of unworthiness, age, disease, and death were overturned by Christ-truth.

According to divine Science, there is no such thing as unworthy man. No one is unworthy because of age or so-called deformity. Christ-consciousness comprehends clearly our wholeness. And we are all capable of this Christ-consciousness. Divine Mind is the source of Christ-consciousness, and governs all.  As the woman with the issue of blood reached out to touch Christ Jesus’ garment, she was reaching out for a clearer sense of Christ-consciousness. Like Christ’s garment, “The divine Science of man is woven into one web of consistency without seam or rent. Mere speculation or superstition appropriates no part of the divine vesture, while inspiration restores every part of the Christly garment of righteousness” (cit. S27, 242:25).


In the sixth section, we find references to the woman in Revelation “clothed with the sun” (cit. B23, Revelation 12:1, 5). While I cannot begin to understand the whole of Revelation, I find fresh inspiration from it every time I dig deeper. In the context of this week’s Bible Lesson, I find Mary Baker Eddy’s insights about the woman “clothed with the sun” even more revelatory. She writes, “The Revelator beheld the spiritual idea from the mount of vision. In divine revelation, material and corporeal selfhood disappear, and the spiritual idea is understood.”  She continues,”The woman in the Apocalypse symbolizes generic man, the spiritual idea of God; she illustrates the coincidence of God and man as the divine Principle and divine idea”  (cit. S28, 561:8–9, 20–25)

In other words, as a limited sense of corporeal selfhood disappears so too does a false sense of gender demarcation–remember the pronoun article by Paul Stark Seeley that encourages us to challenge a false sense of I-YOU-HE-SHE?

Reading these citations from Revelation after studying this week’s Bible Lesson, it is clear that the Christ-consciousness enabled the Revelator to conceive of woman as the generic man. The bigotry of the time would seem to have made it difficult-to-impossible for John to think of woman as generic man, thus demonstrating even more surely the purity and depth of John’s revelation as further evidence of his Christ-consciousness.

Through the examples of Zelophehad’s five daughters, wise Deborah, faithful Anna, and the worthy woman we can see the rising and unfolding Christ-sense of woman as inextricable from the Christ-man. But, we have the benefit of two thousand years of unfoldment. That John saw the pure womanhood of man in a vision is astounding.

Arguably, John saw beyond a material sense of gender–a kind or sort of man–to see the perfection of man. As Mary Baker Eddy expounds, “The Lamb’s wife presents the unity of male and female as no longer two wedded individuals, but as two individual natures in one; and this compounded spiritual individuality reflects God as Father-Mother, not as a corporeal being. In this divinely united spiritual consciousness, there is no impediment to eternal bliss, — to the perfectibility of God’s creation” (cit. S29, 577:4).

Understanding gender and womanhood in a spiritual way is more than mere theory. It is crucial to grasping the “perfectibility of God’s creation.”  We cannot grasp the completeness of man without understanding the union of the masculine and feminine qualities. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Union of the masculine and feminine qualities constitutes completeness” (cit. S31, 264:13).

As we gain more correct views of God and man, more correct views of the union of the masculine and feminine qualities, we will be able to see new views of our perfectness, new views of our divine goodness and love. “Letting the ‘male and female’ of God’s creating appear” is not extraneous to our healing practice. It is crucial to our healing practice. In Mary Baker Eddy’s words, “As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible. When we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness” (cit. S31, 264:13; cit. S9, 249:1-5).

The first cache of GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from Cobbey Crisler & others) will be emailed Monday and the second cache will be emailed later in the week.  You can always check  for GEM contributions in progress before then at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you’ve  SUBSCRIBED here for this free, inspirational offering.

Also later in the week, look for Ken Cooper’s
contributions related to this Bible Lesson.

THANKS to all you PRECIOUS DONORS for ALL of your ONGOING SUPPORT!  Every camper & visitor will be blessed by your GENEROSITY, VISION & LOVE!

ANOTHER MATCH WAS MET and its project operationally completed before camp!  Thanks to several generous donors to our special A/V Appeal we were able to finish building a CHAPEL A.V. BOOTH that will protect not only new, donated equipment, but also all our hymnals for worship services and for CedarS Sunday Hymn Sings!

If you haven’t lately checked out the GIVING TREE, there are still plenty of other smaller areas of need to fill yet this year! Campers & staff will also be blessed bigtime by the donations made to additional areas of camp, including our horse program, activity equipment, camperships, and Christian Science nursing and practitioner services.

We’re deeply grateful for EVERY GIFT of love & support,
The CedarS Team

P.S. For more about ways to keep CedarS operations ever more green and flourishing and/or to make a PLANNED GIFT, A REQUIRED IRA DISTRIBUTION or an ENDOWMENT GIFT (that will all be MATCHED), feel free anytime to call or text me (Warren Huff, Executive Director Emeritus and Project Manager) at 314-378-2574. I can put you in touch with our Financial Advisor/broker who donates all fees for stock transfers and freely shares tailored, tax-advantaged giving approaches.

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