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YOU ARE AS FREE IN BODY & IN SPIRIT AS THE REFLECTED LIGHT OF SOUL!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Soul and Body”
for November 15-21, 2021

by Kathy Fitzer, Lake St. Louis, MO
kathyfitzer@gmail.com


Our entire being — including every bodily function and condition — is governed by, and subject to, the law of God alone. Throughout this Lesson we learn about God being the source, and man being the effect.  The key to harmony and health is to understand this relationship.

In the GOLDEN TEXT Paul tells us as well as the Corinthians: . . . glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1st Cor. 6:20) It’s great to have this assurance that we “are in Good hands” – that our whole body and our spirit (our entire being) belong to God — express the fullness of God and are cared for by God.  Spirit in this case comes from the Greek word that means rational soul, vital principle, or mental disposition.  I like to think that what makes us us (our identity expressed physically or mentally) is not something we create, or that we got stuck with, or that we should treat with disrespect.  We are each an individual expression of Life, Mind, Truth, and Love. Harmony reigns as we entertain a correct view of God, and of man as made in God’s image. As we love God, we love ourselves and each other, and act in a way that will build and strengthen the integrity of ourselves and others — rather than harm or undermine it.  Each individual in the universe is precious, and beautifully made, because God loves His creation and expresses Himself through His creation.

Think about a songwriter composing a beautiful melody.  Each note is vital to the whole.  Each note is complete and in its right place.  The role of each note is to express its natural harmony and tonality in order that the piece of music may express the fullness of its glory (its magnificence and beauty).  If, in playing the music, a note is misplayed or skipped and the harmony is interrupted, it is possible to make a correction and restore that harmony.  And so, it is with us. If we are to glorify (honor and magnify) God in our body and in our spirit, we must do our best to live in accord with God’s goodness and purity and order.  And, even if something happens to interrupt that harmony, a shift in how we perceive our identity – from material to spiritual – brings things back in line, and harmony reigns once again.

 As we’re told in the RESPONSIVE READING, we need to stop thinking of ourselves as the center of things.  As we elevate God in everything we do (go to the mountaintop, so to speak), the pride and arrogance that gets us in trouble will disappear, and we’ll stop making gods out of things that don’t have any real power.  Body can easily become an idol if we’re not careful.  We check it out to see how it feels and how it looks — instead of looking to God to tell us how we’re doing and feeling.  Does our body truly define us?  Paul wrote to the Corinthians that even if our body were destroyed, “we have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”  Our identity can’t be touched.  The less thought we give to our body the freer we are to be “clothed upon — for mortality to “be swallowed up of life.”

I think of “the earnest of the Spirit” as a kind of sign or promise of what is to come as we persist. We get glimpses of our spiritual nature, and we experience healing.  One day we will gain such a full understanding of it that we will lose all sense of mortality.  In the meantime, we need to think and act boldly (be confident) as we venture out of the familiar habit of judging everything from a material perspective, and claim our identity as being one with Christ (Truth, the ideal man) and see our relationship with everyone else as being established in this Christly bond.  Most of us aren’t having to take the courageous step of physically leaving our homeland and striking out into unfamiliar territory.  But, many are.  And they do it because they know that, despite the hardships, the promise of good outweighs the difficult journey.  The same is true as we leave the belief that we live in a body and adopt the new understanding that our entire being is as a ray of light in Christ — indivisible from God (Life, Truth, Love, Principle and Mind).  Let’s embrace the passing away of the old and reach out to the new!

[Warren: When you are ready to be done with some old fable and awake to a new you, here are the lyrics of a meaningful, soulfully-sung song by Desiree Goyette, a CedarS staff member & mom of Lily & Ben Bogas:

Let It Go
Désirée Goyette
© 2010 Lightchild Publishing (BMI)

“Let it go, let it go
It was never, ever really a part of you
Seems so real, yet beyond the smoke
You’ve the power to recognize what’s false, what’s true
Through the fiery flame of doubt
Let Love’s light lead you out
And let it go, let it go, let it go

“Say farewell to the hallway of hell
Where we wait and wonder how it came to this
Just one spark can erase the dark
And where we’re going pulls us out from where we’ve been
Through the fiery flame of fear
Comes the Truth that guides us back from there to here
So let it go, let it go, let it go

“You’re growing tired of yesterday
Sorrows dancing ‘round in circles to the same old song
Hoping they’ll just let us go, hoping they’ll stay away
Yet we’re the ones who keep holding on

“So let it go, let it go
Rising up beyond the ashes of desire
To be in the light of eternal might
Where you’ll never even smell a trace of fire
See the past through Wisdom’s eyes
As a blessing in disguise
Just let it go, let it go, let it go”

Here’s a link to hear & buy Desiree Goyette’s “Let it Go” for less than a dollar, ]


 SECTION 1: GOD IS OUR DWELLING PLACE
What is the relationship between God and man?  Does God live in us — or do we live in Him? We sometimes talk about God living in our hearts.  If that means having a full and unwavering awareness of God’s presence — that’s great.  But, it’s important that we don’t limit the bigness of God by confining infinity to a finite expression, or by being tricked into thinking that we have a soul that lives in a body until it is released by death. As Mary Baker Eddy discerned, “Soul, or Spirit signifies Deity and nothing else” (citation S1, 466: 20). Soul (or identity) can’t be confined to a physical body.  “The belief that a material body is man is a false conception of man” (cit. S4, 285: 15-17). By realizing what Paul told the Athenians, that “in God we live, move, and exist,” we can experience the safety, ability, completeness, and intelligence that is inherent in understanding that we are truly the very expression of the infinite Good that we call God— unconfined by a material body (citation B2, Acts 17:28 CEB).

Gratefully, Christ (God’s message coming to man) continually awakens us from the false concept of soul dwelling in body. Then, we lose the fear that comes from judging our well-being according to physical evidence. The prophet Isaiah assured the people of his time — and the same promise holds for us — “Israel, don’t be afraid. I have rescued you. I have called you by name; now you belong to me” (cit. B4, Isaiah 43: 1, CEV).   God rescues us from a false sense of identity!

The world calls us all kinds of names — many of which are not positive — and it identifies the source of the bad and good as whatever DNA or environmental and experiential influences we’ve been subject to.  Consciously and vehemently reject all of that!  God names you (identifies you), draws and creates you, and calls you by your name to awaken you to see who you really are!  Let’s make sure we don’t answer to any name that isn’t ours, and respond quickly when God calls — knowing that we can never be outside of the embrace of infinite Spirit, Love!


SECTION 2:  YOU ARE GOD’S HOLY, CULTIVATED GARDEN
Have you ever thought of yourself as God’s cultivated field — God’s farm or garden — in which He has planted the best seed, kept it well watered and weeded, and gathered the harvest at just the right moment?  Or, how about being God’s building that He has created according to perfect specifications — useful, purposeful, and strong — and incapable of being damaged, much less destroyed, by storms, earthquakes, or floods? (cit. B9, I Cor. 3: 9) Not only has He built you with perfect specs, but decorated you beautifully, too — inside and out — so that there is a lovely flow of light, form, color and perfect shading.  If you haven’t thought of yourself that way, why not start right now — and keep that clear model before thought always!

We are again reminded in Science and Health that “Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as not in the body, and God as not in man but as reflected by man.  The greater cannot be in the lesser” (cit. S8, 467:17-27).  Giving up a material sense of identity doesn’t mean we just turn into a blob of nondescript something that has no individuality.  Considering again the example of musical notes, the note isn’t in the instrument playing it. Our unique selfhood isn’t in a mortal body or personality, but it is unique and fully expressed.  Each note has a distinct tone that remains unique while blending with others.  Each one of us — regardless of human opinions or views — is God’s cherished idea that has a clear place in God’s Kingdom. As we see each other as such, we must, like notes, compliment, rather than conflict, with each other.

This week I gained a clearer sense of what Paul meant when he said, “the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (cit. B9, I Corinthians 3:17).  It makes more sense to me now.  As I looked at Bible Commentaries and other translations, I came to understand that Paul is talking about the people being holy — like the temple is holy.  Their (and our) holiness couldn’t be defiled any more than the holiness of the temple could be defiled.  Both belong to — and are preserved by — God.  To be holy, as the Greek word is used here, is to be sacred (connected to God), pure and morally blameless.  Claiming that as our identity, we can expect and watch for God’s perpetual bestowal on us of safety, sufficiency, peace, health, and well-being.


SECTION 3:  NEUTRALIZE ERROR WITH TRUTH BY BINDING THE STRONG MAN
This section helps us understand the spiritual power that heals the body … as well as the “soul”.  Physical healing was an integral part of Jesus’ ministry, as it is of Christian Science — something that we should expect and rejoice in.  But, the real value of healing is that, in the process, a sense of sin (or mistaken belief about God and man) is corrected and destroyed — leaving man free of bondage to anything unlike God, good.  It can be tempting to focus on what we need to do, or how we need to pray, in order to eliminate whatever physical problem appears in our experience.  But, healing is more than a change in the physical evidence.

When the scribes accused Jesus of healing by Beelzebub (the prince of the devils) he clarified what is really involved in healing. He explained that a divided house — the devil destroying the works of the devil — would surely fall. He spoke of the necessity of binding “the strong man” first, and then the body (which the “strong man” — or erroneous belief — had occupied) would be freed of whatever was keeping it in bondage (cit. B10, Mark 3:7, 8, 10, 11, 22-27). Think about it … if someone has taken over your physical house, is living in it, has changed the locks and is destroying it inside and out, the solution would not be to attempt to fix each damaged part while the perpetrator is still inside. The only way to get your house back and put it in order is to get rid of the intruder.

Let’s think about that in terms of the man at the Pool of Bethesda.  It looked like the problem was that he wasn’t able to walk, and he didn’t have anyone to help him.  Because of that, he could never be the first into the pool when the water was stirred up, which he believed was the only way to be healed.  He had his excuses all lined up.  It was clearly a matter of competing for limited blessings, and he would forever lose.  Yet, when Jesus asked if he really wanted to be healed, he said yes.  And when Jesus instructed the man to get up and walk, he did!  (cit. B11, John 5:2-9). So, in this case, it seems that the strong man that was bound was one of hopelessness and a pre-judgement about what the healing would look like. But, once those limiting thoughts were bound, the man was free to respond to the command of Christ. Can that kind of healing happen today?  Absolutely!  The Science of Christ is very much present and active.

The “strong man” might come in many forms. Recently, I had an injured knee that seemed to resist healing.  I would get spiritual insights and make progress, but no lasting relief.  Just recently I’ve focused less on fixing the problem because I wanted to regain my freedom, and more on seeing myself as God sees me — whole, perfect, and free — for the sake of glorifying God.  I think the strong man in my case was the belief that an injury happened — that while being involved in a right activity something could happen to take away my dominion.  As I have been more conscientious about rejecting that basic lie of the possibility of an injury having occurred, my thought has yielded “to the harmony of the divine Mind” (cit. S15, 162:4).  The Christ — “the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error” bound the strong man and my health was restored (cit. S14, 583:10).  I realize, though, that I need to respond to the same command as Jesus gave to the man who was healed, when he saw him later in the temple … “sin no more” (cit. B11, John 5:14).  Sin is believing that the body is what needs healing, rather than seeing that all error is neutralized and healing occurs as the “strong man” of a belief of a power apart from God is conquered.


SECTION 4: THE HEALING CHRIST REVEALED TO SPIRITUAL SENSE
As Jesus healed more and more people, including those who were blind and dumb, the people started questioning whether Jesus might be the promised Messiah (cit. B13, Matthew 12:22, 23). The next verses in Matthew, talk again (as in Section 3) about the scribes accusing Jesus of healing through the power of Beelzebub, or the leader of the forces of evil. When healing happens, or good occurs, do we unfailingly ascribe the source of that good to God alone?  Or, do we sometimes think that maybe time healed the situation, or “things just worked out.”

Human reasoning can be slow to accept the presence of the Christ and its healing influence. But, as Paul explains, the message eventually comes through, as the Spirit of God reveals it to the receptive heart (cit. B14, I Corinthians 2:9, 10).  As long as we depend on our human understanding of God (or use human reasoning to understand how God works) we won’t get the full picture.  But, we can trust the Holy Spirit to communicate directly to spiritual sense (the “conscious, constant capacity to understand God”) that everyone possesses (SH 209:31–32).  The key is to yield to that inspiration or revelation.  Accept Truth as Truth — regardless of how it seems to counter human logic or reasoning.  As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “the evidence of the existence of Spirit, Soul, is palpable only to spiritual sense, and is not apparent to the material senses, which cognize only that which is the opposite of Spirit.” (cit. S19, 359:11).  Those that were physically blind were made to see.  Christ also opens the eyes of the spiritually blind in order to recognize the presence and power of Truth.


SECTION 5: HONOR GOD AS YOU EMBRACE YOUR BODY IN THOUGHT
The idea of being the temple of God includes honoring God by seeing your body as the complete expression of the spiritual qualities of goodness, balance, integrity, strength, soundness, etc. that are inherent in man because they are inherent in God, man’s maker (cit. B15, I Corinthians 6:19, 20; cit. S26, 428:8). Also, sacrifices were made at the temple. Paul urged the Romans to “present your bodies a living sacrifice” and not be “conformed to this world, but be … transformed by the renewing of your mind” (cit. B12, Romans 12:1,2).

I wanted to understand better that idea of making my body a living sacrifice.  Looking at Bible commentaries, my sense is that to sacrifice our bodies and our mind to God means devoting our entire selves to God’s service and doing our best to keep ourselves pure and “without spot.”  Ellicott says, “The worshipper must offer, or present, before God, himself, with all his living energies and powers directed consciously to God’s service.”  To me, that means that whatever we do, we do it to honor and praise God.  For instance, rather than exercising to get stronger or more fit, we exercise to demonstrate the strength and fitness that have been given to us by God.  Rather than eating too much because we think food will fill some kind of void, or not eating because we are trying to lose weight, we can eat a balanced diet without being overly concerned as we recognize God to be the source of all good. God satisfies. As we desire to honor God, we sacrifice (give up) human theories and mortal cravings and trust Love to guide us as we are filled with His/Her goodness.

The Science and Health portion of this section is full of directives for how to be master of the body — how to “take possession of [our] body” by embracing it in thoughts of health, wholeness, symmetry, beauty, all that is good.  We decide whether we are masters or slaves of the body.  We don’t live in the body.  Rather, we embrace our concept of body in our thought and live in Spirit, Soul. (cit.  S24, 223:3) God has made us master of all things and we can give up “false trusts and material evidences in order that the spiritual facts of being may appear”  (cit. S26, 428:8).  The temptation is to be mesmerized by outward appearances and physical sensation.  But, as we shift thought and hold on to the view God sees of us — upright, whole, free, without a single element of error — the body has no choice but to yield to that true picture.  I have seen this demonstrated over and over as aches and pains fade away as thought remains laser-beam focused on what is, rather than on what matter is suggesting.


 SECTION 6:  KNOW YOURSELF AS THE REFLECTION OF SOUL
This last section brings us full circle back to where we started with the Responsive Reading.  We are reminded to keep God at the center of all things, and keep our eye on what God knows in order to experience God’s harmony here and now.  Paul tells the Corinthians, “our sufficiency is of God” and not of ourselves. Here are a couple of translations of that verse that really make the message clear: “Not that we are fit (qualified and sufficient in ability) of ourselves to form personal judgments or to claim or count anything as coming from us, but our power and ability and sufficiency are from God.” And, “We don’t have the right to claim that we have done anything on our own. God gives us what it takes to do all that we do” (cit. B20, II Corinthians 3:4, 5, 18, AMPC, CEV).

The day after I wrote this section of the MET I had the opportunity to hike a trail that was a bit steep.  Going down I found myself concerned that I might struggle coming back up, because that has been my experience in the past.  I challenged that thought and considered Paul’s words about my sufficiency (my ability) being from God.  I decided this was a great opportunity to demonstrate that fact.  I also remembered a sign I saw on a trail when I was hiking the Grand Canyon.  It said, “Going down is optional.  Coming up is mandatory.”  I’ve always taken that as a command to go up in thought to accomplish whatever needs doing.  Armed with these thoughts, I confidently headed up the hill, and was so grateful for the freedom I experienced.  It was a lovely opportunity to see myself as the reflection of Soul and know that my body could not argue otherwise.

Understanding that we reflect Soul, — that we are “the children of light” — lifts off all limits and frees us to be all that God made us to be (cit. S32, 249:31; B19, I Thessalonians 5:5). Just as light shines without effort, we shine.  As we see ourselves as the shine of God, we will have the confidence to “look where we would walk” and “act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being,” as Mary Baker Eddy writes.  (cit. S30, 264:10, 28). To me, that means to refuse to focus on limitations, but stay focused on how things should function in a perfect world (how they do function in the reality of God’s creation) even before the physical evidence has changed).  And to act as if there were no limitations or problems or conflict or insufficiency of any kind — in our human bodies or governmental or social bodies. Is that being oblivious, or blind to reality?  No!!! Rather, it is opening our eyes to what is truly real — to what God knows the situation to be.

Man, made in God’s likeness, must reflect all that is like God. “Looking where we would walk” means focusing on the perfect model.  It doesn’t mean stubbornly outlining what we humanly see as a solution.  But, as we release all human will and all human responsibility and see God as the only controlling influence, the human situation must fall in line.

At times when I’ve been discouraged about something not yielding, I have found that I need to be sure my thought stays focused on what God knows, and doesn’t get distracted by what seems to be going on.  Just like when the light is turned on in a room, the shadows lift and the reality of Good is seen.  God is in control, and both the human spirit and human body (or societal body) must conform to that control as we gain a clearer and clearer sense of the relation of God and man.  God is the only doer! You and I and all mankind naturally reflect what God is doing.  Aren’t we grateful?!


CLICK HERE for more application ideas & Bible-based GEMs from Cobbey Crisler & others! [This is almost done but may have additions before it is emailed.]


Click on the titles of these insightful Ken Cooper poem/monologues to hear them read on YouTube by Ken:

PDF copies are available under Downloads in the online version of  this Met.


THANKING ALL WATERSPORTS SUPPORTERS!
We’ve been praying about the need to update CedarS 2008 Malibu ski boat and about boat shortages and the resultant high prices.  A practitioner on the case was inspired to make a timely, inquiry call to a past CedarS Ski Camp coach and found out that his ski club was about to advertise  their one-owner, prime condition 2020 Malibu with relatively low hours at a very reasonable price.  We need commitments of “only” $13,400 more WITHIN THE NEXT 3 WEEKS to make this demonstration complete! It will bless hundreds of campers & staff for years to come!  To help us seal the deal, please give online whatever you can and then text or call me at 314-378-2574 — or email warren@cedarscamps.org — that  the intent of your tax-deductible gift is to help us secure the ongoing excellence of CedarS watersports fleet.


YOUR HELP IN OTHER AREAS IS ALSO MUCH NEEDED & APPRECIATED!

 Operations Support: Especially during this year, tuition will cover less than half the cost of running camp. Donations are needed for facilities maintenance, horse care and preparation for summer 2022.
Endowment Matching Grant: Support current and future generations of Christian Science youth by helping CedarS to meet our $1,000,000 Endowment matching grant. We’re about halfway to our match!

With heartfelt gratitude for and to all you, greatly NEEDED and precious supporters, who continue to help CedarS give LIFELONG, DIFFERENCE-MAKING BLESSINGS to hundreds of families and thousands of individuals all across the U.S. and the world. To discuss how to play a vital, ongoing role in our work, feel free to call or text me (Warren Huff) at 314-378-2574 with your pledge or intent to give a planned gift, required IRA distribution or an endowment gift (that will be MATCHED!). Your ongoing support is needed to help us “love into view” continued, lasting blessings and legacies of love each year.

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