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You are God’s Holy Work!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Man”
for August 31 – September 6, 2020

by Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
• ccern@mac.com • 720-331-9356 • christiecs.com

Click here to hear Christie read “You are God's Holy Work” (her metaphysical application ideas on this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Man.”) Or paste into your browser https://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/audio/play/audio-met-on-man-by-christie-hanzlik-cs/

I strive always to be alert not to ascribe human features to God. God is infinite Love, Truth, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life and Principle—not a corporeal entity. And, since “man” is made in the image and likeness of God as stated in Genesis 1, we should be just as alert to toss out any limited notion of what man is. When we start with a clear sense of God as ever-present good, omni-active perfection, and then reason from this starting point that man–the expression of God–is the way we see God in action, then we gain an unlimited and perfect sense of man. In contrast, when we start with a limited sense of man, as a corporeal creature defined and contained by skin, bones, blood, a brain, intestines, two arms, two legs, a head and neck and so forth, then we are missing the mark. And if we start from a limited sense of man and reason out from there to what God is, then we’ll have a limited sense of God too. In other words, we are limiting what man is when we define man as this bounded and compressed corporeal creature in the same way that we limit what God is when we define God as an anthropomorphic guy in the sky. If we start with skin as the outline of man, we are seeing only a limited and distorted sense of all that man is. Instead, “man” is a concept that defines the expression of God, infinite Love. God is Love and man is the expression of Love, so man is Love-ing. Man is God’s be-ing, God’s expression. Pardon my grammar, but man is what God be.

Please note that the ideas I’m sharing here represent just one view of the Lesson and are not the only way to approach it. For me, this week’s Bible Lesson on “Man” expands the definition of man. The Lesson encourages us to let go of an “old” view of man, and accept a “new” view that is the outcome of starting from an unburdened view of God. To the degree that we do this, we experience the unrestricted and unlimited potential of man.

GOLDEN TEXT and RESPONSIVE READING

The Golden Text says “. . . behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21) Already, with this first idea, we are being asked to expand our sense of man. How could a whole kingdom fit inside a corporeal thing? To fit a kingdom inside a corporeal mass we would need to push aside the spleen and colon and large intestines. I’m sorry for the gross imagery here. Clearly, this is not what Christ Jesus meant with his profound statement that “the kingdom of God is within you.” Instead, his statement reveals the unbounded and uncompressed understanding of man, made in the image and likeness of God–infinite good–where there is plenty of room for the kingdom of God. Note that Christ Jesus does not speak of the kingdom of God as something far away from us, but assures us that the kingdom of God is right here, right now.

The Responsive Reading brings in the words holy and holiness, which I was able to find at least 20 times in the Lesson. Since the words holy and holiness echo throughout the Lesson, it makes sense to me to revisit my understanding of what these words mean. Holiness, to me, means purity, salvation, satisfaction, and joy. The Responsive Reading concludes with a prophetic promise to us that as we’re on our journey of spiritual discovery a “highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness.” Let’s jump on that highway!

SECTION 1: Holiness means that man is made in the image and likeness of good

Section one establishes the premise that we are created in the image and likeness of God, and that creation is very good. (Genesis 1: 27, 31) Like God, God’s creation never had a beginning point. In other words, creation has always been complete, and yet it is still unfolding and revealing itself….forever….”to a thousand generations” and more. “Man is God's reflection, needing no cultivation (or development), but ever beautiful and complete.” (S4)

In Science and Health, we read that “Man is the family name for all ideas….” Man does not mean a corporeal mass made up of brain and bones, or even collection of things made up of brain and bones, but rather man is a type of classification, which, in this case, means the offspring of Love, the ideas of Mind, that which “moves in accord” with the Creator.” (S2)

As Mary Baker Eddy states, “God fashions all things, after His own likeness. Life is reflected in existence, Truth in truthfulness, God in goodness, which impart their own peace and permanence.” (S3) This is the grounding for the idea I mentioned in the introduction. God is Love, so man is love-ing; God is Life, so man is live-ing (existence); God is Truth, so man is truth-full; God is Mind, so man is mind-full; God is Spirit, so man is spirit-ual (of Spirit); God is Soul, so man is soul-full; God is Principle, so man is principle-d (law-full, a law unto ourselves).

SECTION 2: Holiness means accepting the first commandment as a promise of man’s perfect being

The first commandment—“Thou shalt have no other gods before me”—is a promise that there is no other source, no other creator, no other means of existence than good, than divine Mind. (B8, Exodus 20:1, 3) As we understand this commandment to be a divine promise, it becomes a sense of security. And with this promise, we know that there is no other force but good acting upon us. We cannot be governed by anything other than eternal good…ever. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The divine Principle of the First Commandment bases the Science of [our very existence], by which man demonstrates health, holiness, and life [without beginning or end].” (S5)

In contrast, if we doubt the promise of the first commandment, and wonder about other gods and forces acting in our lives such as weather, contagion, and misfortune then we may feel the shadows of worry, fear, and doubt. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The belief that man has any other substance, or mind, is not [of Spirit] and breaks the First Commandment, Thou shalt have one God, one Mind.” (S6)

There is one God, one Mind, and one Creator. There is only one force and one government acting upon us…and it is very good. This is the promise made in the First Commandment. We can be assured that, “The one Ego, the one Mind or Spirit called God, is infinite individuality, which supplies all form and comeliness and which reflects reality and divinity in individual spiritual man and things.” (S8)

SECTION 3: Holiness means feeling Love’s love

So far, this Bible Lesson has established that God is the only Cause and Creator of man, and that there are no other gods—forces or causes–besides the one and only God. And now, in section three, the Lesson is reminds us that God is loving and man, as God’s being, must feel this love. In the book of Jeremiah, we read, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (B10, Jeremiah 31:3)

To illustrate God’s tender love, we find the story of Elisha healing the Shunammite woman’s son. I love this story because of the courage that the Shunammite woman has in telling Elisha, “It is well,” even during what most would consider a catastrophe. I don’t think she was ignoring what seemed to be happening. Instead, she was turning away from the limited view of events and turning toward that First Commandment promise…. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” She would not bow down to the gods of sorrow or grief or death. To find healing and restoration she turned to divine Life and to Elisha’s awareness of divine Life. And, of course, her son was healed.

We find stories of healing like this one throughout the Bible. (S9) Starting with the fact that man has one creator, and that creator is good, brings about healing. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Spiritually to understand that there is but one creator, God, unfolds all creation, confirms the Scriptures, brings the sweet assurance of no parting, no pain, and of man deathless and perfect and eternal [without beginning or end].” (S10)

Love’s promise to man is good. “Does God send sickness, giving the mother her child for the brief space of a few years and then taking it away by death? Instead of God sending sickness and death, He destroys them, and brings to light immortality.” (S12) Through God we see the full light of man. As we start with the begininglessness of the Creator and creation (man), we can understand statements like this one to a greater and greater degree. We can understand deathlessness to the degree that we understand begininglessness. And, as we do, we see the truth of this statement: “Man is the idea of Spirit; he reflects the beatific presence, illuming the universe with light. Man is deathless, [of Spirit]. He is above [separation from perfection] or frailty. He does not cross the barriers of time into the vast forever of Life, but he coexists with God and the universe.”

Man coexists with God. God is without beginning and without end. Man is without beginning and without end. Everything about the world around us suggests a start and a stop and boundaries and limitation. We are breaking free from this limited view in proportion as we understand our beginninglessness.

SECTION 4: Holiness means feeling Love’s tenderness here and now

The ideas of health and holiness that we find in the Bible were not only true a long time ago. They are for here and now. And the ideas of health and holiness are not for a distant future when we finally understand all of this. No. Health and holiness are for here and now. Christ Jesus demonstrated this, and we can experience the here and now of God’s promise to man today.

When Christ Jesus healed the man with the palsy, there wasn’t a time (limited measurement) of recovery. The healing didn’t take months of physical therapy for the man to recover. It was true here and now. (B15, Matthew 9:2–8) And this is God’s promise to us. There is no such thing as waiting for the Kingdom of God…it is here and now. (B16, Romans 6:22)

Mary Baker Eddy described the holy view of man, “Man is incapable of [separation from perfection], sickness, and [experiencing an end point]. The real man cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom man is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to [separate from goodness]. “[The belief of someone who is separated from God’s love] is not God's man [and does not exist].” (S15)

Mary Baker Eddy explains, “If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine. (S21) In my understanding, “reaching the patient through divine Love” means loving the patient with an absolute understanding of true man, seeing the patient’s beginninglessness, endlessness, and inseparability from divine Mind. It means seeing the patient’s holiness. It means seeing them not as a being separate from God, but as the actual being of God. This is the holy love that heals. This love is not personal. It is not a love of personality or analyzing a patient’s mental or physical flaws and trying to correct them or convince them of what is true. It is starting from the standpoint that there is only one Cause, one Creator, and knowing that this patient is subject only to the force of good, and governed by Mind. Any suggestion to the contrary is less than loving and should be thrown out. Pure and holy love–the love that heals–means seeing the holy man of God’s creation.

SECTION 5: Holiness is known to us because of Christ

Man is God’s expression. And man is aware of this fact because of Christ. Christ is the knowledge of God’s presence, our connection to that presence, and the deep sense of calm and inspiration that come with this knowledge. Christ is what reminds us in each moment, “the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (B18, Matthew 10:7)

Christ Jesus demonstrated Christ most clearly and deserves the special title of Christ. His mission was to show us that we too have the kingdom of heaven within, and that we too can experience the Christly awareness of Love’s presence here and now.

As we read in Luke, when the Pharisees demanded that Christ Jesus tell them when the kingdom of God would come, Christ Jesus answered, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (B21, Luke 17:20, 21) Christ Jesus corrected the false suggestion that man is outside the kingdom of God and shows us that the kingdom of God is within us, right here and now.

The author of Colossians understood Christ Jesus’s view, and reminded us to let go of a limited and “old” view of man, and accept the “new” view of man revealed by the Christ view. The new man that we can accept “as the elect of God, [is] holy and beloved, [has] bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering…And above all these things [accepting the new man means that we] put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” (B22, Colossians 3)

As Mary Baker Eddy explained, “Jesus represented Christ, the true idea of God. Christ presents the indestructible man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes, and governs. Christ illustrates that blending with God, his divine Principle, which gives man dominion over all the earth.” (S22)

Christ Jesus saw the “new” and perfect man correctly. Indeed, “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where [the old view of man appeared to those looking with a limited perspective]. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the [wrong view]. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy.” (S23)

To me, holding the “correct view” of a patient has the same meaning as the phrase “reach[ing the] patient through divine Love,” as the phrase was used in the previous section. (S21). Reaching the patient through divine Love means beholding the perfect man, individually or collectively.

Striving to see the kingdom of heaven within man is a good approach to loving more purely. Mary Baker Eddy gives a clear explanation of “heaven.” She writes, “Heaven represents harmony, and divine Science interprets the Principle of heavenly harmony. The great miracle, to human sense, is divine Love, and the grand necessity of existence is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in man.” (S24)

“In proportion” as we see one another in this way, we are loving more and more purely.

The “perfect” view of man means starting from the correct premise, that God, Mind, is the only Cause and Creator. It means accepting that the First Commandment is a promise that man is governed only by good. This “perfect” view is, in effect, a perfect model of man. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “We must form perfect models [of man] 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.” (S26)

The perfect model she is describing is essentially the “new man” mentioned in Colossians 3. And it is through Christ–our awareness of Love’s ever-presence–that we can know the perfect model, the “new man,” and experience the kingdom of heaven within us all, individually and collectively.

SECTION 6: Holiness fills our consciousness

This week’s Bible Lesson assures us of our true nature, our true identity as the holy idea of divine Love. Before this week I hadn’t thought a lot about whether or not we should consider ourselves holy. But would God create anything less than holy? No, of course not. So, we can reason that we are indeed holy, filled with the kingdom of heaven. We are the work of God. And God’s work is holy. Holiness fills our consciousness. Perhaps this week we could pray each morning until we are comfortable making the declaration to God, “I am your holy creation.” As we do this, we can praise God for creating us, for being the perfect source of our perfect being. We can all “let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.” (B24, Psalms 90:17)

As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Man is tributary to God, and to nothing else.” We have no other source for our existence. Man is God’s expression, God’s being. “God’s being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss.” That’s us. (S27)

“Man is the noblest work of God,
His beauty, power and grace,
Immortal; perfect as his Mind
Reflected face to face.

(Hymn 51, "God could not make imperfect man”)

We are God’s perfect and holy work and as God’s perfect and holy work, we are at once complete and also unfolding. “Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness.” (S28)

We have no other source, no other Creator, and no other government than divine Mind. Divine Mind alone governs man.


CLICK LINKS below for more CedarS team APPLICATION IDEAS for this Bible lesson:


CLICK MORE LINKS (below) to CedarS-related
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT

1. An upcoming Bible talk on Saturday, September 26, 2020, 9am – 4pm Pacific –“Genesis I: Where it all Began.” (This day long webinar that Madelon Maupin last delivered in a weeklong, deep-dive study at CedarS covers Genesis chapters 1 – 25. It will prepare listeners for another deep-dive study of Genesis Part 2 at CedarS from October 21-25, 2021. For info on it click on https://www.cedarscamps.org/information/programs/adult-bible-study/ Sign-up for it will open soon.)

Maddie writes: “Remember that if you cannot attend the live September 26, 2020 event or be with us all of the day, you will have a replay for 30 days following. Also, the replay has a search feature where you can research key ideas you found helpful.

We’ve just opened registration now that the sponsoring church has sent out their invitation.

Simply click on this link https://seeker.bibleroads.com/GEN120CC for more information and to reserve your place.

See you in the Scriptures,”
Madelon Maupin
Founder, BibleRoads


2. CedarS weekly Online Hymn Sings: These 30-minute global gatherings could be thought of as “Prayer Sings,” since hymns are really healing prayers set to music.

3. Our ongoing Fall “Take CedarS Home” Zoom sessions for grade grouping of campers continue each week till December to prove the healing power of childlike thought receptive to remote prayer. These Zoom session gifts to children and their families could be thought of as prayers every day to put love into action through practicing CedarS Five Fundamental concepts. [Great fruitage from summer Zoom sessions is available. For FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR TUITION: US and Canada, please apply to The Campership Fund. They have funds available to support up to full tuition, as needed. International applicants, please apply directly to CedarS Camperships.CLICK FOR FULL DETAILS, A VIDEO AND ENROLLMENT OPTIONS


4. From today’s tip from the Christian Science Publishing Society and JSH-Online: TeenConnect tackles the tough issues with articles and testimonies written by and for teens. Please check it out and share it with all you know!


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With never-changed gratitude and full-strength love to each of you,

Warren, Holly, Gay, Kim, Jennifer, and CedarS Team


APOLOGIES FOR ANY EDITING NEEDED FROM CEDARS VOLUNTEER EDITORS, CONTRIBUTORS AND TRANSLATORS FOR THIS FREE SERVICE. Thanks for your forgiveness and your needed, ongoing support!

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