Cedar Camps

Metaphysical Ideas

Search Metaphysicals
 

Metaphysical Newsletters

The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided to campers, staff, alumni, friends and the CedarS family at no charge however contributions help defray the costs of running this service.

Click here for more about how you can provide support!
 

Delivered to You FREE!

Available in five languages, get it delivered to your inbox weekly!

Subscribe Now!

1. Do justly 2. Love mercy,3. Walk humbly

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, October 9th, 2017

"To do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly"
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Doctrine of Atonement”
October 14, 2017

By Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, Colorado
ccern@mac.com
/ 720.331.9356

[SPECIAL LAST MINUTE OPENINGS FOR BIBLE STUDY ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION WITH MADELON MAUPIN, OCTOBER 19-23 CLICK http://www.cedarscamps.org/information/programs/adult-bible-study/ FOR MORE INFO AND TO SIGN UP!]


Introduction

God exists. We exist. And we are inseparably connected to God. But, without Christ, we would be unaware of God and unaware of our connection to God, Divine Love. As I understand it, Christ is what makes us aware of God. Christ is what enables us to know we are “at one” with God, to feel our at-one-ment, our atonement. Christ is essential to our atonement.

This week’s lesson on “Doctrine of Atonement” inspires us with ways in which we can understand Christ’s role in our at-one-ment with Divine Love and feel this at-one-ment more deeply. We are already at one with Divine Love, but we should understand our at-one-ment so we can most effectively demonstrate it for ourselves and others.

Mary Baker Eddy says that “the atonement is a hard problem in theology.” [S21] Here’s my way of understanding it today:

God, Christ and Jesus are inseparable. They could never be separated. And yet each has a distinct role in our lives. The relationship between God, Christ, Jesus and us may seem confusing, which is why we study the Doctrine of At-One-Ment—the explanation of how these concepts work in our lives.

God = the unlimited source of all good, all Love, all Life, etc.

Christ = the power/truth that makes us aware of our inseparable connection to God, the unlimited source of all good, all Love, all Life, etc.

Jesus = the man, who more than any other person, understood Christ, our constant and unbreakable relationship to God. Jesus was so constantly aware of our inseparable connection to God, and in fact, never waivered from that connection, so has the special title of Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus is the man who best understood and demonstrated the power/truth that makes us aware of our inseparable connection to God, the unlimited source of all good, all love, all life, etc.

So, the Doctrine of Atonement explains how…

• We find atonement, our connection to the unlimited source of all good, through Christ Jesus, who best understood and demonstrated the power/truth that makes us aware of Christ, our inseparable connection to God, the unlimited source of all good.

• We find our connection to God (find our salvation, are saved) through Christ Jesus.

• We are saved through Christ Jesus.

As Mary Baker Eddy states in one of the six tenets of Christian Science, “We acknowledge Jesus' atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man's unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.” [S20, my underlining]

Let’s see how this week’s lesson explores the Doctrine of Atonement:

The Golden Text sets the tone of the lesson with Paul’s rhetorical question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” No one! No one and nothing can separate us from the love of our awareness of God, Divine Love. The body may try to complain and news stories may threaten to shock us, but as we acknowledge the impossibility of our separation from God, we discover a constant stillness and peace that gives us power to heal and comfort and break free of limitation.

The Responsive Reading (RR) continues with Paul’s beautiful description of our inseparability from Divine Love. I always appreciate Paul’s insights on this because he experienced such a dramatic awakening when he saw Christ—his awareness of Divine Love—on the road to Damascus. His whole life up to that point had been steeped in the Jewish theology that he was separate from God, and needed to work really hard and follow hundreds of strict laws before he could be reconciled (connected) to God. But his view of Christ (the awareness of his connection to Love) on the road to Damascus transformed his heart by making him feel his immediate atonement, which was already true, but which he hadn’t seemed to have felt before that moment. Paul now understood the role of Christ in our atonement, and it became his mission to share the good news about our atonement with others, like he does in the letters to the Romans and Corinthians in our RR this week. Paul explains his mission of helping others see their already-atonement with God, “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.” (RR, NLT)

Paul saw us all as children of God, inseparable from our loving parent. He writes, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” Since we already have the RR in the King James Version in our lessons, here is another perspective on these same verses from the New Living Translation (NLT):

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (RR, NLT)


Section 1: Ways in which we are connected (at-one) to God

The first section opens by describing Love’s ever presence: “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” [B1 and Hymn 599 in our 2017 Hymnal as noted in PS#1] The section describes our at-one-ment and ways in which we can understand our connection to God. “Atonement is the exemplification of man's unity with God.” [S1] In fact, throughout this week’s lesson, we find metaphors to describe our connection (at-one-ment) to God. I’ll list the metaphors I find, and you’ll probably find even more.

I counted three in the Responsive Reading (RR):

1. Children of God; child-to-parent relationship

2. Heirs of God; inheritor-to-benefactor relationship

3. We are the “Temple of the living God”; God dwells and walks in us as temples


And the first section contains even more of these examples:

4. Mother with nursing child; a mother could never forget a child nursing at her breast [B2]

5. We are written on the palms of God’s hand (I love this one because, for me, when I really want to remember a “to do” item, I write it on my hand!) [B2]

Also in this section, we’re reminded that we don’t need to sacrifice innocent animals to become at one with God. [B3] Thinking God won’t love us unless we kill innocent animals may seem far-fetched now, but I wonder how our excuses for not feeling loved by God might sound to someone who lived during Biblical times.

But, if atonement doesn’t require us to sacrifice innocent animals, what does it require? What does the Lord “require of thee”? [B3]

a) to do justly

b) to love mercy

c) to walk humbly

Wow! Three clear steps. And, guess what? The three Bible stories in this week’s lesson offer insights about these three steps, so we have instructions and role models to follow. These steps are the footsteps of Truth (not footsteps to Truth, as someone pointed out to me last weekend). And, “The understanding of Truth gives full faith in Truth, and spiritual understanding is better than all burnt offerings.” [S5]

You’ll find a document at the end of this Met that shows the historical evolution of the Fourth Tenet of Christian Science (that relates to atonement and citation S20) and how our current Sixth Tenet relates to Micah 6:8 [citation B3]. Mary Baker Eddy included variations on "to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with thy God” in versions of the tenets, as she worked them into the language that we now see in Science and Health. As an example, here is the third tenet as it stood in 1887:

"Third. – We promise to love one another, and to work, watch and pray; to strive against sin, and to keep the Ten Commandments; to deal justly, love mercy, walk humbly; and inasmuch as we are enabled by Truth, to cast out evil and heal the sick." [my underlining and bolding]

We can see the importance Mary Baker Eddy placed on these requirements to fully grasp our relationship with God! You can find links to the full history of the Sixth Tenet and the historical evolution of all the tenets at the end of this Met. (Thank you to Warren for pointing out these historical documents that include the importance of these three clear steps from citation B3, Micah 6:8!)

Section 2: To do justly

In the second section, we see references about law and justice that make me think of the first of the three “footsteps of Truth”: “what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” [B3, my underlining]

This section introduces the idea of the Lord’s covenant—agreement or contract—with us, and adds to our list of metaphors:

6. God puts His law in our inward parts, and writes it in our hearts [B4]

God’s words, “I will put my law in their inward parts,” must have had great significance to Jewish people whose lives centered around questions of law. For me, this phrase is a prayer and protection when I think about the body. How could the body say it has a stomachache, for example, when God’s law is written in our inward parts? God’s law could only result in peace, not in tummy troubles. I suppose we could even say that God writes His law in the inward parts of the nation, which might make us see better that His Law is the ultimate Law governing our bodies and our countries.

In the story of the woman whose child Elisha raised from the dead, we see how her obedience to following Elisha’s instructions led her to being, in the right place at exactly the right time, to be recognized by Gehazi and the king. Elisha instructed her to leave her home, and “the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.” [B5] It is not a coincidence that the woman walked up on Gehazi and the king’s conversation right as Gehazi was talking about Elisha restoring her son’s life. This captured the king’s attention and he did justly too. He restored to the woman all that was hers. [B5]

It is unlikely that a woman in this time would have had much claim to her lands that the king re-granted her. But, God’s law supersedes human law every time. God writes His law in our inward parts, and in the inward parts of the nation. [B4] As Mary Baker Eddy states, “God has built a higher platform of human rights, and He has built it on diviner claims. These claims are not made through code or creed, but in demonstration of ‘on earth peace, good-will toward men.’” [S9] This woman definitely demonstrated peace and good-will and it was right for her love to be rewarded justly. As shown in this story about the woman Elisha helped, God’s Law corrected and corrects what is wrong in “social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.” [S10]

Section 3: “to love mercy”

The third section’s emphasis on love and forgiveness seem to highlight the second of God’s requirement: “what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” [B3]

The parable that Jesus shares is perfect for explaining that love is the most important law of all. Jesus explains that his message is not about destroying the law or the prophets, but rather to “fulfill,” or teach us the full, inspired meaning of the law and prophets. With the story about the altar, Jesus is telling us that our actions to connect with God are meaningless if we don’t first love our brother (and sister). “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” [B8, NKJV]

Jesus called Peter and Andrew to the mission of helping others find their already-atonement, to make them “fishers of men.” [B6] Likewise, Paul calls all of us, in the name of Christ Jesus, to join him in the mission of sharing the good news about our atonement. Paul writes, "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;...So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” [B9, NRSV]

This section seems to suggest that to fully love our neighbor as ourselves, we must be actively making it our mission to affirm the truth of atonement for all mankind. Atonement is not just true for you or me; it is true for everyone, and it can be our mission to share this good news. As Mary Baker Eddy explains how an understanding of our atonement with one good God unites all mankind. She writes, "It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established. Having no other gods, turning to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ.” [S12, my underlining]

Both Christ Jesus and Paul tell us to make it our mission to share the good news of our atonement. How do we do this? We can start by making Truth, our forever at-one-ment, the motive of our "daily walk and conversation," our actions and our words. Mary Baker Eddy explains, "If Truth is overcoming error in your daily walk and conversation, you can finally say, 'I have fought a good fight . . . I have kept the faith,' because you are a better man. This is having our part in the at-one-ment with Truth and Love.” [S13]

Section 4: “to walk humbly”

This Bible story in this section shows how a nobleman, who was humble enough to ask Jesus to heal his son even though he didn’t quite believe it was possible. Jesus said to him, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” But when Jesus told the man his son had been healed, the man humbly believed and went his way and found that, indeed, his son was alive and well. [B10 and PS#4]

The nobleman’s humility to believe that healing had taken place before he saw it illustrates God’s requirement that we “walk humbly”. The nobleman trusted Christ Jesus, trusted the Christ-message even before he saw it. What humility and faith! What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” [B3]

We can all cultivate the humility to trust Christ-Truth instead of the limited suggestions from the body or the news media even when the evidence of evil seems stacked against health and peace. This humility—“to walk humbly”—results in healing. Christ-healing in Jesus time, like Christ-healing now was “not supernatural, but supremely natural” and was evidence of “God with us,” our at-one-ment with God. [S14] We must learn to trust the facts of Science, the facts of our atonement, over so-called human theories in order to witness Christ-healing. Mary Baker Eddy writes, "You must understand your way out of human theories relating to health, or you will never believe that you are quite free from some ailment.” [S17] This idea of “belief” isn’t a mere lightweight word about our personal preferences. “The Hebrew verb to believe means also to be firm or to be constant.” So we can learn to be “firm” and "constant” in our sense of Christ’s message. We can do this as we follow the way Christ Jesus healed and study our textbooks, making "the Bible the chart of life.” [S18] We are not adrift. We are “firm” and constant.”

As we are “firm" and “constant" about the report of Christ-Truth over the false report of the body or news media, we are "having part in the atonement; this is the understanding, in which Jesus suffered and triumphed.” [S18]

Also, I think “the Christly garment” citation below counts as another metaphor for our unbreakable relationship with God (agree?):

7. We are woven into the Christly garment of righteousness. "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.” [S15]



Section 5: Christ Jesus shows us the way of atonement through the crucifixion and resurrection

The fifth section explains Christ Jesus’ role in our atonement. Christ Jesus is the Way-shower, who demonstrated our unity with God. We can follow Christ Jesus’ example as we strive "to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” [B3] Mary Baker Eddy offers this tenet of Christian Science to explain how we can follow Christ Jesus as the way shower in understanding our atonement: "We acknowledge Jesus' atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man's unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.” [S20, our Fourth Tenet, and its evolution in PS#8, with a link in the upper right of online Met to the evolution of all six Tenets as researched by The Mary Baker Eddy Library.]

The crucifixion and resurrection prove to us that, as Paul said, “nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.” [RR] Jesus demonstrated that nothing, not even the “mocking” and “scourging” and the crucifixion, could separate him from Divine Love. And, we do not mentally leave Jesus on the cross. We cannot dwell upon the whys and hows of such an awful occurrence. Instead, we celebrate the resurrection. It is in the resurrection that we see clearly that nothing could separate Jesus from Divine Life.

It is as if Christ Jesus’ enemies tried to show that he was not connected to God, that he could be torn away from Divine Life. But Christ Jesus showed that this was not possible. Nothing could separate Christ, Jesus and God. They are at one. And, Christ Jesus’ demonstration of this fact is our evidence that we too cannot be separated from Christ or God.

I find this citation from Romans is a bit tricky to understand: "if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” [B14] For me, this means that if we don’t quite understand Christ Jesus’ crucifixion but still have faith in his message, we are connected to God. But when we understand the full meaning of the resurrection, we are truly saved because we are actively aware of our at-one-ment, and we truly know we are already at-one with God.

Mary Baker Eddy explains that, "The atonement is a hard problem in theology, but its scientific explanation is, that suffering is an error of sinful sense which Truth destroys, and that eventually both sin and suffering will fall at the feet of everlasting Love.” Sin can be understood as a false belief that we can be separate from God. So, to insert this definition into this statement: "its scientific explanation is, that suffering is an error of [a false believe that we can be separate from God] which Truth destroys, and that eventually both [the false belief of separation] and suffering will fall at the feet of everlasting Love.” [S21]



Section 6: Our One God and Father is above us, through us, and in us.

Section 6 concludes with comforting affirmations about our connection to divine Love, our oneness with infinite Spirit. Here are Paul’s words to the Ephesians according to the J.B. Phillips translation:

"As God’s prisoner, then, I beg you to live lives worthy of your high calling. Accept life with humility and patience, making allowances for each other because you love each other. Make it your aim to be at one in the Spirit, and you will inevitably be at peace with one another. You all belong to one body, of which there is one Spirit, just as you all experienced one calling to one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, one Father of us all, who is the one over all, the one working through all and the one living in all.” [B16]

And, to add some final metaphors onto our list:

8. We are God’s prisoners (this is actually freeing, as we are kept safe and secure and with God always) [B16].

9. We all belong to "one body, of which there is one Spirit just as you all experienced one calling to one hope” [B16].

10. We are at one with God as a drop of water is at one with the ocean [S25].

11. We are at one with God as a ray of light is at one with the sun [S25].

Seeing this list of at least eleven ways to describe our oneness with Love, makes me wonder how many of these metaphors exist in our textbooks. Perhaps you’ll want to join me in making a list of metaphorical descriptions of our at-one-ment. I suspect that the list is very long since our oneness with Divine Love is, in fact, the primary message of the Bible.

Here is the information on the relationship between the Sixth tenet and Micah 6:8 [W’s PS#2]:

SIXTH TENET (Historical versions given by The Mary Baker Eddy Library) Note how Mary Baker Eddy incorporates the essence of God’s requirements highlighted below as derived from Micah 6:8 (B3)

Current edition
6. And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.

1879 “Tenets and Covenant”
3d. -- And we solemnly covenant to faithfully obey the ten commandments; to walk worthy our high calling, to deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God; to abhor a lie, to love truth, to do good to man, to have but one God, and to strive habitually to reach that higher understanding of Christian Science contained in the sermon on the Mount, whereby to cast out error and heal the sick. We give no credence to Spiritualism or Mediumship, and object to mesmerism and medicine, never in any case using any ourself.

1887 “Tenets to be Signed by those Uniting ...”
Third. -- We promise to love one another, and to work, watch and pray; to strive against sin, and to keep the Ten Commandments; to deal justly, love mercy, walk humbly; and inasmuch as we are enabled by Truth, to cast out evil and heal the sick.

1892 (from “Church Tenets and Rules”)
3. We solemnly promise to strive, watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus. To love the brethren, and, up to our highest understanding, to be meek, merciful, and live peaceably with all men.

1893 (from “Church Tenets and Rules”)
5. We solemnly promise to strive, watch and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus. To love one another, and, up to our highest understanding to be meek, merciful and just.

81st edition
(1894)
6. We solemnly promise to strive, watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus, to love one another, and to be meek, merciful, just, and pure.

1908(a) edition
6. And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.

April 1997, revised June 2007
CHWIP01: 65884 200 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 • (617) 450-7218
research@mbelibrary.orgwww.mbelibrary.org


Click here for Warren Huff’s additions of insights by Cobbey Crisler and The Mary Baker Eddy Library on some citations in the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Doctrine of Atonement” for October 15, 2017



[LETTING CEDARS TOP NEEDS OF THE WEEK BE KNOWN:

  • "Maintenance Musts" Matching Funds! This hugely helpful matching grant offer has been renewed by dear supporters to match up to $25,000 through December 31, 2017! We have several recent donations to this fund total a little over $2,500.
  • A MATCHING GIFT for CEDARS SPORTS CENTER!
    $1,200 more is needed for CONFERENCE TABLES to make our new Sports Center ideal for UPCOMING Bible and leadership conferences as well as for summer youth leadership courses. We are VERY grateful that some dear donors recently pledged to fully underwrite the acoustical treatment needed for our new Sports Center to become a PERFECT place to host INSPIRATIONAL RETREATS for Christian Science Nurses, Bible Students, youth groups, churches, sports teams…! This will also make the space ideal for all future sporting and all-camp events!

We are profoundly grateful for ongoing outpourings of love and support that have met many of our afore-listed needs!

Especially helpful are your much-needed MONTHLY gifts, past and ongoing, that can be started and adjusted as you wish at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ]

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime in our winter home/office by PHONE at 636-394-6162

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps Office
19772 Sugar Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536

[THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!]

[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.

[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 http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/

Metaphysical

Claim your pure-as-gold heritage! - Most of us don’t like the word sin. And, yet, those of...
Latest Lesson Application Idea

Newsletters

Get free weekly uplifting newsletters (available in English, Spanish, French, German and now in Portuguese!)
Subscribe or Update Subscription

Facebook

Find CedarS on Facebook for the latest news, heart-warming fruitage, facility upgrades and more!
Go to the CedarS' Facebook Page