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It's always "an inside job" with "Sacrament!"

Corde Hanzlik, C.S., Austin, TX
Posted Monday, January 5th, 2004

It's always "an inside job" with "Sacrament!"
Lesson Application Ideas for 1-5 thru 1/11/04 by Corde Hanzlik, CS (Austin, TX)
This is a biggie of a Lesson! Sacrament. So what's the big deal? It is our individual opportunity to renew our commitment and obedience to God, to Jesus, to the Christ, to Mary Baker Eddy as the Discoverer and Founder and to Christian Science. We are going to learn a great deal about prayer, desire, and preparation of the heart, too. So let's get to it.

The Golden Text is our command, demand.
Responsive Reading: One has to remember that the early relations between the Lord and His chosen people, the Hebrews, were very basic and, to us, somewhat primitive. Animal sacrifices were key to their worship. There were step by step procedures and restrictions as is described in the first part of the RR. There is often more focus on the how-tos than the values. The last verse is the reminder as to why - gratitude to the Lord for saving the first-born children of Israel (the Hebrews, Jews) from death back in the time of their Egyptian captivity. Hence the curse passed over (Passover) their houses preserving them. This gratitude and worship as crude as it may sound to us now, was truly the highest sense and type of worship in those early Bible times. As we go through the Lesson, we'll find the new way of worship and devotion to God.

Section 1: We are immediately alerted to the idea that worshipping God is going to be "an inside job," of the heart (thought), not of physical activity - 1,2,3 markers tell us so. Hezekiah knew that this "heart cleansing" was really necessary. B 2. The folks had not done their right procedural preparations so Heze intervened on their behalf. (If you want more of the sacrifice stuff and Passover prep go to the Bible and read what is not in the Lesson) Heze really got the right idea albeit in conjunction with the full tradition. As the Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures tells us in the first marker, the aspiration - what we really want and strive for - is the first step. Remember to watch for the 'desires' in the Lesson. God knows our thoughts, our aspirations. With our "right motives" we will be led to do what is right. S&H 3. Does Mrs. Eddy tell us that Heze had the right idea about worship? S&H 4. She does, not by name, but by description. Heze was prepared to receive the Christ, Truth. He didn't have a clue about Jesus Christ, yet he received the Christ Truth in his way. Timeless. So bottom line of the section is S&H 5. Our hearts must be made pure.

Section 2: Still, the question - does the Lord like all of the sacrificial trappings? The answer is still no. The heart cleaning is still the answer as guided by the understanding of the Christ - heart, soul, mind. There is a great deal about obedience in this and most of the sections.
S&H If we do our 'heart-cleaning'- what is the test to our devotion? It isn't enough to put on the talk, as they say. To actually walk the walk is critical. We have to be devoted to do not merely think about issues. Where is our heart, thought? What is the big test for how much heart we have and how to get more? S&H 7 What do we most need? A fervent desire - we have to want to - then growth - in size, no - in grace - shown how? - patience, meekness, love, and good deeds. WOW! That's a lot. But wait, there's more test - S&H 8 and the prize, the El Dorado (an old South American city symbol for the ultimate treasure, fabulous wealth). S&H 9 has more fervent desire of what? To know and do the will of God (p11). Wait a minute! Each of these challenges boil down to the idea that we don't need to do anything. We only need to be! Be one with God as we already are!

Section 3: Now our story turns to a different 'sacrificial' Lamb. Look what Jesus does for everyone. Mary recognizes his purity, goodness and prepares her heart in her way through her oil anointing of the Lamb. She is scorned by Judas for wasting the valuable oil. Of course, he did not recognize the Lamb in the same way. He didn't get it until it was too late. But she understood. What did she desire?
S&H So Mary had spiritual devoutness S&H 11. She also had the super oil. Oil that never runs out! S&H 12. All of the Judas beliefs, S&H 15 - falsehood, envy, hypocrisy, malice, hate, revenge, and so forth - couldn't hide Mary's devotion. Nor can it hide ours. Pour in the oil! Notice the heart preparation again. S&H 13,14.

Section 4: What is all this leavening about? (You can go buy some yeast and see what it does in bread dough.) Notice we are talking about our passover now. What kind of lump are we? Are we to allow the old leaven - the old methods of worship and sacrifice? Or do we change heart for the right worship and recognition of the Christ Lamb? The symbolism of the New Passover is how we worship by attitude not activity.
S&H Heart check! S&H 16, 17. Passover description S&H 18. Definitons of the Passover - S&H 20. Get your dictionary out. What is Eucharist? (There is even a Christian Science definition.) What does it have to do with atonement, at one ment with God?, heart?, Passover?

Section 5: Our sacrificial Lamb is different than the "old" tradition. He was resurrected! He proved life to be immortal. The meal that Jesus had with his disciples after his resurrection had a totally different tone as he showed them, us, the real meaning of life and oneness with God. Are we obedient to his instructions to Peter and his disciples - feed, go, preach? B 20.
S&H Mrs. Eddy asks us the same things! We will take up the cross, heal, cast out, preach. S&H 23 Jesus had caught the disciples going back to their old ways, fishing. It is easy to revert to old habits, old fears. Not for long. Breakfast! Fortunately, the Christ doesn't let us go. We are newborn. S&H 24. S&H 21 - In our doubt sometimes, don't we outline a "proof" to show us that God is caring for us? How dare us! It would be almost like fishing, but we seem to do it all of the time even after a wonderful demonstration. We need more breakfasts.

Section 6: All of the old traditions are passed over for the right understanding of Passover, all that Jesus taught, teaches us. Our hearts are comforted. (Take this literally to and for heart). B23, 24
S&H So what is the new sacrifice? Our earthly all. All of it? Yep. But wow, we get the El Dorado! Look at all of the imperatives (commands) in S&H 26,27. when we need help - cling, allow, let, let, supplant, replace, silence, hold, demonstrate. Watch what these verbs are doing or telling us to do. Then we can float on the "calm, strong currents". There is nothing that can violate, change or diminish our relation with divine Spirit. We are "God's spiritual, perfect man". S&H 28

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