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Thirsty? Drink the right fountain! Get a Life! Lesson-application Ideas on "Life" for January 12-18

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Thursday, January 15th, 2004

Thirsty? Drink the right fountain! Get a Life!
Lesson-application Ideas on "Life" for January 12-18
By Kathy Fitzer, CS of St. Louis, MO

We all know what it feels like to be thirsty. The question is, what is it that we are really thirsting for, and what is it that really satisfies? Webster defines "thirst" as having a sincere (or ardent) desire. How thirsty are we for the water that springs from God? Do we look to matter or Mind to satisfy our thirst? Do we really desire to be "born of water and of the Spirit?" Do we accept (and are we offering to others) the living water of the Christ? If so, our eyes will be opened and we will see the "pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb" and we will "take of that water of life freely." And then we'll find that we've got a life - a full and fabulous life!

Golden Text: God's Offer
The stage is set: God is the first and the last - the Only! And God has a gift - a water fountain of life that satisfies. The gift is for those who are "athirst." Hmmmm.... In order to receive this gift, then, we have to be thirsty enough to take a drink. When we stop trying to "deal with things" ourselves, and turn to the source, we find that blessings come consistently - a living fountain worth - rather than just by the drip or the cupful.

Responsive Reading: The Promise
God promises to supply all our needs when we seek and thirst for what He has. Water is used throughout the lesson as a symbol of purity, of Spirit, and of a constant supply of good. As God transforms the wilderness, through watering the ground, so our lives are transformed as we turn to and trust the word of God which meets our every need in exactly the best way. "...it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." As we seek, Love's answer is revealed.

Section I: God is the Source of all Good
Take a look at a lush pasture, fed by a near-by stream, on a sunny day, and you get a glimpse of the abundance of good that God is forever providing us. The stream flows and enriches whatever it touches. The sun brightens and warms whatever steps into its path. Likewise, "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals." (S&H # 4) This Love calls to us, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." (S&H p. 13) It is free to everyone that desires it! Basing our sense of things on matter, we see limits. It seems that there simply is not enough good to go around. But understanding that infinite Spirit is providing for all our needs, we see that as a spring-fed stream carries water wherever it is needed - so Love pours out a blessing on all. Recognize your spiritual nature, "coexistent and eternal with God" (S&H #3) and "this understanding will expand into self-completeness." (S&H # 5) As your spiritual nature is understood, you'll naturally see that your life is complete. You'll find it makes no sense to look for good anywhere but in God - the I AM that nothing can erase. (S&H #2)

Section II: Leaning and Trusting - Blessings Revealed
The children of Israel had seen the miracles of God as they were led out of Egypt. Yet, their faith failed them as they felt the thirst and desolation of the desert. Death was threatening. Although not included in the lesson, v. 1 reports that Miriam (Moses's sister) had just died. The people were frightened. Moses and Aaron, turning away from the picture of lack and despair, sought God at the tabernacle. Kneeling in humility, asking God for guidance, very specific instructions came. As a result of prayer, Moses was led to strike the rock with his rod and water poured forth. Clearly, it is God's will that man live. (B #4) We have to ask ourselves, where are we looking for life - to the mortal or the spiritual? How much time is wasted fretting and complaining - like the Hebrews? Because "it is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, that produces apparent discord...." understanding His infinite goodness restores harmony. (S&H #8) "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings." (S&H #10) The material senses always lie. Don't be suckered in!

Section III: Be Born Again
Nicodemus, witnessing the marvelous works of Jesus, recognized that Jesus was from God. But, he couldn't understand how in the world Jesus expected him to be born again, assuming Jesus was referring to a physical birth process. (B #8) The Revised Standard Bible uses the phrase "born anew" instead of "born again." The translation in Aramaic (Jesus' language) is "begotten from above." So, until we recognize our origin (our Life) to be Spirit, we'll be stuck with limited earthly thinking, and not be able to reach the kingdom. Jesus spoke of being born of water (the purification of thought as preached by John the Baptist) and of the Spirit (a recognition of man's oneness with God as demonstrated by Christ Jesus.) Hungering and thirsting for righteousness (the condition acceptable to God), we are filled - fully satisfied. As we take advantage of opportunities that come our way, mortal man "ripens." Progress is made. There is a softening (like when fruit ripens) and the mortal (limited concept) is completely dropped and we find ourselves born anew with an immortal (unlimited, undying) Life. (S&H #12) Mrs. Eddy tells us to "be watchful, sober, and vigilant." (S&H #15) That's hungering and thirsting. As we are, we find the straight and narrow way "which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life." (S&H #15) Once we understand that, the new birth is complete and demonstration made.

Section IV: Drink of the Living Water, and Give a Cup to Your Neighbor
There are two roles presented in this section. One is to be willing to receive the living water of the Christ, Truth - like the woman. We have to start there. It is impossible to give something you don't have yourself. The other is to let our Christ-light shine as we share this treasure with others who are thirsting for it. Jesus certainly was no respecter of person. He went against all accepted customs when he asked a Samaritan woman for a drink of water and then offered her "living water." Nothing the woman said indicated that she was looking for the Christ, yet Jesus sensed her receptivity. Mrs. Eddy urges us to respond similarly as we give "weary wanderers, athirst in the desert" "a cup of cold water in Christ's name, and never fear the consequences." (S&H #16) If we're afraid to extend a helping hand for fear that we will be rebuffed, our outstretched hand won't be there when it is needed. Although not included in the lesson this week, we remember that the woman in the Bible went back to her village and told everyone she had found the Christ, and brought them all out to see for themselves. In turn, they invited Jesus to stay awhile with them and teach them more. One never knows how our selflessness will touch another, and how far-reaching the benefits may be. Mrs. Eddy tells us that Jesus' "mission was to reveal the Science of celestial being, to prove what God is and what He does for man." (S&H #17) Shouldn't our mission be the same?

Section V: Wash Off the Clay and See What God Has Done
How many times are we tempted to ask what the cause of a difficulty is - who's to blame? Jesus made it very clear .... there is no cause. The culprit is the belief that man is material. In the case of the blind man, Jesus spat on the ground (showing disdain for the lie that man is made of dust.) The blind man was asked to go to the pool and physically wash off this clay - to take action to purify himself. The man expressed his gratitude by giving the Christ credit for his healing. We can ask ourselves, am I willing to go and wash away bad habits or unhealed suggestions? How pure is my thought? It is submergence in Spirit that purifies our heart and enables us to "see God." (SH #241) Whether the suggestion calls itself sickness or sin, the remedy remains the same. The enslavement of man, being illegitimate, "will cease when man enters into his heritage of freedom." (S&H 228) It is your inheritance .... Cash in on it.

Section VI: The Water of Life - Spiritual Understanding
We've come full circle with the final promise .... There is no sin, sickness, or death in the kingdom of God. St. John saw the "pure river of water of life." (B #15) He heard the promise of "no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (B # 14) These former things are ignorant mortal beliefs that man's origin is in matter. A river that flows from Spirit has no beginning and no end, and it is absolutely free of all impurities. It is just always there to support you - like the Science of the Christ (the knowledge of Truth). "In this Science, we discover man in the image and likeness of God. We see that man has never lost his spiritual estate and his eternal harmony." (S&H #27) It's all there - take a big drink of Truth and be who you really are!

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