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Angels at work! Lesson Application ideas on "UNREALITY"

Julie Ward, C.S.B.
Posted Monday, September 27th, 2004

ANGELS AT WORK!
Bible Lesson Application ideas on "Unreality" (Sept. 27-Oct. 3)
by Julie Ward, C.S. (Westwood, Massachusetts)

GOLDEN TEXT - The word for "heathen" here is closer to our word "nations." In fact, God reveals that any "conventional wisdom" comes to nothing if it doesn't come from Him.

RESPONSIVE READING - The first verse is a wonderful passage to commit to memory, so that you can always have it "in your pocket." God's assurance that He will strengthen us, help us, and uphold us stands through all eternity, in whatever circumstances. God's right hand is a special symbol of His omnipotence, so you could think of "the right hand of my righteousness" as "the omnipotence of My right thinking."

What is "the new sharp threshing instrument, having teeth"? A law that "has teeth" is one that can be actively enforced. Threshing is the process by which the grain is separated from the chaff and straw. Truth separates the real from the unreal. Even the largest problems - the mountains and the hills - are seen as nothing when Truth separates fact from fable. Check out the definition of "fan" in the Glossary. The fan was a sort of pitchfork that the farmers used to hurl the grain into the air so that the wind could blow the chaff away. In a way, this is the whole lesson - separating the real from the unreal. God declares "the end from the beginning." What He knows is permanent - not some random development, but that which is eternally true.

SECTION I - Because harmony is universal, discord is unreal.
The basis for all the rest of our lesson - "The Lord He is God; there is none else beside him." Has God blessed you, saved you, healed you? Then you are "the redeemed of the Lord," and you can SAY SO! Don't be afraid to share your gratitude. Among the many wonderful works of God that are listed in (B3), we can particularly treasure this promise: "He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still." Whether it's a hurricane, or a storm of emotions, this is the law to the situation. One of the marginal notes for (SH3) reads, "All evil unnatural." So there is no such thing as a "natural disaster." Ask yourself, "Do I believe that evil is more natural than good, that sickness is more natural than health, that sin is more natural than purity?" Here's the rule: "Truth should not seems so surprising and unnatural as error, and error should not seem so real as truth." (SH3)

SECTION II - Terrorism is not real.
Because we're established in right thinking, no terror can come near us. "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper."(B5) No evil plot can destroy the children of God. "Let them be as chaff before the wind" because the "new sharp threshing instrument" exposes them. Remember that "Evil is but the counterpoise of nothingness."(SH8) If you put all the evil in the world on one side of a scale, and put nothing in the other, they'll balance perfectly. Because "the greatest wrong is but the supposititious opposite of the highest right," we don't have to be overwhelmed or frightened by evil occurrences. We can reverse them to find the highest right already present, just where the evil appears to be. Be not afraid - "evil is not power." (SH10)

SECTION III - Lust and passion are unreal.
Lot and his family had pitched their tent in Sodom, a city noted for its rampant immorality. Two angels came to warn him to take his wife and daughters away "lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city." When Lot and his family lingered, they came and took him by the hand to lead him out. Isn't this a wonderful example of Love's specific protection of all of its own ideas? If we are lingering in a mental atmosphere that's unhealthy for us, Love's angels will always be there to show us the way out. In this section the definition of "angels" is especially helpful, particularly the last part - "the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality."(SH11) Be aware of the presence of angels throughout the lesson.  If you're worried about a friend or a loved one who seems under the spell of sensuality, you can know that the angels are at work! Our bodies do not govern us - our bodies are governed by God.

SECTION IV - Contagion is unreal.
In the Bible portion of this section, there are two related stories - one from the Old Testament, and one from the New Testament. First, we're told of a plague that was "stayed" when Moses told Aaron to get to the temple and make atonement for the people. Then, we have the familiar promise from Ps. 91: "There shall no evil befall thee; neither shall any plague come night thy dwelling." Then, we have the story of Jesus healing a leper. The fear of leprosy was so great during Jesus' time that most people would have run from a leper, but Jesus "put forth his hand and touched him." There was no rejection, and no fear of contagion. In the last verse of (B17), Jesus instructed the man whom he had healed to "shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." He had to publicly acknowledge his healing ("Let the redeemed of the Lord SAY SO.")

"One disease is no more real than another." (SH17) Isn't it wonderful to know that no disease is harder to heal than any other? Reduced to its common denominator, every disease is a lie - nothing more. Big lie, little lie, scary lie, silly lie - they're all the same. The story of the man who died from his belief in cholera illustrates the fact that disease is not some objective reality with a name, a cause, a course to run. He didn't die from the disease, but from his fear of the disease. We can be alert porters at the door of thought, and "Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them." A wise porter is absolutely familiar with the rightful inhabitants of his building. He doesn't have to learn which people DON'T belong there so long as he knows well the people that DO. Be very familiar with the rightful inhabitants of your thought - qualities and ideas that are enduring, good, and true. Then, if a suggestion tries to sneak in that doesn't belong, you'll spot it in a moment.

SECTION V - Randomness is unreal.
Again, we hear Jesus urging us to repent - re-think - and to believe the gospel. He cited two instances when it appeared that bad things happened to good people, then asked if these people were sinners more than the others who were spared. In both cases, his answer was a clear, "Nay, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." If we re-think these situations, we'll see that any sense of death and destruction among God's ideas is a lie, and we can't be tricked into justifying it. "The Lord is... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Note the use of "all" in (B20) and (B21). ALL are saved through the tender love of God - no exceptions!

This week ask yourself constantly the two questions in (SH21), and answer them seriously, from the bottom of your heart. Remember that you have "divine permission to conquer discord of every kind with harmony, with Truth and Love." We can begin to understand today that there is no death - no shocking death, no violent death, no peaceful death, no inevitable death. Every claim of death is a lie. When you hear reports of death in the news, be sure to challenge them with the understanding that Life, God, is All. Be very alert to challenge any suggestion of randomness in the universe. This is one way that we can lessen the claims of accidents in our own experience and in the world . God knows no accidents, and we will know them no more as we "repent" and follow these rules:
     
-         Leave the mortal basis of belief.
      -         Unite with the one Mind
      
-         Change the notion of chance to the proper sense of 
            God's unerring direction
     
-         Bring out harmony! 

SECTION VI - No matter how puffed up and dramatic it seems to be, discord is still unreal. 
The Bible tells us of the "war in heaven" in which Michael and his angels fought against the great red dragon. (See the definition of "red dragon' in the Glossary - 593:7). The red dragon was cast out by Michael and his angels, and a loud voice proclaimed, "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."(B23) The word "accuser" here can mean "obstructor, opposer, the embodiment of all that is opposed to God." This accuser is cast out. Nothing can oppose the allness of God.

No matter how overwhelming a problem seems to be, no matter how stubborn or horrifying or senseless or universal, it's still just a lie about God's allness. We are never helpless before a problem's claim to frighten and overwhelm us. If a problem claims to paralyze us, we can ask ourselves this question: "But why should we stand aghast at nothingness?" We can face down every claim of evil, knowing that we have Michael and Gabriel at work on either side. We're covered. So we can "LET discord of every name and nature be heard no more, and LET the harmonious and true sense of Life and being take possession of human consciousness." (SH29)

The lesson ends with one more statement that I think we all should memorize, for it covers the whole ground of Christian Science. "God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power." (SH30) That says it all!

(Camp Director's Note: As the latest in a long series of CedarS weekly lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed by many CedarS practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians, this document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons. Sent originally just to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue their inspiration from camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive. The thoughts presented are offered to give a bit of dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone providing unique insights and applications.  We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey.)


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