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Unwrap and cherish God's perfect, ever-present Gift - His Son Christ Jesus!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Unwrap and cherish God's perfect, ever-present Gift - His Son Christ Jesus!Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Bible Lesson: "Christ Jesus" for December 18-24, 2006
Prepared by Dan Carnesciali, CS of St. Louis, MO

Editor's Note: The following background information and application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp  NEW EACH WEDNESDAY: CHECK OUR WEBSITE- www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/- FOR A FREE FRENCH TRANSLATION of this weekly "met" offered by Pascal Bujard of Switzerland.

"Christ expresses God's spiritual, eternal nature."  It is the spirituality which Jesus "taught, illustrated, and demonstrated." (S11)  Christ is the "connection" from God to man.  The word Christ comes from the Greek word Χριστός, (Christós), which literally means "Annointed One".  [Strong's Concordance]
 
Writing ‘Xmas' instead of Christmas is not "taking the Christ out of Christmas."  Nothing has the power to do that!  Using Xmas is an accepted practice dating back at least to the 1600s, perhaps much further.  The ‘X' means Christ, because ‘X' is the first letter in the Greek word Χριστός/CRISTOS.  [American Heritage Dictionary and  www.cresourcei.org]  Mary Baker Eddy used ‘Xmas' dozens of times.  In a letter to Captain Joseph S. Eastaman on Dec. 27, 1895 she wrote, "Your basket ... came for my Xmas gift.  I thank you from my heart that you never forget me." [The Mary Baker Eddy Collection]
 
The infinite God must be expressed!  Christ is the sum total of that expression.  That's a lot of light!  There is enough Godlike expression to fill the Universe and more.  If you are looking for proof that God exists, be on the lookout like the shepherds and the wisemen in the story of Jesus' birth.  Look for expressions of goodness, no matter how small in your life.  Look for opportunities to forgive, to make peace, to love, to be charitable, to help and heal others, to be grateful, to be at peace and know Him. These are all ways to unwrap and cherish YOUR most precious gift - "the mind of Christ." (I Cor. 2:16)   Then angel messages will come and visit you too, and not just at Christmas.  Take a few moments this week to praise God, thank Him.  And rejoice! because the Christ, the presence of God  is here.
 
Golden Text: 
Jesus is describing himself as a morning star.  A morning star is very bright and appears as the morning sky begins to lighten before dawn.  Have you ever been outside and seen how bright the planet Venus is?  (Venus is called the "morning star".)  Think of yourself as a brilliant reflection like that morning star.  Your Godlike qualities are unmistakable.  Christ is portrayed as light throughout this lesson.
 
Responsive Reading:
"Ye stars of light" can also be translated "you morning stars."  [The Message, Peterson]  If you were literally a star, what would you see?  That's right, light, nothing but light.  In every direction, everything would be lit up.  That's what God sees.  She sees Her brilliant reflection in every direction. God's Love lights up the entire Universe.  Therefore there are no pockets of darkness.  Light is spiritual awareness, illumination.  [American Heritage Dictionary]

Good always, always governs.  Be sure to be a witness to God's government in action.  What an antidote to terrorism this is.  Are you viewing terrorism as a growing threat?  That would be viewing it as a reality instead of as a false belief.  Who will defeat terrorism?  "The zeal of Lord of hosts [of the masses, of a countlessly large number] will perform this."  [American Heritage Dictionary and Isa. 9:7, RR]
 
God has given us the gift of the inseparability from good.  In this age He has given mankind the gift of the Christ Science.  As we read this lesson and seek ways to apply it, we will be unwrapping this wonderful gift.  (Editor's note: We can show "the great Giver"  how much we truly cherish His "unspeakable gift" of "the mind of Christ," as "we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus."  (See also: the full 6th Tenet in the Church Manual, 16; S&H 112:19; 2 Cor. 9:15; 1 Cor. 2:16)

Section I - Shedding light on Jesus' spiritual origin
Based on Isaiah's prophecy (B2) about 740BCE, the Jews have been anticipating the coming of their Messiah, the "chosen one," for hundreds of years before Jesus' birth.  (BCE stands for Before the Common Era, to make the calendar more inclusive of other faiths.)  In Biblical times, people could be chosen by being anointed with oil.  (Remember how Samuel chose a shepherd boy David, the son of Jesse, to be the King of Israel?  He crowned him by anointing him with oil, by pouring special oil on his head. I Samuel 16).  Jesus' birth in 6BCE was the tremendous fulfillment of the messianic prophecy, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given ... and his name shall be called Wonderful" (Isaiah 9:6)
 
Jesus was his name and his title was Christ.  (S4)    But what is Christ?  "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness." (S&H 332:9 Christ)   Jesus was born to Mary, a virgin, whose thought was untouched by materiality.  Mary Baker Eddy discovered the Science of the Christ, fulfilling Jesus' prophecy of the Comforter, who will be with us forever.  Both Mary, mother of Jesus, and Mary Baker Eddy perceived this light and gave birth to new ideas that have changed the world.  Their thought had to be pure and selfless in order to be "chosen" by God for their roles.
 
Section II - Watching, Listening for Angels
"... God said, 'Light up the darkness!' and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful."  [II Cor. 4:6 The Message]
 
Recall what you learned about shepherds in the Dec. 10th lesson, God the Preserver of Man.   Do you think you would be a good shepherd?  It's a selfless job. Could you stand watch all night?  Could you fight off wolves and other predators?  Would you be willing to risk your life for creatures who won't drink if the water runs too fast, or won't lie down and rest if they don't feel safe?  It would take a lot of patience and a mountain of love.  (Editor's note: Armed with such love and spiritual watchfulness, camp counselors and all of you character educators constantly reassure today's flock that "All is well.")
 
God chose these alert watchmen to announce a glorious event.  When you read the account in Luke, you can imagine what it would be like to have this light shine out of nowhere (out of darkness) and announce the wonderful news to you that Christ the Lord has been born and just where to find him.  (B6) 

What angel thoughts are awaiting your discovery?  Often we want to witness God's power and glory, but we miss them.  This week and hereafter be more willing to be quiet, to take time every morning (like at camp) to watch and listen for the "still small voice."
 
Section III - Seek Wisdom, a True Understanding of Christ
Jesus had more visitors that night, three wisemen (Magi) who were astronomer priests from another land in the east.  They came to celebrate, although quietly, with the Messiah "-the divine idea of God outside the flesh." (S9)  Like the wisemen who "Rejoice with exceeding great joy," (B7)  God is rejoicing over you.  Treasure your gifts - your patience, your willingness to follow the Truth, your courage to do what's right and honest "even if it isn't the popular thing to do."  (part of CedarS Torchbearer Pledge)
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy offers us many perspectives on Christ.
Christ - divine idea of good, ever-present in consciousness. (See S&H p. 332:9, 38:25, 473:16)
 
Christ - divine activity of God, the infinite activity of the Infinite One, healing. (See p. 26:12, 143:3, 347:14, 351:14)
 
Christ - spiritual idea of Love, Comforter. (See p. 38:25)
 
Christ - inseparable connection between God and His idea, man. (See p. 292:28)
 
Spiritual man, "coexistent and coeternal" with God, dwelling in perfection. (See p. 336:9)  
 
Christ - Son of God found throughout New Testament.  Additionally, Jesus was the first to reveal that you and I are truly the children of God, a concept so familiar to us now.   "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." (Matt 5:9)  Christian Science expanded this concept to perfect child of God. "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, - perfect God and perfect man, - as the basis of thought and demonstration." (S&H 259:12)  "Unless you fully perceive that you are the child of God, hence perfect, you have no Principle to demonstrate and no rule for its demonstration." (My 242:8)
 
Christ - Jesus, the man anointed as the Christ.   (See p. 473:10)  Jesus not God, but Christ.  (See p. 359:32)  (For additional research, consider using Concord to review the Bible and see if Jesus ever referred to himself as God, and how many times he is referred to as the Son of God.)
 
Christ - Truth, the healing power of God, the Truth that heals.  (See p. 251:13)  "Jesus established his church and maintained his mission on a spiritual foundation of Christ-healing." S&H 136:1
Section IV  - Focusing on Your Father's Business
As Christmas approaches, consider Proverbs 16:16.  How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!  You are wise and your wisdom isn't a personal gift.  Your wisdom is a direct reflection of the one Mind.  "God is not separate from the wisdom he bestows." (S13)
 
We don't know much about Jesus when he was young.  In Biblical times, they didn't record information about what people were like when they were teenagers.  And, they sure didn't have facebook.com. However, Luke gives us insight into what it was like to grow up in Jesus' family.  (Did you know Jesus had brothers?)  [Matt 12:46]  Jesus was accidentally left behind and his parents searched for him.  They found him debating with the doctors [religious scholars].  And, they were learning from him!  (B11)   When his parents finally found him, Jesus expressed surprise that they hadn't known where to find him.  He was "about his Father's business".  (I can imagine James, Jesus' brother [Matt 16:1], grumbling that Jesus was always too busy working for His Father in heaven to take out the trash.)  Seriously, remember whom you work for, cherish the work that God gives you and cherish a willingness to do more for God.
 
When you love God with all your heart (Matt 22: 37-40), and you love being "about your Father's business," you love who you are.  And, that love just spills over in deep love for others.  By following these commandments to the best of your abilities, you are being Jesus' follower.  And your light will lead others (friend or foe) out of darkness (depression, addiction, sickness, consumerism) into the light.  When someone compliments you, affirm in your own consciousness that they are recognizing the Christ in you.
 
Section V - Christ's Healing Authority
Jesus spoke with authority to disease and cast it out.  (B12)  (See S&H 395:6)  Jesus has given you "power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases."  [Luke 9:1 New International version] By what authority did Jesus heal?  By what authority did his followers heal?   By what authority do Christian Scientists heal?  Jesus healed with the authority of the Great I AM, the Creator of the Universe, the law of good.  You possess this same authority.  Mrs. Eddy repeatedly instructs us to use that authority.  "Like the great Exemplar, the healer should speak to disease as one having authority over it, ..." (395:6)  "Let us banish sickness as an outlaw, and abide by the rule of perpetual harmony, - God's law." (381:27)  "The law of Christ, or Truth, makes all things possible to Spirit." (182:32) How effective is this authority at healing?  As effective as light is over darkness. So, use your Christly authority.
 
"Our Master cast out devils (evils) and healed the sick ... God will heal the sick through man, whenever man is governed by God."  (S18)  Don't you just love when you hear healings performed by little children?  (A young man in our Christian Science Sunday School healed his dad of a serious foot condition by knowing that "God never had painful feet.")  Don't treat sickness or evil as if it were a reality.  Treat it for what it is - a false belief of the human mind.  When tempted by the "illusion of sickness or sin" sometimes you have to hang tough and "cling steadfastly to God and His idea."  Truth is always victorious.  Stay with the Truth even if the evidence of healing isn't apparent to you yet.  As you "allow nothing but His likeness to abide [exist, live] in your thought," you will see healing.  (S18, S&H p. 494-495 above) Your abiding power and authority come naturally by reflection.  The Christ is permanent and will not leave you.  It will stay with you.  "... I am with you always...." (Matt. 28:20)
 
Section VI - Christ's Blessings
God is pleased with you.  If you are feeling down or burdened, there is a light from God shining into this darkness.  In your very own heart there is a star shining.  (See the end of B16)  Your heart is a heavenly place because the Christ is within you.
 
Today's forecast - Showers of blessings.  (B18)  "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings." (S24)  That's big with blessings, not burdens.   (Editor's pick: How about this for a "too-blessed-to-be-stressed" seasonal tune: "Come, cast your burdens on the Lord, and trust His constant care. . .. . I drop my burden at His feet, and bear a song away." (Christian Science Hymnal 124:1, 3)  
 
Not only are you an eyewitness to Christ, but Christ is an eyewitness to your Godlikeness.   Heed the angels on the lookout in every season for your spirituality, "counteracting all evil, sensuality and mortality." (S&H 581:6)
 
Camp Director's Note:The above sharing is the latest in a long series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident 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 as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms. * Originally sent JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson in the books. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The citations referenced (i.e. B1 and S28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.)  Spirituality is your innate estate that connects you moment by moment with God.  (See S&H 258:30) Christ is the gift of light that Jesus gave.  This Christ light of spiritual understanding comes with and reveals infinite blessings. So, have fun unwrapping and cherishing your very special, spiritual gift(s)!  Then, wherever you are, share them with all as big blessings that make the Infinite difference!
 
Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Director    
director@cedarscamps.org

CedarS Camps Office (where you can now mail support or requests till the office moves back to camp in May)
1314 Parkview Valley
Manchester, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

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