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Learn Active At-one-ment - The Doctrine of Fellowship and Perfection!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, October 15th, 2007

Learn Active At-one-ment - The Doctrine of Fellowship and  Perfection!
Metaphysical Application Ideas on the Weekly Bible Lesson for
October 15-21,  2007 on Doctrine of Atonement
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. of
St. Louis, Missouri

Editor's Note: The following 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 and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp!  You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday or in French or Spanish by Wednesday: CHECK www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ FOR FREE TRANSLATIONS.


Division (in homes, governments, churches, lives, bodies) seems so prevalent today!  It is vital that we understand our oneness with God, which leads to unity and fellowship.    The word doctrine simply means teaching, and the word appears in each section.  Notice how fidelity to the Doctrine of Atonement leads to harmony, joy, and healing!   [Possible Sunday School Topic or P.S.S.T.  What sense of division would you most like to help heal today? ]

Golden Text:  Learn that a full sense of joy (calm delight) depends on fellowship
Joy, an unflappable sense of calm delight, makes everything seem a bit brighter.  The writer of I John suggests joy comes as we experience true fellowship with our Father and His Son, Christ Jesus.  Fellowship is an active partnership, involving communion and intimate familiarity.  The fellowship we share with one another, and the harmony in our lives, has at its core the perfect relationship we each have with God and with Christ.  [P.S.S.T.  Will you set aside and cherish precious moments today to communicate with the one Mind and become more closely familiar with divine Love in your active partnering with Him/Her?  If not, why not?]

Responsive Reading:  Learn and Teach the Oneness Seen in Works
It is hard to think of a more intimate relationship than the one exists between a shepherd and his sheep.  Just as sheep recognize the voice of, follow, and are kept safe by their shepherd, Jesus' followers recognize the voice of, follow, and are kept safe by Christ ("the divine manifestation of God."  S&H 583) Jesus understood his oneness with God, and wanted his followers to understand their oneness with God.  He didn't expect us to believe what he taught just because he said so.  His works demonstrated his oneness with his Father.  Because of what he did, we can believe!   [Normally-cowardly sheep believe so much in the wise guidance of their shepherd that, on his command, as a herd, they will charge and chase off even an intruding wolf.  (See free download of The Song of our Syrian Guest by William Allen Knight at www.gutenberg.org/etext/12615)  P.S.S.T.  What "wolf" would you like to see chased off today by our church's united fellowship, confidence and obedience?  To feel confidently at-one with our supreme Shepherd and each other, and so un-Tricked, we can include in our Christian Science Treat-ment lesson citations such as B4, S8, S19, S21.  . . . ]

Section 1:  Jesus' Sermon teaches Active Fellowship and the Doctrine of Perfection
Look for definitions of Christ (S-1 &2), and atonement (S-5) in this section.  Then, look at what Jesus taught is required in order to be perfect - to express the perfection that doesn't come and go.  This perfection doesn't start from the basis of a flawed mortal trying to achieve perfection.  It comes from realizing the perfect relationship you have with your perfect Father/Mother.  It has to do with your inseparability from God and your undefiled identity as the divine image, idea.  It has to do with discovering and living this Christ identity.  Jesus demonstrated perfection through his healing ministry.  (B-1)  Jesus taught with authority because he wasn't repeating what he had heard someone else say, but what he learned from God as His Son.  (B-3&4)  He spelled out the rules of perfection - the rules of man's coexistence with God - in the Sermon on the Mount.  What does this sermon say is required if we're going to find the [blessed] joy (the true happiness) that is inherent in Sonship? (B-2 and S-3)  Notice that meekness, purity, peacemaking, and light-shining all result in action. (B-2)  It is demanded that we express perfection, because it is the natural outgrowth of our oneness with God.  "God and man coexist and are eternal." (S-4)  That's just the way it is!  (P.S.S.T.  What's the difference between being perfect and being a perfectionist?  [See Word Highlights in myBibleLesson like "perfect: ... finished; complete; having attained the goal or purpose"  and  "meek: peaceful, free from resentment, and not easily annoyed"]  Is it unreasonable for Jesus to tell us to be perfect?  What can you do, starting today, to begin to put your perfection into practice?)

Section 2:  Zacchaeus and the Correlative Scripture teach the Doctrine of Reconciliation                
It is very interesting to consider an "expanded version" of the Correlative Scripture (I John 3: 1-3) which is read at the end of every Sunday church service, in conjunction with the story of Zacchaeus, the repentant tax collector.  The scripture confirms our status as the children (the sons) of God and assures us that we have the opportunity to have fellowship with Christ and see God face to face, even if it doesn't look that way right now. (B-8)  We have to get a better sense of Love in order to be redeemed. (S-6) Zacchaeus was little.  He knew he wouldn't be able to see Jesus (recognize the Christ) if he stayed down at the level of the crowd.  As our view remains small - limited in expectation and scope, down at the general level of the world - we can't see the Christ, either - see the fullness of our nature as God's son.  Zacchaeus climbed a tree to get a better view and Jesus saw and called HIM!  As we separate ourselves from the crowd, we will be able to respond to the call of Christ, too.  Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus' home
[even though the tax collector was an outcast from his fellow Jews].  Understanding the relationship we all share with God, it was natural for Jesus to reach out in fellowship to his neighbor.  This fellowship with Christ led to reform - a natural turning away from sin to embrace the law of good. (B-6)  Zacchaeus' life was turned upside down as he felt Jesus' love, became acquainted with (reconciled to) his real nature as the child of God, and was led to repent.  We need to let our lives completely turn around, too, so we can have our part in the at-one-ment. (S-8)  Are we climbing?  Are we willing to give up our old ways (as Zacchaeus was)?  Constant self-sacrifice and unselfishness are required in order to be saved from the enslavement of sin (anything that would hide the blessings of sonship.) (S-7)  Hoping to "see him as he is" furthers the purification process that allows us to see ourselves as we are.  (P.S.S.T.  How do you think Zacchaeus' encounter with Jesus changed him? What do you see as the value of your having such an encounter with Christ?  Is it worth the sacrifice?)

Section 3:  Vine, Branches, Fruit teach the Doctrine of Fellowship and Healing!
What's the point of this story of the vine and branches? (B-11) Maybe it is to stress the fact that our fellowship is with God and his Christ.  If we're going to bear fruit (heal) we have to acknowledge that we can't do it without the vine (Christ), and realize that it is God that is tending us (enabling everything that is done to be done.) Notice that when Jesus sent out his disciples, he told them to let everyone know that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (B-12)  God is here - you can have face-to-face fellowship with Him.  Why did Jesus heal?  Why did he tell his disciples (us) to heal?  Just to make us more comfortable in this material world, OR to overcome the limitations of this world in order to see the limitless nature of God's kingdom? (B-12)  If we're going to bring freedom to the world, we have to be part of it.  Paul wanted Titus to understand that he had to be active in his community in order to set a good example and teach his fellow citizens what it means to be a citizen in the kingdom of heaven. (B-13)  As Jesus' disciples in this period WE have to heal by understanding our relationship to God.  WE have to love as Jesus loved.  It is only through this loving that we are ABLE to heal. (S-9) Is it just our BELIEF in God that heals?  Is it OUR human understanding of God that heals?  Or is it the action of Christ - the Truth itself that does the healing? (S-10)  Our job is to acknowledge the Christ consciousness as our consciousness - to recognize that we are one with Christ, governed by God, just like the branch is one with the vine, cared for by the gardener.  It is through this fellowship with God and with Christ that healing is realized.  (P.S.S.T. Practice letting go of a false sense of responsibility, while getting out and doing good.  See how great it feels to be a fruitful branch, rather than trying to be either the vine or the husbandman.)

Section 4:  Crucifixion and Resurrection teach the Doctrine of At-one-ment
Just before being crucified, Jesus prayed to his Father that all that followed and believed on his teachings could be one - could realize their oneness with their Father as he realized his oneness. He prayed that all who followed him (that's us) could feel their fellowship with their Father and with Christ. (B-14) Jesus' thought had gone beyond the scope of this world.  He was consciously with his Father.  And he openly shared what he knew. (B-15) Then, he obediently allowed himself to be crucified, demonstrating through his resurrection man's deathless nature as the Son of God. (B-17) The word atonement simply means "the state of being at one, or being reconciled."  (www.Biblegateway.com)  As we obediently follow Jesus' example and accept his teachings, we too receive the atonement - realize our fellowship or at-one-ment with God and with Christ. (B-18) Obedience, even though it results in suffering, is necessary in order to achieve oneness or reconciliation.  Two of the six tenets of our church (#4 & #5) speak of Jesus' atonement - his crucifixion and resurrection. (S-14)  Mrs. Eddy obviously felt that we need to understand the spiritual significance of these experiences.  Notice the use of the term "efficacious Love."  It was an active, effectual Love that enabled Jesus to demonstrate his oneness with God.  Christian Science explains that this oneness didn't mean that the human Jesus was God, but that the Christ (the true spiritual idea that animated Jesus) is inseparable from God in quality.  Just like an idea you have in your thought is inseparable from your thought.  Or a ray of sunlight is inseparable from the sun.  (S-15)  Jesus' experience shows us OUR inseparable relationship to God - illustrates our fellowship with the Father and with Christ as a spiritual idea one with the divine Principle, Love. (S-17)  With that understanding, we, too, can overcome the limits of mortal belief - as Jesus taught us to do.  Christ, Truth, has rolled away the stone that would keep us entombed in the so-called realm of matter. (S-17)  Let's get busy demonstrating our oneness!  (P.S.S.T.  What limitations would entomb you?  Look for ways to obediently overcome those limitations - even if it is hard - by exercising your oneness with Life, Truth, and Love.  Elevate your thought and walk out of the tomb victorious.)

Section 5:  Feeling Unity as on the day of Pentecost teaches the Doctrine of Fellowship
A key element of fellowship is communication!  The disciples had clearly benefitted from Jesus' teaching, his example and their witnessing of the crucifixion/resurrection/ascension.  They had been taught well, and now it was their turn to teach.  They needed to keep the good news going.  And people came from all over and heard - in their own languages.  [Here's the antidote to the Tower of Babel in a recent Bible Lesson.]  Everyone shared fellowship with the Father and with his Son.  More importantly, it was a lasting fellowship - actively expressed in fellowship with one another.  The church was growing.  Four key elements are mentioned: doctrine (following Jesus' teaching); fellowship (unity with God and with one another) breaking bread (caring for the needs of one another and sharing in daily lives); and prayer (staying connected to the Source.)  And lastly, praise - joy! (B-20 & 22)  Continuing in this pattern of prayer and sharing and joy will lead us to realize perfection.  (B-21)  Understanding and demonstrating the perfect unity of Father and Son results in feeling united with our fellow-man. (S-19) Understanding the permanent relationship of Principle and idea, and recognizing that you ARE that idea of perfect Principle, you can defend yourself from anything that would try to separate you from joy and harmony. (S-20)  And, you can expect that everything in your life will work "together" whether you are dealing with body-issues, finances, business, school, athletics, social situations, or anything else. (S-21)  But, there is a bit of a catch.  We HAVE to pay attention to the doctrine (teachings) of Christ and live according to them. (B-19) It is these teachings that constitute a "higher humanity."  And it is this higher sense of life in God that unites all in divine harmony.  (S-18)  (P.S.S.T.  What impact could you have (on your personal life, and on the world) if you "with gladness and singleness of heart" (B20) concentrated on recognizing that ONE Father - one Principle - is governing you and everyone?  Instead of looking at differences or what is going wrong, what if you concentrated on what is scientifically true - the harmony and at-one-ment of God and all She creates?  Decide today that you will make a difference by living your at-one-ment.)

Camp Director's Note: The above sharing is the latest in a series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians [with bracketed, italicized notes and "Possible Sunday School Topics" offered by me as editor]. 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, application 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. 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. Have fun unwrapping, cherishing and sharing your special, spiritual gift(s)!
Enjoy!

Warren Huff, Camp Director director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162
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The 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 request it. However, current and planned gifts are needed to defray the costs of running this service and of providing camperships, programs and operations support. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving for more about how you can give online or get information to talk privately about how to make a special gift to help perpetuate CedarS work.

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LETTING BE KNOWN A SPECIAL NEED/OPPORTUNITY - Funding is needed to help us take advantage of a "Maintenance Musts" Matching Grant offer from a generous donor who is aware of ongoing maintenance needed to make CedarS facilities measure up to its mission!  IF we raise $25,000 by
12-31-07, $25,000 will be given! (~$18,000 more to go)

MyBibleLesson is a new, visually oriented and very helpful resource for study of the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson. It is being produced by The Christian Science Publishing Society and can be found at: myBibleLesson.com.  What a great auxiliary to lesson study -- maybe even reading beyond citation markers using the handsome new student books now sold in Reading Rooms.  MyBibleLesson contains word definitions, Bible background Notes, fun topical cartoons, timelines and translations, plus many healing ideas to use.  Why not check out this vehicle to help bring new meaning and life to each beloved Bible lesson in order to bless the youthful thinker and Sunday School student (and teacher) in us all!

You can receive or stop your free subscription to CedarS weekly newsletter in your email box by Sunday or Monday of each week by subscribing - or unsubscribing --at www.cedarscamps.org/myCedars additional support, or if you have any concerns, please send e-mail to: ForHYPERLINK "mailto:director@cedarscamps.org"director@cedarscamps.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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