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Discover your at-one-ment with God through obedience, honesty, humility, and brotherly love!

Janet Hegarty, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, April 16th, 2007

Discover your at-one-ment with God through obedience, honesty, humility, and brotherly love!
Application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on "Doctrine of Atonement" f
or April 16 - 22, 2007

By Janet Hegarty, 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!      BY EACH WEDNESDAY: CHECK www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/  FOR A FREE TRANSLATION of this weekly "met" offered in FRENCH by Pascal Bujard of Switzerland AND NOW in SPANISH by Ana Arcioni of Spain.

 

Golden Text:  It gives me great pleasure to act according to the "might and wisdom of God."  The Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary defines the word delight as "something that gives great pleasure."  In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy defines will as "The might and wisdom of God."  Truly to be governed by Love's power and guided and informed by Mind's wisdom is a guarantee that one's life will be purposeful and good.  Each of us does have God's law written in our heart.  This is "God's supreme design" (Hymn 258), that His children would be most happy when they are doing the will of God, good.  Because the law of God is a basic element of what we are made of, it makes sense that we are most happy when we are living in harmony with this law. 

 

Responsive Reading:  You don't need to make sin offerings anymore. (Ps 40:6 & Heb 10:18)  "To do Thy will is greater than sacrifice can be." (Hymn 151)  The Israelites often made offerings to God.  They would offer drinks, vegetables, meal, or animals.  The sin offering was given to make amends for offenses against God.  Once the offering ceremony was carried out, the Israelites considered the sin to have been forgiven. (The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible)  The idea from the Golden Text reappears in Hebrews 10:16: "When God establishes his new covenant he makes religion a matter of inwardness, putting his laws in men's hearts."(Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary)  Ps 40:6 also refers to this idea.  Dummelow explains, "...mine ears hast thou opened" means the hearer is now able "to understand the true requirements of the Law."  Sin offerings aren't needed any longer because through the new covenant, sin is no longer the norm for man.  Christ Jesus has shown mankind the way to overcome sin and God has given man the inner desire to do this. 

 

Section 1:  A "truer sense of Love." (S3)  What a delight it is to see a child sweetly stretch out her arms as far as they can go and, with a charming smile, sing out -- "I love you th i i i i s much!"  Many children's books and popular songs share this familiar theme -- "My love for you is as wide as the ocean, my love for you is as big as the sky."  No matter how delightful it is to know your friends and family love you - the perfect love of God is so much greater than any human love could ever be.  Every individual is entirely loved by God.  God loves without limitation and without momentary criticism or other human failings.  There is no condemnation in God's love because Love only knows our true, perfect selfhood.  Through God's perfect love for us, we are rescued from anything that is not fit to be loved.  "When it's sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that's the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life-a life that goes on and on and on, world without end."  (The Message -- B3) 

 

The purpose of Jesus' life was to make the love of God evident.  Jesus came to free us from the false sinful belief that we could be separated from God.  His life work proved that we are at one with God, in harmony with God, pure and spiritual.  His example showed us how to prove this truth in our own lives.  

 

Section 2:  Humility and honesty receive the promise.  The love Christ Jesus teaches is always available to lift us out of sin.  But to receive this promise we need to honestly examine ourselves. (S11)  What is it that motivates us?   Do we do things only to look good or do we have a deep, sincere, desire to be truly good?  The Pharisee was proud of his fasting and financial contributions to the church.  However, his self-justification showed that he didn't have a practical understanding of the redeeming power of the Christ.  His proud satisfaction with his own actions made him blind to the possibility of pursuing real spiritual growth.  As we are reminded in the Bible account of David's anointing, "... man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1Sam 16:7 -- New American Standard Bible)   The publican, on the other hand, had not come to the temple so that others could see him fulfill an obligation.  He truly had come to worship God.  He honestly admitted his faults and humbly asked forgiveness.  Of the publican Jesus said, "I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God)." (Amplified Bible -- B6)

 

Section 3:  If you want more freedom -- be obedient.  On the surface obedience can seem to be a limitation.   But rather than limiting us it actually allows us to have more freedom.  I saw a perfect example of this one summer.  As I was walking in a park on the shore of a lake, I saw a beautiful dog.  He was beautiful because of both his appearance and his obedience.  The dog was playing "fetch."  When the dog wasn't looking, his owner would toss the stick; then the dog would look to the owner for directions as to how to find the stick.  The dog would follow the directions precisely and soon he would return with his prize.  The owner knew that he could totally trust the dog; he didn't have to keep him restricted on a leash because he knew the dog would immediately come to him no matter what distractions were present.  I was even more impressed by the dog when the owner threw the stick into the lake.  You could tell that the dog was thrilled to jump into the water.  He retrieved the stick and came back to shore.  Delighted, he ran towards his owner.  However, as difficult as it may have seemed for the dog to do it, following his owner's command he stopped about five feet from the man and shook the water off his fur so that when he gave the man the stick he wouldn't get the man wet with his happy tail-wagging.  The owner allowed the dog to fetch the stick from the lake many times.  If the dog, in his excitement, had soaked the man the game would surely have ended quickly.  Mrs. Eddy tells us, "...God's will must be universally done."(S12)  To do God's will is delightful; it brings us many blessings.  Obey God and enjoy the freedom!      

 

Section 4:  Go ahead -- prove it.  "Repent ye, and believe the gospel." (B13)  If you trace the word gospel back to its Greek origin it means good news. (The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible)  The good news is Jesus' message of salvation: You are not a sinful mortal.  You are a loved child of God, able and willing to do good.  The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary explains the contrast between the way Jesus taught, with authority, and the teaching of the scribes:  "The Greek word for 'authority' means literally 'out from himself.'  Jesus did not depend on the authority of some previous expert but was the expert himself."  Jesus proved that the good news of salvation is true by healing the sick, casting out devils, and raising the dead.  When we follow Jesus' example and give proof of the good news that he taught in our own lives, we also can speak with authority.  We become an expert ourselves because we have demonstrated the truth of what we are saying first hand.     

 

Section 5:  One Mind, the foundation of fellowship.  Here (B19) Paul uses the analogy of branches grafted onto an olive tree to warn Christians not to consider themselves better than non-Christians or even better than one another.  Instead he urges us to remember that the good of each one comes from the same place.  How could one be more favored than the others when all come from the same root.  It is the root that gives all of the branches the life that they have.  The root, then, is the only one that deserves to be honored.  Mrs. Eddy shares similar ideas, "The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father;" (S22) and "When the divine precepts are understood, they unfold the foundation of fellowship, in which one mind is not at war with another, but all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source..." (S24)  It is our at-one-ment with God that makes us who we are.  Give God all the glory and be at peace with your fellow man.  As Hymn 83 reminds us, "God ordained no other bands than united hearts and hands."

 

Section 6:  Let's Celebrate!  "Christ hath rolled away the stone!" (S26)

Christ has rolled away the stone of every limitation. (S26)  Now you can be the excellent teacher, healer, caregiver, friend, artist, musician, service-worker, professional, child or parent that God made you to be.  (B22)   Just as Jesus foresaw his own resurrection, know that your own completeness is already established.  Mrs. Eddy says "that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object..." (S28)  As you celebrate this realization of your true being and discover more and more of what has been your complete abilities and talents all along, you will know that you have come "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."  (B21)   Keep this perfect model in your thought and it will lift and transform you.  Ride the wave of the "calm strong currents" of real, substantial, spirituality. (S30)  And just like the Pacific surf, it will hold you up, move you forward, and take you where God wants you to be.  Have a joyous and splendid ride! 

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.  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, Camp Director    
director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162
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Another new, visually-oriented and very helpful resource for study of the weekly Bible Lesson 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, timelines and translations, plus many healing ideas to use.   Why not check out this effort to help bring to life each beloved Bible lesson in order to bless the youthful thinker and Sunday School student (and teacher) in us all!

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