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Cherish and Be Cherished by the Great Heart of Love!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Cherish and Be Cherished by "the Great Heart of Love!"

Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Sacrament" for 7-08-07 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!   You can sign up free to have these mets emailed to you in English by Monday or in French or Spanish by 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. 


Imagine that all that is known about Christianity is what is in this lesson.  Look for what it means to be Christian.

 

Golden Text: Love alone, even those who don't believe like you do
The Golden Text blends Old Testament law and New Testament love.  The Old Testament portion (the "thou shalt love the Lord thy God" part) is the concept that eternal life is as a direct result of obedience to God's law.  "So keep My Laws and do what I say. If a man obeys them, My Laws will be life for him. I am the Lord." (Lev. 18:5 New Life Version)  Jesus revealed the essential concept of loving your neighbor and loving yourself.  (This is the New Testament part.)  Without a focus on love for your neighbor, it is possible to end up with some twisted ideas of what serving and loving God means.  Some religious extremists think that God is commanding them to attack those who do not believe like them.

 

Responsive Reading: - Worship and "walk in the Spirit!"
Sometimes siblings and even cabin mates do not seem to get along well, even though they have much in common.  Sometimes nations behave like that too.  During Jesus' time there was a bitter schism between the Jews and the Samaritans that was largely based on where one should worship.  However, the two peoples had significant things that united them.  They both accepted the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, as sacred scripture.  And, they both cherished a coming Messiah. 

About this important biblical meeting Cobbey Crisler shared in a taped talk about the book of John that by Jewish law a rabbi should never talk with a woman, especially a Samaritan, but that Jesus went straight to God for law.  On the surface the woman was not that receptive to the truth about God.  However, Jesus: perceived something special about her; defined worship to a spiritual practice; and, revealed that he himself was the Messiah that had been promised.  Like Jesus, we can share "living water" with "simple seekers for Truth" by giving them "a cup of cold water in Christ's name."  (See S&H 570:16)  Your spiritual discernment (heart) will tell you when a person is open to Christian Science.  It is a good idea to keep things simple and use terms they are familiar with.  Beware of resistance that comes in the form of anxiety or judgment: "They are not ready for the Truth."  How did your family find Christian Science?  Did someone share Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures?  Are you willing and ready to do the same?

 

Section I - Heart Burning With Desire

Hannah sorely wanted to have children, but was unable to.  "Barrenness was considered the greatest of misfortunes." (Interpreters One-Volume Commentary of the Bible)   Her husband Elkanah was apparently unsympathetic or just plain clueless why she was so upset about this.  Warren notes that according to Cobbey Crisler, Hannah, a struggling "woman introduced and discovered the concept of silent prayer in religion - from the heart, not audibly so as to be seen and heard of men." (B.C. Crisler  See also Jesus' advice to "Pray in secret" in Section 3)   Maybe Hannah worried about her purpose and whether she was worthwhile.  In any event, she poured out her heart to a priest named Eli.  She made a vow that if God would grant her a son, she would pledge to give him up to apprentice to become a priest at the temple at Shiloh, which guarded the Ark of the Covenant that contained the Ten Commandments.  She gave birth to a son named Samuel, who introduced the age of prophecy.  Perhaps the desire to have a child came straight from God.  Note that the words pledge, commitment, vow are all meanings of the word sacrament.  The root of both consecration and sacrament is devotion.  Consecration means dedicating or committing your life to a holy purpose.  Christianity requires a deep desire to know and do the will of God.  "... to understand God is the work of eternity, and demands absolute consecration of thought, energy and desire."(S1)  The first chapter of Science and Health illumines desire as prayer.  Mrs. Eddy says, "Prayer cannot change the Science of Being, but tends to bring us into harmony with it." (S&H 2:15)  Some faiths think of and use prayer as an appeal to God to intervene in a situation.  This is called intercessory prayer.  As you probably have heard in Sunday School, scientific prayer is becoming aware of God's allness and the nothingness of error.  (See "the two cardinal points ... of Christian Science," Science and Health, 52:19-23)  It is the natural order of Principle; it is Truth and Love revealed to human consciousness.  It is also God's love touching you and letting you know, "All is well!"

 

Section II - Purity from the Inside Out

John the Baptist preached that the people needed repentance in order to obtain the forgiveness of sins.  On one hand repentance means to feel sorry for something you've done.  However, in the way that Jesus and John the Baptizer used it, it means to "turn away from" sin, to turn your heart towards God.  "As [John] preached he said, ‘The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I'm a mere stagehand, will change your life. I'm baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism-a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit-will change you from the inside out.'" (The Message)  (B4)

 

"Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous ...) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!"  (Amplified Bible) (B5)

Coaches often emphasize that to excel (vs. under-perform), you have to have heart, you have to put your heart and soul into what you want to achieve.  What is the heart and soul of Christianity?  Last week's lesson said, "The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love."  "Spiritual devoutness [being devoted] is the soul of Christianity." When we do that, our Cause, our religion "will be of the heart and not of the head." (S7)   Sometimes human reasoning (head), tells us that the right choice is obvious.  However, when we prayerfully listen to God, our heart tells us that we need to make a different choice.

"Christian Science demonstrates that none but the pure in heart can see God, as the gospel teaches."  (S8)  There is more to purity than sexual purity and abstinence from lust.  Other ways to think of purity are purity of desire, purity of purpose, freedom from materialism, humility (letting God lead), freedom from guilt, innocence, and freedom from being judgmental.  I am sure you can come up with even better ideas of what purity is.  "In proportion to his purity is man perfect ..." (S8)

 

Section III - Purpose of the Heart

Why did Jesus have little patience for public prayer?  He observed that people who prayed out loud were often hypocritical.  They pretended to draw near to God so that other people could see how Godlike they were. They performed public rituals and gave money in public so it appeared that they were spiritually minded.  However, they were cynical, critical, and not really loving.  What Jesus valued, and what he practiced, was talking to God in secret.  That means he valued private conversations with God.  The prophet Micah reminds us that what God requires is pretty simple - "O man, He has told you what is good. What does the Lord ask of you but to do what is fair and to love kindness, and to walk without pride with your God?" (B8)  (New Life Version)  "Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don't take yourself too seriously- take God seriously." (B8) (The Message)

Mary Baker Eddy reminds us that, "We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are." (S12)  "To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed." (S13)  Be alert that prayer is not used as an opportunity to tell God what needs fixing.  Prayer is a time for communing with God, for listening "in your spiritual storeroom where all problems are solved." (Cobbey Crisler on Matthew 6: 6)  To hear God, listen intently.  To do that you have to quiet your own thoughts and keep repetitive non-prayer thoughts from intruding in your mental closet.  If you keep getting interrupted, keep giving your focus back to God.  Find what works for you and tune out distractions.  This type of focus is the singular type of focus practiced by athletes and musicians.  The more you do it, the easier it becomes.  (There's a cute and meaningful "Humble Closet" cartoon with the Bible Notes in Section 3 of myBibleLesson.com) 

 

Section IV  - Expect Healing

Jesus came back to his hometown area Galilee, full of the power of Spirit.  And, he healed many people.  To prepare for this work, Jesus prayed for long periods of time. "Jesus prayed; he withdrew from the material senses to refresh his heart with brighter, with spiritual views." (S17)  He prayed because he loved his Father and loved talking to him.  He prepared spiritually for upcoming opportunities, like an athlete does for an upcoming meet or match.  What are our expectations of our prayers?  Insight, inspiration, peace are all good expectations.  Expecting healing can supercharge your prayers.  Because scientific prayer is direct from God, the natural result is clear direction and motivation.

When Jesus shared the Word of God, he kept it simple.  He taught through parables (short allegorical stories) and through example.  He also used symbols, such as bread, wine, cup, to teach spiritual lessons.  But these symbols were not intended to be ritualistically repeated.  "First in the list of Christian duties, [Jesus] taught his followers the healing power of Truth and Love.  He attached no importance to dead ceremonies." (S16)  Sharing your love for God with others is natural.  You may feel led to share that when God's laws of Love are understood and applied, the result is healing.  Like Jesus, keep it simple.

Jesus clearly expected you to heal.  He said, "Heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal people who have leprosy [various skin diseases], and force out demons. You received without paying, now give without being paid." (Matt 10:8 CEV)  He also said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father."   (John 4:12 New Living Translation)

 

Section V  -  Gone Fishing

After the disciples witnessed their master's betrayal, his public humiliation and crucifixion, they wondered whether his career been a failure.  Actually, Jesus had meekly and confidently demonstrated the grand facts of being - Life is deathless and Love never abandons Her child.  Did you notice that he never hated or resented anyone, even those who tortured him?  You have that same Christly authority to love those who have hurt you.  When you do this and blot out mortal mind's images, you will realize that you were never hurt.

Believing Jesus had failed, his disciples did not seem to know how to pick up the pieces.  So, they went fishing.  They drifted around and did not catch a single fish.  Then a man on the shore told them to drop their nets on the other side (repent, focus on God).  When they obeyed, they could not pull in the nets because they were so loaded with fish.  The man turned out to be Jesus.  He had overcome the hatred of Christ that thought it could get rid of Truth by getting rid of the Messiah. (B14)   It is interesting how Jesus made himself known after he rose from the dead.  He did not make a big splash.  He did not gather crowds and preach and heal them like before.   He used this time to prepare his disciples to spread his ministry, to spread the teachings we know so well.  He prepared them for the upcoming challenges.  They turned their lives around and rapidly stepped into roles as teachers and healers.  "[Jesus'] gloom had passed into glory, and his disciples' grief into repentance [they turned away from materialism], -- hearts chastened and pride rebuked. ... Discerning Christ, Truth anew on the shore of time, they were enabled to rise somewhat from ... the burial of mind in matter, into newness of life as Spirit." (S21)  Let the Christ (the true idea of God, the activity of good) dawn in your thought every morning.

 

Section VI  -  A Living Church

As you can tell from the Bible passages, the early Christians were on fire with the love for Jesus. Their church was built out of love and fellowship.  They cared for each other.  Their love for Jesus was hard to contain.  They shared his ministry with everyone they met.  It was their purpose in life.  They developed a happy brotherhood and sisterhood.  They ate together.  They laughed together.  They worked together.  They shared their money.  (In Acts 2:45 you can read that they sold their possessions and shared everything in common.  That is a lot of trust isn't it?)  They obviously did not limit church to an hour a week.  They lived it all week long.  They spread the gospel (the revelation of Christ Jesus and the gift of healing) from house to house.   Because the Message was practical, the church grew rapidly and there many wonderful healings.  


Church is not a place - it is the "great heart of Love." (S&H 448:4)  "Our church is built on the divine Principle, Love.  We can unite with this church only as we are newborn of Spirit, as we reach the Life which is Truth and the Truth which is Life by bringing for the fruits of Love, -- casting out error and healing the sick." (S23)  "With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science." (S&H 469:30-5)

How do you think we can become on fire with Christianity like those early Christians?

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. 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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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 have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support.  Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving for more about how you can provide support online or to get information or discuss privately how to make a special gift to help perpetuate CedarS work.

 

You can also mail your tax-deductible support to:

The CedarS Camps, Inc.        THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS

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To print a formatted and printer-friendly version of this week's Met just go to: http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/met.asp or your e-mail address can be added per your request by our staff at CedarS.   For additional support, or if you have any concerns, please send e-mail to: director@cedarscamps.org.


A 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!  (Check out the front page picture taken at CedarS during the 2006 CSO Summit.)


You can receive or stop your free subscription to this weekly newsletter in your email box by Sunday or Monday of each week by subscribing - or unsubscribing --at www.cedarscamps.org/myCedars.

 

 

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