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Find Your Perfection by Reflection!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Find Your Perfection by Reflection!

Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Man" Sept. 9, 2007
by
Dan Carnesciali, C.S. 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 in SPANISH by Ana Arcioni of Spain.

The Science of Christ is an incredibly potent light, revealing the spiritual sense of the Bible.  When that light is "on" in your life, you glimpse that you are a reflection of that light.

Golden Text:
We are not in the dark.  Christ, the presence of God among us, is here lighting up our lives.  This does not mean that Christian Scientists possess the light and others do not.  We all are the children of light. We are all the pure image of the Creator who created light.  Light is illumination, the Truth casting out shadows, an inextinguishable flame, day, wisdom, God, Christ, the Gospel, clarity.  Darkness is obscurity, intellectual cloudiness, distress, gloom. (The Student's Reference Dictionary)    Choose light.

Responsive Reading:
What's not to love about Psalms?  Psalms 100 is a pure outpouring of rejoicing.  It is a life on fire, full of humble gratitude for the character of God - goodness.  God is good.  He is merciful.  He is great.  He is one Mind.  He is the creator of everything good.  And, we are the sheep of his hand.  He guards and guides us.  We are protected, provided for, and cared for.  "For he is our God."

Section I - Our Daddy

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" (B1 - Today's NIV)  Abba is an Aramaic word for father, daddy.  Most scholars believe that Aramaic is the language Jesus spoke.  It is still spoken today in a few places in the Middle East, where young children say abba to call their fathers "daddy." (To hear the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic, go this link

http://www.v-a.com/bible/prayer.html)
 

On occasion Jesus called His Father Abba.  I think he was reminding us that Our Father is not sternly demanding perfection, waiting for us to make a mistake.  God is enjoying our progress, reveling in His own reflection.  And, you are His witness.  Let your love for Life magnify goodness in both your speech and actions. (B3, B4)  Man is the full representation of Mind.  Being like God means that man includes the infinite amplitude and range of Mind. (S1)  When taking a test, playing an instrument, or writing, you can be sure that as the complete image of God, you cannot be without the thoughts and inspiration you need at that moment. (S3)

 

Section II - Wilderness

Bible citation 6 starts out full of gratitude for mercy and protection, but then the picture changes to one of hunger, thirst, distress, loneliness, and wilderness.  Where did all the light of Section 1 go?  The Psalmist says that when we cry out to God, He delivers us even from the shadow of death. (B6)  If you walk through the shadow of a tree, you emerge unhurt.  In the same way, the shadow of death cannot touch the real man, the offspring of God.  Shadow (error) is belief, nothingness.  The vacuum or absence of good, is already filled with divine Love. (S5)  Why did Mrs. Eddy refer to error as a "seeming" vacuum?  The reason is God does not have an opposite.  Evil is not the absence of good.  Scientifically, evil is nothing, a false belief.  Belief is unreliable testimony from an unreliable source.

When you feel alone or are encountering a stormy period of life turn to the Psalms or to hymns!  Praise good, hold close to the simple fact that God-good IS.  Turn toward the light and keep turning towards the light until order and harmonious action are restored.  God is with you.

Your family is a compound idea of Love.  Your family members are spiritual reflections of the Father-Mother God.  Discern with the heart of divinity that man is coexistent and eternal with God. (S6, S2)  God thinks highly of you.  In His eyes, you are most precious -- a "keeper!"  [At today's church service at the CSO Summit at CedarS "there wasn't a dry eye in the house" after a CSO soloist sang Mindy Josten's "In His Eyes."  The ten CSO lectures given in the afternoon reinforced this message in many wonderful ways.] 

Section III - Reflecting Wisdom

The Israelites did not have a potent army, but they had a leader named Gideon, who, like Moses, initially lacked confidence in his own abilities.  Gideon asked, "But Lord, how can I save Israel?  My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."  The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together."(NIV)

What can we learn from Gideon's example?  If you read the rest of the story, you see that even though he doubted his abilities, he was willing to lean wholeheartedly on God and follow God's directions despite formidable odds.  That reliance was the source of his wisdom.

Often we find out what we are capable of only when we are put under great distress.  In the same way, we find out how great God is when we have a great need and we find that we cannot lean on a material staff.  Eventually, we will learn to lean on Him alone. (S12)  To consecrate is "to devote to a purpose." (m-w.com)  God never leaves us.  His wisdom never leaves us.  "God is not separate from the wisdom He bestows." (S10)
 

One time I was running in the forest.  Somehow, I could not find my way back and it was getting dark.  The thought came the best way to get back was to run towards a lake.  I could run along the shore for a few miles back to our campsite. So, despite the fact that I clearly heard God direct me to go the opposite direction, I headed towards the lake.  (I call experiences like this Jonah experiences.)  But then I stopped and asked myself why I was ignoring God's direction.  I turned around and went the way God directed.  In a very short time I found the trail I needed and saved a few hours of bushwhacking through the forest.

Section IV - Ageless

Human life seems to have stages - birth, youth, maturity, and then decline.  However, scientifically speaking age is a mental concept.  The eternal and supreme Being has no age.  By reflection His likeness in reality has no age and does not age.  "The infinite never began nor will it ever end." (S15)  "Manhood is its eternal noon, undimmed by a declining sun." "Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness." (S16)  We can begin to demonstrate this by acknowledging the truth of the preceding statements.
 

Scientifically speaking, neither age nor time affect Life or are a factor of healing.  In reality, time and age do not aid healing or retard healing.  Instead, "... thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning." (B12)

There is an account of a woman, who having no consciousness of time passing, did not age perceptibly. (S&H 245:5)  As reported by National Public Radio in June, "... as best scientists can tell, lobsters age so gracefully they show no measurable signs of aging: no loss of appetite, no change in metabolism, ... no decline in strength or health."  Speaking of lobsters, Mrs. Eddy mentioned them in Science and Health.  "When the unthinking lobster loses its claw, the claw grows again. If the Science of Life were understood, it would be found that the senses of Mind are never lost and that matter has no sensation. Then the human limb would be replaced as readily as the lobster's claw, - not with an artificial limb, but with the genuine one." (S&H 489:2-8)

 "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon." (B13)  [This 12th verse in the 92nd chapter in Psalms was where the Bible randomly opened when the Founder of The CedarS Camps, Ruth Huff, sought God's direction about whether "the Huffs should start a camp for Christian Science children somewhere near a little town named Lebanon."  CedarS got its name from this passage and a second "cedars of Lebanon opening"- Ps 104: 16, 17] The other "cedars of Lebanon" are evergreen trees with aromatic, decay-proof, insect-resistant wood.  They grow over 90 feet tall and live up to 3,000 years.  If you think that their lifespan is something, consider the Creosote bush in America that lives up to 12,000 years or, the King's Holly in Tasmania that is 43,000 years old! (extremescience.com)

Section V - You are of a sound Mind

Jesus' healing ability had no limits.  He was so clear about the spiritual nature of man that healing came very naturally.  Jesus entered Gadarene, a city southeast of Lake Galilee in the Decapolis region and healed a man who was very, very mentally ill.  [Geith Plimmer, a Christian Science Lecturer in the 1970s, pointed out how this man's mental extremes reflected his dwelling places - "in the mountains (very high) and in the tombs" (very, very low and self-destructive.]  With one treatment Jesus restored him to his right Mind [and then, as Geith Plimmer brought out, later instructed him to "go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee" instead of escaping his past and traveling with Jesus as the Gadarene had requested. Mark 5:18, 19)]

In this healing Jesus stood up to the demons, who declared that they were Legion.  (Legion was a Roman military term indicating a unit of 2,000 - 6,000 men.)  He was not impressed by the demons' (multiple false beliefs') drama.  His forceful command removed the demons and restored the insane man to wholeness. (S17)   "Cast out demons"
[or "cast out devils" as the King James version renders Matthew 10:8] is the last of Jesus' four commands on the logo of Science and Health.

"The Decapolis was one of the few regions where Jesus traveled in which Gentiles (people who are not Jewish) were in the majority.  Most of Jesus' ministry focused on teaching to Jews. Mark 5:1-10 emphasizes the Decapolis' Gentile character when Jesus encounters a herd of pigs, an animal forbidden by Kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws."(wikipedia.com)

There are varying opinions why the pigs were killed or involved in the story at all.  It is very difficult to know with any certainty.  Early Christians (Jews) would not have given much thought to the plight of the pigs. (The Interpreter's One Volume Commentary)   If you look at the big picture, the demons were destroyed so they could not hurt anyone else and this was a rich blessing to the whole community. (S20)  More specifically, the demons that had plagued the man begged Jesus for permission to enter the swine.  This may be why Mrs. Eddy said that "evil was self-seen and so destroyed." (S17)  The evil beliefs' time was up, and they knew their destruction was imminent.  The Son of God's mission on earth was the salvation of man, the elimination of sin.  The destruction of sin was a fulfillment of Christ's mission - to come to the flesh to destroy incarnate (fleshly) error. (See the definition of Christ, S&H 583: 11)  Jesus may have also been serving notice that God's power superseded Roman rule.  One of the symbols of Roman military might was the boar (wild pig).

Section VI - One God, Infinite Expressions

"There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.  There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.  God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us." (B19 - New Living Translation)  You are unique, and wonderful.  You have undiscovered talents.  If you desire more strength, intelligence, or vitality, realize you already have that quality by reflection of the one God.  Cherish that quality, magnify it, express it.  It helps to witness this quality in those around you.  You can do this by using God's eyes.
 

Revenge can seem to last centuries.  Perceiving that returning violence for violence is not the answer, Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind."   That brings up the question whether war can be healed.  At times it just seems too overwhelming to tackle.  When I think of how Jesus responded when he encountered angry mobs, I think of the passage, "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals." (S25)   Where the mortal mind sees angry, revengeful mortals, the Mind of Christ sees peace and God's peaceful offspring.  Don't let the size of problem (war, terrorism) stop you from praying.  If there is no human solution, isn't that right where Christian Science is desperately needed?  God is not in war, and there is no war (upheaval) in God-good.  Misunderstanding, revenge, red-hot anger, deceit, mistrust, and the belief that good can be gained through violence promote and constitute war.
 

Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "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." (S24)  "It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established." (S&H 467:9-13)

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 notes 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 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

19772 Sugar Drive                      FOR YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT

Lebanon, MO 65536               OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

LETTING 2 SPECIAL NEEDS BE KNOWN - Thanks to many of you, a need to cover 4 recent Lectures has been met!  Funding is still needed to help underwrite these special opportunities:

      1. The CSO (formerly "College Org") Summit over Labor Day 2007 (Aug. 31-Sep. 3) at CedarS for all college and university students and professors as well as incoming high school seniors.  This event sponsored by TMC Youth (The Mother Church Youth committee) includes workshops offered by Christian Science lecturers, speakers and writers for the Christian Science Monitor, Journal and Sentinel.  CedarS & our donors need to subsidize over $5,000 to cover expenses for this event.
 
 

      2. "Maintenance Musts" Matching Opportunity!  A generous donor who is aware of the ongoing maintenance needs to make CedarS facilities measure up to its mission will give two dollars for every dollar donated! (up to the $25,000 needed goal)  A $25,000 grant will be available by the end of September and another $25,000 by the end of December, IF we raise $25,000 by then.

 

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.

 

 

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 info, 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

 

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