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Demonstrate Life. It is a Fact. It is a Gift!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, January 14th, 2008

Demonstrate Life - It's a Fact - It's a Gift!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson on "Life" for January 14-20, 2008
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. of St. Louis, MO

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 of each week.  Or by Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French by Pascal or in Spanish by Ana:  JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

Golden Text:  What is God's command?  Everlasting, Eternal Life!
Eternal Life is life without limits - no beginning, middle, or end.  No time or space.  No weight of past regret or future fear.  Just the blessing of ever-lasting good - NOW!  And God commands that it be so!  [Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.):  What regrets, worries and limits do we accept for ourselves or others as a supposedly natural part of a "stage of life?Isn't that an all-too-common way that we break the 1st Commandment by having another god before Life everlasting? (Exodus 20:3)]

Responsive Reading:  God promises eternal life to everyone; His grace enables us all to experience it!
We don't have to earn God's "unmerited favor and blessing" -- any more than we have to earn the warmth of the sun.  But, we do have to accept it - put ourselves in a position to receive it - by "just saying no" to anything that is ungodly (not in accord with pure Love) and by living a life that is "temperate, self-controlled, upright and spiritually whole."  (Titus 4:11, 12 in Amplified Bible)  As we do that, we naturally receive the blessing of Christ, which "redeems (purchases our freedom)" from "bad-stuff" that would tie us up, and also purifies us to become eager and enthusiastic about living a life that is good - living for God, and so experiencing the blessings of life ETERNAL!  That which is eternal exists "outside all relations of time" and is "not subject to change."  (Dictionary.com)  Wow!  No more pressure of deadlines; no more fear that good can suddenly (or gradually) revert to bad.  No end.  Eternal life - all good, forever - yours!  [P.S.S.T.:  This week what "deadlines" will you allow God's grace to turn into joyous "Life-lines" for you?  Instead of moping around, all uninspired, like members of "the frozen chosen," how can we be more animated (like Kay Kyser in Section 6 P.U.S.S.H.) and full of real "ZEAL. The reflected animation of Life, Truth, and Love." (S&H 599:4)  "Will you doff your lavender-kid zeal, and ... give yourselves wholly and irrevocably to" (Misc. 177:14) "be peculiarly His own-(people who are) eager and enthusiastic about (living a life that is good and filled with) beneficial deeds"? (Titus 2:14 Amplified)  Name a good deed or two you can give freely with gusto each day.]

Section 1:  Choose the Life that has been since before time and LIVE!
God has commanded light and life to be the standard of existence. (B-1)  Darkness SEEMS to be.  Time and limitation SEEM to be.  Death SEEMS to be.  But, in each instance, darkness, time, and death, is just a mortal sense of, or suppositional absence of, what IS. (S-4) "In the beginning" signifies eternity, the only, or according to the Amplified Bible, "before all time."  What is the WORD that was in the beginning - that has always been and will always be?  It is the Logos - the eternal, inseparable, divine nature of God.  It is the law of God.  Even non-religious Greek philosophers recognized the Logos as the rational principle controlling the universe.  The Word is Christ.  It signifies man's eternally right relationship to God. (B-2 & S-1)  According to the Interpreter's Bible, "The light of men means the light which shines for men to give them the means of recognizing the giver of life.  The darkness stands for the state of mind in which mankind fails to welcome the light."  Light enables us to see Life.  Moses taught mankind to live in perfect conformity to God's law, the law of life.  Choosing life - choosing good as reality - enables us to love God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.  Thus, we let in the light and bring divine Mind (or Life) into our consciousness. (B-5 & S-6)  Then the suppositional belief of darkness, doubt, fear, or death (stoppage of anything good) vanishes! (S-5)  [Possible Uplifting Sunday School Homework (P.U.S.S.H.):  This week see that any sense of exhaustion, restriction, discord, and discouragement will vanish in the presence of each of their opposites that define God's being: "God's being (A) is (=) (B) infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss." (S5, 481:3)  By algebraic principles, since "Man (C) is (=) the expression of (A) God's being" (S&H 470:23) then you as man (C) are (=) also the very expression of (B): "inexhaustibility," "unconditional authority," "unanimity," and supreme "serenity!"  (The Synonym Finder by Rodale lists many great synonyms for your treatments.)  You'll feel like you're "walkin' (or runnin') on sunshine" with no restricted movement, disagreements or discouragement.  Although never a formula, this scientific truth understandingly reaffirmed remains a traditional send-off "met" for most 5k and "Torchbearer" runs at CedarS.]

Section 2:  Tares grow among the wheat - but they don't unite!
Life can appear to be a mixed up mess of good and evil - Spirit and matter, life and death. Even with our best intentions, it's sometimes hard to distinguish between "good" and "evil."  We may be tempted to make snap judgments that certain people are evil, and want to pre-maturely root them out.  [(P.S.S.T.):]  Sometimes activities and thoughts that appear to be just innocent fun don't turn out that way.  [Discuss examples of this.  (P.U.S.S.H.):]  Test the life-giving properties of such things - see how lasting their goodness is.  That may tell you whether you're dealing with a tare or wheat - that which is of God or that which "the enemy" has sown.  Acknowledge that seeking pleasure in matter - whether it is overeating,  depending on a drink to loosen you up at a party,  feeling a need to satisfy sensual longings,  losing yourself in television  or the internet, or even indulging in gossip - never offers lasting satisfaction or promotes growth.  The parable of the tares and the wheat encourages us to be alert to what is "growing" in our fields of thought.  Although the tares don't really hurt the wheat, neither do they have value.  At the time of harvest they are bundled and burned, while only the wheat is gathered safely into barns.  So, why waste time growing (or feeding) tares? (B-8)  The light of Christ - our Shepherd - will ultimately enable us to discern the difference between what is to be kept and what is to be destroyed.  (B-6&7) Although it has been said that this parable refers to the final Judgment Day, Christian Science teaches that "No final judgment awaits mortals, for the judgment-day of wisdom comes hourly and continually, even the judgment by which mortal man is divested of all material error."  (S&H 291: 28)  We don't have to be afraid of evil, nor do we judge another's "field."  But it is to our advantage to harvest often.  It is Science (the light of Truth) that "separates the wheat from the tares, through the realization of God as ever present and of man as reflecting the divine likeness." (S-9)  The divine likeness reflects eternal Life - without limits!  And it dwells in heaven.  I love the question posed in MyBibleLesson:  "Is heaven a dull, static place - or an action-packed experience?"  [like camp!  P.U.S.S.H.:]  Resist the temptation to "live with" or hold on to tares.  They only drag us down.   As the beliefs of life in matter are bundled and burned, we are ever more conscious of our safety in the barn of Love!  And we discover our unity with ever-active Life!

Section 3:  Will you eat of the bread of Life and live?
[P.S.S.T.]  Do you want to live, rather than just exist?  Then you have to "continue in (Jesus') word" (B-11) [and stick right with his revelation.]  You have to accept ALL of his teachings and follow his example.  You have to eat ALL of the bread - no leaving the crusts because they're a little tough to chew!  The people had witnessed the wonderful healings Jesus had performed.  (B-9)  That represented the sweet, soft center of the bread.  But, more was needed.  In discussing these passages, The Interpreter's Bible says: "Not his message only, but all that he is in himself, gives life and sustains life in such abundance that no unsatisfied desire remains to frustrate the believer."  The Jews of Jesus' time (as do we?) missed out on the concept of eternal life because of their lack of spiritual vision.  His works were seen without perception; his words were heard without belief.  Unlike the manna in the wilderness, that lasted only a day and simply fed the body, this bread (the life Jesus exemplified) involves complete submission to God's will.  It feeds the soul and lifts us up and out of the perishable world into the perception of eternal life.  As we are willing to eat this bread, we lose any sense of emptiness (hunger), but are truly satisfied.  It is the design of Love that everyone finds eternal life.  Jesus sacrificed everything to give us "the true idea of being, which results in infinite blessings to mortals." (S-12)  The magnitude (the moral greatness) of his human life demonstrated Life, and the amplitude (the completeness) of his pure affection defined Love.  Are we willing to follow his example and also learn to conquer error as we flow to Truth?  (see def. of affluence) (S-14) Many disciples fell away when the demands became too great.  Perhaps they had only come to receive.  Each of us must decide whether - and how - we will follow Christ, but if we do it with our whole heart, we have been promised eternal life!  Peter recognized that there really wasn't another option. (B-10)  Mrs. Eddy paraphrases Jesus' definition of "everlasting life as a present knowledge of his Father and of himself, - the knowledge of Love, Truth, and Life." (S-13)  That knowledge is available to each of us.  Be willing to eat the bread - learn from and follow Jesus' example, - and I believe God will sweeten the deal with some jam or honey when we need a little help swallowing.  [P.S.S.T.   Would you feel differently about being called a "loser," if the only loss you experienced was the loss of "all sense of evil" (S12) and if "all that he (God) hath given me I should lose nothing?"  (B10)  Consider the "infinite blessings" of joining church to celebrate "the true idea of good" with fellow "losers" and like-minded friends who can't be lost on an "undying ushers" committee:  "He who has the true idea of good loses all sense of evil, and is being ushered into the undying realities of Spirit." (S12)]

Section 4:  What a gift - Our shepherd gives up his life to show we can't lose ours!
A parable is a picture.  In this case, the unselfishness of Jesus is compared to the selfless shepherd.  Jesus lay down his life in obedience to his Father's command. (B-12)  Jesus could have escaped crucifixion.  But, he loved God, loved his mission, and loved mankind too much to not go through with it.  Without the cross, there would have been no resurrection - no indisputable demonstration of eternal life.  [P.S.S.T.]  Without the resurrection, would the disciples have really caught the spirit?  And without the example of the disciples, where would we be?  Would Jesus' teachings - his message of love and freedom - have survived?  How did Jesus overcome the grave?  He knew - really knew - that God was his life.  (S-16)  Jesus couldn't be fooled for a moment by the physical evidence, or he would have failed. (S-17)  Isn't that our lesson?  We can't be fooled!  Matter has no life - no life to lose, no life to gain.  Life is God.  As long as God is, we are! (S-18)  Jesus didn't ask anyone to believe that on faith alone.  He showed us by example.  He taught us how to demonstrate our inseparability from Life!  The fifth tenet of our church calls us to see that the crucifixion and resurrection happened to lift us from simple faith to the understanding of eternal Life, and then defines this Life as "the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter." (S-19)  We cannot come down from that standard.  Jesus didn't!  [P.S.S.T.: God's allness is a key concept in Christian healing, but so beyond mortal comprehension that it's not even in spellcheck dictionaries.  The spellchecker on "Microsoft Word" proposes substituting "illness" for God's "allness," the only truly Universal Health Care solution!]

Section 5:  Stephen's example - Unphased,  no matter what!
What an example Stephen was for early Christians - and for us!  Stephen was a threat to the Jewish "establishment" - just as Jesus had been.  He apparently emphasized the moral rather than the ceremonial side of the law (Interpreter's Bible) - like Jesus.  He was healing and demonstrating Truth -- following Jesus' example.  He was falsely accused - like Jesus. (B-17)   He was killed - like Jesus.  And he forgave his "enemies" - like Jesus. (B-18)  It may be tempting to respond with despair that Stephen didn't have a resurrection experience, as Jesus had.  But, what an example he provided.  His courage, his faith, his mercy, and his clear understanding that life is not in matter and could not be taken from him had to have moved those around him, [especially Saul who was never the same and, as Paul, spread Christianity so vigorously.]  (The article by Michael Hamilton on page 35 of the January 14th & 21st issue of the Sentinel offers additional insights on this story.)  Stephen practiced what David wrote about in the Psalm 27, "Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident." (B-19, NRSV)  Stephen may have passed from view, but he understood Life to be everlasting - nothing could take it from him!  Paul - who witnessed Stephen's death - would later say, "Death is swallowed up in victory." (S-22)  Death is a mortal concept.  "Life is deathless."  (S-20)  [P.S.S.T.]  Do you get upset when someone "disappears" in dense fog?  You know that as they keep walking, they will reappear on the other side - whether you are able to see them or not.  [P.U.S.S.H.:  Affirm this to be true of each one who has passed before you.]  Understanding Life and Love as absolute reality, and knowing death to be only a "dense fog" of mortal belief, you can courageously dispute the testimony of death and stay on the bridge of Life. (S-21 & 22)  Is it easy?  No, because the material senses can be so convincing.  But, Stephen gives us a wonderful example.  He showed us that, no matter what, we can, as MAN, reflect the "beatific presence" - be radiant with perfect happiness and peace.  Man, as God's expression, illumines the universe with light. (S-24)  No matter what tries to darken our path, we can maintain a consciousness of light -- and live!

Section 6:  Do it - Demonstrate Life!
We have Jesus' example, the example of the disciples, and Mrs. Eddy's example.  Now it is our turn.  We have freely received, and must freely give.  We can "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast our devils."  (B-24)  [CedarS 2008 metaphysical theme.]  The Son of God (Christ Jesus) came to give us understanding.  To know Christ is to know God.  And to know God is to know eternal Life.  (B-22&23)  [(P.U.S.S.H., especially for my Sunday School class of Principia Upper School seniors giving Sr. Speeches this week)  Affirm your fellowship ("this experience of communion," "communication") with everyone you are talking to, and especially "with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ."  (I John 1:3 B22)  "Our motive for writing is simply this:  We want you to enjoy this too.  Your joy will double our joy."  (I John 1:4 reading between the citations in The Message)  "One of the most outrageous, over the top performers of the whole swing era" was Kay Kyser who became a Christian Science lecturer and teacher.  Prior to a panel discussion at the 1971 College Org Biennial meeting, Mr. Kyser.  as moderator, advised us panelists:  "Don't be a bit concerned.  Even though there are over 1,000 people out there with over 2,000 eyes watching us, and over 2,000 ears hearing every word we say, there's still only one Mind."  For the quote source and more click here and on "About Kay" and scroll down to the timeline.]

The Christ is the divine message speaking to the human consciousness. (S&H 332)  We respond to that message by admitting our ability to heal and be healed.  Mrs. Eddy asks us to ask ourselves two questions:  "Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good?  Am I demonstrating the healing power of Truth and Love?"  I don't think we can afford to be discouraged if we feel we can't answer those questions as affirmatively as we'd like to.  But, we should be demanding more of ourselves all the time.  We should be ever conscious that it is the Holy Ghost (the Spirit of God) that enables us to demonstrate the divine Principle.  And we should be encouraged that as we APPROACH the supreme good, and as we demonstrate - to whatever degree we can - the rule of healing, "the way will grow brighter." (S-29)  This doesn't happen through a mortal understanding of Life, but as a result of our fellowship with God and with Christ.  We are united with the light that is God - the light in which there is no darkness.  (B-22)  This light - Truth demonstrated - is Life eternal.  (S-30)  And it is OURS to live!  It is God's gift!!!

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" and Homework offered by me as editor and sometimes by the author]. 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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CedarS 2008 theme:  "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, cast out demons:  Freely you have received, freely give!"  (Matthew 10:8)

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