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Make a Joyful (and New) Noise Unto The Lord!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, January 7th, 2008

Make a Joyful (and New) Noise Unto The Lord!
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Sacrament" January 13, 2008 by
Dan Carnesciali, CS of Ballwin, 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

Happy New Year!  Have you thought of any new things you might like to do or accomplish this year?*  This week's Bible Lesson has lots of great ways to grow, renew and accomplish new things this year.  Maybe you want to clean up your thoughts or improve your body.  You have a lot to give!  Have you heard the calling to become a member of The Mother Church [or unite with it more closely]?  Maybe you want to heal mankind!  Have you heard the calling to take Christian Science Class Instruction?  Many Christian Science teens and young at heart have discovered the forums at tmcyouth.com and spirituality.com.  *[Possible Sunday School Homework (P.U.S.S.H.):  Commit to writing some big and little goals that will make for a happier new you in 2008.  Also try to list all of the selfish habits and stale approaches to worship and to problems that aren't worthy of you and would keep you from accomplishing your goals.  Pray about sharing them with your Sunday School teacher and class, and/or with a Christian Science Practitioner or other close friend(s) who can help you not only spiritualize your motives and support successful methods, but also remove roadblocks to the achievement of your goals.]

Golden Text:  [Out with the stale & selfish!  In with zest, unselfishness & healing!]  A new year deserves a new song, a new view of worship.  What will your life song be this year?  [P.U.S.S.H.:  Tune into fresh, unselfish and inspired ways to worship God and to solve problems.  Daily feel led to try new things, little and big, with spontaneity, willingness and zest!  As Kathy Fitzer concludes in "SING A NEW SONG!," the January 7, 2008 Christian Science Sentinel discussion of this week's lesson (on p. 22):  "It's clear that we can sing a new song every day, as we humbly turn to God.  Also, as we let go of all preconceptions in order to love God extravagantly enough to accept His message unreservedly, the Temple doors will open, and we'll find ourselves being born anew!"]

Responsive Reading:  [As "silver is tried," (Ps. 66:10)  "You must be the change you want to see in the world."  Gandhi]  Are you hungering for some needed change and spiritual growth?  If yes, joyfully voice God's praises and be ready for progress and spiritual growth.  "Come and see the works of God: ... O bless our God ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard."  What a wonder Love is.   What a wonder Life is.  Coupled with praise, we need a deep desire for growth in grace and deep love of our fellow man.  [Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.):   Just as change ("Repent" or change your mind) was the opening word spoken by Jesus in his healing ministry (Matt. 4:17), change seems to be the key word in the 2008 American Presidential primaries.  It's comforting to know that all fiery trials and changes are in the trusty hands of God, the ultimate Refiner who knows exactly how long and in what manner to best refine us and remove our dross.  "The purifier sits before the crucible, fixing his eye on the metal, and taking care that the fire be not too hot, and keeping the metal in, only until he knows the dross to be completely removed by his seeing his own image reflected (Ro 8:29) in the glowing mass."  (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary on Malachi 3:3)  Identify some values and traditions that should never change and some unthinking habits and practices that need to be re-thought and changed.  "When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply; The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine."  CS Hymnal 123:3

Section 1:  Daily Worship -- Rejoice and Sing!
Hezekiah was only 25 years old when he became king of
Judah around 715 BCE.  His kingdom was threatened and harassed by Assyria--the dominant world power at that time.  Assyria demanded an annual tribute payment, which was extremely expensive and burdensome.  The previous king, King Ahaz, had allowed the religious conditions in the kingdom to deteriorate.  "The urgent demand of the time was for political and religious reform." (Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible Hezekiah had different and more elevated priorities than King Ahaz.  For starters, he repaired the doors of the temple so the temple could be opened and cleansed. (The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary of the Bible)  He gathered the Levites (a priestly group) and had them sanctify themselves (to purify, make holy; to free from sin and guilt) so that they could sanctify the temple.  He charged the Levites to "carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place."  Afterwards, they rededicated temple with a happy celebration.  Their worship celebration featured singing and playing instruments. (B1)

[P.S.S.T.] How can we clean up our temples, our consciousnesses and bodies?  With the right desire, there are many ways.  ["The ‘old songs' -- thoughts and feelings about oneself that depict loss, illness, victimization, or any other trouble - can be torn out of one's songbook."  Mark Swinney's 12-7-06 Christian Science Sentinel article entitled "Sing a New Song," also reprinted in part on page 8 of this week's www.myBibleLesson.com]  You can serve God by being receptive, joyful, glad, willing, full of faith and spiritual understanding.  You can serve God by helping someone else.  "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (S4)  When you do that, and when you are receptive and humble, you are ready to be healed and to heal!   That is a good reason to rejoice. (S5) 

Section 2:  Going Higher -- Sing a New Song!
The prophets looked for something better and higher than the systems of their times. (S6)  The prophet Isaiah says, "Sing a new song unto the Lord."  What fun!  God's creation is ever new.  This newness may come as newfound joy, as a new friendship, or as a readiness for new challenges.  Christ brings God to our comprehension in new ways.  
[P.U.S.S.H.]  Reject stale, tired thinking!  [Get out of the rut, which is just "a grave with the ends kicked out."]  Embrace the spiritual hunger to go up "higher" and put on the Mind of Christ. (B4)  What can you celebrate in your life today?

Who is the messenger that Malachi prophesied would come?  Perhaps it is Christ. (B6)  Christ is the activity of good (God) in your life-- it links you to God.  Christ is good triumphing over evil.   That is something to celebrate.   Throughout life, you encounter opportunities to express more Life, more Soul, more Love.   These opportunities are sometimes called challenges, or problems.

Christ Jesus lifted mortals' lives higher than their previous poor thought models allowed.  We can see this in the healing of the bent-over woman.  Jesus' healing practice was attacked by his adversaries (opponents).  Their reaction can seem puzzling, can't it?  Why would anyone attack someone who heals, especially one who heals through God's love?  Error (the Adversary, devil, Satan, evil) duped the adversaries into attacking Jesus.  The adversaries thought that they were attacking Jesus, but they were really attacking the Christ idea, the true idea of God.  Did Jesus take this lying down?  No!  He exposed evil for what it was--baseless.  It has no foundation.  It does not have a single quality of Truth.  His bold stand for Truth discredited the opposition to Christ (Christian healing) and it dissolved the error into its native nothingness. (B8)  Do you want to heal the way Jesus healed the woman?  Then replace the poor thought-models of man as fallen, sick, sinning, stale, self-satisfied, ignorant, resistant, self-focused with a Christ-like view of man.  Acknowledge the fact that man is the reflection of Mind, and therefore he is pure, good, healthy, strong, happy, and spiritual!  Acknowledge that at this moment Mind is declaring these facts to your consciousness and therefore God's thoughts are your thoughts.  Sing praises! (S9)

Our church is established on a spiritual foundation, the rock, Christ, expressed in this age as Christian healing.  This rock is indestructible. (S10)  [P.S.S.T.]  What [poor thought-models and] time-honored systems are attempting to obstruct our progress? (S9 and S11)  If a thought comes that others are healed, but not you, it is not your thought.  That suggestion does not have power to influence you.  A world belief is that people do not have time for or interest in God.  That is not true either.  It is just suggestion.  Christ is the presence of God.  It smashes false beliefs and gives us freedom. (S11)

Section 3:  Spiritual Baptism -- Sing and Worship!
All things are become new.  This includes how you see yourself.  A spiritual baptism takes place every time you replace a bad thought with thought from God!  This is what The Bible and Science and Health mean when they talk about a "new creature" and being "born again."  Jesus said that we cannot put new wine into old bottles.  Isn't that what Nicodemus was attempting to do?  Nicodemus perceived that Jesus was God-sent.  Is/was that recognition enough?  No, an entire rebirth is needed. (B10)

[P.U.S.S.H.:]  Be willing to change, to grow, to pray about issues that you have said that you will pray about "some day." If you are willing to do this, Truth will transform you and make you a new creature!  (You will love this new you.)  [Like the chrysalis change from caterpillar to beautiful butterfly.]  Spirituality is attained as you nurture a deep desire that God's will be done and you are willing to take the practical steps that God outlines. (S13)  Why is a spiritual rebirth required?  Purification is required so that we can enter the kingdom of heaven. (S14)  "... the human self must be evangelized. (convinced of the good news and converted to Christianity)  This task God demands us to accept lovingly to-day, and to abandon so fast as practical the material, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual." (S&H 254:19 the)

Section 4:  New Foot-Washing Era of Spiritual Worship -- Sing a Hymn of Praise!
Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples just before the crucifixion.  Passover is a traditional Jewish celebration that celebrates the Jews' safe passage out of
Egypt.  The Passover symbolizes the new beginning for the Children of Israel. (Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible)  Jesus' celebration of Passover laid the foundation for a more spiritual era of worship than before. (B13)

Here we read a special story -- an act of pure love from Jesus to his disciples.  After Jesus washed their feet, he gave a new commandment - love one another.  [P.S.S.T.:]  How would you react to Jesus washing your feet?  Would you be stunned?  Would you be the same after the washing? (B13)  Mary Baker Eddy's perception of Jesus' Passover celebration grasps the beauty and purity of that experience.  We need the spiritual sense of bread and wine.  That is, we need spiritual sustenance, self-sacrifice and inspiration.  We need Christ -- the full realization of the activity of God. (S16, S18)

[P.S.S.T.:]   Was Jesus' sacrifice on the cross alone sufficient for the salvation of mankind?  There is a debate among some whether you are saved by Jesus' sacrifice or whether you attain salvation through good deeds.  Man is saved by God's grace, by His unconditional love.  However, we must daily demonstrate this growing understanding of God.  Thankfully, Jesus gave us examples to follow.  We have his example of what it means to love your neighbor, to love your enemies, to bless those that curse you and abuse you.  Has the Golden Rule lost its relevance in today's fast-paced world?  No!  "To keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all he has done." (S17)

Implicit (unquestioning) faith in Jesus and personal worship of Jesus cannot make us imitators of him.  We need to follow his example, or else we lose the full value of his sacrifice.  His demand is, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15, S20)  Health and holiness will naturally be manifested in our lives when we follow the example of the Master Jesus. (S21)  Maybe we haven't learned to walk on water, or raise the dead - yet, we can follow Jesus' example and demonstrate Christian Science in degrees.

Section 5:  A New World Era -- Christ is Risen!
Christ Jesus suffered at the hands of the Romans who brutally beat and then killed him.  (The Romans were duped, too.) (B17)  However, the spiritual idea of God, the ideal manhood was safe, untouched by human hatred.  
[P.S.S.T.:]   When Jesus prayed for himself in the tomb, do you think he was feeling sorry for himself, or was he singing God's praises?  Who first perceived Christ Jesus' resurrection?  It was Mary Magdelene.  What a beautiful example of the spiritual idea of womanhood. (B18)

After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples, who were fishing.  He counseled them to cast their net on the "right" side.  They obeyed and their nets were overloaded with a huge catch. (B19)  This scene is similar to the disciples' first meeting Jesus as recorded in Luke 5.  The disciples had toiled all night and hadn't caught any fish.  Jesus told them to let their nets down in the middle of the day and they drew in a huge catch.  Remember, Jesus told his disciples, "I will make you fishers of men."  The post-resurrection period was their time to go out into the world and spread the gospel of Christ Jesus and practice Christian healing.

Jesus' demonstration opened a new era in human history.  His resurrection proved that Truth, Life, was not and could not be destroyed. (S22)  His final demonstration was for the salvation of the whole world.  This saving Truth is again healing man of death, sin and sickness. (S23)  We express our fellowship with Christ by following the Master's example and joining this great and holy Cause (Christian Science).  Christian Scientists commemorate the joyful "last breakfast." (S24)  They commune with Soul in the dawn of a new light (new era). (S25)  As we rejoice in this new era of thinking, we feel a renewed sense of freedom.  [P.S.S.T.:]   Have you too been fishing all night without results?  How can you mentally cast your net on the right side and catch the masses?]

Section 6:  Gaining a Little Each Day in the Right Direction - A New Life!
[P.S.S.T.:]   What is his new song that the Bible keeps talking about?  This new song appears to different people in different ways.  It is God's great sense of Love. (B20)  [You can blend your part in perfect harmony with all other parts and totally appreciate the wonderful diversity possible only to unity.]  It is the Science of Christ, which teaches that God is the only Life, that God can be understood and demonstrated, that divine Truth casts out error and heals the sick. (S27)

Christian Science stands above vague human theories, above human creeds, as a revealed, demonstrable Science.  (Mrs. Eddy uses some unfamiliar words here. Imperious means urgent, imperative, a commanding supreme, power.  Creeds are religious beliefs.  Demonstrable means able to be proved, clearly evident.)  What a wonderful revelation Mary Baker Eddy has shared with mankind! (S28)

"My friends, I don't feel that I have already arrived.  But I forget what is behind and I struggle for what is ahead.  I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven.  This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done."  (B21, Contemporary English Version)  [The Tire Traversal is a wonderful over-water element that has been built over Crown Lake at CedarS Camps to demonstrate Paul's one tip to be perfect: forgetting the past and reaching out to the future.  It is made up of 20 tires that swing above the water.  The only way to get from one side of the cove to the other is  to stop holding onto the tire you are on when you are fully extended and swinging toward the next tire. [P.U.S.S.H.:   Stop holding on to positions outgrown by you and by others.  The longer you carry a grudge the heavier it gets!   See all offending and offensive persons as "on their road to Damascus" like the Christian persecutor Saul when he had his remarkable conversion and became the totally new Paul who helped ensure the survival of Christianity as we know it. (See Acts 9)]

'This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"  (II Cor. 5:17, New Living Translation)

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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For a reprinted adaptation of a great December 11, 2006 Christian Science Sentinel article by Mark Swinney entitled "Sing a New Song," go to page 8 of this week's  www.myBibleLesson.com   Check out this visually-oriented and very helpful study resource for the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson.  It's being produced by The Christian Science Publishing Society.  What a great auxiliary to lesson study - and to reading beyond citation markers using the handsome new student books now 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 and so bless the youthful thinker and Sunday School student (and teacher) in us all!

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