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Explore the holy temple of God and solve the age-old mystery of Soul and body at last.

Janet Hegarty, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Explore the holy temple of God and solve the age-old mystery of Soul and body at last.
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson on the subject
"Soul and Body" for the week of November 17 - 23, 2008
Prepared by Janet Hegarty, C.S. of St. Louis, MO

Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week and Possible Sunday School Topics that follow 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 or Tuesday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. (We no longer have a translator available for German.) JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

Everybody loves a mystery. It's fun to look for clues in the story that hint at how the mystery will be solved and then to try to guess what will happen in the end. When the solution is finally revealed it often comes as a total surprise. Many times a previously hidden piece of information is suddenly uncovered that pulls all the clues together and reveals a satisfying solution to the mystery. Imagine how unsatisfying and even frustrating it would be, though, to read a mystery but to lose the book before you arrive at the point in the book where all the facts are revealed. You would try everything you could to find out how the story really ended, wouldn't you?

Mankind has been in this situation for ages, seeking to understand the mystery of Jesus' healing works. One might ask, "What was it that he knew about God and the body that made him able to do these amazing works."  Mankind has continued to seek out the real solution to this mystery, but, for nearly two thousand years, never found that hidden piece of information that solves the mystery.  At last, Christian Science has uncovered the hidden piece of information and solved the mystery for mankind.  Come on then, let's explore the holy temple of God and find the solution to the mystery!

Golden Text: You are God's holy temple!  (An important clue is revealed.) To solve a mystery you need to use skill to judge the importance of each piece of information; you need to take a close look at each piece of evidence and consider what it might mean. In the glossary of Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy gives us this spiritual definition of temple. "TEMPLE: Body; the idea of Life, substance, and intelligence; the superstructure of Truth; the shrine of Love...." (page 595:7) Certainly God, who is eternal Spirit, and includes no material element, would not have his holy temple in a supposed material body that is subject to supposed material laws that cause sickness and decline. The spiritual definition from Science and Health points to an important clue in our search to solve the mystery of Soul and body. The word idea must be significant, don't you agree? Could it be that this body, that Jesus also referred to as a temple, is not at all material but that it is really an idea, a thing of Mind, and not a thing of matter?

Responsive Reading: To solve the mystery of the temple view it through the eyes of the architect. In Miscellaneous Writings Mary Baker Eddy tells us, "Mind is the architect that builds its own idea, and produces all harmony that appears." (Mis 41:19) (There is that word idea again, it seems to be popping up everywhere!)  The verses of the Responsive Reading focus our attention on God. This brings us right to the heart of all things, to the architect, to Soul itself -- the one and only Soul of man. We know that God is the only power. From this vantage point we can see all existence as it really is, the perfect, harmonious creation of an all-loving creator.   Here we can see the true essence of man and woman, reflecting the beauty of God, by the grace of God.  Could it be that this is the true nature of the temple (or body) mentioned in the Golden Text?

These readings also give us a clue that we can use to solve a common problem - self-consciousness.  Do you ever feel self-conscious or so worried that you're going to do the wrong thing that you can hardly do anything at all?  If you ever do feel this way, follow the lead of this Responsive Reading focus your whole attention on God and keep it there.   Forget about yourself and instead, think about God and about what God is doing - manifesting power, loving, expressing intelligence, inspiring right activity, communicating.  Praise God and thank God for His wonderful creation that expresses harmonious action.  Any self-consciousness you may have suffered will quickly fade away.  Then you will feel freedom of thought and action.  Looking through the eyes of the architect you will see how the glory of God shines through everyone and discover that this same glory (temple) is shining through your own speech and action.

Section 1: Use you detective skills.  Look carefully into the formations of Soul and you'll see your true self looking back at you.  "This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise." (B3)  God, Spirit, is the only creator and His creations, which were made in His own image, are spiritual creations. (S1, S6)  These ideas are the outcome of Mind, not the objects of matter. (S2)  They exist together with God and show the glory of God, in the same way that the rays of light that shine out from the sun show the power and qualities of the sun.  "As a mirror shows us a likeness clear and bright, so God forever sees His child revealed in radiant light." (Hymn 15)   These glorious ideas exist as God sees them, not as a mortal man might think of them.  God, Spirit, is the authority behind these ideas, the Soul and substance of these ideas.   The false ideas of material consciousness have no authority.  "Soul can never reflect anything inferior to Spirit." (S2)  You are one of these wonderful formations of Soul at this very moment.  You are a model of "spiritual sense."   You are conscious of the allness of Spirit and you are convinced that there is no other possible power or Mind.  Your thought is full and overflowing with goodwill toward your fellow ideas because you are fully aware of the abundance of Love which shines its unlimited grace on you and all. (S4)  This is your true self and you do see it, and you can't help but accept it, because this is the will of God. (B2)

Section 2: You, too, can bind the strong man of mortal mind.  (To solve the mystery you may need to learn new skills.)  Jesus' explanation of our need to first bind the strong man (mortal mind) always takes my thought back to an experience I had as a child. I was the youngest of three children.  Frequently after we finished our household jobs, the three of us would burst into a playful bout of roughhousing.  Because I was small for my age, naturally out-sized by my older siblings, and prone to being overcome by uncontrollable laughter, I was most often on the loosing end of these playful bouts.  I enjoyed the fun, but I certainly was not developing a confident sense of my physical strength.  Things changed, though.  My brother, the first of the three children, entered high school and joined the wrestling team.  He really loved the sport and in his enthusiasm he decided that it would be great if he could have someone to practice his wrestling moves with at home.  There is no doubt that my sister would have been a more equally matched opponent for him, but she was busy with many school activities of her own.  He chose me to be his opponent. I was skeptical that this could be a winning proposition for me, but I agreed to practice with him anyway.   I imagined he would just pounce on me and immediately wrestle me to the floor and that would be the end of it.  However, instead of doing this, he began to teach me everything he had learned about wrestling.  He taught me every move and counter move he had learned.  Then he explained that success didn't depend on one's size.  In wrestling, he assured me, a smaller person could win a match against a larger opponent if the smaller person used his or her understanding of the game to anticipate the opponent's moves and to be prepared in advance with a more powerful counter-move.   I really liked this idea, for the first time in my life there was hope for my physical success, and this hope lay in something I knew I could do already.  Regardless of my physical size, I knew I was able to think - consider the the moves I had learned, and anticipate my opponents line of attack.  My brother and I had great fun practicing and I was able to prove that his theory was correct.  The better informed opponent could win-out over the stronger man.  In your wrestling match with the strong man (mortal mind and its frail belief in disease) you will always have the upper hand.  Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy have thoroughly taught and proved "that every disease is an error."   They have effectively instructed you in your capacity to demonstrate "the supremacy of divine Mind." (S9)

Section 3: Love your spiritual heritage.   ([Hint: Jesus left plenty of clues for us.)  Jesus taught and proved that the only real existence of man is wholly spiritual. (B12)   Our real origin is in Mind, God; it is not and never has been in matter.  On this basis Jesus healed the man that was born blind and he restored the withered hand of the man in the temple.  Jesus proved that the material process of a human birth and the human relationships that are connected to this birth do not have any bearing whatsoever on the health and formation of our individual being, our temple.  God, Mind, is the only creative Principle.  To love our human families and to appreciate each family member's individuality is the right thing to do.   But we can do even more for ourselves and our family members when we claim each individual's spiritual heritage and reject all suggestions of material inheritances.  If you say I inherited this problem from a relative (or if you're afraid that you will inherit it in the future) you're not only accepting an error for yourself, you are also agreeing that your relative must continue to suffer from the same error.  Disease has never been a part of God's creation, it has never existed for your relative and it will never exist for you. (S14)  Remember, you actually existed as a complete individual before you were ever a part of your human family.  You have a "goodly heritage." (B9)  "The beautiful, good, and pure constitute (your) ancestry." (S12)  Fix your thought on that "goodly heritage."  Never forget the "great fact of being" - only harmony is possible because "Life is God." (S14)  Then you, too, will prove what Jesus and many others have proved - there is no material heredity!

Section 4: Christian Science solves the mystery.  "Christian Science explains all cause and effect as mental, not physical." (S15)  This is the key mankind has been searching for in order to understand Jesus' healing works.  Jesus proved that it is not the "muscles, nerves, nor bones" that control man.    Rather, he revealed that it is the limited thoughts that a man holds about muscles, nerves, and bones that result in illness. (S16)  Through his understanding of the true relationship between God, Soul, and body, Jesus was able to prove the falsity of all beliefs about material laws and to overcome the fears of limited mortal thinking.  By this means he lifted those he had healed out of their belief in sickness and gave clear proof that their true indestructible spiritual body was whole, free of all disease.  Jesus has invited all who are burdened by the weight of material laws to "come unto" the Christ, Truth and find rest and freedom. (B17)  Now that this has been revealed you can prove it in your own life.  The citations in this section provide a good Christian Science treatment for the common belief of fatigue.  Apply these ideas to your next busy day or week.  Then discover and enjoy your unlimited capacity to do good work through an understanding of this powerful and loving spiritual connection of Soul and body.

Section 5: But wait that's not the end of the story.  Even though Christian Science has solved the mystery by revealing the purely spiritual, mental, nature of existence, this is not the end of the story.  The chapters that remain are written in the lives of those who prove this great Truth in their daily lives. Jesus applied this truth to meet every human need.  He knew that the Truth is universal, every idea that man includes is just that, an idea, and can be mastered and controlled harmoniously through Mind.  Like a great detective solving a mystery, we must see beyond the imperfect and fact-less information and use our spiritual vision to see what is really true.  Spiritual vision is perfect vision that only sees spiritual reality.  Jesus asked the blind men "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" (B21)  In part he was challenging them to agree that they were willing to leave behind their false sense of reality and be brave enough to step out into a new world of spiritual vision.   Sometimes it takes courage to leave behind everything that we are familiar with.  It must have taken a lot of courage to walk on the water in the middle of a storm.  And it might take some courage to open our eyes to a new and beautiful spiritual sense of being.  But I know you will agree that the glorious vision you will discover is well worth the effort.

Section 6: Soul and man can never be separated.  You are God's building, His holy temple! (B24)  What a glorious temple you are.  You radiate from Soul.  You are dearly loved and ever-conscious of the Love of love. (B22)  Your Father-Mother God delights in your goodness and showers you with grace continually, giving you perpetual refreshment. (B23)  You truly shine by the all-powerful light of infinite Mind.   You are immortal because you coexist with Soul which is immortal. (S26) "Lift up thy light, O man, arise and shine, steadfast while loud the storms of life assail; Immortal ray of that great Light divine, 'gainst whose all-power no tempest shall prevail." (Hymn 172)   As you stand guard at the door of your temple, you are not alone.  You have an inseparable relationship with God that insures His ever presence and protection.  The temple or body that God created is built with the unchanging, permanent, impenetrable, long-lasting, heavy-duty true substance of Soul.

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This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers & staff blessed each summer at CEDARS, as well as to CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it. However, current and planned gifts are needed to help cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships, and support for operations and special programs. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving to read fruitage due to your help; to review current Operational needs; and to find more about how you can give online or talk privately about how to make a special gift to help perpetuate CEDARS work.
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Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, seven-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner's ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the "Possible Sunday School Topics" come on a following page or subsequent email.) This weekly email (and website posting) is intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and 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 new angles on daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. 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.
Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director, director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162

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Possible Sunday School Topics from CedarS anonymous Sunday School teachers
for the lesson on "Soul and Body" for November 17-23, 2008


Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.) - Golden Text and Responsive Reading
 
What does it mean to be the temple of God? Many references identify temple as body. How are we the body [and building of "Spirit, the great architect?" See Section 6]

The Responsive Reading is praising God. Do we regularly praise Him? How can we be sure that we are consistently honoring Him? [In her CedarS Metaphysical Application ideas ("Met") for this week's lesson, Janet Hegarty comments: "these readings give us a clue that we can use to solve a common problem - self-consciousness. Do you ever feel self-conscious or so worried that you're going to do the wrong thing that you can hardly do anything at all? If you ever do feel this way, follow the lead of this Responsive Reading -- focus your whole attention on God and keep it there. Forget about yourself and instead, think about God and about what God is doing - manifesting power, loving, expressing intelligence, inspiring right activity, communicating." How can you forget about yourself for your next activity and consistently put God and others first?]

P.S.S.T. - Section 1
How do you consider the wondrous works of God? Are you seeing them regularly around you? What is your true identity? How can you be sure that you are showing your identity consistently?

P.S.S.T. - Section 2
When Jesus healed, he told the devils he was casting out not to call him the Christ. Why?
[In her CedarS "Met" for this week's lesson, Janet Hegarty comments: "In your wrestling match with the strong man (mortal mind and its frail belief in disease) you will always have the upper hand." What makes you better-informed on your opponent's line of attack to enable you to bind up the strong man?] When we do this, what are the effects of that work? How do we stand porter at the door of thought?

P.S.S.T. - Section 3
Bible marker 11 says that whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. What world thought do we need to overcome? If God is always by our side (which He is), what effects of this will we see in our lives?
[In her CedarS "Met" for this week's lesson, Janet Hegarty comments: "you, too, will prove what Jesus and many others have proved - there is no material heredity!" What arguments of material heredity are you actively seeking to deny and disprove? Remember that DNA Does Not Apply.]

P.S.S.T. - Section 4
Bible marker 16 is a comfort to athletes. Do you have any examples of when you ran and were not weary, walked and did not faint? How are we able to trust God with the burdens that we bear? What makes Christ's yoke easy and his burden light? [Remember that most yokes are made to be pulled by two.  SO with the yoke of Christ, it's you AND the Christ. Ask yourself what I can do to "drop my burden at His feet and bear a song away?" Hymn 124 And, when you think that more sleep will lighten your load, think about how much the C.O.T. (consciousness of Truth) is better than the bed. "The consciousness of Truth rests us more than hours of repose in unconsciousness." (S&H 218:27, S17)]

P.S.S.T. - Section 5
In Bible marker 20 it says, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Why do we need to open our eyes first? What might we miss if our eyes are closed, or we are turned away? How can we be sure our eyes really are opened?

[In her CedarS "Met" for this week's lesson, Janet Hegarty comments: "Jesus asked the blind men "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" (B21) In part he was challenging them to agree that they were willing to leave behind their false sense of reality and be brave enough to step out into a new world of spiritual vision. Sometimes it takes courage to leave behind everything that we are familiar with. It must have taken a lot of courage to walk on the water in the middle of a storm." What false sense of reality can you courageously leave behind this week?]

P.S.S.T. - Section 6
What is the covenant that God made with us? What does God promise us? Do we need to do anything to earn God's love? Or do we receive His infinite blessings simply because He loves us? How are we the expression of Soul? What does that really mean? Why is it just as important for us to be reflecting God as for God to be reflected? If we are the temple of God, who built us? What does that mean for us as God's reflection/expression/children?

["An architect guarantees the initial and lasting quality of his or her building with specifications, or specs. Didn't "Spirit, the great architect" (S&H 68:5) do the same for us by giving us the 10 Commandments as our specs? How can you better obey each of them to maintain God's perfect design in you?]



 

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