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Move thought! Replace earthy mortal beliefs with the immortal facts of heavenly Life.

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Move thought! Replace earthy mortal beliefs with the immortal facts of heavenly Life.
Christian Science Weekly Bible Lesson on: Mortals and Immortals
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Week of November 10-16, 2008
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. or 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

This is a perfect next step from last week's lesson on Adam and Fallen Man.  Let's get thought moving!  Replace earthy mortal beliefs (that start with the basic premise that all things are destined to die) with the immortal facts of heavenly Life (that have no principle of alteration or corruption, but are perpetual, having unlimited existence.)  Live as if you are immortal, because you are!  Christ Jesus showed us the way.  Let's follow.

Golden Text:  Choose your model.  Christ Jesus demonstrated for us that we don't have to stay stuck in the mud (misty dust).   Christ Jesus came from above.  As we are heavenly-minded, as he was, we, too, experience heavenly, immortal blessings.  The acceptance of Christ frees us from the beliefs corresponding to Adam -- even the belief of having feet of clay -- and the earthy reports of vulnerability and inevitable death lose their hold on us.  Choose the immortal nature of Christ and live!

Responsive Reading:  A continuation of the Golden Text, Paul elaborates on the subject of resurrection and the spiritual body.  It would be absurd to suggest that flesh and blood ("the human nature in its present material and perishable condition" - Dummelow) is immortal (incapable of dying.)  But, the physical senses don't define life.  Paul, and those to whom he was speaking, expected Jesus to physically return at any moment and raise from the dead those who believed in him.  The corruptible (perishable) would be transformed and become incorruptible (free and immune from decay.)  Christian Science reveals that the spirit of Christ is here.  We don't need to wait!  Resurrection is a shift of thought.  Paul defines death's sting as sin.  The strength of sin is the law, which revealed sin (in the 10 Commandments), but didn't show mankind how to avoid it.  But, God made us conquerors over sin through Christ Jesus.  He fulfilled the law, showing us the effects of God's law.  And so, in preparation for the resurrection, we thank God, we are firm in our faith, we give our all in service to Him, and know that doing God's work is never in vain -- or exhausting!  And thus we discover and demonstrate our immortal nature -- here and now!  Cheat death!  Let Life live you!

Section I:  The law of the Spirit frees us from the "law" of sin and death
Life seems to be a battle between the flesh and Spirit.  And, unfortunately, the flesh too often appears to have the upper hand, even when we know better.  That's because we have accepted a mortal identity -- born of human parents.  But there is a way out.  God sent His Christ to deliver humanity from sin's bondage. (B-3)  As Paul explained to the Romans, Jesus, appearing in a human form, proved that being human doesn't necessarily mean you have to succumb to the sins of the flesh.  So, forget the excuse, "Hey, I'm only human!"  Be conscious of what dominates thought.  Is it flesh, or is it Spirit?  Is it taking personal responsibility or acknowledging God, Spirit, as supreme in all we do.  Jesus was led by the spirit of God and didn't let personal desires control him -- ever!  By demonstrating a higher authority, he delivered us from the law of sin and death.  He taught us to denounce the flesh and he turned us to God, teaching us to call on our daddy (Abba) for everything. (B-4)  How do we find this Christ -- the "real man and his relation to God" -- that makes us free?  Mary Baker Eddy says that we just have to "turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood." (S2)  How do we find light in a dark room?  By turning away from the dark corner and finding the lamp!  Action is required.  But, if we're too confused or scared to turn ourselves, a good friend will turn us.  Christ is that friend.  When tempted by sinful flesh, we can learn (from Jesus' example) to turn from it to Spirit.  And, if we are too overwhelmed or frightened to turn away, the power of Christ (Truth), will turn us.  Let yourself be turned.  Infinite Spirit is all!  Ultimately mortal consciousness will yield. (S-4)  The mortal doesn't become immortal.  It just disappears, as the darkness disappears in the light. (S-3)  The battle will continue until we completely yield to Christ.  The more we practice, the easier it is.  Jesus showed us how!

Section 2:  Challenge sin; Let Christ bring redemption!
My Bible Lesson points out that in Jesus' time, to sin was to break one's relationship with God.  Christ, Truth, frees us from sin by presenting the unbreakable relationship we have with God, good.  Under the control of sin, man would be mortal.  But, Christ, Truth, brings out the innocence and immortality of man. (S-7&8)  The strict interpretation of Mosaic law by the scribes and Pharisees included so many requirements for a relationship with God, it was almost impossible not to break one.  Do we ever make things too complicated?  What happens when sin is confronted and destroyed by the law of Christ?  The same thing that happens to darkness when confronted by light.  The child of light can't depart from light -- can't be in the dark.  The child of a holy God can't depart from holiness. (S-9)  Understanding the pure and innocent nature of man, Jesus presented a new concept of redemption and renewal.  Touched by the Christ consciousness, old behaviors and thought patterns have to change. (B-1)  Jewish law was strict, and punishment severe.  The Pharisees believed more in the obliteration of the sinner than in the destruction of sin and redemption of the sinner.  Jesus didn't fall for their attempt to trap him.  He refused to get involved at the human level.  If he sided with the Jews and authorized stoning the woman taken in adultery, he was in trouble with the Romans.  If he sided with the accusers, the people would be angry with him.  The light of Christ was/is able to penetrate the darkest consciousness and in challenging the adulteress' accusers Jesus turned the threat of death into an opportunity for a new life - for all involved.  All were, at least, forced to stop and think. (B-3)  We can challenge sin in the same way.  Rather than condemn ourselves or others, let's align thought with Truth, challenge the sin, and bring redemption. (S-6)

Section 3:  Challenge sickness;  Reverse the testimony of mortality
Jesus never doubted the authority of God's law.  He challenged sickness and mortality.  The mortal measurements of time and space weren't an issue.  Jesus knew that it wasn't his personal presence that healed, but the grace (the divine influence on the heart, and its reflection in the life -- Strongs) of God. (B-9)  Addressing the father's lack of faith, Jesus didn't ask any details concerning the condition of the child. (S-14)  He simply acknowledged the Scientific fact that the child was immortal, and therefore lived. (B-8)  The father believed, thus giving up, to some extent, his material beliefs. (S-13)  Once the fear and doubt had been destroyed by Christ, there was nothing to hide the natural expression of the child's immortality from view.  This healing is still considered miraculous to most people.  But, it truly was just an example of God's grace -- the reconciliation of human experience with what is divinely natural.  Jesus showed that a sense of body as mortal and material (corporeality) has no ability to hide the immortal nature of man.  Witnessing spiritual healing -- at any level -- should be enough to force human sense to give up its confidence in mistaken mortal testimony. (S-12)  In the citations in Science and Health  pay attention to the directives and commands.  We must obey them!  Jesus demonstrated the law of healing.  Mrs. Eddy spells out how to follow his example.  Notice, we are laying off mortality -- putting a false belief aside -- in order to find the "indissoluble spiritual link which establishes man forever in the divine likeness, inseparable from his creator." (S-16)  Nothing needs to change except our perception.  Like the nobleman, we need to call upon and accept the Science (knowledge and understanding) of Christ that clears out the debris of mortal belief.  Then we will see what is and always has been true!  Jesus didn't make sick people well.  Because he understood the supremacy of Sprit, he just saw well people -- the immortal (undying) creation of Spirit!  (S-16)

Section 4:  Challenge traditional beliefs and mortal birth.  Be re-born in immortal Spirit!
Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin -- the supreme court of ancient Israel.  Despite the opposition Jesus faced from them, some members of the Sanhedrin, including Nicodemus, apparently suspected that Jesus really was the promised Messiah.  It was hard to deny the "miracles."  He asked Jesus how to enter this new Kingdom that Jesus was preaching.  Some believe that he then feigned misunderstanding because he didn't like Jesus' answer.  Jesus called for the Law to be written in the "inward parts."  (See Jer. 31:31)  An outward sign of repentance (baptism with water) was perhaps a first step, but there needed to be a transformation of the heart and a new nature adopted.  Being born of the flesh includes the belief that one's fortune, good or bad, is determined by one's background and that it is always at risk of corruption (decay.)  Being born of the Spirit means changing your perspective to see things from above (from a heavenly perspective) rather than from below (from the perspective of the earth.)  Think about how differently a forest of trees (or a maze) looks if you are lying on the ground looking up, or looking from the vantage point of a plane flying over.  The perspective from which we look at other people or at a situation we're involved in has a huge impact on how we feel about that person or situation.  Among other things, Jesus was asking Nicodemus to change his perspective on who was eligible to enter the Kingdom.  He had to accept that the Jews weren't the chosen ones just because they were the physical descendants of Abraham.  That was a little more than Nicodemus was ready for. (B-10)  The Kingdom of God belongs to all creation.  Having the humility to acknowledge the supremacy of Spirit in all things is required in order to enter it! (B-11)  We have to stop judging according to the evidence of the physical senses.  We have to stop believing the myths of matter - whether they seem good or bad.  All of that has to yield to immortal truth - the Science of harmony.  It was this supremacy of Spirit that was the basis of everything Jesus did! (S-17, 20 & 22)  You can erase numbers on a chalk board.  You can tear up notes on a musical score.  You can burn a forest.  You can destroy a mortal body.  But, the number, the note, the tree's roots and the individuality of man remain intact.  This is the immortal nature -- the Scientific nature -- of all things.  God, good is immortal.  So, man is immortal.  Don't be fooled by that which would HIDE immortality. (S-21)  Challenge the mortal (limited) garbage that seems to interrupt harmony.  Humbly submerge thought in accepting the immortal nature of all things good!  Change your perspective.  Be new-born of the Spirit!

Section 5:  Challenge the testimony of the senses -- Adjust the lens
Jesus' form changed right before the eyes of Peter, James, and John.  All that was seen was light -- the eternal light of Christ, unencumbered by mortality.  Only the most spiritually-minded of the disciples witnessed the event.  Some say that it foreshadowed the glory of the second-coming of Christ.  In other words, an indication that Jesus would not return as a mortal, but simply as a guiding light.  Moses represented the law, and Elijah (Elias) represented prophesy.  Jesus fulfilled prophesy and demonstrated the supremacy of the law of Spirit, thus overthrowing the temporary, confining laws of matter (that the Pharisees were so concerned with.) (B-12)  The transfiguration provides evidence of the immortal nature of man.  Moses and Elijah had lived on the earth hundreds of years before Jesus, [and not at the same time] yet here they were together.  Christ fully embodied both the law and prophecy.  We may not be able to see reality at this point.  But, that's only because the lens we're looking through is dirty or out of focus.  Look through distorted glass and you get a distorted view.  The object you're looking at doesn't need fixing.  The glass or lens just needs adjusting. (S-14)  The Bible verses from I John that correlate to the Scientific Statement of Being confirm that even though we don't look like the sons of God right now, we are.  And the more we become acquainted with Christ, the more we'll see ourselves as the likeness of God -- as Christ is the likeness of God -- unlimited and immortal. (B-13)  Jesus taught us how to reason rightly -- how to look out from the standpoint of spiritual existence, and recognize only holiness, harmony, immortality.  That's really all there is because Life and mortality can't mix. (S-26)  When you're in a dark room you can't see what's there.  Turning on a light doesn't make things exist.  It just makes it possible to see what has always been.  Christ is that light.  Just as Science has rolled back physical limitations that previously prevented people from doing that which seemed impossible -- like flying or being submerged under water -- divine Science will roll back all limitations of mortal belief and we will demonstrate the harmony and immortality that is ours - in all areas of life.  A play opens with the curtain being pulled back to reveal the scene and characters designed by the playwright.  God has written a perfect script for His creation -- with a place for everyone!  We need to challenge the curtain of mortality and let Christ pull it back to reveal the stage of immortal life where we are each free to fulfill our perfect role -- not of the earth, but of heaven! (S-23 & 28)

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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

-------------------------------------------------------------
Possible Sunday School Topics from CedarS Camps, by Merrill Boudreaux [& another CedarS Sunday School teacher]
for the lesson: "Mortals and Immortals" for Sunday, November 16, 2008

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Golden Text] - How do you identify yourself: material earth man, carbon-based man? How would you act if you identified yourself as Helium-Based Man, or Hydrogen-Based Man, or Krypton-Based Man? What about Spiritual-Based Man? [How would you live if you knew you were immortal? You are!] Look up Mary Baker Eddy's question and answer to "What am I?" in MY 165:16
"As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing."

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading] - Like Harry Potter's "invisibility cloak", what happens when you put on an "immortality cloak"? You may be "...hidden from the world, but known to God" according to S&H 15:
"Christians rejoice in secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God. Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers. Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings."

[Kathy Fitzer says in this week's CedarS met: " know that doing God's work is never in vain - or exhausting!" (based on I Cor. 15:58) What burdens or heaviness of thought can this passage lift for you?]

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 1]
- If ye do the things of the spirit and not of the flesh, what's the result?
(Bible Marker 4 & Rom. 8: 35-39)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What is the result when one lives as not separated from God by human phases of birth, growth, maturity, decay?

[Kathy says in this week's CedarS met: "He (Jesus) ... turned us to God, teaching us to call on our daddy (Abba) for everything. (B-4) " Do you feel close enough to God to call Him "Daddy?" Why not ask your all-knowing dad's guidance in all you do?]

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 2] - What do you suppose Jesus wrote on the ground? This is a good opportunity to act out the Bible story in this section. Had Jesus "wiped out" the accusations against the woman? What replaced the false writings or witnesses against the woman? (See Mark 1:11) "And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 3] -What is the difference between Is-Ness, Was-Ness, and Will-Be-Ness?
In which of these spaces do you wish to dwell? [Jesus dwelt in the is-ness of wellness causing sickness to disappear, even from a distance. "man is, not shall be, perfect" S13]
Here is a good memorization opportunity in S&H 495:14 (Marker 15)
[As a reminder to CALL on our Daddy/Mommy throughout each day, note that the key verbs in each of the 4 sentences in this paragraph spell CALL!]
"When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious - as Life eternally is - can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony."

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 4] - What must the claims of carbon-based man or earth-man do? (See S&H Marker 22 and Marker 7). What does the word "yield" mean? What does a "yield" sign look like? Draw a picture. What do drivers of cars do when they see a "yield" sign? What gets the right-of-way when our thinking yields to what God knows about us or others? (See S&H 493: 6, Marker 22) [After elections, change is coming. Where do we as a nation and as individuals like Nicodemus most need to be "born-again?"]

Possible Sunday School Topic [P.S.S.T. - Section 5] - When are you the child of God? How long will you be the child of God? When did you become the child of God? What is the result of this relationship with God? (See S&H Marker 26)
When mortality disappears in thought what happens? (See S&H Marker 27)

[How does the mount of transfiguration experience (Matt. 17:1-8, B12) show the spiritual existence of Moses, Elijah and Jesus? "For right reasoning there should be but one fact before thought, namely spiritual existence." (S&H 492:3, Marker 26) Tell your S.S. class or church how keeping spiritual existence at the forefront of thought has brought about healing.]

The CedarS Camps  Website: www.cedarscamps.org
Email: warren@cedarscamps.org  Tel: (636) 394-6162  Fax: (775) 264-6826

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