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See that Spirit Alone Creates -- Matter (atomic force) Does Not! Humbly Participate in the Christmas Story!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Sunday, December 14th, 2008

See that Spirit Alone Creates -- Matter (atomic force) Does Not! Humbly Participate in the Christmas Story!
Metaphysical application ideas for CedarS campers and friends from the Christian Science Bible Lesson for Dec. 15-21
"Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?"
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, 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

This Lesson tells the Christmas Story -- the coming of the light of Christ to human consciousness -- revealing the hidden facts of Life as Spirit. Astronomers are constantly discovering how truly vast the universe is -- and how much they (and we) don't know about it.  Astronomers have learned more as they have used stronger telescopes, making things appear closer by using an arrangement of lenses, or of curved mirrors and lenses, which collect and focus light, magnifying the image.  The focusing of light is the key ingredient.  These ever-expanding discoveries hint at how much more there is to life than what the material senses can perceive.  The material senses can never truly tell us who we are or what constitutes our universe.  More light is needed.  Looking through the lens of Spirit, we discover the infinite nature of the universe.  The darkness of matter is dispelled, and Spirit is revealed as the true essence of all being.  Our universe then becomes even more tangible and comprehensible as it is seen to be entirely spiritual.  Matter (atomic force) is incapable of creating or evolving anything except false beliefs.  It takes humility to see that God is the only creative power!

Golden Text: Regardless of the intensity or duration of the darkness, the light of Christ shines.  The presence of this light was so real to Isaiah, he spoke in the present tense, although prophesying of a future event.  Is there a lesson here?  Even in the midst of the darkest times, we must watch for the development of the Christ light.  What does it mean to dwell "in the land of the shadow of death?"  Here's one thought ... Death often hangs over people like an ever-present shadow -- something that we feel we can't ever really escape.  Whether it is the belief that death is an inescapable part of life, or being sad because a really good thing in your life is coming to an end, or accepting a decline of health, ability or good-looks as "inevitable", or the heaviness of a dead-line hanging over you or being haunted by a slow-down or demise of an industry or the economy, it may feel like you dwell in the darkness of a "shadow of death."  But, Christ comes to shed light right there and reveal the infinite nature of eternal Life -- without end or limits!

Responsive Reading: Jesus' mission was to be the light of the world -- to reveal God, and His creation, incapable of being seen by the material senses.  Light allows us to see what has always been present, although unable to be seen in the darkness.  As a telescope collects and focuses the light of the heavens, could we think of Jesus' human life as collecting and focusing the light of Christ in order to reveal to us the fullness of the spiritual universe in which we live?  Jesus fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy; he defined the purpose for which he had been anointed, and demonstrated that purpose by healing!

Section 1: The universe ordered by matter or the Word?
Theories abound as to the origin of our supposedly matter-based universe.  But, there has never been a truly satisfactory explanation.  Theories have expanded from thinking that the earth was at the center, to the sun being the center of our solar system; thinking that ours was the only solar system to realizing that we are but one such system in our galaxy, and that there are many galaxies out there, and much more in the vastness of space than we can begin to cognize.  But, as long as we think of our universe from the standpoint of matter, there will always be limits and changing beliefs.

What if we re-think the order of the universe and our own origin?  Wasn't that Jesus' mission -- to make the glory of God (the radiant light that symbolizes the divine Presence) apparent to mankind?  The gospel of John explains that the Word (the Logos or "the order of the universe, or wisdom") already existed "in the beginning."  The Word of God is God's revelation of Himself (Westminster's Bible Dictionary). This revelation was made evident "in the flesh", or in a form that was apparent to the human consciousness," in the person of Jesus Christ.  John the Baptist's special purpose was to prepare thought to receive the fullness of the light of Christ that would dispel the darkness of misperception. (B-1 & S-4)  The true illimitable nature of both our universe and man will finally be seen as we accept the Life-light and realize that the "material, theoretical life-basis" believed to be made of atoms is a "misapprehension of existence."  Believing that we live in a material universe while trying to understand God's creation is essentially having two gods.  It is an acknowledgement of two opposing forces.  But, the birth of Jesus opened the way for a change of perspective!  As mankind acknowledges the advent (arrival) of Jesus as the birth of a "new-old idea" and gains a spiritual sense of being, the whole earth will be transformed and the darkness of misunderstanding will disappear in the light. (S-3)  Start looking at the universe (including man) from a spiritual perspective -- use the telescope of spiritual sense to find Christ.  Limits drop away and the view becomes clear!

Section 2: Spiritual Origin -- Where DO babies come from?!
Have you ever thought about the Christmas story having a prologue -- a story leading into the main story?  Might we think of the birth of John the Baptist as this prologue?  His father, Zacharias had been praying for two things for a long time.  He wanted a son, and he wanted to witness the coming of the Messiah.  Imagine Zacharias' surprise when an angel appeared to him one day (while he was serving in the temple) to tell him that his prayers would be answered.  Not only would he have a son, but this son would have a specific mission.  "He will be a man of rugged spirit and power like Elijah, the prophet of old; and he will precede the coming of the Messiah, preparing the people for his arrival. He will soften adult hearts to become like little children's and will change disobedient minds to the wisdom of faith." (B-4 - The Living Bible)  But, how could that be?  Elisabeth was not only barren -- unable up to this point to have a child -- but she and Zacharias were also too old for such things.  But, spiritual origins (not dependent on eggs and secretion made of atoms) have nothing to do with the limits of material history or age!  Elisabeth did conceive and at last she was free of the disgrace of not being able to bear children.  And God got the credit!  This story teaches us two things -- never stop cherishing your prayerful desires, and creation is of Spirit only.  To conceive not only means to become pregnant with a child, but is to "form or devise (a plan or idea) in the mind."  Although mortal sense suggests that life is conceived in matter, Life is ALWAYS an idea in Mind.  The "multiplication of God's children," is always the reflection (or thought) of Spirit -- independent of matter. (S-8)  We have to stop working from two standpoints -- matter and Spirit.  Life in matter suggests a start, and consequently a stop.  But, God, Spirit, identifies Herself as I AM -- infinite Life without start or stop. (S-7)  Lose a false sense of Soul in matter, and see the unfolding of Life as immortality. (S-5)

Section 3: Next Step -- a Virgin Conceives
Elisabeth's conception of John was considered a "miracle."  Humanly, it shouldn't have happened, but such miracles had happened before.  But, as real proof that creation is purely spiritual, Mary received word that she would bear a child before even having intimate relations with a man.  She didn't understand it, and questioned the angel.  She was told this was to be a very special child with a special mission.  The Son of God could not have a human father.  Mary was also told about Elisabeth (her cousin) expecting a child.  This must have bolstered her faith that nothing is impossible to God.  Seeing evidence of another's healing, helps us to believe that God will help us, doesn't it?  Mary devoted herself to God as His servant, willingly submitting to God's will. (B-6)  Dummelow points out that whereas the disobedience of Eve brought death and sin into the world, Mary's obedience would bring salvation and reverse the effects of the Adam-dream.  Mary's experience shows God to be the only author of man. (S-13)  Because man is the image -- or reflection -- of God, and God is self-existent and eternal, there is no origin (beginning) of man, any more than there is a beginning of God. (S-10)  But, origin also refers to where something comes from. In this case, man's origin is in God -- man comes from, has its source in, God. (12)  How presumptuous of us to think that we could be the author of anything.  Jesus came to provide for us a perfect model of God's creation. (S-14)  The Holy Spirit filled Mary's thought, and she glimpsed that being is Spirit.  How can we emulate this vision?  We start by SILENCING material law. (S-13)  A number of years ago, someone who didn't want to listen to something, might put up a hand and respond with, "Talk to my hand."  So, give your consent for right ideas to develop and come to full fruition by telling the suggestions of limiting material laws to "talk to your hand," and watch Christ, Truth, reveal itself to your consciousness.

Section 4: Humbly Share Joy to Find Real Happiness! Break Limits!
What a joyous reunion it must have been for the cousins -- Elisabeth and Mary. Elisabeth had devoted 5 months to prayer after discovering she was expecting. (B-4)  She was ready to receive Mary when she came.  Mary wasted no time in going to Elisabeth -- perhaps to share her news and verify that Elisabeth really was "with child."  Before Mary had a chance to tell Elisabeth anything, Elisabeth's baby moved (leaped) -- indicating to Elisabeth that all that the angels had told her was true.  She felt the fullness of the Holy Spirit fill her being -- God's active love fully expressing Himself in her.  She knew, without being told, that Mary was carrying the Messiah!  Both women expressed such humility.  There was no sign of Elisabeth being jealous, but rather she felt honored that Mary would visit her.  She recognized that Mary was chosen for this role because of her willingness to serve God, but Elisabeth also had a part to play.  Mary felt no pride, but gave God all the glory and reiterated her role as His humble servant. (B-8)  What can we learn from this example?  How do we respond when a friend has been chosen for a high honor -- or someone else selected for a prime role or position?  Do we rejoice in what God has given them and also acknowledge our worth and accept whatever has been given us to do?  Happiness is spiritual.  It is not confined to material circumstances.  It must be shared.  It is natural for us all to hang out with those who make us happy.  But, we'll be happiest as we seek out those who are going to make us better people and who we can mutually bless. (S-15)  Elisabeth and Mary were forced to "give up imperfect models and [false] ideals."  They responded by rejoicing!  As we turn everything over to God, we, too can "rejoice that we are subject to the divine ‘powers that be'" (S-17).  Little children are generally so eager to see and experience new things.  They don't hold on to grudges or hurt feelings, nor do they accept limits!  Let's be more like the little children and leave "false landmarks" behind. (S-18)  As we launch out on any endeavor, let's know that GOD is developing it.  An idea doesn't have its source in matter, but in Mind.(S-19)  Whether you are watching a child, a career, or a friendship develop, rejoice that its source is Mind.  Be humble enough - like Mary and Elisabeth - to let it be God's idea.

Section 5: Obedience to God's Unfoldment!
It was customary for a child to be named after his father, or someone in the family.  But, this was not God's plan for Elisabeth's and Zacharias' child.  When Zacharias first learned of the blessing, he was told the child should be named John.  Asking for a sign from God that he was hearing him correctly, Zacharias lost his voice.  This certainly gave him the opportunity to learn to be a better listener.  Remaining faithful, Zacharias confirmed Elisabeth's pronouncement that the child's name was to be John, and told him that his mission was to prepare the way for the Messiah.  At that point, his voice returned.  Like the women, Zacharias expressed much humility and obedience -- trusting God to unfold His perfect idea. (B-9)  Again we see that creation is the unfoldment (or revealing) of God's ideas.  Creation (of any kind of idea) doesn't start with the human mind or the human body.  It is not an accumulation -- of matter or mortal thought -- but the appearing to human consciousness of what is already present in Mind.  In order to see what God has prepared, we just need to lose a sense of limitation, stop believing that we are personal creators, and let the light bring into view what is waiting to be discovered. (S-21)  We don't have to struggle to pull things together (whether it is ideas for a school paper or the perfect gift.)  We have to trust that God's plan will be revealed to us as we listen and watch.  I like to think about God gathering unformed thoughts into their proper channels and unfolding these thoughts being like a host preparing a delightful picnic basket and unfolding it on the beach or under a tree to the delight of the guests.  The guests just have to show up hungry and ready to eat whatever has been prepared -- trusting the love of the host to know just what will satisfy. (S-20)  There is no shortage of ideas.  They can't be used up because their source is INFINITE Mind! (S-22)  Keep watching and use the light to see what is otherwise hidden!

Section 6: The Main Event -- Revealed to All!
Not only the women, but the men too, had opportunities for growth in the births of John and Jesus.  Joseph must have been a bit surprised when he discovered Mary was pregnant.  To be betrothed was legally the same as being married except that the marriage had not yet been consummated.  Although Joseph considered privately divorcing Mary ("was minded to put her away privily"), he was humble enough to believe the angel's revelation to him that the baby was of the Holy Ghost. (B-10)  In other words, the child had no father other than God.  Mrs. Eddy defines Holy Ghost as: "the development of eternal Life, Truth, and Love." (S&H 588)  That is indeed what we celebrate at Christmas -- the appearing of the human herald (messenger) of Christ, Truth.  Just as film is developed and an image appears, so Jesus enabled the fullness of the Christ to appear to human eyes.  Jesus' birth, the coming of the Messiah was first announced to the shepherds.  The shepherd thought is considered to represent the humble thought.  The coming of the Christ was signaled by a bright heavenly light. (B-11)  The first chapter of Genesis records God commanding the light to shine.  The coming of Jesus Christ revealed the spiritual light of God's presence that shines in our hearts continually as we humbly receive it -- and in turn share it by expressing it in our lives. (B-12)  We can embrace this light and watch darkness and doubt disappear as we give up all belief in material creation! (S-25)  We have to understand the Science of creation -- Spirit being the only creator -- evidenced in the obviously spiritual origins of Jesus, if we are to understand and imitate his works. (S-27)  What are we doing to perpetuate Jesus' life-work? (S-28)  Through humility we, too, can be filled with the spirit of the Holy Ghost, give ourselves as servants of God, watch God gather unformed thoughts, and with the light of Christ, see the unlimited spiritual universe unfold before our eyes.  No limits, no dead-lines, no dead-ends.  Everyone fulfilling their own purpose!
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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 offered by CedarS Sunday School teachers for December 15-21, 2008 on the Christian Science Bible Lesson:
"Is the Universe including Man Evolved by Atomic Force?"

Golden Text: Have you been sad because a dear one has passed on, or because a good thing in your life seems to be coming to an end? Are you accepting as "inevitable" a decline of health, ability or good-looks? Is the heaviness of a dead-line hanging over you? Are you worried that a slow economy can rob you or your family of happiness? If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, we need to talk, and to let the Christ light dispel the darkness of a "shadow of death." As Kathy Fitzer's met this week states about the Golden Text: "Christ comes to shed light right there and reveal the infinite nature of eternal Life -- without end or limits!"

Responsive Reading: Where do we look for our comfort and protection? Jesus is asking us to look where? Do we lean on God? What are we tempted to rely on? Discuss with your students what they rely on and what it might look like to lean on Christ.
[Wouldn't leaning on Christ cause us to attempt to do what he was anointed to do? How could you preach good news (the gospel) to the poor (receptive ones) in your family, neighborhood, classroom, congregation, ...? How could you bind up the broken-hearted in your family, neighborhood, classroom, congregation, ...? How could you set at liberty them that are bruised (with hurts or hurt feelings) in your family, neighborhood, classroom, congregation, ...?]

Section 1: key concepts to consider: beginning, creation, light, one
This section is all about the beginning of man's existence.
What is the significance of putting God as the creator and man as the offspring of light?

[In her application ideas for this section Kathy Fitzer says: "Start looking at the universe (including man) from a spiritual perspective -- use the telescope of spiritual sense to find Christ. Limits drop away and the view becomes clear!" What hazy views would you like to clear up? What limits would you like to see drop away as you see yourself anew as a child of God?--"reborn-not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.") (B1, John 1:12-13 New Living Translation)]

Section 2: Is Mrs. Eddy "far out," or what! Just look at some of the incredible things she has to say: If life has any starting point,"God's existence "is a MYTH!" Science and Health citation #7 (S7); God's children are multiplied (reproduced) by "the reflection of Spirit" not by man. (S8) What is she getting at with such radical comments? Help your students dig deep even into just one of these passages that seem so counter intuitive.

[In her application ideas for this section, Kathy Fitzer says: "This story (of Elisabeth conceiving) teaches us two things -- never stop cherishing your prayerful desires and creation is of Spirit only. To conceive not only means to become pregnant with a child, but is to "form or devise (a plan or idea) in the mind." In what areas do you seem to be barren-or lacking the right idea for a paper, a gift, what to say or what to write? How does this story teach us: to never give in to discouragement; to listen to angel messages; and, to give God the credit?] .

Section 3: Does it matter that Jesus was conceived immaculately? Mrs. Eddy seems to think so. What does she say about the birth of Jesus? (S12 & S13) Do you and your students agree with her? [If so, what impacts on your lives might be possible when you accept this demonstration that "nothing is impossible with God." (B6, Luke 1:37 New International Version) Q. What attitude of Mary's will help you achieve good goals that seem impossible at this moment? Hint: "I'm ... ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say." B6, Luke 1:38, The Message]

Section 4: What does it take to be happy? Make a list of the false promises you can fall prey to. Then, make a new list of God's promises for all of us as outlined in this section. Further, ask your students about the connection between the Bible and Science and Health in this section.

[In her application ideas for this section, Kathy Fitzer says: "Both women expressed such humility. There was no sign of Elisabeth being jealous, but rather she felt honored that Mary would visit her. ... (B-8) What can we learn from this example? How do we respond when a friend has been chosen for a high honor -- or someone else selected for a prime role or position? Do we rejoice in what God has given them and also acknowledge our worth and accept whatever has been given us to do?" What commandment is this keeping? (A.: 10thCommandment, "not covet") Kathy continues: "we'll be happiest as we seek out those who are going to make us better people and who we can mutually bless." (S-15) Would this guideline change who you choose to hang out with? Kathy continues: "Little children ... don't hold on to grudges or hurt feelings, nor do they accept limits!" What grudges, hurts, limits and "false landmarks" are you ready to leave behind? (S-18) Kathy continues: "As we launch out on any endeavor, let's know that GOD is developing it. An idea doesn't have its source in matter, but in Mind." (S-19) ... As you watch a child, a career, or a friendship develop, ... (are you) humble enough - like Mary and Elisabeth - to let it be God's idea"?]

Section 5: there appears to be a lot of preparation in this lesson.
What are we daily being prepared for? (B9) What does it mean to say that creation is ever appearing? (S&H 22)

[In her application ideas for this section, Kathy Fitzer says: "In order to see what God has prepared, we just need to lose a sense of limitation, stop believing that we are personal creators, and let the light bring into view what is waiting to be discovered. (S-21) We don't have to struggle to pull things together (whether it is ideas for a school paper or the perfect gift.) We have to trust that God's plan will be revealed to us as we listen and watch." What ideas that seem to be hidden are you active watching for with your Christ light?]


Section 6: We finally get to the birth of Jesus Christ himself.
Continue to observe the use of light in this lesson. That conversation continues in this section.
What is light? What does it symbolize?

[In her application ideas for this section, Kathy Fitzer says: "We have to understand the Science of creation -- Spirit being the only creator -- evidenced in the obviously spiritual origins of Jesus, if we are to understand and imitate his works. (S-27) What are we doing to perpetuate Jesus' life-work? (S-28)" Are you feeling humble enough to also "be filled with the spirit of the Holy Ghost, give (y)ourselves as servants of God, watch God gather unformed thoughts, and with the light of Christ, see the unlimited spiritual universe unfold before (y)our eyes(?) No limits, no dead-lines, no dead-ends. Everyone fulfilling their own purpose!" (Kathy Fitzer's 6th section application ideas) What is your life purpose to fulfill? (Try on Mrs. Eddy's: "I am able to impart truth, health and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing." Miscellany 165:20)]

 

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