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Come see and prove the glory of God that is in you!!

Janet Hegarty, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Come see and prove the glory of God that is in you!!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson on the subject "Reality"
For the week of September 22 - 28, 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

Golden Text: Oh, how brilliantly you shine!! The eternal light of infinite Spirit is the light of your being. This light cannot fade. It is always powerful, colorful, and vibrant. This is your light and it is just as brilliant at midnight as it is at noon, just as boundless on Monday as it is on Saturday. It was a great light in 1998 and it will be equally magnificent in 2028. Do you see and feel the power of this light in your life? Look up, look beyond the supposed limits of material beliefs and set your eyes on the spiritual reality of being. Then you will surely see and feel your true light!!!

Responsive Reading: Come and see - God is truly all-powerful and at the same time all-loving. This reading appears in the third part of the Book of Job. Job's friends have been discussing their views on why good people suffer. Job cannot accept their views. He refuses to believe that God would be satisfied when his loved children suffer. Elihu has been silent during the discussion. When he finally chooses to speak he presents an entirely different view of God. He considers God to be almighty and wise but at the same time all-loving. He explains that man's trials "are often sent as a means of strengthening and purifying the children of God. They are not the expression of an angry and implacable God, but the chastening of a loving father." (Westminster Dictionary of the Bible) Job accepts Elihu's argument and this opens the way for Job to feel the healing touch of the Christ. Overjoyed by his new view of God, Job says, "now mine eye seeth thee."
When times get tough and you're tempted to doubt the goodness of God, don't give in to temptation. Keep a firm mental hold on the love of Love, "look unto the heavens," and soon you will feel the touch of the Christ and be free.

Section 1: Take a really, really, close look at reality and you'll be amazed at the wonderful, expansive, powerful action of God that you'll find. In this section we are encouraged to "see the works of God" and to "look deep into realism." (B1 & S6) To get an idea of what can happen when we take a closer, deeper, spiritual look at things, try this fun activity. Find a piece of string about 3 feet long. Go outside and pick a spot near the base of a tree or a bush or at the edge of your lawn. Then take your string and make a circle on the ground with the string. Sit quietly for a time and examine what you see inside of your string circle. At first it just looks like a bunch of grass or some soil. But if you look closer you'll notice other kinds of tiny plants, too, maybe even some moss growing close to the soil under the grass. Continue to focus on the circle and it is likely you will see some insects. You might spot an ant or a grasshopper. Don't stop there, though, take a really serious look at your circle and you might see very tiny insects climbing on the blades of grass, some sand mixed with the soil, or some very, very, tiny colorful flowers blooming on the moss. The longer and more carefully you examine your circle, the more interesting things you'll find. You'll also realize that you have been walking past or on all kinds of interesting and beautiful things without ever having noticed them.

Now let's apply this fun way of looking at things to our spiritual study. Let's take a really, really, close look at "the works of God." (S1) Where should we place our mental string circle? We could choose one of the Bible stories or Bible characters in this lesson to look at more closely. The citations from Science and Health in this section give us some great ideas on how to find what is truly present through close observation. Consider how God's thoughts, "spiritual realities," have a part to play in your story. (S1) Look deep into the story to find evidence of God as the divine Principle, the foundation and organization of all reality. (S2) Focus your search to find Mind in action. (S2) Do you see evidence of "the spiritual fact," the action of goodness in men and the universe in your story? (S5) We can use this same method to become more aware of God's presence in our days. Instead of measuring your day on a human scale, at the end of each day, look deep into the day's activities to find the evidence of Principle, harmony, and goodness that are surely there. Then the wonderful, expansive, powerful, spiritual reality of your being will become more evident to you each day.

Section 2: To be a prophet - look at things through the eyes of a prophet. The eyes of a prophet focus on spiritual reality. (S9) The prophet looks at all things from God's point of view. He or she looks beyond what the material senses communicate, to see the spiritual facts. Elijah was a prophet and he knew the value of spiritual vision. To heal the widow's son he knew he needed to recognize that the boy's life was wholly spiritual. (1Kings 17:17-24) This same spiritual vision was necessary to bring the rain in drought (1Kings 18:41-46) and to part the waters of the river Jordan. (B6 & S10) When Elisha, the disciple of Elijah, asks that he might be given a "double portion" of Elijah's spirit, Elijah agrees to this with one condition. He requires that Elisha see the spiritual fact of indestructible Life when the two are parted. Elijah says, "if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so." (B6) To see this, Elisha needed to set aside all material notions about life and to focus on the spiritual reality. It required that he use the eyes of a prophet. Christian Science teaches each of us how to be a prophet. It teaches us how to see spiritual reality; and the result of this spiritual seeing is healing. (S10) We are all potential prophets. But we must be careful that we don't let the material point of view cloud our prophetic vision. Watch carefully that you don't forecast evil, make a mistake because you have gathered your facts from matter rather than Spirit, or "predict the future" incorrectly because you're making your judgments based on human beliefs. (S11) Be a wise prophet, always look at all things from God's point of view.

Section 3: Want to see God? Let purity lift your head above the fog. "You're blessed when you get your inside world - your mind and heart - put right. Then you can see God in the outside world." (The Message) (B11, S13, S16) Purity of thought and action will lift you out of the fog - the belief that both good and evil are real. (S15) In order to be pure, we need to understand what purity is. There is no better place to look for a perfect example of purity than to the life of Christ Jesus. Jesus' understanding that God is all, was very pure. He was absolutely sure, that God is all and that God is wholly good. He built his healing practice on these foundational facts. Jesus also had an entirely pure conviction that evil is not real. This purity is seen in the way he relates to people that he meets and heals. He never condemns them, even though he does uncover the error they are suffering from. Jesus' pure love, his perfect spiritual sinless view of man, served to lift these individuals out of the fog of sin and fear. Then they could understand their own goodness and wholeness because they had gained a better understanding of their relationship to God, good. Let's make a purity checklist to encourage our own spiritual growth this week. Here are some good questions to put on your check list: If God is good and God is all, why am I afraid? Do I believe in the reality of evil? What do I see when I look at my friends and family? Do I see "God's thoughts" or erring mortals? (S14) How am I thinking about myself? Am I accepting my oneness with divine intelligence, perfect Love, and indestructible Life? Am I living according to this oneness? God, who created you, made you pure, wholly spiritual, and innocent. Use your purity checklist to lift your head above the fog of false belief. Then you will have a clear view of God!!

Section 4: Do you really need to see another sign? The Pharisees and the Sadducees didn't like each other at all but they had one mutual goal. That goal was to give Jesus a really hard time. (Dummelow) So they joined together to demand that Jesus give them a sign that would prove that he had power in heaven. Jesus refused to give them a sign. Instead he pointed out their hypocrisy. He said, they all agreed that they could predict the weather by watching the colors of the sky. But they all refused to accept his heavenly mission, even though they had already watched him heal the sick many times. The signs of the Christ-presence were as clear and visible to them as the colors in the sky but these men refused to accept the signs of healing. (B14) Do we accept the signs of the Christ? Or are we waiting for yet another sign, before we will be willing to let go of material evidence and accept the spiritual reality in its place? (S17) Are we the Christian Science artist who has accepted the pure spiritual vision of reality? Or are we that "other artist" who clings to a matter based view of existence? Or is our model a mixture of both the spiritual and the material view? (S18) Remember, Jesus' ideal was pure, unmixed - completely spiritual. Be sure you don't settle for anything less. Be one of today's prophets and joyfully accept the signs of these times, the unmistakable signs of Christ-healing. (S20)

Section 5: Corporeal sense is non-sense. "To the five corporeal senses, man appears to be matter and mind united...." (S24) When the disciples saw the blind man and knew that the man had been born blind, they asked Jesus, whose sin had caused the blindness? (B15) The disciples' question shows that their thinking was still based on the corporeal view of man as a mixture of both matter and mind. Jesus, on the other hand, looked at the man and his parents through the eyes of a prophet. In Jesus' eyes, there were no sinners nor was there any other cause for the man's blindness. To Jesus this was not an opportunity to pass judgment on the man, but rather, it was an opportunity to prove the perfect love and glory of God. He worked from a higher, wholly spiritual standpoint and he healed the man. Jesus not only restored the man's physical sight, he also awakened the man's spiritual insight. Later the same day when the Pharisees questioned the man, his words revealed a deep-rooted conviction that God was the only possible power behind Jesus' healing work. (S24) Study your thoughts carefully and patiently weed out any corporeal non-sense you find there. Then, you will always be ready to be a witness to the pure spiritual model of man and your life will shine brilliantly with the healing light of the Christ.

Section 6: Look, it's the kingdom of God, and it's within you!! In these passages from Revelation John describes the powerful and triumphant vision of reality that came to him through spiritual discernment. His revelation joyously announces the allness of God, the salvation of man, and the power of Christ. (B16, B17) This wonderful revelation was not just for John. It's not something off in the distance, either. Did you notice the similarity between John's revelation and the "kingdom of God" which Jesus identified, "the kingdom of God ... within you." (B19) Spiritual reality is God's kingdom. This is the only reality. In this kingdom, God is always present and is the loving Principle which governs all in harmony. In this kingdom man is the "blessed child of God," sinless and eternal. (S28) These words from Hymn 238 which were written by John Greenleaf Whittier point out the promise of this kingdom: "Sometimes gleams upon our sight, Through present wrong, th' eternal right; and step by step, since time began, we see the steady gain of man. (verse 1) Henceforth my heart shall sigh no more for olden time and holier shore: God's love and blessing, then and there, are now and here and everywhere." (verse 3) And what a perfect blessing it is!
________________________________________________________________
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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" and Homework options 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 for the "Reality" Christian Science Bible Lesson for Sept. 22-28
by anonymous Camp staff who teach Sunday School at their local Branch churches

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.)for the Golden Text
What are we seeing around us? What is the reality that we choose to see? What does light have to do with reality?
We each shine by a reflected light that is colorful and vibrant. Do you see this light in your life? Are you looking up (beyond the material) to set your eyes on spiritual reality? [A mirror and flashlight could be used to demonstrate these concepts.]

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.) for the Responsive Reading
Elihu explains to Job that man's trials "are often sent as a means of strengthening and purifying the children of God. They are not the expression of an angry and implacable God, but the chastening of a loving father." (Westminster Dictionary of the Bible) How did this view of God and reality affect Job and his view of the bad going on around him?

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.) for Section 1
How does the covenant that God made with Moses still apply to us today? How is it that Moses was able to trust so fully in God's direction?
S&H 2 refers to the way to grasp the reality and order of being. How do we see God as the divine Principle? What is challenging about this? What is natural about it?

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.) for Section 2
Why did Elisha insist upon staying with Elijah before his ascension? What is the significance of the mantle of Elijah? Why did Elisha ask for a "double portion" of Elijah's spirit? What do you think Elisha learned from all his time with Elijah?
How can you be a prophet (see S&H 9)? Elisha and Elijah both had the ability to see what was truly around them, to "behold wondrous things out of thy law." (B5) How can we do that as well? How can seeing from God's point of view affect our present reality? Our impressions of the past,? Our approach to the future?

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.) for Section 3
What designates someone as pure in heart? How does that help us to see God? Is this a prerequisite? What are the similarities between purity and childlikeness? What is the difference between being childlike and being childish? Do we ever get the two confused? How does purity help us to see Truth? Does it ever seem like you are missing out when you are pure? Is that true in reality?

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.) for Section 4
People were amazed at how much Jesus knew, even though he hadn't been formally educated. What gave Jesus, the new covenant prophet, the confidence to speak and teach with such authority? What did he see and know that the Pharisees couldn't understand?
What do we need to do in order to see as clearly as Jesus did? Which artist are you (see S&H 18)? Which ideals and models (material or spiritual) are you bringing into your experience? Why doesn't it work to try to have both a material and spiritual model? What realities are you identifying with and so choosing?

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.) for Section 5
Jesus gives hope to everyone suffering from what are deemed to be inherited problems. Bible scholar, B. Cobbey Crisler pointed out that "~the disciples tried to get Jesus to play the blame game by giving him this multiple choice quiz: For this man to be born blind, who did sin? A) this man? or B) his parents ? Jesus answered C) DNA (genes) Do Not Apply! - ‘but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.' (John 9:3) Then, Jesus showed his contempt for the dust origin/material heritage concept of man by spitting on the dust. By putting this dust-clay-spittle mix on the blind man's eyes and asking him to go wash it off, Jesus was unforgettably showing us what needs to be handled in such a healing."

You may want to act out this healing as a class. (see B 15) Discuss first what the blind man went through to achieve his healing. When did the healing fully take place? What might have been going through the blind man's thought while he was defending Jesus (a man he didn't even know) to the Pharisees, and later while he was talking to him?
What do we see with our eyes? A dust-origin heredity? What should we see? How was Jesus able to see the blind man as whole? What did he see when he looked at him? Is this something that we can do as well? How?

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.) for Section 6
What do we learn from the book of Revelation about our relationship to God? When do we see the new heaven and new earth (B 18)? How can we see this newness? What does it take of us?
What is the promise that we are given from Revelation? What do we look forward to finding in the new heaven? Where is this new heaven? What does this tell us about reality?



 

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