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Follow Jesus to know what is true. His life reveals Truth!

Janet Hegarty, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, January 19th, 2009

Follow Jesus to know what is true-his life reveals Truth!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson on "Truth" for the week of January 19-25, 2009 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 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

What is truly real? What is it that has lasting value? What might be the purpose of life? These questions have come to the thought of men, women, and children throughout all time. The Bible Lesson this week gives us the opportunity to think through these age-old questions, to discover what is truly real for ourselves and to find a clear purpose to guide our daily living.

Golden Text: A prayer for light, truth, and guidance. Sometimes we can feel like we are in darkness even when it's daytime. This was the situation the man who wrote this Psalm was in. He was away from his home and he was being kept from returning home. His enemies didn't believe in God and they were taunting him, trying to make him doubt the existence of God himself. (Dummelow, Ps. 42 & Ps. 43) But he didn't give in to doubt, even though he was surrounded by skeptics (doubters). Instead he prayed for more light and truth to guide him home. He asked God to send him inspiration and to strengthen his understanding of truth. He was convinced that with this help from God he could find freedom from his enemies. Sometimes, suggestions come to our thought that would tempt us to doubt the healing presence of God. Don't be intimidated by these doubters!!! Remember you are not standing alone. God is right there with you pouring out His light and His truth to give you all of the courage and understanding you need to be freed from doubt and fear.

Responsive Reading: 5 steps to discover what is really true. It was evident to the people of his day that there was something quite extraordinary about Jesus. He hadn't taken the traditional course of study for a rabbi, yet, he had a deep understanding of spiritual things. Jesus explained that what he taught came to him directly from God. He also explained that because God was true, the things that he taught were true. Jesus identified himself as "the way, the truth, and the life." In order to follow Jesus in the way to discover the truth and experience the full spiritual life, in this Responsive Reading, Jesus describes five things one needs to do. First, one needs to "deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself.] (Amplified Bible Luke 9:23) Second, he tells his listener to "take up his cross daily." Mary Baker Eddy explains, "If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. Your good will be evil spoken of. This is the cross. Take it up and bear it, for through it you win and wear the crown." (Science and Health page 254) Third, Jesus says, "follow me," live in the way that I live, follow my example. Fourth, "Jesus points out to follow him is not to pursue riches or to be promised material ease in this world. The pursuit is wholly spiritual." (Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary) Jesus himself doesn't even have a place "to lay his head." Fifth, once you begin to follow Jesus you need to give that activity your full attention. Jesus said, "Anyone who starts plowing and keeps looking back isn't worth a thing to God's kingdom!" (Contemporary English Version) If a man who was plowing in a field using oxen looked back while he was plowing, the furrows that he made would be crooked and useless. To follow Jesus in a half-hearted way will not result in many good works. Think about these five steps this week and see how you can put them into action in your life. They will open the gate for you to enter the path of Truth.

Section 1: Jesus has shown us what is true. Jesus knew what the purpose of his life was. He said, "...for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." (B4) Jesus' healing works defined and proved the Truth for mankind. He proved, "what God is and what He does for man." (S4) Jesus demonstrated that God is Love and that all people are His perfectly loved children, safe, good, and whole. The healings gave unquestionable proof that this is the true relationship between God and man. Jesus' daily life also proved this was true. He embodied the Love of God. His compassion and purity made it possible for the people of his day, and for people throughout all time, to see the loving nature of God. Jesus' parables of the blind leading the blind, the disciple and his master, the tree and its fruit, all show how he taught that the way a person lives their life is most important. Just talking about the Love of God is not good enough. One needs to live Love in order to follow Jesus. This idea is discussed further in Science and Health. In citation S2 it explains that to understand the truth we must be "honest, unselfish, loving, and meek." As a follower of Jesus, your job is also to be a witness to the truth. You don't need to make the Truth real or bring it into action, it is already real and active. But, like Jesus, your life can bear witness to the presence of Truth and its action. By the way you live, you can help yourself and others see God. Watch to be honest in all your activities this week, take every opportunity that comes your way to be generous, kind, or forgiving and never forget, it is God who has given you the desire and the power to understand and demonstrate Truth.

Section 2: The Truth heals. You can depend on it! Mary Baker Eddy describes Jesus' healing prayers as, "deep and conscientious protests of Truth - of man's likeness to God and of man's unity with Truth and Love." (S7) To become more conscientious in our own "protests of Truth" we can search for the Truth in the Bible and in Science and Health. You might find it helpful to keep a notebook of the statements of Truth that you find. You could start by making a list of the many clear statements of Truth that are in this section of the lesson. Also, it is important to never believe the false suggestion that you can't understand the Truth. This suggestion is a lie. God, Love has made us and He has given us the ability to understand the Truth. (B6) God will always give you more understanding whenever you need it. God, Love does always answer every prayer that asks for more "light and truth." And His answers will give you all the understanding that you will ever need. To strengthen your conviction that the Truth heals, choose one statement of Truth to take with you every day. Then actively use that Truth throughout the day. Apply it to every small concern you might have. By this process you will become more confident in the healing power of the Truth because you will be experiencing its effect in your life.

Section 3: It's time to clean the closet! I'm sure you've noticed how hard it is to find an object that you need in a cluttered and disorganized closet. But if you take a trash bag to the closet and put all of the items that are broken, worn out, and useless from the closet into the bag and then arrange the items that remain in the closet so that they are easy to see and reach, the problem is soon solved. The same is true of our mental closet, the closet Jesus tells us to go into when we pray. (B10) Let's take a look around in this mental closet. Do you see any broken CD's in there - those negative thoughts that just keep repeating over and over? Let's put those out the door and into the trash. Say, what's that pile of junk in the corner? It looks like a worn out pile of tattered rags - it's a pile of mean and angry thoughts. Wow, those rags are sure dusty, out the door and into the trash they go. Do you know what that book is up there on the shelf - a medical reference book! How did that get into my mental closet? Let's make sure we pick up those loose pages that fell out of it, too, and throw the whole lot out the door and into the trash. Well, that was the last piece of useless junk. Now let's make a checklist of the items we'll keep in the closet: 1. Seven synonyms for God; 2. The Ten Commandments; 3. The Lord's Prayer; 4. The Sermon on the Mount; 5. The Christian Science Bible Lesson; and 6. The scientific statement of being. This closet really looks fantastic; it's so quiet and peaceful. I can feel the gentle love of God surrounding me. I think, I'll just close the door and stay in here and pray for a while. (S11)

Section 4: Don't trust in riches, trust in God. The disciples were shocked when Jesus told them that it would be very hard for those who "trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!" (B12) It's clear, from the verses that follow, that Jesus wasn't saying you had to be poor to enter the kingdom of God. However, he was saying that you had to put your trust in God rather than putting your trust in riches. An incident from Mary Baker Eddy's life proves this point. Mary was living in a modest apartment above a shoe factory in Lynn, Massachusetts. She had already experienced the healing that led her to discover Christian Science, but she had very little money. With no steady income she had been forced to move many times. She longed to have a stable place to call home, where she could finish writing Science and Health and where she could meet regularly with the group of students who she was teaching Christian Science to. Considering the small amount of money she had and the fact that in her day women rarely owned property, it seemed very unlikely that she would have a home of her own. However, she trusted in God to meet her every need. One day a very fine building across the street from the shoe factory was put up for sale. Mary didn't have the money to buy the building but God gave her an idea. She realized that if she rented out all of the apartments in the building she would have enough income to pay for the monthly payments she would need to buy the building. There was a small room in the attic where she could live and a fine parlor right inside the front door that she could use for her students. The idea worked and she was able to buy the building. Because she trusted in God's idea she wasn't limited by her lack of riches. Jesus said another surprising thing to the disciples. He told them that if anyone left their houses or families to follow him they would "receive an hundredfold" of the same with "persecutions." (B12) The word "persecutions" refers to the idea of taking up the cross which is mentioned throughout this lesson. (B14, S15) To learn more about the meaning of the cross look on page 180 starting on line 22 in First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany.

Section 5: A reflection never wears out. Jesus' life was full. Even though his ministry only lasted for about a three year period, every day was packed with non-stop action. And often his nights were filled with humble, quiet prayer. He was a teacher, who persistently and lovingly taught the Truth to his disciples. He was a healer, gently lifting the multitudes out of sin and fear, one at a time. He was an inspiring speaker, whose mere presence would draw a huge crowd. He was also, a caterer, ready and able to feed thousands on a moment's notice; an able seaman, who crossed the sea on foot and took control of bad weather when it threatened; and an extraordinarily successful fisherman, who readily caught more fish than the available boats could hold. Yet, he said, "I do nothing of myself." (B16) You would think he would have invited very energetic people to work at his side. But he invited people who were weary to join him in the work. He encouraged them with this promise, "...for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (B17) That's the key; he was "meek and lowly." He was humble before God. He didn't get weary or run out of steam in the middle of the day because he wasn't asserting himself; he wasn't depending on a limited material body or personality to accomplish his work. (S23) He was reflecting the light of God, the power of Truth. Hymn 354 verse 3 describes Jesus' sense of reflection. "God works in us to will, He works in us to do; His is the power by which we act, His be the glory too." Do you feel you have a heavy burden to carry? Remember what Jesus said, "I do nothing of myself." If Jesus couldn't do anything without God, how do you expect to do this? Give your burden to God. [You can drop your "burdens at His feet and bear a song away." CS Hymnal #124:3] He'll give you all the inspired ideas you need to handle all your demands and to help others, too.

Section 6: Walk in the truth. Throughout time mankind has searched for the Truth. Many people have concluded that matter is all that is truly real. Reasoning along this line then, they consider the purpose of life to be to preserve matter, to collect matter, and to try to improve matter. If one lived according to this matter-based model of life, wouldn't he be laboring "for the meat which perisheth?" (B18) All material things do eventually deteriorate. So what is "that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, the life that is Truth?" (B18) Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy have shown us that Spirit is what is truly real and that the ideas of the Spirit are the only things that have lasting value. (S26) These ideas don't have anything to do with matter. They are qualities of thought, not things. That's why they last forever. Life is spiritual - that is the Truth! To walk in the truth is to love the ideas of Spirit and to allow these ideas to be present in every detail of your daily life. A person who walks in the truth "constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit." (S27) Put goodness, love, humility, kindness, and honesty to work in your life every day. Let these spiritual qualities guide your words and actions. When you walk in the truth, you can know without a doubt that your life has everlasting value!

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. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving to read fruitage due to your help; to review current 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.
Thanks to many of you (and to a late foundation grant) we have met our match! With contributions of $25,000 for "Maintenance Musts", we will receive a matching $25,000 grant! This will cover replacing roofs over PAL House (for our Christian Science Practitioner and Christian Science Nurse) and over some cabins. It will also help to refinish Dawn Lodge and some cabin floors and to replace the original Girls Store Building and Dance Studio.

Your always-welcome, tax-deductible support is especially needed for Camperships this year and for an "Adopt the Herd" Matching Fund.
You can call in a charged gift to (636) 394-6162 or mail a check to:
CEDARS Camps, 1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011


Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 8-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 offering 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 the 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 by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Truth" for January 25, 2009

Golden Text - The Golden Text implies that light and truth are initiated outside of ourselves, but are there to lead us, guide us and guard us. Is the purpose of light and truth to make us happy or holy? What is happiness and what is the result of being happy? What is holiness and what is the result of being holy? [FYI: Katie and Martin Luther felt that the purpose of marriage "is not to make us happy, but holy." Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy (Zondervan, 2000).]

Responsive Reading - What does it mean to "take up his cross daily, and follow me"? Does taking up the cross contribute to happiness or holiness? Perhaps both, but in what priority order would you place them? Jesus often used agricultural stories or statement for his listeners. Think about verse 62 in Luke 9 from the Responsive Reading. What does that statement teach? Help your students get a picture in thought about the result of looking forward and guiding the plow versus looking back and letting the plow go amiss. How might that relate to decisions we make in our daily life?

Section 1 - Do you gladly receive Jesus and his teachings? This does not imply just reading his teachings, or listening to them read to us in church on Sunday, but how does one "receive" something? Open hands, open thought, willing attitude, with gratitude. What is the result of gladly receiving Jesus' teachings, happy life, holy life? See the parable in the Bible, marker 2 for guidance. What qualities of Jesus from S&H in this section would you "gladly receive" into your life?

Section 2 - How can we receive Jesus' teachings, especially if we don't believe them, or believe they are possible today? In what order on a continuum would you place these: Unbelief, Hope, Faith, Belief, Knowing, Understanding, Action or Doing, Being? (Teacher, feel free to arrange in any order for the students to work with.) Is it ok to be at a different place on this continuum when gladly receiving? That is, can one be at a level of Understanding on some things and at a level of Faith on others? Have the students share examples of their own, or analyze the story in the Bible, marker 8. Who in the story had faith, who had understanding, etc.?

Section 3 - There is much noise in our "modern" world. What are some of the noises or distractions that would attempt to silence truth or shut out the light or cloud our thinking? How can entering the closet help? Discuss where an individual's closet s might be, literally and figuratively. What does Mary Baker Eddy tell us about the closet in S&H, marker 11?

Section 4 - In this section continues the conversation about the rapid pace of our "modern" world. Use the example of the differences one sees when travelling at 70 mph, at 20 mph, walking, or standing still. This may be a good observation and silent listening opportunity, to have students write what they hear or see during two minutes of silence. Is there something they heard or saw that had not been heard or seen before? How can this relate to quieting thought regularly to receive the light and truth that comes from God?

Section 5 - Here is a call in this section to "come unto me", especially when burdened, labored, fatigued. What does it mean to take on the yoke? What animals are often seen yoked together? Why? Perhaps for guidance, direction, sharing the load, or being sure-footed. How does sharing the yoke with teachings of Jesus benefit us and even keep us on the right path, down the right furrow or row? ["The only way a yoke wouldn't be a burden would be to have Christ as our pulling partner, like the gas engine in a hybrid car. Today's fuel-efficient hybrids rest at stops and when coasting, like we do. As our partner, Christ is pulling with us every step of the way. As a Child Of God, the most High, you have the highest breeding. You and Christ make up the ultimate HIGH-BRED! As the lesson brings out you can feel rested, not just at stops and when coasting, but when in action. There is nothing more rested or stress-free than you as God's humble, Christ-connected, Sabbath-day reflection."From 4th section/commandment video clip for TMCYouth lesson on "God" by Warren Huff]
Who are you? "I am a Christian Scientist." What do I do as a Christian Scientist, what is my job? "I heal." See S&H, marker 25, lines 23-24 to give you aid.

Section 6 - What is the blessing given to you in the Bible, marker 19? So, do you desire eternal life? See S&H, marker 26 to learn how. What is the result of being a disciple and advancing spiritually? See S&H, marker 27. When one knows the truth, understands the truth, the result is living the truth or putting the truth into action. Expect it! Progress toward it! Demonstrate it!

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