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Bathe "in the baptismal font of eternal Love" to discover deeper and larger views of "practical, operative Christian Science." [Misc. 206:28-207:6]

Janet Hegarty, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Climb the "mount of revelation" [and bathe "in the baptismal font of eternal Love"] to discover deeper and larger views of "practical, operative Christian Science." [Misc. 206:28-207:6]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson on the subject: "Christian Science" for the week June 22-28, 2009
Prepared by Janet Hegarty, C.S. of St. Louis, MO
[with bracket italics by Warren Huff]

Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week and the 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. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

The park near my childhood home had a summer camp for the children who lived in the neighborhood. My favorite event during camp was "Backwards Day." On this day everyone came to camp wearing their clothes backwards. My sister and I added our own layer of fun to the day by doing everything else we could think of backwards, too. We walked to the park - backwards. We ate our meals - backwards, dessert first! We talked - backwards; which resulted in more laughing than communicating. Then when it was time for bed, the end of "Backwards Day," we decided that sleeping on the floor instead of in the bed was kind of - backwards, so we slept on the floor. The thing I liked most about "Backwards Day," though, was that the next day when we returned to our normal routines, I noticed all of the normal things we did seemed so much more lively and interesting. "Backwards Day," I realized, gave me a new view of daily life. So, in the spirit of this new view that "Backwards Day" gave me, let's expect to gain new inspired views of Christian Science as we study the Bible Lesson this week. Let's deepen our appreciation of its immense value to mankind. Let's expand our understanding and recognition of its divine origin and let's be inspired to work to have a more consecrated and lively practice of Christian Science in our own lives and for our communities.

Golden Text: Share the GOOD news! "...How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings! [How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things!]" (Amplified Bible) Through his healing works, Jesus proved that God is all-in-all and that God is all good, all loving, and all powerful. This is good news to a world that still struggles with the false idea that both good and evil are powerful and real. Since God, good is the Principle of all being, in order for mankind to progress it is absolutely essential that the news of God's goodness be understood and proved to be true in practical experience. The Student's Reference Dictionary defines "principle" as, "the cause, source, or origin, of any thing; that from which a thing proceeds." To understand who we really are we need to understand what God, perfect goodness, is. As long as mankind continues to consider evil to be an actual part of reality or as much the principle of man as good is, the truth about God and man will be hidden from the world. In this lesson we will explore the relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus. John was sent to prepare the thought of the people to receive Jesus' message. As Christian Scientists we should consider what our role is in preparing the thought of mankind to accept good as the only reality. I had an experience that has given me a hint of how we might do our part to pave the way for mankind to eventually understand and accept the allness of good.

One day I was standing, waiting, in a cramped waiting room at a dancing school with a large group of people. A woman came into the room, greeted a friend and began to talk with her. Soon it seemed like everyone in the room was listening to their conversation. We all had at least a half hour or more to wait before the classes would change, but for this entire time, the woman who was speaking never said anything negative. Every word that the woman spoke was positive. She pointed out the good in every situation that was mentioned. It was evident that to this woman, goodness was the only possible topic of conversation. She didn't complain about a single thing. As I listened to her good news flow, the time also flew by for me. I felt uplifted. When the woman left the dancing school that day I thought I would surely be glad to see her again anytime. You, too, can do your part to uplift thought and lead it to accept the allness of good. In the words of Paul, "...whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Help to free the world from the false belief in evil. Wherever you go, be sure that you "bring glad tidings of good things!" [CedarS staff, campers, parents and supporters are positively changing our mental climate by living up to Mrs. Eddy's declaration that "The real Christian Scientist is constantly accentuating harmony in word and deed, mentally and orally..." Misc. 206:19]

Responsive Reading: John the Baptist prepares the way. John the Baptist came "...to prepare the people in intellect and heart for the reception of Christ" and "to point out the Christ in the person of Jesus." (The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible) In Matthew 11:9-11 Jesus himself honored John as a prophet and added, "...among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." Zacharias, the father of John, was a priest. One day as he was going about his priestly duties an angel told him that his wife would soon have the son that the couple had always hoped for. Zacharias was skeptical of the angel's message because both he and his wife were now old. From the time he expressed this skepticism until the time John was born, Zacharias lost his ability to speak. However, when John was born Zacharias was again able to speak. His first words after his long silence were inspired words of thanksgiving for the birth of his son, for the important office his son would fill and for the coming of the Christ. The words of the Responsive Reading from verse 68 through verse 79 are from the Psalm of thanksgiving that Zacharias spoke at the birth of John.

The translation of the Responsive Reading is from the 1380 Wycliffe New Testament. Within these verses Zacharias identifies the purpose of the Christ to bring "science and health" to mankind. An interesting historical note is that Mary Baker Eddy originally planned to call her textbook on healing The Science of Life. However, while she was waiting for the book to be published she found that there was already a book that had been published with this same title. After several weeks of prayer the idea for a new title came to her. The new title was Science and Health. Later, one of her students brought her a copy of the Wycliffe Bible which included the phrase, "science and health" in the translation of Luke 1:77. (Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy, The Years of Discovery, page 283-284)

Section 1: The scientific Principle that leads us out of the wilderness. [With an interesting diet and wardrobe--as shown on "An interview with John the Baptist" at http://tmcyouth.com/lesson/.]  John preached in the wilderness. It was a barren place, uninhabited except for the occasional wild beast, an uncultivated desert land, remote and secluded. (Westminster) On this barren, lifeless, plain, John came to announce the dawn of a new era. He preached the coming of the Christ idea; he called on the people, urging them to prepare for what would be the wonderful revelation of man's oneness with God. His message must have been both startling, to the thought of the age which lacked a spiritual dimension, and refreshing, as a spring of water springing forth in that dry and desolate land, inspiring hope. John identified Jesus as the Messiah, who, John explained, was far greater than himself and who would begin a spiritual revolution which would make the true Science of being evident and understandable to mankind. [Also at http://tmcyouth.com/lesson/ you can check out a Bible Lesson reenactment of Matthew 3:11-12 (B-1) called "Chaff and Wheat" that was filmed yesterday at CedarS to show a new view of Christ's baptism "with the Holy Ghost and with fire, ...fan...in...hand." (See the definition of FAN on page 586 of Science and Health and actively lift the mixed-up mess of fables and facts in your life up to God to allow Christ's baptism to do the separating and the destroying of the fables.)]

When Jesus was baptized the heavenly voice declared, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." These words strengthened John's claim that Jesus was the Messiah and shed light on Jesus' mission to teach and to prove the scientific Principle which reveals that men and women are the sons and daughters of God. (B-1) (S-3) Jesus considered his healing works to be all the proof that was needed to verify both, his stature as the Messiah and the unquestionable truth of the scientific Principle that he came to teach. (B-3) (S-2) [In her short article called "Pond and Purpose," Mrs. Eddy analyzes three stages of baptism and states that "Metaphysically, baptism serves to rebuke the senses and illustrate Christian Science."   Miscellaneous Writings 203-207]

If you ever feel like you are wandering in the wilderness remember how God lovingly sent John into the wilderness to prepare the thought of the people to receive the Christ message. This same Love tenderly baptizes you, (see the definition of Baptism on page 581 of Science and Health) sending the spiritual ideas you need into the wilderness of mortal consciousness. The irresistible influence of the Christ immerses your thought in Spirit washing out all false concepts and opening the way for your true identity, at one with God, to be revealed. Answer the cry of John the Baptist, the voice of Love calling to you in the wilderness, (B-1) apply the rules of Christian Science, the truth about your inseparable relationship with God, and you will find your way through the wilderness!

Section 2: God the divine Principle, Jesus the Christ, Christian Science the divine Comforter, and man the divine idea - they are all connected, forever!  (S-6) The healing power that Jesus demonstrated is available for all time. Jesus gave us three promises to encourage our own practice of spiritual healing. First, he promised that if we believe in him then we will also be enabled to be healers. Second, he promised that anything we ask in his name, by his authority and on the spiritual basis by which he healed, it will be done for the glory of God. And third, he promised that he would send the Comforter or Holy Ghost which would be with us forever to teach us everything we will ever need to know. (B-5)

When Jesus knew that the end of his earthly mission was near, he comforted his disciples with the parable of the woman in travail. He encouraged them to remember that their sadness would soon be turned into joy. (B-6) (S-7) This was proved to be true when Jesus arose from the dead. If you are ever sad and tempted to believe that you could be cut off from good - don't believe this suggestion! It is not true and it will never be true. No matter how difficult the human condition you are in may seem to be, you are not separated from God, the influence of His Christ is active in your consciousness powerfully guiding your thought to win your freedom.
The truth of Christian Science has revealed the fact that God and man go together; the idea cannot be separated from its Principle. (S-6) You may have struggles in your life, but each struggle will lead you to discover a more vibrant sense of your permanent and indestructible connection with God, good. The prize will be well worth the struggle!

Section 3: Science and Health, a book to be studied, a Science you can prove. On February 3, 1872, Mary Baker Eddy wrote a letter to the newspaper called the Transcript. In the letter she mentions that she was "preparing a work on Moral and Physical Science." One of her Bibles also includes the date February 1872 written next to the verse from Isaiah, "Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever." (B-11) This indicates that she had opened her Bible to that passage one day in February 1872. (Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy, The Years of Discovery, page 272) In his book Historical Sketches, page 104, Clifford Smith, speaking of Mary Baker Eddy, says, "Her ability to expound Christian Science sprang directly from the divine source of the discovery itself; and among human factors, one of the most effective was her awareness of its transcendent value." On page 110 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says, "No human pen nor tongue taught me the Science contained in this book, SCIENCE AND HEALTH; and neither tongue nor pen can overthrow it." And in Miscellaneous Writings, page 232, in reference to Christian Science, she says, "Every man and every woman would desire and demand it, if he and she knew its infinite value and firm basis."

There are many ways to study Science and Health. (S-15) We study it each day in the Bible Lesson. Some people choose to read it continually, reading through the book by reading a few pages each day. Others read a chapter and then reread that chapter for more thorough study. Another way to study it is to bring a question to the book, perhaps something like, "What are the rules for healing?" Then, with your highlighter in hand, search the book for answers. Next, take the rules you find and apply them to your daily living. This is a living Science - you can prove it for yourself! (S-16)

Section 4: A golden opportunity. An understanding of Christian Science fulfills the deep desire of the human heart to discover the purpose and meaning of existence. What could possibly be more important to the progress of humanity than this Science? In her book No and Yes, Mary Baker Eddy says, "The two largest words in the vocabulary of thought are ‘Christian' and ‘Science.' The former is the highest style of man; the latter reveals and interprets God and man; it aggregates, amplifies, unfolds, and expresses the ALL-God." (p. 10:6) You have the golden opportunity "to learn and to practice Christian healing." (S-17) As a student of Christian Science and a practitioner of Christian healing, you "are the light of the world." (B-15) You "are the salt of the earth." (S-18) You have what the world needs. For the love of mankind, consider how you might consecrate yourself more wholly to "work, watch, and pray" (S-18) to demonstrate the truth of Christian Science so that your light might shine brilliantly and inspire the people you meet to ask, "What is the source of this wonderful light? Where can I find it?"

Section 5: Be freed from sin - this is the greater part of Christian Science! Christian Science is not an alternative health care system. It is Christianity which heals both the sick and the sinner. (B-20) (S-22) In fact the healing of sin is the greater part. When sin is cast out, great personal progress unfolds along with an enlarged sense of peace and an expanded consciousness of Love. For example, one day I received an email regarding a family business matter. The tone of the email was offensive to me. I had received similar emails from this person in the past and I felt tempted to answer with a similar tone. However, before I had checked my email that day I had been praying to do God's will. So, I decided to ask God what I should do. In answer to my prayer the thought came to me that I should look at the issue from the other person's point of view. As I reconsidered the situation with more humility and honesty, I realized that I really hadn't done all that I could have to help solve the problem discussed in the email. As a result, my return email was much more considerate and I offered to take some action on my part to help solve the problem. Soon, I received a wonderfully warm and loving message in response which resolved the difficulty in a way that was favorable for everyone. Since that time my relationship with this person has completely changed. We now share a friendly appreciation for one another. I realized my thought about this person had been just like the Pharisees' thought whose self-justification led them to condemn others and elevate themselves. However, Jesus never condemned. He was a conscientious witness to the true spiritual goodness of each individual. (B-19) Hatred, anger, selfishness, and self-justification are burdens that hide the real joy in life.
Come in from the wilderness of sin and sit down at Christ's table. (B-19) Let the Truth of your pure innocent spiritual being free you from every sinful sense! [And remember that the "Daily Prayer" is not to rule out of others all sin, but to "rule out of me all sin." Church Manual 41]

Section 6: The hour of spiritual harmony will come. Through Christ and Christian Science, Love has given us all that we will ever need for "life and godliness." (B-21) In the material age in which we live Christian Science is like a lone light shining in the dark of night. (B-21) (S-26) Although many false suggestions that contradict the truth of Christian Science surround us, if we keep our mental eyes fixed on the Truth eventually we will see the dawn of the full spiritual day. (B-21) Be patient, though, and keep up the good spiritual work that you are doing. Rest assured it is inevitable that the day of spiritual harmony will come. (B-22) The Truth is on the move and it will fulfill its purpose. It will overcome all material beliefs and root out all error. (S-27, S-28) Mary Baker Eddy mentions the "mount of revelation" in several of her articles in Prose Works. Each one who loves God and seeks to demonstrate the truth of being is on the way up the mount of revelation. On this journey, every step towards spirit, no matter how humble it may seem, will reveal deeper and larger views of Christian Science. Enjoy the climb, the view is guaranteed to become even more amazing with each step you take.

This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff we hope to bless again this summer at CEDARS--as well as to CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or find it on our website. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to help cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships.

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We are thrilled and grateful that some large, hoped-for FOUNDATION GRANTS came through on top of several small and large individual gifts, so that we have enough campership contributions to guarantee that any Christian Science Sunday School student who wants to come to CedarS this summer can do so. Please encourage all the C.S. Sunday School students you know to attend a camp for Christian Scientists this summer! To also help cover transportation costs to get these dear ones to camp, your donations of transportation funds or of earned airline tickets or frequent flyer miles would be VERY helpful.

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You can always charge or discuss any short or long-term gift you are considering by calling us at (636) 394-6162. Or, just mail your check payable to CedarS Camps to:
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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 in a 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 and background as well as new angles on the daily applicability of 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. B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S-1 thru S-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 (PSST ) for June 28 Bible Lesson "Christian Science" prepared by Steve Henn of St. Louis, MO

PSST: Golden Text - What does it mean to "preach the gospel" or "bring glad tidings"? What is the gospel that is being preached? Work with your students to understand the importance of spreading God's word, not just holding it in for ourselves to be blessed.

PSST: Responsive Reading - Knowing that the word of God needs to be expressed, this section discusses the birth and office of John the Baptist. What was his job? Can we learn anything from his example as given in the Responsive Reading?

PSST: Section 1 - Baptism: Look up the definition of baptism, both in the Science and Health as well as the regular dictionary. Discuss with your students what baptism really is. This is also a great opportunity to start helping build a bridge between Christian Science and other religions based on Christ - how do we as Christian Scientists cherish this common idea of baptism? How does that make us brethren with our fellow Christians? (see S-5)

PSST: Section 2 - B-5: Greater works than who?! What greater works are there to do? Use your imagination. What is the comforter?
      S-7: Why is it important to recognize both the motherhood and the fatherhood of God?
      S-11: What role does Christian Science play in the grand history of religion? Do we really treat Christian Science with this level of importance, not only for ourselves, but for the world?

PSST: Section 3 - B-10 - What does it mean for God's word to be "very pure"?
      B-12 - Why did God prepare of his "goodness for the poor"? Who are the poor that deserve God's goodness? (Think First Beatitude)
      S-15 - "This book needs to be ________" Why does Mrs. Eddy say this? Consider how much of her life was dedicated to hard work? What is our responsibility if we are to be effective Scientists?

PSST: Section 4 - B-13 - The reward of our hard work from Section 3 is that we are this light and salt; we can heal and cleanse.
      B-15 & B-16 - How do we go about following these commands?
      S-17 - Why must we be "willing", and what must we be willing to do?
What responsibilities does this section lay down for Christian Scientists?
      S-21 - What is the primary purpose of Christian Science? How do we go about bringing that more into our lives?

PSST: Section 5 - B-19 - Why did Jesus spend so much time with the lowliest of the low in his community? What did the sinners have that the Pharisees did not?
      S-22 - "belief of sin." What?!? Sin is a belief? What is sin?
      S-25 - What are our "divine rights", "heaven-bestowed harmony"? Is Mrs. Eddy accomplishing her task?

PSST: Section 6 - What can we expect from Christian Science in our lives, in the world? If it truly is a universal religion, everyone can be helped by it - Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Atheist, etc...

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