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Affirm and Rejoice that We Are All Cherished C.O.G.s (Children Of God)!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, August 31st, 2009

Affirm and Rejoice that We Are All Cherished C.O.G.s (Children Of God)!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on "Man"
- August 31- September 6, 2009
by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., of Glen Ellyn, Illinois
[with bracketed 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]

What does it mean to be a child of God? [C.O.G.] Have you ever thought about it? The phrases "You are God's child" or "We are the children of God" roll so effortlessly off the tongue that we can easily find ourselves taking this great blessing for granted. As translated in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the word children [or ben (1121, 1123) comes from the root verb banah (1129) meaning "to build." Ben] can mean: "a child, ... a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense, both literally and figuratively, a relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition." Those definitions carry a bit more of the weight of responsibility. As children of God, we are expected to carry on or build "the family name," in other words, be productive and successful. We also represent the "family name" in all our actions. Being members of God's family also brings benefits and privileges of health, harmony and protection. [As Children Of God or C.O.G.s we can expect that all cogs will mesh and no gears will grind whether we need to downshift or up-shift-to downsize or to pick up the pace,....] And since all of humankind, all men and women, are members of this family, we are expected to treat each other-all peoples and nations-as such. This week's Lesson explores some of the privileges and responsibilities that come with being children of God and members of His universal family.

" ... all of you are the children of the most High." As comforting and assuring as these words of the Golden Text are, in context they are a stern reminder rather than a blessing. They are part of a call to God's representatives to get back on course to practice justice and fairness; to help the needy and deliver them from wicked hands; and to bring understanding to enlighten their darkness[And to lift their burdens! Whenever you feel burdened, explore this pun for fun and for rest: "Children of the most High" obviously have the highest "breeding." So, as one of God's "High-Bred" children, you are like a "hybrid" car, designed with the ever-energizing engine of "the Most High" as your powerful pulling partner- to lean on to help you "make the grade" on the longest and hardest of pulls without feeling spent. That's why Jesus advised those feeling burdened and needing rest to "yoke up" with him as a pulling partner. "Take my yoke upon you, ... for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30]

The Responsive Reading carries the message through with the expectation and hope that God will redeem all His wayward children. God is represented as calling all the family together. God speaks directly to each of us as His children reminding us that He alone created us and formed us for His glory and praise. He will restore us to our rightful home. "Thou art mine," saith the Lord. We are precious in His sight. What can be more inviting and comforting than that? We cannot help but show forth His praise.

Section 1: Family Portrait
In context, the words of Malachi (B-1) are yet another rebuke. The covenant between God and His people has been profaned by their treacherous dealings with one another and by marrying daughters of "a strange god." They weren't behaving like family at all. Malachi is saying, "Hey, have you forgotten that we are a family?" Do we also forget that we are part of God's family? Jeremiah echoes Malachi's reminder (B-2): All the families of Israel are included in God's love and are embraced in His loving-kindness. Not a single one is left out. Elihu's words (B-3) represent his acknowledgement that we are inspired by the breath of God and not of man. Paul too, recognizes that we owe our existence not to the world, but to the Spirit of God (B-4). God's bounty is freely given to us. This recognition advances our lives to a higher spiritual level [--you "are not in the flesh, but in the spirit" (B-5) -"man is not material; he is spiritual" (S&H 468)]. We begin to see that the divine impetus is the only influence in our lives; and that the Spirit is with us bearing witness to our status as His children (B-5).

The traditional world-view is a distorted [family] portrait and does little if anything to encourage our spiritual heritage. Justice and equity seem far out of reach and human existence seems to be not much more than one huge competition with a few winners, and the rest losers. The media compounds the strife drilling into us pictures of a diseased, dysfunctional human family with no hope of permanent reconciliation, freedom, or healing. Yet the voice of Science and Health still rings out, "Man is the family name for all ideas, - the sons and daughters of God" (S-1). The Scriptures inform us of an entirely different view of man. Man is made in the image and likeness of God (S-2). The material portrait is not what God created and has no relation to God's spiritual creation (S-3). The material picture is an inverted view of reality-the opposite of what God has made. Man created by God is spiritual, perfect, and deathless. He reflects only that which is good and holy and cannot be separated from it. God's man "is above sin or frailty" (S-4). Which family portrait will you accept as yours?

Section 2: The Wisdom From Above Makes Peacemakers
Solomon is a good example of someone who utilized his relationship to God to carry on the "family name." But to do that, he needed more than human wisdom. He needed the wisdom "from above." Although human wisdom makes an attempt at ethics in government and business, it often falls short. The wisdom "from above" transcends human ethics. It is pure, not contentious, gentle, considerate, teachable, open to new ideas, impartial, practical, confident, full of integrity, and fruitful (B-6). If any of these qualities are lacking, then you can be pretty sure that you're not dealing with wisdom from above. Solomon's prayer (B-7) for this spiritual wisdom showed a strong sense of responsibility and a conviction that his high office included serious duties. He had to recognize the difference between right and wrong and knew that the gifts of wisdom and understanding were derived from God. His prayer was answered. He used his wisdom for the good of the nation. When building the temple he made a deal with Hiram that was mutually beneficial to both of them (B-9). [Click here for more on Cedars of Lebanon and see pages 3 & 8 of this week's MyBibleLesson.com] Solomon and Hiram's cooperation was a step up compared to the usual ancient practices of conquering and plundering to get what was wanted. Utilization of the wisdom "from above" makes us peacemakers. Peacemakers are always in great demand. God's children are peacemakers (B-10). As Abingdon writes, "The establishment of good will and harmony in home and church, in community and in international relations calls for peace-makers-men who can organize and carry into practice the ideals which they hold. To such is given open access to the glorious privileges of sonship in the blameless family of God." [Can you confidently declare: "I have no enemies" in my home, in my school, in my church, in my workplace, in my community, in my country, in my world? If not, soak up Mrs. Eddy's absolute clarity on this in her excellent article "Love Your Enemies" Mis. 8:8 - 13:12]

Does the wisdom "from above" predominate in your thinking? Are you a peacemaker? It's a lot easier to be peacemakers and deal-makers if we see that the other guy isn't the enemy, but rather a potential partner and definitely "one of the family." Our textbook teaches, "The children of God have but one Mind" (S-5). With one Mind, everyone is on the same page and desires the same outcome. On page 475 of Science and Health (S-6) Mrs. Eddy describes the man that God made. This description includes all men and shows that it is impossible for God's man to have a mind separate from his Maker. The understanding of Christian Science is wisdom from above, and it broadens and expands intellectual and business capacity. It gives us greater endurance and keeps us alert and awake. It develops latent or hidden abilities we didn't know we had. It raises our level of insight and perspicacity-acuteness of sight, discernment, and understanding (S-8). If you've ever felt inadequate to the task you are assigned, this section holds great promise for you. Even if you think you just might not be cut out for the task, you can squash that suggestion with the knowledge that you are the offspring of "the highest qualities of Mind" (S-9). Forget about all the limiting, self-defeating arguments that tell you what you can't do. Claim your status as one of "God's family," utilize the wisdom from above, and discover an enlarged, wider, expansive, higher, and permanent view of yourself as a child of God. [as the ultimate "High-Bred!"]

Section 3: A Biblical Bailout
The story in this section (B-12) could be taken right out of today's headlines. This is a call for a biblical bailout. Interpreter's describes the situation like this: "They have no money to buy the bare necessities of life, and they cannot borrow because they have no property to put up as collateral. They refuse to see these families starve while their rich brethren prosper and refuse to give them aid. Those with some property have mortgaged it to get grain, while others have even sold their children into slavery in order to pay their creditors the money they have borrowed for the king's tax." Nehemiah finds this totally unacceptable and demands that there be no more interest paid and the land restored to the original owners. Incidentally, the "hundredth part" was one percent a month or twelve percent per year. Paul's letter to the Galatians urges us to temper our freedom (B-13). [Today we could paraphrase B-13 to use not the liberty of instant access to "adult sites" on the internet and "adult channels" on cable TV for "occasions to the flesh." Such adult-ery is the worst enemy of our childlikeness, our joy and our progress (Mis. 9:30). Giving in to sensuality is like selling these precious gifts into slavery. This is one of the main issues to address prayerfully to help free "at least 12 million people worldwide who are victims of (sex slave) trafficking" as pointed out in an excellent article by Tony Lobl in the September 7, 2009, Christian Science Sentinel called "Tackling the sex slave trade with prayer." The world needs us and our best prayers, and as] Paul notes, freedom from the legal aspects of the law does not mean release from responsibility, but rather calls for greater responsibility to serve one another through love and grace. In God's family the motto is "all for one and one for all."

Mrs. Eddy viewed freedom as a divine right (S-10). But she also insisted on responsibility to God and mankind. While asserting our freedom from material law, we have an obligation to the demands of spiritual law and these can sometimes seem harder to follow (S-11). Practically speaking, while enjoying the political freedom that allows the economic engine to run, we can't forget common obligations to the greater good of society as a whole. While not condoning the welfare that subsidizes laziness, our Leader expected those who were able, to help those who were truly in need. In fact she saw it as a moral imperative. The marginal heading for citation S-12 is "Assistance in brotherhood." As members of God's family we should help one another without expecting anything in return. If we realize that God is the source of all the good we have, we won't be fearful of sharing what we have. If our treasure is in doing good rather than in accumulating material wealth, we will be blessed in our giving and never run short of supply.

As we understand God's abundant nature, we rejoice in His affluence (S-14). The word "affluence" means not only a great abundance of wealth, but indicates that these riches are in a constant flow. If a river is dammed up there's a shortage of water downstream. The natural state is for the waters to flow freely with everyone getting their fair share. The source of rivers may be finite and this is why the folks upstream can affect those down below. But God, the source of all good, is infinite. We don't need to dam it up. We can let it flow freely. The more we give, the more we receive. Knowing that every need is met by God (S-15) we don't have to rely on government bailouts, but we can count on the infinite source of all good to supply us with all we need, and we can share it freely with the rest of the family.

Section 4: I Won't Grow Up
The play put on by the Musical Theater Camp this summer at CedarS was "Peter Pan." "I won't grow up!" is Peter's motto. Rather than going on pretending to be grown up, his band of lost boys admit that they need to be children first and have a family. Going back to a family to complete their childhood is a very mature thing to do. Jesus urged his followers not to be childish-remaining children forever - but to be childlike-embracing their innocence and purity. Jesus said that if his disciples didn't become as "little children" they wouldn't even make it to heaven! (B-14) It was no small task for the disciples to accept Jesus' admonition. Abingdon writes, "To obtain the childlike spirit involves a very radical and complete change of attitude and life, which shows itself in freshness of outlook, responsiveness to truth, the spirit of eagerness and wonder." God calls us to a holy life (B-16), and what better model to have than the innocent childlike thought?

Our Leader notes that: "Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness of right" (S-16). Most of us have seen plenty of examples of how quickly children respond to healing prayer. When children grasp a new spiritual idea, they put it to full use and expect quick results. Adults generally spend too much time considering the ramifications of their decisions and fret over the multitude of possible outcomes to a variety of scenarios. They cling to engrained beliefs and tend to doubt God's ability (S-17). Children are more willing to let go of what they don't need and take a fresh look at things. Jesus cherished those expectant qualities and knowing nothing other than God's creation, he viewed everyone as children of God. [c.o.g.s] Holding to this correct view brought healing (S-18) and it still does. So we don't have to "grow up" into educated material beliefs. We can instead cherish our childlike innocence and place full confidence in our Father-Mother God. We can reclaim our membership in "the family" of the children of God.

Section 5: Our True Ancestry
Believing that we are progeny of material ancestors makes us susceptible to a host of inherited diseases and difficulties. Realization of our membership in God's family releases us from inherited deficiencies. It is really a marvelous thing to consider that we are [daughters and] "sons of God" (B-17).

[Note that "the correlative SCRIPTURE according to 1 John 3:1" (B-17), which is read each Sunday in church services right after the Scientific Statement of Being-in accordance with the Church Manual page 121, is only correctly translated from the original Greek when the word "tek'-non" (5043) is rendered as "child(ren), daughter(s), son(s)." (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible) Nearly all versions of the Bible have this correctly translated as "children of God," except for the King James Version which incorrectly reads "sons of God".]

[Another thing that would hold the "children of God" in slavery is what Bible Scholar Cobbey Crisler called the "womb to tomb" theory where man is believed to "start as an egg-and so may end up scrambled."] In our modern times [of "designer genes",] many if not all challenges, both physical and mental, are believed to stem from our human ancestry and DNA. Some have even gone so far as to state that we have a genetic cultural imprint on us as well. In biblical times, they too attributed deformities to possible sins of parents or forebears. The disciples tried to connect the blind man's affliction with some pre-existing sin (B-18). Jesus rebuked that notion. He didn't look for reasons to validate imperfection. He came to bring God's children out of the darkness of hereditary beliefs into the light of perfection. He saw the situation as an opportunity to prove that the Christ presence lights the way of understanding for all mankind. We too, are children of light (B-19).

Christian Science healing is based on "perfect God and perfect man" giving no heed to material or hereditary cause (S-19). We start with God and stay there. Our textbook bluntly states that we are the "offspring of Spirit" (S-20) and that "heredity is not a law" (S-21). Is there is any aspect of your life that you feel is dictated by hereditary influences? Reasoning from the standpoint of our status as God's children, it is impossible for us to be influenced by human ancestry (S-22). Every quality and aspect of our being has its origin in God and remains there. If we really take the time to reflect upon our spiritual heritage, we will see infinite possibilities unfold. It will be like turning a light on in a darkened room. Suddenly everything will become clearer.

Section 6: One Big, Happy Family
This light brightens the way for all mankind to see (B-20). Our Father-Mother nurtures us, protects us, cares for us, and sustains us (B-21, B-22). Isn't it a lovely image to think of being nursed by - riding on the hip of - our Mother-Love? That Love is a constant Source for peace, like a flowing river. And what a comfort to be in the "shadow of Love's hand." This image of a holy, happy family extends not just to all nations, but to all beasts, and to the environment as well (B-23). These are not hollow promises. This is the reality of our being. Our Father-Mother is faithful (B-24).

The spiritually scientific understanding of being includes full recognition that God is our only Father-Mother (S-26). It's a good family portrait of God and His children, and it includes the entire universe too. A recent episode of "Nova" on PBS presented an entirely different picture. It implied that our origins are the result of mindless matter, gravity, and black holes. No light gets out of a black hole. It's trapped forever. Such material theories of creation symbolize the fact that material reasoning is like a "black hole" emitting no light. Our Father-Mother God is so different from that. Symbolized by eternal light and love, our divine Principle is not infinite density and darkness, but infinite good and light. Our God is intelligent Mind forever loving "His universal family" (S-27). Contrary to an immense gravitational field pulling everything toward it to imminent destruction, Love is constantly flowing outward universally to meet every need (S-28). Our divine parent includes everyone in His eternal, happy, holy family. We are all brothers and sisters and everyone is always welcome.

[This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers & staff who were blessed this summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of 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 and otherwise-unavailable, inspirational opportunities. Your support is always tax-deductible and appreciated -- but your help this year is especially precious to us! You can always call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to charge your gift or to discuss any short-term or long-term gift that you are considering. We are very grateful to announce that, thanks to many modest gifts and a couple of larger ones, all costs have been totally covered for two wonderful Christian Science lectures given to different sessions of 350 CedarS campers and staff. CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK!
Or, while your gratitude is fresh, you can send a tax-deductible check payable to
The CedarS Camps to the camp at 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536.

We still have nice accommodations for either single or married adults at our "Celebrate Marriage" weekend, September 25-27! Please encourage all the C.S. friends you know to be touch about the possibilities of attending this spiritually-enriching weekend! Benevolence is available for the International Conference for Christian Science Nurses being held at CedarS Sept 16-20. To become a friend of CedarS on Facebook and see video clips and
blog updates click here.

Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 9-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
________________________________________
[P.S.S.T. - Feel as unburdened and stress-free as a reflection; Immunize yourself metaphysically; Show disgust for and expunge the false sense a womb-to-tomb man in order to heal; To receive, be ready to adapt, ...]

Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on "Man"
for August 31 - September 6, 2009
By CedarS Sunday School Teachers Tom Evans
[and Warren Huff in bracketed italics]
[We both apologize for this being late this week due to CedarS' hosting of Principia's Middle School Unity Week.]

Golden Text: (G.T.)
Well of course we are "children of the most High"!
[That makes you God's ultimate "high-bred" as mentioned in the G.T. of this week's "CedarS Met." As God's best, most-precious design-the instantaneous image of "the sustaining infinite"-- YOU have been designed to be the most energy-efficient, sustainable idea on the planet! Remember "There's nothing more stress-free than (you as) a reflection!"] What rights [or benefits] come with this amazing heritage? What duties [or costs] also come with it? [Do a cost-benefit analysis of "leaning on the sustaining infinite" (S&H vii:1) vs. leaning "on your own understanding." (Prov. 3:5) The pursuit of Truth "should cost you something: you are willing to pay for error and receive nothing in return; but if you pay the price of Truth, you shall receive all." (Misc. 342:25) Is living as the limitless, beloved child of God worth the cost to you-- worth the disciplined study and daily deeds demanded to live Love's laws?]

Responsive Reading: (R.R.)
Why has God gathered us together? What are we being assembled to do? Are we gathered together in thought?
[When groups gather together, there often comes along with such collective activity a fear of contagion, like the fear of a media-predicted, new outbreak of swine flu this fall. Lest we fall for this and "Forget Everything About Reality", we are told twice in the R.R. to "Fear not." The first reason to be fearless is because God assures us that "I have redeemed thee." The second reason to be fearless is that God assures us that "I am with thee." Make sure that your thought about (and possibly your SS class's written treatment of) any supposed contagion includes those truths about everyone's real manhood. Click here to read "Confronting Swine Flu -a Testimony of Healing"]

Section 1:
[All of God's children-including YOU- are always supported and embraced by divine Mind's universal properties of "adhesion, cohesion and attraction." (S&H 124:20) Therefore, we can--and should--consistently affirm: that God, good is the only adhesive power, sticking with us and helping us stick with Spirit; that God, good is the only cohesive power, keeping everything together, and helping us pull together with each other and the one Mind; and, that God, good is the only attractive power, keeping us irresistibly pulled and head-over-heels "drawn" to divine Love. That squashes all supposed resistance to good. While the ever-appealing attraction of love is the likely meaning of "drawn" by God's "lovingkindness" in Bible citation (B-2), think about what it would be like to be "drawn" by "Spirit, the great architect." (S&H 68:5)] Does God "draw" imperfections in His creations? (No!) What benefit is it to think of yourself as the fresh sketch or design of our divine Creator? Think of a time when it might be useful or helpful to think of yourself or another as this picture of perfection without any mistakes or blemishes. What does "lovingkindness" look like? [How can you express it better today?]
One might confuse citation (B-3) for a reference to the story of Adam and Eve. ("...the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.") Is man in the flesh? Hint: see citations 4 and 5 in the Bible.

Use the Section 1 citations in S&H to define Man, Family, and Children.
Put it in your own words. Make it understandable to a peer.

Section 2
What are we asking for In our prayers? Read the verses after (B-7) I Kings 3:11-14. How does God answer Solomon's prayer request?
Solomon made peace with a foreign nation. Both nations were blessed because of their trade agreements. Solomon was honoring God with a magnificent temple and this action blessed many. How can we bless our fellow men and women by honoring God in our daily lives? Share some examples for school, with friends, etc.
The passages from Science & Health in this section are moving! Think of all of the super hero movies, stories, comic books etc. One of the most exciting parts is watching the character discover and fine-tune his or her powers before saving the day and becoming truly "super." Think about this section as a training ground. How can we metaphysically work to develop the "latent (look this up) abilities and possibilities of man"? (S-8)

[Can you identify any hard situations where you need to express more of your natural elasticity and flexibility? Can you identify any tiring situations where you need to express more of your natural endurance? Can you identify any tricky situations or deceivers where you need to express more of your natural "perspicacity" --your natural alertness and capacity to make quick decisions intuitive and accurately? (based on S-8)]
The following paragraphs from the article "To Be a Real Man" by Russ Gerber in the October 4, 1993 Christian Science Sentinel could help facilitate discussion in older Sunday School classes:
"Sin would draw our attention away from the wide range of spiritual qualities that we should, must, identify ourselves with in order to demonstrate all that God made us to be. By emphasizing fleshliness and sensuality as good, as manly, sin draws us deeper into a material sense of being, limits our capabilities, and obscures our genuine selfhood.
"There's really no getting around it: the call-the crying need-is for spiritual growth. What carries us forward is the consistent effort to look at one another with the clearest understanding that man can't be the object of sin. He is, in truth, responsive only to God, good, radiating the qualities of pure manhood.
"Growth in this way isn't some kind of wimpy, "religious" distraction. As Mrs. Eddy indicates, "...scientific growth manifests no weakness, no emasculation, no illusive vision, no dreamy absentness, no insubordination to the laws that be, no loss nor lack of what constitutes true manhood" (Miscellaneous Writings, 206).
"Such growth is imperative. It reveals step by step what's been true and glorious about ourselves and others all along. Society needs, and indeed the heart of humanity yearns, to be free from an utterly backward concept of man, and to see more of everyone's wonderful, truly inseparable relation to God. Each victory over sin's claims, through an understanding of man as God's perfect creation, is a step of growth. And it not only benefits ourselves but shows others something of the full potential of man endowed by almighty God."

Section 3
Look what happened to the Israelites. This time they did it to themselves. It's not one nation enslaving another--it was the children of Israel doing it to their fellow Israelites because of greediness and the practice of "usury." We call this "predatory lending" today and it has been in the news A LOT recently. One person allows another to borrow money at a rate which they cannot afford. We don't take it as far as slavery today, but talk about this story. See what you can learn from it. There were three steps that took the Israelites from freedom to slavery. (1) They sold their property for food. (2) They borrowed money to pay the king's taxes. (3) They were forced to sell of their children to pay off their tremendous amounts of debt.
Think about the spiritual parallels you can make with this story. Nehemiah was faced with a dreadful situation. How did he deal with it? What can we learn from this? If another person were doing things which were morally wrong, how would you deal with it? How can we avoid making ourselves slaves to a material, limited viewpoint? We fall into making wrong decisions little by little. How can you stop this type of thinking before it takes you too far away from the "path of the straight and narrow"?

Describe the "Glorious liberty". (S-10)
How do we rise "spontaneously"? (see S-13)
In (S-12) look at "blessed is the man who seeketh his own in another's good." Are we doing this actively? Could this have helped the children of Israel avoid being greedy? Could it have prevented them from enslaving one another's children out of greed?
"Divine love always..." you have seen this passage from Science and Health (S-15) plenty of times before. How does Divine Love meet (y)our needs?

Section 4
Why is it important to be child-like? (see B-14 and S-16)
What was Jesus talking about this with His disciples? (They wanted to know who was the greatest.)
[I heard this angel message earlier this week: "The only difference between run and ruin is "i" -so keep out all ‘I" thinking --the selfish, childish, "who will be greatest" thinking!]

Children were not respected at all in Bible times for the most part. Why was Jesus making such a big deal out of the way they think?

Section 5
"Behold, what manner of..." this passage from I John 3 (B-17) closes our church services. Talk about its meaning with your class. Why did Mrs. Eddy put this in the Church Manual as part of every Sunday service?
What exactly is this child-like thought? (Pure, ready to accept the good right away, trustful, honest...)
Mud in the eyes is usually a bad thing. Why do you think Jesus puts "spittle" and mud on the eyes of the blind man?
[Two brilliant insights on this John 9 (B-18) healing of the blind man were shared by Bible scholar B. Cobbey Crisler. First, in the wide margins of my Bible I note that Cobbey said: "Jesus refuses to be boxed into the disciples' either/or (A or B) question: "Who did sin? A) this man or B) his parents that he was born blind? Jesus added C) none of the above." I like to add, as an answer to this multiple choice question, "D) Does Not Apply" since our supposed genetic DNA of Dust Does Not Apply! To me Cobbey also "cancels the disagreement" (S&H 361) between what seems to be a medicinal use of spit and mud by Jesus and his reliance on the medicine of Mind. Cobbey points out that "in the Mideast yet today when one wants to show his utter disgust for something (or someone) he spits on it. By spitting on the dust, Jesus could have been showing his utter contempt for the dust origin-heredity of man as described in Genesis 2:7." Jesus may have been trying to show the man--and us--a cause-effect connection for the man's blindness. Putting the clay mix on his eyes and then instructing him to wash it off was in effect a baptismal-healing act that amounted to wiping out "the foundation of mortal discord ... a false sense of man's origin." (S&H 262:27) Mrs. Eddy spells out the necessity of this revising and cleansing process. "The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged." (Retrospection & Introspection 22:1) What human history or material record are you ready to revise and expunge today with a good retroactive treatment?]

Jesus talks about the night coming and he is the light (B-18). What does that mean for us as "Children of the light" (B-19)? How does expressing the Christ come into play here?

 

How do we overcome heredity? "In proportion to our understanding..." (S-21) What does (S-22) have to do with heredity? Explain that paragraph. We are taught all about genetics and the things we inherit from a human set of parents in school. Why should we be considered "children of God?" What gives us the right to ignore all of the things we have been taught humanly for our entire lives? (S-25)

 

Section 6
(B-20) A friend told me about a church lit only by candles. Every member of the church brought a candle to the service. If they did not come one night the church was literally less bright. Aside from lighting a building, what do you think the significance of this story could be? If we are all supposed to let our light shine, think of how important we are to help "light" the way for others.
Is peace on Earth too far-fetched (B-23)? When we hear about all sorts of violent activities on the news how can we pray for peace?
"A little child shall lead them..." (B-23) What is the importance of this phrase? Refer back to section 4 when Jesus talks about being child-like.
Re-read (S-28). Look up any words you do not know. Rephrase this paragraph in your own words.
[One way that Geith Plimmer, a former Christian Science chaplain, practitioner and lecturer from Great Britain, re-phrased part of (S-28), S&H 13:2 was: "when you are ready to make the adaptations, then you will be ready to receive the bestowals."] Apply this to the world.

Now that you've thought about the lesson, define "Man" again. How are we supposed to be thinking about our fellow men & women? Describe man as God's image and likeness.

 

Metaphysical

Recognize Mind, God, as the source of all good and all understanding! - Whenever — for...
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