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Be a role model for consecration to good! Be dry cleaned by submergence in spiritual sense!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, January 4th, 2010

Be a role model for consecration to good! Be "dry cleaned" by submergence in spiritual sense!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Sacrament" for 01-10-10
by Dan Carnesciali, C.S. of St. Louis, MO [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. SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
Last week, God's Word spoke directly to you and filled you. God is continuing that conversation this week. This lesson takes you deeper.  It takes you into the traditions of Jesus and his followers that they lived and worshipped in 1st century Greco-Roman times. In the 6th section of this week's Bible Lesson, there is a quote that is a good focus for studying the whole lesson. "First in the list of Christian duties, [Jesus] taught his followers the healing power of Truth and Love. He attached no importance to dead ceremonies. It is the living Christ, the practical Truth, which makes Jesus ‘the resurrection and the life' to all who follow him in deed." (S-28) It reminds you that to follow Jesus you must dig deep and follow him.
 
Golden Text:
Paul directs all believers, or followers of Jesus--those who are faithful, trustworthy, faithful to Jesus--to be examples of Christly spirit, purity, faithfulness and conversation. The word translated as conversation is anastrophē, which means manner of life, conduct, behavior. Jesus said that people would recognize his followers by the love or fellowship they had towards each other. Being true to Jesus' mission requires that we regard each other as Christ did us. We must purify ourselves and love one another.
 
Responsive Reading:
Have you ever had a "Naaman day," where everything upset you, where you took pleasure out of being angry with others? "How could they be so thoughtless?" Christian Science asks, can you have a dispute with a spiritual idea? No, only with a mortal. What if Daniel had focused on the lions in the lions' den? What would have happened? Being wise and practical, Daniel focused on Love. Because he understood the control of divine Love over the inflammatory or painful situation, he was safe from harm. Likewise, Naaman learned that healing was being held up by focusing on mortal agitation, on human personality. He was ready for healing when he was willing to humble himself and stop fighting mentally with Elisha. He was transformed when he immersed himself in the life-giving water of divine Life. The author of the book of James calls us double-minded. Why? He tells you to purify your heart. How do you do that?
 
Section 1 - Hearts Purified
In Biblical times, they paid attention to cleanliness and uncleanliness. Uncleanliness is defined in Science and Health as impure thoughts, error, sin, dirt. (S-2) Why? We can't ignore that some thoughts are good and some are bad. Nor can we ignore that evil portrays itself as attractive, irresistible, or just plain permanent. Those are unclean thoughts. Are you really subject to those thoughts? You are only if you see yourself as they portray you. The ancients understood that purification of thought was necessary.  They understood that you must dust off your feet (get moving) and direct your thought towards God. If you do that, you will perceive the blessings that are already occurring all around you. (True perception, Godly perception, is what saves you.) (B-1)
 
It is a fact that water is the most powerful solvent known to man. It is no surprise that in Biblical times they realized the spiritual power of clean thoughts to dissolve and remove unclean thoughts. Is any problem hopeless? Do you feel an ongoing problem is now a fact? God says, "I will also save you from all your uncleannesses." (B-2) Fixed error, intractable mental or physical problems, hereditary problems are not actually problems. They are not things. They are beliefs. Beliefs are not evil realities, they are false concepts. We make them real by believing them to be things. Beliefs are healed just like light destroys darkness. Can there be a problem without a solution? It is impossible!  Ideas of Mind, pure and perfect are real. Nothing unlike God-good is real. (S-1)
 
Section 2 - True Repentance
Christian religions consider baptism to be one of the "sacraments."  Catholics have seven sacraments. Protestants have only two: baptism and Eucharist (The Last Supper or Lord's Supper). Traditionally, a sacrament is a religious ceremony or procedure. Baptism was one of the things that was important to the followers of Jesus when the Gospels were written about 85-115CE. Followers of Jesus debated what it meant to be a follower of Jesus and how to become a follower. Baptism was one of the ways they marked that occasion. Baptism comes from the Greek word bapto or baptizo, which means to wash or to immerse. It is this idea of being washed clean, being purified that is essential to understanding sacrament. In Jesus' time baptism was a way to induct or introduce someone into a religion or a movement. Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist is viewed as Jesus being anointed as the Christ by the Holy Spirit.
 
Jesus was baptizing people in the Judean countryside in the Jordan River at a place called Aenon near Salim because the river was deeper there. John the Baptist was also baptizing in the same area. An argument developed among John's disciples because they were upset that Jesus was siphoning off followers from John. (Baptism was viewed as a way that people pled allegiance to a teacher.) John was not interested in seeing baptism in these human terms. In a passage that was not included in the lesson, John repeats that he is not the Messiah, but was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah, Jesus.  John recognized that Jesus' baptism was by the Holy Spirit. (B-6)
 
Science and Health defines baptism as purification by Spirit, as submergence in Spirit. (S-8)  Mary Baker Eddy helps us to better understand what John and Jesus were really doing when they were baptizing. They were helping people to repent through spiritual baptism and regeneration. (S-10)  Baptism and repentance are necessary for our spiritual growth. "Our baptism is a purification from all error." (S-11)  Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (B-5)
 
Section 3 - Anointed
Some theologians feel that this passage from Malachi is prophesying John the Baptist as the messenger or forerunner of Christ Jesus. Malachi says that the one who is coming will purify us as a refiner of silver does. (B-7) In the Gospel of John, it is recounted that before Jesus enters Jerusalem the week before the crucifixion, he visits Mary, Martha and Lazarus in Bethany. While Jesus is there, Mary anoints Jesus' feet with oil of spikenard. (She poured the fragrant oil over his feet.) This event is felt to be foreshadowing Jesus washing his disciples' feet at Passover and secondly when Jesus' body is anointed for burial. (B-8) Did you know that we are all anointed with the true idea of God? God has anointed you with the oil of joy today.  (B-9) God has also anointed you with charity, gentleness and heavenly inspiration. (S-12) Boy, are you blessed! He has chosen you. While he may not have commissioned you with the same mission as he did Jesus, remember, no one is more precious to God than you are. (S-17) You are here to bless.
 
Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly to the cheers of crowds who knew him as a great healer. They adored him and called him King of Israel. (B-8) The crowds had a short memory. When he is put on trial the next week, the crowds stay home. They abandon him.
 
Section 4 - Communion
Jesus celebrated Passover solemnly with his disciples at what is known as the Lord's Supper or the Last Supper. This ceremonial meal is remembered as the Eucharist, or the sacrament of Holy Communion. Eucharist comes from the Greek word eucharista. Guess what eucharista means. It means gratefulness or thanksgiving. At this meal bread, wine and Jesus' cup are consecrated (made sacred) to remember Jesus' career. (B-11)  Jesus shared this meal with his students to commemorate his mission. (The wine as a symbol of blood is an obvious foreshadowing of the blood that is to be spilled on the cross for the remission (removal) of sins.)  That night, Jesus is taken prisoner by some Jewish leaders who hold a mock trial and then turn him over to Roman authorities for execution. (B-12)  Some modern scholars view Jesus' preaching and actions as a direct threat to the Empire of Rome. They feel it was only a matter of time before Roman authorities dealt harshly with this anti-empire troublemaker.
 
Have you truly commemorated Jesus' sufferings? Have you drunk of his cup? Have you taken up his cross? (S-21) What does it mean to take up your cross? Jesus said, "He that taketh not his cross (suffering), and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." (Matt 10:38)  The cross in Jesus' day was something hideous and shameful. Roman citizens weren't crucified.  Decent citizens weren't executed on a cross.  Only the scum or riffraff were humiliated and tortured by crucifixion. So for Jesus to say "Take up your cross" was truly shocking.  Why take up the cross? Mary Baker Eddy said that "The real cross... was the world's hatred of Truth and Love." (S&H 50:30-31)   She also said: "The cross is the central emblem of history.  It is the lodestar in the demonstration of Christian healing, - the demonstration by which sin and sickness are destroyed." (S&H 238:31-1)
 
Section 5 - Impurity an Illusion
While the disciples quietly tried to sort out the swirling events of their Master's murder, including his evident defeat, Mary Magdalene visits his tomb. While there, an angel from God appears and tells her not to be afraid, but to go and tell his disciples that he is alive. What if Mary hadn't listened? What if she had doubted that God had spoken to her? (B-14)  Later Jesus appeared in body to his disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and ate breakfast with them. (B-15)  Before Jesus ascended, he spoke to his disciples about baptism. He said that John had baptized them with water, but soon they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Would we be ready for the risen Christ, or would we be looking still thinking about the crucifixion? Jesus wanted us to grasp the true meaning of spiritual baptism. (B-16)  Unto God, all things are pure. If we are Christ's disciples, then we cannot see anyone as unclean or unworthy of God's love. (B-17) Christ, the true idea of God, strips away sin and the delusion (mistaken or false opinion, perhaps persistent) that there are other minds. (S-26) That delusion is the impurity that Christ destroys.
 
Section 6 - Christian Healing
"Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously." (B-20-Matt 10:8- The Message) Physical healing is important, but there is so much that needs healing beyond bodies.
 
"Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science.  It is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness.  The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin;..." (Rud 2:23-27)
Marriages, business, churches and economies need healing.
 
 
Jesus sought and healed specifically those who were lost, cursed and abandoned.  (S-27) Before healing is manifested, it must occur first in thought. The human mind would love for it to be the other way around, wouldn't it?! Let's search for that "living Christ," which makes our heart on fire with love for God and our fellow man. (S-28) The word emulate is often used today to mean to imitate, but its proper meaning is to attempt to match or exceed.   Consider that as you ponder Mrs. Eddy's question, "When will [we] learn to emulate him in all his ways...?" She is telling us that we must attempt to have more love, to heal more than Jesus. (S-29) This requires great devotion.
 
"The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled [by God], upright [faithful] and godly lives in this present age." (B-18-Titus 2:11-New International Version (NIV))
 

[This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who were blessed this summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or who find it weekly on our website.  But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships for such inspirational opportunities.  Your support is always tax-deductible and welcomed--but this year and month your help has been especially needed and appreciated! Thanks to many precious donations, we have just met our goal of raising $25,000 by year-end for "Maintenance Musts!" So CedarS will soon receive a $25,000 Matching Challenge Grant!   Needed repairs that were started can now be finished.  Two ongoing needs are to raise significant dollars to underwrite camperships and to care for our large herd of horses. "Adopt the Herd" donations will be matched!
To make a tax-deductible donation-which may be better tax-wise for you to post-date for 2009:
1) Write a check payable to CedarS Camps and mail it to the office: 1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011; or
2) Call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162
to charge your gift using a Visa or Mastercard or to discuss any short-term or long-term gift of securities or property that you are considering; or
3)
CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK with an online gift using PayPal.com, which can be funded using a Visa or Mastercard account.]

[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.- watch for Possible Sunday School Topics]

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