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Have the Mind of Christ--the Mind of Love! Make an Infinite Difference!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, February 15th, 2010

Have the Mind of Christ--the Mind of Love! Make an Infinite Difference!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson February 15-21, 2010
Subject: Mind
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S., of St. Louis, MO [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. Soon a free German translation will be available again from Helga. SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

Golden Text:  "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:"
This is such a familiar text - one that we all know by heart - which we need to be careful to take a fresh look at it. What are we really praying for when we ask that the mind of Christ Jesus be our mind? Have you ever looked at the context? Paul is urging the church in Philippi to approach all they do as Jesus would approach it - loving one another and acknowledging God as the source of all things good. According to The Interpreter's Bible, the word "mind" can be translated "humble, obedient spirit." When you think about it, everything Jesus did was from the standpoint of his oneness with God. He was always yielding to and giving glory to God. He continually urged his followers to have no strife with one another or give any thought to who was the greatest. God is the greatest! The subtitles I found introducing the second chapter of Philippians, verses 1-11, included "Unity Through Humility"; "Christ's Example of Humility"; Imitating Christ's Humility"; and "Have the Attitude of Christ."   Look at how Mrs. Eddy incorporates this Golden Text in the sixth tenet of Christian Science (S&H 497, also S-30). As you read the lesson, be alert to Jesus' example and learn more about how to humbly follow.
 
Responsive Reading:  Mind has made you and leads you
Be aware of how many attributes of Mind are used in the Responsive Reading - know, understand, thoughts. Even the references to light are related. Don't cartoonists use a light bulb to indicate someone having a moment of brilliance - getting a good idea? We talk about "shedding light" on a subject. God knows us, considers us, loves us, and leads us continually. He knew us as His eternal idea before we appeared to be born.   He knows us always. We can't begin to count God's thoughts, but we can rest assured every morning when we wake up to start a new day, that we have not been absent from Mind (God's thoughts) for a moment. We are "still with" Him.  [Ps. 139:18, Hymn 139] Just as light reveals rough places in a path, or dust on a table, God's thoughts reveal those things that need to be smoothed out or cleaned up in our experience (in our character).  His light continually leads us in the "way everlasting" - "along the path of everlasting life" (New Living Translation). As we respond to the light, we will learn to look for (and find) the blessings in all things - without intermission.  Christ is the light!
 
Section 1: Remove the debris of sense testimony. Have the pure Mind of Christ
God has created a world of order, beauty, and peace. (B-1 & B-2)  It has to be that way because God-Mind couldn't form an idea contrary to itself.  Looking around, it's easy to argue that that's not the way it is. But, Jesus demonstrated for us that by perceiving things spiritually, rather than materially, a discordant condition is resolved into the harmony of reality. As we are able to look beyond the testimony of the physical senses, God's kingdom is revealed.  Sometimes it takes a little coaxing to get our thought in line.  You may remember in the story of Job that, as disease continues to plague him, Job becomes very unhappy with God, insistently proclaims his innocence and demands an explanation for his suffering. God responds by showing Job the constancy of His creation and directing him to look to the light. (B-3)  Are we ever tempted to get so discouraged by the testimony of the physical senses that (like Job) we are unable to see God's good work?  Paul teaches the Corinthians that they won't find God by following the evidence of their eyes and ears. God reveals the creation of Mind to man. We can follow Jesus' example as we are confident (with Paul) that we have the Mind of Christ, and so can discern God's goodness right where evil appears to be. (B-4) Mrs. Eddy reiterated that "none but the pure in heart can see God,.." (S-3) What is pure is clear.  We can only see God and God's glorious creation - right here, right now - as we maintain the clear view, unpolluted by the erroneous report of the material senses. To clean up a polluted stream, the debris must be removed. To clean up a polluted view, the debris of mortal testimony must be removed. That is having "the mind of Christ." 
 
Section 2:  Praying for the Mind of Christ?  God gives the wisdom! 
Initially only the king of Judah, David eventually reigned over all of Israel and is often considered the greatest of the kings. Although David made his share of mistakes, he had a deep love for God and a genuine desire to serve Him. It was his deep desire to build a temple in Jerusalem that would provide a permanent resting place in which God would dwell and be worshipped, and the Ark of the Covenant would be safe. David was too busy fighting to have time to build, but God told him that the temple would be built by his son, Solomon. (B-5)  And, Solomon took on the challenge - AFTER he prayed that God give him the wisdom required to take on the responsibilities not only of governing the people, but also of building a temple. (B-6) Solomon speaks of himself as "a child." That didn't refer to his age, but his lack of experience. It was also symbolic of the child-like trust that it takes to lean completely on God as we face whatever "project" comes our way!
[We will practice humble reliance on God all summer at CedarS with our spiritual sustainability theme citation: "to those leaning on the sustaining infinite,.." S&H vii:1]
David and Solomon fully understood the necessity of habitually turning to God for direction - praying before acting. Their motive was to do God's will, rather than their own - to respond to God's wisdom and direction. And what resulted was tangible evidence of Mind's well-orchestrated design. Jesus was also a descendent of David, and represents the epitome of consistently turning to his Father in his desire to do God's will.  As we refuse to have any other gods - the gods of pride, ego, personality - and turn to Mind, God, to guide us - we will discover our relationship to God as His children (His likeness). (S-10) Everything we do should be done to glorify God. As Solomon built a temple of stone, we can build a mental temple - making room for God to occupy every thought, and rejoicing to obey His law.  Ask God to give you the wisdom you need to live rightly. (S-8)  Then we will have the Mind which was also in Christ.
 
Section 3:  The Mind of Christ-full of wisdom and grace at every "age"
What can we learn from Jesus as a child - and from Simeon - about having the Mind of Christ? Mrs. Eddy speaks of "the Science of creation" being "so conspicuous in the birth of Jesus." (S-11)  Because he was born of a virgin, it is obvious that God is his father.  It seems harder to accept that for ourselves because it is so generally believed that we have a mortal heritage. Jesus taught us that age has nothing to do with growing "in wisdom" and demonstrating understanding. Did Jesus wait until a certain age to make learning about God a top priority - or to get involved in church? When his family went to Jerusalem when he was 12, he was impelled to stay behind.  He sat in the temple as a humble servant, full of grace - listening, asking questions, and sharing.  There are reports in the apocryphal gospels (writings by early Christians) that tell of Jesus performing "miracles" as a child. 
[Mrs. Eddy was also recognized for "indications of spiritual discernment and healing ability that marked her from childhood." Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer, Amplified Edition, 2009, p. 30]
There is no "too young" or "too old." What can we do to break down the "age barriers" in our churches?
 
Simeon was an "old man," but recognized in the baby Jesus the promised Savior - the Christ light that would be the saving grace, not only for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles - for everyone! (B-8)  Hundreds of years earlier the prophet Isaiah had announced that a king would be born who would reign forever and bring lasting peace.  In spite of the good David and Solomon brought to Israel, Judah never felt secure.  People continually looked for this Messiah, but their preconceived notions of what the promised king would look like kept them from recognizing Christ when he did come.  According to Bible scholar Alan Culpepper, "Simeon saw God's salvation not because he happened to live at the right moment in history but because his devotion and the work of the Spirit in him had led him to understand that God's hand was at work in Jesus' birth." (New Interpreter's Bible, vol. IX, p. 71
 
Jesus didn't wait to be "about his ‘Father's business.'" (S-13) We can't afford to wait until we're out of school or after we've raised our families, or after we retire. NOW, we can demonstrate our oneness with the Father (S-12) - and "unfold the unity and the reality of good, the unreality, the nothingness, of evil." (S-15)  In order to have the Mind of Christ, we have to be as obedient as Jesus was to be about our "Father's business" - accepting and demonstrating the fact that "there is but one power, - not two powers, matter and Mind." (S-16)  If we're going to recognize Christ when it enters our experience, we have to watch for it (as Simeon did), and have no preconceptions about how it is "packaged."  We are never too young or too old. Everything we do should simply be an avenue through which we practice demonstrating our oneness with God.
 
Section 4:  The Mind of Christ responds to and enlightens mortal mind's darkness
Jesus referred to himself as "a light" that had come to lift mankind out of darkness. (B-12)  He healed with the power of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit.) (B-10)  And, although his reputation as a healer was spreading, people didn't understand the power behind the healing. A woman had suffered for many years with hemorrhaging. The doctors hadn't been able to help. In this state of darkness and despair, she had little to lose in testing the theory that Jesus' power to heal could be transmitted through his clothes. It took great persistence on the woman's part to reach Jesus. There were lots of people and she wasn't even supposed to be out in public - she was considered unclean because of her condition.  Jesus felt the touch of her receptive THOUGHT, rather than a physical touch.  All Jesus ever dealt with was thought! But, he needed her (and everyone around) to realize that healing isn't miraculous, and doesn't come from physical contact.  Rather, it is the effect of the Christ light eliminating the darkness of fear and disease.  It took courage for the woman to respond to Jesus' question and admit that she was the one who had touched him.  Was this courage and persistence evidence of the faith that Jesus credited with making her whole?  Is it possible that part of the "faith" we need to have when seeking healing is the courage to go against the "crowd mentality" of our society and reach out directly to Christ for our answers - with expectancy? The Christ light - the illumination of Truth - is always within reach.  "Christ is all, and in all." We need to reach out to it, we need to respond to it, and we need to share it. (B-13) 
 
Mortal mind is reaching out for healing. How do we respond to news reports or the needs of our neighbors? Jesus was on his way to care for Jairus' daughter (which we get to in section 5) but he wasn't so focused on his next mission that he missed the immediate opportunity. If we accept the fact that the only true MInd is the Mind of Christ (Love's shining light, destroying darkness), and that this light is ever-present, we will entertain it as our thought and let it shine freely. We'll remove the obstacles preventing us from helping others that say that we're not good enough, or we don't know enough, or we have our own problems to deal with. We'll resist the temptation to "psycho-analyze" as we realize that we're not using our mortal mind to influence another's mortal mind. Instead, we are entertaining "Soul-sense" by giving up all sense of the power of a mind other than God, and we are yielding (giving way) to the ever-present divine Mind. (S-19) "When man is governed by God, the ever-present Mind who understands all things, man knows that with God all things are possible." (S-21)
 
Section 5:  The Mind of Christ knows it is never too late for God to help!
To have the Mind of Christ is to have the Mind of Love. How could Jesus resist the call from Jairus to come and heal his daughter? On the way, Jesus stopped and responded to the touch of the woman with the issue of blood. He wasn't in a hurry. He knew that Life was with the girl. (B-15)  Even when the report came saying the girl was dead, he told the dad not to worry. Ever seem as though we're too late to help - or to get help? Or it seems obvious there's just no way a project is going to get done in time? Are we tempted to be like the professional mourners - crying and despairing and giving up - laughing at the suggestion that something can be done? OR, do we acknowledge the presence and power of Christ and enter the situation with confidence in divine Love's ability to bring redemption and meet every human need? "Mind's control over the universe, including man, is no longer an open question, but is demonstrable Science." (S-23) Testimonies given at Wednesday evening meetings or printed in the Christian Science periodicals or published on http://www.spirituality.com offer ongoing evidence that the "miracles" of Bible-times weren't miracles at all. There is never reason to give up! Having the Mind of Christ means loving God and man enough to remain steadfast to the Scientific evidence of Mind, "shining by its own light and governing the universe, including man, in perfect harmony." (S-26) We have a choice - we can trust mortal mind and believe everything the material senses report - or we can claim the Mind of Christ as our Mind, and work to understand the Science of being which reverses the material testimony - offering hope in the midst of hopelessness, and restoring harmony.
 
Section 6:  Having the Mind of Christ means no divisions
Paul wrote to the Philippians, the Corinthians, and the Romans about the importance of getting along with one another. But, I don't think that meant just "tolerating" each other. It is a demand to work together to spread the good news of the Christ light.  Paul: speaks of "fighting together for the faith" (B-16 NLT); urges that there be no divisions, "but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose" (B-17 NRSV); prays that God would enable them to live in harmony "that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (B-18 ESV). The purpose of unity is to demonstrate the brotherhood of man and obey the commandments to love God supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves. (S-28) In this way, the light of Christ goes forth to enlighten the world. The sixth tenet of Christian Science is specific about what we are promising when we say we will "watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus." Specifically, we are agreeing to obey the Golden Rule, to be merciful (compassionate and generous), to be just (upright, fair, and honest) and pure (unpolluted). (S-30)  To have the Mind of Christ is to be pure love! Imagine a world where love (elevated to divine Love) is the standard by which each thought and action is judged. We can start with striving for that standard in ourselves. There's no stopping the ripple effect! We can change the world - as Jesus changed it - [one thought at a time]!

 [This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who were blessed last 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 during the economic downturn, your help has been and continues to be especially needed and appreciated!  Two ongoing needs are to raise significant dollars:
1)  to underwrite camperships for the hundreds of campers now applying for aid; and,
2) to support caring for our large herd of horses now being fed on top of 6" of snow.  "Adopt the Herd" donations will be matched!
To make a tax-deductible donation:
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 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 "Possible Sunday School Topics" come in a subsequent email.) These weekly offerings are 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 (and angels) 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, Executive Director      director@cedarscamps.org      (636) 394-6162

[P.S.S.T.-What having the Mind of Christ enables you to know, understand & do!]
Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux of St. Louis, Missouri
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Mindfor February 21, 2010
 
P.S.S.T. Golden Text -
What did the mind that was in Christ Jesus allow him to know, understand, and do?  Please complete each:
   Know: ex. (He was God's beloved child.)
   Understand: ex. (He was spiritual and so was everyone else.)
   Do: ex. (Heal the sick, Raise the dead, Cleanse the lepers, Cast out demons)
 
P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading (RR) -
Look for and then make a list of the Know, Understand, and Do elements in the RR.  Some might be "us" statements and some might be God statements.  Use the key words, know and understand in the RR to guide you.  Look for the action words to guide you to the Do statements.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 1 -
What wonderful works has God done? B-1 and B-3
What are the thoughts that God thinks about his creation? B-2
What has God prepared for you and for everything that he made? B-4
What is the time that has come and is at hand? S-4
What are the things this class needs to think about?
What does it mean to be a "willing disciple at the heavenly gate"? S-6
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 2 -
What did Solomon know about himself as David's son? B-5, B-6
What did Solomon ask God to help him understand?  B-6
What did Solomon do with this knowing and understanding?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 3 -
What do we know about Jesus as the descendent of David?  B-7 and B-8
Read the story in B-8. What did Jesus' parents do? What did Simeon do? What did Jesus do? What did the multitudes do? B-9  What was it that they knew or understood that caused them to do what they did?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 4 -
What is the result when man is governed by God?  Go back to section 1 and review the list the class made of things to think about.  Take each one of those items and ask and answer the questions:  What does God know about the issue?  What do I as the child of God know about the issue? What can I do about that issue?  Remember , "...with God all things are possible."
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 5 -
There is a good role play of the Bible story in this section. B-15 
We can continue our theme of what did the people, Jairus, and Jesus know, understand, and do?  What do you think the maid knew and understood that resulted in her action (doing) of rising straight away?  Or, do you think she had no role to play and that Jesus did all of the work?  Did Jesus, Jairus, and the maid all share the one Mind? (See S-26 for a hint.)
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 6 - 
Why were this lesson and the Bible stories written for us?  B-18
What is the result of there being one Mind or one Father/Mother for all of us? S-27 
Is this a present reality or just a wished-for state? 
What does this knowing that we have one Mind demand of us? S-28 
What is the result of this knowing and understanding? S-29 
Now, because we know or understand so much what is the required action or doing? 
See the promise we are called on to make as a result in S-30. 
What does God, the one and only Mind, require of each of us? 
See Micah 6:8
 
Also worthy of review is what Daniel and Paul Understood and what that Understanding enabled them to DO-S&H 514:26.]
 
Warren Huff, 636-394-6162 , director@cedarscamps.org

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