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Let the Spirit: Move you! Bless, Purify, Renew, Transform & Liberate you!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, August 2nd, 2010

[Let the Spirit: Move you! Bless, Purify, Renew, Transform & Liberate you!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas on the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Spirit" for study during the week of August 2-8, 2010
by Dan Carnesciali, CS, 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 thanks to Pascal, or in Spanish thanks to Ana, and in German some weeks by Helga. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters We are looking for other able translators who are willing to volunteer to share the load of doing these weekly translations in a timely and accurate fashion.  You can email your interest in supporting this work to Warren at director@cedarscamps.org]

The Holy Spirit moves us in ways we don't expect. We feel the power and presence of Spirit and know God. Something doesn't have to be physically solid to be real.  Take Love for example. You know the touch of Love and it isn't physically solid. The Holy Spirit moves and shows up in surprising ways humanly, but it is the substance of everything that is real.
 
Golden Text:
This text from Job declares the fundamental fact that Spirit is the Creator and gives Life.
 
Responsive Reading:
When you look at the beauty and diversity of animals, birds and fishes you feel like you are seeing the hand of God at work. Did you notice the creation story running through the Golden Text and Responsive Reading? Creation is a theme running through the whole lesson. God created Her creation, you, for a purpose. As in the creation story in Genesis, life is breathed into creation.  Spiritually, breath is the vibrant life force and purpose. Creation is blessed so it prospers.
 
Section 1 - Spirit Blesses
Many Bible passages bless God and praise God. Now it is our turn to bless God.  (B1) You like to compliment friends when they do something cool, so why not compliment God? "Thou art my God; thy spirit is good;" Scholars believe that scriptures were first shared orally, sometimes sung, rather than written down. Thousands of years ago, people worshipped many gods. Everything that happened was attributed to gods. There were good gods and bad gods. Why do you think someone was motivated so long ago to think and say that Spirit was good? Today, in the scientific age, some people feel that believing in God is foolish. To them, matter is the only determining factor or cause. But, this theory doesn't hold up. Where does love come from? Where does good come from?  If love and goodness are of human origin they would be limited. However, there is more love and goodness than the human mind can fathom. What the author of this scripture realized was that God wasn't just like good (compassionate, helpful, reliable). God is fundamentally and wholly good. Good is God itself. (B2) If you stumble, if you fall, guess what?  You will find God is there.  No matter how bad things seem, Spirit is there. (B3) ["Whither" ("shall I go from Thy spirit") is a wonderful camp song that we have sung for years at CedarS and will sing again this week to celebrate the ideas behind this Bible verse (B3) in the lesson on Spirit. Click here to hear the song on YouTube as sung by the 2nd session 2009 A/U staff with a beautiful descant written by Dwight Oyer.] "God is infinite omnipresent Spirit." (S1) An infinite God has to have an infinite manifestation. An infinite creation could never be less than infinite, so creation could not have a beginning. What is time anyway? Is time concrete? Some physicists don't think so. Check out exploration of time at this link: http://www.timephysics.com/ where time is referred to as an illusion. As science advances, the solid nature of matter is being doubted. (S5) At the smallest level, there is almost infinite space between the smallest particles of matter. Perhaps in time, scientists will prove that the basis of matter is infinite space or nothingness.
 
Section 2 - Spirit Heals
Jesus went into his hometown synagogue to read the scroll of Esaias, the Greek name for Isaiah, and read out loud that, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath sent me to heal ..." As the idea of Spirit, you have the nature of Spirit. You been blessed by Spirit. You been anointed by the Holy Spirit. Why? To bless and heal. Healing is natural to you.  This doesn't make any sense if you think of yourself as a physical being, does it? A spiritual idea reflects what Spirit is. Because mortal mind sees itself only, it can't understand Spirit. As a purely spiritual idea, it is natural for you to think spiritually, be spiritual. It's natural for you to be free of limited thinking and limited being. (B5)  The Jewish Bible of Jesus' time was sheets of papyrus, leather, parchment, or vellum that was glued together.  Imagine a book that had no individual pages to turn. It was a continuous page read and rolled between two scrolls. (See Bible Note in http://www.MyBibleLesson.com)  And now with e-readers we have books that aren't even on any type of paper. The word translated here as breath is sometimes translated, depending on the context, as wind or spirit. When appropriate, it may be translated as the energy of life, or the Holy Spirit. Spirit, like the wind cannot be seen, but its effects are seen and felt. 
In Biblical times, they believed that people were sick because spirits or demons had stirred up trouble or possessed someone. Jesus healed the woman quickly because he wasn't trying to heal a sick body or mind. [In this section we read how this "divine influence . . . repeating itself" also enabled Mrs. Eddy to quickly heal a woman by working to change her thought about herself and her breathing difficulties. (S9 & S10) Mrs. Eddy and] Jesus healed misconceptions, false beliefs, that there was a sick body or mind to heal. When you shine light on darkness, what does it reveal about the darkness? Right!  It reveals what darkness is and what it isn't. Darkness isn't substantial or real. (B6) 
 
Section 3 - Spirit Reveals
Sometimes someone explains something and you don't get it. Then someone else explains the same thing differently and you think, "Now I get it."  We learn differently from one another. What works for some will not work for all. Paul was very educated and his speeches were complex. If you find this passage or others from Paul difficult, you are not alone! In the text translated as "with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord", "beholding as in a glass" comes from Greek word that means looking at your own reflection in a mirror. In 16th century English a "glass" was a mirror. The Greek text translated as "with open" means to uncover or unveil.  Looking at a thought-for-thought translation of this text [as MyBibleLesson.com does] helps us understood what the author was intending to communicate.  "We Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord.  And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him."  (The Living Bible) (B7) 
You can compare multiple translations of the same text without too much effort at sites like http://www.blueletterbible.org. You can also compare the translations to literal translations of the original Hebrew or Greek.  "Just as you can hear the wind but can't tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can't explain how people are born of the Spirit." (B8, John 3:8, New Living Translation) In John 3:5 (B8) Jesus tells Nicodemus and us that we must be born again of the water and the Spirit. Let's try to figure out why he mentioned water. The Interpreter's Commentary has a good explanation. "Salvation in the kingdom of God requires a new birth, which by an ambiguity in the Greek word is also a birth ‘from above,' from heaven itself-a birth not merely in a baptism of water, such as John the Baptist offered, but a birth through the operation of the Spirit."
"The Bible teaches transformation of the body by the renewal of Spirit." (S12) Eddy wrote, ‘The Scriptures say, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," showing that Truth is the actual life of man; but mankind objects to making this teaching practical.' (Science and Health, 410:9) Let's keep watch for where our thought objects to making the Word of God practical. [Being engraved in granite and in lives is the purpose of CedarS new Bible Lands Park (http://blog.cedarscamps.org/ ): to "take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (S&H 497, 1st tenet of Christian Science). In thought-by-thought baptisms, old man thoughts are being washed away as new man thoughts are "born again" and made practical each hour with spiritual sense.]
 
Section 4 - Spirit Transforms
In the passages preceding citation B9 (Matt 11:25), Jesus condemns the cities that had witnessed many, many healings, but where few people were transformed and few people repented. In verse 25, Jesus thanks God because "these things", perhaps the lack of receptivity among the children of Israel, have been hidden from the wise and revealed to the childlike. 
God talks to us through our hearts. Let's resist that temptation to overthink things. Childlike innocence triumphs over evil. (B9)   If the affirmation and denial form of prayer isn't working for you, perhaps you want to try one of the five types of prayer mentioned in the Bible: praise, thanksgiving, affirmation, petition, and intercession. Or, how about the deep, soulful listening that Jesus and Mrs. Eddy mention?  In moments of stillness, listening to God, you hear His wisdom and feel near to God.  (S20) 
Take a tip from Paul: When you talk to people unfamiliar with God or your beliefs, use terms and concepts that are familiar to them. Communication is not what you say, but what the other person hears. I remember as a little boy trying to get my friends to understand what "error" was. Boy, were they puzzled!   "[Epicurean] philosophy was a system of atheism, and taught men to seek as their highest aim a pleasant and smooth life. They have been called the "Sadducees" of Greek paganism. They, with the Stoics, ridiculed the teaching of Paul (Acts 17:18). They appear to have been greatly esteemed at Athens." (Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary) The pagan Greeks had many, many gods. They even created an altar to the unknown god, just in case they had missed one. (Now that's superstition.) Paul said that that unknown God was actually the One God, the creator of all. (B11)  [Mrs. Eddy wrote of Paul's Mars Hill speech: "St. Paul said to the Athenians, "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being." This statement is in substance identical with my own: "There is no life, truth, substance, nor intelligence in matter." It is quite clear that as yet this grandest verity has not been fully demonstrated, but it is nevertheless true. If Christian Science reiterates St. Paul's teaching, we, as Christian Scientists, should give to the world convincing proof of the validity of this scientific statement of being. Having perceived, in advance of others, this scientific fact, we owe to ourselves and to the world a struggle for its demonstration." Ret. 93:17]

Section 5 - [to liberate:] Ready, Aim, Praise!
Spirit-God created the majesty of the heavens and earth. Spirit (divine breath) gave breath to Her creation. "I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will guard and support you, for I have given you to my people as the personal confirmation of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide all nations to me." (B12, NLT) Let your light shine. A friend of mine, who isn't a Christian Scientist, who isn't even religious, has committed this year of his life to "healing." It's been an interesting transformation to witness. His life, which appeared to be in shambles not too long ago, is having a tangible healing effect on others. He is helping people organize their houses. He says, "There is no point in organizing clutter! Get rid of it." That strategy applies mentally, too. Don't try to figure out where error came from. Don't classify it. Banish it.
Paul healed a woman who had the ability to foretell the future through supernatural powers. She followed Paul around, mocking him. After several days, Paul had enough of it and healed her by casting out the spirit (belief). Paul and Silas were severely beaten and thrown in prison for this. She was a slave, and when she lost her ability to tell the future, her owner lost his source of income.   Look at Paul's response to being beaten and being thrown in prison.  He sang praises to God. The next time everything seems to be going wrong, praise God. Let the Holy Spirit knock down the walls of limitation. (B13)   "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Even in a prison cell, you have God's liberty. (B14)   Raise the standard (flag) of liberty so others can find their freedom. (S25) [I love that the prayers for and by Paul and Silas and their midnight Hymn Sing resulted in the opening of "all the (prison) doors" and the unloosing of "every one's bands"! (B13) I also love the MyBibleLesson.com cartoon for this with its captioned quote by Paul: "Preached the gospel, healed a woman, spoke to judges, faced a mob, lost my clothes, felt the lash, sang in prison, saw an earthquake, slipped the slammer . . . It's been a big day!"]

Section 6 - Rejoice
[I treasure Cobbey Crisler's comments on citation B15, Luke 10:20: "the reason for rejoicing in healing ... has something to do with our identity. ... It's as if our original names and natures have been ratified as the result of healing work on earth. ... If our names are written (in heaven), who did the writing? ... Man, restored and whole, represents the heavenly model and standard which is the norm for man that God has revealed through Jesus to us. ... And if our names are written in heaven, where is heaven? If it's within, we don't have to go anywhere. We don't have to commute to find our identity. ... Namely, an identity that is related to the kingdom, not anarchy or disease. It is a government, a comprehension of God and man immediately assessable to us, and applicable to the human problem." Luke the Researcher, p. 169)]     
Jesus knew his followers would meet challenges. So, he prayed for them. He asked God to watch over them. He blessed them. "Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." (B15) "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thes 5:18) Notice, it doesn't say to thank God for things. It says to bless God in all situations.  God has turned His face (countenance) towards you, and is blessing you. (B16) Look with God's eyes and see what She sees. She is seeing Her beauty, reflected. God's face is not hidden from you, it is revealed. And this renews the face of the earth.   (B18) As you bless and praise God, you see how blessed you are. What is self-pity? It's disrespect for yourself. Don't tolerate it. Praise God in His goodness. Admire the beauty She has revealed in you. Praise God for his mighty acts (including you). (B20) "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps. 118:24, S30) [As we "lean on the sustaining infinite" today we will find it "big with blessings"-like the blessing of discovering that our names and natures are indelibly written in heaven! (B15, S30)]

[PSST-Get ready to rejoice in a breakout flood of good and peace as you are re-born of Spirit!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Spirit" for August 8, 2010 by Amy Robbins, St. Louis, MO [bracketed italics by Warren]
 
PSST for Golden Text and Responsive Reading
What is the "breath of the Almighty"?  When you read that the "spirit of God" made you, what does that mean?  How were you made?  How are we taught by beasts and the earth?  What can you learn from nature and what is all around you?  When we read about water being poured upon us when we are thirsty and floods covering the dry ground, how is that an example of supply and God's care for us?  In what ways are you "flooded" by good?
 
PSST for Section 1
Look at citation B3.  Can we ever be separated from God?  What are some ways that you feel close to God?  What does the prefix "omni" mean to you? Is there anything left out of all?  Since God is omnipresent, what does that really mean?  How is God always with you?  Look at citation S4.  This is the starting point of divine Science.  Where do you go from the starting point?  Consider the definition of good in citation S6.  What's good in your life?
 
PSST for Section 2
What happens in citation B5?  What would it have felt like to hear Jesus read from Isaiah?  How would you have felt witnessing that?  After Jesus healed the woman in citation B6, what did she do?  Do you remember to rejoice and thank God for all the good in your experience?  What healed the woman in citation S10?  What is the result of bearing witness to the truth described in citation S11?  Do we need to do more than this?  How does healing come about?  Have you ever experienced or witnessed any instantaneous healings?  What happened?
 
PSST for Section 3
What happened between Nicodemus and Jesus in citation B8?  What does it mean to be born of the Spirit?  What needs to change?  Why do you think Nicodemus when to see Jesus at night?  What was he thinking about when he saw Jesus?  What was Jesus trying to explain to him?  What can we learn from Nicodemus?  What does Mrs. Eddy say about wind.  See citations S14 and S15.  What does that have to do with Jesus' statement to Nicodemus?  When we recognize God's infinite control, does that change anything?  Or help us realize we already had everything we needed?
 
PSST for Section 4
This is the first of two sections about Paul.  He faced a number of challenges, but consistently trusted and leaned on God.  Think about the lessons that you can learn from Paul's example.  Citation B11 describes Paul's experience in Athens.  What happened there?  What was he trying to explain to the Athenians?  Why is it so important to worship God spiritually?  How do we have a closer relationship or connection to God?
 
PSST for Section 5
What is our covenant with God (B12)?  What covenants do we know about?  Think about Noah and the rainbow, the one described in Isaiah, a marriage covenant.  What is so important about a covenant?  What is a covenant?  (Hint: promise)  Look at citation B13 to see more about Paul and his faith and trust in God's protection.  Why did he and Silas end up in prison?  What freed them?  Are you ready and willing to sing praises to God when things look pretty bad?  What is God's being (S23)?  How does Mrs. Eddy describe it?  How do you witness infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss in your experience?  Citation S26 states that Love is the liberator.  What are you liberated from?
 
PSST for Section 6
There are many similarities to Section 1 in this section.  Both are declaring how great God is.  Name all the things that God is thanked and praised for.  Think of things in your own life-friendship, family, home, school.  When citation B16 says that the Lord will bless you and keep you, how does that make you feel?  [Citation B16 is known as the priestly blessing and has been beautifully set to music by John Rutter. In gratitude for a great session and God's gift of peace on all our 4th session campers travelling home today--and especially on our British campers-- here is a link to its being sung in 2002 by the St. Paul Cathedral Choir at Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee . It is also traditionally sung by the Seniors of the Principia Upper School choir at their graduation.] 
Where does our supply come from?  How do we trust and rely wholeheartedly on Spirit?  What is the result of that trust?  Look at citation S30.  Are you leaning on the sustaining infinite?  What are some of your blessings?
 

[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletters are 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, Sunday School teachers and friends who request it, or who find it weekly on our website or through CS Directory. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed: to cover the costs of running this "free" service; to provide camperships for ongoing inspirational opportunities; and to complete Stages 1 & 2 of Bible Lands Park (BLP) 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!

Our top need is to put our efforts and money where our mission is--by raising--and spending--significant dollars to underwrite camperships for hundreds of campers still applying for aid.

Please help us tell any and all Christian Science Sunday School students and families who you know that there will be plenty of funds available to help them to have their own CedarS Camps spiritual-growth-experience -even yet this summer! CedarS last one-week session (August 8-14) still has room and camperships available! You can email us about it or call us today 417-532-6699. (There are still a few places left in our Family Camp, Aug. 15-20, and in our Midwest Bible Conference, Sept. 16-19, 2010!)

To support CedarS work you can make a charitable donation to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization:
1) Thank you for considering writing a monthly check payable to CedarS Camps and mailing it to: CedarS Camps, 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536; or
2) Thank you for calling Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to charge your gift or to authorize an automatic monthly charge using a Visa or Mastercard or to discuss short-term or long-term gifts of securities or property 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, 10-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

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