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Live out the Golden Mindset of Christ Now! Be Merciful, Just, Pure

Lindsey Biggs, C.S., Bend, OR
Posted Monday, August 23rd, 2010

[Live out Christ's Golden Mindset Now! Be Merciful, Just, Pure ...]  
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Christ Jesus" for the week of August 23-29, 2010
Prepared by Lindsey Biggs, C.S. of Bend, OR [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, in German thanks to Helga or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
This week's lesson is a step-by-step guide, through Jesus' example and parables, on how to live inthe kingdom of heaven here and now.  Jesus stated "'the kingdom of God is within you'...indicating that the kingdom is spiritual and internal, rather than physical and external" (Luke 17:21 NIV Study Bible). We don't wait until we arrive at it, we get to "Live it!" here and now. (That's the DiscoveryBound Leadership Conference theme this year!)

Golden Text:  Live in the kingdom of heaven by following Jesus' teachings.
God shows us that His kingdom is here and now.  And Jesus' teachings are an instruction manual for how to realize that. 
 
Responsive Reading:  Recognizing where Jesus' teachings come from opens the door to the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus shows us that when we listen to his teachings and follow them we are then "founded" on a solid rock (as opposed to sand that slips away).  This means our home, health, friendships, relationships, and security can and will have their foundation on that rock when we follow Jesus' instructions, which put always God first.  And by doing do, you could say your foundation is "rock solid".
Peter perceives and professes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.  Dummelow's Bible Commentary says "in confessing that He was the ‘Son of the living God', he was going beyond what others at that time believed".  And he received praise from Jesus for his voicing of this truth.  People have different perspectives on whether Jesus meant he was founding his church on Peter himself or on the truth that Peter spoke.   Mrs. Eddy expounds on this on page 138: 
"In other words, Jesus purposed founding his society, not on the personal Peter as a mortal, but on the God-power which lay behind Peter's confession of the true
Messiah.
It was now evident to Peter that divine Life, Truth, and Love, and not a human personality, was the healer of the sick and a rock, a firm foundation in the realm of harmony...The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built."

Section 1: Listening and following the voice of Christ.
There is only one way to health, happiness, holiness (the kingdom of heaven) and Christ shows us this way.  "To understand the imagery (B4), it must be remembered that Eastern folds are large open enclosures into which several flocks are driven at the approach of night.  There is only one door, which a single shepherd guards..." (Dummelow)  It is beautiful how the sheep know their own Shepherd's voice and will not be confused by another shepherd's call. To learn more about this, go to [the http://www.gutenberg.org website and download for free the text of] The Song of our Syrian Guest, by William Allen Knight-[in English or your own language].  In like manner, the Christ --"the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness" (S2)-- is always communicating to us.  We know this voice -- we hear it, we feel it in our hearts and know it is the call of the Christ - "the divine image or idea". (S3)  This voice keeps us safe and on the right path of health and holiness.  "The Father's power...is greater than that of any enemy, making the sheep completely secure" (NIV Study Bible).  How do we hear this voice more clearly or have it expand in our daily lives?  "His followers must grow in the stature of manhood [and womanhood!] in Christ Jesus" (S4) and "All must sooner or later plant themselves in Christ, the true idea of God"(S5).  Living the Christ message in thought and action enables us to rise higher in our understanding of the spiritual meaning of Jesus' teachings.  The following sections give us practical ways we can do just that.
 
Section 2: Living our real life purpose and following Christ
Following God, living the spiritual life, may seem to the human senses as if we have to give up some things.  However, are really losing anything?  If we have to let go of a temporal sense of security, health and fleeting joys for a more permanent sense of joy and peace, isn't that a good thing?  God loves us and wants us to see and know our spiritual birthright - life eternal and the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, are we really losing out on anything?  No.  The man that approached Jesus in the story in the Book of Mark (B7) was really only being asked to give up a false, material sense of security and pleasure.  Was God then going to let him down so that he would be left with nothing? No.  On the contrary, he was promised eternal life and all the infinite blessings of God's kingdom.   
 Perhaps there is a job or career-path we want to pursue, something we are passionate about and feel great doing.  And maybe you feel that there is a layer of limitations surrounding it such as ‘can you really make a living doing that?' or ‘that industry is small and unreliable' or ‘what about the economy?'  God doesn't know any of these limitations.  We are each here to glorify and express God and He fulfills the means and methods for accomplishing that.  If we live by the world's standards of beauty, wealth, fame, security, and status, are we really going to be happy or satisfied?  Are we seeing the truth about God's spiritual, perfect man who can't be measured by these standards?  Our job is to glorify and express God, Spirit.  It's God's job to take care of us and to supply us with what we need.
 "Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man. We cannot circumscribe happiness within the limits of personal sense. The senses confer no real enjoyment." (Science and Health p.60)
 
Section 3: Living love as Christ did, glorifies God.
The command to love our neighbor as ourselves may seem challenging at times.  And to love our enemies seems like an even harder request (B10).  However, Jesus is not telling us to do this with limited human love (Eros or Philia in the Greek).  He is telling us we can do this with "agape" love.  Agape love has been described as the love that is God Itself.  It is the very nature and essence of who and what God is and thereby who we are as His reflection.  It doesn't matter what is going on in the human scene; what is important is seeing and knowing what God knows.  Doing this enables healing and is always the starting point for prayer.  In the story of the Good Samaritan, we are seeing God and man's true nature (B12).  To see that perfect man is the most loving thing we can do.  Mrs. Eddy tells us that to live this love is the way Christ is glorified, and the way we can live gratitude for our freedom.  So, we don't have to worry about having the perfect thing to say in all its theological soundness; we can live that perfect Love right now and that will exemplify our faith more than words (S14). 
[Click here to hear Christian Science Chaplain Janet Horton's telling CedarS 4th session campers and staff about her inspired taming of a pack of 15 wild dogs by obeying our Master's command to "preach the gospel to every creature!" (S11)]

 Section 4: Faith in Good grows and heals.
The seed that was planted was the Christ.  "Insignificant in its beginnings, founded by a supposed criminal in an obscure province, directed by twelve Galileans of little wealth or education, the Christian movement rapidly expanded into a world-wide Church" (Dummelow) (B15).  Christ is the message of good in every human heart, which tells us that health, harmony, joy, and freedom are normal and natural.  It speaks to everyone about our divine rights as the children of God.  The Centurion (most likely a Roman in the Roman army) certainly felt the Christ in his heart, even though he was considered a "gentile" (non-Jew).  At that time, it was thought impossible that Jesus, someone who was Jewish, would go to a non-Jew and heal him.  Yet Jesus found this Centurion had more faith because he understood that Jesus could simply command (at a distance) what needed to be done and would be obeyed.  In the book of Matthew it states that the Centurion came to Jesus himself, however Luke reflects more correctly the original documents (Dummelow).   This certainly is evidence of "faith...enlarg[ing] its borders" (S17).  And the Centurion gained "more correct views of God and man" (19) and of God, Spirit's, power.  Each of us, having the Christ authority, can also command sickness, disease, and lack (anything that is unlike God) from our experience and from the experience of our friends.  Citation (S20) explains how to mentally command this with authority: 1. Stick to the truth, despite the material senses 2. Plead (or argue) with the Truth 3.  Understand, with certainty, the effects of Truth (healing and transformation) 4. Have faithfulness and conviction about what you declare 5. You will win!
 
Section 5: Forgiveness is demonstrated and God is glorified. [These "do unto others" and "be merciful" parts of the 6th Tenet (S30) fit well with Susan Mack's "tender mercies" message in Christian Science Hymnal Supplement, Hymn 445]
When we let "unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love - the kingdom of heaven - reign within us" they naturally, and by Scientific law, dispel anything unlike God, good. (S25)  It is like shining a light on to our nature, in to our consciousness, which naturally and effortlessly extinguishes the darkness.  
In the citation B16 parable, the king is moved by Christly spirit and affection.  He feels being merciful and kind toward this servant is going to be better for both of them.  Citation S24 shows us that un-Christlike qualities actually injure ourselves and "crush out happiness, health, and manhood."  The king's compassion, which represents the Christ, is exhibiting God's loving and forgiving nature. The servant, however, doesn't have this Christly love and is therefore lacking - having only a material view of himself and of God's creation.  He doesn't even forgive his peer who is in the same situation he was!  Jesus teaches us that we are to forgive our brothers (fellow mankind) an infinite number of times because this is expressing God's nature and following Christ.  [See this section's MyBibleLesson.com comments on "THE NUMBERS 70 AND 7"]  In living by the Golden Rule (B17), we are aligning ourselves with the kingdom of heaven and thereby have all we need and better relationships.  Jesus showed us how to do this, but he didn't do it for us (S22).  We gain the joy and fruitfulness of living the Christly way now!
 
 Section 6: Watch to keep your thought alert, pure, and free!  [the "watch" part of the 6th tenet]
The last lesson in our Christ guidebook is to "Watch!"  Watch what - the time go by?  No!  Watch and guard our thought so that nothing unlike Christ can get in.  Mrs. Eddy taught us how to do that: "keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort." (Miscellany, 210)  So we never let anything unlike good in our thought no matter what disguise it wears or what it claims.  Don't be fooled!  It is only error being disguised as something else - a bad relationship, an "unworking" body, or a weak economy. 
We can also "watch" all the good that God is doing around us, keeping our hearts full of gratitude and cherishing every moment of spiritual progress.  Citation S29 tells us that we don't just read about it, we get to go out and "Live it!"  [Last week one of our Family Camp practitioners, Jodi Beatty, CS of Oakton, Virginia, joyously helped us put on a happier face about what we were "solemnly" promising in the sixth tenet (S30). In Friday's Practitioner Talk that she delivered with Gary Duke, CS (St. Louis, MO), Jodi told us Webster's other dictionary definitions for "solemn" as "awe-inspiring" and "celebrated with full liturgical ceremony."   Along this line, Principia's Founder Mrs. Kimball Morgan said: "Seek to find deeper joy in your work. One can be deeply in earnest and at the same time spiritually light-hearted." Education at The Principia, 222]  So now that we have [more thoroughly and joyously] prayed the sixth tenet (S30) together, let's go out and live the kingdom of heaven - by following [and celebrating] Christ's example -- today!

[PSST: It's never too late for inspiring insights and questions for Sunday School!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Christ Jesus" for 8-19-10
By John Biggs, C.S. of Bend, OR
This lesson is a very active one. Its parables are all about giving a story with vivid imagery so that folks can be shown what Truth is, instead of just being told about it.  These sample or "starter" questions for the lesson revolve around asking students (and teachers!) what they have been doing and what they can go out and demonstrate this coming week.  Luke 20:38 states: "For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him."  LIVE IT!  (As Lindsey mentioned in her Lesson Met, "LIVE IT!" is not only a theme of this week's Bible Lesson, but also the theme for the Discovery Bound leadership conference over Labor Day weekend!  Even if you can't attend, how great to get to metaphysically support the teens and adults who are gathering at the A/U Ranches to learn more about "living it!")
 
Golden Text:  [To a resident of Missouri, the "Show-Me State", it seems like Sections 1-4 are all about our coming to Jesus and listening to his teachings, and Sections 5 & 6 are all about following those teachings as set forth in the 6th Tenet of Christian Science (S30)]
What are benefits of simply showing and living something (like Christian Science) versus trying to explain it? 
John 1:43-46 details an episode of Jesus receiving disciples.  Philip was called by Jesus, and he was so enthused about his words that he went to his friend Nathanael to tell him about Jesus.  Nathanael was a little skeptical about anything good coming from Jesus' hometown, and yet, instead of trying to convince Nathanael with so many words about Jesus' goodness, Philip simply asked him to "Come and see."  Are we living lives, or even moments, where someone could "come and see" the good work of God, instead of just being told about it?
 
Responsive Reading:  [Another "I will shew you" parable about building on the rock!]
What qualities does a rock embody?  How can we express and build on one of those qualities in a new way this week?  Would you be willing to stand up and say "I trust in the Christ" no matter what popular opinion or diagnoses said, as Peter did when he confidently went beyond what the other disciples were saying?
 
Section 1:  [Looking for a cure for fatigue or feeling tired? Citation B1 shows us how by merely moving the "i" (or sense if identity) to the right in the word "tired" it becomes tried! A tried stone or tried and true rock that is sustainably strong and invigorated.]
Try applying citation B2 to yourself-especially about being God's servant in whom His "soul delighteth".]  
(B3) Are you waiting for good, or living in heaven now?  How?  [Share ways you can now see God's "kingdom at hand."]
Citation B4 about the door of the sheepfold could be a fun skit to put on, especially with younger students.  [They especially enjoy the ideas shared in Song of our Syrian Guest about how confident and obedient an otherwise fearful flock of sheep is when they follow their shepherd's voice to charge a wolf when it approaches.  A wolf will usually choose to run off instead of being trampled. What fear-inducing "wolf" should you be obedient and confident in charging?]
(S4)  What would growing "into that stature of manhood in Christ Jesus" look like?  
Citation S5 about readiness is a great question that already provides for some introspection!
 
Section 2: (B7)  [It's nice to have Jesus, "the best man that ever trod this planet", (S&H 364:2) show us his key to success by deflecting all sense of personal pride when he is called "Good Master" by saying "Why callest thou me good?" It's also great that Jesus states Commandments #5-#9 to help our classes start a new Sunday School year. Click here to help SHOW students how to apply these and all the Commandments that are a Manual-directed part of our SS curriculum. (Manual, 62:24) In Barry Huff's podcast on the 5th Commandment, he states: "Since God is described in the Old Testament as both Father and Mother, this commandment can also be seen as urging us to honor God even when we think we have everything under control. In fact, the Hebrew verb translated in this commandment as "honor" can also mean "give weight to" and "glorify," and it's often used to describe the reverence with which we should treat God (BDB; cf. Childs 418-419 and Brueggemann 847). To hear this podcast in full go to http://www.tmcyouth.com/downloads/audio/huff-commandments-05.mp3 Q. Even when everything looks under control do you obey this aspect of the 5th Commandment by always giving God the honor, like Jesus did when he said: "Why callest thou me good?" (Matt. 19:17); and "I of mine own self do nothing." (John 5:30)] 
(B7 cont.)  What can we "sell" this week, to be able to further understand our "treasure in heaven?"   How would you have responded if you were that scribe who approached Jesus?  
(B9)  What grit in your experience is helping you pour layer upon layer of love to turn it into something of great value?  (Pearls are formed by an oyster getting a little dirt or grit inside its shell, and through constant "love" and rolling and turning the grit, out comes a beautiful pearl!)  
(S6)  As a class, can you write a parable, showing some fresh aspect of God's kingdom?  
Going along with citation B7, but another way to put it, citation S7 asks what time-honored system can we forsake this week.  
Look outside the chalk for citation S9 (239:7-10) and discuss the role these 3 points play in your life.  Can you improve in them?
 
Section 3:  Do you have any enemies (or is someone / something treating YOU as an enemy) that you could practice on using citation B10?  Check out this video on tmcyouth.com about this beloved parable:
 
We talk a lot about the great and noble works Jesus did, yet in citation S12 we also get pointed to the importance of the simple humanity of Jesus.
Is there a way you can express the "humanity of Jesus" sometime this week?  
(S13)  Think of something you think you really need.  How can citation S13 open this up for you and help you spiritualize your thought?  
Citation S14 is all about being kind.  What's one, NEW way you can be kind this week?  
(S15)  What does it mean to seek your own in another's good?
 
Section 4:  With the example of citation B14, discuss how much of a role faith has in healing (from both the standpoints of the patient and the practitioner).  
(B15)  Draw a comic or cartoon detailing this parable of the mustard seed and the birds.
 (S17)  This week, how can you let your faith "enlarge its borders and strengthen its base?"
 
Section 5:  Who can you forgive this week?  The word forgive includes the idea of giving up any idea that we are owed something.  Citation S21 is familiar.  If we forgive our debtors, then we HAVE no debtors.  Can we give up any belief that the dream of matter owes us anything (good or bad) AND that we owe matter anything (supposedly breaking a material law and then suffering for it)?  
(S23)  If you were on a secret mission (under the authority of Divine Mercy, Inc.), how would you destroy error?  Can you draw a comic, or write a skit or script, detailing the story (or parable) of how you destroyed error and illustrated the "pardon of divine mercy?"  
(S24)  Step outside your comfort zone and discuss how you could demonstrate "lifting humanity above itself."
 
Section 6:  (B18) Talk about any time you have "watched" and been grateful you did!  Citation S29 has 2 "musts" in it.  Why does Mrs. Eddy say we MUST do this?  Do you want to?  What would it look like?  Can anyone else tell you what you have to look like when you're following those "honest hearts?"  (S30)  Rewrite this familiar tenet in words or themes that really strike a chord, today, with you individually.
 
This lesson is for you!  What a springboard to leap ever higher and farther, breaking the dream of mortal fetters and seeing God's infinite goodness, expressed through parables, healings, good works, and kind words!

[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletters are provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who are being blessed this 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).   (Keep returning to the blog--http://blog.cedarscamps.org/-- for more pictures and write-ups on CedarS Bible Lands Park.) For those of you wanting to see CedarS new Bible Lands Park first-hand, there are still some few places left in the Midwest Bible Conference being put on at CedarS by Bible Studies Seminars from Sept. 16-19, 2010!)

Special Announcements:
1) Registration has now opened for Cedars 50th anniversary jubilee in 2011, and all Cedars alumni and supporters are warmly invited!  To learn how you can participate in this special celebration, please visit www.cedarscamps.org/50th
2) You can download a pdf version of CedarS Lesson mets for easier printing and for better reading from mobile devices.
3) You can now use Visa and Mastercard directly (without going through PayPal) to make monthly and one-time donations and to submit tuition payments for programs.
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!  To support CedarS work you can make a charitable donation to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization in many wonderful ways.  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 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.
[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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