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Treasure this pre-Valentine "Love letter" to you!

John Biggs, C.S., St. Louis, Missouri
Posted Monday, January 24th, 2011

[Treasure this pre-Valentine "Love letter" to you!]
CedarS Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on "Love" for January 30, 2011
By John Biggs, CS 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 will 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]
 
You are so deeply loved! [In life's "Love story" the angels of your "higher self" are always actively "pursuing" you , even if you run from them, because Love exists to be totally connected with the real you and to have you respond back and live happily ever after as "Love...  reflected in love" (S&H 17:7). Be open every hour to feel embraced-fully known and hugged--by God's tender mercies!] What better way to start [and spend] each day?!  Let's see some of the ways our dear Father-Mother loves you. [Long to be a witness to all of God's compassion around you--and to add to it this week by being all-inclusive and outreaching!]  Start with this week's lesson, and continue from there to bless all in your path each day! How great is that?!  ["The Girl of My Dreams" by Zach is a divine Love story reprinted in My Bible Lesson this week from the whole article in the Christian Science Sentinel of Sept. 20, 2010. It ends with St. Paul's definition of love: "'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.'  (I Cor. 13:4-7, New International Version). I think when we find love like this, the only real and divine type, our smiles will never fade."]
 
Golden Text
There's a psalm which includes this description of God's commands: "let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." (Psalms 33:8, 9) Let's apply to this week's Golden Text that promise of how steadfast God's word is [and God's love is]. If God commands His loving-kindness in the daytime, then it will always be there. There's no place in your day which could not include Love's ever presence. Check out Mrs. Eddy's definition of "DAY" in the Glossary of Science and Health [p. 584] to see what sort of day you truly go through! [and do go through it, even if your path lies "through the valley of the shadow of death" knowing I need "fear no evil, for Love is with me; Love's rod and Love's staff they comfort me." (adapted from Ps. 23:4 and S&H 578:10 ]  
We continue in the Golden Text to see that "in the night His song shall be with me." What sort of song do you think God would sing? We all have our own favorite music. The ringtone on my cell phone is one of my favorite songs - every time my phone rings, I'm just so filled with joy and this helps me remember that whoever I'm going to speak with is already deeply loved; is the very image of God, whether it's a patient, a friend I've made plans with, or even a wrong number! Why do you like your favorite music? What does it make you feel like; what images does that music bring up in your thought? Imagine that it's God's [Love] song, and it's always with you - after all, Her commands are never able to be broken! God's love is easily symbolized as a song. Let's look for more symbols of God's love in this week's Bible lesson, and see if we can recognize those symbols (and more!) daily for ourselves.
 
Responsive Reading
This could be looked at as a partial list of why this psalmist loves God, and some of the things he or she does to express that love. Do you ever consider those things? For three seasons, I worked at 100 Elk Outdoor Center (the fall and spring outdoor education center offered by the Adventure Unlimited Ranches) and every morning before the students arrived or woke up, we had a metaphysical meeting among the staff. These half-hour meetings were led by each of the staff, rotating through all of us at least twice in the season. One of my favorite activities in this cherished time was when we took familiar passages from the Bible or Science and Health (such as the Daily Prayer, the Scientific Statement of Being, or a short Bible story) and put them in our own words, fresh and immediately meaningful for each of us individually, while still maintaining the essentials of the passages. This activity reinforced the idea that all of these truths are timeless and that God's love never runs out - always applies! This Responsive Reading could be a wonderful passage to try that out on, this week. For instance, on verse 19, I might say: Show me the moments of opportunity: my love and trust in You, Father, shows me that I can never miss out on Your good! Enjoy trying this out for yourself, with this and any favorite passage!
 
Section 1 - No matter what, we're loved.
There's no opinion we can have, no prediction we can make, or past we can fear (or rely on) that will make us more or less the object of Love. Several of the Christian Science camps, including CedarS, sing part of Psalm 139 (B3) during their sessions. I'm so glad for this, because the theme of this psalm is such a reassurance. This citation also includes one more verse than is usually sung in the camp song ["Whither"], and this verse really brings home the irrelevancy of our opinions and fears. Imagine it: the psalmist is proclaiming that even the night itself can be light. I liken this to any situation in which I may be predicting something less than the harmony of Love.
 
I've caught myself many times, expecting to not do well at something. At the end of December, I was going snowboarding with my wife and father-in-law, and I was pretty nervous. I was at the top of the hill (the easiest hill, no less) slowly convincing myself to get ready for a fall and to try and make sure that when I fell, I was out of the sight of my wife or father-in-law. No need to be embarrassed as well as bruised, right?! I hopped up, and all of a sudden, I laughed out loud, realizing what I had been doing. There was absolutely no joy, no love in any of these thoughts! Instead of basing my present moment on fear and bad expectations (however grounded they seemed to be in past events), I could just "[snowboard] with Love along the way!" (I'm paraphrasing from Hymn 139.) Love is ever-present (as we see presented in citation S2, for instance) and shouldn't that infinite Love include a happy, safe, and even instructional day snowboarding? We all went on to have a marvelous day - super fun, safe, and I even improved in my technique a bit because I wasn't afraid to push myself - to see myself as the expression of Love. This was a great example for me that there is nothing outside of God's love - "If I ascend up into heaven [or to the top of the run], Thou art there!"
 
Section 2 - Listen to Love, trust Love, love being led by Love
I love how these Bible citations are all so wrapped up together. You can't separate trust in God (as mentioned in citation B5) from committing to listening to and following God (B6). The beginning of the [love] story of Ruth is a lovely example of how trust and love can be demonstrated. At this point in the story, there hasn't been a solid justification yet for why Ruth should stick with Naomi. If Ruth had made a "pro and con" list to help her make the decision of whether or not to go with Naomi, that reasoning probably would have been highly in favor of staying in Moab. However, loving God doesn't include making one's own list of justifications. Ruth clearly felt impelled, by irresistible Love, to follow her mother-in-law to this new country, new people, and new beliefs. From her last statement in this citation, it seems clear that Ruth hadn't previously really, consciously worshipped and known God (as worshipped by the Israelites). Isn't it wonderful that no matter our supposed past, social standing, culture, or experience, infinite Love speaks in ways we can hear and understand? No one is outside God.
 
If you have a January 2011 Christian Science Journal handy, you may enjoy reading George Moffett's article on page 50, called "The Practical Paradox of Prayer." It goes along beautifully with the theme of the citations from Science and Health. No matter how heavy or intense error seems to be - no matter what justifications appear to defend the solidity and permanence of inharmony, lack, or fear - the truth of Love resounds its call: "To infinite, ever-present Love, all is Love, and there is no error, no sin, sickness, nor death." (S10) Citation S11 ["There are no vacuums."] isn't a distress call from Amy (the amazing director of housekeeping at CedarS) or from any other cleaning department! It's a reaffirmation of the old Sunday School lesson, "There is no spot where God is not."  Live your day from THAT standpoint, instead of trying to figure out what to do next, based on so many justifications of limited mortal sense.
 
Section 3 - Love with fresh eyes and hearts
We now get to see the middle of Ruth's [love] story. Perhaps you've read the illustrated children's book, published by the Christian Science Publishing Society, about Ruth. I know I had it when I was in elementary school. Regardless, you are probably familiar with the story as a whole. It may even seem to be nothing more than a fanciful respite from a hectic day - "But what could this feel-good story mean for ME?" could be a valid response from a reader. But let's take a moment to read this story anew, fresh, for the first time. Imagine this young, foreign woman, whose only employment is following field laborers in the hopes that they'll drop some excess corn. This is not a future-focused job, or anything that any career guidance counselor would recommend that anyone do. I doubt that this was what Ruth imagined would happen when she selflessly followed her mother-in-law. (Remember, we are reading this fresh - we don't know what's going to happen next with her.) As she continues on, faithfully gathering corn so she and Naomi could have dinner, she is demonstrating what Mrs. Eddy talks about in citation S14. She is living the idea of daily bread: not asking for tomorrow, accepting what is given today, not fearing the past or the future. Well, her dedicated work is noticed, and she is given the surety of safety and ample provision from her labors [thanks to handfuls from God left on purpose]. Notice how her commitment to Naomi is now being given back to her, in the commitment of being able to work in this one field, as much as she wants.
 
I've loved the idea recently that God doesn't work in boxes. God does not show His love - does not limitedly exist - within the confines of human imagination. He is LOVE itself. Think of that! It's a wonderful thing, to get to set moments aside every day and just love God - love His finished work, love the fact that "each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love." (S15) Ruth didn't seem to waste time explaining to God what the problem was and then let Him know a list of bullet-points that would make up the solution. She just kept loving her mother-in-law and getting food to eat. She persisted in her commitment, and didn't withhold her love based on the situation. [No "situational ethics" for her or for us, rather unconditional Love!] Essentially, Ruth lived unconditional love. Let's practice that today too! Perhaps we can pick a time together - how about 2 pm Pacific Standard Time (PST)? Daily, this whole week? We can each promise to take a moment, examine what we're doing, and see how we can express unconditional love right then and there. Let's enjoy practicing seeing ourselves as the expressions of infinite, happy, full, inspired, divine Love. We can all [mentally] gather at that beautiful water fountain mentioned in citation S16! What is wonderful is that, as pointed out in citations S18 and S19, we AREN'T waiting at a dry water fountain. Love doesn't travel through time, or through pre-ordained hardships, before it finally reaches you. Love is HERE. How do I know? Because Love is always expressed, and you are here - the expression of Love. Where any of God's ideas are, there is all of God expressed.
 
Section 4 - You are never alone!
Now we come to the conclusion of Ruth's [love] story (at least, as shared in the Bible - I'm sure she had many adventures with little Obed and eventually her rascally great-grandson David!!). The symbolism and story-telling in these Bible citations of course is using the metaphor of being newly married to express the infinite joy, delight and care-taking that is expressed in Love. Perhaps your prayer actually is, quite specifically, to meet someone romantically, or to welcome a child into your life. Maybe even just to find a new friend. Well, we have a pretty clear promise in citation B14 - "God setteth the solitary in families." The word translated as families in this instance, also has great connotations of home, household, and temple, elsewhere in the Bible (from my Online Bible Study guide, available here http://www.online-bible.com/maconlinebible.html ). So, this statement also has great promise for anyone feeling challenged with the housing market, or even struggling with their church family. I've loved the idea in citation S20 - it reinforces the idea for me that God isn't wading through time to get to us. Love isn't waiting "out there" for you to "get it right." As we persist in our practice of unconditional love, that dedication to Love Herself will keep unfolding the day for us. You may enjoy checking out the article "Unreasonable love?" by Susan Dane Gilroy, from the 1989 October Christian Science Journal. (Your local Reading Room can help you in this!) Citations S21-23 showcase a wonderful collection of qualities to be expected and loved in yourself and those around you. And citation S24 shows us that Love isn't just the goal, it's the whole journey and guide! ["Love inspires (breathes into, infuses with life and ideas), illumines (enlightens, causes to understand), designates (marks out the path, indicates the right direction), and leads the way" (guides by the hand, goes before us.) (S24) (Student's Reference Dictionary -- SRD)
 
Section 5 - Love knows no bounds. Let's not believe that there are any restrictions!
Of course there is so much to learn about Love, as well, from Jesus' healings. The healing in citation B20 is especially enlightening for me because it is a healing of much more than the physical circumstance. Jesus entered the city at exactly the right moment to meet this funeral procession. Since this young man was the only means of support his mother had, this was certainly a healing for her as well. And at the conclusion of this [divine Love] story, all the people glorify God. That itself is worthy of note - this act of love, illuminating every aspect of this situation, is not personal or limited in scope - and this is recognized by all those around. Do we remember to give the glory and praise to God, in every situation? Citation S26 reminds us of the indissoluble fact of God's ever present being [with "no lapse from nor return to harmony" S&H 470:32]. Love has already made you whole - in every way you can imagine, and then some! Isn't it great that in this lesson on Love, there is also such a clear focus on Life?  I used to think of the synonyms as "slices of the pie," where God was represented by a big strawberry rhubarb pie. Life was one slice, and Love was next, and maybe I didn't get enough Soul today but boy my teachers sure made me eat a lot of Principle! Well, I've since discovered that the fact that God is Love means that Love is the whole pie! And ALSO Principle! And Spirit is the whole pie, as well! Have you ever heard that old quote, "Love without principle is a jellyfish, but principle without love is an iceberg?" It's meant to encourage folks to be balanced in their dealings with others. I don't mean to take away someone else's inspiration if they really love this quote! But, I wanted to dig a bit deeper, the first time I heard it, and what I discovered was that Love without Principle ISN'T Love. Our expressions of God get to include the entirety of good - let's not limit ourselves in thinking that we can't live out this fullness. Love, as witnessed and loved by Jesus, helped the community in Nain see more of Life expressed - because Love and Life are the same. [As Mrs. Eddy says in her poem entitled Love: "Fed by the love divine we live, for Love alone is Life. And life most sweet as heart to heart speaks kindly when we meet and part." Hymn 30]
Would you like to focus on really loving Life [and on speaking kindly], this week, with me? What [else] will that mean for you? Let God's infinite love guide you in how Life is to be lived![Mrs. Eddy gives several practical ideas for putting love into action: "Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power. ... it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; .... I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results." Misc. 250:16]
 
Section 6 - Love: the real deal, "nothing but the Truth [so help me God."]
It's so good to thank God, to love God! Think of someone you love. Makes you smile, right? If you keep on thinking of them, I bet you'll find yourself talking to them in your thought, or maybe starting to write a letter or email - maybe you're even putting this met on pause and calling them right now! And, oh boy, if you get to see them - fantastic. Now, turn that focus to God. Right here, praise Him, love Him! And here's the best part of all: She is right here! Citation B23 hits the nail on the head. This week, can we practice being "persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our lord?" If "thoroughly persuaded" sounds like too tall an order for all day, how about starting with being persuaded for five minutes? Later, we'll go for five and a half minutes. The great thing is, since God IS here, now, forever, you don't have to worry that at some time a seeming lack of understanding could somehow hurt your status with God. You're His sheep, beloved, watched over, and that's that. Citation S29 says it's just "ignorance and false belief" which seem to mess things up. Isn't it great, that it's just an imposition from the outset that you could ever feel separated from Love?
 
Do you like to read the synopsis of a movie or book, to see what it's about, in the basic sense? Well, the last sentence of citation S29 will be a real treat for you. The doctrine of Christian Science is laid out, plain and simple. All facts, not subject to human opinion or changing times. "Divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object..." You can never be apart from Love. Citation S30 closes off this amazing lesson with such a solid, clear fact. I love that Truth doesn't have anything to do with opinion, education, background, supposed age, social status...it is true and that's that. You are dearly loved. Right now. Let's close off this lesson and open the rest of the day with the lasting joy of being the loved of Love!
 

 

[Please help CedarS keep a 50th season New Year's resolution to reach out to all the "un-camped" students enrolled in Christian Science Sunday Schools across the world.  In the United States they apparently outnumber Sunday School students who attend 1 of the 6 camps for Christian Scientists in North America by more than 2 to 1. Experience shows that "CS-camped" children who are given the laboratory experience of putting their training from their homes and Sunday Schools into joyous practice in a "24-7" Christian-Science-laboratory experience at camp want to continue to make Christian Science their own. Therefore, please tell all the "un-camped" families you know about our work; and if possible let us know about them and their email and/or other contact information. We will gladly send them--and you--a DVD, plus show host info for over 40 CedarS shows being scheduled and everything needed to help get "un-camped" students to camp -- from info on our programs for all ages; to session dates and rates; to online enrollment info; to transportation;  to financial aid forms; and more as needed.]

 

 
 
[CEDARS weekly "Mets" or Metaphysical Newsletters are provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each 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 needed: to cover the costs of running this "free" service; to provide camperships to make inspirational opportunities possible for deserving youth; and to help our facilities keep pace with our mission.]
Thanks to a matching pledge, if CedarS can raise $50,000 by next summer for our "Adopt the Herd" Riding Fund, a donor will match those gifts to cover the needs of feeding, shoeing and caring for our large and cherished herd of horses!  OF COURSE, donations are always needed and welcome for camperships -especially for the "uncamped"--because without campers there would be no camp!  Funds are also being gratefully realized and spent to complete parts of CedarS Bible Lands Park (BLP) including our new Mediterranean Sea!  We're happy to share more details if you wish to help these divine ideas come to fruition!] 

[However it comes, your support is always very welcome and tax-deductible --but during the economic downturn, your generous, unrestricted gifts have been--and continue to be--more needed and appreciated than ever!  You can give charitable gifts to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization in many ways.
1)     Thanks in advance for GIVING ONLINE! Just click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make monthly and one-time donations to CedarS' Camperships, "Maintenance Musts", "Mets", Bible Lands Park, "Mediterranean Sea", Unrestricted or Endowment Funds.  Our international supporters can give to CedarS via PayPal using built-in currency exchange rates by filling in an amount under International Donors and clicking on the "Donate Online" button.
2)     Checks are also great and especially appreciated on a monthly basis! Please make them payable to "CedarS Camps" and mail them to: CedarS Camps Office, 1314 Parkview Valley, Ballwin, MO 63011;
3)     Please call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to discuss gifts of IRAs, stocks, other securities or property you are considering giving in order to help underwrite CedarS spiritual growth and progress.
4)     CedarS can almost always use late-model mini-vans, Suburbans and trucks, with lower mileage, in good condition, either 4-wheel or 2-wheel drive. Please email office@cedarscamps.org or call 636-394-6162 to discuss your vehicle, its transfer and tax-deductible gift acknowledgement.  Letting this need be known recently brought about a donation of a wonderful, late-model Suburban from Minnesota!
5) Many friends and churches have already made a profound impact on CedarS past, present and future by choosing to fund ongoing legacies of love and support. Tax-saving strategies for planned gifts and enabling wording for bequests, life income gifts, and beneficiary designations can be set up by CedarS Trustee Emeritus Bill Merritt who is a planned giving professional.]
 
 [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.]
 
[You can click on the pdf symbol (at the right of the webpage) to download a pdf version of CedarS Lesson mets for easier reading and printing from mobile devices.]

[Enjoy!    Warren Huff, Executive Director   director@cedarscamps.org]


[PSST: You are dearly loved!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
Love for the week of January 24-30, 2011
by Tom Evans, Jr. of St. Louis, MO
PSST for Golden Text & RR
What does God's song in the night sound like? You may have a special song or favorite hymn you sing to comfort you.  What does God's song feel like?  How should you expect to feel after hearing God's song in a time of trouble?  Does this comforting feeling have to come in the form of a song?  The class might be able to find ideas to fill this comforting niche from this week's lesson.
Often when people in the Old Testament refer to God they qualify God or prove God's tangibility with phrases like "God of my father" (6 times in the KJV or King James Version) or God of specific patriarchs like Abraham (17 times), Isaac (8 times), Jacob (25 times) etc.  It was commonly believed that there were other pagan gods out there.  God had to be identified and distinguished from the so-called "other gods."  The phrase "God of Israel" shows up 201 times in the KJV.  What is the significance of the phrase "God of my life" in the Golden Text?  This psalm writer is basing the existence of God on the experiences of his or her own life.  Can you find examples of God's love in your life?
What elements from the Responsive Reading (RR) support the verse from 1 John 4:16 "God is love"?  Go through the RR and underline all of the examples of God's loving care.  If no one will be using the quarterly for this week again, give each of the students a quarterly to underline in.  Ask them to do this neatly so they are not in the habit of doodling all over the quarterly.  (Make sure this is okay with the rest of the Sunday School first.) How many examples of God's love do they find here? (12? 13? 14?)  How do people respond?  Without fear (v 6), with praise (v 19), with rejoicing and gladness (v 24), with delight (94:19)...  Can they tie this back into the "God of my life"?
 
PSST for Section 1
Where have we seen citation B1 before? B2: Is God this present in our lives? Can you refer to "God of my life" like the Golden Text? We know that the response to B2 (Jeremiah 23: 23 and 24) is "no, we can't hide from God. God is not far away. God is here now and always."In fact, B3 and B4 are like the answer to the questioning point of view presented in B2. How can you (that's right teachers, you) use B3 and B4 to respond to the doubts and fears of peers and conversations with strangers? They may be voiced in statements of lack, yet they are rooted in doubts about God's presence in their lives and authority over situations. "I don't like work / school." "My boss / friend doesn't like me." Teachers, you might think about this yourself this week and come up with ideas specific for the age of your class. Section 1 is packed full of ideas to handle lack.
B4 states, "with lovingkindness have I [God] drawn thee [people]. "Drawn" has many meanings. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance lists "drawn" as the Hebrew word mashak (pronounced maw-shak). It can mean to sow, sound, prolong, develop, give, handle, or make. God does these things to us. Wow, think about God "sounding" us like a trumpet. Your students might enjoy learning how to use Strong's concordance. Here it is online if you don't have the big book handy: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H4900&t=KJV (Click the number next to the word you want to research. "Drawn" = 4900.)
When I was first learning to read, my brother and I learned about "Amelia Bedelia" and her attempts to clean up a house. She often misinterpreted the tasks she was given with unique and entertaining outcomes for young readers. Once she ended up "drawing" the drapes with a pen and paper instead of "drawing" them shut. S3 describes infinite Love. Give your students a pencil and paper. Ask them to write about or even draw infinite Love with S3 in mind. See what unfolds.
When copying a computer drive from onto a backup drive you are "imaging" it. This backup or the original computer file could still be lost or the files corrupted. Compare this to spiritual man and God (S4). In S5, what does Mrs. Eddy mean by "reduce to practice the real man's divine Principle, Love"? Throughout the lesson this week, Love is described as "divine Principle." How does this change your perception of Love? S6 is not talking about physical light, right? What does this sentence refer to? (Understanding) S6 seems like the counter-fact for darkness. What forms does darkness seem to take in your life? What is the "light" which illumines this dark experience? Give specific examples.
 
PSST for Section 2
(B6) In Psalms 143:1 the speaker is making a request of God. Do you think we have to ask God to be God? You can refer back to section 1.
Think about handling grief. Naomi and Ruth had to deal with a strong sense of loss. Ruth must have been very courageous to go to a new land. Think about the kindness of Naomi. Ruth must have really trusted her.
When we are tempted to ask, "Why are all of these problems happening to me" how can the situation be turned around?  You can turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones S8. Becoming an adult is not about growing older. It's about growing stronger by handling trials. S&H 10 Discuss the idea that "Truth and Love come nearer in the hour of woe."  
When you approach that darkest hour, you know mortal mind is about to break. When a problem seems like it is at its worst, this is when the false belief can be easily destroyed. People may not think so at the time. Take a look at page 565 of Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy writes, "In the Apocalypse, when nearing its doom, this evil increases and becomes the great red dragon, swollen with sin, inflamed with war against spirituality, and ripe for destruction." Have your class find situations which seem hopeless and then discuss how to pray about them. Draw metaphysical ideas from this section.
 
PSST for Section 3
B10 what is the connection between trusting God, doing the right thing, and being provided for? Do we obey God just so we can get rich? Is it possible to trust God and not do the right thing? Are we provided for if we are not trusting God? Yes, right? Why does this happen? Is it still important to trust and honor God? Why?
B12 "Her hap" is the Old English way of saying "her luck." Modern translations phrase it, "As it turned out" (NIV) or "Now it happened" (God's Word translation).  Do you really think it was luck or coincidence that Naomi wound up in the fields of a good man instead of a dangerous group of men? How would Ruth and Naomi have prayed when they were listening for direction?
Gleaning is picking up the last little bit that no one else was willing to harvest. She was really working hard. Look at S17 and think about "patience in tribulation" as the "nutriment" of the heart. A dictionary might be helpful too. Going back to S15, Mrs. Eddy described material hopes as unfertile ground for spiritual development. The metaphorical seeds she described do not even begin to sprout, they simply decay. This citation has loads of symbolism to be unpacked and discussed in class, especially when connected to the story of Ruth.
Ruth says to Boaz, "Why have I found grace in thine eyes?" Go over the story with your class and talk about this, what qualities did she express? Why did she find grace in Boaz's eyes? Boaz sounds like a very righteous man. Listen to the way he spoke in verse 12. He was not only being nice to Ruth, he was also connecting her actions to holy work. "The Lord recompense thy work." Wow, look that one up. Boaz was a pretty unselfish man too. How did he watch out for Ruth?
Think about the permanence of the good qualities promised in B13. How were they displayed in the story of Ruth? One might argue that this time of prosperity can come and go. Isaiah 54 argues that God's goodness cannot "be removed." What do your students think?
Continuing with the idea of growth through overcoming trials, does your class agree with S14? Can they back it up with examples? How about S15? Can they apply S16 through S19 to help substantiate an experience from their own life to prove S14 and S15? Where have they seen S19 before? (On the walls of most Christian Science churches.) Why do you think this passage was chosen?
 
PSST for Section 4
Think about God's role in your life. How does it compare with the description in B14 - B16?
B17 Wow, better than seven sons! What an honor for Ruth in a patriarchal society. Ruth and Boaz must have been a very unselfish couple. They must have blessed all kinds of people besides Naomi. What is the significance of blessing Israel with Obed, and eventually David? Can your class make this connection?
Look at all of the qualities listed in S21. Can you match up the qualities with Ruth and Boaz? Your class might even make a chart for Ruth and Boaz and how they expressed them. You might want to have definitions ready to go for younger classes. S22 Think about unselfish ambition vs. the ambition which is supposed to guide a business person. Don't suggest that all business people are selfish. Greed shows up in headlines more often than we would like. How could you counteract the prominence of greed in the economy with S22?
How could S23 be a protection against divorce? S24 Some people think there is more freedom in living together when they are not married. Think about right motives giving "strength and freedom to speech and action." How would you speak with friends who are planning to or are already living this way without judging or condemning them? Teachers, you can think about this with adult friends too.
 
PSST for Section 5
S26 "The relations of God and man are indestructible." How does this related to B14 - 16 in the last section and to Jesus' healing of the man from Nain in B20? Can your class make a connection between S26, God's relation to man, and the rest of Section 5, overcoming death? How does B19 fit into this concept? (Jesus has compassion)
PSST for Section 6
How do the obstacles presented in Paul's letter to the Romans B23 compare with the expansiveness of Love in S3? Make a connection between overcoming trials in sections 2 and 3 and Paul's sense of spiritual authority in B23. Your students might understand Paul's list of material obstacles in modern English a little more clearly. Try the NIV for starters: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%208:%2035-39&version=NIV
In this week's CedarS Met John Biggs compares S29 to a movie synopsis. "This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object." If people are God's manifestation, what does this passage tell us?  How do healings work? Does it have something to do with getting closer to God? Mrs. Eddy says clearly that there is only one Mind. On page 301 of Science and Health she writes "The belief that man has any other substance, or mind, is not spiritual and breaks the First Commandment, Thou shalt have one God, one Mind." How can understanding that we are not separated from God help in times of need? There is a big theme that sticks out in section 6. Can your students find it? (We are never separated from God. See S30.) What do we have to get rid of, and what do we need to understand in S30 if we want to grow spiritually?

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