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Impart truth, health and happiness for salvation from ...!

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
Posted Monday, October 3rd, 2011

["Impart truth, health and happiness" for salvation from all unreal enemies! (My. 165)]
CedarS MET, Metaphysical Application Ideas, for:  Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for October 3-9, 2011by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director and Newsletter Editor]


[Editor's Note: Your financial support is needed and much appreciated especially since CedarS weekly "Mets" or Metaphysical Newsletters, Possible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) and Possible Younger Class Lessons (PYCLs) are all provided free of 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 weekly find these "Mets", PSSTs and PYCLs on our website or through CS Directory.  The following application ideas for this week and the possible Sunday School ideas that will follow are offered primarily to help us all 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 and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at 
www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
 The Golden Text says it all, answers the [lesson] question right off! The lesson really focuses on salvation, and deliverance from three seemingly big enemies of human existence: sin, disease and death. The Responsive Reading (RR) Psalm 56 was written about a time when David was captured by the Philistines and Psalm 18 (which contains the verses of a favorite CedarS camp song), is singing in gratitude for David's deliverance from Saul and other enemies of the time. [Together Ps. 56:3 and 103:13 give a Biblical answer to the lesson question as well: God: "forgiveth all thy iniquities (sins), healeth all thy diseases" and "delivered my soul from death". The RR Bible verses (from Ps. 18) are repeated in citations B11 and B20 and are also sung as the 4th song on CedarS 50th Jubilee Benefit CD, "CedarS Around the Clock." Click for details.]  In studying the rest of the lesson, we get to see wonderful examples of how these "enemies" of purity, harmony and immortality are overcome. When we see references in the Bible to saving us from our enemies, even when it may be meant literally in battle situations, it is also helpful to think of these "rescues" figuratively. What kind of enemies do we face today? What forms of sin are challenging to you? This is an opportunity to be completely honest with ourselves as we are each day when we pray our Leader's Daily Prayer "...and rule out of me all sin..." [Manual, 41] As Christian Scientists we don't focus undue attention on sin, lest we become overwhelmed or obsessed with it. Rather, we make an effort to overcome anything that would attempt to come between us and Love that would tempt us to keep our view of ourselves earth-bound, fettered and imprisoned by limitation. Mrs. Eddy makes it very clear in her writings that the most important thing about the Christ and the "higher mission of the Christ-power" and of Christian Science is the healing and overcoming of sin. [see S&H 150:12] Why do you think that is? I think it's because sin in any form tends to keep us bound to the belief that life consists of existence in matter, and matter naturally becomes sick and dies. There you have it, those three big "enemies", and the key to all three is to overcome the belief in the reality and necessity of sin.
 
Section 1:  God is The Source.
With God as the source of all that is real (and God is all good), then there can be no source for sin, disease and death.  As Christian Scientists we take a rather unusual view of what constitutes reality and maybe an even more unconventional view of what is unreal!  But our understanding of these things has its source in the Bible.  Citation B4 includes the statement that "...they shall be as nothing:" when referring to those that might be called enemies (italics added).  If sin, disease and death are indeed real, then God must be their source and we would have to either regard God as a rather heartless being, or a being that made a mistake creating a sinning, dying mortal man. Citation S1 directly addresses this thought.
We have a neighbor that has been very challenging at times to live next door to. One way in which he expresses his displeasure with us is to put some humongous speakers on the porch facing our house and play very loud and sometimes offensive music for many hours at a time. He's been doing this for years and I've come to a point of peace in my thought with this.  In fact we make it a rule in our family that we don't even comment on the music if he's playing it.  We just work to listen for an accurate view of this fellow.  About a month ago we were away from home quite a bit for about a week, only arriving about eight at night and leaving the next day at about 7:15 in the morning.  But most nights I would arrive home and the music would be blasting.  Usually he plays it when he sees my husband's truck drive up, but that week my husband's truck was parked in the driveway all week.  I imagine he assumed that Doug was home all this time, when in fact he was actually not at home all week.  It made me think about the fact that the music was blaring, but no one was home to hear.  Just so, an enemy can bear you malice, or as the Psalmist put it, they can be "incensed" against you, but if you genuinely don't respond, even in your heart, you remain at peace and the malice has no place to rest.  You are recognizing the nothingness of that malice because it is without a real source.  It really made me smile to think of the beauty of the image of this music playing but no one home to hear it.  We could always be "away" in spirit and untouched by the malice of his actions.  There is no source for this malice, and no "ears" to hear it.  In the same way, if we think of the "enemy" as sin, sickness or even death, we can recognize that there is no source for these suggestions.  We can be "away" in our thought, occupied by the truth of man's nature and the source of man's being.  Mrs. Eddy puts it best in citation S5 "Being is holiness, harmony, immortality."  Holiness here is the opposite of sin, harmony the opposite of disease and immortality the opposite of death.  Our being and God's being are one; and they cannot be divided from Good.  We are truly only "home" to this Good, holiness, harmony and immortality.  This all good source gives us only harmony, not strife, warfare, hatred, ugliness, disease, etc.; these things are without a source, and so are unreal, powerless to disturb our peace. [In today's "Daily Lift" by Suzanne Riedel you can hear how love and peace are powerful "treatments" to reframe and forestall the "tricks" of difficult challenges, aggression, negativity, trauma...]
 
Section 2:  Man is His perfect creation!
While the first section dwells on God as the perfect source of all that is true and real, the second confirms that this creation and its highest idea, man, is perfect--without sin or disease, and eternal by nature.  Have you ever felt that you are just average?  Maybe you feel okay about yourself, but nothing seems special or important in any particular way.  Well take a look at citation S10 where Mrs. Eddy says "Let us accept Science, relinquish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals: and so let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence."  His models are "excellent"-- they excel!  What a thought!  No matter that you think there is nothing interesting or above average about you; you are mistaken, you are not using your true, spiritual senses to discern this!  You are excellent!  You couldn't possibly contain the desire to depart from God's path.  When it seems that you are at war with God, wanting to do what is not in line with Good, it is not you, but an unreal concept, perception of yourself.  Now that we've established the perfect source and the perfect outcome, we can go on to see more of the specific ways that these three errors present themselves to us, and especially, how we can be delivered from the temptation to see them as real!
 
Section 3:  Sin recognized and overcome, is salvation.
We can only overcome sin by finally recognizing that it has no mind of its own.  As long as we believe that there is some reward to be gained by doing something wrong, we will appear to be its victim.  In this section King David succumbs to the two-fold temptation of an obvious lust after Bathsheba, another man's wife, and the temptation to be blinded by his position of power into thinking that he was above the laws governing ordinary men.  We need only to look at the litany of politicians and other public figures that have been caught in such bad behavior to see that power can be a corrupting force if allowed.  What is it that we hope to gain from disobeying the laws of God?  Often it is simply the gratification, even in some small way, of the senses.  It is: that extra helping of dinner or dessert; that one extra slide down the slide when you've been called in; the avoidance of a chore that you know you are responsible for; the indulgence in something that we know isn't up to our highest sense of right, and usually accompanied by that serpent-like thought that "it's just not that big of a deal"!  We are all familiar with this; it is what we do in life to see temptation's unreality that matters, not what we have done wrong.  This is the beauty of this story about David.  His sins were just terrible.  Not only did he commit adultery, but he topped it off with murder when he had Uriah killed in battle.  (Not to mention attempting to fool Uriah into sleeping with Bathsheba so that he would assume that the child she was expecting belonged to him).  This was an amazing string of awful transgressions from a devoted and God-loving man.  But Nathan, the prophet, courageously pointed out to David the error of his ways; and David was immediately and humbly contrite.  We should not overlook the beauty of David's humility in this situation.  He didn't try to justify himself or to say that it didn't matter because he was king.  He was a powerful and successful man, but he quickly prayed as in Psalm 51 for a purer view of himself, a "right" sense of himself as God's perfect idea, incapable of such terrible acts.  We can learn from David that a quick and humble relinquishment of a false sense of self can bring redemption and progress to our experience.
It is worth contemplating here that Bathsheba was bathing as a part of a particular purifying ritual that Hebrew women participated in.  Symbolically, we could say that what David really desired in Bathsheba was that purity.  The false sense testimony of matter tricks us into thinking that first, we lack this purity on our own, and second, that we can gain it for ourselves in exactly the way that actually would deprive us of feeling our true sense of purity and closeness to God.  This is a form of covetousness, one that is expressly forbidden as the last of the Ten Commandments.  It is a regular trick that causes us to think that someone else has or in this case embodies something that we do not have.  This is a farce of enormous magnitude!  It spawns the desire to take what is not ours (steal), to commit adultery, as in this story, or simply to overindulge a baser instinct of any kind.  In every case, we are eventually robbed of any sense of joy that we might have temporarily gained; and we are never left satisfied or fulfilled.  Mrs. Eddy tells us in citation S11 that to repent and forsake the unreal, gives us an understanding of the unreality of evil/sin, and therefore a freedom from it!  Just as Nathan the prophet exposed to David the error of his actions, so Christian Science awakens us to our true nature and this understanding frees us from the temptation to indulge in anything that would be deemed "self destructive".  We see ourselves as so valued, so lovely and pure, that we are no longer taken in by the false promises of error [that can never deliver on its promises].  If this seems too distant from your experience, you can take heart that it has been demonstrated in many lives over the years and you are not an exception!
 
Section 4: Find more than health!
I'm always moved by the utter devotion of the friends of the palsied man in this section, and of what appears to me to be the unstoppable passion to reach the Christ which Jesus embodied. It always makes me ask myself: "am I that passionately desirous of the Christ right now?"  How about you?  Would you disassemble a building to reach the Christ, symbolically or otherwise?  Many people from every era have gone to great lengths to attain health.  Think of all the experimental medicine, alternative cures over the years, the travel to distant springs and climates and so on, all to find that illusive state of health and harmony.  So in this way, taking part of the roof off in order to find healing may not seem all that extreme.  But I can't help feeling that there was something more that this man was looking for than just health.  Maybe that's why Jesus said that his sins were forgiven him.  He was looking for purity, for a right view of himself and of God even if he might not have been able to articulate that.  This is the beauty of Christian Science.  Health and healing are a by-product of the view we get of reality, of our perfection and of God's great goodness.  One summer when I was working up at theJr. Leadership [program] as a practitioner for CedarS, one of the high school campers shared a thought that she got from one of her Sunday School teachers back home; and I have always loved the analogy.  She said that when we set out in a boat on the water, we don't set out to create a wake in the water, the wake is just a natural by-product of our progress through the water.  In the same way, health is a by-product of spiritual progress, not the goal.
I found it interesting to note that in this account, as in several others, Jesus says to the man: "thy sins are forgiven thee."  This, of course, rouses the ire of the Pharisees and scribes, because no one in their view could forgive sins but God.  Jesus answers them by saying: "whether is easier, to say Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins..."  In my studies I found that in this case he is explaining that it is easier to say "thy sins are forgiven" because there is no way to prove that this is the case; anyone could make such a claim.  But he proves that he has the authority from God to forgive sins because when he says "rise up and walk", the man does this; whereas a man who doesn't have his kind of authority couldn't bring about such a result!
Jesus reveals man's present perfection, sinlessness and immortality.  He shows through demonstration that disease, sin, even death are not the reality of man's being.  Citation S15 declares that essentially, to material sense, Christian Science is the unreal.  We disprove this by demonstrating--as Jesus did--our exemption from the so-called laws of matter.  We cannot prove the reality of Christian Science or the Christ-presence through debate or discussion, but only through demonstration.  And it is this healing power that shows the authority that God has given Her perfect reflection, man.
 
Section 5: Jairus' daughter is healed, showing death to be unreal!
Here we read Matthew's account of Jesus raising Jairus' daughter from the dead.  As with Lazarus, he refers to her as "sleeping", because he intends to "wake" her from the dream of death.  This is beautiful language for illustrating the truth that death is unreal.  Everyone present "laughed him to scorn", because they thought that he was misinterpreting her death as sleep, when in fact he was rightly viewing death as powerless and unreal, something to be awoken from.  [Because he made the paid mourners laugh, Jesus is able to] banish their scornful and doubting thought, (send away the doubting crowd) and lift her up from this false sense of life and death in matter, into Life as eternally present.  Mrs. Eddy refers to death as a "dark vision of material sense", and says that these visions can be resolved "into harmony and immortality." (S21)  This aligns with the Psalmist's verse about walking "through the valley of the shadow of death".  It is merely a dark place in thought, not a substantial spiritual fact; and we may feel we are walking through this dark place from time to time, but that doesn't mean that this is the spiritual fact.  If we want evidence of man's immortality, we must give up our material beliefs and admit immortal facts. (S22)  This implies to me that there may be times when we have to admit the spiritual facts even when they don't look real to material sense!  We have to walk "through" that valley, not stop there and despair.  Certainly this is not always easy, but there are so very many Bible verses that affirm that even in that dark valley, God is there to lead you out.
[I have witnessed the power of trusting, childlike prayer to lead our (Huff) family "through the valley of the shadow of death." (Ps. 23) At different times both a camp horse and a family pet rabbit were found stiff as boards, cold, and not breathing-dead as doornails to the material senses. But, to our spiritual sense and that of our children who took up the prayers, they were merely sleeping; and both "pets" were resurrected to give years of added service, even with wonderfully transformed dispositions.]
 
Section 6: Stick with it!
It is worth working out our salvation in the way that Jesus showed us.  As we look to God always, not to matter for the answers, as we "call upon the Lord...so shall [we] be saved from our enemies"!  The marginal heading in citation S23 is: "Resist to the end".  But the promise contained in that paragraph is full of hope.  And in citation S24 we are told that Christian Scientists have "enlisted" to demonstrate their authority over these enemies.  Think about the word enlist.  It brings to mind the military.  Unlike any old job, after enlisting we can't just quit if we don't like the military.  We have a duty to fulfill and the ability to fulfill it.  So as Christian Scientists we have the authority, the understanding, and the resources in our books, to understand the nothingness of evil, disease, sin and death.
 
Section 7: The Christ helps you along the way to see your salvation.
This is a sister section to section 6 with an emphasis on the salvation that comes through the activity of the Christ.  [In The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany Mrs. Eddy identifies her "rock of salvation and reason for existing" as her Christly ability to give--"to impart truth, health and happiness" (page 165:20)] We've seen this Christ activity in the healings of Jesus in earlier sections.  We have seen this Christly activity before Jesus' time when it is revealed to David his need to demonstrate a higher sense of purity and obedience to God.  And this Christ is present today to lift our consciousnesses individually and collectively to see the truth, that sin, disease and death are unreal--illusions of physical sense.  I have had many firsthand experiences that have illustrated this fact. You can trust the fact that, as stated in citation S26: "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness....dispelling the illusions of the senses...destroying sin, disease, and death."  This healing Christ is speaking to our human consciousness, to us right where our understanding is.  And it doesn't leave us there, but lifts us to higher and higher understanding and demonstration.  Mrs. Eddy defines salvation in citation S28 as God "understood and demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and death destroyed."  I've had more demonstrations than I can name that have underscored the unreality and powerlessness of this trio to impose any of themselves on me or on my family.  Many times it has taken courage and faith before the dawning of understanding that removes lingering fears that matter has power to deprive us of health, or life.  But in every instance the Christ has been there to tenderly or powerfully speak to my consciousness about God's omnipotent goodness and man's eternal nature as His [ever-giving and shining] reflection.
 
Recently I've twice had the opportunity to see the unreality of sickness with my boys.  I was away at my Christian Science student's association and I got a call from the babysitter after the address when I was waiting for a flight home at the airport.  She told me that Charlie, my two-year-old had been ill all day and only wanted to sit in her lap.  He had been sick to his stomach and not eaten anything for some time.  I immediately began to denounce the belief that Charlie could be vulnerable to any belief of disease in any form.  I affirmed his oneness with God and his present health and harmony in Spirit.  I paced a deserted end of the terminal where we were waiting just alternately declaring what I knew to be true about his nature, and listening for any ideas that God was giving me.  And I handled any sense of concern on my part for his comfort.  We arrived home at midnight and he slept through the night, woke declaring his hunger and spent a very energetic day at church, followed by going to the race track where his brother races go-karts, then home, nap and normal evening. There was no extra exhaustion or lag, only his happy, whole self.  Two days later I picked up James, my four-year-old, after pre-school with complaints of headache and stomach upset.  He proceeded to throw up several times before I had to leave for a rehearsal.  Once in the car I spent some time declaring James' exemption from any belief of contagion and affirming too that if Charlie was never outside of God's care, then there was nothing untoward in our home to begin with; our home was "heaven", harmony!  I felt a deep sense of peace within a short time.  My husband told me that by the time he got to bed time, he was racing the other boys around the couch.  He too, slept peacefully through the night and that was the end of that!  These little demonstrations of the nothingness of sickness are like signposts along our way heavenward, as we progress in our spiritual journey.  They are touch posts that we can turn to and remember that indeed, matter does not have the final say.
 
The last citation of Science and Health (S30) in this lesson is such a tender promise to each of us that as we let the kingdom of heaven [- "unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love"--] govern our thought, then that awful trio will diminish until it finally disappears.  What a wonderful responsibility and joy to allow the heavenly kingdom [of unselfed love and true giving] to reign in our consciousness and rule out as unreal [the trickster triplets of] sin, disease and death!
 

 
 [If you have been blessed by any of CedarS 3 weekly inspirational newsletters (our Mets or our PSSTs and PYCLs for Sunday School teachers), now would be a perfect time to share your appreciation. Your 50th Anniversary gift--as generous as divine Love directs-will play a needed part in CedarS important, year-round work for our own Sunday School students. CedarS new Fall-season outreach (that is fostering a proper understanding of Christian Science) is the giving of tours of our new Bible Lands Park that demonstrate " to Bible-loving churches and youth groups of other denominations how Christian Scientists love and "take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (S&H 497)]

[CedarS recurring needs are listed at http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/unrestricted-gifts.htm
Just click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make monthly donations to CedarS (or to give one-time gifts) in support of spiritual growth.  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.  
 
[Lastly you can help us by telling "un-camped" children and families about CedarS being a wise and happy place for them to glimpse and demonstrate more of their spiritual natures!  We'll gladly send anyone a DVD and info on CedarS financial aid forms; programs for all ages; session dates & rates; online enrollment; transportation... to help get them or anyone in your extended church family to camp!]
 
 [Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 11-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in subsequent emails.) 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 "and Sunday School ideas 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!    And, please contact us for more info about any and all things about CedarS! 

Possible Sunday School Topics by John Biggs, CS for the
Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?10- 9-11
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director and Newsletter Editor]
 
P.S.S.T.--Golden Text and Responsive Reading
Don't be afraid to ask the subject of this lesson as your first question!  What do your students think: are sin, disease, and death real? See how deep they're willing to go, to challenge the popular world belief that these things are very real.
 
P.S.S.T.-- Golden Text (GT)
If you got the GT ["I invite the whole world to turn to me and be saved"] as an event invite on Facebook, how would you and your students respond?
 
P.S.S.T.--The Responsive Reading (RR)
The RR is filled with bold declarations of trust and love for God. Put each verse in your own words - how do these ideas apply to you, today? ["God is for me" (Ps. 56:9) reminds me of a favorite CedarS t-shirt quote from God: "IM4U" (Ezek. 36:9) and of what that can mean for you in each life situation.] These are timeless praises, and they can definitely be seen and read as such. [Take the final promise of the RR for example: "who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies." You might pass around a Burger King cardboard crown or get enough for each member of your class and treat them like royalty.  Maybe read aloud each verse of Susan Mack's "Tender Mercies" Supplement Hymn #445, and especially apply the last verse about "no matter the threat" ..."no fear, no regret." Now that's getting "the royal treatment" in place of the trick of vulnerability and unworthiness!]
 
P.S.S.T.--Section One
How do you bless the Lord? Isn't God the one who blesses you? What does it look like for God's face to shine upon you? (B2) Is citation B4 a threat against people who don't like you? ["they that strive with thee shall perish" (Isa. 41:11)]   If not, what is this verse promising, and is it relevant to you? We're promised in Isaiah 45 (B5) that if we look to God we'll be saved - how do you look to God? [Hint/Enrichment: Desiree Goyette wrote Supplement Hymn #444 based on Isa. 45 with lyrics like: "Infinite light, bountiful, bright, is ever present to guide thee. Beloved and free eternally, perfect peace and joy I provide thee, For I am the Lord, there is none else; There is no God beside me."]
 
Why is it important to be clear about cause (S2)? Citation S4 talks about the "currents of true spirituality". Depending on your class, you may enjoy drawing a river and then having all the students draw various aspects of those currents and what they lead to. If you have Wi-Fi in your classroom, or you teach online Sunday School, you may enjoy knowing about dabbleboard.com, where you can draw and share those drawings - a neat way to do projects and share them throughout the week.
 
How does this section answer the question posed as the subject of the lesson? [Hints: "who forgiveth all thine iniquities" (B1) "they shall be as nothing" (B4)]
 
P.S.S.T.--Section Two
What do either of the Bible citations [B6 about being created in "the image of God" and B7 being satisfied when awaking "with thy likeness"] have to do with the unreality of sin, disease, and death?   Satisfaction is something many of us seek - in fact; the next several sections all deal with various ways of trying to achieve satisfaction. What does it mean to be satisfied? Isn't satisfaction sort of inherently selfish? If not, how can we make sure we're pursuing a worthwhile satisfaction?          
 
What helps us wake to the truth of being? Have you or your students ever deeply considered what it means to be the "image and likeness" of God? (S10) [You might ask if they ever feel stressed-out and offer the idea that there is nothing more stress-free (--or more humble--) than a reflection. A bonus connection comes from Cherie Brennan singing her original song: "You are made in God's image and likeness" on her "You Are Loved" CD sold online and in Reading Rooms. You can hear a sample of this song asking next: "What does that mean to you? Do you believe it's true?" Because the words "image" and "likeness" appearing 9 times in this section, it may be a good Sunday to give your students a bar of Dial soap with the explanation that D.I.A.L. can be an acrostic standing for Divine Image And Likeness. (aCedarS acrostic and metaphysical theme in the '90s)   We're not advocating the use of Dial soap, (although it's not a bad way to start each day being reminded from head to toe that we have a divine status to live up to in all we do!  This brings new meaning to the old ad: "Aren't you glad you use D.I.A.L.? Don't you wish everyone did?"]
 
Check out the repetition of the word "let" starting at the bottom of page 248 through the first couple of paragraphs on page 249. [This letting includes allowing a reflected balance of our male/female qualities to appear (see S10).] How else can we live this idea of "let" this week? Is ‘let' a forceful, prideful thing? Is it something dictated to us by others (no matter their status or authority)?
 
P.S.S.T.--Section Three
Did David essentially get away with his misdeeds? [the breaking of multiple Commandments] Why do you think so, or not? The whole story, reading "outside the chalk" in the Bible Lesson, details the extent to which David went to try to hide his misdeed. You can also read about how Nathan made David realize his mistake, in chapter 12 of 2 Samuel. Have you ever had experiences which parallel this story in some way? Have you ever felt like David: pursuing what you wanted without thought; or like Bathsheba: either helpless to stop something bad; or unwilling to speak up against it; or like Uriah: the victim of another's thoughtlessness? How does this section reveal the healing for each of these roles / characters?
 
Do you know about the Global Sunday School discussion forum on christianscience.com? The current week's Bible Lesson thread is at https://community.christianscience.com/message/15936#15936 This is a great resource for connecting all week with folks, specifically about the lesson and with a Sunday School focus (although the whole site is abuzz with many discussions, resources, and inspirations!). Is Sunday School something which only affects and blesses your church, one hour a week? Or is it a broader concept? You may enjoy exploring with your class, finding new resources and discussions.
 
The poster which starts off this week's Global Sunday School forum discussion includes a citation from this section. How do those material theories yield? (S12) Why do unrealities seem real to human sense? (S13)
 
P.S.S.T.--Section Four
Has God spoken to you? (B13)  Have you ever called upon God in a troubling time? How about in a happy time - have you ever called upon God then, or is God only for turning to when things are tough? The story in citation B14 is one of my favorites - the persistence of the palsied man's friends is very inspiring. Are you able to persist when things don't go favorably for you or for your friends? Is persistence enjoyable? If not, can you think of a way that would help you to enjoy persisting? Relative to citation B15, why does all the glory go to God? If you did well at something, why should God get the glory?
 
Considering citation S16, do you ever feel that you're waiting for goodness, health, immortality? Why is it important to claim the presence of goodness? Have you ever practiced beholding ‘in Science the perfect man"? (S18) What makes that hard to do? With whom is it easy to behold the perfect man? Is this a worthwhile thing to try and commit to? ["Image", "reflection" and "likeness" are again key concepts in citations S17 and S18 and in Jesus' method of beholding and healing others.]
 
P.S.S.T.--Section Five
If you state something about someone in an attempt to help them, and others around you laugh and ridicule you, how do you respond? [Read CedarS Met about this section for a theory on why and how Jesus choose to bring laughter to the paid mourners who were trying to set a funereal tone.] Do we need to be fascinated with the environment around us? Or can we [like Jesus] actually shape our environment? Citation B18 is a neat, concise, gratitude list to God - do you ever make lists like this, stating specifically why you're grateful to God, today? [We can never too early or too often make a gratitude list or read ahead the Thanksgiving lesson!]

Answer the questions in citation S19 [about God sending sickness and death]; this may make for a good long discussion, or just a simple yes or no; but these are important questions to get clear in thought to help us affirm that we are not subject to chance. Is everything around us, like death, "but another phase of the dream that existence can be material"? (S21) What are some of "the immortal facts of being" mentioned in citation S22?
[A current event springboard for class discussion might be the supposed death this week of Apple Computer Founder and CEO, Steve Jobs.  No doubt more monumental than his most brilliant inventions of the iPod, iTunes, iPhone or iPad was his thought awaking a few days ago from his belief that he was dead "to catch this trumpet-word of Truth, ‘There is no death, no inaction, diseased action, overaction, nor reaction.'" (S21) One everyday application idea for overcoming death might be to bring up how to have breakthroughs from dead-ends (as Chet and Janessa will discuss in a 10-10-11 live chat) and how to turn deadlines into lifelines to God as partially addressed in two recent "Daily Lifts" that are graphically- and metaphysically-cool.]
 
P.S.S.T.--Section Six
Have you ever thought of yourself as being that "messenger" ["... one among a thousand, to shew a man his uprightness"] as mentioned in citation B19? How would you have to act in order to be that messenger? Do you ever take specific time to declare your love for God [and your appreciation for His "delivering your soul" (spiritual sense) "from the pit"? (B19)]
 
Do you think a fear that we can be sick and die really makes a big difference as mentioned in citation S23? Why do we want to be unafraid, and in fact bold, about our status as the invincible ideas of God? You and your class may enjoy treating citation S24 as a pledge, which you could all sign and try to commit to memory over the course of the rest of the year. This is a bold, strong statement - are you willing and joyful to proclaim your enlistment as a Christian Scientist? [And willing to commit to overcoming "evil, disease and death" by understanding their "nothingness and the allness of God, good"  (S24)] If some students are not sure of how much they enjoy or understand the study of Christian Science, this could be a great lead-in to discussing "what does it mean to be a Christian Scientist?" [Many answers can be found to this question on ChristianScience.com] Is being a Christian Scientist delineated by certain rules and codes of conduct? If you have an older class, you could take a look at your church's membership requirements and see how / if they represent and support "being a Christian Scientist." Also take a look at the Mother Church's membership requirements, in the Manual of the Mother Church. Are you surprised by their brevity? Is it up to anyone else's judgments if you're a Christian Scientist or not? And while we're at it: is Christian Science just another denomination among hundreds, or is it more than just a theology?
 
What part does proper self-identification have to play in rightly answering the question: are sin, disease, and death real? Are we subject to anything (labels, sickness, career prospects...) other than God's conception of us? How can we joyfully live out the spiritual, true view which God has of us? [One way to live up to our divine potential is by being enthusiastic fans of the Christian Science Cardinals -that is "thetwo cardinal points of Mind-healing, or Christian Science" ... "the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good" ... "which armed him (Christ Jesus) with Love." (S&H 52:22, related to S24, S&H 450:19)  On this Sunday Warren plans to give to his 7th grade class of St. Louis Sunday School students memorabilia with 2 cardinals, one on each end of a bat, to remind them of the 2 cardinal points of Christian Science. Such items should be easy to find with the city astir with enthusiasm for a Cardinal baseball team that not long ago was WAY out of the contention but finished with a miraculous flurry to get into the playoffs as a wildcard team and then to go on to the next level on 10-7-11 by knocking off a great Philadelphia team expected to win the World Series.]   
 
P.S.S.T.--Section Seven
Can you ask citation B21 of yourself no matter what is going on: "Is God working in me right now, or am I working in a limited way?" Would walking through your day with citation B24 ["thanks be to God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ ..."] as a refrain in your head make any difference to the day? Would you like to try?  
[It will be fun next summer and beyond to talk "on location" in Philippi (B21) and Corinth (B24) with CedarS campers and staff as well as with visiting congregations of various denominations in the Fall about the lessons Paul had to teach us all as he spread Christianity throughout the known world,]
 
Take a good look at citation S27. Ask your students: "What is Christian Science?" Cherish their answers!!! If they are struggling to come up with a response, you may suggest they look at this citation. You may enjoy bringing the recent Christian Science Journal, from August, which cover story deals with the fourth tenet: "How are we saved?" Check it out in conjunction with citation S28. Citation S30 closes to the lesson in a beautiful way- again, dive into these "lets" and see what they can look like in your daily life.
 
Has the subject of the lesson been answered? What do you and your class think?
 
Enjoy the day and discussions together!
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?"

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for October 3-9, 2011
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
 
PYCL for the Golden Text: Face and follow the sun!
The Golden Text speaks of turning to God alone to be saved-there is nothing else that can bring you genuine salvation and freedom from the problems that the matter dream presents, in this case, specifically-from sin, disease and death.  This made me think of how we can only feel the warmth of the sun on our face if we turn towards it!  If we hide inside, or stand in the shade, we aren't going to experience the warmth and full light of the sun on our face.  We can shiver or complain all we like, but if it's the warmth and natural light of the sun that we are seeking, we can only find it by exposing ourselves to the sun.  This analogy of course has its limitations, but it may be useful with the littler ones by making them actually face the sun, or if the weather isn't conducive you could use a drawing and discuss it in some way.  Do they know what it means to "invite"?  What a wonderful way to translate this!  God is inviting them to turn to Him.  They can then think about what it means to "turn" to God.  Do we literally face him like we just talked about facing the sun?  How is it different?  How is it similar?  If we are talking about the sun, can we use a light bulb for a source of light and heat instead?  We could couldn't we, but what are the limitations of the light bulb?  It doesn't have a very good range.  When the sun is out who can see it?  How about a light bulb in your bedroom, who can see that?  Does the sun burn out or get switched off?  (You can remind them that the sun never stops shining, it merely disappears as the earth rotates and shines on other people in the world.)  When we turn to God, is there a "substitute"?  There is just no substitute is there?
 
PYCL for the Responsive Reading: Make (or bring) a crown!
In the Responsive Reading there is a reference to how God crowns us with "lovingkindness and tender mercies." It may be fun to talk about what it means to be "crowned" with something.  If you are crowned you are usually anointed, a holy ritual that indicates that God has chosen you for this position and blessed you there.  Check out what (oil) they anointed people with in Bible days.  Why?  What does Mrs. Eddy say about oil in her glossary of S&H?  What does it mean to be crowned with love and mercy?  What does the crown signify?  Is it your "special-ness" to God?  Is it the important place, your head, where the crown is set?  Maybe with the littlest ones you could make paper crowns with the qualities that come with divine "anointing" written on them.  Talk about what it means to be a king or queen of God's creating.  What special privileges do you have, what freedoms, what safety and protection?  What wisdom?
 
PYCL for Section 1: Search for God's activity in our lives.
With readers, do a word-search in this section.  What are all the ways that God is active in our lives?  (He forgives, heals, redeems, delivers, shines, saves, strengthens, helps, upholds and so on.)  See if they can underline each action word/verb that shows what God does for us!
Notice that sin, disease and death are mistakes, and God doesn't make mistakes!  So they can't be real if God didn't make them!
What is a "bald imposition"? That's a fun word. Why use the word bald?  (We know, but do they?) If sin, disease and death become obvious for what they are, they aren't hidden or concealed, then they can't hold the same fear or seem so real to us!
 
PYCL for Section 2: First commandment:
Having no other Gods here is shown to help us have no other reflection than the perfect creation.  A one, good God, can only make a perfect man, free from sin, disease and death.  This section also introduces the theme of being "awake" or awakened.  We see it in citation B7, and again several more times in the lesson both in the Bible and in S&H.  Can they find these references?  Why would the idea of being awake be linked to the unreality of sin, disease and death?
 
PYCL for Section 3:  Awake to righteousness (God, and our God-like nature), not to unreal matter substitutes.
The first word is "awake" in this section.  David needed to awaken in this section to the fact that he already possessed all that he needed from God.  He didn't need to take anything from someone in order to feel satisfied and complete.  If you have a very young class you can still talk about this story in terms of David breaking the tenth commandment by wanting something that didn't belong to him.  (He ends up in this story breaking four commandments in total.  Can they find which ones?)  You can use Nathan's parable that he tells David.  (Incidentally, if you are a fan of "Veggie Tales", there is a hilarious version of this story involving rubber ducks, surprisingly making the point quite well without involving some of the less kid-friendly elements of the story).  So, if Nathan and Veggie Tales can successfully bring out the message in this story to young children then I'm sure you can too!  Talk about ways to handle envy/covetousness.  Also, it is interesting to note that when we have done something wrong, it is usually best to expose that wrong to "light", rather than try to hide it away.  Once it is exposed, it is much closer to destruction.  David didn't try to hide his wrong doing at all once Nathan exposed it to him.  Even though he was a king, he humbly owned up to his mistake and felt very bad, prayed deeply for a better sense of purity.  (See the Psalm that is attributed to him that is included in this week's lesson. It is a wonderful way for the kids to see his remorse!) (B10)
 
PYCL for Section 4: Seek Christ!
The story of the men letting their friend on his bed down through a hole they made in the roof of the house so that Jesus could heal him is deeply moving.  Make sure you point out that they carried this guy up on the roof on his bed (probably a cot-type thing).  They actually took the roof apart to get him through, no small hole!  And it seems probable that this man knew that Jesus would not only heal his palsy, but also that there was something deeper that he could give him.  And Jesus didn't disappoint!  He forgave him his sins.  Who knows what he saw as his sins, but it could simply have been his long-held beliefs in the solidity of matter as who he was.  Jesus gave him a fresh view of himself as perfect and encouraged him to hold that perfection in view.  The man was looking for the Christ, and was expecting a gift of healing and a renewed sense of himself.
There is much in Section 4 about man's present perfection. You may enjoy working on memorizing all or part of the wonderful passage in S18 about how "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals." What does that mean to the kids?

PYCL for Section 5: Wake up to Life eternal.
In this version of the story of Jairus' daughter being raised from death, the father goes to Jesus knowing that she is already apparently dead, but with deep faith that Jesus can raise her.  This is the ultimate example of "awakening".  You may enjoy a discussion of this use of the word awake and sleep in this story.  Why does Jesus say she "sleepeth" instead of she is dead?
 
PYCL for Section 6: Teach a song.
If you are familiar with the camp song that is based in the Psalms cited in both the R.R. and in Section 6, I heartily recommend it.  It is a really fun song to sing, short and it has the added benefit of helping you learn some Bible verses.  Warren mentions where you can order this song in this week's Met.  Also as mentioned in this week's Bible Lesson Metaphysical, it may be fun to talk about what it means that as Christian Scientists we have "enlisted to lessen evil, disease and death."  What does it mean to enlist vs. to accept a job?  Can we get out of it?  How do we "lessen evil, etc..."?
 
PYCL for Section 7: A final thought:
I love Mrs. Eddy's definition of salvation (S28).  Working out our own salvation then is finding our own exemption from these three big challenges to our understanding of life: sin, disease and death.  But as it says in citation B21, God works with us, and we hear God through Christ, speaking to us in just the way we can understand (through human consciousness).
 
Have fun in Sunday School!
 

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