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Find Blessedness through the Understanding of Gods Nature

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, December 26th, 2011

Find Blessedness through the Understanding of God's Nature
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"God" for December 26, 2011-January 1, 2012
by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn, Illinois Glen Ellyn, Illinois chaplain.craig@gmail.com 630-830-8683
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director and Editor of its Newsletters]
 
[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) 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 and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
 
What's in a name? In the Bible, the word "name" means "one's nature."  In many cultures a person's name is descriptive of some special characteristic a person displays.  In some cultures, a person's name will change as he or she gets new visions of their life purpose.  In the Bible, name changes often accompany a deeper understanding of God's nature.  There are several examples of this in the Lesson this week.  Sometimes, as with Abram, a name change signifies the acknowledgement of accomplishment.  His obedience and fidelity bring blessing.  Jacob learns the hard way to let go of a self-willed human nature.  Moses learns that the only true nature is God.  Although Jabez doesn't actually change his name, he battles against the false implications of the name given him by his mother.  Jesus fulfills the name or title of Christ.  His example allows the disciples to go beyond their limited capabilities.  Our desire to understand and emulate these luminaries gives us the strength and standing to continue their work.
 
In the Golden Text, God promises His blessing in every place where His name is recorded.  Another possible translation of the word "record" is "remember."  Wherever God's name-or nature-is remembered, God is there to bless.  [And "whenever there's loving attention, memory is inevitable." There are lots of "apps" -- and not just for students--for this one-liner by Grace Wasson, CSB related to the 4th Commandment. The power to stop memory loss is dependent only on God's love and on one's attention to it.] You may recall that true blessing is not from without, but from within-it is a sense of happiness independent of outside circumstances.  Therefore, true happiness is found as we remember God's nature. [As every Christmas teaches: "Joy is not in things; it's in us." (Clayton Rd. message sign)]
 
In the Responsive Reading, we have God's promise to bless us in every condition and pursuit.  We often tend to think that our happiness is contingent upon the type of work we do or where we live; how much money we have; how successful we are; how big of a family we have, or if we have one at all.  We constantly measure our potential for happiness by our circumstances.  But, the Bible tells us that the key to all blessedness is our obedience to, and understanding of God.
 
Every facet of our lives will be blessed if we keep his commandments.  "The Lord shall command the blessing in all that thou settest thine hand unto".  When we walk in His ways the treasures of heaven will be open to us.  All of this is contingent upon our publishing the name of the Lord.  To publish means to-proclaim; call out; to "address by name in a wide variety of applications" (Strong's).  As we explore God's name "in a wide variety of applications" let's try to put ourselves in the shoes of each character and share in the blessing of remembering His name[(s)-see a fun list at the end of this week's MyBibleLesson.com.]
 
 
Section 1: Abraham's Example: Complete Trust in God
Abram seemed to be doing fairly well.  His name meant "high father."  But Abram is called upon by God to do more.  Albert Barnes notes, Abram's call from God (B1) consists of both a command and a promise.  Abram leaves his native soil, his dearest friends, and his father's house.  Each of these is close to his heart; but, he has full faith in God's purpose for him.  God's promise includes recompense for all that he is willing to let go of.  He begins a new family, and becomes the father of a new nation.  Not only would Abram be blessed, he would also be a blessing to others.  Abram's name is changed (B2) to Abraham-"a father of a multitude."  This is contingent on his acceptance of the covenant, or agreement, with God.  Again Barnes notes, that at first the covenant was offered without any particular reference to his character.  But having arrived at the "moral elevation of self-denial and resignation to God" it is confirmed that he had been proved righteous by obedience (B3).  The Amplified Bible sums up the passage from Psalms (B4) perfectly: "Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name (has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness--trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never)."
 
The first citation from Science and Health offers us the scriptural names for God: Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love (S1).  Next we have the spiritual definition of "Abraham: Fidelity..."  She goes on to say that Abraham "illustrated the purpose of Love to create trust in good..." (B2).  Everything God does illustrates some facet of His being.  Spirit, God, "names and blesses all." (S3)  That is, He gives them their nature and blesses them with the ability to fulfill that nature.  Our success in life is proportionate to our understanding of the divine nature (S4).  When we fully realize that Life is wholly spiritual, having nothing to do with matter, we will be complete (S5). Would you be as ready as Abraham to follow God's direction into an unknown land?  Abraham could do it, because, in addition to a new name, he gained a deeper understanding of God.  So, be willing to let go of the things that are holding you back, and let God lead you in your spiritual adventure.
 
Section 2: Jacob's Example: Learning to Lean on God
The willingness to find our completeness in God alone seems hard to come by.  We have the tendency to take things into our own hands.  But experience shows that we must eventually yield to God.  This often means that we learn our lessons the hard way.
 
The children of Israel knew God's nature (B5).  They had always been sustained even through the toughest of times (B6).  John Wesley describes their condition "in a desert land" as "a place destitute of all the necessities and comforts of life, which also was a type of that desolate and comfortless condition in which all men are before the grace of God finds them out."  The name Jacob means "a supplanter."  He was used to taking matters into his own hands-self-reliant, and self-seeking.  He had tricked his father, cheated his brother, and matched wits with his uncle Laban.  Although Jacob ostensibly relied on God, he routinely found himself in tough situations.  He had to learn to rely totally on God.  [Over 1,200 will learn that at CedarS in 2012 with our theme of Fully Rely On God (F.R.O.G) "in whom we live, and move, and have our being." Acts 17:26] In his wrestling (B7) his thigh is put "out of joint."  Adam Clarke notes, that "The thigh is the pillar of a man's strength, and its joint with the hip the seat of physical force for the wrestler.  Let the thigh bone be thrown out of joint, and the man is utterly disabled."  In one touch Jacob is unable to stand.  Finding himself utterly helpless, he refuses to let go of his angel.  He finally learns, by experience, the practice of sole reliance on one mightier than himself. That is the turning point that earns him a new name. He is no longer Jacob, a supplanter; but Israel, one who prevails with God and sees God face to face.
 
Mrs. Eddy describes Jacob's struggle as an internal one, and indicative of the struggle we all must face (S6). She defines "Children of Israel" (those who follow his example), as those "governed by divine Science" (S7). Are you ready to drop your belief in personal ability, and lean completely on spiritual sense?  [--to FROG or Fully Rely On God?]  It may be a struggle, but if we persevere, we receive our blessing [--our expression of "infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss" (S14, S&H 481:3 & 470:25)].
 
Section 3: Moses Learns God Is the Only Ego
As a whole, the children of Israel didn't learn easily.  But throughout their history individuals emerged to answer the call, and advance their understanding of God.  God revealed Himself to Moses as "I AM" (B8).  This I AM was the same God of their fathers. They had known the guidance and protection of God historically, but each generation needed to experience this relationship for themselves.  The children of Israel were surrounded by societies who believed in multiple deities; and Moses brought to light that God is One (B9).
 
We generally take the First Commandment at face value, but 18th century theologian Adam Clarke's expands on it: "This commandment prohibits every species of mental idolatry, and all inordinate attachment to earthly and sensible things.  As God is the fountain of happiness, and no intelligent creature can be happy but through him, whoever seeks happiness in the creature is necessarily an idolater; as he puts the creature in the place of the Creator, expecting that from the gratification of his passions, in the use or abuse of earthly things, which is to be found in God alone.  The very first commandment of the whole series is divinely calculated to prevent man's misery and promote his happiness, by taking him off from all false dependence, and leading him to God himself, the fountain of all good."
 
Like the children of Israel, we often tend to think of God from a limited material standpoint.  But, our textbook indicates that we must accept and understand God on His terms.  Having one God brings blessings in every area of life.  Healing, comfort, and reformation are all effects of understanding God (S8).  God cannot be understood "through mortal concepts" (S9).  In Christian Science, the name I AM doesn't merely signify a singular God, it signifies that God is the only Ego-the only Mind (S10, S11). This one divine Ego includes all identities (S12).  To grasp that there is really only one Ego and that we are all included in that One is a most significant step in religious thought, and brings untold blessings.
[Click here to see such blessings in a cute video "Daily Lift" by Lois Carlson.]
 
Section 4: Jabez rose above Implications of his name [Defeat your false labels & grow with God!]   Very little is known about Jabez.  Some feel that his prayer (B11) is the prototype for the Lord's Prayer.  What we do know, is that his birth apparently caused his mother some distress.  The name Jabez means "to grieve" or "sorrowful."  Whatever the cause of such sorrow, it did not stop him from becoming known as an honorable man above all his brethren.  Jabez looked to God to aid him in what is thought to have been a huge undertaking.  He prayed that God protect him and prosper him in his cause.  He also essentially asked that he be given the strength to rise above the meaning of his name-that the grief stated in his name would not come upon him.  Even though Jabez had some challenges early on, he surmounted them in adulthood and prospered due to his devotion to God. [due to his F.R.O.G-Fully Relying On God!]
 
Science and Health opens with a promise of a day "big with blessings" to those who lean on God (S13). Leaning on God includes rising above any thought of heredity, material labels, or subordination to material law or circumstances.  Recognizing we are tributary only to God opens the door to endless possibilities (S14).  Identifying with God as our only source, we see that we are His reflection, and that our capacities for doing good, are directly related to our awareness of our unbroken relationship to God (S15).  If you have been accepted limiting labels placed on you from any source-family, school, employers, or doctors-you can know that through your understanding of God's nature, you [like Jabez] are able to rise beyond all of it to demonstrate your true nature as God child. [Consider praying the powerful, one-sentence prayer of Jabez daily as I did this fall and see where God takes you.  Thanks to praying for God to "enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me" (B-11, I Chron. 4:10) led to the opening of CedarS Bible Lands Park to neighboring churches and youth groups of various denominations and of our camp recreational resources to a public school -all of which allowed CedarS to correct many misconceptions about Christian Science. Truly "God Answers Prayers" as a CedarS "GAP" T-shirt spelled out in front of these new friends who expanded the use of CedarS facilities in our fall season.] 
 
Section 5: Christ Jesus Expressed the Divine Nature
Prophesies of old were regularly prefaced with the reminder that God is the creator and governor of all that exists (B12).  Such a preface established the prophet's standing.  He was not speaking on his own, but in the name of the Lord.  The "name" of the Lord was Yahweh.  According to Barnes, "It is a name which is given to none but the true God, and which is everywhere in the Scriptures used to distinguish him from all others..."  Of all the prophets, Christ Jesus not only taught in God's name, but also expressed God's name [or nature] in everything he did.  While mankind consistently attributed human qualities to God, Christ Jesus attributed and demonstrated Godlike qualities in man.  This was the mission of the Messiah.  The early covenant established the relationship between God and man; and Christ Jesus brought it to fruition.  Jesus truly came in the name-the nature-of the Lord (B13).
 
As noted in earlier CedarS Application Ideas, scholars expand quite a bit on the brief summary of Jesus' activity in Galilee (B14).  In light of the theme of this Lesson on names and natures, we may note that in Matthew's summary, there is particular attention paid to the various disorders of personality, including those who appear to be possessed by evil personalities not their own. These maladies were all mortal distortions of true character or name, claiming an evil nature opposed to God.
 
Our textbook underscores that Jesus' demonstration served to lift human consciousness beyond its poor, limited views (S16).  Then we are challenged to do likewise (S17).  Are we accepting that challenge?  Do we influence the world around us by furnishing and exhibiting spiritual views of man's true nature?  Or, do we allow the base views of the world to influence us?  Material viewpoints come and go with the changing tides of popular thought, but Jesus' example is timeless and consistent throughout all ages (S18).  Maintaining his higher [spiritual] viewpoint gains similar healing results.  So the question remains, are we going to let the world possess us and drag us down?  Or, are we going to maintain our spiritual nature and heal the world? ["Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity."
(Romans 12:1-3, J.B. Phillips translation)  Citation S18 is carved in granite near CedarS cave on the Time Travelers Trail where a chain rail is in place:
""Christ's Christianity is the chain of scientific being ("infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss" --S14, 481) reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God."]
 
Section 6: Find Blessedness through Prayer
In Western culture, there is an insatiable desire for material pursuits and possessions.   Christ Jesus presents a different standard.  He tells us true blessing comes to those who "hunger and thirst after righteousness" (B15).  Hunger and thirst aren't optional.  We need to eat and drink to survive.  How much more do we need righteousness?  Rather than living in a constant state of needing more materially, Jesus teaches us that God knows, and meets our real needs before we even ask (S16).  In the Lord's Prayer, we find the spiritual response to the human hunger and the anxiety of always wanting "more."  While human endeavor runs around trying to survive on its own cunning (much like Jacob did), all our anxiety would be eased if we learned to rely solely on God. [FROG]
 
The key to fruitful prayer [of the "GAP" or answered variety] is that we focus our desire on righteousness (S19).  Mrs. Eddy states that the Lord's Prayer "covers all human needs" (S20).  That's a pretty powerful statement.  It would be pointless to paraphrase or attempt to better explain the Lord's Prayer than Mrs. Eddy has done in her spiritual interpretation.  [Although it is insightful to click here to hear at least the 1st of Bible Scholar Barry Huff's 8-part analysis of the Lord's Prayer as commissioned for the Sunday School "first lessons". Manual 62:24] Within the context of this Lesson, this sentence that stands out: "Hallowed be Thy name. Adorable One."  If we embody the sense of consecrating God's name and take the time to deeply understand His nature, all our needs will be met.
 
Section 7: Jesus' Supreme Example
Several scholars have referred to Jesus' farewell prayer (B18) as the "real Lord's Prayer."  They seem to be singularly impressed with its depth and intensity.  Barnes writes, "It was offered on the most tender and solemn occasion that has ever occurred in our world, and it is perhaps the most sublime composition to be found anywhere."  Barnes continues, "It is the model for our prayers, and with like reverence, faith, and love we should come before God."  The portions of this prayer selected for use in the Lesson are focused on "the name" of God.  Adam Clarke explains the evolution of God's name being revealed through the centuries, and his explanation dovetails nicely with the progression of our Lesson: "A little of the Divine nature was known by the works of creation; a little more was known by the Mosaic revelation; but the full manifestation of God, his nature, and his attributes, came only through the revelation of the Christ."  Jesus prayed that his students would apprehend the import of his demonstration and that they would continue their work of manifesting the name-the nature-of God.  Jesus cemented their understanding through his resurrection and ascension (B19, B20).
 
All of the citations from Science and Health in this section reinforce that Jesus' crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension were essential to prove the validity of Jesus' teaching; and to ensure that the disciples, would indeed, carry on their mission through a working understanding of God's true nature.  They saw Life, Truth, and Love demonstrated in unmistakable fashion before their eyes.  Jesus' prayer for his disciples was fulfilled, [God Answered Prayer] as witnessed throughout the New Testament; and it continues to be fulfilled as each of us make the commitment to understand God, and to live that understanding in daily experience.
 
Section 8: As "children of the prophets", we carry on the Cause:
Throughout their history, the children of Israel had long relied on their spiritual heritage as the validation for their national identity.  They frequently hearkened back to their ancestry for justification, and spiritual encouragement.  Peter evokes this luminous history as he builds his case for Jesus as the culmination of that great lineage (B22).  He felt that, as children of the prophets, his listeners were bound to believe and obey what the prophets told them.  Jesus was the fulfillment of prophesy.  He taught "the kingdom of God is within you" (B23).  This fact lays the groundwork for the prophetic statement in Hebrews (B24) that the new covenant will not confined to a place, a system, or a ritual; but will be written in men's hearts, and fulfilled in their lives.  The new covenant will not be from without, but from within.  That coincides perfectly with true blessedness-coming from within.  Understanding God's name will bring blessedness to everyone.
 
Our Leader reiterates the progression of the understanding of God and expects that progression to continue until the kingdom of heaven is fully manifested (S25).  She felt that understanding God's true nature wasn't an empty hope, but a real possibility right now (S26), and that we will recognize this kingdom proportionately to our understanding of God's true nature (S27).  You and I are included in this holy lineage of spiritually-minded thinkers.  Our forefathers, the prophets, Christ Jesus, and Mrs. Eddy have continued the thread of devotion to a deeper understanding of God.  It is now our turn to continue the work. This isn't a task to be taken lightly.  We have the great gift of Mary Baker Eddy's discovery to aid us in our journey.  Six of the next seven Lessons-Sermons, will explore in some detail the synonyms for God that unfold His nature.  Let's resolve in this New Year to embody, reflect, and express the divine nature. In so doing, we will surely be blessed.
 

["NEW" MATCHING FUND OPPORTUNITY FOR MAINTENANCE MUSTS!  A precious donor has recently re-pledged a matching grant of $25,000 if we can raise that amount by year-end for "Maintenance Musts" work on buildings and vehicles before next summer.  After our Board meeting and recent email appeal we now have "only" $2,000 to go by the end of this year-week; so, 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 wonderful time to share your appreciation.

 To send an actual check please mail to:
The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Dr.
Ballwin, MO 63011
[Your 50th Anniversary gift to CedarS--as generous as divine Love directs-will play a needed part in CedarS important, year-round work for Christian Science Sunday School students.]

[Sharing the applicable principles of Christianity in CedarS Bible Lands Park: Our new Fall-season outreach
(that is fostering a proper understanding of Christian Science) is giving tours of our new Bible Lands Park that clearly 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 497:3)  As shown in video clips We are currently working in our Bible Lands Park to expand our ability to share applicable New Testament insights by building a trail with activity, learning stations that follow Paul's teachings and trips from Antioch to Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Rome ... We welcome all gifts to enable such inspiring "Home Improvements" to be made NOW before it gets too cold and snowy to work outside.]
 
[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 very helpful 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 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; 2012 session dates & rates; 2012 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!

[P.S.S.T.-Change your name to "One who lives to give". Bless 2B Blest!
CedarS Camps Possible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs)
by Merrill Boudreaux of St. Louis, Missouri
for Christian Science Bible Lesson "God"
December 26, 2011-January 1, 2012
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & PSST Editor]
 
PSST--Golden Text: Begin this lesson with an attitude of gratitude. Ask students to write how they have been blessed by God.
 
PSST--Responsive Reading: List all the ways identified in the Responsive Reading of how God declares you are to be blessed. [You might want to help pupils modernize the blessings to today's technologies: i.e.
 
PSST--Section 1: Do you know God? By what names do you also know God? What names do you think God has for you? Why do you think God changed Abram's name to Abraham? What other individuals in the Bible had their names changed? (Ex: Saul to Paul, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel)
     Did these name changes also suggest a change in character or transformation? [How would your actions change if you really wanted them to show conclusively to all your new nature/name of "One who lives to give"?]
 
PSST--Section 2: Where did God find Jacob? Look up the definition of wilderness in S&H 597:16. If Jacob was alone, who was the "man" wrestling with him? (B-7) How was Jacob blessed? Have your students read the rest of the story of the transformed Jacob in Genesis 33.
 
PSST--Section 3: How did God identify God's self to Moses? (B-8) I am that I AM, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. What do you think God was doing for Moses by naming God's self this way? Perhaps showing historically how God had always been there for Moses and his ancestors.
 
PSST--Section 4: Jabez in citation B-11 is a minor biblical character from the line or house of Judah. But he does big [and expansive] things in these few verses - he prays [and thinks "outside the box"] and is delivered from whatever his issues were because it states, "...God granted him that which he requested." Ask students to memorize the first line from Science & Health (p.vii:1-2, S-13).
     When are you blessed of the Lord? Where are you blessed of the Lord? How often are you blessed of the Lord? Perhaps Jabez can be a model for you. The Living Bible states Jabez's prayer this way: " ‘Oh, that you would wonderfully bless me and help me in my work; please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all evil and disaster!' And God granted him his request" (I Chron. 4:10). [Praying for God to "enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me" (B-11, I Chron. 4:10) led to the opening of CedarS Bible Lands Park to neighboring churches and youth groups of various denominations and of CedarS cable watersports and recreational resources to a public school -all of which allowed CedarS to correct many misconceptions about Christian Science and expand the usefulness of CedarS facilities into the Fall.  "Whatever stretches (expands) you blesses you" is a "Warrenism" often used at the CedarS activities designed to take a camper from his or her comfort zone into his or her growth zone. Are you willing to be stretched in your Bible lesson study and application, in your leadership, academics, athletics, role-model morality in social settings,... and therefore be blessed in those and all areas?]
 
PSST--Section 5: How else does God identify God's self in citation B-12? The creator of the heavens; the stretcher out of them; the spreader forth of the earth; etc. There is a connection to God throughout all the earth and for all time. Physical sense would have us believe we are connected through DNA [DeoxyriboNucleic acid]. But to spiritual sense DNA means Does Not Apply. See what Eddy says about the real "chain of scientific being" in citation S-18. Isn't "the chain of scientific being" more significant and the establisher of your place in the design of God than any so-called chain of DNA could ever be?
 
PSST--Section 6: Does God know your needs? Will God supply your needs? What blessings are mentioned during Jesus' preaching at the Sermon on the Mount? See the beatitudes, or blessings, in Matthew 5:1-12. Perhaps read the same passages from the Common English Bible. "Happy are the people," indeed!
 
PSST--Section 7: How are you identified in citation B-18? "...those whom thou hast given me..." That makes you a disciple, an apostle of Jesus with all the blessings resulting from Jesus' teaching and ministry. How does Luke declare that you are blessed? (B-21)
 
PSST--Section 8: Again see "the chain of scientific being" emblematic of Christianity in citation B-22. See how you are connected to those who have come before all the way back to "I am that I AM". Why is this so? Because the kingdom of God is within you - each of you, each of us. What is the covenant of blessings or contract of blessings that God has made with each of us? (B-24)
     Can you know God, the God of many names? Do you know God? What is the healing result of such knowledge? ["no more pain, and all tears will be wiped away."] (S-26)
     Write these words in your heart, your memory, your consciousness, and be assuredly blessed. ["remember Jesus' words, ‘The kingdom of God is within you.' This consciousness is therefore a present possibility." (S-26, 573:32)]

[PYCL: Make and share chains of scientific being!]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
 "God"

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for January 1, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Bracketed titles & links by Warren Huff, PYCL Editor]
 
[PYCL: Abraham's blessings aren't easy, but need a big stretch and Full Reliance On God.]
This week's lesson is full of the idea of blessing.  Yet, if you look carefully and think, without carrying any preconceived ideas into your pondering of these many stories from the Bible, you might re-think what it means to be blessed by God!  Briefly, Abraham was blessed by God, yet he was asked to wander through others lands for his entire life, not even getting the promised offspring until he was nearly a hundred years old, not having his own land to even bury his wife on when she passed (he had to purchase a cave from other peoples), when he passed on he could have thought that God had maybe stretched the truth just a tad... "a father of nations?"...but we know that he didn't because we know his legacy and we know of his historic faith. But his life was not one of ease.
 
[PYCL: The blessings of Jacob, Moses & Jesus came with struggle & Full Reliance On God.]
Try Jacob's life. Maybe his trials were more self-induced because of his deceit and trickery. But he was certainly a striver and struggler.  There is no doubt that he "hungered and thirsted after righteousness" as did every character in this week's compendium of Bible characters.  Now look at Moses' life with the same eye, he was barely saved from murder as a baby, he was raised in the house of Pharaoh but then look at the rest of his life... Try Jesus and you will see that his was also a life full of struggle and striving.  None of the people lived a life that we might say points to a "reward" of more ease, comfort, money.  
 
[PYCL: Discuss how to look to God for blessings amid challenges & brook them with joy.]
How does this help us to look at our own goals today?  In kid's terms: What do you hope to get out of today (literally)?  What do you look forward to?  If that activity doesn't work out for you where will you look for God's blessing, which is surely there in your life, every moment?  If you don't see this blessing, when you ponder it at the end of a day, are you looking where God has "recorded His name" (where He is present)?  We know He is present everywhere, but He is tangible to us when we are being like these Bible characters and really dedicating our moments to the struggle to know Him better and listen more deeply to Him.  We don't notice His presence so much when we are focused on matter. That's why sometimes when things aren't going as well as we want them to, we find ourselves looking to God and learning more.  Sometimes the things that seem to interrupt the harmony of our day-to-day lives, whether it be illness, or disappointment, or lack of any kind, are the highways to the biggest blessings that we can get from God, a better understanding of Him to draw on at all times, and much greater happiness because of this understanding!  Now a lot of this doesn't seem like what you can share with a second grader, but if we digest this information, we can have a good discussion about how to face sickness or disappointment, even little disappointments, with a new view.  Give them some practical ideas for how to look to God for a blessing in each challenge.  Is this just looking on the "bright side"?  How is it more than optimism?  Is it based on what is real, genuine, satisfying?  The disappointments and trials of childhood are no less important to them, than those we face as adults.  So we can help by giving them the tools they need to brook those challenges with joy and a sense of God's presence by their sides.  This has been a bit wordy, but I'll leave this subject with a final thought from citation S18.  Mrs. Eddy points out here that "Those, who are willing to leave their nets..."  This is what we are asked to do. Leave the comfort zone of our usual thoughts, occupations, daily desires.  This is what brings those big blessings.  If we wish, we can also just cast those nets on the "right side" too: )  This is true for kids as much as for adults, they just tend to be less set in their ways!
 
 [PYCL: Make a paper chain to symbolize the "chain of scientific being" as it reappears in Bible characters.]
I received this idea after reading Merrill's Possible Sunday School Topics this week.  One activity that could be a lot of fun this week with pretty much any age, just modify the way you share ideas about it, would be to make a paper chain to symbolize the "chain of scientific being"...from citation S18.  There are a number of ways you could approach this.  Each link in the paper chain could have one of the Bible character's name written on it with some attributes, [attitudes or Beatitudes] that he most beautifully expresses written out.  For the older kids you could discuss the approximate dates of each one (keep it in terms of something like, "Abraham lived about two thousand years before Jesus...").  It's good to have some sense of a time line, feel free to bring in a real time line. Timelines are available in Bible reference books in Sunday School [and by clicking on this link to a CedarS blog that features how the Christianity of the Beatitudues is expressed all along the Time Travelers Trail by Bible characters from Abraham to Jesus]. As you build one or more chains for yourself and possibly for each pupil, you can add other characters from the Bible [and the "Time Travelers Trail" showing how each one expressed "Christ's Christianity" in at least one of the Beatitude as made practical in modern Be-attitudes like "free from pride", "quick to forgive" as spelled out in Larry Groce's "Beatitude Song" that is available in CedarS Jubilee CD].  When you get to discussing Jesus and then the disciples in the chain, talk about what it means to be an apostle.  Once you have that down you can add (with scotch tape) a link to each one's chain with the student's name written on it.  What does that mean our job is, when we are part of this chain?  [Who else should be a part of the chain?  How about Mrs. Eddy?  (Of course we all are!)  It should be fun for them to see their names linked with the names of all these amazing people before them.  And it does point to the obligation we have to be seekers, hungering and thirsting after righteousness like those before us. (B15)  Don't forget Jabez in all your examples, what a humble and determined servant of God, despite his so-called name!
 
[PYCL: Or make a paper chain of the attributes of "God's being...infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss." (S14, 481:3)]
Another type of paper chain to create would be to link the attributes of God separately from the characters in the lesson.  For example in citation S14 Mrs. Eddy points out that: "God's being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss."  [481:3] This is an expansion of CedarS 2012 Bible theme of ["In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 12:28)] that Warren is working on for this coming year for camp.  What amazing attributes to welcome into our activities each day of all the year.  Why not start now instead of waiting for camp to start?  Think what we can do with a better sense of infinity ["inexhaustibility, unlimited quantity, space, time"] each moment?  How about freedom ["exemption from constraint, limits, slavery; immunity; boldness"]?  Harmony ["a setting together, a closure, agreement; forming a connected whole; union of different sounds that please the ear"]?  And indeed "boundless bliss!"["the highest degree of happiness; exalted felicity, unlimited, heavenly joy"-definitions from The Student's Reference Dictionary]  Each link of the chain could have these attributes and you can talk about how the chain leads us link-by-link to God, our closeness, our oneness with Him.  Each attribute helps us discover our true happiness (similar to bliss).  Talk about how we each embody these attributes since we are "tributary" to God (S14).
 
There is much more to be found in this gem of a lesson, have a great time searching and sharing!

Metaphysical

GEMS to wash away blame-game feelings and their bodily results with floodtides of Love! - GEMS...
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