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Freely Spread Everlasting Blessings!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, October 22nd, 2012

[Freely Spread Everlasting Blessings!]
Knowing that your Daddy will catch you if you fall!!
Metaphysical Application Ideas from CedarS Camps
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for October 28, 2012 on
"Everlasting Punishment" [or Everlasting Blessings. 
Your choice: Trick? Or Treatment!]
 
by Rick Stewart, CS
of Dresden, Germany (Tel.+49-351 312-4736)
RickStewartCS@aol.com
 
This Bible Lesson is not about how God is going to punish some of us for eternity. This Lesson is designed to help us understand more of God's saving and eternal Love.  
 
Does God select some to be saved and others to be condemned to suffer in eternity?
 
Many Christian denominations have historically taught that doctrine and expected their new members to subscribe to that belief. As a girl of 12, Mary Baker Eddy, then Mary Baker, had to answer that question if she wanted to be a member of her local Congregational Church.
 
She writes:     "At the age of twelve I was admitted to the Congregational (Trinitarian) Church... Before this step was taken, the doctrine of unconditional election, or predestination, greatly troubled me... So perturbed was I by the thoughts aroused by this erroneous doctrine, that the family doctor was summoned, and pronounced me stricken with fever.  My father's relentless theology emphasized belief in a final judgment-day, in the danger of endless punishment, and in a Jehovah merciless towards unbelievers; and of these things he now spoke, hoping to win me from dreaded heresy.  My mother, as she bathed my burning temples, bade me lean on God's love.  [Doing so, Mary was comforted and healed.]
(When questioned by the pastor)...I stoutly maintained that I was willing to trust God and take my chance of spiritual safety with my brothers and sisters not one of whom had then made any profession of religion even if my creedal doubts left me outside the doors (of church)... To the astonishment of many, the good clergyman's heart also melted, and he received me into their communion, and my protest along with me" (Retrospection and Introspection, by Mary Baker Eddy pp. 13-15).
 
In recent days I have also been thinking about this doctrine, but in a little different way. You might remember from my CedarS MET for last month that our little Martha was just beginning to walk. In that month's time she has become pretty steady and loves to walk all over the house and outside as well. Just last Sunday she took one of her longest hikes, about 500 meters. My wife Susanne, and our dog, Theo, joined her. She was very proud of herself. 
 
As she has been learning to walk, one of my favorite pastimes has been following along ready to give her a hand if she needs steadying and also to pick her up if she falls. And there have been lots and lots of falls. But they were not the end of the world, usually that is. And she has gained a little each day in her confidence, strength, endurance, and steadiness. There is still a long ways to go before her first marathon, but already she prefers to walk on her own rather than be carried.
 
And this is the context in which I have found myself thinking about this Bible Lesson. I have been prompted to think about my falls, my failings, my tumbles, and my missteps. And I have been reminded of the countless times that "my Father" has come to my aid. Just like little Martha, I have a long way to go in my "walk," but I loved seeing how the loving hand of the Father is actually always there to save and lift me up. And to me that is what this wonderful Bible lesson is all about, God's promise, "I will catch you if you fall."
 
Here are just a few brief insights that might make your study of this week's Bible Lesson an encouragement instead of a fear tactic.
 
Golden Text:
Hosea 14:2   "...turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously."
This Golden Text is from the Prophet Hosea. He was considered one of the minor Jewish prophets. He lived probably in the 8th Century, B.C. He lived in what was known as the "Northern Kingdom" of Israel. And his writing was at a time toward the end of this kingdom. Hosea was really worried that his people were not remaining true to God, but were being enticed by the local religion, Baal worship. This Baal worship included religiously-based immorality, worshipping of golden calves, other idols, and even child sacrifice.
 
 Responsive Reading:
The Responsive Reading is from Isaiah and once again from Hosea. Both Prophets encourage a turning from sin to faithful following. Isaiah, "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Hosea, "...I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely:... for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them."
The "Ephraim" that Hosea refers to is his actual nation. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was made up of tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph.  "When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel;... Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols?" 
So we are introduced to the lesson with a call to turn from sin and receive the blessing of the Lord.
 
Section 1 - Man is the beloved child of God, pure and perfect.
This section firmly establishes the fact that God makes us good. In citation B-2 [and echoed in citation S-2], Habakkuk states: "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on iniquity." [Mrs. Eddy builds her healing theology on this all-good God:] "God could never impart an element of evil, and man possesses nothing which he has not derived from God. How then has man a basis for wrong-doing?" (S-3)
 
Remember the conversation Jesus had with some people about the nature of God and his relationship to man,  Matthew 7: 9-11, "Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"
 
We remember God's nature as a better Father or Mother than we are; and we expect very consistent parenting. Sometimes I really messed up as a kid, but did my folks condemn me to eternal punishment? Nope, not eternal, there was punishment, but usually well-deserved and definitely it did not last forever. My parents were just great, but God is an even better, more consistent, more loving Parent.
 
Little Martha continues to walk and sometimes fall down, is that a reason for me to get angry? Encouragement, comfort, and love go a lot further in developing a patient and steady walk through life. 
 
The Bible citations in this section conclude with what Mrs. Eddy chose to close our Sunday Church Services with: (B-5) I John 3:1-3. I love this translation of these verses from the "God's Word" translation: "Consider this: The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God's dear children.  And that's what we are. For this reason the world doesn't recognize us, and it didn't recognize him either. Dear friends, now we are God's children.  What we will be isn't completely clear yet.  We do know that when Christ appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is. So all people who have this confidence in Christ keep themselves pure, as Christ is pure."
 
Section 2 - Jonah does not accept God's job offer, ooops?
Is it easy to do the things you are asked to do? Nope.  Is it always easy to do the right thing? Nope.  All of us usually have something else we would rather do. "I thought the job offer was a supervisory position! I didn't know I would have to scrub toilets!" (When one of my high school buddies and I got the jobs as # 1 and #2 lifeguards at our local swimming pool, we were a little surprised when we found out that at the end of every day we had to clean both the boys and girls bathrooms! But even with that responsibility we loved our jobs.) And later when that job grew into Swimming Pools manager for the City of Ocala, it enabled me to rent my first office for the Christian Science healing practice!!
 
Citation B-6 tells how Jonah resisted in simply following God's instruction to go and preach in Nineveh. Instead he tried to run [the opposite direction] from the job. Jonah's prejudice against the city may have started him on his path of avoidance. After all, the city had a pretty bad reputation. But because of fear, doubt, whatever self-centered motive, Jonah chose to run away from God‘s call. He could have simply obeyed and had a nice trip and good speaking tour. But instead he got an "inside cabin." But I absolutely love the fact that even though he avoided immediate obedience, Jonah was saved. Below is a link to a testimony that shows that God has not in any way reduced his saving power when it comes to taking care of His kids.
 
The following experience was shared with me by a fellow Christian Science practitioner, several years ago.  The mother that related the story prefers to remain anonymous.  There were news and press reports at the time, so it did occur and was noted.  It is not one of those web items that is fictional.  This did occur.  I called and confirmed its validity with the individual that sent it to me. She knew the mother in the story!!

I have added some explanatory comments in my blog for those unfamiliar with this part of the world.
 
Saved at Sea, in the Gulf of Mexico, [a Jonah-like, 20th century confirmation of A, B, C:]
[A] "If a man were drowning in mid ocean with apparently no human help at hand, there is a law of God which when rightly appealed to, would bring about his rescue." Adam H. Dickey, "God's Law of Adjustment"

[B] "Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science, still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal".  Mary Baker Eddy, Science & Health with Key To the Scriptures

[C] "If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me and thy right hand shall hold me." Psalms 139
 
A young man was travelling with his boat in the Gulf of Mexico on his way to meet friends for lunch. He had not let them know he was coming. When his boat broke down he went overboard to check out the damage. While he was in the water the anchor rope slipped off and the boat floated away faster than he could swim. He was truly lost at sea, but when you read of his rescue you will see that the above quotations [A, B, C] remain true today. (And it even includes some of God's sea creatures!!)
 
Read the entire account of this young man's rescue:  http://rickstewartcs.blogspot.de/
If you are reading this printed out and do not have internet connection, just give me a call and I can send it to you or read it to you!
 
Section 3 - Deliverance without consequence, Jonah's saga continues
Jonah is taken care of, he is preserved, and his opportunity to follow God's commands is renewed. As Jonah learned, "Salvation is of the Lord." (B-10)
 
Just goes to show God is ever-ready to save, bless and love His little ones, no matter what mistakes we have seemed to make. There is no condemnation, just Love. And you can never know how important even the littlest assignment or act of obedience can be. Just following your inspiration can give light or hope to another. For example:
 
Citation S-17"The purpose and motive to live aright can be gained now. This point won, you have started as you should" (Science and Health, page 326) has given me strength time and time again. It was first drawn to my attention when I was reading the Science and Health of a good friend, Cathy Manyik Kresge. She had highlighted it in her textbook. It always spoke to me of simply starting to do the right thing. And we then can be assured we will succeed with God's help. 
 
The testimony in the link illustrates that saving power of divine Love, even when we seemed to have made terrible mistakes [even inside the belly of a steel "whale"]. You can find it at JSH Online through the following link:
[Or you can haven't yet started to reap the great blessings of JSH Online, you can find] Roland H. Allen's testimony in a Bound Volume from the June 2, 1945 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel [or on an old Reading Room recording with "God's Law of Adjustment"]
 
 
Section 4 - Jonah discovers a receptive audience
After a rather roundabout trip to the lecture, Jonah finds a very receptive audience in Nineveh. They take to heart Jonah's observations and his mission brings great fruit.
 
Some years ago I received a call to lecture in Ft. Worth, Texas. It was at a time of long lecture tours. I was already scheduled to be up in Illinois and Minnesota. The clerk in Ft. Worth asked if I was free for a certain Sunday afternoon. I told her yes, but I would be in Illinois. I thought she would say, oh well that is quite a distance, perhaps another date. But instead she insisted on that date. My first reaction was, "What willfulness!!" We were having a family Bar B Q at the time of the call. When I hung up I rejoined the family and murmured to my mom about the telephone call. When I said, "I have never encountered such [human] will before," my mom simply asked, "And are you free that date?" "Well, yes I am." "Okay, where is the willfulness?" Being properly and wisely admonished I went back and called the clerk requesting the lecture. I let her know I would check and see if I could make plane connections for her date. And guess what, there was a late night flight on Saturday evening. I could make their date, leave my van at the airport, and come back on Monday morning. 
 
It is interesting that this lecture prompted lots and lots of prayer from my side. There were great obstacles and resistance that had to be met prayerfully. My lecture was entitled, "Home: God-Provided, God-Maintained," and it handled the belief of homelessness. When I arrived for the lecture I found that the lecture chairman had collected newspapers for several days before the lecture as I had requested. The front page of the newspaper for the day of the lecture told the story of a mother who had taken her small children to the Police Station. She was hopeless and had no prospects for being able to continue to provide a home for them. So we opened the lecture with this article. And together we all considered how we can pray to heal this problem of homelessness for ourselves and for the world.
 
As I said the preparations for this lecture had been rather rocky and had required lots of prayer on my part. Also lots of humility and spiritual growth. The day after the lecture I flew back up north and continued on my lecture tour. Suddenly I realized that I had not been paid. When I called the lecture chairman, she told me, "Oh but Mr. Stewart, remember I told you there was something "in there for you" with the fruit basket and the newspapers!" Oooops, I had not gotten the message. At first I thought I may have thrown the envelope out with the newspapers. I went into my suitcase, looked through the newspaper clippings, and sure enough there was the envelope. I called the lecture chairman with the good news. She was overjoyed to hear from me, "Mr. Stewart, I have the most wonderful news. The morning paper had the following story. That mother came back to the Police Station to reclaim her children and had said she would just do whatever it took to keep her family together. And lots of people have come forward to help her out. It is just so wonderful." Obviously I hung up the phone rebuked, humbled, and with tears of gratitude. Just like Jonah I had found a receptive audience, a spiritually responsive audience, and Love had indeed been the Savior. But I did have to get a lot of "self" out of the way, and thanks to my mom that had begun that summer day nine months before the lecture.
 
Section 5 - No everlasting punishment from "materialistic codes" [Trick? Or Treatment!]
"Who did sin, this man or his parents that he was born blind?" (B-17) John 9: 1-7, 32 
In Jesus' day there was an automatic reaction that illness, handicaps, and physical disorders were often a punishment for sin. In these times physical scientists are certain that DNA and hereditary causes are the foundation for disease. But what says the Christ? "Neither hath this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." [Bible Scholar, Cobbey Crisler said that this was like Jesus responding "None of the above" to the either-or choice of who did sin. Another appropriate reply would be: "Does Not Apply!" Just so, the heredity of D.N.A. Does Not Apply to you; nor can it shackle your freedom-centered life with fear. The appearance of sinning mortal man is the "Trick" that would deceive us, and not just during Halloween season.  The Treat is the Christian Science Treatment that reverses all tricks.  As Citation S-23 states it:] "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy." And citation S-27 continues the treatment:  "The law of Christ or Truth, makes all things possible to Spirit, but the so-called laws of matter, would render Spirit of no avail and demand obedience to materialistic codes, thus departing from the basis of one God, one lawmaker."
 
The consistency and the simplicity of Mary Baker Eddy's faith in the First Commandment were demonstrated time and again in her healing work. Wonderful examples can be found in the biography, Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Healer. Here are links to purchase the audio or print version of this inspiring book. Or you can always visit your local Christian Science Reading Room to obtain a copy for purchase or possibly for loan.
 
Section 6 - God's man is sinless, perfect and blessed eternally.
A Bible-based Christian Science treatment of perfect God & perfect man continues as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect." (B-19) | Psalms18:1, 2, 25- 26, 32
2. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (B-20) | Matt.5:48
3.  "The perfect man - governed by God, his perfect Principle - is sinless and eternal." (S-30) | 304:14
 
As The Message translation of Matthew 7 puts it in such a loving way, "If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing. You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?"
 
Our Father does love to make our way perfect, just like I love to make Martha's way a little easier. And that is not a way of everlasting punishment but everlasting Love, revealing our nature as the beloved and perfect child of God's creating. 
 
As Hymn 278 from our Hymnal tells us
"Pilgrim on earth, home and heaven are within thee, 
Heir of the ages and child of the day. 
Cared for, watched over, beloved and protected, 
Walk thou with courage each step of the way."
 

[These application ideas from a CedarS Camps' Resident Christian Science Practitioner are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons daily throughout the year, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio.  A voluntary French translation by Pascal or Denise cannot be guaranteed due to their busy schedules. An "official" version of the weekly Portuguese translation should be coming soon on a new webpage for CedarS Mets, but in the meantime you can email Orlando Trentini to be added to the list. YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of fun approaches & possible ways to teach lesson ideas to older and to younger Sunday School classes at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters   Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes with bracketed, italic additions.]
 
[Additional 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.]
 
[Thanks for sending to the address below your appreciated & still needed gift to help support summer & fall programs that nurture the spiritual growth of Christian Science youth:
CedarS Camps, 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536
or call us at 417-532-6699]
 
[More websites of interest found by Rick relating to the Jonah story, ocean rescues...]
Phillipine man saved by dolphins and whales.
surfer saved by dolphin pod from great white shark attack.
Hardy Jones the dolphin defender.

[PYCL:  Choose wisely! Avoid the storms that stalk the disobedient!]
CedarS PYCLs--P
ossible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"
Everlasting Punishment"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for October 28, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]
 
[PYCL:  Lessons for the tale of Jonah and the whale]
Jonah is such a fun story to share with the kids.  There is something about the adventurous nature of the story as well as the element of the "big fish" that captures a kid's attention.  In the context of this week's lesson it will be a lot of fun to share!  Probably none of the younger kids will even be aware that there is a belief of everlasting punishment.  As Christian Scientists we don't espouse the ideas of traditional hell.  Rather we see it as a present experience that results from activities that are in some way sinful.  We don't necessarily have to discuss the idea of everlasting punishment as a theological point, but we can certainly talk about the idea of punishment and God.  What is punishment?  Does it differ from correction, guidance or discipline?  In several iterations of the definition of punish and punishment in the dictionary the words retribution is used.  It may be something that is doled out with the intention of correction or deterrence, but in and of itself, punishment is not inherently a tool for guidance or correction.  I love that everywhere you look in the Bible there are references to God correcting, guiding and leading.  Think of the 23rd Psalm where the rod and staff guide and correct the sheep.  Or the way that Jesus describes the Father welcoming the Prodigal home.  If the offending sheep, the sheep that wanders away from the flock is met with a rod that pushes him back towards safety, this is hardly punishment; and if the Prodigal was met with hunger and loneliness, it was not the Father that afflicted him with these things.  (I am aware that there are numerous examples in the Old Testament of a vengeful God, but I attribute these examples to a less Christ-like view of God).
 
[PYCL:  Discuss how correction differs from punishment. Allow safe logical consequences...]
It may be interesting to talk with the kids about these things.  What do they think of punishment and do they see a difference between correction and punishment?  As much as possible we parents try not to "punish" our kids, but to help to discipline them (this is a form of teaching rather than punishment as we have come to think of it).  And best of all, we hope that we let them learn lessons as often as possible from allowing them to experience the consequence of their own choices both good and bad when they aren't in danger of some kind.  A simple example of this would be to ask your child to put on a coat when it's cold out.  If they refuse, rather than argue and fight with each other you allow them to go out in what they choose.  You don't say "I told you to put on a coat..." or lecture, but you just agree with them if they complain of the cold, "yes, it certainly is cold!  I'd be freezing right now if I weren't wearing a coat..." Then they would find that there is no one to blame for their misfortune except themselves.  Did mom or dad punish them?  Did God?  Of course not, no one did, it was simply their choice, perhaps an ill-advised one, to not listen to the suggestion of mom or dad!  And the clincher here is that mom or dad would even give them a hug if their choices turned out to be uncomfortable, would express compassion and love and not blame.  Isn't this a divine model?  Discuss what it is that really corrects us.  Isn't it ideally, Love?  It may be expressed as a mom or dad or teacher, but they are reflecting it from divine Love.  Check out citation S9!
 
[PYCL:  Read or tell the story of Jonah and about the storms that always follow disobedience.]
Having opened this subject up for discussion take a look at Jonah and the whale.  MyBibleLesson (MBL) this week points out that Bible scholars consider this story to be a historical narrative, or allegory, meant to teach us a lesson.  I don't think that lessens its impact any more than the stories of the Prodigal or the Good Samaritan.  Read or tell the story [or play the audio version recorded this summer by interns at TMCYouth at http://members.christianscience.com/sunday-school/a-whale-of-a-tale/ I had to download it using "Windows Media Player" software to get it to play from my PC. Like the interns do,] feel free to make it dramatic and help your pupils to see the peril that the passengers felt on the boat.  Do you think that, in light of our previous "discussion" here, that God would "send a fish to swallow" someone who didn't listen?  Can you think of a reason why it would be stated that way?  Does it sometimes seem like we are being punished by God or someone else and maybe we are only suffering the consequences of our disobedience?  Some of the above questions would not be appropriate for the youngest classes, but I'd say third grade and up might be ready to think about these things for sure!  Littler children will love the story though for all the other ideas that it illustrates.  Ideas like listening, and like maybe not being afraid.  Talk about how when we do something that we know is right but that we are afraid to do, that is called having moral courage.  What does Mrs. Eddy say about moral courage? (S21)  There are so many citations that help to illustrate the lesson of Jonah!  Why do we sometimes "run the other way" when asked to do something difficult?  Can you think of an example of this?  Maybe you are being asked to be an example for younger siblings, maybe you have some chores that you need to do that really help out your mom or dad.  If you "run the other way" some sort of "storm" always seems to catch up with you!  What do they think?  What is that "storm" in their experience?  Maybe it's just mom or dad getting kind of angry (not necessarily the best reaction : )  Sometimes, it's just that they aren't pulling their fair share in the home or classroom and making life harder for others.  Have fun with the story.  Talk about how the people that Jonah was supposed to warn were saved by his message!  It is always great to listen for God's voice.
 
[PYCL:  We really have no choice but to listen and obey. Win & wear the ring & the robe!]
On a smaller note, I was taken by citation S11 in the context of this week's lesson.  It stood out to me that "...the law of sin and death."  Is the same as the "law" of separate self, a separate self from God?  God's self and His reflection man are never separate from one another, and so never subject to "self-will", etc.  Talk together about how the belief that man can sin, is the same as the belief that we have a separate mind from God that can do its own will, can choose not to listen.  It would certainly appear that this is true.  But it's amazing to think about the fact that just like we know that sickness, while seeming real is not the truth about our being, no more is disobedience, or bad behavior of any kind.  We can right now embrace the truth about ourselves just as the Father in Jesus' story embraced his prodigal son and put His robe and ring on him, knowing who he truly was.
 
Have a great Sunday!

Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;
"
Everlasting Punishment" for Sunday, 10-28-12
By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri steven.henn@gmail.com

[Steve's been a CedarS Program Director & teaches English at The Principia School.]
 
PSST Golden Text: What is asked of us in this Golden Text? What is promised to us? You could look up the definition of "iniquity" and speak with your class about what iniquities challenge us on a regular basis.
 
PSST Responsive Reading: Consider, right off the bat how close God is to us in this lesson. We are "reasoning together" with the Lord.
 
Does it strike your students as interesting that the first statements in a lesson entitled "everlasting punishment" are statements of purification, not damnation?
 
Why should we know no god but God? What other gods attempt to take the place of God regularly? Why do they not measure up?
 
PSST Section 1
How does God feel about His creation? Knowing that God did not make man capable of sin, what does that mean for people we see as 'sinners'? How must we view people in our lives who seem to make silly choices?
 
PSST Section 2
When is it too late to follow God (trick question)?
What does it mean to be chastened? And why would God chasten those he loves?
How is sin reformed?
 
PSST Section 3
What is prayer? And how do we pray without ceasing?
How do we begin praying, especially when we are in the midst of a challenge either physical or moral.
 
PSST Section 4
How is sin destroyed, pardoned, or reformed?
Why not just "sin and repent" over and over again, if God consistently forgives sin? What is the true relationship between man and God, regarding sin?
 
PSST Section 5
What does it mean to be "born of God"? What are the advantages of being so born?
To be born of God means we are not born of matter, what are the implications of that truth?
How does that relate to "everlasting punishment"?
 
PSST Section 6
How does perfection and our expression of it relate to this week's subject? Look up, with your students, all of the various definitions of perfection. How do the different aspects of perfection reveal more about "everlasting punishment"?
 
PSST Bonus Round:
A poem and a link for this week's lesson:
The following is a poem that was sent to me (with permission to share by the author). It creatively tells the story of Jonah in a way that is both fun to hear, and possibly easy to memorize.  
 
After that is a great podcast edition of 'the Daily Lift' produced by the First Church of Christ Scientist, Boston. If you haven't heard of them, I highly recommend them. This one is particularly relevant.
 
 
JONAH             Jonah 1-2; 3:1-3 (to first.)
 
Now God I've made a habit of obedience to You,
But this last thing You've asked of me is not what I will do.
For Nineveh as You have said is such a rotten place,
It's hardly right I should go there and show my honest face!
Now just this once I'm going to think about someone called "me",
So You look out for Nineveh, while I'll be off to sea!
 
So off I went to Joppa, paid my ticket, got on boat,
Set sail to go to Tarshish with a big lump in my throat!
I'd hoped He hadn't seen me, but the chance was pretty slim,
There's not a lot, if anything, gets past Almighty Him!
The boat set sail, so far so good; I'm going to get some kip.
While I'm asleep and out of sight, I'm safe inside this ship.
 
But then a mighty tempest broke fast against the vessel,
Worthy men sweat hard and long against this unfair wrestle.
They cried in fear unto their gods to rescue them from death,
And cast forth all their wares and goods with their remaining breath.
I am awoke by pleas and shouts, and then they cast them lots,
The situation's urgent as we're doing thirty knots!  
 
I do confess, when they do ask, the whole thing's down to me;
I didn't listen to my God and now I'm all at sea!
"I'll tell you what, just cast me now into the boiling water",
But first they tried to save us all from what seemed certain slaughter.
The sea got worse, it beat them back, the whole thing very odd.
They took me up and cast me forth. The sea went calm. Thank God!
 
I fell into the deep green sea, their boat back under sail.
My life at risk, I'm sinking fast when swallowed by this whale!
Like some bad dream I'm still alive, quaking like a jelly:
God has provided shelter in this fish's bulging belly.
I pray and pray, for I have sinned, I truly do repent.
For three long days and nights I pray. Its time that is well spent.
 
I don't know how but suddenly I end up on dry land.
The last few days have certainly not gone as I had planned!
The word of God comes once again, and this time I agree.
And I preach this simple message. Repent and you'll be free!
I should have known that God is All and His word is the best.
In strict obedience is peace: let God do all the rest!
 
©Ken Cooper 2012


Your Daily Lift for October 24, 2012
brought to you by the Christian Science Board of Lectureship
"Feel like Jonah?"
with John Q. Adams, CSB

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