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Give "convincing proof" of our divine gift!

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, December 24th, 2012

[Give “convincing proof of”* Christian Science, our divine gift!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Christian Science" for December 30, 2012
by Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO 

web address: www.christiecs.com
ccern@mac.com 720-331-9356
[*Title from Retro. 93:24 by Warren Huff, CedarS Director]

Many of us have found ourselves in tough situations in which we need to lean on something bigger than we are.  The fact that we know that we can do this… that there is an omnipotent source of comfort and strength available to us… is the greatest gift we have.  This idea is stated simply in the Golden Text: “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”   Or, in other words, “Thank God I have Christian Science!”  

We are also a gift…we can give ourselves to God as a gift.  Here is a poem about this:

CHRISTMAS GIFT

By Max Dunaway

Here is a Christmas gift, O God,

For You and Your dear Son.

It is my life: may it show forth

What Your great gift has done.

(From the December 21, 1968 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel)

In the Bible Lesson this week, the comfort given to us by Christ Jesus and further elucidated by Mary Baker Eddy is presented to us as a gift.  And, as with many gifts we give or receive, we may want to know where it’s from, how it was made, how much it is worth, how to use it, and how we can share it with others. The sections of the lesson answer these questions as they apply to the gift of Christian Science.

*On page three of recent Christian Science Sentinel issues, the editors ask us to send them comments about our favorite Bible translations (submit to jshwrite@csps.com with the subject as “Bible Translation Comment”).  In that spirit, this met uses various translations of Bible citations.  The translation is noted where appropriate.

 

Section 1: What are the origins of Christian Science?
This section explains that Christian Science, the comforting truth of Jesus’ healing, did not come from a mortal mind… it is an inspired discovery of Christ’s message.

Mary Baker Eddy explains in many places that Christian Science is Bible-based.  As we read in Science and Health, “Christian Science derives its sanction [authority] from the Bible, and the divine origin of Science is demonstrated through the holy influence of Truth in healing sickness and sin.” (S1)

Christian Science is not an addition to Scriptures, but “coincides” with them.  Christian Science “sustains logically and demonstratively every point it presents.” (S2)  Another way of stating this is that “Christ’s Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God.” (S3)  This is carved in a granite sign at the start of CedarS Bible Time Travelers’ Trail.]

Christian Science was not invented through intellectual rationality.  Instead, Christian Science is a divine revelation that

            • derives from the Bible

            • coincides with Scriptures

            • maintains an obvious correspondence with the Scriptures

 

Section 2: What does the gift of Christian Science mean to the world?
After Jesus was born, shepherds saw the “glory of the lord shone round about them.”  [B8]  They knew this was something new and special—they were “sore afraid.” [B8]  But an angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master.” (B8, The Message, or MSG)  As the shepherds learned, the birth of Jesus on Christmas morning was a gift—the tangible example of Christ—for all mankind to share, a means of healing and comfort for everyone.

The shepherds saw a light and heard that the Savior was born 2,000 years ago.  And now, we are witnessing a wonderful moment in which, “Christian Science is dawning upon a material age.”  (S6)  Christian Science is the discovery that we can each learn from Jesus’ example and commune with Christ, and is here now as a gift for us to treasure. 

Jesus brought the gospel—the good news—to the world, overthrowing materialism and false theology.   Mary Baker Eddy discovered the principles Jesus uses to comfort and heal and called them Christian Science.  She offered the world a gift by presenting these principles to us.  Her introduction of Christian Science “Is the coming anew of the gospel of ‘on earth peace, good-will toward men.’” (S8)

 

Section 3:  Christian Science is the gift of systematic Christian healing
The third section of the lesson gives us an example of how Jesus demonstrated the Christ for all of us to see.  Christ—the comfort of God—isn’t just a feel-good idea.  Christ must be manifested and witnessed, and Jesus is our best example of Christ.

In this section’s first citation from the Bible, Jesus returns to Nazareth and heals Simon’s mother in law of a great fever, demonstrating Christ’s healing power.  Before this healing, he reads the words of Isaiah to a crowd:

“The Lord’s Spirit has come to me,

because he has chosen me

to tell the good news to the poor.

The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners,

to give sight to the blind,

to free everyone who suffers, 

and to say, ‘This is the year the Lord has chosen.’” 
(B9, Luke 4:18, CEV)

As Jesus explains, God sent him to us as a gift, to show us the pure Christ and give us the gift of Christian healing.   I love the idea from Isaiah that, “This is the year the Lord has chosen.”  This reminds me of what we like to say each summer at CedarS: ”This is the best summer yet!”  [since “the infinite idea” of CedarS, is “forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and  higher from a boundless basis.”  (S&H 258:14)]  Likewise, Isaiah’s message, which Jesus read to the people in Nazareth, is true today…“This is the year the Lord has chosen.”  What a great way to start 2013!

Referring to the early Christians’ healing and demonstration of Christ, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The Christian era was ushered in with signs and wonders.”  (S9)  She explains that Jesus “Healed the sick, practised Christian healing, and taught the generalities of its divine Principle to his students….” But, she explains, he didn’t give us a “definite rule for demonstrating this Principle of healing.”  This “rule remained to be discovered in Christian Science.”  (S10)

Mary Baker Eddy’s gift to us was discovering the “rule” or “system” of Christian healing, including “the sacred rules for its present application to the cure of disease.”  (S11)  She showed and explained to us that the healings during Jesus’ time are possible and probable today.   She writes, “Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural.” (S13)

This analogy may seem silly, but…  It’s almost as if Jesus demonstrated a bunch of cool things to do with an amazing gift—like with a new iPad—but people didn’t know how to use it, so thought that what he showed us was just a bunch of miracles.   And then someone—Mary Baker Eddy—figured out how to use the iPad, and said, “Look, this is how you turn it on.  I’ll show you, give you an instruction book (S&H), and you can practice using it on your own as much as you want.” 

 

Section 4: How can we use the gift of Christian Science?
In the analogy of the gift of the iPad from the previous section, Jesus demonstrated how to use the gift and then Mary Baker Eddy explained how to operate it so that we could learn to turn it on and use it for ourselves.  To take this analogy further, we now know that the way Jesus used his metaphorical iPad was not a bunch of tricks, but is possible for us also.  And, just like he said, once we understand the rules and follow his example, we can do even greater things with the gift than he did.  In Jesus’ words, “I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing.  You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father.” (B13, John 14: 12, CEV)

And, to take the analogy even farther, with every difficulty we seem to face, we can remind ourselves, “there’s [a metaphysical] app for that.”   In fact, for those of us who have used iPads, we know that they become more and more intuitive and that it’s fun to find more and more ways to use them in our daily lives.   Unlike an iPad, however, everyone can have Christian Science.  In fact, our spiritual gift never runs out of batteries, will never be obsolete, always gets a full wifi [connection] signal, can’t be stolen, can’t be hacked, and can’t break even if we take it swimming.  And best of all, the more we give it away, the more of it we have (Just like the camp song says: “Love is something if you give it away…you end up having more.”)

Getting back to the lesson, Mary Baker Eddy explains that the term “Christian Science” means the “scientific system of divine healing.” [S17]  She discovered the term and is rules of healing through divine revelation, which “consists of two parts:

  1. the discovery…
  2. the proof…” [S17, 123:19]

Mary Baker Eddy explained that Christian Science—the discovery and proof of divine healing—is the second Comforter, which abides with us “forever.”  (S14, 55:27)

I’ve heard people talk about “making Christian Science your own.”  To me, this means accepting God’s gift.  In other words, it means discovering, experiencing, and proving Christ’s comfort and divine healing for ourselves (using the metaphorical iPad for our daily needs).  Each one of us can do this every time we pray for a deeper understanding and feel transformed by what we learn.

 

Section 5: Why did Mary Baker Eddy share the gift of Christian Science with us?
When I find out about a great idea, I love to share it with my friends.  This must be a little bit like what Mary Baker Eddy felt when she discovered Christian Science—the “scientific system of divine healing.”   [B17, 12317]  But I imagine that the spiritual impulse that drove Mary Baker Eddy to share her discovery was undeniable... she couldn’t help but share it [and its sweet results].

When Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science, she may have felt like the person who wrote this Psalm:

“I deeply love your Law! I think about it all day….

Your teachings are sweeter than honey.

They give me understanding”  (B17, Ps. 119:97, 103, 104, CEV)

After finding the teachings that are “sweeter than honey,” Mary Baker Eddy followed instructions similar to the ones Isaiah received: “The Lord told me to write down his message for his people, so that it would be there forever.” (B18, Isa. 30:8, CEV)

Mary Baker Eddy said this about her book: “A Christian Scientist requires my work Science and Health for his textbook, and so do all his students and patients.  Why?  First: Because it is the voice of truth to this age, and contains the full statement of Christian Science.  Second: Because it was the first book known, containing a thorough statement of Christian Science….Third: Because this book has done more for teacher and student, for healer and patient, than has been accomplished by other books.”  (S22, 456:25)

During this holiday season, we can spend time knowing that Science and Health is a precious gift given to us by Mary Baker Eddy, who felt a pure and unselfed love for mankind and dedicated her life to sharing with us despite many obstacles.  The book contains the full “doctrine of Christian Science”.  (S23, 304:9)  In Mary Baker Eddy’s dedication of her book—we could think of this as the card attached to our Christmas gift—, she writes to us:

“In the spirit of Christ’s charity,—as one who ‘hopeth all things, endureth all things,’ and is joyful to bear consolation to the sorrowing and healing to the sick,—she commits these pages to honest seekers for Truth.”  (S24, xii: 23-27)

[See Warren's P.S.-about a life saving healing brought about by accepting and applying the gift of precious promises in the full paragraph before citation S-21, S&H 162:4.]

 

Section 6:  Is Christian Science a gift everyone can use?
This section reminds us that, yes, Christian Science is a gift everyone can use.  The first citation in the Bible states, “Christ gave each one of us the special gift of grace, showing how generous he is.” (B19, Eph. 4:7, NCV)

And the next citation reminds us that we should use our gift to help others.  We are told, “Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.” (B20, I Peter 4:10, CEV)

What a wonderful Christmas gift it is for us to be reminded, “You are God’s chosen and special people. You are a group of royal priests and a holy nation. God has brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (B21, I Peter 2:9, CEV)

And, as the poem from the beginning of this met explained, you are also a gift.  You are a gift to the world.  In Jesus’ words,  “You are the light of the world. You cannot hide a city that is on a mountain.  Men do not light a lamp and put it under a basket. They put it on a table so it gives light to all in the house.  Let your light shine in front of men. Then they will see the good things you do and will honor your Father Who is in heaven.”  (B22, Matt. 5:14-16, NLV)

Now that we’ve received the gift of Christian Science and we know that we are “like a light for the whole world,” we can use our gift to bless others.  Jesus instructed us to “Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.” (B23, Matt. 10:8, MSG)

With the gift of Christian Science, as explained in Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy gave us complete directions as to how to obey Jesus’ instructions to heal the sick and raise the dead.  She shared Christian Science with us, and now we can use that gift to bless others.   In Science and Health, she writes, “Truth is revealed.  It needs only to be practised.” (S25, 174:20)

The instructions to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils” may seem like a difficult task, but Mary Baker Eddy reminds us that we aren’t the ones doing the work.  She writes, “Hold perpetually this thought,—that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing…” (S27, 496:15)  It may seem as if some people are able to heal better than others, “but any student, who adheres to the divine rules of Christian Science and imbibes the spirit of Christ, can demonstrate Christian Science, cast out error, heal the sick, and add continually to his store of spiritual understanding, potency, enlightenment, and success.” (S28, 462:2)  It is the Holy Ghost and Christ that enable us to heal, and when we follow the principles in our textbook, our success is guaranteed.

As we are grateful for the spiritual gift we have received, and see ourselves as the light of the world, we can all “watch, work, and pray that this salt lose not its saltness, and that this light be not hid, but radiate and glow into noontide glory.” (S29, 367:21)

If all of us who read the CedarS mets strive to share the spiritual gift of Christian Science with at least one person during this holiday season, we will truly be “a city that is set on a hill” and “the light of the world.”  (B22, Matt. 5: 14)

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.  (B22, Matt. 5: 14-16, MSG)


[The application ideas above are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps. They are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp!  YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical

Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & bracketed, italic additions.]

[Warren's P.S.-on citation S-21 (S&H 162:9) is a whole-hearted song of gratitude to God and to Christian Science for “his unspeakable gift” (G.T., 2 Cor. 9:15) of a life-saving healing!  Over 4 years ago-after a joyous 2008 summer and fall of service, I found myself agonizing in the passenger seat during our evening move home from camp.  I sang (along with the sound system) many hymns that I knew by heart--thanks to years of camp Hymn Sing experience… belting them out at first through tears of intense pain, and later through tears of immense gratitude. For the first part of the trip the disabling discomfort just wouldn't let up--no matter how I changed my position or what hymns or citations I prayed. The pain seemed to radiate from a huge internal-external growth that had been steadily growing for several months. It had attempted to rob me of my vigor as well as of all ability to lift one of my legs. In deepest humility--and supported by the prayers of the dear driver, my mom and a practitioner who I kept calling-I continued to reach out to God and to sing each word with renewed understanding, conviction and vigor. With tears of joy I cherished the truths about my spiritual nature as if they were being tenderly told to me in order to save my life for God's service-and that they did! All pain finally broke thanks to this all-out, fervent praying and singing-- and I have hardly stopped smiling or singing since. I remain eternally grateful that I took "God-is-All" instead of Tylenol-that I chose Christian Science treatment to eliminate not only the pain, but also its cause rather that just opting to temporarily relieve suffering. I knew when I got home without pain that I was healed, although the draining and dissolving of the growth took several more weeks of consistent "ray-delineation therapy" which "dissolves tumors" with the invigorating purity of "the sunlight of Truth" that "Christian Science brings to the body." (S&H 162:4,-S-21 in the "Christian Science" lesson) I applied each ray of this divine, healing sunlight --shining the specific, promising laws and wonderful ideas laid out in this precious paragraph.
"Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates (refreshes, revitalizes, stimulates, enlivens, energizes, animates, rejuvenates, strengthens) and purifies (cleanses, disinfects, sanitizes, decontaminates, filters). Christian Science acts as an alterative (a medicinal plant that causes a gradual beneficial change in the body, usually through improved nutrition and elimination, without having any marked specific action OR A medicine or treatment which gradually induces a change, and restores healthy functions without sensible evacuations), neutralizing error with Truth. It changes the secretions (emissions, discharges, oozing), expels humors (4 Medieval ones to be balanced: blood, yellow bile, phlegm, black bile see http://public.wsu.edu/~hanly/chaucer/coursematerials/humours.html ), dissolves tumors (growths, cancers, lumps, swellings), relaxes rigid muscles ("thought-forces"), restores carious bones to soundness. The effect of this Science is to stir (rouse, wake up, budge, shift, get up, revive) the human mind to a change of base (basis, foundation, origin, heart, starting point), on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind." (S&H 162:4). Have fun singing out this transforming "sunlight of Truth" that Christian Science is bringing to every part of your body!  And, once healed, we can trust God’s promise in Nahum 1:9: “he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.”]


 [YOUR QUICK SUPPORT IS DOUBLY APPRECIATED AND STILL NEEDED!!

1st "Emerge ‘n See" Shortage Met!  Thanks to wonderful responses to our fall pleas for help to buy hay to make up for a significant shortage caused by unexpected, dry conditions in the Midwest this summer, we were able to buy enough good hay to feed our horses!  Thank you SO much!! While donations covered the unbudgeted $12.900 expense of buying hay this year, there is an ongoing need to support the riding program, which still has $36,000 to raise to reach its goal.  (http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/adopt-the-herd/  shares details.)  Fortunately, MATCHING FUNDS DONORS FOR "ADOPT THE HERD" have committed to match your gifts up to $50,000 to buy hay and to underwrite the excellence of CedarS' popular and effective Riding Program.  Here's a sample of fruitage:
"I am getting to know about horses and how to ride them. ... I am very grateful to know that God is at my side all the time." Camper

2nd "Emerge ‘n See" Response: We discovered this fall that several of CedarS' original cabins and structures whose electrical wiring was not in metal conduits, have become fire hazards due to critters gnawing through the wire insulation. Running new wire inside conduit (plus fixing our backhoe and doing other needed -- but more routine -- maintenance throughout camp) will cost $50,000.  The good news is that work has been able to be started thanks to about $15,000 (over half) received in recent phoned-in and mailed-in donations as well as e-gifts to http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/maintenance/  .
Also. MATCHING FUNDS DONORS FOR "MAINTENANCE MUSTS" will match your gifts up to $25,000 till year-end! “Only” $10,000 to go! 
"What a wonderful experience it was to be at CedarS... I will keep it in my heart forever: the beautiful surroundings, the embracing architecture, the loving and selfless staff. CedarS and all who love it and serve it is... a very special and holy place." 
College Summit Participant

[If you'd rather not give online, thank you for mailing your checks to:

CedarS Camps Office,
1314 Parkview Valley Dr.,
Manchester, MO 63011


Or for calling us at
636-394-6162 to give a monthly pledge or a single, Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card gift.]

[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas 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 is now available for CedarS Mets, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  You can email him by clicking Orlando Trentini to be added to the list.  
 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.]


[PSST: Shine boldly together!]
Possible Sunday School Topics
for
the Christian Science Bible Lesson on:
"Christian Science"
for December 30, 2012
by John Biggs, CS, Bend, Oregon
(+1 541 316 0809)  johnbiggscs@gmail.com

Good morning!  It’s such a pleasure to unite with you all as we live together Sunday School Alive and Church Alive.

Although this week’s lesson is on Christian Science, it’s NOT an exclusive lesson, that is only of interest to people who attend our particular denomination’s church!  Check out in the preface of Science & Health, on page xii, who Mary Baker Eddy committed these pages to. That commitment [“to honest seekers for Truth” (S24)] is also stated as the last citation in Section 5.  Is Christian Science an exclusive religion, only for a certain few who look and behave a certain way?  You might enjoy reading the lesson this week with a lens of appreciating the welcome, applicability, and healing Christian Science reveals to all. And, as you read the lesson with these qualities in mind, how can you really live them this week?

PSST for Golden Text – A grateful heart a garden is! (Hymn 3)
Have you given gratitude recently to God?  Go ahead and devote some time today (and every day!) just being grateful for God and any way in which you’ve seen His presence in your life.  Be willing to devote a moment to gratitude every single time you recognize the presence of God.

PSST for Responsive Reading – Don’t be shy about your love for God
One way you could read this Responsive Reading would be as an encouragement to be very loud and outgoing about Christian Science.  Well, perhaps in some moments and for some people, but isn’t it more important to be clear with the way you live your life?  Do we need to spend time trying to verbally convince people of the truths of Christian Science, or can we devote our lives to simply proving it step by step? Go ahead and give it a try this week and use your Sunday School class as an opportunity to share how you all are living these truths and not just talking about them.

PSST for Section 1 – The foundation is already set
It’s really important to understand that Christian Science is not some nice theory that a lady came up with in the 1800’s.  It’s not a prosperity gospel of trying to manifest and create good things into your life, and it’s not a self-help regimen.  It is the full revelation of the Science behind the leaders and prophets throughout the Bible, and the Comforter that Jesus spoke of, being with us forever.  It is the impersonal, all-embracing law and assurance of God’s nature as all good itself, and our status as the effect of divine good.  The Bible, as big or confusing as it may sometimes seem, is a story of God’s love for man, and how man has seen (or sometimes not understood) this love.  Citation B1 entreats us to ‘lift up thine eyes round about, and see.’  The more familiar we are with the Bible, the more we will see its relevance in every moment of our lives and we’ll see how we can keep moving forward with the timeless truths imparted in it.  I know that in my healing practice I’m learning how very important it is to make it clear (definitely for myself, and usually imparting to a patient as well) the Biblical foundation for the Christian Science treatment and anything we might share with each other.  It’s easy, when you’re on the phone or texting or emailing with someone asking for help, to spout off a lot of nice sounding things… but if we think we are making up stuff on our own and not diving into our Biblical foundation and its spiritual import and explanation as given in Science & Health, then we are just subtly reinforcing the belief of separation from God by thinking we have to come up with good stuff ‘all by ourselves.’  Let’s really love our Bible resources as timeless expressions of Love!  
[See Warren’s P.S. on Mrs. Ruth Huff’s Bible opening to “the way of holiness” (B-2, Isa. 35:8)]

In the spirit of diving into the resources at our disposal, I wanted to make sure you all knew about the online community which is entirely focused on diving into and living some of Jesus’ radical, healing teachings.  Christian Science is entirely based on what Jesus taught, and Radical Acts is a vibrant community of healing, support, and engagement with how we can truly follow his works and words. Many Sunday School classes have found a lot of inspiration in picking a Radical Act together to really live and follow through on, and have enjoyed sharing their experiences online with the world!  Perhaps you'd like to consider doing this too!

PSST for Section 2 – ‘God is no respecter of persons’ (Acts 10:34)
How willing are we to see each other – ALL of us – as the loved of Love?  Can we discard the limited lenses through which we so often see or hear others?  Citation B7 speaks of how Bethlehem is not great by human standards, but it was there that the Christ idea would be first fully seen.  Are willing to see and hear the Christ wherever we may be?

This section is of great import to Sunday School teachers and students, church members, and anyone with any interest in drawing out and nurturing the healer within all of us.  Are willing to see and live the facts stated in citation S7?  Or are we going to say, “This person would have a healing if only they’d do…”  Are we going to create darkness that others have to get through, or are we going to persist in seeing what God has made?  Obviously, we all have our own individual relation to God, as inseparable cause and effect, but we don’t need to put beams in our eyes that would keep us from seeing with God’s light.

Have you ever spent more time focused on what’s wrong with others than with healing your own thought about the situation?  TMCYouth has a beautiful, uplifting game (called Radical Acts/the Game) you can play wherever you are which inspires deeper thought and builds amazing bonds of trust and community with your companions.  One of the game cards (topical conversation starters) deals with the very question I asked above.  You might enjoy checking it out, and checking out the rest of the game as well!  If you need help exploring it, please feel free to email me anytime – I’d love to play it with you and your friends including your SS pupils!

Here’s a story of how someone learned to see God’s children, rather than reacting to mortal appearances.  Can you live these ideas this week and share with your class how it went?

PSST for Section 3 – Healing!
When I was little, I thought the word ‘divers’ in citation B9 actually referred to diseases that divers would get – you know, [like from doing a “belly flop”] off a diving board, or [like ‘the bends’] from scuba diving.  Since then I’ve learned that it’s just a variant spelling of ‘diverse.’  But what I’ve loved about this was that it didn’t matter to Jesus how weird or scary the disease or challenge appeared; he knew his foundation for healing was completely solid and so he could just see what God made.  Citation B10 starts right off with a recollection of how Jesus called his disciples together and sent them out to heal as well. Are we willing to respond to this call?  I often like to ask myself, “Am I available?”  The calls and examples in this section make me think of the amazing role model found in Isaiah 6:8.  “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?  Then said I, Here am I; send me.”  Right now, could you say, “Here I am!  Send me!”  If not, don’t get depressed.  Instead, let’s see how we CAN get to that point of feeling truly available to see God’s perfect work.  Here’s another card from Radical Acts/the Game which may help spark community conversation and support about this idea of being available to see what God has done.

This call is laid out very clearly in the citations from Science & Health as well.  Are we willing to drop pre-conceptions and follow the model laid out in citation S12?  This selfless, loving manner of treating and seeing others truly invites healing.  This is just one example of how seeing others correctly brought peace and healing to a family.  Again, how can we really live this, this week?

PSST for Section 4 – The joy of turning thought to God
Is the spirit of [“Break forth into joy” (B11, Isa. 52: 9. 10)] always close to your heart?  There may certainly be many times when there seems to be plenty of evidence that God is not present and that we have no reason to rejoice.  However, Christian Science reveals to the world the ever-present, ever-operative fact that God is present and could never be otherwise, for She is all.  An article from the Christian Science Sentinel which I have really enjoyed speaks about letting thought be shaped and shifted, and not relying on sense evidence to give us reason for or against rejoicing.  I hope you’ll enjoy it. 

Perhaps these assurances of God’s love, and of how loved we all are, may be too tough to really hear or understand, though.  Is God sitting around, tapping His toes, waiting for you to come back to Him – sitting there off in the distance till you are ready to listen?  Is God waiting to be allowed back into the schools, or into the workplace, and only then will we be able to hear Him?  [“the Spirit of truth… will guide you into all truth… and… shew you things to come” (B14, John 16:12, 13)] is a tender, comforting message to any of us who may believe those things are true.  God and the Christ message are impersonal, forever true and present, and we can trust “the Spirit of truth” to guide us no matter where we find ourselves mentally or physically.  Mary Baker Eddy elaborates on this for us in the loving and clear citations from Science & Health in this section.  Citation S18 [111:11] is a definitive illustration of the ever-presence of God.  We don’t need to fear the supposition of God’s absence!  You and your class might enjoy discussing how you can break through the mist when it does seem like God is somewhere else.

PSST for Section 5 – A message of love
Have you ever read Science & Health like it was a love letter?  You and your pupils might enjoy reading it like that – as a love letter direct for you!  This might also encourage your sharing of Science & Health; it’s easy to share a love letter!  This section elaborates on this idea, using beautiful imagery in the Bible passages to illustrate the joy of living and sharing what you’ve learned about the Science of Christianity.  Then in citation S23, we have an inspired statement of what Christian Science is [“that joy cannot be turned into sorrow…’”].  Does that statement or definition leave room for fear of others, for exclusivity, or reacting negatively to the exclusiveness of others? I’ve been enjoying reaching out to engage in ecumenical conversations with folks in my town, and recently I had an experience where I learned more about how to really listen and really see what God has done, rather than seeing us as inherently divided into two religious camps.  Of course the distinctions between faiths are important, but the community building that can come from seeing the fact of the Science of Christ as ever-present is truly remarkable.  I shared more of that story here.  And if you’d like to enjoy some conversation around this topic, you could give this card from the Radical Acts game a try.  All the cards include “On your own” sections, designed to inspire you to move forward and keep living it!  Give it a try – see how a greater sense of the beauty and allness of God’s nature illuminates this week. Then as you gather in Sunday School, share how you lived and shared the spirit of that 'on your own' and see how others have been sharing as well.

PSST for Section 6 – Shine!
[“Ye are the light of the world…” (B22)] holds the key thing.  The way we know we’re truly shining, is if thought always goes to God, and not to person.  Here's a whole Radical Act completely devoted to this topic - you might enjoy what others have shared, and please share your own experiences and insights!  Something that's so beautiful about light shining is that it just IS.  Lights don't vaguely shine; the sun doesn't sort of shine a bit and then go out.  Light is what happens when the sun exists!  Likewise, citation S25 declares: "Truth is revealed."  So let's live it!  We go on in citation S27 [“”…the spiritual idea… enables you to demonstrate with scientific certainty, the rule of healing…”] to discover that the presence, the already-active nature of Truth, allows us to be supremely humble.  It's the spiritual idea which enables us to demonstrate… it's not your own willpower, or a certain list of mortal qualifications… or even how old you are.  Just be willing to shine out as much you understand and love!  Citation S28 [“any student who adheres to the divine rules… can demonstrate Christian Science’] is deeply comforting in helping us remember that comparing ourselves to others is never helpful.  Don't be bothered if it seems like your friends, or other church members, or campers or counselors you've spent time with, seem to be progressing so much faster than you.  Likewise, don't spend any time worrying about the lapses people make.  I know it can be so disappointing when people we deeply love and respect mess up, or don't behave as we think they should.  Be willing to let go of that comparison and turn ever more steadfastly to divine Love to see how and who you are.  How can you support each other this week in not comparing or blaming?

It's a joyful thing to unite with others as we all shine together.  This is what is Sunday School, and camp, and church, are all about.  In fact, if you're a Sunday School teacher or staff member, I'm hosting weekly conference calls (starting again Tuesday, January 8) on behalf of TMCYouth which aim to nurture and embrace our global Sunday School community.  We're exploring how we can engage with daily Sunday School opportunities afforded in Radical Acts, and how broadly we can see and live Sunday School and church.  How can we break free of limits that say Sunday School (or camp, or church) are only for an hour, or a day, or a summer?  More information about these calls can be found here.  It would be truly wonderful to have you join in on the call!  Sometimes we meet by video conference and sometimes over the phone… please feel free to email me with any questions!

 

We have so many communities we can gather around, and share in, which are not delineated by lines keeping others out, but are graceful invitations to all, to see healing for everyone.  This Christmas season is of course a wonderful to do this, but can't we live the spirit of Christmas [and unselfish giving] every single day [like our Jewish and Muslim brethren have come together to give this season.]   Isn't the spirit of Christmas also crucial to Christian Science?  The more we can see that Christian Science is not a compartmentalized part of our life, but is actually the present revelation of divine Mind, the more confidently we can shine and appreciate others' shining as well.

 

This is a great day to dive into Christian Science…  looking forward to engaging with this Bible Lesson with you!  And let's see how we can truly shine together.

---
John Biggs, CS
Bend, Oregon
footstepsdrawingnear.com
541.316.0809


[Warren’s P.S. on citation (B-2, Isaiah 35):  The 35th chapter of Isaiah is forever cherished by every staff member at CedarS because CedarS Founder, Mrs. Ruth E. Huff, opened to this chapter at random when she asked God, ‘What is your purpose for the CedarS Camps?’  (CedarS Camps, Its Origin & Growth)  Ruth especially LOVED that God’s new name (alias) for CedarS and its Bible Lands Park is “the way of holiness”.( Isa. 35: 8)  The fun and effectiveness of “the way of holiness” is shown on “”Ruth’s Run”, a one-hour zipline tour of a biblical chronology of Answered Prayer (A.P.) History.]


[PYCL: Give them a gift that keeps on giving!]
CedarS PYCLs--P
ossible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Christian Science"

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 30, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

[PYCL:  Give each child a gift to remind them what Christian Science reveals about them!]
It is wonderful (and of course, inspired), that we follow the lesson on Christ Jesus with the lesson on Christian Science.  Jesus was our way-shower and most clearly illustrated through his living the way that Christian Science works.  It might be fun to share our gratitude with our students for the gift of Christian Science with a small gift for each child to remind them of what Christian Science reveals to us about ourselves. One way to do this would be with a picture of their name in some artistic form, maybe large colored construction paper letters. You could write in each letter the things about that child that you know are revealed by Christian Science, be specific and personal so that it is a sincere and thoughtful gift.  Another thing would be to turn their name into an acrostic (a famous CedarS tactic) with a beautiful and true expression about them stemming from each letter of their name.  I might frame each acrostic with a paper frame that I decorate in some way.  Alternatively you could write an actual short poem for each, if your thoughts run in that direction.  Wrap each name/acrostic/poem, and even maybe include a ribbon or bow so they see it as special.  You can say that Christian Science shows us that Christmas is never over!  It is the gift that is always giving us a right understanding of God and man, including ourselves. When you've talked about this gift then you can have them come up with the same sort of thing for each other or for a family member while you are in class. It is up to you how elaborate and decorative you want to get in class, you wouldn't want to have them focused too heavily on the decoration maybe while they are doing it there, but they could mount it on a colored piece of construction paper for a frame or something at the end of their work, that makes it look finished.

 

[PYCL:  Shine so bright with reflected goodness that we’re “sought out”, as a city on the hill!]
I love so many of the things in the Responsive Reading (R.R.)  The references to how God's righteousness goes out as “brightness” and His salvation as “a lamp” (referring to what Jesus brought to us).  What does this mean to the kids?  Why the analogy of brightness and lamp?  Why will the Gentiles even see this goodness?  What is a Gentile and what is the significance of that to us today?  Even though this passage is from the famous prophecy about Jesus in Isaiah, I think, based on Jesus' teachings it tells us about ourselves and how we are anointed and have a mission today.  Jesus told us that we would do the works that he did (and greater works!), so how are we a “crown of glory”?  And how are we a “royal diadem”?  Talk about what these are and maybe even make crowns together after they understand what it means to be such to God.  One of the beautiful things about these passages is that the brightness and glory and so on point to the fact that Jesus made God's goodness especially visible to man; that these things about God are felt in God's warmth, light, and love; they are not abstract!  This is our mission as individual reflections of God's being: to be so bright with our goodness that we are “sought out” and stand as the city on the hill and light on the candlestick (from citation B-22 in the last section). You should make sure you talk about those analogies in Section 6.  They are obvious to us, but at some point in our experience they were not.  Never assume that these things are understood with the little ones.  You can certainly ask first to see if someone in the class can explain before you launch off into your own explanation.

 

[PYCL:  Expect to express your chosen heritage of holiness in practical ways! (like at camp)]
Another thought worthy of addressing is how Christian Science calls us to really express the holiness of God in a practical way, as Jesus did.  It never “lets us off the hook”, nor does it make it our personal responsibility.  It is the Christ that heals, the Holy Ghost, the Scientific understanding of God as all good.  We have been given the gift of that Christ-spirit so that we are all chosen priests, royalty with God. (B21)  One thing that I love about CedarS is the way that we are truly seen there as beloved, chosen by God, anointed either as camper or counselor.  There are not some who are more naturally “good” at Christian Science (really just a way to do the above: let ourselves “off the hook”, so to speak.  We must accept and grab on to the authority that is bestowed on us.  Just as if we were princes and princesses in line to accept the throne, no argument, you were born to that position, so we are born to this position in Truth's universe.  It is the perennial argument of error, that there are just “those who are better at Christian Science” than others.  We can encourage the kids to start right now to recognize where that argument springs from. (B13)

 

[PYCL:  Look in humble circumstances to find peace, using your spiritual senses!]
In section two we are reminded to look for the right things in the right places.  Talk about where Jesus was born.  Why was he born in such humble circumstances?  There are several reasons for this, can they think of any?  Maybe one reason would be, of course, that he was available to everyone, not so “high and mighty” that the regular person couldn't share in his blessing.  Another idea is that it represents how the things of Spirit often come in very humble and unexpected ways.  They are usually only perceived by spiritual sense and the material senses in fact deny the Christ spirit at nearly every turn.  Can you all come up with ways that happened in Jesus' life?  Can you find ways that that happens in our own lives today?  Do we often worry about whether we can be healed and wonder if maybe we should pay more attention to matter?  How is God bringing you face to face today with the “babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger”?  Are we looking to matter to confirm the things of Spirit?  If we are looking for the Comforter through material means, then we will never find that comfort that is lasting and spiritual.  We can find temporary comfort through human sympathy or other forms, but to find permanent peace, it must be found through the Christ or Holy Spirit; and this is seen with our spiritual senses.

 

[PYCL:  Gracious preparation… Share examples of healing from your persistent work.]
The fifth section addresses the place of Science and Health.  It can't hurt to talk to the kids about how important it is to our understanding of the Bible and of how to use Biblical truths to heal.  You can look together at citation S19 and talk about what she meant by “gracious preparation”. Talk about what that might have been if you feel you know enough about her life.  It's a remarkable statement when you consider the substantial challenges and disappointments she experienced before (and even after) her discovery.  What does this mean for our lives?  Probably at these younger ages they are not considering these bigger questions, but it's helpful to know that when things don't turn out as we hoped, that this can be useful and even “gracious” preparation to receive such enormous blessings and joy if we are persistent and prayerful in our pursuit of understanding.  This is not to say that God puts stumbling blocks before us, or withholds His goodness; just that sometimes it takes some serious digging on our part to discover this goodness for ourselves.  This work brings demonstration and healing and it is not always a hard and long road to healing; we just need to continuously strive in that direction.  Share some examples of healing that came from your persistent prayer and work, the healing could be “quick” or “slower” but usually it does stem from some level of dedication.

I hope everyone had and continues to have, a peace-filled Christmas!

 

 

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