Cedar Camps

Metaphysical Ideas

Search Metaphysicals
 

Metaphysical Newsletters

The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided to campers, staff, alumni, friends and the CedarS family at no charge however contributions help defray the costs of running this service.

Click here for more about how you can provide support!
 

Delivered to You FREE!

Available in five languages, get it delivered to your inbox weekly!

Subscribe Now!

Remember Perfection Underlies Reality. MBE

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, March 19th, 2012

"Perfection Underlies Reality."   MBE
Rick Stewart C.S., Dresden, Germany
Metaphysical Application Ideas from Cedars Camps 
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Reality"
for March 19-25, 2012
by Rick Stewart, CS of Dresden,  Germany 
Tel. +49 351 312 4736
RickStewartCS@aol.com

 [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 French, thanks to Pascal & Marie-Helene; in German, thanks to Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. 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  Enjoy! Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes with bracketed additions.]
 
How many times have you heard the remark, "Well, nobody's perfect." We use it as a comment to explain a failure or mistake.   Many people would even argue perfection is an impossibility. So is perfection simply an unattainable goal or state? Does perfection actually exist somewhere, somehow?
 
Well, I would argue," Yes, perfection does exist."   I'll share a few examples. And I will also point you to this week's Christian Science Bible Lesson on the subject, "Reality." I see this Lesson as a "perfect" study of perfection objectified, or made obvious. And part of this discovery is learning more about our role in observing, experiencing, or witnessing perfection made manifest.
 
And I love this thought from Mary Baker Eddy quoted in this week's Lesson. It is the "perfect" foundation for our study: "Perfection underlies reality. Without perfection, nothing is wholly real." (S-1, S&H 353: 16-18)
 
Well have you ever glimpsed perfection? A perfect moment? Something you experienced that could only be described as perfection made manifest? I will share a couple of my favorite "moments of perfection."
 
I was with my kids at the fall "Hoffest" of "Obsthof Rudiger." This is a fruit farm or orchard, near Dresden, run by friends.   We rode in a hay wagon to the back of the farm. Our driver pulled up alongside a row of apple trees brimming with gorgeous red apples. We were invited to pick an apple. I chose my apple, plucked it from the tree, polished it a little on my jacket, and took a huge bite. Juicy, crisp, sweet and at the same time a little sour, it was incredible. My son Noah really laughed when I said, "This is absolutely the best apple I have ever eaten in my life." But I meant it, it was the perfect apple. Well, to me it was the perfect apple.
 
Another moment of perfection:   I was at King's Beach, Costa Rica. We had just driven through a palm oil plantation and arrived at this isolated beach. There was no one to be seen except our little group. The waves were just right -- big, peeling right, but not too big, and a light offshore wind blowing. And there was a channel that made paddling out very simple. I took my brand new board that had never touched water, and paddled out. I paddled to the left and dropped in on a beautiful wave. Now I am no great surfer, no Kelly Slater, I just love the water.  So the fact that every element of this event came together in perfect order was awe inspiring.  The perfect place, the perfect wave, perfect timing, and something that did not happen often, a perfect ride with several turns, then a perfect kick out over the top of the wave with spray in my face.    Oh, what a moment to savor.   It is still crystal clear in thought and gets my heart pumping. Don't tell me there is no perfection.
 
But these experiences belong to that area of things where we each have a view of what would be just perfect. What would be the perfect meal, the perfect evening, the perfect vacation? And this week's lesson goes even further as it helps us understand the very perfect nature of reality.   In a video lecture made for The Mother Church  in the early 1990s, "Infinity and Individuality," the lecturer, Astrophysicist  Laurance  Doyle made the following comment: "Of the many great and outstanding discoveries in the 19th and 20th centuries-- from Maxwell's work in electromagnetics to Einstein's studies in time and space--by far the most outstanding and significant was Mary Baker Eddy's discovery that reality is perfect." Lodi News Sentinel, April 14, 1992
 
A more recent talk by Laurance appears online and can be accessed through the following link:
 
A reality that is perfect? Wait till you see what this lesson has in store for you.   Let's begin our exploration of the "perfection that underlies reality." (S-1)
 
Golden Text: [ . . Declare the greatness of our God! . . . His work is perfect; "Deuteronomy 32:3,4) From the Hollman Christian Standard Bible
I looked at over 20 different Bible translations regarding this verse and nearly all of them translated "perfect" as the description of God's work. One did use the term "perfection." And one simply declared, "he never does wrong." (CEV) Over twenty to one, "God's word is perfect." So we begin to see a foundation for the examples in this lesson, and that is simply faith in the "perfect" work of God.
 
Responsive Reading:  This Responsive Reading is quite unique. I do not remember the last time a story of healing served as the introduction to a lesson.   And that is what the Responsive Reading serves as, an introduction. Here we read the beloved story of Peter and John healing the crippled man who sat at the gate of the temple. The onlookers were astounded that a man crippled from birth was now "walking and leaping and praising God."    Peter gave a simple explanation,   " 13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all."
 
"Perfect soundness": I grew up in horse country, Ocala, Florida. We have over 1,200 horse farms and over 900 thoroughbred horse farms, and the town is nicknamed, "Horse Capital of the World." When someone speaks of a horse's health, the term "sound" is often used. When a horse has had an injury or accident the treatment given will hopefully end up with a sound animal. One of my first requests for help in the practice of Christian Science came from the owners of a quarter horse, Dugan.  I had ridden Dugan often and at the request of the owners exercised him regularly. After a veterinarian had given up hope for Dugan the owners called and asked me to come out to their little farm.   I spoke to Dugan, I groomed him, and I even sang hymns to him. My prayers took the form of "knowing the truth" or acknowledging Dugan's spiritual perfection as an idea, or creation of God. I had lots of faith not in my own ability to accomplish anything, but rather like Peter and John, faith in what God had revealed to us through his son, Christ Jesus.   And in the early evening I presented Dugan to his owners in "perfect soundness."
 
Section 1 - Reality is spiritual and perfect-nothing foggy here.
This section is a clear example (pun intended) that as we transform our view of reality from the material to the spiritual, we get clearer views of life. As the fog of material thinking clears, reality in its spiritual perfection is seen. A specific experience illustrating this "foggy" phenomena and an example how we proceed is found in the following Daily Lift "Beyond the Fog," by Mari Milone, CSB, from Montevideo, Uruguay. Mari is a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship. She tells of a fog so thick that she and her husband drove through the fog, sometimes they could only see a few meters.   Every now and then a sunbeam would penetrate through the fog and reveal what was actually there.   It came to Mari that even though the fog was thick, it did not affect the animals, trees, buildings and people, they had not disappeared.    Mari shared, that sometimes we have to walk by faith, not by sight as it says in 2 Cor. 5:7. She points out that when we are lost in the fog of fear, sickness, or pain a little ray of spiritual truth can pierce the fog. Mari quotes Mrs. Eddy from her book, No and Yes, Page 16, "The mists of matter - sin, sickness, and death-disappear in proportion as mortals approach Spirit, which is the reality of being. " Here is a link for the entire "Daily Lift" audio: http://christianscience.com/prayer-and-health/inspiration/your-daily-lift/2-9-beyond-the-fog
 
Citation B-3 states "For I am become like a bottle in the smoke" (Ps. 119:83) A really interesting note from The Mother Church's "My Bible Lesson" regards the "psalmist comparing  himself to a goatskin bottle, which was used for carrying fermenting wine. Hanging a goatskin bottle in the smoke of a tent was supposed to give the wine more flavor, but this particular bottle was empty, old, brittle, and blackened after hanging for so long.  Goatskin bottles need to be new and supple to allow for the fermenting gases to expand, otherwise the skins would burst and spill the wine. The psalmist prayed for fresh insight into the meaning of God's messages (symbolized by the new wine)."   www.mybiblelesson.com/
 
Section 2 - Angelic help with our imperfections.
" The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:" (B-5, Psalms 138 )  I love this assurance from Psalms. A clear indication that we are not alone in working out our salvation. 
Citation B-7, Isaiah 6 refers to King Uzziah. Once again TMCs "My Bible Lesson "offers a very interesting insight.  "King Uzziah (pronounced uh-ZIY-uh) took the throne at age 16. His reign was one of the longest and most successful in all of Hebrew history. In the last half of his reign, he became excessively prideful. In one instance, he burned incense in the Temple's holy place-something only priests were allowed to do.  At that moment, he was struck with leprosy, which made him unfit to govern.  He then moved away from the royal headquarters, and his son took over his official duties."
 
We all live and learn. We also live and grow in our understanding. This section opens to us the possibilities before us that show we are not alone. As Hymn 9 in the Christian Science Hymnal says, "He (God) knows the angels that you need and sends them to your side, to comfort, guard and guide." We can learn from Uzziah the importance of identifying where our abilities and our successes come from, that is specifically God. Our perfection is only the reflection coming from a perfect Source. As Mrs. Eddy states, "Perfect God, perfect man." That is safe ground to stand on. Knowing who we are and where we come from.
 
But what if we "make a mistake": stumble, fall, become prideful, or just in ignorance mess up?   As the Science and Health citations show, "the angels of His presence" lift us up. One New Years Eve I was setting off some homemade fireworks. They had been a great success and met with the approval of the bystanders. And then I remembered some "black powder" I had in the house and the thought came to me that it would be good to use it up also. So in a one pound salt container I put in the black powder with some other chemicals that would give some color. But I made one terrible mistake. I thought of black powder as being slow burning. I knew better, but oops. When I set off the miniature bomb the neighborhood shook and I was enveloped in a cloud of smoke that looked like a cartoon scene. I came out of the smoke with my hair and eyebrows singed away, my clothes covered in soot, and what was not so comical, my hand had been severely burned. I made a little joke about my appearance and immediately went in and called my mom, a Christian Science practitioner.   I then showered and my shower floor was completely black. The cool water eased the pain in my hand as I showered.  But when I took the hand out of the water the pain was excruciating.   I knew I had to take a stand; I could not keep my hand under the water all the time. I knew I could trust the Comforter that was operating on my behalf. My mom was effectively praying and I was also.   The temptation for immediate relief was daunting. But I had this certainty that I could rely on the permanent help through the Comforter. I made a clear choice, no mixing. With that stand the pain stopped and did not return. I was serving as First Reader at the time and the next day was able to serve without a problem. Within days enough progress had been made that I went surfing with friends. One of them a former paramedic commented, "Man you must have had some burn, but it's looking great now!"
 
Section 3 - Perfect health through the Science of Being 
 What about the imperfections of sickness, illness, accident? Is there an option other than standard medical practice? Many Christian Scientists who have experienced healing simply through the practice of Christian Science and prayer would affirm that there are options. But it can be puzzling to someone unfamiliar with the Biblical basis for healing. But my son Noah just shared an interesting example as to how one might understand how healing takes place.
 
Noah has made some great transformations in his room over the last few days. He shares the room with his younger brother, Johann. As he was trying to find arrangements that made the room feel more ordered, more like a home; and he's had some great ideas. Last week we added a sofa that he inherited from his great grandmother. The sofa fit perfectly and with Noah's arrangement it looked just great.
 
Then today he had another idea. Noah called me in to see what he had done. Part of the room layout is a loft bed that is Johann's, the sofa under the loft bed, and then some bookshelves that divided the room. As Noah called me in, he stood on the far side of the room and I thought wanted to show me something over there. I walked toward him, in a perfect path, and when I arrived where he was he was really smiling. I had just walked through where previously there was a book shelf. It was so ideal, so perfect an idea that I did not even realize what had been changed. He had moved the shelf along the wall with some other shelves.  But the idea was so perfect, it just seemed natural. And when you think about Christian Science healing it is kind of like that. It is the "right idea," the "perfect idea" made manifest and when it is in place, the old idea just has faded away. Like it was never there. A healing in Christian Science does not leave you feeling like you have somehow lost an old friend, the sickness or complaint, but rather everything seems the way it should have always been, absolutely perfect.
 
Section 4 - Perfect Seeds: Keep the Good and harvest perfection.
We do have to be patient with ourselves. It is tempting when it is so easy to see what we are doing wrong, or what someone else is doing wrong to go in like a threshing machine.    But as Jesus showed us through his parable in this section (B-14, Matthew 13), there might be a more effective method than rooted up everything, the good and the bad. Sometimes we just have to keep watering and fertilizing the good that is developing in our lives and not worry about momentary setbacks.    And when the harvest comes we can discern what to keep and what to throw away. I just always encourage myself even when I have stumbled to get back to the lesson and make sure that I am praying. Sometimes we are tempted to worry, wonder, doubt, when we simply need to know the Truth.   [We plan to illustrate these life-lessons from this tares-and-wheat parable this summer with wheat and scattered tares seeds planted at the end of the organic garden that Mickey is about to plant at the top of Time Travelers Trail.]
 
My friend back home, Tom Evans, shared this experience he had with a seed worth planting. Tom wrote, "We don't plant wheat in Florida, but I am reveling in one seed that I planted years ago. I put that seed in my pocket which I had gathered from a friend's tree.  It's called an orchid tree.  I planted it when I got home.  Today as I look out my window, that seed has become a large tree with probably 500 pink blossoms that look beautiful against the blue sky.  A side benefit is that when the blossoms are finished they rain down pink petals in the breeze."
 
"We are the beautiful blossoms that the Christ has planted.  All we have to do is be ourselves and shine in perfection.  Error can't stop that perfection though it may seem to try.  The orchid blossoms are still beautiful whether the squirrels scamper across the branches, or the birds land in them or the wind blows, or the sun beats down." Amen, Tom.
 
Section 5 - Perfect, permanent seeing and hearing. 
[When CedarS Founder Ruth Huff opened to Bible at random to ask what God's purpose was for starting and running His Camp in the Ozarks, her eyes feel on the whole of Isaiah 35, including the verses that precedes citation B-18, Isaiah 35:5. They state (with Ruth's ideas in parentheses): "Strengthen ye the weak hands (grasp on how to apply spiritual truths) and confirm the feeble knees."  (willingness to take a sometimes unpopular stand for good)  "Say to them that are of a fearful heart (that are as yet unaware of God's love all around) Be strong, fear not...Then the eyes of the blind (to present good) shall be opened (with gratitude), and the ears of the deaf (unreceptive) shall be unstopped."] Tom and his family are long-time CedarS campers and parent volunteers. He just shared this regarding the confidence to know that our faculties, seeing and specifically hearing are spiritual, permanent and perfect.
 
"One time my sons and I were on a Boy Scout camp out.  We were near a body of water and everyone went swimming. When the boys finished another scoutmaster (who is a paramedic) told the boys that he needed to swab their ears with medicine to kill any bacteria that might affect them after swimming in the water.  Feeling the medicine burn a bit- meant it was doing its job, he said. Each boy felt the burning. My sons and I did not take the medicine and we were just fine.  This reminded me of a time when my hearing seemed to be diminishing a bit. Interestingly, a friend was going through the same experience and the doctors prescribed medicines for her.  My job, I felt, was to not accept any sense of imperfection about my ears. I knew that I hear because I am a reflection of God and so my hearing has to be perfect.  A week or two later I was jogging to the beach from my house and found that more wax than I wish to describe to you was coming out of my ears. I have heard perfectly ever since."
 
Section 6 - The works of Christ: See the perfect man, be observant. 
The Lesson this week has made me realize more than ever before that the key is simple trust, or faith in what God has made. He made it perfect, He keeps it perfect, and so we simply rejoice in His perfection. Was Jesus overwhelmed by a mass of "sick" people clamoring for help? He saw God's Kingdom as at hand right where others were seeing a realm of misery.    He looked past the materially obvious and saw God‘s perfection expressed all around him.
 
How important to see that it is most often getting ourselves out of the way and letting God be made manifest.
 
Science and Health citation S-25 contains that wonderful description of Jesus' method: "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."
 
In many ways observing God's universe is a lot like observing nature.   You eyes have to be open, but you also have to be receptive and attentive. And there is always a little bit of being ready, and being in the right place at the right time.  It is the same way with opening our hearts to a daily practice of healing like Jesus. We have to stay open, receptive and listen for God's guidance. He will use us and put us exactly where He wants us to be, when He wants us to be there.
 
The other morning I was walking to the bank in our neighborhood. I had our dog, Theo, on the leash.   I was praying as I walked and trying to listen for God's guidance in several cases. I stopped to speak briefly to some friends. Asked how they were. Both replied, "Fine, thanks." And then the one fellow said about the other, "Well he is just saying things are fine, they really aren't." At first I was tempted to ask, "What's the matter?" Then instead I just listened to what came to thought. I found myself saying directly to the fellow who perhaps was having some challenges, "You know Stefan, it is cloudy today. But you and I both know that behind those clouds there is always a warm sun shining. So even when things might seem a little dark or hard to handle we remind ourselves that the sun is always shining. And I bet you know that Psalm that talks about God as if He was a Shepherd. Well in that Psalm it says that even if we walk through a valley that has the "shadow of death," that we are not alone. My mom always said, "and when we walk through that valley, we walk through, we do not set up camp!"
 
We shook hands and said good bye. I walked across the street to a vacant lot that is right in the middle of this residential part of the city; this is not the country! And I let our dog off the leash for a little freedom. As he wandered over the far corner of the lot, both Theo and I noticed at the same time a large "Feldhasen," (Hare). Theo was ready to give chase and I simply told him to stay, which he did. But I marveled at what we had just seen. Completely unexpected in the middle of the city, in broad daylight at 10 o'clock in the morning, here is this beautiful moment of nature.   Theo and I both enjoyed it.
 
Right here in the middle of Dresden we have foxes, martins, hares, and even some good ole American raccoons.  I have seen them all. Most people don't.  Usually people don't look for them or they are active when most folks are busy sleeping. But an observant nature watcher can see them. 
 
And God's perfection, perfect health, wholeness, soundness?  You might have to do some looking, but if you pay attention and listen you might be surprised what you see. 
 
Section 7 -- Hang in there and keep your eyes on the prize of perfection!!
How important it is to be patient with yourself! Keep growing, keep moving forward. Each of the Bible citations and Science and Health citations in this section encourage us to just hang in there. Keep swinging. Keep practicing. [Campers and staff will get to practice Paul's one tip to us and the Philippians (B23) at a new tire traversal near Philippi along Paul's Trail in Bible Lands Park where they will need to let go of past tires to swing to the next ones to achieve the desired destination of perfection.]
 
The wonders of Christian Science healing might seem a future goal at the moment. And if we measure ourselves by where we were yesterday, we might think we will never achieve success in healing or "beholding the perfect man," as Jesus did.
 
But Paul ‘s admonition is so valuable in citation B-23, Phil. 3: "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.   Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. "
 
"Let us therefore, as many as be perfect..." Perfect? "as many as be perfect?" Who me? Well, just remember [give loving attention] who you are. Remember who made you. Remember who loves you. Remember who enables you. Remember who opened the Way for you. Remember that our Savior said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Oh yeah, it is about remembering God's perfection and knowing that you are His!!! 
 
Enjoy discovering through this Bible Lesson that "Perfection underlies reality. And without perfection nothing is wholly real." (B-1, S&H 353: 16 -18.)
 

[Helping Sunday School students help themselves by making their own the Kingdom of God that is already within them is part of CedarS mission. It's stated this way as our 2012 theme: "Occupy God's Kingdom." This starts when they see really themselves as God sees them which is also a goal of the upcoming April 21st Texas Regional Youth Conference . Please encourage all youth you know to register ASAP for the Conference at makingadifference2012.com -- and to also enroll online for CedarS (or for another CS camp of their choice).  Thanks in advance for telling "un-camped" children and families about CedarS being a very nurturing, metaphysically-grounded and FUN place for them to glimpse and demonstrate more of their spiritual natures!  Share info about my 5 upcoming California shows and about video shows coming to your area as listed online!  If we aren't coming to your area, we'll gladly send anyone a DVD and info on CedarS financial aid formsprograms for all ages; 2012 session dates & rates; 2012 online enrollmenttransportation... to help get them or anyone in your extended church family to camp!]
 
[All who been blessed by any of CedarS 3 weekly inspirational newsletters (our Mets or our PSSTs & PYCLs for Sunday School teachers) CAN HELP US GET READY FOR A BEST SUMMER YET TO BLESS OVER 1000 YOUNG CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS!    If you've.  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.  
 
[To send an actual check, please make it out to CedarS Camps and mail it to: 
The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Dr.
Ballwin, MO 63011]
 
[You can also help CedarS share applicable principles of Christianity with our neighbors: Our Fall-season outreach led us to give tours of our new Bible Lands Park to show Bible-loving churches and youth groups of other denominations as well as our own how Christian Scientists love and "take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (S&H497:3)  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 gifts to help us make these inspiring "Home Improvements" as weather and available manpower are now perfect for progress.]
 
 [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.]
 

[PSST-Be "completely in line with truth & fact"!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"
Reality" for 3-25-12
By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri steven.henn@gmail.com 
[Steve, a past CedarS Program Director, teaches English at Principia School & just returned from a School trip over Spring Break to Israel! Click here for Steve's trip blog -- scroll & click.] 
[Brackets by Newsletter Editor Warren Huff, who also directs CedarS Camps and asks you to remind every Sunday School student that one or more of our six camps for Christian Science Sunday School students has a program & session perfect for them & a way to afford it as well!]
[PSST-word research methodology]
 A common task throughout this PSST will be looking up a word from the KJV in the original text of the Bible. To do this I am using two resources on an iPad (Touch Bible and Blue Letter Bible). For your own study, you can use these resources or these counterparts online: blueletterbible.org, biblos.com. It is also helpful to use a 1928 edition dictionary when looking up words from Mrs. Eddy's writings.
 
PSST-Golden Text (GT) - "Perfect" means "Completely in line with truth and fact." What is God's work, and what does it mean to us that God's work is completely in line with truth and fact?
 
PSST- Responsive Reading (RR) - "Endureth" in the original text means "to take a stand." What does it mean for God's righteousness to take a stand?  What might attempt to challenge the stand that God's righteousness takes? What does it mean for us that God's righteousness takes a stand forever? [Discuss the idea that "if you're not willing to take a stand for something, you're likely to fall for almost anything."]
 
 Much of the story [of this healing in Acts 3] is missing, open your Bibles and read the rest of the story.  What does the whole story teach us?
 
 "Lifting" the man up is defined as 'to arouse, cause to rise' - think about how our thought is impacted in a healing.  How can we arouse, or wake up our own thought?  How can we rise in our own thought?
 
 No delay in the healing.  What does it mean to say that every healing is instantaneous?
 
 PSST- Section 1 - What is perfection?  [God's work, B1, Deut. 32:4] Why is it so important? Consider what Mrs. Eddy says about it and how that pertains to what is written in the Bible in this section. ["Perfection underlies reality." S1, 353:16]
 
 Discuss the order of events presented here. If God was God before the mountains [as stated in citation B2], that must impact how everything was made, the origins of all creation.  How?  What is the impact on us as children of God?
 
 What does it mean to be satisfied? [as in citation B4, when we "awake with thy likeness."] How do we go about our days when we are satisfied?  How different is our approach to life when we are satisfied, vs. when we are dissatisfied?  What in this citation causes us to be satisfied?  Is this enough for your students?
 
 What are the measures of reality?  [Perfection as stated in citation S1; "the supremacy and reality of good" as in citation S3.] Look in this section for indicators of what distinguishes reality. [Perceiving "the divine image in some word or deed", citation S3: 205:18]
 
 PSST- Section 2 -What does it mean for God's mercy to endure forever [as stated in citation B5, Ps. 38:8]?  What must God know about it in order for His mercy to endure forever?
 
 What must we know about ourselves to more closely approach the reality of our true being? What is the result of this knowing?
 
 Why does Mrs. Eddy connect self with sin and materiality? What does this teach us about learning our true individuality? [S6, 317:18]
 
 How are we to treat angels?  What does it mean to give 'earnest heed'? [S7, 299:15]
 
 Reality is what?  [S9, 335:27] What is true about man and God?  How permanent is man's perfection? [S8, 414:28]
 
 PSST- Section 3 - This section begins with the first commandment.  [B9, Ex. 20:3] What follows after this? [Perfection as in citation B10, Deut. 18:13] Explore the effects of this foundational understanding [or science] of one God, good, supreme. [The word science is used 7 times in this section]
 
 Pay attention to how the first commandment threads itself through the entire third section. Where do you see it cropping up?  ["all is Mind...all power, all presence, all Science." S11, 275:21] What does the first commandment allow for?
 
 To usurp is to take the place of something without right. What is the rightful place of "the divine source of all health"; what is the rightful place of drugs and hygiene? .  [S12, 167:12]
 
 What happens when we look beyond the outward sense of things to the depths of realism? [S13, 129:22]
 
 Are your students willing to fight for their faith in one God, good?  Are they willing to fight for a better, clearer sense of reality?
 
 "Destitute" means - suffering extreme poverty- in what ways are our human theories so impoverished?  [S11, 275:25] How does the first commandment remedy poverty?
 
 PSST- Section 4 - Why does the command to be perfect [in citation B15] follow after the story of the tares and wheat [in citation B14]? What connects these two ideas? What about the parable helps us to approach perfection?
 
 What in Jesus' words lays "the axe of Science at the root of" mortality?  [S17, 27:17] Where do we see Science in Jesus' teachings?
 
 Why is it so important that we begin from the correct vantage point when making conclusions about reality?  Consider the fact that reality and unreality never mingle. [S18]
 
 Discuss the impact of understanding that the divine image, the true and real image of God as man can never be lost or destroyed. [S19]
 
 PSST- Section 5 - How does our knowledge of God help us to find perfection? [B16] In perfection, how is it that man really sees?  How is it that the real man hears?  What are the senses of the real man? (such that the deaf and blind have ears and eyes and their hearing and sight is restored [as promised in citations B17 and B18])
 
 Where does Jesus give sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf? These stories are not necessarily in the lesson this week, but Mrs. Eddy is clearly referring to specific events in Jesus' ministry.  You can spend some time during Sunday school to identify those and become familiar with them. [If you run out of time for your students to do the research, you can spoon feed them with a couple of Jesus' blindness healings at Jericho (Mark 10:46-52) and Jerusalem at the Pool of Siloam (John 9) and one of his healings of deafness at the Decapolis sea coast of Galilee (Mark 7:31-36)]
 
 PSST- Section 6 - Who is the perfect man?  How do we mark, or emulate him [as advised in B21, Ps. 37:37]? Jesus is a great example, but what other Biblical patriarchs can we look to and what qualities can we see in them that help to make up the perfect man?
 
 What is "the Christ element" [S27, 288:29]? How is it defined in the Bible, and how does Mrs. Eddy describe it?
 
 Is the perfect man something we are trying to attain?  Or are we already perfect?  If we are already perfect, then what is the importance of marking the perfect man?  Look up statements of Mrs. Eddy's that relate to self-knowledge as you work on this line of questioning. [Check out self-knowledge as the first stage of growth outlined in "The Way", Mis. 355:12-356:21]
 
 PSST- Section 7 - Look closely at Paul's letter to the Philippians [B23, Phil. 3:13-15]...do you see comfort and understanding in this passage?  What is Paul asking us to do?  How does it line up with what Jesus and Mrs. Eddy guide us to do?
 
What about this section's verses from Science and Health is comforting? 
 
What is the result of developing a more correct view of God and man?  [S30] What follows after the realization that Life is Spirit?  [S30, 264:15]

 [PYCL: Accept only a perfect reality!]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Reality"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for March 25, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

[Brackets by Newsletter Editor Warren Huff, who also directs CedarS Camps and asks you to remind every Sunday School student that one or more of our six camps for Christian Science Sunday School students has a program & session perfect for them & a way to afford it as well!]
 
 [PYCL -  Accept only a reality that includes your divinely-reflected perfection!]
I can remember lying in bed as a little kid thinking about what is "real".  I remember distinctly wondering if everything were really a big and involved dream.  I kind of wonder if other kids ever think this way; does it point to a natural spiritual inclination to understand that there is a reality beyond our human view of things?  It might be interesting even with these younger classes to talk about reality and what they think of as "real".  Ask if they have ever thought about this when they've been alone and just pondering things.  If they have ideas about reality you can talk about how this week's lesson points out that "Perfection underlies reality." (S1).  What is perfection?  Is it possible?  Consider making perfection and reality a study for this week's class.  How can we do more than scratch the surface of the demand to see ourselves as perfect?  How do we see this manifest in our experience?  There are many ways, can you make a list?  What is it that hides perfection from view?
 
[PYCL - Golden Text (GT) Nurture a spiritually perfect self image!]
The G.T. starts us in the right direction by pointing out that God's work is perfect.  We are God's work.  Ask them if they think of themselves as perfect.  If not, what stops them?  Have them be honest so that you can have a real discussion.  Maybe you can bring forward some of the specific reasons that they feel less than perfect and work together to bring these reasons out into the sunlight of Truth so that they disappear!  
 
[PYCL -- Section 1: Trust God to help overcome "foggy" views of yourself & of your path!]
See if you can come up with some helpful approaches to seeing our perfection.  If they seem unwilling to share, I'm sure you have some thoughts about yourself along these lines and can talk with them about how you have overcome or are working to overcome those "foggy" views of yourself. (S3)  In this first section, you can use that citation to talk about how fog hides or obscures what is around you, but cannot touch, change or in any way affect the objects it obscures.  What does that say about the errors of imperfection?  I'm sure you have some examples of fog either real or mental that would help to illustrate this idea.  One thing that I remember from when I was in about middle school, was a time when I was out with my mom and little brother in a little boat heading from one island to the next in Maine, maybe a couple of miles, through an open channel.  A very heavy fog rolled in so that we felt like we were in a little room.  We could hear a fog horn from the bigger island but otherwise we really felt isolated.  We had a compass with us and had to rely entirely on that compass to get to the island we were staying on.  It felt quite scary actually, but when we pulled into the little cove by the cabin we lived in my mom was absolutely exultant with joy!  It feels so amazing when we have a victory with God!  It reminds me of how we sometimes rely on what we know of God even when we can't see anything but the fog.  We continue to know that that "God compass" will guide us to where we need to be.  There is nothing about God that can ever fail us; we must ignore the fog and persevere!
 
[PYCL -- Section 1: Illustrate fog by placing a grocery bag over each student's head.]
To illustrate the idea of fog with the littlest class you could bring a paper grocery bag and put it over their heads, if they are willing, and then ask them what they can see (other than the floor!). When they take off the bag you can talk about how nothing in the room changes. What happened when they were in the bag? Is the room really dark? Did the people and tables and books actually disappear? Talk about how this is a bit like when we feel sick or sad, etc. It looks like it's real, but actually it is just matter, or mortal thought, error that is hiding God's truth from us, hiding what is real-our health, our joy, etc.  Make sure they each get a turn, even if it seems repetitive. How can they learn to "take off the bag" when they feel bad at home/school/wherever?  How can they replace those bad thoughts and see their health and joy?  Share some thoughts that you have or things from the lesson that illustrate how we can see God's perfect reality.  Have they ever seen a mountain that they know is huge hiding in clouds?  I used to live near the biggest mountain in North America.  It just looks unbelievably huge when you see the whole thing.  Mostly it hides in the clouds, but when you can see the whole thing it is just so very impressive, and you just can't believe that this massive mountain was there all the time!  This is like the Truth.  When you "see" it around you, it really impresses you more than the lie of sadness, sickness, anger and so on.
 
[PYCL -- Section 3: Learn to rely on God and on nothing else and practice that reliance!]
This week's lesson has the first and part of the second commandment in the third section.  As the commandments are always part of the core things that our Leader has asked us to teach in Sunday School, you can always do well by working with these in the context of the weekly Bible lesson!  How do these commands relate to our lesson subject?  For the younger kids raised in Christian Science a discussion of not relying on medicine for help, may not be an authentic one at this time.  But there are plenty of times when we are faced at all ages with the temptation to rely on something other than our knowledge and understanding of God to solve whatever we are presented with.  Ask them how they approach a challenge when trying to get along with a friend, for example.  How do these commands help us?  How do they relate to the theme of perfection?  Citation B10 says "Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God."  What does that mean?  Does it mean obedience, intelligence, health, happiness?  If we worship only God, and have no others, then we really are being perfect.  Talk about how these commandments when obeyed really cover the whole of perfection in amazing ways!  Of course you can certainly address the medicine angle if that is appropriate for your group, that's something that will vary with the background of each class.
 
[PYCL -- Section 4: The tares of sickness and grief are doomed!]
The tares and wheat parable can provide a very fruitful discussion.  Recently I've been seeing it as an even clearer example of the way that matter appears as very real, even indiscernible from Spirit.  Yet it never can provide the same rewards or satisfaction (wheat) at all. It may seem that there are laws of matter that are undeniable....certain things lead to sickness, certain events lead to grief.  But these are not the laws of God and so we don't have to obey them (in fact, if we wish to truly obey the commandments we must not obey them!).  We don't have to behave as if grief were inevitable, or sickness unavoidable.  God has never given us less than fruitful perfection!  Talk about where the tares "came from".  Did the farmer despair when his workers came and told him that there must have been bad seed mixed into the wheat seed?  Did he assume that he was at fault, that mistakes are a natural part of life, etc.?  No!  He said "An enemy hath done this."  That, of course doesn't mean that a "person" did something bad, but impersonal evil.  And while we're at it, this "evil" is powerless in the end, just look at what happens to the tares at harvest time!  Look at citation S18 and talk about how Christian Science "separates the wheat from the tares".  What does that mean?  Can they share examples of how their understanding of Christian Science has helped them to see the difference between what is real (the wheat) and what is unreal (the tares)?  The first part of citation S18 tells us that we can't rely on matter for correct spiritual conclusions about life.  What does that mean to them?
 
[PYCL -- Section 7: Keep your eyes on the prize!]
Look at B23 and talk about that "mark" that we are heading for.  What is the "prize"?  How can we use this as our real goal, rather than the human goals of doing well at a sport, school, music, etc.  If we press toward the "mark" that Paul speaks of aren't we seeing the underlying reality of success in other human endeavors?  Can we fail at any honest endeavor if we are truly "pressing toward [this] mark"?  Look at this passage in relation to citation S30.  How does Mrs. Eddy make this passage clearer to us?  Does this passage help us with the fog idea too?  In what ways?
 
As always, have a fruitful and wonderful Sunday School class!

Metaphysical

""Am I living the Life that approaches the supreme Love?"? - ... “flip the script.”...
Latest Lesson Application Idea

Newsletters

Get free weekly uplifting newsletters (available in English, Spanish, French, German and now in Portuguese!)
Subscribe or Update Subscription

Facebook

Find CedarS on Facebook for the latest news, heart-warming fruitage, facility upgrades and more!
Go to the CedarS' Facebook Page