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Find True Sanctuary in Church

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, May 28th, 2012

Find True Sanctuary in Church
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:
God the Only Cause and Creator
May 28-June 3, 2012
by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
 
[Bracketed Notes from Warren Huff, CedarS Camps Director and Editor of its Weekly Newsletters: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) that will follow, are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French thanks to Pascal, in German thanks to Helga and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
This week we're considering "cause" from the standpoint of church.  In the large sense, God is the sole Cause of all that really exists, but we should also remember that God is the sole Cause of our "cause"-our church.  By definition God is the cause that impelled church into existence and operation and continues it.  While some might find it possible to debate whether the world would exist without God, there would definitely be no church without God.
 
The Golden Text tells us the way of God "is in the sanctuary"-in this case, sanctuary means holiness.  But it's fair to say, that if we want to understand God, there is no place better suited to do that than in the sanctuary.  Most associate "sanctuary" with church.  Temples and churches also have places within called the sanctuary and in the past, those in danger would go to the church for "sanctuary" or protection from those with hostile intentions.  In short, the church was the safest place you could be.
 
Popular psychologists have said that home is supposed to be a sanctuary-a "safe place to land," but church should be the safest place to be.  That doesn't mean the building, but the whole concept.  Everything about church should provide sanctuary for us.  Those who are in any need-the sick, the sinful, the dying, the fearful-should all find safety within the idea of church and the church should be providing it.  Unfortunately, the organization of church has found itself subject to worldly pitfalls of jealousy, envy, competition, vice, and so on.  Many people have left the church because they feel anything but safe.
 
Might this be because the church has, in many cases, become more about human organization than about the way of holiness, or an institution devoted to God?  If the church is true to its cause, every member will be consistently aware of their holy purpose to heal and save.  When God is understood to be the only cause or creator of all, including church, then church will indeed fulfill its role as sanctuary.
 
The fact is, whether we know it or not, God is always protecting us, as the Responsive Reading points out.  To be "girded," is a military term meaning prepared and strengthened for war and conquest.  Even though we may be unaware of it, God is always present.  "From the rising of the sun, and from the west," that is, in the whole habitable world from east to west, there is none beside God.
 
The psalmist likens God's blessings to rain showering from heaven.  The skies pouring down righteousness is a prophesy of deliverance from captivity.  While in captivity the temple (sanctuary) had been destroyed.  The Israelites were far from home and unable to take part in their usual worship.  They were in a condition of spiritual drought.  When separated from the sanctuary, like the parched earth during a drought, their faith lost its verdure and withered away.  But after the exile they're expected to rebound with freshness and grace.  Salvation shall abound and spring forth like the grass and flowers after a healthy rain.  Isn't that a lovely image-especially in relation to church? 
 
God made all and everything is governed by Him. God's work is not done in vain-it has a purpose.  God's sanctuary-His church, never to be abolished or altered-is set up on the earth forevermore.
 
Section 1: Church-A Safe Place to Be; A Safe Place to Learn
"Sing unto the Lord a new song" (B1)- Theologian Adam Clarke points out this is "a song of peculiar excellence...He [God] has done extraordinary things for us, and we should excel in praise and thanksgiving."  Similarly, Albert Barnes notes that the "new song" had to be used because "some truth relating to the divine character had now been made known, which could not well be expressed in any psalm or hymn then in use."
The following observation by Barnes is a bit lengthy, but it shows such reverence for the concept of church, that it would be well for all of us to consider it thoughtfully:
The word "sanctuary" refers to the holy place where God dwells; his sacred abode, whether his residence in heaven, or the temple on earth as the place of his earthly habitation.  When it is said that "strength" is there, it means that the dwelling-place of God is the source of "power," or that power emanates from thence; that is, from God himself.  When it is said that "beauty" is there, the meaning is, that whatever is suited to charm by loveliness; whatever is a real ornament; whatever makes the world attractive; whatever beautifies and adorns creation, has its home in God; it proceeds from him.  It may be added that whatever there is of "power" to reform the world, and convert sinners; whatever there is to turn people from their vicious and abandoned course of life; whatever there is to make the world better and happier, proceeds from the "sanctuary" - the church of God. Whatever there is that truly adorns society, and makes it more lovely and attractive; whatever there is that diffuses a charm over domestic and social life; whatever there is that makes the world more lovely or more desirable to live in - more courteous, more gentle, more humane, more kind, more forgiving - has its home in the "sanctuary," or emanates from the church of God.
We would all do well to implement such reverence in our practice of church.
Remember that the sanctuary is a safe place?  Enemies cannot come into the "secret of his tabernacle" (B2).  It offers complete protection.  This passage specifically refers to the holy of holies where no one dare approach. It is the place in the tabernacle wherein was housed the ark of the covenant. To be harbored in the secret of his tabernacle is not just to come in to the entry or courtyard, but to go into the private spaces where no stranger would dare intrude upon.  When we're surrounded by dangers where do we go?  Do we think of running to church?  Is that the safest place for us?
Science and Health begins with the affirmation of God's allness (S1). Take the time to really absorb our Leader's words.  They are statements of truth that have great power, and, when understood, eliminate any possibility of a power opposed to God.  God is the only creative Principle (S2).  The section concludes with an acknowledgement that Church "rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle" (S3).  What safer foundation can we have? What better reminder can we have to reverence this holy idea and live it every day?
 
Section 2: Church Built on Christ Healing
The Psalmist tells us the place to praise and acknowledge God is in the sanctuary (B4). As alluded to earlier, another way to interpret "sanctuary" is "holiness."  Therefore, the way to praise God is not to confine our worship to Sundays at church, but to praise him everywhere, every day in the holiness of our actions.  Christ Jesus was the supreme example of that.  He didn't wait for the multitude to come to church; he brought church to the multitude (B5).  Everywhere he went became a sanctuary.
The account of Peter's confession of the Christ (B6) confirms that Jesus' church was founded on Christ healing.  Christianity, and for that matter, Christian Science, could never survive the ages if founded on a person.  The cause, the underpinning of church, is divine.  Traditionally, the Jews thought that all religious enlightenment had to proceed from previous theological scholarship, hence the disciple's report that the populace thought Jesus might be a former prophet returned from the dead.  It was incomprehensible to most, that any legitimate idea of God could be completely new.
Jesus' mission was new and as our Leader points out, Jesus knew his mission had a spiritual impetus (S4).  There is no better explanation of Peter's confession that is found in our Leaders' words on pages 136-138 of our textbook (S5, S6).  Take the time to read beyond the citations in the lesson to get the full account.  Other commentators come close, but they leave out the healing element so important to our Leader.  Mrs. Eddy's discovery was as new to our age as Jesus' mission was two thousand years ago.  She knew that the "absolute Science" of Christianity included healing, and if this understanding is accomplished, nothing can ever wash it away (S7).
 
Section 3: "Divinely Authorized"
Words are important.  Mrs. Eddy spent considerable time in choosing just the right words for the textbook.  We have the benefit of her completed work, but we still have the obligation to strive to understand and approximate the spirit behind those words.  Ecclesiastes tells us the preacher is looking for acceptable words (B7).  Clarke elaborates the meaning of the passage: "the best, the most suitable words; those which the people could best understand.  But these words were not such as might merely please the people; they were words of truth; such as came from God, and might lead them to him."  We can't just tell people what we think they want to hear.  We have to be clear about telling the truth, but the words alone aren't enough.  Elihu knew that, and evoked the Spirit as his authority (B8).  He understood "that wisdom is not the attribute of rank or station, but that it is the gift of God" (Barnes).  Even though he was youthful compared to Job's other friends, he still had something of value to impart.
In the same way, everything the disciples did was fueled by the Holy Ghost (B9).  On the day of Pentecost (B10) the disciples all spoke "as the Spirit gave them utterance" and everyone there understood.  Do we worry that the language of the Bible or Science and Health will not be fully understood by newcomers to Christian Science?  If the words are merely recited without understanding, or beautifully read from a poetic standpoint yet without the spirit, they will always be misunderstood.  But if the reading is infused with the Spirit and understanding, the form of delivery will neither distract nor hinder the listener.  The key element is the presence of the Spirit.  Those of you who are Camp Counselors-do you think your campers won't get the truth when you're doing the Lesson with them?  It's not the words, but the Spirit which imparts the truth.  Let the Spirit speak.  The apostles' speaking in tongues was useless unless the tongues could be interpreted.  The result of the apostles' inspiration brought three thousand to baptism indicating "a radical and complete change of heart and life" (The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament).  According to Clarke, the Greek writers used similar language when speaking of cities, or towns changing masters or political parties.  The three thousand left the Scribes and Pharisees and embraced the Christian doctrine.
Mrs. Eddy points out that it was the influx of the Holy Ghost that made the difference (S9) to the disciples, and that clergy should be infused with the same Spirit (S10).  There can only be one cause in all things, including the initiative to preach the gospel in whatever form.  Such inspiration does not come from human mind, reasoning, or intellectual capacity.  The understanding that uplifts humanity comes from Spirit alone (S12).
 
Section 4: A Healing Church
James instructs the sick to call for the elders of the church (B11).  It is sad how traditional theology has neglected the healing work.  In fact, old theology actively opposes healing power in the present day, and considers healing as only a special gift to certain rare individuals rather than an ever-present power available to all.  The following quote from The People's New Testament Commentary bears this out: "In most early churches founded by the apostles some one of the elders would have this gift. There is no more reason for the descent of this gift to our times than of any other miraculous power. This passage, then, describes what was peculiar to the early church."  What a shame!  Barnes had a different view: "That direction is to call in the aid of others to lead our thoughts, and to aid us in our devotions, because one who is sick is less able to direct his own reflections and to pray for himself than he is in other form of trial.  Nothing is said here respecting the degree of sickness, whether it is that which would be fatal if these means were used or not; but the direction pertains to any kind of illness."  Isn't that a better outlook?  It at least has a compassionate sense for those who are being willing and able to meet the needs of those who call for aid.
Barnes also makes this poignant observation: "It may be added, as worthy of note, that the apostle says they should "call" for the elders of the church; that is, they should send for them.  They should not wait for them to hear of their sickness, as they might happen to, but they should cause them to be informed of it, and give them an opportunity of visiting them and praying with them."  He goes on to say that it isn't unusual for church members to never mention their needs, and that the members should send for their pastors as readily as they send for their family physicians!
Peter and John were not relying on their own power to heal (B12).  They relied solely on Christ.  Barnes also comments on Peter's method of help: "This may be employed as a beautiful illustration of the manner of God when he commands people to repent and believe.  He does not leave them alone; he extends help, and aids their efforts.  If they tremble, and feel that they are weak, and needy, and helpless, his hand is stretched out and his power exerted to impart strength and grace."  This is helpful advice to our healers today.  We should all be ready to provide aid when called upon.
As to the propriety of healing as a function of church, several commentators note this anecdote: Thomas Aquinas, surnamed the angelical doctor, who was highly esteemed by Pope Innocent IV, went one day into the pope's chamber, where they were reckoning large sums of money. The pope, addressing himself to Aquinas, said: "You see that the Church is no longer in an age in which she can say, Silver and gold have I none?" "It is true, holy father," replied the angelical doctor, "nor can she now say to the lame man, Rise up and walk!"
Fortunately, Mary Baker Eddy revived the practice of spiritual healing on the basis of God as the only cause (S13).  Mind governs everything and God is all power-all things possible to Spirit (S14).  Our Church, by definition, "affords proof of its utility" through healing (S15).  The streets of our cities and towns, still have the lame begging for alms.  Has anyone dared attempt to follow Peter's lead?  Mrs. Eddy did.  Here's an account from  p. 496 of Mary Baker Eddy Christian Healer Amplified Edition, "I saw a man crippled so that when he moved he was almost doubled up and had his hands on the ground to assist locomotion. I saw him seated on the curb with his head between his knees, on my way to a patient.  As I passed I placed my hand on his head and said, "Do you know that God loves you?"  At once he straightened up, erect as he ever had been."  Our Leader says that if we lay it all on the line, as Peter did, we will heal like that as well (S16).
 
Section 5: Faithful Fellowship
Faithfulness and fidelity were particularly admired by the Jews.  It was said that a rabbi once bought a donkey from someone, and found a diamond tied around its neck.  The rabbi's friends considered it a blessing from God, but the rabbi said he had bought the donkey, but not the diamond.  Then he returned the diamond noting, "from the fidelity of man ye may know the fidelity of God" (Clarke).  Paul notes God's faithfulness and expected Christians to emulate it (B14).  The story in Bible citation 15 is interesting.  The Hellenist Jews were complaining that the Palestinian Jews were neglecting their widows.  The disciples didn't want to leave their healing and preaching work so they suggested choosing seven others to take care of the food distribution.  As Barnes put it, "The apostles designed to make this [healing and preaching] their constant and main object, undistracted by the cares of life, and even by attention to the temporal needs of the church."  Those chosen needed to be honest, full of the Holy Ghost, and wise.  They were so faithful in their duties that it helped everyone to fulfill their own niche and the result was a great multiplication of disciples and priests obedient to the faith.
The Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary makes an interesting observation:
Note (1) how easily misunderstandings may arise among the most loving and devoted followers of the Lord Jesus: but (2) How quickly and effectually such misunderstandings may be healed, where honest intentions, love, and wisdom reign: (3) What a beautiful model for imitation is furnished by the class here complained of, who, though themselves the majority, chose the new office-bearers from amongst the complaining minority! (4) How superior to the lust of power do the apostles here show themselves to be, in not only divesting themselves of the immediate superintendence of temporal affairs in the Christian community, but giving the choice of those who were to be entrusted with it to the disciples at large!
Science and Health provides support for both the areas of work within the church.  All activities must be done through "spiritual living and blessedness" (S17).  Mrs. Eddy points out that healing is "job one," but that doesn't give us an excuse to neglect the immediate needs of those around us (S18).  We must meet the practical needs to insure progress.  She tells us we need to "meet the needs of mortals in sickness and in health" (S19). What does she mean by needs "in health?" Might it be more humanitarian based needs? This question has been largely unexplored and it might be time to begin thinking deeper about it.  Our Leader wholeheartedly commends unselfish giving (S20).  She doesn't ever teach that we should only sit in our lofty towers and pray.  She calls for us to help the world in any way we can.
 
Section 6: Prepared and Protected
The story of the seven sons of Sceva (B16) tends to be thought of as illustrative of the difference between pretenders or charlatans, and legitimate healers. The demon recognized the authority of Jesus and Paul but these pretenders lacking true spiritual understanding and devotion, had no authority to use Jesus' name.  This Lesson emphasizes the danger of attempting holy work without adequate preparation.  These men, being pretenders, were also ill-equipped to defend themselves properly against evil.  Apparently, it was clear to many in the city that the so-called "curious arts" were not legitimate tools in healing.  Having converted, their best course was to destroy the books containing the false teaching rather than sell them or pass them on for further public consumption.  The call to action in Ephesians (B17) was one used by soldiers in the field.  This was no time for weakness.  If they were to prevail they must be strong.  The "evil day" is the day of temptation or assault. According to Barnes, the idea is "that every foe was to be subdued-no matter how numerous or formidable they might be."
In our warfare against error, we need to be alert (S21).  This is not a game.  Our ammunition is the great fact that "Divine Mind is the only cause or Principle of existence" (S22).  This oneness of Mind exterminates error (S23).  Mind has no opposite.  We have to reach the conclusion and, for that matter, begin with the premise of only one absolute God, or else we are working against ourselves.  We hear it over and over, but we need to understand that the omnipotence of Truth implies the impotence of error. Neither evil nor matter has intelligence or power. Why? Because all intelligence and power belong to God, the only cause (S24). The only way to overcome evil is with good. Armed with the understanding of good, we can face the foe, but our defense and protection is our genuine love for God and man (S25).
 
Section 7: "All One Body We"
How important is unity?  We have enough to contend with in the world's resistance to true religion without having strife and contention amongst ourselves (B18).  Think of the strides we would make if we always treated each other with love.  Do we strive to be just OK?  Or just good enough?  We should want to excel-to be eminent, illustrious, and distinguished in our Christian practice (B19).  We say we want the church to succeed.  What are we doing to accomplish that?  Do we think we're doing enough?  If everyone in the church did what we're doing would that be enough?  Interesting question isn't it?  It makes me want to do better.  There is some danger in "rally calls" because they could give the mistaken impression that everyone has to be exactly alike or doing the same thing to achieve success.  But everyone has their unique role to play (B20).  If everybody fulfilled their unique role the best they could, we would see that unity does not mean uniformity.  The Bible tells us that everyone has his or her special area of excellence.  No role is better, or more holy than another.  They are just different. As in sports, every position is necessary, so in church.  Everything we do is for the greater good.  Every successful enterprise requires all those involved to "buy in" to the vision of the company.  Have we bought in?
When you visit a place, you are largely unaware of the challenges that go on behind the scenes. You're not really vested. But when you are a member, you are part of the family and are aware of each other's eccentricities. That's harder than visiting, and requires more of us. Are we visitors, or family members? (B21). Christ is the cornerstone of the church, and just as we need to be connected to the Spirit in preaching, healing, and doing good deeds, our unity and success rest on each one of us fulfilling our unique roles forming a solid foundation and all of us resting on cornerstone of Christ.
Mrs. Eddy says spiritual causation is the only question because it relates to human progress more than anything else (S26). If we realize we're all one family, we would have a power based on Principle, God, not on personalities or man-made tradition (S27). Our church is built on Love (S28), and we must be reborn and genuinely connected spiritually to healing. True Christianity, as taught by Jesus, links all ages and periods together (S29). There is only one way to be a Christian. We don't need to be flashy or impressive to the world. We rejoice in "secret beauty and bounty" (S30).
So what's your sanctuary like? Is it a safe place? Does it rely wholly on God for its authority? Is it able to heal, to save the sinning? Is it cooperative and protected by the Love that abounds within it? Do we practice unselfishness, charity, and unity based on our inseparability from God and the understanding that God is the only cause? The key to success is practice. Not the words, but the works, the proof of what we say. The only way to prove it faithfully is by starting with God. God must be the cause of all we do. Then we are moving, acting, speaking, and healing with authority. We take the sanctuary, the sense of holiness with us wherever we go and let it infuse everything we do.

[ANNOUNCING A MATCHING CAMPERSHIP GIFT FOR CEDARS!  
Each NEW campership donation to CedarS
will be matched (up to $50,000!) so that no Christian Science Sunday School student is "un-camped" this summer!  (Even transportation costs can be covered as needed!)  Daily applications for this aid are being met by daily supply from friends of Christian Science Sunday School pupils like you! Click on http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/campership-fund.htm for links to all ways to give.]

[CedarS will gladly send a DVD & info on our programs for all ages; session dates & rates; 2012 online enrollmenttransportation... to help get anyone in your church family to camp! Note that due to Outdoor Cooking & Building being full for 1st session, we have added that program for 3rd session as well.]
 
 [Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 11-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in subsequent emails.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-30). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]
Enjoy!

 

Possible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) by Merrill Boudreaux for
Christian Science Bible Lesson "God the Only Cause and Creator"
May 28- June 3, 2012
 
P.S.S.T Golden Text: Good question posed. Ask students to answer it? What is a sanctuary? A place of refuge or safety, the holiest part of a temple or church. What is God, Good's way to this definition of sanctuary? Ask students to read aloud Psalm 91.
 
P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading (RR): What does girded mean? Encircle, secure, surround? What does covenant mean? Agreement, contract, law. What are God's promises in the Responsive Reading? Ask students to note this is all so whether a person knows God or not. Laws are laws whether anyone knows they exist. How long will the laws of God, Good exist? Evermore.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 1: What is stated as also in God's sanctuary in citation B1? Define tabernacle. Note: it can be fixed or moveable which is a hint at its permanence; with you wherever you are. What does it mean to be hid with God? What does it mean to be set upon a rock? Used in similes and metaphors to suggest someone or something that is very strong, reliable, hard. What are you asked to consider in citation B3? How is God identified in citation S1? Is there anything else? That is the point of this lesson.
 
P.S.S.T - Section 2: Who do you say God is? Ask students for their own statement as to who God is. Do not use the seven prominent synonyms Mrs. Eddy uses or the typical ones used by Christian Scientists; go deeper. Perhaps have students complete the phrase, God is like...
What is the rock upon which Christianity is built? (S7) Ask students to state what is the rock upon which they think they are built.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 3: What do students know of this Bible story in citation B10? What is the derivation of the word Pentecost?   Note Pente, meaning 50th. This was rooted in the Old Testament as the 50th day after Passover. It was the Jewish Festival day of Shavuot, commemorating God's giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses. See if students can connect prior discussion of rock with the Commandments, especially the 1st, and with the subject of this lesson. The disciples did not just happen to be somewhere, together. It was intentional. Look to the S & H portion of this lesson to discern ideas they might have discussed when gathered together on this special day. What does it mean to grapple?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 4: On what basis did Peter and John heal the man in citation B12? Does just calling Jesus' name heal? Were they just calling a name or holding on to the body of Jesus' teachings and works to which they were witnesses? Perhaps Jesus' reputation was also referred to. Is there someone in your life, a friend or family member whose reputation or your experiences with them make them reliable to you? This is what was also with the disciples. Why do you think the man leapt up? What else did he do? Why was it a big deal for him to enter the temple? He was forbidden to enter while he was "imperfect". How long had he been lame? Imagine him now as an adult finally able to do something so long desired but forbidden from doing. Worthy of leaping for joy as well.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 5: What is the point of the Bible story in citation B15? What was the result when a woman became a widow? In many cases she had nothing and had to depend on her fellow church members. What was their argument and what was the result? Who was named first as one of the seven deacons? Of what else is Stephen the first? He was the first Christian martyr, and was stoned. Who sanctioned or permitted his stoning? Saul, before he became Paul. See Acts 7:59. What are we called on to do as modern-day Christians? (S19 and S20)
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 6: Note here again the calling on a name, and the reputation of someone to perform exorcisms. What is an exorcist? On whom did Paul call? What was the result? What do you think it means to "put on the whole armor of God"? What is the exterminator of error in citation S23? Is an exterminator like an exorcist? Which one has permanent results? Ask students to memorize citation S25. Isn't that putting on the whole armor of God?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 7: What are you given to use as a talent in edifying the church or serving the cause of Christian Science? What is the promise given in citation S27? So what are you, a stranger or foreigner in your own church? Or, are you someone who is known by name and reputation, able to be depended on? What is our basis for rejoicing as Christians?  (S30) Knowing God is the only Cause and Creator calls forth what? You are indeed the blessed of the Lord.


[Warren's PS: Experience, Cherish & Share true church "from the inside out" that: communicates in its universal language of Love; heals by trumping sickness; frees from selfishness & hypocrisy; demystifies belief in evil; and unifies, purifies, invigorates and blesses all who unite with it.]

[Church in the GT:
God is indivisible from church]

[Church in the RR: Experience true church "from the inside out" forever --"....(I) will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore."]

[Church in the 1st section: With God as the only cause; His effect, church "proceeds from divine Principle." God's church radiates the traits listed in the remaining sections] 

[Church in the 2nd section: God's church is a scientific, healing church that is founded on the rock of ages, on Christ, Truth, not on personality (of Jesus, a pope, a TV preacher...)]

[Church in the 3rd section: God's church goes beyond cultural differences and speaks via the universal language of Love.

[Church in the 4th section: God's church heals by trumping all material laws of health with spiritual law of Truth, putting matter under the feet of divine Mind.

[Church in the 5th section: God's church frees from selfishness and hypocrisy, naturally demonstrating unselfishness, transparency and Christian-healing.

[Church in the 6th section: God's church effortlessly eradicates all belief in evil and mysticism being based in all-good Love, all-knowing Mind...

[Church in the 7th section: God's church unifies, purifies, invigorates and blesses man when we unite with it as built on the divine Principle, Love.]


CedarS PYCLs--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"
God the Only Cause and Creator"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for June 3, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Brackets & late-email apology by Warren, CedarS Director of Staff Skills Weeks now]

[PCYL G.T. & R.R.:] What does it mean to have your "way" be "in the sanctuary"?  Discuss what it means to find all our paths within the sanctuary or holy and safe place of God?  Think about the words in this week's lesson that denote God's dwelling place: sanctuary, temple, tabernacle, even rock.  These are all words that mean church.  Why [besides this being the lesson for The Mother Church Annual Meeting is] the focus for this week on Church when the lesson is titled "God the Only Cause and Creator"?  Isn't it because church is the active healing arm of the Christ?  How are we united with this understanding of our source of active healing, demonstrating our love for humanity, our Christian caring and tenderness toward our fellow man?  Do we spend our days "singing a new song" of God's freshness and power, and declaring "His glory among the heathen"?  Can your pupils come up with an example of this kind of active prayer and praise?  What might it look like?
 
[PCYL -- Section 1 and beyond:]  In the first section it is emphasized that there is one God.  Why is this important to the subject?  What is this one God's creation like?  Wouldn't this one God have only one church?  What does that mean if that is true?  Think about what the "church universal and triumphant" means for us?  Does that mean that all but one church in the world is illegitimate?  Look at the last section together in citations S26-S28 to see how one God, one church, one family of man would lead to human progress.  If we understand "spiritual causation", then we begin to grasp the fact that the one God created all as one emanation from Him; and we can have no evil, conflict, hatred, war, strife; and church will be universally dedicated to expressing His active goodness through healing and Love.  Citation B20 contains the famous statement of the need for each of us as unique contributors to church.  How does this point to one God? Wouldn't each of us be necessary and unique in His creation if it is to be colorful, creative, intelligent, graceful and so on?  Citation B21 gives us a beautiful description of how we are actual building blocks in this great church.  This ties into Jesus' statement to Simon Peter about how he is "the rock".  Peter's recognition that God's true church is founded on Christ healing was another reference to how we each can be "building blocks" in God's church.
 
[PCYL -- Section 2 Rock experiments and discussions:]   So talk about how we can "demonstrate" church in our daily lives.  Bring in a rock for the littler classes and talk about Jesus' statement to Peter.  Why did he choose the rock to symbolize what Peter recognized in him?  Do we each have that understanding and recognition of the "rock" inside of us?  What are the qualities of a rock?  Make a list.  Talk about building houses and churches and what we would literally want to set them on.  Why is this important?  What if we skip this and build our house on dirt/sand/fear/human "law".  You could do a little experiment.  Try building with some blocks on the table.  One time start them in a bowl with something like sand or salt or whatever you can find.  You could even use a wrinkly towel or something like that.  What happens if you add "rain" (water), or any other symbolic challenge that comes along?  Then see what happens if you were to build on a solid surface.  Imagine together that you have not only set the blocks on the table, but that you have drilled through the blocks and bolted them right through to the other side and securely fastened them.  What would happen in a "rainstorm" then?  Think of examples of this in our lives.  What does this mean for church?
 
[PCYL -- Section 3 plus a folk tale to act out to show who we are to serve in Christ's Church:]   Read together the story of the Pentecost.  It is such a beautiful example of Spirit breathing through us to give us an understanding of our unity in Christ.  Again we have a sense of the importance of one source for creation, and one unified creation emanating from this source.  The differences of language weren't done away with; the people were just given the opportunity to hear the truth spoken in their own language!  Just so, God's creation is wonderfully varied and colorful, but united in purpose and in Love.  There is a wonderful folk tale in a collection by Jane Yolen (actually most of the stories in this collection are pretty grim, but this one is quite inspiring).  The collection is called "The Hundredth Dove".  I think it may be worth digressing to share it in the hopes that it illustrates this idea of one creation that is truly good and how we can all experience this goodness.  This story tells the tale of someone who has lived a very good life and is asked by God if there is anything that he wants to see as a reward for his goodness.  He replies that he would like to see hell and heaven.  So God takes him first to hell and he sees men and women sitting at a table piled high with tempting and delicious food and drink.  Each person however is shackled in such a way that while they can reach the food and drink, they cannot bend their arms to bring it to their mouths.  And so they sit, for all eternity starving and thirsty.  They are miserable and angry and deeply unhappy.  Then God takes the man up to heaven and, to his surprise, the exact same set up with the table and food and people shackled is sitting there!  But these people are well fed and full of joy.  Instead of attempting to feed themselves, they are bringing the food and drink to each other instead.  While the shackles prevent them feeding themselves, they don't inhibit them from putting the food into each other's mouths.  You could certainly devise a similar experiment.  Bring some sort of small treat.  Get a couple of volunteers.  Ask them, or all the students to see if they can get the treat to their mouths without bending their arms.  An older class may end up working together to solve this dilemma while the younger kids will need more supervision to not bend their arms, etc.  Don't let the little ones get frustrated.  Just be the first to show them how by feeding one of them.  Then let them each try this for themselves.  Discuss how this is like being part of Christ's church and part of God's wonderful harmonious creation.  With the littlest make sure they understand that this is a tale, if you share the story, not really heaven and hell.  But that it certainly is a good representation of the way that God gives us abundance; and we can see it only through the lens of Love.
 
Some other smaller points:
 
[PCYL -- Section 4 - Seemingly "lame" churches & their goers are just waiting to be healed:]  Discuss the story of the lame man in section 4.  Where was this man sitting?  Why?  Citation S15 gives us more of the definition of church to work with in this lesson.  This healing gave us that proof of the effective nature of church and its role in healing.  Do you have examples of healings that you have had while at church?  Share these with the kids so they can glimpse the active and powerful nature and role of church in our lives.  What would you think of a church where you saw this kind of a healing happen on your way into worship?
 
[PCYL - Open thought and ways to compassionate and practical Christianity in Section 5:]  Look at the story in section 5 about how the healers stuck with their healing (we should never abandon it!) but that they made sure that everyone's needs were cared for.  Talk about how church can tenderly care for humanity.  How can we bless people around us?  Citation S19 talks about a higher and more practical Christianity.  What does Mrs. Eddy mean by this?  Talk about what it means to open the door to this kind of compassionate and practical Christianity.  The little ones can make a door with their hands and you can "knock" with ideas of how to help our fellow man.  They can open the door and let in these ideas and share their own.
 
[PCYL - Clad yourself, pupils and church in a robe representing "the panoply of Love" as in Section 6:]  Citation S25 contains the phrase about the "...clad in the panoply of Love...".  Talk about this passage.  What does "clad" mean?  Why would this kind of "clothing" protect us?  What does this passage say about the unity and harmony of God's creation?  Try putting on a robe and pinning written ideas to it about what these kinds of protective, God derived thoughts might be, directly to the robe.  Alternatively you could make some sort of "clothing" from paper bags and write the ideas directly on the bags for them to wear or take home. If you have leftover fabric at home you could just cut some large squares with holes in the top for their heads and pin the ideas onto these.  Some Wal-Mart's have sections of fabric for a dollar or so a yard.
 
There are many more ideas scattered through this lesson so have a lot of fun this week!
 
 

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