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Mentally travel Paul"s Life journeys & boldly share that Life is spiritual, not material.

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
Posted Monday, July 14th, 2014

[Mentally travel Paul's Life journeys -- boldly share that Life & man are spiritual, not material.]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“LIFE”
for Sunday, July 20, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

Bracketed italics by CedarS Director Warren Huff.  Life-transforming camperships needed!]

Perhaps no man from the Bible better embodies the vigor, perseverance, fervor, and dedication to God as Life, than Paul.  Even before his conversion, while still known as Saul, he was an example of zealous devotion to his beliefs.  But when his beliefs were illuminated by the Christ understanding of God and the power and Life that God embodies, this elevation from belief to understanding changed everything.  His convictions were transplanted, from the soil of belief and human intellect, to the fruitful ground of Life, God, which has the power to heal and bless.  The understanding, taking the form of brilliant light, (temporarily blinding him on his way to Damascus to destroy Christians), is echoed in this Bible lesson in the Responsive Reading: “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” This light of Life never left Paul after his conversion.  Never again would his faith be one of intellect and laws that were at the core of his education as a Pharisee.  The life of Christ became the living, vital, core of his preaching and of his healing power as a missionary to the early Christian world, and now to us!  Jesus brought the message of God as Life to the world as no one else has; Paul kept that message of Life alive for all eternity.

The Golden Text tells us that: “...in him we live, and move and have our being”.  [See Warren’s P.S. #1 for the connection Mary Baker Eddy made between this statement by Paul in Athens and her “scientific statement of being” on page 468 of the Christian Science textbook.]  Paul’s statement that “...in him we live, and move and have our being” is repeated in citation B2, and quoted twice in this lesson from Science & Health in citations S6 and S22.  It's a startling statement when you think about it.  Our actions, vitality, our very existence is in God/Life.  It is not in matter.  This is confirmed, in a way, in the Responsive Reading when it begins that “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world...”  I wonder if that is a little like saying that “before the human mind conceived of matter as living, or as the construct of life, we have truly only lived in God” (“Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations”)?

Throughout each section we are presented with ways in which the laws of Life annul any so-called opposing laws, and in Paul's own words (well, sort of), we are presented with the fact that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ, not ignorance, not accident, not aggressive, or violent mortal mind, not storm, disease or even human injustice. (Romans 8:38, 39 and 303:30-9, S14)

Section 1: Knowing God is the light of life eternal
This stands to reason.  If we live and move and have our very being in God, then we experience the harmony of this life when we understand what Life/God, is!  Paul declares this to the Athenians when he preaches there to a crowd that is steeped in the worship of so many “gods” that there is much confusion, and little, if any, understanding involved (B2).  Mrs. Eddy illumines God as Life in citation S4.  She distinguishes between eternity and time.  Time has nothing to do with Life.  Matter is limited and has nothing to do with Life (it is a “human concept”).  Knowing/understanding (not living in impotent ignorance) that what we worship is living—has active power in our lives—this understanding gives man the power to experience the very harmony that is Life itself!

Section 2: No “law” of accident can separate us from Life
In this section Paul is doing what he is best known for—preaching.  He is moving from Athens to Corinth and preaching to Jews in their own synagogues and to Greeks as well.  He, being a Jew and a Pharisee by training and by family tradition, would have had access to this position in synagogues.  And here is the perfect example of the living power that Paul's preaching expressed.  When a young man falls from high in the building, and is pronounced dead, Paul demonstrates the vital nature of the Christ that he is preaching about.  This is a God that shows proof of His existence and is not a mystery-shrouded and unknowable entity.  While the mystical gods of the day had physical representation, the God that Paul preached was the Spirit that could never be represented in matter, but was made known by the healing works of the living Christ.  Just as in the previous section it is made clear that there is no time in eternity/Life eternal, so, in this section (citations S7 & S8) Mrs. Eddy makes it clear that death and accident have no part in Life.

Section 3: Persecution may obscure, but cannot put out, the light of Life.
Paul is still preaching in this section, and his preaching has caused a violent riot.  He is being beaten by the crowd and is “rescued” by a Roman official, who decides to calm the crowd by punishing Paul according to Roman law.  Here, Paul announces his Roman citizenship, which, according to law, entitles him to a trial before punishment.  Paul is not looking for martyrdom.  He is a man full of vitality and on a mission to spread the Gospel, death would not serve this holy purpose.  In citation B8 he brings the next aggressive act to a halt by turning thought away from himself and confusing the atmosphere by bringing up the age-old argument between the Sadducees and the Pharisees regarding the theological point of resurrection.  I find it almost amusing that to end each attack he is able to use his background, first his Roman citizenship, then his training as a Pharisee.  While his own vision remains filled with the clear light of the life of Christ, his persecutors' vision is obscured by their materialistic views of God and of God's expression, man (S13 and S14).  Paul knew better than anyone the blindness of ignorance, having been the blind perpetrator of violent acts against early followers of Jesus.  And with such background, he probably also recognized the opportunity to confuse these ignorant mortal minds.  He also recognized the mighty power of the light and the intelligence of Life (S15).

Section 4: Not even 'acts of nature' can separate us from God's love.
The familiar story of this shipwreck (three others happened to him before this one!), can be seen as illustrating the superiority of Mind's/Life's government, over the so-called laws of matter (in this case weather).  Shouldn't we be determined, as Paul was, to pray and devote our thought to Life, to understanding that Life is the only force in the universe of Mind, the only attraction, power, reality (S19).  Just as the violence and aggression of the men in Section 3 seemed overwhelming, so matter makes its aggressive presentation here as an enormous storm.  There is evidence that the storm had been going on for two weeks.  Can you imagine being tossed around and fighting huge waves and wind for that long?  No one was sleeping or eating.  The crew and the prisoners, who were pressed to help, were exhausted, spent.  They had finally tossed all the cargo, they had lost many of the essential parts of the ship and were barely hanging on when Paul informs them that though there is no hope for the ship, not one of the occupants will perish.  And because there was a Roman soldier in charge who had respect for Paul, they were not allowed to kill the prisoners, but ordered all to get to shore in whatever way they were able... “some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship.”  I've mentioned before, the thought that these broken pieces might represent whatever temporary means we need to get us to the next level of thought, or, perhaps the inspirations that lift us above those waves of fear that present themselves to us in the midst of illness or crisis.  I think here, Paul's prayer (and certainly the following section full of healing), elevates the thought of all the passengers [with restful,  refreshing “raindrops of divinity” (S20)].  His [“be of good cheer” encouragement and prayerful affirmation] help to bring them all safe to shore, again demonstrating the far-reaching vitality and life-saving power of an understanding of Life.

Section 5: The law of Life “proves harmless” unlawful sickness [and poison, viruses...]
On the island of Melita [present day Malta] Paul and his shipmates receive hospitality.  And here Paul heals the father of the chief of the island, or village where they are staying.  This healing leads to many others while they wait out the winter-storm months before proceeding to Rome.  Remember too, though the account is not included here, that Paul—soon after swimming to shore—shakes off a viper and remains unharmed.  [“Understanding the control which Love held over all… Paul proved the viper to be harmless.”  Science & Health 514: 26]  So his authority over death is established, not only by surviving the powerful storm, but also by remaining unharmed by a poisonous viper, and healing a man dying of dysentery.  This section ends with a passage from Science & Health that is reminiscent of Paul's life-changing conversion on the road to Damascus.  “Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual—neither in nor of matter—and the body will then utter no complaints.” [S24, 14:12]  Our consciousness of the light of Life overwhelms any fear-based ignorance, aggressive claim, or even reasoned human law, with the Truth of the Christ power. 

Section 6: Paul-like living.
Being a preacher of Life did not exempt Paul from the claims and aggressive suggestions of life in matter.  Citation B18 tells us that he was beaten three times with rods, stoned once, experienced three shipwrecks and more.  (He appears to have met a violent end as well, though his story in Acts ends with his reaching Rome and continuing to preach from his own rented house—albeit bound to a soldier or guard—for two more years.  Yet, despite these many aggressive threats, he prevailed through his grasp of the source of the light that forever opened his eyes to the life of Christ.  Never did he return to his former life of respectable intellect and security.  He continuously preached and lived with energy, vitality, devotion, perseverance and apparent good cheer!  Let us endeavor to do the same this week as we turn to the light of Life in Christ Jesus, living Paul-like lives.  [See Warren’s P.S. #2 about how we, like Paul, can boldly strive to demonstrate application ideas from his Life journeys to the known world of today.]  Let's bring God to light this week as Life itself!  The law of Life supports us in this endeavor.


[Warren’s P.S. #1: Mrs. Eddy writes of Paul's Golden Text statement, "St. Paul said to the Athenians, ‘For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.'  This statement is in substance identical with my own: ‘There is no life, truth, substance, nor intelligence in matter.'… If Christian Science reiterates St. Paul's teaching, we, as Christian Scientists, should give to the world convincing proof of the validity of this scientific statement of being. Having perceived, in advance of others, this scientific fact, we owe to ourselves and to the world a struggle for its demonstration."  Retrospection and Introspection, p. 93]

[Warren’s P.S. #2: Early in the week we plan to post a special attachment in the upper right corner of CedarS latest metaphysical webpage, http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/articles/2014/7/paul-s-life/ .  It will share how you can (at least mentally) travel with CedarS virtual family as we, like Paul, boldly strive to demonstrate to the known world application ideas of Life’s spiritual origin and nature.  All week CedarS campers and staff will be treasure-hunting and island-hopping by kayak and by S.U.P. (Stand-Up-Paddleboard) in CedarS Mediterranean Sea as well as along its shores to bring to light today the treasured lessons buried in Paul’s Life-journeys.] 


 [Warren’s P.S. #3: P.A.L. House (CedarS onsite care facility and residence for a resident Christian Science Practitioner and Christian Science Nurse) has put together a "wish list" (see upper right corner under pdf)  for desired items from the Christian Science Publishing Society.  It includes mostly additional kid’s books, to have on hand for campers, counselors and staff to read and borrow. You are warmly invited to contribute to this effort by making a donation to CedarS, ear-marked “for PAL House”.

Additionally, we would like to be sure every session that absolutely everyone who comes to CedarS has their very own copy of our textbook to "read....study....ponder." (See Science & Health pg 559) Your donations of new and slightly used copies of Science & Health will be greatly appreciated and put to good use!  Also welcome are cash contribution to buy textbooks in order to share them with or sell them to those of other faiths who visit CedarS Bible Lands Park and the Christian Science Lectures here that we invite them to attend.]


[Warren’s P.S. #4: Follow-up on letting another need be known:  CedarS recently has been without needed work trucks due to breakdowns that cost more to repair than the vehicles have been worth.  It anyone in CedarS “Met land” of supporters has a truck (or even a SUV or van) that is in still in good running condition, we would be very grateful to put it to good use at God's camp in teh Missouri Ozarks!  Please contact CedarS Maintenance Director Bill Nisbet at bill@cedarscamps.org or 417-718-1323 to talk over what you have and how it might come our way.  Funds towards buying an updated truck have already been offered and more are very welcome to complete this demonstration of giving us the needed tools to be able to serve and do the needed work! 
THANK YOU in advance for MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE,
BY PHONE at 417-532-6699,
OR BY MAIL at:
CedarS Camps, 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536
]


[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying 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/ ]

[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 Manfred and Jeanette; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has been contributed.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-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 emails to follow.) 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 serve as 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 and in a variety of useful formats 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-26) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-32). 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.]http://www.cedarscamps.org/videos/

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