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As Spirit's reflection, float on the raft of Spirit & "Touch the fringes of eternity"!

Kathy Fitzer, Lake St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, August 4th, 2014

[Float on Spirit's raft (4th s.) & "Touch the fringes of eternity"--as Spirit's reflection! (3rd s.)]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson August 4-10, 2014

Subject: Spirit

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer of St. Louis, MO
kathyfitzer@gmail.com           314-323-4083

[Bracketed italics added by CedarS Director, Warren, who needs help to fund Life-transforming camperships for worthy recipients!]

Think about how vapor — a gas — spreads unseen to fill every niche of the area in which it is present.  The wind touches (and impacts) everything in its path.  Although we don’t see the wind, or gases, the impact (the effect of their presence) is actively seen and felt by all.  My sense of the meaning of the word “spirit” expanded as I discovered that the root of the word is “breath,” not only in Greek, but in Latin from which the English springs, and Arabic, and I would have to assume other languages as well.  Thinking of the word this way makes it easier for me to think about God as Spirit moving freely, filling all voids, and having this kind of impartial impact on all in its presence.

Golden Text:  Short and sweet… “You reign over all.”  I found these translations: “you reign over everything,” “you rule over all,” and “you are the ruler of everything.”  To me, it’s the same basic message.  To rule is to “exercise ultimate power or authority over (an object.)” Over ALL!  My thesaurus uses these synonyms for all: “everyone, each one, the entirety.”  So, is there anything — anywhere, ever — that is NOT under the authority of God, Spirit?  We must answer NO with conviction and authority, accept the reign of Spirit, and rejoice in it!

Responsive Reading:  Why is it important to let others know about the good we’re seeing … the blessings we’re receiving… from God?  For one thing, it seems like a perfect way to say thank you.  When we see someone do something that we think is really good, it’s fun to tell others about it as a form of praise, and perhaps encouragement that this kind of good is available to them, too.  It’s a way of sharing the possibilities, teaching, and saying thank you all at the same time.  Look at the list of things the Psalmist has identified as what God has done!  And, this is only a partial list.  God does it ALL!  If it’s good, Spirit naturally does it!  The Bible has left a record of God’s mighty power.  We have the opportunity to continue that record … telling our friends, sharing across the generations, recording our testimonies privately in a journal that can be later shared or shouted from the housetops through the Christian Science periodicals.  We MUST do this to acknowledge ALL that Spirit does, and share the good news of how Spirit works and blesses with EVERYONE!  Imagine if the writers of the Bible, Mary Baker Eddy, and all the students before and after had kept this good news to themselves.  Can we do less?  Shout your praise and let everyone see for themselves the blessings of Spirit, available to all!

Section 1: Worship God in Spirit
How do we follow the command given in John to “worship [God] in spirit and in truth”? (B-1) What does it mean?  If we acknowledge that all might, power, greatness and strength come from God, and we thank God for that fact… that’s a good start. (B-3) But, if we’re really going to worship God in spirit (acknowledge God as the breath of Life, Truth, and Love that fills all space) we can’t get tricked into seeing any part of God’s creation as even temporarily material.  Really think about this simple, but very important statement… “Spirit is not physical.”  (S-3, p. 285)  In several places in Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy refers to the “so-called” physical.  The word physical is used to refer to a material body or material laws, and has nothing to do with pure, unlimited Spirit.  God, being Spirit does not have a physical body.  Nor does Spirit’s creation!  If we’re going to worship God in Spirit we can’t be fooled by the picture mortal mind paints or the story it tells.  The infinite can’t be contained in something finite!  So, to worship in spirit, we have to give up concepts of time — material history or uncertain future.  Mind doesn’t dwell in a material body.  Creation, instead, is the full expression of Mind, unencumbered and unlimited by material form.  So, step one… refuse to see the physical universe as the seat of life or as making any conditions for man.  To worship God as a spirit is to truly give God, Spirit, complete authority over man and the universe and refuse to judge according to the story being told by the mortal (limited) senses.  As you strive to see the universe of Spirit, keep looking for evidence of the law of good in operation.  Trust that ultimately Good is the ONLY law, and must win out!

Section 2:  Spirit as true substance
We’re told in Proverbs to “honour the Lord” with our substance… with the very best (firstfruits) of what we have.  The promise, then, is that our “barns” will be full. (B-4) How does the story of Jesus feeding the multitude tie in with this demand? (B-7) Let’s start with what Jesus perceived as the source of the supply and the nature of substance.  The disciples looked at the bread and fish that were at hand in terms of a material form, and so inherently limited.  Jesus recognized the spiritual nature of food as evidence of Love meeting a human need.  The presence of those seemingly small quantities of bread and fish were, to him, evidence of Spirit’s provision.  Spirit can’t be measured quantitatively.  It just IS, and is always enough because the substance of Spirit knows no limits.  It simply and naturally flows to fill every would-be void, and can never be depleted.  Jesus understood that it is natural for this substance to be expressed in a way that satisfies the human need. The need in this case was hunger, but the principle applies to a sense of home, energy, intelligence, etc.  No reason to war or worry over these things when we glimpse the infinite nature of them.  Spiritual substance can’t be depleted.  To demonstrate the supply of spiritual substance, we have to go back to the fact that Spirit reigns over ALL!  We can’t divide our allegiance.  I think the temptation is to not give Spirit much thought most of the time.  We look to human means to meet our needs (in the form of a paycheck, parental support, the government, natural resources, etc.)  We mindlessly go to the grocery store or the gas station.  When we run into a problem, we turn to Spirit, trying to understand what spiritual substance looks like.  What if we think of honoring the Lord with our firstfruits in terms of offering the best of our thinking all the time?  To me that means striving to continually recognize God as the source of everything because ALL is Spirit.  It means never thinking our needs (or those of others) are met through mortal channels.  Jesus didn’t ignore the human need to eat.  But he knew so well that Love meets every human need (through Spirit, not matter) that he wasn’t distracted for a moment with concern that there wasn’t enough.  As we practice this kind of thinking, and know that the principle is in operation for ALL, we can support our brothers and sisters who seem to be in want.  The choice is whether we will view our world from a perspective [or mindset] of limited matter or from one of infinite Spirit.  Choosing Spirit, we give up nothing!  Every human need can be met abundantly — no exclusions.  But, it has to be a whole-hearted choice.  Consciously recognize the source of all good to be Spirit.  Matter is just a foggy view.  Don’t be satisfied with it.  If we admit that there can even BE material substance, we’re saying that “Spirit is not infinite and that matter is self-creative, self-existent, and eternal.” (S-8)  So, don’t think of it as a choice between two real options.  Let’s just let go of the mistaken view (give up the flat earth) and whole-heartedly embrace the unlimited nature of Spirit — even if it seems vague right now.  Watch Love work!

Section 3:  Spirit constitutes our very being look to spiritual causation and heal!
Do we live in a material body, or does the “Spirit of God” live in us (is the substance of our very being?) (B-8)  The record of the Bible supports the Spirit-option.  It’s not that infinite Spirit is confined in a finite mortal body.  Rather, all that God — Spirit — is, constitutes all that we are.  Similar to how a ray of light is constituted of all the qualities of the sun.  In other words we are “tributary to God, Spirit.”  All things are spiritual and express the liberating nature of God’s being (“infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss.”) (S-15)  Jesus understood and demonstrated that fact, and Christian Science [the Science of the Christ] makes it practical in this age.  Because God is Spirit, Mind… all we’re dealing with is thought.  Jesus asked who touched him because he felt virtue had “gone out of [him.]”  As used here, the word virtue comes from the Greek, dunamis, meaning ability, abundance, power, strength, and mighty (wonderful) work.  Those are all qualities of thought.  Although the woman may have thought she sought the power in the tassels of Jesus’ robe [see Download from online Met], she really was reaching out to Jesus’ healing thought.  That Christ-thought is the expression of God and reveals man to be the image of God, forever spiritual and whole. (B-10)  What appears as disease is never in body.  That’s why the physicians, as well-meaning as they were — couldn’t cure her.  They were looking in the wrong direction, trying to fix a body rather than to cleanse thought of the misconception that substance is material.  Rather than looking for a material cause for an ailment, we need to stay focused on “spiritual causation” [for “the vision infinite” to “grow clearer” and to “touch the fringes of eternity.”]  (S-12) & [Hymn 64:3] Spirit causes all good and only good, because God IS Good!  All evidence to the contrary is nothing more than a “material supposition”… the story of mortal mind.  And, as we have “more faith in the truth of being than we have in error, … in living than in dying … in God than in man, then no material suppositions can prevent us from healing the sick and destroying error.” (S-14)  We can all heal!  [See PS for more on citation B-8, I Cor. 3:16 and on you as "the temple of God."]

Section 4:  Saving Spirit always present
Not only does Spirit fill all space, and so is ever-present —inescapable — but, the nature of Spirit is to lift us up and save us from whatever would try to pull us down or destroy us.  There are times when I feel I am drowning and just can’t stay on the surface long enough to catch my breath.  Maybe it’s all the things demanding my attention, maybe it is my body complaining,  the many faces of lack, or the multitude of challenges in the world crying out for help.  Whatever the case, it’s hard to get on top until we jump on the raft of Spirit.  Trying to stay afloat by treading water (doing all the work ourselves) may do the trick for awhile, but it can be exhausting.  Being lifted up by something buoyant, however, allows us to stay on top without effort.  That’s the effect of turning to Spirit to lift us up.  And, then we find that Spirit entirely lifts us up and out of the water. (B-13)  As used in Isaiah, the “standard” that the Lord will lift up comes from a Hebrew word meaning to provide an escape or put up a fight. (B-13)  As Jesus explained to the Pharisees, it is the Spirit of God that delivers man from evil and disease.  We can’t fight the claims of matter with matter any more than the devil (Beelzebub) would be called upon to destroy the works of the devil. (B-17)  Instead, we lift up consciousness to perceive reality, rather than staying stuck in examining symptoms or looking for a material cause (physical or mental.)  Let’s be sure we’re remembering everyday to “rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea o mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit.”  (S-16)  In other words, let the raft of Spirit lift you up and leave behind the rampant and varied stories of error.  They are only stories and always lies!  Spirit is Truth.  Spirit it God.  Spirit is Good.  Spirit has nothing to do with evil, limitation, or disease.  So, those lies have nothing to do with God’s creation.  Jesus showed us the way.  All mankind can gain “the true idea of good “ and discover the infinite blessings that are constantly being bestowed by Spirit. (S-22)  There are no other spirits to close man’s eyes!

Section 5: Recognize Jesus as Christ, the Son of God
I asked myself why Jesus felt it was important that people (especially his disciples) understand his identity. (B-20) From the “miracles” he performed, people knew he was someone special.  But, the general population still thought he might just be some other prophet — thought that he had the personal power to heal.  Jesus felt it was important that people understand the power and authority behind the “miracles” to be God, Spirit.  Jesus was helping people understand, “who or what is it that is able to do the work, so mysterious to the popular mind?” (S-25)  Mysterious to mortal mind, but perfectly clear to inspired thought.  It is vital that we recognize the inseparability of God, Spirit, from Christ (“the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” - Science and Health, p. 332).  Jesus thoroughly demonstrated the practical application of what it means to identify oneself as the Son of God.  Jesus’ role — his place — is a unique one.  He was the Messiah, or promised Savior.  But, he expected that all mankind would ultimately do the works that he did through understanding God, Spirit, as the source of being… that there is only one God and one man made in the image of God.  Perhaps nothing is more important than to understand that “we are of God.” (B-21)  We are of Spirit, and because of this, so-called matter has no authority or power over us. Peter glimpsed this divine authority and it was this understanding of “the supremacy of Spirit” that “was the foundation on which Jesus built.  (S-25)  There’s only one way that we can put aside the limited claims of matter.  God has “given us of his Spirit” (His vital principle - Strong’s.) (B-21) Thus Spirit is the only life we have — the only life there is.  As we acknowledge  the “supremacy of Spirit”, the claims of matter are silenced, mortality is put aside and we find the “indissoluble spiritual link  which establishes forever our inseparable relationship to Spirit, our creator.  To acknowledge is simply to “accept or admit the existence or truth of.”  We don’t have to make it be — we don’t have to completely understand it.  We DO have to whole-heartedly accept that Spirit is supreme and we are one with Spirit.  No claim of matter can stand up to that.   And matter is never more than what it claims to be.  It is a story.  It has no substance because all substance is Spirit, God!

Section 6:  God, Spirit is all there is!
The Lesson ends by bringing the Golden Text full circle.  If God reigns over ALL (as the Bible tells us,) God — infinite good — must be all there is!  Revelation describes God as the “first and the last.” (B-23)  And, we could add, … everything in-between.  “God, Spirit, is All-in-all.”  The Christian Science textbook identifies that this is where we must always start! (S-27)  The mistake we often make is to start with the problem as if it is something legitimate  that needs solving.  Starting with the Allness of God, we are able to view all things through the lens of Spirit, and the claims of matter have no place in that kingdom of Spirit — so no place in our experience or anywhere!  Again thinking of Spirit as breath, Spirit breathes goodness over all.  What happens to dust when you blow on it?  It flies away.  That’s not a perfect example, because one could say that it then lands somewhere else.  But, if the breath of God is EVERYWHERE, there’s no place for the dust of mortal belief to land!  The writer of the letter to the Ephesians prays to God that everyone will be “filled with the fullness of God.” (B-22)   Filled up full with Spirit, Life, there’s no room for anything unlike God, and it is impossible for that fullness of Spirit (expressed as breath, vitality, strength) to be lost or diminished.  So, when experience seems to be less than full, less than good — for yourself, others, or the world at large — start rightly with God as All.  And accept nothing less (regardless of the dust of contrary evidence) than the true universe, expressing Spirit that is all-inclusive and fills all space! (S-28)  Reject the lie (let the divine breath of Spirit blow it away,) Replace it with what is true — that God is ALL.  And Rejoice that right here, right now Spirit (the might of Love) IS present and active — and filling you (and all) up full!  Those are the “3 R’s” and they are ours to practice freely until God’s Allness is all that is seen!


[Warren's PS on citation B-8 (I Cor. 3:16) and about you as the temple of God: A "Bible Note" for section 3 in MyBibleLesson states that Paul used a Greek word for temple here that means the inner part of "the sanctuary, the part of the temple considered most pure and holy"--the Holy of Holies which contained the Ark of the Covenant that held the 10 Commandments.  This part of CedarS Tabernacle in the Wilderness will be one of 6 stations on this morning's tour of Bible Lands Park by all of CedarS Boys Camp and Compound Idea Program.,  We will consider how thinking of ourselves as God's temple, as the very image and likeness of God, would make itimpossible for us to be jealous, to bear false witness, to steal, to lust, to kill...]


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[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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