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Live the Sacraments every day!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, July 6th, 2015

[Live the Sacraments every day!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Sacrament”
for Sunday, July 12, 2015

by Rick Stewart, C.S. , Dresden, Germany
(+49) 351 312 4736 rickstewartcs@aol.com

Hi CedarS campers, counselors, staff, and CedarS family of friends around the world!
We are about to learn a little more about how we can have more good, peace and joy in our lives through the Christian Science Bible Lesson on Sacrament. Want to join us?

By the way, what is a “sacrament?” Well in ancient times Roman soldiers took an oath of allegiance that was called sacramentum, so that is one source for the word. The American Heritage Dictionary says “Sacrament” is a religious ceremony or rite. Most Christian churches use the term “sacrament” for rites or ceremonies that Jesus instituted, but different churches have different ideas what those rites are. The Lutheran church believes that baptism and Communion are the only sacraments. The Roman Catholic church and Eastern Orthodox churches have also five more sacraments, confirmation, confession, anointing of the sick, ordaining clergy, and marriage. And many Evangelical churches see baptism as the key sacrament that serves as an outward ceremony signifying an inner commitment to Christ. They also celebrate the Holy Communion in remembrance of the Last Supper.

For these churches a sacrament is a ceremony that is an outward symbol or action that is representing an inner commitment to following Jesus example.

The Catholic Church defines the sacraments as effective signs of grace, instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer defines a sacrament as an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us by Jesus himself as a means whereby we receive the same grace and we pledge to try to live it in our lives.

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, shares clear insights into the concepts represented in the sacraments and the Christian Science view on these. You now Mrs. Eddy did not originally plan to start a church. She hoped to share her discovery, Christian Science, as it was outlined in Science and Health, with the whole world. So since she was writing for the public, not just Christian Scientists, she explained in Science and Health what Christian Science taught about sacrament, baptism, eucharist, and communion. And later when she actually founded the Christian Science church, the series of Bible Lessons she started helped explain many Christian terms and what Christian Science taught about them for those studying the Bible Lesson. Many people, not just members, began to study the Christian Science Bible Lessons.

Over the years I have known lots of people that were members of other churches that regularly studied the Bible Lesson, pastors, rabbis, priests, doctors and nurses. When my mom and dad got married the Christian Church minister that married them was so happy to meet my mom. He had studied the Christian Science Bible Lesson for years and never had anyone to talk to about Christian Science. They became great friends.

When I was 12 I started to study the Bible Lesson pretty regularly. My mom and dad gave me my own set of Bible and Science and Health. The books were bright red and had a red case that held the books and the Bible Lesson Quarterly. Every Sunday I took my books to Sunday School marked with that week's Bible Lesson.

The special feeling of holding your own Bible or Science and Health in your hand, reading from the books, and discovering the treasures inside is one reason that CedarS strongly encourages the campers to bring a set of books with them [and loans or gives campers their own books if their families couldn’t afford to buy them yet]. The wonderful printouts of MyBibleLesson and the full text Quarterlies are great tools published by The Mother Church, but the books are so special and allow one to read the rest of stories in the Lesson and much more!

Golden Text: “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17

The Golden Text this week leads us to begin thinking about “Sacrament” from the perspective of unselfed love, thinking of others. The key to this Lesson on Sacrament will be getting to our goal of closeness, union with God and at the same time supporting others in their walk of faith. It refers to a chapter where the Apostle Paul is encouraging us to think about new people coming to Christ from different backgrounds, not criticizing, not judging but appreciating their interest in the message of salvation found in the words and life of Christ Jesus.

The J. B. Phillips translation has the following version,” After all, the kingdom of Heaven is not a matter of whether you get what you like to eat and drink, but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

One might say that there is not just one holy path to walk in regards to eating, drinking, or holding certain traditions. I still remember a conversation with a Christian Scientist from Australia. He was visiting my home in Florida with a large group of students from Principia College, a college for Christian Scientists in Elsah, Illinois. His girl friend, also a student at Prin, was a very ardent vegetarian. He told me, almost as a confession, that he loved to eat meat, that Australians ate a lot of meat, and that he was starting to be made to feel really guilty about this practice. His girl friend's convictions were grounded in her highest sense of right, but she was also making him feel that her way was the only way to be a practicing Christian Scientist. He and I talked and explored several Bible passages including this chapter, Romans 14 and I Corinthians. We found the following from the J.B. Phillips translation: “It is not easy to think that we “know” over problems like this, but we should remember that while knowledge may make a man look big, it is only love that can make him grow to his full stature.” I Corinthians 8

So we began to discuss the importance of searching our thought for the depth of our love, respect, and appreciation of others. Letting each find his way through turning to the Gospel and doing the best to live it in daily life. And trusting the power of the Holy Ghost, or the Gospel to guide each one to the Christ.

And that is exactly what this Golden Text asks of us. Remembering that our goal is “the kingdom of God… righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost...” and not certain ceremonies or rites. The true spirit of these observances lived in daily life will lead us. And that is what our Lesson leads us to also. Here is a compilation of Bible commentary references to this section of Paul's letter to the Romans. And the first reference is from Rev. Joseph Benson, a Methodist minister from the 1700s.

Benson Commentary

Romans 14:17-18 . For the kingdom of God Into which we enter by believing in Christ, and becoming his subjects, or which thereby enters into us, and is set up in our hearts, namely, true religion; is not Does not consist in; meat and drink Or in any ceremonial observances whatever; but righteousness The righteousness of faith, love, and obedience; or justification, sanctification, and a holy conduct;

http://biblehub.com/commentaries/romans/14-17.htm

The Responsive Reading (RR) comes from the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus prepares his disciples for what is coming soon, the painful and sad events that will take place in Jerusalem regarding the crucifixion. The mother of two of the disciples asks Jesus if her boys, Zebedee's sons, could be on his right and his left hand in the “kingdom.” Jesus warns of what is to come, the “cup” and the “baptism.” Clearly implying or explaining that it is not going to be easy to be one of Jesus' followers in the near future (or the distant future for that matter!) [See C. Crisler commentary about RR verses Matt. 20:18-22 called Download 1 in CedarS online version of this Met.]

Jesus encourages an unselfed love, a willingness to “take up” the cross, and follow. And to specifically act, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. The New Living Translation says, “Give as freely as you have received!” That line really made me think of the incredible insights and gifts I have been given regarding Jesus' teachings as explained in Christian Science and the fruits that come from that study. How could I ever repay what I have received or been given? If I think of the healings, experiences, protection, and provision I have witnessed in my family, in my life, with my friends there is absolutely no way to count them all. An infinite number of healings and proofs of God's Love and care. Take a moment and think about what you have received, or been given, and then give some thought to what you can do about it!

The sweetness of this Lesson leads us to see how understanding sacrament leads to healing. And when we are ready to heal, ready to “take up” the cross, and to follow Jesus we will certainly be living in the grace to be found in sacrament.

Section 1: “The sacramental elements that lead to healing.”
Citation B-2 is an interesting introduction to the ongoing “giving” that God has shared with His people, those prepared and receptive for His love and guidance. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians speaks of God's active caring in the exodus of the Children of Israel out of Egypt: Exodus 13:21, following the cloud; Exodus 14, passing through the sea; Exodus 16, eating the manna; and Exodus 17, water from the rock.

One of the concepts this lesson is going to develop in us is that we do not need ceremonies to tell us of a God and His Christ that lives in our lives! Our demonstrations are our Emmanuel with us! A beautiful example of this I remember from a lecture I attended a few years back. “Divine Truth Frees You from Limitation” by Jack Edward Hubbell, C.S.B. of Palo Alto, California.

Jack wrote: “Okay, let's see how we can apply these principles in a practical way to several different forms of limitation. First, let's consider one of the most prevalent limitations—that of insufficient funds or supply. Being free is living a life with unlimited resources. Sometimes the evidence of lack seems so overwhelming that we feel we need a miracle to solve the problem. For instance, many communities today suffer from an inadequate water supply.”

“I was challenged with a shortage of water many years ago. I was one of a party of three on a geological expedition in Utah. We went into a remote desert area, but could carry only enough water to last three days. We expected to locate water in the region. However, after two days of fruitless searching for water, we had no choice but to return to civilization the following morning.

“That evening, I turned to God in prayer. I recalled some accounts in the Bible of people suffering from limited supply whose needs were met through an understanding of God's love and power. Jesus fed over five thousand people with only a few loaves and fishes (Matt. 14:15-21). Elisha provided a widow and her son oil and meal that lasted through an entire drought (I Kings 17:10-16). Moses struck a rock and water poured out of it (Num. 20:11).

I asked myself, "Did these experiences actually occur, or were they myths or allegories?
I reasoned that they were demonstrations of divine law. And, that the same law which was in effect at the time of Moses must still be operating now. I had learned from the Bible that God is love, and Christian Science shows this Love to be power. Divine Love is the power that gives impulse to law. …

“The following morning, before we were to break camp, I decided to look once more for water. I turned into a narrow canyon near the camp, but there was nothing but sand and rocks on the canyon floor, not even a sign of vegetation. I sat down on a boulder to re-establish my thoughts of the night before. My eye fell on a patch of green moss – about the size of my thumb nail – growing in a crevice of the rock forming the canyon wall. I struck the moss with my handpick, and it became quite moist. I struck it again and again, and suddenly water burst from the crevice in the rock, an abundance of water that continued to meet our need (Christian Science Journal, March, 1966, p. 140).” http://www.cslectures.org/Hubbell/Divine%20Truth%20Frees%20You%20From%20Limitation-Hubbell.htm

In citation S-2, Mrs. Eddy writes, “The true sense is spiritually lost, if the sacrament is confined to the use of bread and wine.”

Jack's experience and our further study of this Lesson are going to bring us into the realm of sacraments lived and loved in daily practice, and never limited.

Section 2: Baptism, come on in the water is fine.
Baptism in Christian Science, as in other faiths, is a very significant event. In the first section in citation S-4, Mrs. Eddy says “Our baptism is a purification from all error.” And in citation S-7, “The baptism of Spirit, washing the body of all the impurities of flesh, signifies that the pure in heart see God and are approaching spiritual Life and its demonstration.” And although we do not conduct a water baptism in the Christian Science church we certainly cherish the promise of the baptism of the Spirit [as we pray for Spirit to do our “dry cleaning and free alterations”]. Here is a little history and a comment by one of America's most beloved Evangelists regarding baptism. I came across it when I lived back home in Florida.

For ten years I lived and practiced in a small, North Central Florida town, Palatka. Palatka was a gorgeous area with stately oak trees hanging with Spanish Moss, the beautiful St. John's River, and Silver Lake. a pretty little lake just outside of town where we water-skied. Silver Lake was good for something besides skiing, and I don't mean fishing. Silver Lake was the location where one of American's most beloved evangelists. the Rev. Billy Graham, was baptized. I find this statement of Rev. Graham's most interesting. Mr. Graham has stated: “I believe baptism is important, and I have been baptized. But I think we violate the Scriptures when we make baptism the prime requirement for salvation… Paul’s central theme was Christ and His saving power. Although he spoke of baptism, he said: ‘I thank God that I baptized none of you… lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name’ (1 Corinthians 1:14-15).” http://billygraham.org/answer/is-baptism-necessary-for-salvation/

Here is a link to a little local Palatka history that is interesting, about Billy Graham's first sermon: http://billygraham.org/story/the-story-behind-billy-grahams-first-sermon/

Years ago I found myself researching quite a bit about what Mrs. Eddy writes about baptism. A close family friend, Emily Daniel, had come to me to ask me about baptism. She was around 85-years-young, had been a practicing Christian Scientist for most of her life. She was there in attendance for my brother, Scott's home birth. During the birth a situation arose that caused the doctor present to be greatly concerned. The umbilical cord had been around Scott's neck. My mom had remained fully conscious and praying during the birth and Emily supported prayerfully also. Scott was delivered and all was well. The doctor with tears in his eyes simply said, “I've never seen a baby delivered alive in that situation.” All was well.

So it was in the light of that long, long family relationship that Emily was talking to me. It seemed some of her family was very, very interested in Emily being baptized. At first she was intent on resisting and then she found herself feeling it would be the best thing for family harmony to just do it. But she really thought and prayed about it and like I said was asking what my thoughts were. Eventually we both found ourselves thinking of the five words that Jesus said to John when John questioned Jesus’ need to be baptism, “suffer it to be so now.” So Emily decided to be baptized and continued her lifelong practice of Christian Science.

Baptism is a very interesting topic to research. You will find roots in Judaism for Tvilah, a washing of the whole body in water involved in ritual purification and also in conversion to Judaism. And of course Jesus visited his cousin, John the Baptist, as John preached the “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins”. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all included the account of Jesus' baptism by John. [Cobbey Crisler’s connection to the baptism of the Christ that alone can make us pure and single-minded is attached as Download 2 (B-7) in CedarS online version of this Met.]

In citation B-7 John told the people, “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worth to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:” Mrs. Eddy writes in citation, S-8, “John saw in those days the spiritual idea as the Messiah, who would baptize with the Holy Ghost, – divine Science.”

Section 3: The Bread of Truth, the cup of Love.
This section brings the beautiful perspective of healing and love to the Last Supper. The true significance to the bread and to the cup that our Master commanded, “Drink ye all of it.” [See further Last Supper insights on the bread and wine in the C. Crisler commentaries called Download 3 and Download 4 of CedarS online version of this Met.]

In citation S-13 Mrs. Eddy writes, “His true flesh and blood were his Life; and they truly eat his flesh and drink his blood, who partake of that divine Life.”

Our Christian friends seek to commemorate the Master through their Communion, the Eucharist, and to imbibe that true significance of that historical event. But could there be any better way to commemorate the Master and show our love and devotion than practicing what he lived and taught?

Citation S-15 states, “When we come to have more faith in the truth of being than we have in error, more faith in Spirit than in matter, more faith in living than in dying, more faith in God than in man, then no material suppositions can prevent us from healing the sick and destroying error.”

Several years ago I was at the kindergarten where all our kids have gone. I was asked to come and share a story with the kids in one group along with the Catholic priest that comes to the kindergarten every Friday for a visit. We read together, “The Rainbow Fish.” I read it in English and he read in German, we alternated, there was a team-effort of teaching from the book. And together we shared little spiritual messages from the book that each of us brought to the book. All I can say it was a truly holy experience. There was no separation of confessions, or faiths. There was one Spirit, one Love. It was so much fun and so inspiring. Ever since then this beloved Priest and I have shared the most special relationship, brothers in Christ. Such joy on his face when I see him! Genuine Christianity that knows no barriers of denomination. Only the Christ, lived and loved, and remembered in acts.

Section 4: The “cup of bitterness.”
Is it okay to be reminded of the horrible motivations and actions that led to the condemnation and persecution of the finest man that ever walked the planet? Can we read the events, explore the motivations, learn from the Love lived by the Master? Can we begin to really appreciate the immense unselfed Love being expressed by that young man, Jesus?

Jesus prayed, “Dear Father,” he said, “all things are possible to you. Please—let me not have to drink this cup! Yet it is not what I want but what you want.” Mark 14:36, J.B. Phillips New Testament

I asked myself, What was it that God wanted? Did God want Jesus to suffer? I cannot believe that. But God did and does want each of us to know that Love is stronger than hate, that Life is stronger than death, that Truth is more powerful than any lie! [See prophesies of the crucifixion in Psalms 22 and elsewhere in the C. Crisler commentary called Download 4 (page2) of CedarS online version of this Met.]

Our Savior, our Wayshower, was ready to put it all on the line for God [--to put “his earthly all on the altar” S&H 55:23)]. There is obviously a reluctance expressed, and why not, he could sense and see where all the hatred of the Christ, Truth was being directed at him. It would make anyone want to pack up and run. But he didn't. He was ready to put it on the altar and his faith was growing, his certainty was growing that God, Life, Love would be triumphant. He was knowing that God was already there, where the hatred seemed triumphant.

Like our CedarS metaphysical theme for 2015, “Put it on the Altar to Alter Everything!” We invite all of you to join in exploring the deeper meanings and daily applications of this radical mission statement. As we consciously “altar everything (or put it on the altar), we alter everything. “All things are become new” as we live year-round CedarS tradition of starting every activity by putting it and our motives for it “on the altar” for God's purposes. http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/theme/

In citation S-17 Mrs. Eddy asks, “Christians, are you drinking his cup?... Are all who eat bead and drink wine in memory of Jesus willing truly to drink his cup, take his cross, and leave all for the Christ-principle? Then why ascribe this inspiration to a dead rite, instead of showing, by casting out error and making the body “holy, acceptable unto God,” that Truth has come to the understanding? If Christ, Truth has come to us in demonstration, no other commemoration is requisite, for demonstration is Immanuel, or God with us; and if a friend be with us, why need we memorials of that friend?”

Section 5: “Whew, I'm going fishing!”
I understand Peter, and Thomas, and Nathanael and the others. You see I grew up fishing. I used to sit for hours on the dock in our backyard catching fish and enjoying every moment of watching our little pond. My brothers and dad and I were on just about every body of water in Florida, fishing! Comforting, soothing, renewing and catching fish, success. When failure lurks, success in the simple, the familiar is comforting! Because I have also had experiences that sometimes seem just too much to bear. Great regrets regarding personal failings, sorrows, disappointments, hurts, aches, seeming loss of the dearest of loved ones. So I also know what it means to want to go back to the familiar, the quiet, the peaceful, the lapping of the water on the side of the boat. The routine of putting the nets out, waiting, watching for hours, hoping to have some success, to find the schools of fish. Success. [See C. Crisler commentary in Download 5 of CedarS online version of this Met.]

But I have also heard that call from the shore. The call and the comfort of the Christ calling in the wee hours, at the breaking light of dawn. I have heard the echo of the Psalm, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.” [Ps. 30:5, Hymn 425]

What a joy. What jubilation as Christ calls from the beach, “one more cast. This time on the right side.” “Come and get it. Breakfast is ready.” “I am already here, your Master, Wayshower, and Savior.” “I have triumphed and if you follow me, you will triumph.”

As citation S-20 puts it, “This spiritual meeting with our Lord in the dawn of a new light is the morning meal which Christian Scientists commemorate. They bow before Christ, Truth to receive more of his reappearing and silently to commune with the divine Principle, Love.”

Section 6: “On upward wing, his ascension is our ascension.”
Here’s Citation B-20, according to J.B. Phillips New Testament
“My Dear Theophilus, In my first book I gave you some account of all that Jesus began to do and teach until the time of his ascension. Before he ascended he gave his instructions, through the Holy Spirit, to the special messengers of his choice. For after his suffering he showed himself alive to them in many convincing ways, and appeared to them repeatedly over a period of forty days talking with them about the affairs of the kingdom of God.”
Acts 1

And the teaching that Jesus shared in those forty days sure fired up those beloved disciples! They healed, they taught, they shared, “There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.” (B-21)

Mrs. Eddy writes in citation S-24. “It is the living Christ, the practical Truth, which makes Jesus “the resurrection and the life” to all who follow him in deed. Obeying his precious precepts, – following his demonstration so far as we apprehend it, – we drink of his cup, partake of his bread, are baptized with his purity; and at last we shall rest, sit down with him, in a full understanding of the divine Principle which triumphs over death.” (31:14-22)

If anyone ever asks you, “Do Christian Scientists have any kind of Sacraments?” Let them read that last sentence of the citation (S24) and ponder it. And be willing to share your own personal experience as you have prayed and let unselfed Love lift you through our beloved Savior’s life and teachings. As your heart has burned with the Holy Spirit, the Comforter in being healed and healing, let it be known in unselfish affection. Be willing to share, to give, because it has been freely given to us all.


[Bracketed italics in each CedarS Met are added by CedarS Director and Met "Founder"/Editor, Warren Huff, who’s forever grateful for all the good already received and LETTING 3 ONGOING NEEDS BE KNOWN –
Significant funding is still needed for these special opportunities:
1. It is apparent that getting many to camp will depend on "Love's Provision" of campership assistance.
Could you be one of the angels who gives towards camperships and the life-altaring and life-altering experiences they provide at CedarS?]

2. Over 100 needed items are featured on CedarS Giving Tree that could fit the budget of every grateful Met-recipient and camper. You can choose for yourself $1-and-up ways to give to support CedarS needs. Click here to see 2 young alumni tell their reasons to give.

3. Adopt the Herd” Matching Opportunity! Generous donors, aware of the ongoing need to care for CedarS herd, will match donations for our horse program! (~$15k needed to reach $50k goal)]

[The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/ for more about how you can provide even monthly support online. Or you can always call the Huffs at 636-394-6162 to get information or discuss privately how to transfer securities or other assets to help support and perpetuate CedarS work.]

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 636-394-6162
or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

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THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

[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/ ]

[For additional "Director's Notes" on the history, development & 4 translations of CedarS weekly Bible Lesson "Mets" go to Notes in our online version of it.]

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