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Answer the call to discipleship! Follow in the steps of the Wayshower!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Answer the call to discipleship! Follow in the steps of the Wayshower!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Christ Jesus”

For February 23-28, 2016

Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer, CS of Lake St. Louis, MO and Park City, UT

kathyfitzer@gmail.com 314-323-4083

This lesson spells out step by step what is required to be a disciple (a learner and follower) of Christ. As you read each section, look for the special requirement featured. And remember the rewards of learning to live and to heal as Jesus did. Consider the amazing invitation extended to each of us in the Golden Text. If you were in the presence of Christ Jesus and heard the words, “Come and follow me,” how would you answer? This isn’t really a hypothetical question because Christ, “the divine message from God to men,” is continually speaking to the human consciousness with the same invitation. Are we willing to let go of the material baggage that would hold us tethered to a limited view, and follow the Word of God? Or do we hesitate or even turn away, not quite ready for such a commitment? It’s important to answer honestly and to let our true desires and love of God govern our actions. This lesson shows that as we are willing to follow Christ (the voice of Truth) we have all we need to heal whatever crosses our path. What could be more important or fulfilling than that?

Responsive Reading (RR): [** CC Download of John 21] I don’t think I’m the only one who has, at times, felt a kinship with Peter. Jesus had shown himself to the disciples on two previous occasions, but Peter (and the other disciples) must have felt very much at loose ends — maybe even abandoned. They hadn’t anticipated their master being taken from them after 3 short years. Now what were they supposed to do? Perhaps those who have lost a spiritual mentor have experienced a similar feeling. The temptation is to kind of give up, and go back to old ways. But, as in the case of the disciples, we may find that those old ways aren’t as satisfying as they once were. We can learn a big lesson from the message Jesus gave his disciples the morning they went back to fishing. First… cast your net on the right side. That is, look in the right direction — to God, rather than person — to give you what you need. The disciples were willing to literally follow Jesus’ instructions, even though it was not logical that they would catch fish after the sun had come up — when they hadn’t caught any all night. We, too, can throw human logic to the wind and have the courage to metaphorically change how and where we’re casting our net. Next … Do we love Truth more than the minutia of everyday life? Jesus included a demand with that – show your love by sharing your understanding through healing. Third … be concerned with your own thought – don’t worry about another’s journey. Jesus made demands on his disciples, but he understood what Paul later spelled out – we can choose to follow because we always have the love of Christ with us. Nothing can separate us from that sustaining love and so we can expect to conquer all that would try to conquer us.

Section 1: Follow (and stay in) the divine light as presented and demonstrated by Jesus.

When we’ve been stuck in darkness, light is such a welcome sight. Desiring to escape the darkness, we naturally follow the light (knowing, perhaps, that it indicates the way out of a tunnel or cave.) The Bible uses the analogy of light in describing the dawning of Christ on the human consciousness. (See citations B1 - Isa. 9 - and B6 - II Cor. 4) It must have been the light of Christ so perfectly embodied in Jesus that attracted men and women to him and impelled them to stop doing whatever it was they had been doing and follow him. We read of many in the Bible that were healed, but very few that were so moved by the Christ light that they made the commitment to follow it. Although our names won’t be recorded in the Bible, let’s think about making a similar commitment to join this group of faithful followers. (**B2, B3 & **B4) We read of some of the women who “ministered unto him [Jesus] of their substance.” (**B5) These women were considering Jesus’ human needs and sought ways to serve and host him. Today, ministering to the Christ may mean not only taking of what the light has to give, but also serving and hosting that light by making room for it in our lives so that it may be demonstrated in healing. Being a disciple demands participation of the heart. Jesus (the human man) presented the Christ (the divine idea) more clearly than anyone else before or since. Mrs. Eddy speaks of the “duality of Jesus the Christ.” (S1) Jesus’ life totally embodied the Christ light. (S2) But, this Christ — the spiritual idea or reflection of God — is as present and powerful today as it has ever been. The Christ is eternal! Mrs. Eddy speaks of the Christianity that Jesus taught as “the demonstration of divine Love casting out error and healing the sick … in demonstration of Truth, as must be the case in the cycles of divine light.” (S3) I loved an explanation by Marjorie Dagnall that appeared in the Question and Answer section of the August, 2012 Christian Science Journal, CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE PHRASE "CYCLES OF DIVINE LIGHT”? She referred to this definition of cycle: “loop”—like a bicycle wheel. She then countered the belief of cycles as ups and downs and spoke of them as always progressive. She gave the example of a dot put on a bicycle wheel and going around and around, but always moving forward as the bike moved. The article also had this statement in it, which I think is extremely helpful: “So Love’s light continuously evidences—through revelation—the universe of Mind’s continuous demonstration.” Continuous — without interruption. And, so … the healing that comes from following and ministering to the Christ is as demonstrable today as it was in the day of Christ Jesus as we continue to acknowledge the ever-progressive cycle of light!

Section 2: Heal with the authority of God — the source of the light of Christ

In great humility, Jesus was always quick to direct the attention of his followers back to the Father — the source of the light and of all the good that sprung from the light. (B7) Jesus commanded his disciples to share the good news that the Kingdom of God is a present reality. Once that fact is realized, it follows that the sick are healed, the lepers (impurity) cleansed, dead (and all dead-ends) raised, and devils (false suggestions and temptations) cast out! Why should they (and we) do this? That which has been freely received, needs to be freely shared. How can we think about the command not to go into “the way of the Gentiles”? (**B8) Certainly, the disciples of Christ (especially Paul) eventually did venture outside of the Jewish field. Phillips translates this phrase as, "Don't turn off into any of the heathen roads.” That makes sense to me – a warning to keep consciousness untainted by false belief; taking care not to adulterate the pure Word of Truth. Mrs. Eddy interpreted Jesus’ command to “go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” as the command to “speak the truth to every form of error.” (S7) Would Jesus really have intended the healing principle he so beautifully demonstrated to be limited to his time, or to a particular region? Not likely, at least not at first. (S8) So, perhaps we need to continue to expand our sense of Jesus’ command so that we don’t limit in any way what God can heal — and what we can expect to see healed. We again have references to light in this section. “The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. (S10) Do we ever doubt that darkness will disappear when the light is turned on? Then, why would we doubt that a dark image of thought (though expressed physically) will be healed when the error is confronted with the light of divine Principle — the “divine influence ever present in human consciousness.” Acknowledging the ever-presence of “Immanuel, or ‘God with us” enables the divine authority — and source of the healing light — to expunge all that is unlike God from both consciousness and experience. The divine Principle — that which gives man authority over evil, and the source of all good — is ever operable and demonstrable!

Section 3: Leave all to follow Christ

The demands made in this section can feel pretty tough. Jesus made radical demands of his disciples. Could they give up a traditional sense of home and family? The duty to bury the dead was binding on all devout Jews. Yet, Jesus said to leave that to those concerned with death (mortality) while his disciples were concerned with life — the kingdom of God. He permitted no looking back. After all, looking back makes it impossible to move forward in a straight line. (B10) Mrs. Eddy also makes strict demands on modern-day disciples. “Self-denial, sincerity, Christianity, and persistence” are required. (S15) But, we have a choice. We can either feel burdened by all we think we have to give up — or rejoice in the rewards that come from making the choice to turn from matter to Spirit. Trying to split our allegiance leaves us totally unbalanced — being tugged in one direction and then in another. It helps a lot to be glad “to leave the false landmarks” and have “joy to see them disappear. (S14) As we progress in any endeavor of life, we leave behind things that used to seem important, and we’re ready for new challenges. It’s natural — and new, expanded views and experiences result. What does it really mean to “take up [our] cross”? In simplest terms, we can think of the cross as a symbol of self-sacrifice. (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible) Rather than being told we have to carry a cross for punishment, we get to choose to sacrifice a mortal sense of self (deny “the claims of matter”) in exchange for “the joys of Soul.” Thus, we overcome the limitations of matter step-by-step. (B9 & S13) As disciples of Christ and students of Christian Science we are at war with error.(S12) And, victory is assured as we lay aside all belief in a reality other than “good, God and His reflection” and rise superior (“beyond the power or influence; too great or firm to be subdued or affected by” — Webster’s 1828) to the “so-called pain and pleasure of the senses.” (S13) The world would say that being a Christian and a Christian Scientist is hard! But, doing whatever is necessary to break down the limits of mortal belief and catch a glimpse of the reality of harmonious spiritual being is worth the effort! And we’re never alone! We can freely share the yoke of Christ. As Jesus said, “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11: 30)

Section 4: Acknowledging the Truth that makes free

Jesus pointed out that discipleship includes continuing to abide by his teachings — sticking to the Word of God that Jesus preached and lived — and that heals. Jesus promised that as people faithfully continue in God’s Word, they will know Truth and this Truth will make them free. (B13) Although the Jews associated freedom with the narrow definition of not being in slavery to a person, the Savior certainly saw it in the larger context of being free from sin, disease, and death. We have, in this section, the story of a man coming to Jesus asking him to heal his son who suffers from seizures. Jesus was returning from the transfiguration with Peter, James, and John. And, he was told that the other disciples had been unable to heal the young man. In contrast, Jesus “rebuked the devil” and the boy was immediately healed. The disciples naturally asked why they hadn’t been able to heal the boy. I know that many of us have struggled with that same question when, despite our best efforts, our prayers have not resulted in healing — whether for ourselves or for another. In response to the queries of his disciples, Jesus spoke about the need for faith, and for prayer and fasting. (B14) A question we should ask ourselves is what it is we are placing faith in — faith in our abilities and our understanding OR faith in God, the source of all good. It is a demand to call on the power of God-with-us. Mrs. Eddy outlines three factors involved in “the prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick:” (1) a complete and unconditional faith that all things are possible to God. That is FIRST! Then, an understanding of God and finally “an unselfed love.” (S18) The only place I could find any reference to the word “unselfed,” when I Googled it, is in the context of Christian Science. I couldn’t find it in a dictionary. It certainly is a love that transcends a human sense of love and is coincidental with divine Love. It involves getting out of ourselves and being totally mindful of God and the healing power of Love. If you’d like to explore this idea more, I found this to be a helpful article on the subject: What Is Unselfed Love? by Barbara Blech Dunbar in the July 1973 Christian Science Journal. In the context of Jesus’ teachings, couldn’t we think of unselfedd love in terms of “fasting” — fasting from all belief in a selfhood apart from God? As we follow Jesus’ teachings and example, thought is held “in line with unselfed love,” “the divine power” shines through, and healing is realized. I always get great comfort from the statement, “if your fidelity is half equal to the truth of your plea, you will heal the sick.” (S21) It is the TRUTH that makes free. We need to “stick to the truth of being” and “plead with an honest conviction” but know that it is GOD — TRUTH — that heals. Loving God supremely, we will see healing.

Section 5: Your expression of love defines you as a disciple

The fifth section only has one Bible citation, but it is a powerful one. It includes the commandment to love one another as Jesus loved! And, then specifies how his disciples should be recognized as his disciples — by the love that they show for their fellow man. (B15) Not by how many they healed? Well … healing will naturally follow once the disciple has learned to pattern the unselfed love of Jesus. We can memorize and repeat every “truth” contained in the Bible and all of Mrs. Eddy’s writings. But, those words don’t heal. It is the Love behind the words that brings healing. When we love God supremely we will naturally love God’s offspring. And, there is no room for anything unlovely (any type of discord) in the presence of this expression of Love! When Love illumines the way, all darkness flees. (S22) When it seems we’re stuck and we’re not seeing healing, let’s remember to turn away from the problem — stop trying to figure out how to fix something and simply pray for more grace. Pray to feel more of the divine influence and tender touch of Love’s infinite love. Humanly we live this desire by expressing more patience, meekness, love, and good deeds — and strive to follow the example of Jesus in all aspects of our lives. And, let’s not forget to wholeheartedly express our gratitude for God and for His Son. (S25) Where would we be without Jesus’ example?

Section 6: Patience

When things seem too difficult to bear — when we seem stretched to the limit — we can remember Jesus’ example. No matter how good his work was — no matter how many were helped and healed — he still faced non-stop persecution. In the modern vernacular, it seemed that Jesus couldn’t win for losing! But, even when facing the ordeal of crucifixion Jesus knew that God was ever with him! And, he didn’t give up or even react. He patiently faced whatever came his way. (B16) Paul encouraged the Hebrews to “run with patience” whatever race they found themselves in — to meet any challenge that came to them. He encouraged them to “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it.” (B17, The Message) We’ll never be asked to deal with any challenge that Jesus didn’t face and that he didn’t show us how to face. Jesus promised, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (B19) What is it that “comes” to us? It’s the presence of the Christ — “the true idea of God, voicing good.” The Comforter comes to this age as the Science of the Christ — “Divine Science.” (S6) As we accept the privileged position of being a follower of Jesus — a follower of Christ — we receive the blessings Jesus promised to his disciples: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” We’re not alone — and we have an example to follow. Also the promise, “‘Lo, I am with you alway,’ — that is, not only in all time, but in all ways and conditions.” (S28) We’re never alone!!! “The Christ is here, all dreams of error breaking, unloosing bonds of all captivity.” (Hymn 412) Let’s accept it as our privilege as well as our duty “to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.” (S30) We talked earlier about the tough demands that are placed on discipleship. But, here is the gentle encouragement that we can do it! Even if we’re not all the way there — I certainly am not — we have to keep striving to do what God made us to do and enables us to do. We can follow Jesus’ example. And the more we practice, the more natural it will become. Think about anything you’ve worked hard to learn and master. The joys of accomplishment make the practice worth it! And nothing is more rewarding than bearing witness to God’s healing power! So say “yes!” to the invitation … “come and follow me.”


[** See Online version of this Met (upper right) for Cobbey Crisler commentary Downloads on John 21.1-25 (RR); Mark 1.14-18+ (B2); Luke 6.12-18+ (B4); Luke 8.1-3+ (B5); Matt. 10.1-8+ (B8)]


[CedarS featured need this week: Completion of funding for The CedarS Sports Center. This month, we are finishing the steel structure over the concrete pad of a new CedarS Sports Center in honor of Corde Hanzlik. (See pic(s) in the link below and at the end of this week's online Downloads.) Corde’s immediate family is generously funding the construction of the 21,600 square foot gym building, featuring a multi-sport covered court. To utilize the facility at full capacity, we are hoping to raise funds for the additional items (large and small) listed at this link. Thank you for contributing in Corde's honor to this needed legacy gift for this and coming summers of happy CedarS campers! You can see more details and progress UPDATES as well as GIVE ONLINE to help us finish it at: www.cedarscamps.org/sportscenter Thank you in advance for checking out this need and supplying it, seeing your own good in the good of many!]


[IT WOULD BE A HUGE, HUGE ANSWER TO PRAYER to have MORE MONTHLY GIFTS ONLINE which you can easily set up at https://www.cedarscamps.org/donate/?a=donate-recurring .

[To discuss privately how to transfer securities or other assets or planned gifts to support and perpetuate CedarS work, you can reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by calling the Huffs or their daughter Holly Huff Bruland 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):

The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

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


[CedarS 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.

[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/ ]

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