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Follow Jesus’ Thought-Full Way to Life!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Sunday, April 17th, 2016

[Follow Jesus’ Thought-Full Way to Life!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

Subject: Probation After Death

April 18-24, 2016

Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer, CS

314-323-4083 kathyfitzer@gmail.com

The word that jumped out at me in the subject of this week’s lesson was AFTER. It means that death is not an end-game, not a destination or a final step to be either feared or welcomed. We read in the textbook of Christian Science, “The dream of death must be mastered by Mind here or hereafter. Thought will waken from its own material declaration, “I am dead,” to catch this trumpet-word of Truth, “There is no death, no inaction, diseased action, overaction, nor reaction.” Life is real, and death is the illusion.” (S12) Death is the suggestion that there is something other than Life, God. It is the belief of separation from Life and the interruption of the expression of Life. That just can’t be. This Lesson helps us turn from life in matter to discover Life in Spirit and how that Life can be demonstrated by all and in all ways!

Let’s think about the Golden Text in terms of an agricultural metaphor. What we sow, we reap. When we sow flower seeds, we get flowers. It is important to plant only flower seeds! The first part of Galatians 6 reads, “he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.” Trusting (sowing to) the flesh (believing material testimony) corrupts a clear view of Life as Spirit. Allowing only the perspective of unlimited Spirit to be entertained in thought, we will reap a sense of indestructible and unlimited Life — unconfined by material perception.

The Responsive Reading [R.R] reveals how to “sow to the Spirit” by seeking — and responding to — God’s wisdom. In ancient times, the older and more experienced members of the family or community passed along their wisdom and understanding. That still happens. But, now we also have the advantage of being able to learn from what has been written over the centuries — right up to present time. So, part of getting wisdom is taking advantage of our books and periodicals to learn all we can about the law of God — and how others have demonstrated this law. But, let’s not forget the essential element of knowing that God is the source of all wisdom and communicates that wisdom (all that we need to know) directly to us. As we receive God’s wisdom, [verses 11 and 12 in the R.R. promise] our steps will not be impeded or hampered (“straitened”) and we will not trip or lose our balance (“stumble”.) The “instruction” spoken of in the last verse refers to correction. We should welcome correction (have the humility to embrace anything that leads us to a closer relationship with our God — including challenges) because “instruction …. is [our] life.” As we truly love getting to know God better by loving all we are learning about God and our relationship to Her, that wisdom will “preserve” and “keep” us. Knowing God precludes knowing death.

Section 1: Life demonstrated through Baptism and burial

Most seeds must be buried in order to sprout and grow. What about us must be buried in order for us to sprout and grow in eternal life? As Jesus emerged from the tomb, he led others into discovering a fresh sense of Life—to “walk in newness of life.” (B5) We must “continue in [Jesus’] word” and “keep [his] sayings” in order to know the truth, be made free by the truth and “never see death.” (B3**) Jesus understood that “Life is God” because Jesus understood his life to be inseparable from God — from Life itself. (S1) But Jesus did more than just know that “Life is the origin and ultimate of man.” Jesus demonstrated the fact that this deathless Life is “gained by walking in the pathway of Truth both before and after that which is called death.” (S2) Our goal is not to defeat the errors that would try to hinder us — although that will happen. Our goal is to walk “in the pathway of Truth.” As we do that, the error will be lost in Truth, as darkness is lost in light. Baptism results as we submerge ourselves in Spirit — recognizing all of creation to be spiritual (tangibly good with no material limitations or errors.) As we submerge ourselves in Spirit — as we are “willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord,” we are purified by Spirit. (S5) As we are purified by Spirit, all that is unlike Spirit (corporeality and physical sense) is buried — annihilated. (S6) We are then left free to experience everlasting life — which is not defined by how many years we spend in this human experience but as “a present knowledge of [our] Father and of [ourselves,] — the knowledge of Love, Truth, and Life.” (S8) Jesus had this knowledge and assured us that it is available for us to have, as well! Let’s desire it above all else as we submerge ourselves in the facts of Spirit (good) and bury limited, physical-sense testimony! [Find expanded, inspiring insights in today's "Daily Lift",]

Section 2: Parting with error and living Life tangibly in Spirit

In this section we read about the transfiguration of Jesus and his meeting with Moses and Elijah. Transfigured can mean to change forms or to transform into something more beautiful or elevated — “metamorphosed.” Going back to the Greek, it means to take oneself someplace. In other words to remove oneself. Jesus appeared to the disciples to have been transformed — his face glowing with light (as Moses’ face had shone when he came down from Mount Sinai). Jesus appears to have been removed from a state of mortal consciousness, and lifted to a consciousness that knows no death or separation from Life. He was seen to be communing with Moses (representing the law) and Elijah (representing prophecy.) They were very much present in this consciousness of Life. Both had escaped the mortal experience called death. There was never any evidence of Moses’ sepulcher or body, and Elisha witnessed Elijah ascending as Jesus’ disciples later witnessed Jesus ascending out of mortal view. (B6 & B7) As Jesus was speaking with his friends, the disciples ultimately saw only Jesus and heard God’s direction to listen to him because he was his Son — not just another prophet, but the promised Messiah, the embodiment of the fullness of Christ. (B9**) As Mrs. Eddy says, all of the prophets caught glimpses of the Christ (the divine idea that is fully expressed by man and cannot be separated from God). And this Christ “baptized these seers in the divine nature, the essence of Love.” (S9) The lives of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus were not without challenges. All three had been rejected by the people of their time. But, they overcame those challenges by resorting to Spirit. Living in the Spirit, they overcame the flesh and the belief of death. That is our privilege, as well! Jesus, as the full embodiment of Christ, consistently put off mortal mind so that “immortal manhood, the Christ ideal” could appear. Because he understood man’s true being and relationship to God so clearly, he raised the dead and healed the dying. (S11) We have to continue to strive to follow Jesus’ example as best we can. We have to take it step-by-step, but keep the high goal of living in Spirit before our thought. That means seeing the good of Spirit here and now and rejecting the limitations of matter. As we practice living as Jesus lived (at one with God) and expect to see the Christ ideal expressed here and now, healing will take place.

Section 3: Believing is the first step to following Jesus’ path to eternal life

I love Peter’s explanation to the Jews on the day of Pentecost regarding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. God “loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he [Jesus] could be holden of it.” (B10**) Not possible for the image and likeness of Life to be separated from Life! Jesus so completely understood that spiritual identity is man’s only identity that his expression of that identity could not be contained by death or a tomb. Some were more ready to accept the resurrection than others. But, Jesus was so patient. He met people where they were and took them higher. Still perceiving things from a material basis, Thomas needed to see “proof” with his own eyes. So, Jesus allowed him to check out his body. I wonder if the physical evidence of the crucifixion remained so that those (like Thomas) who wouldn’t have believed otherwise, could believe. Sometimes I hear … have you ever witnessed a healing of such-and-such? Why do we ask that? It occurs to me that we should accept that all things are possible to God, without having “seen” a similar healing before — just as some of the disciples could accept Jesus’ resurrection without having seen physical evidence of it for themselves,. We can be included in the group Jesus was talking about when he said, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Jesus “marked the way for all men.” (B12** & S13, S14) Let’s see ourselves as believers! I’m reminded of
Mrs. Eddy’s prayer “To the Big Children (Misc 400:19):

Father-Mother good, lovingly

Thee I seek, — 

Patient, meek,

In the way Thou hast, — 

Be it slow or fast,

Up to Thee.

We all must — and CAN — believe and follow (slow or fast) Jesus’s [our Way-Shower’s] example, as we are led by the gentle commands of God. (See hymn 124)

Section 4: Reception of the Holy Ghost

Jesus did not rise above mortal perception (ascend) until 40 days after his resurrection. The disciples were making giant steps in their spiritual maturity during that time. Jesus told them to “not depart from Jerusalem,” and assured them that they would be “baptized [submerged] with the Holy Ghost.” (B14**) What does this mean for us, as Jesus’ disciples? The New Interpreter’s Bible says that Jerusalem represents a city built “with the bricks of prophecy.” So, it could mean not to stray from the fundamental truths revealed in the Bible. But, let’s also think about Mrs. Eddy’s definition of Jerusalem in the Glossary of Science and Health. It speaks first of mortal belief, pride, sensuality, envy, oppression, tyranny and strife — issues that have plagued the physical city of Jerusalem over the centuries. We must face these errors — rather than run from them. The definition ends with “home, heaven.” (589:12) That describes the state of consciousness that Jesus never left, and that is required if we are to see the Jerusalem that really is. We must stay there if we are to be baptized by the Holy Ghost (Divine Science; the development of eternal Life, Truth, and Love,” — S&H 588:7) I remember being out on the water with big horse flies buzzing around looking to land and bite. I had a choice … I could feverishly bat at them, to no avail. Or I could submerge myself in the water where they couldn’t reach me. The second approach worked every time. And, eventually, those pesky flies gave up and flew off. As we are “roused to an enlarged understanding of divine Science, even to the spiritual interpretation and discernment of Jesus’ teaching and demonstrations” we too will get a “faint conception of the Life which is God.” (S15) And even this faint conception is enough to allow us to perceive Christ (“the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness … the divine image and likeness, dispelling the illusions of the senses; the Way, the Truth, and the Life, healing the sick and casting out evils, destroying sin, disease, and death”) that is forever with us, revealing the fullness of God and the infinite reality of God. (S16) I’ve never seen so clearly how closely this description of Christ describes Jesus’ ministry. The “human, material concept” — Jesus — disappeared from view. But, “the spiritual self, or Christ” remains. (S17) The Holy Ghost — or divine Science — enables us to feel the perpetual presence of Christ and consistently experience the healing touch of Christ. Submerging ourselves (keeping thought submerged) in the knowledge (Science) of Christ’s presence, we are baptized in the Holy Ghost, we remain in Jerusalem, and we are safe from the “horse flies” — from every temptation of mortal sense that comes our way. Jesus showed us the way, and Divine Science (the Holy Ghost) teaches us how to stay submerged in Spirit. The flesh does nothing for us … nor can it do anything against us — ever! Let’s assuredly affirm, with the Psalmist …. “in God I trust; I am not afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me? For you have delivered my soul from death, and my feet from falling, so that I may walk before God in the light of life.” (B13; Ps. 56: 11, 13 —from the New Revised Version)

Section 5: Accept your own resurrection as reality

Jesus showed us the way … demonstrating the reality of eternal Life for all of us. To achieve what Jesus achieved takes alertness of thought — and practice, practice, practice. But, as we’ve said before … those are the qualities necessary to achieve any great work. So often, we are willing to devote ourselves to a human endeavor and truly appreciate the progress we’re making — while knowing there is much more to learn and greater demonstrations to be made. But we sometimes become impatient with our spiritual progress — wanting what we perceive as immediate results every time. Professional musicians spend unimaginable hours each day practicing their instrument. That is not the same as spending hours simply reading scores of music. A key in demonstrating Christian Science is to study, and then practice what we are learning as we go about our day. Does the work need to be laborious? Not if it is work we love doing! Is it challenging sometimes? Certainly. Might it sometimes seem like we’re stuck and can’t go any further? Yes. But, do we have what it takes to keep going … leaning on “God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Definitely!!! Love has given us a pastor to encourage us and teach us, and we can know that our “labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (B15) The problem is that things don’t always happen the way we expect them to. And, so, we must lean on God’s assurance that, no matter what material sense says, death has no hold on man — as Jesus demonstrated. (S20) We must grapple with every challenge that comes our way — yielding “to each lesser call in the growth of Christian character” so that we grow our way into salvation (deliverance) from every form of erroneous belief. (S21) Christian Science diverges from the theology of many others that understand “judgment-day” to be something that will come in the future. Rather, “the judgment-day of wisdom comes hourly and continually” and is the means by which we are freed from “all material error.” (S23) This freedom comes as we are willing to grapple with error — as we view ourselves and others — and seek to see reality at all times and in all ways. We can trust ourselves and our loved ones to God — knowing that His will for us is always good!

Section 6: “NOW are we the sons of God” (B18)

We hear I John 3 read in church each Sunday. (B18) It is the scripture that is presented as correlating to the Scientific Statement of Being. BECAUSE we are the sons of God, “man is not material; he is spiritual.” (S&H 468) BECAUSE man (the generic man that we all represent) is the Son (the divine image and likeness) of God, we are all “made free from sin, and become servants to God.” (B19) Mrs. Eddy writes in our textbook: “The voice of God in behalf of the African slave was still echoing in our land, when the voice of the herald of this new crusade sounded the keynote of universal freedom, asking a fuller acknowledgment of the rights of man as a Son of God, demanding that the fetters of sin, sickness, and death be stricken from the human mind and that its freedom be won, not through human warfare, not with bayonet and blood, but through Christ’s divine Science.” (226:5) We can fight the battle with erroneous belief and win! Let’s often ask, “Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good?” (S24) Notice … it doesn’t say we have to have mastered it all — just walk in the right direction. “The human self must be evangelized.” (S25) That is … instructed in the gospel. (Webster 1828) Let’s continually challenge ourselves to think and act as Jesus taught us to do. Jesus demonstrated eternal Life. We can “begin the demonstration thereof” by simply aligning ourselves with Truth — thought by thought! (S27)

I have shared the inspiration that has come to me. I realize that the subject of this week’s lesson can be a difficult one, and I am confident that God is leading each of us to an understanding that makes sense to us. We just have to be willing to give up mortal mind testimony and human reasoning — and open our hearts to “receive Christ, Truth.” (S18)


[**Warren's PS1: See Online version of this Met (upper right) for inspiring Cobbey Crisler commentary Downloads on several Bible citations in this Lesson.]

[W's PS2, Experience "as in heaven, so on earth": A few cabins and rooms are still available at CedarS Memorial Weekend Family Camp (along with bunks in each of our other sessions). Click here to apply online for camp, camperships, work and volunteering opportunities! A couple of programs are full with waiting lists, so do go online or call 636-394-6162 today to reserve an expansive experience of heaven on earth for yourself and/or for loved ones from your Sunday School. Come experience for yourselves the boundless bliss of expressing God's being of "infinity, freedom, harmony..." in all you do. (SH 470:23 & 481:3.) Here's a sample glimpse of how you can put these ideas into action in a new watersports activity at CedarS. So that all the new physical fun of our 6-tower watersports cableway system is anchored in a metaphyical purpose (like everything else at CedarS), eight elevated signs will mark "Way-of Wholeness" as goals to express on each leg of our new cable-"way of holiness". These 8 signs will be in bold, capital letters (INFINITY, FREEDOM, HARMONY, (one on each of the first three towers) and BOUNDLESS BLISS (on the 200-meter straight-away) ... repeated/expressed ("as in heaven, so on earth" and so on water to ride it with a sense of) INFINITY, FREEDOM, HARMONY, (one on each of the second 3 towers) and with BOUNDLESS BLISS on the 200-meter straight-away!]

[TO ENABLE FULL ENROLLMENT, IT WOULD BE A HUGE, HUGE ANSWER TO PRAYER RIGHT NOW to have MORE CAMPERSHIP GIFTS AS WELL AS TO HAVE MORE MONTHLY GIFTS ONLINE! You can easily set up such regular and very-helpful online gifts at https://www.cedarscamps.org/donate/?a=donate-recurring .

[You can also CALL 636-394-6162 to reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime. Either one of the Huffs or their daughter Holly Huff Bruland is likely to answer.

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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