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Be led in the way of Truth — Follow Christ and practice healing!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, July 18th, 2016

Be led in the way of Truth — Follow Christ and practice healing!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for Christian Science Bible Lesson

for July 18-24, 2016

Subject: Truth

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, CS of Lake St. Louis, MO and Park City, UT
314-323-4083 kathyfitzer@gmail.com

Golden Text: What would our lives be like if we consistently and humbly acknowledged God as our savior and asked to be led and taught by Him? One of our responsibilities is to “wait” on God. Think about waiting as being bound to God and looking expectantly to Him. That’s what it meant in the original Hebrew. Being bound to God, we are one with Him and are naturally led by Him. It’s not up to us to figure out what needs to be done and how and when to do it. As we acknowledge our unity with God and listen, God will lead us down a path of stability and certainty — as the Hebrew word for truth can be interpreted. God will teach us the best way to do things and save us from getting stuck in fear, frustration, misunderstandings, wrong turns, accidents, injuries, disease, etc. Pray (seek and desire) to be led!

Responsive Reading: As you look at these verses, think about what God is doing and what we need to do. God’s law has been established. It’s a law of good that meets absolutely every human need! God gives us a law we can rely on and that will lead us down a right path. He, in fact, directs us down this path of truth and teaches us the right way to think and do things. He shields us and hides us so we are safe under all conditions. And He shows us mercy … so we always have a fresh opportunity to get things right. We need to follow God’s direction and love God’s ways — the way of good. We need to choose the true, and hate the false. We need to love God’s law. When we do, we’ll never miss out on anything good. We’ll find life to be full of great opportunities that bring us freedom and a sense of dominion! It’s all about God. Our job is to simply yield to God’s leading and give up a sense that it’s up to us to figure things out. Remember the game, Follow the Leader? Our job is just to follow God! That’s not hard!!!

Section 1: Let yourself be led to the rock of Truth

When crossing rushing water, it’s nice to find rocks to step on in order to get across safely — and avoid the possibility of being swept away by the current. When navigating through life it can sometimes feel like we’re being swept away into the depths of danger and despair. But, there is a rock that is always there for us — that we can stand on and feel safe. This rock is God — Truth. (B2, B4 & B5) The Psalmist acknowledges God as a shelter and a “strong tower.” In a fortress, the tower allowed people to stay high above their enemy and enabled them to be watchful, so the enemy couldn’t sneak up on them. The Hebrew word for rock means refuge or strength, and Mrs. Eddy defines rock as: “Spiritual foundation; Truth.” (S2) This ever-present rock of Truth (God) “gives shadow and shelter” to all who turn to it. (S4) We need to cling to this rock when we’re feeling shaky, scared or worried about anything. Rather than needing to physically running to the tower of a castle or fortress to find safety, we can mentally run to what we know of Truth — of God’s law of good. That is our tower. We feel safe as we realize that what doesn’t align with this Truth of absolute goodness has no foundation at all and must crumble! (S3) We wouldn’t knowingly turn to something that we knew was sure to crumble for our safety …. nor do we need to be afraid of it! Believing that we are on our own leaves us vulnerable to all kinds of bad stuff. But, knowing that we are “coexistent and eternal with God” and that we forever reflect “the infinite Father-Mother God” we can be confident that we’ve never been outside of Truth. We’ve always had dominion. (S4) So, when something bad pops up, we just need to move our thought into this fortress of Truth. We are all capable of moving thought. No matter where I am, I can move my thought to be up in the mountains, or by the ocean, or in the middle of the desert. So, we can also move thought out of the supposition of bad into the reality of good. And know that God is holding our thought in that Truth of good. Then, the supposititious bad stuff is left outside of consciousness and can’t reach us! We’re told that “the corner-stone of all spiritual building is purity.” (S5) Think of purity as keeping thought closely aligned with Truth. As we seek God, Truth, we can be sure that “He directs our path.” (S6) We’ll be faced with challenges, but as we jump up on the “rock that is higher than I” we won’t be swept away by the challenges. (B4) We’ll find safety, peace, and healing in Truth.

Section 2: Be led by the light of Christ

The birth of a baby boy is not miraculous. Babies are born all the time. But, Jesus’ birth was special because it fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy that a child would be born whose name (or nature) would be Immanuel, meaning “God is with us.” (B6) A bright light grabbed the attention of the wise men and the shepherds, enabling them to recognize that Isaiah’s prophecy had finally been fulfilled. They eagerly followed the light in order to welcome the arrival of the Christ child. (B7 & B8) The gospel of John differs from Matthew and Luke in that the physical birth of Jesus isn’t reported. John just says, “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory .…)” (B9) “His glory” is the light of Truth or the divine expression, the external manifestation of God’s being. Jesus fully embodied the Christ, and made God’s nature apparent to all. Are we being as alert — like the wise men and the shepherds — so we don’t miss the Christ light shining all around? As we recognize the eternal presence of Christ — fully expressed by Jesus but not confined to him — we can wake up from the lie that “life, substance and intelligence are in matter, or of it” as “man’s real existence as a child of God comes to light.” And we find freedom! (S10 & S11) Mrs. Eddy refers to the Wiseman being led to see and to follow the “daystar of divine Science.” (S7) A daystar is the star which proceeds the morning light. The light was first seen signaling the birth of Jesus. Jesus “expressed the highest type of divinity, which a fleshly form could express …” But, Christ “illustrates the coincidence, or spiritual agreement, between God and man in His image.” (S8) Christ can’t be confined to a person. The Science of Christ is the knowledge of Truth that exists forever. As we study Christian Science, the inseparable relationship between God and man becomes clear. And we can feel the influence of “God with us” every day in everything we do. “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.” (S7) The closer you are to something the easier it is to lean on it. So, stay close to Truth, lean, and let Truth lead you!!!

Section 3: Be led to discern between Truth and error

What spiritual lessons can be learned from the parable of the tares and the wheat? When we read these familiar stories, it’s important that we look with fresh eyes. I have gotten some inspiration that I’ll share, but know that God is speaking directly to each of us and we can expect to see things we haven’t seen before as we let the light of inspiration lead our thought. The wheat represents Truth and the tares represent error. We can think of Truth as that which is lastingly and completely good, and error as anything tinged with even a little that isn’t good or that isn’t lasting. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. And, we can get into trouble if we judge too quickly. While focusing too much on the mistakes we are making ourselves or another is making, we may miss seeing the big picture. Or we may destroy good qualities like confidence or a sense of adventure along the way. I love that the tares and wheat are separated at “the time of harvest.” The tares referenced here refer to a plant that looked very much like wheat. But, at the time of harvest, the tare stands straight up and the wheat droops … so it’s easy to tell the difference. The “householder” — Truth — waits until there is no confusion between the good and the bad. And it is only the householder, rather than the servants, who determines what is good and what is bad. Once determined, the bad is totally destroyed — burned — and the good is brought into the protection of the barn. (B11) Some interpreters of this parable think that it represents the final judgment day when good and bad people will be separated from each other. The bad will burn in hell and the good will go to heaven. But, that doesn’t at all go along with Jesus’ teachings of love and mercy. So, instead, let’s think about the wheat and the tares as representing good and bad qualities — as that which stems from Truth and that which stems from error. The good and the bad — the real and the unreal, the Spirit and the flesh — never really touch each other. (S14) “Truth has no consciousness of error.” (S12) The harvest isn’t a once-and-done event. The harvest occurs whenever the realization comes of “God as ever present and of man as reflecting the divine likeness.” (S14) The Science of Christ separates fable from fact. All mortal discord and sin (the tares) are completely destroyed by Truth. And thought is led to clearly perceive God. Man, made in God’s likeness, is tenderly cared for in the consciousness of Love. (S15)

Section 4: In order to be led properly, strive for the purity of a little child

Anyone who has worked with children has at some point observed the delightful innocence, resilience, and teachability of little children. Jesus loved little children and welcomed them — telling his listeners that the only way to enter the kingdom of God (the realm of harmony) is to receive the kingdom as a little child. (B15) Little children aren’t hung up on having to earn something. They expect to have their needs met. They are eager to try new things, and undeterred by failure. It is their natural inclination to please and do right and accept as true what they are told is true. Mrs. Eddy gives the beautiful example of the little girl who hurt her finger. She accepted the simple truth that she couldn’t be hurt because God can’t be hurt. No big deal — no complicated prayers. Just simple trust and acceptance of Truth. And, she was quickly healed [--and “bounding off with laughing eyes”]! (S18) We read in Proverbs [and at the bottom of CedarS stationery since 1962], “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (B14) It doesn’t always seem like that is true. Children often grow up to do things differently than the way they were taught. But, we have to know that deep down, we have ALL been taught by God and we can’t lose that basic understanding of right and wrong — truth and error. We can pray that verse with the conviction that it is true, and in so doing we are magnifying the innocence that is truly inherent in all of God’s children — regardless of age! Just be willing to be led as a little child! Put your hand in the hand of Love, leave behind preconceptions, and be happy to let go of old ways. Then, we’re ready to receive the harmony that will surely come our way! (S21)

Section 5: Follow the leadings of Christ, Truth, and be free!

Here we read about Jesus healing the man at the Pool of Bethesda who had been ill for 38 years. We only have part of the story, although reading the whole thing in the gospel of John [and in the Cobbey PS below on John 5 (B18)] can bring out a lot more lessons. What jumped out to me about the story in the context of this lesson is Jesus’ conversation with the man in the temple after the healing. It was a Jewish holy day, so it’s natural that people were congregating in the temple. Jesus came to the temple and sought out the man. He had previously slipped away before the man could really know who he was. (B18) According to the New Interpreter’s Bible commentary, Jesus wasn’t necessarily connecting previous sins to the man’s condition (wasn’t giving a cause to the illness.) Jesus was calling the man to true liberty. (B19) He was encouraging the man to not only be healed physically, but mentally and spiritually, too! The truth had made him free! (B17) Jesus was encouraging him to stick with the truth, to stop sinning and rise up higher spiritually … to walk away from any old patterns of thought that would keep him from following Truth. This man had assumed he may never be well. He was given a fresh start. Jesus was encouraging him to make the most of that start! We have opportunities for new beginnings every day — multiple times during a day. We need to be careful that after we’ve experienced healing we don’t just go back to how we’ve always done things, or previously thought about things. Christian Science (Truth’s restorative power) isn’t an alternative medicine. It is a transforming Spirit — never leaving us where it found us if we embrace its blessings. By answering the call to “Follow me” — follow the leadings of Christ, Truth — we are claiming our right to be free of bondage of every kind! We learn that “the illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound [us]…” (S22) So alertly focusing every thought on Truth, we avoid being hypnotized by the “illusion of material sense” which may take the form of bodily disease, but which are really “dark images of mortal thought.” (S24) One test we can apply as we check our thoughts is … is this leading me to freedom or to bondage? Then, we can “rise in the strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit” and “blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in sickness and sin.” (S25) None of us are humanly perfect. I wouldn’t want every thought I entertain broadcast to the world. But, the more diligent we are about following the leadings of Christ, Truth (as demonstrated by Jesus) the freer we will find ourselves. Even if we’re working out some long-standing problem, we can be confident that “Truth is always the victor.” (S26) That gives us the courage and the strength to continually pick up the bed we’ve been lying in and walk forward — away from the darkness into the light of Truth.

Section 6: Christ’s Way is the ONLY Way!

How wonderful to know that we know the way … the way to salvation from all that is unlike God, good, — all that is limiting or restrictive! Jesus was trying to explain things to his disciples. They knew he would no longer be with them, but they were focused on understanding where he was going, rather than how to follow Jesus’ example of “getting there.” Jesus kept trying to turn them back to understanding His works. To understand Jesus’ teachings is to understand “the way.” And, to know “the way” enables us to do the “the works” that Jesus did. That means that whatever challenge we may face we can be confident that as we are clear about our relationship with God — as Jesus was clear — we will be led into the way of healing. I love Jesus’ description of how the Comforter will “teach [us] everything, and remind [us] of all that [Jesus has] said to [us.]” (B20 - NRSV) Isn’t that what Christian Science does? It is, indeed, the “Spirit of truth” that “endureth for ever.” It is the promised Comforter. (B21 & B22; S28) The teachings of Christian Science do not at all divert attention from or conflict with Jesus’ teachings. Rather, it makes them clear and practical for all time to come — available to everyone always and in all ways. [That is the great works that Christine Irby Williams in an inspirational message given at Fern Lodge has thought through and expounded on Jesus’ promise that “he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…” (B20, John 14:12) That expands our sense of Jesus's impact and the Christ.] What is the Christ? It may seem easier to identify with the personal Jesus than with the so-called impersonal Christ. But Christ, “the divine idea of God” is what enabled Jesus to do everything he did. The Christ, “revealing the divine Principle, Love, and leading into all truth” is eternal, ever-present, and is available to anyone seeking it. (S27) Christ has never been confined to a person. Jesus fully demonstrated the power of Christ to heal and regenerate. All we need to do is practice following the Truth that has been revealed. (S31) As we follow the leadings of Jesus and the teachings of Christian Science, we discover the Way to lasting health and happiness.


[Warren's "Cobbey (Crisler) P.S." addition on John 5:2-9 (B18)

“John 5:2 We’re now at the famous incident at the “Pool of Bethesda”. Near what serves as an occasional sheep market today, there is still a pool that has been excavated, that has archeological remnants that suggest the five porches. There is apparently, if this is the correct location of the pools, a structure that had two pools, each with two porches. Down the middle was a fifth porch with pools on either side. It may have been the ancient equivalent of a hospital.
John 5:4 There’s some indication that it might have at some point in its history a spot that might have been associated with Aesculapius, the pagan founder of medicine, and that this superstition may have gotten to the point “that those who stepped into the pool when the water was troubled would be instantly healed.”
John 5:3 At least “an awful lot of peoplewere waiting around for that event,” so the news must have spread that this occurred.
John 5:5 Here we run into a man that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. “He’d been there for thirty-eight years.” I’m sure that many of us would feel for him. We all have been sitting around our own pool of Bethesda waiting for something to happen, something miraculous, something fatefulWe have all waited for something unexpected from the outside to lift us out of a condition that we haven’t made too much of an effort to do anything about.
There was an environment there that did not help the problem. As a matter of fact, here’s how Professor Dodd describes it. I like this:
‘There is another story about a man who had given way to a chronic disability, and for years had nursed a grievance which excused him from doing anything about it.’
John 5:7. “Someone else always gets in before me.” If that sounds like a familiar excuse, then Bethesda isn’t so far back in history. So he translates Jesus’ statements this way. Do you want to recover? That pinpoints it, doesn’t it? Do you see who that translation exhibits Jesus dealing with the thought of the patient? Where must it happen?
If communication from God to man must work, where must we work? In the thought of the receiver. Do we want to recover? That almost sounds silly to people who have been in a longtime condition, but it may very well be the core of the issue. Do we really want to be healed? Or have we become so settled into our condition that for thirty eight years, we just sit there with our friends and talk about our operations? Misery loving company is a quality that attaches itself to human nature.
John 5: 6. Here’s how Dodd again translates Jesus’ question and then his demand on the patient. “Do you want to recover?”
John 5:8, “Then, pick up your bed and walk.” Jesus wasn’t about to volunteer to pick up his bed for him.
That says a lot. How else do we know Jesus, but to study his thoughts, his words, his methods, his messages, his intent, the logos, not but the word, but the thought behind it? What is required for the healing of a paralytic condition that has lasted practically a generation? It’s the very thing that he thought he couldn’t do, to pick up his bed and walk. Do you want to be healed? ‘Let there be light!’ (Genesis 1:3) That’s permission. Let it in.
John 5:9, “Immediately the man was made whole.” We don’t have any sense that there was a convalescence period. “He took up his bed and walked.”

(Excerpts from a transcription from a live recording by B. Cobbey Crisler on Vol. 4, “John, the Beloved Disciple”. For a full transcript email Cobbey’s wife, Janet, at janetcrisler7@gmail.com]


[W’s “Cobbey P.S.” on John 14.5-17, Jesus talks with disciples & prophesies the Comforter:
Chapter 14 begins with a discussion, a dialogue between Jesus and some of his disciples.
John 14:5, Thomas asks about the way.”
In John 14:6 Jesus responds, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
John 14:8 Phillip says, “We’ll settle everything right now with you, Master, if you just shew us God.” a minor requirement. Imagine that this is going on the night of Gethsemane. With what Jesus has to look forward to, look at the questions he is being asked!

In John 14:12 he makes a prophesy. He makes a prophesy in impersonal terms… We've been talking about greater works. It seems almost impossible to conceive of greater works than Jesus did. Yet there are in terms of quantity, if noy quality. Remember that Revelation 22:2 ends talking about the tree of life whose leaves were for the healing of the nations.
“There are greater works, the ultimatum of the application of what Jesus had introduced to earth. So, when he’s talking about greater works being done, through what agency will these greater works come? We find the Comforter is introduced.
John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter.”

We should know enough about prophesy and have enough respect to realize that most of the prophets in the Bible, including Jesus, had a tremendous regard for prophesy. They knew that it had come from God, not from man. Similarly, we should know how to recognize the Comforter when the Comforter arrives… The word “comforter” is parakletos, sometimes called paraclete… translated “comforter” given by our King James Version. You will find, however, that The New English Bible does not use “comforter.” It uses “advocate.” You’ll also find that I John uses parakletos and the King James translator of that uses “advocate.”

We should know that the word “advocate” is a technical word legally. It specifically means “defense attorney.” That has a lot of implications to it. By contrast the name “Satan” in Hebrew is a technical term for “prosecuting attorney.” There you have the battle joined in thought.

The Comforter is to come and defend man. We can see all the ways that Jesus had introduced various defenses for man…
John 14:16, “that he may abide with you for ever.” Is there a provision for a third revelation? The Comforter is apparently the final one.

John 14:17, “the Spirit of Truth.” Notice how that counters Jesus’ definition of the “devil.” What did he say about the truth? It was the recipe for freedom (John 3:8). So, it’s got something to do with that. But there is also a communications problem. The world “cannot receive.” It’s not going to be a popular arrival. “It doesn’t see him or know him.”

But, we will know, “because it’s within.”

John 14:26 picks up the description. “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost.” There’s another part of the list, identified with the Holy Ghost in Luke 3:22, the dove descending is the symbol of it. The words “dove” and “ghost” are feminine in the Greek, and the comfort aspect also introduces the feminine concept.

The role of the Comforter “will be sent by God in my name.” If one were to regard that literally, the Comforter’s name should at least have some recognizable aspect either relating to Jesus or to Christ. Another aspect of the Comforter is “he will teach you all things.”

The role of teaching what? Is anything left out? “All things.” And at the same time, “it will bring everything back to human memory that Jesus said.”

Excerpted in part from a transcript of a talk by B. Cobbey Crisler entitled “Book of John: A Walk with the Beloved Disciple”. For the full transcript email Cobbey’s wife Janet at janetcrisler7@gmail.com ]

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