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Watch for, expect, and embrace the coming of Truth — and rejoice in it!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, December 18th, 2017

[Watch for, expect, and embrace the coming of Truth — and rejoice in it! (6)]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Christ Jesus”
December 18-24, 2017

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

[Click for Cobbey Crisler insights on select Bible passages. More to follow in email.]

How fun that this Lesson will be shared in churches around the world the morning of Christmas Eve! There is much to be considered in it about prophecy and the appearing of the promised Savior — the Messiah or Christ. To me, it speaks clearly of the eternal nature of Christ — but also of the significance of the uniqueness and completeness of the appearance of this Savior in the individualized form of Christ Jesus. There is much to learn about what prophecy really is, the ongoing nature of it, and the role that we continue to play in it. The more I worked with the Lesson, the more I recognized the importance of not looking at the Bible as a linear explanation of human events, but as the unfoldment of spiritual ideas revealing the over-arching theme of the supremacy of good over evil — and God’s revelation of His saving and caring power.

Check out The Golden Text from The New Living Translation: “the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.” I like how The Amplified Bible expands on this verse from Revelation by adding: “[His life and teaching are the heart of prophecy]”. The original Greek word translated “prophecy” means “prediction of events relating to Christ’s kingdom …” Jesus’ life and teachings completely reveal this kingdom. I’m feeling the importance of not just seeing Christ in the absolute sense of being the eternal revelation of God’s nature to mankind (which it is.) But, I’m also seeing the importance of acknowledging Jesus’ role as the Messiah and recognizing his eternal nature as an individualized idea of God with a specific, eternal niche to fill — just as each one of us has a vital, individual role to play in the wholeness of God’s universe. I’m feeling more comfortable speaking about “the testimony of Jesus” without translating it to “the testimony of Christ.” This statement from Retrospection and Introspection brings clarity to the role each one has to play in bearing witness to the victory of good over evil. “No person can take the individual place of the Virgin Mary. No person can compass or fulfil the individual mission of Jesus of Nazareth. No person can take the place of the author of Science and Health, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.” (Ret. 70: 14)

The Responsive Reading: Long before Jesus started his ministry — when he was still just an infant, Simeon and Anna recognized him as the Messiah — the Christ for whom they had been expectantly waiting and watching. After Jesus was circumcised and named, he was taken to the temple to fulfill this law: “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord.” (NRSV) Mary would also be purified at this time. It seems significant to Jesus’ ministry that his parents brought him to the temple “to do for him after the custom of the law” when we remember that Jesus later assured those who listened to his teachings that he had not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Also important that Simeon obediently responded when “guided by the Spirit” to come into the temple on that very day so that he had the opportunity to bless the Christ child — thus seeing the consolation of Israel (the restoration of the people and the fulfillment of God’s redemptive work) and the coming of the Messiah. “Simeon’s blessing … relates the birth of Jesus to the fulfillment of the promise of salvation found in the Scriptures of Israel, especially in Isaiah, and looks ahead to the inclusion of Gentiles as well as Jews in the experience of God’s blessings.” (New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary) Also, a parallel has been drawn between the devout Simeon being promised that he would not die before witnessing the arrival of the Messiah and Jesus promising his disciples that some of them would not “taste death” before they saw the kingdom of God (Luke 9: 27). The prophetess, Anna, had also been expectantly watching for the coming of the Messiah and responded with praise when she witnessed it. She is a wonderful example of a female prophet and also exemplifies the pious widow, of whom there is frequent mention in Judaism and the early Christian church. The qualities of devotion, patience, expectancy, and obedient watching for the manifestation of the redeeming Christ that Simeon and Anna so beautifully expressed are certainly important for all of us to practice!

Section 1: The Birth of Jesus as it relates to Moses’ and Isaiah’s Prophecy

Moses prophesied to the Israelites, “The Lord your God will raise up a prophet like me from your community, from your fellow Israelites. He’s the one you must listen to. … The Lord said to me: … I’ll raise up a prophet for them from among their fellow Israelites — one just like you. I’ll put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. (B3, CEB) The idea of someone being a prophet “like Moses” was "intended to affirm that their teaching must accord with the words and spirit of Moses as Israel’s unique leader.” (NIB) This again supports Jesus’ teaching that he came to “fulfill the law.” To me, it confirms the eternal nature of Christ, or Truth, which is found throughout the Bible and seen as we take “the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide …”

Later Isaiah was more specific about the appearance of the Messiah, saying that a virgin would conceive and bear a son, and call his name Immanuel. (B4) When it was time for Jesus to be born, God spoke directly to both Mary and to Joseph. God reminded Joseph of Isaiah’s prophecy, which he was surely familiar with. (B5)

Surely the key to the prophets’ hearing God’s voice was that their thought was “in rapport with” “the ever-present, divine Mind” and so they were able “to know the past, the present, and the future.” (S1) Although we don’t put the emphasis on Mary as a person that some religions do, we certainly can learn from her example and acknowledge how unique she was that her receptivity and her “spiritual sense put to silence material law and its order of generation … demonstrating God as the Father of men.” As our textbook points out, “the Christ dwelt forever an idea in the bosom of God, the divine Principle of the man Jesus,” but it took a woman, Mary, to perceive “this spiritual idea.” (S5) Jesus represented the ideal man — unconfined to the beliefs of human heritage and human parentage. He serves as the example to us that we can shed these false beliefs, too, and see the Christly nature of ourselves and all mankind, forever at one with our Creator, God! As we’re taught in Christian Science, “The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man’s origin.” (SH 262: 27-28)

Section 2: “Unto us a child is born …”

Although the “unto us a child is born” verses from Isaiah are often taken as specifically prophesying the birth of Jesus, Bible research reveals that they should more accurately be considered a birth announcement of a crown prince. A more accurate reading would be, “for a child has been born; a son was given to us.” The excitement arises from the birth of a new descendant of David — taken as a sign of God’s deliverance. As The New Interpreter’s Bible tells us, “From Isaiah’s perspective, the birth announced in v. 6 is a sign of hope. The ancient promise of a son of David on the throne is reaffirmed. Both the names of the child [Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace] and the final lines of the poem [“of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end …] promise perpetual peace with justice and righteousness” (B7).

To me, this celebration of hope signifies the continuity of God’s saving grace. In this case, the celebration was about the birth of a human king. But, remember, the expectation was that salvation for Israel would come through such a king. There was still much preparation of thought necessary before the world would be ready for the coming of Jesus who would reveal the nature of true salvation. And that ongoing revelation continues even today. God’s message of salvation and righteousness is always sent in a form that can be understood and that is needed at a specific moment.

And, so, this celebration of a child being born is unconfined to time and circumstances. To me, this is supported by Mrs. Eddy’s statement, “When a new spiritual idea is borne to earth, the prophetic Scripture of Isaiah is renewably fulfilled: “Unto us a child is born … and his name shall be called Wonderful” (S10). It was long believed that the Messiah would be part of the lineage of King David, fulfilling the promise made to David, “thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (II Sam. 7: 16). Even during the darkest times, hope remained that God would not break His promise that a son of David would always sit on the throne. Micah’s prophecy of a “ruler in Israel” coming from the small town of Bethlehem — David’s hometown — encouraged the Jews to continue to look for such a Messiah (B6). This verse was quoted by the Wisemen when King Herod questioned them about where the Messiah would be born (B12).

Jesus’ life fully embodied “God’s spiritual, eternal nature” — or Christ (a term synonymous with Messiah) (S8). There will never be anyone like him. He “was endowed with the Christ, the divine Spirit, without measure.” So much so that he is known as Christ Jesus. But he taught mankind that the Christ was not limited to him … but lives on as a spiritual idea forever! We must continue to expect to see this Christ when our lives seem dark, and expect the presence of Christ, Truth, to be felt in, and govern our world today!

Section 3: Wisemen responding to the light of Christ

This section is closely related to the previous one. In fact, the verse from Isaiah 9 precedes the ones we just discussed. During a dark time, likely following a difficult war, the people were given a ray of hope in the birth of a new king (B9). The verses in the 60th chapter of Isaiah describe a time when light has returned to Zion (or the area in Jerusalem where King David established his kingdom). Prosperity reigns (B10). This light of prosperity is so bright that people from all over are attracted to it. But, of course, it is well-documented that human prosperity comes and goes. Thus, these same verses are referenced as prophesying the coming of the Christ — the light which Jesus so often identified himself as. The verses in Psalms are believed to be a prayer not just for a reigning king but for “the enactment of God’s reign and God’s will for the world” (NIB, B11). Viewed this way, it’s easy to see how natural it is to apply these verses as prophesying the birth of Jesus in which the light of the star guided the Wisemen to the “King of the Jews” and to whom they brought gifts of “gold and incense” (B12).

Because we can see how prophetic verses can be applied to human situations occurring at different times, we can then make the leap to apply them to the awakening of thought — independent of material circumstances. Thus, we see that in this age the light takes the form of Christian Science — revealing the eternal and present Christ (“the great spiritual facts of being”) that are again illuminating the darkness of this “material age” (S11).

Jesus will forever be “the highest human concept of the perfect man … inseparable from Christ, the Messiah.” But, just as the angels announced the appearance of the baby Jesus to the Wisemen of long ago, angels speak “to the hungering heart in every age” and “the wise man of to-day” recognizes the eternal shining of the Christ-light, made available through the discovery of Christian Science (S13 & S12). What a privilege it is to both behold that light and to testify to its brilliance in such a way that others will be drawn to it, as well. I see that as fulfilling our role in ongoing prophecy. Mrs. Eddy defines a prophet as, “A spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth” (SH 593: 4). Always new views!

Section 4: The Shepherd and the shepherds

Jesus identified himself as the good Shepherd and spoke of the people he taught as being like sheep having no shepherd. The prophets of old — both Isaiah and Ezekiel — told of God gathering His war-torn people and bringing them home. And Ezekiel takes it a step farther, promising that the people will be watched over and guided by a shepherd identified as David—or the offspring of David (B13 & B14). How appropriate then for the shepherds in the fields surrounding Bethlehem to alertly hear the message of the angels telling them that this great Shepherd — the Christ — was coming to minister to Zion and could be found in the city of David—Bethlehem (B15).

Even after Jesus was crucified, the disciples recognized him as the “chief Shepherd.” But, they also recognized their duty to continue his ministry of revealing the message he had delivered and following his example. In so doing, they would be able to guide others, or tend God’s flock, so to speak, and enable them to also stay safe in the fold (B16). It’s fun to think about the qualities a good shepherd expresses — watchfulness, love, courage, ingenuity, alertness, obedience, trustworthiness, etc. — and to see how practicing these qualities allows us to hear the angels directing us to both find Christ, and to share the good news of the redemption and salvation, “revelation and progress”, that being awake to the light of Truth brings (S14 & S15).

Our job is to stay focused on the light of Truth and not allow ourselves to be taken in by the shadows of material sense that would darken our experience (S16). Remember, there can’t be a shadow without light. So, focus on the light — and when we are perfectly aligned with the light, the shadows disappear (are put under our feet.) Christ is the light and the Shepherd!

Section 5: Jesus prophesies of himself

Can you imagine being in a synagogue — as you often would have been— and having Jesus identify himself as the one about whom Isaiah had spoken as coming to break the bonds of captivity, open blind eyes, heal the brokenhearted, etc.? (B18) I doubt everyone immediately took him at his word, but he went on to teach, preach, and heal — demonstrating that what he had said was true.

What were considered miracles are recorded throughout the Bible, but Jesus showed that these weren’t really miracles, but “natural demonstrations of the divine power” (B19 & S18). Although Jesus is no longer with us in person, all that he embodied is forever revealed in the teachings of Christian Science. “Divine metaphysics is now reduced to a system, to a form comprehensible by and adapted to the thought of the age in which we live” (S21). This system of healing is available to everyone to practice, and it restores the healing power that Jesus demonstrated — and that existed before the appearance of Jesus. Immanuel, or “God with us” was never a person. Rather, Christian Science teaches that it is a “divine influence ever present in human consciousness and repeating itself” (S19).

What a marvelous gift has been given to mankind. How privileged we are as students of Christian Science to understand that this system fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah — “binding up the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” The question is … are we cherishing this Science, practicing what we know, and letting the light of Christ shine through us? Let’s never take it for granted or be tempted to think that we don’t know enough to apply it. Just as God worked through Jesus — and those who came before him — God is working through us, showing us the way and revealing His all-power. We just have to be willing to follow and rejoice and refuse to let it go!

Section 6: The Morning Star

I think it’s helpful to approach this section by starting with the last citation. Mrs. Eddy writes, “The divinity of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus” (S23). Jesus fully demonstrated the superiority of good over evil (spiritual power over material resistance.) This victory of good over evil is really the theme of the entire Bible. Jesus presented to human thought the “ideal of God” — or Christ —better than anyone else could because he was free of the beliefs of human parentage (S23).

What we’re really celebrating in the “birth” of Jesus is “the birth of a new-old idea” revealing Spirit as the source and basis of all! The Christian Science textbook speaks of “the whole earth” being “transformed by Truth on its pinions of light, chasing away the darkness of error.” (S22) The Bible refers to this light of Truth as the “morning star” – the comforting light of Christ bringing salvation from all evil (B21 & B22). This morning star, of course, comes at dawn — the dawning of Truth on human consciousness. All prophesies of the Bible point thought to the source of Truth, Christ. As Christ is received, the Morning Star (or Daystar) — the light of Truth — dawns in thought and shines so brightly that nothing but light (nothing but the truth of God’s supremacy) can be seen. This revelation is not linear. It didn’t come through a human lineage starting with King David.

Jesus identified himself as both the source and son of David (B20). To me, that is a recognition of the eternal nature of the ideal man — or Christ — that is revealed to human consciousness in a way that humanity can conceive of and receive it. But, in order for this light to reign in thought and experience there is a demand made on us. It is expected that we will follow Jesus’ example, challenge evil and “emerge victorious, keeping [the] practices [demonstrated by Jesus] until the end” (B21, CEB). The victory of good over evil is a consistent theme of the Scriptures. The first chapter — Genesis — starts with light and the last chapter — Revelation — ends with it. Jesus fully embodied the light of Truth — Christ — and showed us how to follow his example. We have the opportunity every moment of every day to watch for and see the light of the Morning Star and demonstrate the Truth that is Life.

This comment reflects the sentiment shared by some Christians regarding the coming again of Christ …. “the truths in the Bible will continue to point to the source of all truth, Christ, until He returns in glory” (B22 — Thomas Nelson Study Bible). Christian Science teaches that we aren’t waiting for the return of a person. But, as Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The second appearing of Jesus is, unquestionably, the spiritual advent of the advancing idea of God, as in Christian Science” (Ret. 70: 20). Let us watch for, expect, and embrace this coming of Truth to consciousness — and rejoice in it!!! “The Christ is here, all dreams of error breaking, Unloosing bonds of all captivity” (Hymn 412). Mary Baker Eddy’s poem, Christmas Morn (Hymn 23), has taken on fresh meaning for me after working with this Lesson. Perhaps it will for you, too. Merry Christmas!


Click here for Warren Huff’s additions of insights by Cobbey Crisler on some citations in the Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 24, 2017. More to follow in email.


After Giving Tuesday, we are SO VERY grateful to report. . .

Participation Goal Met!

Maintenance Musts Match Met (More info)

Adopt the Herd Matching Fund

In the time since Giving Tuesday you helped raise $27,421 for the Riding Program, which will be doubled through the Adopt the Herd Matching Fund, for a total of $54,842 to help feed and care for CedarS wonderful horses. We still have approximately $37.5k to raise to take advantage of the full $65k Adopt the Herd match. (More info )

Many other Blessings:

Thank you for helping to raise camperships, replenish needed items, pray for today's youth, and launch our fundraising for summer 2018. Especially helpful are your much-needed MONTHLY gifts, past and ongoing, that can be started and adjusted as you wish at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students!

With gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

P.S. If you haven't yet had a chance to give, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking HERE.

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 417-532-6699 or 636-394-6162

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
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The CedarS Camps, Inc.
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[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 click

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