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See God’s Hand-iwork and Feel It Uplift You!

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, June 12th, 2017

[See God’s Hand-iwork and Feel It Uplift You!]
Metaphysical Application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?"
for June 12-18, 2017

by Christie C. Hanzlik, CS, Boulder, Colorado
ccern@mac.com • 720-331-9356

NEEDS OF THE WEEK:

The Golden Text (GT) of this week’s lesson offers a wonderful image of Love’s outstretched arm, surrounding and holding all creation with ease and comfort: “Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” (GT) The Responsive Reading expands this concept of God’s power with imagery of Mind’s voice thundering marvelously and Love’s power balancing the clouds.

This imagery reminds me of a time when I was seventeen and whitewater rafting with my family. The water was raging and icy cold, running at a high level even for this river. In a particularly treacherous stretch, we entered a rapid called “the toilet bowl,” an apt name that describes its circulating turbulence perfectly. As we entered the toilet bowl, I was flushed out of the raft, and quickly found myself pinned underneath it and surrounded by extremely aerated water. I seemed to have no hope of swimming out of my predicament. I will never forget what happened next.

I clearly felt a giant hand lift me up. It really did feel as if I was sitting in a giant palm with fingers gently wrapped around me. This hand lifted me up and over the edge of the boat, where my mother was able—with strength beyond what I think would have been humanly possible—to pull me back into the raft. The remainder of the journey was a little less exciting, and it sure was wonderful to get warm and toasty again after we got off of the river.

I don’t know how else to explain it, but I knew that the hand I felt that day was the hand of infinite and all-powerful Spirit. And the strength my mom had that day was the strength of the Love that enabled her to lift her daughter free from the downward pull of the rapids.

The theme of God’s outstretched arm, which repeats throughout this week’s lesson, reminds me of the strength and safety I felt that day. I’m not resentful of my experience in the rapids. Feeling the hand of God and the strength of His outstretched arm (expressed by my mother) was a gift I will never forget.


Section 1: God’s hand-iwork


It is tempting to get into a mindset that all things must begin somewhere. But as we look closer and closer, we see clearly that “beginnings” aren’t possible. The Bible has various ways of explaining this, and this week’s lesson uses the metaphor of God’s hands shaping the universe, including man: “In thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” (B1)

I find it enlightening to consider this metaphor of God’s outstretched arm, and strong and capable hands alongside the language of Divine Mind and Divine Love. Thinking of Divine Mind as having an outstretched arm that comforts us all, offers a new way to conceive of God.

Since “arm” and “hand” are recurring themes in this week’s lesson, I tried coming up with definitions for what those words might be if defined in the Glossary of Science and Health. Feel free to come up with definitions of your own!

Arm: Strength, power, a symbol of God’s omnipotence protecting and embracing the universe, including man; at once mighty and tender. "O gentle presence, peace and joy and power.

Hand: The hand of the Lord creates delicate tapestries and giant mountains with equal care and attention; every blade of grass and every star in the sky is placed by the hand of God; all-knowing and all-loving, the hand of God knows every hair on our head and every leaf on every tree; at once mighty and tender; “He’s got the whole world in his hands….he’s got every little child in his hands…He’s got the whole world in his hands."


Divine Mind, the divine hand, has always existed and has always been all. We have always co-existed with Mind. We have no beginning. We are coexistent and eternal with Mind.

As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The infinite has no beginning. This word beginning is employed to signify the only, — that is, the eternal verity and unity of God and man, including the universe. The creative Principle — Life, Truth, and Love — is God. The universe reflects God.” (S1)

Furthermore, there could not be two creative powers. The infinite, God, IS good. Good is not a description of God. Good is what god IS. There is no other power than good. As we read in the first section, “Only by understanding that there is but one power, — not two powers, matter and Mind, — are scientific and logical conclusions reached.” (S5) “All things are created spiritually. Mind, not matter, is the creator.” (S6) The hand of God, not atomic force, is the creator.


Section 2: Mind’s stretched out arm reaches through infinity

This section describes the power of the Lord’s “stretched out arm.” It describes Love’s strong hand and arm that rules over all. (B4)

A dear friend recently taught me about a concept called “countable infinity.” It is the idea that, although we could count individual hairs on people’s heads, as one example, we could not possibly count all the hairs on all the heads throughout time. Therefore, hairs represent a countable infinity.

Similarly, we can identify stars individually and many of them even have names. But we could not possibly count all the stars in the universe. Stars are another example of countable infinity.

But all-knowing Mind, with the outstretched arm surrounding all of creation, can reach and count all of infinity. Mind can number all the hairs on our heads. And Mind knows all of creation. Mind “measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance…” (B4)

Divine Mind is perfectly capable of keeping track of countable infinity. Divine Mind “telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” (B6)

I find it useful to substitute the word “limit” or “limitation” for the word “matter” as I’m reading Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. This substitution helps me to understand that matter is anything with a start or a stop…anything that is dependent on an atomic-force theory of the universe. The stretched out arm of the Lord has no limits.

Read how the substitution might help me to understand this citation: “The true theory of the universe, including man, is not in [limited] history but in [unlimited] development. Inspired thought relinquishes a [limited], sensual, and mortal theory of the universe, and adopts the [unlimited] and [never starting or stopping]. (S8)

Another of my favorite ideas to ponder is that creation is both complete and unfolding. Creation is complete and yet we are still learning about it. It’s not that creation is growing (accreting). Creation is already complete, so it is being revealed. We don’t seem to be able to understand creation all at once, which is why it is revealed to us, unfolded to us gradually.

This citation helps me to see the nature of complete-and-unfolding creation: “Christian Science presents unfoldment, not accretion; it manifests no [limited] growth from molecule to mind, but an impartation of the divine Mind to man and the universe.” (S9) “Hence the [unlimited nature] of the universe is the only fact of creation.” (S12)



Section 3: Jesus’ healing demonstrates the outstretched arm.

The infinite nature of God and the idea of complete-and-unfolding creation are inspiring concepts and we each probably have moments of grasping them. But our five senses seem to give us a lot of evidence to suggest that things start and stop, that there’s a beginning and end to life and the world around us. When we experience glimpses of unlimited/spiritual reality, this enables us, through inductive reasoning, to know that there is so much more than limited/material sense suggests.

When everything seems limited/material, but then we experience a glimpse of the unlimited and infinite good of reality, this is healing. And it is right for us to experience healing in a way we can see, hear, feel and touch. Healing is a glimpse of reality, a touch from the hand of God. And each healing that we have is a demonstration of the truth of being, the truth of creation, the truth that the universe, including man was not evolved by atomic force.

In the third section, we read about Jesus healing the man with the withered hand. Did Jesus make a new hand? No. Jesus saw that the man’s hand was already whole, already complete, and his pure and conscious understanding of the man’s completely created hand was enough to bring others into his way of seeing.

The man’s hand was not created out of nothing. The man’s hand was unfolded. The outstretched arm of God was demonstrated as this man stretched forth his hand. The man’s hand was already complete and unfolding at the same time. And Jesus’ awareness of the man’s completeness, reflecting Mind’s completeness, was enough to bring about healing. (B13) We may not understand or see the whole of creation when looking with limited sense, but when we pray, we are able to see more, and creation is unfolded to us so that we experience more of our true being. This is healing.

Jesus’ healing of the man with the withered hand shows the unlimited nature of reality, the truth of being. Jesus’ bold demonstration gives us a glimpse that helps us to see—through inductive reasoning—all that is true about creation. We are all made whole. (S13, S14)

What Jesus did was not magical; it was not a miracle. It was Scientifically logical that when Jesus understood the completeness of Mind’s creation, it resulted in healing. (S16)

When others saw the man as having a withered hand, seeing him as limited, they were seeing a “poor counterfeit of the invisible universe and [unlimited] man.” (S17)

Those of us who understand and feel the power of Love’s metaphorical arm wrapped around the universe and each one of us, will feel the healing power of that arm. The last citation of section three describes this as it echoes the idea from the Golden Text:

· “Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” (Golden Text)



· “He to whom "the arm of the Lord" is revealed will believe our report, and rise into newness of life with regeneration.” (S18)



Section 4: Jesus stretches out his arm to heal leprosy


In the fourth section, Jesus heals a man with leprosy. Like with the healing in the third section, this cure not magical, it was not a miracle. It was the normal and natural result of Jesus understanding that Mind’s creation is complete and that nothing unlike Mind can exist. Leprosy was not created by divine Mind. Jesus’ clear understanding that the universe, including man, cannot contain anything unlike perfect Mind, was enough to correct the belief of leprosy and it disappeared from the man’s experience. (B17)

In this healing of leprosy, Jesus stretched out his arm and reached to touch the man, which was, in effect, demonstrating what God/Mind does for all creation. Just as God reaches to comfort and heal the whole universe, including man, Jesus reached out to comfort and heal the man with leprosy. Jesus’ “outstretched arm of righteousness” was enough to restore right thought an action. (S20)

Mary Baker Eddy offers a valuable way to understand what it means to lay hands on the sick as Jesus did. She explains, “Jesus said: ‘These signs shall follow them that believe; . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ Who believes him? He was addressing his disciples, yet he did not say, ‘These signs shall follow you,’ but them — ‘them that believe’ in all time to come. Here the word hands is used metaphorically, as in the text, "The right hand of the Lord is exalted.’ It expresses spiritual power; otherwise the healing could not have been done spiritually. (S21)


Section 5: Jesus stretches forth his hand to catch Peter


Section five contains yet another illustration of the power of God’s outstretched arm. We are reminded to praise God: “Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.” (B19) And then we read about Jesus not only walking on water, but also catching Peter with his outstretched hand before Peter falls into the sea.

One of the many aspects of the story of Jesus walking on water and catching Peter that amazes me is that it sounds as if Peter was still a long ways from Jesus when he cried out “Lord, save me.” But the distance between Jesus and Peter didn’t make a difference. Jesus immediately stretched forth his hand to catch Peter and was able to reach him despite the distance. How far do you think Peter was from Jesus? Would Jesus still have caught Peter if he was twenty feet away? I think so.

Another awesome aspect of the story is that Jesus walked on water, and pushed against the water hard enough to lift Peter, thus pressing the weight of two men on the water. Of course, it doesn’t make a difference how much weight Jesus put on the water. It didn’t make a difference how much he weighed or what kind of shoes he was wearing or how heavy his robe was. It didn’t make a difference whether it was salt water or fresh water. Jesus had already risen above a limited/material sense of the substance upon which he was walking.

Whereas we may still be learning about creation, Jesus already understood that he was walking on thought forces. Creation is still unfolding for us so that we can understand it fully, but Jesus’ purity and clarity enabled him to rise above a limited sense of substance. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all things. We tread on forces. Withdraw them, and creation must collapse. Human knowledge calls them forces of [limitation]; but divine Science declares that they belong wholly to divine Mind, are inherent in this Mind, and so restores them to their rightful home and classification.” (S27)


Section 6: “The right hand of the Lord is exalted”


The final section reiterates the idea of the hand of the Lord, and also the idea that there is no beginning and no end to creation. God is Alpha and Omega—the only—the everlasting arm, which creates and governs the universe, which is complete and unfolding at the same time. (B23, B24, B25)

Throughout this week’s lesson, we read about the strength of the arm of the Lord, and that “There is no power apart from God.” (S28)

Although we are the whole of Mind’s creation, it is being unfolded. Perfect creation is being revealed and we can discover more of this revelation through prayer. Mary Baker Eddy explains the spiritual discovery of creation: “Through many generations human beliefs will be attaining diviner conceptions, and the immortal and perfect model of God's creation will finally be seen as the only true conception of being.” (S32)

Glimpses and revelations of God’s perfect creation (God’s perfect handiwork) is healing. As we catch glimpses of the arm of the Lord, and feel the comfort from God’s hand, we do experience healing in ways we can see, hear, feel and touch.

Just as I experienced the hand of the Lord lift me from the river and pull me into the boat, we can each experience the power and comfort of God’s stretched out arm in our lives. "The right hand of the Lord is exalted” (B22)


[Warren’s (W’s) PS#1—Cobbey Crisler comments on Matthew 12:13 (B13) Jesus demands on patient
“Verse 13: Jesus says to the man, “Stretch forth your hand.” Notice, he did not go up to the man and do it physically for him. He said to the man, and notice what role he assigns to the patient in every case, "You do it." You're equipped to do it. That's your part. Stretch forth your hand. Immediately this happened. It was whole again." A fragment of the body could not depart along its separate route and create its own rules. The eye had to be single as God's eye was single.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax-Collector’s Report” by B. Cobbey Crisler]


[W’s PS#2 on citation B20: Cobbey Crisler comments on Jesus & Peter walking on water…
(Matthew 14:24-33)
… right after the famous loaves-and-fishes incident in which everyone is fed,”
we have the walking-on-the-sea incident.

(Verse 27). The disciples, not knowing how to cope with that, get told what the palsied man had been told (in Matthew 9:2) “Be of good cheer.” You’ll notice that Jesus says this at times when apparently he senses the great need of encouragement and the defeat of fear in thought. “It is I,” he said, "be not afraid."

(Verse 28). Peter who (as usual) wants part of the action says, "That looks like fun, how about my coming out there and joining you?" Peter, not quite appreciating the consequences of his acts—fortunately for awhile—actually does it! He becomes the second one to walk on water.

(Verse 30). But then he begins to look where he is. "How did I get here?"

(Verse 31). At that point Jesus supports not only his own weight but also the weight of Peter in overcoming gravity, proving it is not a law of limitation for man. Man has dominion over gravity as well.

(Verse 32). Not only over gravity, but you will find that "the minute he gets into the boat, the wind ceases." In other gospel accounts (e.g., John 6:21), "immediately the boat is at the land." (They must have gone through the sound barrier and nobody was wearing helmets.)

So, even the so-called barriers to man's being where he needs to be, from a standpoint of transportation, communication, etc., were proven to be no barriers at all in the hands of one who comprehended with his eye single. His relationship to God had, within his infinitude, no such limitations.

(Verse 35). When he lands on the other side, "many come to be healed."

(Verse 36), "Many touch the hem of his garment." Apparently the word had gotten around about that woman (in Matthew 9:20 and Mark 5:25, (B20) from last week’s Lesson) who had done that, "and many were made perfectly whole." Think of how many unrecorded healings occurred, or at least healings that we have yet to discover a written record about.”
“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master, A Tax-Collector’s Report” by B. Cobbey Crisler]


[TOP NEEDS OF THE WEEK:

1) ~$1k more for a new ice-maker for the Dawn Lodge drink counter is needed! An alumni parent offered to donate the bin and 50% of the cost of a new air-cooled icemaker bringing it down from ~$8k to $3.1k. Thanks to God, to him and to you all who can help with this new need of the week!
2) $300 still needed (of $2k total) for a key repair (in $50 increments) to replace (recently discovered) deteriorating subfloor and tile in a large Settlers House bathroom.
(Matched!)
3) ~$5k still needed (of 9.7k total) for Bible Lands Park (BLP) upgrades: $2.2k for smaller BLP shade structure to replace by 19-yr old tent “Tabernacle in the Wilderness”; and $7.5k for scriptural pavers on “Paul’s Trail” so BLP visitors and Cable Skiers can hourly see and “Walk in the Way of God's Word”.

Thanks to earlier outpourings of love and support, the Sports Center sod is growing! And, CedarS is doing other needed Maintenance work before our 56th season, our "adopted" herd of horses are also being well cared for, AND a growing stream of campership applications are being granted. However, we still need donations of about $80,000 more to grant the campership requests that traditionally come during this season. We also need ~$12k to meet our $50k match for Adopt the Herd! (CedarS Adopt the Herd matching fund opportunity goes through the end of our fiscal year, 9-30-17.)

Thanks way beyond words and whinnies to each of you who are grateful for CedarS weekly metaphysical and Sunday School offerings as well as for our work. Especially helpful are your much-needed MONTHLY gifts, past and ongoing, that can be started and adjusted at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ]


[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime in our winter home/office 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):

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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