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Be God’s “Man in the mirror.”

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, November 5th, 2018

Be God’s “Man in the mirror.”
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Adam and Fallen Man”
For November 11, 2018

by Rick Stewart CS, Dresden, Germany
rickstewartcs@aol.com +49 351 312 4736 +49 176 32 33 6080

Have you ever visited a fun house? The kind of place you find at a fair or carnival? In particular the place where they have distortion mirrors. What fun it is to see you self in these mirrors that make you look very tall and skinny or very short and fat. It is you standing in front of the mirror, but the image you see is very far from the accurate reflection of what you look like, simply because the mirrors are made to distort or change in a weird way the object in front of the mirror. Everyone laughs like crazy as each looks at themselves and sees in the mirror a hilarious form!

If we decided that we wanted to look at God’s work, God’s creation wouldn’t we want to look at or observe an accurate portrayal of what God has actually made? The Bible Lesson this week begins with an invitation to take a look at what God has made.

Golden Text Ecclesiastes 7:13 (to :), 29 God (to ;) “Consider the work of God: . . . God hath made man upright;” [See PS#1 Ken Cooper poem online.]

Many people believe that the story of Adam and Eve is an accurate depiction of the creation of man or mankind. They often forget about the account of creation in Genesis 1. (The Adam creation story begins Genesis 2:6 ) But since the story of Adam and Eve is written from the perspective of a view of God as very material, well, you actually end up with a distorted picture of what man is like. It is like someone who looks at a human being and then from that picture conceptualizes a God that is like that material man. In other words looking at material man and actually making God like man, not the other way around. The result is that you might even say you get a fun house view of man because of a distorted concept of God.

Beginning in the Responsive Reading this Bible Lesson invites us to look at God’s man and God’s work from an undistorted, spiritual view. That is how the Responsive Reading begins to lead us into an undistorted view of God and His work, God and His creation.

Responsive Reading Genesis 1:1, 3, 4, 26 (to :), 27, 31 (to 1st .); 2:1, 6–8, 21 (to :); Romans 13:11 now, 12 [See Ken Cooper’s poem (PS#1) and Cobbey Crisler insights (PS#2) online.]

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: 11 . . . now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

The account of creation in Genesis 1 uses the Hebrew name for God, Elohim. To help us understand this name, Elohim, here are verses in the Bible that translate the Hebrew name, Elohim, as God.

I Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:26,27 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 14:28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

Mark 12:29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

So actually we have a simple basis for realizing that the God in Genesis 1 that creates man in his image and likeness is this God that is Elohim, the I AM, the Word, the one and only Father, the Lord our God.

This God is not a giant human form on a cloud reaching down to touch a human being ala Michelangelo’s fresco depiction on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

As we learn in the lesson, God is indeed the Lord God Almighty, our Father, Elohim and we are His image and likeness.

Section 1: Man is created by God’s Word.

Citation B1 states “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” [John 1:1–3, see W’s PS#3]

Or as the Psalmist wrote in citation B3 “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” [Psalms 17:15, W’s PS#5]

Recently in Sunday School my son, Johann, asked, “What is this ‘beginning’ stuff, I thought with God there was no beginning and no ending?” How right he was!

This is what Mary Baker Eddy in this week’s Bible Lesson has to say about that point.
Citation S3: “In the following exegesis, each text is followed by its spiritual interpretation according to the teachings of Christian Science. Genesis i. 1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 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. (502:18, 22–27)

Citation S4: “Genesis i. 27. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (516:24)

How wonderful to learn that from the very beginning, the only reality of God and man is the man made in the image and likeness of God.

We saw the practical and powerful effect of seeing this real man made in God’s image and likeness on the weekend. Johann, Martha, our dog, Theo and I were going for a walk in the Grosse Garten, the Big Garden, a city park near our home. Just as we parked and got out of our car there was the sound of a loud crash from about 100 meters away. It came from the very busy boulevard, Stubbe Allee. There were screams and a group of people running. We began to pray that God was right here and there. And I called for emergency services explaining the location and situation. When through with the call we walked quickly toward the crash scene praying as we walked. Mary Baker Eddy makes it clear that when we observe such a situation that it is our responsibility as Christian Scientists to pray until other practical help arrives.

The prayerful work often involves refusing to accept the image of accident, injury or even death. Instead we turn to the image of a perfect, loving God as ever-present, and of man as God’s image and likeness. Perfect God and perfect man as the present fact.

Johann expressed that he was afraid of what we might see. But the fact was as we walked and continued our prayer we arrived at the scene and found no disturbing image. In fact no one had been physically injured. A mother was obviously upset, in shock and a little boy was crying. He was not crying because of injury, but it had been his little bicycle that had been hit and his bell was kaput.

We stayed until the police and ambulance arrived and all had been attended to. Kind, loving attention was given to the mother and the little boy. I asked the policeman if it was okay for us to continue our walk and he assured us it was fine.

After a nice walk which included my continuous rejoicing that all was well in God’s kingdom with all His children, we passed by the scene once more. I inquired to insure that all were well. And was pleasantly surprised by the police officer’s remark, “Thank you so much for your call and help.”

Yes, we were all very happy that the only image we saw was God’s comforting presence and His children safe and sound, and by the time we left, all were actually very happy and grateful.

Section 2: Let’s be alert to the lying whispers of an illusory sneaky snake. [W’s PS#1, #2]

As we read the declaration that God’s, Elohim’s, work was finished and He really liked what He saw we read another statement that a mist went up from the earth.

Citation B4: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them… But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” (Genesis 2:1, 6, 21–23, W’s PS#1 and PS#2)

Who has not at some point seen a mist or fog come up in the early evening after a warm day and watched as familiar shapes begin to twist and distort into obscurity? A foggy view is seldom a clear view!

Then in slithers a sneaky snake out of that misty thinking, Pssst, Pssst.,

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (B5 | Genesis 3:1–6, 9, 11–13, W’s PS#1 and PS#2)

I ask you, do we want to be as gods? Or like God? Do we want to know good? Or do we want to know good and evil?

Notice that it is the Lord God making this supposed snake and not God, Elohim!

Mary Baker Eddy’s enlightening exegesis continues—
Citation S9: “It may be worth while here to remark that, according to the best scholars, there are clear evidences of two distinct documents in the early part of the book of Genesis.

“Throughout the first chapter of Genesis and in three verses of the second, — in what we understand to be the spiritually scientific account of creation, — it is Elohim (God) who creates. From the fourth verse of chapter two to chapter five, the creator is called Jehovah, or the Lord.” (523:14–17, 22–27)

Citation S10: “Did the divine and infinite Principle become a finite deity, that He should now be called Jehovah? With a single command, Mind had made man, both male and female. How then could a material organization become the basis of man?” (524:16–20)

Now that is a very good question!

Let’s say you have a very good vacuum cleaner. Now a vacuum cleaner salesman rings your door bell. First he has to get your attention and get in your door. “Madame, I have here in front of you the world’s best vacuum cleaner.” He throws some dirt on your floor. “Hey, what are you doing? Stop it.” “No worries madame, I will clean it up in a flash, whoosh, and the dirt is all gone. Isn’t that impressive?” “Why yes it is.” Suddenly you begin to lose your clarity of thought. You forget that your very good, very own vacuum cleaner could have done that also. You begin to get pulled in. And the salesman is inside your door! Pretty soon his pitch is running at full speed and you are beginning to listen to him and you forget all about your perfectly good vacuum cleaner. Just as you are ready to open up your purse and pay an exorbitant sum for a new vacuum cleaner that you do not need, the mist in your thinking begins to clear and you realize you are about to be suckered!

What brings the clarity? A willingness to realize you already have all that you need! The salesman’s pitch, his suggestions were making you think you did not already have what you needed! Whether a vacuum cleaner salesman or the whispers of a sneaky snake you do not have to listen.

The “I want” can be replaced by “I shall not want, I have!” The “I need” can be silenced with “God shall supply my every need. “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”

The fear that you will somehow not have what you want or need can be silenced as you come back into the Light and know that you have been given all that you need by Elohim, your all loving Father! And then the FEAR (Forgetting Everything About Reality) fades and you see your gift from God, eternal life as His image and likeness, is yours for keeps.

Section 3: They wouldn’t bend, they wouldn’t bow, they wouldn’t burn!

How practical is the clear-sighted acceptance of the Genesis 1 man as your real and present identity as the spiritual image and likeness of God, Elohim? It is practical and it is life-saving! Take for example the story in this section of three young Hebrew captives, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Those are the names that the King Nebuchadnezzar gave to these young captives.

These young Hebrew men were captives brought to Babylon and they were in exile. They were to be educated, or perhaps re-educated! It was the policy in Babylon that those selected for re-education and special training should have their names changed. Daniel (which means 'God has judged') became Belteshazzar ('Keeper of the hidden treasures of Bel'). Hananiah ('Jehovah has been gracious') became Shadrach a name that contains the name of the pagan deity Marduk. Mishael ('Who is like God?') became Meshach—a name which contains one of the ancient forms of the name for the deity Venus. Azariah ('Jehovah has helped') became Abed-nego ('the servant of Nebo').

And not only were their names changed, but there was a decree that would seem to force obedience to the gods of Babylon. They were ordered to bow down to a golden image, but they didn’t! These young friends of Daniel chose to not fear the threats and to remain true to God, Elohim. But the consequence threatened was being burned alive in a fiery furnace heated seven times hotter than usual. But their moral courage was rewarded as they ended up not burning but walking with the Son of God, and emerging from the furnace unharmed.

[Cobbey Crisler highlights how glimpses of “the son of God”, or the Christ is indeed the remedy for Adam in several specific ways in W’s PS#7. Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) continues to connect “glorious glimpses” of the life-saving Christ to us today:

Citation S16: “As in Adam (error) all die, even so in Christ (Truth) shall all be made alive” (SH 545:31, AND Bible citation B7)]

MBE insights further link Christ’s saving power then and “throughout all generations”:
Citation S17: “Even in captivity among foreign nations, the divine Principle wrought wonders for the people of God in the fiery furnace and in kings’ palaces.” (S17, SH 133:15)

Citation S18:
“Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea, — the reflection of God, — has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of the Messiah, or Christ, which baptized these seers in the divine nature, the essence of Love.” (SH 333:19–26)

Citation S19: “Christ presents the indestructible man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes, and governs. Christ illustrates that blending with God, his divine Principle, which gives man dominion over all the earth.” (316:20)

Here is a little song inspired by this great illustration of choosing to serve only God, Elohim.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgWjWMS56Vc

And a wonderful classic article, "THE SMELL OF FIRE"

By LOUISE KNIGHT WHEATLEY

From the March 1920 issue of The Christian Science Journal

To view it click on: https://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/1ik4guvwdaa?s=e

Section 4: Christ frees us from the blindness of dust-man mortality and reveals God’s man.

This section includes that wonderful healing of the blind man who according to popular belief at the time had either sinned himself or was suffering because of the sins of his parents. This lingering false belief either based upon [dust-man] heredity or as is often believed in Africa the curse from some act of the parent causing problems.

[Citation B12 sets the stage for John’s full telling of this healing in the following citation:]
“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38)

[Cobbey Crisler in W’s PS#7 has great insights on this citation B13 healing of blindness and its dust-man (Genesis 2) cause:]
“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” (John 9:1–7)

[In citation S25 Mary Baker Eddy reinforces the need to first get rid of “poor thought-models”— like a material, “dust-man” beginning:] “The divine nature was best expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow, — thoughts which presented man as fallen, sick, sinning, and dying. The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, — perfect God and perfect man, — as the basis of thought and demonstration.” (259:6)

What power, what Love, what Truth that Jesus forcefully corrected those who wanted to lay blame for this blindness on the sin of parents or son. The Disciples asked, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” They already had decided somebody had sinned, fallen short, missed the mark! Jesus answered, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” No one had sinned! No one was to blame!

One of the joys in the healing ministry of Christian Science is supporting through prayerful treatment the birth of little ones. Cherishing the parents’ thought and together glimpsing that each idea is indeed God’s idea. Pure, perfect, not including a single element of error. On page 463 of Science and Health is a brief explanation of what Mrs. Eddy calls, the obstetrics of this Science. These truths were a wonderful support when a dear little, Jenny, was coming into our world. This was my first baby case in Africa. And there tried to creep in silly beliefs that would condemn this beautiful idea of God to suffering because of false beliefs regarding the parents. We all rejoiced as freedom was claimed for mama, papa, and Baby Jenny. As I received an email addressed to “Uncle Rick” saying that all was well with Jenny and mama and that all the complications were met, I told my kids, “Well, I have my first African baby.” I think Martha was thinking she was going to finally have a little sister!

Section 5: Eternally upright and unfallen children of God!

When the Psalmist writes, “Mark the perfect man” (B37), I always think of a dearly loved friend that I have known since he was a little squirt. My prayers end up being, “Yes, Mark is perfect and so are we!”

But it reminds me that this clear thinking claim that we are indeed God’s perfect and beloved children is not something new. The Psalmist knew it thousands of years ago.

Citation B15 in full states: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” (Psalms 37:3 (to ;), 6, 37)

I love the encouragement of our dear Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, as she assures us what we are capable of accomplishing right now!

“You can prove for yourself, dear reader, the Science of healing, and so ascertain if the author has given you the correct interpretation of Scripture.” (S27 | SH547:6)

“In divine Science, God and the real man are inseparable as divine Principle and idea. When speaking of God’s children, not the children of men, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you;” that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God’s image is unfallen and eternal.” (S28 | SH 476:4, 28–32)

It is with the humblest of affirmations that I say, “Yes we can prove this for ourselves. We are completely capable of claiming our divine heritage as the very image and likeness of our beloved Father-Mother, God, Elohim.”

This is not some physical form or shape, but the divine consciousness of our spiritual identity. Mrs. Eddy writes, “Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique.” SH 475:13-14

This is what the Christ, the true idea of man as God’s image and likeness makes possible. The demonstration in spiritual, Christly healing establishing the fact that man is unfallen, upright, whole and free.

In a CedarS Thanksgiving Bonus Met from about a decade ago, I read about Warren Huff (CedarS beloved Met Editor and Executive Director) being “upright, whole and free” after a 2008 Christian Science healing of cancer:

About a year ago—after a joyous 2008 summer and fall of service, I found myself agonizing in the passenger seat during our evening move home from camp. I sang (along with the sound system) many hymns that I knew by heart—thanks to years of camp Hymn Sing experience—belting them out at first through tears of intense pain, and later through tears of immense gratitude. For the first part of the trip the disabling discomfort just wouldn't let up—no matter how I changed my position or what hymns or citations I prayed.

The pain seemed to radiate from a huge internal growth that had been steadily growing for several months. It had attempted to rob me of my vigor and my desire/ability to eat —as well as of all ability to lift one of my legs. In deepest humility—and supported by the prayers of the dear driver, my mom and a practitioner who I kept calling—I continued to reach out to God and to sing each word with renewed understanding, conviction and vigor.

With tears of joy I cherished the truths about my spiritual nature as if they were being tenderly told to me for the first time and for the purpose of saving my life for God's service—and that they did! All pain finally broke thanks to this all-out, fervent praying and singing—and I have hardly stopped smiling or singing ever since. I remain eternally grateful that I took "God-is-All" instead of Tylenol—that I chose Christian Science treatment to eliminate not only the pain, but also its cause rather that just opting to temporarily relieve suffering.

I knew when I got home without pain that I was healed, although the draining and dissolving of the growth took several more weeks of consistent "ray-delineation therapy" which "dissolves tumors" with the invigorating purity of "the sunlight of Truth" that "Christian Science brings to the body." (S&H 162:4) I applied each ray of this divine, healing sunlight —shining the specific, promising laws and wonderful ideas set forth in this precious paragraph.

"Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates (refreshes, revitalizes, stimulates, enlivens, energizes, animates, rejuvenates, strengthens) and purifies (cleanses, disinfects, sanitizes, decontaminates, filters). Christian Science acts as an alterative (a medicinal plant that causes a gradual beneficial change in the body, usually through improved nutrition and elimination, without having any marked specific action OR A medicine or treatment which gradually induces a change, and restores healthy functions without sensible evacuations), neutralizing error with Truth. It changes the secretions (emissions, discharges, oozings), expels humors (four Medieval ones to be balanced: blood, yellow bile, phlegm, black bile), dissolves tumors (growths, cancers, lumps, swellings), relaxes rigid muscles ("thought-forces"), restores carious bones to soundness. The effect of this Science is to stir (rouse, wake up, budge, shift, get up, revive) the human mind to a change of base (basis, foundation, origin, heart, starting point), on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind." (S&H 162:4).

Have fun singing out this transforming "sunlight of Truth" by living Love today!]

Warren Huff, Executive Director
warren@cedarscamps.org (417) 532-6699


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