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Demonstrate the Blessings of Sacrament

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, July 8th, 2019

[Demonstrate the Blessings of Sacrament]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Sacrament”
June 8–22, 2019

Prepared by Christie C. Hanzlik, CS • Boulder, CO
ccern@mac.com • 720.331.9356 www.christiecs.com

INTRODUCTION

Since I’m writing this Met on “Sacrament” while on location at CedarS CampS, I’m aiming it specifically at counselors who are currently running Bible Lesson Study discussions after breakfast each morning….

The simplest way I’ve found to define “Sacrament” is that sacrament is the symbolic action(s) we take to feel our connection to divine Love. A sacramental action may be as basic as kneeling in prayer. Some churches have formal baptism and communion ceremonies as sacrament. According to the textbook of Christian Science, baptism and communion are mental, prayer-based activities. Mary Baker describes the wine of communion, “Our wine the inspiration of Love, the draught our Master drank and commended to his followers.” (S9)

NOTE: As most of you know, the inspirational theme at CedarS is “Behold, I make all things new,” (Rev. 21:5). This phrase or a slight variation of this phrase has been in each of the past few week’s lessons. And it’s in this one too. See if you can find it...

Golden Text (GT) and Responsive Reading (RR)

The GT emphasizes the idea that when it comes to love and kindness, our actions speak louder than words. We could talk and talk and talk about loving others, but it is our tender actions that show our love. It's easy to see this idea in action around camp, whether watching counselors carrying the youngest campers’ trunks on the first day of camp, encouraging a brand-new swimmer to put her face in the water, or spending forty-five minutes patiently helping a high school camper waterski for the first time--and rejoicing enthusiastically at every success!

As an example of a sacramental action, the RR shares the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. At camp it is possible to actually set up a foot washing station as an activity in the cabin (or outside on the deck). When we’ve had a foot washing “ceremony” in the past, I’ve found it fascinating that it is much more humbling to have my feet washed by my friends than it is to wash other people’s feet.

Ponder the humility that the disciples must have felt as Christ Jesus washed their feet.

SECTION 1: [LIVE] ACTIONS THAT DEMONSTRATE OUR LOVE FOR LOVE

The first section is full of all kinds of actions we can take to show our love for God.

• let us worship and bow down:

• let us kneel before the Lord our maker (B1)

These actions would be meaningless unless we are also following the instructions • to do justly, • to love mercy, • to walk humbly (B2)

We can ask ourselves, if Christ Jesus asked us to follow him like he asked Andrew and Peter (B3), would we be willing to drop everything and go with him? That would be a pure sacramental action!

The reward for Peter and Andrew’s sacrifice is immeasurable. In fact, prayer-led sacrifice is always worth more to us than what we seem to be giving up. The reward of following Christ is that we are learning to be able to do the works that Christ Jesus did. — “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…” (B5)

Those willing to take sacrament and follow Christ are the true worshipers: “...the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.” (B6, New Living Translation or NLT)

Mary Baker Eddy explains true worship: “We worship spiritually, only as we cease to worship materially. Spiritual devoutness is the soul of Christianity.” (S1)

She condemns vapid ceremonies: “Christianity as Jesus taught it was not a creed, nor a system of ceremonies, nor a special gift from a ritualistic Jehovah; but it was the demonstration of divine Love casting out error and healing the sick, not merely in the name of Christ, or Truth, but in demonstration of Truth, as must be the case in the cycles of divine light. (S2)

Following Christ Jesus is still possible today, of course, since it does not mean following a personality: “Our heavenly Father, divine Love, demands that all men should follow the example of our Master and his apostles and not merely worship his personality.” (S4)

We do our best to follow Christ Jesus by keeping his commandments. (S5).

SECTION 2: [TAKE AND TASTE] THE BREAD AND THE WINE

The Passover meal that Jesus and his disciples shared happened just before Jesus was crucified. Jesus knew the crucifixion was imminent. “As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, ‘Each of you drink from it,’ (B7, NLT). He didn’t mean that they should literally eat his body, so perhaps ponder what this “bread” would mean to you. Are you willing to take the “bread” from Christ Jesus and eat it?

Jesus knew the disciples could eat “the bread” and still not get the whole sense of the Christ message. He knew, for example, that despite their sacramental actions, his beloved disciples would abandon him — “Jesus told them, ‘Tonight all of you will desert me. Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.’” But, as it happened, Peter did betray Jesus (B9, NLT).

All of us can examine our willingness to truly accept the word of Christ— “let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” (B10)

Mary Baker Eddy echoes this Biblical practice of self-examination and its benefits: “We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are.” (S6).

Our desire for holiness will lead us along the right path. “We know that a desire for holiness is requisite in order to gain holiness; but if we desire holiness above all else, we shall sacrifice everything for it. We must be willing to do this, that we may walk securely in the only practical road to holiness.” (S7)

The sacrament is not just about bread and wine. (S8). Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) explains that “His true flesh and blood were his Life; and they truly eat his flesh and drink his blood, who partake of that divine Life.” (S9)

For those practicing Christian Science, “Our Eucharist is spiritual communion with the one God. Our bread, ‘which cometh down from heaven,’ is Truth. Our cup is the cross. Our wine the inspiration of Love, the draught our Master drank and commended to his followers.” (S10)

Each of us can strive to reach toward more than meaningless symbolic acts. As MBE states, “If all who seek his commemoration through material symbols will take up the cross, heal the sick, cast out evils, and preach Christ, or Truth, to the poor, — the receptive thought, — they will bring in the millennium.” (S11)

This may sound difficult, but “Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way.” (S12)

SECTION 3: [DISCOVER] GRACE & FORGIVENESS

I understand grace as a renewing feeling of love that heals any sense of unworthiness. The third section begins, “you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (B11, NLT). This section, to me, is all about restoration and renewal and worthiness.

Each of us may struggle with moments or days in which we have not lived to the highest standard of Christlike purity. We may feel that we’ve made a poor decision, or—like the disciples—let down our guard and not been watchful and wholly loyal to our faith. (B12, B13)

Jesus’ experience in the garden of Gethsemane was when he let go of human will and yielded to divine will— “Thy will be done.” Here’s the account in NLT, “Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (B12, NLT)

At this point, Judas betrays him and Peter denies him. When Peter realized what he’d done, “he wept.” (B13)

But there is hope for redemption—the grace that heals—even after we’ve been double-minded and made a huge mistake. As we read in James, you can still “draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (B14)

Through baptism we can heal from the guilt that comes from sin, the belief that we could be separate from divine Love. Sin is the belief of separation from good, and baptism renews our sense of Oneness.

Here are some ways Mary Baker Eddy describes baptism:

• Our baptism is a purification from all error. (S13) • Through repentance, spiritual baptism, and regeneration, mortals put off their material beliefs and false individuality. (S14)

Baptism does not have to be immersion in physical water. Instead, “The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love. Christian perfection is won on no other basis.” (S17)

As we go experience setbacks, progress and the constant power of baptism and renewal, we can turn to Christ Jesus as our example. At the garden of Gethsemane, the Way-shower demonstrated how to free ourselves from the surges of guilt and fear and feelings of abandonment. Mary Baker Eddy explains, “While we adore Jesus, and the heart overflows with gratitude for what he did for mortals, — treading alone his loving pathway up to the throne of glory, in speechless agony exploring the way for us, — yet Jesus spares us not one individual experience, if we follow his commands faithfully; and all have the cup of sorrowful effort to drink in proportion to their demonstration of his love, till all are redeemed through divine Love.” (S18)

SECTION 4: [PROVE] PROGRESS IS THE LAW OF GOD
The crucifixion story does not end on the cross. Jesus was resurrected. We do not leave Jesus on the cross suffering—he was fully victorious. (B18)

This Psalm describes Jesus’ triumph well, “I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (B17, NLT)

And, “just as Christ [Jesus] was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” (B20, NLT)

We don’t need to be concerned that the trials we face are too much for divine grace, and too much for us. Mary Baker Eddy makes this statement about the inevitability of progress: “Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power. These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them. This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil.” (S21)

SECTION 5: [LIVE AND ENJOY] THE BLESSINGS OF SACRAMENT

Jesus shows us the way of sacrament...meaningful actions to symbolize and deepen our awareness of Love’s ever-presence. And make progress toward a more Christlike experience as we follow him, or, in more symbolic language, “we drink of his cup, partake of his bread, are baptized with his purity.” (S23)

For Peter and John, their dedication and understanding of the Way-shower meant being able to heal the sick and raise the dead. (B22)

We too can follow our Way-shower in deed and action and heal others as effectively as Peter and John. As Mary Baker Eddy puts it, “Whoever reaches the understanding of Christian Science in its proper signification will perform the sudden cures of which it is capable; but this can be done only by taking up the cross and following Christ in the daily life.” (S24)


CHRISTIE'S POST-SCRIPT: I saw at least three references to being made new...did you spot them?


Warren's Post-Script#1: Attached (online) are both a monologue and poem from this week's Bible Lesson as offered by Ken Cooper from Great Britain. He wrote:

'Please find attached a monologue for Sacrament, - "Peter's Repentance", with the You tube link https://youtu.be/B9o7zMO7trE

The monologue traces much of Peter's extraordinary story. Jesus’

instruction to “Follow me” was not intended as an instruction to just walk behind him but to emulate him in all his ways. Simon Peter was willing, and like all of us, had his good and bad moments! But the love that Jesus had for him never wavered, and finally led him to confirm that his proof of love was to “Feed my sheep”. In this sense of sacrament, the past was washed away and he gave his promise, which was fulfilled. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18) And the world was blessed.

I have included another poem, - showing the proof of Peter's acting upon Jesus' words, - the healing at the Beautiful Gate, - "Look On Us" (B22)


Warren's Post-Script#2: Being transcribed , posted and emailed later today are highlights of Cobbey Crisler's insights on the "Morning Meal" from John 21 (B19).


Warren's Post-Script#3: CedarS Camps still have s few openings in Sessions 4 (4.1, 4.2 and 5 (Family Camp)-- WITH UP TO FULL FUNDING (and even transportation assistance) AVAILABLE AS NEEDED!!

CALL US AT 417-532-6699 today to reserve your AWARD
FOR BEING GOD'S BRIGHT, CHOSEN REFLECTION!!

OR CALL OR TEXT WARREN'S CELL AT 314-378-2574
TO DISCUSS HOW WE CAN INDIVIDUALIZE THIS BLESSING FOR LOVED ONES.


Thank you, dear friends who have already given to the needs that we have made known—as well as to those of you who still want to make a big difference in 2019 to CedarS vital work, outreach and blessings!

We have a wonderful matching gift challenge to meet! You can double your donation by helping CedarS earn our "Adopt the Herd" $75,000 Match for the horses and riding program. (still ~$25,000 to go by Sept. 30, 2019.)

So, if you have been blessed by receiving this inspiration weekly and haven't given lately, or are in a position to be able to give more, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking on https://www.cedarscamps.org/give/.

Current and planned gifts are a huge proof of your ongoing LOVE made visible and are greatly appreciated!! They not only defray the costs of running this service but also provide greatly needed camperships and essential program and operations support.

Please sign up to give whatever you can on a much-needed MONTHLY basis to support CedarS life-changing work! [You can start at any amount and adjust monthly 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 (tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered church)!

With heartfelt and ever-new gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE, now at 417-532-6699.

or MAIL to our office address your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization.

(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #44-0663883):

The CedarS Camps
19772 Sugar Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536

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. 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/meta

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