When I think of Easter, I think of the transcendence and joy of Christ Jesus’ resurrection and later ascension. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines transcendent as “surpassing limits” and it goes on to say “The Latin verb scandere” (which is the root of transcendent) “means ‘to climb’, so transcend has the basic meaning of climbing so high that you cross some boundary. A transcendent experience is one that takes you out of yourself and convinces you of a larger life or existence;…” To me this is also a wonderful description of the role that Crystal Lake Camps plays in the lives of so many Christian Scientists.
Camp is a wonderful place to grow “out of yourself” and discover a “larger life or existence” and to transcend any limits that we or others have surmised are ours. Camp is a place where we meet new people from very diverse backgrounds and come together as friends. It’s a place where we accomplish things that we may not have had the opportunity to try elsewhere. It’s a supportive environment where Christian Scientists of all ages can break free of fears or labels, and uncover the dominion, strength and being that are man’s divinely derived nature. It’s a place to feel at home in a supportive Christian Science community.
My parents first met when they were counselors at Crystal Lake Camps in 1955 and for several years around 1970 my brother and I were campers. It was during this time at camp that I had a wonderful and quick healing of a painful condition in one of my eyes by praying with the camp’s Christian Science Practitioner. This is when I began to understand the role of Christian Science Practitioners and to cherish the idea that someday I would be a Practitioner. It took a circuitous life journey and many decades to bring that idea to fruition, but the seed was planted while I was at Crystal Lake Camps.
When I returned to camp as an adult and one of the camps Christian Science Practitioners from 2007-2013 I still found camp to be a wonderful place to transcend limits and meet new friends. I loved getting to know campers from many countries and backgrounds and loved prayerfully supporting all of the campers and staff. I also enjoyed
participating in many of the camp’s activities, such as the high ropes course, horseback riding, hiking, camping out on overnights, canoeing, and cheering for campers during their various activities.
I accompanied my mom at camp in 2014 and 2015 when we returned for the Alumni Weekends each year in October. She loved meeting up again with old camp friends, going horseback riding, hiking, and petting the many dogs that were at camp during those weekends.
As I think about transcending limits, I’m also reminded of the many limits that Mary Baker Eddy overcame in the late 1800s through 1910. She wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (258:13-15) “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.” She proved this by overcoming the limits that were put on the women of her day by both the government and society. She overcame loss, lack, and homelessness and discovered and founded the Science of the Christ that is practiced by the campers and staff at Crystal Lake Camps and by many other people throughout the world.
Jesus certainly set the standard and exemplified transcendence! He broke many barriers and overcame the ultimate challenge of death. The Bible tells us (Matt 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45) that at the time of his crucifixion the veil of the temple was “torn in two” or “rent in twain” and Hebrews 10:20 explains that the veil is symbolic of body or flesh. Jesus broke through the limited belief of life in body or flesh to prove on that wonderful Easter morning many years ago that life is immortal and eternal, not limited by matter. He is the great Master and the example we follow as we move forward in demonstrating day-by-day the limitless transcendence of Life eternal.
Sue Holzberlein CS Ashby, MA
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