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Possible Sunday School Topics (P. S. S. T.) for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

Love
for Sunday, January 30, 2022

by Tom and Amy Evans, former staff members and big fans of CedarS


P.S.S.T. POSSIBLE OVERARCHING ASSIGNMENT

Tom has given his Sunday School class (high school sophomores) the assignment of watching their thought each morning as they go to school. The class calls it the “Love Challenge”. You might consider this somewhat challenging assignment for your own students: How long can your class last during the day while only seeing love?

  • The students are to treat it somewhat as a game.
  • They are “out” if they judge, condemn, or register some other thought besides love when they’re seeing classmates around them, choosing how to react to their surroundings, and making decisions.
  • Students can then “reset” their thought and try again the following day, or at a different time interval.
  • Ask your class to report back next week.
    • What was a challenge they faced when attempting to see only love?
    • How did they successfully hold their thought to the enduring, the good, and the true in a tough situation?
  • Write the love challenge down on a note, or a daily reminder / alarm on their cell phone so they remember: “How long can you witness only love?”

P.S.S.T. FOR THE GOLDEN TEXT AND THE RESPONSIVE READING

Is it easier to recognize God’s care and provision when we are focused on divine Love? (Yes)
Is this divine care only available for those who praise God? (No)
The Responsive Reading begins by describing God as gracious and full of compassion.
Look for the references to grace/graciousness and compassion in the lesson this week.

What do you make of the last verse in the Responsive Reading, “your heart shall live that seek God?” Is this about desiring love, practicing love, and then demonstrating it in our lives?


P.S.S.T. FOR SECTION 1 – GOD IS LOVE

We use the phrase “God is love” frequently in the Christian Science church. Where is this statement found in the Bible? (1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16) The Bible verses in Section 1 focus on God’s love, God’s compassion, the permanence of this work, and the fact that God is the only creator.

Science and Health follows up with the grand concept of witnessing divine love and contemplating true being.
Talk about grounding ourselves in love as we’re praying about a situation.
Why is it important to go back to the basics (simple prayer) when praying specifically about a situation we may be facing?


P.S.S.T FOR SECTION 2 – LOVE IS SPIRITUAL PROVISION

Does your class know this story of Elijah and the widow from Zarephath? (cit. B8/I Kings 17)

  • Talk about lasting provision in the midst of an extreme famine.
  • It may seem miraculous to produce unlimited oil and meal / flour. It was certainly a blessing for this widow who was pouring her heart out to God, but is this type of spiritual provision unprecedented in the Bible? Look at the first three citations from Section 2 for examples of expecting God’s divine supply.
  • Science and Health in Section 2 is asking readers to enlarge their perspective of God and disassociate God from mortal limitations.
  • How do you pray for divine provision in a tough situation?
  • Help your class think about where they would start their prayer. Would your students begin with the Bible verses thanking God for divine provision ahead of time, or the Science and Health citations framing God as Love alone?
  • Consider bringing in a small bottle of olive oil or some flour for this discussion. No need to pour it out and make a mess 🙂 but, you could talk about the value of oil and flour in a famine and how this woman could not exactly have it delivered to her door through an online purchase.

P.S.S.T. for Section 3 – Love is healing

What is the correlation between obtaining / being given the kingdom of heaven (Bible citation 10/Mark 1:14, 15) and healing?

  • Is the kingdom of heaven associated with wealth or human gain? (No)
  • Look at S&H citation 15/411:10. Is the “power of divine Love” part of seeing the kingdom of heaven?
  • Jesus was “moved with compassion”. What role did compassion play in the healing?

S&H citation 12/476::28-5 explains that “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.”
How did Jesus’s view of man bring about healing? How can we have the same view?
Discuss S&H citation 16/144:27. What does it look like for the Science of being to be universally understood?


P.S.S.T. FOR SECTION 4 – LOVE IS IMPARTIAL AND UNIVERSAL

Talk about compassion. How do you learn from the woman who is asking for forgiveness in Luke 7:37-50/cit. B14?
What can you learn from Jesus, who honors the woman above his wealthy host, Simon?

S&H citation 21 reads “If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit…” (365:15).
Apply this concept to Jesus’s interaction with the woman in Luke 7. Was there a healing in Simon’s house? If so, what kind of healing?
Look at S&H citation 22/454:17-18 and talk about the importance of compassion.


P.S.S.T. FOR SECTION 5 – LOVE IS THE LIBERATOR

In citation 28 from S&H/225:21 are we paying to be freed from people who are bad, or from oppressive ideas and resistance to divine Love?
What kind of thought would have helped the apostles to be receptive and hear God’s angel message in the common prison (Bible citation 16/Acts 5:12-20?

S&H citations 23/228:14-25  and 24/412:13 speak to God’s power. How is divine power evident in the story in Bible citation 16/Acts 5:12-20?
This divine power is not harnessed like a superhero leaping over tall buildings in a single bound. How would you describe God’s power in the prison scene with the apostles and then in other instances?


P.S.S.T. FOR SECTION 6 – LOVE IS ALL

How do the citations from Psalms (Bible citations B18/Ps. 40:8, 11; cit. B 19/Ps. 17:8; and cit. B20/Ps. 145:9,10) conclude the lesson? What do you think it means to have God’s “law within [your] heart” (Psalm 40:8), to be the “apple of [God’s] eye” or “under the shadow of [God’s] wings” (Psalm 17:8), and have “all [your] works praise [God]” (Psalm 145:9)? Remember that the psalms are poems praising God. Have your students write a psalm about God and God’s love.

Discuss the last 4 citations of S&H (citations 29, 30, 31, and 32). What is significant in these citations? How are you reflecting “health, holiness, immortality” (518:21)? What does it mean for “the vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science” (113:5-6) to be Love?

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