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PSST: Humility allows us to be a transparency for Christ
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for JANUARY 2–8, 2023

by Lindsey Biggs, C.S of Maryland Heights, MO
540 460 3515

P.S.S.T. for Golden Text

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10

What does the quality of humility mean to your students? Being a transparency for God, good, is a great way to think about humility. Being a transparency for joy, peace, harmony. Allowing spiritual Truth to guide you and lead you and enable you to be a blessing for others is another great aspect.

What are some opportunities your students have had to express humility? Perhaps in a school play, when making an achievement on the soccer field, etc.

What are the ways that Jesus was humble? It’s interesting that his humility didn’t make him weak, it made him a transparency for divine power and grace.

P.S.S.T. for Responsive Reading

“Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day”. – Psalms 25:4, 5

This is a humble prayer for petition – one that is seeking guidance and direction from God. Are there ways that your students are seeking guidance this year? Any decisions they need to make? What role does humility and prayer play in decision making? Can it help them discern which colleges they should apply for and attend?

The first step is recognizing that we want to follow God’s will. This comes through understanding that God has our best interests at heart. God isn’t going to deprive us of good and give it to someone else. So understanding God’s nature as totally good and as one who loves us, helps us be more ready and willing to listen for the divine will – knowing it will bless us in the choices we need to make.

Students may enjoy this article: Divine direction during the college search

Here is an excerpt: “Throughout my life, I’ve found that the best way to make a decision is to pray and ask God for guidance. I’ve learned in Christian Science that God is both Mind and Love, which means I can trust whatever answer emerges from my prayers, because any direction that comes from God must be both intelligent and loving.”

P.S.S.T. for Section 1 — Each of us has an eternal purpose

What does it mean to be “pure in heart”? How about having pure motives – what are those?
How does this help us “see God”? How was Jesus pure in heart?

Cedars has a great book called The Beatitudes by Jonathan Kidder. It’s great for younger classes. It pairs a Bible story with each of the Beatitudes. It enables us to see how to express and really live the Kingdom of God through the qualities of God.

Perhaps a good New Year’s resolution could be to focus on a quality of God that students would like to express and cultivate each day. It could be joy on Monday, or peace on Tuesday, grace on Wednesday or courage on Thursday, etc. How does expressing the qualities of God help us feel God’s presence more consistently throughout the day?  Diving deeper into the Sermon on the Mount could also be a great goal. It contains so many important lessons for each of us in our Christian discipleship.

Each of us has a purpose! Each of us is worthy, valued, and needed. This passage is so neat because it shows that we aren’t saved because of being on a good-behavior checklist. Our salvation has been given to us since before the world began. This hints at the eternal preexistence each of us as a child of God:
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began…” (II Tim 1:9)

This also points to our inherent spiritual identity that each one of us has. So, if your students are struggling with not knowing what their purpose is, we can rejoice knowing that just as Jesus had a divine purpose, so each of us have a radiant purpose – the ability to express and glorify God. The disciples were diverse – they came from different backgrounds, professions, economic classes. But they were each called by God. They didn’t have to be the same. They each had gifts and spiritual talents that enabled them to be disciples and to manifest God’s word to the people around them in special ways.

“Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.” (Mary Baker Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70:18)

This article Discover your God-given talents has some helpful insights on this topic.

“The understanding of God as the only creator, and of man as the expression of this creative power, frees us from fear of inadequacy and helps bring to light the God-bestowed talents that have always belonged to us. Such Christly knowledge is the light in our experience, bringing into our lives a greater dominion and purpose, as well as rewarding activity.”

P.S.S.T. for Section 2 – The desire to be and do good is a great motive

“The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer. Its motives are made manifest in the blessings they bring, — blessings which, even if not acknowledged in audible words, attest our worthiness to be partakers of Love.” (cit. S7, 4:3–5, 12)

I love this passage because it hints at our desire and nature to be good. We all want to be and do good. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what the best thing to do is. But we can trust our motives – if our motives are to bless and heal, then we can trust that all things will work together for good.

“Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love — be it song, sermon, or Science — blesses the human family…” (cit. S8, SH p. 234:4)

This is another great passage because it really shows us that inspiration comes from a variety of places! Even when we’re not expecting it, right answers and healing ideas can come to us when we’re listening to a song on the radio or watching a movie. God is able to use all forms of communication to share with us the right and comforting ideas we need to know.

Jesus is such an amazing example! Whether it was in his larger demonstrations or in the little things that he said and did, he demonstrated the divine Life and Love. He demonstrated Life through his life. He reflected Love through living love. He demonstrated Truth by living in accord with truth. He made the divine visible in the human experience – which is why we needed him!

“This spiritual idea, or Christ, entered into the minutiæ of the life of the personal Jesus.” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 166:28–30)

How can we bring the Christ into the “minutiæ” of our day?

In regards to this Bible story in Matthew 15:21-28, Bible Lens Research has this to add:
“Jesus’ visit to “the coasts of Tyre and Sidon” represents one of just a few instances in which he ventures outside Jewish territory. His assertion about being sent only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” underscores his Hebrew-centered mission (see also 10:5, 6). After testing her faith, however, the Savior is willing to help this Gentile woman. Scholars view this episode as foreshadowing the ultimate reach of Christianity beyond Israel.”

P.S.S.T. for Section 3 – Wash one another’s feet

“Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another;” (cit. B9/ John 13:13, 14, 34)

What are some ways that your students have or could metaphorically wash someone else’s feet? What is the significance of this? What are some ways to live this spirit more fully at school, in athletics, etc?

Bible Lens shares this background about foot washing:
“Foot washing was common in desert areas, where mainly sandals were worn. In homes of modest means, guests were furnished with water to clean their own feet. Wealthier hosts provided slaves to perform this menial task.

“Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet is an unquestionable expression of meekness and love—as their Master, he could have demanded this service of them. A scriptural authority remarks: “God’s love for the world in sending Jesus (3:16) is here enacted in Jesus’ love for his own. . . . The foot washing removes the possibility of distance between Jesus and his followers, and brings them face to face with the love of God for them.”

In another passage, Jesus says: “…whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)

Does this seem counterintuitive to the world’s view of how to get ahead – how to be first or be successful?
|What is Jesus modeling to us about true success and humility?

P.S.S.T. for Section 4 – God sends angels to strengthen us

What is Jesus asking his friends to do in the Garden of Gethsemane?
Why do you think they weren’t able to do it?
In the book of Luke it says, “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:43) What does this show us about true strength – where does it come from? Even with his friends sleeping, God’s angels were still there with Jesus helping him and giving him the strength and encouragement he needed.
Can you think of other stories in the Bible where angels played a key role?
They give messages, they give strength, they deliver us.

Explore Mary Baker Eddy’s two definitions of angels (in the Glossary of Science and Health and in Miscellaneous Writings).

What are some angel messages your friends have had?
How have they experienced protection and deliverance through these angel thoughts?

Bible Lens Research says:
“Now, before making his own fervent petition to God, he charges his closest friends to resist temptation through prayer.”

Have your students ever had to help their friends resist temptation? Sometimes friends can be a good influence and sometimes friends can be a negative influence.
How can we influence others to do what is right and good?
What type of courage does it take to do this?
It’s comforting to know that whether our friends stick by us or abandon us, God and His angels are still there to comfort and guide us.

“…our great Teacher said: “Not my will, but Thine, be done!” — that is, Let not the flesh, but the Spirit, be represented in me.” (cit. S16, p. 33)
How can we pray to let the Spirit be more represented in us?
Which spiritual qualities are helpful in doing this?

P.S.S.T. for Section 5 – Blessed are you who believe

Who was first to see Jesus after his resurrection?
In all four gospels it is Mary Magdalene – sometimes accompanied by other women.
What does this tell us about the role of women in Jesus’ ministry?
Mary then goes to tell the other disciples that Jesus is risen.
In some accounts they believe her, and in some accounts they don’t.

When Jesus appears to “doubting Thomas”, in the book of John, he says: “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (John 20:29)

Explore the definition of resurrection in the Glossary of Science and Health. How can we take part in the resurrection – the spiritualization of thought – each day?

“…progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil.” (cit. S23, p. 233)

What were Jesus’ persecutors trying to do?
Why did they crucify Jesus? Did their plan succeed? Why or why not?
Mary Baker Eddy writes: “The persecutors had failed to hide immortal Truth and Love in a sepulchre.” (cit. S21, p. 45)

P.S.S.T. for Section 6 – Go fishing?
Or go forward with strength and grace?

Why have the disciples gone fishing?
What is their state of mind during this time?
What was Peter’s profession before Jesus called him to be a disciple?
Does going fishing represent following Jesus’ ministry, or does it represent returning to their old life before they encountered Christ?

How does this special breakfast with Jesus encourage and cheer them? How does Jesus’ resurrection and ascension give the disciples strength to go forward in following Jesus ministry even though they, too, will face persecution?

Mary Baker Eddy explains this: “Through all the disciples experienced, they became more spiritual and understood better what the Master had taught. His resurrection was also their resurrection. It helped them to raise themselves and others from spiritual dullness and blind belief in God into the perception of infinite possibilities.” (cit. S24, p. 34)

Read this passage – it certainly shows the transformation that took place in the disciple’ hearts and minds – enabling them to go from fishermen to becoming loyal apostles:
“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people…And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” (cit. B15, Acts 5:12, 14)

What a great way to follow Christ!

Enjoy your classes!

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