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PSST: Love God and Love your neighbor
Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T.s) for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:

for July 24-30, 2023

prepared by Tom and Amy Evans, Former counselors, and big fans of CedarS.

P.S.S.T. for the Golden Text and Responsive Reading – love each other

Look at the Golden Text from 1st John 4:21 in the Contemporary English Version. “The commandment that God has given us is ‘Love God and love each other’.” What does the Golden Text tell us about the rest of the lesson? What themes and topics might you expect in the rest of the lesson?

Look at the themes in the Responsive Reading:

  • 1 John 4:7, 12, 19 – Why should we love one another? Why should we love God?
  • Deuteronomy 10:12, 13 – What does God require of us?
  • Deuteronomy 10:14,18,19 – Why should we care about and even love strangers?
  • 1 John 5:2 – How can you recognize that someone is a Child of God and loves the children of God?

P.S.S.T. for Section 1 – Understand God to understand our identity

The citations in the Bible in Section 1 focus on God’s love and God’s Law. Science and Health citations 1, 2, and 3 talk about understanding God spiritually and not with a physical description.
Why is it that only the spirit matters?
Please explain the different understandings of God that Mary Baker Eddy refers to in Science and Health Citation 4. Talk about the Old Testament “Lord” vs. the infinite Principle and infinite idea.
After digging into Science and Health citation 4, why is there a focus on who man and women are as God’s idea?
How does this clearer understanding of God and our relation to God help with destroying sin and witnessing spiritual healing?

P.S.S.T. for Section 2 – Love that overcomes the world

The Bible citations in Section 2 look at forgiveness, releasing grudges (citation 7), loving enemies, praying for enemies (citation 9), and the peace associated with loving God’s law (citation B11).

Science and Health citation 8 says no physical explanation exists for how or why we love our neighbor. Describe what is taking place spiritually when we love our neighbor.

Like Science and Health citation 7/184:12, how is loving our neighbor the only legitimate demand on man?
In Science and Health citation 10/266:6-17 why is man’s extremity God’s opportunity?
What does this extremity situation have to do with our trust in spirit and forsaking matter? Citation S11/57:22 says this work is not in vain.
How would you explain to someone who is brokenhearted or sad that any effort to express love is not wasted?

Bible exercise: Ask your class to open a Bible to Psalm 119 and glance through it for patterns. Did you know Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, meaning it has the most verses? Nearly every verse includes a statement about God’s law or a synonym for God’s law like commandment, precent, teaching, ordinance, etc. In the original Hebrew the verses are grouped into 8 with each group of 8 starting with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The first 8 verses begin with the first character in the Hebrew alphabet, alef. The second group of 8 verses begin with the second character in the Hebrew alphabet, beth. This pattern continues. Some English Bibles print the Hebrew character as a break between each set of 8 verses. Psalm 119 is an effort to exhaust the number of ways someone can say “I love God’s law” / precept / teaching / commandments / ordinances, etc. This was much harder to do before Chat GPT and generative AI that can draft a complex poem for you. We each pray in our own unique way. The author of Psalm 119 liked to pray in patterns, numerically.
Think about the way you pray. If you could write your own psalm, what characteristics are uniquely yours?

P.S.S.T. for Section 3 – Overcoming Prejudice

Does your class know Bible Citation 12 is repeated at the close of every Christian Science Sunday church service (1 John 3:1-3)? Ask them if they know what it is called? (The Correlative Scripture) What does it correlate with? (The Scientific Statement of Being) Why / how? Look at the correlation between Bible citations 13 to 16 (:

  • Notice the sense of unity in Bible Citation 13/Gal. 3:26, 28
  • See Jesus’ motivation of compassion or Love in healing “much people” in Bible Citation 14/Mark 6:34
  • How are Bible citations 13 and 14 setting the scene for citation 15/Mark 7:24-30?
  • What transformation and growth takes place in Bible Citation 15?
  • What prejudice was being overcome in the healing of the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter?

Do you agree with the following idea? The Syrophoenician woman’s faith, humility, and persistence inspired the man Jesus to yield to the Christ and heal someone who is not a Jew in Bible citation 15 (Mark 7:24-30).

Define “Ecclesiastical Despotism” from Science and Health citation 12. In Science and Health citation 13/141:13 how is the Christ idea available to all of us, rather than being controlled by a “dynasty” or “ecclesiastical monopoly”? (Understanding divine Principle, God)

Discuss Science and Health citation 15/494:10-15, 19. How does divine Love “meet every human need”? This quote is found in the front of most Christian Science churches. Why do you think that is?
How does the second sentence of this citation connect with the story of the the Syrophoenician woman?
How does divine Love supply all good?
How have you experienced Science and Health citation 17234:4? How have you witnessed blessings or “crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table”?

P.S.S.T. for Section 4 – Legitimate Christian Science

In Science and Health citation 18/38:24 how or why is the Christ, the spiritual idea of divine Love?

There is a lot to unpack in Science and Health citation 22/366:12+:

  • Why is patience that removes fears of an invalid more important than “gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments…”?
  • Sick people are not necessarily in jail. What is Mary Baker Eddy referring to when she speaks of “opening the prison doors for the sick”?
  • Explain “legitimate Christian Science” in the context of sympathy for others, Christian encouragement, and the removal of fear.
  • How is the parable of the Good Samaritan (Bible citation 19/Luke 10:25+) an example of someone expressing “legitimate Christian Science”? We read this story often. Consider fresh inspiration to come with the study of the story. Who do you identify with, the man or the Samaritan? How are you being a neighbor to others?

P.S.S.T. for Section 5 – Love your neighbor as yourself

In Bible Citation 23/Rom. 13:6-10 explain how loving your neighbor as yourself is a summary of the commandments. How is it that love cannot work any ill to one’s neighbor?

Break down each of the outcomes in Science and Health citation 24340:12, 23. How does loving your neighbor as your self accomplish each statement?

  • Unifies men and nations
  • Constitutes the brotherhood of man
  • Ends wars,
  • etc


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