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PSST: Find true substance and find lasting freedom and happiness
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for SEPTEMBER 4–10, 2023

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

P.S.S.T. for Golden Text/Romans 11:33 (to 1st !)

Why is the wisdom and knowledge of God equated with riches in this Golden Text?
What does the wisdom and knowledge of God have to do with being or feeling rich?

P.S.S.T. for Responsive Reading

These verses from Proverbs echo the Golden Text theme:

Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
– Proverbs 8:10, 11

P.S.S.T. for Section 1 – The benefits of finding God

The theme continues here with this passage from Jeremiah:
“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me…” (citation B9/Jeremiah 9:23, 24)

What are the benefits of understanding and knowing God?

Mary Baker Eddy gives us a sense of why we should glory in the knowledge of God rather than in temporal, material wealth:

“It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.” (Science and Health, p. 390:7–9)

Proverbs 8 says:
“For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.” (Prov 8:35)

So, finding God is finding Life itself.

“All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God.”
(cit. S2, SH 275:12–15)

Finding God is finding true substance, a substance that is unerring and immortal. Finding God is finding true wisdom – a spiritual perception that gives us guidance to do and be in the right place at the right time. Finding God is finding the only Cause and Creator of our being – so we are not subject to the ups and downs of material existence but are at one with a consistent Source of health and harmony.

P.S.S.T. for Section 2 – Daniel and his friends chooses to stay focused on God

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (cit. B5, Psalm 37:3–5)

This passage from Psalms echoes Jesus’ statement:
“…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Jesus tells us not to worry. He tells us our Father knows the things that we have need of and will provide them as we seek God first. So, the focus becomes on getting to know God more – worshiping God. This is consistent with following the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). It keeps us focused on God rather than being focused on gaining material things.

Daniel was focused on that First Commandment. He and his friends were focused on worshiping God and being loyal to their Jewish faith rather than conforming to the foreign, Babylonian power – that they was forced to live under– a power that believed in other gods and worshiped golden statues.

The king’s food was associated with the excessive material wealth and status the king revered and had. It was a symbol of power – something that the king could give or take away. So what does refusing to eat the king’s meat symbolize? Were  Daniel and his three friends harmed by making this choice?
They were just as fit and healthy – even more so – than all the others who ate the king’s meat. The Bible account also adds that Daniel and his friends were ten times smarter in all matters of wisdom and understanding.

Bible Lens Research has this to add about the story of Daniel:
Court food and drink were unacceptable to Daniel and his friends for several reasons. Some of the king’s food may have been prohibited by Mosaic law (see Leviticus, chap. 11). And food and wine were regularly consecrated to pagan gods during Babylonian feasting rituals. The pulse Daniel requested was plain food made from edible grains or vegetables that grow in pods, such as peas, beans, or lentils.

In a larger sense, refusing “the king’s meat” can be seen as a stand against the foreign culture of idolatry, physical gratification, and the excesses of the wealthy. And scholars remark that although the Hebrew youths were thoroughly educated in pagan lore, it is God who informs and sustains them. One Bible authority reflects, “. . . God gives power to those who dare to live vigorously in the world even while they dare to maintain their sharp identity as followers of the one true God.”

So, putting God first – even under this constrictive, foreign rule – gave Daniel and his friends the substance they needed. They were able to remain healthy, and had the intelligence and talents they needed to thrive in that foreign occupation.

There are many helpful ideas on nonviolent resistance that we can gain from the book of Daniel. It is said that Mahatma Gandhi looked to the book of Daniel (particularly Daniel 6) for a model of the effectiveness of this type of passive resistance.

Here are two great articles from two people who had to practice this type of resistance in the face of oppression.

A Bowl of Rice By John Wyndham
Peace in the face of terrorism By Brian Kissock

Jesus said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

P.S.S.T. for Section 3 — Conformity to Christ

 The Bible includes some interesting insights on conformity.
It says: “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
(Romans 12:2)

This section includes additional passages on this theme of spiritual resistance and righteous rebellion:
“Christian Scientists must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the material world and be separate. They must renounce aggression, oppression and the pride of power.” (cit. S15, 451:2)

“The divine must overcome the human at every point.” (cit. S14, 43:27)

What are we conforming to?
What are we resisting?
What are we rebelling against?
We can conform to the Kingdom of Heaven. We can recognize the supremacy of Spirit and know that Spirit only can control us. We can take a stand for Spirit – to allow nothing but the Word of God to have power over us. This type of conformity and resistance results in healing and enables us to live a life free from fear, oppression, tyranny, or limitation. This type of passive resistance is an essential component to our spiritual practices.

How can your students live this type of resistance each day?
How can they make sure that every thought is conforming to Christ and not to materiality?

One way to do this is to keep our “treasure” in the Kingdom of Heaven. Recognizing that matter can’t give us happiness and therefore can’t take it away is a good first step. “If our hopes and affections are spiritual, they come from above, not from beneath, and they bear as of old the fruits of the Spirit.” (cit. S15, 451:14)

Why do your students think Jesus tells us to keep our treasure in the Kingdom of Heaven?

Exploring where true happiness and success comes from can be helpful. Perhaps you have a story from your own life or from someone you know which talks about lessons on true happiness.

P.S.S.T. for Section 4 — A conformity that results in healing

 What strikes me about these passages is the “nowness” of the Kingdom of Heaven. The man didn’t have to wait to be whole. Jesus knew he was whole now. He knew that he was an idea of God living in the Kingdom of Heaven. What type of passive resistance does this represent? Resisting what the material senses were saying to him and conforming completely to the Truth of being – the knowledge that God had of him – resulted in healing. In other words, overcoming the human mind with the divine Mind. Human mind includes physical senses. Divine Mind includes spiritual sense, and our spiritual sense always tells us the truth about a situation.

“Their false evidence [of the 5 material senses] will finally yield to Truth, — to the recognition of Spirit and of the spiritual creation.” (cit. S22, 287:24)

Admitting who we are as a divine idea enables us to discern the spiritual reality – and live God’s goodness here and now.

“The admission to one’s self that man is God’s own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea.” (cit. S23, 90:25)

 P.S.S.T. for Section 5 – Conforming to what God sees and knows

 “The testimony of the material senses is neither absolute nor divine. I therefore plant myself unreservedly on the teachings of Jesus, of his apostles, of the prophets, and on the testimony of the Science of Mind. Other foundations there are none.” (cit. S29, SH p. 269:14–25)

I love the statement here that “other foundations there are none.”
What is a foundation? What does a foundation do? Where is our real, lasting foundation?
Can we ensure that all we do proceeds from this spiritual foundation?

By recognizing the allness of Spirit, we find the health, joy, and satisfaction in Spirit and therefore have all our needs met and supplied. We resist the belief that matter (also known as mortal mind) can give us life, happiness, and freedom, and conform to the divine requirement, just like Jesus and Daniel did, – to the allness of Spirit.

P.S.S.T. for Section 6 – Conforming to God’s love

True substance can often be thought of as that which is invisible. We can’t see true substance with our material senses but we can perceive it with our spiritual sense. For instance we can’t see the allness of Spirit, but we know it is true when we perceive it with our spiritual sense – and the effects of yielding to that realization bring health, harmony, and happiness.

You also can’t see Love, but you can see the effects of Love expressed (affection, tenderness, kindness, patience, etc). Relating to the Bible passage in 1 John, we can’t see the love that God loves us with, but we know that all the good we have is because God first loved us. And so we respond to this Love by loving God in return. (cit. B19, I John 4:19)

“The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.”
(Science and Health, p. 192:23–24)

As our treasures of Truth and Love are enlarged, we gain more good. We are “seeing” more of the Kingdom of Heaven and the effects of that flow into our experience.

“Man understands spiritual existence in proportion as his treasures of Truth and Love are enlarged.” (cit. S31, 265:3)

How can we “gain” more of the Kingdom of Heaven this week?
What tools can help us perceive the Kingdom of Heaven already at hand and share those blessings to others?

Enjoy your class!


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