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PSST: “… avoid worldly desires that wage war against your lives.” (I Peter 2:11)
ossible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:

for September 25-October 1, 2023

prepared by Merrill Boudreaux, C.S., for CedarS Camps   •   314-308-1059

P.S.S.T.  Golden Text (GT)/I Peter 2:11 “Dear friends: since you are immigrants and strangers in the world, I urge that you avoid worldly desires that wage war against your lives.” (Common English Bible, CEB)

There is a bigger story in this brief scripture passage. Note the key words: immigrants, strangers, avoid… wage war. Can we look to this Lesson for guidance in how to pray and act regarding “big” political and social issues of today?

Responsive Reading (RR)/“Put aside every trace of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander and hateful speech.” I Peter 2:1 (AMP)

Let’s begin by asking students to identify key phrases that serve as guidance to answer this question.

  • Put aside every trace of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander and hateful speech.
  • Grow in respect.
  • Taste the goodness and kindness of the Lord.
  • You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation. (This includes all peoples, all nations, all ethnicities, genders, and tribes.)
  • You are called out of darkness (dark thoughts, evil beliefs) into His marvelous light.
  • Abstain from dishonorable desires and waging wars.
  • Christ is your example.
  • Come back to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

You could probably spend your entire Sunday School time exploring what these passages mean, not just the words, but their underlying relevance to the lives of your students.

P.S.S.T.  Section 1 – What are false prophets – the predictions of doom, of man’s inhumanity to man. What is an example of a prayer for guidance in citation B2/Psalm 143:10?

How else might one state citation B3/Isaiah 45:6, “I am the Lord and there is none else”? Use the three “omni’s” – omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience. Perhaps, add to it “omniaction”. Ask students if they can think of any other uses for “omni” to assist in their prayers.

Look at citation B3/Isa.45:12. How powerful a statement from our common and only Creator. The truth, “I will direct all his ways” is an absolute statement, applicable to all. Ask students to create a prayer statement in which they apply this truth to an issue plaguing our world today, like climate change, poverty, lack of opportunity. Either God, our common Creator, make it or did not. What, then, can you conclude about that which seems to exist not made by God? Note: this is a trick question since there is nothing but God and that which She creates.

P.S.S.T.  Section 2 – How can we best “worship” God? Perhaps by living as the children He created, one of the sheep of His pasture, as one who yields to the truths as stated in this Lesson.

This is not an academic exercise but a life-changing opportunity (a thought-changing and action-changing opportunity).

Read together the warning in cit. B7/Hebrews 3:12. Are you with Christ, do you acknowledge your Christianity?

What is the message in cit. S5/Science & Health 333:19-26? The Christ (your true nature) is with us now as it was with Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets. Ask students to share anything they know about these individuals that show the Christ was with them? The Christ is not just a name applied to Jesus, but to anyone, including you and your brethren, who practice and demonstrate omni. Look up the definition of “Christ” in Science & Health 583:10. You can change your ideals from a mortal-based view to a spiritual-based view. Read together cit. S7/260:19-30. Mortal-based thinking leads to slavery. Spiritual-based thinking leads to freedom.

P.S.S.T.  Section 3 – Beware of what is stated in cit. B8/Psalm 10:4: Pride.

Who are you to believe those who curse the world and some of its inhabitants; those who see conspiracies everywhere; those who see “the other” as “the problem”?

See how David dealt with the suggested curses against him and his kingdom in the scripture story in citations B9/II Samuel 16 and B10/James 3.

The wisdom that comes from God as Omni is what? Pure, peaceable, gentle, full of mercy, without partiality and hypocrisy, without selfishness. How do you regard your neighbor when claiming these truths for yourself? Does Omni leave anyone out? Remember, “omni” means “all”.

P.S.S.T.  Section 4 – What is the message in the parable in the scripture story in cit. B12/Luke 12:16-21? Perhaps that goodness and plenty are to be shared, not just hoarded (stored up) for your own use.

From where do your resources, blessings, benefits come? Regardless of how much privilege you have, they all come from Soul, God, Omni. Therefore, they are infinite, unlimited, blessings for all. A friend used to tell me, “If you have money and you use it, you still have it… just in changed form.” Therefore, you are never without, never depleted. Remember, money is a medium of exchange. You still have it, just in changed form.

From where does your happiness come? See citation S22/57:18-24. When you are unselfish, including all in your prayers and thoughts, you are enriched. Commit to share what you have, because “Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying, and elevating it.” (cit. S22/57:18-24)

P.S.S.T.  Section 5 – What are some key phrases in the Science & Health portion of this section that contribute to the inclusion of all?

  • Jesus demonstrated the inability of corporeality and the infinite ability of Spirit (Omni).
  • The illusion of material sense binds; the Christ frees.
  • Resist all that is unlike good.
  • God, Omni, made you capable of this.
  • The efforts to follow Christ are crowned with success.

Read together Science & Health 495:14 (printed here):
When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious — as Life eternally is — can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony.”

You can do this.

P.S.S.T.  Section 6 – What do you conclude from this Lesson are safe foundations (truths) on which to build?  State them in your own words.

Now see what Mary Baker Eddy says about how the world benefits from your prayers, actions, and thoughts: Miscellany 210:2 (printed here):

“Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.”

Now is the time; your time has come, and it is now.

May the Christ be with you always.

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