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[List things that seem too hard for us; discuss why they’re not too hard for God.]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;

Is the Universe, including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”
for Sunday, December 22, 2013

By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri steven.henn@gmail.com
[Steve's been a CedarS Program Director & teaches English at The Principia School.]

PSST—Golden Text (GT):
What has God made? What has he not made? What is included in his great power? Make lists with your students to uncover what each of these questions consists of.  Think of some things that seem too hard for us or any human; and then discuss how/why they are not too hard for God. Be on the lookout during your study of the lesson (both before SS and during) for examples of God's great power, and God accomplishing things that seemed too difficult at first.  Then talk about how to bring this wonderful truth to bear on our own lives this very week.

PSST—Responsive Reading (RR):
There are a lot of observations about God and His great works in this RR.  One thing to consider is how the author arrived at such conclusions, and there is one clue in the middle of the selections.  The author encourages us to stand still, to be still, and to spend some time considering the works of God.  So take the time to do this with your students. Look at each of the observations made, and consider how each of them tells us a little more  about God. Then encourage your students to do this very thing throughout the week.  It is too easy to go throughout the entire week and not do this, and it is so important that we do remember who and what God is through careful consideration.

PSST—Section 1:
This lesson starts out by establishing a firm foundation of what God is.  Follow up on the Responsive Reading carefully consider what your students could add to this foundation. What do they know of God that is true?  What images can they come up with to express who and what God is?  Then talk about why it is important to start the lesson this way, and why it is important to start each of our days this way. What is “spiritual evolution,” and what does it require of us?

PSST—Section 2:
Look at citation B7. Who is writing this passage?  What authority does Paul have to make these claims?  How does Paul’s experience inform our own lives and how we can/should relate to God?  Break down citation B8 – do we ever fall to these temptations in our relationship to God?  How do we, how does the material world, “change the truth of God into a lie?”  Contrariwise, what are the things that are freely given to us of God?  Mrs. Eddy instructs us to understand the Scriptures spiritually – what is to be understood of them spiritually in this particular section (and then the rest of the lesson as a whole)?

PSST—Section 3:
Who is Gabriel?  What is the significance of his role in the Bible?  What does “Gabriel” mean?  What role does Gabriel play here and later in the Bible? In this section, we see two children’s births prophesied – what is different about these births? What is miraculous about each/both?  What does this teach us about the true origins of man?  If “God is the only author of man,” what does that mean about us?  What must be true about us?  What impact does this have on our own self-belief; what impact does it have on our abilities and possibilities?  What is our ancestry, and what does this mean about our experiences this week and this coming new-year?

PSST—Section 4:
Not many of our Sunday School students will be dealing with the birth of their own new children – but they may be receiving new siblings or cousins.  How can they prepare for this new arrival metaphysically?  Closer to home, what do all these ideas surrounding birth have to say about our own heritage and origins?  Lastly, take this idea of birth beyond human reproduction into the realm of spiritual ideas.  Mrs. Eddy gives direction on attending the birth of not just a new child, but also a “divine idea.”  What are the divine ideas your students are developing – and how do those divine ideas help us towards sturdy growth, towards the perfect work set before us?

PSST—Section 5:
What qualities does Jesus express in this story? What is required of his disciples at this time? Clearly, the power that led to five loaves and two fishes feeding the multitude is not a demonstration of Jesus’ personal power.  This point is hit home more poignantly in citation B17.  Look at it more closely with your students.  Look it up in a Bible commentary – online, or one provided at your Reading Room/Sunday School.  What does this passage say about God, His word, and our ability/responsibility in listening for His direction?  What does it further say for Mrs. Eddy to boldly declare that miracles are not possible in Science?  What was the feeding of the multitude with so little, if not a miracle? Look at the rest of Section 5 (and the rest of this lesson) to inform your answers to this question.

PSST—Section 6:
Why include the story of Jesus walking on the waves in this particular lesson?  What elements of the material experience is Jesus demonstrating dominion over – in this section and in the rest of the lesson? How can we express dominion over our own material limitations?  What are the “false claims” that we are confronted with each week – big or small?  How can we use Jesus’ example to overcome these false claims of our own or those placed on us?  What are the real forces on which we tread?  What, truly, is in control in our lives?  Speak with your students about how their answers to these questions shape their experience.

PSST—Section 7:
Who reigns supreme in our experience – God, or matter?  
Look at the active, certain language of citation B21.  What comfort does that provide to us as the children of God, good?  To whom does power belong?  Encourage your students to ask, and answer, this question regularly.

 

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