We're welcoming back campers!

[P.S.S.T.: Follow and witness the Christ in action during all parts of your day!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Christ Jesus”
for Sunday, August 31, 2014

By Tom Evans Jr., a former staff member and big fan of CedarS

[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS 1st camper, current director and PSST editor.]

What roles do God (divine Parent), Christ (Messiah, God’s spiritual nature see citations S2, S3), and Jesus (Exemplar) play in our lives?

Christ or Xristos in Greek means messiah, anointed one like a king.

Jesus or Joshua or Y’hoshu’a in Hebrew is short for “God is our savior.” God =YHWH in Hebrew.

Notice how Jesus is constantly giving all of the credit to God throughout this week’s lesson.

For many, Jesus is God.  But, if Jesus is God it’s very difficult to imitate his works. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy describes Jesus as our “Exemplar” three times. See pages 5:29, 395:6, and 577:12-19.

Why did Mrs. Eddy make the title of the lesson “Christ Jesus” instead of “Jesus Christ?”  Does it have to do with Jesus’ expression of the Christ?  Are Jesus and Christ the same thing?  How can we work to become more Christ-like?  Is it too far-fetched to see the Christ so fully in those around us that we put “Christ” before their name?

Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) for the Golden Text (G.T.)
Jesus was our way-shower. He taught us how to see and express the Christ.

This week’s lesson is not only about Jesus Christ, but how we follow and witness the Christ in action during all parts of our day.

PSST Responsive Reading
In last week’s lesson on Mind, Jesus went into the temple as a 12-year-old and discussed complicated theological doctrine with all of the important scholars (Luke 2:42-47).  Now, in John 7:15 “The Jewish leaders were astonished and remarked, ‘How can this man be so educated when he has never gone to school?’” (International Revised Version)  Immediately Jesus gives credit to God.  Are we quick to give credit for our success where credit is due? (To God)

Before Sunday School starts ask your students, “What motivated Jesus?  Why did he teach, preach, and heal?”  See the end of the Responsive Reading: John 8:29 “I do always those things that please him (God)”.

PSST Section 1 — This is the Christ
TMCYouth shared a wonderful video and song presenting a fresh look at the events surrounding Jesus’ birth from the perspective of Mary and Joseph called This is the Christ. The video is under 4 minutes long and is worth looking at if you want to discuss the faith of Mary and Joseph and their expression of Christ. [You could also paste the following address in your browser: http://time4thinkers.com/this-is-the-christ/ ]

Read aloud citation S2: “The advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked the first century of the Christian era, but the Christ is without beginning of years or end of days. Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea, — the reflection of God, — has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth.”  (S&H 333:16-23)  Then discuss it: What or who is the Christ exactly if it’s not Jesus.  What examples can you give of the Christ in action in the Old Testament and in your life?   How about for Jesus’ human parents?  Citation S3 provides more detail. Citation S4 gives a better image of what we look like when expressing the Christ. Citation S5 asks, “Are you ready?”

PSST Section 2 – Following the Lamb of God by expressing Love
How did Jesus give us direction (S7)? Why did John call Jesus the “Lamb of God” (B6 & S6)?  

Citation S10 presents a demand for us.  How do we reach a “patient through divine Love”?  Jesus did this by expressing the Christ.  What does that entail today? (lifestyle, state of thought, inspiration…)

Citation S11 presents a second demand. This is the answer to reaching “a patient through divine Love”.  We lay our “earthly all on the altar of divine Science.”  [See W’s PS 1.]  Does that mean literally giving up everything we own?  Does it have to do with the 1st commandment?  What is our focus?  What does this have to do with being like the Lamb of God (S6)?

PSST Section 3 – Grace and Purity lead to Perfection
Paul tells us Christ gives us grace (B9).  Look at the way Jesus was respected and how effective his prayers were when people were healed simply by touching him (B8).  Are we seeing the shining light of Christ (B7) like the people of Gennesaret who were healed immediately (B8)?

What if we feel a sense of guilt for doing something wrong as if we are “lost” from the grace of God (S12)?  That’s impossible!  We are God’s reflection.  God is shining in our hearts (B7) and we are given grace by Christ (B9).

What if we are tired or feel like progress in a healing is inconsistent (S13)?  Keep working until the victory is won!

How do we get over mental hurdles which appear to impede our progress (S14)?  Focus on Christ!  The list of qualities in citation S14 are Christ’s qualities: “unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love…”  How do we know if we are getting closer to the perfection which Jesus demonstrated? Purity (S15).

This section boils down to purity.

PSST Section 4 – Christ helps us fulfill God’s laws
How do Jesus’ healings (like that of the blind man in citation B12) fulfill the Old Testament (or what Jesus refers to as the Law and the Prophets in citation B11)?  Think of what Paul says to the church in Rome: “Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” (B13, Romans 10:4, NIV).

How does Christ fulfill God’s laws? There is only one set of laws (S16), Jesus broke material laws proving them to be false (S17), mortal thought causes a belief in false laws like heredity (S18). 

What is the relationship between destroying mortal error and fulfilling “the spiritual law of being” (S19)?  What analogies can you come up with to describe this relationship? (Light replaces darkness, warmth eliminates cold, truth dispels a lie… )  In each one of these the concept being “replaced” never really existed.  There is no such thing as darkness or cold.  One can only define or quantify them as a lack of light or lack of heat.  While a scraped knee may seem real, it is only a lack of seeing the spiritual Truth and law of Love that is already there.  Look at citation S20 for verification: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man…” (S&H 476:32-5).

PSST Section 5 – Christ demonstrates the law of Life where there is no death!
This is a great time to take a deeper look at the story of Lazarus’ resurrection (B15, John 11). This episode catalogues the breaking of false laws discussed in Section 4.  In the lesson this week Martha’s role is highlighted.  Think about the story from the perspective of Jesus vs. from that of Martha.  Jesus gives thanks before the resurrection takes place (John 11:41) because he knows the law of Christ.  Martha knows hypothetically what the law of Christ is all about.  See the discussion between Jesus and Martha in verses 23-27.  Then fast forward to citation B16 in John 12.  If Martha is included in those that believe him, can we be too?  Jesus gives credit for his entire ministry to God once again.  Why does this matter?

When we heal something, are we improving a mortal body and “fixing” a problem? (No! See S21.)  What allowed Jesus to resurrect Lazarus? (S22, S23)  What steps can we take to be better healers? (S24)  What are Jesus’ sayings?  The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is a good starter.

In his CedarS Metaphysical letter this week, John Biggs shares a link to a cute video from TMCYouth.com depicting John 11 with puppets.  [Paste in http://christianscience.com/member-resources/for-churches/sunday-schools/sunday-school-resources/media-library/raising-lazarus ]  It’s just less than 9 minutes long so plan ahead if you intend to use it in Sunday School. (I’m going to share it before class starts.)

PSST Section 6 – Our unbroken relationship with God as proven by Jesus Christ
Define the relationships:
between God and Jesus (besides Father and Son);
between Christ and Jesus (Christ is God’s inspiration and Jesus is its highest expression that humanity has ever known, as such, Christ and Jesus are inseparable); and
between us and Jesus (Jesus is our example, our way shower, and is understandable to us because he was human like us). 

If Jesus didn’t relieve us of responsibilities (he didn’t die for our sins to make peace with God), what was he showing us about our own unity with God?  It’s unbroken!  We will never see death if we understand our relationship with God and follow Jesus’ teachings (John 8:51)!

How can we describe the unity between Jesus and Christ, or God and God’s children (everyone)?

Citation S26 describes the relationship in terms of God.  Citation S27 describes the relationship in terms of an analogy.  Citation S28 describes the unity between God and spiritual men, women, and children as something which must be demonstrated through “life-practice” or daily living.  Citation S29 urges us to demonstrate what we know.

PSST Section 7 – Christ is with us, in us, and everywhere.
Re-read this very short summary section. What does it mean to you?  Talk about grace (B19), Christ (B20), “the way” (S30), and the implications of Christ’s ever-presence (S31).

[W’s P.S. 1]  To show what it means to lay one’s “earthly all on the altar of divine Science” (S11, 55:21) you could set up a symbolic tour of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, like we do at CedarS Bible Lands Park.  Entering the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, one’s always invited to start with God, not with oneself.  The first station could be a small grill or altar where one symbolically sacrifices the merely good, material things that one might tend to think about most, and so to worship.  This sacrifice of focusing on merely good, earthly things (possessions, desired electronics, entertainment… ) is to help us to think most about the best—about spiritual substance, about God who alone is up to the job of bringing us a spiritual sense of gladness and fulfillment. (Hymn 263)  The next symbolic station in a Tabernacle tour is for washing our hands from feeling sorry for ourselves to see that our offering to live in the highest way, as “His own likeness”, can bring only blessings (S&H 516:9).  (You could offer a bowl for wet or dry cleaning using a bar of D.I.A.L.—Divine Image And Likeness—soap which always seems to get the point across.)  Only when we stop feeling sorry for ourselves can we see the 3rd symbolic station of the Tabernacle— the divine light (the 7-branch candlestick or maybe 7 flashlights) and the 4th symbolic station—God’s provision (the 12 loaves of showbread, or maybe hot dog buns).  They are always there for us but unseen till we wash away a sense of self-pity for our sacrifices.  At the 5th station we should feel overwhelmed with the incense (or maybe air freshener)—the strong fragrance—of gratitude, with “Love, redolent with unselfishness”.  This love strongly reminds us of all the characters in the Bible and in our lives who unselfishly lived to give good to us and to others. (S&H 516:12)  The final symbolic stage of a Tabernacle tour ends at the “Holy of Holies” and its Ark of the Covenant containing the two tablets of Commandments.  (These could be made of cardboard with the first four Commandments that relate to loving God on the 1st tablet and the next 6 commandments relating to loving our neighbor as ourselves written on the 2nd tablet.  When living this love by giving with all our hearts, we will be led into our Promised Land… to our “rock of salvation and… reason for existing.” (My. 165)]

 

 

American Camp Association

MAIN OFFICE
(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

CAMP OFFICE
(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Welcome back, campers! Spaces are still available.

CedarS Camps

Back
to top