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[P.S.S.T.: Stay alert to REALITY to avoid “accepting only the outward sense of things”. (S17)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Reality”
for Sunday, March 30, 2014

By Tom and Amy Evans St. Louis, Missouri
Tom and Amy have been CedarS Program Directors & work at The Principia School.

P.S.S.T. Golden Text (G.T.) and Responsive Reading (RR) – The Golden Text reminds us to look to God and reaffirm “there is none else” Isaiah 45:17 gets us ready to listen as we learn about reality this week as it declares “Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel…” following this brief pronouncement about God, Isaiah spends the rest of the RR telling us all about reality. What can we expect from this week’s lesson as outlined by Isaiah in the RR and what does his message from God tell us about reality? Look at the analogies we are given to connect with: freeing prisoners, sheep lead to green pastures and water so they will never be hungry or thirsty, all of creation will “be joyful.” How can these become realities for us? How do they play out in the lesson?

P.S.S.T. Section 1 – God fills heaven and earth (B1) Jeremiah echoes the Golden Text. How does God “fill heaven and earth?” Why does this matter? What does God’s presence in creation look like? (B2) Isaiah gives a declaration of truth while (B3) Psalm 119 reminds us about God’s ontology, the way God acts every time, and (B4) Paul focuses on the real and important gifts from God.

Activity idea:
Look at the way Mrs. Eddy logically reasons through the evidence that God is our reality. Citation S2 tells us about Christian Science while citations S3, S4 and S5 actually reason through it. Choose a marker or combination of the three (S3: God Fills all space, S4: God makes all and strips off disguises, or S5 There is nothing beyond God) that you identify with the most. Come up with your own explanation in your own words.

P.S.S.T. Section 2 – “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative…don’t mess with Mr. In-between!” James starts off the section with a simple demand: “Yes or no” do not be apathetic, do not be wishy-washy and then (B7) Jeremiah and (B9) Paul back him up. Why is it important to be clear in our prayers, in our thought, or in our actions? (B9) What are you going back and forth with in our lives? Can you be more constant in your daily life? What clouds your thinking? Citation B10 and all of Science and Health in this section use words having to do with visual obstructions or false concepts: cloud, vapor, befog, mist, mist, shadow, dream. What do these have to do with the bad chaff separated out from the good wheat in our lives? (S10)

 P.S.S.T. Section 3 –How did he (Jesus) do it?! Read Luke’s account of Jesus healing the woman and then talking with the “Lord of the synagogue.” What does this have to do with all of the dream and cloud language in the last section? The law about no work on the Sabbath day was intended to help people honor God. Instead it turned into an odd, selfish rule where a person should not be healed. What kind of ideas could have been influencing the leader of the synagogue to be so judgmental and prideful? Are there ever suggestions which try to get you to make selfish decisions? How is this healing in citation B12 looking through the mist to the ever-present reality?

Science and Health in this section is all about the way Jesus healed. Refer back to citation S10 in section 2 about Jesus’ demonstrations sifting the chaff from the wheat and James in citation B5. How can a simple, but firm “yes” to spiritual ideas and “no” to false material claims guide our spiritual practice?

P.S.S.T. Section 4 – What is it that heals? (B14) Jeremiah boldly asks the question, “What heals, God or drugs?” Does God heal, are drugs a part of this process? Citation S19 speaks to that question while reasoning through why exactly sickness cannot be real. Last week, on the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory, Bernadette announces to her friends, “Last week my company both invented and cured restless eye syndrome.” What does this joke have to do with citation S17 talking about abandoning pharmaceutics? This reminds us to stay alert. How do we avoid “accepting only the outward sense of things” (S17)?

P.S.S.T. Section 5 – What is our adversary? Certainly it’s not someone, but a false idea. Last week’s lesson compared a surgeon to a metaphysician. This week, citation S22 compares a “Christian Scientist and an opponent.” This is not to say that the person is bad, but they are starting from the wrong premise. We can topple this “adversary” by starting from the right basis, Truth.

Discussion:
Connect citation B19 with citation S23 where Paul reminds us to stay focused on God and God’s handiwork in the world while Mrs. Eddy reminds us to stay focused on perfect models in thought. How do we recognize all of the little things Paul mentions and then take them to the next level where they “grow full-orbed in spiritual understanding” (S24).

P.S.S.T. Section 6 –Sow those seeds and keep the word of God Read citation B23 from Luke together about the sower planting seeds and people responding with various levels of acceptance. This feels like a commentary on the whole lesson. What will you do with God’s message? Which seed-bed are you? We have all been the different seed-beds at different times. How can you ensure that you are the seed-bed of “good ground” and bring about a harvest? Look at citations S27 and S28 for commentary from Mrs. Eddy on the parable of the sower.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (B24) talks about someone who grasps God’s word perfectly. This connects with citations S25, S26 and S29. These overlapping ideas can spawn a great discussion.

Citation S30 is the last line of the Lord’s Prayer’s spiritual interpretation. What a fitting way to wrap up and affirm reality—like a big “Amen.” How can you witness reality over the next week?

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