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[P.S.S.T.: Think bigger! Break big ideas from this lesson into manageable chunks!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;

Mind”
for Sunday, February 23, 2014

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.]

 This lesson is HUGE, not only in importance, but in bigness of ideas.  To grasp the value of this lesson will take an equal bigness of thought.  There are two approaches, then, that will help this lesson be useful to your students. 1) Challenge them to think bigger; 2) work with them to break the big ideas from this lesson into more manageable chunks.  Have a great time preparing for and teaching your classes this week.

PSST Golden Text:  How does God teach us?  What can we be sure to learn from him?  What is required of us to be able to learn from God?  What must be true of God if he is to teach us?

PSST Responsive Reading:  What does it mean to seek God with the whole heart?  How do we make progress towards being able to do this?  How can we ensure that our progress is natural instead of willful, or the result of pressure from others? 

What are God's laws (statutes) that we are to keep?  Why do we keep them? Push your students to think past the first answers and explore the laws of health, life, and harmony.  Is health a law?  Is harmony a law of God? 

Why should we delight in the path of God's laws?  Can we share this delight with others?  Should we?  How/Why?

PSST Section 1: Explore B1 and S1 with your students. Unpack these remarkable statements as a class.  These are big statements that could be overlooked because they are too big to comprehend, or too grand to be challenged.  But take the time to help your students break these down. What do these statements look like on a daily basis?  How does Spirit being all, no might but Mind, God being Love and Principle look in a practical manner?  

How can we practice "reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is"?  What can we do on a daily basis to become better at this?  What are some smaller steps we can take in this direction? Encourage your students to make progress in this direction, instead of feeling that this is a standard to be met tomorrow.

In S2, take a moment to give your students the Biblical background for the "straight and narrow."  This is a famous saying that most of your students may have heard already, but do they know where it came from? 

PSST Section 2:

In B5, Elijah does not treat the followers of Baal very kindly.  Why does the Bible report this part of the story?  Does this point out man's failings?  Does Elijah make a mistake here?  Or is there a spiritual lesson being illustrated?  What lesson could be taken from this story? (perhaps that we should have no tolerance for false prophecy in our own thought? what else?)

Look at B6 – Have your students (or you) ever felt like you didn't measure up to expectations?   In man's extremity God finds opportunity.  When we feel isolated, who is still with us?  What can we do to feel God's presence?  When God sends an angel with cake and water, what is God doing here?  How does God similarly prepare us for the challenges we are to face?  What must we do to properly receive God's training/sustenance?  What can we learn from Elijah to be properly sustained by God?

B6 and S6 – how do we hear the "still small voice"?  

In S10, what do Mrs. Eddy's statements about the effects of Christian Science mean about our prayers?  What are we looking for to know our prayers have been successful?

S12 – give your students this short passage to memorize – have them add this to their arsenal when battling error.

 

PSST Section 3: In B9, the direct petition reflects a clear choice by the psalmist.  What choice is the writer making here? What must be true for the writer to make this choice?  How can we as students grow towards making the same choice, and speaking with the equal confidence?  

Do we know what Jesus preaches in B11?  Do we question the power of the Son of man, Christ Idea, even today?  How can we grow to understand Christ's power more fully?

Look at S15 and ask your students to read the passage out loud.  Then ask them to translate this passage into their own words, particularly the first phrase.

S16 speaks directly to the idea that we must think higher than just improving our sense of mortality.  Our prayers must reach higher than perfecting the mortal condition, to the perfection of immortal Mind.  What does that mean, though, about our current condition?  How does what we experience right now fit into this picture?  Help your students to see better the reality of immortal Mind and unreality of mortal error.

Have your students memorize and translate S18 – another tool in their arsenal when battling error.

 

PSST Section 4: B13 – the psalmist again makes a God-centered choice.  How can we learn the benefits of choosing God?  How can we pass these on to people who are important to us?  

B15 – do your students know this, or do they just hope it?  What can we do to move from hoping to knowing?  What comes from knowing God?

As you work with section 4, help your students to learn more about the government of God, the omnipotence of Mind, and the inability of man to escape this government.  

Do your students see the practical reality of S22?  Do they get that this is not something we have an opinion about, nor is it a matter of choice.  Instead, it is a matter of Principle.  How, then, do we reconcile this with the concept of different beliefs/faiths/religions?  How do we avoid the belief or perspective which says we own the only right way?  Consider, with your students, the purpose of Christian Science – to elevate all belief and understanding to a place of harmony, bliss, freedom… This is a big conversation and it may take multiple weeks (years??) to address.

PSST Sections 5&6: Carry that final conversation from Section 4 forward into an exploration of these sections.  What do the Bible and Science and Health have to say that help to unify all mankind?  Look for specific ideas in these sections that support the idea of unity and help us to understand how to grow in it with our fellow man.  You can finish this class with the lawyer's challenging question of Jesus – and who is my neighbor?

 

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