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[PSST: Awake to “newness of life” each and every day! (5) Run the race as a ruler! (3, 6)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;

“Probation After Death”

for Sunday, October 25, 2015

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 for Golden Text – Define “prove” with your students. Look at the deeper meanings of what it is to prove something. Have your students ever tested, really tested their thoughts? Once you’ve tested your thought, do you know what works and what doesn’t? Consider having your students write down and “hold fast” the thoughts they know are good this week. Then, next week see if that made any difference in their experience.

You can also encourage them to “prove” all the statements from the lesson – test them to see if they are good – and then write down at least one or two ideas that they will “hold fast” all this coming week – again to report back to you and the class what difference it made in their week.

PSST for Responsive Reading (RR) – What value does the resurrection of Jesus Christ have in our lives? It was over 2000 years ago now… what does the RR suggest the value is, and what do your students see as the value and relevance of this event? Look closely at inheritance in this RR – how is it described? What might we be inheriting that fits this description?

What is the trial of our faith? Why does this concept matter? Do your students feel their faith being tried? How have they responded?

PSST for Section 1 – Now we are being proven/proved – how will your students measure up if their faith is tested? Have them reflect honestly about where their faith really stands. And open up an honest conversation that allows space for revealing hesitancy to have full faith in God/good – or strength in this area. But be sure to carry that discussion to its conclusion – whether we doubt or not, why is God worthy of our faith? Why is it worth our while to walk in His truth? What allows us to do this despite trials? How can we grow in our ability to see the immortality of Life and goodness?

PSST for Section 2 – How do we avoid going down paths that seem good, but in reality are not? If we find ourselves down one of those paths at any point, how do we work to overcome and inherit (B8)? What does sinless joy look/feel like? How can “Be…perfect” be a demand? How do we best work to meet this demand? You might look at this biography of an early worker in the Church of Christ Scientist.

PSST for Section 3 – What is the relationship between John and Jesus? What very important role did John play in the ministry of Jesus? You may wish to look at the beginnings of the gospels to discover the origin of this spiritual partnership. This section alludes to the culmination of their shared work.

What few things should we be faithful over? What many things will we become ruler over? You could divide a piece of paper in halves and put faithful over on one side and ruler over on the other and work with your students to fill in both sides.

PSST for Section 4 – How do the Beatitudes, especially those in this week's lesson, help us to know how we are to meet the demand to be perfect?

What does it mean to “put on incorruption” – is this not similar to the command to be perfect? And what is swallowed up in victory along with Death? What challenges or lies do your students face that will be swallowed up? Also, remind your students of the importance of gratitude. Where do they put gratitude in their prayers? Are they only grateful after the prayer has resulted in a physical or material change?

What is the effect of prayer? Mrs. Eddy claims that its most powerful effect is a change in character. What does it mean to be perfect – to put on incorruption? See citation S23. Discuss with your students how they mold their own character to these high ideals – and how a right relationship with God will make this molding natural.

PSST for Section 5 – What is the darkness we seem to be walking in? And what and where is the light? Is Jesus’ resurrection only relevant to those who are on their deathbeds? What “newness of life” can your students awake to each and every day? What parts of their lives are shrouded in darkness and can benefit from the shining of the light of Christ, and the glorious noonday that comes from that light? What does it mean to live in the light, and why do we want to live in light rather than shadow? Is it ever tempting to live in shadow? How can we recognize and avoid that temptation? What does Jesus resurrection, and unchanged physical form, ultimately show about his substance? Can man’s expression be limited by body, and can life be bookended by birth and death? If so, what other suggestions do we take into thought? If not, what must we hold as the foundation of all Truth? When does man’s perfection appear? What “more simple demonstrations of control” can your students commit to this week?

PSST for Section 6 – What race is set before us? Is there just one race? Are we each running our own race? What does it do for us to look to Jesus as “author and finisher”? Why should we run this race with patience? What does it mean to have proofs and not professions of Truth? What proofs have your students experienced or witnessed recently? What proofs have you witnessed that you can share with them? Where can we find other proofs – JSH-online? Sentinel, Journal? Have your students read a handful of testimonies and respond to them. You could do this in class, or have an email-discussion going on throughout the week, if everyone has access to the same article/healing. What roles do honesty and joy play in our healing work?

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