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[PSST: Be humble enough to obey angel message like “Cast your net on the right side!”]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson – July 14, 2013

Subject – SACRAMENT

By: Heather K. Libbe, CS (heather.libbe@gmail.com; 419-343-7870)

What fun that we get to experience so many different views of humility – an essential quality to healing – this week. Below are a few questions, suggested activities and resources that you may use in preparation for this week!

Also, if you are seeking “an environment for discussing ideas and challenges in our Sunday School experiences,” you are welcome to join Christian Science practitioner John Biggs, CS of Bend, Oregon who offers weekly conference calls to Sunday school teachers all around the world at 3:15pm ET on Tuesdays. More information can be found at http://christianscience.com/member-resources/for-churches/sunday-schools/radical-acts/weekly-conference-calls-for-teachers-and-sunday-school-staff.

Have a great class!

Golden Text (Micah 6:8 what doth)
“…what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

It seems so simple but what might “doing justly,” “loving mercy” and “walking humbly” look like? Do those instructions correspond to any of the Radical Acts? The Beatitudes?

Responsive Reading (Matthew 5:1-12 (to 1st .)
I am reminded of Article XX, Section 3 of the Church Manual that says that the Sermon on the Mount should be among the first lessons of Sunday school students. This week’s Responsive Reading provides a great opportunity to dive in deeper with the Beatitudes. Where are they located in the Sermon on the Mount? What comes right after? What do they mean and what new insights might you students have in reading them from the Good News Translation? Do your students have a particular Beatitude with which they connect?  

If you have a larger class who you are able to communicate with throughout the week, an activity that you could do to help your class explore the spiritual depth of the Beatitudes is to assign each student a Beatitude to pray about for the week and come up with a small poster to use as a “teaching aide” during the class. This could include writing out the Beatitude, definitions of words, various translations, biblical stories that illustrate the commandment, cartoons, key ideas, drawings, etc. Have each person pair up with someone else from the class for about 10 minutes and share their Beatitude. (5 minutes each) Then, using the teaching aide, have each person share their partner’s Beatitude with the whole class. (2-5 minutes per person) The goal is to have the students familiarize themselves with the Beatitudes and be able to “teach” two of them – their own and their partner’s. It might be helpful to encourage students to use Mrs. Eddy’s writings, Sunday School resources put out by The Mother Church and articles from JSHOnline to really dig in deep and especially think about how the Beatitudes are relevant today.

Section 1 – Worship Spirit through Humility
Humility! Humility! Humility! Humility!

What is humility? You might ask the students, even before diving into the Lesson, what are some biblical examples of humility with which they are familiar? What story starts the chapter called “Christian Science Practice?” in Science & Health and why is that significant? Is it possible to exude both confidence & humility simultaneously? (Suzanne Riedel’s article “Let’s be luminous” from the Feb 28, 2011 might be nice to share with the students, as it includes ideas about the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ instructions to let our light shine as well as humility)

In thinking about worship, what are some things that we might be tempted to worship? Money? Popularity? Clothes? Athletics? Grades? Food? Activities? Music? Movies? …or God?  What might “materialize worship” and get in the way of our spiritual growth? (S3) How might this relate to humility?

Because there seems to be so much talk about purpose recently, this could also be a good week to touch on what Mrs. Eddy might mean by the “affection and purpose of the heart” (S4) and how we can pray about purpose (John Quincy Adams gave a great Daily Lift called “Fulfilling our purpose” on June 27th) This could also tie topics such decision-making and right place as it relates to choosing a college, selecting classes or extracurricular involvement. How can we approach these things with humility?

Section 2 – HUMBLE YOURSELF
What is the difference between pride and humility? Does selfish pride belong in healing? The story of Naaman (B5) provides a nice platform for discussing how to overcome a false sense of pride that can hinder spiritual growth and healing. Why was Naaman upset? How did his servants help wake him up? What did it take for the healing to actually take place? How do obedience and humility go hand-in-hand?

This section also touches a bit on the benefits of Christian Science, (S8) various forms of prayer (S9) and a higher sense of fitness (S10) in case any of those topics have come up in your class recently.

Section 3 – Plant yourself in Christ!
Are we ready to follow Jesus’ teaching (including everything that’s mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount) and example? How is the opportunity to do so actually a privilege? (S19) Instead of being disheartened by challenges that might seem to come up in our experience, what does Mrs. Eddy suggest? (S14) What might it look like to plant ourselves in Christ and how does Mrs. Eddy define Christ? (S16) Earlier in that citation, what does Mrs. Eddy highlight that Jesus did? Are we also able to demonstrate the divine Life? Define Love? Vanquish error? Are we demonstrating oneness with our Father? (S13) 

Section 4 – Be Childlike!
Both Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy had a great love for children. What is childlikeness and what might humbling ourselves as a child look like in our experience? (B8) What is the difference between childlikeness and childishness? How are childlikeness and newness related?

Because “Be Childlike” is one of the Radical Acts, it might be neat to touch on this a little bit. Carlos Machado offers some great insights about how childlikeness and trust can go hand-in-hand. (Hymn #139 offers a simple thought to “let childlike trust be yours today” along with the invitation to walk with Love) Furthermore, it is interesting to note that it is the “willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new…” that “renders thought receptive to the advanced idea.” Have the students had any neat experiences where a simple willingness to go forward with complete trust, joyful expectancy of good, purity, selflessness and innocence?

Section 5 – Wash Each Other’s Feet
This week provides an opportunity to think about sacrament in a more spiritual light. Looking at the story of the Last Supper, what does Mrs. Eddy say is the spiritual signification of the Eucharist, bread, cup and wine? (S22) How might this differ from other Christian denominations & how might we explain to individuals of different faiths how we celebrate communion?

Because foot-washing is such a humbling exercise, why not have the students wash one another’s feet? You would obviously need to think about how you might facilitate this beforehand, though it could be a really nice springboard into talking about honesty, selfless love and humility (S20) and what the act of washing someone else’s feet might look like today. (As a Radical Actor, Alex Cook shares some thoughts about footwashing on Time4Thinkers.com; the comments are also really helpful, especially the one that gives a link to the video about a man who serves and feeds the needy in India, despite the social norms that says he shouldn’t be touching, feeding or interacting with them) 

Section 6 – “Watch & Pray”
The story of Jesus’ experience in the garden of Gethsemane (B12) provides many avenues for discussion. You could talk with your students about what it means to watch, highlighting such citations from Mrs. Eddy’s writings besides S25 that include the word “watch” like the Sixth Tenet (which, Warren’s first note in this week’s CedarS Met shows how it correlates quite nicely with the Golden Text) or Article VIII, Section 1 of The Mother Church Manual called “A Rule for Motives and Acts.” (If your students are wondering what “watching” looks like, I might suggest reading pg 262-263 of John C. Lathrop’s account in the new We Knew Mary Baker Eddy: Volume 1 that highlights what Mrs. Eddy shared with one of her students regarding watching)

You could also talk about what Gethsemane represents (S24) and what types of Gethsemane experiences the students might be facing today. (There is a really great article called “The Way of Gethsemane” by Lucy Hays Reynolds from the April 1945 issue of The Christian Science Journal) Do your students know what patient woe? (I’ve found it really helpful to look those words up in the Student Reference Dictionary that Mrs. Eddy used) Have they experienced the human yielding to the divine or seen examples of “love meeting no response, but still remaining love.” (unconditional love)

Furthermore, it might be nice to take some time to talk about the importance of Jesus, pointing out some new ideas from Mrs. Eddy that they may not have ever seen before such as him being the “meek demonstrator of good, the highest instructor and friend of man” and a “faithful sentinel of God at the highest post of power…” (S27)

Section 7 – Cast your net on the right side!!
It’s probably safe to say that Jesus’ disciples might have been a little shocked with the idea that their Master had resurrected from the dead. (B14) However, this was not the case on the shoes of the sea of Tiberias as they dined with Jesus after a very successful fishing trip. (B15) What is significant about the “joyful meeting on the shore of the Galilean Sea,” as opposed to the Last Supper that happened just before the crucifixion, and how do we see this as Christian Scientist? (S29)

In thinking about what it means to “cast your net on the right side,” what might that look like today. [** See Endnote]  What happens when we cast our net on the right side? How does this relate to healing and our roles as healers? (There is a great citation on Science & Health pg 271 that might help answer this question) What happened on the shore? How does this relate to the idea of “beginning rightly”? How does the disciples’ willingness to cast their nets on the right side demonstrate humility?


[Warren's endnote: **This morning Heather (as our current PAL House Pratitioner) gave a great Practitioner Talk at CedarS after breakfast in which she had Fisherman Jamie reenact on stage scenerios whereby he could reverse casting his thought and talk on the negative side of complaint before being corrected by all of Dawn Lodge to cast his net on the right side of gratitude. Click here to hear the humor and spiritual lesson for yourself and other who should hear it.
Also you can click
here now to see a video reenactment skit of "Cast Your Net on the Right Side" by campers in Bible Lands Park.  You can download the PDF-formatted script with follow-up questions by clicking on the link in the upper right corner of CedarS current metaphysical webpage.  This summer, as cabin groups of all ages tour CedarS Camps Bible Lands Park, they will have the opportunity to re-enact stories like this one from the current Christian Science Bible Lesson.  Each week, videos of selected skits will be posted on the CedarS website as well as on a community webpage for TMCYouth.com.  These scripts and follow-up questions may be downloaded free of charge by those seeking Bible-centered activities and contemporary applications for Sunday School classes and/or Bible study groups. These Bible skits were written by Sara Romo, a current CedarS counselor, as part of her Girl Scout Gold project. Sara raised over $1,000 to set up the initial costumes, props, and scriptural sets, and with your ongoing support, we hope to keep up this exciting new resource and improve it.]

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