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[PSST: Do mental exercises in class; challenge your pupils to keep using Mind logic all week.]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;

for Sunday, July 28, 2013

By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri
[Steve's been a CedarS Program Director & teaches English at The Principia School.]

PSST Golden Text:
Encourage your students to commit this passage to memory – having powerful ideas on hand is very helpful when the need presents itself.  Replace "God" with each of the seven synonyms and discuss with your students how the meaning is further illuminated by doing this. 

PSST Responsive Reading:
Begin by posing the opening two questions of this Responsive Reading to your students – have them brainstorm where they can find wisdom and where they can seek after understanding.  Then, carefully examine the rest of the Responsive Reading for further insights about wisdom and understanding. In the end, you can ask why wisdom and understanding are so important.  How do wisdom and understanding help us in our daily lives?  

PSST Section 1:
What does God think about us?  What are His "thoughts which are to us-ward"?  Challenge your students to be specific and insightful with their responses.

Pay close attention to the logic Mrs. Eddy presents in her writings.  Carry that logic into situations that are relevant in your students' lives – if all is Mind, what does that mean about relationships, about studying, about our abilities?  Science is infinitely logical, but it must be founded on a consistent basis – encourage your students to bring all their thoughts back to the foundation established in Science and Health in this section.

PSST Section 2:
Moses' experience in this section is a pivotal demonstration of Science which predates even Jesus the Christ. What principles of divine Science are revealed in Moses' encounter with God? Point to citations 7 and 8 for simple truths to unpack.  Also, encourage your students to read the entirety of Moses' interaction with Mind in Exodus 3. There is even more to be learned from this event.

Continue to examine the impervious logic that Mrs. Eddy reasons with.  Her statements are often simple, but when applied across the spectrum of our lives, they become radical.  Help your students to apply this logic to all scenarios they find themselves in – try doing mental exercises (playing out situations) while in class, and then challenge your students to continue using this logic throughout the week. 

PSST Section 3:
Clearly, Moses was no public speaker – so, in a literal sense, your students can learn from his response to God when they have any sort of presentation or public performance that they are part of.  You can begin discussing this section by asking them what Moses' example teaches them about public speaking/performance. More importantly, however, what God teaches Moses in this section can be applied directly to our work as Christian Scientists.  Do your students speak confidently and truthfully in response to erroneous suggestions that tempt them (fatigue, selfishness, ego, pride, fear, sensuality in all its forms, pressure, etc…)?  
Do your students speak confidently and truthfully about Christian Science to others around them?  Moses' example teaches us much about how to go about these situations – discuss what his example teaches us about these situations as well.  Follow this up with references to the other citations in this section as well. For deeper exploration, consider discussing how closely Christ Jesus follows God's instructions to Moses here.

Brainstorm some of "the grand human capacities of being bestowed by immortal Mind." Also brainstorm some various material human theories that are destitute of Science – and expose them for their falsity as a class. Consider the first commandment while reading the Science and Health in this section – what are the results of recognizing that there truly is only one infinite, all-powerful, omnipresent Mind?

PSST Section 4:
How does Jesus respond to the accusation that he preaches from the devil?  Explore with your students how this helps them identify whether an idea that comes to them is from God or not.  Carry this exploration further; make two lists – one for carnally minded/flesh oriented thinking; and the other for Spirit and spiritually minded thoughts. Have your students fill these lists with as many specific examples of each – or present them with various suggestions that you've come up with and have them choose which side each one goes on.  Encourage them to dive into the gray areas of thought and challenge them to stay directly connected to Principle and Truth in their reasoning.

How do we exterminate error?  (Hint, this is a two step process – be sure your students understand both steps, otherwise, it will be like rowing a row-boat with one oar only)  The metaphor of the 'strong man' can sometimes be a bit confusing – so take a moment to explore this idea with your students.  Discuss how they/we might "bind the strong man" of mortal mind.  This is also a further developing of how we exterminate error.

PSST Section 5:  
Who is outside the healing touch of Christ?  Help your students understand how untouchable this woman was in Jesus' time – and then notice how Jesus addresses her.  How must it have felt to be so addressed by a man as highly regarded as Christ Jesus?  What does Philippians promise?  Does this promise satisfy your students? Discuss with them what they truly are wanting for their lives and how Christ's example and the power of Mind will help them down that path – look beyond jobs, relationships, homes, and cars to the true substance suggested in Philippians.

All things are possible to us, but what precondition must we meet to experience this dominion/freedom?  Are we as in-tune with the mental calls going on around us?  What must have been present in Jesus' thought in order for him to feel the touch of mortal mind reaching out for healing?  How can we move in this direction mentally/spiritually?  Does divine Mind leave man on his own, ever?  What specific examples of Mind's support for His creation (man) are in this section?  

PSST Section 6:
When does faith/understanding enter the healing experience? Does it come before or after the demonstration of the divine law? Do your students require signs and wonders in order to believe?  How can we increase our belief/understanding so that signs and wonders follow after?  If other's demonstrations help to further your students' belief, what modern demonstrations can you bring to the table?  JSH online is a wonderful resource for finding current and archived articles. Your local Christian Science Reading Room most likely has articles from the Christian Science Journal and Sentinel that declare the present healing power of Mind. And lastly, is healing, or the power of Mind, limited by distance?  Why/why not?

Mrs. Eddy has some specific responses to the last question in the previous paragraph – if you choose to discuss that question, be sure to point your students to her statements. Is there truly no place in all reality where the "still, small voice" of Truth cannot reach?  In other words, is Mind really always available to help, support, and guide His creation (us)?  If your students are up for it, press them on this issue – discuss with them how they can feel the presence of God even when in a seemingly isolated experience.  Also, ask them when they might want to feel God's presence.  Search for ways to grow in our closeness to God, good – in this section, this lesson, and in other materials available to us as Sunday School teachers.  Once we learn to be closer to God, what are we to do with this closeness? (see marker 25)

PSST Section 7:
What happens when things get tough?  How can we follow the Psalmist's path and learn to "hope continually" and to "yet praise thee (God) more"?  What does the Psalmist know God will do in response to the tough times?  The Golden Text finds its way back into the lesson at the very end – for this passage to show up twice in one week means it must be quite important. Why is this verse so important that it deserves to appear twice?  Again, encourage your students to memorize this (and any other helpful/inspiring passages).

Human experience and mortal thought tempt us to believe that decay and all its attributes are normal.  While your students may not be dealing with the claims of "old-age", what are some of the limitations placed on them, and how can these ideas directly refute any of those limitations?  Spend some time developing perfect models with your students – what is part of their perfect model?  Remind them the importance of our models being God-centered, not self-centered. These can be just verbal lists, but also consider writing them down and having your students take them home and review them over the week.  

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