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[PSST—Quickly change from “bad news” to “God’s views” of it! (3)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Probation After Death”
for April 26, 2020

By Steve Henn, C.S. steven.henn@gmail.com

PSST Golden Text (GT): How does turning to God help us address every seemingly very real challenge?
This Golden Text calls out that God has no pleasure in death –
What else does God have no pleasure in that we may feel we have to endure in our human experience?

PSST Responsive Reading: What do your students greatly fear & how can they meet it? [Job 3:25, 29]
What does it mean to be cast down – and how can we experience the “lifting up” of God’s presence? [Job 3:29]
What does it look like to seek God’s face? [Psalm 27:8]

PSST Section 1: Wholeheartedly sing “Whither” to feel Love’s presence in the face of every challenge.
What is righteousness, and how does it lead away from death and towards life?
What does God find when She searches us? What does He know about us?
What does “darkness” look or feel like in your students’ lives? Is it only a physical darkness?
And in times when darkness feels all-covering, where can your students find light that is all about them?

Note – Citation B3 includes a wonderful song that is now included as Hymn 599 in the newest (2017) Christian Science Hymnal. Learning that hymn is a great way to help students feel the loving presence of God in the face of any challenge. [Directors of all six camps for Christian Scientists in North America joined together this week to produce a “Brady Bunch” version of “Whither” which will be posted soon (Monday?) on our Social Media pages—keep checking on CedarS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cedarscamps

PSST Section 2: [Turn to the angels & “arms of divine Love”— when tired of “belief” in the “ceaseless woes” of a womb-to-tomb “circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive”! (S6) 574:27 and (S11) 322:26-30]
How does God sustain life? And also sustain a suicide-tempted Elijah? [B5, I Kings 19:1-8]
How often do your students put their trust in God and what does that look like?
How can we learn to trust God more and put more faith in Her? How do challenges help this process?

Note Mary Baker Eddy’s use of the word “belief” in the last three citations in this section – what does she use it in reference to? And what can we learn by carefully understanding how she uses this word? [SH 39:10-12; 42:5; 322:26-30]

PSST Section 3: [W: Quickly change from “bad news” to “God’s views” of it!]
What is life eternal? [“that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (B7, John 17:3]
Can your students memorize this passage? It can be a bright light in any darkness.

When Jesus heard Lazarus was sick, how did he respond? [B8, John 11:1-15]
This week’s “Bible Lens” notes in the Christian Science Sentinel offer some wonderful context in regards to this decision. The Master’s foreknowledge of Lazarus’s need—and of his own role in raising him—far surpasses the disciples’ limited assessment of the situation and overrules their fears. In spite of the perceived danger, Jesus returns to Bethany to help his friends. As one commentary notes, “A paradoxical exchange [was] at hand: Jesus chooses to risk death in Judea in order to save a man from death. He indeed is the good shepherd who is willing to lay down his own life for the life of his sheep.” https://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/2020/4/122-16/bible-lens-april-20-26-2020

What does Jesus’ response (above) to the news of his friend’s sickness teach us about how we might respond to mortal challenges and fears?

PSST Section 4: [Can we apply Jesus’ gratitude in advance prayer to rebound from economic death?]
How do Martha and Mary respond to Jesus’ seemingly too late arrival to save their brother Lazarus? [B9, John 11:18-21]
How do your students respond to Christ ideas when they come [maybe seemingly too late] in response to challenges they may have?

Look carefully at the conversation between Jesus and Martha. [B9, John 11:23-40] What does that teach us?
Finally – how does Jesus pray to God regarding Lazarus? [B9, John 11:41-43 Point out his gratitude in advance method]
Mary Baker Eddy spends particular time with this concept – what does she emphasize about Jesus’ actions and prayers? [S18, 75:13]
What can we learn from that?

PSST Section 5: What does the transfiguration signify in Jesus’ healing mission? [B11, Matt. 17:1-9]
Why is it important? And when did it happen?
How is the timing of the transfiguration significant and instructive?

Look at citation B12 [I Corinthians 15: 13, 17, 20] – what is Paul saying here?
His statements are radical – do we believe in the resurrection of Christ Jesus?
Why is it so important that we are clear on this point?
Citation S24 [427:1-7] answers this question emphatically. Spend time understanding these concepts clearly with your students.

PSST Section 6: How does one live the fullest “life that approach the supreme good?” [S30, 496:9-19]
Since we are to live – how do we live the fullest lives?
[“I will not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” B13, Ps. 118:17]
How often do your students look for, bear witness to, and testify about “the works of the Lord”? [B13]
Do they feel their own freedom to walk with God each day?
Why is it so important to understand not that life comes from God, but Life is God?
What is “the supreme good”? How can we live lives that move in that direction? [S30, 496:9-19]
Finally, how can we be hopeful?
Why can we be hopeful?
How can you help your students understand that ultimately error is destroyed and immortality reigns?

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