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[PSST: Consciously praise God this week! Question & uncover hidden false beliefs! (6, 2)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;

“Soul and Body”

for Sunday, November 22, 2015

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

PSST for Golden Text (GT) – Do your students ever think about boasting when they think about God? Insert any synonym into that question, and do your students’ answers change? What reason do we have to boast in the Lord, or to exalt and magnify God’s name? A parallel text to this is found in the Lord’s Prayer – Hallowed be thy name, and Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual interpretation of this line is “Adorable One”. What do the words hallow and adorable bring to this idea? Lastly, look up the El Dorado of Christian Science (S&H p.9) and take all of these together to consider just what and why it is that we are boasting, praising, exalting, magnifying, hallowing and adoring.

PSST for Responsive Reading (RR) – Perhaps one key reason to cherish God so is given in the Responsive Reading this week. How well do your students know themselves? Do they know themselves as well as God knows them? Is there any part of them that God does not know? Is there any part of them that God does not care about? How precious are God’s thoughts towards His creation? How precious are Love’s thoughts towards Her creation? It is perhaps a universal temptation to believe that we lack love, care or attention at some point or in some way during our lives? How does this Responsive Reading speak directly against that thought? And how does it impact your students’ weeks to know that at every moment they are “cared for, watched over, beloved and protected”? (Hymn 278)

PSST for Section 1 – How does God, Love, Soul feel about His creation, man? You can carry forward from the RR this week some of those ideas into this first section. Where do your students look to as the source of their life, love, intelligence? How does it change their thought to consider God as holding that place? If God is that source, and we reflect God, how are we benefited by knowing God better? What in this section can your students grasp on to that gives them a clearer picture of just who God is? And as you move into the rest of the lesson with your students, what does it mean to be a reflection as opposed to being a duplicate?

PSST for Section 2 – What is it that God protects us from? What role do we play in our own protection, if any? A companion text you might present to your students on this topic is “Watching vs. Watching Out” (My. p. 232). How do we revise the mortal picture/assumptions that we hold on to – what assumptions do we hold that we need to question/check? How do we properly discern in our own thought, what is good/unlimited and what is false/limited? What false beliefs do we hold onto because they seem just so natural and true to our experience? How can we train ourselves to question and uncover those hidden false beliefs and how will our lives be impacted by doing so?

PSST for Section 3 – How did God make you? Do you lack anything? What does it mean for all of us to be wonderfully made? How can this section provide a response to the questions in the previous section? When it comes to guarding our thought, or pursuing God’s righteousness, what does it mean that “all these things shall be added unto you”? Take some time with your students to build on the growing definition that you have of God. In what way does God supply us with “all these things”? What role do we play in this supply?

PSST for Section 4 – We are the temple of God – what does that mean? Jesus gives us the metaphor – and supports his idea by protecting the physical temple from money changers. Mrs. Eddy gives us specific insights about what the temple actually is, and what makes for the temple’s “chief stones”. Study these with your students and consider what they teach us about our identity, our bodies, our expressions of good? With younger students, you could draw a human figure and label each part with a quality of God that coincides with feet, hands, head, and so on. With older students, you could simply list the qualities that they want to be the foundation of their temple all this week and then discuss what it would look like to express those qualities in the activities they have coming up.

PSST for Section 5 – Show Christ openly – do we hesitate to show Christ in the world around us? What resistance do we face in our own thought to sharing Christ with others? What does it look like to share Christ – must sharing it mean we are trying to convert someone else to think they way we do? Consider another form of the question – what does it mean to be truly Christian?

Does it matter that we believe in the crucifixion and the resurrection? What does that seminal experience offer to us, as Christians, as members of the human race? Mrs. Eddy devotes the fifth tenet to declaring our acknowledgement of it. Is this a blind belief of ours, or do we really understand how it relates to our practice of Christian Science?

PSST for Section 6 – We end where we began – what new ideas does this lesson present for the purpose of praising God? How do we see reality clearly enough to praise God correctly? When our senses deceive us, what can we do to correct this deception and look more deeply into reality? You may want to brainstorm with your students the various ways that our senses deceive us and how we can see through these deceptions to what is true about us and God. Lastly, you will do well to end class with a clear commitment with your students to spend this week actively and consciously praising God. When and how will your students do this? How will they hold themselves and each other accountable? Remember that Jesus gave gratitude before Lazarus came forth from the tomb. We do not begin with matter and wait for our material picture to improve before we give gratitude. Spirit is primary in our thought, and we praise God from that foundation; that true vision of reality brings about healing.

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