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[PSST: Discover the blessings of God being wholeheartedly central in your life!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Soul and Body
for Sunday, November 19, 2017

prepared by John Biggs, CS of Maryland Heights, MO
(541.418.1176 / JohnBiggsCS@gmail.com / JohnBiggsCS.com)

Thank you for your care for Sunday School and our youth community! Whether you are a teacher, staff, substitute, parent, student, church or community member…thank you for your thoughtful, intentional nurturing of these precious Sunday Schools and for the thought of every student around the world.

The rest of this PSST is intended to be starter questions for engaging in a discussion in Sunday School class. These are not exhaustive nor are they intended to replace your own preparation, but perhaps these ideas will connect with some themes that are relevant to your class. I'll be mostly sharing questions that tie in specifically with the Bible citations, but I trust you'll take advantage of the fact that our textbook is right there and definitely explains and relates the Bible passages to our daily experience.

So without further ado…

Is the general topic of 'Soul and Body' in the common discourse today? If not by those exact terms, how else is society considering the ideas of Soul, soul, and body? Why is the distinction between Soul and soul an important one? How does body relate to these distinctions?

Golden Text: Our students are fed many ideas about what the 'light' (or illuminating power, or goal) for their lives is, and that light and glory is not often related to God. Why is it important to have God so central in our lives? Will God love us less if we don't turn to Him for a better understanding of glory and goodness? (No…) So then, why should we be focused on having the correct sense of who God is, if He loves us anyway?

Responsive Reading: Praise, praise, praise! How can we praise God with our whole heart (138:1)? Why the focus on unreserved, all-in praise? What are some other things that try to steal our attention and our praising? Are those things necessarily, objectively bad things? If it seems like good things are preventing us from entirely focusing on God (like being completely glued in to a certain college admission process, or making varsity basketball, or trying to hide from bullies at school, or…) how can praising God actually be a help to those goals, if praising God was the top priority? What does praising God teach us about our own nature?

Section 1: What is this tabernacle they are talking about (B1, B2)? Why does it matter where God 'dwells'? Is there a deeper, more spiritual way of thinking about this than simply a physical dwelling place? Is there any significance to the ancient Hebrew sense of the tabernacle that could be helpful for us today.

[Warren: Starting with Moses’ day there have been stages of worship in the tabernacle that still give meaning to our prayer to and worship of God today. The one that resonates most with me is the second stage whereby we must wash away all sense of sacrifice and leave behind whatever lesser loyalty is trying to claim our attention and affection. We can’t be feeling sorry for ourselves about making that sacrifice and be ready to move on to the next stages of worship which bring us light (menorah) and supply (table of showbread). This insight is helpful today in CedarS Bible Lands Park Tabernacle to focus thought on God and not ourselves in our approach to worship. Click and click again to Download the picture in the upper right of Deborah in CedarS Tabernacle in the Wilderness leading young men in thinking about how to worship God with their whole hearts.]

How do you worship God (B4)? Is this term / concept of 'worship' something familiar to you, or is it a foreign / 'old' sounding word? How can worshiping God be a part of your already very full day? Is it possible to worship while you do your normal daily routine? What would your day look like, with worship at the forefront? Does this mean you have to have a monastic life?

Section 2: What does it mean to be 'after the flesh' and 'after the Spirit' (B6)? Is this a passage that basically says you can't have any fun? It seems like the majority of people are indeed in pursuit of those fleshly pleasures, and most of them seem like they are doing fine… so what is the big deal? Does citation B7 really provide a valid argument for today's youth (and really any of us), something that can really speak to us? What do we learn about body and Soul in this section?

Section 3: How does the story in citation B11 relate to us today? Have you ever felt like worshiping and trusting God has led you to a greater sense of health and freedom from the claims of the senses? Is it ever too early to pray about and find dominion over the claims of age? Is there a law that capacity, freedom, health have to decline due to the passage of time? How can we help ourselves not buy into this popular belief? Citation B10 is a familiar citation for many, perhaps especially resonating for athletes, especially the closing lines of this citation. How do you 'wait' on the Lord? This could be a good place for a Bible dictionary. (I like the MySword Bible app on Android, or any app near the top of your app store list when you search for 'Strong's Bible dictionary'). See how this word translated 'wait' has relevance and depth far beyond the simple meaning we have for the English word today.

Section 4: Is it always good to be single-minded, focused on one quality or thing or idea, as in citation B15? What makes being single-minded good, or what it makes it bad? Is it really wise to trust God with all your strength and guidance (B16)? Do we need to hedge our bets, just to be safe? What is a downside of hedging your bets? Have you ever felt that benediction of citation B13? What does that blessing mean for your life? Is it really true? Is there any way that blessing could be taken away? Do you consider the idea of delight very much? What do you think about that idea of God delighting in you?

Section 5: Much of this week's Bible Lesson is about praising God, looking to God, leaning on God, letting Him be the focus of our days. Citation B20 shares a literal healing of blindness. Is this healing power still here today? Is there anything we need to do, in order to see this healing power manifest today in your life? Are there any details in this story that bear careful thought and reflection – anything that stands out to you? Anything that bothers you? Those moments of engagement – whether those moments seem positive or negative – are great opportunities to really engage with the text, to ask questions and dive deeper and not just read some words. See what really strikes you in this section. Is healing blindness – of all kinds – a worthy goal? Is it one you'd like to pursue? Why or why not? [Warren: Consider how to use this memorable one-liner shared in Sunday School decades ago by Miss Mary Kessler: “Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good.”]

Section 6: (B23) What's this about a living sacrifice? What is the connection to healing that appears to be made (B24)? It sounds a little scary to think of presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice…could be a great place for diving back into a Bible dictionary, commentary, or other translation. And of course, don't forget to pray while you read and study! As a living Word, these Bible passages aren't just for purely academic study, but for living and exploring. See what this idea of sacrifice brings to your thought of yourself and others.

Section 7: So why 'Soul and Body'? Does this citation B25 give any clues? Any wrap-up for the Lesson as a whole? Keeping God first and foremost in our thought is a high goal, and one that takes discipline…what are some of the things that might try to prevent that goal? What are some habits of thought that can support our unreserved worship of God alone, of Soul instead of the material senses' sense of soul and body? What makes you who you are? Does praising God help us discover more about who we are, too?

Thank you for all your care and thoughtfulness in preparing for, and nurturing, Sunday School this week!

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