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[PSST: Enjoy these 'starter questions'—see these ideas as timeless and transformative today!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"God the Only Cause and Creator"
for the week ending December 3.

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

What a theme this week. Praise God! The importance of praising God – why, how, when, what if… – all provide a great foundation for a relatable, vibrant Sunday School class. Enjoy these 'starter questions' and of course, love to be alert for how your discussion starters resonate with your students, to see how these ideas can be seen as timeless and transformative for their lives today.

PSST Golden Text and Responsive Reading: How do you praise God? Why is it important to do so? Do we only want to praise God because of benefits we receive, or is there a more selfless way / reason to praise? Is praising God like trying to bribe God to do good for you, or is praising deeper than that? How can we be sure we are praising effectively? Does your praise have to look like other people's praise?

What does it mean that God created everything? How can everything be good, when it seems like we can be subject to chance from those very things (so called 'natural' disasters…)? Did God create everything about your life? How does a correct statement about what God has made, bring healing?

PSST Section 1: Citation 2 in the Bible is from Psalm 107. How many times is Psalm 107 quoted in the Lesson this week? Each time it's quoted, it is always a different verse; Psalm 107 includes this passage (here, verse 8 in B2) throughout the whole psalm as a refrain. Can this be a refrain throughout your day as well? What would try to prevent this from being an anthem for your day? Not just a distraction from praising, but even trying to convince you not to praise God? How have you overcome those opposing suggestions, or how can you? Does God's promise in citation B5 have any relevance to you today? What could that land of “milk and honey” symbolize today for you?

PSST Section 2: Citation B10 gives a brief summary of the life and practices of King Asa. Do you think it was hard for him to tear down the 'high places and images' (what are those, by the way?) and if you think it was hard, what were the obstacles in his way? Is it hard for you to go against the norm? What is the 'norm' today that might make it more difficult for us to have God at the center of our days? Citation B9 mentions 'turning;' what might we need to be turned away from? What is the divine promise that helps us feel it's worth it to turn away from the satisfaction promised by the world – perhaps citation B11 has a clue? What about citation B12, what is the relevance for us today? Much of this Bible language is quite poetic, but this should allow readers to feel a sense of resonance as they see its poetry reflected in their own lives. Mary Baker Eddy said that 'our thoughts of the Bible utter our lives.' ('02 4:28) So, what are your thoughts on these promises and statements of God's action and our action?

PSST Section 3: Would God ever not be merciful to us (B15)? When it seems that we are not experiencing His mercy, what needs to shift (if anything)? The story in citation B17 may be very familiar to you; is there any special or new relevance to your life that you can find? What are the qualities that the woman expresses? How about the qualities that Jesus expresses, the disciples, the crowd as a whole? Do you see yourself in any of those qualities? What does this story reveal or illustrate about praising God? In this story, the healing is accounted in the second verse, yet only at the end do we see Jesus' pronouncement of wholeness. Unpack the intervening verses and what the 'plot' of the story tells us about wholeness.

PSST Section 4: Citation B19 is more about mercy. Citation B20 shares another healing, a time when the surrounding people may have felt they had all been deprived of God's mercy. How did praising God fit into this healing? Do praise and trust go together? How about expectation of good: can we praise effectively if we don't expect good? What does citation B21 tell us about how and why we should praise God? What does grace have to do with praising God? Is grace something you think about often? What role does God's grace play in your life? Is grace something you can express?

PSST Section 5: What would it look like to stand in awe of God (B23, verse 8)? Have you ever felt in awe of God? Is awe something you can force yourself to feel? If not, how do you discover that sense? What would awe have to do with feeling God's presence, with healing, with hearing His guidance? Citation B24 closes with the same verse that the Responsive Reading closes with. How can you accept that invitation to 'come and see' what God has done? This invitation mirrors the invitation Jesus and his disciples give in the beginning of John's Gospel. The humility required to accept that invitation, 'come and see,' seems to have import and power in the acts of praising, healing, and seeing God's work. How can you live that invitation – both accepting it, and extending it to others?

Thank you for your care and love for our communities in your teaching Sunday School!
I hope these questions and ideas are helpful for you, but always remember, it's such a joy to let your plans and your mouth be filled by the angels, by the immediate responsiveness of God's love, and it will be such a joy to see that Love expressed in your class on Sunday.
Thanks again for your commitment to this living church!

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