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[PSST: Fear not! Encourage yourself and others with spiritual strength to experience reality!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

for Sunday, October 8, 2017 on
“Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?”

by Aubrey McMullin, C.S., Godfrey, Illinois
(618) 578-9407 aubrey.mcmullin3@gmail.com

[SPECIAL LAST MINUTE OPENINGS FOR BIBLE STUDY ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION WITH MADELON MAUPIN, OCTOBER 19-23 CLICK http://www.cedarscamps.org/information/programs/adult-bible-study/ FOR MORE INFO AND TO SIGN UP!]

PSST Golden Text – Fear not! Let’s encourage ourselves and each other with spiritual strength and experience reality!
“Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 1:8) – what helpful words of encouragement! Sometimes we need to encourage ourselves! It’s especially important to encourage spiritual enforcement in a world that is trying to convince us of material reality: sin, disease, and death. For this purpose the Bible is a ready and inexhaustible fountain. Encouragement is the incentive of achievement; it removes what seems bothersome from our good work. In encouraging another, we uplift ourselves. As we enlarge our concept of God as Love, universal and impartial, we are more equipped to offer the cup of Christ-like encouragement to those in need of its refreshment.

What are the faces that we are being presented with, that God reassures and encourages us to not be afraid of? How are we given deliverance from God? How is His promise kept?

PSST Responsive Reading – The key to true health: turning to God!
According to Christian Science, health implies a state of soundness and wholeness—being wholesome, healthy, valuable, hearty, well, and good. These terms all carry with them the idea of permanence—endurance which is not subject to change, but expresses infinity. Health, therefore, is not a material condition: it is a spiritual quality, like honesty, purity, goodness—a quality of divine Mind, God, the reflection of good. In seeking and finding real health we are directed to seek and find God! "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" If you examine and study the term "Lord" as it is used here, you will find that it implies the truth about God and man; and this truth is light and salvation, strength and health.

If we are turning to God, can fear exist? If God is true strength, infinite strength, can there be a so-called weakness, such as fear? Can we truly honor and trust God while buying into fear, investing in a lie about man? “We cannot serve two masters nor perceive divine Science with the material senses” (SH 167:11-12). If we are turning to God, where else could we possibly want to turn?

PSST Section 1 – God didn’t create evil and doesn’t know evil, but He did create a standard for us to lift up against it!
Are sin, disease, and death real? Think about this question along with what we are given in this section about creation: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3, B1). If ALL things were made by God, and nothing was made without Him, then can sin, disease, and death be real?

Even when the suggestions of sin, disease, and death come in like a flood (B3) – like war or terrorism or people who have passed on or recent news like what happened in Vegas or hatred –– we can lift up a standard of Truth against them! Here, lifting up a standard implies a simple defeat by opposing the enemy’s progress. There seem to be plenty of bombarding suggestions in the world today that sin, disease, and death can be real, painful, frustrating, blame-worthy, and even depressing, things. Many people seem to be facing suggestions of shock and the belief of being overwhelmed with a deep sense of grief and depression. Even stronger than those temporal emotions though, is a desire to feel God’s loving tenderness and feel freedom from these material beliefs. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19, B3). What is the standard that we lift up against the flooding suggestions that sin, disease, and death are real? What are our opposing forces that defeat error’s so-called progress? What are some of the flooding suggestions, and how can we begin to turn to God about these suggestions? Are we believing that both evil and good can be real (SH3)? Are we standing aghast at nothingness or are we acknowledging that there is no awe in fake news (SH4)? How can we annihilate everything unlike Life, Truth, and Love (SH5)? If our “true course is to destroy the foe, and leave the field to God, Life, Truth, and Love, remembering that God and His ideas alone are real and harmonious” (SH6), how are we leaving the field to God?

PSST Section 2 – When we stand up to sin, we prove its unreality!
Where are we putting our trust? If it is “sin’s necessity to destroy itself” (SH13), then are we having any real desire to put our trust in something that’s inevitability is self-destruction? How did Joseph practice integrity and put his trust in a lasting and effective foundation, Spirit? What were some things he was presented with that could have come across as fun or maybe even a little bit satisfying at the time? How can we hold ourselves “superior to sin” (SH9)?

Paul said, "Our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament" (2 Corinthians 3:6). The Bible is stuffed to the brim with messages of joy and spiritual dominion, and the spirit of these messages should be in the front most consciousness of every Christian Scientist. The power of divine Mind can harmonize difficult situations in proof of the ever presence and unquestionable might of God, good. So how can we, as students of Christian Science, prove ourselves increasingly capable of expressing loving-kindness, efficiency, dependability, health? How can we stop manifesting belief in our opposites? How can we be confident in knowing that we will have an undoubted victory in proving sin’s unreality (SH11)?

PSST Section 3 – What is unreal cannot mix with what is good and real!
Christian Science sheds new light on the parable in this section of this week’s lesson and reveals its practical application. The wheat represents spiritual reality, that which is created of Spirit, God. The tares represent evil, all that originates in a material sense of life. The harvest is the separation of the real and the unreal, brought about by the recognition of spiritual good in human consciousness.

In the parable of the tares and the wheat, Jesus tells us to “let both grow together until the harvest…” (B10) and at harvest time first gather the tares to burn them and then gather the wheat to store in the barn. Why do we first gather the error or the lies? Why do we handle the hate, address the lies, before we store the truth? And when is the harvest time? Is it a specific time of year, or can it be now? Is it when we are ready to recognize the nothingness of error and the allness of Truth?

How does Science separate the tares from the wheat? How do we determine which ideas to keep and which ones to permanently rid ourselves of? How can we separate what is good and real from that which is unreal? When our thoughts are filled with Life, Truth, and Love, and we are conscious only of goodness and health, the tares (the opposite conditions) will be destroyed. Are they destroyed right away?

PSST Section 4 – We heal disease by allaying the fear!
There’s a great poem by Feodore Sachs that can be found in the periodicals and in this poem is mentioned the story in this section! Sachs reminds us that Love heals in one single moment, instantaneously, not leaving out one iota of truth in the healing or leaving any room for unfinished work.

“O
mortal
has sense
told you that
suffering is real
and healing takes time?

Loved of God understand
that Love heals instantly!

Saul suffered blindness three days
They thought Lazarus dead four days
A woman had an issue of blood twelve years
Satan bound a daughter of Abraham eighteen years
The man at Bethesda had an infirmity thirty-eight years

Jesus said “Rise take up thy bed and walk”
Jesus said “Woman thou art loosed from thine infirmity”
Jesus comforting said “Daughter thy faith hath made thee whole”
Jesus thanked God and cried with a loud voice “Lazarus come forth”
The Christ sent obedient Ananias and Saul received his sight forthwith

No diagnosis no drugs no surgery no therapy no convalescence

Beloved of God
put on the Christly garments
of self-knowledge humility and love
Know who you are and the source of your being
Reflect the Love that is divine and that heals
and you will heal instantly
and know well that
a year of suffering
or a month
or a day
is nought
zero
0”

The woman was not reaching for a material garment or the human Jesus, but instead, she was reaching out for the Christ, Truth, and by doing so she was consciously letting go of the fear that had shackled her for over a decade. Jesus could not have been aware of her physically touching him because he was surrounded by so many people pressing in on him. He did respond to her mental plea for help though! This woman felt something of the healing presence of the Christ, just as we can at any given moment.

Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through floodtides of Love." (p. 201) How can we feel this flow of truth, and God's ever-presence fill our consciousness? Can fear contaminate thought? She also reminds us that “Truth is God’s remedy for error of every kind, and Truth destroys only what is untrue” (S21). How then, is Truth the perfect antidote to fear? What does Truth cause error to do, naturally and necessarily?

PSST Section 5 – The belief of death can be challenged and overcome!
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (B21). Is this death specific, or could it be the belief in an end for anything good? What are some ways that we can prove, on a daily basis, that death has no power?

In Mrs. Eddy’s writing, Unity of Good, she said, “By knowing the unreality of disease, sin, and death, you demonstrate the allness of God” (p. 9). The argument that a dream is terrifying cannot make it any more real in view of the allness of Love. Sometimes we are tempted to believe that because the illusion is pleasant we can cling to it a little while longer, but this is just another subtle phase of the error, and we are only deceiving ourselves. It is no more an advantage to prolong the dream when pleasant, however attractive the argument is that it presents, than it is to desire to stay in the more painful illusions. These varying manifestations of the carnal mind are stealing our divine inheritance as the children of the one perfect Mind.

Has man always been in infinite good in spite of what the illusion may testify? Is harmony just as eternal a fact here and now as it ever has been or ever will be? Is the law which operated in Jesus’ time just as available now as it was then? Is it just as powerful in one place as another? Mrs. Eddy makes this clear on page 218 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, where she says, "When we wake to the truth of being, all disease, pain, weakness, weariness, sorrow, sin, death, will be unknown, and the mortal dream will forever cease." How can we see as Jesus did, seeing all Spirit and all things spiritual? How does seeing this heal death?

PSST Section 6 – Christian Science assists the truth of God’s allness shine!
This whole section is a wrap-up of this lesson, reminding us that we only need one simple truth to destroy error, which is rooted in nothingness. Throughout her writings, Mary Baker Eddy eliminated from thought any belief that metaphysical healing needed to be difficult, or that it is in any sense mystical or perplexing. She stated that “grace and truth are potent beyond all other means and methods” (SH31).

Nothing can compete with the divine characteristics of grace and truth. What is needed is the grace that seeks its own in another's good, grace that can hear itself belittled and still remain grace, and truth that can hear itself ridiculed and distorted and still remain truth. Jesus' teachings, supported by God's promises as clarified by Mrs. Eddy, provide for every student of Christian Science the grace and Truth that are "potent beyond all other means and methods."

What are some simple truths of God’s allness that infinitely shine in us? How do we let go of the belief that healing needs to be difficult, complicated, or tough to comprehend?

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