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[PSST: Feel God’s tender mercies! Awake each morn to a brand-new day!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Everlasting Punishment” for April 27 – May 3, 2020
prepared by Merrill Boudreaux, C.S.

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P.S.S.T. Golden Text (GT) and Responsive Reading (RR) To whom was Jesus sent to remind that the ever-kind God has been and ever is with all mankind? Does God exclude anyone from this reminder, from this ever-flowing love? How did Jesus represent this ever-flowing love in the scripture story in the Responsive Reading? What did Jesus intend the lesson to be learned by his actions in this scripture story? Why was Matthew considered a sinner by some?

P.S.S.T. Section 1 – Jesus calling Matthew, who was considered a sinner by some, to be one of his followers sets up the citations in Section 1 as opportunities for our own prayers. What are the action words in the scripture citations that lead the various prayers?

  • Hear me
  • Turn unto me
  • Preserve my soul
  • Save thy servant
  • Be merciful unto me
  • Give ear, O Lord
  • Attend to the voice of my supplications

Why pray this way? Citation B2, “thou art God alone”, “full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”

P.S.S.T. Section 2 – We begin this Section with a highlight of the word “mercy.” Read together Citation B4. How does this passage relate to the Matthew story?

How does God show mercy to Moses, who was being spoken ill of by his brother and sister?

How did God then show mercy to Aaron and Miriam?

How were Moses, Aaron, and Miriam like Matthew in the previous story? They were all called by God, identified as loved by God – even when apparently doing something wrong according to their local standards.

What happened to Miriam? Why was she quarantined? Why was she restored? Citations B7 and B8.

What are some key words in the Science & Health citations in this section that might be considered synonyms for mercy?

  • Chasteneth
  • Love enriches, enlarges, purifies, elevates our natures
  • Corrects and governs
  • Tenderness

P.S.S.T. Section 3 – Mercy again. How long is mercy shown by God? Citation B9 “…from everlasting to everlasting….”

Read together Hymn 500 from the Christian Science Hymnal (words printed here).

Hymn 500

I awake each morn to a brand-new day,

Singing Hallelujah! as I go on my way,

For my heart is fixed on this one guarantee:

The Love that is All holds me tenderly.

REFRAIN:

Tender mercies, oh tender mercies,

Tender mercies are holding me.

Tender mercies, oh tender mercies,

Tender mercies are holding me.

I can walk with Love through the valley of fear,

Singing Hallelujah! O, my Savior is here!

For my empty longing no hope can fulfill,

But Love meets all need and bids want be still.

REFRAIN

So no matter the need and no matter the threat,

I'm secure in Your love, no fear, no regret.

Can there be a sweeter comfort, a grace more divine,

Than the thought that Your love is here and is mine?

REFRAIN

How was mercy shown to the woman in the scripture story in Citation B10? Once again, we have an example of Jesus disobeying material laws or rituals. His mercy was so significant that he readily disobeyed such so-called laws. Read Citation S14.

See again synonyms for mercy in Citation S18: tender word, pitiful patience, Christian encouragement, legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine Love.

Ask students to share any scripture stories or personal experiences of mercy.

P.S.S.T. Section 4 – What lesson do you think Jesus was teaching by telling the parable in Citation B16? Once again, a publican, like Matthew in a previous story, is shown to be humble and worthy of receiving mercy. Why do you think Jesus referred again to publicans? How were publicans looked upon by the citizenry? Why were they so reviled? Look up and share the story of another publican, Zacchaeus, in Luke 19:1-10.

Read the following from Citation S22:

  • “We never need to despair of an honest heart;…”
  • “We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are.”

P.S.S.T. Section 5 – In the stories we have cited so far, even though the persons were considered sinners by the citizenry, Jesus detected something else. What qualities do you think Jesus detected? Humility, honesty, consideration of others, kindness. In other words, they were not sinners, not using their office for personal gain or to enrich themselves. Jesus did not deal kindly with sinners – remember the money-changers in the temple – but he did look mercifully on those who were striving to do good.

We too can pray for a victory over sin by magnifying the Lord of hosts. That is, pay close attention to and focus closely on our Master, Christ Jesus, and thereby be merciful to ourselves and others.

P.S.S.T. Section 6 – How often can you turn to God, to Christ Jesus, to the scriptures for aid and a help in any trouble? Do you have a favorite scripture text that you frequently turn to for solace and support? Mine is Isaiah 65:24.

What did Mary Baker Eddy say was her favorite text? Citation S29. Certainly that speaks of God’s tender mercies for all Her creation.

Read together the scripture blessing for you, as provided by Aaron, Moses’ brother, in Numbers 6:24-26:

  • 24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
  • 25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
  • 26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
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