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[PSST: Follow the recipe for substance! Measure spiritual gain. Share freely!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

for Sunday, March 13, 2016 on

“Substance”

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

[For some spiritual insights from Cobbey Crisler, go to Downloads at CedarS website!]

SUBSTANCE – Just the other day I was spending some quality time with a young child and we were going over the lesson! I asked him what he thought Substance was, and he replied with enthusiasm, “maybe it’s what makes us up? Like our ingredients!” I love this idea of our true substance being our true ingredients! When I bake, I measure out the ingredients carefully because usually I am following a recipe. Now, I get the pleasure of imagining God daily measuring out my substance carefully because He is following a recipe for me! He does this for every one of His ideas!

Now, I know that these Possible Sunday School Topics are for the older children, but I firmly believe that there is a little child in each of us, and we can always incorporate this childlike innocence in our Sunday School classes! What ingredients are we finding in each portion of the lesson? And what is our recipe that we are following? (perhaps our daily bread!)

Golden Text PSST – What is understanding? How do we define understanding? How is it different from knowing? What is wisdom? How are we incorporating these ingredients into our daily activities? Are we measuring them out carefully and thoughtfully adding them to our daily bread?

Responsive Reading PSST – What do you think Solomon is saying about all of his material achievements here? He gives us a long list of his accomplishment but then follows his long list with, “then I saw that wisdom excellent folly, as far as light excellent darkness.” What are some accomplishments of our own? Do we consider them accomplishments because of the material gain or because of the spiritual gain? What is our spiritual gain?

Section 1 PSST – I love the leading quote from the Bible, Ephesians 5:9, in section 1. I always find myself asking what is Spirit? What is the fruit of the Spirit? If we are the fruit of God, His blossoms, His ideas, then WE are goodness and righteousness and truth! How wonderful that Mary Baker Eddy also provided us with our own definition of substance as well! How can we apply her definition of substance in our daily lives and activities? What do we consider activities of substance? Does this definition corroborate this? Are we men and women of true substance? Our substance is spiritual. How can we demonstrate this daily?

Section 2 PSST – How does helping someone else bless you as well? How does obedience to God not only provide substance for you but for others also? What if Elijah hadn't followed God's direction to go to the widow? What if he had thought she was to poor to help him and he had gone out looking for someone else to help him? How were both Elijah and the widow blessed by Elijah’s obedience? Who else can we think of in the Bible who was blessed by another’s obedience? Perhaps Noah, Joseph – in Genesis, Jesus, Ruth, Joseph – Mary's husband, Moses, Peter, and so many more! Find someone in the Bible that was obedient and whose obedience blessed someone else spiritually, and see how their experience might parallel your own!

Section 3 PSST – This section is a great reminder to be aware of what our focus is! If we were to take only a staff/a walking stick with us on our life journey, what would it be? Would it be patience? Would it be integrity? These verses from Mark 6 have always seemed to be asking me to double-check and make sure that the one thing I would be taking with me is not matter, but rather Spirit. What is our true substance? What is the one thing we lean on and turn to the most in our experience right now? Think of this section as a seatbelt check! Are we wearing our seatbelt/ our treasure? Is it spiritual or material? If it is spiritual, check! If it is material, double-check – are we surrounding ourselves with true substance? “The objects cognized by the physical senses have not the reality of substance” Science and Health page 311. What are we focusing on? What is our treasure? What is our seatbelt? What are our ingredients?

Section 4 PSST – What is an experience you have had that parallels the story of the Prodigal son? Maybe you ran to meet a friend who had been gone for a while, either physically or maybe emotionally? Maybe a friend did the same for you? Prodigal-son moments are not as rare as someone might think! Our Father-Mother's arms are always waiting to embrace us as we walk away from the false senses of lack, mistake, regret, hurt, hatred, or doubt, and toward divine Love. What have we experienced that shows we have felt those open arms and infinite love?

The husks fed to pigs like in the story of the prodigal son were likely to be seed pods that continued to produce during famine. Only the poorest of people would have considered eating them. The son filled his belly with these husks! He was experiencing a material sense of poverty, but also a poverty of spirit! What else do we know from the Bible that talks about the poor in spirit? (Hint: Matt. 5:3, Beatitudes!) What do we know from the rest of the Bible that shows us how we can be blessed even when experiencing a sense of poverty?

Section 5 PSST – How does divine metaphysics support you in thinking about your day spiritually and about thinking throughout your day spiritually? What are some healings you know about that show how Mary Baker Eddy demonstrated divine metaphysics? There are many in Miscellaneous Writings, the chapter on Fruitage in Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy's Prose Works, and many of the biographies on her life. How do metaphysics reveal the true substance of Spirit, God? What healings have we had recently or that have stood out to us that show us the power of prayer? How do we benefit from being spiritually-minded?

Section 6 PSST – I love this verse from Matthew 13:44! If you were to go searching for treasure and found a treasure in a field, what would you have found? What would be worth selling all that you own to buy that field where that treasure is? I think in recognizing what is truly of top importance to you, you may find that you're beginning to recognize how important your relationship with God is. God knows what is beautiful, bountiful—and even though it may appear to be hidden in the world. As we turn to Him, we find our spiritual treasure map! So, what does our spiritual treasure map look like? What do our ingredients look like when we lay them all out “on the counter” in front of us? Hopefully they look pretty sweet—a treat that become sweeter as well as more satisfying the more we share it!

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