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[PSST: Give credit to the grace of God, stop trying to solve everything yourself! (GT)]
Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

January 8, 2017 on
Sacrament

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

This Bible Lesson provides our Sunday Schools with the wonderful opportunity to really consider why we do what we do in our worship and daily practice. The bulk of this PSST will be made up of questions – perhaps both serving as rhetorical for your own consideration, as well as examples of questions and possible engaging discussion points in your classes. Thank you for your dedication to Sunday School – our communities are blessed by your devotion to the thoughtfulness and care of our young people.

PSST Golden Text: What does it mean to have grace bestowed on us? Do you ever tangibly feel that sense of grace? Are there aspects of grace, as a Christian term, that are unfamiliar to you in your specific practice of Christian Science? As Christian Scientists, do we give enough credit to the grace of God, or do we think we have to solve everything ourselves?

PSST Responsive Reading: What is the importance of knowing the history of our movement (either Biblical, or specific to the Christian Science church)? Have you spent much time with Retrospection and Introspection? Why are the symbols important that fill our lives (like kneeling in church on this Sunday, going to Sunday School, saying grace before meals (if you do), etc.)? How can you express more consciously the 'fast that [God] has chosen'?

PSST Section 1: How can you sing a new song today or this week? What does the beauty of holiness mean to you? Can we relate it to body image questions, or peer pressure questions? Since the new covenant was given to the children of Israel, did that mean that their previous expression of the covenant, in the Passover, was a waste of time? Are there symbols in your life that you may outgrow? Where do church or Sunday School attendance and engagement fit in the big scheme of your worship of God?

PSST Section 2: In citation B9, John gives a crystal clear list of ways that the folks coming to him could repent. Do any of these apply to your experience? I'll answer that question: absolutely. Can you look for ways to demonstrate these? Do you need to do these even if you don't think you have anything to repent of?

PSST Section 3: Why did Jesus have to suffer? What was the significance of the fact that Jesus prophesied where they would have dinner – that he knew the way that was marked out? When you are in the midst of a hard time, do you ever take the time to think of singing a hymn, as the disciples did with Jesus, as recorded at the end of citation B11? How can you rejoice in the midst of sadness? Why is it important to consider the crucifixion?

PSST Section 4: What does the resurrection mean for your life today? Do you ever pause to remember the significance of what it means—that death has been overcome? Are you struggling with a sense of death (whether physical, or the sense of impending doom related to world, family, finances, health, relationships…)? Can you find some ideas in this section that you can keep close to your heart this week? How do you support others who are struggling? How can you live the spirit of compassion that Jesus demonstrated to his disciples in citation B17? Have you ever been disappointed in someone, or in yourself? Can you find encouragement in this section for moving past that disappointment, into redemption for all? Do you ever feel stuck in depression or angst? Again, can you find some specific ideas in this section that you can keep close to your heart and find uplift and healing?

PSST Section 5: How do you “lay aside every weight…”? (B18) What are some of those weights in your life? Seriously consider how you can set aside what is holding you back. Who is truly the power in your life (B21)? Do you spend more time glorifying yourself, society's expectations, or God?

This Bible Lesson inspires some tough questions. It can be easy to shove tough questions under the rug, especially when they deal with repentance. But compassion undergirds every part of this Lesson, and reveals that compassion is the companion of repentance. This Lesson does not provide ammo for you to run around yelling at other people about what they need to do better. Our Pastor is not a locked-and-loaded ammo belt full of quotes to throw at other people. This Lesson is for you. What a gift to have church communities, including Sunday School and online Sunday School for those far from an established church, and expressions of the church idea, such as camp, DiscoveryBound, and the National Leadership Council (NLC), available to support you as you learn more about how to glorify God. Let this Bible Lesson really speak to you and show you more of God's love.

Thanks again for all you are doing for our communities around the world!

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