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P
ossible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Substance”
for March 14, 2021

by Lindsey Biggs, C.S of Maryland Heights, MO
540 460 3515 biggs.lindsey@gmail.com

P.S.S.T. for Golden Text

How important it is to magnify the good and be conscious of all the good that God is doing — especially when evil tries to boast itself! Recently, I have had my students bring journals to class to take the first few minutes of class to quietly reflect and journal about what they are grateful for. This has been really helpful and has set a nice tone for class. The insights they have shared after this time journaling together have been deep and heartfelt reflections on what they are grateful for. It’s been really inspiring. I have been so impressed with this power of gratitude and the students’ abilities to reflect deeply on substantial things.

P.S.S.T. for Responsive Reading

“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. (Psalms 107:9)
What truly satisfies us? This passage helps us to see that it is God who satisfies our deepest desires by causing us to see and know who we are as the loved children of God.

Isn’t it wonderful to know we have an unconditional Shepherd? This Shepherd does seek us out, drawing us closer to Him, and helps us be restored to wholeness. “For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.” (Ezekiel 34:11) No matter how long we have turned our thoughts or our lives away from God, God is right there to bring us back on track. We may have wandered for a day, a month, a year, or even many years, but God is always there shepherding us and ready to welcome us home. Consider exploring the parable of the Prodigal Son in Section 4 as a great accompaniment to this text.

P.S.S.T. for Section 1 – Gain direction in life by keeping your treasure in God.

It’s International Women’s Month and how neat to have this passage in Psalms to show the value of both men and women made in God’s image and likeness.

“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:” (citation B3/Psalms 144:12)

What is a cornerstone? Part of the definition includes: an important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based”. Wikipedia states: The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure. Consider bringing a picture of a cornerstone to class.

How cool to think about the women of God’s creating as being of such an important quality; of being worthy; of being something that the entire structure is based on. This can give girls and women an empowering sense of an inherent ability to succeed and self-worth.

What do your students treasure? This could be a great conversation to have — what do we truly value and what has our attention and focus?
How can we lift up our sense of treasure so that “moth nor rust” cannot touch it?
What does it mean to have treasure in heaven and how can students live and recognize that? (cit. B4/Matthew 6:19-21) This goes along nicely with Mary Baker Eddy’s statement: “Man walks in the direction towards which he looks, and where his treasure is, there will his heart be also.” (cit. S5/p. 451) Gaining a clear sense of our treasure gives us a substantial pathway to focus on in life.

P.S.S.T. for Section 2 – Father-Mother God sustains us.

Consider exploring all the ways that God cared for the needs of the Children of Israel in the wilderness. Can your students name them? What are ways that God has been sustaining you and your students during challenging times? Discuss together all the evidence of God’s love and care that has been sustaining you.

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32 Perhaps your students can memorize this passage as a reminder of God’s love and care for them.

We know God sustains us through challenges, but what is our role? This statement from Mary Baker Eddy gives us a sense of what we can do as we turn to the Sustaining Infinite:

“Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” (cit. S10/p. 261)
Consider looking up definitions for 'steadfast' in modern dictionaries and the 1828 Webster’s dictionary with your class to take a deeper dive into this statement.

P.S.S.T. for Section 3 – The Word of God gives us life!

What does this statement mean to your students? “man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” (cit. B9/Deut. 8:3) Remember Jesus used this statement when error tempted him to turn stones into bread and it had the power to keep his focus on God and make him free. How can adhering to this sentiment help us see our purpose as reflecting and expressing God? What are some of the limitations that we can be free from as we follow this?

How does this story in Daniel relate to this passage in Deuteronomy?
What were Daniel and his friends willing to do?
Are there ways that your students have been able to follow the same conviction in their faith that these boys did? Have them share their stories with the class.

P.S.S.T. for Section 4 – Find your happiness in God.

Explore the 3 different characters in the Prodigal Son parable.
What are the attitudes of each character?
Which characters do your students relate to?
We may relate to different characters at different times in our life. How do your students think this story relates to the theme of “Substance”?
How does this parable relate to having treasure in heaven?

Do you think you would have been able to forgive someone if they had wasted a precious gift you gave them? How do you think the Father was able to do this? Perhaps the Father had a good understanding of true, spiritual substance that can never be wasted. It sounds like this Father really had treasure in heaven!
Have your students ever forgiven someone who wronged them?
How does understanding our true substance/treasure make forgiveness easier?

This passage gives us a sense of where true happiness comes from: “Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul.” (cit. S19/p. 60)

P.S.S.T. for Section 5 – Share the Truth with receptive hearts.

What are some ways your students express gratitude on a daily basis?
What are some ways they live their gratitude (cit. S24/p. 3)?
Have your students ever written a testimony or shared one verbally?
This might be a good time to mention some tips / key components for giving a testimony during a Wednesday Testimony Meeting. Maybe your students even have a testimony they want to work on writing for the periodicals together for class.

Why does the Bible story mention that the person who came back to thank Jesus was a Samaritan (cit. B15/Luke 17)? What is the significance of this?
Can you think of other interactions or stories Jesus told pertaining to Samaritans? (The woman at the well and the Good Samaritan are two examples).
What does this have to do with Mary Baker Eddy’s statement about “millions of unprejudiced minds…simple seekers for Truth…give them a cup of cold water in Christ’s name” (cit. S28/p.570)?
Was this “foreigner” – this Samaritan – a simple seeker for Truth? What does this show us about receptivity and how we can sometimes find receptivity to Truth in unexpected places?

P.S.S.T. for Section 6 – God speaks to us in inspiring ways!

God speaks to us in many ways! It might be a poem, a hymn or song, an encouraging word from a parent, or an idea that comes straight to us from divine Mind. There are no rules as to where and when we can gain inspiration – it’s always flowing to us through the channels of Love.

We just have to be open and receptive to it, and God will communicate in exactly the way that is needed. “Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love — be it song, sermon, or Science — blesses the human family…” (cit. S31, p. 234)
Perhaps your students have an example of inspiration gained in some unexpected, spontaneous way?

Enjoy your classes!

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