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PSST: Goodness is the prepared outcome when we ask God to CROWN the year!
Possible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:

“God”
for December 26, 2022 – January 1, 2023

prepared by Merrill Boudreaux, C.S., for CedarS Camps
pegasus6524@gmail.com   •   314-308-1059


P.S.S.T.  Golden Text (GT): “O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come…. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness.” Ps. 65:2,11

As we begin a new calendar year, what can we expect?
More of the same? Things get better? Things get worse?
What is the basis for your assessment?
What does the Golden  Text tell us?
Who is it that will crown our year? The one we call God, by whatever name we choose; goodness is the prepared outcome.

The opening of the GT states: “O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.” Let’s explore prayer; what is it, to whom do we pray, how do we pray?


PSSTs for Responsive Reading (RR): Thank God for blessings already received and in anticipation of blessings yet to come (Psalm 107:1,2,4-6,8,9,20; I Chronicles 16:25,27,31,32,34)

The opening line of the RR provides a pathway for our prayer – thanks. That is a form of prayer – to thank God for blessings already received and in anticipation of blessings yet to come.

Read together Hymn 138 from the Christian Science Hymnal for affirmation (words printed here):

Hymn 138
I praise Thee, Lord, for blessings sent To break the dream of human power; For now, my shallow cistern spent, I find Thy font and thirst no more.

I take Thy hand and fears grow still; Behold Thy face and doubts remove; Who would not yield his wavering will To perfect Truth and boundless Love?

That Truth gives promise of a dawn Beneath whose light I am to see, When all these blinding veils are drawn, Thy love has always guided me.

Do you identify or know anyone who identifies as in need of prayer as stated in the RR?

  • Who is seeking mercy
  • Who has been redeemed or is seeking redemption
  • Who is wandering, feeling separated
  • Who is solitary, lonely, alone
  • Who is in trouble or causing trouble

There is another form of prayer in the RR

  • Praise
  • Gratitude for goodness
  • The ability to endure, acknowledging that it will be alright, indeed that it is already alright

Read together Hymn 350 from the Christian Science Hymnal as an affirming prayer (words printed here):

Hymn 350
Through the love of God our Saviour All will be well;
Free and changeless is His favor; All must be well;
Precious is the Love that healed us,
Perfect is the grace that sealed us,
Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us; All, all is well.

Though we pass through tribulation, All will be well;
Ours is such a full salvation, All must be well;
Happy still, in God confiding,
Fruitful, when in Christ abiding,
Holy, through the Spirit’s guiding; All, all is well.

We expect a bright tomorrow, All will be well;
Faith can sing through days of sorrow, All must be well;
While His truth we are applying,
And upon His love relying,
God is every need supplying, All, all is well.


P.S.S.T.  Section 1 – God is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (citation B1/Revelation 1:8. We may conclude that God is the middle part, too. So for us every day, our day, is a day made by God, governed by God, blessed by God, watched over and protected by God.

Read together Hymn 342 from the Christian Science Hymnal as an assurance prayer (words printed here).

Hymn 585 (342)
This is the day the Lord has made; Be glad, give thanks, rejoice;
Stand in God’s presence, unafraid, In praise lift up your voice.
All perfect gifts are from above, And all our blessings show
The amplitude of God’s dear love Which every heart may know.

The Lord will hear before we call, And every need supply;
Good things are freely given to all Who on God’s word rely.
We come today to bring Love praise Not for such gifts alone,
But for the higher, deeper ways In which God’s love is shown.

For sin destroyed, for sorrow healed, For health and peace restored;
For Life and Love by Truth revealed, We thank and bless the Lord.
This is the day the Lord has made, In praise lift up your voice.
In shining robes of joy arrayed, Be glad, give thanks, rejoice.

Why?

  • He hath made us
  • We are His people
  • His mercy is everlasting
  • His works, including you, are manifold (many)
  • God is good

Read together Mary Baker Eddy’s statement about God and good in citation S2/Science & Health 286:16-19. Not only is God good, Alpha and Omega, but “God, Spirit, alone created all, and called it good” (cit. S6/SH 339:8-9).


P.S.S.T.  Section 2 – Prayer examples of waiting on the Lord,
and listening…

Do you believe? What – fill in the blank

What (fill in the blank)…

  • Do you believe that God is
  • Do you believe in goodness
  • Do you believe that God is good
  • Do you believe in the goodness of man

Read together citation B7/Psalm 27:13,14. What does it mean to wait on the Lord? How is waiting on the Lord a form of prayer?
How was Elijah benefitted by waiting on the Lord in cit.B9/I Kings 19:9-12?

Read together Hymn 108 from the Christian Science Hymnal as an example of a prayer of listening, a prayer of waiting on the Lord (words printed here):

Hymn 108
Here, O my Lord, I’d see Thee face to face; Here would I touch and handle things unseen; Here grasp with firmer hand th’ eternal grace, And all my weariness upon Thee lean.

Here would I feed upon the bread of God; Here drink anew the royal wine of heaven; Here would I lay aside each earthly load, Here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.

And as we rise, the symbols disappear; The feast, though not the love, is past and gone; The bread and wine remove, but Thou art here, Nearer than ever, still my shield and sun.

Feast after feast thus comes and passes by; Yet passing, points to the glad feast above, Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy, The Lamb’s great bridal feast of bliss and love.

Read also citation S7/SH 89:20-21: “Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent.”


P.S.S.T.  Section 3 – Can you pray how Jesus prayed:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,…”
(citation B12/Luke 4:16-19,21)

How do you feel the spirit in you?
Do you sing, do you dance, do you shout with joy, do you heal?
See also in that citation what Jesus affirmed he did when he felt the spirit:

  • Preach the gospel (good news) to the poor
  • Heal the broken-hearted
  • Preach deliverance to the captives (of sense)
  • Recover the blind
  • Set at liberty them that are bruised

Read together Hymn 39 from the Christian Science Hymnal as an example of a prayer of comfort (words printed here):

Hymn 459 (39)
Come, gracious Spirit, heavenly Love, With light and comfort from above; Be Truth our guardian, Love our guide, O’er every thought and step preside, Be God our guide.

The light of Truth to us display, That we may know and choose Your way; Plant holy joy in every heart, That we from You may ne’er depart, Plant joy in every heart.

Lead us, O Christ, the living Way, Nor let us from your precepts stray; Lead us to God, our heavenly rest, That we may be forever blest, Forever blest.

Read the charge presented to all who have received the truths found in the teachings of Christian Science stated in citation S17/SH 450:19-24.

Read an example of a prayer of guidance in citation S18/SH 495:14.


P.S.S.T.  Section 4 – Not only is God Alpha, Omega, and everything in between, he said in citation B17/Hebrews 13:5, “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Read what Paul says in cit. B18/Romans 8:38,39.

Read together Hymn 276 from the Christian Science Hymnal as an example of a prayer of peace (words printed here):

Hymn 276 (277)
Peace be to this congregation; Peace to every heart therein; Peace, the earnest of salvation; Peace, the fruit of conquered sin; Peace, that speaks the heavenly Giver; Peace, to worldly minds unknown; Peace, that floweth as a river From th’ eternal source alone.

O Thou God of peace, be near us, Fix within our hearts Thy home; With Thy bright appearing cheer us, In Thy blessed freedom come. Come with all Thy revelations, Truth which we so long have sought; Come with Thy deep consolations, Peace of God which passeth thought.

Why is peace not only a future possibility but also a present reality? See Psalms 119:165: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Note the present tense “have”, making this statement a present reality.


P.S.S.T.  Section 5 – Here is a great role-play activity —
the scripture story in citation B20/Acts 3:1-9.

Read how this man could have felt as expressed in Hymn 134 from the Christian Science Hymnal as an example of a prayer that lifts one up, a prayer of jubilation (words printed here):

Hymn 134
I look to Thee in every need, And never look in vain; I feel Thy touch, eternal Love, And all is well again: The thought of Thee is mightier far Than sin and pain and sorrow are.

Thy calmness bends serene above, My restlessness to still; Around me flows Thy quickening life To nerve my faltering will: Thy presence fills my solitude; Thy providence turns all to good.

Embosomed deep in Thy dear love, Held in Thy law, I stand: Thy hand in all things I behold, And all things in Thy hand. Thou leadest me by unsought ways, Thou turn’st my mourning into praise.


P.S.S.T.  Section 6Stop for a moment, acknowledge and feel God
“in the midst of thee” (cit. B23/Zephaniah 3:17).

Read together Hymn 164 from the Christian Science Hymnal as an example of a prayer of joy (words printed here):

Hymn 164
Joy to the world, the Lord is come, Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing.
No more let sin and sorrow grow, Nor thorns infest the ground;
Where’er he comes, his blessings flow, And hope and joy abound.

He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness And wonders of his love.

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