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[PSST: Identify & expose the idols that try to gain legitimacy in your lives & those of your students.]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;

Matter”
for Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013

By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri steven.henn@gmail.com
[Steve's been a CedarS Program Director & teaches English at The Principia School.
Bracketed inserts are from Warren Huff, who asks once a year
at CedarS fiscal year-end that all grateful recipients answer our prayers to provide a sustainable service by “letting God add a zero or 2” at the end of your online, tax-deductible gift. Thank you in advance for making a monthly or one-time gift at this time!]

PSST Golden Text: – Do your students know what an idol is?  This is a great definition of one and can provide a solid basis for exploration of the second commandment (found later on in this lesson).  Why would this citation begin a lesson on the subject of Matter?  As you progress through the lesson this week, or in Sunday School class, identify and expose the various idols that attempt to gain legitimacy in your lives and those of your students.

 PSST Responsive Reading:– What idols shall be abolished by light, and how does light abolish them?

 

 PSST Section 1Bible (B) – How much space does God fill?  How can it be that people have ears, hands, eyes, and yet they do not hear, handle, nor see?  What does it mean to live, move and have our being in God?  What is possible because of this?  What is rendered impossible if we lose sight of this?

 PSST Section 1Science and Health (SH) – Regarding the "Scientific Statement of Being," Albert Einstein is quoted as having declared it to be “the most profound statement ever uttered by mankind.” (Jack Geis, Physics, Metaphysics and God, 220).  How wonderful that we get to spend this week breaking it down and examining it more closely with our students.  What is truly profound about this statement?  What must be, if this statement is true?  How can we approach school, athletics, relationships on the basis of this profound scientific statement?  What does it mean to call faith in matter an idolatry (which is to say that faith in matter breaks the second commandment)?  Encourage your students to consider this carefully, and to spend this week guarding their thoughts a little more closely – standing porter at the door of their thought a little more faithfully this week.

 

PSST Section 2 – B – What are the “gods of the nations” that are idols?  How can we be sure to avoid worshipping those idols?  What is God’s sanctuary that houses strength and beauty?  How do we “give unto the Lord glory and strength”?  [For the tares and wheat parable see citation B-7 in Matthew 13 and a CedarS reenactment version of this parable listed in the upper right of our webpage version of this Met as a Download at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/articles/2013/9/allow-yourself-no-idle-or-idol-thoughts/  ].

 PSST Section 2 – SH – Look at the definitions of Spirit and matter – then look back at the Scientific Statement of Being and discuss what must be immortal, and what must be Truth; take time also to uncover the lie that is the foundation of 'mortal error.'  What are the tares and wheat, according to Mrs. Eddy?  What comfort does this section offer regarding those tares?  Do we really have any responsibility for ripping out tares in our own thought?  How does our relationship to God support our defense against tares in thought?

 

PSST Section 3 – B – What is seen at the pool of Bethesda; and what is not seen?  How is what the man lying at the pool temporal; and how is what Jesus was preaching to him eternal?  What does it mean for us to be separate – to come out from among them and be separate?  Who is "them" that we are separate from? 
 [You could maybe bring this healing home to your pupils by having them act the roles they choose or are assigned from the "Man Healed at Pool of Bethesda" (CedarS reenactment script) listed in the upper right of our webpage version of this Met as a Download at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/articles/2013/9/allow-yourself-no-idle-or-idol-thoughts/ ]

 PSST Section 3 – SH – Real/eternal; unreal/temporal – Mrs. Eddy pairs these words intentionally – what do your students observe from this pairing.  Consider reviewing the definition of Substance which is just below the Scientific Statement of Being on page 468 in the chapter of Recapitulation.  Discuss the importance of beginning rightly – refer to citation 15 in the Science and Health and explore the negative impact of an ‘error in the premise’.  What is the right premise that we should hold in thought?  Notice how the connection of real to eternal and unreal to temporal continues throughout this section.

 

PSST Section 4 – B – How do idols connect to the first citation of this section – which states that God created man in His image?  How do we sometimes think we were created, and how does this break the second commandment?  What freedom do we gain by following the first and second commandments?  How does the spirit bear witness of our place as children of God?

 PSST Section 4 – SH – How do we ‘bow down to matter’?  Why must we avoid entertaining ‘finite thoughts of God’?  As we have more infinite conceptions of God, what does that mean about our idea of man, ourselves, as His reflection/image and likeness?  Discuss what it means to be God’s image and likeness – use citations SH21&22 to support this exploration.  How is Truth made manifest?  How and why did Christ demonstrate Truth?  Who is the real man, and what makes up the new man?  Consider finding Paul’s statements about new and the new man and exploring them with your students.

 

PSST Section 5 – B – How do we worship God in Spirit and Truth?  What is idolatry (look it up with your students), and how do we 'flee' from it?  What is 'not' that we are tempted to set our eyes on?  Why is it really 'not'?  If this is 'not', then what 'is'?  These are rather vague questions that will require some unpacking for your students.  But as you discuss with them, continue to help your students make connections between these answers and their daily lives.  Why is it important and liberating to understand that there is only one God?  Will your students commit to standing up for and blessing the Lord God at some point this week?  Challenge them to do so, in their own way – glorify God in the highest.

PSST Section 5 – SH – Take your students through the conversation about beginning rightly – or beginning from a right basis, and then apply that to this section.  What is the basis of reasoning for all the citations in this section?  [Perfection!]  How can we work to reason from that basis in everything we do?  Take a moment to bring up some normal challenges that you have thought of, or have your students brainstorm some normal challenges that they face on a daily basis – then reason through how to respond to those challenges with this basis as the beginning.  See what comes up.  [Starting with high thoughts is one way to figuratively “look out from the stars” as stated in a Christian Science Sentinel article about citation S-29 to “no longer look up to the stars” (“high and holy thoughts” of perfection) – but rather “look out from them”. (S&H 125:28) http://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/2cqkn8npd44?s=f ] The ultimate value [of starting with perfection] is helping them to become deeper thinkers who do not blindly accept “the outward sense of things”, but rather choose to “look deep into realism.” 

Have a great week with your students!

 

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