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[PSST: Keep thought as in the beginning (the ONLY)! (1)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

for Sunday, May 8, 2016 on

Adam and Fallen Man

by Aubrey McMullin, C.S., Godfrey, Illinois
(618) 578-9407

PSST Golden Text & Responsive Reading: These verses are a call to see God as the only true creator! How can we see as God sees? Turning from Genesis 2 to Genesis 1 is a daily task and a very important one. Here is an analogy that I use often with my students and friends!

If it were possible to stand in the center of the sun and look out, what would we see? We would just see the sunlight flowing out radiantly from the sun, right?! Similarly,m as we pray be standing mentally in the "center" of God and look out, all we are capable of seeing is His likeness and spiritual light. This is seeing as God sees — experiencing the presence and power of Truth expressed everywhere and in everyone! How are we seeing as God sees? How are we seeing this spiritual presence and power in all our activities and in all individuals?

PSST Section 1: IN THE BEGINNING!! What a phrase! Mrs. Eddy shares with us her inspiration on what this particular phrase really means when she says that "this word beginning is employed to signify the only, — that is, the eternal verity and unity of God and man, including the universe" (Science and Health p. 502, also citation S-1!). So let's replace "In the beginning" with In the ONLY! What do we have? In the ONLY, God created! God is the one and ONLY creator! How wonderfully reassuring that God creates and we are held and cherished as His creation. Hymns 267 & 268 give us a wonderful song of praise and affirmation where this beginning (only) is concerned!

"Our God is All-in-all,

His children cannot fear;

See BASELESS evil fall,

And know that God is here.

Our God is All; in space

No subtle error creeps;

We see Truth's GLOWING face,

And Love that NEVER sleeps.

We see creative Mind,

The Principle, the Life;

And Soul and substance find,

But NEVER discord, strife.

O, Perfect and Divine,

We hear Thy loving call,

And seek no earthly shrine

But crown Thee Lord of all."

-Emily F. Seal (Hymns 267 & 268)

PSST Section 2: I LOVE how this second section follows an entire section of what our being DOES consist of, because this section reminds us of the dream and of what our being DOES NOT consist of — loneliness, mesmerism, distractions, matter, dust, absence of substance or life or intelligence, material organization, sin, finite being, etc. Take a deeper look at the Scientific STATEMENT of Being together alongside this section! What stands out to you this time around while going over what Man IS versus what Man is NOT? Genesis 1 or Genesis 2? "Spirit IS… Matter is… Man is NOT material, he IS spiritual!" AMEN!

I also love looking at this second story, dream, of creation and looking at the part where "the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept" (Gen. 2: 21). If this truly was God creating man, wouldn't He want man to witness creation and reflection? God opens our eyes to what is true! He would definitely open our eyes to the reality of being, wouldn't He?! This story must be false then! Because in this story, God puts man to sleep and does not allow him to witness any of the so-called "creation." How are we recognizing reality in our daily activities? Are we feeling sleepy when we know we should be watchful and awake? What are moments that we can look at in our lives and see that we were awake and witnessing Truth being made manifest? (These experiences may not necessarily be literal experiences of being "awake," but rather experiences of recognition and therefore true awareness.)

PSST Section 3: I can't believe that man would EVER want to hide himself from his Father-Mother, his true Creator, God!! Look at how Adam and Eve hid from God in Genesis 3:8. When would we ever find ourselves trying to hide from God? Mrs. Eddy really answers this question when she reminds us on page 594 of her textbook that the serpent is really "a lie; the opposite of Truth, named error…" When we follow a lie, or when we rely on matter or error for answers, do we sometimes feel embarrassed or shameful? What happens when a lie is told and someone tries to uncover the truth? Another lie must be told to attempt to maintain the other lie, right? So, when a lie is told — when an error is made — the only real way to counter that lie and uncover Truth, is to create an opening for Truth to enter! "Evil declared that eating this fruit would open man's eyes and make him as a god. Instead of so doing, it closed the eyes of mortals to man's God-given dominion over the earth" (SH 165:1). Don't we want our eyes opened to witness Truth in action? YES!! Another camp dear to my heart, Adventure Unlimited, has a mission statement formed from a John Muir quote that reminds us to consistently be "opening windows to God." This whole third section of the lesson reminded me of this statement and was a wonderful reminder for what our duty as Christian Scientists is – trust Spirit! (See Science and Health p. 234: 3 only for reference about trusting Spirit.)

Another lovely reminder wraps up this section of the lesson for us! "As mortals BEGIN to understand Spirit, they give up the belief that there is any true existence apart from God" (SH 283:1-3, emphasis added). We only need to BEGIN to understand Spirit, but this beginning is an active process, not a passive one. How are we growing and beginning to understand Spirit daily? Why is it important to recognize this as a daily task?

PSST Sections 4 & 5: "corporeal sense is the serpent" (SH 533: 30). This is what we are shaking! This is the "dust" that Isaiah 52:2 commands we shake off. What are some other commands we see in these sections? Why is it important to admit mistakes we might have made and then work to correct them? In Genesis 3:9, 11-13 we are shown that woman admits that she was tempted by the serpent and then followed its directions to eat of the forbidden fruit. Mrs. Eddy clarifies for us that she was able to admit this mistake because "she already learned that corporeal sense is the serpent." If we are to abandon any and all beliefs in material origin or material make-up, what are some steps we can take in order to recognize the truth and then follow that rather than following the lie? This goes back to what we talked about in the PSST for section 3 🙂

When we shake the dust off, we are freeing ourselves from bondage of ALL sorts! Hymn 5 is a favorite of mine, because it brings to the surface so many truths and many commands that we must follow constantly!

"A voice from heaven we have heard,

The call to rise from earth;

Put armor on, the sword now gird,

And for the fight go forth.
The foe in ambush claims our prize,

Then heed high heaven's call.

Obey the voice of Truth, arise,

And let not fear enthrall.

The cause requires unswerving might:

With God alone agree.

Then have no other aim than right;

End bondage, O be free.

Depart from sin, awake to love:

Your mission is to heal.

Then all of Truth you must approve,

And only know the real."

-Irving C. Tomlinson (Hymn 5)

Our greatest duty, as the woman in the city from the chapter of Luke shows us, is to love much. What does it mean to seek Truth, Christ, "like Mary Magdalene, from the summit of devout consecration, with the oil of gladness and the perfume of gratitude, with tears of repentance and with those hairs all numbered by the Father" (SH 367:13-16)?

PSST Section 6: I love Warren's idea shared that DNA can also stand for "does not apply." There can truly never be any material heredity or fleshly heredity! "Nothing inharmonious can enter being, for Life is God" (SH 228). What do we see as things we have inherited from family members? How can we turn and see God's true likeness as our only inheritance? "Keep in mind the verity of being, – that man is the image and likeness of God, in whom ALL being is painless AND permanent" (SH 414: 26-28, emphasis added). So what is our inheritance from our Father-Mother? ONLY that which is painless AND permanent!

PSST Section 7: Let's wrap up this week's lesson with a lovely dedication to our mothers expressing true Motherhood and all others who are doing so as well! God is our true Father-Mother, and we are daily celebrating this Motherhood! "Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine 'powers that be.' Such is the true Science of being" (SH 249: 8-10). What a wonderful way to conclude that our understanding of motherhood lies with Motherhood and our Father-Mother and that our expression of motherhood lies with Motherhood and our Father-Mother also. How do we see Motherhood expressed daily? How do we express Motherhood daily? No matter your gender, we all have such wonderful expressions that we share of Motherhood and of Fatherhood because we are like Him, our Mother-Father!

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