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[PSST: Learn how to be led by divine Mind, not by personal sense.]

Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;
"Mind"  for Sunday, 2-24-13
By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri
[Steve's been a CedarS Program Director & teaches English at The Principia School.]

PSST – Golden Text:  In the CedarS Met this week, we learn that God’s name, according to Biblical tradition, identifies the self-existent, self-creative I Am.  Perhaps it is valuable to consider who, or what God, the Lord, and Mind actually is, if we are to trust fully in this idea.  It’s also worth exploring perhaps what it looks like to lean on our own understanding, and then to discuss why it is better to lean on Mind’s understanding.  Once we’ve established this trust and leaning, we are to acknowledge Him, God, Mind, Yaweh – how do we do that?  What does it look like to acknowledge Mind?  Lastly, our path will be directed by this self-existent, omniscient, Mind – how do we know when we are being lead by Mind and not by personal sense?

This Golden Text is so rich with ideas to talk about, you may want to hold off on diving too deeply – or you may see your Sunday School time fly away from you.  Instead, keep these conversation topics in mind as you work through the rest of the lesson and see if these bigger ideas can apply to any of the more specific conversations below.

PSST – Responsive Reading:
Wisdom, what is it and why is it so valuable?  Does wisdom come in one form, or many?  What role does wisdom play in achieving true freedom?

PSST – Section 1
Bible citations in this section refer to the Lord frequently, and all that the Lord has done.  Often listing off these things that are done by God makes it seem like God is a person running around doing things.  But that isn’t the case.  How does it change our view of God to replace ‘Lord’ in each of these citations with Mind, another name for God? (You can repeat this with each of the seven synonyms throughout the lesson to get a different grasp on God, and Mind.)
At the heart of the Science and Health portion of this section is Mrs. Eddy’s demand that we can no longer be ignorant of God and still expect growth – use this section to discuss who God, Mind really is.
Mrs. Eddy claims that “man is tributary to Mind” – she develops a metaphor where Mind and the organization of reality reflects that of our Solar System.  How can we expand that metaphor to include Mind as the Sun (the Sun is consistent, the Sun doesn’t ask for anything to express, and yet we must acknowledge the power of the sun to gain from it, and so on)?
In ancient times, the planets, including the sun, were believed to be influenced by the gods – one Sun-centric example is that Helios was believed to drag the sun across the sky; but when he didn’t feel like it, he wouldn’t.  What must it be like to acknowledge gods that are sometimes on, sometimes not?  In what way are our current experiences imposed upon by the temptation to acknowledge gods that are inconsistent?

PSST – Section 2
The Met for this week discusses inspired government when thinking about this section.  And it truly is a perfect topic for our day and time.  How do your students view various forms of government in their own lives?  Government touches each of our lives in a multitude of ways – self-government, the government of parents/family, school or work-place; and then of course the various political governments that play a role in our lives.  How can your students experience or promote the form of government exemplified by Joseph?  This story certainly shows the fruits of Joseph’s reliance on God, but what did it take for him to get to this place of demonstration?  How can we follow Joseph’s example and listen more carefully to what Mind is instructing?  How can we build the sensitive ears necessary to hear Mind’s messages?  And Joseph didn’t just sit around after he heard Mind’s decree, he “went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt” taking action and ensuring that his people were cared for.  Do we do the same?  Do we listen for Mind’s inspiration with the same selfless motives (love of our fellow man)?
Mrs. Eddy provides wonderful insight as to how we can develop the skills and sensitivities to Mind that Joseph exemplified.  Explore her writings in response to many of the questions above.

PSST – Section 3
Isn’t it good to be ‘prudent’ (B9)?  Why does Paul suggest that “I” (Mind) will ‘bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent’?  Same goes for wisdom, which was celebrated in the Responsive Reading – why will Mind ‘destroy the wisdom of the wise’?  Hint: refer to the final phrase in citation B9 and link this understanding back to the Golden Text.
How can we distinguish between the thoughts of this world and the thoughts which are of Mind? (B10)
Through much of this section, Science and Health firmly asserts the control, primacy, and rightful government of Mind.  This sort of assertion may seem restrictive and oppressive to teenagers who are often looking to be liberated from unnecessary constraints.   How, though, is this section describing an environment that promotes freedom, promotes that which our teenagers most yearn for?

PSST – Section 4
Some of us may have immediate connections to dementia (perhaps elderly relatives imposed upon by Alzheimer’s, or other lies about the deterioration or loss of control of the human mind), and teachers of these students may choose to use this section more literally in the healing of these conditions.  But for those who do not, what are the mental states that we must overcome in our own lives?  Citation S18 includes other forms of mortal man's unnatural mind: hatred?!  What about stress? hormones? self-centeredness? typical qualities of a teenage mind?  How can we use the ideas in this section to address those unhealthy mindsets?  What are our motives in doing so (helping heal these mental states in ourselves, or in others)?

PSST – Section 5
In Biblical times, the Samaritans were the lowest of the low, and Jesus knew this.  What is he saying to the listeners of this tale when he elevates the lowest in society to this status of rescuer and healer?  What unhealthy mindsets (that were addressed in a discussion of section 4) is Jesus further addressing here (prejudice, selfishness, hatred, and so on)?  What significance is there that this parable follows immediately after the establishment of the two great commandments? (This week’s MET suggests a “Just do it” approach – that like Joseph in section 2, we must go out and practice what Mind is instructing us to do).  How does the admonition in 1st Peter (that we be of one mind) fit as a capstone to the story of the “Good Samaritan”?
Exploring citations in the Science and Health will help to answer this question.

PSST – Section 6
As is often the case, the final section has many links back to former elements of the lesson.  Use this section to further explore the conversation about what types of prudence and wisdom are to be avoided (from section 3). 
This section also has ideas that will refer as far back as the Golden Text (how do we know when we’re being led by God, Mind, or mortal sense, mind?)

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