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[PSST: Let God’s light shine through you to bless all around you!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;


for Sunday, July 26th, 2015

By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri
[Steve's been a CedarS Program Director & teaches English at The Principia School.]

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science writes:

"Spiritual teaching must always be by symbols" (575:13-14).

This is truly a week for spiritual teaching, and the central symbol of this week's lesson is light. It is a significant symbol – so significant that the entire lesson is based on the analogy of light equaling truth/Truth. This is a great week to dig deeply into a single symbol such that every time your students see or think of the concept of light they immediately understand its spiritual and symbolic importance.

To take your preparation further, there is one incredible resource that I would strongly recommend you explore – it provides a considerable depth of further information and perspective; this week it is particularly focused on unfolding the important symbol of light:

PSST Golden Text (GT): What better place to start than in the beginning? What is the origin, the source of all? Discuss with your students the significance of God speaking and whatever he spoke was done, immediately. A great companion text for this Golden Text is the poem/hymn by Mrs. Eddy, "Brood O'er Us." This GT also introduces the primary symbol of this week's lesson: light. As you'll read later, there are no solar sources – suns nor moons, or even candles – for light yet…so…where is this light coming from? What is it really that God is creating here? And how can we relate to this concept of light in our daily lives?

PSST Responsive Reading (RR): More light – still no sun, no moon, no candle. We must continue to ask, where is this light coming from? And furthermore, what is this light? How can we define light, what it is and what it represents? Use specific citations from the RR to help your students define and identify light as a concept and as a symbol. Remember to always bring it back to how this is relevant in our lives – family, friends, school, sports, passions, activities, hobbies.

PSST Section 1: Again, we circle back to the beginning, the origin. Remind your students that repetition is a form of emphasis – if someone says something more than once, they are telling you pay attention to this – and the lesson committee this week has brought us to the first day of creation twice now. Why is this so important? What do we need to be paying attention to? What does Mrs. Eddy say about the significance of this first day of creation? Look through the SH citations in this section to help answer some of the earlier questions about what light is, what it symbolizes and where it really comes from.

PSST Section 2: When you "shine the light" on something, what happens? What happens when you turn a light on in a dark room? What happens when you shine a flashlight into the dark corner of a closet? Is light scared of darkness? Does light ever fight with darkness? In this section, explore the symbols of light as Truth and darkness as error, sin, mortal/limited thought. What are we learning about Truth and error in this section? ACTIVITY SUGGESTION: Work with your students to make this section come to life – brainstorm with them what types of thoughts might be trying to hide in darkness? Put those thoughts all down on a page – and then work with them to find the "light" that would expose and heal any of the dark, error-like thinking that tries to attach itself to them. This can be done on paper by individuals writing their own work; students could work in pairs and help each other before sharing with the class; or one person could be scribe while everyone else works on the same brainstorming sheet. The next step in this activity would be to connect the "light" ideas your students come up with to specific passages from the Bible and or Science and Health – they could write those "golden nuggets" down on a 3×5 card to take home with them to work with throughout the week.

PSST Section 3: What are our motives for prayer? What should they be? Explore this topic with your students honestly. ACTIVITY SUGGESTION: You could develop a two-column chart with them that uncovers on one side the right motives for prayer, and on the other side the wrong motives – or motives we are tempted to have for praying.

PSST Section 4: What does it take to "do truth" as citation B13 admonishes? Other resources to consider as you explore this question are: Hymn 13, verse 2; "Alertness to Duty" from the Manual of the Mother Church 42:4. What does the activity of Truth look like? This section includes an extended conversation between Samuel and his people – who is Samuel? What is he famous for, and what part of his reign does this conversation come from (beginning, middle, end)? Clearly Samuel must be important, if two entire books of the Bible are named after him. How much do your students know about this important figure? You could even consider doing an entire lesson on who Samuel is and what his example teaches us about Truth.

PSST Section 5: What is the connection between Truth and liberty? You may take a moment to define liberty with your students – does liberty mean being able to do "whatever I want whenever I want?" Is that true liberty? What does true liberty look like; what does it take for us to attain it; what responsibilities come along with true liberty? And then look carefully at this section to discover how Truth supports and contributes to true liberty. This is a great concept to cover with teenagers who are close to getting a driver's license, or closing in on graduation from either high school or Sunday School.

PSST Section 6: Grace and Truth – these clearly have a central role in this section, if not the entire lesson. How do grace and Truth show up in Jesus healing of the nobleman's son? Dig deeper than just the obvious comments about Jesus expressing them – how do grace and Truth play an integral role in Jesus' ability to heal? How can we grow in grace (see Section 3 again, citation S13), how can we grow in Truth? Ask your students to memorize citation S24 – it's really short, and easily memorized – and give them the assignment of really testing this statement out for the next week. To prepare them, you could discuss possible scenarios where this statement might apply; and then next week open class with a discussion of what they learned from applying this idea to their daily lives. You can join them in this activity as well – and if you have an especially active and cohesive group, you could even setup an online space to share your learnings and experiences throughout the week – a shared blog, a discussion on Facebook, a shared document on Google Drive, or the simplest way to do it would be a group-email where everyone uses "Reply-All" to add to the discussion. If you are interested in setting something like this up but don't know how, you could even ask your students for ideas/support – I'm fairly confident they would be able to help.

PSST Section 7: This is a great section to come to for the last few minutes of class. It is all about rejoicing; and you can ask your students, what do we have to rejoice about? Send them away on a high note of gratitude – recognizing the power and presence of God, good in their lives. This section also presents the comfort of Truth – discuss with them what is so comforting about Truth – and how can they feel this comfort throughout the coming week? Remind them that this does not promise or guarantee a week, or a life, without challenges – but that with Truth, we are better equipped to handle the seeming challenges that mortal thought would present to us.

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