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PSST: Life will sing when you're blessed by a new view of Christ & yourself.
Possible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:

for January 11-17, 2021

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

P.S.S.T. Golden Text (GT): Examine hymns & their messages.
Psalms 96:1,8 “O sing unto the Lord a new song… Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name:”

Ask students to share their favorite hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal. What do they consider the purpose of hymns? Inspiration, prayers, questions and answers. Many hymns begin as poems, others as scriptural texts, some as inspired answers to problems, conflicts, pains, or for praise and to call attention to the glory of God and of man.
One could spend the entire class examining hymns and their messages.

P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading: Share joy from a favorite Psalm.

Think of many of the Psalms as songs, many composed by David during his shepherding times. Alone with his sheep, keeping watch over them at night, looking to the stars and the beauty of nature. Ask students to share a favorite Psalm or even a favorite line from a Psalm. Then share how they are inspired or challenged by that passage.

Read together Psalm 40:3 from the RR: “…he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God:”

If students don’t think of a particular psalm, then ask them to open the Bible at random and share a passage from Psalms that may be new to them with the intent to share joy, inspiration, or praise.

P.S.S.T. Section 1: Share an experience of what it means to be alive.

Ask students to share an experience from their lives where they felt inspired, moved or connected to others outside of themselves. Perhaps when visiting an art gallery, a musical concert, or sporting event.
Do they recall how they felt?
Perhaps they felt alive in that moment and wanted it to last forever.

One of mine was visiting Michelangelo’s Academy in Florence, Italy, and seeing his sculpture of David for the first time. I was speechless. Even though the experience may be for a moment, it remains with us forever. This is a hint of the meaning of life, what it means to be alive.

P.S.S.T. Section 2: [Expect unexpected “ravens” to solve any need.]

Often the scriptures contain a story that inspires and speaks truth to uplift when we are afraid, worried, or even pondering the future. How does the story of Elijah in citation B8 provide confidence in God caring for us, looking out for us, perhaps even in unseen ways?
What “instrument” was used to bring aid to Elijah? (I Kings 17:1-6)

See also an expanded thought of ravens in citation B9 (Luke 12:24).
How are you like the ravens in that citation? By the way, what are ravens? Have you ever thought about birds and how they fly and where they live? How are they hints of how our lives are cared for and maintained?

Read together citation S9 (Science & Health 530:5-7).

P.S.S.T. Section 3: [Dig into being a soil scientist & seed sower.]

What is a parable; what is its purpose? Read together the parable of the sower and the seed in citation B12 (Luke 8:4-8).
Could you compose a song as to which type of seed you are and where you’d like to be planted?
What kind of plant would your seed produce?
Perhaps like a tree or shrub where the birds may rest and nest.
What kind of fruit or flowers would you produce?
In what kind of soil would you grow best? See citation S13 (272:6-8). How is your life like the plant you have described?
How can you nurture your understanding and growth to be an example of the plant you described?

P.S.S.T. Section 4: Help students find a praise hymn that resonates.

What praise songs are students familiar with in the Christian Science Hymnal? Look up the word “praise” in the Concordance or JSH-online.com. Ask students to share one that speaks to them.

See Hymn 283 for example.
What do you think is the purpose of a praise song?
How about Hymn 293 or Hymn 438?
Even though we have focused on songs, singing, Psalms, and praise, let’s not miss the point that all of this is designed to help us be assured that life is ours, freely given, to be used in the service of mankind. See citation S17 (SH 246:27).

P.S.S.T. Section 5: Lift the burdened thought about life’s conditions.

What is the call to action in citation B19 (Psalm 47:1,7)?
How did Jesus meet the needs of the woman of Samaria in the scripture story in citation B21 (John 4:7-26)? What did the water represent?
What kind of praise song might the woman have sung when she left the well?

Imagine having to go in search of water every day and needing a longer and longer rope for use in lowering your bucket?
Then what might you have felt when someone came to your aid, and even lifted the burden of your thought about your life’s condition?
Can you think of other people from the scriptures who were healed by Jesus?
What were their reactions? Singing (shouting), leaping, running, telling others, returning to their families, being admitted to the temple for the first time, perhaps praising – “we are alive for evermore.”

P.S.S.T. Section 6: Share joy when blessed by a new view of Christ.

What are some action words in this section that vividly reveal how a person might feel when touched by the Christ, when understanding God, Life, is with us?

  • Love
  • Enlighten my darkness
  • Run
  • Leaped over a wall
  • Girdeth me with strength
  • Maketh my way perfect
  • Holdeth me up
  • Made me great
  • Blessing, even life for evermore
  • Transformed by Truth on its pinions of light
  • Chasing away the darkness of error
  • Feel the unspeakable peace
  • Blessings

Read together Numbers 6:24-26:

“24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

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