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[PSST: Love without condition—without judgment, bullying, feeling superior (3)]

Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Love”

for January 28-February 3, 2019

prepared by Merrill Boudreaux, C.S.

pegasus6524@gmail.com 314-308-1059

P.S.S.T. Golden Text – What are some key words in the Golden Text (GT)?

  • Whoever
  • Dwells
  • Shelter
  • Shadow
  • Command
  • Angels
  • Guard

Ask students to state what they think each of these words means individually, and then as a group of words, to bring out the meaning of the GT. Where do they fit in to the GT statement? That is, who is the “whoever”, the one who rests, the one who is guarded? Can you then ever be outside God, Love’s, care and watchful eye? Read together Hymn 30 from the Christian Science Hymnal, (shown here).

Brood o'er us with Thy shelt'ring wing,

'Neath which our spirits blend

Like brother birds, that soar and sing,

And on the same branch bend.

The arrow that doth wound the dove

Darts not from those who watch and love.

If thou the bending reed wouldst break

By thought or word unkind,

Pray that his spirit you partake,

Who loved and healed mankind:

Seek holy thoughts and heavenly strain,

That make men one in love remain.

Learn, too, that wisdom's rod is given

For faith to kiss, and know;

That greetings glorious from high heaven,

Whence joys supernal flow,

Come from that Love, divinely near,

Which chastens pride and earth-born fear,

Through God, who gave that word of might

Which swelled creation's lay:

“Let there be light, and there was light.”

What chased the clouds away?

'Twas Love whose finger traced aloud

A bow of promise on the cloud.

Thou to whose power our hope we give,

Free us from human strife.

Fed by Thy love divine we live,

For Love alone is Life;

And life most sweet, as heart to heart

Speaks kindly when we meet and part.

(Hymn. 30:1–5 – Poem by Mary Baker Eddy)

P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading – How do you praise God every day? See I John verses 18, 21-23, and 7 in the Responsive Reading (RR).

What would please God more:

  • That we love God?
  • That we love one another?

Do you see this as a trick question? They are interwound with each other. When we love God, we can’t help but love each other; and when we love each other, we are automatically demonstrating our love for God.

Read together Hymn 280 from the Christian Science Hymnal (shown here).

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;

To His feet thy tribute bring.

Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,

Who like us His praise should sing?

Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him, praise Him,

Praise the everlasting King.

Fatherlike, He tends and spares us,

Well our daily needs He knows;

In His hand He gently bears us,

Rescues us from all our foes.

Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him, praise Him,

Widely as His mercy flows.

Praise Him for His grace and favor

To our fathers in distress;

Praise Him still the same forever,

Slow to chide, and swift to bless.

Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him, praise Him,

Glorious in His faithfulness.

(Hymn. 280:1–3)

P.S.S.T. Section 1 – In citations B1 and B2, what were some of the loving-kindnesses that the children of Israel were being reminded of?

  • Being freed from Pharaoh in Egypt
  • Being led and fed in the wilderness
  • Being led to the Promised Land
  • Given water to drink from a rock
  • Given manna and quails to eat

How has God shown love to you? Read together Psalm 23. Locate the words or phrases that state Love being all around you, leading you and following you all the days of your life.

  • “…he leadeth me beside the still waters.“
  • “…he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness…”
  • “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:…”

What has God provided to assist with this leading and following? Angels. Read together the definition of Angels in citation S4, or from Science & Health 581:4.

P.S.S.T. Section 2 – Read citation B7. How was Hagar protected even when it appears she was wronged? What was the great nation God made from Ishmael, Hagar and Abraham’s son? These are the people of Arabia, also known as Muslims. Are these people also beloved of the Lord? Do they dwell in safety? Are they covered by the Lord all day? Citation B8.

In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy refers to Love and Principle as equals. How do you think Love and Principle are interwound? Read together citation S7. How does Divine Love meet every human need? In, as, and through man — that is you. Do you see how essential you are to the law of love? Do you make the connection from I John 4:7, also found in the Responsive Reading?

P.S.S.T. Section 3 – Read together the Bible story in citation B10. What is the essence of this story? Ask students to summarize or re-state the story in their own words What are the causes for rejoicing in this story?

Does God, Love, rejoice each day when She sees you? Why is that so? If this is so for you, and it is, is it also so for every other idea in existence? What is the nature of divine Love? To love without condition, that is, to just love. As God’s image and likeness, what is our nature – what comes naturally to us? To love without condition. What do you think without condition means? No judgment, no holding someone hostage, no terrorizing or bullying someone else, no feeling superior to someone else. Please re-read citation S7.

P.S.S.T. Section 4 – Do you accept Christ Jesus as your role-model? Do you desire to follow him and do the works he did? What are some of those works in citations B13 and B14? How important is the word “compassion” in both of these citations? Ask students to share any experiences where someone showed compassion to them, or they showed compassion to someone else. Is compassion an aspect of being a Christian? Is showing compassion exclusive to Christians, or to Christian Scientists? Be careful to avoid exclusivity and leaving others out. Read citation S19. Pay particular attention to “…to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.”

Read together citations S20 and S21. What are your takeaways from these passages? How important is love in healing That includes love for yourself as well as love for others.

P.S.S.T. Section 5 – How does the story of Peter in citation B16 fulfill the Bible verse in B17, “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears”? What other examples of Bible stories are your students aware were individuals were delivered? We already had the children of Israel and Hagar and Ishmael previously. How about:

  • Daniel in the lions’ den – Daniel 6
  • The Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace – Daniel 3
  • Paul and the venomous viper – Acts 28
  • Lazarus from the grave – John 11

Read also citation S26.

P.S.S.T. Section 6 – What is the command and the blessing to us all in citation B20? What does MBE tell us about this command? See S29 and S32. She also thought it was so important that it was included in the Tenets of Christian Science. See Tenet 6 in Science & Health (497:24).

Read together Hymn 179 in the Christian Science Hymnal (shown here).

Love one another,—word of revelation;

Love frees from error's thrall,—Love is liberation.

Love's way the Master trod;

He that loves shall walk with God.

Love is the royal way.

Love knows no evil, neither shade of sadness;

Love casts out every fear, lifts the heart to gladness.

Love heals our every ill,

All the law does love fulfill.

Love is our answered prayer.

Love now is dawning over every nation;

Showing true brotherhood, publishing salvation,

Love bids all discord cease.

Conquering hate, enthroning peace,

Love, Love alone is power.

(Hymn. 179:1–3)

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