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[PSST: Practice praising God and being guided spiritually this (and every) week! (4, 3)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;

“Soul and Body”

for Sunday, May 24, 2015

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

PSST Golden Text – What does it mean to be the temple of God, of the living God? What does Paul mean by this? How might this correlate to Jesus’ references of rebuilding the “temple” in three days?

PSST Responsive Reading – Symbolism is rampant in this lesson, as in many lessons. What do the symbols of God’s pavilion, His tabernacle, and being hidden represent? What modern symbols might we replace those with to better understand what the Psalmist is saying? What does it mean that God will plant His people, us, with his whole heart and soul?

PSST Section 1 – Carry this exploration of temple further. What was the temple to people in Biblical times? Look up the context of these citations that refer to the temple in a Bible commentary to see what we learn about the temple. Explore, also, the key components of the temple, and discuss with your students what each of those components represents in our own lives today. What are Body and Soul?

PSST Section 2 – What does the moral law do for us, for soul and body? Why does Joshua make a connection between his fidelity to God and his prosperity? Do we recognize the importance of the moral law, of following God? What evidence is there in this section, in this lesson, that following God leads to prosperity? How can we use that to combat the idea that seems prevalent in the mainstream culture today, that God is not relevant any more, that morals are all relative? What evidence in our own lives is there that following God leads to prosperity? Activity: Challenge your students to consciously follow God this week. You could lessen the challenge by just choosing one or a few days to focus on. Have them keep a reflection/journal at the end of the day to find out if following God actually made a difference. Then share your findings next week.

PSST Section 3 – What does it mean for a Christian Scientist to be baptized? Why does baptism find its way into this section of the lesson? What does it mean to be pure in heart – does baptism have a connection to purity? What is purity, then? Is it something that is lost forever? If your students have made choices that seem to challenge their purity, what can they do? Can they never see God now? Is Purity something more connected to forgiveness, baptism, etc… Where do true happiness, strength and permanence come from? How can we get more of these into our daily lives, given how busy and full our lives are. How do we find the footsteps of Truth? What do they represent (symbolism)? Activity: Look carefully at citation S15. How can your students practice being guided spiritually this week? Have them set some reasonable goals for this coming week; again, have them journal about the experience to keep track of their experience, and when you come back together next week.

PSST Section 4Activity: Pretend that your students are the Psalmist who wrote citation B13; why is he praising God so fully? Can you do some light research about the context for Ps 34 and bring that to class to help inform their hypotheses about why this author is praising God so fully? Extend this activity by asking your students to consider what reason they have to praise God in their own daily lives today. Can we still find reason to praise God for the healing work done by Jesus nearly 2000 years ago? What role did praising God play in Jesus’ healing ministry? (Check out citations S16, S18, S20 & S21)

PSST Section 5 – What role does forgiveness play in our understanding of God and Christian Science? Why does the Psalmist refer to the forgiveness of iniquities? Define iniquity with your students, and consider together if there are any modern iniquities that they need to be forgiven for? What does it mean for God to forgive, if he doesn’t know sin in the first place? What role did forgiveness play in the healing of the lame man at the gate called Beautiful? Look at citation S24 and discuss what this citation has to do with forgiveness. (Note: A favorite definition of forgiveness is “to return someone to his/her original state.)

PSST Section 6 – What is it that “quickeneth” or gives life? It is the _____ that quickeneth, the _________ profiteth nothing. What does it mean for us to have a God that will never stop caring for us? How can you help your students recognize this fact, and feel it truly? What is it that would cause us to feel separated from God? What can you look at and consider in the 6th section to challenge this idea that God would ever be separated from us: His reflection? Look closely at the second paragraph of citation S28. Lastly, what does it take for us to be truly governed by God on a daily basis? What does it require of us? What are the benefits of this?

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