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PSST: PUT OFF the CHRYSALIS to put ON the BUTTERFLY!
DISCOVER YOUR IMMORTAL IDENTITY!
P
ossible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Mortals and Immortals”
for November 14, 2021

by Lindsey Biggs, C.S of Maryland Heights, MO
540 460 3515   biggs.lindsey@gmail.com


Golden Text  P.S.S.T.— [PUT OFF the CHRYSALIS to put ON the BUTTERFLY!]

What is the new nature that your students would like to put on?
What spiritual qualities would they like to express more as a part of this new nature that is righteous and holy?
What are some stale, worn out ways of thinking or habits they would like to get rid of?

Consider sharing the example of a butterfly as a wonderful metaphor. After the butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, it is completely transformed. It is an entirely new being. It leaves the old ways of the caterpillar behind and takes flight! There are many wonderful pictures online to illustrate this concept, which is such a great illustration of our “new birth” in Christianity that takes place as we put off the old and put on the new.
Consider Bible examples that have demonstrated a “new birth” or total shift in character that gave them a new trajectory in life.


Responsive Reading P.S.S.T.—[DON’T be FIXED on THINGS –GIVE ALL GLORY to GOD]

How do we leave the old for the new? Colossians 3 gives us some great examples:

  • Don’t get absorbed with material things — wanting them more than the spiritual (this can be especially helpful with shopping and the holidays coming up)
  • Be renewed constantly through study and prayer — renewing your relationship with God each day
  • “Put on” spiritual qualities — kindness, mercy, patience, humbleness, meekness
  • Embody a spirit of forgiveness
  • Allow the word of God to dwell in you, and give glory to God for everything you do.

Section 1 P.S.S.T.—[CLAIM NO LAPSE from the HARMONY of SPIRITUAL IDENTITY.]

The Spirit is bearing witness to our real, spiritual identity every second! That is why there never truly is a lapse from harmony — because we can’t ever become unreal or an unspiritual idea. Healing isn’t human effort — it flows naturally and harmoniously through an understanding of the realization of God and the spiritual nature of things.

What does it mean to your students to be spiritual?
What does it mean to have a spiritual identity?
How does identifying ourselves beyond the physical help us?

“Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.” (cit. S1/516:21) I love that both the male and female are included in these texts. It shows us that both man and woman are coexistent with God. Each one has a direct relationship with God and don’t go through each other to know God. We each have a direct ability to listen to and follow God. “Man” in Christian Science is the term used to convey men, women, and children, so it includes the identity of each of us.

What is the definition of coexistent?
How close does that mean we are to God?
What does this show us about our relationship with God?


Section 2 P.S.S.T.—[FOLLOW JEREMIAH & JESUS as MODELS of SPIRITUAL SEEING.]

Jeremiah had a tough job. Perhaps your class would like to study his ministry at some point.
In a brief synopsis, his main job was to deliver oracles – to turn the people from their ways of worshiping false gods, oppressing the lower class, and overconsumption of material goods — and turn them back towards worshiping God and following the laws of the Torah which included equity for the land and the people.
Unfortunately, the kings and people in power didn’t want to listen to Jeremiah. You see, they had false prophets – prophets they would pay to deliver the message they wanted to hear – messages that said they didn’t need to change anything, that everything was fine, and they had this huge temple for security. Well, that message turned out to be false, and the message of Jeremiah revealed to be true.
As a result, Nebuchadnezzar ended up capturing the city, destroying the temple, and the people who survived were taken into exile to live in Babylon for the next 70 years.

This message about the good figs and the evil figs is right in the midst of when Babylon is taking over the city. (cit. B6/Jer. 24:1-3)
We can consider for ourselves what do the good figs and the bad figs represent?
What are we listening to and what is informing us of what is good and true?

Christ Jesus gives us a great tool for spiritual discernment: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (cit. B7/Matthew 7:18, 20 NIV)


Section 3 P.S.S.T.— [ALWAYS SEE YOURSELF & ALL AS “BORN FROM ABOVE.”]

What does it mean to be “born again”?
Do your students have Christian friends in other denominations who have been “born again”?
What does that concept mean to them?
How does this point back to our butterfly example in the Golden Text?

Why do you think Nicodemus came to see Jesus at night?
What does this say about his curiosity about Jesus?
What did Jesus mean when he told Nicodemus that he needed to be “born again”?  [Cobbey Crisler: literally the Greek born “anothen” means born from above]

Consider exploring The New Birth together in Miscellaneous Writings, p. 15.

Recognizing that we already have been born of God – that we have a spiritual preexistence and an eternal existence – helps to recognize our divine identity.
Review citation S14/63:5 for a great treatment to affirm for yourself each day [as a wonderful  way to be “born from above” – again and again!  This repeatedly acknowledges] your divine ancestry, inheritance, and your permanent link to the divine.


Section 4 P.S.S.T.— [ALWAYS SEE the BEST in YOURSELF & OTHERS LIKE JESUS DID.]

Is there someone who has seen the best in you despite how you were behaving at the time? That’s what Jesus did for Zacchaeus. The Christ identified Zacchaeus as a child of God and this proper identification removed the false labels from Zacchaeus as an overzealous, cheating tax collector. Zacchaeus must have wanted to be transformed – he just needed help pulling himself out of the rut of bad behavior. Sometimes a friend, parent, or mentor helps us see the best in ourselves when we cannot see it ourselves. And when they hold to the correct model of who we are, we feel transformed by their healing light. That’s a gift we can receive and that we can give. Have your students ever helped pull a friend out of a rut of bad behavior?
How can identifying our friends in the light of God help to uplift them?

“Passion, selfishness, false appetites, … yield to spirituality.” (cit. S16/201:7)
Why do your students think these false desires yield to spirituality – to our real spiritual nature?
What does this show us about our original, sinless nature?

How can we “gravitate Godward”? (cit. S17/263:5) What does this mean?
How can we allow our aims, motives, and the things we place our affections on, to become more uplifted?

What is the result of having friendships based on wealth, fame, or social circles?
Are these lasting relationships?
What qualities do we want to look for in a friend?
What qualities are enduring?


Section 5 P.S.S.T. – [APPLY the W.A.L.L. treatment to SHOW the ILLUSION of SICKNESS]

The statements on page 495 of Science and Health (cit. 26) are sometimes known as the W.A.L.L. treatment among CedarS folks.

“When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts…, cling steadfastly to God and His idea.

Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought.

Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust….

Let Christian Science instead of corporeal sense support your understanding for being… “

This is a helpful treatment to memorize so we can take it with us wherever we go.

“The healing will grow easier and be more immediate as you realize that God, good, is all, and good is Love. You must gain Love and lose the false sense called love. You must feel the Love that never faileth, —that perfect sense of divine power that makes healing no longer power but grace. Then you will have the Love that casts out fear, and when fear is gone, doubt is gone and your work is done. Why? because it never was undone.” (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Vol. 1, p. 218)

It’s wonderful to know that Life is permanent and good. Life is the animating power of God. It is not contingent on a material structure. Life directs and controls the body. The body does not inform Life. Wonderful to know that we are dependent on God, good, for Life — not on material conditions or structures.

Do your students have an example of when knowing the immortality of Life has helped them? Science and Health is clear that nothing can touch everlasting Life and we are each Life’s ideas — vital, vibrant, joyful, radiant, spiritual, and full of enthusiasm.

How can we each and every day “earnestly seek…” our “…spiritual status, which is outside of all material selfhood”? (cit. S21/476:17-22)


Section 6 P.S.S.T.—[LEAD BY YOUR EXAMPLE OF HOLDING TO THE PERFECT MODEL]

 What does it mean to allow “the perfect model to be present in your thoughts” (cit. S28/407:24)? Is this a perfect, human model or a perfect, spiritual model?
What does a spiritual model look like?
What qualities are present in a spiritual model (beauty, health, harmony, joy, peace, self-surrender, etc.)?
What is the benefit of holding to a spiritual, perfect model?
How would holding to another model limit us?
Following the “crowd” often makes us lower our standards. How is holding to that spiritual model helpful for being a leader?
Do your students have any leadership opportunities where they needed to hold to a perfect model to obtain a desired outcome?

Enjoy your classes!

 

 

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