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[PSST: Shed limited thinking now. (3) Get ready; stay ready. (5)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Probation After Death”
April 29th, 2018

By Tom and Amy Evans, former staff members and big fans of CedarS

Notice the number of times walk, step, or path is found in the lesson this week. Why might those words be found so frequently?

How about the use of the word “light”? See our note in Section 7.

PSST for Golden Text

How do you walk in the Light of God?

See Hymn 460

PSST for Responsive Reading

Bek, a 10th Grade Sunday School Student from Melbourne, Australia asks, “Why is Jesus only there if you follow him?”

John 8:12 Jesus says “I am the light of the world…” What is that? What is “…the light of life.”

PSST for Section 1 – Check out Mrs. Eddy’s assignment for you

What does it mean to “receive” Jesus Christ and “walk in him”? (B5)

In citation S1 Mrs. Eddy makes a statement about Life or God as the whole of being. Please put this sentence in your own words.

How does one find out and then demonstrate citation S2 that “Life is eternal”?
In citation S7 Mary Baker Eddy expands on this idea saying it is our duty to follow Jesus’ example and demonstrate Truth and Life. Is she giving you an assignment? If so, how will you complete the assignment?

PSST for Section 2 – Walk with God

What made Enoch so special (B7 and B8)? Very little is in the Bible about him, yet he was one of only a handful of men who ascended. What can we learn from Enoch? Mary Baker Eddy shares a little about Enoch’s perception in citation S8. Look at citation B11 for some insights on how to walk with God. Consider citation S11. In what ways are you waiting patiently on God and letting Him direct your path? How are you “demonstrating the great problem of being”?

Enoch lived for a long time, his son Methuselah is known for having lived the longest of anyone in the Bible or recorded history. Is the point of following God just to live a long mortal life? (NO!) Genesis tells us Enoch’s life was so focused on God that his brief biography tells us twice that he “walked with God.” Later, Hebrews 11:5 tells us Enoch “pleased God.” What spiritual ideas do you think Enoch lived and taught his children? Try reading Section 2 once again for inspiration, then think about what Enoch might have shared with his kids.

PSST for Section 3 – Shed limited thinking now

Sunday School teachers, Look at the fallen tree analogy in Ecclesiastes and then read through the rest of Section 3—go ahead, take this opportunity to refresh yourself on the ideas.

Ok, now that you have re-read the section, think of your class and the depth with which you have explored spiritual awakening from limited material thoughts in the past. If this is your first time with this class, think of challenges their age group might be wrestling with. Come up with a few fitting topics or specific examples they have mentioned in the past (Body image, power, ego, fear, hate, jealousy…)

Ask your class in general about this concept in citation S13 about continuing to dwell on limited, material thoughts even after the lie of death seems to take place. Then ask them if they want to hold on to the examples you came up with above (body image, hate, etc) or if they can start shedding these claims now. What steps can they take to spiritualize their consciousness?

PSST for Section 4 – False beliefs of life yielding to Life

In Matthew 17 (B15) Jesus has his transfiguration experience were he speaks with Moses and Elijah. Fynn, a 10th Grade Sunday School Student from Omaha, Nebraska asks, “After the transfiguration, why did Jesus come back the way he did without his face shining and his clothes glowing?”

Why do you think Jesus chose to go to a mountain separate from people, likely one in Northern Israel? Why didn’t the transfiguration take place in a crowded market somewhere with plenty of observers? Why do you think Jesus carefully selected only four disciples to come with him? Why do you think Jesus asked them not to speak about what they saw until after the Jesus was resurrected?

Take a look at the definition of Death from the Glossary in the back of Science and Health on page 584 (S16). Rather than defining death as “the end of life” like the world would have us believe, Mrs. Eddy calls it “…the lie of life in matter…” What a fresh—and accurate—way to look at Life. Since death is an illusion or error, it’s the mistake of believing there ever was life in matter. Continuing on with the definition, read lines 12-15 paying careful attention to the capitalization of Life. Discuss just how far the unreal concept of death is from Spirit and Life.

PSST for Section 5 – Get ready, stay ready

What is the idea behind Jesus statements (B16) about being dressed to go, being ready, and watching? See citation S23.

In Luke 12:34 Jesus talks about treasure. Keyomri, a 10th Grade Sunday School Student from Cincinnati, Ohio, asks, “What is your treasure?”

Kelsey, a 10th Grade Sunday School Student from Minneapolis, Minnesota asks, “In Romans 13:11-12 (B17), What are we waking up to? What are we waking up from?”

Citation S21 asks us to evaluate what we are satisfied with and then if it is wrongdoing, we need to hate or loathe it. Are there any bad habits or mental practices like judgment or jealousy which you can learn to turn away from? Citation S22 talks about the need to embrace and live spirit now rather than waiting for something to happen to make us more spiritual.

PSST for Section 6 – The ascension

The author of Luke and Acts begins the book of Acts by writing to Theophilus (“friend of God” or “lover of God”). Do you consider yourself a friend of God? The disciples doubted Jesus’ three years of teaching after the crucifixion, returning to their old jobs and limited ways of thinking. Then, after the resurrection, Jesus spent only 40 days with them before the ascension, but this latter experience convinced them to carry on Jesus’ teachings and heal others for the rest of their lives. What made this shift in their thought from doubt to demonstration? The Fifth Tenet (S24) discusses the importance of the crucifixion and resurrection. How are you acknowledging this importance?

Talk about Jesus’ ascension in terms of material sense and spiritual sense. In citation S25 Mrs. Eddy says Jesus “rose above the physical knowledge of his disciples, and the material senses saw him no more.” Are there spiritual ideas shared in testimony meetings that we may or may not feel inspired by based on our state of thought? Are there moments of inspiration or angel messages which we may or may not hear depending on our present thinking? Looking back at the transfiguration in Section 4, Matthew 17, how do you think Jesus prepared—or did not prepare—his three disciples for what they were about to witness?

PSST for Section 7 – Do it now

Consider how the four verses in this section are paired together. Discuss citation B21, “behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” What does this mean to you? What does Mrs. Eddy say about this verse (hint: see citation S28)?

Have you counted the number of times the lesson uses the word “light”? (We counted 21 with 12 of them before the end of the first section!) Notice how the Bible wraps up in citation B22 with comparing the ideal path in life to a shining light. What a perfect conclusion for this lesson!

How is the “path of the just…as the shining light” (B22)? What is the “perfect day” referred to in both citation B22 and S27? How are you witnessing and experiencing it right now?

Have a joy-filled class!

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