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[PSST: Soar today by beating BOTH wings for a skyward flight! (5)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God the ONLY Cause and Creator”
for June 10, 2018

by Aubrey McMullin, C.S., Godfrey, Illinois
(618) 578-9407

I can’t recall a lesson that has ever included the entire story of creation before, so I found this lesson particularly enlightening and uplifting. What can we learn from this Bible Lesson and its all-inclusiveness? What can we gain from its entirety? How do we understand and apply daily that God is the ONLY cause and creator? Science and Health says, "The creative Principle—Life, Truth, and Love—is God" (p. 502).

PSST Golden Text: Christian Science is based on the Scriptural declaration, "I am the Lord, and there is none else," and it is proving that the truth, spiritually discerned, can be demonstrated to be true in the experience of humanity. How is healing a result of the recognition of divine law as ever present and ever operative?

Does Christian Science teach a blind faith that there is one God and that all things are possible to Him? In Miscellaneous Writings, Mary Baker Eddy writes (p. 97), “Christian Science is not a remedy of faith alone, but combines faith with understanding, through which we may touch the hem of His garment; and know that omnipotence has all power. ‘I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me” (Isaiah 45). What does it mean to combine faith with understanding? How do we touch the hem of His garment?

PSST Responsive Reading: What is the firmament of God’s power? (See Section 2!) What are the “mighty acts’ that we are praising God for? How many stars are there? How knowledgeable of their existence do you think God has to be in order to call “them all by their names” (Responsive Reading, Psalm 147: 4)? How is God’s understanding infinite? What does this mean about our understanding, as His reflection? Again, what are we praising God for?

PSST Section 1: Day 1. Beginning. Light is created and is separated from darkness to designate day and night.

What is the definition of “beginning” that Mary Baker Eddy gives us (SH2)? When you begin a project, it’s good to start from scratch, from the very beginning. It’s interesting that the first 4 words of the Bible are “In the beginning, God…” but what do we know about “beginning” and what do we know about God’s beginning? Does God have a beginning?

We hear all about Jesus being “moved” with compassion throughout the Bible. Here, the “spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters…” What does the word “moved” in citation B1 mean? What is its significance?

Mary Baker Eddy reminds us that the Light in creation is spiritual. And she also gives us the reassurance that, “This also shows that there is no place where God’s light is not seen, since Truth, Life, and Love fill immensity and are ever-present“ (SH4).

PSST Section 2: Day 2. God constructs a vastness called “sky” to separate the water on earth from the water above.

In His ongoing record of creation God calls out a firmament between the waters (B4 and SH5). With this firmament, God divides the elemental forms of error from the fundamental facts of Truth. In human experience good and evil often seem to commingle, but the firmament reveals the dividing line as distinct. What is this firmament? What are the waters that it is separating?
Is this an analogy as much as it is a literal separation of water? Think about what water does, it flows and moves in one direction. Could it be that the waters here are also referring to thought?

As Mrs. Eddy writes, “Spiritual understanding, by which human conception, material sense, is separated from Truth, is the firmament. The divine Mind, not matter, creates all identities, and they are forms of Mind, the ideas of Spirit apparent only as Mind, never as mindless matter nor the so-called material senses. Spirit imparts the understanding which uplifts consciousness and leads into all truth. This understanding is not intellectual, is not the result of scholarly attainments; it is the reality of all things brought to light” (SH5). It is spiritual understanding which separates error from Truth, the tares from the wheat, the unreal from the real.

Man stands upon the firmament. His standing ground is spiritual understanding; this, in fact, is his only standpoint. What might be beneath his feet? Perhaps the beliefs of sin, sickness, and death? Evil has no life, presence, or power. Why then should we place it above the firmament in the realm of understanding? Why should we bow down to its false authority? There is one divine authority, namely God. All true law and all real love are found in the firmament of spiritual understanding.

Divine Truth makes divine law; and isn’t man under God's law, and under none other? Does Man live in the firmament, in the clear, pure, wholesome atmosphere of spiritual understanding? Does he breathe freely, see clearly, and walk humbly? How can you put into practice the spiritual sense of the firmament that Christian Science gives you? What ideas from this section support your standing mentally with God today? How will the firmament be operating in your thinking?

PSST Section 3: Day 3. The water on earth is gathered to form seas distinct from land. Vegetation is created with the capability of reproducing from seeds.

What is true about our earth? What do we know about the earth’s trees and fruits and all the wonder of creation that is infinitely present? How does understanding the spiritual idea of something like a flower or a tree or other vegetation guarantee that you aren’t afraid of it? What is significant about separation on this third day?

Throughout the Bible, some truly incredible events are recorded as happening on the third day. On the third day Abraham learns that he is not required to sacrifice his son to please God (see Genesis 22:3–14). On the third day Moses is called up to the mountain to be given the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 19:10–20; 20:1–17). When Saul is made blind and is taken to Damascus, he is three days without sight before Ananias is sent by God to restore his sight (see Acts 9:1–22).

These “threes” don’t send a message of waiting for something to happen. Instead, they speak to the effectiveness of a present response to the good of God – its continuous unfolding of healing, insight, and being spiritually led. For many of us there is no greater “third day” experience than Jesus’ resurrection from the tomb. But the focus isn’t on physical time. It is on the glorious proof of God’s power – indestructible life.

Again, what is significant about separation on this third day? What do we see growing out of the seeds that are planted in thought? What grows from our ability to follow God’s directions without hesitation like Abraham (SH9)? What grows from the gifts we are given like Moses (SH12)? What grows from our ability to let go of physical sense like Saul (SH10)? How do we grow from understanding that physical time has nothing on the indestructible power of Life (SH14)?

PSST Section 4: Day 4. Astronomical bodies (sun, moon, stars) are created to provide light, mark seasons, and teach grand lessons.

As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Suns and planets teach grand lessons. The stars make night beautiful, and the leaflet turns naturally towards the light. In the order of Science, in which the Principle is above what it reflects, all is one grand concord” (SH16). At the closing of every Sunday School session, the Superintendent reads “the scientific statement of being,” a portion of which includes, “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all” (SH p.468). How can suns and planets teach grand lessons, if they are material? What grand lessons can we learn from thinking about the “suns and planets” from a spiritual perspective?

Laurence Doyle, a Christian Scientist and astronomer, wrote several articles about CS and astronomy and how they have taught him to understand God better. In one of his articles titled “Christian Science astronomy” he poses these questions: Can I consider the stars spiritually? Are there two universes, a material one we are supposed to outgrow, and a spiritual one we are to eventually inhabit? Or, instead, is there only one universe that we have to quit seeing materially, and rather perceive as made by infinite Mind and made up of its infinite manifestation? Is the universe mostly dead matter, or does God, Life, actually fill all space? If the latter is true, then doesn’t everything, in reality, express Life? Then suns and planets must do this, too—not by our looking at them as material objects, but as spiritual ideas, the creations of God. And wouldn’t this be what real astronomy is all about—lessons in the spiritual grandeur of creation? (From the June 2011 Issue of The Christian Science Journal)

Over the years, the beauty and power of the natural world have taught me that I can never lack any needful thing, because of the infinite nature of God's, Spirit's, unending affection for His creation. How has nature taught you about the infinity of God? What has His infinity brought to light for you?

PSST Section 5: Day 5. Birds and sea creatures are formed with the capability of reproducing “according to their kinds.”

Do we find through Christian Science that real life is not earth-bound, not tied to flesh, not dependent upon matter for continuity, not subject to death? How does thought rise naturally to higher realms of consciousness than they have known before? Have your interests ever changed, leaving self for God and His perfect creation of ideas?

Have you ever attempted to achieve material satisfaction by spiritual means? What does this do to our "upward flight"? The goal of the Christian Scientist is spiritual, never material. What tends to keep one earthbound, unable to reach spiritual heights of existence, is the persistent belief that he is a material personality, that earthly things still claim affection, interest, and sometimes fear. There is too often a compromise with the glitter and enchantment of matter. What makes us recognize the counterfeit nature of the material and inspires us fully to devote our life to spiritual service and progress?

Mrs. Eddy says in Miscellaneous Writings (p. 267): "The bird whose right wing flutters to soar, while the left beats its way downward, falls to the earth. Both wings must be plumed for rarefied atmospheres and upward flight." The ineffectiveness of trying to express spiritual power while clinging to matter and human personality becomes apparent. Did Christ Jesus, from the beginning of his career, keep his aspirations purely spiritual? When was he about his Father's business?

It takes humility for one to be willing to leave earth for heaven, and it takes careful discipline of personal feelings. Existing needs are not abandoned, nor is human progress ignored in the flight Spiritward. Rather, utility and beauty are considered in the light of improved beliefs resulting from a closer view of what is real. The more clearly we discern the spiritual creations of Mind, the less bound we are by the limitations which ignorance and matter impose. But our flight will not take us high if improved human conditions beguile us and we become satisfied merely with better beliefs. True aspiration is always found putting off the material sense of life for the divine.

As citation SH20 says, “The fowls, which fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven, correspond to aspirations soaring beyond and above corporeality to the understanding of the incorporeal and divine Principle, Love” (SH p.511:28). Since your hopes and aspirations to know God better can never be held down by material beliefs, where will yours be soaring today?

PSST Section 6: Day 6. God continues His work with the creation of land creatures, seeing them good.

We can see with the Light of Creation, the Christ the harmonious relationship between all of God’s creatures. God inspires all forms of spiritual thought. Have you ever encountered an animal, a creature, that at first seemed perhaps dangerous or unkind (maybe a bee or a wasp or even a stray animal) and shown it love and seen that love truly casts out fear?

"Tenderness accompanies all the might imparted by Spirit" (SH p.514). The Christian Scientist feels and manifests Love’s tenderness and can therefore heal! The appearance in our experience of a miserable, unhappy, neglected, forsaken little child, appealing to us for help, is not to be ignored or passed by unnoticed; and no more is the appearance of a miserable, unhappy, neglected, forsaken animal that comes to us for help, for "infinite Mind made all and includes all," and has time for all! "The higher always protects the lower" (SH pp.206, 518) – not sometimes, but always. If the lesser manifestations of Mind seem of little consequence to us, we should remember that Christian Science teaches that there is but one creator AND one creation; then we can find that it is our own false sense of things that makes us indifferent, and not a mistake in the thing created. God has not made any mistakes; and when we awaken to see things as they really are, we shall find that our indifference, resulting in neglect, which is cruelty, was born of a material sense of God's works. Can we not see all God’s creatures as our brothers and sisters?

How can we see insects, other creatures that sometimes bother us, maybe unwanted animals, etc. as the children of God? I like to look at insects, especially during the summer, and recall how often Mary Baker Eddy reminds us that ideas only have as much power as we give them. When we call insects “bugs”, aren’t we giving them permission to bug us (bother us)? God gave every idea a specific name, and when we follow that example we rise out of a sense of material bothersome and into a spiritual freedom from sense.

PSST Section 7: Day 6. God completes His work with the creation of man – male and female – having dominion.

From the MyBibleLesson: “If you’ve ever studied a language like Spanish or French, you know that some nouns are masculine and others are feminine. It’s the same in the Hebrew language. For example, in this passage “image” comes from a masculine noun (tselem) and “likeness” from a feminine noun (demuwth).” As stated in citation S29 “Let the “male and female” of God’s creating appear.” (SH p.249:5)

What a joy and inspiration it is to realize that we are given dominion by God over every material condition and circumstance. The very first thing we learn concerning man, as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis, is that he is given dominion: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion." When we understand this divine gift of dominion, it floods human consciousness with hope, strength, courage, conviction, and achievement. Spiritual dominion is an integral part of the consciousness of man. When ego goes to God, we gain the spiritual certainty that evil is without power and is, figuratively speaking, put under our feet into the dust of nothingness.

In Genesis 1, man's dominion clearly is not about hierarchy or domination; instead, our relationship with creation is portrayed as interdependent. All things are naturally connected to everything else through God. As Mary Baker Eddy explained, "All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power" (SH p.28). Also, what God creates, including "male and female," is blessed. Our "spiritual DNA" is wholly good. We were made to bless: "Man is not made to till the soil. His birthright is dominion, not subjection" (SH pp.517–518). Man's dominion isn't then freedom to abuse, but freedom to celebrate God's nature in serving creation. "The admission to one's self that man is God's own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea" (SH p.90).

We've been made to "exercise" this God-given dominion and authority (SH 393). How? By speaking to disease as one having authority, as well as feeding and caring for the hungry, and calming life's troubled seas. In doing so we "maintain law and order" (SH 97).

PSST Section 8: Day 7. God blesses the 7th day and sees His completion as very good.

According to the Bible, Even God gets to rest. So, what about everyone else?

Consider this. Even God gets to rest. He gets to rest and He is never fatigued. He gets to rest even though He is tireless Principle. He gets to rest a rest that is available throughout His universe. Why is that important to know? Because, if rest is so at hand for Him, it has to be equally at hand for His likeness, His image. That's you! That's each one of us!

“The highest and sweetest rest, EVEN FROM A HUMAN STANDPOINT, is in holy work” (SH30). This sweet rest, holy work, is described in citation B19, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

The Bible tells us that after six days of creating, God rested on the seventh day. The Hebrew word translated "rested" in Genesis, also has in its definition "celebrate." Think of God on the seventh day of creation as being so pleased with how things turned out, He just had to celebrate. Undeniably, that celebration would have to be renewing, not depleting; refreshing, not draining. With God, rest is not a lack of action. It is a lack of friction. No motion opposes His motion.

No mortally mental restlessness or second-guessing, or rehashing of the day's disappointments, has the power to haunt a person's consciousness or cause insomnia. They have no power to override God's restful celebration of good. So no erosion of spiritual refreshment takes place—for Him, or for you in His likeness. Let your prayerful reasoning always begin with God. See what that tells you about you. It will lift your prayers for rest to a higher altitude than you have perhaps previously explored.

Science and Heath citations S30 and S31 expand this holy rest in completeness concept:

· “Deity was satisfied with His work. How could He be otherwise, since the spiritual creation was the outgrowth, the emanation, of His infinite self-containment and immortal wisdom? God rests in action. The highest and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work. Unfathomable Mind is expressed.”

· “All that is made is the work of God, and all is good.”

Think of some of the spiritual ideas that are revealed in each of the seven days of creation. Remember to think of the spiritual qualities that God’s creatures represent.

God rests in continuous, holy, spiritual action. And we, His children, created in His image, also rest in action, in the exhaustless expressing of divine Love and Life. Because there is perfect spiritual relationship between God and man, we can prove through Science that we can never know exhaustion, fatigue, faintness, restlessness.

Lovingly, the Christ invites all who labor to come unto him and find rest. In Matthew (11:28-30) we read: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Where can we find this sweet and active rest?

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