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[PSST: Think and look beyond “fading, finite forms!” (SH 264)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“SUBSTANCE”
for September 10-16, 2018

prepared by Merrill Boudreaux, C.S.
pegasus6524@gmail.com 314-308-1059

NOTE: CedarS Met Application notes by Craig Ghislin, CS were sent last night, followed by Cobbey Crisler insights on select citations for this week's lesson.

P.S.S.T. Golden Text – The demand in the Golden Text is to think. What role does thinking play in experience? Proverbs 23:7 says “…as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:”. What does the Golden Text advise us to think on? Where do we look for advice on what and how to think about ourselves, our fellow ideas, and our God?

Ask students to share favorite Bible passages or statements from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy that inform and anchor their thinking each day. This could also include a favorite hymn.

P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading – What guidance is provided in the Responsive Reading as to what we shall seek, first in what and how we think, and secondly in what we desire or expect to experience? How would the students describe the Kingdom of God?

From Science & Health 590:1: “Kingdom of Heaven. The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.”

Is harmony in our daily experiences a present reality? What is the basis for harmony, what assures that harmony is yours? Verse 31 in the Responsive Reading points the way: “…seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” This points us in the right direction and away from any material choices to provide satisfaction.

P.S.S.T. Section 1 – What in Bible citation 3 is the conversation that God is having with us? What are the promises from God to us?

  • Thoughts of peace, and not of evil
  • Giving us an expected end (which is good in our lives at present and always)
  • I will hearken unto you
  • Ye shall seek and find me

See also Psalm 37:37: “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.”

Do you desire peace in your lives, harmony, fulfillment? Where do you look? See S&H 264:3:

“The crude creations of mortal thought must finally give place to the glorious forms which we sometimes behold in the camera of divine Mind, when the mental picture is spiritual and eternal. Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things. Where shall the gaze rest but in the unsearchable realm of Mind? We must look where we would walk, and we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being.”

Pay particular attention to the last sentence in that citation, “We must…”

This guidance points us to look to things (ideas) that are substantial to sustain us.

P.S.S.T. Section 2 – Do we look to God for things, for material comforts? When we pray are we looking to God to provide physical comforts, an enlarged bank account, more friends, better grades? Or, do we look to God to find out what God knows about us and to see what God is already providing for us? Why? Citation B7 tells us: “the goodness of God endureth continually.” So, what is substance to us, the fleeting and fading, or the permanent?

Read together citation S8. Here is also a statement as to what prayer is, not praying for things but to see how we are aligned with God, already prepared and receiving all good. Why? Because this is the eternal nature of God to share abundantly with His reflection, man.

P.S.S.T. Section 3 – What do you think it means to go to the mountain of God? Is it a physical place or can we go there in our thinking, that is, to go up higher in thought? Ask students to share any examples from the Bible where individuals went to the mountain and what did they experience? Here are a few examples:

  • Exodus 3:1-8,10
  • Exodus 24:12
  • I Kings 19:1,2,11,12
  • Matthew 4:1-11
  • Matthew 3:16,17
  • Mark 9:2-5,7

P.S.S.T. Section 4 – What do the citations in this section teach us about giving? “Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us.” (Citation S15)

Perhaps the class might consider a service project of some kind that could benefit their church or neighborhood.

P.S.S.T. Section 5 – Read together citation B16. Do you think this means God intends for us to be poor? Or, do you think it means we should examine where our substance comes from and on whom we rely for our needs being met? Read together the question and answer in S&H page 468:16-24:

“Question. — What is substance?

“Answer. — Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay. Truth, Life, and Love are substance, as the Scriptures use this word in Hebrews: “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance. The spiritual universe, including individual man, is a compound idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit.”

Do you prefer (place first in thought and action) looking to matter or Spirit for your substance? See citation S23. See also Matthew 7:16: “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

P.S.S.T. Section 6 – By turning to the substance of Spirit, that which is eternal, what shall we find? Citation S28. Note that in citation B20 Jesus’ followers were expanded beyond men only. Who else was included? Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, and many others. What was said of all of these witness in citation B20, verses 43-48? Can we have the same experience today? Citation S28 provides the answer.

P.S.S.T. Section 7 – What is the blessing for you in citation B21, verse 12? See also Isaiah 11:2: “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;”

The result is what has been called the Peaceable Kingdom as expressed in Isaiah 11:6,9:

“6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

“9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”

Are you like that little child? Read together S&H 323:32-4:

“Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, — this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony.”

Do you know that God is working His purpose out through you? Read together Hymn 82 in the Christian Science Hymnal (printed below).

You can do all things because you have the substance of God.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Hymn 82 Arthur C. Ainger

“PURPOSE” H. Walford Davies Music by permission of H. Walford Davies

God is working His purpose out As year succeeds to year,

God is working His purpose out And the time is drawing near;

Nearer and nearer draws the time, The time that shall surely be,

When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God As the waters cover the sea.

What can we do to work God’s work, To prosper and increase

The brotherhood of all mankind, The reign of the Prince of Peace?

What can we do to hasten the time, The time that shall surely be,

When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God As the waters cover the sea?

March we forth in the strength of God With the banner of Christ unfurled,

That the light of the glorious Gospel of truth May shine throughout the world;

Fight we the fight with sorrow and sin, To set their captives free,

That the earth may be filled with the glory of God As the waters cover the sea.

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