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[PSST: Treat yourself and others as if you really felt fresh, new, born again of Spirit! (3)
Accept more fully each day the immediacy of God's love for You and for ALL! (6)]

Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

"SPIRIT"
for February 10, 2019

prepared by John Biggs, CS Maryland Height, MO
JohnBiggsCS@gmail.com 541.418.1176

Thank you so much for your prayerful prep for Sunday School, whether you are a teacher, substitute, superintendent, parent, student or church member or churchgoer! It's a wonderful thing to gather in intentional, humble fellowship to pray together and learn together about God's view.

P.S.S.T. Golden Text and Responsive Reading

Which statements are God's promises or declarations, and which are descriptions of our duty or role? What does it mean to bear witness – is that something that needs to happen consistently, or can you bear witness off-and-on? Are we always able to 'rejoice in the Lord' or are there some times that we just can't? Do God's promises and declarations here only go to certain people? Is Spirit all-inclusive or exclusive?

P.S.S.T. Section 1

What is the importance of knowing that God made you (see citation B2)? What difference would that make to your day, to have that spiritual, correct view of your origin? How do we know when or if we can trust what our eyes and ears are telling us (B4)?

What are some differences between spiritual sense and material sense? What does it mean to 'receive the spirit which is of God?' What if it doesn't feel like you have received that?
Is God holding out on you? How can we practice listening for, and trusting, God more?

P.S.S.T. Section 2

Citation B7 is full of praise for God. What is the benefit or purpose of praising God?
Does everything have to be going amazing, according to your sense of things, before we can praise God?

Do we praise God in order to get something – like trying to butter God up?
What is the benefit of simply reflecting on the nature of God?

What does citation B9 tell us about satisfaction? Does that sound very satisfying to you?
Is true satisfaction lasting, or is it something we have to chase every day?

P.S.S.T. Section 3

In the story related in citation B11, what qualities do you think Nicodemus had to express to make him willing to go visit Jesus? Were the Pharisees typically friends with Jesus? What is so revolutionary or just plain interesting about what Jesus is teaching Nicodemus here?

What does it mean to be born again? What would that feel like, what would you expect from the day, how would you treat yourself and others, if you really felt fresh, new, born again of Spirit? If you answered that question with any differences from how you currently think or act, what is preventing you from living in that fresh way, now?

Along the same lines, do you give 'permission' to others to be new, or do you usually see people through the lens of expecting them to act the same as always? What would it take for you to be comfortable seeing others as new every day, defined by God alone? [Note CedarS 2019 Theme: “Behold, I make all things new!” (Revelation 21:3)]

P.S.S.T. Section 4

Would you mind sharing some healings with your class? Or perhaps consider together some testimonies from the Christian Science periodicals. See if you all can find some common denominators between those healings – NOT looking for a formula, but just noticing if there are any similar attitudes or thought shifts detailed. When considering healing, what benefit does it bring to the situation, to be assured of the reality of Spirit and the consequent unreality of matter?

Do Christian Scientists deny the existence of matter and therefore deny the existence of mountains, streams, cities, paintings…? Consider Mary Baker Eddy's words in Rudimental Divine Science 6:3-17, and Miscellaneous Writings 86:9-87:14. It's very important to be clear with our students that Christian Science does not deny the existence and joy of forests, going on dates, and appreciating a thoughtful, home-cooked meal. It's just that the so-called material senses do not report correctly on the fullness and perfection of God's creation, so it's the senses that we are working to assess spiritually – practicing our innate spiritual sense (see Science and Health 274:12 for a helpful unpacking of this). Seeing spiritually also brings healing to our experience!

P.S.S.T. Section 5

Is there any exclusion in heaven? Is it fair for everyone to be included? Isn't it important to have distinction between worthy and unworthy people? (And if it is, how do you decide who is worthy and who isn't?) It's a slippery slope, isn't it?

Does this section imply that you need to be best friends with everyone? What are the practical implications – the things you could put into practice today – that this section teaches? What are the benefits of feeling this greater sense of God's love for everyone? Would it help you heal??

P.S.S.T. Section 6

Read citation B18 carefully. When is salvation coming? How about the other citations: when are they happening? Love to be so careful about how we read things like this; we don't want to add in any pre-conditions or timelines that are not there. Sometimes I accidentally read citation B18 like this: "Salvation and strength and the kingdom of God will come when I understand more!" Hmmm. Certainly we love to keep growing in our understanding, and we always will as we keep faithfully working… but that's not what the citation says. It just says, "NOW is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of God." Are we willing to accept the immediacy of God's love for us – and for everyone, if we remember the lesson about inclusivity that we learned in Section 5? What would be different in your life, if you accepted the immediacy of God's love? How can you help yourself and others take steps to accept this more fully each day?

Thank you, again, for your care for your communities! The world needs this graceful ushering in to a greater awareness of the presence of heaven for all, and your care for your students is a great help in this.

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