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[PSST: Trim away conflicting thoughts or characteristics that have no divine source!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for April 8, 2018

by Aubrey McMullin, C.S., Godfrey, Illinois
(618) 578-9407 aubrey.mcmullin3@gmail.com

The more I read and study the weekly Bible lessons, the more aware I become of how each subject really ties into the one previous as well as the one that will come next. This week’s lesson on “Unreality” sits smack-dab in the middle of “Reality” and “Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?” and what a treat that is for us! Last week we were able to study Reality, enabling us to identify unreality because we first know what is Real (much like how bankers study real money so that they can identify counterfeits more easily and accurately), and next week we will be able to confidently and thoroughly answer the question posed to us because we know (as this week’s lesson clearly states on several occasions) that because God is all then there can be no room for anything unlike Him such as sin, disease, or death. So, as I studied this week’s lesson I was struck at how everything from last week’s lesson tied into it and I questioned myself in how I will bring what I learn from this lesson into my study of next week’s lesson! Here are some ideas and questions that will hopefully help with your Sunday School classes this Sunday!

PSST Golden Text: What is God, Spirit, Soul, as All-in-all? He is infinite good. Therefore good fills all space, creates all presence and power, is the only substance. Good is universal, and there is no action, no consciousness, no reality but good. If we realize these spiritual facts, how can we fear that we could be shut off from good? Christ Jesus attributed to God the good he expressed and demonstrated, when he said, "There is none good but one, that is, God."

In Christian Science practice how is it important that we identify ourselves and others with universal good and separate everyone from any identification with the general belief in universal evil, which manifests itself in sin, disease, and death? How can we deny the claim of mortal mind to counterfeit the truth of one universal good with the suggestion of one universal evil? God's allness does not allow even the possibility of an opposite to good.

PSST Responsive Reading: The Psalmist must have sensed the scientific way to demonstrate God's support, for he said, "It is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works." (Ps. 73:28) How can we know the truth and then trust that truth deeply? How can we go forward fearlessly in the strength of spiritual knowledge? Isn’t this truth and trust the true leaning on the sustaining power of the infinite that Mary Baker Eddy talks about in her textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures?

God's upholding love is never withdrawn from the honest purpose, the innocent motive, because these true motives come from Mind, not from person or personality, and they prove the existence of man to be spiritual and not material. When we are young we tend to lean upon human parents, and as we grow older we tend to lean on friends or mentors or perhaps husbands or wives for support. Maybe at an old age the belief is that we lean upon our children. Mortals lean upon the physical body for life and hold it closer in thought at times of sickness instead of turning to Spirit for health and life. They lean upon matter for supply and upon personal influence for security and progress. Shouldn’t we be learning to lean upon "the sustaining infinite" for every worthy thing? Isn’t this what the Responsive Reading is reminding us of when guiding us to “draw near to God” and put our trust in Him?

Do we lean upon God for the healing we expect to receive? Do we turn from human personality to Spirit as the Giver of all health and life, and in turn witness the inseparable relationship of God and man which is our inherent and divine blessing? How can we find true security only in God? The Father Mind creates His universe of ideas. He governs it harmoniously. He supports it in a state of spiritual perfection. How can we trust the divine order and reject the mortal sense of a life which claims an existence apart from Mind? How can we follow our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, and, like her, be able to say, "I leaned on God, and was safe"?


What do we adore? What do we revere? What do we respect? worship? Do we realize that as we put ideas and people on pedestals that we are worshiping them? Are we “fitting” in without even thinking about what that means? I had a really enlightening conversation with a close friend in which the idea of “being more fit” came into the conversation. When it came up, he reminded me of my own beliefs even though they differ from his own: We are made in the image and likeness of God and are His reflection. His question to me in regards to “fitting in” or “being more fit” was this: “If you’re created in the image and likeness of God, and are His reflection, then don’t you always fit in Him?” What a cool way of thinking about that! I hadn’t ever thought about “being fit” or “fitting in” in this way before, and I LOVE IT! If we are concerned about conforming to “fit better,” then what are we trying to “fit” into? What are we conforming to? Are we really conforming? How can we see through the temptation to worship the next new thing or anything man-made rather than what is already God-made and already a perfect fit for His ideas?

One of the most unpopular people of the modern day is the nonconformist, … someone with the courage of their own principles standing for their own ethics against all odds. The principal myth of "following the crowd" is in a shallow belief that if the majority approves or participates in any mode of conduct then the act must be therefore proper and “right.” The basic issue ignored in this case though, is that God never deserts truth or right in order to stand with the majority. If we are choosing to stand against conformity, then what are we choosing to stand for? What are the results of putting God first? What happens when we refuse to conform and consciously choose to be transformed by the fact that “of him, and through him, and to him, are all things” (B5)? Once we are transformed by this fact, is there room for anything else but the goodness of God (SH5)?


In this section we have the story of King Belshazzar and “the writing on the wall.” King Belshazzar holds a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and commands that the Temple vessels from Jerusalem be brought in so that they can drink from them, but as the Babylonians drink, a hand appears and writes on the wall. Belshazzar calls for his magicians and diviners to interpret the writing, but they are unable even to read it. Belshazzar is advised to send for Daniel who at the time was famous for his wisdom. Daniel was brought in, and the king offered to make him third in rank in the kingdom if he could interpret the writing. Daniel declined the honor, but agreed to the request. He reminded Belshazzar that Nebuchadnezzar's greatness was the gift of God, and that when he became arrogant God threw him down until he learned humility. What was the “writing on the wall” in this story? What would be the “writing on the wall” in your story? Who and what are we glorifying? What are we depending on for results – is it God alone? Or is it material means? What are we being humbled in?

I read about a story in a periodical once that there was once a vessel at sea trying to send out an SOS signal but over and over again it was unnoticed. All of a sudden, the Naval Communication Service received the signal, and the command, "Clear the air," was given. Immediately, all other broadcasting was ended and the radio’s focus was on the message getting to the port where help would be found. Isn’t it so cool that it was necessary to “clear the air” before the call for help could reach the right and final destination? Do you ever feel like you need to send out an SOS signal because you’re being tossed amongst the so-called waves of mortal thought? Have you ever felt as if you were calling out for help from what felt like the depths of despair? We know through Christian Science that God is always at hand, but sometimes we feel a strong need for an answer, or what we believe would feel like an answer. How do we receive this answer? The author from the article reminds us that the only way to receive an answer is to keep the channel of thought clear and “open to good, and to good alone.”



Here we have the parable of the tares and the wheat. I find Jesus’ parables very applicable to everyday life and always relevant to current times and events. What are some tares and wheat experiences that you or your students can share? Are we able to recognize the seeming mix of good and evil in the world? Is the problem in the story of the tares and the wheat about the removal of the tares or is it about the ability and willingness to identify them? Are we paying close attention to the clues that help us to tell the tares from the wheat?

Here is one very common case of current day tares and wheat: If healing doesn't come right away, we may think “nothing is happening.” We may fear that our dedicated praying and studying have been ineffective when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. We learn in Christian Science that every effort to correct material belief with spiritual understanding is supported by God, and therefore must be effective. Are we being overly anxious about the presence of tares and wanting to pull them up, much like the servants in this parable? Jesus was patient. He told them, "Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them." He knew that the wheat was still growing and that a time of harvest was about to happen. If healing seems delayed, what more can we do than to be patient and trust God? Something is happening. Through the power of divine Mind the wheat is growing.

Mrs. Eddy encourages us: "obedience crowns persistent effort with everlasting victory” (Misc. 118: 24-28). Working metaphysically, remaining open to and grateful for Truth, we are letting the Christ nurture the "wheat" in consciousness. As we patiently persist, our understanding matures, while the unhelpful material beliefs are destroyed. Then healing comes naturally and irresistibly, because it is our divine nature to experience healing!



Can we ever suffer from relying on Spirit? Is it ever wrong to heal, or recognize/acknowledge Truth, or condemn error? Is it ever wrong to stand up for what is Right? What is thy birthright, man (SH 16)? What is this mirage of error (SH18)? We also read that on two occasions a wonderful demonstration of Truth's power was made in the synagogue, an attempt was made to convict Jesus on the technical ground of violating the law relating to the Sabbath.

In the case of the man who had the withered hand, which we have in this section, perfect healing was realized in spite of the bitter criticism of mortal mind, and even before Jesus pronounced the man whole he said, "It is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days." Jesus knew that there was no greater way to show our love for God, to worship Him, than by demonstrating man's God-given freedom from sickness and sin. And there could be no better day for this proof than the Sabbath.

Jesus didn’t violate the sacredness of the Sabbath. Why not! It was God's love that actually healed the sick, therefore Jesus acted in accord with the divine will. This superseded the human doctrine. Is the restorative and redeeming power of divine Love available every day? How is the experience of Christian healing like the Sabbath? How does healing today in Christian Science reveal man's true being to be spiritual, not material? It shows that God is Life and that man expresses Him alone. How are we able to worship God in the highest sense by proving His supremacy and man's unity with Him?


What are you doing when you trim something? The hedges in front of your house, for example, or the extra newsprint surrounding an article or coupon that you want to save. You are removing what is unnecessary or unwanted. You trim something when only part of it is worth keeping. Could your relationships or any other aspect of your life benefit from a little mental trimming? Wouldn't it be great if you could cut off thoughts that are upsetting, messy, or just flat out in the way? Well, you can! Only the qualities that reflect God's nature – thoughts which are good, unadulterated, and harmonious – have any value or reality. The rest, the discord, isn't God’s and, therefore, isn't real, so we don't have to keep it!

To help decide which qualities to hold on to, the Apostle Paul wrote, "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Phil. 4:8). We can use these standards to guide us in trimming away any and all grief and worry from our lives. What remains will shape our relationships and experience for the better. Mary Baker Eddy explains how to let goodness mold one's life: "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts" (Science and Health, p. 261).

What reason do we have for cutting away troublesome thoughts? One of the best reasons is that there is only one Mind, which is God. We can trim them away damaging and conflicting thoughts or characteristics because they have no divine source. Since the thoughts we cherish have a tremendous influence on our lives, isn't it important that we keep them neatly trimmed? What makes it easy to see where to cut? Could it be that everyone's true identity as God's reflection is being held up for us as a pattern to follow?

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