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PSST - PSST: Lift thought from the symbol to the reality with FRESH prayer, humble charity…

Aubrey McMullin, CS Godrey, IL

[PSST: Lift thought from the symbol to the reality with FRESH prayer, humble charity…]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

for Sunday, January 10 , 2016 on

“Sacrament

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

Sacrament! What does that word mean? Why is it special enough to be the subject of a lesson? What is a spiritual sacrament? What do we replace the material symbols with in Christian Science worship? What are our sacraments? These are simply some bigger, broader, questions that can start off a Sunday School class for older students.

Usually the question of sacraments refers to material rites. How do we reply to this inquiry as a Christian Scientist then? In Christian Science, we do not use material symbols of worship. Hymn 108 reminds us that “as we rise, the symbols disappear; the feast, though not the love, is past and gone; the bread and wine remove, but THOU art here…” What Jesus gave his disciples the night of the Last Supper was spiritual sacrament, not material. He prayed first and then gave his disciples bread and wine. Mary Baker Eddy addressed Christ's table in her Communion Address in January of 1896 when she said that “in proportion to a man's spiritual progress, he will indeed drink of our Master's cup, and be baptized with his baptism! Be purified as by fire, -the fires of suffering; then hath he part in Love’s atonement, for 'whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth'” (Misc. 124-125).

PSST Golden Text: So, what are our sacraments? Well, the Golden Text sets up the lesson very nicely for us to re-examine this question throughout the lesson! It reminds us that through God's work (providing our spiritual progress), we are glad (drinking of our Master's cup)… and we are anointed with FRESH oil (having a part in Love's atonement). But take notice of the word FRESH!! We are anointed with FRESH oil! Not oil that has been sitting around for a while, or used already. He anoints us with FRESH consecration, FRESH charity, FRESH gentleness, FRESH prayer, FRESH heavenly inspiration! Everything is new and fresh! So again, what are our spiritual sacraments? How are they continually fresh? How do we take notice of these sacraments? Partaking in the communion service of Sacrament is showing an appreciation of Mrs. Eddy's service to humanity and our following of that service by lifting thought from the symbol to the reality, from shadow to substance.

PSST Responsive Reading: In the Responsive Reading this week, we are reminded that some people doubted Jesus! Sometimes I find myself thinking, “Who could ever doubt Jesus and what he was teaching?” But we have reminders like this Responsive Reading that show us that sometimes the truth is not welcomed, or listened to, or even obeyed, but that when that happens we must turn to what we KNOW and follow that. We need to remember that we are the equipment as Rick put in the Application Ideas. All we need to do is keep it simple and stick to Truth! Preach the truth! Preach the gospel! We might not see others accepting that truth or accepting what we know to be fact, but when we accept it for ourselves and are willing to share it, others will begin to see that truth demonstrated! So again, what are our sacraments? What are the truths that we are declaring unfailingly?

PSST Section 1: Each one of us is anointed and guided with God's love! Each day we are anointed and guided by Love, Spirit, Truth, Principle, Life, Soul, and Mind. How do we acknowledge this guidance? Don't we choose what anointing to accept? Will we be anointed by frustration from school work or from relationships? Or will we be anointed by love and patience and joy from God? We are always standing porter at the door of thought, and it is by that door that the anointing enters! What will you choose to allow to enter?

PSST Sections 2 & 3: Imagine walking around barefooted. Think of all the surfaces you could walk on. Yeah, it could be hardwood floors or carpet or sidewalk, but it could also be dirt or grass or mud or sand or anything else that maybe doesn't cross your imagination as clean... so how humbling would it really, truly be to wash someone’s feet? Especially someone you didn't really know? Think about it. Have your students think about it. Turn to your neighbor and really think about washing their feet. Think about humbling yourself so much that you are cleaning them. Is cleaning feet the only way we can replicate that act of humility today? The woman mentioned in Section 2 and Jesus mentioned in Section 3 both humbled themselves in a large way. They both showed us how when we serve God, we are living love. This was the example that Jesus set for his disciples and us. When we humble ourselves like this, are we participating in sacrament? Is choosing to live love lifting thought from symbol to spirit?

PSST Section 4: Again, this entire section is dedicated to the meaning of spiritual sacrament and its importance. In the communion hymn by Mary Baker Eddy, we are reminded that it is not the creed but “the Truth in thought and deed.” So what are our thoughts? What are our deeds? How do these choices in thought and deed dictate how we are choosing to be anointed? How do they dictate our participation in sacrament?

PSST Section 5: The morning meal with Jesus always makes me think of when I recognize the lesson that a challenge has made it possible for me to gain. After demonstrating Truth and recognizing the lesson learned, I "rise somewhat from mortal sensuousness, or the burial of mind in matter, into newness of life as Spirit"(Science and Health 35). How are we continually rising from mortal sensuousness? How are we participating in sacrament?

PSST Section 6: We ARE God's work! Let His work be done with gentleness, humility, charity, joy, prayer, and heavenly inspiration. “We worship spiritually, only as we cease to worship materially” (Science and Health 140). As we participate in sacrament, true sacrament, spiritual sacrament, we are constantly gaining knowledge of Truth, of our true being. So, what is our spiritual sacrament? How are we participating in this sacrament daily? What is its importance?

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