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PSST - PSST: Share the blessings of true SUBSTANCE and be safe!

Aubrey McMullin, CS Godrey, IL

[PSST: Run to the strength of true SUBSTANCE and be safe! (6)
Share in the blessings of divine math, where no sorrow is added! (GT)]

Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson

for Sunday, September 11, 2016 on

“Substance”

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

PSST Subject: SUBSTANCE - The question, "What is substance?" is like the question, "What is Life, and what is Truth?" All three terms are synonymous. Substance is dynamic, not static. Substance is active, not passive. Substance is God, and God is substance. Because God is the sum of life and action, substance is always living and acting. Don’t hesitate to go over what this means with your students! How is Substance active, not passive? How is it synonymous with Life and Truth?

PSST Golden Text (GT) — Luck or blessings? With luck you get good luck and bad luck—not a lot of surety. And blessings—well, have you ever heard of a bad blessing? Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” And The Message presents this passage as “God’s blessing makes life rich; nothing we do can improve on God.” How do we know that we cannot improve on God? Can we improve on His work, us? This Golden Text is a promise of blessing for us of an abundance of God’s love, provision, and power.

PSST Responsive Reading - “Divine beatitudes" came to us from messengers of infinite Mind voicing the blessed truths which Love infinitely offers. They have the supreme office of healing the sick; of releasing mankind from every sense of sorrow and bondage; of revealing the heavenly kingdom where Truth, Life, and Love reign constantly and forever, and where there is nothing "that defileth, ... or maketh a lie." To reach the state of blessedness expressed by the divine beatitudes is the desire of the earnest Christian. Why? What is it about these beatitudes shared in the Responsive Reading that show an earnest desire for growth in Christian Science?

PSST Section 1– “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (S1, vii:1-2). Are we leaning, truly leaning, on our sustaining infinite – God? Leaning is an action, an active way of expressing trust! If we are actively trusting in God, can our blessings do anything but multiply? How do you see your blessings multiply when you lean on God? We may believe in God, but are we leaning on Him? Are we leaning instead on material means, for help? As our thought changes to God as our Physician, we will experience and witness healing. Each day we are learning how better to guard each and every thought. Love must be the goal. God is Love. As we are living God's law of Love, we bless all those around us and people everywhere.

PSST Section 2– As we grow spiritually, how do our losses become our gains? Check out Hymn 207, Mother’s Evening Prayer, by Mary Baker Eddy: “O make me glad for every scalding tear, For hope deferred, ingratitude, disdain! Wait, and love more for every hate, and fear No ill, —since God is good, and loss is gain.” How is it that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (B9, Romans 8:18)? What is it about these trials that we may be experiencing that are showing us what we are gaining in our understanding of Christian Science?

PSST Section 3– Where do we find satisfaction? Are we hungering and thirsting after righteousness? Or after something else, a security blanket? Shouldn't we be turning to God for comfort and security, instead of any human security blankets? Over and over the Bible exhorts us to trust in God, to turn to Him whenever we are afraid or in trouble. Wouldn't it make much more sense to "put on the whole armour of God" than to resort to a security blanket that not only doesn't solve anything but also often tends to bring us deeper into our problems? Even those precautions that people wisely take against danger or calamity can be about as effective as a child's security blanket without an understanding of God that acts as our shield and defense. Mrs. Eddy says in this section that “what we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.” How are we turning to patience, meekness, love, and good deeds, all expressions of divine Love, for our comfort and security?

PSST Section 4– The pure in heart will recognize true substance. How are we demonstrating out innate purity? Understanding Christian Science and demonstrating its teachings in healing, like learning anything, come step by step. Through daily prayer and study of the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures the truth of being will begin to dawn. To advance, we must put into practice at once the truths we're learning. This means healing—healing sickness, faults of disposition and character—as well as solving relationship, career, and other kinds of problems. How are we putting into practice this witness of purity? How are we exercising that we are indeed pure in heart? Demonstration is just as necessary for us as practicing anything new to a young adult in school or athletics whether that is a new literature class, or a new sports team. Persistent practice of Christian Science opens the way to peace, healing, and newness. Beginning and continuing in Science are the most important work we can do for ourselves and the world. What is the blessing promised in this section? Do we have “clean hands, and a pure heart” as introduced to us in Psalms 24 at the beginning of this section?

PSST Section 5– How do we begin to understand that our oneness with God is a substantial relationship? Are we being the peacemakers in our relationships? “God fashions all things, after His own likeness. Life is reflected in existence, Truth in truthfulness, God in goodness, which impart their own peace and permanence” (S21, 516:4-12). How does this relate to the beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (B18, Matthew 5:9)? How do we find our unity with God? Through Spiritual sense. In Science and Health Mary Baker Eddy writes: "Through spiritual sense you can discern the heart of divinity, and thus begin to comprehend in Science the generic term man. Man is not absorbed in Deity, and man cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents infinite Mind, the sum of all substance" (pp. 258–259). When you really think about man's oneness with God, you can see how it must be a false sense—a material sense of things—that makes us feel alone and unloved. So, again, how do we find our unity with God?

PSST Section 6– The substance of safety is divine Love. WHERE shall we look for substance that is safe—safe from what are called the ravages of time, safe from theft, from decay and diminution? “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (B22, Proverbs 18:10). Many citations in the Bible provide us with the answer of where our true safety is. How can those directions be something that we turn to naturally? As in the last citation (S28) of this section from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, we are reminded of our armor of divinity, and can recognize that in proportion as individuals find safety in the substance of Spirit, nations will turn from their atheism, their idolatrous worship of a divisible god, and find the universe safe in the indivisible substance of Spirit, under the government of Love, which they must pattern. [See Warren’s PS for other ways to apply citation S28 to “rise to the occasion.”]

PSST Section 7– God blesses everyone with spiritual substance. Recently while perusing mugs in a coffee shop, I noticed one that said on it, “Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it turned into a beautiful butterfly.” I chuckled to myself, recognizing that this phrase was there to remind everyone that God’s thoughts can’t be sad! Our true and spiritual substance is joy! Spiritual proof does exist, and we are reminded of that in this section of the lesson. See if your students can point out these reminders! Maybe something they know from the Bible or Science and Health reminds them of their true spiritual substance on a daily basis. This could be something really cool to share with each other!


[Warren’s PS on citation S28, 571:16
“Know Thyself” to Rise to the Occasion! By Warren Huff
First draft posted on CedarS website in May 2003, modified this week

What occasions or opportunities are demanding your best these days?
1. Hard assignments, unbelievable work load and killer deadlines?
2. Important tests or essays?
3. A big game, meet, presentation or performance?
4. Group Leadership role(s)?
5. An important social date or event?
6. A sticky situation where taking a moral or ethical stand is needed?
7. A challenging relationship that keeps testing your patience, equanimity or integrity?

Whatever opportunities you face, you can meet them as their master by obeying this powerful two-word command.
"Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil."
Science & Health, 571:16

I will know myself as God knows me – as an ever-perfect expression of "infinity, freedom, harmony and boundless bliss." (See S&H 481:3.) I will totally accept and simply express each of these elements of my divine identity to eradicate their illegitimate opposites.
1) I hereby accept and vow to express my oneness with INFINITY! Without a body-based sense of a limited, finite self, my spiritual sense of infinity will eliminate from my experience matter's debilitating shortage of funds, energy, intelligence, speed, inspiration…
2) I hereby accept and vow to express my oneness with FREEDOM! No more restricting slavery or lingering links to past injuries, self-imposed limits, obsessions, temptations, frustrations…;
3) I hereby accept and vow to express my divine nature as a “real Christian Scientist… constantly accentuating HARMONY in word and deed, mentally and orally…” in order to eliminate all the friction and frustration of focusing on inharmony!
4) I hereby accept and vow to express my oneness with BOUNDLESS BLISS!
I will shine with the boundless bliss of blessing all with my divine BE-attitudes:
a) I will BE free from pride to inherit the kingdom of heaven!
b) I will BE comforting to be comforted!
c) I will BE hungry to do good to be filled with happiness!
d) I will BE meek to find what I seek!
e) I will BE quick to forgive to be forgiven!
f) I will BE pure in heart to see all in God’s light!
g) I will BE a peacemaker to win without a fight!
h) I will BE eager (even when persecuted) to “do right and fear not” and so to BE in God’s kingdom of Boundless Bliss and blessings.

In the next couple of days, "your assignment, should you choose to accept it,” will be to simply do your part, to know yourself spiritually and simply BE that true self. Then, watch God do Her part, to fulfill the divine half of the equation and supply you with all the wisdom and occasions wherever victories are needed. Try highlighting all of God's jobs in one color and all of yours in another in each BE-attitude above and in every Bible lesson.

A friend shed new light on our focus passage with this one-line insight:
"ABILITY (the wisdom) and OPPORTUNITY (the occasion) are coordinate ideas."

By accepting this divine law and the simple assignment to know yourself spiritually, you will never have ability without being given an opportunity to express it. (No unneeded bench-sitting.) And, you'll also never be given opportunities (like the seven opportunities listed above) without having the God-given abilities to rise to the occasion!]

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