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PSST - PSST: Expect changes in your daily life when you commune with Spirit! (5)

Tom and Amy (Robbins) Evans

[PSST: Expect changes in your daily life when you commune with Spirit! (5)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Sacrament"

For July 9, 2017

By Tom and Amy Evans, former staff members and big fans of CedarS

PSST for Golden Text
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24, KJV). In Warren’s “Happy Independence Day bonus! Two...” email this week he quotes Cobbey Crisler’s commentary on Jesus asking Philip about where to get enough food to feed the multitude (see B3). Cobbey makes the point that Jesus is not actually asking Phillip for physical food, the master is testing his disciple. Cobbey writes, “He wants Philip to get to the ‘altitude of concept’ where he could answer that question on the same level that Jesus is about to answer it.” Similarly, this Golden Text is instructing us to worship God from a spiritual perspective.

What would make people want to worship God materially? Do other faiths worship God through material means? Do other Christians worship God with symbolic material objects? See the scenario in Section 2 of this PSST. For a deeper discussion on Sacrament, see Matt 26:26, 27. When you are ready for more, see John 6:53 where Jesus says “eat my flesh and drink my blood.”

PSST for Responsive Reading (RR)
How does the RR instruct us to worship God? Micah 6:6-7 takes a look at some of the ways people thought it was appropriate to worship God around 700 B.C. The prophet Micah exaggerates to make a point. What does he say God actually requires of us in Micah 6:8? Psalm 51 is about getting right with God using the context of David’s prayer after committing adultery with Bathsheba. Sunday School Teaches: Is there a context in your life that has brought you closer to God? A holy time or a time of need that you can share with your class that has been a mountaintop experience?

PSST for Section 1
Look at the familiar account in citation B3 from John 6, where Jesus feeds the crowd of over 5,000 people. As we mentioned in the PSST for the Golden Text, Cobbey Crisler says Jesus “wants Philip to get to the ‘altitude of concept’” when he asks the disciple to solve a seemingly impossible problem: a lack of food.

There is SO much taking place in citation B3. Read this chapter in an accurate modern translation and unpack it together. Mrs. Eddy relied heavily on different translations in order to better understand the Biblical text. Try the New Living Translation (NLT) or New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

Citation S3 speaks of “the knowledge of Love, Truth, and Life.” Mrs. Eddy often uses these three synonymous names for God. Think about each description for God. Last week’s lesson included the definition of God. How do these different qualities of God help us to recognize a fuller picture of Deity and to be inspired with “song, sermon, or Science...” (S4)?

PSST for Section 2
Is it a big deal that Jesus prophesies his own crucifixion and resurrection (B4)? The majority of Christians place great emphasis on the passage in citation B5, often called the Last Supper. Look at citation B5 and compare this with citation B13 in Section 5. The Morning Meal does not receive the same attention by Christians in general. What is the mood at the Last Supper? What is the significance? What lessons are to be learned? “Drink ye all of” WHAT exactly?

In citation S5, Mrs. Eddy shares “The true sense is spiritually lost, if the sacrament is confined to the use of bread and wine.” Read through the rest of page 32 individually or together. What exactly is Mrs. Eddy suggesting we learn from the Last Supper? Look up the term Eucharist in the dictionary (Check out the 4th definition from Dictionary.com which refers to Christian Science.)

Here is a very real scenario: A friend Googles “Eucharist” and says to you, “I was reading about the Eucharist. You know, the bread and wine we eat and drink that is like Jesus. I saw your church mentioned in the definition, Scientolo—I mean Christian Science. What is ‘spiritual communion with God?’ Does that mean you guys don’t actually do anything for your communion Sunday?”

See page 125 and 126 of the Manual of the Mother Church.

What is Mrs. Eddy’s poem, Communion Hymn about?

“Strongest deliverer, friend of the friendless,

Life of all being divine:

Thou the Christ, and not the creed;

Thou the Truth in thought and deed;

Thou the water, the bread, and the wine.”

Why does Mrs. Eddy describe the crucifixion and resurrection as “an everlasting victory” (S6)?

PSST for Section 3
See citation B6. Talk about Jesus’ humility. Why is this important? Read citation B7, Ephesians 4:1,2 in the New Living Translation.

Is humility part of “Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love”? If so, it “receives directly the divine power” (S9). For the second time in this week’s lesson we read “whatever”. S&H 234:4 says ‘Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love…” Is there a specific action we have to take in order to be inspired? Can our understanding of Eucharist be broader than a sad meal? Can we follow the footsteps of Christ outside of Church? With these questions in mind, read citations S10 (113:5), S11 (490:6–8 Christian), and S12 (272:3–5). What applications come to mind in your own experience? What is “the way Jesus taught” (S13, 30:30–32)?

PSST for Section 4
As the disciples and Paul broke bread with other Christians after Jesus’ resurrection, do you think they were sharing healings and inspiration? Do you think their meals were formulaic? 1 Cor 10:31 in the NLT reads “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” There is that word “whatever” again, except this time Paul is saying it. What do you make of this lack of concern for the precise format in which we worship or what actions we take to bless others? Mrs. Eddy uses the word “Whatever” 54 times in Science and Health. Many uses are in the context of whatever uplifts thought will bless. Take a look at citation S17: Jesus “attached no importance to dead ceremonies.” Read through citation S18, S&H 26:1. What emphasis does Mrs. Eddy place on the individual in the Eucharist?

PSST for Section 5
How do you “upbraid” someone? Read citation B12, Mark 16:9,14 in a different translation. Can your students recall the details of the morning meal (B13, John 21)? What is the mood at the Morning Meal? What lessons are to be learned? What significance does your class place on the Morning Meal? Read through citation S20 and ask your students to rephrase the ideas in their own context. Class, please add this to your answer for the scenario in Section 2 of the PSST where a friend asks you about the Eucharist and spiritual communion. What changes do we expect to see in our own daily life when we commune with Spirit? Citation S21 reads “A condition precedent to communion with Spirit is the gain of spiritual life.” WOW unpack that statement.

PSST for Section 6
Think about the conversation that Jesus has with Peter (B14). How are you loving the Christ? What is the result of this (hint: look at citations B15-B17)? The direction in Science and Health in this section is to follow the example of Jesus. Why is this so important? Talk about the key directions in citations S24-S26; “keep the commandments of our Master”, “follow...the example of the Master”, “lay… earthly all on the altar of divine Science, drink… Christ’s cup now”. How are you following these directions? What happens when we listen and follow? When do we expect to recognize spiritual results (S26)?

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