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PSST - PSST: Involve students in intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality.

Tom and Amy (Robbins) Evans

[PSST: Involve students in “intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality.” (1)
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Reality” for
September 29, 2019

By Tom and Amy Evans, former staff members (now of St. Louis) & big fans of CedarS

PSST for Golden text and Responsive Reading

Has your class memorized the Golden Text this week? It’s a quick one: “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.” Psalms 87:3

In Tom's Sunday school class students take notes on the quarterly itself about what stood out to them. Ask your class to underline, circle, write a note. Talk about this after the opening exercises when you are alone with your class. Somehow this feels wrong at first, but it is only an issue if there are two or more services using the same Quarterlies. Otherwise, the page will be turned next week and the quarterly will be recycled at the end of the season. Be mindful of the maturity of your students. Younger classes might mark on other pages and distract others (or themselves) on future Sundays. Also, Tom's class stays seated at the same table during the opening exercises and the rest of Sunday School. It may be distracting to other students if your class is writing and they are not.

Our Pastor, (The Bible and Science and Health) describes reality in many ways. We can work to see this clearer view of God’s creation. In the Responsive Reading what is this “holy city” (state of spiritual insight and understanding) like? (see Rev. 21:23) What kinds of thoughts are NOT in reality? (See Rev 21:27).

PSST for Section 1 – Intuition of Abraham

How do citations B3 and B4 connect?

Think about Abram’s trust in God. Are we willing to let go of our own agenda and follow?

What does the author of Hebrews mean when describing the city Abraham looked for as a city with “foundations” (B4)? Similarly, in citation B5 when Paul writes to the Corinthians, what does he mean by “the things which are not seen are eternal?”

Citation S3 has a lot to unpack. Ask your class to draw three simple pictures. Yes, even your college-age students can still draw :-) These can be talking points for your students as they describe to you what the first paragraph of citation S3 is all about and how it relates to their life.

  • First, “ideas dawn in faith.” Draw a horizontal line representing the horizon with the edge of the sun just peaking over it to represent dawn (faith).
  • Second, “full-orbed understanding.” Draw a circle with rays of light shining from it.
  • Third, “just as a cloud hides the sun it cannot extinguish.” Draw the sun (immutable harmony) with a cloud (false belief) in front of part of it.

The second part of citation S3 speaks about spiritual sense. Rather than looking to the five material senses, how are we relying on and deepening our spiritual sense?

Continuing with citation S3, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality.” Can you list examples of how you have followed this progression of spiritual sense?
Teachers: Have an example from your life ready.

List out the ways Abraham progressed. You can ask your students to list these qualities vertically on a sheet of paper, then fill in the blanks as you read about Abram in Section 1. Below is an example. Your class may want to consider such moments in their own lives.

Intuition (Abraham was guided to listen)

Hope (a glimpse of something greater than staying put and raising livestock as had been done by his ancestors “I will make you a great nation.”)

Faith (realizing it was possible to hear God’s voice and follow, Hebrews describes a city Abraham can look for.)

Understanding (It wasn’t a city, but understanding! Something Abraham and all of us can take with us anywhere we journey.)

Fruition (Abraham's children, Offspring, and the nation of Israel)

Reality.

While there are many ways to find insights in the lesson and many themes throughout, one perspective could be to look for this same framework repeating throughout the lesson’s five sections with five steps to seeing reality.


Intuition Section 1

Hope Section 2

Faith Section 3

Understanding Section 4

Fruition Section 5

Reality

PSST for Section 2 – Hope of a city

What happened in citation B8? How did Elisha heal the waters? What does this mean for us today? How are we witnessing healing like this? Consider this story in light of citations S7 and S8 (“Truth cannot be contaminated by error.”) How are you keeping your experience free from contamination from error? Talk about citation S9. What does it mean for there to be “but one primal cause”? What does this have to do with our understanding of reality? What are the “calm, strong currents of true spirituality” (S12)?

PSST for Section 3 – Faith of Jairus and his household

Last week’s lesson included the story of the woman with the issue of blood who touched Jesus in the crowd and was healed. Jairus came to Jesus before the woman was healed and his daughter was raised following that healing (B12). What is significant to you about that timeline? Why did Jesus remove everyone who was crying in order to heal Jairus’ daughter?

What do we need to change in our thought in order to witness healing? Discuss citation S13—"Life is real and death is the illusion.” “The great spiritual fact must be brought out that man is, not shall be, perfect and immortal.” What do these ideas have to do with the healing of Jairus’ daughter? How can you apply [or have you applied] citation S16?

PSST for Section 4 – Understanding of the Good Samaritan

In citation B14, what is a watchman’s job? What is this verse saying about protecting a city or being vigilant without honoring or listening to God?

How does Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan demonstrate Understanding? Consider the fact that Jesus chose a Samaritan to be the exemplary figure when Priests and Levites were the religious leaders in the Jewish community. The Samaritans were a hated race and culture by 1st Century Jews.

Look at the rest of the section from Isaiah. Psalms 122:6 (B18) tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. In the larger context of this lesson we have the city / consciousness metaphor. How is the Samaritan bringing peace to a community? (helping a stranger, helping a hated race, going above and beyond, etc.) What about peace to your consciousness? your understanding of reality?

Citation S18 is Mary Baker Eddy’s description of Jerusalem. Not New Jerusalem, but a city as the senses described it with material problems. Discuss the Understanding that the Samaritan demonstrates in Jesus’ parable.

The Good Samaritan is setting the example, showing the structure of love and harmony in place of what the senses perceive as fear and helplessness.

Sunday School Teachers of older classes: Bring a news article from the monitor, a headline, or even an issue in your community. Let your students discuss turning things into thoughts in today’s world issues. Where do you start spiritually?

PSST for Section 5 – Fruition of John. The New Jerusalem

Discuss citation B22. What is the new Jerusalem that John is writing about? Refer to the definition of New Jerusalem in the Glossary (S25) and what Mary Baker Eddy writes in citations S26, S27 and S28. What does new Jerusalem have to do with reality? How can you apply citation S30, “The realm of the real is Spirit”?

Have a great class

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