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PSST - PSST: Face God as a beloved child in whom He’s well pleased with “Each smile a hymn”

Merrill Boudreaux, CS -- St. Louis MO

[PSST: Face God as a beloved child in whom He’s well pleased with “Each smile a hymn” (PSST 7 & GT)
Possible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:

“Doctrine of Atonement”
for October 12-18, 2020

prepared by Merrill Boudreaux, C.S.
pegasus6524@gmail.com • 314-308-1059

P.S.S.T. Golden Text (GT), Psalm 69:32 – Do you seek God? Where do you find God? Try looking in your neighbor’s eyes, your neighbor’s face.

Read together Hymn 217 from the Christian Science Hymnal (printed here). Pay particular attention to Verse 2.

Hymn 217

O, he whom Jesus loved has truly spoken, That holier worship, which God deigns to bless,

Restores the lost, and heals the spirit broken, And feeds the widow and the fatherless.

Then, brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother, For where love dwells, the peace of God is there:

To worship rightly is to love each other; Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.

Follow with reverent steps the great example Of him whose holy work was doing good;

So shall the wide earth seem our Father's temple, Each loving life a psalm of gratitude.

P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading (RR) – While you are looking in your neighbor’s eyes and face, also cultivate listening so that you may hear God. What will you hear? Isaiah 30:21: “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”

Ask students to identify further statements from the Responsive Reading as to the results when the Psalmist sought God.

See also the prayer of affirmation in Psalm 34:22: “The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”

P.S.S.T. Section 1 – Read together Citation B2 (Psalms 139). Answer in your own words, Where can I go and God will not/cannot see me?

This is a statement of at-one-ment, in that we can never be separated from God. We are at-one with Him.

Read together Romans 8:35,37-39, printed here:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As we look for God in our neighbor’s eyes and face, guess what? Our neighbor is seeking God by looking into our eyes and face. So, what shall we do with our lives, what is required of us?

Read together Citation B3 from Micah 6:8. This is an excellent measure of the result of being at-one with God. A further expression of this oneness with God is stated in Citation S3 (Science & Health 4:3-5): “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.”

Is this what your neighbor sees in you?

P.S.S.T. Section 2 – Read what Mary Baker Eddy tells us of our great work to be done as reflection, in SH 3:12: “The Divine Being must be reflected by man, — else man is not the image and likeness of the patient, tender, and true, the One “altogether lovely;” but to understand God is the work of eternity, and demands absolute consecration of thought, energy, and desire.”

This work is not burdensome. Why? Because we have Love to “inspire, illumine, designate, and lead the way” (SH 454:18).

Do you identify as being at-one with Love, with Life, with Spirit, with Soul, with Mind, and especially with Truth, reliably pointing the way and leading?

Read together Psalm 23. Pay particular attention to the phrases: “he leadeth me”... and “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me”…

Hint: God is before and after you, surrounding you, as a certainty, because you are now, always have been, and ever will be at-one with God.

P.S.S.T. Section 3 – What does the scripture story in Citation B8 (II Samuel 12) tell us about how to take corrective steps when we have lost sight of our neighbor or even of our self?

Citation S12 states, “We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart…” (SH 8:28).

This reasoning is supported by Citation S14: “Let us rid ourselves of the belief that man is separated from God, and obey only the divine Principle, Life and Love.” (SH 91:5)

P.S.S.T. Section 4 – Ask students to share examples from Jesus’ life of how he “demonstrated man’s oneness with the Father…” (Citation S16, SH 18:3).

Science & Health tells us that “acknowledging the supremacy of Spirit … annuls the claims of matter … [and] establishes man forever in the divine likeness, inseparable from his creator.” (Citation S19, SH 491:12).

P.S.S.T. Section 5 – Was Jesus’ acknowledging man’s oneness with the Father limited to healing the sick?
How else did he demonstrate this oneness? See Citation B16 (Luke 7). How about raising Lazarus and himself from the grave? One might say Jesus’ acknowledgment of oneness was a full-service provider, touching all aspects of humanity and meeting all human needs. We can do the same.

Mary Baker Eddy says in Citation S20 (SH 12), “In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as ‘a very preset help in trouble.’”
Why? Because “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals.” Meaning, Love adjusts itself to meet every human’s needs. Remember Psalm 23 – Love leads us and Love follows up.

P.S.S.T. Section 6 – What does Peter call the men of Judæa to do, and by extension, us to do? Citation B18, verse 38 (Acts 2:38).

What is baptism? BAPTISM. Purification by Spirit; submergence in Spirit.
We are “willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (II Cor 5:8,SH 581:23)

Are you willing to be baptized? Can you be baptized? Citation S25 (SH 37) tells us: “yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, -- to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.”

Baptism may be considered an outward symbol of one’s acceptance of oneness.

P.S.S.T. Section 7 – What is the image of oneness provided by Mary Baker Eddy in Citation S27 (SH 361) -- “...a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun…”

This week, let us practice seeking God in our neighbor’s eyes, in our neighbor’s face. As the sunflower turns its face to the sun and follows it each day, let us turn our faces to God to know that we are His beloved child in whom He is well pleased (Mark 1:11).

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