Sunday School Teaching

In Ephesians we read that we "are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord." To all teachers in the Christian Science Sunday School Article XX in the Church Manual stands as the foundation plan from which the whole structure of teaching must rise. Realizing this to some extent, the teacher, as he endeavors to be obedient to the instruction therein, finds that he himself better understands "building" as the child also learns and puts into practice the "first lessons," as provided for in Section 3.

In the building of a material structure, the superstructure is not started until the foundation is firmly and securely laid. This necessitates excavating, and sometimes even blasting, to remove débris, and so to make room for the placing of the foundation stones. So it is with the building in consciousness of the structure of Truth in the work of our Sunday schools. The teacher may find in the thought of the pupils the seeds of false theology, belief in other gods and reliance upon them, self-will and disobedience, which have to be removed. Here we find the Bible a treasure house of useful material; for the child-thought must first become interested in the Scriptures, and then receive the inspiration to make the truths of its stories and parables live in his own experience.

In the chapter entitled "Footsteps of Truth" in the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," among the first instructions given by Mary Baker Eddy for taking these footsteps, we find the statement (p. 201), "We cannot build safely on false foundations;" and in the next paragraph: "We cannot fill vessels already full. They must first be emptied." Some of the children who come to our Sunday schools are classed, because of age, as being beyond the "first lessons," and are put into classes which are doing work based on the Lesson-Sermons in the Christian Science Quartely. This may prevent the child from receiving a foundation of understanding which can be gained only by having taken the first steps of preparation. The By-Law pertaining to "the first lessons of the children" (Manual, pp. 62, 63) does not limit as to age, and obviously refers to every child who enters our Sunday school. The Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer and its spiritual interpretation by Mary Baker Eddy, and the Sermon on the Mount instruct, correct, and heal thought, filling it with an understanding of spiritual law, of prayer, and of demonstration.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

October 6, 1928

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.