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PYCL: If we are out there, being “ambassadors for Christ”, as Paul tells us in cit. B16/2Cor 5:20, we are bound to run into some bumps (#4)
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“God the Preserver pf Man”
for June 6, 2021

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com • 314-406-0041


P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“God the Preserver pf Man”
for June 6, 2021

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com • 314-406-0041

 

Pycl #1: I think engagingly telling/reading the stories in this week’s lesson about Paul would be great.
Littles will listen and engage more if you engagingly tell these stories, so you can make eye contact with them, rather than reading. You can give backstory too if you want, or include other stories of Paul being preserved from death and persecution (as when he was stoned).

I think it is helpful for the children to understand what Paul’s roots were as Saul, and the fact that he was an educated Jew, as well as a Roman citizen—but that might be detail for the slightly older classes rather than the very youngest.

Pycl #2: After you have introduced, or reintroduced Paul to the class you can discuss how he escaped from each of these trials that he faced. What does the kind of prayer he used look like? Notice it says in Section 3 that he and Silas “…prayed and sang praises unto God.” Cit. B9/Acts 16:25.

Would the students in class feel like singing praise to God if they had been whipped and thrown in prison? What would make Paul and Silas feel like doing this? Does this give us a hint at how our prayers might look? Do we think they were praying to get out of prison, or to have their wounds healed? Or, do we think that perhaps our best prayers might start from a position of gratitude and praise, and love for others (they sang and prayed loudly enough so that the other prisoners heard!).

This can lead to a discussion of why we pray. Are we praying to get something, or to fix something? If so, we are working from the standpoint of lack, that God, infinite Love, has somehow deprived us of something that we need, then we have a misconception of God, and of prayer! Here we can think together a bit about who God is as the law of Love/Life, etc. that surrounds and “expresses” man. You can compare this idea to how gravity works to hold us to the ground, whether we understand it or not, whether we see it or not, whether we believe it or not. It’s not as if grownups adhere more firmly than babies because we know that gravity operates! In a similar way, God’s goodness is always operating, and our task is to open our windows of consciousness so that we can peek into this kingdom within each of us and see how it is present for us right here and now! We can develop this ability to “peek”, by honing our ability to notice God/Good in all that is around us. This means consciously acknowledging what is true and good and attributing it rightfully to God.

As we do this often and regularly, we start to truly feel that sense of joy and gratitude that comes from realizing that the kingdom truly is within and we really do “dwell between his shoulders”, as it says in the Golden Text/Deut. 33:12. When we start to really be conscious of this present goodness and harmony, healing and freedom come more readily and we feel compelled to “sing praises” to God—our prayers start with love for God! These are potent prayers! I think one other thread that is really cool to point out here is how it is that Paul’s prayers consistently bless everyone around him. They don’t just free him, they save the jailer. They don’t just save him on the ship, they save everyone on the ship. He shakes off the viper, and then heals people on the island where they are staying!

Pycl #3: With the very young classes, it’s always fun to discuss the process of preserving food in light of this week’s subject. If you are virtual, I think you could even drag them into the kitchen and show them some cooking fruit that you are making into jam. (It’s a simple process). I did this with my 12-year-old son one Sunday during virtual Sunday school as he seemed to need a different kind of lesson, but I think you could just show them the fruit boiling, then, by the end, pouring into a jar and sealing. Talk about what the process does. How it kills anything “bad”, and then seals out the bacteria that grows mold by sealing out the oxygen needed for it to grow.

This is a great analogy for how we can “preserve” our joy by starving out things like gossip, or fear of a virus such as covid, by not giving it any “air” or airtime to grow and consume our thought. We can keep our thinking pure, focused on God’s goodness, power and presence. If you are in person, you can simply bring some jam, show how it is sealed (when you open it have them listen for the “pop” noise as it is unsealed). Then, put some on bread to share!

Pycl #4: One thing that is interesting to discuss is the fact that while God certainly preserved Paul from destruction in all those stories, he wasn’t, apparently preserved from the opportunity to experience and meet these challenges. Does this mean that God stands by while we get into trouble? Was Paul somehow “not understanding God” well enough? God does not bring evil to our experience. Remember the gravity analogy? At all times our true nature, our eternal spiritual identity, is safe. We must demonstrate this in our human experience and part of that is meeting each challenge with the knowledge that God’s laws are the true laws and apply to us right here and now!

If Paul hadn’t been bitten by a viper, maybe they wouldn’t have thought of asking him to heal the sick dad of the leader of that community, or all the others who needed Paul’s healing power. The jailer wouldn’t have understood the blessing of Christ if Paul hadn’t been there to save him, and to baptize him and his family. Salvation is now, it’s something we see each day, and these challenges are opportunities for us to see God’s goodness in action.

 

If we are out there, being “ambassadors for Christ”, as Paul tells us in cit. B16/2Cor 5:20, we are bound to run into some bumps. Everyone who has contributed to the goodness and beauty and progress of society has had to meet challenges. One helpful analogy is to compare this with a car that is kept in a garage versus one that is driven regularly. If it’s never out there getting used, carrying us to new adventures, places where we can bless and be blessed, then it will never get dented or really dirty. But if we do take it out, well then, we might even have a fender bender now and again! But that’s just because we are putting our talents to use!! Is it really an accomplishment to never get a scratch or dent in your “car” if you don’t use it?

Pycl #5: In citation S3/470:23-24 we have the sentence “Man is the expression of God’s being.” I love this simple sentence. Think together about what that means. What is an expression of being? Can you separate an expression from the source—from what is doing the expressing? Again, the sun is a useful analogy. Can you gather up all the light from the sun and move it somewhere separate from the sun? This is such a strong statement because we use the idea of being the children of God all the time…in this lesson we have God’s motherhood shared in cit. B2/Isa 66:13.

But children are not really “expressions” of their parents! They go off and do things on their own, separate from mom and dad. While the Fatherhood and Motherhood analogy of God is tender, and gives us a sense of God’s love, it fails to utterly connect us the way being the expression of God’s/Love’s/Life’s/Mind’s (etc.) being does! This statement also leaves no room for being a “neglectful” “bad” parent!

 

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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