Thank you for another best summer yet!

PYCL: Expect the Christ speak to you in a way you can understand and absorb! (1)
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

 

“Christian Science”

for June 21 through June 27, 2021

 

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

 

Pycl #1: Each section shows how the message of the Christ throughout all ages speaks to us in just the way we can understand and absorb. You might want to ask “Where does Christian Science come from?” If the answers you get are “from God”, that’s fine, but let’s look into the Bible lesson to see what is more specifically brought to light. There is the story in the Responsive Reading this week of Ezra reading to the people in the street from the “book of the law of Moses”. Tell the story in your own words because it is not likely to capture the attention of children read as it is. What is important about this story? What I see as a central theme starting with the Golden Text/Jer. 2:1 the 3:15, and going on in each section, is the idea that the message of the Christ lives throughout all the ages and speaks to us in just the way we can understand and absorb it. It doesn’t matter how old we are, or whether we are well educated or not. Love prepares each of its ideas to receive this message of healing, and gives us every ability to use it to bless mankind.

 

Christian Science does come from God, and from the message of the Christ that Jesus best showed us. But it is already within us, ‘written’ “in [our] hearts” as it says in the Responsive Reading/Jeremiah 31:33, 34…and Neh. 8:1,3,6,10. Also, it is made clear that Christian Science, or Divine Science at least, has been around forever and not just since Mary Baker Eddy’s time. (See cit. S8/146:23) You can point out that this is why she refers to herself as the “discoverer” of Christian Science, and not its creator or founder.

 

Pycl #2: The fact that the Pastor in our church is comprised of the Bible and Science and Health ties in well with the Golden Text where it tells us “I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Explain to them that most churches have a pastor or priest that is a person who gives a sermon each week. Why do they think that Mary Baker Eddy decided to change this practice? (She did start out with pastors and decided to change as related in “A World More Bright” and quoted in the Golden Text part of CedarS Met.)

What is the advantage to having our books be pastors? What does this method avoid?

Are there any drawbacks?

 

Notice that the people listened to Ezra read the law from morning until noon! (Responsive Reading/Neh. 8:1-10) It must have been inspiring to them, right? How do we have to read in order for the word to inspire and heal? This goes back to understanding which is also addressed in this Bible Lesson! How do we prepare our own thoughts to be hungry for Sunday School — for the message from the “Pastor”?

What might we do to be more enthusiastic about receiving the inspiration that Sunday School has to offer? Can we bring questions or ideas with us? Even if Sunday School is not something we are excited to attend, every activity we partake in has a greater ability to bless us when we are fully engaged and offering our really deeply aware presence. In other words, we aren’t thinking about what we are going to eat for lunch, etc. Think too, about how having our books as pastors makes our pastor available at all times, not just on Sunday or Wednesday!

 

Pycl #3: Three measures of meal… a hands-on experiment!
I love the parable of the leaven and the three measures of meal that is included in Section 3 this week. (Matt. 13:33/cit. B8) Most often, leaven, in the Bible is considered something evil; it is like the complexity of the devil, tempting man to do the wrong thing.  But, Jesus kind of turns this on its ear, so to speak and refers to leaven in the context of a parable about the kingdom of heaven.  Here the leaven is that Scientific law of Truth that is “hidden” in the supposed laws of matter—what mortals perceive around them. Just as yeast is tiny grains that are folded into flour and do their work invisibly to actually change the chemical composition of the dough and lift it up, so the Science of Christ invisibly lifts mortal thought above the appearance of mortality, to glimpse the spiritual truth behind being.

 

Make sure to do an experiment with flour, warm water, a little sugar (yeast likes sugar), and yeast. Pour the yeast on the surface of warm water that has a bit of sugar in it. Let the yeast bubble a little and then add flour until it’s less sticky and more kneadable. The younger kids can try kneading it themselves for just a bit if you don’t mind some mess, otherwise you can let it rise in the pot after stirring it together. Cover it and hopefully set it somewhere warm to rise. By the end of Sunday School, it should be considerably puffier! (If you plan on eating the bread at home, you should put in a little salt, it will taste a lot better!).

 

Why did Jesus use parables to explain things to the multitudes? He tells his disciples in citation B8/Mat. 13:1,2,10,11,13,16,33. His stories help us to understand more clearly his lessons of the kingdom of heaven, of loving our neighbor, being faithful, etc.  Maybe do a study of all of Jesus’ parables. Look at what he was teaching in each story. Compile a notebook of all his parables and the lessons they teach. Consider writing a parable together to illustrate one of his points. For example, how would you modernize the story of the Prodigal Son? It is not necessary to modernize his parables as they are timeless and clear. The exercise just allows us to dig more deeply into such a parable. Consider the fact that his society was agrarian, while ours today is not. How would he set his parables today? What makes his parables timeless even if society was differently composed back then? Are our challenges really that different?

 

Pycl #4: Highway building!
In Section 6 we have Isa. 62:10-12/cit. B14. What is the author referring to when they say “prepare the way…cast up the highway, gather out the stones, lift up a standard for the people…” Are they talking about building a road? So, if that’s not what they are talking about… what do they mean? What does it take to prepare a road, we have to flatten it as much as possible, take out sharp curves as much as we can, remove obstacles (stones), and maybe have a destination that we are aiming for or a goal in mind (the standard).

 

In a camp setting with the younger cabins, you could literally walk along and prepare a path while discussing these ideas. Build a “standard”— a banner attached to a long stick that has a worthy goal or goals on it. What are the rocks representing to us? Maybe they represent stubbornness or willfulness. What do hills or sharp corners symbolize? As you pitch a rock out of the way you can declare what error you are banishing! In a classroom setting you can more deeply consider what is the quality that will help you to banish stubborn or willful behavior?

 

List the qualities that counteract willfulness. It is easier to replace a problem thought, or behavior, with something that is clear and lovely, than it is to simply eradicate the error without knowing what we are doing “instead”.

 

Pycl #5: A Comforter for all!
What is a comforter? Why did Jesus say he would send a comforter? What did he tell us it would do for us? Even if they immediately suggest that it is a thick cover for your bed you can use this to illustrate how it makes us feel safe, cozy, warm, at home—so some of the qualities that the Comforter would probably make us feel.

 

In citation S6/55:27 Mary Baker Eddy states directly that she understands John’s words to mean Divine Science. Divine Science is the timeless, eternal presence of the Christ that brings with it the understanding of all that Jesus did.

 

I love that, in keeping with our theme of how the Christ speaks to us, teaches us, helps us understand, we have citation B4/John 14:16,26 the.  “…he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” To me, this is telling us that the Comforter will remind us of what we already have heard or know from what Jesus told us. This is not something in the past that we are trying to learn; it is something we only have to “remember”, it is within us!

 

Have a great time in Sunday School!

 

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