Join us for the best summer yet!

PYCL: Don’t let good be snuffed out by hoarding it!  Stop believing a costume’s the person!  
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Love”
for July 26 thru Sunday, August 1, 2021

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

 

 Pycl #1: Approach every task with a deep love that will revolutionize it.

Read together the two “Great Commandments” that Jesus shared with us. (Responsive Reading Mat. 22:37-40). Use this as an opportunity to review the Ten Commandments and think together about why or how Jesus saw them as “boiled down” to these two!!

In the Christian Science Journal July 2021, there is a wonderful article that breaks down the command to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This version is found in both the Mark and the Luke version of this passage so it is slightly different—adding “strength”. The article is titled “Your primary life-giving purpose” by Mark Swinney. Here is a link to that article:   https://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/27mzqs0de44?s=e

What I love about this article is how this passage is analyzed to give us how we can love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. I am wondering if it would be something that we could read on our own, break down for our pupils, and share together, coming up with specific examples of how we can each do this in our own lives. Jesus tells us that “all the law and the prophets” hang on these two commandments, so it seems worthwhile for us to really break them down with our pupils! Even with the youngest we can do this in a simple and shortened way. For example, we might speak of how loving God with all our heart might look like us living with a desire to actively always look for God in what is around us and then being grateful for this presence and power.

One thing the author points out is that when we are loving God with all our heart we might think of approaching every task, no matter what, with deep love. That means that when we are emptying the cat litter…we are thinking about how much we love our kitties, how they express gentleness, affection, and playfulness. We are thinking that we are fulfilled by expressing love and care and tenderness towards our cats by caring for them in this way! I’ll bet there are dozens of examples like this with which we can revolutionize our daily tasks.

 

Pycl #2: Don’t let our good get snuffed out because of a lack of sharing!
Bring a candle or small electric light to Sunday School (or demonstrate over Zoom). Read together from his Sermon on the Mount Jesus’ admonition to be a light to the world. This is also in our Responsive Reading this week.  (Matt. 5:14-16). What does this mean to the children? You can talk about how a city on a hill is not only visible because it’s not hidden by trees, etc., but it’s also hard to attack because it is easier to defend from the top! We might think about how that plays into our own willingness to stand for Jesus’ message of Love.

Now try lighting your candle. It may seem like a small light in the daytime, but think about how much it would stand out if the Sunday School were all dark! Now have one of the children place a bucket or box over the top of the candle. (It may go out if the seal is good enough, and this can prompt a whole other discussion about how when we hide our good from others, it becomes harder to feel that good shining within — it seems like it gets snuffed out because of a lack of oxygen or “sharing“!) Notice that no light comes out when we cover the candle or bulb. Now share ways that they can be such “lights” shining in their communities and families! Sing the song “This little light of mine” together!

 

Pycl #3: Stop accepting the costume as the actual person! Give up feeling in the right to more easily forgive & love your enemies!  Continuing with our amazing Responsive Reading: Matthew 5:43-45 and 2nd Cor. 13:11 Be, 12, 14 (to 1st.). How do we love our enemies?! See if you can come up with some strategies for how we can practice this command to love those who are unkind, who hate you, persecute you, “despitefully use” you! Do you have some personal examples of overcoming such challenges that you can share? We can focus on God’s love for us and for man. We can think about how God has made creation one of love and we won’t be fooled into believing the lies that surround us and try to tell us that there is evil in God’s all-good creation.

It’s as if gossip, nastiness, cruelty, even bullying, is a costume that people wear and we are being asked to accept that the costume is the actual person. We can always turn to what we know about God and God’s creation, and stay there. Sometimes the hardest part about loving our “enemies” is to give up the feeling that we are justified, or in the right! We all enjoy being right. But only Love is the source of good, we only reflect that, it is not our possession. If we can give up our sense of righteous indignation we will find it easier to love our enemies because we can forgive more easily! You can share Bible stories here where we see characters who were able to do great things because they never gave in to hatred. Think of Joseph!

 

Pycl #4: Bring blocks (or stacking boxes) to build a “church” that’s inspiring, joyful, loving, healing! Label each block with qualities of Love: (see cit. S3/35:19-20) Also look where Mary Baker Eddy tells us in citation S5/113:5 “The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love.” What would their ideal church be like?

Have them share their unfiltered thoughts. It can include strange things like: a tree growing through the middle of it with a brook running through the Sunday School. Who would attend? What would we learn, how would we learn? They may be too young to give you much, but I think this would be a great exercise to work with all the way through adults! We all need to be listening for what church needs to feel/look like in order to be inspiring, joyful, loving, healing, etc.

If they want to have donuts at church on Sundays, ask how the donuts will help us to feel loved, help us be better healers? (Who knows, they may have some great positive answers for that!!) Do you have a church ideal that you can describe to them? Now, “build” this church with your blocks. You can label the blocks using tape and markers, or directly on cardboard boxes.

How “big” is your church? Can its size be a metaphor for how big is a “structure of Truth and Love”? Look at the definition of church in this section (cit. S4/583:12); restate it for the youngest members. How do each of the “bricks” or blocks we are using to build our “church” contribute to healing?

 

Pycl #5: Share how speaking in anger never corrects a situation! Set the table for Love’s feast!
In Section 5 we have some powerful passages that help us understand the power of Love to correct lies or impositions. (cit. B19/Luke 6:27-29; cit. B20/Prov. 15:1, 23; cit. S24/6:3). Has anyone in your class ever felt inspired to do a better job when someone has spoken to them in anger about their work? It is possible that we might try to do better out of fear, but this never has lasting impact, and certainly not inspiring impact.

Think about how often we might be tempted to speak to someone in frustration or irritation, then think about whether voicing this anger ever really brings about a good result? We can certainly tell someone that their actions are bothering us, I don’t mean that we can’t do that. But when we speak to others in anger, or out of vengeance, we never ever teach or correct a situation! It is Love that corrects, so we have to reflect that love if we want to help or correct any situation!

Love is all-powerful, so we are reflecting that power when we are loving in our interactions with others. Sometimes we don’t even have to say anything, just allow Love to be expressed! Check out citation S25 from Mary Baker Eddy’s spiritual translation of the 23rd Psalm (578:13-18).

Bring some place settings and have the children set the table like they are getting ready for a feast. Now think about what would be on a table “set” by Love “in the presence of our enemies”…Would it have food? What do we need in order to feel safe, peaceful, unafraid, in the presence of an enemy? What is the “oil” that we are anointed with by Love? What is the “cup” (see p.35 of Science & Health where we are told the cup is the cross) But here the cup is filled with wine – “the inspiration of Love”.) You can look up the definition of “Oil” together from Science and Health, and get some answers.

Maybe that table in front of our enemies has good ideas that help us meet a challenge (an enemy is not always a person!). Expand the search to include all the “enemies” to our happiness, health, freedom, and so on. As you gather ideas for how Love is preparing a table for us, write them down and place them on your place settings.

Have a great week in Sunday School!

American Camp Association

MAIN OFFICE
(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

CAMP OFFICE
(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

Back
to top