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PYCLs:  HOUSE VS. HOME/BODY VS. IDENTITY?  (1)  LOOK UP LUKE 11:34… & ROMANS 8:5… IN THE MESSAGE (2) HOW TO “DELINEATE” THOUGHTS OF HEALTH & NOT SICKNESS IN OUR BODY? (3) PREPARE A STATEMENT OR 2 OF GRATITUDE (4) KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL THRU CHRISTMAS (5)
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“SOUL AND BODY”
for Sunday, November 20, 2022

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


PYCL #1: HOUSE VS. HOME/BODY VS. IDENTITY?

The whole question of who we are and what our body has to do with things is pretty difficult to untangle. I’m pretty sure this is partly why we have this lesson. With the little ones I might bring some pictures of houses, all sorts. Talk together about them, what are their favorites, what would they like/dislike about living in them. Would they be happier if they had a different house than the one they are in? This might take some time to really get to the bottom of.

We might really enjoy, temporarily, living, for example in a fancy house. But eventually, we would get used to it and our “happiness level” would be back to the same place. This is because there is a difference between a home, and a house. We take “home” with us everywhere, a house is merely where we live.

In the same way, our identity is our spiritual being. It has nothing to do with our body, and does not live “in” our body, escaping when the body dies. Our bodies are just our best understanding of our identity. “A material body only expresses a material and mortal mind.” citation S12/208:25 So, this lesson helps us to guide mortal mind towards Spirit, towards a Soul-inspired view of body.  We are always and only ever in Spirit/Soul. Our bodies can be shaped and guided by our thoughts about them. What we are developing as we walk each day through life is a clearer sense of our identity as spiritual, as separate from physique, by inspiring our human sense of things–lifting us higher day by day.

If our identity is not in our body, then we can learn to have dominion over the body when it tells us it is painful, sad, tired and so on. Compare the idea of the pictures of houses you brought, to the way people all look different, but you don’t know them (don’t find a “home” within a house) by their physique, you know who they are by their character, humor, joy, intelligence, creativity, kindness, and so on.


PYCL #2: LOOK UP CITATION B8 & 9/LUKE 11:34,35 & ROMANS 8:5,9 IN THE MESSAGE

These two citations read together from the King James and from Eugene Peterson’s The Message deepen our sense of Jesus’ and Paul’s words. The children should enjoy the expanded sense of them.

What is the difference between looking at the world with “wide eyed wonder and faith” vs. with “squinty-eyed ” greed and distrust? When we open the shades in our house we let in the light, when we open the way we look at those around us with generosity rather than judgment and criticism, we welcome in the love, joy, friendship, tenderness, etc. that is divinely ours.

Closing the shades in our house does not shut off the sun. It just makes it harder for it to shine into our house. Being fearful, distrustful, angry, jealous, etc. doesn’t mean we are given less love, it just means we don’t receive what is being thrown our way! We don’t feel the warmth and light. The passage from Romans ends in The Message with “But if God has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him.” Talk about what that means. If we are aware of God’s presence in our consciousness, we can’t—just aren’t able to—focus on self, on body, we can’t help thinking about God, Good. [W. Remember, “whatever you are thinking about most, you are worshipping like a God.”)


PYCL #3: HOW CAN WE “DELINEATE” THOUGHTS OF HEALTH AND NOT SICKNESS IN OUR BODY?

Using that same quotation from citation S12 define the word “delineate” (outline, describe exactly). How can we delineate health rather than sickness in our body?
See if they can share their ideas? Is it merely thinking about “not being sick”?
What about delineating thoughts that “promote” health: generosity, kindness, joy, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, and so on?
Might these qualities, which also delineate Spirit, really show our source of being, which must be healthy or harmonious?
Make a list of the qualities or ways to delineate health –think of how we can specifically practice them.

Another helpful citation that directs us this way is found in citation S22/261:2.
This passage really gives specific directions to us on how we can “delineate” health on our body.
Discuss what the “enduring, good, and true” consist of.


PYCL #4: PREPARE A STATEMENT OR TWO OF GRATITUDE.

Talk about the Thanksgiving service and read what the Church Manual tells us about what is to be shared. It might surprise the children (depending on how old they are). On Wednesday services we are told that we can share “…experiences, testimonies of healing, and remarks on Christian Science.”
But Thanksgiving is specifically for Christian Scientists to share their gratitude.
Why is that?
Who is a Christian Scientist?

Try having each student write out or tell you what they are grateful for. If they felt like sharing, what would they share? Maybe they aren’t ready to share it publicly, but try to get a statement or two out of each student and send them home with it on a card.
Try to get them to include God or specific reasons why they are grateful, for example, for their mom or dad, rather than just the bland statements saying “I’m grateful for my mom/dad”. Encourage them to share these statements at the Thanksgiving service if they are old enough to attend.


PYCL #5: BEGIN A GRATITUDE JOURNAL TO BE KEPT THROUGH CHRISTMAS.

Thanksgiving is an amazing holiday that is the antidote to our consumer culture that constantly tells us that we need more things, are incomplete, or lacking good. Gratitude recognizes our present abundance. It sees God’s presence around us.
This can be a great time to think about carrying gratitude all the way through the Christmas season. Rather than looking forward to the gifts of Christmas, what about thinking all the way through about what we are thankful for about Jesus’ coming, and the good that we already have, all the time.

Start a journal that you keep in Sunday School for this period, adding weekly.
It can have testimonies of healing, and statements of gratitude, observations of our thoughts about gratitude and Christmas. Then they bring it home after the Christmas season.

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

 

 

 

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