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PYCLs– Continue with synonym projects. (1) … See how Soul’s light reveals man’s identity.(6)
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for Sunday, August 13, 2023

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO • 314-406-0041

PYCL #1: Continue with synonym projects.

It seems a little silly to continue reviewing this week after week, but in case you are not a regular reader of this I’ll briefly say that whenever we have a synonym series I encourage a long-term project with the younger classes.

This can take any form but some of the ones we’ve talked about are a set of cardboard “train cars” that the children make. Create one for each synonym, perhaps pulled by “Principle”. Each box car can be filled with qualities for that synonym, or they could be written on the car itself.

You could also create a mobile that suspends from a top stick or bar that is “Principle”, and has synonyms hanging, perhaps as well as qualities. A giant tree on paper with the trunk as Principle, branches as synonyms, leaves with qualities. You get the idea…Have fun!

PYCL #2: Name three things about Soul that make it memorable.

You can, of course name more, I just think it might be helpful to walk away with class knowing something easy to remember about this terrific synonym that is often less understood.
Here are some ideas:

  • Soul is what gives us identity–our beauty, joy, grace, form, creativity, and so on.
  • Soul is like the sun (more below).
  • We see evidence of Soul with spiritual sense.

PYCL #3: Find all the places that “light” appears in our lesson this week/ Talk about the “sun” as symbol of Soul. 

Bring a clean printout of the Bible lesson and let the children do a word search.
Why is light such a great property of Soul?
Look together at Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of “Sun” in citation S8/595:1.
Follow this definition with everything in the Science & Health in that section. In particular, citation S11/119:25-1 where we find a comparison between our material senses’ perspective on sunrise and set, and the science behind what is really happening.
It is helpful with older children to work on that passage (cit. S11) in terms of her statement: “As astronomy reverses the human perception of the movement of the solar system, so Christian Science reverses the seeming relation of Soul and body and makes the body tributary to Mind.” (SH 119:25-1)
This is such a great explanation of how our senses can be lacking in discernment. They just cannot provide an accurate picture of things. If we want a true picture, we must turn to Soul, and to our spiritual sense to discern things accurately.

Discuss Mary Baker Eddy’s statement about sun being a symbol of Soul.
Draw a sun with the little ones, have them draw a sun. As in citation S12/250:12, they could draw the Sun labeled “Soul” with rays labeled “man”.
Talk about how the sun stands still in the universe, but with its gravitational pull, it keeps all our system’s planets rotating around it in space! What power!
Notice that the sun is, humanly, what sustains life on our planet.
So, God/Soul, might be seen as that “sustainer”. (More on this later too!)
You can go through all the usual symbolic comparisons that describe how the sun brings light (intelligence, discernment, warmth, growth, etc.) to earth. So Soul brings these things to consciousness.

PYCL #4: What governs us really?

While we just talked about the sun in a way that might be thought of as governing, so Soul can be seen as the governor of our conscious thought and action.
Look at the story in Section 4 about David and Abigail. (cit. B15/1st Sam. 25:4,5,14-18 one, 23,24 (to:), 28,32,33,35). This is a story that the children may not be familiar with. Feel free to flesh it out with some background about how David’s army would live in the wilderness and help to guard shepherds while they camped with them and shared meals.
It might sound a little like some kind of mafia payment to us today when David goes to ask for a tribute from Nabal, but my sense is that this appeared fair to the shepherds so it must have felt right in its day.

Explain, if you wish, Nabal’s nasty personality. This story, in this context, is about how Abigail’s spiritual wisdom and grace saved David from breaking a commandment (not, perhaps directly one of the “Ten”, but nonetheless part of Jewish law) not to take vengeance into one’s own hands. David became a great leader of the Jewish people, and would not have been able to had he given way to this act of revenge against Nabal that he was planning out of a sense of injustice.

Abigail, through her quick response and gracious and humble action, reminds David of who he is (identity!), and he changes his mind and receives her gifts, going his way. It might be interesting to note that in the end, Nabal dies almost as soon as he hears of this whole story. No need for David’s revenge in the end!

The point here is that Soul governs when we listen and attend to our spiritual sense of justice and good. Actually Soul always governs, but our spiritual senses reveal this government to us! It blesses all that listen, here it blesses both David, and all of Abigail’s household.

PYCL #5: Soul sustains.

It is always fun to share the story of the multiplying loaves and fish.
You can easily bring some goldfish crackers to share, or Swedish gummy fish if you prefer candy. You can give the children small baskets to hand around. It’s also fun to imagine how Jesus spoke to so many. In an episode of the popular show “The Chosen” they dramatize not only the distribution of the 5 loaves and 2 fish,  but also how the disciples might have spread out from front to back in the crowd repeating each of his phrases back to the people behind, I never thought about how this was done, seems like a great possibility! (Links added by Warren)

The point of this story in this week’s lesson (cit. B17/Matt. 14:14-22, 34-36) is to understand Soul’s sustaining power.
Look at citation S18/60:29-31 together to contemplate how it is that Soul’s resources extend to our happiness, not just bread and fish.
Where are we looking for sustaining strength, intelligence, joy, energy, skill, creativity, and so on?
When we look to Soul we have an infinite well to draw on.

PYCL #6: Soul reveals man’s identity.

We can’t leave this lesson without discussing identity and Soul’s expression, man. Jacob really is the Biblical “poster boy” for identity. Citation B7/Gen 32:24-30 tells the story of Jacob heading home to meet his brother Esau, and prayerfully struggling through the night in fear for his life and the lives of all his people at the hand of Esau.

Tell the backstory so the children understand what is going on here. Jacob is struggling with a false sense of self that has done a lot of things wrong and has caused his brother some significant unhappiness. He wants to obey God’s call to return, but he also wants to live, and it looks like Esau is out for revenge. Again, we have the theme of Soul’s government here, since, as with the story of David and Abigail, Esau remains peaceful after all. Yet in this case, it is entirely through Soul’s communication that Esau changes his thought.

Jacob’s struggle in prayer heals the entire situation and brings peace and a changed identity. Jacob has a rebirth as “Israel”. Israel is not a man who must cheat his way to to the top. But is the man of God’s making.

Have some fun discussing the symbolism of how his hip was “out of joint” (per The Message) , making him finally give in to the reality of his spiritual identity, which truly was “out of joint” with the false view of self that he had entertained for so long!

Have fun in Sunday School this week!

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