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5 PYCLs: 1) CONTRAST SUBSTANTIAL & INSUBSTANTIAL ITEMS.  2) WHY IS SUBSTANCE NOT A SYNONYM?  3) SHARE THE DOUBLE-SLIT EXPERIMENT. 4) TALK ABOUT “EVIDENCE” &”PROOF”. 5) ACT OUT THE HEALING IN LUKE.
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“SUBSTANCE”
for Sunday, September 11, 2022

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


PYCL #1: BRING IN A FEW CONTRASTING ITEMS AS EXAMPLES OF WHAT WE MIGHT NORMALLY THINK OF AS “SUBSTANCE”, OR INSUBSTANTIAL.

For fun, bring in a selection of things that might be considered “substantial”, as well as items that contrast. So, a decent-sized rock might be one thing, then maybe a fragile item like a glass ornament, then perhaps a teaspoon full of sugar that you might dissolve in a cup of water. The more you can bring for younger children probably the better. Talk about qualities that might be lasting, versus material things that might last a long time, but eventually will disappear. Which are truly substantial?

With older children you might talk about the difference between “resumé” qualities versus “eulogy” qualities. The idea here is that eulogy qualities are ones that outlast our material presence. Can they think of people who have left eulogy qualities behind them? These people can be famous, or just regular folks that they know who are either still here, or have passed. Have a few of your own in mind. Resumé qualities might get you ahead in our human circumstances. But, character qualities that are eulogized are ones that last eternally and are still with us after someone has passed.


PYCL #2: WHY IS SUBSTANCE NOT A SYNONYM?

We see substance connected with most of the synonyms at one time or another. But, it is not an actual name for God—I think because it beautifully describes each of the synonyms.
What is the “substance” of Love? If Love is unexpressed, is it really Love?
Shouldn’t we feel the benefits of it if it is substantial?

Figure out what the substance of each synonym is. How are they expressed or how can they be expressed by man in such a way that they are felt, and eternal, and heal?

Look at the story of Abraham in this week’s lesson through the first few sections and the Responsive Reading. (Heb. 11:3, 8-11, 24-26, 32, 33; cit. B6/Gen 12:1,2; cit. B7/Gen. 13:1,6-17; cit. B9/Gen 17:1,2,5—16; cit. B11/Gen 17:17,19; cit. B12/Gen 21:1,2.)
How did Abraham demonstrate substance?
How was his constant faith in God’s leadership and direction demonstrated in his life?
(Abundance, direction, children, and more).
How did Jesus demonstrate God’s substance/Truth’s substance when he healed the woman who was bent over for 18 years? (cit. B15/Luke 13:11-17).


PYCL #3: SHARE THE DOUBLE-SLIT EXPERIMENT.

If you have slightly older children share the double-slit experiment either through the video included in this week’s CedarS Camps metaphysical article, or through another, or by describing it yourself. Pictures at least are helpful. Discuss what this proves about matter. Discuss why we still have to demonstrate this in a day by day way and we can’t simply “deny” matter’s existence. Here is the link I shared in my Met on the CedarS website, feel free to look around for another if this seems too long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9tKncAdlHQ Hopefully, this can lead to some thoughtful discussion of the nature of consciousness and matter.

The gist of this experiment is that the universe does not exist “objectively”, but only subjectively. It is a product of our own individual and collective consciousnesses. If this is the case, then, of course, the approach that Mary Baker Eddy outlines in Science and Health  for healing the body is not a religious “belief,” but a scientific fact! Make sure that you don’t leave the children with the sense that “matter isn’t real and that’s that”.

We all are still walking around with seeming material bodies, so what do we do with this information? We use it as a basis for healing with confidence, knowing that matter can respond to our consciousness, to a change in our consciousness. It is especially important to emphasize that it is spiritual consciousness that we are aiming to understand and “see” with.  Mortal consciousness certainly also influences our experience!


PYCL #4: TALK ABOUT “EVIDENCE” AND “PROOF”.

Our Golden Text (Heb. 11:1) kicks things off rather astonishingly if you really look at it.
How does faith have anything to do with substance?
What is the evidence of things we cannot see?
Doesn’t evidence have to be visible to everyone?
Doesn’t substance have to rest on something more “reliable” than faith?

What kind of faith are we talking about in this week’s lesson?
Is it blind trust in something we have no proof of?
If we have clear evidence of something, are we fearful? (Well, if someone has evidence of our wrongdoing, we might be fearful, but you get the idea).
What kind of evidence are we talking about here?
As always, we are being called upon to demonstrate/heal, this is the lasting evidence that we have of the substance of Love/Truth/Soul. We can also see evidence in the expression around us of these synonyms— so evidence of Love is pretty easy to find; Soul, we might go to nature as that which hints at the beauty and power of Soul; someone’s integrity as evidence of Truth’s action; and so on.

Combine this search for evidence with citation B2/1Cor. 2: 9 as, 10.
What senses do we have to use to really see spiritual evidence?
Spiritual sense, as I quote often from Science & Health, “…is the discernment of spiritual good.” p. 505:20-21.
Can we all perceive “spiritual good” in some small way every day, really in any given moment? Yes.


PYCL #5: ACT OUT THE HEALING FROM LUKE.

There are a plethora of ideas that I seem to have for older children in this lesson, but one more for the youngest might be to have the children take turns acting out the healing in Section 5, cit. B15/Luke 13:11-17. It may seem weird to have the children pretend to be disabled by having them “be” the woman who was bent over, but there is a fun lesson in this activity.

Consider what this story tells us about the substance of bone. We think about bone as being something solid, hard, etc. Here, in a moment of prayer, Jesus heals this woman of a years long ailment. Look at her view of the world around her. She can only really look at the earth in front of her. Spiritually this symbolizes a material view of things.

By healing her, Jesus proves that Spirit is her substance and that her view of life is broad, unlimited by matter, inspired. You can share some ideas about how our view of life can be obscured or limited by a too material sense of who we are.
Take a look, if it is age appropriate, at citation S24/369:5 where we are told that “In proportion as matter loses to human sense all entity as man, in that proportion does man become its master.”
What does that mean, can you break it down for younger students? Who are we? Are we our bodies? Are we even our “thoughts”? Or is there a deeper reflection going on whereby our true consciousness is one with Truth—with what is true about our identity?

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

 

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