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5 PYCLs: 1) DEFINE SACRAMENT 2)  NOW BRING OUT A CUP! 3) THROW NETS TO GATHER EMPTINESS! 4) CAN WE BE ONE OF JESUS’ DISCIPLES? 5) CHECK OUT THE STORY ABOUT THE MOTHER OF ZEBEDEE’S CHILDREN
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

 “Sacrament”
for January 9, 2022

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


 PYCL #1: DEFINE SACRAMENT

It is always good, no matter the age, to define this subject for the students, and to compare how we celebrate it and contrast it (without judgment) with other Christian faiths. Explain it by reading the story of Jesus sharing the bread and wine with his disciples in citation B5/Mat. 26:1,2,18,26-32. Why do the children think he did this?
What was he teaching to his disciples?
What was he teaching to us today?

Mary Baker Eddy mentions in a couple of places that the bread represents Truth/truth: “Their bread indeed came down from heaven. It was the great truth of spiritual being, healing the sick and casting out error.” (citation S10/p. 33) and “Our bread, “which cometh down from heaven,” is Truth.” (cit. S21/35) And, in that same reference “Our cup is the cross.”

So, once you have read this together can you figure out what these things mean to us in our living today?
How do we “eat” Truth/truth?
What does it mean to drink and eat if you are using it as a symbol?
We take something into us, and “digest” it, understand it, make it part of us, get energy and life from it…help the children walk through these symbols.

It even addresses this kind of understanding in citation S11/ 31:17-22 “…following his demonstration so far as we apprehend it, — we drink of his cup, partake of his bread, are baptized with his purity: and at last we shall rest, sit down with him, in a full understanding of the divine Principle which triumphs over death.”


PYCL #2: NOW BRING OUT A CUP!

You can bring one to show as a visual, or several to give to each as a symbol of what we are talking about today. If we now are thinking of the cup as the “cross”, (which, if you read farther in citation S21, you will find that it is filled with wine, which she defines as the “inspiration of Love.”), we can hold that cup in our hands and talk about what that means to us each day.
Are we likely to experience the same horror as Jesus did? No.
But what about situations that we think are terribly unfair?
Could we maybe think about that cup that we can “drink” and respond with Christly patience, without self-righteousness, self-justification, anger and so on?
Maybe this is what we “drink” in order to understand just a tiny bit of what Jesus experienced? What are we promised if we do take that cup willingly?
There are several references to things such as “blessing” (Ps. 16:5/Golden Text), “salvation” (define for them from Ps.116:13/cit. B1), “blessing” (cit. B6/1Cor. 10:16) …to name a few.

When we are faced with something that seems unjust and we feel we are in the right, we can face the situation by “drinking the cup” of Christ—by swallowing pride, self-justification, self-righteousness, and responding with the willing and peaceful knowledge that God is always “communing, closely/intimately communicating” with us when we are in this process of drinking of his cup. After all, the cup is filled with the “inspiration of Love”! What a reward we have, truly a blessing. It’s hard, in the moment of feeling anger or whatever, to be willing to do this. But this is why we study this lesson that has nearly the whole story that leads up to and through the crucifixion! We can see that Jesus himself struggled mightily with this challenge.

You could put ideas that inspire your class on slips of paper in each cup, or the one cup you bring in. You can talk about how we can gain the strength to drink Jesus’ cup each day when things seem unjust and so on. Make sure you read the story through all the sections in this lesson, or tell it, before you talk about this, because his example of love overcoming such hatred and horror is what this discussion is based on. His was a situation of incomparable injustice, yet he responded only with love and forgiveness.
Can we do the same for minor slights and challenges that confront us today?


PYCL #3: THROW NETS TO GATHER EMPTINESS!

Read citation B11/John 21:2-7,9,12,15. In this story the disciples go back to fishing, thinking that Jesus’ mission failed. Their nets come up empty after a whole night of fishing. If the children are very young, have them pretend to throw nets into the “water” and pull them back empty. You can use a sheet with one student at each end.

Why did the disciples go back to fishing after seeing Jesus feed multitudes, heal the sick, give sight to blind, hearing to deaf, give the disciples the ability to help others in this way and so on? Why did they doubt that his mission was effective and that they should continue it?
Do the students think that they would doubt Jesus’ mission if they were in that position? Remind them that this is a challenge for all of us! The Children of Israel were afraid when they were walking through the desert that they would not be fed, not get water. Yet they had witnessed a whole sea parting for them!!

Talk about what the empty nets symbolized. Maybe they represent the emptiness of material rewards when we ignore the “cup” that we are presented with?
No lasting good comes without some effort on our parts! This is our “cup”.

We can do all the “right” human things, go to work, be honest, etc. and unless we take up the challenges we are presented with this will only take us so far.
We have to move past just being a decent human, to demonstrating as Jesus told us we must. We can actually do this when we are children in school, when we are grownups going to work or staying home.

It doesn’t matter our occupation or place in life, there is always opportunity to follow Jesus’ commands. When we do this, we won’t find ourselves drawing in “empty nets”!


PYCL #4: CAN WE BE ONE OF JESUS’ DISCIPLES?

What does it take to be Jesus’ disciple? Did we miss our chance? If the students are a little bit older than tiny, read to them from citation S3/138: 17-22, 27-2 “Our Master said to every follower: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature!…Heal the sick!…Love thy neighbor as thyself!” It was this theology of Jesus which healed the sick and the sinning.” (You may need to define “theology” to the students). This “theology” is what he demanded of his followers, so we can then do this today, just as the disciples did when they were following him in his day.

You can also share with the students what Mary Baker Eddy says about “disciples” in citation S2/271:11-16 where she explains that disciple means “student”. There is nothing keeping us from being a student of Jesus today, certainly not a couple of millennia!
Create a list together of all the ways that we can be “students” of Jesus on any given day.
What sorts of things belong to his “theology” beyond just saying the same words above.
For example, what does it mean to “preach the gospel”?
The gospel means the “good news”. What is this good news?

Do we have to talk about Jesus’ mission directly to “preach the gospel”?
Think together of some good examples of how our words and actions can do this kind of “preaching”.
Can we each “heal the sick”? Does it have to be someone who is literally “sick” in front of you? How about someone who is struggling with some deep unhappiness, or anger?
Can we help to bring healing to any situation at all?
Certainly, we can do more to love our neighbor as our ourselves!
There is also a great passage on page 37:22-25 of Science and Health that tells us it is “…the privilege of every child, man, and woman…” in that order, to follow Jesus! So that’s kind of fun to see as well!


PYCL #5: CHECK OUT THE STORY ABOUT THE MOTHER OF ZEBEDEE’S CHILDREN.

Some stories don’t often appear in our Bible lesson and this is one of them. It’s from Matthew 20:17-23, 26 and 28/cit. B4. You can tell it to smaller children.
You will need to explain what this mother meant by asking that they sit on his right and left.
Do we go somewhere after we die…do we “go” to a kingdom?
What did Jesus tell us about the kingdom of God? (Luke 17:21) What does that mean?

If we carry the “kingdom of God” within each of us, do we need to “die” to “get there”?
When are we “there”? Is that an implied theme in this week’s lesson that features the need to take the cup that Jesus told us to take and drink it?

What happens when we take up the challenges we are faced with, when we answer anger with love, injustice with kindness, when we “turn the other cheek”? This is our “cup”, and when we take it and drink it, we find we are filled with the “inspiration of Love” and that certainly brings us into the kingdom doesn’t it?

Have each student describe the kingdom of God.
What is it like?
Is it a “place”?
The point of this story, as I see it, is that we are granted that special “place” beside the Christ whenever we are following his commands, drinking his cup.
(Make sure they understand that the mother of these disciples was a faithful follower of Jesus herself and stayed by his side at the cross even when the disciples abandoned him.)

Have a great week in Sunday School!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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