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[PYCL: Bring cheerfulness to a room—express creativity (1) Make a synonym train. (2)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“LIFE”
for January 20, 2019

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

Pycl #1: So, whatever the intent of the Golden Text (GT), it is interesting to think about this as saying that the only way "I will live" is in order to "tell what the Lord has done". How can we make our life all about "telling what the Lord has done/is doing?" How do we need to behave, think, speak? Maybe we can make a list of ideas. I don't mean this in a threatening way, rather, we are not really "living", reflecting the divine Life, unless we are, well, reflecting—"telling what the Lord has done". Our lives are indeed safe, because He only created us as an expression of Him. As such, how could His expressions be anything but eternal and safe? This has to mean though, that matter is not that expression. (Citation S5 explains that matter is the "subjective state of mortal mind"…just in case you have older children! ) With the younger classes pull together a list that you might start off with your own ways that you see yourself living in a way that tells what God is doing. Here are a few ideas: I listen and obey when I'm directed to do a task, I bring cheerfulness into a room; I express creativity in how I solve problems/do art/music/get ready for a test and so on.

Pycl #2: What does the word "Life" bring to their thought. Can they each list maybe 5 or 10 things that they associate with Life? How do these qualities help them understand God better? I think last year we created a "train" of sorts. You could create it out of separate cardboard boxes, or whatever works for you. Each car in the train will have a name of a synonym on it. You could create "boxcars" for each synonym and put the qualities that you associate with each name for God in the boxcar that has that title. Maybe the "engine" will be Principle, since that is like the "source". Then, each week you can add a new train car to the train. Some of the qualities will overlap. Try to dig a bit deeper so that we can build a clearer sense of God each week.

Pycl #3: If qualities of Life are liveliness, joy, energy, strength, flexibility, eternity… how do we use that knowledge to meet a challenge? Can you share an example? How does it happen in this week's lesson? In the first section Elijah is full of despair over being alone as a believer, being chased by Jezebel's soldiers or servants—his life threatened.

How did God reveal Himself to Elijah?

What is the significance of the stillness, the small voice, in which God appeared to Elijah?

Is this quality one of power? If so, what kind of power?

Violence and fear are not power. That is certainly counterintuitive!

How can we hear that still, small, voice instead of the "earthquake, wind and fire" of material sense? Can we go back to the images in last week's lesson of the "closet"?

All of this is a question of consciousness. What are we being conscious of, awake to?
Are consciousness and alertness qualities of Life too?
Elijah seems to have taken from this experience that Life is an unending experience of listening for the right sense of existence. That being conscious of God's true nature and presence are where we find our life safe (from the GT).

Pycl #4: Elijah's story illustrates how we all confront challenges and despair—maybe in younger kids you'd call it sadness. Citation S3 explains that these challenges turn us "like tired children to the arms of divine Love." You can share how we might turn to mom or dad when we feel overwhelmed, afraid, tired and look for a hug and some comforting thoughts. In the same way, our whole lives, even when we are grown ups, we can turn to divine Love to find our answers to life's challenges and the comfort we need.

Why does a hug feel so great? What does it represent? Do you think that you can learn enough about God so that you might feel that same genuine safety and comfort from your divine Father-Mother?

Pycl #5: One aspect of living is needing to eat. The second section addresses that idea and also (I think) makes the connection in citation B6, that Elisha is a sort of example of how Life is expressed eternally. We can see here the continuation of the qualities of Life that Elijah expressed, alive and well, in his student, Elisha! Have fun looking at the story together.

Why does the meal make the poisonous food okay? Is it some magical quality in the meal?
On page 117-118 Mrs. Eddy talks about "meal" in terms of modes of mortal thought. But she talks about how that thought is elevated by the leaven of Science, by spiritual right thinking. Could this be a way to think about this meal that Elisha used? Might it be a materially visible way for him to illustrate the safety of divine Life that governs all aspects of human living, including the safety of our food, its powerlessness to harm us?

How can we watch what we are taking into our thought, in a similar way to how we might be aware of what we are eating (ideally)? Can we think of eating as a form of spiritual nourishment? How can spiritual nourishment ever be harmful?

Pycl #6: There are a couple of great memorization opportunities in this lesson if your class is amenable! Citation B15 is a great one that emphasizes God's/Life's ever-presence. And citation B18 is a really short one that reminds us just where satisfaction and true joy come from.

We can sometimes forget that it is true living, reflection, that yields the only truly joyful life. These little passages can be so helpful when we find ourselves feeling similarly to Elijah (in this lesson). We have them in "our back pocket" so to speak, ready to deliver God's "still, small voice" in the midst of whatever storm we are encountering! Also, because these are from the Bible, they can be shared in many situations where we might find ourselves needing to offer comfort to someone who might not be a Christian Scientist, but might also love the Bible.

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