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Fresh PYCLs: 1) WORK WITH FIRST GREAT COMMANDMENT/ALL THE COMMANDMENTS.
2) MAKE TRAFFIC SIGNALS AND PRETEND TO “DRIVE”.
3) IS GOD/LIFE CONFINED TO THE CLOCK?
4) A NEW “CIRCLE OF LIFE”.  5) SHAPE OUR VIEWS TO SEE ETERNAL LIFE.

Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

 “Life”
for January 16, 2022

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


 PYCL #1 AND #2: WORK WITH FIRST GREAT COMMANDMENT/ALL THE COMMANDMENTS–
MAKE TRAFFIC SIGNALS AND PRETEND TO “DRIVE”.

It’s always great to have an opportunity to both follow the Church Manual mandate for Sunday School to teach the Commandments, and to have that overlap with the Bible lesson! The Golden Text and Responsive Reading both emphasize obedience, and the link between this obedience and life itself. (Deut.30:20 to 4th.  and Deut. 30:10,11,14,16,20) There is more in section one from Deut.6:4,5,13,18,24 and the story of Enoch from Gen.5:21,22,24, and Heb. 11:5–all of which point to this obedience and to love of God.

I had an interesting conversation with my younger boys (not all that young) about this idea this morning. What does it mean to love and obey God? Is God a “guy-like” being that knows whether or not we obey or give our love to “Him”? I again went to my old analogy of the traffic signals that when obeyed tend to give us greater safety, order, intelligence, and, really, love in our societies. When we disobey them, we tend to be more likely to find ourselves in a mess. This mess does not come from the traffic signals, rather, because we are not willing to obey their law, we forfeit our protection. Now this, as with all human analogies, has its limits, but I think it can be useful.

With the very young try drawing up a traffic signal. We have to do single ones, in order to portray which light is “lit” up. So, a single red, single green, single yellow. Have them pretend to be driving, etc. and you hold up lights. If they aren’t too rambunctious you can have them do a mild “fender bender”.

Talk about how God is like the law behind these lights—not a being, but Love, or Life, or Mind, governing intelligently. God wouldn’t cause anyone to crash. But we perceive these crashes based on feeling that separation that comes from operating in a space that we see as “outside” of God’s laws of goodness. Even when we do have such a perceived accident, we can turn our thoughts back to the law that is still operating (after all, those lights still continue, even if we disobey them!) and find quick healing by recognizing that we can really never live outside of Principle! We don’t need to get too complicated with this. When we “love” or “please” God, we are expressing love to those around us, (second Great Commandment). When we love God or the laws that surround us for good, we notice when we are tempted to try to separate ourselves from these laws (attempt to break these laws—even though they cannot be!), and we turn back to follow intelligence, order, good. Can you share an example from your week where this happened to you?

Since I mentioned the Commandments here, let’s make this a combined PYCL 1 And 2! How do the Commandments act like traffic laws or traffic signals? Can we come up with some great ideas on this? Go through each Commandment to mine for ideas about how each law essentially keeps us truly “living” because real life is really all about living in the confines of Good. We don’t really feel a sense of satisfying life when we live only for the next material purchase, or the next event in our busy day. We must live for the best of right NOW, then we are living eternally. Enoch “walked with God”, how can we do this? Does this track with what we are learning about the Commandments? Ask them if they think this sounds like a boring life? Why or why not? Think of times when we have felt like we weren’t “pleasing” God, versus times when we felt like we were. What was the difference? Were we “bored” when we were “pleasing” God, or were we just noticing all the good and beauty around us and enjoying it? Are we attributing goodness to God, to the laws of Love, and Life, and Mind?


PYCL #3: IS GOD/LIFE CONFINED TO THE CLOCK?

What happens to the sundial in the story of Hezekiah in Section 2, Isa. 38:8? If the kids are a little bit older you can get deeply into this discussion of time. If they are young just work with the idea that time is a human construct, it is a convenient way for us to get things done, to start things together, or stop them and so on. But it does not come from God!
Is there time in eternity? Is eternity a “really, really long time”? No!
So, is life long or short depending on time?
Are we “old” or “young” depending on time on earth?
Is this what Life is measured by?

Look together with slightly older children at some passages in Section 2: citation B10, B11–Eccl.3:15 and John 8:58 These don’t sound like the normal “order” of things when we think about time. Yet they are truths! And the use of “I am” might remind some of the name God gave to Himself when Moses asked in the desert…does that seem like a statement of “presence” versus “past”?

Mary Baker Eddy tells us in citation S6/333:16 “The divine image, idea, or Christ was, is, and ever will be inseparable from the divine Principle, God. Jesus referred to his unity of his spiritual identity thus: “Before Abraham was, I am;” “I and my Father are one;” “My Father is greater than I.” The one Spirit includes all identities.” This understanding of unity does away with clock time and puts our identities squarely in eternal life.

With younger children discuss how a sundial works and bring in a clock that you can set “back” ten minutes. Explain the story so that they understand that this did not happen only for Hezekiah, but for the universe. How? Because God doesn’t create or “do” time! We never need more “time”, more human limitations!  Notice in citation S10 that “…Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded.” What does this mean for us? Can we find more ways to recognize unfolding good in our lives?


PYCL #4: A NEW “CIRCLE OF LIFE”.

There are two “definitions” of life in the third section. A circle is a great representation of eternity. You can always use any item that is circular, such as a Hoola hoop. But in this case, I was thinking that you could look at a couple of passages for these “definitions” of Life:

citation S12/410:4-9 Jesus…”defines everlasting life as a present knowledge of his Father and of himself,–the knowledge of Love, Truth, and Life.” (italics added).

And:

citation S15/288:31-4 “Truth demonstrated is eternal life.”

You also may wish to go back to Section 1 where p. 468:25-3 answers the question: “What is Life?” At any rate, on a large sheet of paper with a large inscribed circle, I would write around it in circle shape “Life is a present knowledge of God and man” “Truth demonstrated is eternal life”. “Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life…” and so on.

You could make paper wreaths that have these kinds of words around them, describing ways that we define Life. Each student could take home one of these “circles of life”.


PYCL #5: SHAPE OUR VIEWS TO SEE ETERNAL LIFE.

What does it mean to “shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity…” (citation S16/246:27)  With little ones you will need to do some defining of these words. Talk about how we might take clay and “shape” it into something we recognize.

If it doesn’t distract, you can ask them to take some playdough and shape it into something simple, like a ball. Can we shape our thoughts about living in a similar way?
How do we shape them into “loveliness, freshness, and continuity…”?
Can you think of some ideas together?

Maybe we recognize that which is lovely, fresh and continuous around us.
Is the love we see expressed from our mom or dad something that will always last whether they are present or not?
Is the beauty of nature something we can see, recognize as divine reflection, take in and appreciate in our quest to find joy, peace, satisfaction?

As we do this are we not “shaping our views” in the right ways?
We can choose to see the beauty, or love, or tenderness around us and refuse to acknowledge power in that which is ugly, hateful, or harsh, right?
Isn’t that “shaping our views of existence”?

Eternal Life is beautiful, always fresh, and certainly continuous! We can partake of that life right now when we shape our views to align with that vision of Truth.

Have a great week in Sunday School.

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