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[PYCL: Inspire the freedom & fearlessness of Spirit!  Exceed Expectations!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Spirit"

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for February 10, 2013
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

[PYCL #1:  Help pupils feel the freedom and fearlessness that trust in Spirit can bring!] 
Probably all of you reading these Sunday School ideas have, at least at some point in your life, felt the power and tangible presence of God as Spirit in your life.  What are we trying to help our pupils understand about God as Spirit this week that will make them feel God as a tangible, “real”, presence in their lives?  We are surrounded by the seeming reality or substance of matter.  Christian Science can seem a tough “sell” because of this.  But we aren't trying to convince anyone of anything.  We are leading the children on a path where, through a study of the laws of God that Jesus lit up for us, they will feel the freedom and fearlessness that trust in Spirit can bring.  They will begin, at an early age, to perceive the power and presence of God in their own lives.  It is through their own perception of Spirit's presence that they will have the desire and curiosity to look beyond matter to Spirit and rejoice in this freedom on a daily basis.  Spirit leads its own creation; we don't have to “push” the truth.  Jesus didn't “push” his “agenda”, he healed and preached and people listened, or didn't, rejoiced, or took offense.  Just so, we live our understanding of truth, even in Sunday School, and Spirit will do the rest, even if it seems somehow to come in a roundabout way!  Share from the heart what Spirit has done for you, whether it is a specific healing or the way you feel each day from knowing that Spirit is real and what the material senses tell us, is not.

 

[PYCL #2: Help pupils exceed expectations by mirroring the amazing, all-powerful Spirit!] 
Once again the image of the sun is helpful to illustrate how, just as the sun is the source of light and heat or energy for our planet, really the source of life, so, God is the source of our life, and we are the reflection of this amazing and powerful source.  Each section in some way illustrates this point and with the smaller children this analogy is not as tired as we may feel it is.  Consider that as reflections (illustrate this with a mirror), we are not our own “source” of intelligence, energy, speed, agility, skill, etc., rather we get every last ounce of our individuality from the source, Spirit.  We can feel this tangibly when we exceed our expectations or the expectations of others and are acknowledging and being aware of Spirit as our source.  We rise above limitations when we use spiritual sense to be aware of our source always. You can talk about how, if the sun represents the idea of Spirit, then the rays are like individual man. Mrs. Eddy writes about all the rays gathered together as representing Christ, or the “Holy Spirit”, the tangible presence of God. Talk about how we feel the light of the sun, we perceive the light of the sun and how the rays are never disconnected from the sun. Even when you have clouds, the light reaches through, yet those rays are not separate from their source, cut off and making their own light. What tangible qualities does each pupil express? With the younger classes you can make a big yellow sun and then big yellow “rays”. On each ray write qualities that are tangible expressions of Spirit that each child expresses. See if they can come up with some of their own after you give them some ideas. They could be things like: joy, energy, kindness, obedience, generosity (well that's kind of a big word for them, but you get the idea). With older ones just talk about the way that a ray of the sun has a tangible manifestation of light and heat and that as God's “rays”, we too are tangible manifestations of Spirit. Name some of these tangible qualities together. This could be an entry in your synonym book that we talked about in last week's pycls.

 

[PYCL Section 5: Pose questions like “Is the sun ever dark?”  “Or can it ever feel cold?] 
At this point you could look at the last section and see that citation B18 [1 John 1:5] is clear about the all-goodness of God.  In like manner, can the sun ever emit darkness?  Can a ray of light from the sun ever make you cold?  It is not in the nature of the sun to produce anything but light and warmth, so the opposite qualities of darkness and cold are not created by the sun.  What are they “created” by?  Well, actually they are not “created” at all are they?  They are caused by the absence of the sun's light and heat.  This can happen in this material analogy, but not when you are thinking about Spirit as the “sun” because Spirit operates through divine laws and Spirit is omnipotent and omnipresent (unlike the sun, which is material and inanimate and can be blocked by a solid object).  So, just as the sun cannot emit darkness or cold, so Spirit cannot be expressed in man as sick, mean, unintelligent, etc.  If that is what things look like, it is because we are just needing to perceive God's/Spirit's true, tangible presence in our lives.  Littler children will enjoy the idea of answering the question about whether the sun can make things dark or cold.  Ask them with some measure of expression and see what they say.

 

[PYCL Section 2: Fiery furnaces today? burnt bonds; no lingering smell; 4th person, courage]
Discussing the story of the Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace is always a good thing to do with these younger classes.  It is a gripping story and looking at it thoroughly as if for the first time, is our job as teachers.  We are used to the whole idea that they were cast in bound, but that only their bonds were burnt off.  What does this symbolize?  What about the element of the story where even the smell of smoke didn't cling to them?  What does that symbolize?  Can you come up with a healing in your own experience that illustrates that point?  What about the role of the Christ in the furnace, that fourth person?  Is that the tangible presence of Spirit that we've been talking about?  What about the moral courage that they displayed by refusing to worship the idol rather than just pretending to worship and avoiding the trial of fire?  Can you think of an analogy for today for this story?  Is there a “fire” that we sometimes face that requires such deep moral courage and conviction of God's/Spirit's reality and presence and power in our lives?  It always requires courage to stand on the side of Spirit when the material senses are shouting that they are the only reality and must be “noticed”.  These are not tired analogies; they can always be answered with fresh inspiration.

 

[PYCL Section 3: Do cup-of-water experiments as examples of our oneness with God.] 
Looking at section three, we can talk about citation S17, a slightly different aspect of the sun and ray we discussed earlier.  Bring in a cup of water and ask them to pick up a drop or two from the cup.  Show them how you cannot separate a drop from the cup of water.  Even if you could take a drop or two out with a straw, for example, when you put it back it is one with the water, not floating about separately.  So, we are one with God.  The same goes for “rays” of sunlight and the sun.  If the kids are older you can talk here about individuality as well.  See citation S16 which talks about Ego and Spirit.  There is only one Ego, what we sometimes think of as our “self”, but infinite individuality (there are infinite drops of water in the ocean, infinite “rays” of the sun.  But none can act of its own accord to cause trouble, for example.  Each drop or ray must act in accord with its source.  Likewise we are individual, and we express individual creativity and intelligence, but the source for these qualities lies in Spirit, not within ourselves.

 

Have a great Sunday.

 

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