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[PYCL: Know yourself and all as the “more formidable”, “new man”—no longer after the flesh!]

Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

”Man”

for March 11, 2018

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkinmail.com (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: We can all gain a clearer understanding of spiritual, true man, through thinking of the sheep and Shepherd analogy. The Golden Text brings this idea of being God's sheep to light. Think about Mrs. Eddy's definition of Sheep in the glossary of Science and Health (p.594). After you have thought together about the spiritual qualities that sheep express, you can later look at the stories in this week's lesson. Do any of these main "characters" in the lesson embody these qualities? Daniel? Did he offend anyone (other than arouse envy which is not through anything offensive on his part!), was he innocent? How about Ruth, whom did she follow and why? What did the blind beggar express when he identified, and followed after, Jesus, when he threw off his beggar's cloak to approach Christ for a clearer sense of himself? Weren't each of these people looking for a clearer understanding of man, through following God (looking to the Shepherd)?

Talk to the children and ask about what they think a shepherd's job is, how do they do it, what qualities do they express? If we are God's sheep, how does God do this "shepherding" in our own lives each day? Can they identify examples? Can you share some to get things rolling?
Pycl #2: There are several examples in the lesson this week of looking only to God for our understanding of man, our safety, our supply, our wholeness and so on. Right away, Daniel is confronted with an angel of God and feels weakened by facing the holiness of God versus a sense of his own insignificance, his mortal sense of identity. But the angel tells him that he is actually the "beloved" of God, not a separate, "wimpy" mortal! And this understanding gives Daniel strength. Then there is the story of Daniel in the lion's den. In this case there is the suggestion that Daniel should be encouraged to look to another source of strength or power (Darius). He is, of course, not fooled by this suggestion and instead maintains his safety and courage in God. He essentially looks to God for the definition of his own safe, powerful, identity. And he is rewarded with peace and safety. Ruth looks to the God of Naomi, her mother-in-law for her supply of all good. She recognizes over the years with Naomi, the power of God to supply all genuine good. Even though the physical senses announce deprivation (death of her husband, etc.) she looks to God for a better definition of her care as a spiritual idea. (This is true for Daniel too l, right? Wasn't he faced with the suggestion that he was a mortal at the mercy of other mortals? An essentially false definition of his manhood, right?) Finally we have Bartimaeus who looks to Jesus for a higher definition of himself as seeing, perceiving, understanding man. He was told by others around him to be quiet! Isn't that kind of like how our senses tell us that we have to put up with less than perfect definitions of ourselves as God's reflection?
Pycl #3: Bartimaeus gives us an excellent opportunity to "throw off" a false sense of identity as mortal man. We've done this before, but try bringing in a cloak, or bedsheet or something that represents the "beggar's cloak", a cloak that beggars wore to identify themselves as such. Discuss together what that "identity" includes. Do they have some things that they think about themselves that would be categorized as limited, unfruitful, fearful and so on? You can just imagine these "qualities" attached to the cloak, or you can pin them on it on pieces of paper. Take turns wearing the cloak and dramatically throwing it off as we rise to approach a more Christ-like definition of ourselves. What thoughts are "shouted" at us to keep us from rising up and throwing off that "cloak" whenever we face challenges? What answers does Christ have to those challenges? What did Jesus consistently teach us about God's man?
Pycl #4: Daniel heard God through spiritual sense. I doubt that Ruth chose to follow Naomi because of material sense evidence —she left her homeland and former family, safety and supply —all because she perceived something with her spiritual senses that was certainly not visible to material sense. Bartimaeus as well was seeking a more spiritual definition of man and looking to God and the Christ to correct his false sense of man. You might say that they were all following citation B19. How can we use citation B19 as a guide? We can strive to "know no man after the flesh" —never accept what material sense tells us about people we see, and we can look everywhere for evidence of the "new man" who embodies the spiritual qualities of all these characters in this week's lesson. Pair this Bible passage with citation S29 which tells us that man is "more real, more formidable" when we see him as spiritual. Instead of thinking that the material man is the tangible, substantial one, we can start looking at these Bible examples and understand that the qualities these people expressed made them much more "real" and more "formidable"!
Have a happy Sunday with the new true man!!
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