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[PYCL: Learn how we can show what the Christ has graced us with!]
CedarS PYCLs–P
ossible Younger Class Lessons for:  
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for January 13, 2013
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

[PYCL:  Learn how to properly show our gratitude and devotion to Christ Jesus and to God.]
It is an interesting challenge to comb the lesson on Sacrament for ideas that are meaningful to the younger kids.  I grew up never knowing anything about the traditional meaning of Sacrament, that is, the collection of rituals commemorating the last supper with Jesus offering bread and wine to his disciples and the ritual of baptism.  There are more sacraments if you are looking at the full range that are mostly celebrated in the Catholic church, but these two are the ones we generally look at in the majority of Christian protestant religions.  It wouldn't hurt to enlighten the slightly older kids as to the historical background of the subject in this week's lesson.  Mrs. Eddy took the idea of Sacrament very seriously.  Her chapter in Science & Health called “Atonement and Eucharist” should clue us into this fact; and the entire lesson emphasizes what we must do in order to properly commemorate and show our gratitude and devotion to Christ Jesus and to God.  In looking up the word Sacrament I found a useful thought that sheds some light on Mrs. Eddy's approach to this subject.  It reads in part: “A visible sign of an inward grace…”  This is a beautiful way to look at how we can show what the Christ has graced us with, the healing power of Truth.

[PYCL:  Bask in the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God & communion of the Holy Ghost.]
Ask about what the “communion of the Holy Ghost” mentioned in the Golden Text means. What is communion?  It implies something deeper than just prayer to God.  What is the Holy Ghost?  See what Mrs. Eddy says about it. [“HOLY GHOST.  Divine Science; the development of eternal Life, Truth, and Love.” (588:7)]

[PYCL: Please God by walking in all the ways He commanded you.]
And in the Responsive Reading we have the direction given in clear terms that what God is looking for from us is: “Obey my voice…walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you…” This is stated in a way that we can understand; and we don't need to figure out some complicated form of worship (sacrificing different animals in the old days…) to please our Father/Mother.

[PYCL:  Talk about & show purification from sediments of unkindness, impatience, anger…]
The first section
tells us about baptism.  Talk with them about what it is and share the story included in that section.  What does baptism symbolize/represent?  Even the littlest can be brought into this conversation.  What does it take for us to be baptized?  What is “spiritual baptism”? (S4)  In that same citation you could have fun with those words and their meanings: “repentance, spiritual baptism and regeneration…”.  What do those mean; and why are they grouped together?  You can talk about the purification of self in terms of keeping our thought and actions pure reflections of God's actions and being.  You can try the sand in the water trick where you stir a sediment into a clear glass of water and then watch it settle to the bottom leaving the water clear again (sand or something that doesn't dissolve easily works well here).  Can we let the “sediment” of unkindness, being judgmental, impatience, frustration, anger, and so on (think of your age group here), sink to the bottom so that we can see the purity of God's/Mind's ideas reflected in our thoughts and actions?  How do we combat these kinds of “impurities”?  They really can be “washed away” by God's good angel thoughts can't they?  When we have less temper, or impatience, or demanding, or whatever fits here, then we are showing visibly our inward grace, this is sacrament made obvious, our real show of gratitude for what Jesus did.

[PYCL:  Sit at the feet of Jesus with your whole self found in keeping His commandments.]
The story of Martha [serving and of Mary choosing the “needful”, “good part” in section 2] may be not so obviously relevant to the younger ones.  But talk about it anyway, and then share how our real being, our wholeness/complete selves are found when we keep His commandments.  Pupils might have been introduced to the commandments; or you may want to talk about them here and use this lesson as a springboard to show how the commandments and obedience to them shows our love for God and for Jesus. (B7 and S10)  How can we show our love for Jesus… do we rush around playing and doing things that we want to (I mean, let's face it, kids don't get too hung-up on chores and serving), or do we sit at the feet of Jesus and listen?  What does sitting at Jesus' feet look like today?

[PYCL:  Investigate Jesus’ acts of Eucharist & foot-washing & their spiritual significance.]
You can talk about the Eucharist and the foot-washing stories.  Why are they linked here?  The kids may not be able to figure it out, but might be interested in thinking about the connection of love and service to each other.  Can they think of ways to “wash each other’s feet”?  Talk about how this would have been a very dirty job, something a servant might do (or a woman… in those days).  Why did Jesus do it?  Note that this section has a comprehensive definition of the Christian Science view of the Eucharist in citation S12 [35:25]. You can certainly use this to help in your investigation of this rite and its spiritual significance.

[PYCL:  Find a prayer press in your garden of Gethsemane, your pressure-packed situation.]
In Section 4 check out the definition in Aramaic of “Gethsemane”.  It is in a Bible note in this week’s  I love that it explains that the word comes from a phrase that means “oil press”.  There was an oil press in this garden.  Look at Mrs. Eddy's definition of “OIL” in S&H [592] and then think of the idea of a press, the pressure of “squeezing” out this inspiration, prayer, and so on.  As I thought of Jesus' agonizing night in the garden, I found this Bible note very enlightening and inspiring.  Ask the kids why the disciples slept when Jesus needed them to pray?  What do we do today sometimes when we need to pray?  Do we sometimes ignore that little voice and plow ahead with…?

[PYCL:  Cast your net on the right side to catch… healing thoughts & goldfish crackers!]
Finally, you can talk about the disciples going back to their fishing after Jesus is crucified.  Why didn't they go on to do what he taught them?  Did they think that he had failed because of the crucifixion?  What did Jesus tell them when he saw them fishing after he rose from the dead?  Talk about the symbolism of casting your “net” on the “right side”.  They may not be so aware of that.  Have the little ones act that out.  Maybe you can bring a bag of goldfish crackers and let them bring them in.  They can eat a cracker for every good healing thought that they have “caught”.  You might point out the obvious, that the disciples had fished all night with no success until Jesus told them to throw the nets on the “right” side of the ship.  Did there just happen to be fish on the other side of the boat… really?  What was going on here?

[PYCL:  Plan a morning meal with Christ’s gifts written on paper plates.]
The disciples learned their lesson here and in the last section we are told that they went on to continue Jesus' works and show their gratitude for his life and teachings.  Maybe plan a “morning meal” [as in citation S21, 34:29].  What would you serve?  Ask them to set the table with plates, etc and on each plate they can write down what Christ has given us. (Assuming you have brought paper plates 🙂

Enjoy your Sunday!

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