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[PCYL: Clothe thought spiritually before each activity like we do at camp! (4)]
ossible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Soul and Body”
for May 27, 2018

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: Although this lesson subject stems from the prevalent (false) belief that there is a spiritual "soul" dwelling in our material body, most children in Christian Science Sunday schools probably have not really considered this suggestion. Most of us have, however, even early in our experience, contemplated the idea that our physical body is not really all there is to man, to our identity. We somehow instinctively know that there is more to life than simply a material existence. Many things we experience hint at this fact. The love we feel for people, when deep, goes beyond the material. We don't have to have the person in the room with us in order to feel that love. It isn't attached to their body, but lives in our consciousness. I think we can introduce this kind of thinking to some of the younger classes, while maybe not the very youngest. With all levels one way to think about these issues is by contemplating what we are holding in our thoughts or consciousness about ourselves or others. This is much like what is stated in our Golden Text and repeated in citation B8 from Luke instead of Matthew.

Discuss what it means to have our "eye" be "single"— (from a Greek word that means: whole, sound, able to fulfill its duty.) Maybe we could think of it in terms of something "whole" or full, finished, complete. Can we then let anything else into that completeness? If you have a puzzle and all the pieces are fitted in and the picture is finished, can you add another piece? That might be a good way to illustrate this idea. You could even do this literally with a puzzle and an extra piece. Have them tell you where it goes (make sure it's a piece that obviously has nothing to do with the completed puzzle for the illustration to work best). Then you can think together about how when we only let in thoughts that are Godlike (have a "single" eye), there is no place for thoughts that are not from God. Like the completed puzzle/idea that is completely good, beautiful, loved and loving… there is no room for thoughts about ourselves that are ugly, hateful, resentful, unhappy, dissatisfied, sick, and so on. We can do this for others too by keeping our eye "single" regarding those around us.

Pycl #2: In order to have the truest view of man stay in our thoughts we have to "lift up [our] eyes" (B4). This is a metaphor for looking spiritually higher than matter (which metaphorically is like looking at the ground). This is beautifully illustrated by Mrs. Eddy in citation S3. Talk to the children about this citation. What does it look as if the sun "does" morning and night? We know that a long time ago, man found through more careful observation, that the sun does not actually rise and set, rather the earth turns and this makes it look as if the sun is coming up and going down. Though we know this to be the truth and can prove it, the appearance still contradicts the truth right?

Likewise, matter contradicts Truth. This does not make matter true; it just makes it seem convincing. We have to really exclude the material senses from legitimacy. And we have to remind ourselves that evil is a suggestion like the rising and setting of the sun, and not spiritual truth or reality. You could do a little experiment in any number of ways. If you have dividers in your Sunday School, one child can stand behind a divider (and stay there). Where did the child go? Did he/she "disappear"? No! We just don't see them; their existence is not in doubt. This is just a simple way to introduce the limitations of material sense.

Pycl #3: The story of Saul/Paul gives us a chance to think about having clean "windows". If we are looking through a dirty window, we see a scene that is blurry, unclear, wrong color and so on. If we keep the window clean we have the opportunity to really see what is outside. In the same way, if our thought is "dirty" with wrong ideas about man, as Paul's was, we are going to be acting in ways that don't really reflect our Father-Mother.

There are several citations, as well as the actual story in Sections 2 and 3 about Paul that help expand on this idea. For example, you could look at citation B6 as a command to behold His servant (even anyone that is around us!) in just the way that is demanded. In other words, we are commanded to regard those around us, and ourselves in the light of Soul's perfect reflection.

You can bring up Paul's blindness, and how that fits into citation B7. How might we be "blind" to the Truth at times? How can we be made to "see"? With very small children feel free to spend some time actually washing some of the windows in your Sunday School. (You could surreptitiously make some areas a little dirty and blurry ahead of time to illustrate the way that making them clean really helps our view.)

Pycl #4: Ananias healed Paul of his blindness. Why was that a scary thing for him to do? He heard God's direction as clearly as Paul did once he heard Jesus speak to him on his way to Damascus. One of the themes in this lesson is the light and clarity that Soul brings to bear on our sense of self, on our sense of God, and of others.

How does this light and clarity help us to know how we should "go"? What gets in our way? Matter! We have to see through that veil of matter to what is behind it. One way to do this is to think about being "clothed" with Spirit rather than, as Mrs. Eddy says in citation S20 arraying "thought in mortal vestures" (which she is warning us against, obviously). You can mime or actually put on clothing and have each article either represent "mortal" clothing, or spiritual clothing. How do we "clothe" thought? Is this something we have to do each day, or before each activity? Is this what we are doing when we say a met together before an activity at camp? Can we do this regardless of where we are?

Pycl #5: This next idea is such an important ingredient in learning how to heal and can be taught at any level. It involves a combination of our Leader's words and Paul's. From citation S21 we are told "…the pure and exalting influence of the divine Mind on the body is requisite, and the Christian Scientist takes the best care of his body when he leaves it most out of his thought, and, like the Apostle Paul, is "willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." How do we go about doing this? Do we simply "ignore" the body? How is leaving it out of thought different from ignoring—or is it different?

I think when we ignore something we are aware of its presence, but we are trying not to be. When we leave something out of thought it is more like walking by something on a hike and leaving it behind. It is no longer in our field of vision—no longer something we see or think about. We can take this further with the students, I think. Christian Science is not about ignoring matter, it is about seeing it as powerless and not an influence in our experience. We still seem to have to eat, sleep and so on. But these things need not be the focus of our thought and activity. It is like the looking up/lifting our eyes that is mentioned in citation B4/Pycl2.

This idea can also be linked to citation B20 where we are told that God plucks our feet out of the "net". This is the "net" of material thoughts and beliefs. These thoughts can really "tangle" us up! You can bring in some nets or string and simulate this tangling with younger children. You can also bring in citation S24 and explain "fetters" in the same light. How do material thoughts "fetter" or "tangle" us? How does "walking in the Spirit" make things clear?

Have a lovely Sunday School class!

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