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[PCYL: Make Love visible by acts of thoughtfulness towards nature—and each other! (3)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God the Only Cause and Creator”
for June 10, 2018

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

Pycl #1: "Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress." (S1) In keeping with the subject this week, consider what might be holding us back from progress (and what does progress mean for your students?)? Here are a few things that could play a part: fear, depression, doubt, hatred, resentment, impatience, frustration, homesickness… Do any of these things come from the only cause—God? God did not make these things and His goodness outshines them and can eliminate them as we ponder our Father-Mother as the source of all that has power, all that we reflect in our actions.

Consider bringing in a bowl of something tasty… candy, or pretzels or fruit… but whatever it contains it should be all the same thing. The children can clearly see that there are only good things in the bowl. If no one were to put anything else in that bowl and you were the only one who could put things in it, and you would never put anything but that one item in there, well then, that is all you'd ever find in that bowl. The only thing going in or out of that bowl is good… the only thing going into, coming out of, creation is good.

I also like a story that Kevin Graunke shared on a Sentinel broadcast recently. It's the story of the sun and darkness. A bunch of animals found a cave in a hillside. They were very excited to see that inside it was dark. The sun over-heard the animals talking about this darkness and he asked them "What is darkness; I've never seen it?" Rabbit replied "Come with us, we'll take you to the cave!" When the sun arrived at the cave he followed the animals in, but inside all anyone could see was light! This seems like a sweet way to illustrate how the only cause and creator, God, could never have made anything unlike himself, and in His presence, only good can be seen. You can extend this illustration to encompass what kind of "light" we bring into whatever "room" we enter. What qualities do we express or shine on all around us?

Pycl #2: There is a lot in this lesson that pertains to the environment. If this is something that you or your students might be interested in thinking about spiritually, this is your lesson!! Gather all the references in advance that speak to environmental issues. You can start with the Golden Text and Responsive Reading. Earth was formed to be LIVED in! God governs and regulates creation. In His presence (as we just saw in the story above), greed, pollution, thoughtlessness, selfishness, ignorance… these cannot exist. How do we experience this fact and make it visible? Each act of thoughtfulness that we show towards nature, whether it is observation and appreciation, or picking up a piece of trash, more than a "drop in the bucket", each act is a manifestation of infinite Love's power and presence.

What role does weather play in our activities: agricultural and otherwise, including play, joy, health? Is weather a cause?

Pycl #3: Read together about the "firmament", both from the Bible and from citations in the Science and Health in this week's lesson. In citation S5 Mrs. Eddy explains that the firmament is understanding and that this understanding separates mortal sense, or the lie, from Truth/God. Truth is not in the lie (anymore than the darkness that was in the cave could mix with the light of the sun).

If you think it would be a useful analogy you could bring in a clear jar or glass and fill it part way with water. Have the children add some oil—salad oil or something—to the water. What happens? The oil doesn't mingle with the water. It isn't a perfect illustration but it gives younger children something visual to connect with. You could develop the idea that the oil rises to the top, like Truth…Truth lifts us above the lie, so that we aren't impressed and start to gain the understanding that makes the lie disappear. Even when they seem to mix, the Truth will become clearly separate as you continue to seek that understanding (and let the glass stand still!).

Pycl #4: Check out the definition of "Heaven" in citation S7— and how we "behold" or see/experience heaven in citation S8. When we are governed by Spirit, or divine Principle, we are in heaven. When we are expressing joy—even while tempted to be sad, or gratitude—especially when we are tempted to feel deprived—these are times when we are demonstrating that we are in that kingdom, right now. You could take the children for a walk and ask them each to look for signs of heaven around us. It could be beautiful things in nature, or examples of people expressing care for one another. These all point to the presence of the kingdom of heaven with us. Certainly you can share any examples of natural life, birds or other animals and tie them into the 5th section.

Pycl #5: I like how citation S23 explains so clearly that while God created all individuality, and that all individualities exist continuously and are maintained within Mind. In other words, man (and all creation) was not set in motion a certain number of years ago, and left to maintain (or destroy) itself. We were never "left to our own devices". This is certainly contrary to material sense, but if you need some examples of how this is true, you can turn to the periodicals.

Also there are some great healings shared in Rick Stewart's CedarS Met this week that point to how God is maintaining His creation. In Section 3 is the example of the apricot orchard. It is particularly interesting that the apparent lack of buyers for the crop was resolved not instantaneously, but through spiritual understanding (that firmament) in action—as the writer and her family were open to seeing and understanding the presence of the kingdom of heaven, in which there is no lack. They realized the presence of God's abundance!

Have a great week in Sunday School.

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