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[PYCL: Clothe thought in Spirit, every day, to learn to see this as the reality!]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

Soul and Body
for Sunday, May 24, 2015

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

Pycl #1: Certainly I’ve been aware that the idea of a soul within the body is a theological belief that is very common. But until this time around (for this Bible lesson) I’d never made the connection with the preceding lessons and how Mrs. Eddy has been carefully addressing these widely-held beliefs ever since she established this Bible lesson series. Why is it important to debunk this particular theory? Maybe that’s not a direct question to ask little people, but there is certainly something worth addressing concerning the erroneous theory that we are some combination of matter and Spirit, with Spirit or spiritual things trapped within a material body. Mortal mind always tries to make God into something more material in the guise of it being more “reasonable”. Yet, taken as a whole, matter really never lives up to this status as anything remotely “reasonable”, it gets injured, old, and sick and dies with little provocation and often no “reason” at all. Whereas Spirit and the true spiritual man has none of those flaws or vulnerabilities. So just having a bit of a conversation about the true meaning of our body being the “temple of the living God;” can clarify this issue and set us on a path that is based on reality.

Pycl #2: In the Responsive Reading and in citation B5 there are references to God hiding us, setting us on a rock and being our sun and shield. Look into these analogies. In an animated way, talk about how we might find a good hiding place. What would that look like? Would it be completely invisible to enemies? When we play a hiding game do we stand out in plain sight? Have them show you where they might hide (if they are very young). What would God’s hiding place look like to us? What would it hide us from? Might it actually be a place of such light that the error that might try to frighten us would disappear? Why does the Psalmist say that God will set us on a “rock”? What does that mean? Have they ever stood on a large boulder? What are the qualities of such a thing? Here in Missouri we have a place in the southern part of the state called “Elephant Rocks”. It’s a deposit of huge boulders. Some are taller than the surrounding trees and rise like mountains among them. There is something so impressive and powerful and solid about climbing on them. Have the kids imagine this and share their thoughts about what a rock can do. Does it wash away in a storm, break easily and get carried off by a big wind? What things in life are like a storm, or shock, or a big wind? How would being set on a rock, the Christ, the Truth, help us get through tough times?

Pycl #3: Look up together the terms body, sanctuary, tabernacle, temple, etc. Check out Mrs. Eddy’s definition of temple (S2) and try reading it with ‘body’ being defined by each word or words that are separated by the comma. For example: Body is the idea of Life. Body is substance. Body is intelligence. Body is the superstructure of Truth. Body is the shrine of Love. How does that change how you think of body? Could our physical bodies be these things? This may take some pondering. When you have a feel for some of the nature of a spiritual sense of body you can then look at citation B2 and notice that it says of God that “I will walk among you”. What does that idea suggest? Could God “walk among us” in a physical way? Does that mean something more symbolic? With the little ones talk about walking in a crowd. How would they feel if they knew God was “walking” in that crowd right with them? Obviously, we have to be spiritual as well, since that’s the only way that God could walk with us!

Pycl #4: Check out Caleb’s story. Make sure you touch on the idea that this guy is telling us that not only has he not aged since he was 40 years old, but now he’s 85 and he’s strong enough to go to war (this is not in the lesson but is part of that story). This is different from just “aging well”! Caleb was obedient to God’s message that the Children of Israel should take possession of that territory. Only Caleb and Joshua were willing to set aside their fears and be obedient to God’s Word to Moses (and all Israel). Citation S6 gives us a powerful statement of what obedience to Truth give us. It is cool here to think about how mortal mind will give us so many other things to be “obedient” to that are not spiritual. Many will seem harmless! What we should eat, what we should spend our time on, how we should dress…yet it is only obedience to Truth/God that will yield power and strength. Are we talking about physical power and strength? It seems like a new way to view obedience to Truth! It also shows great flexibility of thought, that we can listen with childlike faith to Truth’s direction and we will then experience the freedom of life in Soul, not bodily limitations. Citation S7 continues this thought with words like developing, broadening and rising, as well as boundless. These words suggest Spirit or Soul’s nature as ever expanding rather than the fixed or decaying nature of matter. Maybe you can come up with some comparisons between the suggested offers of a material body, vs. the freedom that the spiritual man can offer us. Then note that no matter what it seems, the material suggestions are never the reality. We are not actually “choosing” to live in matter vs. Spirit. There is only the real; the rest is a lie, albeit a vivid one.

Pycl #5: What does it mean to “occupy” our thought with the "enduring, the good and the true” (S10)? What do you think that Caleb “occupied” his thought with… examples, not just quoting Mrs. Eddy here. Did he think about what that Promised Land meant? Was it something he had to wait for? Was he “waiting” for everyone else to “catch up” to his level of thought and inspiration? Did he keep moving forward (rising higher and higher…)? Can you make a list of what we can occupy our thoughts with so that we too can possess that “promised land”? In order to see our true nature, our true identity as spiritual, what needs to be in our thought?

Pycl #6: We always have the choice of looking at things how they seem to be, or understanding the truth behind what appears to be. The comparison with Ptolemaic ideas of the solar system—in his case imagined not as a solar but earth centered system—is a great way to draw this into focus. It certainly looks, to the casual observer, like the earth is at the center of things. Bring up some examples of this. Then talk about how we know, from scientific observation and data that this is not the case. Similarly, we know that God has made man in His likeness through spiritual healing. We know that Spirit/Soul would not mix matter and Spirit together to create a “mortal” man.

Pycl #7: What does purity have to do with this whole Soul and body thing? Isn’t it a little like seeing the universe as a solar one, rather than earth-centered? Our pure hearts help us “see God”, see reality and Truth and man in His likeness. Of course you can use purity analogies: how do you best see the bottom of a lake? What can cloud our view of man or God… etc? How is a material man with a spiritual soul inside sort of like thinking of man as “impure”?

Pycl #8: Citation S25 talks of delineating thoughts of health etc. on our body. If our body is something we “hold” in our thought, how can we “draw” or delineate on it, thoughts of health etc.? Think again about Caleb. How do all the qualities we’ve talked about help us draw our body more accurately? How does purity contribute?

Have a great Sunday!

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