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[PYCL: 1.Commune with God. 2. Lubricate freely. 5. Find fresh inspiration in the familiar.]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for


on January 10, 2016

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

Pycl #1: [Commune with God together.] Always feel free to address the subject of Sacrament by figuring out together what it means to us. What is the traditional Christian view of sacrament and how do we, as Christian Scientists, pay homage to some of these sacraments, such as communion or baptism. Understanding our link to the larger community of Christians in the world can only bless us and others. Each Christian church performs these mentioned sacraments in slightly different ways—why do we drop the ritualistic performance altogether? Does that mean we don't celebrate them in some way? If you are teaching very young kids there is no need to get too technical here. You could just share some thoughts on communion, for example. What does it mean to "commune" with God? How do we commune with God? Is communion different than prayer? If so, in what way? Why do the kids think that we don't perform communion in the same way as many traditional Christian churches do? Check out citation S17 together.

Pycl #2: [Lubricate friction freely.] You really can't discuss this Bible lesson without thinking about oil. Look at Mrs. Eddy's definition (S1). Explain the importance of oil in a dry and dusty land where they haven't invented lip balm, hand and body lotion, running water… I'm sure people valued the way that oil took away some of the dryness; it must have felt luxurious! For the littlest ones you could bring in some pleasant smelling lotion to share. This would not be as an example of how to deal with chapped skin or anything, but as a representation of what Mary brought to put on Jesus' feet. At CedarS Christian Science Care (P.A.L. House), there are a couple of oil can pumps [left there by Corde Hanzlik, CS as object lessons]. These 6-oz. cans have "oil of gratitude" printed on the side, and Mrs. Eddy's definition of oil (S1). You could locate some of these in an automotive section of a box store, or in a car parts store [or on EBay]. The kids could take turns "pouring" [or pumping] this oil on any "problem" of their choice. How would such gratitude change or wash away a problem? What does oil do, in human experience? It keeps things moving without friction. Friction causes things to heat up and to eventually break. Oil also keeps things running smoothly, coolly, quietly… I'm sure you can come up with other thoughts. Are there any squeaky doors in your church that have exposed hinges that need oiling? This would be a perfect opportunity for the kids if you have some real oil in such a can (or WD40, a spray oil). If you had a squeaky door or something like that it would be a great illustration of how oil works. Now how does that apply to our problems? Feel free to share how gratitude, inspiration, etc. brought a healing to you.

Pycl #3: Why did the woman in Section 2 bathe Jesus' feet rather than say, his hands or head? Part of this is because his feet would have been facing away from the table where he reclined (you may be able to find a picture of how people in that age might have reclined while they sat at a table). Part of it is the humble nature of taking care of feet which have borne the brunt of all that dusty and dirty walking; they'd be the dirtiest part of someone. You can then bring in the example in Section 3 of Jesus washing his disciple's feet. Apparently, genuine love and deep humility are important components of receiving the power of Love's anointing. If you haven't already, you may want to mention that when someone was chosen as king, they would have been "anointed" which often meant they were sprinkled on the head with some kind of important oil. This represented the idea that they were chosen by God as the holy one to rule. There are several Biblical examples of this (think of how David was chosen, as a young shepherd boy, by Samuel). Jesus is referred to several times in this lesson as being anointed, and Mrs. Eddy tells us that Jesus the Christ is translated as "Jesus the anointed" in citation S9. Since we probably won't have the opportunity today to literally wash someone's feet, what does this mean for us? Can we humbly worship God through serving our fellow man in whatever way is needed? Might that be in a way that we find dirty or gross or difficult or challenging to our sense of order, cleanliness, time, culture, belief…?

Pycl #4: How are we ourselves "anointed"? Rick mentions in his Met this week that we are all special or anointed by God. This recognition is an important element of Scientific healing. Are only some chosen or anointed by God? Or are each of us special and blessed by God to worship and share the Christ. In fact, I think it is the Christ which acts as a powerful "oil" of healing as we go out and share our gratitude among mankind. Check out the Responsive Reading for how Jesus sent out his disciples to heal. Did he tell them to bring along some supplies and money in this case? What did he require of them? How should we "go out"? Is that same Christ with us today giving us that same healing power? This is really what Jesus was explaining to his disciples when they went fishing again in Section 5. He was helping them see that they have this divine power to heal for all time, not just when he is around. He ascended shortly after this breakfast with his disciples, knowing that, at last, they understood that there would be no "end" to the Christ power. This is true today too!

Pycl #5: [Find fresh inspiration in the familiar.] I love working with the 23rd Psalm. Every time I pray with it I find something fresh. You might say that oil of heavenly inspiration just keeps pouring. You could use this as a basis for discussion in class too. Look at Mrs. Eddy's translation with fresh eyes, line by line. You may want to put it into slightly more modern English. One example… Talk about the table that God sets in front of us in the presence of our enemies… this is followed by how Love anoints our head with oil and our cup runs over with it. Bring in a table cloth and utensils. Have the kids "set" the table. Ask what the Psalmist meant by this line. What would be on God's "table"? Can you put such things on the table… write them down and set them on the plates or serving dishes. If your head is anointed with prayer, heavenly inspiration, charity, gentleness… etc. what would we be thinking and how would that help us deal with our "enemies"? What are our enemies? Are they people? See how Mrs. Eddy refers to "cup" in citation S14. If cup is the cross, the challenges that would seem insurmountable, painful, frightening… what is that very cup filled with? If it is filled, as in the Psalm, with oil, then the tools we have to defeat our "cross" are all the ones mentioned in Mrs. Eddy's definition of oil. (S1) If this cup is filled with "wine", then see how she defines wine in this same passage (or in the glossary). Bring along some cups to put "oil" or "wine" ideas in at your table. You can dismiss the likely giggles about wine by noting that in those days water would have not been as clean to drink, though it was consumed for sure. And they didn't have commercially available things like fruit juice, soda, etc. So wine was a common dinner table provision. Notice that the Golden Text tells us that God anoints us or provides us with "fresh" oil. This fresh inspiration makes it so that we can look at a familiar Psalm and gain new spiritual insight each time, we have only to ask, or commune, with God.

Have a great Sunday!

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