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[PYCL: 1. Keep thoughts new! 2. Come up with a "new song" to sing this week! 3. Strive actively to see God in our lives to promote a constant stream of new ideas on a daily basis.]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

“Life”

on January 17, 2016

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: [Keep thoughts new!]
What better theme for a lesson on Life than newness. What is the difference between something new and something young? You might get a 'new' puppy, and it might also be 'young', will it stay 'young'? Presumably your pupils are on the "younger" side and may not be giving aging a lot of thought, but that is not important. We don't need to figure out how to deal with that suggestion when we get "old". We must deal with it daily: "Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof." Science & Health 246:27-28. It is implied that we "should find this out" now. Why, you might ask them? Why should they worry about age? The answer is that they shouldn't! Our goal is not to "live forever". We already do this, but finding out what that means is the work that we have before us. Should we not get old bodies, not get wrinkly, and so on? Understanding our immortality is about understanding who we are, what we are made of and above all what and who Life is. It isn't about preventing matter from aging. To get the ball rolling you might want to find something new looking, a toy in it's store wrapping, a really shiny coin… talk about how this might be something new. But it, being matter, will not stay that way, because matter is measured by "trips around the sun". Talk about how that is an arbitrary measurement. I've had fruitful discussions with my young boys about how matter is measured this way. You could even use the other planets as comparisons. For example, if you weigh 50 lbs on earth, you would weigh 18 lbs on Mars (likewise their orbits around the sun take different times–check it out, so a year would measure differently)! Our systems are useful, but arbitrary! Our real goal is to keep our thoughts, our consciousness new! How do we do this? Look at some of the references to new and newness in the lesson starting with the Golden Text.

Pycl #2: [Come up with a "new song" to sing this week!]
What "new song" can you sing or write today? B2. Continuing our theme here, why not come up with a "new song" to sing this week for your class. It does not have to be an actual "song". (Though you could take a familiar tune, like a hymn they all know or song like "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and put your new words in as reminders, then they can sing that during the week). What are some of the things a song can do? In this case, it is a way of praising God. Couldn't our song each day be a series of actions that reflect Life's love, compassion, vigor, joy, intelligence, activity, agility, strength, acuity, focus? Obviously there is overlap among the synonyms here but God's names can share qualities! Can your class come up with some new ways that they can praise God today? Maybe this week they will focus on expressing more of Life's joy when they first wake up in the morning? I'm sure they can brainstorm a list with you! You could email midweek to remind them of the list and ask about progress as well as sharing your own. If they don't have their own email addresses get their parents' email addresses!

Pycl #3: [Strive actively to see God in our lives to promote a constant stream of new ideas on a daily basis.]
Look! There's even more about newness in Section 1! Look at what it says about the Children of Israel in citation B3, their clothes and shoes didn't wear out after forty years of walking around in the desert! How is that possible? I like to think of needs being supplied in infinite ways. The Children of Israel didn't pass by a lot of grocery stores, so God put manna out for them every morning. Likewise, they probably weren't trading with other people as much, not passing through a lot of cities, not carrying a lot of spare change to bargain with, so what did they need to preserve? Clothing! And these needs were met. It probably isn't a genuine need for us to keep our clothes and shoes for 40 years, so we don't, but most of us reading this post have our needs for clothing met in one way or another. If this is not the case then here is a great opportunity to address the need right in Sunday School! When we are wandering around in the desert, figuratively, we are really searching, striving to see God actively in our lives. This would promote a constant stream of new ideas, fresh revelation, probably on a daily basis. If we are comfortably settled in and living in a routine that we don't think about, that's when we may be tempted to think we don't really need anything "new" in our lives. That's the minute we experience aging, even if we aren't humanly "old". It's not that we are doomed to wander about in order to find freshness, but we can only rest when we are really resting in the kingdom of heaven, when our consciousness is truly aware of the presence and power of divine Life. The kingdom is truly always fresh and new!

Pycl #4: [Find fresh inspiration in familiar Bible verses to bring healing!]
What really makes things old or wears them out? Is it "use", "time"? If we are thinking in terms of matter—or in terms of Spirit? Look at Mrs. Eddy's definition of "Time". That's enough to wear-out anybody! See citation S2 about time and eternity, there is no time in eternity, eternity is not "a really long time"—or even an "infinite amount" of time. That's a real revelation sometimes to kids/anyone. Citation S3 tells us that it is understanding that Life is God that "lengthens our days"! Why? When we take life out of the realm of matter we have an easier time understanding these things. Healing itself comes often through seeing "old" things with a fresh insight. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have found fresh inspiration in a familiar Bible verse! Think of the number of people over the millennia who have prayed effectively with the 23rd or 91st Psalm and yet we still find fresh inspiration in them! If you don't, then they are not effective in healing!

Pycl #5: [Share daily ways to listen and obey, even if it seems improbable!]
Look at the story in citation B6 about the widow and the oil. Remember the definition of oil from last week's lesson? What did this woman really need? She needed fresh inspiration, love/charity, healing prayer… In getting this in the form of literal oil, she paid her debts and freed her sons from bondage. But she didn't know that this was what she needed. She just asked for help and was open and willing to listen and obey. This is how we find the eternal nature of Life. We listen and obey, even if it seems improbable. We take what we "have in the house", our current understanding of Life, God, and we put it into practice (and God fills it up like those empty vessels). Make a list with the kids of all the things they each "have in the house", in their consciousness, that can supply them with exactly what they need each moment of the day. Put it in terms of the challenges they meet at school, at home, and so on. Give them examples from your own life.

Pycl #6: [Share today examples of God's abundance and of self-completeness.]
In this same story we have the concept of "self-completeness". (S12) This is an interesting concept for kids. What does it mean? How is the woman's story one of self-completeness? Did she have to come up with something "outside" to provide her with her wealth? She did borrow empty vessels from her neighbors, but the oil clearly came from God. Why the borrowing of vessels? What does that symbolize? Was that not "self-completeness"? Or, was that a way of showing that God is supplying all good to all mankind? Can you share a way that God is supplying your own life with constant good today? This is a way of helping our kids to see that God is always present, always communicating, but not the way we might be tempted to think. We don't often see "burning bushes", or even get to pour an infinite supply of oil inexplicably into vessels, but I can say that in my life there have been many, many examples of God's abundance being shown in ways that I cannot explain humanly. It is just as important that the kids understand the daily activity/presence of Life and Love in their experience as that they know about these amazing examples from the Bible.

Pycl #7: [Constantly welcome newness!]
You can expand on the last thought with the story of Jesus turning the water to wine at the wedding. Jesus brought fresh inspiration to that wedding (S15). You could view this change from water to wine as a way of making the whole experience one of a daily occurrence—water—to a holy one—wine (in its spiritual sense). Again you have an example of newness, fresh inspiration always being present to bring the level of our daily sense of life, into the realm of divine Life. We can have a holier, more spiritual sense of Life; we can see the reality of Life and our living, through this constant welcoming of newness into our consciousness.

Have an awesome Sunday!

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