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[PYCL 1: Learn spiritual identity, not in body!  Glorify God, not self!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

“Soul and Body”

Sunday, November 23, 2014

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

[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS 1st camper, current director & PYCL editor]

 [PYCL 1]
One thing that seems difficult in our growing understanding of Christian Science is the idea that our physical being is not our true selfhood.  (Or we accept it intellectually, but find no way to put it into practice.)  So much of what we do seems hinged on how we look and what our “personality” is like.  This is just as true for kids as for adults.  This lesson offers us the opportunity to address this confusing issue with some very clear facts and thoughts that will help lead us in the right direction to a life that is based in glorifying God and not self.

 [PYCL 2]
When we think of man as a mortal with a little bit of “God” inside, or even just matter with a spiritual element, we are no longer simply reflecting Spirit in spiritual ways, but we are personally trying to “shine” that bit of spirit out on those around us.  In the reflection model, we are radiating God’s glory for all to see, in individual and beautiful ways.  Knowing and understanding that we are spiritual only is key to healing, being healed, maintaining satisfaction and joy, developing wisdom and so on.  To understand ourselves as spiritual, we must understand God in this way as well.  The last two lessons have set the stage for seeing God as a spiritual being, creating and maintaining Her creation spiritually.  So this week we can deepen our understanding of God as Soul or Spirit and realize that Her identity is reflected in our own identity.  The Responsive Reading (RR) says: “Glory ye in his holy name… ”  His “name” is His identity.  If we are glorying in this identity, we are going to see a much higher sense of self than if we glory in our own sense of self or identity.  

 [PYCL 3]
Come up with ten ways that we can glorify God each day of the week.  (Or list one way each day, whatever seems to work naturally.)  Why would this help us understand man better?  How will this help us see man as spiritual? 

 [PYCL 4]
Section 1 makes it clear that God is right there with us—that He also is seen “shall appear” to us (B1).  That means that the idea of Spirit being the essence of God and man, doesn’t mean it’s not visible or clear!  “I will set my tabernacle among you:” (B2).  I always ask my kids “where’s God” after prayers at night before bed.  “Right here” is the usual answer.  I know that can be routine, but really to understand that God is present is a gift of joy and courage and security in Spirit.  Can you come up with ways that we see God’s presence around us each day?   This list is extensive and should include very routine things in our lives.  For example: when we eat our breakfast before school, God is there supplying us with what we need to have the energy, joy and satisfaction for a wonderful day.  When we brush our teeth we are reflecting the presence of Principle who gives us obedience, and Love who supplies us with the tenderness to care for ourselves in whatever way is needed each day.  There are limitless ways this can be shared and they will easily come up with them if you get the ball rolling, as they say.  Seeing God in what we are doing is having us make the “Word” practical as it says in citation B14.

 [PYCL 5]
Talk about how we can be “handcuffed” by a material or mixed view of man as material and spiritual.  You can actually bring pretend handcuffs in if that won’t get crazy with your group.   Ask why that would be?  Think back to the Adam story where the serpent convinced them that knowing good and evil would be to their advantage.  It is an allegory, granted, but what happened after they “knew good and evil”?  They were cursed, and were kicked out of the garden right?  Why does that seem to be the case?  Why would maintaining a completely spiritual view of man and God give us freedom, remove the handcuffs?  

 [PYCL 6]
I have shared this before I know, but if your class has not done it—you can try helping them write descriptions of themselves that have no material element.  Section 2 talks about forms that are “Soul-created” (S11).  There is also plenty of material about beauty in the last section that can come into play here.  What makes us beautiful or handsome?  (I’ll bet they all think their moms are beautiful!—and humanly, we are probably a mixed bag right?  But that proves that when we are seeing spiritual beauty, we are seeing what is real and lasting!)  If this is working well and the kids know each other well, you can have them move on to describe each other in this way too.

 [PYCL 7]
It should have been impossible for that lame man in Section 4 to “leap” up after his whole life spent lame.  But when freed from the belief that he was “resident” in matter, he was completely freed from the limits of matter.  What made it so that he could jump up?  What does Peter say about it? 

 [PYCL 8]
We see a lot of light in this lesson and the last section focuses on the source of that light using the analogy of the sun.  I was thinking that citation B18 describes the extremes of the sun’s “domain” from East all the way to the West.  It tells us that God has “…called the earth…”  He has called on our materially limited view of creation (even if it does stretch from sunrise to sunset).  He has called us to see a higher sense of light, understanding, one that rests in Zion, where “the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.”  Check out Mrs. Eddy’s definition of Zion in Science & Health.  This is where light/understanding and Life itself issues from, and an understanding of man “exempt from age or decay” (S26).  You can talk about the sun as a symbol of life and how it reflects the true model of God.  In the same way we are spiritual ideas, our true body is spiritual.  Our understanding of ourselves as matter is going to limit us at every turn, so we can work daily to look to God and see the true model—glorify God in everything we do.

 [PYCL 9]
Feel free to bring in some dress-up clothes to illustrate the Bible citations in Section 5.  Why do they use these images of clothing?  Can we put on “garments of salvation”?  What are these “garments”?  Whatever they are, they give glory to God, and not to us.

Have a great Sunday!

 

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