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PYCLs: Be well-positioned for sacred communion.
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Sacrament”
for Sunday, July 9, 2023

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


BONUS! As CedarS “Care House” Practitioner again this week, Kerry demonstrated her teaching ideas below (and more) on stage in her 10-minute Breakfast  “Prac Talks.” All ages find this resource to be a very inspiring and helpful way to start each day here and at home.  Click here & then on Prac Talk(s) of your choice to hear it. 

PYCL #1: Define Sacrament 2 ways. Be ready for sacred communion.

For the slightly older children it helps to explain that sacraments are sacred rituals that are often performed in other Christian churches. The ones we are focusing on in this week’s lesson are the ritual of the Eucharist/Communion, in which the priest or minister shares bread and wine to represent the sharing that Jesus did with his disciples during their last Passover supper. The second sacrament or holy ritual in this week’s lesson is that of baptism. Each of these rituals are meant to in some way celebrate or commemorate Jesus’ life.

The second way I like to define sacrament is a sacred communion with God or Love/Life/Truth, etc. It is a holy period of listening and not “telling” God things. It is a time to feel our oneness with Love, not any separate-ness. This is something you can practice for a few minutes with any age. You can even try doing it on your knees. Explain that we kneel in our Sacrament service in humble communion with Love. Talk about kneeling and what it signifies.

At our morning “Prac Talk” today (7/6/23) I demonstrated this humble waiting on God with three children taking different positions. One ready to take off running, one in a chair, and one kneeling. It was to illustrate that when we are on our knees we are not ready to “take off”, but must pause and be still for longer. It’s not even as easy to get up as when we are in a chair. We are really in a much more vulnerable and humble position when we are on our knees. You could try a similar demonstration with your students.


PYCL #2: How does this subject help us to understand the need to change or transform?

Jesus transformed everything he touched with deeper spiritual meaning. He kept all the same Jewish law, but brought to them a living expression of Love. He saw the spiritual meaning behind the laws that many were really just obeying on the surface, and not with any real love. The Love that Jesus revealed as God, transformed everyone that it healed. Those whose hearts were too hardened to hear his message may have remained unchanged in their heartless rule following, but many that heard him preach, and all that were healed, were certainly transformed. The cool thing is that so many continue to be transformed by his message today. But the important thing about change in this week’s lesson is the encouragement that we get to find this change through following Jesus. If we really want to commemorate him, we need to heal, to love our enemies, to bless those that curse us, to do all those things that he preached, especially in the Sermon on the Mount. This leads to true transformation and reveals the communion and sacrament message that Jesus was really sharing with his disciples, especially when he broke bread with them when they were coming in from fishing in Section 5/John 21:1-6 Jesus, 9, 12-14 (cit. B16).

Ask the children to name ways that they can follow Jesus in their daily lives. What does it mean for them to “change”? Does it mean to become better “humans”, nicer, more patient, etc.? Or, are we actually transforming our thought so that we see ourselves and others in a more spiritually complete way…Well–ask it without so much obvious leading!


PYCL #3: Baptism.

You may need to explain what baptism is, and how we celebrate it in Christian Science, because even though we don’t use water, we certainly expect to be purified regularly through spiritual baptism! Explain the idea of water being something that can “purify”, “renew”, “make clean”. It is a symbol, of course. Think together about “washing away” a false material view of ourselves or others. Maybe bring in something that has a lot of dust or mud stuck to it and then bringing it to the sink to wash it off. Talk about what the dust might be in our lives. Maybe it is whatever dims or dirties our view of ourselves or others. It could be impatience, anger, sadness, illness, grumpiness.

Look at citation B6/Gal 3:27 from the Common English Version of the Bible: “And when you were baptized, it was as though you had put on Christ in the same way you put on new clothes.” If you have children that enjoy the idea of putting on new clothes you can share this translation and maybe have some clothes to dress up in as you discuss what Christ like quality you are putting on, such as “the necklace of grace”, or the “dress of kindness”, the “coat of safety”. They can come up with different ideas for each garment.


PYCL #4: Take up the cross.

While we’ve already touched on the need to follow in Jesus’ path, this understanding of what it means to “take up the cross” (something Jesus tells us to do), might be helpful with the slightly older students. You could give them each a paper cross that is big enough to write down on it all the things that are challenging for them to face. Mary Baker Eddy actually tells us that “The real cross that Jesus bore up the hill of grief, was the world’s hatred of Truth and Love.” And she also tells us that “Your good will be evil spoken of…This is the cross…” So here is a starting point for what you may want to write on each cross. What will each child stand up for in the face of opposition? What might they be firm of in the face of ridicule, or rejection? Section 1 has a great verse to check out in a couple of other translations. I recommend especially the JB Phillips and The Message for this verse from Romans 12:1,2. They are particularly descriptive about not being squeezed into a popular mode of thought or fashionable material way of living, but standing firm for Christly living.


PYCL #5: A Science Experiment Transforming Chemicalization.

See citation S4/96:21. Consider a little science experiment with baking soda and vinegar. Use a large bowl so it doesn’t make a mess. Have a decent sized rock that you set in the middle of the bowl so that when things foam up the rock might still be “above” most of the foam. But even if it isn’t, when the bubbles settle down, the rock will still be visible in the end. You can then talk about how sometimes material sense gets “riled up” when we are transforming our thought spiritually. It’s like this bubbling baking soda and vinegar. But if we stand on Truth, we can maintain our peace and our joy in the middle of it all.


Have a great week in Sunday School!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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