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P.Y.C.L.s for younger SS classes for Sacrament Sunday, 1/14/24
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for Sunday, January 14
, 2024

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO • 314-406-0041

PYCL #1: Celebrate sacrament by more closely following the law of Love at every turn!  

It is always helpful to define this subject. What is a sacrament? Is there more than one kind? Ordinarily, Christians first think of the sharing of the Communion bread and wine. But there are other religious sacraments, especially in the Catholic Church. The only other one that we regularly think of broadly, in Christianity, is the sacrament of baptism. Think together about how “sacrament” might sound like another word they know (if they aren’t super young). Doesn’t it sound a little like “sacred”? In other Christian churches, these sacramental ceremonies (you can explain the bread and wine, as well as baptism), are considered sacred and meaningful rituals of spiritual significance. Did Jesus engage in sacred rituals? The Jews have many. Yes he did. He was raised in the Jewish tradition and would have had a coming of age ceremony called the bar mitzvah. He would have celebrated the rituals involved in weekly Sabbath dinners. And there are many other rituals he participated in and was aware of. He also had times where he was criticized for overlooking or disobeying certain rituals. Look for example at the place in Matthew chapter 15:1, 2 where Jesus is questioned because the disciples were not following a hand washing ritual. Why did Jesus choose to follow or not follow certain rituals? What did he say about the ritual of baptism when his cousin John baptized him in Mat. 3:13-15? If the children are old enough to follow this kind of inquiry, it might hold interest for them. They can think through what Jesus’ goal was in following or not following certain rituals. How did he make decisions? Think through the stories where Pharisees or Scribes were troubled about Jesus, or tried to trick him, because of Jewish law. In one case, they brought to him a woman who was caught in the act of breaking the Commandment about not committing adultery. He chose an unusual answer when they challenged him to take action! (John 8:3-11) Mat 5:17 Jesus reassures people that he has not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it! So he wasn’t trying to randomly cause chaos and trouble. Does there appear to be a law that he is fulfilling that might be a more spiritual view of the Jewish laws that were known? Consider the idea of a “law of Love”. Perhaps our real sacrament celebration is to more closely follow, at every turn, the law of Love? This takes considerably more prayer and devotion, than following the letter of a set of laws, no matter how good they are!

To make this PYCL a little more “doable”: discuss what sacrament means. What is the most important way that we can celebrate and follow Jesus’ life today? Isn’t it to obey and practice the laws of Love? Discuss what these laws look like and how we can do this.

PYCL #2:  [What is your gift right now?
Put a bow on it and share it!]

This lesson speaks a lot about what gifts we each have and how we are to share it! Maybe in advance, you think about what each child brings to the world most. You could wrap a pretty card in a bow for each child with that “gift” quality written inside the card. How do we share this “gift” with the world? How does your gift bring healing? Can they think of any other gifts that they or classmates might have?

PYCL #3: [Think about how it feels to be in God’s presence]

Thinking about the “holy” nature of sacrament, let’s look at the idea of anointing, which is presented in Section 1 (cit. B5/Acts 10:38, 1 John 2:20 ye, 28 (to 😉 and cit. S5/367:24-27)

Discuss the Urim and Thummim and what they represent as Mary Baker Eddy tells us in citation S4/595:13. Bring a pretend oil can and talk about how they would anoint people in Bible days either for religious ceremony, purification, or for an important office in church or country. This anointing might be seen as symbolizing God’s choosing or appointing someone.

Look at pictures online [like at Bing Videos] or in a book of the Urim and Thummim. They could design their own “Urim and Thummim” for wearing in the “presence of God”. What would they look like or what qualities would bring us into God’s presence?

Do we have to go somewhere or do something to be in God’s presence? How do we know we are there? What does it feel like? This can lead us to think more deeply about the word Communion which is another name for the sacrament of bread and wine.

PYCL #4: What is “communion” vs. prayer? 

What do we do in Christian Science church on Sacrament Sunday? Why is this about the only ritual in the entire Christian Science worship service? What does it symbolize, being on our knees? What qualities? What is “communion” vs. prayer? When we are “communing” we are simply listening and allowing God’s/Love’s voice to fill our consciousness instead of anything else that might try to crowd in on us. We aren’t telling God something, or asking God for something. We are simply communing. And we, in this case, are all doing it at the same time and in the same place! You can have the littler ones try kneeling. From that position we are less easily able to jump up. So we can think of this kneeling as a few moments, fully committed communion.

PYCL #5: [Name ways each student can daily practice “God with us” demonstrations]

Through all that Jesus suffered in his life, he certainly proved that God was “with” him. Citation S17/34:5-17 explains that it is demonstration that shows the nature of “God with us” that Jesus embodied in his mission. This was predicted in Isaiah when Jesus’ coming was prophesied.

Maybe share some ways that Sacrament sheds a light on how we can feel God’s presence with us. How does our conduct, our purity, and holiness show that God is with man, here and now? Demonstration is healing, which can look like a positive change in body or thought, but also in behavior and words. These are all forms of healing. Name some ways that each of the students practices this “God with us” demonstration each day.

Have a great week in Sunday School!





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