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Pycl: Acknowledge the presence and identity of Christ here & now — & apply it to all you do.
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Christ Jesus”
for Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021

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

Pycl #1: [See the presence & identity of Christ here & now. Bring a bird identification book…]
This lesson speaks to me of identifying Christ, recognizing and acknowledging the presence and identity of Christ here and now. We have lots of examples, in fact there are examples in each section of the Bible that speak to this need to recognize and be able to identify the Christ. Why is this even important?

Unlike being able to identify, say, bird species, or different flowers, identifying Christ around us is like finding a door that leads to healing, joy, purpose, wisdom, and spiritual wealth. Don't get me wrong, I love to be able to identify birds, plants, rocks, and other natural things! But, we can all agree that finding a door that leads us forward into those things mentioned in the previous sentence, is a door worth being able to identify!

It could be fun to bring a bird identification book or some other identification book to class, whether virtual or otherwise. Show them how it works. For example, some of the simpler identification books have the birds or flowers divided by color. Others, with birds, might divide by song birds of certain color, location, or size, and birds of prey. If we were to design a book to identify Christ, what would we put in this book? Maybe we could include a picture of someone delivering a basket of muffins to someone, or some beautiful flowers. Perhaps it would include a picture of a mom or dad sitting with a child, helping with a homework assignment or reading to a younger one? I don't know how we would "draw" or take pictures of healing, but this book would be full of accounts of healing. With that in mind, maybe our periodicals are kind of like a "Christ identifying book"? Why don't we design such a book for our own class?

Your own class "Christ identifying book" can have drawings or photos that students bring. (They can even cut them out of magazines), and each week for a determined time, you could write in short accounts of healing that took place during their week. The teacher can start with their own if the children are reluctant to share. Make sure that you share things that are simple and daily so that the students understand that Christ is always active in our experience, but needs to be recognized! Of course, "impressive" healings are welcome, I just want everyone to understand the constant nature of the Christ among us.

Here are the Bible citations that speak to the recognition of Christ: Section 1 citation B4/John 7:31, 40, 41. Section 2: cit. B9/Matt. 16:13-18. Section 3 cit. B12/John 3:1,2 and B13/John 7:14-18. Section 4: cit. B15/John 14:4-6 (Thomas struggles to identify Christ) cit. B16/Mark 10:46-52. Section 5: cit. B18/Luke 9:38-43. And section 6: all of it — found, seen, testify, come to him for healing– cits. B19-22.

Pycl #2: [Consider defining Christ as the healing activity of God that we can see!]
Define Christ together. Some helpful citations are cit. S3/332:19, cit. S4/26:12. Write these out in some kind of note form: Christ="divine idea of God"—"Holy Ghost"—"Comforter"–the "divinity of Jesus"— Jesus' "divine nature". What else can you find? How do these terms help us to recognize Christ? Or, do they???! If not, maybe some more defining is necessary.

I like to think of Christ as the healing activity of God that we can see! But then, you have to think together about what "healing activity" means. Because, I wonder if watching the birds come in their variety, liveliness, beauty and so on, to my bird feeder, is "healing activity of the Christ"? It certainly inspires me to recognize the active, joyful, useful, lively nature of Christ? I don't have the answer, just thought it was worth thinking through together. Certainly, healing is also much, much more than simply watching birds! But, if we learn to recognize God's active Christ around us in daily beauty, we start to experience more and more, the power of this Christ to heal.

Pycl #3: [The gift Christ gives is forever, throughout time & eternity—& it’s for all to use!] Citation S6/136:1-2 tells us that Jesus' church was founded on Christ healing. And cit. S13/135:26 gives us three things that Christianity, as Jesus taught it, was not, and then what it was. (Christianity is a little different than "church", but perhaps would be interesting to include here?). If church, the way Jesus thought of it, was founded on Christ healing, then how is that happening in Sunday School? (We teachers are going to need to ask ourselves that first, of course!)

Do students see how healing is taking place, how Christ is present? If not, can they think of how that might become more present? Check-out what is said in the other citation (cit. S13) about Christianity. Mary Baker Eddy tells us that the way Jesus taught Christianity was not as a "creed". Share a definition of creed. She says it was not a "system of ceremonies". Do we have any system like that in our worship? Think about our approach to baptism and communion…And, finally, what does Mary Baker Eddy mean by "…a special gift from a ritualistic Jehovah"? Talk here about the temptation to feel that Jesus' special place in Christianity as the very son of God might make him someone that is hard to emulate. But here, Mary Baker Eddy is encouraging us to understand that Jesus, while certainly unique and special, wanted us to know that the healing Christ is available to all of us to recognize and demonstrate.

With the very young crowd, I might put this in my own words as something like this: Jesus showed us that the Christ is here and is shown to us as the Love that heals all around us. To follow Jesus, we don't have to know some special code (creed), we don't have to follow a special set of rules that only some of us know, and we don't need to think that only Jesus was given some special gift from God that isn't available to you and me! The gift that Christ gives is forever, throughout time and eternity, and it is for all of us. Jesus healed people and showed us this gift so we would be able to recognize it for ourselves–and use it!

Pycl #4: [Identify your "Christ" identity! Never undercut your status as this Christ man!]
What is our "Christ" identity? What can we identify in ourselves that comes from Christ? Find three things about each person in the class that shows us the Christ man that Jesus demonstrated.

What do we think or say about ourselves that makes us blind to our Christly identity? In other words, how do we undercut our status as this Christ man. Think about this from the point of view of the Responsive Reading where it says "Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true; for I know whence I came, and whither I go;" (What does it mean to "bear witness"?) We can only "bear witness" of ourselves if we understand that we come from God! The only true record of who we are comes from God, and the healing Christ power that we express when we identify ourselves rightly, proves this record true!

Pycl #5: [Come up with one limiting idea each student’s ready to "throw off" & leave behind.]

In line with identifying that Christ-man, read the story of blind Bartimaeus. How did he receive his healing? He recognized and identified Christ, right? And when he was called by that true Christ identity he cast "…away his garment…". Maybe we can think of the garment as his false sense of identity as a blind man! When he recognized Christ, called out to Jesus, and then was happy to be called back, he "rose" and threw off that "garment", that false sense of who he was.

With the smaller ones we could have them "throw off" an old or big coat that they might have, or if you are in person, bring something that could be tossed off. At the same time, maybe they can come up with one limiting idea about themselves that they are ready to "throw off" and leave behind.

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

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