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[PYCL: Allow God to fill every space in your thinking (no "air" for error/aging!) (1)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

”God the Preserver of Man”
on December 11, 2016

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: This is not new from me, but I think, every time this subject comes up we can just ask what the word "preserve" or "preserver" means. You could bring, as in past Pycls, a jar of "preserves" and some crackers or bread to put them on. These kinds of "preserves" won't really be as lasting, but think together about how quickly something will go bad if it's not bottled. Jam will grow mold in less than a week after you make it if you were to leave it on the counter without it being properly canned. In the canning process we are removing all the air that gives bacteria a chance to grow. Maybe that can be a metaphor for how God's goodness, righteous thinking, etc. can leave no "air" or sustenance for error. I'll touch on this aspect later with citation B15, but this is a great verse for thinking about this concept of filling up every space with good. "If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands towards him; If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away…And thine age shall be as the noonday;…" That sounds a lot to me like we are speaking of ageless being as related to how we allow our understanding of God to fill every space in our thinking (no "air" for error/aging).

Pycl #2: So looking at that same Bible verse (B15), we might ask: "Why would finding out about God be a key to preservation?" I can think of a lot of reasons for that, you may want your own list going into class. But see what they come up with. Are they thinking of God as a "big guy" up there in the sky that measures our dedication and gives us long life if we perform? Or do they grasp that understanding God opens up the universe of Truth and Love and reveals our true identity as spiritual expressions of His being. Does a spiritual idea or expression or reflection grow old? Get sad? Sick? Disobedient? Find all the examples in this week's lesson of what this spiritual understanding of man and of God does for people. In the stories alone we have Abraham, who is told at the age of 99 that he will be the Father of nations. We have Moses giving his people water from a rock. We have Caleb telling of his not aging over a period of forty years. We've got Jesus raising a girl from death—what a list! Along with this focus we could also think about why knowing God as Father is helpful to our safety and ageless being, since there is quite a lovely focus on Father and child and that relationship (genderless).

Pycl #3: I rather like the question posed in the "My Bible Lesson" about what we think being renamed symbolizes. (Based on the fact that God renames Abram in citation B7). If we think about it, understanding ourselves in such a new light could really help us to see our spiritual nature so clearly as to experience such ageless being. Find out what these Bible characters share when they received their change of name. It seems like Abraham and Sarah might not have been in need of such transformation as Jacob and Saul, but do you think maybe their wanderings with utter trust in God might have changed and elevated their sense of God? Just some thoughts… See what the children think about names. Also it might be helpful to point out that in the Bible a name is more akin to one's identity than just a moniker. So if our sense of self were to truly become different based on a truer understanding of God, then we may really need a different name to represent that new "identity"/new understanding!

Pycl #4: Look at Abraham's story together and try to help them picture what it would be like to be fully adult with all your extended family around you and to pick up and leave for good based on what you hear from God. Do they think that that might have been a challenge for him? What would it feel like to you? Remember that travel included all his cattle and so on. That it would be on foot, and if he were heading to a promised land somewhere, there was no sense that he would pop back home for a visit. This was not like today! He must have really felt that God was a Father to him right? You would go with your mom or dad when they asked, right? So that must have been how Abraham felt about God. How might we get this feeling about God too?

Pycl #5: Citation S11 caused me to think about a related idea that connects with last week's lesson on God the only Cause and Creator. (It is fun to see how these two lessons are linked together.) What if we are looking for happiness, or whatever, in an event, such as Christmas? Is there a good chance we might be disappointed? But if we are "hungering after righteousness" this never leaves us empty (void). We get to take advantage of that "open fount" because righteousness is something that we can have in abundance, it being a spiritually infinite quality. This is a bit like the fresh and salt water from the same source in last week's lesson. Looking always to God for our joy and satisfaction, we find that we are doing God inspired things, and these deeds leave us feeling deep joy. Can you come up with a community gift for this season that your class can do? Can you clean a park together after lunch? Can you go to an assisted living facility and share some stories or read or craft or sing with, or for the people there? Maybe help someone at church who needs a visit?

Pycl #6: Check out citation S18 and think about what it means to "shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity…" Talk about what that might mean. What is "shaping" a view. Are we being asked to change our views, maybe? How can a view be "shaped" into something more lovely? Try cutting out random shapes in colored paper to hang up as decorations. On each shape they need to think of something that represents "loveliness, freshness or continuity". Make sure you discuss what those terms mean!

Pycl #7: Think together about citation B23 where it tells us that God is our "keeper". Have a little plastic animal for each child and give it to them. Ask them how they would "keep" it if it were alive and real? What would they need to provide it with in order for it to prosper? Hopefully they will go beyond food and shelter. Get them to detail it. Then discuss how God is our keeper, each one of us! And He would not only make sure we have food, shelter and water, but love, health, holiness, joy and so on.

Have a great Sunday.

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