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[PYCL: Amid shocking news, discuss how to hear spiritual sense! (4)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for February 18, 2018

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

Pycl #1: Discuss citation S6 (510:16) about the sun metaphor with your class. If they are very young you can talk first about what the sun does for us. Compile a list: light, warmth, photosynthesis (you can explain that plants convert sunshine into energy—no sun, no plants, no animals). You can just think together about all the ways that sun makes life possible and how it brings beauty. Think of rainbows, dew drops in the sun, flowers, and so on. Then share some thoughts about how the sun could be thought of as a symbol for Soul. How God provides understanding (light), warmth (love and belonging), life and nourishment (intelligence, vigor, and so on). How is Soul like the sun? What kind of light does it bring? How does understanding make things more beautiful? In music, when a performer understands the piece they are playing, their performance is always more beautiful and compelling. This is true for all art. You can draw suns and label them "Soul" and then draw "rays" from the sun…discuss what the rays represent, can they ever be disconnected from the sun? What if a cloud comes in, does this disconnect them? No! It looks like the cloud blocks them, but anyone who has been in an airplane has seen the sun shining above the clouds! Notice that there are references to sun and light in the second section Bible and Science and Health as well! As always, there are loads of directions to take, and analogies to be made, just see how it goes.

Pycl #2: Maybe now that you've talked about the sun as Soul, you can share some ideas of how we can "shine" as Soul's ideas? In what ways do we radiate God/Soul? You could do this project with paper and markers and have each child draw a circle with "Soul" in the middle, then how Soul is expressed as each of us. Maybe one "ray" is labeled with the words "singing", or "playing music", or another physical activity of some sort, and so on. How does "shining" as Soul's idea or reflection, help to dissipate/eliminate "darkness" and what is that "darkness"? When we are reflecting Soul, we are naturally cheerful, joyous, understanding, helpful, and so on—this certainly contributes to dispelling the darkness of sadness, sickness, confusion and so on around us.

Pycl #3: One interesting thing to point out about this whole sun analogy is that Mary Baker Eddy talks about how the sun symbolizes Soul outside the body. Most young children in Christian Science Sunday School are not so hung up on the idea of a spiritual soul trapped in a material body, as traditional theology tends to emphasize. But if we think of our spiritual sense of things being subject to our body, then we can see that everyone can struggle with the concept of being held "prisoner" by what our body tells us—hence the passages that use the word "fetters" and "fetter" in citations S9 and S10. You could use handcuffs (toy ones) to symbolize this idea of being fettered by the physical sense testimony which is never what Soul is telling us. What are our rights? What is the "key" to those handcuffs? Our relationship to God [as described in “the Key to the Scriptures”] is one that cannot be trapped by matter.

Pycl #4: I think Elijah's story in the Responsive Reading is great fun to talk about this week. We have the whole idea that material sense is often full of news as jarring as an "earthquake, wind and fire". (If your kids are older you can use this to handle the suggestions of violence in this week's Florida school shooting, for example… the modern kind of earthquake/wind/fire circumstance.) [W: As appropriate share “Undisturbed amid the jarring… (SH 306:25) – “Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock… ‘gainst which the winds and waves (of news) can shock, oh nevermore!” (Hymn 253)—and all or part of this week’s downloadable Ken Cooper poem on Elijah (P.S. below).] Violence and shocking news would regularly try to really grab our attention and make us feel hopeless, as Elijah was feeling. But God reassured him that He was only present in what is real and truly powerful—the still, small voice. How do we hear this?

Pycl #5: Doesn’t Moses give us some ideas on how to listen to the still, small voice in Section 1? Can we think of how we can pay attention to how Soul is communicating with us? Usually it will be in something small and quiet, sometimes it is more of a "burning bush", but even then, it was noted in the Bible that Moses paid attention, he "turned aside" to see this bush. He didn't just say "Huh, look at that, it's probably some trick of the light…" and then walk on by. Often when God speaks to us we are so "busy" with our daily activities that we just ignore it/don't recognize it. There is an older Christian Science pamphlet that is still often found in Sunday School collections, called "Travis Talks with God". You could share this story with the class if they are younger, because Travis discovers, in that story that God was speaking to him, and that he had really just ignored the direction God had given him, maybe because he didn't really think it was from God! This is an especially helpful idea to discuss in light of the fact that much of helping children grow up well is helping them learn to govern themselves wisely—and Mrs. Eddy tells us on p.106:9 of Science and Health that "Man is properly self governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love."

Have a great Sunday School class!!

[W’s PS: Here are 3 applicable verses from Ken Cooper’s downloadable poem on Elijah.]

A strange calm replaces the forces that raged:
An infinite stillness that time never aged.
My fears fall away, for a voice sure yet small
Says clearly within me. “Fear not. God is All”.

Let quietness and stillness be my assured choice,
For only in listening can I hear God’s voice:
No matter what challenge attacks, gives alarm,
I know now so clearly, with God, there’s no harm.

God says: “I am Soul, omnipotent All,
I hold you secure: and you never can fall.
The tender touch of My infinite power
Is always besides you. I'm with you each hour.”

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