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PYCL: Be blessed simply by loving good! Because blessed are those who love good.
ossible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School on the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“God the Only Cause and Creator”
For June 7, 2020

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

Pycl #1: Spiritual (unlimited) vs Material (limited) supply….
Check out the Golden Text and Responsive Reading this week to start to see that this kingdom is available now. We know that our Master, Christ Jesus told us that the kingdom is within. How do we make it visible to us? How do we begin to see this spiritually complete creation in our daily lives? Start with that passage from Malachi. What are tithes? What does Mary Baker Eddy say about them? (p. 595:22 SH) So, if we are "bringing in", fully expressing, our gratitude, contributing—even a tenth of–what we have from God to contribute to others, our community, family, classroom….we will see the metaphorical "windows of heaven" open and more or less "drown" us in blessings!! These blessings are not necessarily material accumulations, but needs met, happiness ("blessedness") given, for sure!

I have shared in a couple of past CedarS Mets how, when we focus on something that we are cherishing, really looking for it, we will find ourselves suddenly surrounded by this very thing. (Citation S14) (The ugly side of this, if you feel inclined to address it, is that if you focus on the lack/pain/regret/resentment, then that seems to be what you see…) When I needed an office that was at home, I was suddenly aware (after many months of just cherishing this idea, I might add…) that I already had just what I needed on my property—I had been overlooking a very easy solution because I had been focused on lack instead of grateful for abundance—and since then have happily been this space ever since! This is not an isolated example. There is a reason that Jesus gave gratitude before raising Lazarus. He was grateful for Life and Life’s expression. How do we bring in these harvests of gratitude? The Golden Text seems impossible from a limited perspective—you can't harvest things that you have barely planted yet! But from a spiritual (unlimited) perspective, gratitude grows riches. How long do you think it takes for gratitude to start working in our lives?

PYCL #2: Gratitude In Advance [W: “That could be GIA (vs. CIA)… For healing , join Christ’s GIA team!”]
When we feel like we need something that we don’t have, we can start with being grateful for all that we do have, and grateful for infinite and unlimited supply. This is how gratitude works. Spiritual creation is complete, whole. There are no gaps in our care. Matter is incomplete, it does have gaps and seems to leave some people with overabundance, others with dire lack. For example, there seems to be more than enough food to feed everyone in the world, yet much of it is thrown away as waste, and many people across the globe starve. This is the nature of matter (limitation), and material/limited sense will be more than happy to back it up. Start class with looking at the subject of spiritual creation/cause. Why is this an important concept? You can ask this in different ways with your different aged classes. Check out ahead in the lesson for several passages that point to the crucial nature of understanding that true creation is spiritual (and is visible!).

There is no point in having a spiritual creation that we know is real, good, whole, and then not available to us until we have achieved a status that is good enough to merit living there!
We can also be grateful in advance for events and activities. We are all capable looking back on our day and thinking about what happened and then be grateful for what was good. But I think there is something that is hinted at in these verses from our Golden Text and Responsive Reading that goes beyond our own experience.

Is it possible to find gratitude even when things don’t seem to be going our way? The answer is “yes.” There are stories of people who spent years in prisoner of war camps, just regular prison, had lives that would be considered challenging at best, and so on. And in these people's experience they were presented with tremendous evidence of spiritual creation, spiritual wholeness and abundant good. These people were focused on gratitude and love even in what some of us would see as horrible situations.

A book that tells the story of someone who prayed and gained peace while a prisoner of war is The Ultimate Freedom by John Wyndham. He recounts his growing understanding of God's love even in a very uncomfortable situation. His time in a prisoner of war camp taught him that good is ever present. There are plenty of Biblical characters who learned this lesson too: Daniel, Paul, Joseph…to name just a few. Mary Baker Eddy experienced many unjust and unhappy things in her life. How did these people experience the truth of God's creation no matter what they faced? Can we do this too?

PYCL #3: Connecting the Beatitudes to “God the Only Cause and Creator”
The Beatitudes are an obvious gift to work with in Sunday School this week. Not only are they part of the Church Manual requirements for teaching Sunday School in Christian Science churches, but they are a great illustration of the kind of study of spiritual creation and cause that we are talking about this week. I did not at first understand the connection between the beatitudes and “God the Only Cause and Creator” so well when I started this particular lesson. But now I can see some of the beautiful ways that understanding spiritual causation leads to a pure "blessed" or "happy" state.

In each Beatitude we have an opportunity for spiritual creation to appear to our consciousness. Maybe you can talk about how, for example, meekness leads us to "inherit the earth”—this is supply. Isn't that a beautiful example? It is humility, not proud conquering of obstacles, human success, societal position, wealth, but understanding that all good proceeds from God.

We do not accomplish or achieve anything on our own…we do all things as God’s expression! This is the ultimate in understanding something of spiritual creation and causation! Go through each Beatitude and look for how it connects to the idea of God’s creation.

PYCL #4 Choose one Beatitude to memorize (for younger students)
If the students are much younger, pick one or two to work on memorizing, acting out, drawing, and so on. Talk about where the qualities of comfort and purity, meekness, etc. come from.

PYCL#5: Ezekiel’s vision of the bones (for older students)
Maybe the students will have fun looking into Ezekiel's vision of the bones in the field that God brings to life? What do they represent? What does it have to do with “God the Only Cause and Creator”? Mary Baker Eddy tells us that when we let our "material hopes" die, we are then ready to rise up into new life, new joy, new fun. What are our "material hopes"? What does God give us (from those "windows of heaven")? Why do the "material hopes" have to "die" before we are ready to see what Love has given us?

We need a concrete example here, to help with this concept. Many students have recently experienced major setbacks and disappointments as activities they were looking forward to were canceled because of the pandemic. Maybe there was a day in which you were looking forward to going somewhere/doing something, and it didn't work out. Did you get upset? Or did you turn away from your own sense of how things should be and welcome how leaning on God made this very day "big with blessings"? (S32)

As we’re able to be grateful and welcome in blessings even in the face of difficulty, then you are glimpsing the fact that Spirit is the only cause, and only causes good, so we can look forward to good at every turn!! It just might not look like what we thought it would. Most of us should be able to identify with this type of prayer in the current global situation.

PYCL #6: God (not us) created church…
There is a precious opportunity to define true church/religion in this week's lesson. We can think together of how church/religion/body are spiritual ideas that have their source in Love. You can work with Paul's statements of how we are one body, and we only want to bring things into that body that are holy, pure, kind, helpful, true. Just like we only want to bring those into our church. Religion is not a system of beliefs, but the healing activity of Love. Our whole view of church changes when we look at church as the structure and protection of the healing activity of Love. Look at Jesus' example of how to protect the concept of church in this week's lesson, citations B7 and B8.

PYCL #7: Gamaliel says what? …. Hint: if it’s from God, it’s protected and has staying power
Discuss the story in Section 4 of the apostles and the priests. What was Gamaliel saying? He tells the other Pharisees to leave the apostles alone because if what the apostles are doing has a divine origin it will last and is good, and if it does not come from God, it will wither away.

In other words if an idea is from God, it cannot fail. And if an idea is not from God, it cannot last. We can ask ourselves about everything we are experiencing/hearing—“is this from God?…is this loving, pure and true?” If it is, then we can be grateful and rejoice with the confidence the idea will succeed. If the idea is not from God, we can let it go, and also be know that it has no power to hurt us!

Have a great time in Sunday School this week!

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