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PYCL: BE STILL. THINK DEEPLY. USE A CAVE YOUTUBE, OPTICAL ILLUSIONS & A BROOM.
GIVE A TREATMENT TO BE A GOOD ENTERTAINER/entertainer of Good!
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Reality”
for Sunday, September 26, 2021

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


Pycl #1: CONSIDER TOGETHER THE GREAT VALUE OF BEING STILL!
Stillness is a difficult quality to find in our culture in the U.S. Look together at the Golden Text from Job: “…stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.”(Job 37:14)
What if the only way that we can really consider God’s amazing works, is if we are mentally still? You would have to explain to the younger ones the symbolism here of “standing still”. Have them do this literally, then explain how we can be still in our thinking.

Have they ever experienced a moment where they feel really peaceful? Maybe it’s a time where they just wake up and cuddle in their mom or dad’s lap? But it could be some other time, certainly if they are a little older. What do those few moments feel like? Maybe they had a time where they were awake very early in the morning and everything was very quiet?

Well, when our thoughts are still, they are just waiting. They are not thinking about the past or future, but only the “right now”. They might be very still, waiting for whatever Mind is sending our way, or they might just be taking in every tiny sound of a bird nearby, or our own breathing. But stillness is not going over a “to do” list, or wondering what is for dinner/lunch!

Talk about our silent prayer time in Sunday School. What are we supposed to do during this? You can read them or tell them the Manual provision for how we are to pray for our congregations. You will need to define some words in there.

Now, if they are very young, give one student a timer, have them watch the timer while everyone else tries closing their eyes and being still. Just make it about 15 seconds for the very young. Give everyone a turn timing this quiet time. Talk about our thoughts during that time honestly. Were they just wondering how long 15 seconds was? Were they anxious to peek and see what everyone else was doing? Can they imagine doing this on their own when no one is with them and getting really good at just waiting for Love’s thoughts to fill them up? Do explain that this takes a lot of practice and is challenging for everyone, not just them! Make sure you take a turn to share honestly what you were thinking: “is this going to work…what are they up to while my eyes are closed…etc”. Maybe they would like to try this every week for part of Sunday School?

You can see if the time of listening can get longer, or if it influences how they do the silent prayer during the opening exercises. If you have a little bit older students you don’t need to do more than about 30 seconds. Share in the same way. Talk about a time when you really felt like you were close to Love when you were still and silent and not filling your silence with words in your head.


Pycl #2: DISCUSS IDEAS THAT HAVE BEEN LONG STUDIED BY DEEP THINKERS.
In homeschooling my boys this week we have been talking about the section of Plato’s Republic where he uses the cave and shadows as an analogy. There are several cool videos on YouTube about this if you feel it is appropriate to share this in class as a basis for our discussion of reality this week. Here is one we used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6U25zUBsdQ. There may be better ones, feel free to look through them, there are a lot! If you set it up before Sunday School you can pause it so the ads are done when you get ready to play it for the children. You can also tell the allegory yourself if you don’t feel comfortable with this.

Ask older children what they think this story is explaining? There are several aspects, from what is “real”, to how do people behave when you try to tell them what is real. You can go into symbolic detail about how the light even hurts our eyes/makes us uncomfortable when we first glimpse spiritual reality. Think about Paul’s experience when he was blinded on his way to kill Christians!

Look (ahead of time for the teacher!) together for passages that illustrate this cave analogy in this week’s lesson. Give each child a section of the lesson. Even the first citation about “Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” could be seen in this light. (Psalm 119:12,18,27).

Here are some other citations that illustrate the cave analogy, but this is not an exhaustive list at all! Cit. S4/129:22-24, maybe cit. B2/Phil. 4: 8, what about this one? John 8:12 I am/cit. B11. Plus, several more possible citations include: cits. S21/409:20; S24/24-26; S29/337:22-26; B21/Rom 1:20—
and here’s a sentence that shows the “indestructible … relations of God and man..” that’s is always outside the “cave” cit. S31/470:32!

If you are doing this with very young classes you might choose just one citation and focus on that. It is important that the students understand that the cave represents the possibility that what we see around us right now, is but a shadow play of spiritual reality. If they are older, also bring in the fact that this was written about more than two millennia ago, showing that these ideas are not “weird” or “crazy”, but have been around and studied for as long as people have been thinking deeply.


Pycl #3: OPTICAL ILLUSIONS SOMETIMES HELP ILLUSTRATE WHAT’S SPIRITUALLY REAL BUT CONTRADICTS OUR SENSES.
Citation S4/129:22-24 (also referred to above) is helpful in thinking this through. Use the example of how railroad tracks look like they come together in the distance. Then check out citation S19/297:12-16.
Mary Baker Eddy tells us to “change the evidence, and that disappears which before seemed real to this false belief…” What if we were to fly up into the air and get a different view of the tracks? Would they then approach each other? Isn’t that kind of like “changing the evidence”? When we get a more spiritual view/higher view, we find the evidence no longer looks like we first thought! You may want to show pictures of this example if the children are smaller and haven’t, perhaps, seen this for themselves.


Pycl #4: BRING A BROOM TO HAVE THE CHILDREN ACT OUT SWEEPING AWAY THE FALSE…
This great imagery comes from citation S18/428:3-12. At the end of this paragraph she speaks of how “…we shall sweep away the false and give place to the true.” Bring in a broom to have the children act this one out.
What kinds of falsehoods are we “sweeping away”, to make room for the true reality?
Why do we need to sweep the false away first?
Could we think about this as an extension of our stillness in the first Pycl?
Maybe we need to sweep away all those busy thoughts through our stillness, so that we can get a clear picture of Love’s presence?
Let them try announcing what falsehoods they are sweeping away as they use their broom.
What truths are they making room for? You can demonstrate first with the broom, stating aloud what you are sweeping away, what you are making room for, to give them an idea.


Pycl #5: WALK THROUGH A SIMPLE TREATMENT WITH THE SLIGHTLY OLDER CHILDREN.
You can do this with the young ones too, just make it simpler and shorter, choose one citation instead of multiple. But if you do use a few citations, break them down together into their components, maybe using a large flip chart style of paper. Citation S7/412:23 includes “Mentally insist that harmony is the fact, and that sickness is a temporal dream.” (We have laid the groundwork for this in our cave analogy!)

Citation S7 continues: “Realize the presence of health and the fact of harmonious being, until the body corresponds with the normal conditions of health and harmony.” (412:24)
What does it mean to “realize”? Look it up together.

Citation S16/418:20 is helpful to add into this: “By the truthful arguments you employ, and especially by the spirit of Truth and Love which you entertain, you will heal the sick.”
(What does it mean to “entertain the spirit of Truth and Love”?)
What are some examples of “truthful arguments”?

Look together at the Scientific Statement of Being (SH 468) that is read at the end of each service for some of these truthful arguments. Citation S17/261:21 includes these steps: “Detach sense from the body, or matter…and you may learn the meaning of God, or good… Breaking away from the mutations of time and sense, you will neither lose the solid objects and ends of life, nor your own identity.”

Consider this sentence in light of what it feels like to “leave the cave”, and what the others felt like when the person came back to try to persuade them that there was a beautiful reality outside the cave. “Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being…” (S17/261:27).
Make sure you look up words together such as “supernal”, “mutations”, and anything else they may not have a clear understanding of.


With the really young children YOU COULD FOCUS ON “ENTERTAINING THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH AND LOVE”. (cit. S16/418:22)
Bring beautiful table settings with you—a tablecloth, napkins, silverware, cups, etc.
Maybe even include a little vase of flowers.
How would you entertain a guest that you love?
Would you prepare a delicious dinner, a fabulous drink?
Would you listen intently to what they have to share?
(Remember standing still?!) Now, since we aren’t going to set a literal dinner table for Truth and Love, how do we “entertain” the “spirit of Truth and Love” in our daily lives?
What do we do to have our thought ready to listen, to welcome, to be aware of God, good in our lives?

Have a ton of fun in Sunday School this week!

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