Thank you for another best summer yet!

PYCL: Be utterly sincere in motives for all you do. Share how right motives helped free you. (5) 
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Truth”
for June 28 thru Sunday, July 25, 2021

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

 Pycl #1: Share how a scary thing lost its power to scare you once you knew the truth about it. Have the students in your class ever experienced a time where when while lying in bed at night they felt like something in the room looked pretty scary to them, maybe it looked like a person or an animal, or what they imagined a monster or ghost might look like? Then, when they turned on the light it was just a hoodie sweatshirt hanging on a bedpost or something like that? Were they afraid of it when they turned off the light again? Or did it lose its power to make them afraid once they knew the truth about it? Share some thoughts together about how truth can make us feel less afraid because it takes away the seeming power of a lie. Then you can share some ideas about what Jesus came to show us.

Wasn’t Jesus’ biggest mission to show us how good God is? He showed us that God does not make man sick, sinful, even dying. He showed a God of compassion, goodness, strength, reliability.  This lesson is really helpful in revealing to us how God as Truth speaks to us, reveals to us, leads us, and heals us. It is all through illumination rather than “altering” what is before our human senses. That is, like a light illumines the hoodie on the bedpost, revealing its harmlessness and its true nature, so the light of Truth reveals man’s safety, intelligence, and health! You can give your class some flashlights to illustrate.

Try taking your class into a utility closet with no light and then turn on the flashlight(s). Talk about how light reveals obstacles so that we can either go around them or remove them. This is symbolic for how we can remove mental obstacles from our lives every day! Do we struggle with being sad? How can Truth reveal what we need to do to experience things with more joy? Maybe it is a need to pay closer attention to the details of God in our lives. We may need to notice the caterpillar crossing the sidewalk when we are out for a walk and rejoice in the way that God, Truth provides the universe with variety, color, transformation (think of the cocoon and subsequent moth or butterfly!). Truth/God often appears to us as something like the beauty of a caterpillar, or bird, flower, or a hug. We just have to remember that it is Truth in that moment and we reap much joy!

Pycl #2: Our real search isn’t for an unknown “being”, but for what is true!
You may want to work together to think through why it would matter whether we know God/Truth, or not. Can’t we just live, go along, without ever really knowing or thinking about God/Truth? If not, then why? Check out citation S5/127:4, which explains that everything that is true  has to be made up of a knowledge or understanding of God. So, our real search isn’t for an unknown “being”, but for what is true! By learning what is true, we are led to that which is unchanging, spiritual, substantial, good.

I guess we can, and many do, live without really knowing that good is attributable to God, that ill health and so on is not from or part of God or Truth, but it is so much more fun and way richer an experience, to know what the source of good in our lives is, and to be able to rejoice in Truth’s presence. We really cannot live without Truth, but we can live without properly attributing the good we experience to God or Truth! This might be likened to living in a world where there are no other beings. But, a little like in “Beauty and the Beast”, we wake up and there is food prepared, our clothes are clean, and our messes are picked up. That might be cool for a time, but soon we’d be lonely and sad that there is no one to share this with, no one to whom we can give our gratitude for all the provision we are experiencing. Knowing the source of all Truth helps us in times of confusion as well, because we aren’t looking to our own limited experience, or another’s to solve a problem.

Pycl #3: Share Solomon’s story like it is brand new to you! (as with all the Bible!)
A great example of turning to God for answers comes in the second section with the story of King Solomon and the two women who want him to decide who gets to keep the baby. (citation B7/1Kings 3:5-28)  It is fun to share this story with freshness (as with all of the Bible!), like it is brand new to you!

  • Do the students think that Solomon would really have had the baby cut in two? (I feel like that’s something I worried about when I heard that story as a child.)
  • Why does this story illustrate listening to God?
  • Might we expect to hear just the right answers when we are in a sticky situation so that we can offer the best possible help?
  • Could this method of knowing that there is Truth surrounding us, Truth’s law upholding us, help us with bringing relief to political strife, to areas in the world where there appear to be great challenges to safety, and to provision of one kind or another?
  • Can a little child’s prayers be of help in these things?
  • How much time does it take to listen to Truth, to know that Truth is around us?
  • How do we know when Truth is “speaking” to us?

 Check out the story of apostles and Gamaliel in Section 5 (Acts 5:17-42) for another illustration in this week’s lesson of this kind of listening.  Who was Gamaliel, and how did he listen to Truth? This is another great way to approach a conflict. If something has its source in God, it will stand the test of time, if it is gossip or a lie, it will eventually fall away. We can choose to only stand our ground on Truth and what is true, rather than engage in conflict in a personal way. In this way we are allowing Truth to be revealed, rather than feeling personally responsible for bringing truth out. This doesn’t mean that we turn our backs on a situation where we can offer Truth’s light, but we can avoid foolish conflict and argument when it is unproductive and Truth that will speak for itself!

Pycl #4: We’re not praying to ask God to “fix” something. Show with colored cellophane…
I love this passage: “Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it.” (cit. S8/2:11-17)  It cannot be explained too often that we are not praying to ask God to change or “fix” something. We are praying to have truth of God’s wholeness and goodness be revealed to us.

Like the light shining exercise in Pycl #1, we are praying for spiritual light, not for material change. The matter appears to alter because all we can see is Truth’s reality when we have healing. I have suggested this a few times before, but the old story “The House with the Colored Windows” is a great one to use as an illustration. If you cannot find it, the idea can easily be shared and illustrated with some colored cellophane if you can get some. In the story, the children are looking through different colored windows at a white horse grazing in a field. They have fun “arguing” over what color the horse is, depending on which window they are looking through. The clear pane (of Truth), of course, reveals its true color. In the same way we can think of the lie of sickness/sadness/lack, as being similar to a colored window which makes things “appear” as though they are one way, but, in fact, when viewed through the lens of Truth, we can see that they are not, that we and others, are whole, healthy, joyous.

Pycl #5: Be utterly sincere in motives for all you do. Share how right motives helped free you. 
One way that we can really avail ourselves of God as Truth is to be utterly sincere in our reasons for what we do, our motives.  A great verse to think through when contemplating this kind of thing is “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2nd Tim. 2:15/cit. B14)

If our motives are genuinely to share the grace, intelligence, beauty, creativity, etc. of God rather than our own hard-won skill/talent/intelligence, we will find that we cannot fail in any endeavor. If we are thinking of self, as separate from God, without Truth’s power behind our actions, we find ourselves experiencing stress, burden, fear, labor, and so on. Doing all — or “studying” — to express God/Truth, is a far different standpoint from which to work. This doesn’t mean we are working for God’s “approval”. Rather “as one approved”, because of course, God does approve of His creation!

Think through together various scenarios in which this verse 15, can be helpful.

  • How does it help in sports, music, art, academics, home chores?
  • Would we ever try to “get by” with as little as possible if this were our “motto”?
  • Can you share an example of where this kind of proper motivation helped a challenging task or performance in your life become more inspired, joyful, free?

Have a great week in Sunday School!

 

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