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PYCL: Bear witness to God’s power & goodness right where you are in your understanding, at any age or circumstance.  (1)
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Is the Universe, including Man, evolved by Atomic Force?”

            for June 14 through June 20, 2021

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

 

Pycl #1: Share this lesson as an amazing round-up of the facts behind this Science that allow us to heal and bear witness to God’s power and goodness right where we are in our understanding at any age or circumstance. How to share it with younger children is the tricky part! It might be fun to use the laws of physics, particularly gravity, to illustrate some of the ideas in this lesson. Bring some bean bags or harmless items that they can drop and ask them to hold it up in the air and “guess” what will happen when they let it go. Ask if they think that there are circumstances under which the bean bag would float to the ceiling (without being in space/zero gravity)? They can, of course, try dropping it to “prove” this point.

Ask them if anyone here on earth is not subject to these laws? Do babies float in the air because they don’t know anything about physics? Gravity gives us a stepping stone to understanding how God’s laws of harmony are actually governing us whether we know and understand them or not. They are fully operating and we can see them in action as we learn to recognize their presence and action in our daily lives.

Maybe one way to connect this idea to the Bible Lesson is to look at the story of the storm that Jesus calms in Section 4. Here, Jesus is asleep while the other occupants of the boat are afraid for their very lives! Ask the students in your class: “Was Jesus sleeping through the storm?”. For many years I assumed this was the case, that he just didn’t feel the waves buffeting the ship. But at some point, it occurred to me that Jesus actually was not involved in the false sense of a universe separate from God’s government. Just as he walked on the waves at one time, so here, he was sleeping under the divine government that is ever harmonious and safe. His “calming” of the sea, was actually an awakening of the consciousnesses of those around him to the ever-present harmony of the true spiritual universe of Love! Wow!! Just as we are subject, in this “seeming” universe, to the laws of gravity, whether we are aware of this fact or not, so we are actually governed by God’s power, goodness, love, whether we know it or not. We do not have to call ourselves Christian Scientists even to benefit from these laws because, like gravity, they apply to us whether we know them or not. But…it really helps us experience the safety, joy, health, etc. that these laws reveal, when we study Christian Science, so that we can apply it to our daily lives!

Pycl #2: Now let’s move to God’s government of the universe. What universe are we talking about? Are there “two” universes? What we are learning here is that this seeming universe that we see around us is like a distant reflection of the one, true, divinely harmonious universe. The true universe has all the beauty, variety, intelligence, joy, creativity etc. that we have in this seeming one, but none of the ugliness.

This Bible Lesson gives us some fun hints at how we can see this true universe more regularly and have it be a living part of our daily lives. For example: “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts. Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird which has burst from the egg and preens its wings for a skyward flight.”

There will be some words you need to explain in this passage. Another one is in citation S30 where Mary Baker Eddy says “Inspired thought relinquishes a material, sensual, and mortal theory of the universe and adopts the spiritual and immortal.” (547:25)  The idea here is that “inspired thought” will open our eyes.

What happened to Simeon in Section 3? Was he inspired to recognize the Christ that even baby Jesus radiated? How about the way that Mary recognized this Christ in order to conceive of that same child? These are examples of glimpsing God’s divinely created and harmonious universe here and now.

Pycl #3: There is a theme in this lesson of blessing. There are many references to the fact that God only blesses us—meaning that He would never “curse” us. Consider again, that the laws of gravity, as a reflection of the laws of Mind, never do anything different than keeping us “stuck” to the ground. They don’t suddenly act with evil intent. (Understand that any material analogy has its limitations!) In the same way Love/Mind never does evil to its own ideas.

I was thinking that with the younger children you could have a “blessing bag”. Inside it could be stickers (you can make your own from those white sticker labels that are in the same aisle at the store with pens, etc. You could write a quality of God, a short quote, or just a rainbow to represent God’s promise of safety on each sticker, whatever spiritual idea comes to you!). You could have just about anything sweet or fun in the “blessing bag”, even treats of some kind if you want.

The idea is to talk about how God blesses man. Look at the quote in cit. S22 from the beginning of Science and Health, “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.” (v11:1-2)  Talk about what “leaning” means, and demonstrate it!
What does “sustaining” mean?
Can we take “today” and turn it into “right now”?
Can we think this each moment, even when things look bad? (Remember the storm that Jesus was sleeping through?) We might want to make a list of “blessings” that God is giving us. For each blessing the students think of, they can take a “blessing” from the bag. One cool quote to look at about blessing is the final one from the lesson: “Divine Love blesses its own ideas, and causes them to multiply,–to manifest His power.” (cit. S32/517:30-31).

Pycl #4: To exercise the talent of “turning things into thoughts” is a great way to think about “seeing” the true universe is even around us right now. This is from cit. S10/123:12. When we “exclude matter” from the equation, how do things change? Have a conversation in which you may have a hypothetical accident or illness…what happens when matter is “excluded” from the situation?

Think of several instances of healing that illustrate this idea.

Now, how do we take a “thing” and turn it into a “thought”?

A car, for example, is a thing that represents efficient transportation, comfort, maybe beauty, speed, freedom, adventure, and so on. Try a few examples with the children. How might this indicate the infinitude and harmony of God’s spiritual universe? What does it have to do with our daily lives? Can you share an example of how a thing that you might have needed was realized in your experience when you got a stronger sense of the thought behind that “thing”?

Pycl #5: Look at citation S12/263:7-14 for a fun way to think about the spiritual universe, versus the counterfeit one that we think we are experiencing. Here we are told that “When mortal man blends his thoughts of existence with the spiritual and works only as God works, he will no longer grope in the dark and cling to earth because he has not tasted heaven.” Have a volunteer wear a blindfold and find a safe place for them to feel their way around slowly so they don’t harm themselves–no peeking! This method of discovering your surroundings is slow and hazardous right? But, if we “blend our thoughts of existence with the spiritual and work only as God works…” it’s like taking off the blindfold and seeing everything in the light! We don’t bump into “hazards” at all, because we see the glory, blessing, safety, beauty, and, joy, that surrounds us in our one true universe, which is the kingdom within us that Jesus spoke of!

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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