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[PYCL: Bring in a magnifying glass, real sand, a coat, yarn, a fake mic… (#1, 2, 3, 5, 7)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

November 22, 2015 on

“Soul and Body”

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: I was taken this week with the word "together" in the Golden Text. Why not bring in your magnifying glasses for the younger students and talk about what it means to "magnify the Lord"? How can we do this "together", and why "together"? It being close to Thanksgiving, we can talk here about how gratitude makes God's goodness more visible or apparent to us. Is that like magnifying this goodness? Have a look at some things that you bring in to share with your magnifying glasses, or just use stuff that is already there. What does the magnifying glass do besides, obviously, making things bigger? Bigger means more visible, more apparent right? How about more detailed, more clear? Does it give you a deeper understanding of the thing you are looking at? Maybe you can see the fibers in the paper and you can see more of what it is really made of? (It might be good to give some thought to trying out some items at home for the best examples of how to support these thoughts). Can you dig deeper into thinking about how gratitude really helps us see God around us? I shared, some weeks ago, how I really began to notice the incredible abundance and variety of wildflowers in my area once I was really looking for them rather than just kind of seeing them around. This is how gratitude works. When we think, for example, of the really great moments that we have with, say, our brother or sister, and we dwell on those moments, we tend to feel more love for this person. We also start to share that love more readily and be less annoyed by some little thing they do or say because our thought is so filled up with what we are grateful for. Come up with other "magnifications" and get a chart going on your class wall.

Pycl #2: The Responsive Reading has the passage from Psalms about how the number of thoughts that God has toward us is like the sand. Bring in a small cup of real sand. Have the kids sort out one grain at a time. How many does it look like there is in the cup? How many in the world. Show a map with the world and point out all the sand deserts, all the coastlines with sand (what about the sea bottom?). Is there a lot of sand out there? What is the Psalmist saying about how God thinks about each of us? Are God's thoughts toward us beyond counting? What does that mean about who we are? Is it possible to be little mortal bodies and for God to think of us in such a limited way if He thinks of us each with so much infinite Love?

Pycl #3: Another sun analogy is always useful! Citations S4 and S15 both give us this opportunity in different ways. Draw a big diagram of the sun on large paper. What comes from the sun? Rays right? Does the sun make anything but heat and light? Can it produce dark? Try the same thing with a diagram of God. What can come from God? Can mortal bodies? You can make some silly suggestions here if your class doesn't tend to get out of hand. Have the kids draw things that they think of as coming from God. Some things could only be drawn as representatives, like love could look like someone hugging someone. Also you can see in Section 3 that there is the thought about being clothed with light. What would that be like if you were thinking of light as discernment, understanding, intelligence, beauty, warmth, and so on? You can have little ones try putting on a coat or something you bring to represent that idea.

Pycl #4: There is much you can do with the word temple which appears in a couple of sections. You can look together at Mrs. Eddy's definition of this word. How does that apply to our own thought of ourselves? How do we think of our bodies? Looking at citation B16, how do we clear away the "stones" from the path to seeing our true body? What are these "stones"? What "standard" are we lifting up? Is the standard determined by society (magazines, friends, TV. etc.)? How are we "supposed" to look? According to whom? Let's think about "clearing" that "highway" of thought to a better sense of body as expressing usefulness, strength, flexibility, beauty, joy, variety, and so on… Does that look physically like something or are those spiritual qualities? Like the qualities of God and the sun from the previous Pycl, I love that citation S15 tells us that "Mind creates no element nor symbol of discord and decay."

Pycl #5: Continuing the thoughts about temple, we have the story of Jesus overturning the money changers' tables in the temple, and using a whip to chase away these men and their wares. After talking about the symbolism of this act as well as why he literally did this, you could take out a piece of yarn. Most yarn is three-ply, meaning it has three strands twisted together to make one. Citation S23 mentions the "…strong cords of Scientific demonstration, as twisted and wielded by Jesus…". Show how the individual strands might seem weak or fragile (have the kids pull a section apart and break them, then try with whole piece of yarn—it depends on what the yarn is made of as to how breakable), but put together they are really difficult to break. What might each strand represent in Scientific demonstration? Maybe one could be understanding, one faith, one love… there are any number of ideas. Put them together in a Christian Science treatment and we have demonstration/healing which is indeed powerful and strong!

Pycl #6: Citation S28 mentions the way that the sunrise goes against the sense evidence (it looks like the sun is coming up, when actually the earth is turning…). She tells us that, in the same way, Christian Science turns the evidence of the senses around (Jesus' resurrection does this, right?!). Christian Science reverses the suggestion that the body is first and on its own and that God is second. Christian Science shows that actually the body is "tributary" to God or Mind, it must do as Mind/God says rather than the other way around. We are governed by (bossed around by) God not our [Bod] bodies!

Pycl #7: Finally, why not put together really great Thanksgiving testimonies for each child to share on Thursday? Talk about what is included in a great message of gratitude? Does it have to have a healing in it? Think of maybe three things that it should include and have them share them in class, even stand up with a pretend microphone if they think that's fun. I always tell my kids that their gratitude or testimony in church should at least include the word "God" in there somewhere! They will probably want to sit with their families on Thanksgiving, but if your class is wanting to work together to share their gratitude, (maybe they want to be grateful for things in Sunday School!) they could plan their sharing and sit together in church for it! Definitely practice sharing the testimonies or grateful thoughts aloud so they can readily share them on Thursday if they are so moved. What would keep us in our seats? Are people sitting there judging them? Why would anyone want to hear what we are grateful for? Can we ever really know if there is something that we say that might heal someone? You get the idea, ask them what would make them feel shy and address their concerns.

Have a great Sunday!

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