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[PYCL: Bring a spiritual treasure box to class!]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Substance"
for September 10, 2017

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

Pycl #1: Well, if you haven't brought a "treasure box" into Sunday School yet, now is the time. This could be a shoe box that you decorate, or a jewelry box that you don't need. For young children you could have one for each and glue or stick plastic jewels on it, throw a few inside for good measure and as representative of spiritual treasure. There are many references to riches, and to treasure in this lesson. You can really take off with this in several ways. What does substance mean? What actually lasts, what does not? When it comes down to it, it looks like qualities are what are lasting/eternal, while material things seem to come and go, even if they are really long-lasting like metal and rocks.

So here are some Pycls that are treasure box related:

A. The Golden Text speaks of the earth being full of God's riches. Even though riches is not a totally accurate translation here, it relates to the idea of the abundant and lasting good that surrounds us in ways that we can see and understand. Can your class come up with a list of "riches" that come from Spirit that they can see in their everyday life? You may need to start them off! With each idea of "riches" you can put something, anything, in the treasure box to represent that idea.

B. What are the "firstfruits of all thine increase:" mentioned in the Responsive Reading (RR)? Explain firstfruits, and then how they might apply to us today. How do we offer them to God? Are they things that we might have in our "treasure boxes" of life? Obviously, we don't sacrifice firstfruits in the same way to God today, but is there something in our day to day existence that would put our best qualities forward in a way that glorifies our Father-Mother?

C. Tell the story of Hezekiah, his wisdom and faithfulness to God. In this story in the lesson, was wealth important to him? What kind of riches does the Bible tell us are important in citations B4 and B5? Are these riches that we have to "earn"? Or are they ones that we already have at any age? Do we have to go to the bank to get them? Do we have to have a job or wealthy parents? Are they riches that we can list and deposit in our treasure box of life that we have in Sunday School?

D. Citation S5 tells us that "…the revelations of Christian Science unlock the treasures of Truth." How does C.S. do this? What treasures of Truth have we learned that can be "added" to our treasure box? Can they think of things they have learned over the years in C.S. that have revealed the "riches" of God to them in practical ways? Are they more aware of God in their experience than they might otherwise have been? If so, how? Can you share a bunch of ideas of your own? Have something that works as a "key" to that treasure box. In this case it might be that you just hold a copy of Science and Health and point to its title as "key to the Scriptures", maybe this book represents this key that C.S. presents to the treasures of Truth. It is interesting that C.S. really is the only thing out there pointing to true spiritual reality. We share many things with other Christian denominations, but knowing that matter isn't substance, isn't Truth—that's pretty much unique to Science.

E. It is important to "enlarge" this treasure box that we are "making" as we go through life. Citation S8 tells us that we understand spiritual, or substantial existence—an understanding of reality—only as we grow our "treasures of Truth and Love". What does that mean practically for us? Maybe we see more of God in our day to day life. Maybe we recognize qualities of Truth/Love and accept them as powerful and established in the face of that which seems opposed to these things. When we have demonstrations that show that we have recognized this powerful nature of Truth and Love, then we have healing in our experience that reflects that expanded understanding.

F. Citation S9 reminds me of the song "Love is something when you give it away…." http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/MALVINA/mr101.htm Here is a link to the lyrics. You don't need to include all the verses. I usually sing just the first two with refrain. I love the idea that the tighter we hold to material sense of anything, the more it tends to evade us. Do you have an example from your life or another's? See if you can link this to the Bible statement from citation B18 about faith being the "substance of things hoped for…" The things of Spirit, our trust in God, is not based on looking to matter. (That would be the idea of accumulating money, for example). The more earthbound our "treasures" the "heavier" we become. You can illustrate this by giving them a heavy rock/item to hold. Tell them that this represents the responsibilities of looking to matter for satisfaction. Then give them an example. (One might be owning a car. While a car gives you mobility, it also costs a lot. If you buy a new one you have to make payments for a long time, pay a lot of taxes on it, have a job to pay for it, etc. If you get an old one, you may have maintenance costs and unreliability. You have to keep it clean, fueled, repaired, registered, insured… the list goes on. All of that is fine if you aren't consumed by these responsibilities. But it's a good illustration of what can happen.) On the other hand, if your true treasure—what you value most—is Love, then you can trust that the transportation that you need (for example) is provided without stress, strain or "thought taking". That is the coins "rolling all over the floor" so to speak.

There are more 'treasures' in this lesson. There are Kingdom of Heaven references (another treasure!) There is Paul's healing of the lame man, a kind of revealing of that man's true substance, not in physique. I hope the treasure references weren't too much!!

Have tons of fun this week in Sunday School!

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