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[PYCL: Bring a backpack with something heavy to throw out. Share a healing. (#2, #4)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for July 7, 2019

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

Pycl #1: Who is God— (in your own words and thoughts)? Young or old, this question can be asked and discussed for a whole class time and more. This should be a question that inspires some deeper thought, so if they answer with what they have learned over years in Sunday School, ask how they would describe God if they had to, to a friend or sincere inquirer.

At the root of our progress as a spiritual thinker, we must ultimately have a sense of God that is personally meaningful. If we don't, then there is not going to be a lasting desire to progress. So much of the Bible is devoted to praise and gratitude for God, how can we possibly give that praise or gratitude if we don't have a meaningful sense of who God is? (And by praise and worship, I mean through the actions of our lives). This discussion can lead to going through stories of discovery of God for individuals in the Bible. Moses had to discover who God was, what did he find out? How about Abraham…there is one God! Elijah…at the cave, God is in the "still small voice". What does Daniel find in this week's lesson? What was Jesus' mission surrounding revealing to mankind God's true identity?

From this week's lesson we find Jesus showing that God's nature does not distinguish between the value of a male vs. a female. He illustrated God's tender care by freeing this widow from a life of begging or possible prostitution, by restoring her son to her. He revealed also a more deeply spiritual and unlimited sense of God's nature when he speaks with the Scribes and Pharisees in citation B12. What does he reveal about God's universal love in citation B17? You could have a lot of fun having the children bring up their own ideas of Bible characters and how their lives and stories tell us more about God's nature. How do we see this nature in our lives today?

Pycl #2: Citation B16 tells us much about God's nature and what He "wants" for His reflection man. Look at it together and talk about what these terms mean in everyday life. What" wickedness" and "heavy burdens" are we struggling with? How might we feel "oppressed"? What "yoke" do we want to see thrown off?

When our "light" breaks over us like "morning" and health, etc. what does that mean? Do we have to make the morning come each day? Are we responsible for getting the sun to come up? Talk about how there have been cultures that thought they had to do prayer and dance to bring up the sun or to bring down rain. We can recognize what our role truly is. Our light is "not from the sun" as we found in last week's lesson. Our "light", our expression of joy, intelligence, love, energy, grace, is only from God, infinitely expressed in man, in us. We are not "making this true", but searching deeply to understand and rejoice in this established truth.

Just as we go to bed each night certain of the sunrise, we can go through our life rejoicing in the established truth of God's power and presence in our experience, in our consciousness. You could bring in a small backpack filled with something heavy, have them put it on, and have them "throw it off" while naming what error could burden them and what truth helps them "throw it off".

Pycl #3: What is a "rereward" (from same passage)? (It is the rear guard of an army that keeps them safe from being snuck up on from behind). How is God doing this for us? What might be trying to "sneak up on us"? Can anything sneak up on you if you see it? Try pretending with younger kids. Have them close their eyes and have another child sneak up on them and surprise them. (Obviously they are pretty much ready for this, but it's a useful activity to help them think about how "evil" cannot sneak up on us if we have our eyes and ears open!). Next, have them keep their eyes open and try to have someone sneak up on them that way. Is it even possible? Discuss how this is the way of evil. It cannot trick us into being surprised, fearful or overwhelmed if we are consciously aware or "have our eyes open" to how it tries to trick us!! God is always "at our back", we just need to "open our eyes" to that fact.

Pycl #4: How does the Bible heal? What do we gain from our study of it? Can you share a healing that came to you as a result of the Bible, of reading or studying the Bible? Try choosing a passage from the lesson and see together how we can glean insight by looking at its spiritual message. Sometimes this comes through understanding that there are symbolic words like "light". Other times we can gain healing insight by reading another translation or by understanding some historical tidbit that is behind a Bible passage. But we don't have to do any of this to be healed by the Bible! Its very word can bring us that light from God, speaking to us through it.

Pycl #5: Citation S9 tells us that Christian Science makes God better known. Check it out, it's cool! Don't we all want to know God who is "All-in all, forever near"? Isn't that what, deep down, everyone craves? The inconsistencies that seem to be apparent, in the Old Testament especially, concerning God's nature, are often so beautifully symbolic if we read the Scriptures spiritually instead of literally. These seeming inconsistent qualities that describe God's nature as alternately loving, caring, and destructive, punitive, are the source, often, of disbelief and even disillusion and despair.

Getting a correct understanding of God is paramount to living a life of deep joy, love, harmony, and hope. Christian Science helps us get there by interpreting the Scriptures with a spiritual sense. One example: Abraham takes his son to the mountain to sacrifice him to God. This is the religious tradition of many of his day, sacrificing children to their gods. Abraham was a listener, he was learning that there was one God, Good. But he felt compelled by a false sense of God's nature, to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac to God. Is this God testing him, as it implies in the story? Or was this the understanding of the day finding an explanation for how Isaac avoided this horrible fate?

Divine Love would not ask His child to sacrifice a son out of devotion. So, what is going on here? Abraham was listening and opening his heart to another kind of God. One that provides answers that are loving. In this case, an alternative to human sacrifice. It is still a story of obedience and devotion, but it is also a story of deeper understanding of God and His nature— and not a story of a God who tested His son with this barbaric tradition. There are many other stories in the Old Testament that can be seen in a symbolic and spiritually deeper way. Maybe find a few and see what you come up with together!

Have a great Sunday School class!

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