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[PYCL: Choke off evil’s air supply!(1) Build and climb an angel ladder! (2)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"God the Preserver of Man"

For June 11, 2017

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

Pycl #1: If you've read these Pycls for awhile then this one can be skipped. I do think it's important that the younger children understand what it means to "preserve", and the simplest way to do this is to bring in a jar of "preserves". These could be jam, or pickles or any number of sealed items—canned or bottled. Explain what "preserving" in this way does. It seals out all the air so that no bacteria can grow or develop. Cool analogy, huh? God "seals" us in His kingdom, and no evil or error can survive there, no "air for it to breathe or grow". And, this fact makes such preserving more or less eternal. Well, in God's case it is, humanly, it does have an eventual shelf life, but let's not nitpick! Think about how error can grow and bring its own "rot" into our experience unless we choke it out with the only true power there is. You might even be able to relate this to the story of the Hebrew boys in the furnace. A fire needs air to burn—maybe their own preservation could be likened to the lack of "air" that they gave to a king's so-called power over them! Anyway, play with this idea and then share the pickles/jam/whatever you bring!

Pycl #2: Right in the Responsive Reading we have the story of Jacob's ladder. The whole Jacob story was in the Bible lesson not long ago, so perhaps they will remember the context for this ladder. What does this "ladder" represent? To whom is this "ladder" available (remember that Jacob had behaved pretty badly here!)? Is there anything we can do that will keep God from sharing His angel thoughts with us? Why do we sometimes feel like we can't hear God's angel messages? Are we looking for them to appear in a certain form? Can we make a "ladder" in Sunday School? What might the rungs be made of? We could do this with a drawing or paper cut outs, or anything representative. Each rung could be an angel thought of some kind that lifts our concept of God and self to a higher level. This could be added to every week at Sunday School. We can think of taking this ladder with us everywhere we go so that when we feel like we are in a "deep well"—sad, sick, angry, etc., we have a way to "climb out" on this ladder!

Pycl #3: For the smaller children, bring in a picture of a bird sheltering her babies under a wing. [Or download a video of chick’s under mom’s wings at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5EExWt10Tk ]. What does God's "wing" do for us? (B4) A bird's wings keep babies safe, warm, dry. As we grow confident, we can think of ourselves as moving away, perhaps, from mom and dad, but never away from God! Mrs. Eddy uses the wing idea quite a bit. Can you think of two of her poems that have references to wings?

Pycl #4: I love the message in Section 2 where it tells the story of Noah and his sons. The story might be a little weird for small children but I think you can talk it through in a way that helps them to understand that we are to express God's care and tenderness toward our fellow man—that we can recognize and preserve the good in others by making light of, or covering the things that are not good. We do this because we understand that error is not a part of God's creation. We also want others to overlook any mis-steps that we might make and forgive, and forget them! You could relate the covering that two of Noah's sons use to the idea of covering up the error/lie about Noah. Maybe you could act out this idea of covering something that is a lie by spreading a bed sheet over a paper that might say something erroneous?

Pycl #5: In the story of Hagar and Ishmael we again have an opportunity to really see the preservation that is always in place for man. You can have fun thinking together about how sometimes it seems to take a really big challenge for us to reach out to God and see this preserving power. Citation B9 tells us that God's salvation is a "gift" to each of us! This gift is always there, always being given and we can, through prayer, find our eyes open to its presence and power. Citation S15 speaks of the "…more correct views of God and man…" and the invisible becoming visible. You can pull this idea from the story. Was the well there all along—or did it "magically" appear? God's goodness and safety is always with us.

Pycl #6: I'm sure you have favorite ways to share the story of the fiery furnace. One way to look at it is that error's argument to us when we are struggling with being hurt or sick, for example, is to speak to us in a similar way to the king in citation B13: "…if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?" Isn't this what fear does to us….tells us that God isn't strong enough, that we don't understand Christian Science enough, that we are too young, too old… But just like the Hebrew boys in this story, we don't need to "…be careful" to answer error! Error threatens us most with fear, which is partly defined in S&H as "heat" in the glossary definition. How can we defeat fear? Here we can link this story to the idea of the peace that we have from knowing God's power and goodness in Section 6. We get that sense of peace through healing. When we experience God's care we have proof of His power and presence and we feel less fearful. Share some powerful examples of this kind of healing with the children this Sunday along with the powerful stories from the Bible this week.

Have a peaceful Sunday!

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