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[PYCL: Clean up thought! Put inspiration into action by following where it leads. (4, 5)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Sacrament”
for the week ending Sunday, January 14, 2018

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

Pycl #1: Always start with affirming an understanding of what Sacrament means. If it's important enough to be a lesson subject, it's important enough to make sure that each child has at least a sense of what it means. I like thinking about it in terms of how the word breaks down…in many languages (and certainly the Latin root) it is rooted in the word "sacred". How are certain, what we might call religious rituals, sacred or holy. What do they do? Do they do anything in and of themselves or is it about what they are transforming or bringing about in thought? Why is it that, while most Christian churches do celebrate at least the sacraments of baptism and communion, we, at Christian Science churches only celebrate one, by kneeling at the end of two services a year in silent communion with God? Why do they think we forgo these traditional celebrations? Come up with some thoughts on this, and then think about how we do celebrate both communion and baptism, hopefully often, daily! Make a list or chart of all the ways these sacraments can be "celebrated" in daily life.

Pycl #2: Why do we kneel in church? What does kneeling represent? How is communion in prayer, different from the silent prayer at the beginning of church? Can you all try this communion in Sunday School? (This "try" should follow a thoughtful list of ideas about this subject—hence, I think, the fact that it comes at the end of a service where we have contemplated the subject!)

Pycl #3: What does "salvation" mean and why is connected to the subject sacrament? Do we need to be baptized to be saved, for example? Indeed yes! But maybe the kind of baptism we talked about when we listed the ways that we celebrate sacraments as Christian Scientists. How did Jesus' example especially help us to experience salvation? Didn't his healing work point to how we are all beloved, saved, valued, by God? Read his healing of the Centurion's servant in Section 3. This was a man, coming to Jesus, who was a member of a conquering nation, not the nation of the Jews. Was this an example of the kind of salvation for all mankind that Jesus demonstrated on many occasions? Why did this man receive such quick help? Was his humility (not asking Jesus to come to his house, but acknowledging Jesus' authority) sort of like that kneeling that we do in our service, coming to God in humility to hear His word, His power to heal and Love mankind? What role does humility play in healing? Does humility mean that we don't think we are worth much? (Obviously not) Can we define it so that we know how we can commune most successfully with God? How do we get ourselves out of the way? We don't need to "tell" God things—S&H, first section explains this clearly. Humility really comes to starting with that "perfect God and man" that is spoken of in citation S16—might not sound humble at all—but that's the recognition of what God created, and not of what we are necessarily holding to in our own thinking!!

Pycl #4: Talk about baptism specifically. With younger children you can illustrate the idea with bathing, washing off dirt. Then draw a connection with the idea that we are cleaning off the "dirt" in our consciousness. What kind of dirt is that? Anything that would make us think of ourselves as less that lovely, smart, kind, patient, loving, generous, and so on. Make self portraits with all the "clean" or "pure" qualities printed around him/her with arrows from each quality pointing to that self portrait. Then rejoice in that "baptized" man!

Pycl #5: I love Mrs. Eddy's breakdown of the sacrament of Communion in citation S18. Can the children pick out what each element of Communion means? (Read the story in citation B14 first) Note that the "cup" is the "cross", but it is filled with "the inspiration of Love"… What does that Love do? How did Jesus illustrate what that Love does for us? Can we see the practical nature of this kind of Communion—way beyond the ritual? Does it become apparent that this is something that we can partake of at any time and don't need to be in church, or in a specific denomination to partake? Jesus' example saves when we follow/demonstrate and not by simply "feeling inspired". This inspiration is put into action when we follow the path that it points to us. Maybe we feel inspired with love for someone that didn't before seem loveable and this takes actionable form in sitting next to them and having a conversation, or sharing some of our lunch, etc.

Have fun this Sunday!

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