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PYCL: Commit daily to being a better partner with God with more perseverance, patience, compassion, understanding… (1) “unselfish ambition, noble life-motives, and purity.” (4)
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Soul
for February 16, 2020

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

Pycl #1: There is a constant thematic thread about marriage in this lesson. It might be interesting to think together about this subject as it might apply to us in our daily lives, even if we are not married, not even near thinking about marriage. For example, citation B11 tells us that "…thy Maker is thine husband;", and the Golden Text, and several other places speak of being "betrothed" to God.

Talk about all the obvious things when you decide to get married. There is the "head over heels" part where we love someone so much, hopefully with so much depth, that we want to spend our lives with them. (Later—or now—you can think about the story in Section 2 where Abraham sends his servant to find someone to be Isaac's wife—did they know each other? Did Rebecca agree to go and meet Isaac?

What does Science and Health say about the important qualities that make a lasting marriage?) Another part of a marriage might be the quality of commitment, what does that mean? Why would we be willing to "commit" to a marriage? What would it mean to "commit" to a "marriage" with your Maker? How about perseverance? Patience? Compassion? Understanding? Compromise? The list here is looooooong!!

Pycl #2: This is like "part two" of the above! Why would we get married at all, much less think of ourselves as "married" to God? What qualities are enhanced through a partnership such as marriage? Does marriage offer us something? How about the feeling of being loved, cared for, protected, nurtured, supported, challenged (in a good way), elevated…? These are a few ideas, I'm sure you can think of more. How are these spiritual qualities, in what way does God offer each of us these qualities daily?

What do we have to "do" to uphold our end of the "marriage"? (since marriages are never "one way" streets, as they say!) It isn't that if we don't uphold our end, God doesn't uphold His—it's that we see how God is working in our lives when we demonstrate these qualities of marriage in our daily lives. We see the qualities of faithfulness, protection, nurturing and so on when we are demonstrating them in our daily lives.

Pycl #3: With younger students you can look at the part about the jewels and fancy clothes that we dress in for a wedding. Why do we do this? Look at all the references in this lesson to how God clothes us. There is one in the Responsive Reading, B16, B19—at a glance (and Tabitha made clothes for the poor!) Bring some dress-up clothes for them to put on, as they dress and undress you can think together aloud about how Soul "clothes" us in beauty, radiance, light, joy, creativity…

Our identity is like our ultimate "clothing", except it is not something we can "take off". You can talk together about how we can "wear" our Soul qualities and share these qualities with everyone we meet. Don't clothes also symbolize the way God/Soul protects us (from wind, cold, sun, rain)? In what ways does Soul, Love, Truth and so on, protect us daily?

Pycl #4: Section 2 has the story of Abraham sending his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac, as we mentioned. What does it symbolize that Abraham wanted to find someone from his relations for Isaac to marry? Think about it in terms of kindred tastes, similar worship or belief system. Have you ever noticed that families, no matter how different we are from one another within a family, have similar cultures within them—meaning, if you meet up with a cousin from another state or country, you find a great deal that is similar in your thoughts and lives, even if you might be athletic, for example, and your cousin might lean towards visual art.

Of course, there is individuality, and lovely differences, but this is a notable general phenomenon at least. If we think of Abraham's search in terms of what Mary Baker Eddy is saying in the Science & Health portion of this section, we can understand the symbolism of travelling a distance to find someone of "Unselfish ambition, noble life-motives, and purity,…" Can we look at our list of qualities in a good marriage and see these qualities in Rebekah? How about in Isaac? We don't get a lot of information about them here, but Rebekah is willing to leave her homeland, family, friends and travel to marry a perfect stranger. She must have had a great sense of trust in God as Love.

Pycl #5: From that story, we can move smoothly into how Soul can be trusted to inform us of right paths. In this story, Abraham's servant prays to be led rightly to find a wife for Isaac. Look through the lesson and find all the references to spiritual sense. This is the sense we use that is informed by Soul/God. It has nothing to do with material sense. (Material sense would say that it is impossible to ride a camel across hundreds of miles of desert and arrive at a well where Abraham's kinsmen happened to live, run into the exact woman that would marry Isaac, and get her to agree without hesitation to the marriage!) But spiritual sense is unerring in its leading. [Warren’s added FYI: “The purpose of CedarS is to give each camper and appreciation of spiritual sense and an abundance of wholesome, joyous activity.”]

Citation S10 tells us that this spiritual sense is "…the discernment of spiritual good." Can we discern this spiritual good every day? Might we need to practice doing this? Sure! We can get annoyed at others, angry at people, sad about things… these are all opportunities to exercise our spiritual senses, listen for how Soul is seeing things! List ten things right on the spot that are "spiritual good" that you can see.

Pycl #6: Another wedding story comes to us in Section 4. I think it would be helpful to demonstrate how large these water pots were. Find pictures with people next to them, make a mark on the wall to show how tall and how wide these were. Could a child fit inside them if the mouth were big enough? Bring in an empty milk jug to show them one gallon, then explain that each of the pots held between twenty and thirty of these gallons inside! Jesus turned the water into wine. Why? You can help them see that wine was a normal drink to have in those days to try to forestall the "eeeeewwww" from youngest ones.

I love that there is a citation from Science & Health referring in this section to how we are changing our "standpoint" of life and intelligence "from a material to a spiritual basis…" How is this happening in this story? How does Mary Baker Eddy define "wine"? I once heard from someone of another Christian faith share the idea that this example symbolizes the idea that the end of a marriage can be more inspired, more loving, deeper, than the exciting beginning. He suggested that this was the true blessing in this story.

Have a great Sunday School class!

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