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[PYCL: Consciously make your days chock full of expressing kindness, joy… (1) Recognize everyone’s spiritual identity already! (5)]

Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Matter
for March 25, 2018

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

Pycl #1: This week's lesson focuses quite a bit on how we can serve or worship God—and the flip side of that—how worshiping, or investing our energy in material things does not yield the safety, health, satisfaction and so on that it claims, and certainly not what worshiping Spirit gives us. What does it mean today to "worship" God? How do we do this? Is it just going to Sunday School or church? How do our actions show our faithfulness and love of God? When it comes down to it, our days can be chock full of worship of God, right?! Being kind is worshiping God, as is being generous, intelligent, energetic, joyful, and so on. Can students explain how these expressions worship God/Life/Love/Mind, etc.? Expressing these God qualities is one thing, but acknowledging that they are God qualities before, during, and after we are expressing them—even fleetingly—this is being conscious and grateful that we are witnessing God's presence and that makes a big difference in our joy, wisdom, and success in any given activity. This is why we do a "Met" or a prayerful thought before each activity at CedarS. When we are aware that Spirit is the One governing the moment, the One present and powerful, we find we are not subject to the whims and false "rules" of matter.

Pycl #2: Try linking the Responsive Reading (RR) with the story of the three Hebrew men and the fiery furnace of king Nebuchadnezzar. Check out the description of idols in the RR and then the idol that the king had built. Can those idols get up and walk anywhere? Of course not, we'd have to carry them, as the RR points out. No matter how attractive they are, they are just ornamented matter and are not alive! Therefore, they have no ability to do good, or evil. Sometimes it is tempting to feel that matter has the ability to do evil, especially when it comes in the form of sickness, or another's seeming power over us or someone else. Citation S7 speaks to this suggestion that matter can temporarily seem to succeed by wearing the "vestments" of "law". Didn't it look as if Nebuchadnezzar had power over people's lives (or deaths)? And just recently we had Daniel, who looked like he was going to die because of other people's "power", right? But, in fact, in neither case were their lives in the hands of any but God/Spirit. We have to see through those fake "vestments"! It is like being afraid of a big stuffed animal that looks vicious. (If you have small children, you could bring in a stuffed bear/lion/other predatory animal. Obviously, they are made to be cute, but you could pose the question using them as an example).

Pycl #3: Using mirrors have them think about what their reflection is like. Compare this reflection with seeing their likeness as including no matter. How could they describe themselves without matter? How does it compare to citation B3 where we are found "satisfied" when we "awake", become conscious or aware, that we are God's likeness? Citation S1 tells us that this likeness includes nothing unlike God! You can put together lists for each about what this image looks like for each of us. How can we become aware of and feel that sense of self? You can bring the king back into play here. Didn't Nebuchadnezzar try to make this idol that he wanted people to worship, because of his success as a leader and ruler? (He was very successful in human terms.) He was looking in the mortal "mirror" and seeing his mortal achievements as the "image" of himself that was "real". Our mortal success is not the satisfying reflection of God! That means our ability as a student, athlete, artist, etc. is not our true spiritual identity, while these things may be expressions of Spirit, they are not, in and of themselves, our essential selfhood. If we get fooled into thinking that they are, then we suffer the material disappointments of a bad grade, poor performance, limited talent, and so on. This discussion can interest a wide range of ages depending on how it is addressed.

Pycl #4: Another way to make use of the mirror might be to look at Section 5 as a contrast to looking into God's mirrored reflection. In this section we are encouraged not to look deeply into matter for our sense of self, whether it is genetic, or some other iteration. Looking in the "wrong" mirror, so to speak, gives us the wrong view of things. You could go back to the old funhouse mirror analogy. A mirror that portrays you as extremely tall and thin, or very “short and stout”, etc. doesn't make you actually look like that. The mirror itself is false, and portrays a distorted view of you. There are many ways to expand on this idea. It is easy to see where we can get fooled into accepting distorted and false views of ourselves!

Pycl #5: And to combat that distortion… See citation S28 where we are told that "When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man's spiritual being…" What does it mean when we "recognize" someone? That means we have seen them before, and we know who they are! So when we "recognize" our own and other's spiritual being, we have already seen them before, we know their spiritual identities already!!! The ability to see reality and man's true nature is within us as God's reflection… just as our face in God's likeness is something that we "awake" to—not something we are creating (or something our parents created)! With the smaller children you can talk about recognizing a friend, and how this compares to recognizing our spiritual being.

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

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