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[PYCL: Crowd your consciousness with the sweet preserves of Love! (1)]
Make a list of qualities that represent angel thoughts that help us each day. (3)

Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God the Preserver of Man”
for December 15, 2019

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

Pycl #1: I have been sending this one out for years, but if you haven't done it, it has been a fun one to expand on with your class: bring in a jar of "preserves", jam, or, if you prefer, pickles or some such. If you bring jam, bring some bread to spread it on and share with the class. Find some information to share with them about how we make preserves. There are key components. We have to have sterile jars, hot water—if bottling pickles or veggies—boiling jam, very little space at the top of the filled jar, sealing surfaces for the lid. Find out together why the heat and sterility and sealing surfaces. I know this gets into things like bacteria, you can refer to it as "little animals". We want no air for the bacteria to grow, the heat and sealing surfaces help to eliminate the air…Show them how we can check for a seal. What does this process do for the food? It PRESERVES it!

Now you can go into all the symbolism of this activity. What if we "seal out" all the atmosphere where criticism, unkindness, fear, contagion, anger, etc. seem to thrive? Is this something we can do with our bodies? Our consciousness? How do we do this? What if we "crowd" our consciousness with the "sweetness" of Love, (our jam), so that there is no space for error? Can the warmth of our generosity "kill" the bacteria of selfishness? We want to leave our consciousness in the atmosphere of Love only!

Pycl #2: The third section is a blast! Read it together, feel free to read more of the story if it seems fun. How do the Science and Health citations fit with the story? It is really fun to look at together. Part of the thought speaks to the nature of animals. Another part is about how God speaks to us through angels, in different ways. Even though God sent an angel to Balaam to block his path and get his attention, do you think that Balaam's donkey might be another kind of "angel", speaking to Balaam? Are there ways that God is speaking to us unexpectedly every day? Are we aware of them???? Can you share an example of how you heard God speak to you in an unexpected way? Does this section give you any ideas about how to think about animals?

Pycl #3: Angels are a theme around this season. I know we just addressed them in the last Pycl, but feel free to explore how angels spoke to the people in the Christmas story if you feel like getting into the Christmas "spirit". How many angels do we know about in the Bible? What kinds of angels have they "heard" in their lives? How can we be more aware of every day angels?

Why do they think that we portray angels with wings? Talk about how wings symbolize inspiration, lift us to a higher standpoint of understanding, spiritual inspiration. If the kids are very young, make them each a set of "wings" to take home (or give them each a feather) to symbolize this elevated thinking. Make a list of qualities that represent angel thoughts that help us each day.

Pycl #4: Here is an important distinction to make when studying about God as our "preserver". Does this mean that humanly we will be saved from every challenge? Come to Sunday School armed with some really great testimonies of healing (to read or to tell), of experiences that show how man is preserved by God. Then, share some stories from the Bible, people that Jesus healed, as in Section 5, Daniel in the lion's den, etc.

In both the current testimonies, and in Mary Baker Eddy's life, Jesus' life, and so many characters in the Bible, man is met with challenges. These challenges are beautiful opportunities to discover more about spiritual reality in which God is always caring, guiding, governing. It does not mean that God "gave" us these challenges, but that human sense or mortal mind perceives life to be full of these challenges and Christian Science helps us discover our dominion over these perceptions! You can think of ways to share this thought that is meaningful for whatever age you teach, but it is so important not to judge ourselves or others based on whether or not we face challenges of any kind! God preserves Her spiritual creation— let's work to see that.

Pycl #5: Think about how the lesson tells us this week that what we perceive is often not really what God is doing. Look at the stories that illustrate this. Balaam couldn't see the angel obstructing his path, the father in Section 5, and the disciples who could not heal the son, could not see this son as already safe, "preserved" from the laws of matter.

In fact, our health is not dependent on matter. Look at what Mary Baker Eddy says about "dispelling" illusion, and "so-called laws of mortal belief" in Section 5. We can focus on what material sense tells us because it seems real. Or, we can focus at all times on God, on spiritual good. Pretty soon, when we focus on spiritual good, we will perceive God in some way, and this perception will inevitably cause the error to disappear into its nothingness. I also love the focus on the power of healing that made Christianity what it was when it first came about.
Let's notice (perceive) and celebrate this healing power!

Have a great week in Sunday School.

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