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[PYCL: Cultivate spiritual sense to heal & restore by keeping thought free of resentment. (#4)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

August 16, 2015 on

“Soul”

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

Pycl #1: Can we define Soul?
By this question, I mean beyond the obvious—as God. I absolutely love Aubrey's thoughts, in this week's CedarS' Met, about Soul being an "inner expression". I think we can explore this idea with young kids. How do we feel and express God or Soul? Sometimes we "see" the results of God's presence around us, maybe through healing. Sometimes we just feel such a great sense of beauty and love inside, that we know God is all around us. I think this is why, traditionally, there has been the thought that man has a "soul" inside, that "escapes" when we die. We seem to have this inner sense of ourselves as something beyond matter. But in Christian Science we take this out of matter all together. Nothing spiritual can be trapped inside matter! Our spiritual identity is a reflection and expression of Soul, eternal, perfect (whole, complete). An understanding of Soul as this inner, unshakeable peace can help us know God better. It can help us identify angel thoughts not only as from Mind, but also as from Soul. Have any of the kids ever felt that they just knew what they should be doing, not because an adult told them to, but because they felt like there was something inside urging them to do it? Maybe it was to give something to someone, maybe it was simply a hug or smile. We aren't always conscious of how Soul is being reflected, but it surely is, and this is a great opportunity to help them see that!

Pycl #2: Soul dissolves, dispels and masters the false evidence of material sense.
I noticed this in several passages in this week's lesson. Here are a few places where it is either stated or implied: citations S21, S23, S26. Bring in something that dissolves in water and disappears. This is a helpful visual aid, especially for younger kids. You can use something as simple as salt or sugar in water. Let them touch the dry ingredient and feel it, then let them stir it so that it dissolves more quickly. Discuss the difference between our material senses which support only a dream, and spiritual senses that are founded on substantial spiritual reality. Did the sugar/salt seem perfectly substantial when we poured it into the water? This is how material sense seems when it "reports" to us that we are not feeling well or are sad or upset in some way. But, if we look at things with spiritual sense, the way Jesus did, we see things harmoniously, perfectly— the way Soul has really made things. There are plenty of other analogies that work here. You can bring that old story about the house with the colored windows into play. You could bring your own samples of colored cellophane to take a peek through and talk about how we know that even though our friend or teacher or both, look like they are green, they are actually "people-colored", and it is the "window" we are looking through that makes them look to be another color. When we look through the "window" of Soul, that's when we see our true selfhood!

Pycl #3: I Am!
Why does God give himself this name? What does it tell us about God? See what they have to say first! One thing it says about God is that He is present, here, now. It also tells us that His identity is the only identity. So you can share the thought that any time you use the two words "I am" you should be able to substitute "God" in there. If you say "I am bad at …" or "I am sick" these aren't statements of truth because you cannot say them about God. I love that this "I Am" passage is book-ended by the last section in the lesson that focuses on the kingdom of heaven. If God is ever-presence, and in the present, then it stands to reason that His kingdom, where He dwells is equally present. It also bolsters the earlier ideas about Soul being an inner expression of God's being—much the way Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is within.

Pycl #4: Joseph and forgiveness.
With all this thought about inner awareness of God's presence and the peace that comes with that, we have the perfect story in Joseph this week. What does it do when we are angry and resentful towards someone? Often, no one except us knows, right? So whom does it affect the most? That's right, our own self! It pays to keep our thought free of bad feelings towards others, no matter how "deserved" it might seem. This is the dream of material sense, a false view of man. It may take great persistence to dissolve some of these "dark visions of material sense…" but in the end we are all endowed with a heightened spiritual sense that heals, restores and saves. Think of the spiritual sense that Joseph cultivated over many years of unjust treatment by keeping his thought free of resentment. He was able to save countless lives ultimately by foreseeing the need to set aside food to stockpile it for seven years of drought. What great riches might we see before us by dropping thoughts of resentment or victimization just as we would a dream that we wake from in the morning?!

Pycl #5: Mirrors and Soul
Mirrors and Soul go well together. So much of the beauty of Soul is captured in an image of a reflected mountain range in a still lake. Bring in mirrors for the kids and have them look at their own reflections. (You may want to look at the Met which includes some thoughts on your reflection and how it is still there, even if you close your eyes to it!) There are numerous ways to incorporate some questions about how this mirrored image is similar to how we are seen by God. Christian Science can give us the clearest understanding of our true selfhood as Soul reflected. You can talk about how reflections can only do what the person standing in front of the mirror does. You can talk about how the mirror cannot decide not to reflect you truthfully (unless it's a "funhouse" mirror, and that's a whole other analogy!). Even the idea that light is needed to reflect, is a fruitful avenue to follow.

Have an awesome Sunday!

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