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[PYCL: Detect God’s presence with flashlights of Truth and Realize the Kingdom of Heaven]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Realty”
for March 31, 2019

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

Pycl #1: Much of what we understand about Christian Science is not backed up by material sense. Sometimes the spiritual and material appear to line up, but, because the material is essentially not real, well, obviously, it's not going to tell us about what is. So as we share this amazing understanding of reality with children, it's especially important, I think, not to just say things that don't really make a lot of sense to them. Telling them that pain, sickness and sin are not real, without any kind of "backup" is confusing at best, infuriating and disappointing at worst.

Take a look at citation 20 where Mary Baker Eddy says: "Change the evidence, and that disappears which before seemed real to this false belief, and the human consciousness rises higher." That sounds backwards right? First we need to have the healing, then the lie disappears and our consciousness rises higher. Isn't it supposed to be our consciousness rising that brings about the healing? Well, think about it from a newcomers perspective. (And children are kind of like newcomers to Christian Science, while also being natural ones). It is the amazing change of evidence, the disease/depression/hatred/etc. disappearing that opens the door in our thought to spiritual reality being the only reality. This is why I think it is so important to focus on the daily evidence of spiritual reality. Where do we see God being expressed right now? The better we get at identifying God as always present in our daily lives–not waiting for some important "demonstration"–the more we understand that spiritual reality is not some unattainable, distant, "accomplishment".

So with that in mind….Maybe bring in one of those giant pads of paper that you put up on an easel, or you can buy a roll of paper–even that brown shipping paper, (though it will be very curly). Talk to the students about how we want to compile a list of all the ways that we see spiritual reality. You can start the list off with maybe some observations around you. Is there Love evidenced in the way a teacher might be bending over some younger students and sharing some humor. Or you see spiritual reality in the way that the sunshine is warming and lighting everyone equally. You can share things that you've observed during your week. Share harmonious resolutions of little details in your days or ideas that came to you during the week. Then see if they have some of their own to share. You can talk about a moment when you were obedient to that inner voice to do something that you didn't really want to do, but knew was right. Did it feel good to listen to that voice? Is that the same voice that causes us to be obedient to our mom and dad? Once the "juices are flowing" consider taking them for a walk, inside or outside to find more evidence of God's presence. They can be like detectives!

Pycl #2: Flashlights are helpful when you want to talk about light, a prominent theme in this week's lesson. Think of all the ways light helps us in our lives. Why is light linked to this subject? Isn't it because it symbolizes understanding and if we truly understand what is real, then we are understanding spiritual reality? Talk about all the things that light does, from giving you something to aim at in the dark (literally and figuratively), to being able to discern what is really around us, to giving life itself. How does God do these things? If light symbolizes understanding and discernment, what does darkness symbolize? Does darkness have power? Can it resist you when you turn on a light in a room? Can it argue back, tell you it's stronger or better? Can you mix light and darkness together? (This question is a good one to lead into a discussion of section 4, the parable of the tares and wheat.) Have the students "try" to mix darkness with their light from their flashlight beam. Help them to entertain the concept that light is something that shines, it is a positive, active "force". Where darkness, is simply the absence of light–hence the fact that we cannot give the students "dark lights"–a contradiction of terms!!

Now see if we can turn this towards thinking about how when we are tempted to think that we are feeling ill, that this might be similar to being in a dark room. Maybe we can only see some shadowy shapes, or nothing at all. Sickness makes us feel like there is only our body, only dark. But as we allow the light which is God/Love to fill up our thought, we can change that dynamic and begin to sense that there really is no power at all in the sickness to keep us prisoner, to make us think that darkness has the ability to overcome light, Good, Truth.

Pycl #3: As we think together about the symbolism in the story of the tares and wheat, let's dig deep to see if something new can be discovered. There are so many elements. Ask the kids to name them. For example: we have the idea that an "enemy" sowed the weeds. We have the suggestion that the proximity of the tares makes them likely to pull up the wheat if you harvest them too early–what does that mean? We have the idea that it is difficult to discern the difference between the two plants, but that the difference becomes quite clear upon maturity. We have the idea that one plant is productive and useful, the other not. We have the distress that the servants felt upon seeing the tares/error, and the calm and peace that the farmer expressed. We have the idea that the tares/error can easily be rooted up at harvest time and that it should be burned (does that symbolize permanent destruction so that it cannot replant itself with its "seeds" of fear etc. ever again?). We have the idea that MBE’s shares in citation 17, that matter and Spirit, Truth and error, never really mix, never really can become one, and that the light or Truth will help us separate them in our consciousness so that we are not fooled by error! You can probably think of even more elements of this parable, and you can work together with the students to come up with some of these ideas, as well as what they symbolize spiritually. Think of it as a treasure hunt whereby our "flashlights of Truth" can reveal healing ideas in this wonderful story. Finally, why is this parable "like the kingdom of heaven"?

Pycl #4: What do the stories of healing in section 5 and 6 tell us about reality? Do they seem beyond reach since Jesus did them? What does Jesus tell us we can and should do as we follow him? How do we get so that our thought is seeing the spiritual reality that does not recognize anything but sight/light/discernment, anything but Life continuous/eternal? You can share some of MBE’s demonstrations of raising her secretary from death. You can look up some testimonies about sight and the like before attending Sunday school and print them out to share. There are some great ones in the back of Science and Health as well, and those came from only reading that book. Most of those people were extremely new to Science, which shows that this kind of consciousness is available to all of us. We are all at the center of this consciousness of spiritual reality. We are real spiritual beings!

Have an excellent week in Sunday school!!

Former camper/counselor Brian Colley created this fun cartoon for TMC Youth called Spiritual Reality Googles that young ones seem to love. Enjoy! at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09IRV4ZBHr0#action=share

from: https://www.christianscience.com/youth/sunday-school/resources/videos/spiritual-reality-goggles

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