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[PYCL: Dig deeply into what constitutes Life! Make a mobile & a list—don’t be list-less! (2, 3)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Life”
for July 21, 2019

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

Pycl #1: See what the students think when they read through Mary Baker Eddy's poem "Love". Ask them what they would define Life as, besides "God". What does she say Life is in this poem? Can they find where she says "Love alone is Life"? Why does she say this?
What are the "two great Commandments"? Are they about living Love? Do they have other ideas about this?
How does this conversation compare to the Golden Text?
What would living be like without love? Would it even be living or life?

Pycl #2: We are into our part of the year where we are zooming through the synonyms for God. The only synonym we don't study as a lesson topic is "Principle". Why not? Two weeks ago, we had the subject "God", then "Sacrament". These might be thought of as the start because obviously, God is God, and because Sacrament could be thought of as how we worship God.

Maybe we could start a mobile using Principle as the top hanger.
Principle can be defined as "source", so maybe that is at the top. God at one end under the P.
Worship at the other end under the E. Then each week we add the next synonym under a letter of Principle? Something like below: You get the idea!
Imagine strings going to each word. The children could think of how to decorate them, etc.
And, you could all discuss the idea of how these synonyms overlap and balance one another, illustrated by how they are hung on the word "Principle".

P R I N C I P L E

God Worship
Love

Life Soul

Truth Spirit

Mind

Pycl #3: "Life has no partnership with death." This is from citation S28. I've been letting that idea settle in thought and it could be worth contemplating together. It can be expanded of course to include each synonym each week (Love has no partnership with hate… etc.) Some will be harder, but you can come up with ideas together and maybe there will be more than one. For example: Mind has no partnership with mindlessness. Or, it could be Mind/intelligence has no partnership with stupidity or a lack of intelligence… Maybe Soul would have no partnership with any kind of ugliness. Or Soul has no partnership with personality, since personality is really a false sense of identity and Soul is closely linked with identity! Spirit has no partnership with matter—that one is a little easier. Ultimately, this all goes to the fact that God is all good, there is no reality, substance in evil.

But for this week, let's think about the idea that Life has no partnership, no opposite, no relationship with, death. Where does that leave us? Only Life exists. Death is not the opposite of Life, it is the nothingness of the dream of matter and life in matter. So, what is Life if death has absolutely nothing to do with it? Kind of a striking question!!!

I think it makes us dig more deeply into what constitutes Life? So, let's make a list. Energy, grace, joy, activity, intelligence, beauty, love, speed, timing, humor… can you all think of more? Can we imagine that these qualities, being part of Life, do not include within them listlessness, awkwardness, inertia, unintelligence, ugliness, hate, and so on. We can't have the opposite within any of these qualities because then the qualities would not be what they are. Perhaps this is similar to how MBE describes the way a circle cannot include the straight line, on p. 282 of Science and Health.

Now consider as well the idea that activity is not attached to a piece of matter. Can it ever die? Does activity die when someone passes? This may be too much for littles, but certainly many children in the grade school level would be capable of contemplating Life in this way. I guess here we are also contemplating more deeply what constitutes man.

Pycl #4: Read or tell the story of Lazarus and the wealthy man in Section 4. It may not be familiar to the children. Make sure that it is clear that it is a parable. Who is telling it? Why? What do they think it illustrates? Read some of the surrounding citations and discuss.

There are a number of elements here that they could bring up: what makes heaven and hell? (S19)
How does this story illustrate what Mary Baker Eddy says in citation S20 about Life never mingling with sin and death? What does it say about growth, progress, improvement or their opposites, inertia, staleness, stagnation? What does it illustrate about change and our ability to change?
Then, check out the last two citations in SH25 and SH26. Is Jesus telling us that there is heaven and hell as in this story, with no opportunity to improve?

Pycl #5: Citation S31 quotes Colossians saying that "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear [be manifested], then shall ye also appear [be manifested] with him in glory." And it goes on. This beautifully states what we are looking into here about what really constitutes life in man. What makes Christ our very life? Peter found in last week's lesson that he thought that the crucifixion was the end of Jesus' "life". In fact, even after Jesus' resurrection Peter went back to fishing, thinking that there was nothing further to live for in Jesus' ministry.

But Jesus disabused him of this mind set at that spiritual breakfast that we read about last week. What do we find Peter doing this week in Section 5? What do the kids think that Peter discovered about life and the Christ that enabled him to raise Tabitha from death?

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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