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[PYCL: Don’t let students swallow camels (tall-tale fables)! (2) Try on the armor of Love! (6)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Love”
for August 4, 2019

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

Pycl #1: I think illustrating the allness of Love and man's inclusion in that, being "of Love", "of God" and so on, would be an important thing. We can do this in any number of ways. Perhaps you bring a jar of something that is single ingredient—natural peanut butter, for example, is all peanuts. Or, maybe a jar of honey. It certainly doesn't have to be food, but sometimes it's fun to bring in something you can share as you discuss the idea of "allness".

What would they expect to be in a jar of 100% peanut butter? Would there be a bunch of raisins hidden in there? Maybe a baby rabbit? You can be a little silly. Then you can expand that thought to the allness of Love. Is there any hate in there? Citation S3 really helps with this thought. Can there be even a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of hatred in Love? I f we are "of Love", is there room for anything but Love in there? So, when we feel something that isn't Love or loving in our hearts, or we feel like we are seeing that around us, how do we challenge that and find the allness of Love around and within? Here is where our spiritual senses step in. MBE tells us that "Spiritual sense is the discernment of spiritual good." p. 505:20-21 in Science and Health .

Talk about what "discernment" means and then talk about how we can discern spiritual good. This is not a hard thing to do!! Everyone can do it! Learning to identify spiritual good is looking to identify God around us and a very important skill. Our material senses are the ones that see anger, hatred, frustration, disappointment and so on.

See if you can share an example from your life that will illustrate for the kids how you may have recognized the spiritual truth in a situation that first seemed ugly in some way, or like Love was not present. (A hint here, the ugliness is never actually a part of the person that we are looking at, or being. We must be unmoved by the appearance, it is just a mask.)

Pycl #2: Why do we love? Why should we be loving or good? Is it because we are asked to? Is it because we are following rules or we'll get in trouble if we don't? We love because it is natural to someone that is "of Love" to be loving! We can open our eyes to this fact (use that newfound spiritual discernment!)

We will only get so far if we are obeying Love out of duty or fear of punishment. See citation S4 [140:8] and digest it a bit for littler children. As we understand God's nature and we don't spend time arguing about the appearance of evil, when we spend more time rejoicing and celebrating the abundance of Love around us, then we start to feel that natural gladness and love for God that makes us not only do good, be loving, but want to do these things.

Our desire to be kind, patient, tender, listen, and so on, will spring naturally from a divine and infinite source. Then you can talk about how when we don’t follow rules to be loving we are kind of like the Pharisees in the Bible that Jesus is always talking to. They were the lawyers, knowledgeable in Jewish religious law. They were really focused on following that law, but they often weren't thinking very much about the reasons behind those laws. So, they were kind of missing the point of Love's law to man of goodness, compassion, justice and mercy. This way you can bring up Mary Baker Eddy's passage about "straining out gnats and swallowing camels". You can explain that or even illustrate it with something other than gnats and camels, of course. That's such a great image and I think the children will get a laugh out of understanding why it works here!

Pycl #3: Tell the story in Section 2. Explain some of the background: who is Saul? Why was he angry at David? Was this the first time that David was able to sneak up on Saul and take something from under his nose? Why didn't David kill Saul here when he had the chance? Does evil have a "kingdom"? (S11) Can evil accomplish anything good? What gives us the ability to rise above all evil? Tell the children what "pinions" are (the big flight feathers without which birds cannot fly).

Pycl #4: This lesson could be an opportunity to review the last part of the Beatitudes in Section 4. Why are the peacemakers blessed and called the children of God? Aren't we all the children of God? Why is theirs the kingdom of heaven? You can connect this to the Science and Health citations in Section 2 where this kingdom within is referred to a few times.

Mary Baker Eddy tells us that "…the grand necessity of existence is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in man." (read on for what prevents this—S8) What is this kingdom like? I think peaceful is a good word for it. Because it is 100% love, we can't carry anything but love into this peaceful place within. So, this goes back to answer the question about why peacemakers "inherit" the kingdom of heaven.

Pycl #5: There is an exciting story about Paul the apostle in Section 5. It is interesting to look into the background of this story, maybe read a bit before it with the students so they know what happened. Paul healed a cripple sometime shortly before we find ourselves in the story in Section 5. So, everyone wanted to worship Paul and his friend Barnabas as gods come down to earth. The crowds could not conceive of God as the presence of the healing Christ around them. They went from thinking these two were gods, to stoning them in short order because they just didn't understand God as Love.

Pycl #6: Citation S27 has a wonderful paragraph to sum up this lesson. It includes the sentence "Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you." Panoply here is a "complete suit of armor" or "a protective covering".

Can you bring in something to make "armor" with? Maybe you fashion something from foil, or brown shopping bags, or maybe cardboard. What does "clad" mean? Why would Love be armor? Can you come up with some personal examples? What examples in the lesson help us to figure out how we can be safe in Love?

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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