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PYCL: Explore how to not mingle seed as related to substance and to everyday life.
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Substance”
for September 6 – Sunday, September 12, 2021

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

 Pycl #1: To not sow with mingled seed, gives us much scope to explore ideas related to everyday life. You could spend the entire class on the Golden Text and Responsive Reading this week! The passage from Lev. 19:19 where we are told not to sow our field with mingled seed, gives us much scope to explore ideas that really relate to our everyday life. Bring some pictures of fields that have a crop mixed with lots of weeds. Talk about the challenges with reaping a good harvest, the problems with getting rid of the weeds, thinking about what constitutes quality seed, and whatever else occurs to you. You then can think about the implications of what all this planting symbolizes. As I’ve mentioned, young children don’t generally understand symbolism so lead them through it.

 

Are we keeping good thoughts in our head?
Are we “growing” good thoughts, cultivating, weeding, watering, (and so on), good thought?
How do we “plant” good thoughts and actions in our experience? I

 

f you live in a good location for this, you could plant a few flower seeds outside your church and care for them together.  Maybe bring a big pot with purchased soil so you know it will only grow the seeds that you all put in it. Care for these seeds and have them check in on them weekly (you will need to bring the pot home during the week!) Think about what you are planting and what might come up on its own.

 

You can share the parable Jesus tells about the man who sowed good seed in his field and someone threw tares in with them. This gives us another view of this kind of work in keeping the good seed clean and watching our “field” of thought.

 

Pycl #2: Break out the apple juice and share some together!

One way to describe this idea of “mingled seed” vs. purely good seed, might be to describe God, Truth, as all Truth. Truth includes only integrity, honesty, purity, clarity, and so on—come up with an age-appropriate list. What is purity? When something is considered pure it can be described as undiluted. Pure apple juice has only apple juice in it, no water, no other kinds of juice.

 

You cannot have pure apple juice if there is something else in it. That’s impossible. God is like that. Truth/God, has only the substance of this purity and honesty. There is nothing evil, nothing dishonest, impure, in God/Truth, or God’s creation. Everything that tells us that there is evil, or evil people, comes from material sense. It has no source in God/Truth. The really interesting thing about this is that we have to practice looking for the power of Truth around us.

 

We have to notice honesty, integrity, goodness, and rejoice in it as often as we can. Then the evil diminishes in our experience, and in its impact. Evil gets less and less attention from us, and has less hold on us as we are rejoicing regularly in good. Here’s the thing. We cannot sustainably behave counter to good and still experience this feeling of integrity, honesty, goodness around us. Something that is pure, cannot be “just a little bit mixed” with evil. There is no balancing here. Either we are attuned to the presence and allness of Good, or, we are getting mixed-up and confused with something else. There is no “balance beam” that we can walk on to maintain a life that is pleasant and rewarding materially and has no spiritual purity to it. Now break out the apple juice and share some together!

 

Pycl #3: What does it mean that “You cannot serve God and money”?
This final connection for me (though there are more!) with this idea of mingled seed can be found in citation B21/Matt. 6:24 and cit. S30/14:5-9. The final sentence in this Bible passage is translated in most Bibles as “You cannot serve God and money”. What does that mean? Should we all get rid of our money? What does it mean to “serve”? Jesus also tells us that “where our treasure is, there our heart is also”, meaning that what we value is what we love. If we love our relationships and family, then we must demonstrate this by putting our dedication and effort into this kind of love, rather than focusing on money in some way. There is nothing inherently wrong with money, it’s the best way we have of showing our gratitude for what we need, but we can’t spend our time worried about our security, etc. or we are being governed by thought for money, rather than love of the infinite substance of Love.

 

Pycl #4: Cultivate your skills of noticing and recognizing the substance of good around you.
What is “substance”? Mary Baker Eddy gives us a good sense of this word in citation S1/468:17. Think about things that never decay, etc. Even big rocks eventually wear away, they just take a long time! So, what never dries up/rots away/dissolves? How about qualities such as truth, love, joy, and so on? Of course, she tells us that Truth, Life and Love are substance, that is, God is substance.

 

God brings the true substance of joy and peace, of intelligence and wisdom, into our experience as we cultivate our skills of noticing and recognizing this substance around us. You could bring in a few examples of objects to show the kids. Bring, for example a piece of paper, a stick, and a rock to the class to use to discuss substance. Ultimately none of them are truly substantial, but it might be a good conversation starter!

 

Pycl #5: When things seem complicated, obscure… we are entertaining the “serpent” thought.
Bring in a toy snake or a good piece of rope to represent the serpent in Genesis 2. Show how it twists and turns and symbolizes the way that our thoughts can sometimes trick us into thinking or doing things that are not really substantial or good. One way to think about this subject is that whenever things seem complicated, obscure, murky, we can be pretty sure we are entertaining the “serpent” thought.

 

God’s/Mind’s ideas are clear, useful, and lead us to joy. Section 6 has several citations that speak to the clarity of Christ’s messages to man. Look at Proverbs 8:1/cit. B17 and cit. S25/38:24-26. In the Bible citation we hear wisdom “crying” or calling out to us and understanding “putting forth her voice”—speaking aloud! And Mary Baker Eddy points out that Jesus “mapped” a path for us, and “unveiled” the Christ. This means we aren’t having to “figure out” where to head as far as leading a life of substance. We can hear Mind’s direction, and we can follow the clear path that is “mapped” for us in Jesus’ life!

Have a great Sunday School class!!

 

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