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[PYCL: Find your secret place of seeing God's power! Taste-test a jar of preserves. (1, 2)]

Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God the Preserver of Man”
for the week ending Sunday, December 10, 2017

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

Pycl #1: The Responsive Reading starts with the 91st Psalm. Where is that "secret place" that is spoken of in the first verse? Compare with some familiar Bible stories such as Daniel, the three Hebrew men, Jonah, Noah, David and Goliath—the list goes on. You could work with the story in this lesson of Rahab too. What was the secret place in each story? Was it a "place"? Or, was it the place of insight and understanding of God's power that was "secret" to others around them, but known to the heroes of these stories? The subject of this lesson explains that we are always safe in God. It may not always appear so, but that's, maybe what is meant by keeping our thought, our consciousness aware of the fact that man truly dwells in the "secret place of the most high". Can you share any examples of this? Have a look at the testimony that follows the My Bible Lesson in this week's edition – https://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/2013/12/115-49/saved-from-a-dangerous-current .
In this remarkable testimony we find that the father's thought definitely found itself in that "secret place". There couldn't have been anyone watching who could know that there was anything but terror going on. But this man's perception of God's power and presence was greater than the presence of material "facts" and he saw that power in a not-so-secret way! Why is it called a "secret place"? Is it because, like God, it is not a visible, material place? What does it feel like to be in God's "secret place"?

Pycl #2: Once again, make sure the younger ones know what "preserve" means and feel free to bring in a jar or can of "preserves" for them, to illustrate this idea. Taste tests are always welcome. You can discuss preservation, how things last and are kept fresh with this process. You can point out that preservation of food is also a process of keeping out the bacteria that makes it go bad. You can liken that to how we can preserve our health and happiness, not so much by washing hands, keeping away from contagious situations/people, and only doing fun things, but by keeping our thought in that very spiritual, secret place! (I'm not saying we shouldn't wash hands—that might be better left unmentioned! 🙂 This "preservation" is a practice of diligently filling our thought with Godlike awareness. Then we are able to recognize the "bacteria"/error for the spoiler it is!

Pycl #3: The story of Rahab and the Children of Israel is not often in the lesson. What is this illustrating? We've talked a little about this as an illustration of the "secret place"— her recognition of God's presence in the form of these two men who were spying out the city, making sure of how best to take it. She recognized that their understanding of God was the right one. But how about some specific thoughts about this story and how it applies to us today? Can we shelter, cherish, protect good from anything that would harm? How can we do this today? We can think about perhaps, protecting someone's reputation from those who might want to criticize falsely. Maybe we courageously defend someone from another's unkindness. Perhaps we need to cherish something about ourselves that we tend to tear down? We can think of taking that goodness and bringing it to the "rooftop", to the spiritual level that makes it safe, preserved eternally from the unkindness, harshness of matter. Maybe we need to even elevate a quality about ourselves that could be lifted to a more spiritual understanding.

Pycl #4: Bring in a piece of cement. Or walk outside to a cement sidewalk if you have one. How hard is cement? Look at citation S6. What does it mean to be "clad in the panoply of Love" and what is "higher humanity"? How do these things come together to produce "cement". Think about how cement can stick things together, and then talk about how this uplifted "cement" unites all interests in the one God! This spiritual cement isn't breakable by jack hammers either! When we are dressed in Love, its protective safety, we tend to view everyone's interests, their true interests, as not separate from our own. We become less and less afraid that we have to fight, figuratively or literally, for what we need in opposition to what others need.

Pycl #5: Think of the Christmas story. How was Jesus preserved? How were his parents kept safe and cared for? (Mary was kept safe by Joseph from being cast out of society for being pregnant out of wedlock, Mary stayed with her cousin, who also had a very important baby only months before Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph found a safe place to deliver Jesus, Jesus was kept safe from king Herod.) Then, there are many ways in which this Christ has been preserved throughout time so that we can experience the new birth of Jesus or the Christ in our own experience today! How has the Christ been experienced and perceived in our lives today, each day? Can the children think of examples? You may want to share one to get the ball rolling. What is worth preserving about the Christmas season?

Have a great Sunday!

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