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[PYCL: Forgive 70 times 7! Write on their palms! Give them halos! Spray w/100% Love!]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

“Love”

on July 24, 2016

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

Pycl #1: Usually the word "quench" (used in the Golden Text) means to satisfy or to extinguish–we think of it most often in relation to thirst. But it can also be an instant cooling of hot metal, a process whereby the metal is hardened. Either way it's an apt word to use in the context of this statement about not being able to "quench" love! God's love is never extinguished and never becomes cooled and hardened! You can certainly share these two definitions, feel free to show them a video or pictures of the process of hardening metal in water after it is super heated in a forge (blacksmiths or farriers). It's a great image! What would make you feel like you couldn't love someone anymore? Do you have a limit? If someone did something mean to you? If they did mean things all the time? What about what Jesus said about forgiving 70 times 7!? How do we do this? Do the kids have any thoughts about this process of keeping our love like God's infinite Love? It must have something to do with the origin of our love. If it rests in divine Love, then it is infinite, infinitely patient, wise, compassionate, discerning, and so on.

Pycl #2: At the end of the Responsive Reading it says: "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." I love this statement. Talk about what it means to be "graven". Ask them how easy it would be if you put someone's name on the palm of your hand, to forget about them? What does this say about God's love for each of us? Hopefully it is clear that God doesn't have literal "hands"… that this is a symbol of how each of us is loved and cherished by God. If you don't think the parents of your kids would mind, try thinking together of something about them that is true and loving and writing in on each of their palms. Hopefully it will be something distinct about them and their identity. They can help to come up with these ideas about each of them. Or it could be a symbol rather than words. Just make sure it means something specific that reminds them of their true identity.

Pycl #3: Using some of the ideas in Christie's met for this week, you could consider creating "halos" for each child based on citation S2. What does a halo symbolize? Why is it illustrated with a circle of light? You could create these with pipe cleaners (there are even gold ones available—you can purchase these at a craft store or at Wal-Mart) make a circle that fits the circumference of the child's head and attach an upright pipe cleaner to a circle that is above the one that is around their head. What qualities of Love make such a "halo" on each of us? You can go through the stories in this week's lesson to find qualities expressed such as: forgiveness, respect, patience, humility, compassion, caring, generosity, tenderness… What qualities of Love does each student want to recognize more in themselves? How do we encourage these qualities to become more visible? (How do we practice them?) Alternatively, you could make circlets of colored paper and staple them, write the qualities on the paper before stapling them to the right size for each child.

Pycl #4: Read the story of David and Saul in another translation such as the NLV. It is a little clearer for young readers/non-readers. Understand that this particular event was not the first time that Saul had tried to kill David, and also not the first time that David refused to take revenge on Saul. Is this what is meant by the "great miracle, to human sense, is divine Love…"? It refuses to cave in to human vengeance, fear, envy, insanity. In light of the last few weeks of acts of terror, revenge, brutality on the national and world stage…this story has a powerful lesson to share. God will take care of evil through divine means, meaning that sin "kills" itself. Born of mortality, sin is naturally self-destructive. Saul is eventually killed in battle, and David is not involved in the battle, though he was, at first, supposed to be. It is a wonderful example of the need to stand only with divine Love. Divine Love demands that we look within ourselves to destroy hate. Mortal mind suggests that it is "someone else's" fault. And, just as a point of practicality for your students, you can ask: "What can we do about it if someone is unkind, unforgiving, selfish, or lies about us?" We cannot change another; we can only correct our own thought so that it reflects the infinite Love, who knows nothing but Love (S6, which was also in last week's lesson on Truth!). Our work is cut out for us! Another point to make clear: the evil that we might see as a "person", is never that person's true identity. It certainly may appear as such, but it is merely a counterfeit, a falsehood about that person. This should help us to find our way clear of hatred when we realize more clearly that we aren't trying to see an "evil person" as God's child.

Pycl #5: Citation B9 is always a fun passage to share with children. Talk about the difference between a "beam"/large piece of lumber, and a "mote", or speck of dust. This harkens back to the previous Pycl in that we are to look within to heal our view of others. But it also asks us to dig deeply into what might keep us from seeing another in the light of Love. In fact, if we don't see someone with love, then we can probably assume that there is just such a "beam" obstructing our view! Just for fun, with the younger students, you should bring in a big piece of lumber or maybe a large chunk of a branch from a tree as an illustration. How easy would it be to see anything with this obscuring your vision?

Pycl #6: In the "My Bible Lesson" publication for this week, there is a picture of a spray bottle with the label "Universal Solvent of Love". It lists the errors it dissolves and below that the "Method" of this dissolving—"The way to extract error from mortal mind…" Then "ingredients: 100% Love" I don't think that anyone in the C.S.P.S would mind if you borrowed this idea and handed each kid such a bottle during class and discuss the quotations used from citations S15 and S14. You can purchase spray bottles for under a dollar at Wal-Mart in the section of the store where ironing supplies are kept. (They are sometimes in the cleaning section but those are usually more costly.) You could glue blank labels to them and have the kids inscribe them. They could have a label with the quotes and another label on the back for anything they want to add. You will probably want to refrain from putting any liquid in the bottle…

Have a great Sunday!

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