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[PYCL: Get the right take on Christian Science, not an old view, & make it your own!]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Christian Science"
For June 25, 2017

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: Make a timeline with some Bible characters on it, including Jesus. You can get one online, and just put some of the more well-known people on it. Have the timeline go to the present. Include Mrs. Eddy and her discovery of Christian Science. Put the kids on the timeline as well and add "disciple" next to their names. Ask when the Christ first appears on the timeline? See what each has to say. Then ask about when the truth that Jesus knew about God and man started to heal? Some may, right away, point out that early Bible characters also did great healing work long before Jesus! In this week's lesson you can point out Elijah and Elisha and maybe share some of their amazing healing work. Were the early Bible people healing somehow differently than Jesus did? Was Mrs. Eddy? Are you (each child)? Share some of Mrs. Eddy's healings. You can find any number of her healings in various biographies. Try "Mary Baker Eddy Christian Healer" if you are having trouble finding examples! In this way you can address the idea that is embedded in this Bible lesson: that the Christ is eternal in nature—has always, will always, and is always present and active in our lives. You can also employ the idea of a circle to represent the infinite nature of Christ and how we are all actually connected together in this "circle" rather than separated by "years" on a mortal timeline. The circle can seem to expand in size as we understand more of the infinitude of the activity of the Word over time.

Pycl #2: What is the "Word"? It can be seen in different ways, but it is the way God speaks to us clearly and has existed forever (as seen above). Our Golden Text says that this Word is "…settled in heaven [forever]". If you think of heaven as the kingdom within that Jesus speaks of, then that healing Word, God's voice to man, the Christ, is settled right within us. Maybe this is something that you can share with children, the idea that right within us is that Word of God, speaking clearly. (This is a big theme in next week's lesson, so you can get a head start!) It is also made clear that the way that God communicates, loves and heals us, has been here throughout eternity ("all generations"— as above!). This is not just a word that is spoken. You can point out that this is the Word, as in the Christ, that Jesus most obviously embodied, that brings healing, is active, powerful. They will also see the Word of God pointed out to them as it is found in our Pastor. Maybe they can each choose a Bible verse or a passage from Science & Health to keep as a theme this summer. They can write it in a Sunday School journal and revisit it throughout the summer each week (or at home each day). If you want to, you could choose the theme from CedarS this summer from the new Hymnal 565 (#452 in the supplement): "Carefree and strong" where you belong!

Pycl #3: The story of Elijah in the second section is a great one to share this week. As always, depending on the age of your class, you can retell it rather than read it/have them read it. Or if they are older, have one of them tell it, finding the essential elements of the story to share. One thing that might be fun to focus on here is the link between this story and citation S12 and S13 where the "still small voice" reaches us in places that are "dark/fearful", and the ways that that voice (Word) leads or guides us. You might hand the young ones a flashlight and talk about how this light really shows up in a dark tent or room. In this way, when we are really struggling with fear, we can count on God's voice/Word to reach us and light up that sense of darkness, just like the flashlight. We are not alone, as Elijah here first thinks. There are always God's ideas around in abundance (God tells him 7,000!) to support and love us. You can look at the way that this voice "…reaches over continent and ocean to the globe's remotest bound." or you can focus on how the Word is leading, are we choosing to listen and follow? If we see that flashlight shining on the path, are we going to follow where it's illuminating a good way to go? Or are we going to continue to head off in the dark…continue being afraid, sad, so on?

Pycl #4: Look at citation S10 and have a cardboard "sword" at the ready. Talk about a "standard" and how it is a banner or flag that is held in such a way that no matter how the battle is going, it is visible to rally to. Think about the things that a battle represents and how Truth can be like a standard that we look to for comfort, healing and so on. Isn't that like God's Word being held above all the human scary things that call for our attention? Can they each have a phrase that they put on a "standard"? They can use the same or different as Pycl #2 but it should be something that really helps to uplift them, above fear or some other aggressive thought— maybe it's homesickness, they will help with choosing their challenge. Then, get out your sword and talk about how when we have that standard in our thought, we aren't afraid of error's "paper swords". Sometimes error/the liar might seem like a pointed "bayonet", but as we look to our standard, we find that it's really not powerful at all, just like a paper sword! Even if the sword is painted like it's metal, even if it is very realistic, it's still not powerful!

Pycl #5: Because this Word comes to us all, it is provable by all! (S22) Check out citation B15 and pull out your "treasure chest". This could be a shoe box that is decorated in some way— anything that you have decided is representative. Treasures inside can be "things" that represent spiritual ideas, or slips of paper with these ideas on them. Discuss the idea that the Word of God is like this treasure…new and old ideas are useful, eternal, healing, and so on. Objects inside could be a little bag of goldfish to represent the "loaves and fishes", the Word's infinite supply of not only food, but nourishing, inspired ideas that feed us eternally and heal. Maybe it's a key that represents the "key to the kingdom", and you can go into detail about that kingdom within and how the Word of God is "settled in heaven" (GT). You get the idea.

Have a great Sunday!

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