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[PYCL: Help kids discover that C.S. & wholeness are really already within them!]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:
Reality
for Sunday, March 29, 2015

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

Pycl #1: Reality is something that children often wonder about naturally. I know I did and have met many who remember asking themselves whether what is going on around them is “really real” or not. So we can start off our week by asking them if they’ve ever wondered about reality themselves. See where this goes. Maybe it doesn’t “go" and then you can use a Bible story from this week’s lesson to move the discussion onward, but if they do share some thoughts keep things open so the discussion can roll where it will and you can see how it leads to the naturally metaphysical direction that these things almost always take. I think this is why you so often hear from new comers to C.S, that they feel like they’ve always “known” that this was true and were just looking for it. It is great for kids to discover that C.S. is really already within them. We are all getting together on Sundays to discover this “kingdom within” not to “bestow on them” our knowledge and wisdom about Christian Science and God. The perfect example of this is when Jesus recognizes the wholeness (perfection) of the man by the pool in Section 5. He sees this wholeness as the truth of the man’s creation, the reality of his identity. He doesn’t “bestow” healing on him, he doesn’t just decide that somehow this guy is worthy of an arbitrary spiritual blessing. Seeing reality and understanding the power and authority that come with the light of this knowledge, brings that adjustment in our experience so that we see the presence and goodness at hand.

Pycl #2: Are we willing to let reality sort of “unroll” in front of us each day, or are we determined to take actions that keep us “blind” to the directions God is giving? The Responsive Reading contains a passage about how God will lead the blind in “a way they knew not”. Symbolically, we may be a bit blind to spiritual reality. Relying on our physical senses for the truth of reality is not accurate. But if we trust each day that God is leading us, even if it’s in paths that material sense doesn’t reveal (because those senses are swamped in darkness and obscurity), we will find that we are never “forsaken” or left without God’s love and care. Can the kids identify how God leads them? What might God be “saying” and how might He “say” it during a given day? Can you come up with different ideas for how God speaks to us and tells us that He is real? Maybe come with some lists of your own to get things rolling and a healing that stems from listening for this kind of spiritual-sense guidance.

Pycl #3: I know we’ve done this before, but if it still seems fresh for your class, bring flashlights for them. Talk about what light does for us: It reveals what is there (reality anybody?), it makes things clear, gives them “form”, “outline”, etc., it reveals obstacles, it inspires and warms… You can really dig into the symbolism here. Have them use their flashlights to good purpose either by taking them somewhere in the church that is dark, or by creating a box with some sort of scene or a number of contents within. Make sure it has a tight fitting lid that doesn’t allow light in. Have a hole (with a removable dark paper or cardboard cover) through which you can shine a light and a hole through which someone can peek and talk about what happens when you shine the light into the box. When there is no light (understanding of reality, discernment, clarity, etc.), you only see darkness. When there is light, each object is distinct. You can take it from there to talk about how this flashlight is like the light that God shines on our consciousness so that we understand His power and presence and know that it is true and active, even when things to our material senses look dark (sad, sick, mean, etc.).

Pycl #4: What is the difference between the light that God reveals in citation B1, and the light of the sun? Can you describe both? What does God’s light reveal? Can we think of ways that we’ve seen this light in action? (You could work with the story of the wheat and tares here if you wanted to).

Pycl #5: Jacob’s “wrestling match” is a fun one. I know Mrs. Eddy explains it clearly, but it is great to make sure they get this. What was he wrestling with? Look at what his name means (they share this, as well as the definition of “Israel”, in the My Bible Lesson version of the lesson this week). Jacob was a man that got ahead materially by trickery and deceit. He used his material sense of wit and had a material sense of prosperity that got him in this story to where he was in his life. You can certainly look at the drawbacks of this kind of success by looking more deeply into his full story. Look at how it caused a huge family rift and how he actually had to flee from his brother to avoid being killed. He spent many more years in servitude to his uncle because his uncle used the same material tactics to advance himself that Jacob had used. (By contrast, it is interesting to note that Jacob’s young son Joseph did quite the opposite, allowing God to lead his every move and never trying to personally advance himself… Neither had a life of material ease, but Joseph ended-up saving many nations from starvation –that’s something! When we find Jacob in this story he’s “at his wit’s end” though; he is really struggling with this material view of reality. He seems to know that there is something else; and he won’t quit until he finds it. But he just can’t seem to grasp it. It’s really cool that it is God/the angel that breaks matter’s hold on him. This seems to indicate that it is not our personal toil that brings revelation, revelation is given, but it is our willingness to hold fast to that struggle until we get that light that shows us reality [and not let go of it until it blesses us]. As much as anything Jacob needed to let go of a material definition of himself—of his material identity. What does that mean for us today? What kind of limited sense of self can we drop?

Pycl #6: Reality gives us a “whole” view of ourselves and others. If we remember that recently we had a lesson that focused on perfection and the Biblical sense of that word as “whole", we can look especially at Section 4, citation B10, and find some deeper insights about reality. The more we understand God, the more we understand the way that He governs our lives. We are always at peace if we know that we aren’t “missing” anything. While matter always promises happiness and satisfaction, and can never permanently deliver any good. (B11) If we have all that we need, all the intelligence, all the humor, skill, creativity, joy, wealth, goodness, family, friends, etc. that we need, and we recognize that we do, then we are at peace, we see our completeness, our perfection, our wholeness. Then we know that we are living in reality.

Have a REAL, great Sunday!

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