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[PYCL: How can we be substantially changed like a creeping caterpillar is to a flying butterfly? (5)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from
the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on:

for September 13, 2020

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO • 314-406-0041

Pycl #1: Have a conversation about the word substance. Are we getting to the essence of what is real? What are the characteristics of substance? Here are a few ideas: qualities that are spiritual are substantial because they have a lasting impact, while anything that is evil, is an error, is not from God, and therefore is not the substance of something spiritual. Usually something that we connect with the idea of substance is something that is lasting, permanent.

Why would evil not be permanent while good is everlasting? What evidence do we have of this?

These questions need to be simplified for the youngest groups. You might instead use a small rock and a tissue to illustrate the idea of something that is "substantial" vs. insubstantial. Put them both in a bowl and have the children pour water over them. What happens to the tissue? What happens to the rock? From there you can talk about what a rock symbolizes: a solid foundation for building/solid ground for us to put our faith and trust on.

If we trust/have faith in things that are material or changeable, we are then subject to the sadness and disappointment that comes with material change. For example: you could discuss what makes friendship substantial, what makes it insubstantial? You can share ideas with any age group about the elements that represent the right kind of lasting qualities. A friendship based on respect, love, activity, shared interests, kindness, patience, humor, forgiveness—these can make any friendship a lasting one! What if the friendship has a bit of these qualities, but also gossip, intrigue, lying, rumors, beauty, popularity, quick tempers and so on? Well, those won't make for a long-term relationship. Consider the words to Hymn 148: "In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear…" The idea is that permanent good continues no matter the human situation.

Pycl #2: What can hide the good that God is giving us? See citation S11 Science and Health p.298:4, and also S10 SH p.471: 13-19. "As a cloud hides the sun it cannot extinguish, so false belief silences for a while the voice of immutable harmony, but false belief cannot destroy Science armed with faith, hope, and fruition."

Talk about how the clouds can hide the sun, even make the day pretty dark. But they don't alter the fact that the sun's light is still shining, still there. In like manner, God's goodness sometimes gets hidden behind the lies that matter presents, sickness, sin, even death. There are so many good examples of this in life, bring something from your experience to share!!! Make sure it illustrates the presence of God to "burn away the clouds". Discuss also citation B7–Rom. 8:24, 25, 28. It's a cool statement that clarifies what hope is— it isn't hope if it is seen with our eyes!

Pycl #3: There are several references and implied statements that tell us in this lesson that substance and supply are not about money. Also, several about "treasures"— including citation B3 (Prov.8:18-21) and S5 (265:3-5). And, there are statements from Section 4 about "purse" in citation S18 (SH 593:6), and about providing ourselves "bags" that "wax not old…". What is the difference between these two?

Bring some simple, colorful bags, maybe fabric ones if you feel like creating some, and give each child one. Tell them that they are not "purses", but bags to fill with spiritual, substantial "treasure". What do they suggest we put inside them? It could be small stones that represent substantial qualities, it could be slips of paper with these qualities written down, descriptions of God as substance—what would that include? Maybe they will come up with other ideas.

Read the story in citations B13 (Mark 6:7, 8) and B14 (Luke 9:6, 10, 11). If the disciples brought no money with them, what qualities did they express that provided them with what they needed as they traveled, preached and healed? I'll bet they had to be kind, heal, inspire, and so on!

Pycl #4: Don't miss the opportunity to talk together about this section of the Sermon on the Mount from citation B15 (Luke 12:15, 22, 32-34). What does it mean to "take no thought"? You may enjoy sharing a different translation to see if there is something to amplify this for your class.

I think this might be a good place to think about the idea of turning "things into thoughts" from citation S4 (269:14-20). Aren't the thoughts that we need to have about our provision, really more like ideas that bring these things we need into view?

One example of turning “things into thoughts” in my experience that I've shared with CedarS is the way that an office for me to work out of "appeared" as I cherished the idea of spiritual provision being present. It turned out that I had the right place on my property, already there…it only needed a good cleaning and a few items that were easily found! This is the short version, I'm sure you have experiences where what you needed was really there all along. It took some prayer mixed with hope and conviction that divine Love would never withhold from us what is good and right for us to have!! What part do motives have in this turning of things to thoughts? Do the motives need to be substantial?!!

Pycl #5: I love to discuss the "chrysalis state" that Mary Baker Eddy references in citation S8 (297:20-24). In this week’s Met on CedarS website I discuss this process and its surprising unfolding. Here is a link if you want to read about it:

The idea of a caterpillar turning into goo is pretty fun for little children and older ones alike. Discuss the difference between this fact, and the idea of a caterpillar "altering" into a butterfly—growing wings inside the chrysalis, etc. Also discuss the idea of the essential makeup of the caterpillar (its DNA) being the same, but rearranging itself, and the symbolism of this transformation from a creeping-along-the-earth caterpillar, to a flying-above-it butterfly!

Also consider together that there is no hint of what is happening during this chrysalis process, no hint from the caterpillar that it will become something else. This goes back to how we cannot always know from material senses what is happening in reality! (You could get into all sorts of comparisons here with sunrise/sunset vs. earth's rotation, and so on). For the youngest I recommend bringing in pictures, or even Eric Carle's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Whatever you do, have fun in Sunday School!

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