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PYCL: Identify chaff to burn! Be persistent! Shake off the dust-man! Base all on God!
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on


“Matter”

for Sunday, September 19, 2021

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

 Pycl #1: What is the chaff in our lives to be burned & the “mountains” to be “threshed”?
Have some “chaff” or light weight substance that will be easily fanned with a paper fan. Explain the process of separating chaff from wheat. Why are they talking about this process in the Bible lesson; what does it represent? Last week we talked about what has substance, what has “weight” or lasting good in our life? What contributes to lasting joy, health, wisdom, peace, and so on. This is represented by the wheat or grain separated from chaff. This would feed us, like Truth. It would truly nourish us, where the chaff, if you could swallow it, might make you full for a time, but has no nutritive value!

Look at the passages in the Responsive Reading that give us this information about chaff, etc. (Isa 41:10,15,16; 40:5,9,29-31) and ask them what they think are the “mountains” and “hills” in our lives that need to be “threshed”? Can they imagine anything more “substantial” than an actual mountain or foothill of a mountain?!! Are there things in our lives that seem that powerful and immoveable, unsolvable? What is Isaiah telling us here about such human challenges?

Pycl #2: Stand on solid ground! Get the most even out of what we don’t look forward to doing!
Building on the ideas in Pycl #1 above, find a pile of things that a child can stand on without hurting the objects (or the child!). This could be a combination of some sheets in a wad, maybe a sturdy small box, a few books lying flat under the box–which isn’t flat on the books…make a jumble. Have a volunteer try to stand on it with both feet. It should be hard to balance. This can make us laugh, it can be fun to try. But ultimately, if we want to really do anything worthwhile, we would have to find solid ground to stand on, right? It is a lot like trying to do things in life without seeing how it relates to Love, or Truth, or any other way we understand God! Nearly everything we do can be done from a foundation of Goodness if we are looking for God in what we do.

If we enjoy soccer, we can relish Life’s agility, energy, joy, strategy and so on.
If we enjoy music, we can relish Soul’s expressive beauty, tone, depth, joy, and so on.
Think together about how we can find God (find a synonym) in every activity to get the most joy, energy, intelligence and love out of life! Think about how we can do this for school, or for something that maybe some of the children agree that they don’t enjoy. (Not implying that they don’t enjoy school!). But how can we get the most out of even things that we don’t look forward to doing? What are these “chores” or activities meant to do? Are they things that contribute to our wisdom, intelligence, skills? Are they things that contribute to the well-being of our family, ourselves (even if we don’t see it that way!)?

Pycl #3: Is it hard to persist sometimes?
This week I had my boys work on memorizing Isaiah 40:31 in this Responsive Reading. It’s a really handy one to have for all kinds of activity we meet in life: “…they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Compare this to Mary Baker Eddy’s statement in Section 4/citation S20/243:32-8 where she quotes this verse and tells us that we are consistent in our work to grow spirit-ward when we can “…run and not be weary;…walk, and not faint…”. Is it hard to persist sometimes? 

Pycl #4: Shake off the dust-man version of us based on being born in/dying out of matter.
Look together at this translation of the Golden Text in our lesson this week: “Stand up, shake the dust off yourself!” Have them try doing this literally! Give them each a dust cloth (if they are young) and have them “dust” the Sunday School table or shelves by your table. Now see if any of you can remember together about where there is a story that involves the “dust of the ground”? Does it sound like the Genesis 2 version of creation where man is made of dust? Does it sound like the dust that the serpent is cursed to crawl through in that same story? Or maybe the way that the ground is cursed to make it hard for man to grow food?

Maybe we are being asked to shake off that version of ourselves that is founded in being born in matter/dying out of matter, and find the true man? Also, you can use this idea of dust as something that obscures or hides our true self. Maybe, if you own any silver and silver polish, or something that the children can clean off to reveal a better view of the object, you could bring it in. This works as a twofold blessing, the children get a lesson in revealing the true, spiritual beauty of something, and you get an object cleaned!!

Continue the discussion, revealing how when we engage in activities while trying to leave out of it God (good thought, and a right acknowledgement of the foundation we talked about above), it is like obscuring to ourselves and others, our true nature. It could also be a good time to bring in Jesus’ admonition to let our light shine, not hiding it under a basket, etc. from his Sermon on the Mount!

Pycl #5: Base all activities & words on God! Make right thinking & acting your top priority!
In citations B14 and B15 (Matt. 15:10,11,18 and Matt. 5:25, 32,33) we have references to what we put “into the mouth” versus what “goeth out of the mouth”. Bring some crackers or some snacks. Have them (if they want) taste the snack. Does that snack really affect us, change who we are, hurt anyone? Now, what if we were to say something mean to someone? What does that do? Talk about what it means that something comes “forth from the heart”. You can clarify, that, again, if we are doing all with God in mind, we probably aren’t going to be thinking so insignificantly about our meals that we eat nothing but cupcakes, because we don’t need to worry about what goes in our mouth! God/Mind, expresses balance, color, wholesomeness, and so on.

This whole passage, I think, hinges on the final verse where we are told: “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” What does this mean to the children? Isn’t this like basing our activities and words on God?! Make sure they understand that righteousness here, simply can be seen as “rightness”— or as right thinking and acting.
What are the “things” that are added to us, when we base our lives on “seeking God”?
I think we are being told that all that we humanly need (as we take those running or walking steps forward in life) will be supplied if we are truly looking to God at every turn!
This is a great opportunity to review the Beatitudes as so many of those are giving us this very message.

Have a great week in Sunday School!

 

 

 

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