Join us for the best summer yet!

PYCL: ILLUSTRATE THE VIRTUE CONTAINED IN EACH FEATURED BEATITUDE
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Man”
for August 30 – Sunday, September 5, 2021

 

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

 Pycl#1: ILLUSTRATE THE VIRTUE CONTAINED IN EACH FEATURED BEATITUDE.

This is an obvious opportunity to review and study the Beatitudes since there are quite a few included in this week’s lesson. Make it a study of virtues. These don’t have to be the “classic Christian virtues” as I see it. Come up with a list of virtues that are valuable. They might include: kindness, gentleness, courage, integrity/honesty, generosity, persistence and so on. Then we might look at each section and tell the accompanying story when there is one. If there isn’t one, find a story or a way that you can share an idea in story form with the children. It might be a current testimony you have read or a healing you have experienced that illustrates the virtue contained in a particular Beatitude.

As an example, in Section 2 we have the story from Genesis 39 of Potiphar’s wife trying to seduce Joseph and Joseph refusing her attempts. We could share some background on Joseph. What were his overriding character virtues? How did they show up in his life over and over? We don’t embrace virtues for personal gain, (to have good things happen to us, to hope to get approval, to “get into heaven”) but the blessing is inherent in each Beatitude!  “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” is the Beatitude for this section. The promise is that we will “see God”. Talk about what the promise means.

What is seeing God? What does this do for us? If we can see God around us in beauty, kindness, fairness, generosity, care and so on, and we recognize the source of these things as being God and being our source for these qualities as well, we tend to feel a greater sense of contentment, joy, peace, courage and so on. So, yes, there is a great reward, we just aren’t embracing these virtues and demonstrating them in our lives in order to get something. Rather, as we learn to love God more, we can’t help but want to embrace these virtues!

Pycl #2: CAPITALIZE ON THE THEME OF CHILDLIKENESS, AND CHILDREN.
Make a list together of what they perceive as childlike qualities. If the children are very young a word like humility will need some defining. Use examples/tell stories. Once you have come up with a good list, ask each child to share how they demonstrate these qualities. What, specifically, do they do to show innocence, for example. Prepare your own examples to show.

 

In Section 5 we have Matt. 19:1,2,13-15/citation B18 where the disciples try to send away those who are bringing their children to Jesus for a blessing. He, instead, tells the disciples that “of such” is the kingdom of heaven made! We can also make good use of the Responsive Reading, Matt. 18:1-5, 10-14. We know that Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is within. You can talk about this statement and think together about how the only way to really recognize that kingdom within each of us, is to embrace these childlike qualities that we have listed and demonstrate them in our lives.

 

We can’t just “like” these childlike qualities, or think they are great, we have to each express them in our daily lives. When we live innocence, then innocence becomes alive to us, we feel it to be natural to us, we see it expressed in others, we notice it around us, and it becomes to us the power that it really is! If you want to focus on innocence, you can pick any number of Bible characters to tell stories about: Joseph, Daniel, the three Hebrew men in the furnace, Moses, and many others.

Pycl #3: WE ARE NOT CREATING A SPIRITUAL MAN, JUST UNCOVERING OR REVEALING IT.
Throughout this Bible lesson it is emphasized that we are children of God, starting with the Golden Text from Ps. 82:6. What is the difference between being the son or daughter of our own human parents, and the son or daughter of God? Are there two of us? Are we learning who we really are by embracing the qualities that make us truly the children of God? We are being led, through a demonstration of the qualities that are found throughout the Bible and especially in Christ Jesus’ preaching, to a truer understanding of our nature as God’s offspring, rather than a matter-based life form.

If the children are a little older, look at citation S30/191:8-13. As we begin to see that our human assessment of things is “a misapprehension of existence”, then we start to make room in thought for the true state of man. I love how Mary Baker Eddy tells us here that this truer understanding “dawns upon human thought”. To me this means that wherever we are in our experience as “humans”, we can access this true, spiritual sense of man. This is how we have healings in Christian Science.

We are not creating a spiritual man, just uncovering it or revealing it. A simple illustration of this might be to bring an object (it could be anything). Keep it hidden under a piece of opaque fabric. Talk about how whatever is under the covering is already a complete object. Our thought of it would not alter it. How can we see it? We can remove the obstacle to seeing it. You can be dramatic about this and whip off the cover with a big “ta da”. This might be compared to how we learn to “uncover” our true nature as God made us.

Tell the story of the lost sheep in the Responsive Reading. What is this story telling us about man? Is the lost sheep like one of us when we are not showing our real, God-like man, qualities? What does it mean when we are “found”? Have we then realized who we really are?

 

If you worked with the parable in last week’s lesson of the Prodigal Son, you could touch on that again as it is relevant here! Wasn’t the son in that story really coming to the understanding of who he was always? The Father in the story always saw him that way or he wouldn’t have run to meet him “while he was a long way off”! In the same way, the lost sheep belongs to God as His child and just needs to see for themselves that they cannot be separate from their Shepherd.

 

Pycl #4: DON’T LET a STUBBORN SENSE of WILL (separation from god) LEAD YOU “ASTRAY”
Sing “Feed My Sheep” together from its setting in the hymnal. How does this poem tell us who we are as God’s child? What childlike qualities are expressed in this poem? Obviously, humility, obedience, listening are at least some of them…Tell them some facts about sheep that are helpful–you can read online about them, but you can also extract some ideas beyond innocence, from how sheep are referenced in the Bible.

We know that sheep do not have a great sense of direction, and really need a Shepherd to keep them safe. The second verse of Mary Baker Eddy’s poem tells us of the ways that we tend to resist our sheep like innocence and obedience—how does a stubborn sense of will (separation from God) lead us “astray”? Sheep also are very good at recognizing their shepherd’s voice! Think about what this means for us if we are “God’s sheep”!

Pycl #5: LEARN HOW WE CAN GOVERN OUR BODIES BY GOVERNING OUR THOUGHT
I love how we are encouraged throughout this lesson to watch our thinking and be aware of how we can govern our bodies by governing our thought with a spiritual understanding of man.

  • “To prevent the experience of error and its sufferings, keep out of the minds of your children either sinful or diseased thoughts” cit. S23237:15.
  • “Sorrow is turned into joy when the body is controlled by spiritual Life, Truth, and Love.” cit. S27/14:16-18
  • “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;” cit.B4/Romans 8:16.

There are many other examples. You may not need to actually read passages about this to the younger children, but instead, share some examples. One might be that if we were to spend a lot of time thinking about a specific car, or dogs, or flowers, and we really think about them a lot, we may find that we suddenly start seeing them everywhere! What we rest our thought on, we tend to see and notice. But the same is true if we think a lot about disease or sadness, or death. Then we tend to notice those things everywhere.

 

We even experience more sickness and discomfort in our bodies when our thoughts rest on our bodies a lot. Why is this? How do we remedy any tendency to be focused on matter? The opposite of matter is Spirit. Look for God/Good in everything around you. When stubborn will, that we talked about in Pycl #4, gets in the way, we can remember that this will isn’t ours, it’s an imposter, it cannot run our lives! You can demonstrate this with little ones by standing up and holding out a stop sign, stamping a foot, whatever seems to illustrate this best.

Have a wonderful week in Sunday School! 

American Camp Association

MAIN OFFICE
(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

CAMP OFFICE
(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

Back
to top