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[PYCL: Keep the banner of the “living God” from “trailing in the dust”! (1, 2, 4)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

“Life”
on January 15, 2017

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

Pycl #1: What does it mean that "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God;"? Have they ever been really thirsty? What's that feel like? You can work with the idea of soul as 'sense' (as Mrs. Eddy tells us, "When reading the Scriptures, the substitution of the word sense for soul gives the exact meaning in the majority of cases." (Science & Health, p.481:32) So we can think of this as our senses searching, yearning for Spirit, for what is substantial, eternal, real and satisfying. Referring to God as the "living" God is a way to express the activity, presence and current power of God—as opposed to a false God that is represented by a statue, or is something that we worship without realizing it, perhaps money or human comfort. How can we see God as "living" around us/with us? In what way are we demonstrating this kind of "living" God in our actions? In the Responsive Reading (RR) it tells us that God "heard my voice…" That would show God to be not someone who set things in motion, and then stood back to watch, but is a God who is listening, active, "living" today!

Pycl #2: Stand in front of the kids in your class. Can they do anything without you seeing what they are doing? This is how we are with God. He is not a person "looking" at us, but we are the way He expresses Life, Love, Truth and so on. So we are always "walking" in front of/"before" God, as it says in the last line of the RR. You could pull Daniel into this action by thinking about how he was always living "in front" of God; God was always at the fore of his thought. Think of how he had his windows open to the East (looking toward Jerusalem, which was holy to them—see Mrs. Eddy's definition of Jerusalem!). So maybe you could say that he kept the "windows" of his thinking always "open" to God's thoughts. When he prayed he did it three times a day and on his knees. What does that represent? Are we regularly looking to God? Are we humbly seeing that God is the source of all our good, and the only one who has real power in our lives? It makes me think back to a couple of weeks ago when Moses saw that he was on "holy ground" and how we can recognize that we can always be on this ground when we are looking for and acknowledging the government of divine Life.

Pycl #3: Citation B3 tells us that we have God's lovingkindness with us day and night. Can the children give you some ideas about what day and night here are suggesting? Could it be that the Psalmist is referring to how God's love is with us when things are going well—'daytime', and also when things are really tough—'night'? Not only that, but God's "song" will be with you, bringing you healing and comfort during those tough times—and we will turn to God for answers! This passage is linked to the story of Daniel which is a great illustration of this idea because Daniel did everything "right" and still ended up in the lion's den. It was his understanding and obedience to God, his innocence, that saved him because these spiritual qualities of wisdom, integrity, love are powerful and from God. They cannot be destroyed. Citation S5 underscores this by helping us to see that if God formed something, He wouldn't then destroy it. Being a Christian Scientist doesn't save us from challenges; rather, the challenges provide opportunities for us to really see God in action, and to see the powerlessness of evil!

Pycl #4: Look at what a "standard" is. It is mentioned in citations S14 and S25. This would be a banner that people would rally to in a battle. Someone always was supposed to keep it visible. In Section 3, which focuses on wisdom and how true understanding leads to eternal life, Mrs. Eddy is talking about how seeing existence as material, causes us to drag that spiritual standard of perfection "in the dust". Where else is dust mentioned? Dust is a big part of the material account of creation! As soon as we look at existence as material, then we are seeing life as limited, beginning and ending, material. Students could each make a banner to hold up. It could have qualities of eternal Life on it, or drawings that represent that. You could attach the banners to dowels or sticks that reach the ground and have them hold them up. How do we let our "banners trail in the dust" when we go about our day? How can we "hold them up"? (If you have qualities on the banners, they can think of how those qualities are expressed in their actions.

Pycl #5: How does a developing understanding of God look like "stepping stones"? What are stepping stones? Can you show them some pictures of stepping stones, or describe them, especially as it relates to a creek crossing, for example. What are they for? How can we have them in a mental way to keep our way clear, "dry", safe, etc. You can even make some out of paper. Have them just cut a regular piece of paper in random shapes and print what a stepping stone quality might be on each paper.

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