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[PYCL: Keep your "light" of Christ shining so that no one can miss it! (3, 4)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from
the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on:

“Christ Jesus”
for August 30, 2020

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

Pycl #1: Always address the difference between Christ and Jesus, without diminishing the very special place that Jesus holds in the world.
One way to point out his particularly special role (other than all the obvious ones, that he was the very son of God, that he fulfilled prophecy, healed multitudes, raised the dead, and changed the world.) Is to point out that the very calendar was changed after his arrival. His arrival designated a brand-new era as the first citation in Science and Health points this out on p.333:16-23. It also distinguishes between the eternality of the Christ, versus the more temporary stay of the man, Jesus.

I don't know if we often pause to consider the fact that enough of the world was deeply impacted by Jesus' coming, enough so that an entirely new century was proclaimed after his arrival! That's pretty big stuff!! Can anyone in your class think of a reason for changing to a whole new time period? What would it take?
What did Jesus do that made mankind think we needed to start "over"?

Pycl #2: Get out the flashlights.
Discuss together whether the children have ever been anywhere where there is a lot of darkness. Maybe out in the country, the woods, on a camping trip, etc. Have they ever seen a distant light from a house, or maybe a car? Even if it is quite far away it is visible, because light really shows up in the dark! Thinking about stars, of course the nearest star to earth would be our sun and it is 93 million miles away…but other than that, the nearest, what most would consider a "star" to earth is 4.24 light years away, and yet, we see it on a dark night with our naked eye!! You could get into the explanation of light years simply by saying that if that "nearby" star were to suddenly explode and die, it would still shine away to our eyes for another 4.24 years, before its demise would be finally visible to us. That's how long it would take for the light that is shining this moment, to reach us! And we all know that if we were to turn on the flashlight we would see the light right away, so it is really hard to imagine how far away that star is in terms of distance, sooooo much farther than the sun is from us! All this is to illustrate the power of light to reach us in darkness!

So, why are we talking about light this week? Because it is a great symbol of what the arrival of Jesus did to help us understand the power and presence of Christ in human life. Go into a darker space, either with the children if you are in person, or with your own device, if you are on zoom. You can sit in the darkness "together". What happens when you light a candle, or turn on a flashlight or light in the dark room? Name all the things that happen: you can see, suddenly there is clarity and you can tell what is in the room, where before, maybe you would have tripped over a broom/bed/shoes on the floor–whatever is in the room! So, you have things around you defined by light. We could call this a form of "understanding", right? Does the light make it so that potentially you could "do" more things in the room (other than sleep…)? So, light helps us do good things! Go on like this and see if they can think of some other ideas to list! For example, on a dark trail, a light could keep us from tripping, it could help us find a sign that might tell us where to go, it might also frighten off a wild animal that would otherwise think we might be some kind of interesting "food"! (I know that is unlikely, but the symbolism is good right?!) You can see how this idea can be expanded upon.

Pycl #3: Light from love, hope, tenderness, kindness, care, humor can be a real "bright spot" Another thing that light can do is give us a goal to head to when we feel like we are in a "dark place". If we are feeling particularly sad, angry, lonely etc., light in the form of love, hope, tenderness, kindness, care, humor, and so on, can be a real "bright spot" as they say, in an otherwise tough time!

Think about how we can be that "bright spot" for others. How does this sound similar to citation S26 where Mary Baker Eddy quotes Jesus on p.367:17 of SH?
How can we keep our own "light" of Christ shining so that no one can miss it?
Can they think of a time when someone else was doing this and it helped them? Or a time when they did this themselves for someone else?
If they have nothing that comes to mind, make sure you can share a clear example of your own that shows both kinds—where someone helped you, and where you helped someone else!
Sing the song "This little light of mine" if you have little ones!
[Warren: is a YouTube link to a fun version of it sung by puppets.]
How is this shining light like the Christ?
Can the children think of ways that light was shining surrounding Jesus' birth?

Pycl #4: Shine a Christ light on Jesus’ teaching the disciples how to pray and where.
In Section 3, if your students do not yet know the Lord's Prayer and its spiritual interpretation on p.16-17 of Science & Health, this is a great opportunity to work on it together. You can look at it here in Luke, or go to Matthew’s more familiar version that Mary Baker Eddy uses for her spiritual interpretation.

As to the where to pray, look at what Jesus tells his disciples in citation B10, Matthew 6:6-8. Discuss the "closet", which we know, in Jesus' day, did hold all the household items that were needed, including food. But, it also would have had a door on it! Maybe the door helped to keep out the mice! But it certainly symbolizes here the need to shut out the rush of mortal thoughts that intrude when we are trying to take a moment to enjoy God's presence!!

What keeps us from hearing the voice of the Christ? (Look at Science & Health citations 21 & 13, p. 332:9-15 and p.15:9-18, 21). Are we busy thinking about what we are going to do after we get done with school? What we are going to have for lunch today? Whether the weekend will arrive with some cool activity? These mortal thoughts are like busy mice entering our storehouse of spiritual consciousness where the Christ is speaking and we can hear. We could symbolize getting ready to hear and listen to the Christ by perhaps using a broom, or a pretend broom, to chase out these "mice-like” thoughts.

Go through each line of the prayer if your students have the attention span to do so. What does each line mean to them? How are they healing words? How do they shine a Christ light on our day? Do they teach us to take any kind of action? You could write each line of the prayer and then circle it with a big yellow highlighting marker over the words, like it is in the middle of a flashlight beam. Then each week you could repeat these lines together in order to memorize them.

Pycl #5: Imagine someone leaving a career to follow someone on a radically different path.
Check out citation B6, Matthew 4:12, 14, 16, 18-20–where we see Simon and Andrew leaving their nets to follow Jesus. Have the children try to imagine themselves leaving their future careers to follow someone when they are called to follow, or maybe to picture their parents doing this. What would have to happen for them to consider this? What do they think Jesus must have said or done that made these men give up their whole lives to follow him?

Think back on the analogy of the light. If we were in a very dark and cold room and someone came in with a huge heat lamp that made a big warm light, wouldn't we all run to get close to that person? So, how was Jesus similar to that maybe? What did he do? (You can look at the verse in there #18, that uses this analogy).

Try to imagine that someone came to you and told you that everything that you thought life was based on was untrue, that actually, life and being are based on Spirit, are truly spiritual, and "fishing" is more like a sleeper’s "dream" of life (and then proved this by healing multitudes of people!)? That would be some pretty crazy stuff!

But Jesus was telling people that God was not what they thought. God wasn't a big angry or judgmental man in the sky. God didn't make man to be hurt, sick, sinful, and so on. In fact, God's man was pretty different from what we thought he was!
Can the children tell you, based on what Jesus did by healing, and what he said in his preaching, how he saw man?
What did he teach about God and man? Can they name a few ways that his teachings brought new ideas?
Is the Christ something that we can rely on today to "tell" us the truth about man and God?

Have a great Sunday School class!

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