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[PYCL: Learn to claim the power to express His health, joy, strength, wisdom, skill… (4)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Man”
for September 8, 2019

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

Pycl #1: It might be fun to ponder the Golden Text (repeated in the first section). Perhaps add onto it in an expansive way: "The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life."….and this is the ONLY thing that gives me life. Therefore, my body/physique is not really what breathes, rather my being and life are animated by the breath of God. What is that breath? Is it "air"? If it is "spirit" as the Bible uses the word to also mean breath—what does it mean that spirit is our breath?

If breath/Spirit is essential to our being, our very existence, what can we say about what we "breath"? Are we "breathing" joy? Intelligence? Energy? Love? Or, is breath just air that is exchanged in lungs…? Can we think in terms of Spirit in our moment to moment existence and how Spirit is our actual/man's actual source of being?

Pycl #2: Read the story together from the Responsive Reading. What did Jesus mean? Why did he tell Nicodemus this? What does being born again [or “from above”] mean for each of us? How can we do this? Is this something that we do now and then, every day? What does this require of us? Maybe we can think in terms of one new spiritual insight about something each day?

Would that be a kind of "new birth"? Why does Jesus use birth to describe this newness? What does it mean to each of the students to be "born again". For slightly older children, you could discuss the Christian movement that terms themselves "born again". Can we describe ourselves as "born again" [or Born from above” as the Greek anothen means as described in CAP#1]? Why or why not?

Pycl #3: As Christie mentions in her Met. this week on the CedarS' website, it is a useful and helpful exercise to substitute our own name in the place of "man" wherever possible in the definition of man in citation S1. Have the students rewrite it this way on a sheet of paper to bring home. You can bring special cards for them to do this on if you want and they could be decorated in some way.

Consider together posting these definitions on a mirror in their home! Another option, so as to include other members of the family, is to put it in the first person: "The Scriptures inform [me] that [I am] made in the image and likeness of God. …" I would start at the beginning of the definition for the purposes of this exercise, however.

Pycl #4: Check out citation S3. What does "imparts" mean? Are we what He "imparts"? What does it mean to "move in accord with Him"? Can you come up together with some examples of how we move in accord with God? For example: I move in accord with Mind, with Soul, Truth, which gives me integrity and strength to jump, run, climb. The leaves of a tree move in accord with the wind, they cannot choose to do blow in a different direction!

I like that we reflect not only goodness, but power. What does that mean? Do we have power to express His health, joy, strength, wisdom, skill…? I wonder if we need to learn to claim that power? Sometimes, don't you think, we kind of wait around to see if we can "feel" like we have that power, when actually God has bestowed it on His expression, when Christ Jesus illustrated this power in his life and told us to follow?

Think about a package waiting at the post office for us. If we don't show up to get it, what happens? It gets sent back! It still belongs to us, but we didn't claim it, "bring it home", and use it! (Assuming it was a "useful" package:-). Perhaps we can think together of just how we claim the dominion and power that is already divinely bestowed?

Didn't Jacob have to learn to "claim" his true power in Section 3? Originally (and you can read his story together), he tried to claim things that weren't his to claim. This is what the human mind does. It thinks that in order to succeed it has to claim material power before someone else takes it. But God, Mind, bestows infinite good, giving each of us all that we need. We just need to "show up at the post office" to collect it. Jacob needed to wrestle with his desire for personal power and goods and trust God to reveal his real, God-given, wealth.

Pycl #5: What does the story of Jesus' birth tell us about man? Does it tell us anything about ourselves? Does it only illustrate Jesus' place or does it apply more broadly? How is his story connected to his healing of the blind man in Section 5?

Remember the Golden Text where it is the Spirit of God that made us, His breath that gives us life? What does that mean here in this story? What are the sour grapes about? Around here the concord grapes are in season and some of those are pretty sour—at least their skins! I think it would be fun to bring some in, or you could substitute lemons or something else that is tart. Have the children taste them. Can they feel how it kind of "shrivels" their mouth? When they say it sets the "teeth on edge", they can think about how it makes them tighten their jaw perhaps and clench their teeth together. What did the writer mean that when the parents ate sour grapes, the children's teeth were set on edge?

You can bring into the conversation the idea of man as having his only source in Principle, the divine Source! There can be no human, genetic, inheritance that could compete with the divine. Certainly, there is a suggestion that we have to address in our thinking, but we do this by recognizing our true and only source as God. Citation S23 is another passage that works really well when we substitute the first person for "man". "In Science [I am] the offspring of Spirit. T he beautiful, good, and pure constitute [my] ancestry. My origin…" And so on. Another card for them to rewrite the passage on perhaps?

Pycl #6: Bring a sheet to act as a sort of curtain or window shade. Have the children lift it up to illustrate citation S29 which tells us that "Divine Science rolls back the clouds…and lifts the curtain on man as never born and as never dying…" What does that mean?

Perhaps the children lift it fast to show a picture that they have drawn of man as happy, man as intelligent, as athletic. You could bring in representative pictures for them. If they are young you can just have them lift it up quickly to show one of their Sunday School friends.

What does it mean that we are "coexistent" with our creator?

Have a great time with this beautiful lesson on man!

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