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[PYCL: Learn to nurture spiritual sense to bring ever-present harmony into view (1)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

”Is the Universe, including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”
on December 18, 2016

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

Pycl #1: It's always a good idea to review the title to this week's lesson. You can put it in words that young children understand, but do read it to them as is also! Looking to God for everything, for creation, reality, joy, goodness… and rejoicing in this truth, is what Christian Science is about. We love healing for the harmony, peace, joy and love that we feel when we experience it. Healing proves to us all that Christian Science tells us about God. But the thing that I hear from this lesson is that it is the 'day to day' seeing of what is true (God's omnipotent government), that will really keep us constantly rejoicing in His goodness. Those "big" healings don't seem to come every day, but we are always surrounded by His reflected beauty, harmony, intelligence and so on. Learning to nurture our spiritual sense, spiritual understanding—this will bring His ever-present harmony into view on a regular basis.

With this in mind, work together to come up with ways that we see God or God's reflected goodness around us. The first section might be the most helpful in this endeavor. Can each child come up with maybe 3, or 5 things that they are surrounded with every day that remind them that God is good, present and governing? Maybe you keep this list week to week and add to it. Set the example by arriving with some things from your week, and add to it yourself each week so they see what you mean. This is living religion.

Pycl #2: Bring some oil and water in a clear glass container, or bring some oil to pour into the water—vegetable oil of some kind. You could put food coloring in the water if that makes the example more clear. One thing I see emphasized in this lesson is the fact that no matter what material sense tells us, there is no cooperation or mixture of Spirit and matter. This is a bit of a continued theme linking this lesson with the last two. Have them pour a bit of oil into the water. What happens? You can try shaking them together, and, for awhile, they may look like they mix. But eventually, the oil will once again, rise to the top. Spirit is a lot like that oil. It never really mixes in or blends with matter. Spirit is the only reality, the only power. Find some examples in the lesson that illustrate this (all of them do!) For example, in citation B16, Jesus was sleeping while the disciple's boat is taking on water in a big storm! Jesus wasn't impressed. He knew that matter, no matter how aggressive it looks or feels, is not governing his well-being, his life. Try to imagine this experience. The boat is getting close to sinking! And Jesus is sleeping on a pillow, completely unimpressed! How can we do this ourselves? Maybe use citation S29 as an example of the kind of thinking that Jesus was using, get the language into something the children can grasp. (I always read it to them both in its original and in simpler language. I know that even children can hear what they need to hear from the original!). Go back to the oil and water and think about how the storm can feel and look very real, disease or sickness, anger or hurt—all can feel very powerful. But like the oil and water, they are never truly part of God's kingdom, of reality. And when we remind ourselves that we are spiritual expressions of Him and not some sort of 'spiritually minded material beings', we find ourselves rising above matter, just like the oil above the water.

Pycl #3: Sometimes my kids ask me the perennial question about why does matter seem so real, especially when they are not feeling well. I feel like citation S9 has a good response if you are looking for words. "Spiritual understanding unfolds Mind,–Life, Truth, and Love,–and demonstrates the divine sense giving the spiritual proof of the universe in Christian Science." (italics added) Material sense will never really tell us much about God or what is real and true. You can use the colored window example from the old story "The House with the Colored windows". Tell it yourself if you want. Bring some colored cellophane to try looking through and to illustrate how we know that what we are seeing is not really that color, but that we are seeing it through a colored medium. Help them make the connection with the colored pane and the clear view that spiritual sense gives of reality. Through that "clear pane" Jesus saw that the paralyzed man in section 4, citation B12, was actually God's mobile and healthy reflection. He wasn't fooled by the "colorful (material) view". But if we insist that the view through the colored window is either the true view or the only view, then we are left with everything looking material/colored wrong. If you have a pair of tinted sunglasses, especially yellow or blue, those can do the trick as well. As always, it's really helpful to have a personal example of how this works in healing.

Pycl #4: If we look at citations S8, S3 and S4, we can see that material sense would try to turn spiritual things or "ideas" into material "beliefs". How can we share this idea with the children? This is what we are confronted with all the time. Material sense wants to make everything about matter. It would tell us that all life is dependent on matter. It would take the intelligence of Mind, and look to a blob of brain to contain intelligence. Instead, we should look to the beauty of nature about us (S3) and see that this hints at God's reflected grace, life and beauty, as well as intelligence. Bring in a pine cone (or anything with a distinct and orderly pattern) if you examples nearby. Look at it carefully together and think about how that amazing order and beauty is a reflection of Mind, and not a manifestation of material belief and so-called "law".

Pycl #5: The story of Zacharias and Elisabeth is an awesome part of the Christmas story. Take some time to share it together. Help them understand the full connection with the story of Jesus. What makes this story relate to this week's subject? Does it have a similarity to Mary's story and how she came to be carrying Jesus? Go ahead and read the part of the story where Mary comes to visit her cousin, Elisabeth. What happens to the baby in Elisabeth's womb when Mary arrives? Talk about John's role in the story of Jesus and why he was important.

Have a great Sunday!

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