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[PYCL: Lift thought to see, really see, spiritual reality right now! (1) Give a spiritual gift to each student of color paper stapled together… (2) And, an ornament with their name… (4)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”
for December 23, 2018

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

Pycl #1: Understanding that creation is spiritual might seem an incremental endeavor, and that's okay. Christmas is an awesome time to delve into this idea because of the stories of birth surrounding it—in the lesson both John the Baptist's and Jesus' birth. We are always trying to spiritualize our consciousness so that we can glimpse God's wonderful reality.

It would seem that maybe we are just like the Children of Israel. We are given amazing proofs that there is a God who governs with power and goodness—parting seas, giving manna daily and so on. But there still appears to be the day to day of wandering through a hot, dry "desert"…struggling to see this goodness and power everywhere and all the time. Some people call this day to day "reality"—as in "get real". But as Christian Scientists we have the opportunity to lift our thought and see, really see, spiritual reality right now!

That's my preamble and probably not something you can share directly with students, but something we can build on so that they don't go away confused about the contrast of "day to day" living and the spiritual reality that Christian Science reveals as present and visible!

Give an overview of all the stories in the lesson and look together to see how they point to a universe evolved by Spirit. What do the story of manna, Zacharias and Elisabeth, Mary and Jesus, Jesus' baptism by John and his healing of the leper, have in common, and how do they support a correct answer to this subject of this lesson? You could have each student be responsible for one of the stories or, more if there are fewer students. Make sure they understand what the subject of the lesson means.

Pycl #2: I have not found it to be helpful in explaining this subject to move far from using healing and the Bible illustrations in the lesson (or others in the Bible), to support our answer to this lesson's question. When I have tried to speak of man's spiritual creation, or speak of matter in any way as not "real", this generally leads to confusion and some frustration, especially as the children get older. I think that's why the Word is so effective, being from God, it leaves less confusion in its wake.

So let's look at the story of the Children of Israel in the second section. Their whole exodus could be viewed as a forty year journey to understand God more spiritually. Each day God gave them an example of spiritual creation. Each day He gives us the same gift. Can we think of all the gifts of spiritual creation that God has given us that we can see every single day? You may want to talk about what the manna represents. It might also be helpful to have a few examples of our own to share. What else did God give the Children of Israel (and all mankind) in the wilderness that helped to spiritualize their understanding of God and hence how God has created us and the universe? (Obviously, the Ten Commandments!) Go through them, how do they point to a spiritual creation? What other gifts are given to us that we find in the Bible that help us to see this spiritual creation each day? How about the Sermon on the Mount?

**It might be fun to come up (you would want some ideas ahead of time) with a number of spiritual gifts that we have learned together in Sunday School over the years. Bring each younger child a small spiral notebook or just a few small colorful pages stapled together; on each page write the gift and give them a Christmas sticker on that page with the name of the gift next to it. So, for example, the Ten Commandments on one page with a colorful sticker, and so on. I don't mean that you have to print out the Commandments, they, hopefully, know where to look for those, but just the name. It could include stories from the Bible that are especially helpful to the children, a special hymn, an especially helpful subject that you have worked on together. Whatever you all come up with! If you don't have access to stickers or stamps of some kind, just draw a picture of something Christmasy on each page! [or cut-outs from wrapping paper scraps?]

Pycl #3: Think together of all the things in this week's lesson (or anywhere in the Bible really), that point to the special nature of Jesus. Around Christmas we are reminded of him by the prophecies that are included in the lesson, the light of a special star, (what does light represent?), angels! (Angels come to Zacharias, to the shepherds, to Mary—can we have angels come to us?) We have the stories of Mary and her cousin Elisabeth; we have wise men that travel from afar to find Jesus; even Herod's desire to kill Jesus points to the special nature of Jesus. We have the special baptism by John where those present hear God's voice. And, of course, we have healing! All these things, and more, point to the very important and divine nature of Jesus.

Pycl #4: Bring some ornaments to class (unbreakable might be best). Have a child's name on each ornament. An ornament is something that is considered pretty, something that brightens a room or brings joy. (It can also be seen as something superficial and only physically pretty, but for now we'll leave that definition aside!)

Think together about how we can bring light, color, joy, kindness, love, gentleness, beauty, grace, intelligence, wisdom and so on with us into a room. Where do these qualities emanate from? Do we have to "produce" them somehow? We may not have to manufacture these qualities, since God made us each to reflect them, but we do have to put them into practice consciously! Take your shiny ornaments up to a light and watch how the light reflects back at you. This is why they are so pretty on a tree that is lit. How do we reflect back the light that God is always shining on each of us?

Have a lovely Christmas and Sunday School!

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