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[PYCL: List ways Mind leads us rightly. Hold in check crimes of sadness, bullying… Make a narrow path with detours. See as divine Mind sees; yield to that guidance. (1-3, 6)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for February 19, 2017

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: I love that statement in the Golden Text (GT)—repeated in citation B23! It is a good one to memorize. You can talk about how we can hear God speaking to us. Is it always a "voice"? Make lists together of all the ways that God/Mind guides us and leads us in the right way. Have a multitude of everyday examples of how this happens in your own life. Also a great example or two that are less "everyday" would add richness to the discussion. Refer back to this list in the future to remind the children that Mind is always communicating with all of us, always communicating love, guidance, safety, joy, intelligence, and so on. The GT also is helpful in that it points out that Mind is guiding us wherever we go! The final sentence in the Responsive Reading can be translated as "Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go." How can we best do this? Might we need to pause for a moment or two before charging ahead with things if we are to really accept Mind's direction? What qualities do we need to express to understand how we should proceed? Humility? Meekness? Integrity? Check out Mrs. Eddy's poem, "Feed My Sheep"! (Hymn 304)

Pycl #2: Citation B2 is a bit like the First Commandment in its statement of there being "no God beside me". It could be fun to think of that as more literal—as in there is no God "next to" me that is influencing me to do anything other than good. No one but Mind that is advising, leading, influencing me. Sometimes this can seem like it takes the form of a person, a friend at school, family member. Sometimes this can just be waking up feeling sad, and it's like having someone standing there telling you that you are sad and there's certainly "good reason" for this! There are definitely times at school, and in certain ages in particular, where what other people think of us seems especially important and influential. How can this Bible verse help us to combat that in a realistic way? Maybe ask the kids, if they are old enough, what they think. Can they think of a time when they were guided out of falling prey to feeling bad about what they wore, what they did, what they valued when others were trying to make them feel bad? Looking from the other side of the issue, we can also think about how we can view those who seem to be bent on criticizing or making fun of us or others. How can our own thoughts and understanding of God as the only Mind influence for good? It's arresting to notice that citation S26 includes the sentence about how Christian Scientists will "hold crime in check"! How do we do this?

Pycl #3: There is much in this lesson about following the path and guidance of Mind. Have they ever heard of the "straight and narrow" path from the Bible? Do they understand what that means? Does that seem restrictive? Can following good really be restrictive? Why or why not? Think about the freedoms we get when we are trustworthy, the opportunities that broaden as we grow to greater maturity. Citation S5 explains that this straight/narrow way is to "…see and acknowledge" the fact that all reality is found in Mind and Mind's idea—found to be harmonious and eternal. Not only do we have to "see and acknowledge" this to be true, but we have to "yield to this power, and follow the leadings of truth." I think it's really exciting that we are being told to "yield" not do something beyond our reach (define yield). And we are told to "follow", which means it is a way that is already pointed out, we're not inventing this path!! With younger ones, bring in a homemade "yield" sign and talk about what we are yielding to. Discuss the thoughts that come to us and have the children hold up the yield sign when they identify the angel suggestions to which we should yield. Maybe you could also have a stop sign and have them suggest some thoughts to which they should hold up the stop sign!

Another activity here is to pre-design or arrange a path somewhere in church, if your church is big enough. You could designate it with masking tape (this would make a narrow band to follow). You can work in conjunction with the straight and narrow path and citation S29. Ask them in advance if they have a "perfect model" in their thought. What is it? Can they describe what the perfect model of themselves really is? This is a way to "spiritualize thought"; it "lets in the light…" So maybe at the end of that walk there is the perfect model waiting and each child can take that home with them. (You'd have their perfect model ideas written down on a card and hand it to them at the end.) On the straight and narrow you can pretend with them that there are things calling to us off to the side of the path… "I'm not feeling good", "I'm unhappy/angry/upset/tired", "I really don't feel like being helpful" and whatever comes to mind. These distractions can even seem attractive and fun for a time, but never end up leaving us feeling good. Have some fun with it.

Pycl #4: Do we ever feel like we are in a really tough situation and there's no way out? That's how the Children of Israel felt when they were in the desert and Pharaoh and his army were chasing them. They had no weapons; they were whole families, not soldiers, probably few animals, much less chariots and horses. They were totally trapped. Show the children a map and how they were trapped by the sea. We are even told that God led them to that spot rather than through the land of the Philistines! (Not in this citation, but still…) What does this story reveal to us about the power and guidance of Mind? We can't always "look at all the options" and choose well. We have to learn to listen, and sometimes the unconventional choice yields great reward!

Pycl #5: Are we governed by our parents? Our friends? Our teachers? What does Mrs. Eddy mean by "self government" and how do we achieve this? This actually has a bearing on the straight and narrow path that actually gives us the most freedom and joy. Self government is something that we are always uncovering in our children. After all, they will eventually need to do this as good adults. Mrs. Eddy points out that good self government comes when we are governed by God! That sounds strange right? See citation S12 and have fun with that. How does that work? Why would we be self governed, if we are then governed by God? Does it have to do with the fact that we are reflections of God—that our true "self" in not an independent mortal mind?

Pycl #6: You have to read the story in citation B12 because this is not one that is commonly shared. Often we think of prophecy as the ability to "tell the future". When really it is seeing as God sees and yielding to that guidance. It is the quality of sight that is influenced by divine Mind. Mrs. Eddy does talk of "foreseeing" or "foretelling", but she restricts it to "events which concern the universal welfare" (S14). We've had examples of that in our family and you can read about others in the periodicals too! Ever had a passage really stand out to you in your study, spend time on it, and then had an event occur where that passage came directly to thought and brought adjustment? That's an example. Share it with the class. Samuel was led to choose Saul to govern the kingdom. And God led Saul right to Samuel's "door". That is not chance! Sometimes when we are looking for one thing, but listening for God's guidance, we find that we are really being led on totally different "mission" as Saul was in this story!

Have fun being led this Sunday!

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