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[PYCL: Listen to inner spiritual sense that leads to good. Make a "cookbook" together! (1, 4)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Soul and Body”
for May 26, 2019

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

Pycl #1: I think most of us feel, maybe from a young age, that there is more to us than a body—that there is something about us that is "more". Many religions have named that "something" "soul", a spiritual component within our bodies. Christian Science helps us understand more about God and man so that we can realize that there is not some spiritual identity trapped inside our bodies that is released somehow upon the death of the body. More or less, this is the belief that we are addressing in this week's lesson. You can introduce this thought if your class is old enough. I have found that religious dogma, even if it is not taught, often gets adopted throughout life. So, if we want to know what is true, we need to be aware of commonly accepted beliefs so we can figure out what is true, what is just dogma.

I am not recommending that we try to disprove common Christian beliefs. We really cannot prove anything that is invisible except through demonstration. Just stick to what we can understand about God, through the demonstration of Jesus, his followers, other prophets, and through the healing record of all sorts of people and Christian Scientists today. I am also a big fan of listening to that interior voice that we all have, that spiritual sense that guides and leads us to do good. More than what we are told, or sponging up from society, learning to listen to that voice will help us to understand this subject. Maybe you can introduce this idea with looking at the words to Mary Baker Eddy’s (MBE) poem "Feed My Sheep". Share a healing that stems from using this poem, if you have one. Find a testimony from a young person, that stems from using this poem!

Pycl #2: Look at citation S8. It tells us that we should find out that Life is eternal and begin the demonstration of this. What do you think that demonstration looks like on a daily basis? What are we doing today to demonstrate eternal life? I started thinking in terms of qualities that we must express, because qualities are eternal. But maybe the students will think of other things, or you will! Why would these qualities demonstrated or expressed, bring eternal life to us? (A question you can ask before you tell them what I just said…) What we are getting at, is that our identity, our true self, has always existed. It was never born. It has always been expressing, because Life is always expressing/being.

Pycl #3: If you didn't do this last week, have each child write a list of every quality about themselves that they think describes them best. These qualities cannot have anything material in them (so no eye color, hair, size, etc.) These lists should be extensive, so give plenty of time for this. If someone seems stuck, try working with them to think of a couple of qualities that describes that child especially. Can you get a visitor to come to your class? If so, have the children put on blind folds before the visitor arrives. Have the visitor describe themselves to the children in the same way they did this for themselves. Can the children guess what the person looks like? Why or why not? Does it matter?

Can that person love, express intelligence, be helpful, talented in some area, and so on, without you knowing what they look like? What kinds of judgments do we make when we can see a person with our eyes? Do we form opinions about their intelligence, competence, ability to do good, etc. based on what they look like? If we do, why do we do this? Consider the fact that there are a million different things that we can do as humans that are not visible in our appearance–can we tell if someone is loving or honest by their appearance?! Can we change this method of judging others? Looking at the last Pycl, do these opinions based on someone's appearance, tell us anything permanent about that person, anything that belongs to eternal life?

Pycl #4: What is the "recipe for beauty" in citation S10? With the smaller kids, bring in some cookbooks. Look through them together. What is a recipe? What are the things listed within a recipe: "ingredients”? What "ingredients" do we need to express more beauty? Even with the boys–they can call it something else if beauty seems unappealing to them! Have they ever known someone who is utterly beautiful to them, but really it is because they are such a beautiful "expresser" of lovely qualities, and not beautiful in a conventional sense? I certainly have!

Make a "cookbook" together, or give them each a small spiral bound notebook to start "ingredient" gathering. Hopefully this could be an ongoing project of creating a "cookbook" for beauty. It could also be a "cookbook" for other things. For example, maybe you have recipes for a "good student", or a "good athlete", what do you think? Keep the cookbook at Sunday School until they have it full of "recipes" and then they can take it with them for the summer. Make sure there are some quotations from the Bible and writings of MBE included.

Pycl #5: As I look at this lesson, I feel like it is pointing to all the ways that our identity is spiritual, and not in the body at all. In section three we have satisfaction and joy coming from the things of Spirit or Soul (because these are eternal and substantial!). We have health and harmony coming from a spiritual understanding of our identity in section four and five. Our identity is not in matter. What good does it do us to understand that more clearly? See if you can come up with some practical benefits that understanding that our identity is spiritual, (not in matter) gives us. Is our goal to have better health/harmony? Maybe our goal is understanding what is true?

Check out citation S19 where we are told that in looking "… away from the body" and "into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality" we begin to experience more of these things… When we go to the source of all good, which is divine Principle, we find the infinite supply of God's qualities. Let's make sure that the students understand that it is not all about "looking away" from bodily things. It is even more about where we are focusing our gaze, and holding our thought. It doesn't tell us that in looking away from the body we experience the "good, and the true". Rather, after we do this "looking away" part, we focus our thought on these good, true, pure, joyful things, and let them "occupy" our thinking!!!

You could joke that if we stop at "looking away from the body", we might liken this to wearing heavy winter gear in the summer. Someone points out that we would be less hot if we took that gear off. But getting carried away would not be good… We need to then put on the right clothes for summer time!!

Have a great Sunday!

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