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[PYCL: Make room for only one God in day to day life! (3) Really learn what God's
kingdom within means to end being unhappy, dissatisfied, lacking in any way! (
4)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from
the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on:

“Man”
for September 6, 2020

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

Pycl #1: Either bring in a simple, big-piece puzzle, or make one together if you are in-person. Think together about the concept of man, who is "man", what is "man"? You can certainly look together at Mary Baker Eddy's definition of man from Science and Health on p.475:5-to as far as you want to go together on that page or the next. There are pieces of this page in citations S1, S15, and the following page in S23 (476:28-5), so you have some basis for exploring this definition more deeply within this lesson.

If you have slightly older children, you may want to ask them to look on Concord online and find answers to passages where Mary Baker Eddy uses "what is man"–all the ways that these words appear.

Once you have established some thoughts about man, look at the idea of perfection as representing wholeness, or completeness (not human perfectionism). Then get your puzzle out. Is man like a puzzle that is missing certain pieces? Maybe he isn't feeling well, or has a physical issue, or is a temper, or is sad, etc. You put the puzzle together showing an incomplete picture. Do we spend our lives "looking" for the missing "pieces" of our identity, such as intelligence, beauty, athleticism? Or are we already complete (put the puzzle together), and we are spending our lives getting acquainted with the source of man's being, God, and getting to know our true, spiritual identity– complete puzzle, always intact and whole?

You can make puzzles as well by having the children draw a picture, making sure to cover most of the paper, then have them cut it out in big simple shapes so that they can put it "together" again. Limit the number of pieces they can cut it into! Here are a few passages you may want to look at while you do this exercise: B4–Ecc 3:11 (to:), 14, S1–p.475:7-9, 11-13, S4–p.527:4.

Pycl #2: Work with the 1st Commandment in Section 2. B8–Ex 20:1,3 B9–Mark 12:29 The, 30, and S5–p.340:16-22, and S6,7, and 8 pp.301:17-23, 191:4, 281:14. First ask: "why would the First Commandment be Mary Baker Eddy's favorite text? What do they like about it? I think wondering about her statement is really fun and important, though, if you have little ones, it will not really go far. Look at the words: "demonstrates", "inculcates", "signifies". How does this Commandment do these things? What does it mean that "The divine Principle (source) of the First Commandment bases the Science of being, by which man demonstrates health, holiness, and life eternal."? (Parentheses added)

Can they think of examples in their lives where they put this Commandment into action each day? In a couple of these passages, S7 and S8, this Commandment is implied when she uses "…the delusion that there is more than one Mind, more than one God…". And "The one Ego, the one Mind…". What can understanding the reality of only one God do for us? Is this why it is such a beloved statement?

Can they explain, for example, how the understanding and real knowledge that there is only one God makes sickness impossible as a reality? This can lead into a discussion of the story in Section 3 about the woman who built a room for the prophet Elisha (II Kings chapter 4).

Pycl #3: The Shunamite woman recognized the importance of Elisha. She actually built a special room for him to stay in when he came through town! How can we think of this as symbolically making room for only one God in our day to day lives? Try pretending with the littlest ones to set up a "room" for "one God" in our thinking. What would we need there? Does God need a bed and night stand? Or does God need our mental space so that we recognize His presence in what we are doing, whether school, or sport, or music, etc.?

If we fill up every space in our consciousness with our "own" thoughts, are we really following the First Commandment? Pretend to sweep away the things that would get in the way of making a room for God. What kinds of thoughts are they? What kinds of thoughts can we entertain to make our "room" bigger for God?

How did this woman demonstrate her faithfulness to one God after her son passed away? Why did she tell the prophet's servant that everything was "well"? What does she tell Elisha when he reaches her? What does it mean that "I will not leave thee"? Is that a declaration that she will not let go of the idea that the child was a permanent gift that could only be bestowed in a permanent way and that she needed to understand that–wouldn't let him go until she could understand that? Look at citation S10 p.69:13 where we find that having only one creator (one God) does some pretty amazing things! Why is this the case?

Pycl #4: Discuss the"necessity of existence…to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in man." So, in the last Pycl we are making this "room" for the one God. What does the Golden Text tell us is within us? (Luke 17:21 Behold) There are several references to this kingdom in Section 5: B18–Matt. 10:7, Luke 17:20, 21. But one arresting statement that Mary Baker Eddy makes is in citation S24–p.560:10-15. She tells us there that the "…grand necessity of existence is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in man." Wow!

Why necessity? Can even the younger children give you some ideas about why this might be? (You will need to define some words or put this in simple language for the very young.) Would we ever be unhappy, dissatisfied, poor, sick, lacking in any way–if we really knew what this idea of a kingdom within means?

Give the younger children some Playdough and a simple picture of something they can make–maybe it's a snake, or a simple flower you can show them how to form. Make sure they try to make it look like the picture. Ask them: "if they don't have a perfect model to look at, could they make the "snake/flower" in the image of that picture?" No!

So what picture do they have of themselves? Do they have a "model"? Think of Hymn 51 together–what is "the model infinite"? Can they create a list of qualities that really speak to "who" they are? Look at the qualities in the above citation 26 from SH 248:26 : "…unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love…". How do these qualities give us something to "model" our sense of selfhood after? What do they "look" like? They are things that are expressed/demonstrated aren't they!

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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