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[PYCL: Never feel like an underdog when siding with Almighty God!]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Matter"
for September 17, 2017

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

Pycl #1: With the younger classes, we might not actually read all of the Golden Text (G.T.) and Responsive Reading, but we surely would talk about what it means that some things are visible to us in obvious ways and some things are not. Rather than discuss this in terms of what is "real or not real", think in terms of what is lasting / substantial, and what disappears over time. So we might liken the "unseen" nature of God, to how we might not be able to "see" love around us in Sunday School, but do they doubt that it is right there? In the same way we can identify what is matter and what is spiritual by whether it is a quality that is always with us. Can love ever die or run away? Can goodness ever be squashed, trampled, buried, erased (you can act these motions out if you have small ones in your class!). Sometimes, it might be hard to see goodness expressed or love, but we all know that it is present for us. For example, their moms' and dads' love for them is with them when they are at school, or visiting a friend, but they might not "see" it in the air around them! Look at what Paul tells the Athenians about how God is expressed in us—He is our actual being!

Pycl #2: Christian Science helps us see what is often not seen! When we are looking at things like the love and goodness around us that we mention above, we start to "appropriate"/take possession of these things, as it says in citation S1. That means we have healings because we are seeing what is true, and that is always good and replaces what is the lie/matter. I like the Bible passage in citation B4 where it says that "…my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent." Until this lesson, I hadn't quite seen that in this light: our glory, what we do that is beautiful, intelligent, graceful, creative, powerful, etc. must "sing praise" to God, not self. If we take it as something about our own material accomplishments, then it will disappear with age, time, different audiences, accident, and so on. In other words, only when we understand that our source of good is spiritual and not in matter, does that good last and radiate to all.

Pycl #3: In the third section there is the parable of the rich man that decides to build barns in which to store his riches so he can relax and spend his days "enjoying" himself. This story is preceded by the sentence of Jesus: "…the kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye, and believe the gospel." "Repent" means to rethink. If we take that passage and "rethink" what it means to us that the kingdom of heaven/God, is within us/at hand, then what are we "saving up" for? Is there a future time during which we sit back and "enjoy" the fruits of our labor? Only if these fruits are material in nature, and only if our "labor" is material. If our true labor is for God, then the fruits are always at hand, never need to be "stored up", and we are enjoying them today. Maybe this is too old for little ones … but I think we can couch it in such a way as to emphasize that we are never "waiting" for good. Good is now. It isn't "after school gets out", "on Saturday when we are going to the zoo"…. etc. It is matter that tells us that good is in the future or in the past! God never tells us that!

Pycl #4: There are several examples of how matter is powerless in this lesson. Feel free to share them as a bundle and then go back and unpack your favorites. For example there is the story of David and Goliath, the man with the withered hand who Jesus heals (and this one shows not only the healing power of compassion and Love, but also the powerless nature of material "laws" of theology…translate for the younger ones), and there is the story of Jesus walking on the water! All of these illustrate the powerlessness of matter, matter's aggressive claims, visible scariness…but ultimate powerlessness. If they are a little older, then they can tell you about how each illustrates something about matter. Bring in a sample of how a lever works, the bigger the better. Compare Mrs. Eddy's example in citation S9 about how claiming that matter has power, is like claiming that there is power in a lever. When we employ a lever, the lever is not doing the work! The power is in the physics behind how that lever is being employed, and in the person using it. Likewise, David and Jesus employed the power of metaphysics to take down a heavily armed man, to heal an impossible disability, to walk on or above the water! We can employ the same metaphysics as we understand that our source of power is in the infinite God—not in matter/ourselves. Tuck the lever under something big, to illustrate, and then stand back and "watch the lever lift the object". Then demonstrate how the lever works by employing it!

Pycl #5: Okay, so David and Goliath is such a perfect story to share in so many different ways. Here are a few ideas to work with.

1. It can be a story that reveals the power of God/good, over material power (as mentioned above). In this lesson you can bring out the idea that David was like the "unseen" power that Spirit represents (G.T). He was a very young man–didn't even shave yet. He didn't wear armor, have a shield bearer, was small etc. Goliath was obviously, visibly the "champion". He was big, scary, strong, experienced in battle and so on. What won, the "seen" power, or the "unseen"?

2. I love the idea that was shared by Christie Hanzlik in a "Daily Lift" some years ago about this story. The idea springs from a book (a fun read) by Malcolm Gladwell called "David and Goliath" and it debunks the myth of the "underdog". So in this scenario, David was actually nearly guaranteed a win, because, if you do the research, Goliath was so heavily weighed down by his armor (there's an awesome matter analogy in that statement too :-), and David's slingshot, in skilled hands, was actually similar in velocity and accuracy to a bullet. What chance did a slow heavy soldier have against an accurate bullet to the head? I am giving you the short version here, but the idea is that actually, when we sort through everything, Spirit is never an "underdog", always the only power on the field and we have only to study the divine laws to find this out and then trust the facts. (Healing in CS is not miraculous!) [Christie’s “Daily Lift” video was shared as the first item in the David and Goliath focus in this week’s Global Sunday School email sent out weekly by TMCYouth. I highly recommend signing up to get it weekly at the bottom of the web version.

3. Ponder citation S11 in terms of Goliath's limitations because of his armor, etc. vs. David's freedom granted by Spirit, to that "…wider sphere…" He actually had a much longer reach than Goliath by employing the slingshot! We have that same "long reach" when "slaying" material suggestions and experiencing spiritual victory.

4. I love the idea that David had everything he needed to meet this challenge. This is a wonderful analogy for all of us. We can always meet a challenge with the skills that we have developed. In David's case, this was his skill as a protector of his sheep. He had successfully developed his accuracy with that sling shot and that was what he used to succeed in this case. Every child has the knowledge and understanding that they need to meet every "Goliath". This doesn't mean that we can meet each need with the same "truth" however! David didn't go into future battles as a warrior with a slingshot. He, like us, needed to continue to develop his abilities. We have to keep digging deeper into Christian Science so that we continue to uncover the reality of God's power over this suggestion of matter as reality!

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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