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[PYCL: Overcome perfectionism by merely being God's humble, perfect reflection!]
ossible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:
for Sunday, March 8, 2015

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

pycl #1: Perfect man is different from the idea of human perfectionism.
There is an emphasis this week on the perfect man. So it would be good to discuss the idea that this perfect man is different from the idea of human perfectionism. My little six-year-old is something of a perfectionist and I work with him often to help him understand the difference between him as a perfect reflection of God, and the idea of being a perfect “mortal”. One leads to a lot of frustration and anxiety, while another leads, as it says in citation B2, to peace. What is our role in “being perfect”? Obviously it is more than just a declaration. The Responsive Reading urges us to be “doers” of the work, and not just “hearers”. But just what are we doing? This might be something to think through more fully with your kids. Can you compile a list of active things that illustrate our spiritual perfection? Maybe one way to clearly see if you are understanding the difference between perfectionism and perfection is to see where your thoughts about such actions lead. In citation B21 in the last section, there is a whole list of qualities that reflect Love actively. All of these qualities express Love and embrace our fellow man. None of them would lead us to feel self-righteous, self-satisfied, superior, or any other quality that would measure us in some relative, human way. You may need to give examples and find words that are more suited to whatever age group you teach.

pycl #2: There is freedom for man within the boundaries of divine laws.
What are these laws? You can certainly use human laws as a reflection of the divine ones but our actions as the perfect man, are directed by divine law. (R.R. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”) This idea is unfolded further in section 4, citations B13 and B15. What is that “better hope” that Paul refers to? Obviously he is not discarding the importance of the Hebrew laws, but he is pointing out the demonstrated love that Jesus employed while working within the law to heal for example, the woman with the issue of blood. Her life was so restricted by supposed “law”, she was unclean, could not “legally” touch anyone, and so wasn’t allowed, according to Jewish law, to be healed by Jesus in this way. How is spiritual perfection and abiding by divine law, a freeing rather than restricting idea? Can you come up with examples. One might be: if you are honest with your parents, even when you make a mistake or do something you know was wrong, you are building a foundation of trust that will lead them to allow certain freedoms for you—maybe more time with a video game, or, when you are older, a later curfew. (This is a great double example because you are yielding up a false sense of human perfectionism by admitting to wrongdoing, and striving for deeper understanding of divine perfection, honesty, humility, trustworthiness, etc.)

pycl #3: Try “clearing land” for a good road. (Check out citation B1.)
Talk about what road builders might have to do when they first start to make a road. First they would find a way that is not on other’s property, that doesn’t have too many steep grades, they’d clear the road of trees. The passage refers to gathering out the stones. These stones might represent the hard places in our thought that need to be softened by a loving sense of the perfect man, the divine family. They also might represent things that would trip us on our path to “marking" that "perfect man” (B2). You could build up a sort of obstacle course in your Sunday School, with chairs, etc. (Bring some items from home if you wish). If you need to get somewhere and all these things are in your way, what would you do? What might these items represent in our thought? Maybe a strong sense of judging others and not seeing them as perfect spiritual children of God? Maybe you could go about removing these objects/stones one at a time and think of what true idea you could replace a “stony” thought with.

pycl #4: “Lift up a standard" for all to see!
I like the reference to lifting up the “standard” in the same Bible citation B1. A standard would be a tall banner that would be held up in battle to make sure everyone knew who to follow. It would have been visible from a distance. What is this “standard” that we each must “lift up” for all to see? You could certainly create such a standard and discuss what you are lifting up with the kids.

pycl #5: Help all your student to come up with perfect models for themselves.
It’s all fine and good to talk about perfect models, but do we really know what they are for ourselves? What do we hold up as a model for ourselves? Have we even thought about it? If not, can we think right now about what they might be and share our ideas? Are these models representative of true feelings or designed to give a pat answer to a Sunday School teacher? Some of us haven’t given this very specific thought and without a model in thought, it’s hard to carry out our lives in a way that reflects consistently that divine perfection. If they can come up with a model, each pupil, then have them share. If not, would they be willing to think on it over the coming week and share next week? Can you help each other with this project? Does each model look the same?

pycl #6: Ask students to look at animal drawing & draw something totally different.
Create some simple line drawings of animals. Give each kid a drawing and ask them to look at it and draw something altogether different. Is it easy to draw something else while looking at the wrong animal? How is this like looking at matter and then trying to think about God at the same time? (S4)

pycl #7: Ask a "Mirror, mirror, on the wall" about the spiritual substance of reflection
There are always some interesting things you can do with mirrors and reflection. It is fun for the kids to think about what the “substance” is in a reflection. Can you pick it up, hold it, manipulate it? Then to talk about spiritual reflection and man as God’s reflection. Citation B8 talks about seeing our own face like the glory of God. This face would be “open” or “unveiled”, not covered over with a material sense of identity.

pycl #8: Tell of the fiery furnace story and discuss what it means to students today.
Discuss And finally, we have the wonderful story of the Hebrew boys in the fire this week. Why is that in a lesson about man? See if they have some ideas. Retell the story. Ask what it means for them today? How were they preserved from the fire?

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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