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[PYCL: Plan a party for Sunday School!-5 Don’t wait for a fake angel -4 Give ‘em a stone -2]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Spirit"
for August 5, 2017

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

Pycl #1: It sometimes seems like the world is screaming at us all the time with all sorts of non-spiritual suggestions. We don't need to talk necessarily about these suggestions or bring any more attention to them than is already there, but we could look at the Golden Text and reaffirm that we have, indeed "…received …the spirit which is of God". What does that mean? If we have already each received that spirit, then we have recognized God's power and presence with us, at all times, we have the discernment, power, and dominion to perceive it and welcome it and rejoice in it. We know what Spirit is, and we are "friends" with Spirit, that is, we are not strangers to Spirit, or operating as if we somehow are on a different "level" from Spirit. What are some ways that Spirit is found communicating with man in this week's lesson? Section 2, 4 and 5 all have stories in them where Spirit was very obviously communicating to man. Can the children in your class share any times when they felt like God was communicating with them? Have they ever felt a really strong sense of Love? Maybe that was during a time of special closeness with a friend or parent, but that is a manifestation of God as Love to them. Have they ever felt a sense of safety and peace? Have they ever had a healing? You can share an example of your own as well.

Pycl #2: Check out the story of Jacob in Section 2. If the children need the back story, go ahead and fill them in or see if one of the children can tell the story themselves. You really only need the part before this incident takes place. Was Jacob "deserving" of God's communication? Do we have to be obedient, "good" or especially spiritual—to get messages from Spirit? No! Spirit is always guiding us, loving us, communicating with us. We cannot actually get away from Spirit. It is everywhere that man is. You can certainly look together at the Psalm that precedes this story as well! Spirit's communication includes guidance, and correction (S9), and also produces harmony.

I love here that Jacob makes his pillow of stones that he has gathered. Is it too much of a stretch to look at Mrs. Eddy's definition of "Rock" on p.593 "Spiritual foundation; Truth."? Maybe we can see that Jacob is striving, albeit at times without a lot of integrity, to establish his life on a spiritual foundation. Doesn't it stand to reason that he really did desire to do the right thing, and that this is why he actually does hear God and meet with those angels of God on more than one, significant occasion? Like most of us, he has lessons to learn, but God, Spirit, is always communicating and guiding. This has to be a message that will ring true for those little ones! Maybe they won't want to actually sleep on stones, but if you find a few pretty ones, you could send them each home with a small stone to represent this "pillow" that we can rest our thoughts on for preparing that ladder of communication with Spirit. They could put it under their pillows.

Pycl #3: I like the idea of Spirit as our strength—emphasized especially in Section 3. We can always rely on God/Spirit for our strength of understanding, integrity, endurance and physical power. In fact, if we attribute our strength to anything else, that is to matter, we are in trouble! Why is that? We can share the truth here, that when we rely on the body to provide us with strength and endurance, or rely on sleep, or the weather… etc. We then have to live with the fact that sometimes that body can be injured, weak from sickness, exhausted, and so on. But God/Spirit is never any of those things, and is our only source for true, reliable strength and health. When we are challenged with the suggestion that this is not the case, and we will be, we can find comfort and healing in citation S17. What are right motives? What are pinions? (Bring in a picture or video of how a bird's wings work.) How do right motives heal? How do they give us freedom? If we are trying to do something to prove that we are the strongest, fastest, smartest, most talented…. then we are limited to only what we can force our own body to do. If we are doing activities to express God's strength and joy and freedom… well then, we are working from an infinite basis!

Pycl #4: Check out the story in Section 4. What sin was Jesus talking about when he told the man to "…go and sin no more…"? Do we ever sit around and wait for someone else to make us happy, healthy, satisfied…? This is just one idea, but it seems like maybe sometimes we don't just "Take possession of [our] body, and govern its feeling and action." (S24) But instead, we kind of say: "oh, wow, I don't feel super great today, I'll just let mom/dad, know about it, I'll lay around today, and probably I'll be fine tomorrow…" Or, "I'm feeling really sad/grouchy today, and I don't even feel like making an effort to be unselfish and bless others or turn that feeling around." Sometimes, this is harder to do than others, for sure….But I think, maybe, Jesus was encouraging this man to take this new foundation of Spirit for his health and well-being, and live the rest of his life on that foundation. Don't wait for someone else to lift him out of whatever state he finds himself in. This is not to condemn us when we are in a "funk" of whatever sort, but just to encourage us to think of it in a new way, possibly. That man was waiting around for essentially "fake angels" to move the water. He was made whole by a truer understanding of Spirit that Jesus brought to the situation. Let's not wait for a "fake angel"—for example, time, or a person—to get us out of a situation that isn't harmonious.

Pycl #5: Maybe you can talk about that idea in Section 6 of "…[entertaining] angels unawares." What does that mean to the children if angels are "God's thoughts passing to man…" How do we keep our thought ready to entertain angels? (How about those spiritual "stones" from Jacob's story?) Think together about preparing to have a party for your friends at your house. Maybe bring in some props for this that seem appropriate for the age level you have. First, you might send out invitations to your friends right? That means you are thinking about those "angels"… in this case friends, ahead of time, getting ready to welcome them, right? You might then plan what kinds of games or activities your want to have. Is that like getting our thought ready for good… getting rid of stubborn resistance or pushing out fear or pain or sadness? Maybe you get some balloons. Do those represent fun and elevated thought? Can you name some "elevated" thoughts that lift us out of sickness, etc? Maybe then you think about what kinds of things people might want to eat. You only want really tasty things, right? What is "tasty" spiritual nourishment for man? I'm sure you get the idea here! I think you could kind of plan a mini party right there in Sunday School! You could have it right there, or take them to your house afterwards for such a party!

Have a great Sunday.

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