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PYCL: Ponder why Jesus so important. Recognize how Christ is working all around. (1,2)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

“Christ Jesus”

on August 28, 2016

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

Pycl #1: Why is Jesus so important? More than a "really special man" what did he do for us that no one else, ever, has done? Have the kids, young ones even, think together about everything Jesus did—all the healing, all the parables, all the preaching—what makes it truly unique and crucial to Christianity, to us? Think about why it's different from even all the great prophets before him? Can they think of how it is the same too? How about Mrs. Eddy? What did she do by discovering Christian Science that helps us understand Jesus better? With the youngest you can keep this pretty simple… maybe you could help them see that the Christ is the way that we actively demonstrate God's goodness, health, holiness, understanding, today and always. That Jesus had a unique (one of a kind) role to play because he could do this in the absolutely clearest way since he was so literally the son of God. Have fun with thinking about all the things Jesus did! Maybe you could prepare a list before Sunday School to reference so that you get everything? But see how much they can remember. Make sure you take the opportunity to look in this lesson for some of the examples!

Pycl #2: What does it mean to "bear witness" to Christ? Could that mean for us that we should look for and recognize Christ wherever it appears? I've used this analogy before, but many summers ago we decided to convert most of our yard into prairie. That meant that I started looking everywhere for native plants and flowers to move to our yard. Suddenly, everywhere I looked there were amazing varieties of flowers! I couldn't believe the abundance and variety. I've always appreciated beautiful flowers, but this was like having a spotlight on them suddenly. That is like the Christ in our experience. And it works both directions! Once we start to recognize how the Christ is working, healing, elevating and enriching us, then we see more of this evidence. And, likewise, this recognition lights up these evidences even more brightly because we start to understand the presence of God in our lives.

Pycl #3: I love the idea of practicing being the door to the sheep pen. Maybe you could make a "sheep pen" with the chairs from your class. Explain how the shepherds made little pens for their sheep at night with stones, or branches. [See PS1 and Section 4 in this week’s CedarS Met by Kathy Fitzer, CS.] The shepherd then lies down in the opening to this makeshift pen so that any sheep exiting would have to wake him to do so, any predator trying to get to the sheep, likewise, would wake the shepherd if it tried to get in. Have one child volunteer to lie down in the opening; any others can be sheep/predators. See how the shepherd is always aware of his beloved sheep? See how the shepherd will always be alerted and can protect them from evil? Now you can let them each have a turn if there is more than one student. How does this relate to our own thoughts? Could our "sheep" thoughts be purity, gentleness, all the good—intelligence, compassion, and so on? Do we need to keep those thoughts guarded by our understanding and recognition of our oneness with God? This oneness is definitely something special Jesus taught us. The Bible often uses "shepherd" to indicate God. What does that say about how we guard our thought against evil? Maybe we can think of it as God's job to keep us safe, our job to listen and obey?

Pycl #4: The story of Jairus daughter shows us that God can do absolutely anything. Jesus showed us this and how the body does not have the "final say". This is proved as we demonstrate the Christ (and witness to it!) each day in all the ways we understand to do this! Let the Christ that we see around us destroy what is not good, not true in our lives. Each time we do this we have followed Christ Jesus' example! If your children are not well-versed in this story you should take the time to explain all the details of how Jairus came to ask Jesus' help, how Jesus was delayed and "too late". ("Too late, there is nothing you can do, this evil is final, God is helpless"… these kinds of thoughts.) Talk about the symbolism in Jesus "put[ting] them all out". What does this say about how we must also "put out" the thoughts that "laugh" at healing and say it's impossible? (We call this the "anti-Christ" if you want to get into that with the class.) What other thoughts should we "put out" to make way for God's goodness being apparent? Fear? Doubt? Annoyance? Anger? Revenge? Let them think of their own ideas.

Pycl #5: The story of blind Bartimaeus gives you some more activity if you wish. I've mentioned this before but if you haven't already done it you could certainly give it a try. [Everything that the blind man needed for his license to beg was in that cloak.] The beggar's cloak that this blind man wore was thrown aside as he approached Jesus, [running to the call of the Christ for a new view of himself.] Talk about the symbolism in this. How can we "throw aside" the limited thoughts that keep us from feeling God's full and powerful presence? You can bring something that is cloak-like for them to throw off as they announce what they are getting rid of to make room for the unlimited, discernment of the Christ (you could even label the "cloak" with different limits). What was special about Bartimaeus when he knew Jesus was near? Didn't he shout about Jesus being the Christ? Could anyone get him to "shut up"? Why not? Should we "shut up" when we recognize the presence of the Christ in our experience? Think of the cloak as representing a limited sense of man, and throwing it off as being ready to accept [Christ’s call to] man's freedom and spiritual nature.

Pycl #6: I love the passage in the last section about the vine. It speaks of "casting out the heathen". You can help the children understand what that might mean symbolically. We can cast out the thoughts that think that God and His Christ can't do anything really special. Maybe the Christ was powerful when Jesus was around, maybe when Mrs. Eddy was around….but now? This, again, is a great example of the anti-Christ and you could certainly bring some periodicals from today that show that this healing is continuing on today. Think together about how the soil (our thought) is prepared in this passage. How the roots go down deep (what does this mean for us?) Going back to my little yard prairie—roots in prairies run many feet deep and last through years of drought and fire because of this. It's a great symbol of how our understanding of Christ and Jesus and Science should go deep in order to last through the storms that mortal mind throws at us. (Think of Jesus' parable of the sower and the seed 🙂

Hope this gives some ideas for Sunday! Have a great one.

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