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[PYCL: Practice stillness to hear God's messages of Love!]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

For July 2, 2017

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

Pycl #1: Well, stories are always great. Check out the story of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar in Section 2. Make sure you fill them in on the whole story. [You can hear more about it from Christie Hanzlik's Monday morning Practitioner Talk at CedarS.] I would include the fact that the king was planning on executing all the court magicians and astrologers because they couldn't interpret a dream that he himself could not remember. It's one thing to interpret a dream, but another to tell the forgetful dreamer what dream he had to begin with! Because this lesson emphasizes knowing God and spiritual sense I would think that giving some background on Daniel might be good. Do they remember the famous story about Daniel? How did Daniel saved himself that time? Wasn't it because he felt so close to God and knew that God was omnipresent and omnipotent? How did he cultivate that knowledge of God? (Remember how they mention that he prayed three times a day in the story of his scrape with the lions?) In the story in this week's lesson Daniel listens to God to find out what was inside the king’s head! In the process he not only helps the king, but saves the lives of all the Chaldeans. This is a lovely way to point out citation S7 where we are told that becoming better acquainted with the Science of being helps us bless more universally.

I also can't help but point out that the kind of wisdom Daniel expressed was directly from God and he praises God for this wisdom. He attributes all wisdom to God "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his" (not man's). What is this saying about the Chaldean's "wisdom"?

Pycl #2: To build on this story of how God's wisdom opens the way to bless mankind, uplifts consciousness to see where good comes from, gives us peace, we could try a little experiment with something like marbles with chutes to send them down. I have a marble game that you construct to make a course for marbles to roll down. But if you don't have something like that handy you can make a chute out of paper towel tubes. Cut them in half lengthwise and tape together, simply bring in a marble or something round and have them roll it down the chute. This could be the thing you pull out when speaking of how it is that when we use our spiritual senses we are using the "chutes" or "channels" that God creates for His thoughts to become clear in our consciousness. You can look at citation S10 to see that there are qualities that our thought takes on that help us to be more ready to hear God's direction. Calm stillness is paramount and that links this passage to citation B6. Why would we hear better when we are still? What does it mean to "be still"?

Pycl #3: Speaking of stillness… if your class is not too wild, you could do an experiment. Try whispering something to the students. Do they have to lean in and become very still to hear? Now have someone try jumping up and down or running around your table and hear what you say while you whisper. Is it more difficult? Then you can talk about mental stillness. Have they ever noticed how thoughts are always "racing" through their heads? Maybe they are excited about something after Sunday School and they keep going there in thought. How can we practice mental stillness? Do they think that Daniel had to do that? He probably wasn't thinking about what he was going to do the next day when he was trying to listen for what the king's dream was! Mental stillness is a real challenge to maintain, even for us adults. You could have them practice for something like ten seconds at a time. You could even take this time to talk about the silent prayer before the Lord's Prayer in Sunday School.

Pycl #4: To continue the thought above, try bringing in a full container of something. You can fill a cup with water that is set in a bowl for overflow. Can you add anything to this cup? If our thoughts are like that cup, then where can God's thoughts and wisdom go? God's voice is speaking to us, but if our thoughts are crammed full, we will have a lot of trouble hearing anything else. This can be a challenge when we are in discomfort of some kind. Error can really seem to get our attention and make it hard to hear anything but its own messages. It is good that we are practicing how to govern those thoughts so we can always have room for God's messages of Love!

Pycl #5: The Responsive Reading speaks of "…comparing spiritual things with spiritual." These are things that we are "taught" by the "Holy Ghost", or Christ spirit that communicates to us from God. Bring in some very unrelated objects, and some related items. For example, you could bring in a small stone and an apple. How do they compare, are they alike? (Make sure the stone is a weird non-apple shape!) But if you brought in two pieces of fruit you could talk about how they are similar. When we try to make matter fit into spiritual understanding, it doesn't work. As Christian Scientists, when we try to understand "why" sickness came or “where" it came from, we inevitably go down an unproductive road and it never leads to healing. There is no logic to matter, to a lie. It is a lie, and while it may try to tell us it makes sense in some way, we can only find healing by going to the one source, the source of all reality and all good, God. Spiritual thoughts compare to other spiritual thoughts, truth to truth, and so on.

Pycl #6: You could start with this one if you wanted to. When I read the first section I made a list of all the descriptors of God mentioned in that section. There are the obvious synonyms, but other descriptors as well: individual, without physique, cause, creator, self-existent, includes all, reflected by all real and eternal, fills all space, Life eternal… See what your students can find once they get started and have someone be the recorder while they compile the list, then discuss or at least admire the list together!

Have a fun Sunday!

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