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[PYCL: Practice things-to-thoughts conversions! Put all "right side up" with God on top! (2, 3) "Shake off that dust" of mean-ness! (5)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Matter”
for September 22, 2019

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

Pycl #1: What was an "idol" in the Bible days? Give some examples—show pictures. Why do/did people worship idols? The answer cannot be "because they were silly". We need to be aware that this is still what mortal mind does today. We are constantly tempted to "worship" things that are not God.

What might an "idol" be to us? Have a few of your own in mind to get the ideas flowing. (For example, how do we worship matter in our daily lives? Are we tempted to be anxious, sad, angry? Those are all idols that we might "bow down to" instead of God.) How can we work to worship God and not those idols?

Pycl #2: The above can lead into a discussion of how to change "things into thoughts" (citation S16). This is also addressed in citation B11 where Paul tells us that our eyes cannot see or ears hear the "things" that God has gotten ready for us. He "reveals them to us by his Spirit" (not an exact quotation).

Our spiritual senses (our "discernment of spiritual good") is what reveals God right here, in our present experience. Go for a walk if possible, and point out structures, or natural phenomena in light of this idea. What does a rock represent? How about a tree? Can we understand spiritually the deep and wide root structure of a tree? How does it sustain and support all that beauty above? How is this like our spiritual life and understanding? What about how the leaves express beauty and gather light and convert it into food for the tree? You get the idea. Likewise, the structure and integrity of buildings, foundations, the grace of beautiful architecture, the usefulness and so on, represent the things-to-thoughts conversion.

Pycl #3: Following this you can dig into citation B2. This idea of how we want to stay "right side up" in our understanding of what is real, is fun with children. You can bring in things that don't make sense upside down, or just pictures and have them turn them upside down.

How does matter and mortal mind convince us that they are powerful/real? Maybe through illness, or any emotion that seems hard? Reality, spiritual truth, is a mental thing. But matter is a material thing. Matter seems to turn everything upside down and tell us that God is second to the body, or the mood.

We have the dominion to turn it "right side up" and put God at the top. Maybe they draw pictures with a big sun, a house and tree on the bottom. Then they turn it upside down. How does the sun then shine on the tree or grass? It cannot do its job, right? With matter "in charge" we become "slaves" or "captives" of matter. But God gave us dominion!

Pycl #4: Try looking together at citation B1. Point out that a more accurate translation does not include the "and sit down" part. Rather something like "arise and dress up because our captivity is ended!" Have them stand up and "shake" off the "dust". Do they know what the dust is? Look at Genesis two for a refresher if they don't know. What does it say man is made of there? Is dust a good metaphor for matter (it blows around in the wind/Spirit, it washes off in water/purity…just some ideas)?

Bring some fancy looking dress up clothes for the very young and talk about how we might want to celebrate being freed from the terrible lies of matter and the idea that we are slaves to sickness, sadness, anger and so on…whatever seems most relevant to your class. Often dress up clothes for children include king/queen/princess things. If you brought even some paper crowns, you can capitalize on the metaphor of their dominion over the suggestions of matter by being "king" or "queen" over matter, by reflection.

Pycl #5: "Matter is an error of statement. This error in the premise leads to errors in the conclusion in every statement into which it enters." (S3) Consider setting up an age-appropriate math problem and then a subsequent problem that depends on getting a right answer to the first number sentence. Then give them a wrong answer to the first problem and have them follow through with the next mathematical statement and see how a first wrong answer leads to another.

In the same way, when we agree, for example, that we are angry because someone did something mean to us, then the next logical conclusion is that we have a "real" cause to be angry, and therefore the right to sustain that anger for however long we want, perhaps even hatred! That is like getting a wrong answer to the first problem and then compounding it by spending time miserable, perhaps a long time! What if the first "problem" was: someone did something mean to us, but we recognize right away that mean-ness has no power because it doesn't come from God.

We find our joy and peace from something other than another person's words or actions. Actually, we have a steady, reliable and wonderful source of joy, companionship and peace. Mind is thoughtful, kind, patient and generous. So, we are not going to let anger run our day, or make a home in our consciousness or experience. Instead, we will "shake off that dust" of mean-ness as not being part of that person, not being part of us, and we can proceed with the armor of Love keeping us safe and happy. This is pretty "corny" but, I think, could work with the very young and is certainly true!

Have wonderful time in Sunday School!!!

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