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[PYCL: Put on your new spiritual nature. (Sorry to be away & miss Kerry’s email Tuesday.]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Soul and Body"

For May 21, 2017

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

Pycl #1: I love this translation of the Golden Text. What is the "new nature" that they are speaking of? How can you put that new nature "on"? Consider looking at this and at citations B12 and S15. They are all in different sections but it is interesting to think of this as a thread throughout. In citation B12 it speaks of putting off the "old man" and putting on the new. And in citation S15 we have a specific reference to how we can know Soul/Spirit/God better by adopting the qualities of honesty, unselfishness, meekness and love. These qualities were what Naaman had to see in himself in order to see his nature anew, and it brought him healing. With the youngest children you may be able to work this into an activity whereby you use a few simple pieces of clothing as representing these kinds of qualities, and newness of nature. Have them name the article of clothing with that quality. You could use things like a crown to represent something, a belt, even boots that "carry you on a right path", and so on. Then you can contrast it to the way that we don't just "wear" such qualities, they are the very essence of who we are as Soul's expression. The aspect of "newness" is an ongoing idea. We are not "changing" each day into something new, but overcoming the "old", or mortal view, with the accurate spiritual one. This is a process for the human mind, so it does seem as if we are becoming "new" every time we take a step forward in this spiritual understanding.

Pycl #2: Another way to think of the "new nature" is to bring in a device that can show a caterpillar moving from his 1st stage through the chrysalis and into a butterfly. There are time lapse videos on the internet. The thing that I learned from raising them with my boys in a terrarium is that they don't just transform inside that chrysalis. The caterpillar is literally liquefied, completely disappears/is obliterated. He doesn't "change into" a butterfly. From that liquid is re-formed a butterfly. It is quite a fascinating process and symbolically so appropriate for this idea of not trying to take a false material sense of who we are "with us" as we work toward seeing this new nature that we are embracing this week in our lesson. This idea is especially useful when you are talking to young people who probably don't really think of themselves as particularly "evil" in any way. No matter … what we want to lose is a material sense of who we are, have that sense transformed by the true or spiritual fact of who we are. In other words, we are not trying to be "good mortals". This is the essence of the suggestion of having a soul or spirit within a material body. It is the idea that we have some sort of spiritual and good essence locked inside our material selfhood. This leads to a material view of God and man as some sort of combination of matter and Spirit. Hence the reason why we study this lesson!

Pycl #3: Building on the idea above, check out citation S5, where Mrs. Eddy tells us that a "leading point" in Christian Science is that God is not found in matter, ever, no matter how intelligent or self aware it appears to be. The point here is that we are spiritual, not material with an element of spirituality within. I know that seems obvious, but there is a huge difference and material sense tells us, all the time, that our bodies are it. That they are what is substantial. If we are looking for what element of man is immortal, substantial, lasting—we need to understand better God's spiritual nature as Soul. The last part of citation S2 declares precisely this fact. What are we looking at to define ourselves? Talk about this together. See if they can come up with a list of what constitutes themselves as ideas of Soul. What does their true identity consist of?

Pycl #4: If you haven't done this before, try looking at a model of how our planetary system works. With young children, give a simple explanation of how gravity, orbits, etc. work. Use this new found understanding to expand on citation S4 where Mrs. Eddy points out that this astronomical model, while accurate, conflicts with material sense's view of things. Talk about how it looks like the sun rises and sets. Talk about how mankind once thought that the sun revolved around the earth, based on the material sense testimony. Talk about how that makes all our facts and figures wrong because they are based on a wrong understanding of the universe. Then draw the conclusion she is drawing in this passage, that material sense has that same inaccurate view of man and God, and of man's spiritual, rather than material nature. All the mistaken understanding is drawn from material sense testimony.

Pycl #5: Citation B5 has always been pretty clear to me, but in light of this week's lesson there is the added dimension of that suggestion of Life or Soul within matter. So, even more than not living as a material man, on the surface level, we are being guided to understand that there is actually no life/no breath in matter—"…for wherein is he to be accounted of [found having any worth or value]?" Instead of living comfortably (or uncomfortably) in matter, why not take the advice Mrs. Eddy gives in citation S13 to "Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle [source] of all happiness, harmony, and immortality." Think about Principle/God, as the source of all that is real, good, living. Then, think about how we look to things to give us happiness or intelligence. For example, maybe we wait for happiness to "come" to us by anticipating a certain activity or visit. Maybe we think we will get our intelligence from studying, when, in fact, all intelligence comes from Mind, and studying is an expression of Mind’s wisdom, diligence, patience, curiosity, etc.. (Good to know if you are thinking about exams in the near future … though that might be for an older audience.)

Have fun this week!

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