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Pycl: Put right your inside world—your mind and heart to see God in the outside world!
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Soul and Body”
for May 23, 2021

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

Pycl #1: Choose together a Beatitude that aligns with this Lesson. Devise reminders, dramatizations…
I am wondering about an ongoing project to connect one or more of the Beatitudes to the Bible Lesson each week. You could choose which one or ones, or you can choose with your class. Read a couple of the main stories, read a few key citations from the Bible and Science and Health, and together decide what a theme might be in that week’s lesson. Once that is established, you could choose together the Beatitude that most aligns with that subject. It would be fine if they overlap, if one comes up over and over. Over time, I think we will find how, like the synonyms for God, these Beatitudes are always applicable, useful, demonstrably helpful.

My feeling is, that Mary Baker Eddy chose the Beatitudes, along with the Commandments, to especially learn early, because they are most universally applicable. (See the curriculum for Sunday School outlined in the Church Manual, p. 62) When I was working with teens one summer, they were doing a study of the Sermon on the Mount and were a little unhappy that their trip was so ‘heavy’ on “Christian Science” and ethics. As we were working in close quarters with a crew that was not familiar with Christian Science, it quickly became apparent that what they regarded as “Christian Science” was really a universal understanding of how to interact with others. The ethics that are taught in the Sermon on the Mount are integral to every successful workplace, team…everything! No matter their choices in life, whether they make Christian Science a study and devotion, or not, the lessons from the Sermon on the Mount will be applicable and helpful to them in every endeavor.

You might find that “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” is a good theme Beatitude this week—though others could be equally appropriate! Find alternate translations or versions that might spur deeper thinking about these verses. It might be fun to allow them to get out their phones if they have them and go to a Bible translation site such as “Biblegateway.com”. There, you can type in a citation and choose from a number of translations to see them quickly! For example, this citation— the 6th Beatitude [Matt. 5:8] about the pure in heart— is loosely “translated” or “contemporarily rendered in everyday language” in The Message: “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”

This might provide a good platform to discuss things such as “what is your “inside world”?
How do we see God in the “outside world”?
Why is this a good Beatitude for this week’s lesson?
Understanding or seeing God, arises from the ability within to really understand our identity as pure reflection, our form as purely spiritual. For the final touch, it would be great to have them memorize all the Beatitudes by the end of such a study. This requires weekly review of the Beatitudes that you studied in previous weeks. For that, you can devise cards, games, cues, or even dramatizations to give reminders.

Pycl #2: Share ways that you have received spiritual light. Acknowledge where it comes from!

What does light have to do with you? What do we see when it is light? How is light symbolic for understanding? With the younger children draw a few frames of a cartoon or find some cartoons that use a light bulb to symbolize having an idea. Why is that a good symbol? Where does the light of understanding come from and how? It is easy to elicit a simple answer to this like “God”. But it’s important to dig a little into how we receive those enlightened messages! How have they come to you?

Share some examples, hopefully some pretty daily and ordinary, as well as extraordinary ways that you have received that kind of spiritual light. After sharing, can they think of some instances where they may have received that kind of “light” from God, but not realized the source? In reality, there is only one source for true inspiration. When we start to recognize this fact, we then start to see God’s light everywhere around us. It might come as a great idea from someone else that you can implement. It might come to your own thought. It might come from a beautifully executed play in a sport that you are watching. The ideas are infinite, the source is one.
Why is it important/VITAL to recognize and acknowledge where this kind of light comes from?!

Pycl #3: Would you like to never “run dry” of great ideas? Visit God’s spring often – at least mentally!
Why is a spring, the kind that comes out of the ground and bubbles up, so often the starting source for rivers? Show them some videos of springs. There are small ones and large. Take a class trip to a local spring outside of Sunday School, if you have them. Here in Missouri they are plentiful because of the kind of underlying rock structures of our state. One of the cool things about springs is the greenery around them. They are always bubbling up, so there are happy plants all around them, always being watered. Even in the winter there is greenery near the source of water because the water comes up always above freezing and keeps the temperature steady winter and summer. This steadiness is one of many symbols that are spiritually illustrative.

Do you need a place to cool your feet after a long hike? Dip them in the always cool water right after it pops out of the ground! In winter that water may not feel exactly “warm”, but it will be above 60 degrees, and when there is ice nearby, that can feel pretty warm! When you are thinking in terms of springs in a desert land, described in the Bible, these springs gain lifesaving potential. They are a constant source of water, needed for drinking and watering where water is a scarce commodity.

It is really interesting to think about how these springs just pour out, some of them in millions of gallons a day!!! [Bennett Spring State Park puts out 100 million gallons of water each day.  It is near Lebanon as is CedarS Camps & Bible Lands Park which are each blessed with smaller springs.] Big Spring in Missouri is one of the biggest in the the US and the world and puts out an average of 286 million gallons a day— that’s 470 cubic feet, or 13,000 liters per second!! (Show them what a cubic foot looks like and have them imagine stacking up 470 of them and thinking about that much water in ONE SECOND!!!–or show them a liter bottle of water.)

Okay, now you have established some pretty clear ideas about springs. Check out this verse in the Responsive Reading: Isa 58:11 “…thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” Think together about the symbolism, as with the light, of how the always bubbling waters in a spring are like the infinite source of God’s/Soul’s goodness. This infinite source is ever reflected in our own fresh sense of identity, creativity, intelligence, and so on. When we gain a deeper understanding of our identity as described, we find fewer material hinderances to our expression of these qualities because we don’t associate these qualities and skills with a limited mortal or material sense of self. Rather, we are spiritual creations that draw on the deep springs of divine Soul!

Pycl #4: Help each other dig deeper to see the details of everyone’s spiritual identity!
This subject of Soul and Body is always deeply rooted in identity. If they are very young students you will need to help them understand what “identity” is. Have each student take a few moments to write down how they would describe themselves. (The youngest can just say it without writing it down). Don’t give them any parameters. If they are comfortable sharing, then do so. When everyone who will, has shared, ask them to start a new list and think of how they would describe themselves if they couldn’t use a single material marker. So, nothing physical.

Everything they use in their lists should be a quality that is spiritual or spiritually based. [This is like for a Quality Award that each CedarS camper receives.] I might describe myself as “mother”, for example, and that can count as a spiritual quality because we can certainly discuss the spiritual qualities of motherhood such as unselfish, affectionate, safe, loving, alert, interested, creative, etc. Likewise, someone could describe themselves as “athletic”, because there are a multitude of spiritual qualities such as grace, strength, agility, persistence and so on that are linked to athleticism. But we cannot use eye/hair color, height/weight, etc. When done, see if they are willing to share their lists again. How do they overlap? Did their list change, if so how? Would anyone be able to recognize their identity based on the more spiritually based list? If not, why? Maybe they need to dig a little deeper to see the details of their spiritual identity?

If we are used to limiting ourselves to physical attributes or to thinking of ourselves in limited ways, this exercise can be a challenging eye opener. When we are unwilling to list anything that we view as “complimentary” this could be out of a fear of appearing self-aggrandizing. Help them see that this is not the opportunity to think in terms of ego, that is, an identity that is based in thinking of ourselves as the source of these qualities.

Pycl #5: What does employing the sun as a symbol mean to you?
In thinking about source, we can always go to the symbolism of the sun when we are working with identity and Soul. With the very young, have them draw a picture of the sun. Usually this results in a big circle with little or big rays spreading out from it. Now you can address how the sun’s rays are attached to the sun. Can they become detached? Can their warmth or light be separated from the sun itself?

Talk about how clouds can obscure the sun, but the rays are not separated by the clouds from their source. They continue to shine with the same warmth, heat, light as they always do (much like the spring continues year-round to pour out its water!). You can do little projects with a flashlight, as we have shared here before, where you shine a flashlight and have the children hold a piece of paper below it. The paper can be seen through and let a little light reach the table, as happens with the clouds. Or, the paper could be opaque and not let any light through. Either way, the flashlight beam will be connected to the flashlight and shining away above the paper! You can also discuss how it is when you fly in an airplane above the clouds on a rainy day. Everything above the clouds is brilliant sunshine!!

Now think together about how we are like those rays. We receive all our light/intelligence, our ability, our love, our skills, from Soul/God. We might feel sometimes like we are on our own, separate from Soul. But that is just the clouds of material sense obscuring our source of good. We can acknowledge in those times where we might be feeling ill, scared, hurt, angry, that these “clouds” seem like they are obscuring us from good, but that in actuality, we are never separate from that warmth, harmony of Soul. As we claim this fiercely and fearlessly, we will find healing, which is just the “clearing away” of those clouds of sense. Our connection is strong and consistent. We have to acknowledge that the sense of separation has no more ability to actually keep us separate, than clouds have the ability to separate a ray from the sun!

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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