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[PYCL: Really experience the "Bigness" of Life as God! (6)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from
the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on:

“Life”
For July 19, 2020

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

Pycl #1: A larger and more expanded sense of Life

What does Life mean? Are their definitions material, that is do they pertain to limited sense of life in matter? This lesson helps us think BIG. Can we imagine a sense of Life that is not confined in matter or bodies, forms of plants and animals? This doesn't mean that these appearances are unimportant, but we can grow our sense of Life as something broader. This breadth includes ideas like infinity and eternity, words that are hard to comprehend from a human sense. So, is Life "animated matter"? If not, how do they see it?

You might ask "What do you love about your mom/dad/friends/pets?" They will likely list qualities most. Maybe a smile, or hug, but are those something they would draw or picture, or are they more like feelings? If it includes the soft fur of a pet, can they think of a way to state that in spiritual (unlimited) terms? Perhaps a scribe in the group gathers on a sheet of paper all the words that define to the class the qualities of Life.

Pycl #2: Symbolize eternality with a circle

Bring a hula hoop, ball, or draw a big circle. Where is the beginning? Where does it end? Then draw a straight line. Does the line "fit" in the circle? You can read some of p. 282 of Science & Health with the students if you think that would work with your age group. Here she discusses the circle/sphere, and the straight line. Have them put their names somewhere on the circle (or ball). Have them put their mom's/dad's names, anyone's names, even Jesus'. Can they point to who "came first" on that circle or sphere? This is how it is with our true, God given, eternal identity.

We have eternally existed in being because we "coexist" with God. We didn't "come into being" and then "go out of being". That is the dream of matter, that we are learning is not the truest understanding of existence or being, it is just the dream that we are taking care of at the moment until we understand better what we are as in citation S3 (264:7–8, 15). (That's just a way that I think might be helpful to state our material existence? You may have a better way to phrase it!).

What is "eternity"? Is it a really long time? See Psalms 16:6, 9–11, SH 289:32, SH 468:25–29. Did Caleb glimpse something of eternal Life?

Pycl #3: "run, and not be weary”

Work with Bible citation B6, Isaiah 40:28 (to 2nd ?), 31 "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Maybe your class can try to memorize the last verse. Contemplate the idea that renewal here cannot be limited in matter. Renewal, refreshment, comes from the infinite source of energy and strength, Life. Does this passage only apply to physical exertion? What does it symbolize?

Show a picture of an eagle soaring above. Is that how we can feel when we look to Life as the source of energy, joy, flexibility, grace, speed, agility, and so on? Find some testimonies that illustrate this passage, share one of your own.

Look again at the story of Caleb and think if this passage is one of the laws behind his (and Joshua's) freedom from aging. Make sure you acknowledge that he literally says he was just as strong at 85 as he was at 40—strong enough to go to war!! (in the verses that follow, in the Bible). That is something to contemplate.

Pycl #4: “Take no thought….”

Section 4 contains a part of the Sermon on the Mount, always a good subject to think on in Sunday School! Why is this making an appearance in this lesson on Life? Aren't eating/dressing/providing for ourselves generally part of "life"?
What does Jesus say we must do about these things? What does it mean to "take no thought"? How are we to first "seek" the "kingdom of heaven"?
And what does that mean or include day to day?

Maybe we can look at all the citations from Science and Health in this section together with the older children and think about how they point to leaning completely on God as Life. Sure, we can make ourselves supper… But do we need to be "absorbed in material selfhood" to do this? Same with clothing, sleeping, etc.

When we no longer see ourselves as separate from God, responsible for our own care and well-being, we can then begin to understand and see, daily, the ways that God is providing. Is there anything lacking in the kingdom of God? No! So, we can safely and fearlessly seek it first, and find what we need, like a well-stocked pantry and closet!!

Do you want to be healthy? How about doing what Mary Baker Eddy directs in citation S13 (62:13–16, 22) – it’s based on Jesus' saying in citation B14 (Matthew 6:25-33). How can we take "less thought" for these things? What does that really mean? Can we do this right now? You can include the story of the man who wanted to build a barn to hold his extra crops in this discussion as well, though Pycl #5 will include another aspect of that story.

Pycl #5: Is making lots of money an OK goal for life?

Read or tell the parable in Bible citation 16 (Luke 12:13, 15–21) and the following counsel that Jesus shares in Bible citation 17 (Mark 10:23, 26–30). Why would wealth be a possible problem for growth, life (things that are living are always growing!)?
Ultimately, is there any evidence that a pursuit of wealth will make people happy?
What about the achievement of wealth?

When we are focused on a "future" time, where we might be able to be happier, aren't we living in our imagination? Can we live in the future? Isn't there only now? Look at the citations about eternity, do they include future and past, or only now? Where on that hoop or ball is the past/future?

Pycl #6: Experience the “bigness” of Life

When we are following this narrow path of divine joy and true living in Life, we have to make sure our thoughts aren't trying to carry big "bags" of material expectations, desires, loves along with us. We can trust that Love's and Life's provisions along the way will give us what we need!

Have them each load up a huge garbage bag with big pillows and then have them try to squeeze through a narrow space or doorway. This is what it is like when we want to try to live a "big" material existence, and also sort of dip our feet into a more spiritually minded sense of being. To really experience the "Bigness" of Life as God, we have to be willing to let go of what we think will be a "big" life in matter, which is more akin to a big bag of pillows, or maybe even rocks!!

Have a fun week in Sunday School!!

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