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[PYCL: Recognize quickly the ways a fake parades as the real! Entertain mentally! (2)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Spirit”
for August 11, 2019

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

Pycl #1: There is a theme of thinking in terms of what constitutes the true man, what constitutes that which is substantial, powerful, living and being. (Think here of citation B4, Paul's words about how we "live, move, and have our being" in God). We often evaluate what is around us according to biological rules—breathing, moving, and having a body or form (as in a tree/flower etc.) This lesson kind of turns that idea on its head. Consider that man is constituted of only that which is spiritual, which has spiritual substance, continuity, and power. This comes up in a number of citations, including citations S2 and S14, B12, S16 (most of the citations in the third section), S26.

Man constituted of Spirit, is also governed by Spirit. That would be true because that which makes up something, will also be governing it. This leads us to contemplate how, perhaps matter seems so ungovernable! Perhaps that could be thought of as leading us to the realization that matter is not substance or power. Not being such, there are no laws or governing Principle of matter that act in a way that has continuity, eternity, peace.

Citation B20 describes this kind of "existence" with these words: "…tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine…". Could we illustrate this with a heavy object such as a paper weight and a feather? You could talk about how when we base our understanding on substantial, spiritual things (represented by paper weight or rock), we find we are not blown around by matter. Have the children try blowing each object and seeing what happens.

Pycl #2: Another idea with this concept of "constitute" might be to bring in something that is made of one kind of thing. Much like we did, I think, last week with the peanut butter. You could try pure orange juice ("not from concentrate"—not the exact same thing as "constituted" but you could talk about how we aren't adding water to "make" it, but it is already constituted of only orange juice). In a similar way, we are only constituted of Spirit, and so, are spiritual.

Matter is a counterfeit of man, not the real thing. This can be illustrated by the concept of counterfeit or fake money, by bringing in some game money (from “Monopoly” or “Life” or something). Discuss how when we are trained to identify counterfeit money, we study the real money. This way we can understand and recognize the fake more easily and quickly. And think of all the ways a fake thing can parade as the real!!!

At CedarS yesterday morning Christie Hanzlik helpfully substituted the phrase "limited sense of things" for "matter". Using this phrase helps us to understand more easily, how to look at the suggestions that come to us about our bodies in particular, when we feel pain or illness. There may be a way you can distill Mary Baker Eddy's excellent directions in citation S22 in such a way as to share the ideas contained with some pretty young children.

I especially love the idea of "entertaining" a false sense. What if we think of that like having a friend over for dinner. We set the table, put great food in front of them, maybe we play music, share a movie, whatever. Do we sometimes do this kind of "entertaining" for a "false material sense"? Try having the children set some places at their table and ask what do we want to "mentally entertain"?

Pycl #3: This morning I did Bible study time with a four-year-old. Her mom and I thought about how we could share the story of Jesus healing the insane man in Section 4. In this case it felt most helpful to share that he was a man who scared the people in the village, was very strong, and often yelled and behaved in a scary way and tried to hurt himself. We talked about how the villagers tried to even tie him up to keep him from hurting himself and from scaring people.

Instead of talking about multiple personalities, we thought about him as someone who sometimes felt very angry, sometimes very sad…and so on. I realize that's not the situation, but it seemed more accessible. What did Jesus say to him? What did he say to Jesus? Do we ever feel so angry we don't want to hear anything helpful or healing? What do we need to do? What did Jesus do? Our dramatization was not very detailed or full, but she seemed to enjoy the idea of sailing over and back and she was ready to repeat any "lines" that Jesus would say!

I especially like addressing the idea that limited mortal thinking often seems to want to resist the very thing that would most help in any situation. It is so helpful to know this when we find ourselves facing emotions that seem as if they are taking the "wheel" in our daily lives.

Pycl #4: One thing I tried this week in a "Prac Talk" at camp this week, and, I think, would be doable in Sunday School, was to illustrate Spirit with an electric fan. You could also make paper fans with folded paper and do it that way. As you work together to define Spirit, in part, as "breath" or "wind" (how it is often used in the Bible) you can think about the word "inspire" which is also like breathing in. You could use a fan to illustrate how when the wind blows you see the result of the wind: hair or leaves (outside) moving, maybe you put some light papers on the table and have them blown off. Can you see that wind? No, but you can see the results of the wind! That is how Spirit is at work around us. It is not visible as matter appears to be, but it is certainly noticeable by its results or effect. You can then think about Spirit as that which "moves" us. Can they think of ways that they have "seen" the results of God in their daily life?

Pycl #5: If you are in the mood for teaching hymns, there are two wonderful Bible verses set to lovely hymns in the new hymnal. "Whither shall I go from Thy spirit" which is hymn #599, and #457 "Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness…" Both of these are really beautiful and based on Biblical verse, so memorizing can be more fun in this way 🙂

Have a great Sunday School class!

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