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[PYCL: Remove the “I”, to run everything well, instead of well, ruIn everything! (#1, #4)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

September 6, 2015 on

“Man”

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

Pycl #1: What does it mean to have "dominion"? The definition is "The power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority." Does this mean that we get to do whatever we want? If you have any budding ecologists or environmentalists, this is something that will concern them. Do we have an obligation in our "governing" power, to govern wisely and be good stewards? The answer might seem obvious, but what does good governing look like? What about how we govern our own bodies? Do we do this with a sense of authority? Or do we pretty much listen to whatever our body "says" and either be afraid or obey? With the littler kids you can talk about how a government might run. I know that with our government here it is not "run" by one person, but you can talk about how a kingdom might be run, even if it is imaginary. What would make people happy to live there? What would make people listen to laws and be obedient? In the same way, God has established His kingdom to express goodness, joy, harmony, beauty, balance, safety, and so on. What if the king or queen did mean or arbitrary things that weren't dependable. For example, one time you get to an intersection and it has a stop sign and the next it has a yellow blinking light, then the next it has a regular traffic light. Would you be safer if the intersection had one kind of traffic guide? Why? If the laws that govern us change or are unpredictable, they don't help us as well as if they are always safe and good. God's dominion is reliable and trustworthy, as such our reflected dominion must also be. (This may end up taking things too far afield, but one example might be in the Disney movie, The Lion King. When Simba's dad dies the next king is Scar. When he runs things, he ruins the whole ecosystem, because he takes everything for himself and doesn't govern with wisdom and balance. [WH: This shows, like with Absalom in Pycl#4, when you put an I in the running of anything, you end up ruInning everything! As Jesus said “I can of mine own self can do nothing.” John 5:30] You decide if this would end up being a discussion about a movie instead of God and man!)

Pycl #2: In this lesson we are learning about what the real man is. We find this out by knowing God better, and using our spiritual senses rather than material to make this discovery (which is ongoing). What is the point of knowing who the real man is? Why is it important to live in accord with whatever we understand of God and man, rather than just "existing" in matter? It might seem like we don't really need to know who this real man is… why not just go along with the dream, if it's pleasant enough? There are several examples in this week's lesson that might help to answer that question. The evils that pride and personality lead us into, the disappointment and difficulty of disease or disability, and the suggestion of life threatening harm are just a few reasons why we may want to work a bit at understanding reality rather than being content with the dream. Eventually, living in matter alone will let us down. Besides, don't we want to know that what we are living for and seeing around us is real and not just a dream? Check out citation B4 where we are told that "flesh and blood"/matter or material consciousness, "cannot inherit the kingdom of God". We all want to live in, really feel the presence of, the kingdom of God.

Pycl #3: If you haven't done it recently with the little kids, you can get out your mirror. I like the idea that Mrs. Eddy shares where the mirror represents divine Science. When we look into, search Christian Science, we see that reflection that most "looks" like God. It is a reflection that is not limited in intelligence, health, energy, joy. and so on. (S&H, 515 bottom to top of 516). Christian Science leads us to a clearer understanding of the truth that man is the reflection of God. Job speaks of this in citation B7. "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee") This could be compared to a situation for the kids where they might have heard of someone, maybe a new kid at school, but they don't really know them until they have met them in person. The more they visit and work/play with that person the better they get to know them. In the end, do they really know someone if they've only heard people talk about them? Or does that knowing come from more actual contact?

Another mirror thought: If we are not happy with something we see in the mirror (or something about ourselves that isn't shown in a mirror), what should we do? The only solution is to look to God. It is tempting to look even more at self to change something we are unhappy with. But the more we dig into a false sense of ourselves, likely the more disappointed and sad we will get. If we look at God more deeply, He will give us the true view of ourselves and we will find ourselves acting in ways that yield more joy and satisfaction.

Pycl #4: Well you have to share the story of Absalom. He represents the downfall of dwelling on personality. Talk about what personality is and what it stems from. Where do we really get our identity? If all of our individuality and identity comes from God, then are we all the same? (That would sure be boring!) A funny side note: Poor Absalom was so hung up on his desire for recognition that he even built himself a monument in the Valley of the Kings. I don't know what it looked like, but his fear of dying without any note led him to do this and everything else in the story. You may want to share more of the story with the kids. It's pretty exciting, with hiding spies and clever strategies. Absalom's sticky end is even kind of ironic, though maybe only in a modern sense. He rides his mule under a low branch and his head gets lodged in the fork of two branches. He is hanging, vulnerable, by his neck and is killed there by a soldier of David's army. I like to think that maybe his "big" head tripped him up in the end, except it may not do to make fun, since it is rather sad, except as an object lesson. You may want, with older kids to point out that while we may not have the opportunity to influence a kingdom; this story is nonetheless a great guide to living a more spiritually motivated life. Absalom felt slighted by his father, King David, and acted out of pride and hurt feelings. Have we ever found ourselves feeling left out of a position where our good wasn't recognized? What should we do about this? Is the desire for recognition good or bad or what? How do we avoid the trap of either living in the grip of our own personality, or feeling misled by another's personality? Citation S14 gives some answers to this question. We have to "put off" mortal error or personal sense of self, with deeds! How we behave is the most important part of who we are.

Pycl #5: You can play with this last passage about putting of "itself with its deeds…” Link this with citation B12 which talks about putting on the new man. Try this with little ones with clothes that represent certain qualities. Have some old raggedy looking ones on hand that represent personality traits that we want to lose such as selfishness, unkindness, sadness/grumpiness, and so on. Then have some colorful, new-looking clothes that they can put on that represent qualities that stem from God and represent the God-like man.

Pycl #6: In Section 4 we have the story of Jesus healing the blind man and the questions that the disciples ask about this man. You can bring up the symbolism here in Jesus' spitting on the clay that he puts on the man's eyes. Why spit on clay? Is the clay fixing anything? What did the second chapter of Genesis say about man's origin—what was he made out of? Might Jesus have been "spitting" on the idea that man was made from out of dust? How would this have a healing effect on a man that was blind from his birth?

In citation S17 Mrs. Eddy speaks of breaking physical laws of health and how they don't have divine authority, only human belief behind them. You could talk about how we could come up with an imaginary place that is ruled by laws that we make up. Would those laws be "real" laws, or ones we "established"? Do they have power? This was what the disciples were confronting in their thought, the suggestion that this man's blindness was caused by a human law. While their idea of a human law might seem silly today in a scientific sense, there are other so-called scientific laws that stand in the way today of healing a blind man. Material law, though it may seem quite convincing, is not God's law, the ultimate law of Truth. Something to think about!

Have a great Sunday.

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