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PYCL: Be aware of Love in our lives help see thru suggestions of evil (1) and uncover tricks that error seems to try. See enemies as friends to feed! (2) Play an open & close gates game (5)
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
for February 2, 2020

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

Pycl #1: I have been enjoying the theme that we are never separated from Love. Discuss how we feel God's presence, and share some ideas of how you feel this presence with you on a daily basis. Some ideas might be: feeling loved and cared for in our family, a best friend's smile, beautiful animals you see on your way to school, snow falling, a good book… These are just thoughts that we can recognize as indications of Love's tenderness, joy, beauty, intelligence and so on. You can share healing examples as well, where you felt and proved God's/Love's presence.

There are suggestions in each section that point to ways that we might be tempted to feel that Love is not all around us. If we feel we don't have friends, if we are feeling hatred, anger, resentment, fear, and so on. How does really being aware of Love in our lives help us to see through the suggestions of evil? Do we have to be in the right place, be getting the right things, have the right clothes or whatever…? Remind them that the Responsive Readings of Paul were mostly written from prison. He speaks of sending joy, and feeling inseparable! So, we could be in prison, feeling ill, angry and so on, and that can be the moment that we turn away from those difficult thoughts and experience the joy that Paul is speaking of in his letters.

With the little ones think about how God is all around us, the law of divine Love. Point all around the Sunday School. Ask them if God is "over there in that corner too?". You can get a little silly, "I know Love is here in our class, but what about out in the parking lot in my car?" You can help them understand that sometimes, when we are having an especially hard time, that is when we really open our eyes to Love's presence, while, when everything seems pretty good we sometimes just don't really open our eyes to what is present.

Pycl #2: Speaking of opening our eyes…the story of Elisha and the armies of Syria is a great example of Love caring not only for Israel, but also really for the enemy as well!! Try digging into the story to see what it says to us today in our daily lives. For example, think of the way error seems to constantly plot to overthrow Israel, yet Elisha is never caught unawares.

Can we be aware of the way that evil seems to operate and be prepared so that it doesn't affect us? If we know, for example that certain relationships are tricky at school or home, we can wake each day and pray to be alert to how we are tricked into anger or hurt, and then we are more likely to be able to recognize it ahead, and like the king of Israel, "save ourselves, not once, nor twice."!!! It is when we are surprised that we sometimes react instead of responding. Staying close to Love uncovers the tricks that error sometimes seems to try.

Why the blindness on Elisha's servant? Was he looking to matter and material might to save his city? "It's up to us" is a tempting place from which to start! But Elisha was not fooled. He asked for his servant's eyes to be opened, for him to see their spiritual safety. In this case it was represented to him as horses and chariots of fire. What would our safety look like to us?

When we expect Love's power to look like armaments, cleverness, etc. we will be disappointed. Love is unopposed. This is illustrated by the blindness of the Syrian army. This blindness can be thought of literally, or figuratively, meaning they were blind to where they were and what Elisha was doing in leading them to the king of Israel. And here we have him advising the king not to kill them, but to feed them!

Citation S11 has that verse from the 23rd Psalm about preparing '…a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: [Love] anointeth my head with oil;my cup runneth over." With Elisha's prayer, the "enemy" was no longer the enemy, but a friend to feed!

If the children are having fun with this, you can ponder the definition of “oil” from the Glossary in Science & Health, and her definition of "cup" in SH p.35:27, and “wine” (presumably in the cup?) on that same page and line. (Wine is also defined in the Glossary). At any rate, think about how the oil, gratitude, inspiration, and so on are anointing your thought, and spiritual inspiration in every "cup" or cross like experience, so that we can feel Love's closeness. You can share a testimony and think together about how an obstacle or challenge was overcome, a challenge to our sense that Love is universal and ever-present.

Pycl #3: With the very young teach them the song about how "love is like a magic penny". It's such a lovely image, the idea that Love's closeness can be shared and multiplied through our generosity. Think about the image of trying to argue over a "piece" of Love. Can we ever not have enough of God? You can find this song, or at least the words on the internet. It is sung at CedarS at meal times on occasion, so some of the children might have learned it there!

Pycl #4: Why does hatred or anger, or holding a grudge seem to separate us from Love? Why does being afraid seem to do this? You can use any number of sections to delve into these questions. But touching on the passage from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in citation B7 is a great touchstone for this subject.

The idea of loving your enemy, or someone who is unkind to you, this is a great challenge to meet! It's easy to like people who are friendly and kind to us right? Do we have to "create" the love we need as we work to be more loving? Get out a small mirror. When you look in the mirror, is your reflection working really hard to "look like you"? Of course not! We reflect infinite Love and we have that love and the ability to use it and feel it!

Pycl #5: Try a Bible passage to interpret. Citation B11 tells us that "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders: but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise." What might be our "borders" in our thinking or experience? Our "land"? What walls of salvation do we have in our thoughts, what gates called "Praise"?

Think about the things that can protect us (walls and gates), that alertness that we spoke of earlier. What thoughts constitute good walls and gates in our life? What if, when we hear something unloving we don't let it past our "mental gate" and into our heart. Instead we let it pass by without hurt?

Have the younger children create walls with their arms on the table, the gate is their two hands that can "open and close". Have them think of things that they will open their "gates" to, and things that they can keep the gates shut for. They can open and close their hands for the respective ideas that you all share together.

Have a great week in Sunday School.

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