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[PYCL: See true substance without being "tripped" up by the material "stuff"! (5)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for


on September 11, 2016

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: Why is blessing connected in this lesson with substance? And what is a blessing, a younger kid might want to define that clearly. You can also talk about the translations of the Beatitudes that offer "happy" in place of "blessed". You can even talk about how someone might be "blessed" or "anointed" in the Bible, they would use oil—include Mrs. Eddy's definition of "oil". Knowing what is true, real, substantial makes us aware of how blessed we are as ideas of God. That's why we recognize that we are "rich", as it says in the Golden Text. For example, if you have a big bank balance, but you make a mistake in your book-keeping and think you are broke, you would be unaware of your riches. Only when the truth is revealed to you do you recognize your riches and only then can you act on them and live in prosperity. This is a great analogy for us spiritually.

Pycl #2: When you are in a dark room and see a scary shadow you might be tempted to be afraid. When you shine a light on it the shadow disappears, because it lacks substance. (S5) Then, the objects that are substantial stand out and become more apparent to you. This lesson parallels substance with reality, only reality is left when we understand that unreality has no substance, when we are no longer fooled by matter. You can talk about this idea of light and shadow, or you can bring in a flashlight and find someplace in the building that is dark… like a closet, and experiment with the light revealing with more clarity, what is in the room.

Pycl #3: Clearly we need to spend some time with the Beatitudes in this lesson! What is their beautiful connection with the subject of substance? It would be fun to take each section that includes one or more Beatitude and see how they fit with the story or subject of that section, of course. But if they are younger, we might want to take a bigger view. Think of how the qualities that each Beatitude tell us make us blessed, are lasting, enduring, real, true, strong, from God—substantial. (We will want to talk about the definition of substance and how the Christian Science view differs from the "world" view of this word.) The Beatitudes help us to live a substantial life. We are living in and recognizing the presence of, the kingdom of heaven, when we embody the Beatitudes in our daily living. Can we come up together with examples in our daily lives that show how any of the Beatitudes are being lived?

Pycl #4: I think we can talk even with small children about the "hidden" view that Christian Science takes of substance—that substance is spiritual, not material. In this way we can think together about how being a peacemaker is related to a "substantial" view of man. A man that is based in matter is separate from God, has a separate mind that is capable of hatred, fear, and strife. Conflict stems from the belief that people have divergent interests. If we all have separate parentage, separate families, then we have to "fight" for our own interests. But if we have one source or Principle we can solve disagreements and conflict by looking to our one Father-Mother, and recognizing the blessings that belong to us all. Just like that light we mentioned in pycl #2, we can begin to recognize the abundance of good that God showers on all of us (see also the stories in 3rd and 5th sections). Look at what Mrs. Eddy says in citation S18 about the "…secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God." What does she mean by "secret"? Is it available to only a few?

Pycl #5: What does purity and seeing God have to do with substance? Section 4 presents this Beatitude about being pure in heart and seeing God. It begins with mention of ascending the hill of the Lord in citation B15. Have the children think about climbing a big, steep hill or mountain. What is available to us at the top? Often we get a great view. We can see clearly what is around us. Nothing obscures or darkens the view such as trees or houses. We might say that we can tell what is really around us. Purity is something that cannot be obscured; it is clear, radiant, strong, and wise. It is definitely a "substance" quality! With a consciousness that is pure, our view of God is like our view from the top of the mountain. It is not obscured by material obstacles. Maybe you could compare this to a bird's eye view of things. Do the birds have to worry about getting over the fallen logs in a trail, about boulders or rivers or other obstacles? No, because they are above these things, their view and path are clear. They, in fact, can see the substance of what is below without being "tripped" up by the material "stuff". We want to keep clearly in our consciousness, the qualities from citation B17. The purest view is from above (metaphorically), as Mrs. Eddy expresses it in citation S20: "One's aim, a point beyond faith, should be to find the footsteps of Truth, the way to health and holiness. We should strive to reach the Horeb height where God is revealed; and the corner-stone of all spiritual building is purity." When we have a pure view, we have left behind the temporary and insubstantial, only the permanent and substantial are left behind.

Have a great Sunday with this beautiful lesson!

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