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[PYCL: Set up an exchange store: trade grumpy for happy… To discover, persist & watch!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

Christian Science”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 29, 2013

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

PYCL 1: Hang your own inspiration on a few possible ideas to meet the needs of your class!
There are a few ideas I have to share this week and you can make them as elaborate or simple as you wish. Hopefully these thoughts will give you some sort of framework where you can hang your own inspiration and meet the needs of your class!

PYCL 2: Consider setting up an exchange store: trade grumpiness for joy…
The Golden Text and Responsive Reading draw on Isaiah's prophecy that [many feel] foretold  the coming of the Messiah.  The kids may like to take note of the fact that this prophecy is in the present tense, that is, “thy light is come”, “…unto us a child is born”, and so on. That means that today we are welcoming in that Christ “child”.  Today we are preparing our thought to receive the message of healing that Jesus came to preach and teach through his healing work. You might ask the kids how they are preparing to receive this “babe”. What do mother's do when they are getting ready for a new child?  Do they have to go to the store and purchase some things, like diapers, a crib, a stroller, a carrier, some rattles, bottles, and so on?  What do we need to be ready for the Christ?  You could set up a store.  If you don't have shelves or bookcases in your classroom, you can gather some cardboard boxes and stack them to represent shelves.  You could put wrapped boxes on the shelves with labels on the outside that represent things that the Christ brings to our experience.  For example, an obvious one, healing (you could have a few of those!), joy, inspiration, understanding, love for God, hope, intelligence, skill, creativity, and so on. You can also come up with these ideas together and label the boxes at Sunday school. Then how do they go to the store to purchase these Christ thoughts?  Well, the first thing they should know is that it doesn't cost a cent of money!  They are free to all.  How do we get these things like joy, etc.?  Maybe they can bring in an exchange; it could just be on a piece of paper.  It could say things that might try to take away our joy, like loving material things too much, being impatient with our sibling or friend, grumping when we are asked to do something… you get the picture. To get one of the Christ qualities, they must throw away something that they don't like that they might seem to struggle with at times.  You could have a waste basket at the “entrance” to your store, where they can drop those thoughts and choose something of the Christ on the shelves!  With this Christ “gift” they can transform their lives and bless those around them.  Maybe after they go on their shopping spree you could take a look at each gift they received and talk about how it can bless them or those around them.

PYCL #3: Pretend to be asleep and miss out on something…
In the first section I love citation S1; and it may be worth translating that passage for the younger ones.  After they have some sense of what that passage says maybe they could have one pupil pretend to be asleep (no peeking), then you can do something, some small action, lift the other pupil up in the air… whatever.  Then ask the “sleeping” student what happened while they were “sleeping”?  Hopefully they won't know. Then you can talk about how we can miss the presence of the Christ if we are not “awake” to God's love and activity around us.  We can even be aware when those “first faint morning beams” are beginning to shine on the horizon—when we are first beginning to understand something and experience the joy that comes right as we are experiencing a healing or a revelation of Christ power of some kind.

PYCL #4: Dress them up to be wise men…
How did the wise men know about Jesus?  Why did they bring him gifts?  Since we know that the coming of the Christ idea is today, how can we be wise men and “travel far”—go great distances in our thought to bless and be blessed by the Christ.  Dress up the little ones as “wise men/women” (a scarf around the head and maybe a sheet would be fine).  Ask them what they'd bring to the baby today?  What do they need to bring to their thought to “see” the baby?  One thing we get to really learn in Christian Science is that all of us are God's children (S2); that's quite the gift, is it not?  Why were these men considered “wise”?  How can we be “wise” today?

PYCL #5: Talk about the toughness in the face of challenges it takes to be a good discoverer.
In section 2 we have the discovery of Christian Science.  Last year my then third-grader and I studied the great 19th century American explorers, Lewis and Clarke.  We read about them and listened to their journals read on CD by actors; visited museums; camped like they did; and so on.  We noticed that when they recruited people to go on their adventure, they tended to hire soldiers and skilled outdoorsmen.  These men (and ultimately one woman), were hardy, tough and after more than a year of grueling travel and often near starvation, they lost only one member of their crew; and it was to an unrelated illness near the beginning of the trip.  So you could talk about the qualities it takes to be a good discoverer.  Mrs. Eddy was the opposite of “hardy” if you are talking about physical constitution.  So how was she a good discoverer or explorer?  Wasn't her tough persistence in the face of constant challenge something that marked her as a really great discoverer?  How can we develop a similar toughness?  Can we work to be less fearful in the face of discomfort, more faithful in our daily activities?  You come up with some qualities together!  Is there anything left for us to “discover” or has Mrs. Eddy done it all?  You can talk about how we each really have to be discoverers in our own right in order to heal as Mrs. Eddy and Christ Jesus did.

PYCL # 6: Discuss the blessings of climbing the “watchtower” of uplifted Christly thoughts.
In the third section we have a passage about the watchtower. [B10, Hab. 2:1]  You can read to the kids from another translation if that is helpful to explain how the land owners would have people watch from such towers during harvest season to make sure that people weren't sneaking in and stealing their crops.  What makes a tower helpful?  Isn't it the height?  You can see more of the land right?  What might make our watching more successful?  If we are inspired by the Christ, don't we “see” more good around us, and feel happier and better?

PYCL #7: Consider reading a couple of pages of S&H each week to your class…
These are younger kids and not likely to take on reading through Science and Health (S&H).  But what if you were to read two pages a week until you move on to another class?  If you have this class through August I figure you'd read together at least 64 pages of Science and Health!  You wouldn't have to spend all of each class discussing these two pages, I'm sure it would vary week to week.  You read them aloud and talk about what they might mean to the kids!  Some weeks might be really in depth and others not so much. Some of the kids might enjoy reading these pages at home and others may not, but certainly you will enjoy thinking about what might be helpful in each page to share each week!  What fun it would be to help instill a habit of reading this work as a whole book!  It would be important not to be pushy with this project so that the kids don't end up dreading the activity.  You should be excited and transmit that excitement, kind of like the exploration we talked about!!

PYCL #8: Talk about NOT judging (erroneously)…
There is much more but I will leave you with a final thought.  Talk about what it means to “judge” others “erroneously”.  Then look at citation B12 and talk about what Jesus says about his mission.  If the greatest man on earth came not to judge, then should we be judging others?  What did he come to do?  How can we “take away the sins of the world”.  If it's not through judging, what is it through?  Fun to think about!

Have a great Christmas week and New Year too!!

 

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