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PYCL: Share ways God speaks to us in the everyday! Be purposefully aware and alert to the things of God all the time! (1,2)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for


on August 7, 2016

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

Pycl #1: What does it mean to "incline" your ear? Show them how it looks, like leaning towards something so that you can hear it better. When we look at someone and lean in when we are talking, we are showing that we care and are listening. So what is the Golden Text telling us to do? This is repeated in Section 3, citation B10. In that section it is joined with the story of Samuel as a child, hearing God call to him audibly. Talk about the different ways that we "hear" God. It can be as clear as a voice like in this story, and as is related in several biographies, and as Mrs. Eddy relates it in Retrospection and Introspection pp. 8-9. The really cool thing about this recollection of hers is that her cousin, who was visiting, heard the voice also. What does this say about children? We also can ask "why" we want to hear God's voice? Because it is what is real and true, while matter is not. It offers joy, love, fearlessness, wisdom, and so much more. I would say that most often God's voice comes to us "inaudibly", more like a strong urging, or a wonderful sense of peace. It would be really great to share some examples of how you have heard God speak to you, and see if together you can all come up with some. Without a clear sense of the ways that God speaks to us in the everyday, children can come to think that it is some mysterious and difficult (infrequent) exercise, listening and hearing God. One thing that is made clear in Section 3 is that it is through purity and holiness that His voice is most easily heard. Think of a blocked tunnel. If someone spoke to you from one end and the tunnel was completely full of rubble (material thoughts and fears), how much would you hear them? Have they ever been in a tunnel and made noises? The noises really echo back at you! Now what if you go into an unblocked tunnel and try communicating? You can hear everything, and loudly! I don't know if there is some way to demonstrate this in class, but I think the analogy might work for them. Most kids have yelled in some sort of tunnel before!

Pycl #2: One way to think about Soul as a name for God is to look at how this week's lesson emphasizes the spiritual senses. Mrs. Eddy distinguishes between soul with a small "s" and Soul as God. Soul with a small s can stand for spiritual sense. These senses are the only senses that discern God. We can really use them constantly. Citation S5 really says just that when she tells us that they are our "…conscious, constant capacity to understand God." Consciousness implies awareness, purposeful acknowledgement. Think of being purposefully aware and alert to the things of God all the time! Isn't that why we do a short met before each activity at CedarS? It just makes us be aware/conscious and awake to God's presence, and the spiritual nature of the reality of what we are doing. So instead of just shooting arrows at targets (for example), we are more deeply understanding God as discerning, accurate, patient, steady, powerful, strong and so on. We can do this anywhere. Go through some activities the children are engaged in for the coming week. Can they come up with a spiritual picture of what these activities really are? Maybe each can go home with such a list for the things they are doing, whether it is going to a friend's house, starting school, packing for one last summer trip, or going to the pool to swim. If they are engaged in this you could even look together for short quotes from the Bible or Science and Health to use as little "mets" for these activities. If our spiritual senses are the only ones that help us hear/feel/see God, then it's pretty important that we use, develop, and recognize that they are active!

Pycl #3: I'm not sure if this is too "big" a concept but it builds on the idea that spiritual senses are the only ones by which we discern reality/Soul's kingdom. Look at citation S3 and you will find that she tells us that while we believe that our identity and existence depend on the material senses, we must actually "…change the human concept of life,…know yourself spiritually and scientifically." This might seem like a real reach. One way to approach it might be to imagine being blindfolded, no light at all, total silence, and no smell or touch. How would you know you even exist? Or that anyone else does? Even if you just have them close their eyes really tight and plug their ears … they can't shut out all light and sound, certainly not the sensation of someone next to them and the chair beneath them. But, if it were possible? It might be a scary but important opportunity to really reach for spiritual sense and hear God's presence. Maybe you could look at Ps. 139 for a sense of how God's presence can never be taken from us! This is more like an exercise in understanding how much we rely on material sense to tell us things. Mrs. Eddy says that material sense can't even discern the existence of Spirit/Soul, it can only understand the opposite! That means that any time we are discerning consistent beauty, goodness, joy, love—we are using spiritual sense!

Pycl #4: Our identity is not in matter. That means that who we see in the mirror doesn't touch what God/Soul knows us to be. Can we even imagine that? Mrs. Eddy tells us that "Man is the expression of God's being." SH 470:23. In Section 2 it speaks of man's holiness, purity, sinlessness. What if we changed that passage to "Man is the expression of God's [holiness]"? Kind of interesting huh? We are holy expressions. What is holiness? Does it mean "goodie goodie"? You can bring in the glass of water again and talk about holiness and purity in terms of clean or dirty water. You can see through the clean, we are a better transparency for God/Soul's light of joy, satisfaction, love. This goodness is shed on everyone when we recognize that we are, and act as that clearer "glass of water". The "dirty glass" man is actually just the cheap imitation. It isn't the true you or me. But in order to see and act on that real man of Soul, we have to exercise spiritual sense to see it. We can "incline" our ear to Soul to be led in the right way. We can use the Commandments to guide us. Those are certainly Soul's directions to us for living.

Pycl #5: Share the story that I've mentioned before, about heaven and hell. There is a man that was especially good. God sends an angel to him and asks him what wish would he like to have filled (sounds like a genie?!) Anyhow, the man says he wants to see heaven and hell. The angel takes him to hell first and there are big tables full of food, all the best kinds, and wonderful drinks and desserts (you can embellish). Everyone is sitting at the table miserable, starving, angry. Then the man notices that they have metal sleeves on that make it impossible for them to bend their elbows, thus they cannot get the food to their mouths and are doomed for eternity to starve in the presence of abundance. Next the angel takes him to heaven where, impossibly, it is exactly the same scene with the tables! Only the people are all laughing and well fed. He can't believe it! What is the difference, why so happy? Then he notices that while these people have the same metal sleeves on their arms, they are having no trouble getting the food to their mouths because they are feeding each other instead of themselves. I think this is a fun story to illustrate the idea contained in citation S22 about changing our standpoint of life…"from a material to a spiritual basis". It is within our grasp, it is done through this kind of unselfish love. The last section also drives home that the source of joy and satisfaction is in Soul, not in matter. Our joyful harmonious being is a present fact and we can see it through spiritual sense, where material sense will only tell us of lack and limitation (as the people in "hell" were experiencing).

Have a great Sunday!

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