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[PYCL: Talk about a new kind of seeing this week! Go into your storehouse! (1)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for September 24, 2017

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

Pycl #1: As you know, there is so much about "opening" our eyes in this week's lesson. See if they know what that means, symbolizes. With young ones, have them cover their eyes and ears, or blindfold them gently and have them cover their ears. Beforehand, ask them if, when their eyes and ears are covered, they can feel God's presence with them, God as Love, or Mind directing them, comforting them. Does it seem like that would be hard for God, to communicate if they couldn't see or hear? So we are talking about a different kind of seeing this week! You could bring Jesus' "closet" or storehouse, from the Sermon on the Mount, into the conversation. He tells us to go into this storehouse—which is full of inspiration and love from God…but we are closing the door on the distractions of matter when we do this. Isn't that what we are finding in this week's lesson on reality? That, if we shut out the material sense of things, we can find that we are seeing truly.

Another aspect to this is seeing past the exterior of something. You could talk about how we have all these thoughts inside of our consciousness (inside us), and this is how we think of ourselves. We probably don't feel like our "selfhood" or identity is our human body. (Or at least, let's introduce the idea that our physique is not who we are.). You can ask the question: "Am I what I look like?" If we are not our bodies…can we describe ourselves with the new kind of seeing?

Pycl #2: Speaking of this new kind of seeing, there are several stories that illustrate this in the lesson! Look at Section 4 and the walk to Emmaus. These were Jesus' disciples that had followed him for years. We need to revel in the fact here, that they didn't even recognize him! How is that possible? Well, we need to be pretty humble here, because this is how "mortal seeing" works. They were so convinced that Jesus' mission was a flop, that he, perhaps, had fooled them even. Their thought was completely taken in by the fact that he had been crucified. Probably it is helpful to remember that in their day, being crucified was something that was a totally shameful way to die, meaning that socially, only the lowest dregs of society received that kind of punishment. It may not seem like that fact would mean much from our perspective today, in fact it is very symbolic. But to the followers of Jesus, it would have been inconceivable that the Messiah would have been dealt such an ignominious death! You can also point out that they were looking for a different kind of "savior", a military savior from the occupiers of Israel. Even though they had been listening to him preach all those years, it didn't quite sink in that the Messiah would not be leading Israel to military dominance. So think about how this lack of ability to recognize Jesus shows up in our lives today? What would blind us today to the presence of the Christ, walking with us every step of our day? When we are sad, what is blinding us? When we feel ill? And so on. When we feel convinced that God is not here with us, are we just looking through our material sense? Jesus "opened" their eyes to reality, when he "broke bread" with them. Mrs. Eddy defines "bread" in Science and Health as "Truth" (p. 35). It is Truth that is real, and opens our eyes to the power and eternal presence of the Christ that heals.

Pycl #3: What did Abraham "see"? Was he worried that if he let Lot choose the land first, that he'd get left with something infertile? No! He saw that there was no need for conflict, competition for our wellbeing. And because he saw that, he heard God tell him that, in fact, all the land would be his. In other words, God was reassuring him that all good comes from God and must, therefore, be infinite. How can we be like Abraham? What is the "city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God"? (B3) This passage tells us that this is what Abraham was looking for. What are foundations made of? Jesus told Peter that his church was built on "the rock", or the recognition of Jesus as Christ! So maybe our city that has foundations is one that is built on our "seeing" the Christ present with us?! Also you can link this to John's city of New Jerusalem in Section 5. You can find what this city is built on in the chapter of Revelation. How does the city "come down from heaven"? Notice that it is "…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." First of all, as a woman, not a warrior. Second, she is not even preparing for war or domination in that sense, she is preparing for a "wedding", or at least, she looks that way. This new city is seen as linked inextricably to God. If we are living in this city, we must also be linked to our Father-Mother. Can we see this in our daily life? John, Abraham, Jesus, and many others certainly did. So can we!

Pycl #4: In Section 2 we have that great story about Elisha being able to "see" where the Syrian army would attack and warning the king of Israel each time, so that he could prepare. Share this fun account, how the Syrian king was angry because he thought there must be a spy among them! He was sure that he could solve the problem by capturing Elisha. He does the obvious thing and surrounds Elisha's town with troops. Elisha is not fooled by the view of the troops, and he even has God reveal a visual image that would allay the fears of his servant! We don't have to see chariots of fire surrounding us to know that God is governing. Remember the blindfold from Pycl #1? We don't even have to see at all, physically, to know that God is the only power. Even when evil appears to be very real—in storms, sickness, violence—we can remain true to our spiritual view of things through our spiritual senses. And the facts that are behind God's government make themselves apparent to us in just the way we need at just the right time. This happened here for Elisha. And you may find it interesting to read the rest of the account and how Elisha deals with the troops, striking them blind, leading them to the king of Israel and feeding them, before sending them home. I've often thought about an entire army of soldiers being led, blind, on foot to the king of Israel. While that could very well be what happened, it is also possible that they were "blind" to what was happening. They may have come to this "battle" with a preconceived idea (like the disciples on their walk to Emmaus), and that mortal sense of what was going on made them temporarily blind to the truth. And so, they allowed themselves to be led to the "enemy" king.

Pycl #5: At one time in history, it was commonly accepted that the earth was the center of the universe, and the sun revolved around it. That's what it looks like right? The first people that used other methods to analyze things, other methods than the human sense of sight, got in big trouble for sharing their more scientific views of reality! In the same way today, if we start from the basis of matter as "reality" we find we are stuck with all sorts of false "data" or information. Compare this analogy with citation S10 where Mary Baker Eddy talks about what happens when we "calculate" our prospects for life, health, happiness, etc. from a false basis. You may be able to come up with a little experiment to illustrate this right there in class. There are many things that we take for granted as adults that don't actually "look" like what they are. My favorite is from a Sentinel or Journal article that spoke of a young child on an airplane for the first time. They asked their mom or the adult with them, "when are we going to shrink?" That was what she assumed was happening when planes went way up in the sky! Well, that's what the eye sees right? You could even have one child walk a far distance away from the class. Show them how to hold up a pencil to measure their height (hold a pencil at arm's length vertically. Measure the height of the child against the pencil, with one eye closed. Then ask them if that student is really the size of a pencil!! But affirm that that is what our eyes tell us!

Have a great Sunday!

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