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[PYCL: Act out throwing a net on the "right side" and name what we are "fishing" for and how. (6) Tap into infinite ability by quieting hustle, bustle & pride with communion! (2, 4)]
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Sacrament”
for July 14, 2019

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

Pycl #1: Discuss what Sacrament or a sacrament is. How do most Christians celebrate sacraments of baptism and eucharist? How do Christian Scientists celebrate these things? Look through the lesson to find what MBE says about these sacraments. What does sacrament have to do with worshiping God?

Pycl #2: What is worship? Let's think together about worship and how we worship, or why. Traditionally, we might think of worship as attending church, or as prayer maybe, or as bowing down, or kneeling. These are all outward symbols of worship. What really has to happen for it to be worship?

This Bible lesson is all about our daily practice of worshiping—particularly worshiping through following Jesus. Why do the kids think we kneel in church on sacrament Sunday? What does the Church Manual say about this act (what do they read from the desk towards the end of the service? – i.e. what are we invited to do while we kneel? — is there a difference between silent communion and prayer)?

With the little children you can have them try kneeling. Have a conversation about humility. Why is humility important in worship? Is expressing love/Love, worship? Find all the examples in the Bible lesson that emphasize humility and why they are examples of humility. For example, the Responsive Reading is a great opener. Jesus, the Master Christian washes the feet of his disciples. Peter learns deep humility when he struggles with fear and denies knowing Jesus at the cross, even though he sincerely thought he would not. Jesus humbly accepts the task set for him when asking God in the garden for a pass in citation B12. These are the stories that involve humility. There are also numerous other non-story passages that encourage that quality. I am impressed that with humility, true humility, comes authority and power! Why would this be? Is there something to the fact that when we understand that all our identity, intelligence, skill, strength really proceeds from God, then we can tap into infinite supply of these things— as long as serving is our goal.

Pycl #3: Perhaps this is a continuation of the above. But I can't help noticing that this Bible lesson includes a theme of the human sense of love and worship being elevated to the divine. Look at how Jesus saw himself in the Responsive Reading – what if we look at ourselves the same way? How would knowing this impact our interactions with others on a daily basis: "knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;” Starting from that knowledge …. how would we worship or behave? Would it be different from how we do things now? If so, why?

Peter professed love for Jesus and faithfulness. He sincerely, I think, thought he'd stand by Jesus at the cross. But no matter how sincerely we believe we will follow Jesus, we can only prove this by daily, hourly, attention to practicing what he told us to practice. Look at the Golden Text for one all-encompassing way to do this. By practicing our love for Jesus and by demonstrating the Christ healing that he demonstrated on a regular basis, we are making our human love for Jesus grow to be ready for a steadily more spiritual expression and understanding of this practice. We cannot skip over this "human" demonstration.

We have to first practice what we know and understand. It seems to me that some of Peter's enthusiasm is more along the lines of wishful thinking than demonstrated strength of spiritual understanding and authority. He was still seeing himself as a separate person or personality. He had yet to gain a deeper understanding of his true state of coming "from God" and going "to God"— or that "…the Father had given all things into his hands…". Once he gained a deeper sense of this, we see him healing the man in Section 5!

Pycl #4: One thing that a better understanding of worship can do is help us get a truer sense of our spiritual identity. Look together at citation S14. Mary Baker Eddy tells us that we can put off material beliefs (falsehoods) and we can get rid of a false sense of who we are

by "…repentance, spiritual baptism, and regeneration…"

  • What are these three things?
  • How can we "repent" or "rethink" what we have often thought of as real or the basis of our experience?
  • How can we experience the truest sense of baptism or purification on a regular basis?
  • What is "regeneration"?
  • How do these things bring about a truer understanding of our identity and also put off material beliefs?

I wonder if silent communion gives us a better sense of our true individuality, as opposed to the hustle bustle and noise of daily business? Try having everyone sit silently for 5 minutes to see if they can get their thoughts silent enough to have this communion with Love. Use a timer so no one feels the need to constantly check to see the time!

Pycl #5: I don't feel like any of these Pycls are particularly aimed at the younger crowd. But we could work with them by asking them to share ways that they naturally worship God.

  • Do they express kindness toward their family by happily helping at home?
  • Do they express humility by not arguing with a sibling when they may feel that they are "right”?
  • Do they express purity by thinking joyful thoughts to replace gloomy ones when those are pushing their way into their thought?
  • These are all ways that we can identify true worship and true following of Jesus, as apostles. Come up with a list together of all the ways they might worship this week.

Pycl #6: Bring a real net if you can find one or something that can stand in for a net. A bedsheet might work. Have the children act out the story of "casting the net on the other side." What did that request symbolize? Why did the disciples find fish on that side of the boat? What did it mean that they toiled all night and caught nothing? What does the "night" symbolize, the "toil" symbolize, the catching symbolize, the "right side" of the ship?

How might we cast our "nets" today to catch more "fish"? Why did the disciples go back to fishing? What did they think happened when Jesus was crucified? Why did it take that breakfast for them to stop "going back" to their old ways, repent and regenerate their understanding, so that they would continue in Jesus' path? Practice throwing the "net" on the "right side" and naming what we are "fishing" for and how.

Have a great sacrament Sunday!

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