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Pycl: Memorize and thoroughly discuss the importance of the 6th Tenet! (#5)
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

for Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021

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

Pycl #1: Claim your inherent ability to know God where you are, at any time. Try the “I am” exercise…

Establish together what "Mind" encompasses as a synonym for God. The Responsive Reading (Ps. 19:1-3) tells us that God is "declared", made known, understood, visible, all around us. That each day "speaks to the next one, and each "night" utters knowledge. We can think together about how day is bright, we can see, understand better what is around us. Night often can represent something that is obscured or hidden, hard to understand. And yet, here we are being told that intelligent communication goes on from day to day, and that even in what seems obscure (night), knowledge is shared and spoken to us. Finally, "there is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."! Let's use this as the basis for a theme that I see played out in this lesson: God/Mind is knowable, known, that we are each capable of understanding God right where we are, at any time.

Mind cannot be ill-defined or mysterious, as God is often portrayed. And Mind is known to "all the earth"! It's easy to get trapped into thinking that God is hard to know or understand. If we start with everyday examples and acknowledge these expressions of intelligence, direction, intuition, and so on, we start to see just how true this is! Make a really, really long list here of ways that we know/understand, Mind!

Section 3 deals with this idea that God is unknowable. We are made to know our Maker!! We need to claim this inherent ability to know God!! Together come up with at least three ways that we see Mind in action on any regular day. How is Mind active in Sunday School? How are we going to find Mind active in our lives when we get home from Sunday School?

Try the “I am” exercise with many claims!
ook at citation B2, Exodus 3:14, 15, to see how Mind is identified for all time as "I AM". Try the exercise of using this definition of God everywhere where you are using "I am" in daily life. For example: If we were tempted to think or say "I am bad at drawing", we would have to be willing to say that God/Mind is bad at that also. While we know Mind doesn't "draw", per se, we also know that Mind is the source of all creation, so I'm pretty sure that qualifies Mind as the source of natural beauty, order, proportion, shading, and so on! Try this exercise with many claims! We can use this to determine whether we are properly claiming our heritage as coming from Mind, or accepting something limited and less, something that recognizes not the One, but many minds.

Pycl #2: Look at the stories of the Tower of Babel and Pentecost and interpret them spiritually.
The Bible is only helpful when we interpret it spiritually, as Mary Baker Eddy tells us. The Tower of Babel story is not about how God made many languages and interfered with people trying to work together to build a tall building. It's not even a story of God punishing people for worshiping human accomplishment. Ask them what they think the story is about, why is it in the Bible?

Look together in citation S6, 581:17-22, at Mary Baker Eddy's definition of “BABEL” as "self-destroying error; a kingdom divided against itself…. material knowledge." Past that point "false knowledge" comes into the definition and what it builds on. With the very young you could have them build with large blocks, use them to demonstrate how wobbly something is when it doesn't have a solid, "true", foundation. Explain that when we build solely on what we "see, hear, feel" we can be misled.

Ask about friendships. What makes a friendship a lasting one? What makes it a temporary one? If it is based on the wobbly foundation of popularity, fitting in, fear of being left out, we might find that these friendships fall apart and re-form daily or weekly. But, if a friendship is founded on respect and love, we find that it lasts through even mistakes that we sometimes make. Gossip, popularity, etc. are "material knowledge", and they make for a lot of "confusion".

It is pretty fun to double-back to this story if you get a chance to speak about the story in Section 6 about the day of Pentecost. It is like the opposite to this Tower of Babel story! In the day of Pentecost, we have people of different languages hearing each other in their own language! What makes this happen as opposed to what happened when a bunch of people got together to celebrate their own knowledge and accomplishment at Babel? Are the motives different? Can the students explain why one gathering results in confusion, and one in understanding?

I have enjoyed this statement from citation S4, 469:20-21: "We can have but one Mind, if that one is infinite." Think about the limitless nature of that statement. Do we need more "minds", if the one Mind is limitless? It is kind of a fun contradiction of the standard belief that seeking wisdom and inspiration from Mind or from studying through religion, might be considered narrow-minded, or restrictive.

Pycl #3: Use the poor, wise man story to show how important each is to our world, community, family:

Speaking of how we all reflect and express Mind, and understand God as Mind, look together at the story in Section 4 about the "poor wise man." (cit. B10, Eccl. 9:14-16) What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge? I like thinking that truly "towering" (Babel) "knowledge" is actually spiritual wisdom! It is not found in books and is available to anyone who listens to Mind who is always communicating with Her expression.

What does this story tell us about how important we each are to our world, community, family? This is helpful to think through with the young ones who may not think of themselves that way. How does spiritual wisdom give us power? Can you find examples together? (See also cit. S15, 225:14-16). How did Jesus use divine wisdom to discern what was needed in each circumstance where he healed people? (cit. B13, Luke 8:43-48).

Make sure to emphasize that while in the case of the "poor wise man" his intuition helped to save a city, there are daily, smaller examples of how our intuition can bring us greater harmony and peace. Little decisions about what hill to sled on, what outing to take, what attitude to choose to have! (With the very young you could read the book, "Travis Talks With God," to see a sweet example of this kind of listening and hearing!)

Pycl #4: Consider the Holy Ghost as the way that Mind communicates with man, as at Pentecost.
What is the Holy Ghost? I see it as the way that Mind communicates with man. I'm sure there are more details you can bring to this. How does the Holy Ghost help us understand Mind? How did it work in the story of the Pentecost?

Check out cit. S28, 496:15, where Mary Baker Eddy tells us that the Holy Ghost is part of what helps us to "…demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing…" Why does this kind of communication help us to heal? Isn't it because it gives us more understanding? Didn't those people on the day of Pentecost find a deeper understanding of Mind when they could all understand each other as they gathered to worship?

Pycl #5: Memorize and thoroughly discuss the importance of the 6th Tenet!
Memorize the 6th Tenet from citation S31, 497:24. What makes this statement important?
What in it is based on Jesus' teachings (and, especially the Beatitudes)?
Even with the pretty young you can take each of the last three qualities and break them down together:
Merciful–forgiving, understanding, compassionate, empathetic.
Just–is it only for our benefit, or for all. Are we truly understanding another's background, standpoint? Pure–What are we considering when we make decisions, especially regarding our treatment of others?

What "ingredients" are we using to make up our outlook on the world and those around us?
Are we suspicious, judgmental, critical?
Or, are we loving, open-hearted, trusting?

These are just a few examples, you can come up with many more!
With those who are younger, what does "solemnly" mean?
Is it hard to always ask ourselves how we want to be treated when we are mad at someone?

Can we come up with a helpful reminder for ourselves?
Maybe we carry a small smooth stone in our pocket,
wear a bracelet that reminds us,
set a timer on our phone?

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

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