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[PYCL: Tend your spiritual garden! Subordinate “fake news” and views! (1, 3)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God the Only Cause and Creator”
for the week ending Sunday, December 3, 2017

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

Pycl #1: Tend your spiritual garden!
It might be fun to think of this subject in terms of planting a garden. Ask the children what they would plant. Would they thoughtlessly throw seeds on top of some weeds and turf? Show them some different pictures of ground—lawns, fields, weeds, and some prepared soil. Which one looks like someone was thinking about planting and growing something? If a farmer is successful at what they do, what do they do after planting? Come up together with some things that a good farmer does (watering, weeding, cultivating, sometimes propping up or providing trellises, fencing, poles, protection from animals or weather). What might these things look like if they represented spiritual qualities? So, if a farmer wouldn't just randomly throw seed on top of weeds and rocks, how much more attention would God/Good pay to Her creation? Wouldn't God pay attention to every detail, govern what the idea is subject to (like weather for a crop). Would God just create man one time and then leave all the rest of creation up to chance? If God is Good, Love, all-powerful, wouldn't She govern with consistent goodness and love?

Pycl #2: Accentuate the substance of good around!
Most of the younger kids would answer "yes" to the last question. But there are always those that question what they see in the world and this is just fine! I find that usually when we are asking "why" about evil, we are asking the wrong question, and ultimately these sorts of questions are answered best in the sincerity of private, heartfelt prayer. But just the same, there are a few things that are contained in this lesson that are so helpful in addressing what we see that does not seem to support the idea of a God who is all-good and all-powerful. We can talk about spiritual sense. God, as we know, is not a visible being. God is also not a "feeling". God is the substance of good around us. Think of it in terms of the lasting impact of love when we feel it, especially from our parents, in most cases. This love is not a "one time" thing. We feel it, when we think about it and are aware, when we eat a meal they prepare or supply, when they read us a story, help with homework, clean up the home, drive us to activities, send us to camp, and on and on. If we aren't thinking very carefully, we might take this for granted, and not notice. But that's something that you can, perhaps, mention here. Material sense takes much for granted; it tends to not find love or unselfishness so noteworthy. When that happens and we aren't so aware of the good that is bestowed on us, we become sad, lonely, feel neglected… We are simply unaware of the presence of good in our lives. Does that mean that it isn't there? No! This is a little like spiritual vs. material sense. If we are unaware of God's activity in our lives, we simply don't feel God's presence and good. That is like being blind to the reality of God's care. We want to exercise our spiritual senses! These are the senses that detect good—that lift that good up and thank God for the presence of that goodness. Sometimes that gratitude shows itself in our love for our friends or parents. Most importantly, we have constantly to practice being conscious of the ways that God is present, give gratitude for that good, reflect that good in our actions. Then our spiritual sense will for sure detect God's constantly good presence and power in our lives.

Yes, material sense definitely tells a different story. But we can change the narrative when we diligently stay alert to the power and presence of good and recognize that it can only come from God.

Pycl #3: [Subordinate “fake news” and views!]
With this spiritual vs. material sense in mind… look at citation S7 and talk about the word "subordinate". What does it say we need to "subordinate"? We can learn to consider the suggestion of pain, sadness, anger, sickness—as of less value or importance than the "facts of Science". What are these facts? Can you make a list? Can you share an example of how you were able to "subordinate" the false testimony of the corporeal senses? What is 'false testimony'? Can you set up an example of someone giving 'false testimony' about someone else? How are the physical senses doing that? Is their "knowledge" based in God? How do we know what is false and what is true? You could use the old story of "The House with the Colored Windows" as an example of how we can see things 'falsely' when we look through the wrong "lens". You can then try having the children look through colored pieces of cellophane and talk about how they know perfectly well that what they are seeing is not what the "true" color.

Pycl #4: Looking for God active in everyday activities!
When we talked about the farming example we likened God to the farmer who would only prepare the best soil and tend his plants with great care and perfection—even governing the weather. Seeing God's goodness does take some effort sometimes/often. This is not because it isn't evident. This is because we tend to live on a superficial level and we don't question the physical senses. The reason that we know that the physical senses do not have the final say is because of healing. Share an example of this! We can be active seekers for God in every direction. I've had many good healings from looking for God in everyday activities. Can you come together with a list of everyday activities and decide how we can see God as active in them? Maybe this list includes brushing our teeth… how is God present in that activity? Maybe in the way it reflects Principle, the source of order, or Mind, the source of intelligence and gratitude for the usefulness of teeth. Maybe it reflects the love of Love in expressing gratitude for this link in the process of digesting good ideas and gleaning inspiration from all that God is sending us through Spirit. Once we practice this activity of recognizing and being conscious of God's active presence in our lives we tend to be a lot happier, more peaceful, healthier too! This is the creation that is true and exists now. It is not one we are trying to "make happen". God's goodness is bestowed on us all and that is a big theme in this week's lesson.

Pycl #5: [“Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good!”]
Look at each story in this lesson and see how it speaks to the subject. There is the promise of a land of "milk and honey" (prosperity and fruitfulness), peace (Asa's rule), health (the woman with the issue of blood), and life as God's gift (the story of Tabitha, see Skit Download in upper right online) How do these relate to God's creation and Him as the only cause? Do we all get to experience that Promised Land? What keeps us from experiencing the “milk and honey” in our daily life? How is it evident? How about peace? Do we get peace because we are good? Or is peace God's gift to man and we get to experience it as we "take down the idols" in our thinking? Can you come up with ideas about what these idols are? With health and life we have to contend with the prevailing beliefs that health and life stem from matter. How can we refute these ideas and welcome the "…facts of Science"? Does the all-good God give us health or life or peace as a reward for our goodness? Or does the active goodness that we live in gratitude for God, open our eyes to this present good?

Short on activities this week, but hope you have fun in Sunday School thinking about all of God's goodness with which we are surrounded!

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