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[PYCL: Think of body without physical attributes! (1, 2) Share how to seek God 1st (4)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

“Soul and Body”

on May 22, 2016

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

Pycl #1: It can be awfully difficult to see how our body can be something spiritual, something of Soul and not of matter. But the Golden Text (G.T.) is not telling us to glorify God through our material body. So what does it mean to glorify God in our body? Try taking the body, or a few pieces of it, and see if you can think of what some of the "parts" might signify spiritually. Feet or legs might be thought of as something that represents strength and power, speed, agility, transportation, mobility… Can you think of what these ideas mean together? How might we express and revel in something like speed and agility? Can thought be agile? Can an idea be agile? Come up with answers. If we think of feet or legs in terms of spiritual qualities, can we ever be disappointed by their length, shape, whatever…? Does it really matter how we think of our body? Is our body how we identify ourselves?

Pycl #2: On the heels of that question, can you write a description of yourself that everyone would recognize that doesn't include any physical attributes? This is totally possible! Maybe you have them try it on their own, try it for another student, and then add to lists as a group. Post them on your Sunday School walls, send the kids home with a description that has a colorful border. Have them pin the description to a bathroom mirror or mirror in their bedroom. Can this help them to love someone they currently struggle to feel affection for?

Pycl #3: Here's a great opportunity to look at part of the Sermon on the Mount. The Responsive Reading (R.R.) includes a wonderful chunk of it. Think together about why this part is applicable to this lesson subject. What did Jesus mean by serving two masters? Can you come up with examples of this? Remember that some of the passages like this we take for granted as adults, but they may not be clear to children! Talk about what a master would be and why you can only serve one? What if they both want you to do something at the same time? What if something that one asks you to do, undoes something the other wants you to do? Can you act this out with some of the smaller children? If you have three students you could have them be two different masters and one be a servant. Then you can talk about what this might mean spiritually. Explain that Jesus was using masters and servants as an example for how we can't serve, or pay a lot of attention to our physical body, what it eats, wears, looks like, and also think about God. If we are focused on our body, this fills up all the space in our thought and we don't have room to fit Soul and spiritual thoughts. This doesn't mean that we can't wear nice clothes or eat good food. Can they explain what it does mean? With really small ones you could try filling up a glass of water or a container with something that fits compactly. Then explain how that is what our thought is like when we fill it up with thoughts about our body, fears, or things that we "want". We have to completely empty those containers if we want them to be full with something else only. God doesn't share the space either! You can't focus on the body and on God at the same time. Spirit doesn't show up well when we’re thinking about matter. And matter fades away in importance when we think about God. They chase each other out.

Pycl #4: The end of the R.R. talks about seeking first the kingdom of God. What does that mean to the children? How do we do this? Why, if we put God first, do all these other "things" get "added" to us? Have we found any examples of how giving God the gratitude, glory and focus has met our human needs? Can you share these examples? Ask the kids to share how they might put seeking God's kingdom first into their day? What would that look like in your life? You could get the discussion started by sharing something in your day-to-day experience that reflects this activity.

Pycl #5: I've mentioned this idea before but it might be fun to try again. Check out a picture of a yoke (mentioned in citation B4). This not only suggests slavery or servitude, but, in this case also the idea that we are not free when we are bound together by a yoke to matter in some way. Come up with a makeshift yoke to use in your class that would make two kids have to follow one another. Have them walk around the Sunday School together. What happens when they try to go opposite ways? How is this like worshiping both matter and Spirit or Soul? A yoke can be viewed as a good thing as well if you feel like going into this more. What happens when you are all yoked together and working together towards a unified holy purpose? Does that sound like church to anyone? Think about what happens though if you are yoked to someone big and strong (persuasive, articulate) that was pulling you off a cliff? What could you do to stop him/her? How would you meet the suggestion of being governed by matter?

Pycl #6: Read the story of the man by the pool in Section 4. Why is it in this lesson? It certainly points to the idea that we don't have to wait on matter for good in our lives. We can rise up above that suggestion and find great freedom by not getting confused by the suggestions of matter. What was the tricky suggestion that had this man waiting by this pool for 38 years? It was the thought that: 1. There were no other options left to him for healing. 2. That he had to rely on matter to fix matter. Are these thoughts pretty much the same today? Do we, in general, still look to matter to fix matter rather than rising up to see ourselves in the kingdom of God, in Soul instead of material sense? Do we have to "wait" by a "pool" for our chance? Do we have to depend on other people, family, friends, on wealth or connections or good schools to make it possible for us to have healing? Or are we simply only embraced in the wholeness of Mind, of Soul where we cannot lack for anything? Maybe you can think of open-ended ways to discuss this idea! I love that these Bible stories continue to be so amazingly current!

Have a great Sunday!

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