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[PYCL: Try "blending with God" to find dominion! (5) Outlaw blindness to present good! (4)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

”God the Only Cause and Creator”
on December 4, 2016

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

Pycl #1: What did God make? Is everything we see something God made? How can we tell? If He's the only cause and only creator then what does that say about the evil things we seem to perceive around us and how should we view them? (This might be too old for the youngest classes, but grade school children are wondering about this kind of thing.) If you have some examples from your own experience of how you saw the appearance of evil or error evaporate and reveal what is true, that would be ideal. I used an example in this week's Met about my grade-school age son. Make sure there is a consensus about the meaning of Cause and Creator. Why both terms? We often speak, in our day to day, about how "such and such" caused an accident… or whatever. It is helpful to understand why that cannot be true. What does this tell us about blaming another person for something happening? See how this truer understanding of God as Cause can bring greater peace, joy and understanding to our experiences.

Pycl #2: Sometimes in math I've set up an "input/output machine" for my kids. You can draw it as a box or bubble with a neck and opening at the top, and the same on the other side, at the bottom. With mathematics you are solving for a missing number or operation. But this struck me as a useful game for this lesson. This is applicable for the general theme of the lesson, but might be particularly helpful in conjunction with the ideas in Section 4, citation B12 and B13. (Obviously, you would first read about the fountain and fig tree verse!) Normally, in a math problem, there would be an "operation" labeled on the side of the box or bubble (for example, you might have a minus 3 on the side. Anything you put in the top would get three taken away from it and come out the bottom three fewer than it went in. In our case you could talk about the "input/output" machine is really the only reality there is and only God has access to it! He puts in only good, and only good can come out! Now that good can come in an infinite array, but nonetheless, it will be something good. Try bringing a shoebox from home and improvising one, or drawing them on paper. Fill it: for example if you put in "love", maybe a plate of cookies, a story read together, a meal shared or something else comes out the bottom. Have the children decide. Can something mean come out if love goes in? Anyway, you can experiment with some version of this idea!

Pycl #3: I love that citation B13 (James 1:17) is in this week's lesson casting it in the light of divine origin. Every single good thing that we have or experience must have its source in God. Think together about whether that good is limited to certain times of year (like Christmas), or whether good never varies in its steady supply. That's a tough one to recognize sometimes but that's because we might be looking at matter rather than Spirit or our spiritual sense to see the good that is coming our way. (You could discuss this in light of that beautiful passage from Malachi about bringing all the tithes into the storehouse… filling our thought with gratitude, and then watching how we cannot contain the good God gives us when we are filled with a grateful spirit! Mal 3:10) This season of Christmas and Thanksgiving can be beautifully linked if we are looking at what we are grateful for all the way through. The great gift we are celebrating here is clearly God's gift to mankind of Jesus—what he taught us about God and man and the Christ! Talk about how good multiplies (as does gratitude). And how gratitude and doing good keep us feeling true joy. Try thinking together of what "gifts" we can give all throughout December. Can the class come up with a list of good that they can do at home for their family or friends for each week of the month and visit this list in class each week? Think together about how these good "deeds" or gifts (they will likely be deeds of some kind—setting the table without being asked, or maybe some unusually kind cleaning task for mom or dad each week), are really straight from God. We reflect His infinite goodness!

Pycl #4: Citation B21 (Matthew 6: 25-33) is always a wonderful verse to dig into. What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God? Can the children come up with some specific ideas about what that means to them? Practically, can they think about how that looks in their daily life? Have a big notepad handy and see if the class can come up with some thoughts about what they are looking for when they are "seeking the kingdom". Why would "…all these things be added…" if they are truly looking for God's kingdom in all that they do? Is God somehow "rewarding" us for good behavior? Or is it, rather, like being grateful, and reality becomes more and more visible to us when we are doing these things? Try having someone be blindfolded. Pretend that this is like focusing on what material things we want and can't have or want and might be able to "get". We get blind to all the good that is being dropped on us because we focus on matter or material things or activities. But if we are thinking about blessing and doing good, the blindfold just falls off, and we see things around us that are beautiful! Have them each take a turn at this. [This exercise illustrates what Warren’s Sunday School teacher, Miss Mary Kessler, often said: “Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good.”]

Pycl #5: Dominion and good government of creation are a lovely part of this lesson. Children like to feel that they have dominion. Talk about that word and see how it is used in this week's lesson as it refers to man. We have dominion because God expresses this dominion in His creation. Citation S29 explains that Christ is man "blending with God"—and that this blending gives us dominion (316:20). How can we do this "blending with God" ourselves? With the youngest you can bring in a blender (just for a visual). Talk about what this does; it makes everything mix together so that nothing is separate. Think about what that looks like for God and man! This is a great way to view Christ! Come up with some ideas about how this blending occurs. If we are thinking about how everything good comes from God, is caused by God, we can see that this is a great way to understand "blending".

Have a great Sunday!

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