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[PYCL: Try dressing-up. Be full of sap! Stop trusting matter. Put gems in a box. Stop stewing & find supply at hand. Translate things into thoughts. (1-6)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for February 12, 2017

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

Pycl #1: Last week we learned about Spirit's universal presence and power. This week we find more about Soul's ability to bless man in a multitude of ways. In the Responsive Reading (RR) it tells us that God is "clothed in honor and majesty." Discuss what these clothes/garments "look" like. With a young class you could bring in some dress-up clothing and talk about dressing up. What are we doing when we do this? Are we pretending to be something or someone different? It says in this passage that God clothes Himself with light in the same way that we put on clothes. What does that mean? What does light symbolize to the children? Can we wear "light"? If light is like understanding, discernment–seeing, then clothing ourselves in light would involve understanding God and radiating or sharing that understanding as we express Soul through our daily activities. Could we do this with "honor" and "majesty"? (What do these words mean?) (The Message states that God is "…dressed up in sunshine." While not a literal translation that is a lovely, childlike image for children to contemplate, and you may want to share that.) The dress up clothes could be a distraction, or, depending on the class, a fun way to think about qualities as articles of clothing to put on. How are qualities different? Are they a part of our being, rather than something we sometimes wear and sometimes take off? Is there ever a time when kindness, for example, is something that we have to "put on"? It's a great time to think about translating "things into thoughts", since clearly, we are not talking about God/Soul putting on clothes!

Pycl #2: Speaking of radiating qualities of Soul as Soul's reflection… Another lovely image in the RR is the trees full of sap and nests. [This passage was one that Ruth Huff got when she opened teh Bible at random about starting a camp near Lebanon. It's the basis for naming the Girls Camp cabins (nests) after birds.] And what is a meaningful application idea for us today? I mean, obviously trees are full of sap, and birds' nests are there, so what is the Psalmist saying? We are talking here about Soul's creative and rich beauty and life being expressed–the safety and productivity that Soul provides and expresses. What about us? Can we be "full of sap"? What would that look like in a person?

Pycl #3: Since both Section 1 and 2 have related and consecutive stories about Elijah, I would enjoy looking at them together. What do they say about Soul's provision for man? Where does our good come from? Where did it seem to come from for Elijah? Why did he get food from ravens? Why did he get food from a widow who was so poor she was about to starve alongside her son? Here, there are many answers! Some relate to the thought that God/Soul, in both cases was the true source of good for Elijah and for the widow. Another, is that the widow needed help and was receptive and ready to receive help, she was out of human options (at the gate of the city looking for "two sticks" with which to cook her last meal). A wealthy person would be comfortably at home trusting in their wealth to supply them! Citation B1 also illustrates beautifully the thought that God/Soul provides for His "sheep" in "good pastures", on "high mountains"— places of rich supply and inspiration, as well as the safety of the "fold". We learn the most about Soul's supply when we are least able to trust in matter. Naturally Elijah was sent by God to meet that widow's need, that is how Soul works!

Pycl #4: Check out citation B5. Bring each child a treasure box, or a small box they can make into a "treasure box". Have this be an ongoing project where they keep their special box at Sunday School to continuously add to it. Now think about substance. What sort of treasures would Soul be giving us? What qualities are lasting, substantial, healing, powerful, joy-inducing? You can write down ideas and put them in the boxes, or just pretend with younger ones that they are adding jewels, etc. that are spiritual qualities. Do we have to be wealthy to get these treasures? (Do we in fact, have to "track them down"? Or, are they within and we need to discover them?) Think of jewels in the earth, they are just there to be discovered, we aren't manufacturing them. Like those gems, we want to bring them to the "surface" so that we can all partake in their beauty and rejoice in the greatness of Soul!

Pycl #5: The story of the tax coin taken from the fish's mouth is wonderful to share with the pupils. More than just a story of Soul/God supplying the needed tax, it has a rich dimension to it that is easy to share. Jesus asks Peter if a king taxes his own children, or the strangers in his country. Peter answers that it is the strangers. You might pair this story with Jesus' saying from the Sermon on the Mount where he tells us that we should not take thought for food, drink, clothing. That God provides for all these things, but that we should think first about God's kingdom and that all these other things will take care of themselves. Putting Soul first, we are filled with Soul's inspiration and power. We then recognize Soul's provision for us, in whatever form we need. This is because we are children of God. We inherit all good from God. Yes, we pay "lip service" to things of matter. We eat, sleep, pay taxes… But we don't need to "work" for, and stew over those things. Those are things that we "suffer to be so now". Our focus is on the benefits and requirements of our position as children of Soul, expressing and rejoicing in Soul's abundance. That's why Jesus found that tax payment in the fish's mouth, and why we can today.

Pycl #6: Looking at citation S31 make a large-sized list (if you have a chalkboard or marker board or something, that's kind of a fun way to engage everyone). You can dedicate one side of the board or paper to "Things" and the other side to "Thoughts" in two columns. Now write down the "thing" on the left and see if you all can come up with a translation of that "thing" into a "thought". This can be challenging. An example might be turning a desire for happiness into a mission to bless others. It's not that happiness is a "thing" but citation S5 reminds us that happiness will be more easily gained and easier to keep if we look for it in Soul. In that sense, if we are looking for personal happiness, rather than acting in a way that leads to happiness naturally, it tends to be illusive. There are also many simple things that can be translated. A bicycle could be translated into the thought of freedom, transportation, joy and so on.

Have a great Sunday!

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