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[PYCL: Work with a mirror & light. Veil a face. Pass a mantle. Sprinkle salt. Dress up. (2-6)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for February 5, 2017

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

Pycl #1: Look together at the Golden Text and wonder if there really is anywhere we can go where God is not there. I think I've asked this recently in a Pycl, but it's so helpful for children to have a clear sense of the presence of God. That Psalm is well known for a reason! If the children are very small, try hiding under a table, behind a divider, and so on, asking each time, "is God here too?" Can they come up with a circumstance where they believe God is not going to be there? With older children, try reading this article from a 1945 Sentinel: This may be too wordy for some, you can reduce it as you read. The testimony is a truly remarkable, one for its detail as well as for the sense that without a strong and persistent affirmation and understanding of God's presence and power, this man would not have lived/escaped from his position. You don't have to be a grown up to experience this. Spirit is with each of us! You should try to explain or draw the circumstances that this man explains, as some children will not be able to imagine his situation. (Some may remember this article as it used to accompany an audio recording of "God's Law of Adjustment"—another great article to share about Spirit's all presence!)

Pycl #2: This is a good week to bring a mirror. For this project you may want a flashlight as well. Looking at citation S1, hand each child a mirror and light. Have them shine their lights into the mirror. What do they see? Is there anything but light reflected back? Any darkness? Just something to think about when reading that passage.

Pycl #3: Another mirror idea… check out citation B4 with its translation from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Instead of "open face" it reads "unveiled faces". What does a veil do? It makes it hard to see clearly right? Think about this as symbolic of how we might be tempted to look at things around us through a material sense of things. Matter is kind of like that veil. Now have them put a thin piece of fabric over their heads. Can they see their faces clearly in the mirror? That's kind of how matter blinds or obscures the harmony of Spirit from our view. How can we reduce the density of matter that we "see" through? You could think about the window-washing analogy. How does purity of thought fit in? What is purity? How does Spirit fit in this conversation?

Pycl #4: Read the story of Elijah and Elisha in the second section and think about what Elijah's "mantle" symbolizes. This would be a sturdy travelling cloak that anyone would wear. It wasn't "magical". It might be thought of as symbolic of Elijah's spiritual sense of reality, of God/Spirit. But he didn't just give it as a gift to Elisha and bestow his own spiritual sense on Elisha. Elisha already possessed this sense. We are all blessed with spiritual sense and discernment. We have to take that "mantle" every day and "wear" it! (You could certainly bring something to represent that mantle in a young class, share the mantle as you discuss how we can see things spiritually right there in Sunday School and every day.).

You can also discuss the fact that Elijah didn't have to "go" somewhere to "live" after death. This story and Mrs. Eddy's citations…esp. citation S8, make clear that we don't cross over into some kind of place where God is closer to us, or we live forever in harmony. Elijah was always walking with God, so did Elisha. So we don't wait to find happiness somewhere else, health somewhere or sometime else, fun somewhere or sometime else! All of Spirit's goodness is here, present now to bless us. "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings." S&H p. vii.

Pycl #5: Another great Elisha story awaits us in Section 3. Bring in some salt and talk about the significance of salt in old times. It was a preservative, represented purity, also flavor. Think of Jesus' statement about the "salt of the earth" in Matt. 5. Have each child sprinkle some salt in a bowl as you discuss what salt symbolizes. Think of some food that tastes a lot better with salt. (You could bring some unsalted, and some salted popcorn or rice cakes. One tends to be pretty bland, the other flavorful. What was Jesus telling us about living a life as if we were the "salt of the world"? Maybe we could think about this like being rich in spiritual discernment and insight? Certainly Elisha was just that. He made that town productive and prosperous through his understanding of the nature of Spirit. Can we do this with our own experience? What sort of "salt" should we "sprinkle" on our activities each day?

Pycl #6: Discerning what voice we are listening to is an invaluable skill. Section 4 is all about that! What is a "wolf in sheep's clothing"? With little ones you could dress up, talk about the trickery involved (remind them of "Little Red Riding-hood". Often the "wolf" isn't really obvious to us. But we can trust that Spirit will tell us if we just slow down for a few seconds to think before we act. This isn't always easy, but it is totally possible!!

Pycl #7: If the children don't know the story of the Pentecost, it is worth reading. What was the Spirit telling them? What language did God speak? How could they all understand? What does that say about our ability to hear God/Spirit speak to us? (Notice that the wonderful translated speech was followed in citation B23 by great works of healing.) Spirit's messages are accompanied not only with inspiration, but also with healing!

Have a lovely Sunday!!

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