Thank you for another best summer yet!

PYCL: Fully ACCEPT Jesus to SEE vividly God’s power all around! Use Velcro, a rock, rope…
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Christ Jesus”
for August 16 – Sunday, August 29, 2021

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

 

Pycl#1: EVEN MORE THAN WITH VELCRO, WE ARE STUCK TO GOD!
Have a conversation about why the children think Jesus was sent here. What was his goal? Obviously, he had a desire to bless us, or he never would have allowed himself to be crucified, right? Think about the fact that if he had not had any mission, he would never have drawn the kind of attention that made him the object of envy and hatred, and led to his crucifixion. How much love must he have felt for mankind and God, that he would allow such a horrible thing to happen to him?! You can find some references to what Mary Baker Eddy says about Jesus’ mission and share these, but I think the gist of it is that he came to show us that man and God are not separate, that God is good, all good, and that man expresses that goodness in health, wholeness, and life.

 

If the suggestion that we are “separate” from God is the essence of sin, then the statement that he came to “take away the sins of the world” makes quite a bit of sense! For a silly example, bring in a big piece of Velcro, that you can get in the sewing section of any box store.  Even a regular grocery store might have some with sewing kits. Show how the Velcro holds together, allow the kids to pull it apart and stick it together. Then, think together about how God and man are one, like the sun is one with its rays—you cannot “cut off” a ray and put it somewhere separate from its source. You can talk about how, even more than the Velcro, we are stuck to God. With Velcro you can actually detach one side from the other, but not with man! Man can never be separated from man’s source, Love!!

 

Pycl #2: LIST WAYS WE ARE the VERY PLACE WHERE God LIVES, is PRESENT—RIGHT within US!
I was absolutely stunned this week by reading the question in the Responsive Reading from 1st Cor. 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” One loose translation is “You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God Himself is present in you?” I have read that statement many, many times, and for some reason this week it just stood out to me as such an earnest question to ask.

 

We could ask each child in our class while looking them in the eye: “you do realize, don’t you…that you are the very place where God lives, is present, right within you?” What if we really pondered that question each day first thing in the morning? How do we know that God is “present” in us? Come up with a list of ways that we can tell that God is within. Try using the synonyms to get this started.
How do we know that Mind is present within us? How about Love? And so on.
Connect this activity with our subject this week by emphasizing Jesus’ mission, which was to show us who God is, and, by that, who man is! So, knowing that we are Love’s “temple”, for example, certainly helps us to understand more about ourselves and about God/Love!

 

Pycl #3: FULLY ACCEPT who Jesus was to VIVIDLY SEE GOD’S POWER & GOODNESS all around!
I have been enjoying the idea that we need to really acknowledge who Jesus was in order to truly be able to do the works he did. There is a difference between being grateful for good, and being grateful for where the good came from. For example, we might feel grateful that we have a good dinner. That might make us feel fed, happy, glad we didn’t have to make it, etc.

But how much more meaningful and healing is it to be grateful specifically to Mom or Dad for making that dinner, for God for providing us with the abundance and variety of food, and so on. Once we have attributed the good in our lives to God, or even to Mom or Dad, in this case, we are going to reap much more powerful benefits, especially when we express our gratitude to the people who contributed to the meal! This is about demonstrating our love.

 

To fully demonstrate our love for any gift, we must contribute in some way to truly show our gratitude. Maybe that looks like setting the table, helping with dinner, or cleaning up afterward. How do we do this in our study and love of Christ Jesus? In 1st John 4:15 from our Responsive Reading, we have this statement “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” What happens when we engage in this kind of acknowledgement is that we start to really see the power and goodness of God around us more vividly! When we do this, then we start to trust that God is present and so become less fearful—and then we experience less illness, and so on. I think this is what helps our lives to be a demonstration of the laws that Jesus showed us, rather than just accepting intellectually that Jesus was the Messiah.

 

Pycl #4: USE THE FOUNDATION JESUS “LAID” & “BUILD” ON IT. Bring a ROCK, sand, pitcher…
Another Responsive Reading (1st Cor 2:10,11) activity idea is to use the foundation that Jesus “laid”, and “build” on it. Talk about foundations. Go outside your church and look at your church’s foundation, if it is visible.

 

You can even bring in the parable that Jesus tells us about building on sand vs. rock! Bring in some sand in a tub of some kind and a pitcher to pour water over the sand. Show how the sand moves around in the water. Put a rock in the same tub.
What happens to the rock when you pour water on it?
What do you think Jesus’ “foundation” looks like?
What does it feel like in our heart?
Does he mean that we have a bunch of cement that we are standing on that he put there? (Children don’t understand metaphors till they’re older so you have to walk them through this!)

Draw a basic building shape with a big rectangular space to represent the foundation.
You could make the foundation out of stone shapes but make each stone big enough to write in a “foundational” quality in each stone.
Now think together about the qualities of character that Jesus expressed and demonstrated that make a foundation for true, vibrant living.
How are these qualities demonstrated in our lives, how do we “stand” on them?
Are they qualities that we always express, without question?
Or, are they qualities that we are endeavoring to express more often?
(For example, are we always truthful/expressing integrity? Or do we sometimes stretch the truth or lie to cover for something that we are ashamed of? – they shouldn’t have to answer, just ponder!)

 

What “grows” out of honesty? Trustworthiness? Maybe later bedtimes? Greater responsibilities that you might want to have? What grows out of kindness? …. You get the idea.
Write a quality in each foundation stone, or along the foundation you’ve drawn and then write down the beautiful things that grow from those qualities in the building itself.

 

Pycl #5: There are MANY ACTIVITY POSSIBILITIES this week, BUT I’ll END WITH THIS ONE.
Look at the story where Jesus invites Simon/Peter and Andrew to follow him while they are fishing, and they drop their nets and follow him. Think about the way that looked to their dad who was fishing with them! Is there anything so compelling to us that we would drop everything to follow it? Is Jesus’ message enough to make us want to follow it today?

 

With the younger kids, talk together about how the nets trap the fish.
What if the nets are like material thoughts and activities that might tangle us up and confuse us about the direction we need to head in life.
Maybe bring a bunch of rope or string/yarn and make a tangled mess. Talk about how our likes and dislikes can keep us from listening to the qualities of Jesus that we want to express and they can “tangle us up” in dead-end pursuits.

With the littles you can wrap the nets around them gently and have them struggle like fish caught in a net.
But if we drop our human, willful desires and put God first, we avoid these tangles that make us sad, or angry, disappointed, or lonely, and so on.

 

Have a great week in Sunday School! 

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