Thank you for another best summer yet!

PYCLs: 1) MAKE A SYNONYM MOBILE. 2) HOW IS Truth… LIKE A ROCK?  3) WHY NO BIBLE LESSON ON PRINCIPLE? 4) BRING A FLASHLIGHT 5) WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “KNOW THE TRUTH”?

Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

 “Truth”
for January 23, 2021

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


PYCL #1: MAKE A SYNONYM MOBILE. (Don’t make this an arts & crafts class— find what works best!

A couple of years ago over the summer I suggested a synonym “train”— a series of boxes that could be shaped into train cars.  We added a car each week with each new synonym subject. In each car we put all the related qualities on slips of paper, as cargo. Of course, there was overlap, but that’s okay! The children could then decorate each train car.

If that is a project your class already has done, another idea would be to create a mobile from objects you have or can easily find. You can use clothes hangers or sticks for the top, string, or fishing line from which to hang the synonyms. Each name of God or synonym, would be hung from a balance point. These synonyms could be made of homemade salt dough that you bring in, which the children form into shapes that are flattened with a rolling pin. Later, when they harden, you can paint them a pretty background color and have the children put the synonym on one side, perhaps qualities that belong to it on the other. There is no need, of course, to get this complicated! You can use colored paper with the same things written on both sides. You may need to “laminate” them with packing tape to give them a little weight and substance. You could use flattened spoons or butter knives and maybe permanent markers to write on them, small flat pieces of wood, I’m sure there are any number of objects you can use to make the mobile. If you take a long-term view of the project you can still spend a decent amount of time on each synonym and put them together quickly at the end, if you are using, for example, the salt dough.
I know we don’t want to turn this into an arts & crafts class, so find what works best for your students!


PYCL #2: HOW IS Truth (and truth) LIKE A ROCK?

Look at Psalm 40:2 from our Responsive Reading. Talk about “miry clay”. What does that mean? Have they ever played with clay? Real clay will probably be too messy to bring into class, but maybe before class you can show a video of someone using a potter’s wheel, and also of some deep mud with a car or truck stuck in it. What is it like to stand on slippery and “miry” clay versus on a clean big rock? What happens to clay when we add water? It gets more slippery, more messy. Eventually the clay will wash away. Would it be a good kind of substance to build on?

You can certainly bring in Jesus’ parable of the man who built on the rock versus the one who built on sand— (only this time it would be mud). Now, discuss what it feels like when we don’t tell someone the truth about something.
Do we feel like we are standing on solid ground? Do we feel a sense of confidence, of goodness?
What happens when we keep telling that lie to ourselves and to others?
Isn’t it like sinking into quicksand, after a while it seems harder and harder to get out of it?!

Like quicksand, we sink a little deeper and get more “mired” with every repetition of a lie. But the minute we tell the truth, we are on solid ground. We might feel embarrassed or bad about having lied, but we know that we are standing on solid ground when we reverse our lying! Truth is “structurally sound”. It is a rock-like foundation for everything we build on— our reputation for reliability, for trustworthiness, for hard work, for honesty, and for responsibility.
The miry clay of dishonesty or anything other than truth, erodes our success in every endeavor.
You can bring in a rock, even if not clay to give them a sense of the solidity of Truth and of truth as a quality.


PYCL #3: WHY DON’T WE HAVE A BIBLE LESSON FOR PRINCIPLE?

One thing to consider is what to do with the synonym “Principle”, for which we do not have a Bible Lesson.
Why do they think that Mary Baker Eddy decided to leave that one out?
Are there already lesson subjects that cover Principle in some way, making it unnecessary to have a lesson devoted simply to Principle? How is Principle different?
Does thinking of Principle as it is sometimes defined in the dictionary as “source” help us think this through?

This might be a question for older students…but it is fun to consider! If you are going to include Principle in your “train” or Mobile, where would you put it? Would you make a “locomotive” out of it?
Maybe Principle is the “power” behind the other synonyms?
Would Principle be the name across the stick that the other synonyms are hanging from? If so, why – or why not?
Have them come up with as many qualities associated with Principle as they can.
Maybe, if they are older, use the Concord program to see what other synonyms appear most often with Principle.


PYCL #4: BRING IN A FLASHLIGHT OR LANTERN.

How is Truth/truth like a light? How is it linked to light? See citation B1/Ps.43:3 “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.” Define “tabernacles” and “holy hill” for younger ones. Think about what we have discussed about how telling the truth puts us on solid ground. Maybe it also lights up a path for us to follow when we demonstrate qualities of Truth? Why does it make our path clearer to us?

Discuss how a flashlight can light up a path when we are in the dark. It makes it so we can discern where to step, we don’t trip over things, we “understand” our surroundings better. Truth or honesty makes things clearer, maybe we can even think back to our “miry clay”, because this kind of clarity can also be described as being less “muddy” or murky!

You can use a glass of clean water next to a glass of dirty water. Through which glass does the light shine better? If the light is like God, then Truth, as God, and man as honest, shows that light the best!


PYCL #5: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “KNOW THE TRUTH”?

Sometimes you will hear Christian Scientists say that we should “know the truth”. This is a partial statement of Jesus’ found in Section 6 this week: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (citation B17/John 8:31,32).
What is Jesus saying here?
What are we becoming free of?
How do we know what is the “truth”? How does Truth speak to us?

Notice together that there are a number of citations that talk about how truth speaks to us, can be heard, and so on. A few of them are: citation S6/559:8-11, citation S17/332:9-15, citation B9/Prov 22:17,19,21 “I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth;” and citation S13/323:28-2.

Also, these stories bear out this way that truth can be called for, or ways that our desire for truth is made clear:

  • The woman who follows after Jesus in search of healing for her daughter and a deeper understanding of his message of truth in citation B15/Mat. 15:22-28;
  • In citation B7/1Sam 1:2,10,11,19,20,27,28 Hannah is seeking a deeper understanding of her worth and of God’s supply of good for her in the form of a child.
  • There is the story where this passage from Psalm 33:4,10,11 is born out in the story of Jesus making the trickery of the Pharisees powerless to harm him (cit. B18/Mat.22:15-22).

These are all examples of how truth/Truth guides, speaks, leads us. In each case it is Truth that does the work, not the person saying things, or praying, or petitioning for help. Jesus is telling us that Truth has set us all on solid, healthy, whole, ground.

We have to discover this fact, but we are not responsible for making it “true”!

Our job is to understand/know what is true, and to welcome it in!

You can touch on the passages that follow Hannah’s story (in citation B7/1 Sam 1:2-28) that emphasize our need to be childlike in order to easily receive Truth’s message: cit. S13/323:28-2, mentioned above.

Have a great week in Sunday School.

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