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PYCLs— 1) SING “SHEPHERD.”  2) THE BODY IS NOT OUR IDENTITY. 3) WHAT IS THE SOUL THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE? 4) USE JESUS AS AN EXAMPLE OF SEEING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOUL AND SENSE. 5) PUT SOME SUN PASSAGES TOGETHER…
CedarS PYCLs, Possible Younger Class Lessons, for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:

 

“Soul and Body”
for May 22, 2022

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


  • PYCL #1: SING “SHEPHERD.”

There is much in this lesson about paths, being led, guided by God. Sing a version of “Shepherd Show Me How to Go” (“Feed My Sheep”). This poem by Mary Baker Eddy set to the tune in Hymn 304 is usually the most well-known to the younger children. For those who might find this a little too “youthful” you can pass around some ideas about why being led, or guided by God might be something that shows up in this lesson.

This is not a physical path we are walking, but a journey in consciousness, from the belief of life in matter, into the understanding of God as our only Life, never born into our dying out of matter. That certainly relates directly to this subject of “Soul and Body.” See other citations, such as citation B9/Ps 23:1-3, citation S9/254:10-12, citation S10/265:32-2 which speaks of our “ascending path”, and citation S15/454:5-9.


PYCL #2: THE BODY IS NOT OUR IDENTITY.

The answer to the question “what is ‘identity’ can be found in citation S2/477:19-26. Actually, the question posed is: “What are body and Soul?” And Mary Baker Eddy answers it with “Identity is the reflection of Spirit…” Why doesn’t she say “Body and Soul are…”? Because most people in the world think of body and Soul as two parts of a being and in Christian Science we know that man is a spiritual creation only and that the body is actually a manifestation of mortal thought. That’s kind of a mouthful, see if we can parse that into a conversation in Sunday School.

A couple of key citations that help with spiritual identity are found in Section 1.  Like, “The material body, which you call me, is mortal mind…” (citation S4/416:16-20). It should be interesting to think about this idea together. If mortal mind is our material body, can it change? Can mortal mind be “better”? There is some indication in her writings that it can. But what we are really about is uplifting, elevating our view, our consciousness to see past this material sense of things to the spiritual sense. This happens when we walk step by step in our current understanding (see Pycl #1), not when we try to skip over material existence and clothe ourselves in the spiritual (2 Cor 5:4). Healing comes when we are able to see past that curtain of mortal sense to something more substantial! This reveals our true and only identity.


PYCL #3: WHAT IS THE SOUL THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

Most children who are being raised in Christian Science aren’t thinking much about a body that contains a spiritual soul. This is certainly the prevailing belief, even among those who are not Christian. The reason it prevails is because we seem to innately know that we have a spiritual being. In Christian Science we recognize this as our spiritual sense that detects what God is telling us all along, “we are not matter”. We can talk about this with children asking them about where they think their sense of self “dwells”. Let them think for a minute. Where is “I”? Is it in our head? Our knees or stomach? No, when we start to really think about this we start to realize that our “I” is consciousness and can’t really dwell or live in a glob of stuff beneath our skull either.

This lesson helps us understand better that we naturally know we are one with God as we ponder these deeper questions while going about our human existence. Our current experience is not opposed to spirit, it is the proving ground in which we understand the spiritual through healing.

Another linked idea here, is that if “I” is consciousness, are we really separate from one another?
What are the “boundaries” between consciousness?
You might enjoy showing them a video of the ocean or a river and likening this idea to the water in there made of many, many, drops, but they are all moving together, sharing a divine space, if you will.
You can also illustrate this with an eye dropper or straw, sucking one drop of water from a glass, and then dropping it back in. Where is it? It is one with the water again.


PYCL #4: USE JESUS AS AN EXAMPLE OF SOMEONE WHO COULD SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOUL AND SENSE.

Tell the story in citation B14/John 4:46-53 of Jesus healing the nobleman’s son.
Why could Jesus heal the man’s son from far away?
Why did Jesus tell the man that “unless ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.”?
What do we need to do sometimes when we feel like we need to see those “signs and wonders”?
What does it mean to “believe”? Is it just faith?
There is a clue to some answers in citation S21/30:19 where Mary Baker Eddy says: “As an individual ideal of Truth, Christ Jesus came to rebuke rabbinical error and all sin, sickness and death…”
What is rabbinical error then and now?
With the littles you can look together at the last part of the paragraph on page 30 and talk about discerning the difference between Truth and error.
What makes something belong to Truth? (Is it good, joyful, pure, obedient, intelligent and so on?)
Make lists of things that come from Truth.


PYCL #5: PUT SOME SUN PASSAGES TOGETHER.

Print out these passages to work with. Citation S16/310:11-18 (the sun is not affected by the revolution of the earth), citation S25/546:23-26 (spiritual facts shine like sun rays in dark, though dark does not understand them), and cit. S29/246:11, 27-28 (to 1st.) Spirit dawns on “enraptured sense with bright and imperishable glories.”

Have the little ones draw some sun pictures. Draw the earth circling safely around the sun as if the sun is hugging it in an embrace. Can earth fly off somewhere?
Describe how we are held in an orbit and how Love holds us in its “orbit”.
Think together about this image and how Manhood is this “sun’s” “eternal noon”.
What does that mean?
Are we aging mortals circling a sun and counting our age by our trips around the sun?
Or, is Life always at one place (like the sun) and man always one reflecting that light everywhere at its brightest noonday light?
Why can’t darkness/depression/anger “comprehend” light?
(Go back to Truth and error for this one…does Truth/God know of error or a lie?
Is a lie “something”?)
Another way to illustrate this is to ask the question: “If you turn on a light in a dark room, where does the darkness go? – Does it hide somewhere?


Have fun in Sunday School this week!

 

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