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PYCLs— 1) WHAT IS SACRAMENT?  2) WHY DO WE KNEEL IN CHURCH? 3) WHAT IS GRACE AND WHY IS IT A THEME IN THIS LESSON? 4) THIS IS A GREAT LESSON TO FOCUS ON JESUS. 5) ACT OUT OR SHARE ONE OF THE OTHER BIBLE STORIES IN THIS WEEK’S LESSON.
CedarS PYCLs, Possible Younger Class Lessons, for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:

 “Sacrament”
for July 10, 2022

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


PYCL #1: WHAT IS SACRAMENT?

There are plenty of definitions you should look at, and share what seems most applicable with the students, depending on age. It’s a good idea for all Christian Scientists to know about at least the two major sacraments that are celebrated in most Christian churches: Baptism and the Eucharist. Then we can talk about how we celebrate these in our own church and our own faith.

Most important, to me, is how we fold these sacraments into our daily practice, our daily lives. So, learning about the traditional definitions first and thinking about how they might be demonstrated in a spiritual way is what makes this useful to learn about. One way that I find helpful is to think about Sacrament as a holy way to remember something.

In this week’s lesson, we have a focus on Jesus and the Eucharist so in this context, Sacrament might be a way for us to remember Jesus in our daily lives. (Of course, we have Mary Baker Eddy’s beautiful spiritual definition of baptism in her Glossary of Science and Health which can be shared as an example of how to spiritualize a ritual in a practical way, but there is not a lot about baptism in this particular Bible Lesson).

Come up with some specific examples of how we might “remember” Jesus in our daily lives as Christian Scientists?
Are we excluding people that are not like us?
Are we judging others in a way that is not based in Love?
Are we being a “light”?
You get the idea.
Make a list together of how we celebrate this idea of sharing Jesus’ “body” and “blood”–his life work–in daily life.


PYCL #2: WHY DO WE KNEEL IN CHURCH?

Most students will not be aware that we do this on Sacrament Sunday, also called Communion Sunday, since they are usually in Sunday School and we don’t do this there. Why do they think we kneel in church? What does kneeling signify? There’s a great tie in between kneeling and meekness which is a key component in grace, a big theme in this week’s lesson.
With the little ones I think you could actually try kneeling.
How does it feel? Does it seem like you are in a position of authority or dominance, or of meekness and humility? (Find smaller words).
Talk about the word “communion”, what does it mean?
How is it different from silent prayer which we have every week rather than twice a year. (You can read from the Manual of the Mother Church where it says that “the congregation is now invited to kneel in silent communion, followed by the Lord’s Prayer”).
Should silent communion with God come only twice a year?
One of the significant differences between prayer and communion is the simple attitude of listening without putting in a petition, or our own sense of desire into the silent time.


PYCL #3: WHAT IS GRACE AND WHY IS IT A THEME IN THIS LESSON?

I counted 17 uses of the word “grace” and “gracious”. I may have missed some, but younger children might have fun with a clean printout circling all the places where grace shows up.

What is grace? There are plenty of definitions that are helpful, find some to share. I like the idea of it being a form of gentle good that comes our way without our feeling like we even deserve it. But a really sweet definition I heard shared today from a CedarS met reader is “It is what we need in any given situation for that moment”. What a beautiful way to define it!

If we are struggling with patience and we pray and feel that patience and sweet joy come to us, that is divine grace.
If we are in pain, but are able to pause and feel peace even in that moment, that’s divine grace.
If we have a heavy workload and are able to set aside anxiety and stress to recognize the presence of infinite Mind, that’s divine grace.

Make a list of ways that we can receive grace. Can we give it to others?

One thing to look at is the Golden Text. How might we mistakenly “set aside” God’s grace in a given moment?
When we feel anxious or afraid, are we so involved in that mindset that we are unable to be still for a moment just to feel God’s grace?
Are we involved in some gossip rather than keeping our thoughts filled with how we can support our friends instead?


PYCL #4: THIS IS A GREAT LESSON TO FOCUS ON JESUS.

With the “Sprouts” at camp this morning we focused our Bible Lesson Study on Jesus. We talked about who he was, and touched on the very sad story that is included in this week’s lesson.
We used blankets on the table in Care House to make a “tomb” and put “Jesus” in the tomb and we used a big bean bag chair over the end to be the “stone” that was rolled in front of his tomb.
We had already explained the story so we had each child take a turn as Jesus, and then the other children were angels that moved the stone away after “three days”.

It may seem silly, but they might remember a little of the story and they had a great time acting it out. We also dramatized the story of the disciples fishing after Jesus rose from the dead.
We talked about the fish and the fish nets and fishing in general.
We talked about the need for us to go out and do what Jesus wanted us to do. (All based on the sixth section of the lesson where the disciples went back to fishing and Jesus told them to cast their nets on the right side of the ship. John 21:1-25)
Then, we had the good fortune of having a hammock on the deck of Care House and I had the children be “fish” in the net. I think this could be accomplished with a big sheet on the floor and the children/fish step into the sheet and get kind of wrapped up in the sheet.


PYCL #5: ACT OUT OR SHARE ONE OF THE OTHER BIBLE STORIES IN THIS WEEK’S LESSON.

There are two great stories that illustrate the gift of grace, and explain a little of how we might do a better job worshiping God. The first story is of the Samaritan woman by the well in Section 2. It’s found in John, chapter 4. We do not get the whole story here, but a little of it here and a little in Science and Health.

You can tell the whole story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well and explain how in those days there were rules about a single man and woman speaking together, and even more rules about Jews and Samaritans dealing with each other! The Jews pretty much hated the Samaritans, even though the Samaritans were of Jewish descent. Here is Jesus talking to this Samaritan woman! She is so humble and asks him openly why would he choose to talk with her?

Jesus clearly perceives a receptivity in the Samarian woman’s thought and has a conversation about the Christ and she runs to share it with everyone in her village. You might remind the students, if they know the story, of Jesus’ parable about the “Good Samaritan”. He chose a Samaritan for a reason in that story. How might they “run and share” the message of the Christ in their daily lives?


The story of Mary and Martha in Section 3 is an easier one to act out. You could bring in a serving tray and maybe some plastic cups and things to use as props. Tell the story.
Is it fair that Martha is “stuck” serving while her sister just listens to Jesus?
Ask them what they would choose to do? If they say ‘listen to Jesus’, as I’m sure they would, you might ask them how are we doing this listening today each day?
Are we actually sitting “at the feet of Christ”, listening for what to do next, or rushing around doing our important stuff?
It’s a little different with children, because they don’t usually have an important daily “agenda” of things to do when they are very small, but I think they can understand the analogy.
Have one pretend to be Martha and serve, and another be part of the crowd listening, and then trade off.
How do we sometimes get busy doing things (often good things!) and forget to be listening and loving the messages that come from Christ to us?
What kinds of messages or preaching are we getting each day?
How do these messages come to us?


Have a great week in Sunday School!!

 

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