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PYCLs: Invite in Christ to sweep away error. (5)
Where is your spiritual “self”?  Stand on a rock.  Is God inside us?  What are we “building” to invite in the Christ?  When we invite in Christ we sweep away error.
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for Sunday, May 21, 2023

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO • 314-406-0041

PYCL #1: Where is your spiritual “self”?

Young children aren’t usually steeped in the belief that we have a spiritual “self” that is called, in traditional theology, our “soul”, trapped inside our physical body, which escapes upon the death of that body and goes “on”. But many raised in Christian Science Sunday School are used to the idea that we are spiritual beings, or ideas.
How do we square that understanding with the appearance of a physical body that we seem to inhabit?
Where does this “spiritual self/idea” exist?
Is it only “in our thought”?
This might seem too deep for the little ones, but I think we can ask it.
Right in our first section we have Mary Baker Eddy telling us in citation S2/477:6, 19-26 that “Identity is the reflection of Spirit, the reflection in multifarious forms of the living Principle, Love.”
There is so much more to this passage, but even here she uses the word “forms”, so I don’t think that we are without distinctness or beauty, shape, color and so on–it’s just not material!
This is pretty hard for us to conceive of and may only be something to contemplate with older children.

It is important, I think, to ponder these ideas of what the body is.
If it is the “temple” referred to in many places in the Bible, maybe it isn’t at all physical in form, but wholly spiritual, and if that’s the case, we need to move away from “what does it look like” precisely, to what is it?, what does it express? And, where is it?
Is it somewhere in the future, after our body dies?
Or is it here and now? Is it something embraced in our consciousness?
See what Mary Baker Eddy says in citation S23/208:25-31.

PYCL #2: Stand on a rock. Get above the enemy.

This can kind of play double duty. If there is no literal rock or something “foundation-like” to stand on top of in or around your church, bring a sizable chunk of rock to class.
Notice where it appears in the Responsive Reading (Ps. 27:1, 3-8; 62:5,6) “he shall set me up upon a rock.” This can lead to a discussion of what rock symbolizes in the Bible. It can be a firm foundation, Truth, something reliable, permanent, trustworthy, unchanging and so on. It can also, in this passage, perhaps be something that gets you up higher so you can see “above” the clamor of matter.

Mountains are made of rock, and rise high above us, giving us spectacular views. What does it mean to get a good view, spiritually? The verse after this one says: “…now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me:”

Could the rock be part of getting your “head above your enemies”?
First of all, the rock metaphorically represents integrity, Principle, Truth, gives us that firm foundation that makes it possible to recognize the “enemy” when it comes.
Second, the rock gives us a promentory from which to get our “head above” the enemy.
What is the “enemy”? Is it people? What kind of qualities does a rock stand for? Can these qualities give us healing ideas that destroy such enemies as fear, sickness, anger, sadness, and so on?

PYCL #3: Is God inside us?

Jesus tells us the Kingdom of God is within us. Does he mean inside our material body? Or is he talking about in our consciousness? Is our consciousness inside our body? You can go back to the earlier passage from S2 to review the question “What are body and Soul?”

With the younger kids you can have them “look” for God inside them. Pretend to be looking for God or Soul in your elbow, or whatever.
Then ask them what God/Soul looks like? Can they draw a picture of Soul?

Can they draw a picture of themselves if it doesn’t include any physical attributes? Probably not! Can they describe themselves without any physical attributes? This is a great exercise for any age!

PYCL #4: What are we “building” to invite in the Christ?

I have mentioned this one before but it is a great way to work through the story in citation B7/2Kings 4:8-12 , 14-17 about the Shunammite woman who built a room on her house for Elisha to stay in when he was passing through.

We probably don’t have that same exact opportunity, but we can, like the Shunammite woman, recognize the Christ, the prophet voice of Truth, when we feel or hear it and make a “space” for it in our lives. We can let it live with us, and “visit” often. How do we do this? You can, with little ones, talk about giving it a “comfortable bed”, or a “washstand” and “candlestick”. What would these things be in our consciousness? When we come across a sign of generosity, for example, we can share it with someone else. We can remember to see others in a Christ-like way rather than “enjoy” a “good gossip”. We might remember to help someone out regularly rather than wait to be asked. In these ways we are really making room for the Christ in our consciousness and the good that brings is immeasurable! With the younger children you could pretend to build a little room with some blankets and blocks and have someone be the Shunamite woman looking out for the prophet, and another be the prophet. All of this syncs well with the ideas in this week’s lesson about “home” and “dwelling”. This woman certainly understood the nature of providing a home for the Christ in the form of Elisha.

PYCL #5: When we invite in Christ we sweep away error.

We can continue the story of the Shunammite from citation B9/2Kings 4:18-22, 25-27, 32, 33, 35, 36. In this part of the story her son dies and she sets him on the prophet’s bed and leaves in search of Elisha to bring him to heal her son.

Discuss some of this story and ask a few questions.
Why did she go look for Elisha after her son had passed?
Would you do that?
Why did she tell the servant when he asked her, that “it is well”?
Why didn’t she just say her son is dead? Did she glimpse something of the nature of consciousness and Life, maybe because she hadn’t even been able to have a child until Elisha told her she would?
If she understood that the child did not spring from matter, maybe she was ready to accept that matter couldn’t remove him from her either?

Think about how her willingness to actually build a little room for this man enabled her to have a son, and to keep that son!
What might our own work in that direction yield in our lives?

Finally, enjoy some sweeping with the littles, either with brooms or pretend. Read citation S19/428:8 about how we can “…sweep away the false and give place to the true.”
How did the Shunammite woman do this?

Try coming up with some falsehoods and write them on paper. Let the little ones crumple them up, throw them on the floor, and sweep them into a trash can or dustpan.

Have fun in Sunday School this week!


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