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PYCL Q&Es (EXAMPLES) of SOUL to ENGAGE classes:
WHY IS SOUL A NAME FOR GOD? WHAT NAME WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF?  WHERE DOES HAPPINESS COME FROM? WHY NOT FOCUS ON WHOLENESS INSTEAD OF WHAT WE ARE MISSING? HOW DOES JESUS COMPARE TO JACOB  ON IDENTITY AND SOUL?
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“SOUL”
for Sunday, February 12, 2023

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


PYCL #1: WHAT MAKES SOUL A NAME FOR GOD?

Soul is one of those synonyms that people sometimes have a harder time describing/understanding. Fortunately for us this week we have a dynomite Bible lesson that reveals a theme of identity as the heart and “soul” of its theme. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).

There are plenty of definitions within the Bible lesson that speak to Soul as God, and soul (small s) as “sense”. Sometimes this sense is spiritual sense, sometimes just material sense. But Soul as God is what informs us of God’s presence and of who we are.

When we look for an understanding of ourselves in Soul, we find happiness, steadiness, insight, inspiration, intelligence, beauty, and creativity, to name a few. When we look for our identity in matter, or the body, we find limitation, ups and downs, dissatisfaction, and the like.

God as Soul gives us so much insight into a self that springs from “living, moving, and having being” in God. (citation B4/Acts 17:28).
Do we see ourselves as the son or daughter of ___?
Did we then inherit their limitations, their good and bad qualities?
Can we go beyond what we got from that material foundation?

If we look to Soul/God for our purpose, actions, and satisfaction, we will certainly find it challenging, but also, consistently rewarding because it points to reality, to who we truly are!


PYCL #2: WHAT NAME WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF?

Jacob is a central figure in this week’s lesson. Telling or reading Bible stories is always a good way to make Sunday School engaging. Why is Jacob’s story central to this week’s subject? With the littles it’s not important to ask this, but tell as much of his story as you need to give them the setting.

You may want to explain all the way back to when the brothers were struggling in their mother’s womb! Mention that their names have meanings (for details feel free to check out the “Met” for this week on CedarS website: https://cedarscamps.org/inspiration/article/15725/.

Names in Bible days were considered more like the identity of people than simply a moniker. So, when Jacob is called, essentially, “supplanter”, and Esau “hairy”, the kids will likely get a chuckle.

What would the students name themselves if the name they had told something about their identity? See if you can all come up with names that are complementary.
Are they spiritual in quality?
Are the children happy with what they perceive as their identity?
What happened when the angel gave Jacob a new name?
Did it signify a new “self”? What does Israel mean?


PYCL #3: CONTINUE WITH JACOB’S STORY.

You can certainly include the story of Esau earlier selling his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew. Then follow with the stories included as citations B6, B7, B10, B1113, and B15 in this week’s lesson. (Genesis 27: 1,4,19,30,32,33,35,41-43, 29:1, 31:3, 32:3,6,7,9,11,13, 24-28, 30, 33:1,4,8-10)

These were brothers, twins, no less.
Do any of the students have siblings?
What do they think about how these two got along?

Explain to them how inheritance was divided in those days. Pretty much 70-75% went to the oldest son. So Jacob probably felt like he had to resort to trickery to get anything.

Talk about where our inheritance truly comes from.
Does our good come from a limited parent, from matter?
Do we have to struggle, cheat and trick others to get what we need?

You may want to mention that when Jacob went to his uncle’s he was met with constant deceit and trickery there. When we think that we can only succeed through deceit or tricks is it possible that we are met with deceit and trickery in our experiences with others? Why might that be? It might help to point out that even though Esau gave away his birthright and was tricked out of his Father’s blessing he ended up quite successful, humanly…

Some themes we can work with: as mentioned above, brotherhood. Identity being determined by birth order, parentage, environment, luck, genetics, or even favoritism as we see with Esau and Jacob’s parents.

Can our sense of self change, can we be redeemed if we have done terrible things?
Can we still hear the voice of God when we are messing up?
What does it mean to “wrestle” as Jacob did?


PYCL #4: WHERE DOES HAPPINESS COME FROM?

Where did Jacob think his happiness would come from?
Did it come from there? Where does your happiness come from? What can you name today that makes you genuinely happy at the end of the day? Is it something that lasts or something that just made you happy in the moment?

Citation S9/60:29-31 gives us a powerful statement about happiness. What does it mean to seek happiness in Soul?
With the littles come up with qualities that describe Soul such as creativity, beauty, wisdom and so on.
Then talk about how demonstrating these qualities might bring us more happiness. Are any of them in our body?


PYCL #5: SOUL IS ABOUT WHOLENESS, MATTER IS ABOUT WHAT WE ARE MISSING.

I think this is such a crucial point in this lesson. Jacob thought he was missing something all the time. He thought he had to take it from someone in order to get it.

Do we get fooled into thinking we are missing something that would be key to our happiness? The right clothes, weight, hair, friends, amount of money, house, toys, pets…etc.

HANDS-ON EXAMPLE: Whenever we look to matter to show us a path to what we think we want we will ultimately find ourselves lacking. With the littles bring in a few simple puzzles with pieces “missing”. Would they be any fun to work on?

Matter is like puzzles with pieces missing. We can work on them really hard, and then at the end, we find that they are unfinished, unsatisfying, and not very beautiful!


PYCL #6: HOW DOES JESUS COMPARE TO JACOB IN THIS LESSON ON IDENTITY AND SOUL?

I just had to throw this in there because Jesus gives us such a beautiful example of the Christ man. He showed us who we are as Soul’s ideas and he proved it through healing.

We can prove it too by recognizing our own and others’ Soul identity as we go about our days in school, at home, or play.


Have fun in Sunday School this week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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