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PYCLs– Add to your synonym train, tree (1)… Bring a fan & apples as illustrations (3, 4)…
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Spirit”
for Sunday, August 6, 2023

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


PYCL #1: Continue ongoing PYCL projects about the synonyms.

…adding to your boxcar train, mobile, tree, etc. Have a look at previous synonym pycls for a deeper explanation. This is just a chance to connect our set of synonym subjects in a fuller view, so that at the end, we have 6 of them that we can review and look at. As mentioned in previous weeks, it may be helpful to discuss the synonym Principle, as meaning “source”. Thus, Principle can be looked at as, say, the trunk of the tree that has branches for each synonym. Or it could be the main hanger for the other synonyms on a mobile, or possibly the engine of the train car series? You can think of some way to bring about a useful definition of Principle as it relates to the other synonyms, just don’t leave it out!

It can also be thought provoking with older students to consider why Mary Baker Eddy didn’t use Principle as a subject. We don’t have to have a perfect answer, just something to consider! She does have us study “substance” as a subject (as opposed to “matter”, another subject we have).


PYCL #2: How do we “see” Spirit?

I love considering this idea. Throughout this week’s lesson there are passages that point to the idea of discerning what is spiritual. One such passage promises us that the “reign and rule” of the kingdom of heaven “…cannot be lost nor remain forever unseen.” (citation S31/208:20)
What kind of sense does it take to “see” this harmony?
Do we have to wait until we are no longer experiencing human existence?
Is it something that is “put off” for a future time when we are more spiritual, or more incorporeal?

The lovely thing about Christian Science is that it gives us the opportunity to bear witness to the presence of Spirit, and Spirit’s active Christ, in our daily lives. This happens through all kinds of healing.
Look at the healings shared in this week’s lesson as examples of proof and visible evidence that Spirit is here.

  • Jesus’ healing of an insane man (cit. B9/Luke 4:14, 33-36);
  • Jesus’ healing of Zacchaeus (cit. B11/Luke 19:1-10), and
  • Jesus’ healing of Jairus’ daughter (cit. B13/Luke 8:41,42,51-55).
  • Each of these healings are tangible evidence of Spirit as powerful and present in our human experience, but not operating within the seeming bounds of human “law”.
  • It is also cool that each act displays a different aspect of healing.
  • The first is a mental disorder, the second is the healing of sin, and the third is a raising from death.
  • What a way to illustrate the unlimited reach of Spirit to every aspect of the human experience.

PYCL #3: Bring a fan.

This is always a helpful analogy for the little ones, even if they have done it before. Review together the Golden Text from Job 33:4: “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

In the Bible, it is helpful to remember that “breath”, “wind”, and “spirit”, are largely interchangeable. It is also a beautiful way to think about breath of God being our life. When would that “breath” ever stop?

Now pull out your fan. Or, if it’s a windy day, go outside.
Ask if they can “see” the wind? We cannot.
But we can see the results of the wind.
Have them let the fan blow their hair, or hold something like a tissue in front of the fan to illustrate how we can feel the wind, but we can’t “see” it.

In the same way we don’t “see” God as Spirit, but we definitely see Spirit’s activity in our lives. We may see man’s spiritual individuality, or the beautiful variety of Spirit’s creation, or the healing power of Spirit that is displayed in Jesus’ healings in this week’s lesson.


PYCL #4: Would Spirit make or create matter? An illustration… 

It’s easy to forget or get a little confused about the relation of matter to Spirit (there is none!). It does seem like we have to somehow “balance” our human seeming existence with the spiritual. But in fact we aren’t doing an impossible balancing act. Rather, we are day by day acknowledging the fact of spiritual existence and looking to spiritual sense for our information.

When material sense tells us something is out of order, we are simply using that information to go higher in our understanding, not to dwell on what these senses are telling us, seek their cause or origin, or live in fear of them.

Spirit did not make matter. Matter is just what we seem to live with, but outside of which we have ample opportunity each day to dwell and feel and understand more of.

This statement from citation S9/356:24-30 (to.) helps with this seemingly complicated challenge. Here Mary Baker Eddy asks if Spirit could possibly have made material man from Spirit.
She wonders if evil could come from good?
And, finally, would Love make a creation that is prone to sin, to doing the wrong thing, and then punish that creation for doing what Love made it prone to doing?
Even a young child can understand the profoundly disturbing logic of this idea! We are not in the matter fixing business.

A simple illustration of this might be to talk about the way that only apples come from apple trees. We only get graham crackers out of a new box of graham crackers, we don’t get cherries out of that box at the store! (Bring a box with you to share if you find that appropriate). Likewise, Spirit only makes what is spiritual.


PYCL #5: Where does the power to heal come from?

It comes from Spirit. It is not a possession of man, not even the man Jesus! It is available to all of us. We can learn to recognize that, like the wind, Spirit is always with us, surrounding us — even on a still day!

Consider memorizing together the last passage in Section 3 this week from Science and Health. “Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.” (cit. S18/393:12, underlining added)

Have the children substitute their own names, or “me“, where it says “man” if they find that helpful. This statement really helps to establish that it is Spirit and not our personal spiritual “abilities” that help us to heal, to see as Jesus saw.

Have a great week in Sunday School!

 

 

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