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Pycls: Aim to share feeling the spiritual reality of God’s presence… Tell-off blind liars! (#1, #5)
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:

for Sunday, March 28, 2021

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

Pycl #1: Psalm 139 is an amazing gateway into understanding something of spiritual reality…
Very young children are often willing to accept the idea that reality is all good, is spiritual, that their bumps and bruises are not necessarily the substantial thing that they appear to be. But I love that this lesson seems to focus on the goodness of God, the presence of God, the allness of God.
I think working on Psalm 139 from our Responsive Reading this week would be an amazing gateway into understanding something of spiritual reality without making sweeping statements about what is real and not real.

Feeling what the Psalmist felt when he wrote this is what we are aiming for! I think it would be fun to bring a few translations into class to compare. They may well want to choose something in more modern English if you want to work on memorizing parts of this powerful Psalm! At first glance I am enjoying the Living Bible, and The Message. Obviously, the poetry of the King James Version is wonderful, but we want to open the Bible up to some different views to gain a deeper understanding of what it has to offer.

Talk about heaven and hell together, are they a "place"? Talk about the extremes of joy and sadness, light and anger, health and sickness, that we sometimes feel. Is God/Love always there?

Are we known specifically, intimately, to our Father-Mother? Consider learning the beautiful hymn with some of the words of this Psalm. It's included in our newer hymnal as Hymn #599. Sometimes it is easier to learn words when set to music. Can they write new verses?

Pycl #2: Imagine (& mime) starting on a running race with friends—but, from a mud pit…
What is a "starting point"? p.275:6-14/citation S1. We are told that "The starting point of Christian Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind." Have them imagine they are going to have a running race with friends. Everyone lines up on a line in the grass. But they are standing in a hole filled with mud that is super sticky, so sticky they can hardly pull their feet out of the mud, maybe it even sucks their shoe off! (You can mime all of this!)

If a mudhole is your starting point, are you going to be competitive? If God who is All and all good is our starting point, we always start on solid ground. Now think of everything that can proceed from God, the Creator that is all good, spiritual, and all there is?

Maybe have some roll paper to write a list of things that start from God being All-in-all. Think of things that cannot come from that. Where do they go on the list? Think together about how All Good can only "make" good things. And if that All Good, is also everywhere, then there’s no room for anything but that goodness. When things come up that don't feel like they are good, we can think about how they turn us to the All Good—and as we ponder, love, appreciate, acknowledge, the power of that Good God, the lie disappears. It doesn't "get better", it never had a place in the allness of God.

Pycl #3: Take a walk, if the weather permits, to "discern" together all that is spiritually good.
This lesson includes a favorite sentence of mine "Spiritual sense is the discernment of spiritual good." Memorize this and dig into it. If they are young, they will need to know what discernment means.

Who has spiritual sense? Does it belong only to Jesus and Moses and Bible characters? Does it belong only to grown-ups? What is "spiritual good"? Take a walk together if the weather permits it. Look around you with the children. What can they "discern" that is spiritually good? It could be natural beauty, lovely architecture, kindness of people around them, wind or sun on their hands. You get the idea. Say these ideas out loud and when you come back to class write them down.
If we all have spiritual sense, how does this help us see spiritual reality, which is always good?

Pycl #4: Have flashlight fun with a point about you being inseparable from God, your Source!
Another wonderful opportunity to memorize a powerful passage is included in Section 5, Romans 8:35, (to 1st ?), 38, 39 (or choose more of it if you wish!)/cit. B18. It asks: “Who shall separate us from the love of God? and answers “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life,… This is a beautiful parallel passage to Psalms 139 from the Responsive Reading.

I think it would be fun to use a flashlight and shine its beam on the table. Have the children try to divide the beam with something like a piece of paper. Can you actually "cut" the beam of light into two parts? What if you try to cut the beam off from the flashlight? Can you do that?

Then think about how that is like how we cannot be separated from our source of good, health, wholeness, joy and so on. Error, the lie of separation, is like holding a paper in front of the light and saying that you have somehow separated the light from its source. (Make sure you use something that is opaque so there is no light that can leak through. Cardboard would work.)

Pycl #5: Use Paul's technique of "telling off" error to render it harmless. Retell Elymas’ story.
We don't often have in the Bible lesson the story from Acts 13:1,2,4,6-10,11 / cit. B11. It might be interesting to retell it to younger children. Then discuss together: how does this relate to our experience today? Can you explain the story in more contemporary terms?

You could retell this story by saying something like: Paul and Silas had traveled to this island and there was someone there who wanted to understand God and Jesus better. This man had asked Paul and Silas to teach them about the truth. But there was someone else (Elymas), who wanted to interfere with this good work. Elymas argued and interrupted, and made it hard for anyone to hear the good word that Paul and Silas had to share. Paul was so full of truth, of Christ, that he was able to send this error, (which looked like an evil person), off. Elymas found that he was literally blind, but he had been blind to the good all along—because lies are blind to truth! (It’s good to know that Elymas, like Paul, regained kis sight as he came to know Christ.

We might be able to share an example of a time when we felt we were meant to share something good and it seemed like error got in the way. Can we use Paul's technique of "telling off" error and rendering it harmless? It is harmless, because it's untrue. Check out citations S4 and S5 (475:26-29 and 368:2-4) for some great "ammunition" to make error disappear.

Have a wonderful time in Sunday School!

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