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PYCLs:  BE A TREE BY THE WATER. (1)  REMEMBER PLAYING “PEEK-A-BOO”? (2) CAN THE BURNING BUSH TEACH US ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS? (3) BE THE AUTHOR OF YOUR THOUGHTS & PURPOSE IN LIFE (4) BRING IN A BALANCE (5)
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”
for Sunday, December 18, 2022

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


PYCL #1: BE A TREE BY THE WATER.

I just love this image from citation B3/Jer. 17:7,8. It’s not a verse that a child will pay any mind to because it’s not a story. So, it might be fun to talk about it, share some images of desert with an oasis, or just a dry landscape with a river and show how all the trees grow along the banks, while all around might be without greenery, or minimally green. Talk about the imagery.
When we really reach for an understanding of the unlimited good of Love that is available and active around each of us, no matter where we are, we feel the presence and satisfaction and joy that Love is always providing each of us. It is like that tree that grows next to the river and is vibrant with green even when there is a drought. Pretend that the tree you are talking about is an apple or peach tree (let them pick what fruit it might be), and talk about how while another tree far from the river might not be able to produce fruit when things are very dry, your tree beside the river can just send its roots down deep to get water and continue to produce that fruit. This is how we can be when we know that Love is always governing and providing us with good.

Even when it seems like things are hard, (dry/hot), when we might feel ill, or be sad, or like things are unfair, we can open our eyes to the fact that Love is around us. We are “planted” in Love and our “roots” feed on that truth. When things seem especially hard we can draw on the nearness and power of divine Love and continue in joy, in peace/without withering away and becoming unfruitful!

In other words, a knowledge and understanding of God’s presence, love, and power can keep us feeling at peace even when things look bad to human sense. With very young ones you can draw a tree with branches and leaves and have the children add the fruit–cherries, apples, peaches, or whatever they chose.

You can also elaborate on the fact that this Bible verse takes place in a land where water is highly prized because it is desert. Do we “highly prize” God as our source of inspiration, joy, health, and so on?


PYCL #2: HAVE THEY, OR DO THEY REMEMBER PLAYING “PEEK-A-BOO”?

This game is mostly fun with babies, but maybe they can remember it (or if young enough might get a giggle out of it). The point here is that a person hides their face and then pulls away their hands and cries “peek-a-boo”…One can make a silly face, or just change your face each time you pull away your hands. The idea is that behind your hands is always your face. As older children there would be no expectation of anything other than the person’s face being there behind their hands. Perhaps babies find this so funny because they do not yet know “where” the person’s face has gone!

This lesson is full of references to perception, seeing, visible/invisible, spiritual sense, revelation, and more. These ideas of visibility of God’s power have to do with the subject of our lesson which is asking the question about God’s role in creation and in Mind’s power over earth/matter. We are given many examples of how this power and love is revealed to different people and to us!

Just like someone’s face is always behind their hands when they play peek-a-boo, so God is always visible behind the veil of matter that sometimes seems like it obscures our view of Good. So, now look at each Bible story in the context of this revealing of God’s power and creative ability.

In citation B6/Ex 3:1-5, we have the story of Moses seeing the burning bush. This story is fun to tell and can be discussed in terms of whether we would notice such a sight.
Would we stop to investigate, or pass it by with a mild comment?
Would we even see it, or would we be too busy with our daily activities and busy thoughts to take notice?
What was revealed to Moses when he stopped to actually “see” this bush?

Then we have the story of Mary receiving the angel message that she would be the mother of Jesus, the Messiah. That’s a kind of perception on her part, as well as a tale of Mind’s creation.
What kind of “sight” did Mary have to have in order to perceive this amazing event?

If the children are a little older, look at citation S14/29:20 and notice that there are words like: illumination, spiritual sense, recognition, pure sense, perceived. These all relate to sight in some way–spiritual sight, that is.
What can each of us do to receive the Christ “child” into our own experience today?
What kinds of thought did Mary entertain that made her ready to receive this momentous news?

Jesus calmed the storm in citation B14/Luke 822-25, and he filled a net with fish in citation B13/Luke 5:1,3-6,11. These are both examples of power that is beyond what can occur materially. In both cases Jesus saw something beyond the material senses that led to the appearance of abundance in one case and calm in another. This is the “face” behind the hands that is always there but must be perceived by pulling away the material sense testimony.

And our final “story” is from Revelation 21:2-4, 22,23. Here we have the apostle John speaking of something he saw beyond matter, something of the power and love of God. It is preceded by John 4:35/cit. B15 where Jesus tells us to look on fields that are already ripe for harvest. He said this to the disciples when the traditional harvest season was not yet ripe—referring to the harvest of man’s spiritual sense that can always be encouraged and engaged in the present.
It is a harvest that is not dependent on weather or time to ripen!


PYCL #3: WHAT DOES THE BURNING BUSH TEACH US ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS SEASON?

This is a fun thing to think about, though it may be more applicable to adults than children? When Moses saw that burning bush, as we said, he turned aside to check it out. When we are rushing about thinking about Christmas and presents and festivities, are we too busy with the fun materiality of it all to stop and notice those visible signs of the Christ that are everywhere present for us?
Come up with as many examples of how God/Christ might be speaking to us on a daily basis.
You may want to have a few examples of this to share so that you can get the ball rolling.


PYCL #4: ARE WE THE AUTHORS OF OUR THOUGHTS AND OUR PURPOSE IN LIFE?

I guess this is a heady question for younger children. But you can discuss this with little ones by asking them if they know where their thoughts come from and how they can tell? If they think their thoughts come from themselves, ask them to name their three favorite songs/movies/books. Just really quickly, without worrying about the answer. Where did those choices come from? Did they actually pick the books/songs/movies, or did they simply appear in their thinking based on what they have experienced? In fact, the ones they name might not even be their favorites, but the ones that popped into their thought.

They did not “choose” the items that came to their thought! “Spirit, God, gathers unformed thoughts into their proper channels, and unfolds these thoughts even as He opens the petals of a holy purpose in order that that purpose may appear.” (cit. S8/506:18) This implies several things: that the fullness of an idea is already present, like the bud contains the full flower, and it is just unfolding to us, to our consciousness (divine creation), it implies that Moses’ thought was ready and waiting for the mission that God revealed to him, that Moses could perceive the Christ presence, and it implied that Moses trusted the power of God (part of this lesson) that could essentially lead the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt.

This idea of “unformed thoughts” being gathered into proper channels, also applies beautifully the story of Mary, and her conception of the Christ child. Why is it helpful to know that our thoughts and purpose are actually spiritually directed, and when they appear not to be, they are actually eventually leading us in the right direction through uncomfortable human experience.

Like the Prodigal Son, these thoughts and experiences always lead us back to our Father-Mother God as the source of all goodness and satisfaction.
Isn’t it cool also, to become aware that the “channel” for our “purpose” already exists!
This is a “place” where we will prosper and succeed because it’s where God has put us!!!
All we have to do is listen to the thoughts that come from God, they are always coming, always guiding and unfolding our purpose!


PYCL #4: BRING IN A BALANCE (TYPE OF SCALE).

You can create a simple balance type of scale; look for ideas on the internet if you are stumped.
Talk about citation S24/192:17-24, 29 which tells us, in part, that “Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.” What do the students think of this statement?
Does this seem true to them, or do they see a lot of power being exhibited by evil?
What is going on when we see error appearing to have power?
How can we find the power of God to be the only genuine power? T

Think about the power of good that Mary Baker Eddy tells us here is the only real power?
Can we throw our “weight” into the “right scale”? What scale is that? Is it a scale that weighs good against evil? If we could do this, would evil have any “weight”?

Here you can use the scale you brought to show the “nothingness” of error in the balance with Truth. You can represent this in any way that is helpful. It could simply be putting a small block with words like “love”, “truth”, kindness, or other Godlike qualities on one side of the scale and nothing on the other. Talk about a “spiritual scale”, what would that be? What would it “measure”?

Have a wonderful Sunday School class. 

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