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PYCLs– Don’t put off feeling joy. (1) Bring in a day pack with some heavy things in it. (4)
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“REALITY”
for Sunday, September 24, 2023

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


PYCL #1: Don’t put off/procrastinate feeling joy.

Sometimes I think children have the right measure of things. They tend to want to experience joy now. They don’t understand the waiting. Think, for example of a simple trip to the park. They might be very persistent in their calls for “can we go now???”. Or, perhaps, how hard it is for them to wait to open all those lovely wrapped presents under the tree until Christmas morning.

Delaying material gratification is mostly a good thing. But when it comes to spiritual “gifts” or treasures, we should never feel we have to wait to feel Love’s peace, Life’s joy, or Mind’s insight. These are the ever present “now” gifts of God.

Ask about things they look forward to. It can even be something like “lunch” or “recess” at school. What happens when we spend our day looking forward to something “in the future”? Are we truly noticing the good in the present?
Are we even paying attention enough to see the present abundance of God’s gifts to us? You may have to think together about this. If they feel like they really don’t enjoy, say, math class, then brainstorm what might be there in that present moment to make that class a gift?
Have they ever noticed that when there is real attention, focus being paid, that the time goes faster?
When we give our present state the full attention of our consciousness we suddenly find that in this moment there is nothing to be miserable about.
We should never wait for joy, but find the presence of joy in everything!

With the very young you can even just use the Christmas analogy. What do we really enjoy about Christmas? Isn’t it actually the moments leading up to that present opening time — the fun family activities, the yummy treats, the cozy lights? In the same way, can we really enjoy what we are doing in each moment now, knowing that it is always a moment of “Christmas”? This might be transferred into a quick realization that Christmas is all about the coming of Christ to our present thought, so really, talking about this in September isn’t as silly as it might seem!

This focus on enjoying the “now” ties into the lovely theme in this week’s lesson that spiritual reality, which embraces the kingdom of heaven, is present here and now.


PYCL #2: How do we find what is “real”?

I’ve mentioned this before, but I do not find that discussing what is “real” and what is not, is very fruitful with children. It tends to end in sweeping statements that are not demonstrated in daily experience. There are some citations to work with to help us all understand how we can think about spiritual reality.

Citation S1/275:10-12 tells us that in order to understand reality, we need to “reckon” God as the source (Principle) of all that really is. So, one thing we can try is a little “game” of “truth or lie”.
In this game we might make a list of thoughts that come to us.
Have the children come up with them, but have a few in your “pocket”, so to speak.
The true statements can be found if they can be traced back to God!
They could be thoughts like: “I don’t read well (or I don’t like reading)”, “I’ll never be as good at basketball as ____”, “No one likes me”, or it could be some thoughts like: “I love jumping on the trampoline”, “I am happy that I have a wonderful family”, “My best friend is so wonderful”.
There should be a balance of true and false statements.
One way to help this process is to have the true statements come from one student about another one there, that way they don’t have to say “I am a beautiful/fun/smart person” about themselves, which might feel uncomfortable.
You could get the ball rolling on the positive ones by saying several true statements specifically about each student so they get the idea. Notice, that mortal mind will often tell us that it’s easier to come up with false statements…why is that?


PYCL #3: We don’t have to “make” reality.

When we talk about healing in Christian Science it can sometimes seem like we are talking about how to “make” ourselves well. We are not in the business of creating a spiritual reality. Spiritual reality just is. Our task is to see it.

Try a little exercise with a box or sheet covering something. It really can be anything…a stuffed animal, a book, a picture, or something you think the kids would like from home. It might be fun to bring a few items. Don’t have them visible. Make the children turn around while you cover up one of the items. Ask them to “make” the item under the box/cloth come into being. They should not touch the covering. Can they pray hard enough to make it appear? If they pray just right will it appear? Then suggest to them that prayer is like taking off the covering to reveal what is already there. Have them take off the box/fabric. Maybe you put one object, covered up, in front of each student if you have a few students.
Did we make the object appear when we took off its cover? No! It was already there, whole, complete, “perfect”. Look at citation S5/353:16-17 “Perfection underlies reality”. This perfection means whole or complete. This is also pointed out in citation B1/Ecc 3:14,15 where it tells us that “…whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it:”


PYCL #4: Bring in a little day pack with some heavy things in it. 

You could just fill it with books from Sunday School if you want. Think about the idea that spiritual reality is one that has joy right now. It is the kingdom of heaven experienced right here and now. What does the kingdom look like to the children? Is it a “place”? Or is it a consciousness of feeling loved, happy, safe, cared for, saturated in beauty, adventure, discovery, and so on.  You can share the Revelator’s vision in citations B23 and 24/Rev 21:1,3,4 and 12:10.

Maybe put it in your own words. Explain that this was what John was actually experiencing, not just some weird “vision”. Talk about what might keep us from experiencing this kingdom. What “weights” are we carrying that make us think we can’t enjoy something right now–that we have to wait for some future time? Have them wear the day pack. Think about how we can drop each false thought that weighs us down. With each thought we drop you can take one of the heavy items out of the pack, until it is empty and light!

Have an amazing week in Sunday School!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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