Thank you for another best summer yet!

PYCLs: Find ways to expand your idea of God… Drop thoughtlessness… Look to Mind for your authority & act “thru spiritual law” to heal like Jesus & build like Nehemiah! (#1-5)
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Soul and Body”
for June 6, 2021

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

 

 Pycl #1: Find ways to expand your idea of God and theirs! Drop thoughtlessness and other false markers of character by seeing they have no source in your all good source of being.
It may be helpful to go back with the children, whatever their age, and ask what their concept of God is. Is their idea of God a “being” that creates and causes things to appear or happen? If that is the case, then we can have an engaging time thinking about how to expand our idea of God.

Consider working together to think of God as any of the synonyms that we have listed on p. 115:13-14 of Science and Health. Are these synonyms a divine “person”? Or are they more like laws that are ever surrounding us, active, supporting, and so on. Thought of in this way, we can more easily consider the way that God creates and causes all that is real and good. 

 

Show the children a container of orange juice (in person or over Zoom) and ask what they expect to come out of that container. Only orange juice, right?! God is all good, He is Good itself. As such, only good can come from God. Slightly older children could ponder citation S3/207:20-23,27 which tells us that “…there can be no effect from any other cause…no reality in anything which does not proceed from this great and only cause.”  If you are in-person you could certainly share the orange juice with the class!

Think deeply about how Mind, for example, causes thoughtfulness. That has to mean that there cannot be a sting in someone’s action that appears to be thoughtless. Thoughtlessness has no place to come from. This might seem hard, I’m sure we have all experienced and manifested thoughtlessness. But to realize that there is no source for it makes it less able to stick to us as a “character trait”. It cannot come from God’s manifestation. We can begin to drop false markers of character by seeing that they have no source in Good, in our own source of being!

Pycl #2: Discuss “The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man’s origin.” (SH 262:27)
If your class is not super young, I think it would be fun to discuss citation S10/262:27 where Mary Baker Eddy tells us that “The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man’s origin.” She also tells us elsewhere that understanding man’s origin is primary to our human progress! So, this is an important concept. What do we do with the very apparent picture that we come from a mom and dad? We even seem to share certain traits with them, characteristics of our bodies and behaviors. Clearly, we are influenced by our consciousness of what we think of as our human parents. Is this bad? No.

Even the Commandments tell us to honor our father and mother. I think we can think a lot about how we can become more conscious of the fact that we often appear to be shaped by how our parents have thought about us, and how we think about our belonging to a human family. Our moms and dads are awesome for the most part. They provide us with so many examples of God’s infinite and unconditional love. From belonging to a family, we ideally learn that we are important, vital, special, delightful. If we didn’t have that experience, it would be harder to transfer those feelings to the deeper truth of being—that Love is the true source for all that unconditional love! What might be the pitfalls of thinking that we are “from” our mom and dad? Are there drawbacks to finding that we are truly an expression of Divine, infinite, Good? What does this understanding do for us? Limitations fall away!

Another little project in this vein that can engage a younger audience is to play some sort of game of “where does this thought come from?”. If we are struggling with sadness, we might be tempted to ask “why” or “where did the sadness come from”? This dead-end line of questioning seems to plague us all throughout life. It is so helpful to remember that there is only one source, and that source, like the orange juice in the orange juice jug, can only ever pour out good, joy, peace. When we think we aren’t smart enough to figure something out, instead of feeling like we are the source of intelligence or experience, we can turn our thought to God and wait for Mind’s message to give us answers!

pycl #3: Read or tell the story of Nehemiah. Bring in blocks for little ones, or cardboard boxes that can stack. Have them re-enact building the wall while holding a sword in one hand and building with the other. You will have to tell a fuller version of the story for this to make sense, of course. Each block can have a word that overcomes something that would oppose our progress. For example, the statement “I’m not good at math”, would be countered with something like, “I reflect the only source of infinite intelligence, Mind”. The block might simply say “Mind”. Talk about the sorts of things (like a false sense of origin!) that would make it hard to progress in life. What made it hard for Nehemiah?

The first citation in this section “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” is a great one to think about here, because this wall building was certainly not by Nehemiah’s “might”. He was a cupbearer for the King of another nation. He was essentially a slave. Yet he knew his power and ability to persuade came from Mind, not from his position, or his nationality.

Pycl #4:  Ponder why obedience to Truth is the source of power and strength—as stated in citation S13/183:21. I have often pondered this one! It is a remarkable truth that I have seen evidence of throughout my life. You may want to share some examples. The interesting thing is that sometimes it isn’t obvious to us because we don’t always know when it is our obedience to Truth that has brought us to a position where we are given that kind of power.

Look at citation S14/307:26 which compares material laws and the higher law of Mind!  Again, we are looking at our true origin or source in order to find ourselves in alignment with these spiritual “statutes”. Someone once referred to spiritual laws, such as the Ten Commandments, as “fences around deep pits”. The Ten Commandments keep us from falling into figurative pits of all kinds, depression, poverty (of one kind or another), materialism, hatred, anger, etc.
Review these Commandments and consider how they represent “fences” that keep us safe.

Pycl #5:  Act “through spiritual law” to heal as authoritatively as Jesus did & to build as Nehemiah did! Another version of this kind of obedience power is shown to us in Section 4 where we have the story of Jesus healing the Centurion’s servant. In this story the Centurion (whom you will want to explain as a Roman commander of soldiers — so, the occupying force in Israel), is asking for Jesus to heal his servant. I love that he reaches out for healing for his servant. This shows his love for those around him.

Why does the Centurion tell Jesus that there is no need for him to come all the way to his house? What does it mean that he understands the idea of living under “authority”? Do we live under “authority”? Do we also have authority? Where does it come from? (Again, we are looking at origins here!) How does a person act when they are supposed to be in charge of things? Do we squirm and look to other people and say we can’t do it? Or, do we stand tall, and give others the support that they need to move forward?

Look at citation S21 where we are told “…that all causation is Mind, acting through spiritual law.” (417:10-15) In this paragraph, Mary Baker Eddy tells us that we must “Maintain the facts of Christian Science … hold your ground with the unshaken understanding of Truth and Love, and you will win.” Looking to Mind for our authority is powerful and healing. This was how Jesus healed! We have to act “through spiritual law”. This is what gives us authority, not our own impressive qualities! This was how Nehemiah did what he did and how Jesus healed. This is how we can heal today—by looking to God for all our Good!

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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