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PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:
for Sunday, February 22, 2015

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

pycl #1: Looking at the link between the Golden Text and the Responsive Reading, think of what “the substance of things hoped for” really means to them. I link the two because, if you think about “…what things [we] have need of…”, that can relate to the substance of “…things hoped for…”. You will need to figure out together what “substance” means. What makes something substantial? If you have gratitude journals ongoing in your Sunday School class, you could look back on healings and things you have expressed gratitude for—what makes these expressions and demonstrations substantial? Are they things that we “hope” for? How are they different from hoping for a new set of Legos, or dance shoes or whatever is appropriate in your class? With my boys it would probably be Legos, so I might ask, “How does it make you feel after you get a new set? How long after you get that set do you start wishing you could get another set? (with my boys it’s almost instantly…) Are you sometimes tempted to think that you don’t even want to build one of your old sets any more because you really want something new? In contrast, how do you feel about something that you have expressed gratitude for (hopefully not for a set of Legos!)…maybe your mom and dad for instance? Would you ever think that you wanted a new mom and dad—( um, hopefully the answer would be no)? Why not? what makes gratitude for a healing different than gratitude for a new set of Legos?" Maybe you could compile a class list of things that we “hope for” and then see how God “already knows” and has already given them to us!! How do we recognize them and feel their presence in our lives?

pycl #2: Where does our understanding of God/Mind come from? This is a fun question because they may have a variety of thoughts on this once they get past any “pat” answers. Look at citation B2 together and see if the idea of God putting His law in their “inward parts”, or in their “hearts” makes sense. His knowledge, His justice, laws, love, understanding—it’s all “written” in our hearts because we are the way that Mind is thinking and expressing Himself. There is an element of listening here, we have to listen for this law, for messages. We don’t have to “pray hard enough”, or read the Bible lesson regularly, but we really do have to listen, to practice listening. If we were to want to identify birds by their calls, we’d have to listen, maybe over and over to a call to correctly identify which bird that call belongs to. You could even visit a website with bird calls (on a hand held device) and have them listen to maybe two or three distinct calls. Show them the pictures that go with the birds. Would it take some practice to remember and identify each bird? Might we get better at the process if we did it often? Would we start to discern more clearly the differences between calls if we were tuned in to that process? I know a few summers back, when I developed a real interest in getting my yard to be more oriented toward native grasses and flowers, I found that suddenly I was seeing enormous numbers and varieties of flowers and grasses everywhere around me! I’ve always appreciated nature, but this was amazing! I found I didn’t have to spend tons of money on plants, I could just gently move them from the sides of my driveway or in some wooded area around my house to another, or likewise, from a meadow into a more sunny lawn spot. These “nature” analogies work well when we think about how Mind is speaking, guiding, blessing us at all times. His richness, presence, beauty, variety and glory are all around and we have the ability within us to perceive it, revel in it, recognize and be led forward, because it really is written on our hearts—not “out there somewhere”. With bird calls it may seem that we are using material sense to recognize which call is which, with Mind’s messages, we “hear” them with our spiritual senses. Spiritual senses aren’t dependent on matter in any way, and we all have them! You can use Mrs. Eddy’s phrase: “Spiritual sense is the discernment of spiritual good.” (S 505:20-21) Do we all have the ability to discern spiritual goodness? Of course! And you could share some examples with them…have them share them too.

pycl #3: God makes us “smarter”. That might be a little “flip” but it’s not far off the mark. The story in the Bible here of Ezra, sharing the Bible, the laws of Moses, with people in Jerusalem is a story of God making clear through any means necessary, what we need to know. Sometimes we get the understanding through a camp counselor, sometimes a parent or a teacher—but ultimately God’s goodness and intelligent thoughts come from God. We can expect to always have them—they are “native” (S8) to us (remember—within our hearts). We can expect God’s wisdom to be clear, not “in a different language”—this idea is also expanded on in other sections! For example: in Section 3 we have the 139th Psalm telling us that no matter how “far away” we seem to be, Mind reaches us, knows us, speaks to us, heals us. In Section 4 God speaks to us even when we seem to be in the “dark”, when we are sad, angry, or experiencing discomfort, His message is clear and understandable. In Section 5 Mind speaks to the thoughts of the insane man, Mind replaces the suggestion of disorder and chaos with peace, understanding, clarity, in just the way that man could accept. And in Section 6 we have God’s word literally translated into whatever language the hearer needs in order to communicate with his fellows! What an example of the clarity and communicating power of Mind! We can trust that with this clarity, we are always guided to make wiser choices, we can read with greater understanding, do our math problems without frustration or endless struggle, retain information that we need. See? He makes us smarter (and better Sunday School teachers)!

pycl #4: Christian Science helps us discern whether thoughts are from Mind or from—whatever is not Mind. First of all, knowing that our origin is in Mind, not in our genetic makeup, is a great way to start (S11). We are not informed either by our DNA or by our environment. In truth, Mind is governing every aspect of our being. Use pretty much any citation in S&H here in Section 3 to base your sharing about how we can tell the difference between what God is telling us, and what mortal mind is suggesting. Do we feel fear, anger, hurt, frustration….well, it’s not from Mind then, not substantial or powerful. We were made to respond to Mind and we only have to turn away from these aggressive thoughts to feel Mind’s peace surround us, no matter where we are. Is that hard to do? Sometimes, yes! Can you share an example from your experience where you were able to keep fear at bay and ultimately destroy it by refusing to listen to it? Most of all, I think the Bible says it best in citation B8: “I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” It is that peace that most often identifies the source of our thoughts.

pycl #5: It might be interesting to look a bit at the story of the insane man in Section 5. One thing that I notice about it, is that the Christ influence cannot be resisted. The lunatic man puts up a good fight, you will notice, but Jesus is not moved by the arguments. He knows that Mind is governing, right where there appears to be “another mind”. He is so certain and understands so well the allness of Mind, that he isn’t fooled by the man’s arguments or behavior. We can be just as certain. When we feel tempted to behave badly, or feel sad or angry, we can remember that Mind is All, and it can’t be resisted. We can make sure we are “arguing” on the side of Mind and not against Him!! Ask the kids, do they ever just feel like they want to be grumpy? Well, make sure they don’t settle for that thought. They want to side with the one Mind, or they find themselves deaf to Mind’s guidance and peace, even though Mind is always there giving us this!

Have a great Sunday School class!!

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