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PYCLs: Make a treasure box and fill it. (1) “Buy” the wisdom of the Beatitudes
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Substance”
for Sunday, September 10, 2023

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


PYCL #1: Make a treasure box and fill it.

You could just decorate a shoe box together, or some other box you can make into a “treasure box”. Maybe bring some stickers and plastic jewels you let the children stick to the box.

Talk about what treasures God gives us. They are real treasures if they last forever, never decay or die.
They will figure out that such treasures can only be spiritual.
God’s love, Soul’s beauty, Life’s joy and energy…
You can bring some items that represent these qualities and write the qualities on them and have the children put them in the box.
Ask them about where they see these treasures expressed in their lives.
Talk about the spiritual senses that we all have that can see these treasures even when they might seem like they are invisible.
Make the connection between substance and these treasures you have been talking about.


PYCL #2: Why is “wisdom and knowledge of God” wealth & “riches”? Golden Text/Rom. 11:33

Think about why this might be the case.
When we are listening to God’s direction do we make good decisions?
We already know what true treasures are, so how might wisdom, and knowing God, help us find these true, substantial treasures?

Think about the poem “Feed My Sheep” that many of the children know as the Hymn #304, “Shepherd Show me how to go”.  Does that poem/hymn help us to listen to God’s wisdom?
Isn’t this wisdom what helps us see that God’s goodness is all around us all the time and we have abundant love, joy, health, and so on?

When we listen to God’s wisdom instead of our bodies, or gossip, or thoughts that try to convince us that we are separate from good, then we are not being “wise” or “knowing God”.


PYCL #3: INTERNALIZE the Beatitudes!

There are a couple of Beatitudes included in this lesson so we can take advantage of their presence to review these precious ones and also be obeying the Manual while we are at it! The first one is in Section 2 after the story of Daniel and his friends. It is “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6/cit. B7) I love the translation of this from the International Children’s Bible. “Those who want to do right more than anything else are happy. God will fully satisfy them.”

You may need to talk about what “satisfy” means if the children are really young. But there should be a receptive audience for this idea. Talk about what it feels like when we are really thirsty after a hot outing. What does it feel like? How about when we have been really hungry? This is what we want to be towards doing right. (That’s “righteousness”)

Wanting to do right (like wanting wisdom/knowing God) rather than just wanting what we want, leads us down safe, joyous paths that fill our hearts up with happiness. If we just do what we want we end up feeling (and being) selfish and sad. See if you can share a story where this might have happened to you, and how did you end up getting out of it?

The other Beatitude this week is in Section 3.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (cit. B10/Mat. 5:3)  I like the way that Eugene Peterson writes this in The Message. “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there’s more of God and His rule.” These translations are ways for us to expand our understanding these amazing blessings! And they help us internalize them rather than simply memorize them. You may have to talk about what it means to be “at the end of your rope”, as gruesome as it sounds. It simply means that when things are as bad as they can get and we have no more wiggle room, then we can only turn to God and recognize that God is all there is left to you. Eventually you start to realize that this is why you “get” the kingdom of heaven in this circumstance. It’s not because you didn’t have it before, it’s because you are turning to God with all your heart when you are desperate.You can talk about the fact that Jesus told us the kingdom of heaven is within us…so we really always have access to it!


PYCL #4: Tell the story of Daniel and his friends.

Give a little background for the story.
Why were these guys in a foreign court being fed fancy food?
Why didn’t they want to eat it?
Why was it important to them to be obedient to God in this?
Even if we don’t believe today that God cares about specific foods, in those days this was an important commandment that showed their faithfulness to God.

Are there things that we should remain faithful to today that show that our love for God is substantial? Maybe you can link this to that Beatitude about hungering and thirsting after right. This is what they were really doing.
How are we doing this today? Can you share examples?
I think it is interesting that it isn’t “the righteous” who are blessed, but those who “hunger and thirst” after righteousness or right!


PYCL #5: Things to thoughts…SH 123:12 and 269:14

You may find it fun to prepare some “things” you can bring to Sunday School and lay on the table for this exercise. You could, alternatively, plan a trip outside to do this and think ahead of time what you might point out. Consider how the things you choose can be easily turned into “thoughts”.

This is a way to help teach the substance behind something. Once they have done a few of them, maybe they can pick their own to contemplate or challenge the class with. Don’t get snagged if it isn’t something one can make work with this activity. Not everything works!


Have fun in Sunday School This week!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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