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PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

“Spirit”

Sunday, February 8, 2015

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

pycl #1: What is worship? Have the kids make a list of ways that they worship God every day. If they can only think in terms of going to Sunday school and reading the Bible lesson, then offer some ways that you worship God. Some ideas here: we worship through being grateful (expressed in doing good or being joyful…), expressing joy, helpfulness, kindness, intelligence, persistence and diligence. These are qualities, but maybe they have examples from their week where they felt that something that they did in school or at home was a form of worshiping God/Spirit, it could even be something like running fast, etc.

pycl #2: Now that we know something about worship, why do they think the Golden Text specifically refers to worshiping God as Spirit? Why make that distinction? Do we sometimes materialize our worship of God…what would be an example of this? This might be sophisticated for littler kids, so tell a story. You could talk about the Samaritan woman from the Responsive Reading. She went to the well to get water (just matter). When she left, did she even bring the pitcher with her? Why not? What was on her mind? She left with a sense of the Christ, with spiritual insight and inspiration, and a purer view of herself than she had when she went there! Sometimes we go into an activity, even a day, thinking that it’s about doing a set of things—school tasks, or exercises in a sport or musical practice—when it’s really about worshiping Spirit in each thing we do, about seeing Spirit in each activity. Then we walk away elevated, with a deeper recognition of spiritual reality, and of Spirit’s presence and power in our lives. Talk about how we might go into a day at school (or whatever is relevant) and expect to see something richer and deeper in our moments. The woman at the well had a deep readiness to see Christ, (maybe because matter had really worn out its welcome through her many marriages and the expectations that were dashed in them). Can we have that kind of expectation even though every day is “just” school (or whatever). One thing here about “materializing” worship that I think is important to convey, if possible, to some of the kids that are ready to hear it: if we are looking at CS as a way to “fix” material problems, whatever the suggestion, we have just “materialized” worship! Our goal in prayer and CS treatment is to rise higher in our understanding of God/Spirit, and of man as His expression. Through this process, we glimpse our wholeness and have healings, but healing is the result, not the goal of our treatment. This is a helpful subject to keep revisiting with kids!

pycl #3: What is a “void” B2. This is not a perfect demonstration of void, but with the littler ones, bring in an empty container. Ask them what’s in it—letting them look. Being empty, it is “void” of any “thing". I know that void has an even stronger sense than empty—more like nothingness. Sometimes it is used to describe a great weakness, or a hole in a structure. How is this a wonderful analogy for error, for the lie that matter is something and has power to make us feel sick, sad, angry, frustrated etc. In fact matter is always a “weak spot” in our understanding of how things work. It really is a void in human life. It is not dependable, except in that it can never be depended upon! Look at B2 and see how the Bible describes the earth before God “moves” on it. What is the first thing God makes? Light! So it might be seen as a way of describing how nothing can take true form or shape without the light or understanding that God brings to it. You can then go off on the tangent of section 6 if you want to talk about the individuality and uniqueness of each idea of God, how they are fully formed and expressed through His ideas. And I also feel that B3 is a beautiful question to follow B2…Who fills heaven and earth? If it is filled up with God, then there is no space or void—no place where God/Spirit/Love is absent. This is a great idea to work with in younger classes. You can go with the little rhyme: “There is no spot where God is not”! For the older ones S2 pretty much says the same thing but in “grown-up” lingo.

pycl #4: With the little guys you could try mixing oil and water together. Section 2 helps us see more clearly that man is an entirely spiritual creation. He is not matter that God gets involved with, and heals. Let each kid take a turn mixing the two together. You can put a little food coloring in it if that makes the oil more visible. Use this as an analogy for how Spirit and matter don’t mix, are not part of each other. If you shake it really hard, it might look mixed for awhile. That’s how things sometimes appear in our experience. But in the end, Spirit will always rise to the top in power and presence!

pycl #5: In every translation that I looked in, B10, refers to the palsied man as “paralyzed”. This seems like a good way to express how being “trapped” in a sense of matter as powerful and convincing can feel. Talk about how a view of man as spiritual frees us from being paralyzed by material views. S17 tells us that Jesus taught that …”man is pure and holy.” What does purity and holiness have to do with freeing us from matter’s “grasp”. This can be talked about on so many levels and does not have to be confined to the subject of sensualism in its narrower sense. You can use this as a jumping off point to talk about the man in section six who travelled thousands of miles in total to Jerusalem, on a mission to understand the Christ better. Show them an equivalent trip through your country and then talk about what it would be like in a chariot. (Round trip was about 2,500 miles). Imagine that desire for understanding! You can tell this story, talk about baptism and what it symbolizes and what it meant to this man. Can we have a baptismal moment at any time? Where do we have to travel and how? Talk about “traveling” in thought, moving towards Spirit and understanding Spirit, and away from matter.

pycl #6: Finally, I love the idea of thinking together about “holding fast” to spiritual creation, to the Spirit model of man and God. This means we always look to God/Spirit for answers. It also means we reject whatever contradicts spiritual reality, no matter how convincing. Is there a kid that consistently bothers you in school? How can we persist in seeing him or her differently? How can we not give up no matter what?!! Check out B16 and S22 for some thoughts on that. We have to not waiver between believing that matter has power and that God maybe has power. B13 asks: “How long halt ye between two opinions?” Talk about how that plays out in our day to day and be honest with them about your own challenges with this. You can liken this to a game of “tug of war” where two sides hold on to the same rope and try to pull the front person in line over a place marked on the ground. We don’t want to be involved in this kind of back and forth pulling between matter and Spirit!

Have a great Sunday!

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