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Pycls: Practice what it means to apply the Scientific Statement of Being to your daily life.
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Matter”
for Sunday, March 21, 2021

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

Pycl #1: What does it mean to apply the Scientific Statement of Being to your daily life?
I think it would be fun to start with the Scientific Statement of Being that is in our first section this week. Do the children know it by heart? Cut it into pieces, (literally print it out and cut it into chunks) either by sentence, or between commas, and have them put it together if they are of reading age. Otherwise, you could do this aloud.

What does it mean that "man is not material; he is spiritual." Have them give you some ideas! Then ask them what these ideas mean in terms of how we behave on a daily basis. Can you share some specific ways that you apply this statement to your daily life? Help to make it clear that knowing that we are not material is only helpful if we know how to make this fact apparent.

Today, for me, applying the Scientific Statement of Being to my daily life means:
how do I help my boys learn certain tasks, without losing patience with them. It means loving, and patiently helping my mom navigate some tough challenges without feeling any sense of there being other demands on my time. If I can turn these seemingly physical tasks into spiritual ideas, without the strain of "time" or limitations (matter), then I am living without the pressure of material existence, and all that seems required of me becomes inspiring, restful, spiritual.

So, for example, it is not important that Charlie, (my youngest), get the task I set for him done by lunch (hopefully without involving me too much). It is more important that he learn how to accomplish a challenging task (can you see where this is a spiritual gift–usefulness, unselfishness, helpfulness?). Learning to work, which today includes making decisions about what to save, what to recycle/give away/throw away/store, might seem like a material thing, but it is not, if we keep the spiritual qualities that I listed, uppermost in thought. We are being creative, teachable, receptive, joyful, unselfish, helpful.

For my mom, it is not as important for her to be completely clear, as it is to always know that she is surrounded by Love, and that she has dominion over fear by knowing this fact about Love's continuous presence. I offer these examples of converting the facts of spiritual existence into actions that are genuinely spiritually anchored so that, perhaps, you can share your own examples with your class. In this way we are not so limited to living in matter, and matter's limitations.

We are not looking for our joy in material accomplishment. This might mean less to children, but for them this could be put in terms of:
"what happens if we can't do what we think we want to do?
What happens when our plans are changed from something we look forward to, to something we are disappointed in?
How can we learn to not feel overwhelmed by homework or chores, etc."
See if you can come up with actual practical ways that help us deal with disappointments, ways that perceive the spiritual good around us now and always? Can we find more steady happiness through the genuine practice of living on a spiritual basis (as described)?

Pycl #2: Review the correlative scripture & ask students to try writing it in their own words. Now that we have dissected the Scientific Statement of Being (SSB), look together at the correlative passage from 1st John/cit. B1. Explain that this is read in church after the SSB. What does "correlative" mean? How does this passage act as a "correlative" to the SSB? Take it sentence by sentence and see if you can learn together what it is telling us that correlates with the SSB. I like thinking of it, in part, this way: The world, matter, doesn't know or recognize us as sons/daughters of God— it only knows the lie, "itself".

Matter cannot think for itself or recognize reality, because reality has no matter within it. From a standpoint of sonship, we are only looking to our divine parent for all that we are, all that we need…. Maybe they try writing this passage in their own words. There is no right or wrong, and any translation we make of this passage would evolve over time, I'm sure!

Pycl #3: Try introducing the children to the "other" creation story in John 1:1, 3-5 (cit. B2)
Have they ever thought of this passage this way? In what way does matter enter into this creation story? What was there in the "beginning" in this passage?
What is the "Word"? Is the "Word" something material?
Why is God the "Word"?

It's interesting to look at these few verses and see what is mentioned of creation. What is the life that God gives to man? Life=light!!! Darkness=matter, and dark doesn't understand light any more than matter can understand God or Spirit!

Compare this creation story to the ones in Genesis. Which is the "matter" creation story? You might find it fun to follow the matter creation story started in Genesis 2 by telling it through the Cain and Abel story (Genesis 4). This is a way to show where believing in life in matter leads, how it tends to let us down when we depend on it for happiness, life, etc.

Pycl #4: Live in a Bible character's shoes … Study uses of the word "oil" in Science and Health.
A few of them refer to the "oil of gladness", and there is a definition of it on p.592.
Then, read or tell the story of the woman and the oil from 2 Kings 4:1-7/cit. B9.
What do the children think of Elisha's demands?
1) First, he asked her what she HAS in her house. Why?
2) Then, tells her, without explanation, to go borrow empty vessels, as many as possible, from her neighbors.
3) Then, he tells her to take her one container of oil, and pour that into the other containers.

I would ask them directly what they would say if someone asked them to do something that they didn't understand. Would they ask questions? Would they just disobey because they couldn't see the benefit to themselves?

It is always useful to put ourselves in a Bible character's shoes!

Make sure they think about the fact that Elisha asked her to pour the oil that she had in one "pot", into all those borrowed vessels. Would they do that without saying something like: "Hey, I only have about a cup of oil, what good will it do to pour this one cup into all those other vessels?" She was desperate, willing to listen to divine inspiration, to be obedient.

Write a recipe for spiritual wealth:

1. Stir-in what we have in our spiritual "house", our consciousness.

2. Add to your consciousness, space (borrowed vessels) to contain gladness (see oil references!), consecration, prayer, heavenly inspiration. (SH 592) Maybe there is even room here to consider whether this is something that involves a broader sense of community, since she borrowed from all her neighbors?

3. Add in: obedience, spiritual humility, and faith. Feel free to add on to this list!

4. The baking part might be where she is told to sell her oil. Here that might mean that we go out and spread what we know of God's goodness…you come up with some ideas here to finish this recipe!

Consider some ideas here to bring this into contemporary life.
Elisha isn't hanging around today, so who might be near us that is spiritually inspired to help us find our abundant joy, fearlessness, wisdom, and so on? It might surprise them that it could be a friend, a parent, teacher, or some role model that is right there asking them to do a particular task. They have only to recognize the spiritual nature of that task and take it upon themselves with willing joy, and they will find themselves overflowing with "oil" to share!!! This abundance of spiritual joy, intelligence, energy, health, is ours today, and that, my friends, is the point of these Bible stories!!!

Pycl #5: Sharing spiritual treasures with the needy will “fatten your own purse in heaven.”
We talked about bringing in a "treasure box" last week to "fill" with spiritually substantial treasure. This week we have Jesus telling us the parable of the man who built greater barns to fill with his wealth, rather than use it to bless those less fortunate. This is followed by Jesus' admonition to "…provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth…" and here we have the same idea as was shared last week!

So, like our treasure boxes, we can provide ourselves "bags" or "wallets" that cannot be stolen from because they reside, not in your back pocket, or over your shoulder, but in heaven, spiritual consciousness.

One translation says this about giving to those in need: "This will fatten your purses in heaven! And the purses of heaven have no rips or holes in them. Your treasures there will never disappear; no thief can steal them; no moth can destroy them." (Living Bible).

Talk about how true joy — joy that is based in unselfishness, generosity, kindness — is joy that can't be "stolen" by unkind remarks from a friend or a sibling! Think about having a joy that cannot be influenced by anything but God!! Notice too that this particular translation tells us that by sharing our "wealth", our joy, kindness, intelligence, etc. we will "fatten our own purses"!!

This is like a review of last week's Pycls, but can add a little "cement" to what we might have learned last week?!

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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