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[Take them fishing! Give them a rock, masks, numbers… to illustrate higher lessons.]

Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on


for September 30, 2018

By Kerry Jenkins, CS House Springs, MO

(314) 406-0041 Kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com

Pycl #1: Why is there a focus on the Kingdom of Heaven this week? Look at all the places where it talks about this and see if the children can think of how that is relevant to this week's subject, reality. Isn't it because reality is the kingdom of heaven? How do we see this kingdom today? Is it here, somewhere else, now, later? If they say it's here and now, can they point out ways that they see it? You can even see it right there in Sunday School. We are expressed as His thoughts in this kingdom and that's the only place we truly dwell.

Pycl #2: So why do we seem to see/hear so much that is the opposite of harmony and goodness? Evil is not part of the kingdom. It actually has no substance to it and we can take a huge step forward in demonstrating that when we take away personality from all our interactions, whether they are in person, or from news, or in the family, or at school. When we see each other's identity as a human personality we are not seeing the true idea of God. And then we are subject to anger at people, frustration, wanting revenge and so on. If we see every suggestion of evil as a lie, as not belonging to that person, suddenly we aren't consumed by a sense of injustice, for example, because we understand more clearly that the evil is impersonal, has nothing to do with that person actually, but is just the false suggestion that there is a power outside of God. Can you come up with some clear examples of this in your life? Personality is the mask that we see, and not the real idea beneath that mask! You could make some paper plate masks with different "personalities" expressed such as sad, shy, grumpy and so on (obviously with the very young). They can put a mask in front of their face and take it off rejoicing in what they are revealing beneath of the true man.

Pycl #3: Read Jacob's story in B9. Why does he use rocks for pillows? What might they symbolize? Check out what Mary Baker Eddy says about Rock in her glossary of S&H on p.593. "Rock. Spiritual foundation; Truth. Coldness, stubbornness." Both parts of it apply to Jacob's life story and you could review his story together and see why this is important. This part of the story comes right after he has stolen his brother's birthright. The coldness and stubbornness can be seen in his ability to steal two important parts of his brother's heritage. (And he does some more tricky things to his uncle Laban, who also does a number of deceitful things to Jacob!) But here, in this story of his journey to his uncle Laban, he is glimpsing the spiritual foundation, the Truth that underlies real brotherhood, and is the foundation of the nation that God has told him he will be father to. He doesn't immediately embrace this Truth fully, but this is a message that he hears, that prepares him to receive the fuller sense of man's (his own) integrity. I think you could talk about the truth/Truth and integrity that is symbolized in a rock. Bring in some flatter rocks if you can find them and give each student one to take home after you talk about what this represents. Can we expect to hear/see God's messages/angels coming to us as we rest our thought on a spiritual foundation of integrity–on spiritual reality?

I also think you could do an activity with ladders. You can draw them or bring in something that is ladder like, or use a stairway if you have one in your church. Talk about how the ladder would connect what is above with what is below. Look at how B7 has things "above" meeting things "below", there is no gap where good doesn't reach our consciousness. Talk about how the ladder represents thought reaching to the spiritual, and the spiritual meeting our thought wherever it is.

Pycl #4: So, this is something I've never seen before and I don't know if this will be useful, but I'm enjoying contemplating it. Maybe you've seen it all along! In S8 there is a sentence that starts "Spiritual ideas, like numbers and notes, start from Principle, and admit no materialistic beliefs." So think of numbers, and notes–they start or have their source in Principle/God. And there is nothing about these two things that can "admit materialistic beliefs". How can a number have a materialistic belief–how could a note or number get sick, be angry, suffer lack???? Likewise, she is saying, that we, as spiritual ideas cannot be any more subject to these materialistic things than a number or note! I think that might be a fun thing to think about together. Numbers are infinite, they are not "in" their symbol, you cannot run out of them, lose them, come up with a shortage. Man, as idea, is infinite, unlimited and harmonious. This is the kingdom of heaven, where there can be no lack. Try giving each kid a number and then ask them to do math problems where they have to use someone else's number. Are they really limited to the number they are holding? In the same way, we as ideas, are not limited to our physique, though it may seem that way! Nor can a classmate find themselves deprived or their number if someone else needs it!

Pycl #5: Dreams are something children think about. Many have bad ones that they struggle with at times. This is a way to explain why it looks like there are evils in the world that are real, when we truly dwell in the Kingdom of heaven. These evils are a lot like bad dreams. We can see that they don't belong to people, but are just the suggestion of evil and not from God. We can wake up to the harmony that is really present, even right where things might seem bad. See if you have an example of healing to share that illustrates this idea. S13 might be a fun way to think about this process.

Pycl #6: In section four there is the story of Jesus' healing of a man "possessed of a devil". It is linked with S16 where we are told that "…Truth and Love reign in the real man…". Isn't this key to gaining a true sense of the kingdom of heaven within? We have to allow Truth and Love, or God, to reign in our consciousness in order to feel this peace. Maybe you could think about the Daily Prayer and how this might help us to allow that divine reign to govern our thinking! When we are not feeling the peace and joy of the kingdom within, then we are not being governed by God. This is not about being really tough on ourselves and clamping down really hard on anger or sadness. It is learning to allow God, Spirit, Truth, Love, to actually take the reins, so to speak! How can we do this? How do we really watch our thought enough and get humble enough to allow God to govern how we think and feel? You can bring this around to a discussion of the Ten commandments or the Sermon on the Mount if you are working on these with the younger children. These are both great ways to see how we can be governed by God and thus be self governed.

Pycl #7: Read the story in section five. Why did Jesus make them go back to the "deep" and let their nets down again after a night of fruitless fishing? Isn't this symbolic of our need to look below the surface of things to see reality? Spiritual reality is not in matter. Spiritual reality is perceived through spiritual sense and felt deep inside. We have to be looking much more deeply than matter if we want to really find spiritual joy and satisfaction! Bring in a small net or a pillowcase to act as a net. You can have plastic or paper fish that they fish for, each labeled clearly with a spiritual quality that is part of the kingdom of heaven. Act out this kind of fishing. Feel free to give them each a small bag of goldfish crackers to bring away at the end of class!

Have a fun day in Sunday School!

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