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PYCL: Listen for God's word saying "This is the way!"

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO

[PYCL: Listen for God's word saying "This is the way!" (#6)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

August 23, 2015 on

“Mind”

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

Pycl #1: There are a couple of passages that might be really great to memorize this week and this could be done during Sunday School! One is from Proverbs, citation B18: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Feel free to find another translation if you think that will be more accessible for them (in modern English). The other is especially fun for applying to the beginning of the school year, though it really applies to any endeavor because the word "study" also means "...to be prompt, earnest, or diligent; to endeavor; or to labor." This passage to memorize is from 2 Tim., citation B15: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Even if they want to memorize these in the King James version of the Bible, it is helpful to show it to them in other translations for a deeper understanding of the ideas. I love the humility involved in these passages. The first acknowledges only the one Mind, the second gives us the true motives for learning. Maybe take some time to explore, even with youngest ones why we want to "study" or learn and work at anything. We are not trying to please our parents, our teachers or our friends, or even to uphold a high standard for ourselves. We are working to show God's glory, to express His insight, creativity, ability, etc. Have the kids memorize a passage and repeat it to each other. Maybe one kid picks the first and another the second, then they switch. You could also let them put these into their own words.

Pycl #2: Bring in a toy or tool that is battery operated. Bring it with the battery removed. Have them turn it on and see that it doesn't work. Put the battery in and try again (or let them put it in). Yay! Now it works. Is this how our thought is created? Did God put intelligence "in" our body either with a brain or with thought separate somehow? Citation S23 tells us that "God is not separate from the wisdom He bestows." God doesn't pop wisdom into our head, or any other body part! All our intelligence comes from Mind. Look at the story of Solomon and use this as a springboard for this discussion. Have them really try to imagine running an entire country as a very young person. We don't know for sure if Solomon was as young as 13 or as old as 20 but either way that would be a big responsibility. If contemplating running and making decisions for a country is too vast, ask them to pretend that they had to make all the decisions for their family. They had to pay the bills, do all the grocery shopping, make the dinners and wash the clothes. What if they had to do all that at just the age they are at? This is how Solomon must have felt. No, he didn't have to drive a car, but there were thousands of people who were counting on him to make important decisions for their country. It's like being the president of the United States (or a country of your choice) when you are little! Now, think of what Solomon asked God for in his dream. What were the reasons behind his request? Did he want that wisdom so people would think well of him? So he could impress his countrymen? Did he want the wisdom so he could just plain "be smart"? No. He wanted it so that he could bless his people with justice and love and discernment. When we have right motives we are more open to the wisdom that is all around us. (Again citation B15 goes well with this thought).

You can expand on this beyond Solomon's story of course. The Golden Text tells us exactly where wisdom comes from and it is not from our brain, or our parents' brains. There are plenty of other citations to use, one might be S22 where Mrs. Eddy explains that intelligence is not in matter. Think of the limitless horizons that we have when we realize we are not confined to some sort of pre-ordained amount of intelligence that we have that is based in heredity, environment, schooling, advantage of some kind and so on. Did Jesus accept a hereditary (or any kind) of brain disorder in the 4th section, as God-created?

Pycl #3: Let's pretend there are two countries we can choose to live in. In one country you don't have to give the government any taxes. There are no laws about driving, no traffic lights or speed limits. You can go as fast as you want! There are only a few laws to kind of keep things going, but mostly we are just free to do what we want. In the other country you are expected to follow traffic laws, you have to pay some taxes so they can have schools and roads and things that make life work. You are expected, and the law supports that we be respectful of other's rights—you can make this up with whatever detail is important. Now look together at citation S7 where Mrs. Eddy says that "Whatever is governed by God, is never for an instant deprived of the light and might of intelligence and Life." Which country do you want to live in and why? Does one of them more closely reflect the government of God? Why or why not? When we keep our consciousness aware of God and His governing presence how does this allow us to better manifest His intelligence, light and Life? Can you all come up with some thoughts? If God, Mind is motivating our every action then these actions necessarily express intelligence, the guidance of Mind.

Pycl #4: Bring in some Play-dough. First explain the scope of what you are doing. "Today we are doing something special, we are taking the amount of Play-dough that I give you and we are making small pots. You can make a tall, skinny one, or a short wide one or whatever kind of pot you can make with the ball I give you! Then we will line them up in the middle of the table and read something about these pots." Citation B7 from Isaiah talks about the pots talking back to their maker. Then you can ask them if their Play-dough pots can criticize them for how they were made? Can they tell you that you stink at sports/reading/math/music/art, etc.? No! You made them and they cannot tell you anything, they don't have a "mind" of their own! Maybe this will give the kids a way to more deeply understand the idea of God being the only Mind, only creator. Make sure you go beyond the Play-dough imagery though so it is clear that we are not "lumps of matter" that God made. The point is that matter cannot talk back, has no intelligence, and is not the creation of God at all! Rather we are the spiritual expressions of intelligence, etc. As such we have no need to be discontented with ourselves or critical of ourselves or others because we reflect all the light and intelligence that God radiates!

Pycl #5: The story of Nebuchadnezzar is loads of fun. Go through all the detail, the parts that are not in the lesson--just for interest. When we think that we are the source of our own intelligence, creativity, power, etc. we are then subject to the limitations of matter that go with those claims. We get to enjoy the fruits of believing that we are subject to brain chemicals, disease, heredity, circumstance, environment, and so on. You can explain this to smaller children in simpler terms. It's a little like the two countries. If you live in one where there is no overall intelligence governing you, you might have fun going fast now and again, but you are a lot more likely to get crashed into by others on the road who are going fast and not trying to stop to look both ways when there are no lights or signs telling us to do so! Nebuchadnezzar began to think that he was the source of all his greatness and then he was subject to some sort of insanity (matter-based intelligence) that made him unable to govern the country at all! Our clarity of thought comes from acknowledging only God as the source of all good.

Pycl #6: Ask the kids if they really think they can expect citation B19 about hearing God’s word directing their way to be true for them. Is it really possible to hear God tell you "which way" to go? You can work with Mrs. Eddy's poem "Feed My Sheep". Hopefully you have some great examples from your life that testify to the truth of this statement in your experience and you can share them. Show how really, God/Mind is speaking to us all the time (like I shared in the Pycls of a week or two ago when I mentioned Huck helping me find my phone and the story of “Travis Talks with God”—in each case we have examples of everyday moments where we hear what we need to do, and either don't or do notice it and follow it). There is nothing "big" about this kind of direction, most of the time. Usually it is just the gentle voice of knowing what is right to do, what is helpful, what is honest, what is obedient and so on. That's Mind talking straight to us!

Have a great Sunday!

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