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PYCL: Use spiritual sense to wrestle away all false suppositions of matter’s reality

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

[PYCL: Use spiritual sense to wrestle away all false suppositions of matter’s reality. (#2)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

September 20, 2015 on

“Matter”

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

Pycl #1: What is matter? We see it around us, and we know from our studies of 'substance' that matter is not substantial, lasting, dependable or rewarding. In citation S19 Mrs. Eddy tells us that matter "...is but the subjective state of what is termed by the author mortal mind." Put that statement into kid friendly language. What is the "subjective state". When we see things from a certain point of view, perhaps without taking in any other views, or by excluding some facts. A subjective opinion is one that is based on our personal viewpoint, and this viewpoint might be more or less accurate depending on the situation. Can you or they come up with any examples of a subjective opinion? They are not always unreasonable ones, just not necessarily ones based on fact. Just to be clear, Mrs. Eddy does state that "Human opinions are not spiritual." (S&H 192:6-7). Once we have established what matter is, we can focus on the fact that a subjective state of mortal mind, (a mind that Mrs. Eddy named only in order to be able to converse about something that doesn't in fact exist), has no truth or substance or life in it.

One thought for illustrating this idea: Look at the Responsive Reading (RR) where it talks about threshing the mountains and making them small. Talk about the symbolism of taking something that seems as solid as mountains of granite towering above the earth, and blowing them away like chaff (explain this image) in the wind. What if you brought a large stack of crackers and put them in a bowl and had the kids crush them into powder? Obviously a pile of crackers does not compare to a mountain range, but the idea of taking all that bulk and reducing it to a little pile of crumbs might be a good image. (You would need to show them how it is not a violent activity but one that represents the power of God that is steady, solid and easy. This is not a good activity if your class has kids that might get over enthusiastic about the process of crushing a pile of crackers.) The image is helpful but if they are too focused on cracker crushing and get crazy about it, they may just forget the message behind it: that matter is not the solid mountain of reality that it seems to be. (p.s. save the crackers for the top of a casserole :-) How does this mountain- into- something- small relate to healing in Christian Science? Do our problems sometimes seem like mountains? How can seeing that matter is not substance or reality make these problems appear in their proper proportion, as the nothingness that they are? If we think of something in our body as real, and we are working in C.S to see it healed, then we are seeing matter as a real thing that needs changing. We won't get far this way because that is not Christian Science. Share some examples of healing that reveal this truth in action.

Pycl #2: Use the Scientific Statement of Being as a great form of treatment for healing. Why is this a treatment? What does it point out about matter? Look through the lesson together and see where it is specifically used and why. Does everyone in class know it by heart? You can take it apart and talk about each component. For example, "there is no life in matter" (the first section). Then you can see how there is no truth in matter, no intelligence...etc. Can you find examples where this specifically applies? If we are working at something challenging at school maybe the idea that there is no intelligence in matter can free us from some accepted limitations... in sports, no life in matter or truth, might help us to see that our energy, stamina or harmony does not spring from our physical body, rather it is embedded in our true spiritual being. It is our nature as God's ideas. Again, it is important to share some healing examples of overcoming the suggestions that we are made of matter.

Pycl #3: I like the idea in this lesson of taking "something" and turning it into nothing! The Golden Text sets the tone for this and right away we have in the RR the passage about how everyone that is working against you in some way "...shall be as nothing". What does that really mean? Does it literally mean that our enemies are people? What about any challenge to peace and harmony? There are some good testimonies in the periodicals that are written by children that illustrate the "something to nothing" idea. Some of them could be physical challenges and some could even be literal ones of bullying. Something to note, in the cases of bullying, the bully didn't literally disappear, but the behavior, that was not substantial or real, did. That might be a somewhat amusing thing to point out. We only lose what is not true. Again, a flashlight or light of any kind is helpful here to illustrate this. When you turn on a light in a dark room, the darkness cannot oppose it. That's because while light actually has substance, darkness does not. And, to continue the analogy, where does the darkness go? Does it run and hide under the bed? Nope, it disappears, poof!

Pycl #4: The story of Jacob's wrestling "match" is a great illustration of this week's subject. While this story does a great job addressing persistence, it is also a beautiful illustration of the struggle that we all have with matter's claims to reality. Section 2 really gives us some great thoughts about how our "feeble flutterings" (S10), can become real wrestling with the suggestions of the world. We don't have to make weak claims about matter and its unreality. Through strong mental wrestling, we can be blessed by God's angel messages and find powerful healing results. We can tell the difference between the truth and the lie. We are not confused and uncertain when we are relying on our spiritual senses for information. What do we think that Jacob was relying on while he was wrestling with his strongly-held beliefs about "...life, substance, and intelligence as existent in matter....", spiritual sense or material sense? This struggle finally caused his thought to yield to spiritual sense so that he could see God "face to face"! Seeing God, understanding God, perceiving God and so on, are a real theme in this section. When we see what is true, that which is untrue loses all suggestion of reality to us. So rather than thinking in terms of trying to "un-see" matter as real, let's focus instead on seeing what is real—God.

Pycl #5: Speaking of seeing better, I love in citation B10 which speaks of God revealing the "deep" things of Spirit, through our spiritual sense, to each of us. And in Science & Health in this Section (3), this is confirmed by imagery of fog, and thinning mists. Have any of the kids climbed to a point that is high, with a great view, and found that clouds covered the view? Maybe they've been above clouds on an airplane. The depths of the view can be obscured, but cloud cover has no substance and can be burned away or can evaporate with the sunshine. In the same way, we can understand the spiritual depths of God's message of salvation to us by keeping matter less and less in thought. By doing this we are entertaining more and more the true substance of man's being. We get to see the detail and beauty of the valleys below, of other mountain ranges, of distant horizons. Matter can only seem to hide truth; it cannot make it "not exist". In the same way, we can look at the stories in Section 4 as examples of how God's laws take precedence over the clouds of material sense. The two examples of Jesus' healing may seem unrelated, but they both point to the substantial nature of God's law over so-called material law. In one case we have the law of physics which doesn't allow us to walk on water, or, for that matter, to tell the storm to stop. In the second we have diseased muscles responding immediately to the call to act according to harmony, God's law.

Have a great Sunday!!

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