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PYCL: Find joy only in spiritual identity! Show how a recipe works!

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

[PYCL: Find joy only in spiritual identity! (4) Show how a recipe works! (5)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

”Soul and Body”
on November 20, 2016

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

Pycl #1: Look at the Golden Text together. What does "husbandry" mean? How are we "God's building"? In other translations it uses the phrase "you are God's field" instead of husbandry... It's interesting to think about this analogy, what it means for us. If we are God's building...His temple, does this mean that God puts a little bit of "Himself"/Soul inside our physical bodies? You might explain that that actually is, in a nutshell, the popular Christian view. In fact, we are all learning, that man is the way that God expresses Himself—an expression of Soul (S7), and therefore entirely spiritual, no matter what the senses tell us. (The last section really emphasizes this wholeness, our "whole self" is "preserved", not just a portion (B18)! We know this because people have been proving it to be true for centuries by healing in opposition to all so-called material "laws". Jesus, in particular, gave us that really clear understanding and example that man is more than he appears and that God or Truth reveals this in our experience right now.

Pycl #2: What does this subject spring from? Yes it's a traditional theological belief, but that's not necessarily something the younger children know. Rather how easy is it for us to think of ourselves as essentially material, with a spiritual "component"? We might just ask ourselves that question before meeting with the children. How much of what we do is for the sake of "pragmatism" in view of our essential sense of material identity? (I don't mean that this should be asked of the children, just that we ask ourselves this in order to clarify why we tend to follow this road of thinking of man as a combination of material and spiritual. The last couple of lessons have sought to make the distinction about man being not both material and spiritual, and this lesson also points to man's wholeness/perfection, as a spiritually conceived and "built" idea. Maybe try this exercise: Bring in a container of some sort and something larger than the container, obviously larger. Have each child take a turn trying to fit that large thing into the container.... the more ridiculous the task the better the illustration. Then talk about how "big" God is—that He is more than a "size". Infinity, eternity and so on are not "containable". If they are old enough, read citation B1 and look at the imagery that the Psalmist uses to describe God's vastness. Can something as infinite and amazing as Soul, be put, even in some small way, into a limited physical body?

Pycl #3: In a similar vein, you can look at citation S2, the definition of sun, and citation S6. Can you "catch" sunlight and put it in a box? Have them try shining a flashlight into a box, closing the lid and peeking through a crack to see if the light stayed inside the box. No more can we put Soul, or a piece of Soul, into a body. Check out citation S4 for how Mrs. Eddy talks about what body and Soul really are. Thinking of them as identity makes it clear that identity doesn't belong to physique. Someone's identity exists as a spiritual presence and fact. It is an expression, not of body, (when we are asleep there is not much in the way of expressing identity), but of Soul!

Pycl #4: I'm not sure this is helpful with the very young crowd, but thinking about our identity is a really great way to understand where our sense of satisfaction and joy comes from. When we are unsatisfied, it always comes from the suggestion that our identity resides in matter, is limited. Think about it: we feel we lack self-discipline or control, we lack intellect, skill, creativity, beauty, style, wealth, recognition, and so on. So getting an understanding of our spiritual identity is crucial to our happiness and satisfaction. Matter never permanently satisfies, much as we wish it did. In citation B2 it says: "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined." Looking up Mrs. Eddy's definition of Zion together, we can find that it says two different things (as most of her definitions do). First it is "Foundation and superstructure; inspiration; spiritual strength." And then the second half tells us "Emptiness; unfaithfulness; desolation." If our "Zion" is body or physique, then it is going to line up with "desolation". If our Zion is the spiritual component we are building our identity on a foundation of infinite spiritual strength, beauty and perfection or completeness. How cool is that?!

Pycl #5: Try working with the "recipe" in citation S16. Bring in a mixing bowl and several containers of "ingredients". The ingredients can be paper scraps with written qualities (different color for the not-good ones so they can extract them), or clean pebbles to represent the material ones (not fun to eat!) and then several ingredients that represent good, lasting qualities— chocolate chips or whatever have you. Have the children come up with ingredients that might represent "less illusion" (discuss the word "illusion") and more Soul. In your mixing bowl already might be some ingredients that keep us "tethered" to a sense of physical identity. Have them drop the good "ingredients" into the bowl, let them stir it. Talk about how ingredients in a recipe work, it is scientific! And doing this with spiritual qualities is Scientific, has a provable, expected, result! Maybe you can bring a special baked treat for them to take home as a reminder of how a recipe works. You may want to show the older kids citation S26, where Mrs. Eddy tells us just exactly what matter, or body is.

Have a great Sunday!

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