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PYCL: Stop prophesying erroneously! Recognize Christ’s presence—here, NOW!

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

[PYCL: Stop prophesying erroneously! Recognize Christ’s presence—here, NOW! (3, 1)]

Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Christian Science”
for the week ending Sunday, December 24, 2017

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

Pycl #1: Well, seems like there is a lot about the Christmas story that we can focus on this week! To me, the most important take-home is the idea that Christmas is about the recognition of the presence of the Christ. In this lesson, this is highlighted by the dual theme of prophecy (a kind of recognition) and light—which illuminates/makes visible! Ask each child if they have ever felt the presence of Christ in their lives. Share an experience where you have felt this presence. What does it feel like? Isn't it an awareness of the good—a conscious acknowledgement, in that very moment, of Christ's warmth, love, intelligence, safety, power? This is an opportunity to help each other understand that the Christ isn't just something that is present when we are sick or hurting. But it is ever present when we are conscious of the light of God around us. Right there in Sunday School can be one such time. What does it mean to be "conscious"? Can we be "conscious" all the time, or is that too hard? How do we become more conscious? PRACTICE!!!! :-) If they play an instrument, play a sport, are learning to read, etc. All of these things take practice, so does conscious awareness of Christ's presence.

Pycl #2: Break out the flashlights. Talk about the way light makes things visible. Light makes darkness disappear. Light helps us understand our surroundings. No wonder it is a symbol for mentally understanding things! Use the analogies about moving around in a dark room—bumping into things. But turn on the light and we have no trouble. Bring this analogy around to how we can have greater harmony and joy in our lives as we allow the light of the Christ to shine in our consciousness and illuminate the true goodness and love that surround us. Try to share an example of this from your experience. Or find one in the periodicals that you can share.

[One of many good examples was shared in this week’s Global Sunday School email from TMC Youth at https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/sxicwkygb6?s=e ] If you have a dark place you can walk them to and have them shine their flashlights for a couple of minutes to illustrate this, that's great. If not, try putting a table cloth over your table and gathering underneath together with your flashlights. It won't be pitch dark, but it's a sweet way to share the idea while actively illustrating it.

Pycl #3: What is a prophet? Did they all live long ago? Can we be prophets today, and if so, what would we prophesy? Mrs. Eddy tells us that we shouldn't be "...prophesying...erroneously" in her "Rule for Motives and Acts" ("erroneously" applies to all the preceding words because of her use of the comma) Manual p.40:11. What about prophesying rightly though? What does that mean? Could it be that we are prophesying erroneously when we wake up dreading something in our day? What about on a Monday morning when we do not want to head off to school? What about when we do not want to work on a project with someone, or do errands with mom/dad, or do whatever the dreaded activity? Isn't that a kind of prophecy? We are assuming that whatever it is we have to do, the light of Christ, the joy of Christ, is something that has to be put off for later! This can seem really hard in the face of say, cleaning the litter boxes in the basement or throwing in a load of laundry—what can there possibly be there to look forward to? BUT... If we are willing to get out our "flashlights"—let the light of Christ proceed before us—we often find that, either the chore or task goes more quickly and smoothly than we anticipated, or we find that we enjoyed the time thoroughly while visiting with a brother/sister, or listening to music, or discovering something new in our work. The light of Christ awakens in us gratitude, and awareness of the beauty of God's goodness around us. Then we start to recognize when we’re "prophesying erroneously" and we can catch ourselves in advance and learn to expect and look for the true goodness that God has brought to our experience, every moment! When you sum this up, suggest that they can think of themselves as prophets and can tell you how they are each a prophet. What are they going to prophesy about this week?

Pycl #4: Is the birth of the Christ in the past? Just like recognizing the presence of Christ in our consciousness, we can specifically bear witness to the "newborn" nature of this Christ in our own experience. In the presence of this birth we can certainly never feel lonely, sick or unhappy. Think about that! If we knew that this Christmas we would be right there at that birth.... would we be worried about our Christmas dinner, about whether or not we had all our family present exchange, whether our presents were just right or the house was clean? Of course not! All of that would fade away in the amazing event that was unfolding to us, in the presence of the angel's announcement and the joy of this unique unfoldment! Take a minute with the children to close your eyes and imagine what it would be like to be there right after Jesus was born. Then take a moment to realize that we can never have missed out on that moment. That this newborn Christ idea can come to us a dozen times a day, we just need to have our "flashlights" on so that we see it. Having those Christ "lights" on, means entertaining joy, truth, honesty, harmony, peacemaking, helpfulness, unselfishness. We can have these be the constant "guests" in our consciousness and they will chase away hurt feelings, unhappiness, dishonesty, inharmony of every kind.

Pycl #5: Make a coupon booklet with, or for each pupil. They can fill in the "coupons" with qualities they are going to express. Share the coupon booklet as a present for someone in their family. The covers of the book can be made from a folded piece of colorful paper and then you staple pieces of plain paper inside for the recipient to tear out. Of course, they could also fill in a kind act that they want to do for someone. Qualities would be not a "one time" gift! Still, they can get an idea of how much Christ-like qualities are the best gifts ever! Unlike pretty ornaments that we hang on a tree once a year for a few weeks, Christ-like qualities are gifts for all year round and they make life so much more beautiful!!

Have a great Sunday and happy Christmas!

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