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PYCLs:  COUNT THE QUESTIONS (1)
DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE FAKE “DIVINE” VOICE (2) BBRING IN A FAKE SNAKE, THE BIGGER & SILLIER THE BETTER.  (3) SHAKE OFF THE SERPENT! (4) ARE WE LOOKING FOR OUR OWN ADAM & EVE EXPLANATIONS? (5)
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“ADAM AND FALLEN MAN”
for Sunday, November 6, 2022

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


PYCL#1: COUNT THE QUESTIONS.

I’m sure most of you have noticed by now the many, many questions included in this Bible lesson! Bring some printouts and have the students find all the questions. Write them in columns. I counted 27, but may have missed some. Once you have them all, sit and look at them together. What kinds of questions are they? Can you answer them? If not, why?

The very first question in our Golden Text from Gen. 3:11 says: “…who told you that you were naked?” This is a question that we can expand on. You can use other words for any error to substitute for “naked” here. For example: “…who told me I’m vulnerable?” “…who told me I’m sick?” “…who told me I’m dumb/uncoordinated/not good enough/etc.?” Then answer that question, speak to where these thoughts come from. The “who” is not God, not Love, not Truth, not Life or Mind, and so on.

Some of the questions are ones that we can use when we pray for ourselves or for a situation we see. In the Adam story, Mary Baker Eddy recounts in citation 22/307:31-4 “Adam, where art thou? Consciousness, where art thou? Art thou dwelling in the belief that mind is in matter, and that evil is mind, or art thou in the living faith that there is and can be but one God, and keeping His commandment?” We can ask our own consciousness this very question when we are faced with something that is not good, or Godlike.


PYCL #2: DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE FAKE “DIVINE” VOICE.

One of the things about error is that it can often come to us as if it is from somewhere good, or it can seem to come from our own thought — seem like it is “us”. There are several examples of this in this week’s lesson. With the youngest you can work with the serpent and how it “talks” Eve into eating the apple.
How is this different or the same as when we do something we know we are probably not supposed to do, but we want to do really badly, and do anyway?

The serpent would have represented a creature that ostensibly God made and put in this Edenic garden for good, right?
Why would God create something to mislead His own creation?

This adoption of a “holy” mantle to sell his point is something we can watch for. In citation S11/540:21 Mary Baker Eddy tells us “The purpose of the Hebrew allegory, representing error as assuming a divine character, is to teach mortals never to believe a lie.”

Another great example in this week’s lesson can be found in citation B14/Mat. 4:1-11 where Jesus is tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Jesus answers each temptation with Scripture, and the devil finally quotes a partial Scripture back to Jesus in the last temptation. This is an obvious illustration of how error might try to persuade us with a “divine” appearance.

Notice that error, in whatever form in this lesson, seems always to try to convince us that we will be happier or more satisfied in following its path than the path that we know to be right….
Can you come up with examples from daily life of how error can parade as Godly?


PYCL #3: BRING IN A FAKE SNAKE, THE BIGGER & SILLIER THE BETTER.

At CedarS Camps we have a giant stuffed snake that hangs around in Care House. It can be used to great effect with younger children to illustrate the silliness of a talking snake convincing us of anything real. We can read the first account of creation in Genesis 1, in which man is the reflection and image of God.
In what way does our physical body indicate this kind of man? Not really in any way. We can reflect God in qualities but not in physical form–unless we see God as having physical form!
Adam is the story of man made in physique. It explains the experience that we all seem to see around us. Of course, there are lots of holes in this story, but that’s not so much because of talking serpents as it is the simple lie that man, as physique, cannot possibly be the image and likeness of God.

Talk about all the ways that the snake “whispers” to us, lies to us, tricks us. Talk about Jesus’ temptations.
Why did error tempt Jesus the way that it did?
Would you be tempted to turn stones into bread etc.?
How would error speak to you? Make this about identifying all the ways that error tries to trick us and use the fake snake to pretend to whisper these ideas.
Error always “assumes” a character that tempts us to believe it–either a God voice, or our own voice!

With the youngest classes you could play a “truth or lie” game. Write down some truths and some lies on cards. Have the children draw them. If it is a lie, they can hold the snake and have it whisper the lie. If you don’t have a snake, you can have them “guess” which statements are true, which are lies.

PYCL #4: SHAKE OFF THE SERPENT!

In citation B17/Acts 28:3-5,7-9 we have the story of Paul shaking off the viper into the fire. This is a great story to share with the kids. Explain briefly why Paul was on this island.
Why would the people there assume that Paul must be a bad person when he got bitten by the viper?
Do we sometimes think that we have done something wrong when we have difficult things happen to us, or when we feel sick, for example?
Is that a serpent thought? Have the little kids pretend to shake off anything that would poison their thought about themselves or others. It is also a great story to illustrate the point that sometimes bad things do appear to happen, but we do not need to suffer any bad results from them!
What did Paul go on to do after he shook off the viper?


PYCL #5: ARE WE LOOKING FOR OUR OWN ADAM & EVE EXPLANATIONS?

Sometimes, when tough things are going on, we might be tempted to tell our own “stories” about why these things are happening.
“Why is God letting this happen?”
“What am I doing wrong?”
These questions are the wrong questions to ask. They are human serpent lies trying to convince us that error is as real as Spirit. This is not to say that we should never correct bad behavior. But it is important to recognize that bad behavior punishes itself, God never brings that punishment, God never “lets” bad things happen, nor can we find answers to error when we look for a cause behind a lie.

When we try to blame other people, blame circumstances, blame the weather, age, and so on, we are behaving no differently than Adam and Eve who blamed people and snakes for their missteps. Looking for explanations in matter is a dead end. This can even take the form of looking to matter, or a situation, to explain sickness or pain. Maybe we blame a bad step off a curb for an injured ankle.
Isn’t that another way of coming up with our own Adam and Eve explanation?

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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