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5 PYCLs: 1) CAN GOOD MAKE EVIL? 2) HOW ARE WE RAISING THE DEAD OR RISING FROM DEATH EACH DAY? 3) BRING IN A CANDLE AND LIGHTER. 4) TALK ABOUT DREAMS VERSUS WAKING. 5) WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT?

Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“ARE SIN, DISEASE, AND DEATH REAL?”
for Sunday, October 9, 2022

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


PYCL #1: CAN GOOD MAKE EVIL?

Ask this question. We have touched on this in recent weeks with activities that point out the fact that salt water and sweet water don’t come out of the same spring, and that apple trees don’t grow strawberries. But really think about the idea of something good producing or making something that is evil. If something is all Love, there is not a scrap of hatred or fear in there to come out of it.

When we feel anger or hatred it is not from God, that’s for sure! You can illustrate this in a silly way by bringing in all sorts of objects. For example, a soft warm sweater doesn’t have rocks in it right? And a rock doesn’t have feathers coming out of it right? You can bring in a jar of jam and some bread and ask if they expect that the jam could have something bitter in it…just don’t bring in marmalade.  You get the idea…

If the children are a little older you may need to prepare for the age-old question of why do we see or seem to experience evil if God is all and all good? This is a legitimate question which can only be answered by healing that refutes the reality of evil. This healing eventually needs to be experienced by the individual in order to help them really feel that true, all-goodness of God. It doesn’t mean that no bad things happen to us, it means that we see those “bad” things in a different light and can be lifted out of them through spiritual growth. Perhaps an older child could see this answer in citation S5/346:6-13 which explains that the nothingness of nothing (sin, sickness and death)…”…is plain; but we need to understand that error is nothing, and that its nothingness is not saved, but must be demonstrated in order to prove the somethingness –yea, the allness— of Truth.”


PYCL #2: HOW ARE WE RAISING THE DEAD OR RISING FROM DEATH EACH DAY?

I think most of us view the idea of “raising the dead ”—one of Jesus’ commands to us—to be “out of reach”. But everything he asks of us can be started on at any time. Through demonstrating what we do understand, we grow in that understanding.

So, ask these questions and consider together:
Does death means only one thing?
Can a bad habit “die”? Can we let a fixation with our body die?
How about a too strong attention to clothing or hair or social media?
All of these things, (in too great a quantity) are things of living and dying in matter.
So, come up with a list together of things that you would like to “rise from”.
In this case we are not “resurrecting” bad habits and so on, we are letting those die, or become nothing, while rising up in our consciousness to the opposite of such a habit—something that will bring us joy and satisfaction!
Each act of “raising the dead” lifts us more out of matter, or a strictly material way of thinking, and into Spirit and spiritual thought. Getting a more spiritual view of anything is a form of “rising from the dead”—from the dead end view of limitations and existence in and of matter. That’s a pretty exciting process.


PYCL #3: BRING IN A CANDLE AND LIGHTER.

These are just helpful props, not a necessity, but children enjoy them and they might even smell nice! Go to citation B7/Ps. 18:28, 46. “For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”  What does that mean here?
Remember that young children do not understand symbolism—so you will need to be explicit.
What is our “candle” and our “darkness”?
What brings light, joy, health, holiness, love, hope, peace, etc. into your life?
Isn’t it that which relates to God and goodness?
How does being and doing good bring that light from God into your life and light up those dark corners of unhappiness, boredom, frustration, anger and so on?
Can you come up with examples of things that can bring that light to our day?
Can it be an act of service of some kind?

The second half of this citation is “The Lord liveth; and blessed by my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.” Besides being an awesome call and response song that we do at camp sometimes, this “living” God means to me, that God is active in our day to day.
How do we let God/Life/Love/Truth be “exalted” in our lives?
We bring those qualities we’ve been talking about to our daily living so that we can really express them.
When generosity, joy, kindness, are shared in our actions, everyone is “seeing” God in action.
This is our “candle” moment or moments. Let each child try lighting the candle. Feel free to riff off of this theme to Jesus’ statement from his Sermon on the Mount about being the light, not hiding your light and so on…


PYCL #4: TALK ABOUT DREAMS VERSUS WAKING.

A helpful way for younger children to understand the idea of sickness being unreal is to think about it like dreams and waking. While we are in a dream, we often think we are there, running, laughing, scared, whatever. Sometimes we find that we are kind of aware that it is a dream and work to change it or wake from it if it’s unpleasant, but most of us have experienced nightmares in which we have found ourselves trying to run, or escape from some evil, and woken up breathless or shivering in fear. Then we realize that it was never true, no matter how much it frightened us or caused a physical reaction.

We can explain that in many ways our daily lives are just a dream—an imitation of spiritual reality. Through prayer, we can awaken bit by bit to the reality of our spiritual well-being or harmony/health. We aren’t praying to fix our health, but to wake up to our unchanging wellness. Have the children (if very young) pretend to sleep and awaken. They can take turns shaking one another from sleep.


PYCL #5: WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT?

 I have included a link (below) to a fun, short video that might be a hit to share, especially if you have a laptop you can bring in. It illustrates the way that the human mind focuses on things that we are told to focus on, or that are mortally “natural” to focus on, and miss the “gorilla” in the room. This might spur a fun conversation.
How do we miss the good when we are focusing on matter?
Are there Godlike, beautiful, intelligent, lovely things going on that walk right through our day and we never notice because of our focus on matter—on the latest gossip, or a mistake we made? (This is not to say that God is like the gorilla, just happens to be the analogy here:-)
Try showing the video with no preamble and ask them to watch without comment, (so that if someone does notice the gorilla they don’t point it out).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQmdoK_ZfY

 Have a great week in Sunday School.

 

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