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5 PYCLs: 1) GET A HIGHER & TRUER VIEW…  2) ERASE NUMBERS ON A WHITE BOARD 3) SHARE HOW TO EXPRESS “INFINITY, FREEDOM, HARMONY…” 4) BE BORN “FROM ABOVE” 5) TELL of ZACCHAEUS’ DESIRE FOR a HIGHER VIEW…
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“MORTALS AND IMMORTALS”
for Sunday, November 14, 2021

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


Pycl #1: GET A HIGHER & TRUER VIEW OF ILLUSIONS & ALL. MASTER TEMPTATIONS TO BE UNKIND…
One of the most difficult concepts to teach, and certainly to imbibe, is the concept of only one, immortal man. Our identity was never born into matter, nor does it die out of matter. It’s a bit of a knotty idea to discuss with the youngest of our pupils, but there are ways that we can think about aspects of this concept that will really help! Consider working with the ideas in Section 1 about illusion. These are citations from both the Bible and Science and Health, but specifically citations S3/477:9-13  and S4/300:5-12.

You can use the mirage idea mentioned, or other illusions that children might have seen such as “water” in the road on a hot day (mirage), or railroad tracks coming together in the distance. I shared this idea about the tracks coming together some weeks ago, and if you haven’t used it already recently, I like the idea that the best way to really figure out that the tracks don’t actually touch in the distance, is to get a higher view of them! This is a great literal and metaphoric idea for getting a newer, more spiritual view of things. It is also a truer view!! In the same way the “scientific statement as to man” mentioned in citation S4 can only be seen through demonstration of these truths or facts in daily life. I mention this in my Met this week on the Cedars website, but here are a few ways to think of demonstration: we can demonstrate our spiritual origin by mastering the temptation to say something unkind at someone else’s expense, or gossiping about others.

We can demonstrate our immortal nature by taking a walk to master our temper and replacing it through noticing the beauty of the day, night, the feel of the breeze, the sounds of any insects or birds, and so on. In such ways we are allowing the facts of Soul, Mind, God to overcome the lies of our material senses, the ones that might tell us that we are only material, or some mix of matter and Spirit. Work together to come up with a list of practical ways that we can demonstrate our true, Christ-like nature.


Pycl #2: ERASE NUMBERS ON A WHITE BOARD. DISCUSS NOTES THAT HAVE BEEN USED…
Read page 81 from Science and Health and share some of the ideas with the younger children. Consider bringing in a small white board or chalk board. Write some numbers on it, or have the children do this. Then erase one or more of them. Are those numbers now “gone”? Do they no longer exist? Have a fun little conversation about this idea.

Then try singing a short song or hymn together, one that they all know. When it is over ask them if, now that the notes are sung and it is over, is that song gone? Are the notes we used for that song unavailable for other music, or “dead” because they have been already used? Are there a finite number of ways that we can arrange these notes, or all notes?

In the same way, we, as immortal expressions of God’s being, are not confined to this presentation that we see as a body. This is how we currently understand man, but we can demonstrate beyond its limits that, in fact, this is the illusion of God’s man! When a body disappears, the person is not gone, any more than those notes we sang or numbers we erased! Man is not a mortal being.


Pycl #3: UNDERSTAND & SO PROVE HOW TO EXPRESS “INFINITY, FREEDOM, HARMONY, BOUNDLESS BLISS.”
Another good passage to work with might be the Scientific Statement of Being since it is such a clear statement of man’s immortality. There is a sentence in citation S4/300:5-12 that states: “So far as the scientific statement as to man is understood, it can be proved and will bring to light the true reflection of God—the real man, or the new man (as St. Paul has it).”
What is the difference between the scientific statement as to man, and the Scientific Statement of Being?
How do they relate to each other? What is the scientific statement as to man? Why does it start with a small “s”?
These are probably too weighty for the younger classes, so with those classes you can work together on memorizing the Scientific Statement of Being. Think about this together with Mary Baker Eddy’s statements: “Man is (=) the expression of God’s being.” (SH 470) [And, “God’s being is (=) infinity, freedom, harmony and boundless bliss.” (SH 471) Maybe make a list of what “God’s being” includes…then think about how you can express this.]


Pycl #4: TELL of NICODEMUS & HOW TO BE BORN AGAIN (or BORN “ANOTHEN = FROM ABOVE” per a Cobbey GEM).
Tell the story of Nicodemus with some drama. Talk about how Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. Why not during the day? Who was Nicodemus? Did he seem to understand that Jesus was an important person?
What if you lived back then and didn’t know for sure that Jesus was someone really special. What if you wondered about it and worried that you might lose your job, your position in society, all the respect that you had earned through years of dedication to your work in the temple?
Might you be afraid that your association with Jesus in public, much less your approval, could endanger your whole situation in life if Jesus turned out to be a fraud, or if, like actually happened, he was reviled and crucified?

It’s easy to forget that we have the perspective of history on our side, but this man did not. What did Jesus mean when he told Nicodemus that he had to be “born again”? This could be a pretty fun discussion, especially since Nicodemus himself asks the question “can [a man] enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” Young children would think in similar terms to Nicodemus since they are not usually understanding of symbolism. So, ask them what they think Jesus meant here? [Give them the Greek meaning of “anothen” as not really again here but “from above” as Cobbey Crisler calls in a GEM on cit. B11 as a theological breakthrough that’s incalculable.”] Doesn’t that higher view go better with Jesus’ follow-up statement that to enter the kingdom of God we must be born “of water and of the Spirit?”


Pycl #5: TELL a “SHORT”-STORY of ZACCHAEUS & how he GOT a HIGHER VIEW OF HIMSELF AS WE CAN THRU CHRIST!
 
I love this theme of how it is that when we understand Christ, and love God, or “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” These ideas are scattered throughout the lesson but especially stated in the Responsive Reading and in citation B9/John 17:3. To work with younger children on this idea it might be helpful and fun to tell the story of Zacchaeus. I would try embellishing it and telling it in your own words. Emphasize how he was a really short fellow. Talk about what his job was as a tax collector and how much the Jews despised those who held that job. Also, explain that the taxes were for the Roman government and the Romans didn’t pay the tax collectors directly but expected them to “over-collect” in order to get some money for themselves. You can imagine how that could be exploited.

Well, this short guy was clearly unhappy with himself. He really, really wanted to see Jesus (wanted to get a glimpse of the Christ!). I think he really wanted to have a new sense of himself too. But he couldn’t see Jesus in the crowd. So, thinking about the route that Jesus might take, he ran ahead and climbed a tree to get some height. (Isn’t that a great symbol for getting above the lies that surround us to see ourselves and others in a clearer, more spiritually elevated way?) Talk about how we might get “higher” up in our views of man, so that we can “see” the Christ man.

Can we let go of views that see someone as “mean”, “grumpy”, “annoying”, etc. and look for how Christ is appearing right where those people are? Can we do this for ourselves?! The Bible is telling us that as Christ “appears” to us, that is, as we get a spiritually higher view of things, we then will begin to understand our true, immortal nature, because Christ is immortal! We may want to just touch on the difference between the man Jesus, (who possessed such a degree of the Christ spirit that he healed multitudes, raised himself from death, and then ascended), and the eternal Christ that many have demonstrated an understanding of before and since Jesus. We can explain how that Christ is always present with each of us today. And we can come up with ways that Christ does appear to us today, each day.

We also really need to want to see this Christ. It doesn’t usually just “happen”. Remember that Zacchaeus desperately wanted to make a change or he wouldn’t have had such a dramatic change in his view of his work. And remember that he wanted to just see Jesus so badly that he, a grown man, climbed a tree like a little kid, just to see him pass by. There was more here than hero worship. He wanted something deeper, and like the woman who was healed because she reached out in a crowd and touched the hem of Jesus’ prayer shawl, Zacchaeus was healed by his intense desire to “touch” or “see” Christ more clearly!

Have a great week in Sunday School! 

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