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[PYCL: Make Easter happier! Be kind to all—never “crucify” anyone. (1-3)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Reality"
for Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018

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

Pycl #1: It seemed a little too shallow to share anything about "April Fool's" day in CedarS Met this week, but I think it could be a fun thing in Sunday School. You could start the class with a little April Fool trick that illustrates reality vs. unreality if you can think of one that is kind. Maybe a visual illusion that you can find on the internet? For example, there are videos that people have made with small toys, like dinosaurs in the foreground, and people in the background, making it appear that the people are smaller than the dinosaurs… You will have to do some preparation here! This could then lead into the subject of Easter and what it presents.

What does Easter teach us about the power of "evil" to accomplish its ends? Think about what the Jews were trying to do when they chose to crucify Jesus. What was their goal? Why did they feel that it was necessary? Was it their own thought? This is an important part of the Easter story, because the same suggestion of the power of evil continues each day and we need to understand that it is not a "person" or even "people", but the lie that there is a power other than God.

If we recognize that evil is impersonal, then we are watching as Jesus admonished us to do and we are not caught unawares by the suggestion of "evil". (Section 4) Also, then we don't find ourselves acting in the role of someone who is "crucifying" the Christ. For example: are we being kind to all we meet? (Check out the Responsive Reading.) It is a "trick" of mortal mind to convince us that evil is personal, either our own or someone else's, in order to get us to either act improperly, or to respond improperly. So, back to that illusion you chose for an April Fool trick, which hopefully appears to be very "real", can we draw this into the discussion to illustrate how evil might present itself as "real", or "powerful", or painful, or hurtful?

Pycl #2: Maybe this is a continuation of Pycl#1, but let's proceed to how Jesus proved false the illusion of this "power" of evil. He not only rose from the dead, but also ascended later, with no death involved. He healed multitudes, in defiance of the "power" of evil/matter. Did anyone else prove the power of evil to be false in the last couple of weeks of Bible lessons? (Daniel, the three Hebrew men…) What does this mean for us today? Are we capable of such demonstrations? Can you share one from your experience and maybe something from one of our periodicals, especially one involving, or written by, a child? Then see if they can see any such examples in their own lives. Does it need to be some spectacular healing? Or do they most often come in moments where we choose to be kind to someone, rather than make fun, choose to respond in love to an unkind remark, rather than erupt in anger?

Christian Science is best observed in the smaller day to day or even minute to minute examples. Otherwise, it becomes something we "take out" on "special occasions". While the demonstration of Easter might seem out of range, it is proving the rule that is demonstrable every minute in some way. "Evil" would have us relegate demonstration to "phenomenal exhibition[s]" (S15), rather than innate, natural outcomes of the Christ presence, the law of Science. This is how we "demonstrate" Easter and celebrate it all year.

Pycl #3: I think we could try a blindfold to illustrate citation S19 where Mrs. Eddy talks about how we sometimes believe darkness to be as real as light. Blindfold a volunteer. Ask them if it is dark for them. Then ask the other pupils. Who is right? Does the fact that the blindfolded pupil cannot see light make it dark in the room? You can then draw the parallel that sometimes we might feel sick, or sad, etc., but that is a little like being blindfolded. The blindfold does not shut off the light, it just obscures it. To take off the "blindfold" of sickness or sadness, we can look to passages from the Bible and Science & Health!

Look at Section 1. Those Bible passages are probably familiar. They mention passing through "waters", fire" and the "valley of the shadow of death". These are metaphors for the challenging times that we sometimes face. Yet, God/Love is there right in these moments. What, in our experience, is His "rod" and "staff"? We are promised that these waters and fire will not overwhelm or burn us! We learn to trust these promises as we allow the light of Christ to penetrate our daily lives through many of the things we have talked about: being kind, helpful, discerning, grateful, and so on.

Pycl #4: Another possible way to illustrate the powerlessness of ''darkness", is to experiment with flashlights again. You can joke about "darklights". Is there such a thing? No! Because darkness is not a "thing" that can be "made" or "produced"! Think together about where the dark "goes" when we shine a light. With young kids you could pretend to "look" for the darkness. "Did it go behind you…under your chair…the table?" This is like how sickness, disease, hatred, can evaporate like the mist does in sunlight. They have no true power or substance, as Jesus proved!

Pycl #5: Jesus tells his disciples to "watch" with him, while he is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. How do we do this? What are we "watching" for? This is a good time to address the nature of material sense to fool us into thinking that we have "failed" if we don't have a quick healing. (See citations S2 and S3, among others.) We cannot fail ever. The law of Christ is the law of Love for all of us. We may have felt like we were blindfolded, but God is always leading, nurturing us. The senses do not tell the truth, this is something that Jesus proved over and over again through healing.

It looked like the Hebrew men failed, right? They got thrown into the furnace in last week's lesson right? But no! They came out unscathed. The truth of God's power is proved not by whether we are spared challenges, but by how we perceive and feel God's love, and that is something that is done individually and naturally. Matter does not necessarily "back up" reality because reality is spiritual. We are promised, and will see, that the harmony of reality exists. This is the message of Easter!

Happy Easter Sunday!

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