We're welcoming back campers!

PCYLs: Have fun discovering God's nature as an everlastingly merciful and loving Parent!
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Everlasting Punishment”
for Sunday, November 1, 2020

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

Pycl #1: Discuss how they feel they disobey or tell a lie, or feel separated from God's goodness in some way. Show how only apple juice comes from a bottle of 100% apple juice!
Unless you have students who have grown up in another faith, most will not think of God as a being who punishes man or sends man who has done badly, to a specific place for eternal punishment. But this doesn't mean we don't have anything to share about this subject with younger students. Most know what it feels like to do wrong. They know the bad feeling they get when they disobey or tell a lie, or feel like they are separated from God's goodness in some way.

First, figure out together what it means to "sin". I think a helpful way to look at sin is to think of it as a feeling of being separate from God/Love/Mind/Life/Good, and so on. The second thing to work with is our concept of God, which I find needs pretty consistent reevaluation with students over years to help establish a right sense of God as the law of Love, and not a larger than life spiritual "person".

So, talk about Love, for example.
Can there be just a little bit of hatred hiding within Love?
Is it really Love if there is even a fraction of an ounce of hatred in there?
You can illustrate this in any number of ways. You could have a bottle of juice or milk that is sealed and ask what they expect to have come out of the bottle? It could be a sealed box of crackers or gummy bears. If sharing is appropriate at this time, feel free, but likely not, so just demonstrate this over the computer or in person.

If you have a bottle of 100% apple juice, we anticipate only apple juice coming out of that bottle! Anything else (you can make a funny list to ask them about: kittens? trees? pancakes? You get the idea.) would be strange indeed!! Some citations that would go with this study, might be citation S3, Science and Health p.539:10-13, or citation S 4 p.356:25-5 (you can say this in your own words).

Pycl #2: Use a sheet & Monopoly money… Act lovingly towards those who don’t "deserve" it.
So, if God doesn't punish us, then why do we sometimes seem to suffer when we act as separate from God? Since Halloween in some parts of the globe will have just passed, you could describe man as a being that includes only good (as discussed above), but who gets hidden sometimes in the costume of evil, or just error. Like a big sheet over someone's head, the true person is hidden, but only temporarily. Feel free to demonstrate this on yourself if you are going virtual for class, or bring in a sheet for each child to have them try it.

Another version of this activity might be to think in terms of fraud or counterfeit which Mary Baker Eddy mentions in citation S4 and S5—SH 356 again, and 475:28-1. Talk about what a "fraud on humanity" would be, and a "counterfeit". You can always use game money from "Monopoly" or another game that uses pretend money. These examples, both the toy money and the sheet, are really obvious.

How does error trick us in more subtle ways, into thinking of man as a "sinner", as separate from Good? What about when we want to do something really badly that we have been asked not to do? If no one finds out, is that okay? Or what if we feel really grumpy and pick a fight with our sibling? It's kind of interesting that when something is fraudulent or counterfeit, it is posing as real and useful or having value, but in fact it only detracts value, usefulness, goodness from society! So, discovering what is real becomes paramount! In citation S6—SH p.315:6, we learn that we "lose sight" of the real through sin/separation from God—sin "beclouds the spiritual sense of Truth". But she tells us that we can see this true likeness by "subduing" sin, and by "proving" or demonstrating our heritage as God's children. We do this by understanding the qualities that make us "sin-free", primarily mercy, and love.

Mercy is something you can help to define as more than compassionate or forgiving, but especially acting in a loving way towards those whom we might think do not "deserve" it. These might be people who make us really angry and don't apologize, such as a sibling again!

Pycl #3: Illustrate how it’s never God that punishes— sin punishing itself!
Just briefly, I think the idea of sin "punishing itself" rather than an angry God doing this "punishing", is really helpful. One thing I have used to illustrate this is to have a student volunteer to bang their heads against a nearby wall or divider, repeatedly (but not too painfully!). Ask them if they think that after a while they would get a sore head? Is God then punishing them for banging their head against the wall? No! They have to stop doing that in order for the discomfort to stop! If you are exceeding the speed limit and you get a speeding ticket this is not God punishing you for your actions. This is sin punishing itself! Also, it is helpful to point out the stories such as Jesus' healing of the man that was let down through the roof on his pallet for Jesus to heal. In that story, we are seeing that God does not punish man through sickness either. If that man was being punished through disease, by God, Jesus could never have healed him!

Pycl #4: Send packing false thoughts early, to avoid troubles like in “The Cat in the Hat” book!
For some reason, when I was looking at citation S10 where Mary Baker Eddy says we must keep "proper ward over mortal mind…" and "…control evil thoughts in the first instance, or they will control you in the second.", it made me think of the Dr. Seuss book The Cat in the Hat where the children end up letting the cat into the house and he just makes bigger and bigger messes until everything is destroyed. Sometimes it takes real vigilance on our parts to send false thoughts of frustration, sadness, anger, "packing" before they get a foothold in our thought, or in our actions!

If the children know that story, that may be a way to illustrate this idea of guarding our thoughts and actions. You can also illustrate this idea of barring our thought with hands held like a gate that opens and closes. Offer the students the opportunity to open the gate to good thoughts, close it quickly to bad.

Pycl #5: Share recipe cards for a full, satisfying, joyful life.
I know that most kids won't have seen a recipe box these days. You could devise something virtual if you wanted. But I was thinking that it might be fun to have some recipe cards that fit inside a box. On a recipe card we write down the recipe for a full, satisfying, joyful, life. My current favorite phrase in this lesson to describe this, is where Mary Baker Eddy uses "the superabundance of being" to describe what the true path feels like! Jesus tells us what contributes to a good life when he names the things that "defile" or make life ugly.

You can list the opposite qualities in citation B10, Matthew 15:11, 19, 20. But another great set of ingredients, if you will, are found in citation S32, SH p 58:7 "Unselfish ambition, noble life-motives, and purity." And you can talk about each quality, how do we express them? Mingling is like stirring together, just as you would a batch of brownies! There are so many things that can go into such a recipe. If, for example, you are struggling to feel wise or intelligent—feeling separate from Mind—what would be a good recipe to "whip up" to change this and help you feel your natural wisdom and intelligence?

Have fun discovering God's nature as an everlastingly merciful and loving Parent!

[Warren's PS: A friend shared this link to a great cartoon-style video on Philemon and Onesimus from the Bible Project …. It’s great, especially for older students who could benefit from Paul’s example of loving logic to convince Philemon not to punish his runaway slave, but rather to accept him as a brother in Christ.

https://bibleproject.com/church-at-home/week20-philemon/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=quarantinemail&utm_content=philemon#video ]

American Camp Association

(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Welcome back, campers! Spaces are still available.

CedarS Camps

to top