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PCYL: Don’t look for turtles in treetops! Find gratitude in your heart to see the good already present in all. (4)
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:

“Mortals and Immortals”
for Sunday, November 15, 2020

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

Pycl #1: Bring out clearly-too-small clothes for your students to show putting off the old & on the new man!
Each of our lessons spin off the previous one. We saw two models of creation last week and this week two models of man. The one that is true, immortal, whole, complete, is the spiritual model that Christ Jesus best illustrated. We can find that model to be our truest self when we follow the path that he outlined for us. This is achieved step by step as we live right here and now, gradually "putting off the old man", "putting on the new". To illustrate this path of progress consider bringing out some clothes that are clearly going to be too small for your group of students.

If you are teaching virtually you can ask parents to dig up a few such items to use in Sunday School, or you can demonstrate it yourself by trying to put on some clothes in your own home that obviously don't fit. To keep it light, it is fun to make these examples a little obvious, and to make a real "effort" to put them on! Humor and drama can be helpful!

You can read together the Golden Text from 2 Cor. 5:17 and citation B2/Eph.4:7, 13, 17, 18, 22-24, and citation S5/SH p.265:5, and citation S6/ SH p.430:3-5. Talk together about how we might even have a favorite outfit and love it so much, but that when we outgrow it, we have to move on and expect that another "favorite" and even better outfit will replace it. God has infinite good to reveal to us, and we outgrow old thinking and welcome new thinking because it helps us to see more of our God-given freedom.

They might think it's funny to think about how toddlers often have big meltdowns, tantrums. (Of course, none of you guys do!!). But we would be surprised to see an adult crying and screaming in the grocery store because they were upset about not getting something they want, or because they need a nap! While it could be argued that we have our own, quieter tantrums, for the sake of this illustration, let's say that, as we grow in understanding, we start to see that we don't need to have a tantrum, that our needs are always being met by God, that good is at hand. In this way we outgrow our old self and grow into the new!

Pycl #2: Let each word, gesture, thought become more loving to see your immortal nature as God's reflection.
Related to this idea in citation S6, cited above, if the children are old enough, I think discussing the idea of how we can "put off" a false self by taking active part in our lives, by our deeds. We can be really conscious that our deeds, our actions, are direct reflections of Love. Each word, gesture, thought can become more and more conscious of how it is imparting love. In this way, we will start to see here and now, greater and greater glimpses of our immortal and true nature as God's reflection.

Pycl #3: Write "advanced ideas" on fish-shaped pieces of paper to fish for over a Zoom screen or in person.
Look into the story of Peter's recruitment in Section 2 where Jesus asks him to let down his nets again, even after a fruitless night of fishing. What was the point of having this story in this lesson? If you own a big dip net bring it in to illustrate, or use a bed sheet and have the children hold each end of it.

What are the "real" fish that Jesus wants Peter to "catch"? What are we to "fish" for? Can you all come up with some "advanced ideas" (S12/SH p.323:28-2) that we can gather in our net that we have in Sunday School? Notice that Mary Baker Eddy has something of a recipe in that passage for how to make our thought ready for the "advanced idea"! You can put your ideas on fish-shaped pieces of paper. In this way you can share them over a screen if you are sharing that way.

Pycl #4: Don’t look for turtles in treetops! Find gratitude in your heart to see the good already present in all.
It seems like we are working with "two kinds" of people, the mortal and the immortal, or spiritual. Mary Baker Eddy tells us where we can look to more often welcome our true self into view in citation S10/SH p.286:3-6.
If we are looking at all the "mistakes" and cruelty that seem apparent, it will be hard to glimpse the truth.

We have to fill our hearts with gratitude and work on those "deeds" or actions that reflect the Divine in order to start to realize the presence and ascendance of Spirit and Spirit's creation. It might be fun to think of this in terms of looking in the wrong place for evidence of something. The idea that came to my thought was that if we were going on a "turtle hunt" and all we were doing was looking in treetops to find the turtles, we'd never see even one! If it seems fun and productive, come up with some of your own analogies together and then circle back to how we cannot look to matter for evidence of God. We have to look in our hearts for gratitude and recognize God in the good that is expressed by us and others.

Pycl #5: Use a balance-style (see-saw) scale to show how casting out fear makes truth "outweigh" error.
This is another method to illustrate citation S15/SH p.392:7-8. When we cast out fear this makes truth "outweigh" error. If you have a balance-style scale or can make a large one, that would be ideal. Think of a see-saw (teeter-totter) or show a drawing. Have a bag of pebbles to illustrate how fear "weighs us down"— this bag would be on one side of the balance. [W: you could also point out how uncomfortable it is to walk with a pebble in your shoe of sandal.]

One by one extract each pebble and name the fear that each pebble represents and how it is destroyed by truth. Gradually the scale will level out until it balances in the direction of truth. You will want to have some items of some weight and value [W: maybe coins?] with the word "truth" taped on them to illustrate this. [W: maybe Say “A penny for your (fearful) thoughts.” Or, replace a pebble of fear with a penny of good thoughts. Or, “Hold in check” (SH 96:31) the “mental crime” (SH 105:16) of fear with a dime of Ten Commandments.]
Discuss this illustration in the context of the story of Peter’s fear making him sink when he started walking on the water to Jesus.

Pycl #6: Show a mustard seed on a card with “If you have faith as a mustard seed you can move mountains.”
(Matthew 17:20) This is in citation B20 from the Section 5 story of Jesus healing the man who the disciples had failed to heal because of their unbelief. I love the story of having faith as a grain of mustard seed. [Warren: You could connect this idea to the scale in Pycl #5 by having “casting out fear” represent the “fasting” (Matt. 17:21) that Jesus recommended and the specific truths that outweigh them as representing the needed “prayer”. With an older class you could also relate the “prayer and fasting” to the alternating affirmations and denials in the “Scientific Statement of Being” (SH 468). Maybe Sunday School (and church) end every Sunday with this profound statement to help us handle the “unbelief” of material sense testimony that always hinders healing.]

You can bring in, or show on your screen, some mustard seeds to illustrate how small they are. Or, in person or by mail give each child a seed taped to a card with this mustard-seed verse on it. (Matthew 17:20) Discuss what Jesus was illustrating and have some pictures of how big a mustard plant grows — how it can provide shelter for insects and birds, etc. Then talk about how we can "grow" our own faith from our gratitude, our acknowledgement of good around us, from acts of obedience, unselfishness, and so on.

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

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