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PYCLs — Dismiss the suggestion that we can “fall” from God’s love– and discuss a modern Prodigal story from a personal perspective.
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for Sunday, November 5, 2023

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO • 314-406-0041

PYCL #1: Explain “fallen man”.  The Prodigal from a modern, personal perspective.

It’s helpful in this series of theological subjects to explain each time they arise, what they are about. This one addresses the age-old theological belief that arises from the second chapter of Genesis where man is identified as sinful, unworthy of heaven, and condemned to a life of misery and hard work.

You may need to help the younger children understand what “fallen” means in this context.
Discuss the suggestion that we can “fall” from God’s love.
Is it possible for Love to no longer love its creation?
Can perfect Love create the unlovable?

Share the story in Section 4 of the Prodigal (cit. B10/Luke 15:3,11-14,A,17,20-22, 24).
Did the father, who represents God in this parable, ever stop loving his son, or seeing his son as worthy?
Did the son have to “prove” that he was worthy when he returned?
Did the father wait for the son to explain himself and then decide that he was willing to “give him a second chance”?

Think about all the ways that the son could have been greeted.
Think of this story from a modern and personal perspective.
What if your best friend did something really unkind & seemingly unforgiveable to you?  (Explain that the younger son asking for an inheritance before the father’s passing was considered deeply disrespectful–not to mention how he spent that inheritance).
How would you respond if that friend came to you some time later, out of the blue, and wanted to be a friend again?
Would you whole- heartedly trust and embrace that friend in full friendship again, right away?
Just something to think about…

PYCL #2: How do we “Mark the perfect man” (cit. B11/Ps. 37:37)

What does the word “perfect” mean in the Bible (whole or complete, not humanly “perfect”).
Discuss the Adam model, vs. the Christly model that Jesus showed us.
Make two columns on a piece of paper and list the qualities of the two models.
The Adam model, for instance, includes deceit, shame, fear, violence, pain, unhappiness, frankly–duality/good and evil.

The Christly model includes “infinite range of thought”, “never born, never dying”–eternal life, love, patience, intelligence, inspiration, and so on. (S258:25)
Which model would the students find more freeing and fun to implement?

PYCL #3: Late Halloween idea…

I mean, Halloween is fun, so why not extend it?
Have some paper plates to create some masks, or bring in masks and maybe some dress up clothes.

Consider the statement in citation S18/557:16, that “Divine Science rolls back the clouds of error with the light of Truth, and lifts the curtain on man as never born and as never dying, but as coexistent with his creator.”

Also check out citation B21/Eph 4:22 put, 23,24,put —where we are asked to put on the “new man”. The true, Christly man is already present.
We are not creating it or trying really hard to “be” this man.
We are already this spiritual man. All we are doing in daily life is pulling back the “curtain” of error that hides this from our mortal senses. You can bring in a sheet to act as a curtain and mime this idea of having the curtain pull back to reveal the true picture behind it…
In the same way, a Halloween mask can obscure your true face, but it cannot change it. So you can have them create masks and put them on, and off.

PYCL #4: Play with seeing “…through a glass, darkly…”   (citation B1/1 Cor. 13:12) 

This well-known statement about seeing “…through a glass, darkly…” can be explained. One idea might be to bring a sturdy piece of opaque paper, or cardboard with a tiny hole in it. Blindfold the kid and bring them to a view out of a window, then remove the blindfold but make it so they can only look through a pinhole, without moving it around.

Ask them to describe the view as well as they can. Then have them compare it to the view without the pinhole restraint. Another idea, but you may want to experiment with first, is to have them hold the pinhole view up to their eye and hold a picture up to them, too close for them to see the whole picture, have them describe what they see.

In either case, is the pinhole view accurate? Truthful? This is a little like how we see spiritual man. We may see tiny glimpses here and there, but until we remove our false beliefs and start to understand the true nature of God, it’s really hard to get an accurate view of ourselves.

You can also use the statement in citation S3/262:9-10, 27-28, 30-31 to deepen this discussion if the children are a little older. We cannot understand the infinite nature of God and man, while looking through the “pinhole” of mortal sense and mortal belief for an accurate understanding of things.

PYCL#5: Build a dam.

In citation S8/338:12-15, 21-25 Mary Baker Eddy brings up the idea that Adam’s name can be divided into the words “A dam”.
Give the children some playdough and discuss what a dam does, having them create “dams” of their own. If you want to get even more elaborate, give each child a bowl with a small amount of water and see if they can build a dam that keeps that water out of one area of the bowl.

Dams block the water from flowing. They “obstruct”.
Mary Baker Eddy points out the idea of this character (Adam), or the suggestion of what man appears to be, creates a barrier or separation between God and man.

Talk about how wrong beliefs about ourselves as angry, sad, sick, disobedient, or whatever, make us feel like we are separate from Love, or Truth. They can never actually separate us, but they can make us feel like we are separate.
When you are done with the dam idea, have them “smash” their dams and let the water/Love/Truth, fill the bowl!

Have a great week in Sunday School!


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