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[PYCL:– Arm your Young “Rebels with a Cause” with Authority & Moral Courage!(#8)]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 1, 2013

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO   (314) 406-0041
[bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

[PYCL 1:– Boil down how modern hypnotism is accepting the deception of living in matter.]
Obviously, the first thing you may want to do with younger children is talk about the title of this lesson.  Boil it down to some ideas that make sense to them.  What kinds of things constitute “modern” hypnotism or mesmerism?  After you've given some examples, can they think of some themselves?  Are we tempted with accepting the deceptive suggestions of living in matter every day?

[PYCL 2:– Discuss: deception & share examples of it; how to glorify God, not ourselves… ]
Talk about deception.  What does it mean?  How many times does that word or forms of that word occur in this lesson?  Why does the Golden Text (GT) say “God is not mocked”?  Does that mean that we can't deceive God?  How might we try to do that?  Maybe we want to think of ourselves as “good”, but really this is only because we value the reputation of being “good”.  We can't stand the idea that others might think badly of us?  Is that a reason for being good?  Aren't we then doing this for the same reasons that the Pharisees and Scribes that Jesus chastised did things?  God always knows who we are.  We don't have to do something to make God love us or think well of us.  Our every motive should be to glorify God, not ourselves.  What do you think this means… glorifying God?  How can something we do make people think of God, or turn someone's thought to God?

[PYCL 3:– Give pupils a turn to blow out a candle each time they think of something that is “deceptive” that would try to attract them.]
The Responsive Reading (RR) tells us not to envy the wicked.  I'm sure even the little ones have sometimes wanted to have something or do something that others seem to do and we know isn't right.  In the R.R. it refers to the “candle of the wicked” meaning that the brightness seems attractive to us.  Bring a candle and talk about what might seem attractive to us. Is it something that is good, from God, or something that might not be from God?  You can talk about how moths are attracted to flame, to their detriment.  Give them a turn to blow out the candle each time they think of something that is “deceptive” that would try to attract them.  You may need to come up with a list before hand to get things flowing. One example might be the desire to chat while a teacher's talking… it seems attractive doesn't it?  Or maybe saying you've done something when you haven't actually done it.  You get the idea.  It's always best if they come up with their own examples so if you share something authentic that challenges you, they will be happier to participate, than if you try to “tell” them what “tempts them.”  Also, see the last sentence of citation S4: “There is but one attraction…”


[PYCL 4:– Look at how Josiah was dedicated to root out all belief in a power opposed to God.]
It might be cool to look at the story of Josiah, because of how he started his reign when a child.  Revisit some of the previous week's lessons about how Eve and Adam were deceived into thinking that it's powerful and true to know both good and evil.  That matter and spirit are both real and man is a combination of the two.  Josiah was dedicated to rooting out all evil and the temptation to follow after evil in his rule. How is this relevant to us today? You can approach this through the First Commandment, and you can look at citation S3 where Mrs. Eddy says that hypnotism is essentially the term to describe the belief that there is a force for good and a force for evil.  This is the deception of the serpent!  What does it do to us to think that there is a power that opposes God?  Don't we then accept as natural, sickness, sin, and death?  It's amazing, truly, to think and know that this is not necessary.  When we live our lives knowing this we lose the fear that creeps in about sin, sickness, and death.

[PYCL 5:– Show how whatever bothers us about another is a deception about them or us.]
Look at citation B7: “I will not know a wicked person”.  Who is saying this?  What does it mean for each of us?  Do we just pretend that everyone we know is really kind, thoughtful, cool, a friend?  Or does this really require us to see people in a new way?  I love to think of this passage as something God is saying.  Then it tells us that there is only good in His “house” and nothing evil or wicked.  Then, as His reflection, we can house nothing unlike Him in our thought.  Anything that is not good is essentially a deception.  What happens when we look at people that we have trouble liking or getting along with, and realize that whatever bothers us about that person is a deception about either them or us?  Interesting!  Citation B9 tells us that discretion and understanding are what keep us safe.  If we truly understand God's creation, we see error for the deceiver that it is.  What is that “great mistake of mortals”?  (S6)

[PYCL 6:– Discuss how Samson was deceived by pretty face temptations & the revenge cycle.]
The story of Samson here is a story of someone that is misguided about where his power comes from.  He thinks that it is in his “religious goodness” and faithfulness (his Nazarite hair being the symbol of this).  You can review the history here of revenge that both the Philistines and Sampson were engaged in.  Talk about revenge, what is it?  Is there any way to end a cycle of revenge through continued violence?  I like to think about the idea that Samson was deceived by his girl friend.  You can discuss the idea that his downfall was in being tempted by the hypnotism of a “pretty face”.  I wonder if the shame of having traded his authority and moral might for a “pretty face” might have been the true cause of his weakness.  When we feel ashamed of something we do, it really drains us of any sense of authority and freedom and joy that we can feel.  It seems harder then, to claim our dominion.  In reality, of course, God's knowledge of us as His reflection remains untouched, but “staying” the straight path keeps us safe from these bigger pitfalls!  (S14, last sentence)

[PYCL 7:– Give each pupil a ball of yarn; weave a tangled web; cut right thru it with Truth.]
Try bringing in some balls of cheap yarn. Give each child a ball and have them “weave” them around chair and table legs until it makes a huge tangle. Talk about the “looms of crime” (S16) and how error can get very tangled and complicated.  Think of a personal example from your life where error made something get complicated.  Then talk about how Truth is like a sharp pair of scissors.  When you understand what is true, from Truth, you are no longer confused by the tangled web that error has tricked you with. Then you can take some sharp scissors and show them how Truth “cuts” right through the tangles in our thought and we can clear away all those woven traps!  Make sure you have scissors that the little kids can really cut the yarn with! You can take this further and talk about how sometimes these woven, deceitful, webs can seem like they tangle us all up, like when we feel sick. But that we can use our understanding of Truth, God to make those tangles fall away, and cut through all the fear that we are tempted to feel.

[PYCL 8:– Arm your Young “Rebels with a Cause” with Authority & Moral Courage.]
Finally, I was thinking about the idea of rebellion mentioned in that familiar passage from citation S19.  Maybe it would be fun to talk about what a rebellion is.  You could talk about how when we rebel against something that is unjust, (deceptive), you have to have moral courage and authority.  This is how the founding fathers of our country felt when they rebelled against an unjust rule.  Talk about what is involved in a rebellion.  First of all you had better be right before you rebel!  So we want to stand up for God, for what God says about us.  (So if we are sick we want to rise up against that idea since it's not from God.)  What does a rebel do?  He arms himself.  He sets up a watch against the enemy.  He stays ready and alert.  He plans and researches and strategizes.  Then you can talk about all these ideas and what they represent spiritually.  Of course, you can bring in any props that symbolize our rebellion.  These could be pretend armor, swords or shields and so on, depending on your class and what you own.

Have a great Sunday and happy Thanksgiving too!

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