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[PYCL: Be vigilant and armed to defeat aggressive suggestions about hormones, genes, germs… ! Debunk the past’s power over the present!]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced
for Sunday, May 31, 2015

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-004131:

Pycl #1: It is always kind of fun to look together at this title and ask why/what does it mean/how is it relevant? It is awesome that this choice of less frequently used terms continues to have such meaning today in our work to be vigilant workers in God’s kingdom. Take each term and figure together how they apply to today’s demands for us as such workers. Necromancers were people who were thought to be able to speak with and work with the dead, even, in some cases to bring the dead to a sort of “life” and control them. What on earth does that have to do with things today? I think of death as applying strictly to matter. So what, of matter, that has disappeared or died, has any power over us today? What about something that is in our past? Can we dismiss something in our past as having power over our present? Mrs. Eddy has some powerful things to say about human history in her autobiography: Retrospection and Introspection on page 21 and 22.

What is mesmerism? Beyond the original Mesmer and his thoughts about how there was a “fluid” in our bodies etc… People may scoff at that thought today, but how are we influenced by the beliefs that are popular today about hormones, genetics, chemicals of all kinds in our bodies? Interesting how incredibly applicable and current this suggestion is!!! Some of the kids may be too young for this, but I think any child from fourth grade on up through middle school can be armed to defeat these aggressive suggestions through addressing this kind of belief.

How about hypnotism? This one may be easier to grab a hold of for some. You can introduce it by defining it in its traditional form, then see how we might be hypnotized into doing things, for example, with friends, that we might not ordinarily do on our own? Why do we sometimes do “stupid” or even wrong things when we are in a crowd? What is that influence? Here, an example of something from your own life might help them to understand that this is something that all have had to (or still do) deal with at one time or another. The point of uncovering this is to help us prepare our thought to identify these challenges, see them for what they are and cause them to have no influence over our thoughts and actions (this is the “denouncing” part!).

Pycl #2: Come up with some cardboard “armor” for the littler ones. (B2). You can also use paper grocery bags to decent effect. How do qualities of God provide us with genuine armor in the face of the challenges presented by error? This morning I discussed with my 8-year-old how gratitude can be armor. When we really feel grateful, we are feeling the presence and love of God. Then it is harder to feel the opposite, sadness, frustration, anger, unkindness, etc. What other qualities make good armor and why? What would the sword be? Could it be something that “cuts through” the lie and reveals truth? Swords can be made from cardboard and covered with duct tape…but I wouldn’t recommend handing them out until after Sunday School, especially if you have little boys in your class… Maybe pretend is just as well with swords!

Pycl #3: “The foundation of evil is laid on a belief in something besides God.” (S2) What is the ground we are building on? Any ground that supports a system where God’s goodness is not all is not ground on which we want to construct our life. Ask the kids what kind of ground would support a strong building. What spiritual qualities does such ground represent? How do we get our thought away from the prominent suggestion that there are two powers, good and evil? Can you think of Bible examples where healing or victory went against this suggestion? Isn’t this suggestion exactly what hypnotism, mesmerism, etc. is all about? I’ve noticed the use in Science & Health in this section of the words “absence”, “negation”, and “unreal”. Why are these descriptions of evil important here? Is there actual substance, power or truth to something that is really an “absence” or a “negation”? Maybe the analogy that zero times anything is always zero, would be helpful here?

Pycl #4: I just have to borrow this question from the MyBibleLesson question in section 2: “How is disbelief in error different from ignoring error?” This is the essence of what defines much of Christian Science. Many strangers to C.S who ask about it, have the misconception that we just deny the existence of evil in some bland way. It would be cool to help clear things in our thought as we grow up to understand just what it is that we do about this suggestion in Christian Science. See citation S11. Think together of ways that we can come to the point of actual disbelief in some error. Share a healing that has to do with this.

Pycl #5: Bring in a small “balance” type of scale. You can certainly make one. Talk about citations S23 and S24 and the way that Mrs. Eddy tells us that we must “mightily outweigh the power of popular belief in order to heal a single case of disease.” And also: “Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error.” Use the scale/balance to illustrate this idea of good outweighing evil. Then also address some of the earlier ideas about how evil is really a negation, a nothingness… All we are really weighing “against” good, is the suggestions of popular belief! Once we cast out fear, those beliefs cannot mesmerize/hypnotize us so easily! That’s why it’s a good idea to “arm” ourselves every day before we “go out”! You also can practice coming up with truths that can “outweigh” such popular beliefs in the way we might come up with ideas to use in a Christian Science treatment.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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