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[PYCL: Bring healing not "stone-throwing"! (#4) Try new activities! (3) Pour in Love! (7)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

November 1, 2015 on

“Everlasting Punishment”

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: Maybe ask the kids what the word "discipline" means. Then check out the dictionary definition. They might be surprised by its meaning. Look at the citations in the lesson regarding correction, reformation, chastening, etc. What are the reasons why we might be corrected or "chastened"? Why might mom or dad correct us? Is that fun? What do we learn when we are corrected (hopefully)? Is it good? Is it necessary? What happens at home if we don't learn a lesson that we need to learn? Maybe you can think of a concrete example here to share from your experience. Rather than punishment we could think of correction as something that comes from Love (and from mom and dad's love for us—a reflection of God's love). Punishment is something that might help us turn away from doing something bad, but doesn't in and of itself, teach us. It is the means of suffering that brings change. So, because punishment is from the wrong-doing itself, it is not from God.

Pycl #2: This isn't really a Pycl, but I think it warrants a mention—citation B8 at the end talks about how God has “removed our transgressions from us” [—“as far as the east is from the west”]. I like the idea that the things we do wrong are not who we are. We can rejoice that wrong-doing is not our nature or character. That is why we can move forward and do better.

Pycl #3: I suppose it's kind of funny to work with citation S8 when we are already working with "little children". But maybe we can liken this 'leaving the old for the new’ idea, to going on new adventures—something like going on a trip and participating in an activity that you've never tried before. Each new adventure brings new thoughts, challenges, and because of that, growth. I like the CedarS Camps model where you get to try a lot of [wholesome, joyous] activities to stretch and grow. Some might be easy, others really tough for you and through those tougher challenges especially, you tend to grow and see that you are not as limited as you may have once thought. The challenges aren't meant to punish you, they are meant to help you see your unlimited nature. [“Whatever stretches you, blesses you” as they say at CedarS.]

Pycl #4: Check into the story about the woman taken in adultery. You can read or retell it together. What do they think the point of the story is, especially in this lesson? What do we have to learn from it? Today I was thinking about whether we have the willingness to do the hard work of changing our thought about those that we feel critical of for whatever reason. The men who brought her to Jesus weren't thinking of any lesson for themselves to learn. They were thinking of how terrible this woman was, and they were thinking of how they could fool Jesus into breaking the law (Mosaic Law). Was that what God's law was about? When we are presented with someone who is perhaps not doing the right thing, do we see it as an opportunity to think of how we can see them as God does, or as an opportunity to condemn someone, or to publicly humiliate them? Again, if you can come up with an example of how you have faced a situation where you had an opportunity to forgive or to love better instead of to condemn, this would really help to clarify the application of the Bible story to today's scene. What do the stones that the men wanted to throw represent (yes, they were planning on actually throwing stones). Could they represent a hardness of heart towards others? Maybe a lack of love, compassion, empathy? Do we always know what challenges others have faced in their lives that make them act unkindly? Instead of reacting with "stone-throwing", can we think of ways that our knowledge of Love's tenderness can bring healing?

Pycl #5: The story of the woman that was bent over always seems like a good one to think about symbolically as well as literally. What would it be like to walk everywhere while only seeing your feet? Is that what matter sometimes makes us do? Do we get focused on stuff that is the lowest, worst, "dirtiest" (as in the ground or dirt)? Is it hard with that focus to see the beauty of the world around us? Would we be able to see people smiling? Have the kids try walking like that. Do they bump into things? When Jesus healed her, against the wishes of the church leaders, he was showing how much God loves His children—that He would never keep them prisoners in a physical body. He was showing them that, just as these men would never make their cattle suffer on the Sabbath by leaving them without food and water, so God would never leave man imprisoned and in pain, even on the Sabbath. Also, maybe we can think about the fact that healing—expressing Love and Truth—is not "labor", but a joyous and freeing re-creation.

Pycl #6: I'm not sure if this would work, but I was thinking about citation S19 where Mrs. Eddy says that "the divine must overcome the human at every point", and I think you could come up with some human vs. divine qualities on pieces of paper. Make a drawing or some kind of object, like a big fish that snaps up a little one. Have the kids snap up the human qualities with their hands. Notice that "human" is not necessarily bad. For example "sympathy" might seem like a decent thing to have. But sympathy really needs to be swallowed up by something more akin to divine Love, like empathy, whereby we can understand and see something from someone's point of view, but don't get dragged into feeling badly or be pulled down by that understanding. Maybe you could use a paper lunch bag with your hand inside to snap up the human and have the "divine" qualities printed all over the paper bag. Every human quality will have its counterpart that you all come up with to write on the paper bag. Just a thought. You can put some eyes and a tongue on the bag too 🙂

Pycl #7: Citation S25 mentions that "The purification of sense and self is a proof of progress." It then quotes the Beatitude about how the pure in heart see God. You might enjoy bringing an example to share of the pure water vs. the cloudy water. Pure water is something you can see through (no wonder the pure in heart, those not muddied by materialism, can "see" God!). Sin, or wrongdoing, makes our thinking cloudy… we have a harder time being happy, thinking clearly, being inspired, having good ideas, and so on. You can show this pure water with an actual example of water in a glass. You can add dirt, and then add clean water until the dirt is just all washed away in order to illustrate the way that we can pour in all those loving, pure ideas from God to wash away any suggestion of "dirt" or ugliness. [The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love.” S&H 201:17]

Have a great Sunday!

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