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[PYCL: Bring message balloons! (#3) Make a board game (#1) or a puzzle (#4)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

October 25, 2015 on

“Probation after Death”

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

Pycl #1: There is a lot this week, not surprisingly, about progress and following the "path of righteousness". You could certainly pull out one of those board games we have created in the past that has a path on it with points of progressive qualities as well as some detours that distract us from heading in the direction of God and the path that Christ Jesus pointed out to us. If you have not created such a game, certainly you could create it together with your kids or have something partially put together before you arrive. Game pieces can simply be coins or small stones or whatever you have around. You could use dice to roll and move across the board. You could also do something life-sized with smaller kids where the path is maybe pieces of paper or paper plates that have these qualities on them and you walk from one to the next. Talk about what progress means and what it means to "hold fast" to good or be persistent with our work to be obedient to God.

Pycl #2: Certainly you may want to talk first about the subject this week and think together about its meaning. Why would Mrs. Eddy have this subject? Why might it be important still today? The suggestion that death is something that might solve problems or possibly doom us is still a pressing one for people. Understanding better that there really is no death (continuing the lesson of a couple of weeks ago), and that constant progress and desire for deeper understanding of God is the goal, helps us to experience more authority in our healing work.

Pycl #3: Looking at citations B1 and S3 together I notice a sense that we already possess within ourselves the integrity, goodness, uprightness, righteousness. (Think here of citation B2: "The kingdom of God is within you". Also the last section reiterates this thought in citations B22 and B23. ) These qualities are from God. Our progress is along the lines of recognizing these God-bestowed qualities within as indeed a part of our nature, one that overcomes all suggestions otherwise. Maybe you could think of the suggestion that we can follow a path separate from God and His goodness a bit like a heavy anchor. An anchor would just pull you straight to the bottom of the lake/ocean if you held onto it. Then it settles into the sand or gets caught on a rock and keeps you from moving forward. (I know that anchors on boats are important… but for the sake of analogy here… ). While the qualities that lead to progress and inspiration are like a helium balloon. These thoughts from God lift our consciousness up; keep us "light" in our heart and thought, filled with God's goodness. You could bring in balloons with messages or qualities on them or write them together. Use indelible markers so they don't get all over the kids hands, etc. You could also give each child a string tied to something heavy to represent the thoughts that drag us down both in mood and behavior.

Pycl #4: Section 3 deals a lot with perfection. Perfection, in the Bible, means completeness or wholeness. This indicates to me that this path we are following is already outlined by God, there is a light shining on it, showing us the way, guiding us, pushing us along, revealing itself to us the whole way! You could think of it like a puzzle that has all the pieces, is complete, and we can do our part by putting those pieces in the right place by exercising our growing understanding of God. You can always make a puzzle together with the kids, each piece representing qualities that we possess from God that are part of any complete idea. Save some cereal boxes to cut into pieces that fit together. Before you cut them you can glue white paper to the top so that you can decorate the puzzle or write the qualities on the puzzle before cutting it. Do we think of ourselves as being good at some things and bad at others? Does that thought really reflect the completeness that we possess as God's children?

Pycl #5: I love that the story of John's beheading is followed by Jesus heading out to the wilderness in prayer. The wilderness represents both an isolated place where he can go to hear God, and a place where he may have been tempted to feel despair and sadness over the beheading of his cousin. He is followed to this wilderness by the multitudes. He then goes on to heal them all with great compassion. This is our example of how we can overcome the belief in evil, by doing good—like Jesus.

Pycl #6: I suppose this is a bit of a riff on the board game, but looking at Section 4, you may have fun making the Beatitudes into stepping stones or bricks in a path. You can again use cardboard, or simply paper cut into flagstone shapes. The Beatitudes could be like paving stones, solid, good foundations to walk on; they are lasting, level, and they even can propel you forward!

Pycl #7: It may not be obvious to the kids why the ascension might be included in this subject. You can talk a bit about what the ascension proved to us all—that there is progress beyond death. Read the story together and see if they understand that idea. You could bring the story of his disciples seeing Moses and Elias that time on the mountain with Jesus if you want to give another example of that constant progress (Mark 9). After all, that appearance was certainly evidence of the continued presence and progress of two prophets who had passed many, many years before.

Have a fun Sunday!

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