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[PYCL—Demonstrate your freedom from a long list of things that would enslave you!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for April 13, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041

[PYCL 1]
Discuss freedom. What does it mean to be free? Free from what, to do what? (B10) Kids will have different ideas of freedom than we might have, so it should be fun to go with their thoughts on the subject. What is an “occasion to the flesh”? Again, this can be very interesting (and totally G-rated). Does this mean we can't have “fun”? (I think CedarS Camps are living proof that the answer is a resounding “NO”!) Do they understand why freedom is a central theme of this lesson topic? How is being sick, etc. like being a prisoner or slave? What's the difference between being free and being a slave? (This might seem obvious, but think of the detail involved here: what choices to slaves have? What choices do we have when we think that sickness is irreversible or in accord with God's laws? When we serve someone out of choice, (see citation B10: “by love serve one another”) is that a joyful and fulfilling thing? What if we are forced to do this? …you get the idea here).

[PYCL 2]
You might want to talk about whether slavery to sin, disease, and death is real or a product of our belief that there are powers and laws other than God's? Think back to the last two Bible lessons we've had to draw on those ideas about reality and unreality. Mrs. Eddy refers to the “slavery of belief” in this lesson and the story of Moses with the rod and the leprosy is a good illustration of this kind of slavery. Do we sometimes have to convince ourselves of the unreality of this slavery? What was Moses worried about when he asked God: “But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice…”? How do we prove that slavery is not the law of God, that God is always leading us into freedom? Moses showed it with those examples in the story, how do we show it? Can you share an example from your experience? Do the kids have any examples? This second section is helping us to see that the bondage that comes through sickness, etc. is not from God/Life (S6). Look at citation B8 and see where God tells us that the “fast” that He has chosen, that is, the things that we need to stay away from, is not a burdensome, heavy thing, but just the opposite! God's “fast” is to free us from the heavy slavery to material sense—the belief that there is power in matter.

[PYCL 3]
Citation B10 gives us a long list of things that enslave us. We can use our own ideas here to form links in a big paper chain. Maybe it's comprised of things like frustration, anger, sadness, unkindness, selfishness, envy, and so on. Once the chain has been made, talk about what can dissolve or cut those links and free us from being chained to “error thoughts”. Have each kid name a great quality that can cut through those “links” and give them a pair of scissors to do just that. Make sure you spend more time coming up with the God qualities than you do the enslaving ones! Another idea is to bring in big cardboard blocks, they could be taped boxes like shoe boxes or whatever you have lying around. Each block represents something from error that blocks our view of God's goodness. You can stack them in front of a student sitting at the table. What happens after a while? Can the student see anything but blocks in front of them? Isn't this how we feel when we are angry… like all we can see is how mad we are at our friend/brother/sister, etc.? But can we knock those blocks down pretty easily if we think about what is really coming from God? How can we do this when we aren't feeling well? Allow them to knock the blocks onto the floor when they've discovered what they can do with their thought about error and error's “wall”.

[PYCL 4]
In citation B11 I like the idea that if we “resist” the devil it will flee from us. Maybe you can talk about how error “runs away” from us when we don't give in to the temptation to do what we know isn't good. My boys' violin teacher introduced me to the term “Lego frustration” to describe what kids feel when their Lego structures are not cooperating. If you have Lego lovers this may be a fun way to illustrate this idea. If we don't cave in, if we “run away” from feelings of frustration, we can welcome in God's thoughts and Mind's solutions to problems. Even if one such solution involves asking for a little help!

[PYCL 5]
If it's true, then God made it. Put sickness or sin to the test here and decide if it's made by God (S16). Also here you can talk about evidence. What is evidence, where should we look for it? Mrs. Eddy tells us that the evidence of Truth is stronger, and contradicts the evidence of error (S18). What is this evidence and what does it rely on? In this section #4 you have Jesus giving us evidence of Truth through healing. Do we have this evidence daily, or is it only once in a while? Can you help everyone see that the evidence of Truth is constantly surrounding us? Maybe you can come up with a list that shows Truth's presence everywhere around us. It is present in the love that our parents or friends have for us, in the fun that we have, in school with the intelligence and experience that we get, in the transportation that we use to get from one cool activity to another, in the activities that we engage in, whether sports, music, art, etc. I'm sure you can come up with other ideas.

[PYCL 6]
Finally you could use citation S22 as a basis for discussing how death is a mortal dream (or sickness, etc.) and it comes in the “darkness” and disappears with the “light”. What is this darkness and light? Certainly you can talk about it even literally. But help them see what this represents. When we are in the dark we can't see what's real and unreal. Our senses tend to be overly impressed with shadows, etc. What is the solution to any fear that comes with being in the dark? Turn on the lights, of course! How is this like thinking about God and accepting that God is telling us is the truth, while our senses are probably lying to us?

Have a great Sunday!

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