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[PYCL—Demonstrate your oneness with God!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

Doctrine of Atonement
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for Easter, April 20, 2014

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

[PYCL 1] 
Of course you will want to cover what Easter is about. Some of the littler ones may not be aware. What does this subject: doctrine of atonement, have to do with the story of Jesus' resurrection? You can also work on the terminology. Notice that this lesson contains “doctrine of atonement”, “doctrine of Christian Science” (S5), and “doctrine of Christ” (B21). Think about ways to discuss these things that are meaningful to younger people. All these doctrines lead to unity or oneness with God. The thing I noticed about the doctrine of Christian Science is that it is outlining the way that there could never be a need for reconciliation when we understand that there has never been a separation of man and God. But this hinges on the recognition that man is not a material being, off on his own separate “life” in matter. With the littlest ones, the message is that we are not separate from God and Jesus showed us this by proving that God loves and cares for His/Her creation. He showed it through healing when matter “said” healing isn't possible. (Note the story of the man in section 3).

[PYCL 2] 
This lesson emphasizes following God's will. It's a perfect time to get out your pet “sheep” and practice the idea of shepherding. Is a shepherd always protecting, guiding and loving his sheep? Do the sheep follow and do the “will” of the shepherd? If the sheep doesn't obey, what does the shepherd do? If the sheep are obedient they feel the love and safety that God is giving them, if not, they may feel far away, in danger, etc. In reality the shepherd will always seek them out! Who does the shepherd symbolize? Who are the sheep? Why does the Bible use this analogy? Look at Mrs. Eddy's poem, Feed My Sheep and think about the part about “stubborn will”, discuss. Doing God's will is a big topic; it could easily take the whole time if you are thinking about it from every angle. We all struggle from time to time to listen to what we know is right and follow through. You can talk about what might keep you from feeling close or at one with God and cause you to do something that you want instead of what you know, in your heart, is the right thing. Did God give us a way to know what is right? Citation B4 tells us that the light, the Christ has shined right within our hearts. We all have that natural sense of goodness and Christliness within, because we are the spiritual creation of God. No matter how much we seem to do the wrong thing, maybe make mistakes, have a hard time listening to our mom or dad, the only way that God knows us is as His beloved, obedient child. How does this fact bring healing or adjustment to our life? Citation S15 addresses the seeming reality, like a dream that feels real, of material existence separate from God.

[PYCL 3] 
What is a miracle? Is it a “miracle” that we stay stuck to the ground and don't float off into the sky? Is a miracle what Jesus did, what Mrs. Eddy did? Why/why not? The problem with viewing Jesus' life as miraculous in any way is that it means that any healing we have in our lives is the result of God intervening in some way, rather than recognition that healing is in accord with the laws of God/Love. What happens if we think that healing is something that God gives us sometimes, if He/She feels like it? Doesn't that make it so we are indeed separate from God, asking for Her to bestow something out of the ordinary on us, to make an exception to the laws of matter and intervene in some way in material life? If that is how healing works, then there is no method to it. There is no Science! The beauty of Jesus' works is that he said we'd do even greater works than he did! Not because we'd be “better” than he was, but because he showed us that we are divine ideas that live according to divine laws that are laws of goodness, harmony, joy and so on. He showed us that God is not arbitrary and manlike, but that God is divine Love.

[PYCL 4] 
In citation B13 we have the story of the man that was healed of a 38-year illness. As was often the case, there were objections to this healing by church elders. It may seem like we don't have those objections today. Can you think of what sorts of things keep us from healing today? Do we think we are too young, don't know enough? Are afraid? What are the “church laws” of our day that stand in the way? Is matter too powerful a belief? How do we knock down these roadblocks? Can you talk about the concept of roadblocks, what are they literally and figuratively? Do we have the tools to tear them down and move along the highway? Go ahead and do a little dramatization of that with the littlest ones. You can do it at the table or you could lay chairs in the way of a path through Sunday School. What truths do you use to remove the barrier of, say, fear? You can go through the different ways to overcome each thing that would try to talk us out of healing every day. With each idea you can remove some of that “barrier”.

[PYCL 5]
It asks this is the My Bible Lesson, and I immediately thought the same thing when I first read it to myself in the context of this week's lesson: “How am I inspired by Truth and Love in all that I say and do?” (S12)–this is a reference to Mrs. Eddy's statement about how Jesus was inspired. You can have the kids ask this of themselves. Maybe they can figure out how to ask themselves that question several times or more a day. We probably need some sort of reminder in our day to check on this activity. We could use a phone or the kids could all wear a small bracelet that you give them to be a reminder every time they see it. This could just be a small piece of leather lace that they tie on. My son wore one for over a year and never took it off, so this shouldn't be a problem for a week or two. Get back together next week and ask how things went. Did they have anything to share with this? Do they have ideas about how to make it more effective? Don't worry if it seems like it flopped. Nothing in this endeavor is ever truly lost!! If nothing else, the leather bracelet is a reminder of the love that their Sunday School teacher has for them!

[PYCL 6] 
In citation B20 there is a list of the things that Jesus tells us to do. Do the kids have any thoughts about what these things might translate into today? Maybe, for example, literal snake bites are not really an issue. What might it symbolize to “take up serpents”? Might that mean that tricky, material logic cannot fool us? Maybe poisonous things that people say to us can't hurt us as we do what God wants and follow Jesus' example. See if they come up with ideas. What would laying on of hands symbolize? Might it be the warmth and kindness of personally showing our love for someone? Are we “touching” people's lives in some way? Are we practically helping someone? You get the idea here!

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter!






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