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[PYCL: Develop your “diviner sense" that sees harmony as real and discord as unreal.]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

October 11, 2015 on

“Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?”

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

Pycl #1: Especially with the younger kids, don't forget to ask, and have them answer, the question that is this week's lesson subject! Then ask them "why"? Of course there is enough in just that question to pull you through the hour, but here are some thoughts.

Pycl #2: One thing I notice is the focus on "fruit". In the Bible the productivity of crops, the quality, timing and quantity were important elements of survival, as they are today in a less direct way. But symbolically, fruit is very significant as well, so you may want to talk about how fruit represents the results of how we think. For example: the results of loving someone would be shown in doing something kind or generous for them. That generous act would be the "fruit" of your love for them. Bring in a variety of fruit, grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, berries. Try to make them different types so that you can then have them match them to the appropriate tree/bush/vine, etc. It might be fun to bring in pictures (you can draw them) of empty trees/vines/bushes, etc. and have them match the fruit to the right plant. You could do it wrong to make them see that that wouldn't work. You could even be extreme as Mrs. Eddy gets in her writing and bring some pinecones and match them to a "peach" tree. This exercise is, of course, to illustrate the Bible example in the Responsive Reading specifically and the Golden Text and rest of the lesson more generally. You can talk about the sweet and bitter water from one fountain as an alternate analogy as well. All of this works so well with Mrs. Eddy's statement in citation S14: "It is not in accordance with the goodness of God's character that He should make man sick, then leave man to heal himself; it is absurd to suppose that Spirit, God, produces disease and leaves the remedy to matter." You would need to put this in more simple language for younger kids—basically God is all good, how could He make evil? Why would He leave evil to mess around with His wonderful creation? His "fruit" is going to be all good! Below are some reduced thoughts about this lesson in terms of fruit, they are loosely based on each section. You may be able to turn them into something useful as you open each Bible story or citations from specific sections.

Section 1: As we said, good fruit is the only kind that can come from God, the only source.
Section 2: The Egyptians try to destroy the children (fruit) of the Jews, but find that evil has no power to do so. Evil has no entity though it may look like it, as it does in this story.

Section 3: Elijah heals the widow's child/fruit…disease cannot destroy our children, our ideas, our productive usefulness.

Section 4: John tells of the coming of the Christ as Jesus. We need to destroy what makes us unproductive or unreceptive to the power of Christ.

Section 5: We have to destroy pride (talk about self-immolation, symbolically) so that we can welcome the power of Christ into our lives. If we believe we are the source of our own productivity and goodness, then we miss the healing opportunities that we have to reach broadly and powerfully to bless. With the idea of self-immolation I like to continue the fruit analogy to include what is common in my area. If you have some true prairie that you are fostering, one way to keep it healthy (fruitful) is to subject it to yearly burns. You burn it quickly in late winter or spring. This keeps back unproductive plants and fosters seed spreading and gets sunlight to the ground. I'm sure it does other things as well! It's also very exciting to watch— and to continue the analogy—it seems destructive when it is really only destroying what would impede the healthy growth of established native plants! So, think of the character that we are trying to nurture and bring to fruition—mightn't it need some burning off of less productive qualities?

Section 6: Christ is the way that God is demonstrated/fruitful in man!

Pycl #3: You can try and have them pour from a pitcher—salt and fresh water at the same time. Let them work at it a little. Then talk about the analogy!

Pycl #4: What is a wolf in sheep's clothing? What is its goal? How do we figure out or recognize it as such? With the littler ones you could have them come up with a skit and pretend to fool one another dressed as a sheep with a "wolf" costume thrown atop. (that could be as simple as a fluffy looking piece of fabric, or a mask you make with some big teeth). Is today's modern medicinal offerings (advice, commonly accepted wisdom, advertising) something like this analogy when it tries to make us feel like we are naive for trusting God with the truth? What about the suggestion that we are helpless (or just little kids) in the face of something "big and scary"? Actually, as sheep (Mrs. Eddy's definition) we are quite powerful!!

Pycl #5: The first section explains that God is good and that understanding this fact helps evil disappear. (S3) Why do they think that is? Maybe it's because we become less afraid when we know the power of the Truth/truth. You could use the dark room analogy. When the lights are off you can't see where anything is. At the least you are less sure of yourself as you move around in the dark. When we know for sure where everything is, that all is safe even though we can't see it, we are less concerned about walking around. This can go all the way to the point where you can think of the knowledge of God leading us to feel a sense of certainty and fearlessness, even when we seem to be surrounded by the "darkness" of material sense.

Pycl #6: Citation S6 talks about sin, disease, and death having "…no foundation in truth". Look together into what the foundation of a building does for a structure. Why is it important? What happens eventually to any building without a proper foundation? It is not remotely permanent! How does this apply to our fear or belief in sin, disease or death and their "power"?

Pycl #7: Mrs. Eddy tells us that a "diviner sense" can see harmony as real and discord as unreal. How do we develop that "diviner sense"? I like to think of the summer I first started really cultivating native plants in my yard to reduce the amount of weedy lawn we were harboring. I'd always enjoyed flowers, but as I was thinking in terms of how to get more of them to take root in my own yard I was suddenly overwhelmed with the numbers and varieties that I saw all around me. I was more aware of what was already there because I knew them better, and was looking for them! How is that like having a "diviner sense", or like working to understand God all around us more? Don't we start to see His manifestation in all sorts of ways, more clearly and more often?

Have a great Sunday!

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