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[PYCL—Learn from being misled to not be an April Fool!
Practice gate-keeping… Speak (& weed) gently with young ones…

CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for April 6, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO   (314) 406-0041
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director]

[PYCL 1—Learn from being misled and don’t be an April Fool!] 
Ask if any of the students have ever been misled, sent the wrong way or given the wrong information.  What happens when we are “deceived”?  This is a word we see a lot in this lesson. (B5, B7, S11, B11, B13—and those are only the citations that use a form of that very word). Little kids have a great intrinsic sense of justice and fairness; do they like to be tricked?  We just had “April fool's day” here on April 1, were any of them fooled?  Use this talk of trickery to lead into how our senses can fool us into thinking that goodness isn't the only power there is.  You could try a blindfold with a willing victim and you (only a teacher!) could gently lead them into a wall or something, showing how misleading can lead to “dead ends” (and bumped heads!).  Then show how someone can lead the way God would lead, no blindfold here!

[PYCL 2—Gate Watching 101] 
How is knowing and recognizing that goodness is the only real thing, like obeying the First Commandment?  Is this always easy?  What are some ways that error tricks us into being afraid that God is not in control and giving us only good?  How can we chase away or “close the gate” to anything that is trying to fool us?  I noticed in citation B4 that it says to “…establish judgement in the gate”.  Maybe you could talk with the older ones about the gate that represents our thought.  How can we be wiser about the thoughts coming to us and only allow the wise and true thoughts to take root in our consciousness (and hence our experience)?  Where does the “judgement” come from?  How do we know if it's from God?  What questions do we need to ask?  With the littler ones there are a multitude of little “hand” games you can do to represent a “gate” that opens or shuts according to whether they should let an idea in or not.  You can have them “open” and “close” their “gates” according to suggestions that you give them. Maybe they can come up with their own ideas too! Just a minor point, I think it's cool that Elijah came to the “gate of the city” and found the woman there that God had told him would “sustain” him.  Kind of a fun reference in this context of “gate watching”.  A gate is not there just to exclude, it is there to be discerning about what we let in… think the tares and wheat story included in this lesson.

[PYCL 3—Share how lesson stories show deception. Think about commanding the situation!
This lesson is so full of stories to share.  Maybe you could have some of the kids retell the stories on their own and talk about why each story was included in a lesson about unreality.  How is deception involved in each story?  In section 2 we have the widow woman with a handful of meal and some oil.  All the food she has left (bring in a handful of cornmeal or flour and a small container of oil to show the little kids), how much do they think that they can make out of that, how long will two people be able to live on that, much less three?  If that's all they had for their family, would they have shared with Elijah?  The My Bible Lesson points out that, in the day, hospitality would have considered it a normal practice for Elijah to ask her to share, so maybe that's an interesting thing to note, but still!  What turned out to be the reality for their situation?  Did matter (the meal and oil) give them any clue that things were going to be okay?  Does the body give us good information?  Check out citation S11 which tells us that we actually “command the situation” when we realize that matter is deceitful… “…mortal existence is a state of self-deception…” .  Think about commanding the situation.  What does that mean? What is “self-deception”?

[PYCL 4–Unmask the role of envy as a “deceiver”]
Let's look at section 3: what is the deception involved in this story?  It's interesting to share with the kids how this story follows on the heels of the king rewarding Daniel for interpreting his dream.  He gives him control over all of Babylon, and Daniel then appoints Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego as administrators over the kingdom.  Do you think that maybe envy played a role in bringing these three men to the king's attention?  Are there other events in the Bible that reveal the role of envy as a “deceiver”?  How is envy deceitful?  Does it tell you the truth about your own abilities?  Does it reveal to you the truth that whatever anyone has, you have too as a child of God?  I know that Warren has shared the idea in conjunction with the [10th] Commandment about not coveting… we can rejoice in someone else's success and say “That's Mine Too!”  [This T.M.T. is more powerful than T.N.T.!]   Does this envy have power over the three Hebrews in the end?  Who “commanded the situation”?  And of course you can certainly bring into this discussion, the appearance in citation S18 of the [9th] Commandment that was being obeyed by these men!

[PYCL 5–Don't uproot good by harshly correcting little ones… weed & speak gently (Hymn 315)] 
The deception is more obvious in the story of the tares and wheat.  But this is a great story of symbolism and keeping our “thought garden” free from “weedy” thoughts.  Also the idea that you can't mix matter and Spirit, unreality and reality, is an important concept.  Who plants the tares/weeds?  Are you the source of these “evils”?  Or is the “enemy” error?  How about when you see those tares in other people?  Can you “hate the evil and love the good” and tell the difference between these things and the person that you see in front of you? (B4)  You can certainly get into the details of this story, that's what makes it so rich.  Tares and wheat look very similar when they are young, how does this carry over into life?  What about not wanting to “uproot” the true and good thoughts by harshly “ripping” out the false?  What does that mean for how we approach correction in ourselves and others?  How should we go about revealing the reality or unreality of a situation?  There are all sorts of things you can do with planting games or real seed planting here.  You could build on last week's story about the sower and the seed and talk about that kind of planting.  You can talk about how to tend plants.  Do we pull up the weeds when the plants first sprout out of the ground?  What happens when we do this?  How does this apply to our lives today?  When we get a good new thought from God, should we “tend” it and care for it, put it into action, and then, when it “bears fruit”, share it with everyone?

[PYCL 6–"Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good!" (SS teacher Miss Mary Kessler)
Finally, you have the story of the lepers being cleansed by Jesus.  How does Jesus heal them?  What does it say about reality?  How should we acknowledge reality in our lives and what benefit does it bring to recognize/be grateful for the goodness of reality?

Have an amazing Sunday!

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