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[PYCL: Don’t Copy the Behavior … of this World! Let God Transform YOU!! (1)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Mortals and Immortals”
for November 18, 2018

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

Pycl #1: Are there two different "men" (as in all mankind)? Are we trying to make the mortal man immortal? How does "renewing" our mind help us to see our true nature? I really like this translation of this passage from NLT "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." I think we could have an interesting time thinking about what the "customs of this world" are and then thinking about how we can find out what the "pleasing and perfect" will of God is and how it might be different from these "customs". Have the students make a list of "customs" (you may want a list ready, to give them a starting point). What makes it a custom of "the world", vs. a spiritually based activity? Probably one of the most obvious and challenging "customs" we face is the medical establishment. Depending on the age level of your class, this may be a helpful one to consider. How much of medical science is just "what everyone does", and how much is it really forwarding our wellbeing? I don't mean this as an attack on medicine, but we are surrounded by the thought that this is the normal route and anything outside of that route is "weird" and not the "custom". If we are demonstrating good health–solving our challenges spiritually–we should feel confident in being different from "the world". How can we "renew our mind" so that we can truly see, understand, what God's will for us is? This is sort of a fundamental of Christian Science, that our spiritual sense can give us a renewed, truer, fresher understanding of our nature as God's immortal ideas.

Pycl #2: Use citation B6, the story of Elisha taking on the mantle of Elijah, as an opportunity to think of ways that Spirit, Love, has dropped Her "mantle" on each of us. What is that "mantle"? Is it a key part in a magic trick? Is it gone now that Elijah and Elisha are gone? (You can come back to this point when the story of the transfiguration is shared in citation B9 and Elijah is one of the people that the disciples see alongside Jesus…doesn't the fact that they identify him and Moses prove that man is not mortal?) What does this mantle symbolize? With little children you can just explain this.

Bring something mantle-like along for the younger classes and after you discuss what this mantle signifies, try placing it on each child and have each share some of the ways that they are taking up this "mantle" each day. What are they seeing of God and God's activities around them? (look at S9) Can you start the discussion off with the ways that you see God and God's presence in your life? It can even start with "I see God's activity in the sweet presence and intelligence of everyone in this class". I love to walk around in a day and name to myself all the ways that I see God's presence surrounding me. It will often start with the beauty of nature, but expands from there. One idea for using this mantle idea, would be to bring a black or dark cloth to put over the head. This might represent how we have to "…lay off a false sense of life, substance, and intelligence." And then we can put on the mantle of spiritual sight and think about how when we use our spiritual senses we are able to perceive more of the presence and power of God around us.

Pycl #3: Citation B8 contains the story of Jesus healing the man with the withered hand. In this case he is revealing that this man is truly whole and complete. He is also revealing that this completeness is the law of God that is not a law that leaves people out on the Sabbath day, or makes them wait until an appropriate time, or an appropriate method ("medical") is employed!

Discuss the idea of counterfeits if you wish, you can bring in some play money or Monopoly money and compare it to the real thing to explain this idea. Sometimes the counterfeit can seem very real, we might even have to use one of those special pens that they use in stores to see if the money is real or not!! In the case of man, we sometimes have to make sure that we are really emptying out the false views that we are tempted to carry around in order to have room for the true picture! Citation S19 is a good example of this thinking. Jesus was getting rid of these material beliefs by defying them and healing that man on the Sabbath day. This goodness proved that the material sense of that Commandment needed "renewing" so that the spiritual sense could be understood and lead to a clearer picture of God and man.

Pycl #4: Expanding on citation S19, bring in a box full of random but clean trash. Then ask the children to put something else in the box (you could bring a box of yarn, crayons, whatever you have!). When there is no room, ask them what they can do to make room? Hopefully they will think about the need to empty the other things out of the box. Then you can share the thought that in order to understand our nature as immortals, we have to constantly "take out the trash" that comes to tell us that we are really just mortals. This "trash" is what comes to thought to say we are injured, sick, sad, angry and so on. We have to really work to practice this every day or it will seem very hard to do! We always get good at what we practice, if we practice giving right in to anger, sickness, injury etc. then we get good at accepting that as our experience! Think of a healing to share where you refused to give in and changed (renewed) your view of the situation–were healed!

Pycl #5: What do the children think the point of the transfiguration was (S9)? Why is it in this lesson? How does it reveal the immortality of man? What does it say about Jesus? What does it say about each of us? What does Peter say when he sees this event? Does he take it immediately as a spiritual view of man, or does he look for a way to make it "conform to the world" by building "tabernacles" to memorialize the event? When we have a transfiguring event what do we do? Can we have a transfiguring event ourselves? Do you have an example to share? Can you help them think of examples? Maybe one way to explain this is through a short speech about quantum mechanics at its most basic. The idea being that matter is not what it seems. It is influenced by the fact that we observe it. It is a product of our own consciousness and does not exist on its own. If you don't feel comfortable talking about this, or the kids are too young, you can explain that healings of many things prove that matter can change from thought alone. Therefore matter is not the "reality" that it seems! Share an example!

Have a terrific week in Sunday School!!

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