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[PYCL: Elevate Halloween and October as “Trick or Treat-ment” month! Identify lies and how they try to trick us. Give a treatment by affirming God’s power & presence everywhere. (1, 2)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Unreality”
for October 6, 2019

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

Pycl #1: For the younger children this is a Golden Text to read aloud and think about together. Talk about the imagery of being "tossed and blown about"— dramatize it a bit. (Blow some lightweight things around on the table, small pieces of paper, or feathers if you have them). Then, ask them if lies can make you be "tossed" or "blown about"? What can shield us in life from a strong wind? If you get into a discussion of a secure "cellar/closet", one that keeps you totally safe from any wind, how is that something that we can think about as our totally safe consciousness, shielded from lies?

How does Truth keep us "safe" from lies? Use some examples from mathematics.
Can we learn to tell what are lies and what are truth or Truth's messages? How can we tell the difference?
Make a list of ways that we can tell the difference. Much of this lesson focuses on being able to identify what is true and what is a lie. Think about how a lie presents itself in order to fool us.

Can your students think of any stories in the Bible where people were fooled? What happened, how were they fooled, how did they fix it or did they fix it? (Some stories–some myth, others true: Adam and Eve, Moses story in this week's lesson, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his many-colored coat—whole long story.) Could we think of healings such as Jesus did, as stories that are lies about people, that Jesus understood as such and healing was the result of his knowing the "true story" about them?

How can we learn to identify lies in our own lives and how they try to trick us? Some examples might include friendships that get difficult and unhappy, sibling issues, sadness, anger, frustration with school subjects, illness…. It is important to remember that a lot of lies stem from the whole world's belief in them. The idea of contagion, for example, is something that most people accept. We might want to think about how to pray to not be influenced by a lie that really, really looks like "truth", such as that one. We can help, not only ourselves, but others, by knowing this. Go ahead and look up a testimony that describes a healing of this suggestion, or share one of your own.

Pycl #2: In the Responsive Reading a good bit of destruction is described, followed by the statement that the "Son of man" will come to us, the Christ. This is echoed in Mary Baker Eddy's statement in her "Christ My Refuge" poem that we have as a familiar hymn, where she says "And o'er earth's troubled angry sea, I see Christ walk, and come to me, and tenderly, divinely talk." What does this look like in daily life? Why does the Christ come to us in such circumstances? Isn't the Christ always coming to our consciousness? Why does Christ come walking over the "waves" etc. What is the Christ?

If the children are a little older it might be fun to talk about the whole Responsive Reading in terms of the "end of the world" beliefs. I love that in the midst of this description of chaos and destruction it says:"…but the end is not by and by…" We are talking about consciousness here, not some kind of "Armageddon". What comes to us when we find ourselves at the "end" of believing in the power of matter to push us around? How do we "get there"? How does Christ come to our consciousness and what does it "look like"—kind of already asked this, but maybe it will be clearer to the students after thinking this through a little more?

With the younger children, do they remember when Jesus walked on the waves to the disciples? Why did he do that? He could have gotten to them in a boat, right? Why walk to them over the waves? This process of having Christ come to our consciousness is no more supported as "normal, or regular", than having someone walk on the water. Matter seems very convincing. So, we have to practice noticing how it is that God is powerful and present—practice discerning when the lies are creeping in, and how to tell them apart from the truth, and from God/Truth.

Pycl #3: Use the story of Moses as an illustration of how God helps us distinguish between truth and lies, no matter how aggressive. Remember that the serpent is a symbol of deception, just as it was in the story of Adam and Eve. How does the snake whisper its lies to each of us, and make us afraid? What was Moses' fear in this story? Was it a serpent, or leprosy? Or was it trying to speak to Pharaoh and convince him to let the Hebrews go?

Isn't this illustration with Moses’ staff and leprosy ideal for shaking the foundations of false/unreal beliefs about what we rely on? For example, a staff was meant to be something that the shepherd relied on for support and for guidance of the sheep, and probably other useful things. In this case, it is turned into a snake that symbolizes terror and unreliability, maybe even venomous lies about self-worth and doubt? Then, the leprosy shows that there is no true material "cause" for disease, it just "appears" on his hand when he pulls it from his shirt! We could just explain it by saying that it was God who did this, that is most likely the common explanation. But, that would then be believing the lie that our God is manlike and capricious in granting "gifts", such as health, happiness, family, skill, competent oral skills! This is not the God that Moses later reveals more clearly to the Children of Israel, so it seems unlikely that this is the point here either.

You can have the younger children practice "throwing down" the lies of error, as Moses threw down his staff at God's command. We can also focus on spiritual sense and what it is. Look at citations S8 and S10 for some good passages about this. How can we be more aware of our spiritual sense?

Pycl #4: I'm not entirely sure how to address this with younger children, but I think, along with our theme of understanding how error works, we can think about true self-knowledge. Section 3 has familiar passages that deal with discernment, represented by sharp swords! Give each kid a pretend knife. Read this passage of citation B9 and look for it in another translation as well for interest. Also, citation B10 is really fun in other translations! Try J.B. Phillips' "New Testament in Modern English" for one such translation, but there are several really fun ones that the children will enjoy.

Knowing who we are is essential to making good decisions about what to listen to and how to maintain joy and good in our experience. The sharp object we have is that spiritual discernment that can tell the difference between truth and error and can also "cut error out" as in citation S12–"excision of error".

You could have the younger ones dramatize "cutting out" the bad thoughts that make us think we can't do something, aren't good at something, are angry at someone, having a painful problem, etc. Can they list some sharp "thoughts" that would "cut out" the lies of error? Doesn't the "knife" cut through all the barriers that make it seem hard to understand God?

Pycl #5: Okay, this is short, but I like the "definition" of Christian Scientist in citation S14.
“we are Christian Scientists, only as we quit our reliance upon that which is false and grasp the true.” (192:4-5) What if we look at this passage as what Moses did when he "dropped the snake and picked up a “rod". I know that isn't totally exact, but that's the spiritual sense of what happened.
When Moses dropped that staff, he was in the process of dropping his reliance on a material sense of God and God's power.

When he picked it up again, even though it was a serpent, his obedience and courage found him relying on God!

You could certainly have the children pretend doing this, what are they "dropping"?
What are they picking up each day as they practice using their spiritual senses about things around them?
Are they dropping a false sense of someone they know?
What are they gaining?
Can they bring that sense to how they treat everyone else around them?
What are they dropping about themselves?

Have a great Sunday School class!!

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