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[PYCL: Feel & demonstrate the oneness Jesus taught. Forgive to remove walls. (#1, 2)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

“Doctrine of Atonement”
on October 16, 2016

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

Pycl #1: I've enjoyed very much the way that Christie Hanzlik tied together this lesson with the two following lessons that also deal with traditional Christian theology and doctrine. It might be a great thing to pull these three lessons together for the pupils in a way that brings greater clarity to each. Helping them see, ahead of time, the way that these lessons flow, is pretty cool! (Check out this week's Met online at for some thoughts on working with the Tenets of Christian Science, which appear in part, in each of these lessons. This could certainly be one way to dig into them.) Laying out all three subjects and pondering what they mean is really helpful. Many of the students will not know what these doctrines are, why they are an important part of mainstream Christian theology. Why do we study them? Why do we care what other Christians think? We do care, and here are some reasons why… (you find them with the pupils). Can you come up together with thoughts on why we may want to be part of a greater, universal, Christian movement? The Golden Text tells us that "…grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." These are powerful qualities. In order to experience such grace we must treat others with the deepest respect, recognition of worth, tenderness. The truth that Jesus revealed in his work was accompanied by grace, humility, forgiveness and healing power. As we feel the presence of this grace and perceive the truth, we become healers in our own right, through feeling our oneness with God—the oneness Jesus taught. One way that we think differently about these doctrines, as Christian Scientists, is that we see them as proven (or disproven) through demonstration. So you can have some fun with how we demonstrate each doctrine in our daily lives. Keep a list from week to week. Obviously we don't "demonstrate" everlasting punishment or probation after death, how do we disprove them through such demonstrations?

Pycl #2: Bring some Legos to class, or small building blocks—anything that can build a wall. Talk about what makes us feel like there might be a wall between us and God. You can use the Legos, etc. as a visual aid. One way to look at it is to think about different ways that we feel and act that cause us to feel we are on our own. Sin is an obvious one. When we do things we know we shouldn't, or we feel ashamed of, this seems like it puts a distance between us and God. Why? Does it really put a distance there? Can anything do this? While the answer is "no", this doesn't lessen the feeling; and we find that we have a harder time feeling happy and peaceful. So it might be a good idea to practice keeping that wall away. Look for all the barriers or walls that come up in this week's lesson. Obviously, there is the barrier of sin. This can take any number of forms. One form, human will, is mentioned. This will sets us up as being opposed to God in some way… choosing evil over good. Another wall is almost literal—notice the roof (and crowd) that represents a barrier to healing for the man with palsy. Then Jesus forgives this man's sins and sets off the anger of the scribes who teach that only the most holy people can be close to God—only those who are born right, educated correctly. What would tell us today that we can't be close to God or that God is far away, hard to understand, ineffective. You could write down what would feel like a wall to us (sickness, unhappiness, boredom, and so on. What about the stone that was rolled in front of Jesus' tomb? How did it get moved? How do we break those walls down? Jesus illustrated some of the ways through healing. How do grace and truth break down "barriers" between God and man? If you use cardboard box walls and you have mellow kids in your class, you could use bean bags to knock down these bigger walls. Each bean bag would have some specific quality of grace or a specific truth "attached" to it.

Pycl #3: How do we bear witness to the resurrection today? (B13) This might be fun to think about! Think of the "power" that comes with bearing witness to this event! Talk together about the story surrounding Jesus' night in the garden, crucifixion, and finally the resurrection. What are we bearing witness to? Why did the disciples get sleepy? Were they bearing witness to resurrection or crucifixion? We don't ignore the crucifixion; it is an important, necessary, powerful event. As mentioned in the Met, it was a tremendous platform for what followed! But the resurrection was an extraordinary demonstration of the true grace and power of God/Love. Do the children know what "bearing witness" means? You might try acting out a court trial and have some of them be "witnesses" for the person on trial. What qualities do they share that prove the truth of that person's character, etc.? You give them a specific chair to sit in to play this role. When we don't feel well, do we let our material senses bear witness, or the truth that Jesus showed us in his life and in his resurrection?

Pycl #4: Along with this witness idea, how do we show in our lives today that there is no wall or barrier between us and God/Love? Is there a way to demonstrate it in our daily life? Mrs. Eddy points out, in citation S28, how we can see this unity by practicing what Jesus showed us, and by doing God's will. Can we think of some ways to demonstrate our unity with God? Have some healings on hand to share that illustrate how such a sense of oneness brought you healing.

Have a great Sunday.

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