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[PYCL: Find treasure, even in a trashy wrapper! (1) Make room for repentance! (4)
Unwrap the grave clothes of all limitations! (6)]

Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Mortals and Immortals”
for May 14—20, 2018

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

Pycl #1: It was delightful to find in this week's lesson that the reference in the Responsive Reading to "earthen vessels" containing "treasure" is citing the habit of the day to store money or valuables in shabby pots or containers where someone might be less likely to look for them. It made me think of how matter can hide from our eyes the real "treasure" or unlimited sense of man if we don't use our super spiritual sense to "find" our true and treasure-like natures!

Consider bringing in a shabby box or can and maybe a handful of shiny coins or something that represents treasure to kids. Maybe it's even candy? Something that the children would see as a parallel. Put the "treasure" inside the less lovely container and explain this tradition of Bible days to the kids. Can they see how the less impressive container might be like a mortal sense of ourselves as "man" rather than the true, unlimited, wonderful man that is immortal? How does matter fool us? How can we better see the truth about our nature? Maybe we get that treasure out and "share" it! What if we think of the treasure as spiritual qualities that we are given by God, love, affection, kindness, intelligence, grace, strength, and so on? Just like you might share the coins or candy or whatever, you could share these qualities that point to our true and immortal nature.

Pycl #2: By the way, we want to make sure that they understand that each of us has an unlimited supply of these "treasures" and we see more the more we use them/share them. If we hide them with embarrassment, ego, pride, fear, and so on, then we end up focused on the shabby container. Looking at the Golden Text we see that the children of God are "revealed". We aren't trying to "create" them. We are not working to fill ourselves up with "treasure". This is all from God, no less in one than in another. Just as Jesus saw (Section 4) that Lazarus never lived or died in a material body, so we are seeing the perfection that already exists rather than "making it happen".

Pycl #3: Perhaps yet another way to think about this is by checking out citation S3. Here we are told that a mortal understanding of God cannot comprehend the limitless glory of Life and Love. You might be able to point out that when we see an entire bird with plumage and flight we are treated to a more unlimited and beautiful sense of what a bird is, than by looking at a highly magnified portion of say, their leg. With that narrow view we would only see scales and bone. It doesn't hint at the flight, the beautiful feathers, the song and so on. If you wanted to you could find such an example on the internet I'm sure. Our conservation magazine does this in every magazine, giving us a close up of some part of a plant or animal and asking us to guess what it is from that close up portion. If we try to understand infinite spirit by looking at mortal man, we are only going to get pretty sketchy views. There may be beauty, but there's an awful lot to disappoint. This is why we cannot trust our material senses to tell us what is God, what is the true man.

Pycl #4: A couple of ideas to bring into class have to do with the section on time, Section 2. This is such a thought-provoking idea, this idea of time, even for very young children. Explain that time is something we made up to make mortal existence feel orderly. It is not spiritual or unlimited. Time measures repetition. What if you brought in a ruler and explained very briefly how these measurements were all originally based off of (much smaller) people. Think about the very name "foot" which literally was a measurement from heel to toe in an average adult male foot. You could use the ruler to illustrate how the inches, etc. are must made up concepts. If you are using the metric system you can still explain that it is a made up system—for human convenience.

The other creation you could do with the children is bring in a large sheet of cardboard or paper and work on a "new" clock that measures "spiritual unfoldment" and "space for repentance" rather than even increments of time. As you divide up your "clock" fill-in pieces of the "pie" with the children's ideas of what this unfoldment and repentance or rethinking might look like. Keep this clock in your class area for the next time someone is checking to see how much time you have left in class. You can ask them if they have enough "space for repentance"! This can also be related to the shabby pot containing treasures in the first Pycl. If you think about how time and years seem to have, in most cases, a very deleterious effect on mortals, you can see the parallel between how that pot might "age" while the treasures or spiritually true qualities of immortal man are eternal.

Pycl #5: Another time-related idea is from Section 3 where we discover, or review the fact that the Truth that Jesus demonstrated is timeless. It is here and operational now, as it was then. The laws are the same, the love is the same, and the actual, real Truth are certainly also the same for us today.

Pycl #6: We could certainly act out the raising of Lazarus with winding up a volunteer in rags or something similar, even a bed sheet. What material, limited concepts are we wrapping ourselves up in, in the same way that they did Lazarus? How do thoughts of mortal composition of our bodies and material thinking of health and so on, keep us bound and "tied up", rather than giving us freedom to step outside these false "laws" (as Caleb did when he did not age in 40 years)?

Think about the symbolism here, the windings of such grave clothes would make it hard to walk, use your hands, balance, not to mention see right? So how does a material sense of man do the same?

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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