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[PYCL: 1- Gather firm grounding in facts to more simply drop lies. 2-Avoid the quicksand of grouchy, pressured, burdened thoughts. 3-Reject fake views and temptations to do wrong that claim to benefit us. 4-Experience "enlarged individuality"! 5-Seek inks between love and immortality. 6- Act-out Bible examples of finding immortal identity..]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Mortals and Immortals"

For May 14, 2017

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

Pycl #1: [Gather firm grounding in spiritual facts to more simply drop lies.]
Did you notice that we are "…children of the living God."? (Golden Text) If God is "living" it is similar to how he was "walking" with us in the Golden Text last week! He is active in our lives, right here! And if He is a "living" God and we are His reflection, then we can only reflect Life! Immortality is our heritage as reflections of Life. Is it "everlasting mortality"? No! It is a spiritual, active expression of Life that is full of substance, reality, being. Just not "being" in matter. So our task is to perceive this immortality, to really feel that our life as spiritual beings is not a distant, far-off thing, but a present one. This happens through healing. We can share some healings, our own and ones from the periodicals. We can also look at citation S5, where Mrs. Eddy tells us that "The evidence of man's immortality will become more apparent, as material beliefs are given up and immortal facts of being are admitted." What are these beliefs and facts? Can we come up with a list of them? How do we "give up" the material beliefs? I think we have to replace them rather than just try to give them up. If we are firmly grounded in the spiritual facts then it is a simpler process to drop the false beliefs, or lies. You could come up with some examples—like mathematical problems, solar examples like sunrise and sunset and what is really happening there.

Another similar passage that we can work with is in citation S11. Here Mrs. Eddy tells us how we can truly experience immortal being: "To be immortal, we must forsake the mortal sense of things, turn from the lie of false belief to Truth, and gather the facts of being from the divine Mind." Go through this passage thoroughly and see what these steps entail. Do the children have anything to say about this process? I like to think of this sentence as a kind of set of "steps". 1. Forsake mortal sense of things. 2. Turn from the lie of false belief to Truth. 3. Gather the facts of being from the divine Mind. Try writing these steps on a large sheet of paper. Can they make a list under each step? Maybe we could think of the gathering facts part as a garden at harvest time, full of beautiful ripe fruits and grains and vegetables. Can the younger children mime "gathering" or harvesting these grand facts from Mind? How would Mind give them to us? Are they "outside" of us, like a garden is out in the field? Or does Mind speak to us directly and put this grand "harvest" right where we need it—in our thought, our consciousness?

Pycl #2: [Avoid the quicksand of grouchy, pressured, burdened thoughts.]
If anyone wonders about why it is sometimes difficult to perceive man's immortality, citation S10 gives us some interesting insight. Mrs. Eddy tells us here that the more we agree with error, matter, the more we seem to feel opposed to spirituality—until eventually, as it always will, error will fall to Truth. Have we ever noticed that when we are not giving regular attention to the things of Spirit, we find ourselves drifting farther and farther from that deep happiness and clarity that we otherwise feel? I'm not sure that the kids will be aware of this, or even be able to articulate this. But we can put it in words—when we are acting in generous, unselfish, kind, extra loving ways, we find that we get along with our friends and family better, we feel greater peace, more joy, more balance. When we succumb to grouchy thoughts, pressured thoughts, burdened thoughts, we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, depressed, heavy and without balance. You might explain it with an analogy to quicksand. This sticky mud (not really sand) is interesting stuff. I've never been in actual quicksand, but have experimented along silty riverbanks both here in MO and also in Alaska. This very fine silt, laden with a decent amount of water, holds you on top unless you start to jump around. As soon as you start to wiggle and jump around you find yourself sinking right in. In Alaska we've had to do some real digging to pull a rubber boot from its grip on more than one occasion. Usually with this kind of silt there is an eventual bottom that you reach and wouldn't sink past. But with the "real deal" I suppose it could sink you above the head! When we endeavor to live on the material surface of things, it might seem solid for a time, but in the day-to-day activity of living, we can find ourselves sinking into this "quicksand" of matter and it becomes increasingly challenging to pull ourselves free. It certainly does seem like the "intense opposition" that Mrs. Eddy speaks of in this passage! It can be pretty fun to play in this gooey silt, but in the sticky challenges of mortality it can be a lot less enjoyable. You can also cite Jesus' words about building on the "rock" from Luke 6:48, 49.

Pycl #3: [Detect & reject fake views & temptations to do wrong that claim to benefit us.]
There are several angles to the story of Jacob that can be shared in Sunday School. Read the whole story! We could look at the element of deceit. How is it similar to the serpent's temptation of Adam and Eve in last week's lesson? How is it similar to the thoughts that tempt us to do things that seem like they would advance us in some way? What excuses come to thought to justify these wrong actions? Where does deceit lead in the end? Notice that Jacob ends up receiving a good dose of this same deceit at the hands of his father-in-law!

Pycl #4: [Experience "enlarged individuality"!]
In Section 3 Jacob ends up turning away from a false sense of self (S11). It is a battle to obey that call from God to go home and face Esau. It felt like he would lose everything, even his own life. In reality he gained a new and true sense of his spiritual identity—even getting a new name! He ended up living—a reflection of the immortality of spiritual being, and not dying at the hands of Esau. Sometimes we might feel like this when we are working to give up some element of a material sense of existence. It might feel a little like giving up "who we are". But instead, as we learn more of our identity as the immortal child of God, we find that we experience "enlarged individuality"! (S15). This is much more satisfying than a false, material sense of self could ever be.

Pycl #5: [Seek out and spell out links between love and immortality.]
Why are love and immortality connected? This is a good question to ask when looking at the end of Jacob's story with Esau. He sees, in Esau's love, the Love of God, God's face. And he experiences a truer sense of life, and of Life. Jacob got to "see God" in his wrestling with the angel. Citation B13 tells us that "…we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren." Can we come up with some ideas of why love and immortality are hand-in-hand? Maybe it is related to that feeling that Jacob had of seeing God, and the Beatitude about how the pure in heart see God? If we see God, we are completely aware of our link to Him and aware that that we are one with Him. He is immortal, so must we be. Feeling Love's presence is one of the surest ways to healing—another evidence of man's immortality. Maybe together, you can come up with some more thoughts on this connection?!

Pycl #6: [Act-out Bible examples of individuals who find their immortal identity.]
Another small idea to consider this week might be to think about what evidence we have of our immortality. Citation S21 tells us that "Spiritual living and blessedness are the only evidences, by which we can recognize true existence and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing love." Here we have the element of love and immortality, as well as the instruction to live "spiritually", and "blessedly". Maybe your class could compile some kind of set of ways that we can "live spiritually" and blessedly. Discuss what these two words mean. Act out a Bible story that illustrates this well. (There are more than I can count!) Even this week's story of the woman with the issue of blood would work. She was searching for this "blessedness" even as she struggled with a "cursed" sense of identity (anyone with bleeding would have been considered unclean/shunned/and even cursed by God.) She recognized that Jesus embodied that purity of Christ that was spiritual. She reached out for a deeper understanding of this after having been immersed in every kind of material type of healing—to no good effect. Her pure desire to touch that Christ identity and see it for herself, this desire healed her—pointed her to a truer sense of her immortal identity!

Hope this gives you some ideas! Happy Sunday!

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