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[PYCL: Have fun singing of God’s complete protection from all that’s unreal! (6)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?”
for October 13, 2019

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

Pycl #1: We have had two lessons before this one to think about how we perceive reality. It is spiritual sense that perceives the things of God. Our false material sense of things will not tell us anything about God. Consider beginning by thinking together about what Mary Baker Eddy says about spiritual sense—what it is. Two short definitions she gives in Science and Health of spiritual sense can be found on p. 209:31-32 and on p. 505:20-21.

Give examples of how we use our spiritual senses every day. How does using spiritual sense often contradict what we see with our senses? Do you have a healing to share where you were able to contradict something that your material senses were telling you with spiritual sense?

I think a simple way to share these ideas with younger ones is to focus on how we fill our understanding and consciousness with God/Love/Life/Soul/Mind and so on—rather than focusing on the falsity or lie too hard. As we learned last week, we need to know enough about how the lie operates so that we are not fooled; we don't need to sit there and stare at the lie until that is all that we see either! We should neither be too afraid to look at it, nor too mesmerized to look away!! Can you find examples right there in Sunday School of how we are using our spiritual senses to discern and appreciate the presence of God?

Pycl #2: "Do not be deceived" is a theme in this lesson. It would be a shame not to use our nearing celebration here in the U.S of Halloween, as an opportunity to think about costumes and tricks and deceit. Bring in some masks and talk about how they would not fool you into thinking that that person was actually a…. (whatever mask you have). What if the mask looked really, really real?

What if the mask "looks" like how you feel—sad, angry, sick? How can we take that "mask" off just as effectively as the Halloween mask? We love to dress up in costumes and pretend that we are other things, other people, animals, and so on. But we know that this is pretend and we are rarely fooled by anyone's costume on Halloween.

But sometimes we are fooled when we aren't expecting a "costume" or "mask", and sometimes these masks present themselves as our own thought, so we are more easily fooled. Our own thought might tell us that we should be afraid, or that someone said something hurtful to us, so it is "right" for us to be sad or angry. You can come up with examples that are appropriate for your class.

Pycl #3: Here is one way that we can keep ourselves from being fooled: If the way we feel (sad, happy, sick, enthusiastic, angry, helpful, hurt, scared, etc.) is "fruitful", that is, it produces useful, productive, good results, then it is probably a good thing and not a lie.

Think together about the passage from the Responsive Reading: "…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Other translations tell us to "expose" rather than "reprove" them. If you think about exposing something dark to the light, it disappears right? (You may be able to try this with a flashlight somewhere in your church that is dark). Does the light "condemn" the dark? Or, does the dark just disappear because all there is present is the light when it is shining on the darkness? This is an interesting thing to ponder with almost any age, especially to address the idea of there being some kind of "judgement" going on in this process. Light/Truth/reality, doesn't "condemn" darkness/lies/unreality, it simply exposes it as insubstantial or unreal. Also, in this case, "unfruitful", meaning it doesn't bring us anything useful or productive or good! We certainly don't want to have "fellowship", or "friendship" with something useless, much less destructive!

It's Fall here in Missouri, consider talking about apple or pumpkin picking. Does an apple orchard keep an apple tree in their orchard if it never makes any apples? No! We aren't tempted to be fooled by an apple tree that just makes leaves, it has to produce fruit if it's in an apple orchard. Just so, we are God's ideas, always producing good, useful, helpful ideas/activities. We aren't fooled into making "friends" with or giving in to ideas that would make us sad, angry, etc.

Pycl #4: This is not my idea at all, but I recommend using the analogy that is embedded in Christie's met this week on CedarS website, about David Copperfield's illusion with the Statue of Liberty. It is very useful for any age. She includes a link to the entire article she wrote in 2007. There are so many ways that this is useful in describing how we can be free from the deception of material sense to tell us we suffer from any of these three things (sin, disease, death).

Pycl #5: I am enjoying rewriting the Bible passages in the first section this week. This would be something you could do a little with the smaller children by saying them aloud in new ways that would be helpful to them, after looking at one carefully. For example: "Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;" Maybe something like this: Pay attention to your thoughts! Don't be fooled by your feelings, only listen to feelings of Love. If you listen to the lying ones, you might end up breaking the first and second Commandments and feeling sad, confused, angry—gods that are not Love!"

Have the kids write their own "translation". Citation B3 might be interesting and fun in terms of thinking about what the "prophets and diviners" might be thought of as today? Maybe they are popular kids who spread rumors about others? Maybe they are judgmental thoughts of our own? Did God "send" these ideas to us, or to our friends/classmates?

Pycl #6: Notice together that the 91st Psalm is threaded into each section through the lesson. Mary Baker Eddy used this psalm as a daily prayer. Why would it be helpful as a daily prayer in light of this lesson. With any age, you could work on memorizing this wonderful Psalm, or parts of it. Look up Psalm 91 in other translations, have the students pick their favorite one to work with.

With the youngest you can just work on memorizing the first part and picturing the images of a mother bird and her wings. [W: See a sample image from an upper right Download on CedarS webpage this week.] Or, think about how a big rock shades and protects.

Does this Psalm remind you and your students of any Mary Baker Eddy poems? [W: Consider all the lines linking Psalm 91 with her corollary poem “Mother’s Evening Prayer” that we call “O Gentle Presence” for its opening line. In it we sing as Hymns 207-212 (and as Hymns 539 and 540 in our gray 2017 Hymnal) all the bold, underlined ideas below and more as healing lines linked as powerful, corollary treatments from the 91st Psalm: “Thou Love that guards the nestling’s faltering flight… keep…on upward wing tonight… Love is our refuge; only with mine eye can I behold the snare, the pit, the fall (of ten thousand)… His habitation high is here and nigh…fear no (evil) ill, since God is good… Beneath the shadow of His mighty wing, in that sweet secret of the narrow way… with the angels sing… No snare, no fowler, pestilence or pain, No (terror by) night drops down…”]

Have a great week in Sunday School [singing of God’s complete protection from unreality]!

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