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[PYCL: Lighten your load! (#5) Make a board game with helpful quotes… (#2)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Probation After Death"
for October 22, 2017

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

Pycl #1: I think progress is nearly always the key to understanding this subject. Bring up the idea of what progress is. You can use lots of different analogies… such as proceeding across the room to a door, or over a board game, or getting better at playing an instrument/reading/learning a sport and so on. Why would progress be important to knowing how we move along in life? Certainly discuss the title of this week's lesson and what it means. Depending on the age of your group you can touch on the theology behind this subject—but the take-away might be something along the lines of how man/God's reflection, progresses. The best way to progress, we are told, is to understand, know God, and to know His son Jesus Christ. Why would this understanding be key to making progress, and to living eternally? Because the more we understand God, the more we know what is true and real, and the less we believe what the senses tell us about how matter limits us.

Pycl #2: Consider using some sort of activity to illustrate one kind of progress. Pretend we are taking a trip. We want to travel to see our grandparents (or something/someone). If we were to start walking blindfolded, or driving, without knowing how to get there, we might travel quite a distance and end up hundreds of miles in the wrong direction, right? If we want to make real progress in the right direction, we look at a map, or get out our smart phone and get directions, and then we listen, watch signs, keep our eyes open, and so on. This way we are alert when there might be a detour, we know we aren't going the wrong direction, we know how far we have come and how far we have to go. Now you can think together about where we are going as ideas of God. We always want to understand this more clearly so that we can enjoy the "right scenery" as we travel. When we are progressing in the "now" of life eternal (S17), we experience more fearlessness, joy, satisfaction, we are fed with inspired ideas, and so on. You could create a board game together with travel/progress delineated by a "path" along which there are helpful inspired ideas (quotations), all the "food" we need, and "fuel". You can borrow some ideas from the 23rd Psalm about the table that is set in the presence of the enemies… what is that table, those green pastures, etc. [Another great source of kid-friendly ideas is in a kid-written article about the 23rd Psalm and what each verse meant to Sunday School students. It was recommended in this week's Global Sinday School newsletter.] And then take a look at citation B9 where part of this Psalm is used to illustrate the suggestion that man dies, when actually we are never doing more than walking "…through the valley of the shadow of death…" Is there an "end" to progress? (Maybe the board game needs to be circular??? Though then it might not look like "progress"? This analogy clearly has some limitations, but maybe it is worth an experiment).

Pycl #3: I love the story in Section 3 of Elijah going up in the chariot of fire. I don't know how this makes a real "Pycl" but it seems worthwhile to consider this story in light of this subject and the idea of progress. Here is a lovely illustration of the progress we can expect as we demonstrate this kind of striving to understand God, and put this demonstration into action through healing and blessing others. There is no decline, no decay, no aging here. Instead Elijah rises up, indicating kind of the opposite of the human aging and death process right?! We might even think of the fire as that burning energy of Spirit that increases with experience and understanding! [Here's a link to an article about Elijah and Elisha shared in the Global Sunday School newsletter this week.]

Pycl #4: The Scriptural demand is for us constantly to progress. We don't reach a point where we "die, are judged, go on to heaven, or fall short and go somewhere else." Jesus told us that the kingdom of God is within; it is now, and here. So we can understand that our life is constant and safely unfolding within this kingdom here. There are several stories to share this week that illustrate the ongoing progress that cannot be stopped by death. In the story of Paul getting stoned and rising up while the disciples prayed, we are shown how hatred and fear cannot actually stop the progress of good. All that Paul did, Jesus did, continues to bless and heal today, no matter what people did to them!

Pycl #5: Read I Corinthians 15: 51, 52, 54 (B22). You may want to read it in a modern wording for the children if that is helpful. What does it mean? I had a sense in this week's lesson that this passage points to the idea that the reason we all experience this "change" is that it is a change in our understanding of who we are, rather than a change from matter to spirit. This change happens "in a moment" because it is a realization, rather than a passage from matter into a spiritual state. We might think of this again in terms of a trip. On this trip we feel weighed down by heavy packs and suitcases. You can bring some in and fill them with heavy things labeled with material suggestions: aging, sickness, sadness, injury, poverty, anger, etc. As we progress, our understanding deepens; we receive spiritual ideas that replace those suggestions with truths which lift us up, like Elijah's chariot. (Have the children take the heavy things out and leave them on the floor as they are replaced.) These ideas are ones you can come up with together. Attach them to feathers to illustrate their weightlessness. Eventually the suitcase or pack should be filled with feathers instead of all the heavy things. These packs then are not preventing our progress, but ushering us onward and upward!!

Hope this gives you some ideas for a fun Sunday School class!

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