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[PYCL: Find spiritual meaning in each story—Like Jacob, turn from a false view of yourself (5)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for Sunday School on the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Mortals and Immortals”

for May 17, 2020

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

Simple math problems (1 wrong & 1 correct) can be an analogy for mortal vs. immortal.

Pycl #1: Are there two men? One mortal and one immortal that we are trying to "discover/invent/develop"? This can be confusing and we want to be clear! The man that Jesus saw when he healed people was the only man there really is. It may take effort and mental progress for us to see this man as the true and only one, but this is who we are. Use a math equation to illustrate this idea. An incorrect equation was never true, even if we see it written on paper! It doesn't even matter if we see it written over and over, or if we see any number of wrong equations written down, they are still incorrect! When we write down and understand the true equation we are not "making" it true, we have merely uncovered the true one. Try having a page of some equations that are simple and easily recognizable as true. If the children are very young do this with things that they can pick up and count.

Ways to teach what it means to be “new”

Pycl #2: This lesson shows how progress (mental) destroys error or the lie and reveals immortal man. It does this with several stories about uncovering the new man. What is a "new" man? Look at all the stories together, how do they illustrate this idea (include Paul's writing in the first section). We have Jacob wrestling with a false sense of self and receiving a new sense of self–even a new name! We have the woman who is brought to Jesus as a sinner and not only her progress, but the proffered progress of those who brought her to Jesus to be stoned. We have Nicodemus who realized that there was something important about Jesus but struggled to understand Jesus' command to be born again–another kind of progressive thinking. And we have resurrection in the fifth section where both the young man and his mother are really given a new lease on life through this healing view of immortality. So consider these stories together as ways of illustrating progress and as illustrations of the immortal, true, man.

EXLORE: “Mark the perfect man and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” (Psalms 37:37)

Pycl #3: Memorize citation 13 from the Bible together and look it up in some other Bible translations. What does it mean to "mark"? What is the "perfect" man, is this a humanly perfect person, is it "perfectionism"? (The Bible idea of "perfect" is whole, complete.) So how do we implement this wonderful passage? Can we make a list of what makes man complete or whole?

To illustrate completeness, bring in a piece of fruit to show them. How does it grow? Try having one already cut up (to share afterwards if you are not online for Sunday School!). Ask them if it grows whole, or (hold up pieces) in halves or quarters, etc.? Naturally it grows as an entire and complete fruit! This might be an easy way to illustrate our wholeness! The apple/fruit—doesn't grow a tiny piece at a time! It starts as seed and is always an entire fruit, even if it's a small one!

EXPLORE the phrase “immortal evidence” in the context of a legal court case.

Pycl #4: Talk about a courtroom and trial. What is evidence? Look at citation S6 in which Mary Baker Eddy writes about "immortal evidence.” She writes, “Man as the offspring of God, as the idea of Spirit, is the immortal evidence that Spirit is harmonious and man eternal.” (29:30-32) How might that differ from what our material senses present as "evidence"?

It might be fun to speak about the difference between "evidence" and "testimony" also, Science and Health page 288:3 offers an interesting statement about testimony and evidence. These terms are used in different ways in her writings, but this passage might be a helpful one in this discussion. Can you make a list together of "immortal evidence" and what the senses testify to? Can you share a testimony of healing where the evidence contradicted the testimony of the senses? Was there a time when you needed something–money, food, a ride, and there were no obvious resources, when an obvious example of spiritual evidence of supply was visible to you? It could also be a health-related example.

Turn away from a false view of yourself…like Jacob!

Pycl #5: Find the spiritual significance of the great stories in this week's Bible lesson. For example, Jacob was wrestling with a false sense of himself based on deceit to get ahead…He had to wrestle with a false view of himself. Do we have false views of ourselves that we wrestle with? Jacob’s story shows us an example of how we can wrestle—and win! —in our effort to let go of a false view of ourselves. Can we work to change that false view enough so that we leave it behind and see ourselves in a new light?

When Jacob was transformed, he changed his name. Discuss with students what changing your name meant in Bible times. Imagine what it would take for you to want to change your name. Make up some new names for yourselves in class. These names can be qualities you want to see in your "new" self. Maybe you want to be known as "courage", or "loving", or "kindness". You can come up with any number of names that express your new and true identity!

I think it might be fun to check out citation S25 where we are told all that we need do is "…turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man…". This citation helps explain the idea of turning away from a mistaken view of yourself and turn toward a new and correct view. To illustrate this, place an object on the table in Sunday School (or in your home, if you are still having a remote or a One-on-one class). Actually, take a walk away from the object, until you cannot see it any more. If you are having Sunday School by video on a computer this would be simple to simulate by turning the computer video away from the object. This would help illustrate the idea of "walking away" from a false sense of self.

Have an amazing Sunday School class!!

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