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[PYCL: Make a board game for/with your class! (1); Share—don't bury your talents!(2) Focus on daily demonstrations, not dogma! (3) Don't go back to old ways! (4)
List desired progress and roadblocks to overcome! (5)]
P
ossible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Probation after Death”
for April 28, 2019

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

Pycl #1: Make a board game for/with your class!
If you haven't made a board game for, or with, your class, this is the week. You can plan it together after looking at all the references to walking in the right path, or direction…listening to God's guidance, going the right "way" and so on. This would be a board game with a path of some kind, you can move forward with a roll of dice or drawing a question, or sharing a quote, or a testimony….you all decide amongst the students, if they are old enough. Markers to move can be something they make up, like a Bible character, or just simply a few different coins or buttons. Not every square that you move forward needs to be named. The theme is progress.

What moves us forward in life? What is progress? Does it come after we "die"? Is there a "judge" of progress? What makes something "righteous"? Some squares that you land on might have a question that you have to ponder about God. It could be anything really, and open ended is best. It could be a question that one of you faces in life, how do we move forward with that question, does it have an answer that brings us spiritual progress? You can have little detours built in. What might cause us to detour from our path of progress? Might it be a materially oriented pursuit? What is an example of that? (Most often, such a "detour" is not about what you pursue, but how you pursue it, or what you are thinking about).

In my experience, the playing of the game is not really the goal. Mostly we have more fun making it. Since progress is not a goal-oriented thing, should there be a final "destination"? Maybe there could be one, but it might have a designation that indicates further expansive (progressive) "travel"? Maybe the kingdom of heaven within is a "goal" to be "reached". If that is the case, is there a limit to that kingdom? Do we ever reach a time where we are done exploring what that kingdom has to offer?

Pycl #2: Share—don't bury your talents!
I have really enjoyed thinking about the "talent" story this week. Make sure they understand that the word talent referred to the Roman coin of the day, rather than a gift that someone possesses. But it applies pretty well to either one. Read or have them read the story in modern English. Why is this story "like the kingdom of heaven"? Does it seem like God/the man travelling into the far country—is cruel or unfair in his action toward the one who buries his talent? Why or why not?

What is wrong with burying the talent? Can you think of what that burial symbolizes? Could it be that by burying it, he was not really "living" his love, truth, life. The man was being so afraid that he wasn't even getting out there and trying!? He buried it, like a dead body…The ground could symbolize death, material living, living day to day without a sense of progress, merely maintaining a pulse, so to speak. Maybe progress isn't based on our skills, intelligence, ability, but rather on our fearlessness, willingness to try, desire to bless? This is not a story about making money, it is a story about investing the good that we are given and expressing more, always. It is a story about multiplication, rather than a fear-based "savings account". You might equate it to the other story that Jesus tells about the man with the great harvest, who decides, rather than living to bless, that he should build bigger barns to store his surplus, so that he can sit back and relax.

Pycl #3: Focus on daily demonstrations, not dogma!
What does probation mean? What is this doctrine in general Christianity? Why do we study it? How does Christian Science see it? I think, just like any "doctrine", Christian Science tends to move away from a set of "beliefs" or dogmas that we subscribe to. Instead we leave it to our demonstration of this Truth in daily life, to help us to understand what God is and how Love is surrounding us, guiding us, healing, and so on.

Pycl #4: Don't go back to old ways!
This lesson contains the Easter story, different aspects of it. Why? What does it teach us about progress after so-called death? Maybe consider what the disciples did after Jesus was crucified, even after they knew that he was risen? Did they move forward and follow the path he showed them? No! They went back to their old lives! Is that progress?

The last section talks about the eternity of this work, and the "periods of spiritual ascension" (S28) There is much to learn about persisting on this "path". It can be easy to feel, when things don't go the way we thought they should or would—(we don't have the healing "quickly", in this case—Jesus was crucified!!—, we can't pay our bills….again!)—that we want to give up, go back to our old ways. But we are being asked to progress, to persist, never to go back to old ways—(even if they were once successful)! Eternal progress, spiritual renewal and ascension is the only path to joy and fulfillment—and it counteracts aging and death!

Pycl #5: List desired progress and roadblocks to overcome!
Make a list of progress that each student really wants to make—hopefully authentic desires. Work with those ideas. What prevents us from progress? What kinds of thoughts? Can they find passages or stories in this lesson that will help them overcome those roadblocks to progress? If not in this lesson, can you find ideas or quotes that will help us move forward in our desires for progress?

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

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