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[PYCL: Picture the non-carnivorous model of the Genesis 1 and of a new heaven and new earth! (1)
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Adam and Fallen Man
for May 10, 2020

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

Pycl #1: Picture the new heaven and earth, non-carnivorous model of Genesis 1—not the Adam myth.

Make sure the students know the basics of the mythical story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 and 3.
We have talked in the last couple of lessons about the kinds of theological beliefs that lead us to feel like we might be "cursed", or doomed in some way to suffer. This story gets to the mythological core of this belief of man's cursed nature. Of course, a God that curses His own creation flies in the face of everything that we know to be true, especially as proven by Christ Jesus.

Bring in a toy snake, stuffed, rubber or otherwise. Why did the writer of the myth choose a serpent to represent the tempter? Think about the sinuous/twisty/tricky way a snake moves. Think about how it hides so well in the grass/leaves/tree. I sat about two feet from one that was on a branch holding very still for probably twenty minutes before I noticed it one time!

Think about the idea that some serpents are poisonous, biting, scary and so on. Of course, these are all symbolic, there is truly nothing so sinister about a snake, most are harmless and do a great service to the ecosystem! But we are talking about symbols here!

How does the serpent trick Eve? What does he tell her? "…you shall not surely die…". What does he say is powerful? (the knowledge of both good and evil!) Does this "knowledge" give us power? Instead of this good and evil idea, what example are we given in the Responsive Reading?! (Lions eating straw, wolves and lambs eating side by side!) If the children are a little older you can draw a parallel with this passage and the fact that the Golden Text is speaking of the New Jerusalem, the new heaven and earth…wouldn't this non-carnivorous model fit into that kingdom? Have them draw a picture of this scene.

Pycl #2: Talk about and illustrate distortion—have them put a pencil in and out of water at home.

Feel free to borrow an example from Christie Hanzlik’ video “Prac Talk” earlier this week, found on CedarS website: https://www.cedarscamps.org/videos/ In this video she uses a pencil in and out of water to illustrate the way mortal man is a distortion of the spiritual true idea, man. Talk about the words distortion, reversal, deflection…there are a number of citations that help us here for example: SH 126:9 (S4) and 502:9-14 (S5). I think you could even share her video with the children if you want. You can also have them each do the experiment right in their own homes if you are doing video Sunday School, or bring materials into class if you are meeting in a church. Having them see it in person and look into the glass is always the most effective! How is this bent or misaligned pencil similar to how we see things as good and evil? (Healthy and sick, living and not, you can pick.)

Pycl #3: Turn things into thoughts with the instruction to “gather out the stones (Responsive Reading).

I think it would be fun to look closely at the Responsive Reading. For example, looking at the first passage about preparing the way of the people, making a highway, gathering out the stones. What are these stones? Bring in a stone, or show stones online. Ask about how stones feel under foot? What makes a path or road most easy to drive/hike/bike and so on. What do these stones maybe represent?

Could theses stones be the hard challenges that cause us to feel weary and tired of trying to understand the presence of goodness? Maybe they are suggestions that matter is tough, resistant to good. Perhaps have them try to pick up a small pebble and put it in their shoe. Does that help or hinder our walking?

When we feel angry/hurt/sick/resentful/disobedient is this kind of like a rock in your shoe, or under foot making your day feel "cursed"? Can we do what it says here and "gather out the stones"? Have them throw, or pretend to throw, these stones away from them (trash can, outside, where appropriate.)

Pycl #4: Illustrate our divine heredity!

Bring in a hula hoop [or a ring] or something circular to represent eternity and think together about where it "starts and ends". On page 502 of Science and Health Mary Baker Eddy speaks of the beginning as being "the only" rather than a "start" of creation. There is no "cursed origin" of man! Look together at this hoop and read the story in Section 5 of Jesus' healing of the man born blind [and note how Jesus answered the question in a way that did not buy into a “blame game”]. The disciples ask him if this disease is the man's fault, or the fault of his parents. This is a suggestion of either divine punishment for wrong doing of the child or the parents, or, in today's terms, the suggestion of heredity.

If we are sitting on that heredity circle and our parents are on that circle and our grandparents…where is the order? Does grandpa come "before" you on the circle? Tape their names and parents’ names (etc.) onto the circle and turn it different ways so that they can see (in case they are tempted to "start" at the top or bottom of the circle, etc.) that no one falls "before" someone else. (Tape the names so that they are dangling from the first letter of the name, like tabs, and not taped left to right, otherwise it might be confused as proceeding from left to right in an order!)

Another way to illustrate our divine heredity is with a simple children’s' style drawing of the sun with rays. Do the rays branch off one another? Or, do they all proceed from the sun? Is one ray responsible for producing another ray? No! In the same way, God is the source. Also, in that analogy it is fun to point out that the sun only produces warmth and light. It cannot sometimes make darkness because that is not the nature of the sun. In the same way, we might find that it is clearer that God/Good, cannot produce evil!

Pycl #5: Give up sense-testimony theories & virus models & accept the appearance of God’s model!

Consider looking together at SH 249:1-5 (S11). What are some "theories" that we are to let go of that are based on sense testimony? Can you make a list? What are "illusive models and impossible ideals"? There are a lot of these "impossible ideals" out there. They are not impossible because they are "too good" to achieve, but because they are based on a material sense of achievement or accomplishment!

Can we think together about the models that God makes? I like that it tells us to look to God’s models of excellence, not to make perfect ones ourselves. Maybe look together at the words in Hymn 51/467 (below) to think about these kinds of spiritual model.
Can we think of some models and ideals that are helpful and spiritual?
Do they apply to our daily lives? (They had better!!)

Hymn 51/467 (partial words to “Eternal Mind the Potter is…):

, … 2. God could not make imperfect man, His model infinite;
Unhallowed thought He could not plan, Love’s work and Love must fit.
Life, Truth and Love the pattern make, Christ is the perfect heir.;
The clouds of sense roll back and show The form (SS class) divinely fair.

Have a great Sunday!

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