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[PYCL: Play act being awakened. (4) Show a cup as worthless when inverted upside-down. (5)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Unreality”
for April 7, 2019

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

Pycl #1: It might be a fun illustration to bring in a candle and something fairly air tight (and not too flammable) to set over the candle to illustrate how it goes out without any air, and how the "bushel" covers the light and makes it so that it doesn't fulfill its purpose which is to bring light to all. This is from the Responsive Reading, so of course you'd read it together and talk about what it means. How is it related to the Golden Text? Are those commands in the Golden Text ways of spreading "light"? How does the light dispel "unreality"? If "unreality" is likened to darkness, then when we understand the reality of God/Good, then that's like turning on the light that makes the darkness disappear.

The understanding of Good, which is like that light, makes matter and all the ugliness that accompanies this kind of thought, become less and less substantial and real to us. Until we find that we are able to more and more regularly govern our bodies by governing and elevating our thought about our bodies. You can take this further by pointing out the passage about "profane chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge;" These are the thoughts of anger, pain, fear, gossip, mean-spiritedness, and so on that come to our experience for us to recognize in the light of Truth as lies about man! We can think about these thoughts as the "bushel" that the Bible tells us we do not want to use to cover our "light" (or suffocate it)! Also, notice that the bushel is a covering, like the mist in a later section, it is not making the candle go away. It may stifle the flame for a time. But the candle is still there—ready to shine when the bushel is removed!!

Pycl #2: Citation 3 affirms that "nothing exists beyond the range of all-inclusive infinity, in which and of which God is the sole creator." Error, unreality, the Adam dream of life in matter, seems like it is trying to convince us that there is something "beyond" God. That's what the serpent tells Adam and Eve in the story, and even the God in that rendition of creation tells them that there is a tree that gives us the knowledge of "good and evil"—and tells them they shouldn't eat from it.

The unreality of evil is something that we prove again and again. We must demonstrate this fact by healing, and that healing must be a regular, even daily, exercise. This way we are becoming increasingly conscious of the kingdom of heaven within (spiritual reality), and less and less impressed with the unreality that poses as "life". Again, we can go back to the Golden Text and Responsive Reading to see how we can practice this kind of healing by embracing those qualities that are what we are told to pursue.

As an analogy, we can bring in a hula hoop, or something that is round and holds its shape. Talk about how it represents the idea of infinity. There is no place where a circle starts or finishes. If that circle represents infinite Love, is there a space in it for evil? Can we squeeze evil into that circle somehow? No! It is complete, whole, no void in its infinite continuity. Have them think about this, hold the circle or whatever is helpful!

Pycl #3: It might be interesting to talk about identity in the context of unreality. So few of us really know who we are. When we struggle with dishonesty, anger, hatred, any of these seeming "sins", it's really a question of not knowing our own spiritual worth and magnificence. Looking together at the story of Adam, partly included in this lesson, may be a helpful exercise. There are many aspects we can address such as what the mist represents, the dust, the deep sleep/dream, the temptation, the serpent and the shame. Shame is such a terrible imposition on man and so unfruitful because we are more caught up in a false sense of ourselves, more bent on hiding and covering our misstep, than on uncovering and shining that light on it so that it actually disappears.

Talk about how unreality always tells us to hide, to cover up our wrongdoing, or our ignorance, or whatever, rather than doing the exact thing that would completely heal the issue, whatever it is! Talk about how the mist that obscures, but disappears in the light of the sun! Isn't that light just like what we talked about earlier in the Responsive Reading?

God, Good, does not tempt us, shame us, leave us to the mercy of matter. God, Love surrounds us and uplifts its own idea. Remember that a lack of true self-knowledge is what leads us to feel separate from God, Love. This Adam model promotes the separation of God from His creation. God even kicks this creation out of heaven! What better metaphor for separation could there be than that??

Pycl #4: If we call mortality a dream, then we can understand better why we have to have a lesson on both "Substance" and "Matter", "Reality" and "Unreality". We might enjoy a dream, we might feel strong, be able to fly, have a great adventure—but we know it isn't true life. Especially when dreams are scary, sad or just plain awful, we want to wake up! We don't want to be stuck in "dream land".

In the dream we may feel separate from good. In the same way, our waking life is often more of a dream than reality. Depending on what we are entertaining in our thought we may feel like we are experiencing some pretty frightening things. This lesson and others, teach us that we need to be awakened to the reality that we are not separate from divine Love.

We are never stuck in the dream of life in matter. Practice some play acting with sleeping and being wakened by a friend. Think together about the waking being like waking up to our true, lovely lives with God, right here and now.

Pycl #5: One thing that I've been sharing with my kids this week is the idea from this lesson that error is an "inversion" of Truth. Look for "inversion" or "upside down" in the lesson. (There are a couple of references to this). The way that we get fooled by the lie is that it presents itself as a version of Truth that kind of resembles Truth—it's just inverted!

So even where such an inversion of Truth isn't named specifically we have passages such as citations B11 and B12 where the evil man in B11 has a candle—that light we were talking about—but rather than illumine the good around him, it just gets "put out" (because it isn't revealing anything spiritually lasting, true, or beautiful). Another translation of that passage tells us that the evil "…has no future—nothing to look forward to." (Good News Translation). It cannot lead us anywhere!

Then you have the men in citation B12 trying to represent themselves as followers of Jesus, when they were really just glorifying themselves and willfully deceiving needy people. This is a clear example of something evil presenting itself as good, as having a power that is supposedly from God, but isn't. Can you demonstrate how this "inversion" works for young children? What about the idea of using a cup. When it's upright it is useful and holds a drink, etc. But upside down, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to pour water into it or drink from it! You can demonstrate this if you bring a cup to the drinking fountain or a sink. It might look just like a cup, but the inverted cup will never serve a good purpose.

Have a great week in Sunday School.

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