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[PYCL: Rebuke the suggestion of a mind separate from God.-2
e alert to not "entertain" anything false. -3]

Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for August 19, 2017

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: This is a perfect time to review the first couple Commandments since they deal with this idea of only one Mind. Throughout this lesson this point is made and it is one that we will be wrestling with in many forms throughout our lives! It is great to look at the Golden Text in this context and see what they think about this statement of Paul's. What is that mind? Can you think of a list of what qualities that mind of Christ would include? Make as big a list as possible, because you may want to have a list of qualities to exclude as well, and that list should not overwhelm the first!

Pycl #2: What is the difference between "forsaking" the wrong thinking (Responsive Reading…"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:"), and "rebuking" or "binding" these kinds of thoughts and habits (as it tells us in other sections of the lesson). I'm not sure whether this is an interesting idea to pursue with children. But there are several examples of Jesus really rebuking the suggestion that there is a separate mind from God. One example, of course, is the insane man. This man is resistant to the help Jesus offers, even while recognizing Jesus as being important. He begs to; first, be left alone/not "tormented"; and second, to not utterly destroy his sense of "other minds". In the story they are sent into a herd of swine, rather than banished "utterly". Cobbey Crisler's notes about this story are helpful. [See PS#3 at ]. We might also think of this as representing the resistance we might feel to leaving behind a false sense of identity. Think of citation B10 and its command to put off the "old man". Ask the children if it is easy or difficult to walk away from a conflict with someone when they feel they are in the right? Sometimes that is the easiest way to identify with this idea of how it can be hard to leave the "old man" for the true—especially when we are dealing with young children who don't generally have a lot to "walk away from"! But they can look at the examples in the lesson to see what this might mean. Also the Bible speaks of the first and last man—hinting at Adam and the Christ, represented by Jesus. (1Cor. 15:45-50) What does this say to us about having the "mind of Christ" as it says in the Golden Text? The more we see ourselves as having one source of being, one Mind—the less we identify ourselves with mortal man and material identity.

Pycl #3: A few weeks ago we talked about "entertaining" angels in a sort of literal way in Sunday School with table settings and so on. In Section 3, which we just visited, citation S12 tells us that the "…cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin. Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed." Jesus destroys the false sense of that man's mentality. He doesn't "entertain" the insanity, talk to the man about it (other than ask his name), or in any way counsel the man. This is an example of how we can be alert to not "entertaining" anything false. That is not always easy. Can the children think of an example of entertaining something "false" in their thought—of "inviting it over for dinner, feeding it, letting it sleep over"? Sometimes we do this with sickness, but also we can do it with sadness or anger or fear too. How do we send those thoughts "running off a cliff"? (We don't have to kill any pigs to do this, only the "swinish" thoughts!!) You could represent this by pushing such qualities off the edge of the table in Sunday School. Maybe the undesirable thoughts are written on a piece of paper that gets crumpled and pushed over the edge. Maybe you can think of something more interesting!

Pycl #4: Another angle of this might be seen in Section 5 where the "strong man" is addressed. This idea of mortal mind, and not actual matter or body parts, running the show, is maybe best illustrated by literally demonstrating this during class. Talk through this idea set forth in citation B17 to make sure they understand what is being spoken of here. Then show that Mrs. Eddy identified for us that it is our belief that we are thinking separately from God, on our own, that is the cause of trouble. That it is this thought that has to be "tied up" so that God's wonderful harmony can be shown to us. You might think of the strong man as 'someone' who keeps us from doing the infinite good that we are capable of. You can liken it to trying to take a hike and having your legs tied together at the ankles. You can do a demonstration, if the kids don't get too silly about it. How far will you get if your feet are tied together? You might be able to jump, but wouldn't that be an intense effort and aren't you really likely to fall a lot? This is how we make "progress" when we are reliant on material means to get forward.

Pycl #5: The story in Section 4 is another example of this kind of "binding" or "rebuking". In this case it is a child who is ill. How is this story different from the story of the insane man? This is a story about the power of God or Mind to govern the body. The disciples tried to heal the child and were unable to help. Maybe you could say that they were trying to take a sick child and make him well. They were looking at the child as having a problem that they were "solving" through spiritual means. Jesus rebukes their lack of faith. He does not start from sick matter. He starts from the child's divine nature. So where are we looking for our messages of happiness, health and so on? If we look to our body to see how we are feeling we will be subject to the body. But Jesus showed us that we can bind that mortal belief of mind in matter and really look to God to "see how we feel". We might compare this to taking our cues for life by looking out the window to see what the weather is. If it is what we want, then we can be happy, but if not we are sad. The kids might find this analogy to be helpful, but you can come up with something else that meets their need.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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