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[PYCL: Replace tears and fears of nightmarish suggestions with the beautiful and real (1)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for April 8, 2018

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

Pycl #1: Replace tears and fears of nightmarish suggestions with the beautiful and real.
Good is real, and God is the source of all good. God is not competing with a power called "evil". Evil cannot really exist if good is all there is and its source is God. These are some essential facts in this week's lesson. One approach to this subject that might ring true is to compare the fear we might experience in a vivid nightmare, with the suggested reality of material sense. Most children have experienced bad dreams and can understand waking up with the resultant tears, fear, and other symptoms. Within a few minutes of affirming that it was only a dream, we are able to set those feelings aside and proceed either back to sleep, or with our day, knowing that the nightmare was merely an experience of thought, not reality. In the same way, sickness, accident and so on, are truly suggestions of the human mind and can be proven as such when we overcome them through healing.

At times, when any one of my kids have woken from a nightmare and come to get me, my course of action might be to lay down with them in bed (might be like feeling the presence and substance of Love, right?). Then we talk about something beautiful that we remember being a part of. Many times that has been sometime they have spent at CedarS! This is similar to replacing the lie with the truth in a treatment. We don't just declare that the lie was a lie (the nightmare was only a dream). We also take the time to affirm that the truth is present, powerful, loving, beautiful—in essence real.

Of course another comparison can come through optical illusions as we mentioned last week. These illusions present us with what might seem concrete "evidence" of something that actually is not real at all. This just proves the fact that our senses are unreliable.

Pycl #2: The Tares and wheat story is always a great one to use with a couple of different "tests" that we can use to simulate separating truth from lie in Sunday School. One idea might be to have some small pieces of tissue paper, and something heavier, plastic jewels to represent the wheat, grains of rice, dried beans… whatever you have around that is either "valuable" or food-like. You can show the children either pictures or video of how the chaff would have been separated from the wheat in Bible days and simulate this by tossing your collection into the air gently and catching the heavier items which the children are the "wind" blowing the tissue paper away. The chaff reference comes in citation S11. You can discuss the fact that the chaff is not useful, it isn't nutritious, has little substance (blows away in the wind)… You can talk about the idea that everything real and good also has substance. That it nourishes us spiritually. It has spiritual "weight", that is it has value and importance, unlike chaff.

The Tares and wheat parable is a story of sorting, differentiating, and being patient until reality is apparent. Can you think together of how that might come into play in either daily life, or in a particular healing? Do we always recognize the healing right away, or what the problem is right away? Sometimes we have to proceed as "good farmers", watering, planting, weeding thought until it becomes obvious that the tares are not wheat and we can "gather" them together to "burn", with no harm to the thoughts we are tending so carefully. Of course any kind of demonstration that you do to illustrate wheat and tares should be preceded by the story and some discussion about what Jesus was getting at. Why did he use this analogy? Is there a new way to write this today that would be closer to our own general experience? It isn't that his analogy is not clear, it's just an interesting exercise to get us to think of another way of illustrating this today so that we can recognize when we are facing a situation where we are being asked to discern the difference between reality and unreality!

Pycl #3: Citation S19 tells us that "Truth is God's remedy for error of every kind." What is a "remedy"? How does truth or Truth "cure" error? Can you put it in terms of a math problem for them to solve? This might be a good opportunity to introduce a simple approach to Christian Science treatment…like it is posed in the Scientific Statement of being. A simple affirmation and denial where the truth is replacing a mistaken concept or belief. And, this relates a bit to the tares and wheat parable as well, I think we are encouraged to not be overfocused on the unreal/evil/tares. The owner of the wheat field, when alerted to the presence of the tares, merely states "an enemy hath done this". Then he instructs them to peacefully wait until the difference between the two plants becomes apparent and harvest is near. Then the job will be clear, visible and so on. By then we won't be tempted to accept the presence of the tares as "reality"–as being confused with the wheat!!

Pycl #4: We don't often get the story of Belshazzar in the Bible lesson so have at it! There are a couple of focus points that might be interesting. Go to the story in the Bible and see what is missing, the words that are written by the disembodied hand (this is spooky!) are in the Bible. They are not words that the king or his soothsayers/prophets know. Maybe that symbolizes the way in which these men are using material sense to view the world? Daniel knew the meaning because of his spiritual mindedness. That is, Daniel could perceive reality. It is clear from the story that Belshazzar was steeped in material sense. He was emphasizing his disrespect for God by using the sacred vessels from the Jewish temple to drink from at his party. This can symbolize how today we might be tempted to disregard the spiritual messages we get from the Christ and engage in activities that, in essence, "deny" the Christ in our experience. For younger children you could use some examples such as the temptation to say something unkind to a friend or acquaintance because it seems "cool", or to join into any activity that would marginalize someone. I'm sure you can think of other examples where a "sacred" obligation that we have to our fellow man can be turned on its head and "materialized".

Pycl #5: A passage like citation B1 can be used as an example of how a few verses that might be overlooked, can be mined for something special pertaining to the subject of the lesson. We can see this as a plea, such as any of us might make or at least feel like making, to God. The Psalmist is assuring God that He will hear this person's prayer first thing in the morning—God, a desire to see the real—is not on the "back burner" of our thought. And the Psalmist announces that he will "look up" in order to see this good God. What might that mean or symbolize? We think of heaven as represented by the skies, by lofty thought, by not looking at the ground, at the soil, that which contains no light, and where, if too focused, we lose our sense of direction!

Have a great Sunday!

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