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[PYCL: Show healing ideas with a Synonym Shoebox, enlistment papers, husks, a broom… ] 
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Are Sin Disease and Death Real?"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for April 14, 2013
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

[PYCL #1: Discuss how the subject is answered by the stories &citations in the lesson!] 
This week we can talk about how the question that is the subject of this week's lesson can be answered by the stories and citations in this lesson. We can connect this to the two previous lesson subjects and talk about why she followed Reality and Unreality with this question!  Now we have some of the tools to sort out why these aggressive suggestions of sin, sickness, and death seem so real but aren't.

[PYCL #2: Link the RR to the 2nd Commandment! No random acts of cruelty from our God!] 
In the Responsive Reading (R.R.) we have the passage: “Confounded be all they that serve graven images…”  Most of these younger kids will have crossed those words “graven image” before in the Commandments.  Review what they mean and then maybe address the thought that when we “serve” them, we are confounded.  What does “confounded” mean?  Why is it confusing to serve or believe and accept something other than the real thing—God?  Isn't it because things that are false (unreal) contradict themselves, offering no real clear sense of logic? It's confusing to think that a God, who is good and loving, would make matter, disease, sin and death isn't it?  Why should we worship, serve, obey a God that would subject us to random acts of cruelty?  It goes with that Bible passage about God not giving us “sweet water and bitter” from the same fountain.  There is a Biblical basis for claiming that God gives us good.  While there are many examples in the Old Testament of God being a vengeful being, these are pretty much overshadowed by Jesus' example and the writings of the New Testament.  (Also by reading those Old Testament accounts with a more spiritually-minded view of what the writers are saying).

[PYCL #3: Build an input-output “Synonym Shoebox” to illustrate cause & effect!] 
One thing that might be fun to look at is citation S4. “There is but one primal cause…” etc.  Citation B6 also emphasizes this.  Discuss how with one cause that is all good, you can only have good results.  Have you ever seen those “input output machines” that they use in math classes in elementary school?  They draw a “machine” that has a spout that's on top to put a number in, a sort of belly shape below, and then a spout at the bottom where a number comes out.  If the “machine” has an “add 2” inside the kids will figure out that if they put “in” a 2 it will come out the bottom as a 4.  Try doing this with a shoebox or something like that.  Have a slot in the top and a place to pull out something in the bottom (off to the side so the “input” doesn't just fall right through).  If Love is in the box, no matter what you put in would be enhanced or altered positively by Love right?  Try other synonyms.  You will have to decide together what you are going to bring out the output side.  You could certainly do this with drawings and that may, in fact, be simpler.  Have fun thinking about what might be most interesting and instructive for your kids.  You can also make the “inside” thing be a “mystery” and put something in like “gossip” in the top and have “compliment” come out the bottom.  What would be inside that would be a synonym?  Could it be Truth?  There doesn't have to be one answer, be sure to listen to why they have come up with a particular idea.

[PYCL #4: Bring in enlistment papers & get your pupils to sign up! Give ‘em prayer ammo!] 
In citation S5 there is a reference to how “The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death”.  What does it mean to be “enlisted”? If that's the case, maybe you could bring a “document” we could all sign that lists what is required of us.  Talk about exactly how we can pray.  We can give even the littlest ones some [ammunition or] simple ideas to pray with.  Use things that they know, like the First Commandment in simple terms: There is only one God.  Talk through the idea that with only one God, if we don't feel well or a friend or family member doesn't, how can we use this Commandment?  With one God, who is good, He wouldn't make evil, he wouldn't make sickness.  We can be really glad and happy that we know that God is the only one who makes us and gives us things.  We can thank God for the good He gives us and we can be confident that He has made us able to pray and understand the truth.  This is just a little example.  Keep it short, maybe shorter than this.  Have the older ones write down ideas in bullet form so that they can see that there are simple ideas that they can know and think about to bring healing.  They don't have to just wonder what they should think.  I realize there are no hard and fast steps, but there is nothing wrong with giving the kids some ideas that help and heal.  Also you can use a specific passage to base your healing ideas around and that can be from the Bible or one of Mrs. Eddy's books, especially Science and Health.  Put the passage at the top of their card or paper and then work from there.  They can choose their own passage if they are older and you can work as a class to see how that can be the basis for a healing prayer or treatment.

[PYCL #5: Bring in some empty sunflower seed shells to show how unfulfilling matter is!] 
Looking into the story of the Prodigal with careful attention to detailed interpretation can be a lot of fun with the kids that are a bit older.  Obviously you'd need to go through the story first together.  See if any of them can tell it in their own words.  What's the point for this week's lesson?  I was thinking this week about how Jesus tells us that he “spent all” and began to be in “want”.  Maybe here there is more to it than the idea that he spent all the money his father gave him.  Maybe he had also “spent” all the enjoyment and fun that there was to be had and matter was suddenly not so fulfilling or interesting.  He began to realize that he “wanted” something more.  But no “man” gave anything to him.  Matter wasn't forthcoming with any fulfilling supply.  Not only did he not get any food, but matter gave him “husks”, the empty shells of beans or whatever was left over from a grain that we don't eat.  If you have something like the shell of a sunflower seed or something like that to show them, they can try eating it themselves and see how unfulfilling that would be, like eating bark or twigs really.  The idea of an empty shell is a great symbol for how matter doesn't bring satisfaction, though it promises much.  The young man stays in the country for a time after the money runs out and apprentices himself to a “citizen” to feed pigs (an especially lowly job if you are a Jew and regard pigs as unclean).  He is trying just one more time to find fulfillment in matter.  But then he begins to remember that he had good things only from his father… [Hymn 263] You can take it from here!  Mrs. Eddy reminds us in citation S15 that “Soul has infinite resources…”  No empty husks here!  And that happiness is not limited or bound within the personal senses; it's not “wrapped” in matter.  It is entirely spiritual.

[PYCL #6: Stop seeking material causes & solutions… “rise in the CONSCIOUS strength”…] 
The man by the pool in section 5 can give you a chance to extend this discussion further if you find it to be inspiring to your class.  Doesn't that story help us see that we shouldn't bother looking for a source for error or a material solution for a problem?  The only source that we are reminded of in citation S21 is our “ignorance of God”.  (What does that mean to the kids?)  I like too that this citation includes the statement to “Rise in the conscious strength…”  Doesn't this imply that if we are not “conscious” of the strength of the “spirit of Truth”, then we have a hard time rising from a material view of things?  I also like that it’s the strength of the spirit of Truth, not our “own” strength or understanding!

[PYCL #7: Give a word picture… use a broom to sweep away the false and show the true!] 
There are many passages we could delve into, as always, but I'll share one more idea.  In the 7th section we have the story of Paul raising Eutychus from the dead.  Tell this story and then talk about Mrs. Eddy's statement in citation S25 about “sweep[ing] away the false and giv[ing] place to the true.”  What image does that bring to their thought?  Can you bring in a large piece of paper or cardboard and put true statements on it about each of us?  Then bring or get a broom or have them use their hands.  Cover these truthful statements so they can't be seen.  Are the statements still there?  Are they still true?  Can we uncover them by sweeping the covering off? (You could use sheets of paper for this).  You could have them make a statement of truth and then sweep while they say it, if that's fun for them.  Each sweep represents a thought that reveals truth to us.  I realize that this sweeping is not an easy thing always.  You can talk about the persistence this takes with some of the older kids. In citation S28 we are told as much: “The belief that existence is contingent on matter must be met and mastered by Science, before Life can be understood and harmony obtained.”  The word “mastered” stands out to me here as a word we use to indicate some measure of effort and persistence in an endeavor.

Happy Sunday to all!

 

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