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[PYCL: Spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (6)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

“Are Sin, Disease and Death Real?”

on April 10, 2016

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

Pycl #1: It might be interesting to see if the students understand the difference between healing and cure. This is not esoteric. Think of it like working a math problem in which you are following a formula to solve problems. You have no idea what the formula means, why it works (sadly this is how I got through a good deal of math as a child…), but when you apply it to the problem you get the right answer. Now you get some math problems that you look at and you can't figure out how to apply that formula you used in this new case. If you don't have the understanding of what you are solving and what the formula does, how it works, then you can't widely apply it. You are merely following steps that you don't understand. There are certainly cases in the world where this works. Think of a recipe that you might use for a meal. You follow directions, measure, use the right temperatures, and you will usually meet with success. But this doesn't work with math so well. And you certainly can't come up with any new recipes or variations if you don't understand the science behind the recipe. Just so, with cure versus healing. In a cure, you may be temporarily free from the symptoms of some disease, maybe even permanently. But you will not be one step closer to understanding God, the Principle behind true, lasting healing and wholeness (which includes joy, insight, inspiration—great "side effects"). Healing includes the promise of future healing based on this understanding! So you could discuss the benefits that understanding brings to every endeavor! We are able to solve more complex challenges, we get deeper insight and a fuller sense of life and Life. I guess this conversation might be for the slightly older students, but it's worth considering.

Pycl #2: Take an overview of this Bible lesson. Make a list of all the stories (and read them). Then look at the last section, which extols the power of church and working together on things. What does each of the preceding Bible stories tell us about what working together for a good purpose does for man? In each story we have an example of people working against the good that God has in store for man. Interestingly, in each case, those working against this good could be said to be church elders, or maybe "officials". Yet, also in each story, we see the power that is available to man when we work together in accord with God. Moses brought the Children of Israel out of slavery, Jesus healed multitudes (in this case the woman that was bent over), and Paul did more than anyone to forward the idea of working together as a church to broadcast the message that Jesus shared with us. Although the students probably are not aware of this aspect, depending on the age of your pupils you could speak to how the institutions that stand to do the most good in society, tend to be subject to some of the most aggressive suggestions of error. Think of family and, here, of church. Jesus says in citation B18 "…where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." That is power! What keeps us from demonstrating this power in our churches? It is often, as in this lesson, personality and envy. We all want to be a part of something that nurtures us, helps us to think and be better. That is what "the structure of Truth and Love…" does. It is something else altogether that might convince us that church is boring, difficult, old-fashioned, out of touch, exclusive, unloving and so on. We combat these evil suggestions not by bowing out of church and doing our "own thing". But by demonstrating the power of Love over these evils, by healing as Moses, Jesus and Paul do in this lesson. By working as Jesus did to demonstrate man's true nature of love, goodness, tenderness and forgiveness.

Pycl #3: Perhaps the most powerful tool that we have to combat the triad of sin, disease and death, is the law of God's Allness. The Golden Text gets us started with explaining that the only real healing is from God. But we have many references to the fact that evil cannot come from something that is wholly good. We are then left with trying to explain "why" evil seems to be. The best way to explain that is from the standpoint of healing—lots of really great demonstrations that you can share where God's all goodness was proven to be the truth, in the face of a suggestion that disease or accident or whatever…was real. Healing is really the only answer; no amount of talking will permanently convince anyone that God is All. So come to this table fully "armed"! (The Bible lesson certainly has some examples too!) One sort of silly example to illustrate this might be to bring in a pie. (Any edible thing that is contained in a pan and has no part missing will do). Look together at the wholeness of the pie. Now ask them to see if they can figure out how you might fit another piece into the pie. Suggest (just to be silly) that maybe they could fit a piece on this side… and so on. Then you can talk about how God's goodness and power is a bit like that whole pie. There just isn't room for sin, disease or death in the Allness of God's kingdom. I guess I like the pie because a circle is a great symbol of completeness… but of course, as I mentioned, another item might work too. Then, of course, you should eat whatever you bring in, maybe after class… (You could do cookies maybe, they are round. Try having them break-off pieces from other cookies to add to a whole cookie? They will only make a mess; they won't be able to add onto the cookie that is whole—unless you have some really moldable gooey cookies?)

Pycl #4: Visit the subject of dreams and illusion in Section 2 and especially citations S7 and S8. This is a great analogy for illustrating how sin, disease and death can seem so true, but are not. The littler children will like the reference to the "cradle of infancy" and the word "stupefying". I don't know if the movie, "The Matrix" is too old for most kids to have seen, but that idea of living in a dream or invention, is well-illustrated in there if that is an analogy that works for your particular class. How do we "wake up" from this dream of reality in matter? What steps did Jesus take? What did Moses do? Do you have examples from your own life? What happens when we are sleepy? Are we alert and quick to react to things? For example, might it be a dangerous thing to drive a car when we are sleepy? Why not? Well, when we are "stupefied" by illusions of life in matter, we aren't paying attention to what is parading as our own thought, and what is truly ours from God. We might be tempted to allow the suggestion, for example, that we don't feel very well, or are sad, to creep in and take hold of our consciousness if we aren't wide "awake" to God's voice. We can sometimes use gratitude to "wake" us up to God's power and all-presence. Maybe you can think of some other ideas. With the really little children you can act out sleeping and getting woken up from a bad dream. Talk about how you deal with a bad dream. Do you wake up and try to "kill" the monster or whatever scared you? Or do you remember when you are awake that the "monster" was only a dream, never real to begin with?

Pycl #5: A related idea with younger ones could be to make masks from paper plates and look together at citation S16 which tells us to "…remove the mask, point out the illusion, and thus get the victory over sin and so prove its unreality." This mask could represent any error, though it is paired here with the sin of envy in the story of Miriam and Aaron. Practice putting on and taking off these masks and thinking of how good thought, true thought and the Truth, removes these wrong images and reveals our true self, there all along.

Pycl #6: I like the idea in Section 6 of "…[provoking] unto love and to good works:" or as the NIV Bible says: "…let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." How can we do this? Certainly the last line in citation B21 gives us a suggestion of how. What does that prayer look like and act like? It won't be "telling" other people how to behave, that's for sure! Talk about spurring or provoking, what does that sound like to them? What about sharing in a Wednesday evening testimony meeting?

Hope this gives you something to start with on Sunday!

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