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[PYCL: Stand up, rather than stand by, to confront or denounce error when you see it. (5)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for January 27, 2019

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

Pycl #1: The first thing I noticed in the lesson this week may or may not be of interest to your classes, depending, perhaps, on if you live inside or outside of the USA. But the theme of justice, Truth, and righteous judgment is certainly universally applicable. The Golden Text is a passage from Amos, that Dr. Martin Luther King, the American civil rights leader, quoted in his "I have a dream" speech. In reading his speech I was impressed with the timelessness of his words. Error cannot last, because it isn't founded on Truth, on what is true. Truth prevails because it is real, where "Evil is but the counterpoise of nothingness." (S9)

You could look at the stories and passages of Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) to see how this theme of justice and rights is carried through the lesson. One beautiful example is in Section 2. Read the story of Zelophehad's daughters, and the parallel passages by Mary Baker Eddy. Long before women had any rights in society, here is an example of truth and justice in action. What did Moses do that made justice certain? Did he turn to his fellow men? No! "And Moses brought their cause before the Lord."

What does God, Truth always say to us? It is always fair, just, true! The eternality of truth is something that is revealed about Truth in this lesson. Error cannot last, because it isn't founded on Truth, on what is true. Truth prevails because it is real, where "Evil is but the counterpoise of nothingness." (S9) It may seem like it appears and disappears, comes and goes, but it is inevitable that Truth's government will become apparent.

Pycl #2: "Truth shall spring out of the earth: and righteousness shall look down from heaven." (Responsive Reading) This, to me, means that truth is natural, it grows like plants grow naturally out of the earth, and like rain falls from heaven. We don't have to "make" truth true. We have to bear witness to its justice, its righteousness, its strength in our lives each day. By noticing it, giving gratitude for it, standing up for it, we find that it is demonstrated and becomes more and more apparent in our experience and in the world.

We could take this winter time (at least in this hemisphere!) and try planting a few seeds in cups to watch them grow over time. Think about the naturalness of this growth. We don't have to invent the seed, force the seed to sprout, make it be a certain kind of plant… We have only to tend it, as we would tend our thought: water, protect, nourish, weed, etc. Come up with parallels to these "plant caring" terms. How does this help us to bear witness to the power and presence of Truth here on earth, in our lives each day?

Pycl #3: Having spoken of evil being the counterpoise of nothingness, try bringing in a scale/making one. This would be a balance, with a scale on each side of a center, like a see-saw. If evil is nothing and is balanced against nothing, where do the balances tilt? They just sit there, there is nothing in them, no substance at all! A little demonstration or illustration of this goes a long way to get that image into thought! Likewise, in that same passage (S9) you can say that because Truth is real and error unreal—if you put Truth in such a balance it would sit on the table while the "error/evil" side would just be way up on the other side with nothingness.

You can also work here with the idea that when we know the truth about something, the lie no longer fools us. So, for example, we have photographs of the earth from outer space. We know it is a round planet that orbits the sun. We would not be tempted to believe someone who says, "Look, the sun comes up in the East and down in the West, can't you see? And the earth is a flat platter!" We'd explain that that is what appears to be the case but is not the truth! We wouldn't question the facts that we know!!

Pycl #4: What does citation B14 mean? [“Remove the diadem, and take off the crown… I will overturn…”] Who wears a crown or diadem (or at least did more frequently in older times)? So, if a crown signifies a ruler, what is this passage telling us? How do we sometimes act like we are rulers? What if we think we are responsible for how an event/competition/game/exam….comes out? If we think we are doing things by our own efforts, or talent or intelligence, we are acting like we "wear a crown". We are not acknowledging God as the supreme ruler and creator.

Bring or make crowns (can be done with paper, or you can get more elaborate!). Talk about different ways we "wear a crown" and have them put the crown on. How can we change our thought about something we are doing and "take off that crown"? What does it mean that God "overturns" until He reigns? Why does it say overturn so many times? Don't we have constantly to demonstrate and see this fact around us? This crown can even be things that we think we can't control, but seem to control us, like sadness, anger, and so on. We can give that government over our feelings to God as well, then we are truly "self-governed" as MBE says in citation S21

Pycl #5: There are many talking points sparked by the story about Jesus facing Pilate in Section 5. First, there are the tricky methods that error seems to use to find a way around the truth (also seen in other sections—laws that would have kept Zelophehad's daughters from getting an inheritance, the Jews finding ways through Roman law to get the results they wanted (Jesus' crucifixion), church laws that the Pharisees wanted to use to chastise Jesus for healing a woman who'd been suffering for 18 years.

A lie might seem very convincing, and people who use such lies to support themselves or to justify their envy will try to use the name of law to support them. But in each case in this lesson, including in this 5th section, the lie is overturned, in this case through the resurrection (the truth of Life eternal).

Another thought to consider in this section is the way that Mary Baker Eddy speaks of Pilate being "…drawn into acquiescence with the demands of Jesus' enemies." This is another tricky one! Have we ever found ourselves acquiescing/passively accepting something that is going on around us and letting it go on without our intervention?

Doesn't it support the actions of evil when we don't challenge them? Think back to the beginning of these Pycls and to Dr. Martin Luther King. He was a peaceful demonstrator and activist. He never used violence, but he resisted and spoke out, he marched and pushed and negotiated, and, I'm sure, prayed.

We can ask ourselves if we are being like Pilate, or being a servant of Truth! See if the children can think of a time where they had the opportunity to stand up, rather than stand by, to confront or denounce error when they saw it. This could even be when they are tempted by the suggestion that they are not feeling well, we can challenge any lie at all!

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

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