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[PYCL: Start walking in the right direction!]

CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Probation after Death"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for April 28, 2013
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 

[PYCL #1: Think about how scary or unknown things transfigure when you know God is Life] Littler kids that are being raised in Christian Science Sunday schools may not even be aware of the theological idea of probation after death. But clearly it is an important idea to consider and understand if Mrs. Eddy included it as a subject of one of our precious lesson sermons twice yearly. Maybe present it to the kids more along the lines of: “what happens to us when it seems like we have died?” We have already recently considered the topic of whether sin, disease and death are even real, and answered that hopefully with a resounding “no”! So it won't do to talk about death here as an inevitable end for man. The R.R [Responsive Reading] gives us the perfect place to start on this by showing us three people standing together and separated by hundreds, and even more than a thousand years. How is this possible? Make sure you address the details of this story. What does “transfigured” mean? What is “raiment”? Who is Elias? Why did Jesus show these disciples this scene? Have you ever been in an overwhelmingly impressive situation, maybe even a little bit scary, and found your mouth “running” as Peter's seems to here? Look at the G.T and discuss why these three might be found together in this situation. What does “carnally minded” mean? Can you put that in more contemporary words? We are always living, if we are living in Spirit! But living in matter is a dead end street.

 [PYCL #2: Take a walk and look for the right path]  There is much in this week's lesson, beginning with section one, about walking in the right path. We've taken walks before with various lessons, but each time can be new. You can actually walk around through your church or outside if it is conducive, moving from point to point that you have pre-arranged. Each destination along the walk might have a moral question to consider and a path to follow one way or another. Any moral questions you come up with must be relevant. What would be a moral issue for them? Can they tell you what they might be confronted with? How about simply how they treat their friends vs. how they treat their siblings? Do they set the timer accurately when they are timing their reading for school (if that's something they do) or are they honest with mom and dad about the time spent on video or computer games if that is something they monitor, do they really do their best job when asked at school, at home, or is it “just enough?” They will have situations that ring true to them if you ask. You can use these, if you jot them down and stuff them in envelopes, when you arrive at a given “fork” in the walk you are taking, or have them draw them from a bag. You may want to do some careful thinking about this stuff well before you arrive in Sunday school. Hypotheticals are dangerous, even little children can sense when something isn't authentic. Maybe when you discuss these things you can come up with some moral dilemmas that you have had over the years. Even if they are not the same kinds they have, it might help get things started.

 [PYCL #3: Grab paper and markers to draw spiritual guides along the path] If your class needs to stay at a table, try covering the table ahead of time with sheets of butcher paper or large size white or brown paper and taping it to the bottom of the table. After your initial discussion of walking in the “right” path and what that means, where it leads, why it leads to Life instead of death, you can give out markers and draw such a path together. What might you mark along the path to guide you in the right ways? Could you mark say, the Ten Commandments on the path and talk about them and how they provide us with guidance and life? You could take each one separately or all as a group. You could use the Beatitudes; you could use the Bible stories in this week's lesson. Having the paper in front of them, even if they end up doodling on it, may provide them with something to focus the discussion on. You could try having the outline of a mountain on the sheet and talk about climbing “higher” and discuss the degrees under the Scientific translation of mortal mind. What does it mean to rise up higher in our thought, how does this symbolize progress. Talk about the challenge of going up hill, how it takes more effort and yields a great view at the top…you get the picture here!

 [PYCL #4: Your thought can be a house where you’re the builder or a train where you’re the engineer] Look at the story of David and Saul. Why is this included in the lesson this week? If the kids are old enough they might be able to answer this. With younger ones, talk about the call that is being made on us to have self control, to improve and progress and do better. It's a little like walking forward on the path and choosing “good” paths, rather than unproductive ones. Saul really needed to reign in the envy and anger that he felt. By not getting control over those emotions, he seemed to experience a pretty gruesome and violent death, not to mention the years of agony and despair he felt. When we allow anger, envy etc. into our consciousness and don't argue against it, we end up hurting ourselves most. So you may want to discuss what is offered in this lesson to combat such feelings. A book that I read as a child likened making bad moral choices to having a “character house” that we either are building stronger and better, or else we are tearing out boards in our own character house. Better to continuously build forward, than to tear down, only to have to do the hard work of rebuilding later! We all know how difficult it can be to really stop a bad train of thought once it gets going. In fact, the term “train of thought” might be interesting to discuss with the kids that know that phrase. How hard is it to stop a train? (really hard!) This isn't such a bad thing, if the train is going in the right direction, so to speak, but it’s not so great if it's heading in the wrong one. (sorry for all the goofy analogies, but I guess they are good for bringing out ideas!) You can look at a number of citations to illustrate these ideas but one good one is B14 [Bible citation #14; John 8:1-11; Jesus saves and forgives an adulterous woman on the verge of being stoned]. The law of God supports our right choices, gives us wings! Whereas matter, and wrong choices really drag us down!

 [PYCL #5: Sing in the light of God!]  Don't hesitate to sing hymn 460 in class with your littler ones. It is a really joyous and fun hymn for the kids to sing, and the words are perfect for this lesson. You can let them do rhythm on their laps while they sing.

 Have a great week!

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