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[PYCL: Stop seeing evil as a person to stop getting angry at, feel envious of, fight with... (2)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for October 7, 2018

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

Pycl #1: The "foolishness of the world's wisdom" is a theme throughout this week's Bible lesson. What exactly is the "world's wisdom"? Have some examples: "We have to train and lift weights to get in shape for various sports", contagion, "accidents happen", genetically transmitted problems…these are all examples, but there are many that are more subtle and "every day" in variety.

You may want to clarify for things like the sports analogy. I feel that it is very important that we practice in order to make things easier. We do this in our practice of Christian Science as well. We might lift weights and train in order to refine our understanding of our natural qualities of strength, grace, coordination, speed, agility, and so on.

One friend once told me that we exercise because we are healthy, rather than to get healthy. Likewise we study in school to express qualities of diligence, persistence, intelligence, freedom, wisdom, and so on. There is a distinction that is not esoteric, between building muscle, etc. through exercise, and enjoying the challenges that exercise presents to our consciousness of who we are spiritually.

Pycl #2: I am rather taken with the passage in the Responsive Reading about how "…where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." Can anyone think why this is the case? I wonder if it is because when we experience these feelings we are attaching evil (nothingness) to people? If we think of evil as something that presents itself as real to all of us at different times, but which is never ever a person, we find that we don't usually get angry at it, feel envious of it, fight with it. We recognize that it is really the suggestion that evil is real and trying to tell us that it belongs to some "person".

As soon as we see evil as separate from a person, we find ourselves thinking much more clearly, fearlessly, and calmly—hence without confusion. See if you can think of an example of this in action. See if you can help them see how to apply this to their experiences with siblings or friends at school, or parents. This is really the same idea as the "sound through a mask" example that we used last week (personality: per=mask sona=sound). In that Pycl the youngest classes might have made masks from paper plates or paper bags that represent the false identities that appear to us. When we take off the mask we are revealing the true idea beneath.

Pycl #3: What is that armor that is spoken of in citation B5? Isn't it the understanding that evil is nothing? Evil is not just powerless, it is nothing at all. That's a hard one to believe and understand, but if you approach it analytically, realizing the allness of a omnipotent Mind/God, you can see why this is true. Take a full glass of water and set it in a bowl to catch the overflow. Now have the children try to add more water to the cup. What happens? Can you really add anything or does it just spill over? In the same way, spiritual creation, in reality, is already full of good. There is no room for evil of any kind. When we are armed with this understanding, we find that we are not easily fooled by the lies that come to our thought about anger, impatience, sickness, and so on. This is not to say that this practice is easy! But it is attainable through steady, conscious awareness.

Each time we are healed of something, we are proving that evil is not the reality that it appears to our senses to be! And so, each healing becomes more of this spiritual "armor". The "sword of the Spirit" becomes to our thought, the truth that penetrates the lie of error. If you have students who aren't too excited about waving "swords" around, you could have them each cut out a paper sword and write on it the qualities of Truth that cut through the lies of error and reveal reality.

Pycl #4: The story of Moses handling the serpent and leprosy allows us a glimpse into the nothingness/powerlessness of evil to fool us into being fearful. First of all think about the human "wisdom" that is ignored here at God's request. Ask the students if they know anything about handling a snake. If we are to pick one up, where do we grab them? Right behind their head, so they cannot bite you! Certainly the tail is the last place we should pick one up. Why would God tell him to pick it up that way? Well, maybe because first of all, it was not truly a serpent at all, but really Moses' fear of Pharaoh's court wisdom and his own comparative inexperience.

It appeared to Moses as a serpent but the unreality of this staff-turned-serpent was proved by Moses when he was obedient to the direction to pick it up by the tail. In the same way, when we handle in our consciousness the suggestions of evil that make us afraid, or cause us to feel inadequate, we take away the seeming power of these evils to harm us! You might say that when we exercise God's wisdom we are freed from the limitation and uselessness of human wisdom!

Pycl #5: I mention this next idea in the Metaphysical application ideas for this week on CedarS website, but I like the idea that God doesn't answer Moses' doubts about his own fitness for this job with any reassurance about Moses' particular human skills. Rather God simply tells him that "Certainly I will be with thee". Try bringing a mirror to your class. Have the children hold it up in front of them. If they have that mirror with them, can they see their reflection anywhere they go? Will their reflection ever do something different from them? In the same way, I think that God is assuring Moses that the fact that He is with him everywhere is the only power and source and skill that Moses could ever need to carry out any task. Moses is God's reflection and must be reflected as God's idea everywhere that God is…which is everywhere!!

Pycl #6: The story of the woman who was bent over by disease for 18 years and freed by Jesus on the Sabbath day can be shared as an example of how the human wisdom of "religious law" is not the same as the wisdom of Love that is always blessing man. God's wisdom always reveals man's freedom, health, joy, and is always good. You can take a look at each story in the lesson and see how they illustrate God's wisdom, and how this might contrast with the wisdom of man or society.

Pycl #7: There are many great illustrations of how accidents are an example of that which is actually unreal. The one in citation B15 is a great one! Feel free to share a testimony of your own. Do the material senses back up the view of their unreality? No! But when we side with the laws of God and welcome the truth behind them, we find ourselves increasingly freer from the suggestions of accidents. I like that this process includes a change of standpoint, as Mary Baker Eddy points out in citation S19.

How does our view of things change when we are looking from a vantage point that is higher? Can we see more of what is before us? You could even lift a smaller child up to see more of the Sunday School, and likewise have them crouch down to see less, or a more narrow view. This is what material sense does to us—it gives us one narrow and false view of life. Whereas spiritual altitude gives us a broader perspective that leads to healing by giving us a deeper understanding of reality.

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

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