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[PYCL: Talk about the Easter story! (1) Talk of sun & shadows. (2) Use spiritual name tags. (3)
Have a thought-resurrection by allowing D.I.A.L. (D
ivine Image And Likeness) to sanitize thoughts of yourself & all! (4)
Like Jesus, emerge from your tomb of barriers and resistance! (5)
]

Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?”
for April 12, 2020

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

Pycl #1: I would want to talk about the Easter story.
What is the significance to the children of this event?
Why is it still important today and not a one-time event that we might study as a piece of history?
It might be helpful to mention the distinction between some of the more pagan celebrations (Easter eggs, baby chicks, etc.) that many of us take part in surrounding Easter, and the true Easter story that surrounds Jesus resurrection.
How does this story fit in with this week's lesson that answers the question: "Are Sin Disease and Death Real?"

Pycl #2: Talk of sun & shadows.
It occurred to me this week when reading the second citation (B2) in the Bible, Section 1, about good gifts coming from the Father "…with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" that the sun does not cast shadows. I'm not sure why I never thought of this exactly that way…but it is a wonderful thing to contemplate if you think of the symbolism of light and shadow, and God's all-goodness.

Talk about how a shadow is made. Essentially it is something that gets in the way of the sun's light and in doing so, blocks this light from fully reaching the ground. Try finding some shadows wherever you are having your Sunday School class. Look at how shadows work and where they come from. If you use the sun as a metaphor for God or God's love, you can see that the sun always shines, every minute! Clouds can hide that sun, a building or tree might cast a dark shadow, but this does not change the unvarying warmth and light of the sunshine.

Even at night the sun is shining on the other side of the earth! [And, a reflected proof of that is the moon!] This might be a helpful way to handle any discomfort or fears that some of the children might be feeling under the restrictions many of us are experiencing due to the covid pandemic. If you have very young students this may not be a helpful subject, just if it seems relevant to your group. If the sun is not shining in your area, you can come with a bright flashlight and do demonstrations with that.

The point of all this, besides associating it with that Bible verse, seems to me, is that we can think of the crucifixion of Jesus, and his three days in the tomb, are much like the shadows cast by objects blocking the sun. The shadow has no "substance" of its own. The shadow does not change the warmth and light of the sun. We may feel the shade, or see the shade, but it is still not the power that the sun is!

Think of what the sun does on even the stormiest of days—doesn't it still bring the day?! It continues to make things grow, give warmth (even in the winter!), shed light. This is the same way that God/Love is operating each day, bestowing all good, all the time, regardless of the mortal happenings that seem like dark shadows cast over our lives.

Pycl #3: Try using name tags of spiritual qualities.
Since much of this lesson tells us that we can do these same glorious healing works that Jesus did, I think noticing the way that identity is pointed out is important. First thing in the Responsive Reading we have God identifying Jesus as His son, then the devil identifies Jesus as the "son of God". In Section 2 we have his cousin John asking if Jesus is the one that the Jews are expecting (the Messiah). Jesus, rather than "telling" John that he is this Messiah, asks John's disciples to carry news of the healing work that Jesus is doing. He suggests an identity that is based in healing, on action, rather than word alone.

Jesus’ healing works though, do not bring acceptance, but envy and hatred. There is even an identity question in the fifth section when Mary does not, at first identify her Master—until he calls her by name. What does Jesus' recognition of his identity as God's son do for him? Can we identify ourselves more carefully as God's son/daughter, and so be more effective healers?

If we are accepting our divine identity as our true, "now", not "later" identity, then we will more readily accept our capacity to understand God's power and presence and how we reflect that power! Try using name tags to "identify" each one in your class or family. You can make your own and even put that little "My Name Is" part on there if you want! Then talk about the significance of names in the Bible, as meaning more along the lines of your identity, your nature [your spiritual qualities]— rather than simply a label that someone picked for you. What are you each going to write on that name tag? Or you can have the pupils do name tags for others in your class or family?

Pycl #4: Have a thought-resurrection by allowing D.I.A.L. (Divine Image And Likeness) to sanitize thoughts of yourself & all! I'm arrested by the daily challenge from this sentence in citation S24: "Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought." Wow! What an assignment. Can each just memorize that one statement and consider what that might mean? If they are allowing only His likeness, how do they then think of themselves when something becomes frustrating? How do they think of a family member when stuck at home for too long with them? Make a list together of what this "likeness" includes so that we have a clear picture of it. Is this a kind of resurrection in our thought?

[See soon in Downloads (online at the upper right) a picture of the D.I.A.L. soap and its meaningful message used several times a day in CedarS office and homes . Check out more on this message – translated in French and Spanish too—from Corde Hanzlik, CS (Christie’s mother) in a 2007 CedarS Met, “Aren’t you Glad you use D.I.A.L.? Don’t you wish everyone did?” This was a CedarS T-shirt theme in the 1990s.]

Pycl #5: Discuss what the tomb symbolizes—like resistance to face, barriers to overcome…
It might be a good point in time to discuss what the tomb symbolizes. Mary Baker Eddy makes it clear that the environment of "lonely precincts of the tomb" was what was needed for Jesus to do the important work of resurrection. (S18) He overcame so many barriers that human thought puts up in the form of matter. The wounds, death itself, the big old rock that was in front of the cave his body was put into… How are these "barriers" showing up in our life today?

Does divine Love care just as much for each of Her children so that She is right now supplying us with inspiration, faith, patience, joy, persistence, courage, to face down each barrier and heal such resistance in our day to day lives? Make sure students understand the weight of the [1-2 ton, or 2,000-4,000 pound] stone that was rolled [slightly downhill in a trough] in front of the cave. (Also in those days, in that part of the world, they didn't generally bury bodies in the ground, but put them into caves and rolled these big rocks across the opening.) It would have taken several men to roll that stone [from the outside –and would have been humanly impossible from the inside]. Yet, it was moved somehow when Mary came to visit Jesus’ tomb on the third morning!

[See in Downloads (online at the upper right) a picture of a wooden model of this “He is Risen” tomb that Warren bought in January 2020 at the celebrated site of the Garden Tomb in Israel.]

Happy Easter!!

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