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[PYCL: Test each suggestion. (1) I.D. answers as right if they bring harmony, love… (2)]

Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?
for April 15, 2018

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

Pycl #1: As a young student of Christian Science I never noticed how one Bible lesson progressed into the next. Reality, Unreality and this current lesson really overlap in interesting ways. It might be of interest to see if the students can see how they build on one another, and see why Mrs. Eddy might have set them up in this order. The more we can understand what is real and what is parading as real, the more we know how to respond to the suggestions of sin, sickness, death. With younger kids maybe you could play a game of identifying what is true and what is not. Have them use their hands or arms to represent a door that keeps out the suggestions that are identified as unreal. Why are they unreal? What do we use to "test" them (the suggestions)?

Pycl #2: With very small children you could bring in some objects to illustrate simple math problems… they could be things you have in Sunday School such as pencils or pens. Line up a "math" problem such as "2 pencils + 3 pencils=5 pencils". Set up a problem that reaches an incorrect solution. Ask them "what's wrong?" "Why can't that be true?" "What if all the adults in the room tell you that it's true?" "What if your best friend tells you it's true?" "What if your own thinking tries to tell you it's true?" "Will any of these people or things make it true?" God will always inform us of the truth, and that truth will be one that brings harmony, comfort, love and health—in other words, the right "answer". Christian Science helps us to see that "right answer" and Christ is what heals! (S17, line 23)

Pycl #3: Who is the "they" in the Golden Text (and in citation B2)? This kind of question helps make the Bible a little more accessible to young children. "They" could be sin, disease and death in this context right? An enemy is anyone who is working against us in some way; it doesn't have to be a person! Look what "they" will "be"—"nothing at all"!!!!

Pycl #4: What would you do if you were really sad or sick and you found out that what was bothering you wasn't actually true? This elation is what it feels like to have a healing of any kind. That's what the Psalmist was referring to in verse 11 of the Responsive Reading: "…thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;" A couple of other translations read: "…you have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy" and "…You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers." (NLT and Message) Feel free with very young children to help them understand what sackcloth or mourning clothes would be… Bring in some flowers, fresh or plastic, have them put them in their hair if they are girls, maybe a rubber banded wet paper towel for boys…or through a buttonhole…Just a way to celebrate this thought!

Pycl #5: I like the image of vapor melting in the sun in citation S4. It's a clear one to share with children and illustrates the way that error can appear real, can obscure what is real, but is not substance. You can ask them about what the sun might represent in this example. Notice that "one must hide the other". What does that say about what we want to choose to keep in our thought? What if the "barrier" seems more solid than mist? Try putting one of the students behind one of those dividing walls that many Sunday Schools have (or something makeshift if you don't). Did that student "disappear"? Assuming they stay put, did the divider do anything to them? Just because it hid them didn't make that student "gone" right? This is how error works, it tries to trick us into buying the surface appearance of things and then we dwell on that, focus on that "barrier" without looking behind it.

Pycl #6: You could borrow the example in this week's My Bible Lesson where the illustrations are of people peeling off false labels such as "angry", "fearful", "sick", "messy" and so on. They even help peel these false labels off of each other—something wonderful we can do to those around us! Bring some sticky "My Name is" labels or just blank ones. Have some fun filling in false ideas that they sometimes are tempted to feel about themselves. Then you have to make sure you replace these false ones with their opposites/true ones so have plenty of labels at the ready!!!!

Have a great Sunday.

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