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[PYCL: Try using several props to illustrate spiritual concepts this week.]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lesson for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

“Mortals and Immortals”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO   (314) 406-0041

[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS 1st camper, current director & PYCL editor]

 [PYCL 1]
I think this week we could use several props with the younger classes.  Mirrors can support the theme of seeing through a “glass” and reflecting and image.   Flashlights can also come into play so that you can talk about how light is necessary in order to produce reflection.  You can talk about the symbolism of light and what it actually does.  I know we’ve talked about this before, but it is not hard to turn it over with your class and see if it is something they have absorbed.  The other prop might be a small set of blocks or something that could be used to illustrate the concept of foundations and how the foundation is unstable when we build on a false foundation of man as mortal.  You can also bring in a “veil”; this of course could be any piece of fabric, but you should talk about what a veil is used for and was used for especially in Biblical days.

[PYCL 2]

So let’s start with the mirrors.  An explanation of the Golden Text would be in order, or read from a more modern translation so that the idea of a “glass” and the word “darkly” will be clearer to them.  Also what does it mean “face to face”?  Have the pupils sit “face to face” with their knees touching.  What do they think it would be like to feel that kind of closeness to God?   Does God have the same sort of “face”?  What would they be looking for in God’s “face”?  Who do they know in the Bible who “…saw God face to face”?  (Moses in particular is known for this.)  Then talk about the veil.  What is it for?  When did Moses use it and why?  How is a material view of yourself like a veil between you and God?  If you are looking for qualities that break down that “veil”, the last section gives us a lot of clues about this.  It tells us [of Christly acts that rend the veil, such as being found] in “well-doing”, "unfeigned love of the bretheren”/loving “with a pure heart fervently”, “being born again” (of Spirit).  All of these activities can bring a discussion of their own and circle back to how they support a clearer understanding of themselves as immortal reflections of God.  The “open face” referred to in both the Responsive Reading and in citation B20 makes me think of a sense of self that is not veiled or hidden by matter. 


[PYCL 3]

When you break out the mirrors, you can have them hold them in front of their face.  Can they be separate from their reflection?  What if we stick a wall/veil between our face and the mirror?  Has our reflection gone off somewhere else?  Or is the veil just obscuring it from view?  What if we sit in the dark with a mirror?  Can we see our face if there is absolutely no light?  What does this symbolize?  If we look into the “darkness" of matter to see ourselves, then we will never see the true image of God, of Love, Life, Soul, Mind, etc.  I’ll let you take it from here!  So our goal is to see more and more of Spirit and Spirit’s reflection, and to be less and less impressed with matter as our identity.


[PYCL 4]
This lesson speaks to the origin of man as a spiritual expression of God’s creating.  If we are “building” man on this foundation we remove from the equation sickness, sin, aging, and so on.  These are all a part of man as made from matter.  If you were to build a structure with these things as foundations you would be constantly “removing” foundational blocks as sickness, sin, or aging, etc. made their appearance on the stage of life.  All the other things that life is based on—happiness, productivity, creativity, intelligence or any good quality—can be taken from us if they are based on a foundation of matter—that is, if they have their roots or basis in matter.  You can illustrate this idea by building a foundational wall with things like sickness, etc. on the bottom.  Place blocks higher up with names of spiritual qualities such as joy, wisdom and so on.  Then show how when some of those material problems show up, they would seem to make joy or health or goodness, tumble down and collapse; (you show this by jerking those blocks out so there is no support for the good qualities).  But if we base our joy, etc. only on spiritual things, the foundation can’t be moved by material problems.  (In this case you would build a new block foundation, perhaps labeled with synonyms.  Those problems may seem to appear in our experience, but we recognize them as lying suggestions and we know that our happiness is not based on them, so they can’t take our joy away.  


[PYCL 5]
There are also several stories in the lesson that illustrate how different ways that we see man can help us or hinder our progress.  Nicodemus comes to Jesus through the wrong motivation.  He is told that he needs to be “born again” to “see the kingdom”.  Talk about what being born again means.  Think about ideas such as newness, a new sense of man, a man that doesn’t involve matter at all.  Citation S1 uses the phrase “…no ties of the flesh.”  You could even talk about the hermit crab that moves out of his shell whenever he outgrows the old one.  He is very vulnerable until he finds a new one to climb into.  Maybe we need to not be too comfortable in our material “shell”, and think of ourselves as not a material man but a spiritual one—not look to matter for a comfortable sense of our identity.  


[PYCL 6]
In Section 2 Jesus goes to the temple “early in the morning” and “all the people came unto him”—presumably to learn from him!  Why did those men who had caught the adulterous woman come to him?  Were they interested in learning things about God?  Or were they just trying to prove Jesus wrong?  Talk about what the men saw as “man” and what Jesus saw.  How do we see people around us?  Are we seeing the true/immortal man?  How can we see as Jesus saw?


[PYCL 7]
In two other stories you can talk about other ways that we see man.  Do we sometimes see men/women with physical or mental problems and think about how they “got that way”?  The kids may not be too aware of the claims of heredity, but they are familiar with things like how they look “like” their mom or dad, etc.  This is one of those foundational “blocks” that we were talking about earlier that we want to avoid building our views of man upon.  The second of the next two stories addresses the literal suggestion of mortality, that we are not really “children of God” but rather mortal imitations or counterfeits.  Counterfeits are mentioned in citation S4 by name, but they can be addressed here too.  You could talk about what a counterfeit is.  It resembles the real thing, even tricks us sometimes into thinking it is real.  You could bring in some Monopoly money or something like it to show the younger kids what you mean.

Have a great Sunday!


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