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[PYCL: Wake up from the dream and lead a less sleepy life! (# 5, 6)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

“Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”

on November 23-29, 2015

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

Pycl #1: The Golden Text and Responsive Reading give us some things to play with regarding armor. What kind of armor do we need for every day? What are the "bullets" or "arrows" that we are defending ourselves against? In this lesson we see that being awake, alert, watchful–not dreaming, is all really important. What is meant by this? I have seen some teachers succeed with creating armor out of paper grocery bags. On each "piece" is written the quality that will help to protect them from some specific suggestion of evil. You can (and probably should) discuss what evil might seem to be, how it tries to convince us through pain, sadness, hurt feelings, anger, fear and so on that it is real. How might we take on this spiritual armor to combat these suggestions and actually overcome them? Share some of your own experiences.

Pycl #2: Citation B1 has a reference to thorns and nettles growing over the productive vineyard. It's fun to recognize that the evil that grows up to keep us from being productive, loving, caring, helpful, intelligent, creative, useful (and so on) takes the form here of things that sting and scratch or stab. When we aren't watchful over our thoughts, often the first thing that happens is that unkind things come out of our mouths–gossip, mean comments, complaint, grouchiness and so on. Let's not even let our consciousness of God's goodness go to sleep! We can even be conscious of God while we are resting at night, we don't ever have to be completely unconscious! Make sure you point out that the vineyard would be the farmer's income and thorns and nettles would make it unproductive. We are happier, and more successful when we keep our consciousness free of thorny and nettling thoughts. We can also watch to keep "other's" thorny thoughts from settling into our own "vineyard"!

Pycl #3: Citation B3 is from a Psalm that contains a Beatitude! Meekness here is seen as God's power!! When we are meek, that is, when we aren't pushing our own human wants and wills, we are filled with God's power and authority! (B4) We aren't confused about evil being power no matter how built up it seems to get. What kinds of examples can we come up with that show how meekness is powerful? One analogy might be in a strong wind/rain storm. Something brittle and tall might seem strong, but might break in such a storm, while something small and flexible, like grasses, might bend and even get temporarily flattened, but then spring up when the sun appears again. You could bring some examples in hand like some decorative grasses, versus sticks (that they can break). Before talking about this analogy you could ask which item is stronger…just to show them. (Often these decorative grasses can be quite tough to break!) Maybe they can think of a time where they really wanted something or to do something and it seemed really unfair that they couldn't. But if we are alert and listen, get really quiet in our thought instead of sticking fiercely to what we want or think is right, we will have the humility to feel God directing things in the right way. That way we can be sure that we are relying on true power, not the dream of power in matter. Also we find that it doesn't matter that we are "just a little kid" since to God we are all His children, equally powerful and equally safe in His hands.

Pycl #4: The story of Jonah is always a fun one to work with. One Bible study guide points out that Jonah really worked at getting away from what God had asked him to do! He tried to go 2,000 miles in the opposite direction from where he was supposed to go to preach! That's a lot of miles. Look at a map and see how far it was compared to going to Ninevah (a journey of 500 miles instead). This was all in a day before cars so both journeys were pretty darned long! Compare that distance to something the kids might relate to. Can we really escape from God's presence? Can we escape from what is real or true? Jonah chose to sleep on the boat, rather than face up to the discomfort that he was feeling by being disobedient to God. Being conscious of God's presence and goodness makes disobeying God really hard, if not impossible. When we try to get away from what we know God wants us to do we get to ride in a whale–well not literally, but we definitely get to have some challenges that we may not relish. God is all-power and He enforces His will in one way or another! He doesn't actually do bad things to us, but we tend to run into our own trouble when we are avoiding doing what we know is right!

Pycl #5: Citation S22 quotes the passage about the city on the hill and the salt and its savor. These are great analogies to help kids understand the power behind being alert, watchful etc. You can show them pictures of cities that are on hills, what is their view, can an enemy sneak up on them? What does this mean for us? They can even test this by seeing if they can see farther in the Sunday school if they stand on a chair, for example. What does salt do for food? What about in the day that Jesus lived? Bring unsalted crackers and some with salt to give them a sense of how salt intensifies flavor. You could say it makes it more "alive". What is Jesus thinking of when he uses that analogy. Can we live a "saltier" life? (Be less "sleepy", less "dreamy")

Pycl #6: How do we wake up from a dream, what do we do? Do we have to pull the dream out of our experience? Can we see a dream when we are awake in the light of day. When we are really awake to God's power and goodness then we know that we are not dreaming. You could have a little talk about dreams (not what dream you or they had, believe me, you will get a lot more than you bargained for down that path!). Is what is happening in them real? Does it feel real? How do we know it is not? How do we know that sickness, sadness, anger, death is not real? Look at the story of Eutychus together.

Have a great Sunday together!

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