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PYCLs— 1) WHAT IS EASTER? 2) WHAT DO RESURRECTION & ASCENSION MEAN? 3) HOW CAN WE MAKE THE CHRIST MORE VISIBLE HERE & NOW? 4) DEMONSTRATE ONENESS. 5)  LOOK at PAUL’S STATEMENT on ONENESS

CedarS PYCLs, Possible Younger Class Lessons
for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Doctrine of Atonement”
for April 17, 2022

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


 PYCL #1: WHAT IS EASTER?

Older children will likely know this but it’s pretty important to cover each time with the younger crowd. What is the whole story behind Easter— read or tell it, include some of what is in this week’s lesson if you wish.

Why do we celebrate Easter? You can ask this of the slightly older crowd for sure.

What does Easter mean for us today?

I wouldn’t shy away from sharing the awfulness of the killing of Jesus because of envy, hatred of good, shame, pride, and anything else you can think of. These vices are still a challenge and they tell us how we can get trapped into carrying out our own modern day “crucifixions” of the Christ when we harbor those feelings toward others.

The crucifixion is a tough story for sure, but Easter ends with resurrection, and in this lesson ascension! So, we can lead our discussion in that direction.
Discuss, even with the littles, the idea of what “resurrection” can mean, or even “ascension”.

Can we have a daily/hourly, moment by moment even, resurrection?
How about ascension?

What does that mean for us today?
Once you have determined what it means to experience a resurrection, or maybe a period of ascending thought or inspiration, ask each student to share such a moment and write it down (you can take a dictation for the younger ones).
You may need to share an example from your own life first to get the ball rolling.


PYCL #2: WHAT DO RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION MEAN?

Obviously, this is a tandem Pycl with #1. But the younger children may not know. I think examples might help. Make a little structure out of playing cards. Let the children knock it down, then put it back up. This is a totally silly example and you can surely come up with something better, but it is a visual to illustrate “resurrection”.

Now ask them to imagine that the cards all just fly up into the sky a little ways and then disappear in light, not float away on the breeze, but actually disappear. Or you could say they don’t really go anywhere but become filled with light and just disappear. That would be ascension.

The word ascension obviously means that something ascends or goes higher. It is probably not out of reach for even younger children to understand the double meaning of our thought getting more spiritual, less about matter and more about Love?


PYCL #3: HOW CAN WE MAKE THE CHRIST MORE VISIBLE HERE AND NOW?

Look together at the end of the Responsive Reading John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” First, what does that mean? Set an object down on the floor, maybe under the table.

Can everyone see it, or do they have to bend down and know where to look?

Try a couple of other places in the room that are not ideally visible.

Then ask the children “where should we put this to make it so everyone can see it?”

They will likely pick the middle of the table or somewhere a bit higher up.

Now think again about what Jesus said. What was lifted up when he ascended?

Did he teach us that death isn’t the end of things?

Did he also show us that when we heal, and live a life that is blessing others, that this is noticed and is kind of like setting that object on top of the table?

Can they think of somewhere in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus tells us that we should make this kind of light and goodness visible? (city on the hill, candle on the candlestick, salt and savor, etc.) Look that up together and share.

What kinds of acts can we engage in that make that Christ that Jesus showed us, more obvious to those around us? Come up with a list of things we can do.


PYCL #4: DEMONSTRATE ONENESS.

You may or may not directly talk about Atonement and what the doctrine of Atonement is, depending on the age of your students. But you will want to get deep into the theme of this lesson about man’s oneness with God. A great illustration of this is in citation S1/361:16. This is where she speaks of the drop of water being one with the ocean and a ray of light one with the sun. There are so many ways to talk about this.

One illustration that I have shared before is to get an eye dropper, or use a straw. Using a glass of water, dip the eyedropper in and suck up a little water, or dip the straw in and put your finger over the top before pulling it out of the glass. Now show the children how it drops single drops one by one back in the water. (You could also use a turkey baster if you have one). If the children can do it themselves, give them a chance to try it. Now ask if you can tell the difference between the water drop that they let fall, and the rest of the water. Obviously not. They are now “one”. In the same way, we are one with God!

With the rays of light, you can talk about how clouds can hide the rays, but not actually block the light. You can speak of the fact that rays can never be severed from their source, they are utterly dependent on the sun.

You can try to “block” them, but you still haven’t separated the ray from its source.

Then you may be able to illustrate this with flashlights. The children can hold a flashlight while it’s on and you can have another child try to “cut off” the light from the flashlight. You can block the beam so it doesn’t shine on the table, but then it is shining on the object that is blocking it! You can’t put the object directly over the flashlight, because the flashlight represents the sun, which is too big for us to cover with a piece of paper, or anything else, and they would get burned!

Now talk about how we are like those drops of water or rays of the sun. We express all the qualities of the ocean or sun but we are not the ocean or the sun. We express the wetness, the light, the warmth etc. As expressions of God we express, brilliance, love, grace, unselfishness, skill, and so on. We are not the source of these things, but we are one with the source and so contain all the qualities of God!


Pycl #5: NOW LOOK AT PAUL’S STATEMENT ABOUT ONENESS (Rom. 8:38, 39/cit. B6) Really this is Pycl #4.5…

Wow! Now read what Paul says about the oneness of man and God in this passage.
You may want to memorize it together. Just as we couldn’t separate the water drop from the water, or the ray of the flashlight from its source, so Paul tells us that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God, “which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” This is such a great parallel statement to Mary Baker Eddy’s in the previous Pycl.

But here we have a whole list of things that would try to make us feel like we are separated from divine Love/Life/Truth.
Can you come up with examples of where we might have felt like we were separate but found that actually we weren’t ?
You may have to kick this one off. It does not have to be a “blockbuster” healing, just a little happening that made you recognize that you were one with God is great!
Feel free to physically dramatize some of these examples such as “height, nor depth” by jumping as high as possible, or getting down on the floor to illustrate.

Have a wonderful Sunday School class!

 

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