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[PYCLs— 1) WHISPER LIES & REVERSE EACH ONE. 2) HONOR GOD, GOOD. EVERY TIME! 3) SEPARATE FABLES FROM FACTS. 4) DISCUSS BEING HUNGRY FOR RIGHT. 5) BRING IN & MAKE A MAP.]

CedarS PYCLs– Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

“Unreality”
The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson for April 3, 2022

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com   (314) 406-0041
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Inspirational Editor & Director Emeritus]


PYCL #1: WHY BOTH “REALITY” AND “UNREALITY”?… [WHISPER LIES & REVERSE EACH ONE.]

I always ask this question when this lesson arises, and I noticed that Christie asks it as well in her met this week on Unreality. https://cedarscamps.org/inspiration/article/blow-away-the-chaff-of-unreality/ Even the youngest can perhaps consider the question: “why do we need to know what is unreal, as well as what is real?”

Take it in a “Halloween” direction. What if we weren’t sure on Halloween whether those dressed in costumes were really people and friends, or were really super heroes, animals, princesses, and so on? Obviously, we know, but what if? Now, on a less obvious note, what if when we are angry at a friend, not feeling well, feeling sad, we knew, really knew that these thoughts and feelings weren’t truly part of reality–were nothing more than ideas “whispered” in our ear, telling us that we should feel bad, angry, sad, and so on. Try whispering something in each other’s ears in class. We hear it right? Do we have to believe it, any more than we believe our friend is batman because they are wearing a batman costume?

It is important to really know that the errors of temper, mood, illness, injury etc. are actually suggestions that are, in a sense, “whispered” in our ears. We can recognize that they are just lying suggestions because they aren’t good, so they are not from God! Make a short list of lies that might come up in daily life. Now whisper those in each other’s ears. Then say out loud, for all to hear, the opposite truth or reality about that claim! Everyone gets a turn.


PYCL #2: DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE DAY HAS STARTED TO DECIDE, HONOR GOD, [GOOD. EVERY TIME!]

Our Golden Text this week reminds me of Mary Baker Eddy’s statement on the first page of the Preface to Science and Health “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.”
The Golden Text tells us “Many empty promises are like many foolish dreams. They mean nothing. You should honor God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:7, International Children’s Bible)
I see this as something like: “Keep honoring God—don’t wait for something “good” to happen—today is good, there is present abundance! Of course, that’s just my own thoughts on that passage!
Maybe each student can think of what it means to them?
Can they “rewrite” this verse in their own words?

Can we each choose to “honor” God no matter how things are unfolding in our day?
What does it mean to “honor” God?

See if the students can come up with a list of ways that we do this.
Is it dependent on how things are going?

Think about our moms or dads.
Are we only respectful if they are giving us what we want, or taking us out for ice cream?
Or, are we to be respectful daily, love daily, obey daily. And why?
Why do we honor God, or our mom or dad?


PYCL #3: DO A THRESHING DEMO [with fan in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat.” (cit. S6/466)]

If you want to be elaborate, it’s always helpful to demonstrate how wheat is threshed. We don’t have to have wheat to do this. We can use something like tiny shreds of paper, or feathers, mixed with grains of rice. You can bring a small electric fan to demonstrate how the wind would blow away the lighter chaff from the wheat, as the farm workers would toss the wheat in the air and catch it again on a tray, or in a sheet, while the chaff would separate and blow away. Explain the process first, and what it symbolizes here in the Bible.

Read citation B2/Isa 41:11, 13, 15-20 [“Thou shalt fan them and the wind shall carry them away…”] and citation S1/466:26 [“… Christianity comes with fan in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat.”]
There are so many ways to discuss this in terms of error and truth. Error is “insubstantial”, it is “blown away” by Spirit! Truth has “weight”, and power, it nourishes us and error does not. Truth and error, reality and unreality, are not hard to separate!

[Warren: It’s no harder to separate unreality from reality yhan it is to separate “fable from fact.” We love to show this in a hands-on way atop our Mt. Nebo in CedarS Bible Lands Park.  All encumbering fables are left behind there to show what John Baptist says of Christ “whose fan is in hand” (Matthew 3:12) and how a spiritual sense or definition of “FAN. (is the) Separator of fable from fact” (SH 586)]

Now, to illustrate this in an indoor Sunday School setting, you can have each student take a corner of a pillowcase or something similar and lay the tiny shreds of paper mixed with the rice or whatever you choose to use and turn on an electric fan. Another option that can be used (indoors or even outdoors when there’s no wind) is to give each child a hand fan, like we used in the old days when air conditioning was rare. Then, each can take a turn fanning away the paper, while you gently toss the mixture into the air. (This is a good option if your students might get over excited about the tossing part….)

You don’t have to worry if it doesn’t work perfectly.
Have the children find ways to make it work better. Be prepared to do some clean up afterwards.

I like to also tie in the citation at the end Section 1: “Everything good or worthy, God made. Whatever is valueless or baneful, He did not make, –hence its unreality.” (cit. S6/525:20)
You will need to define some words here, but the idea is that God makes reality, and reality is good. If it’s not good, useful, blessing, it is error, or unreal.


PYCL #4: BRING PLAIN PAPER PLATES AND DISCUSS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUNGRY FOR RIGHT.

The fourth Beatitude in citation B3/Matthew 5:6 discusses hungering and thirsting after righteousness, or right. What does this mean? Are we driven to do things out of a desire to do good, do right? Or, do we do things because we “want to”, or because it seems like the most fun at the time? Sometimes having the most fun is also the right thing to do! But, it must be in accord with the laws of God…it must be obedient to divine law, human law, and it must be blessing others.

Read the story in citation B6/II Kings 8:1-6. Then tell them the history of this woman or read her whole story. She actually was so “hungry and thirsty” after what was right that she had an addition built on her house for Elisha to stay while he passed through town now and again! In other words, she recognized that he was special, she identified good, and she provided a “place” for that good to reside or rest. She nourished it too, fed Elisha while he was in town.

With older students you can discuss the metaphoric implications of this readiness to identify and take in Godlikeness. This recognition provided her with a son, raised her son from the dead, and in the story this week we find that it saved her from drought and restored her property to her upon her return to Israel. That’s a pretty good “payout” for her hunger after good, or righteousness.

With the younger students you can talk about all of this and then get out your paper plates. What do we “hunger” for that is “right”? draw or write on the plate for each idea. Try to fill up each plate with all the “righteous” things that we hunger for.

If they are young enough, you can pretend to eat all these things and pretend to feel really full!  Abundance exists! Our plates are full! We come into contact with that abundance when we are obedient, and looking for the right.

You can also, of course, relate all this to the story in Section 2 about Elijah being fed by the ravens at the brook Cherith. (I Kings 17:1-6). It’s a great story about many awesome angles of God’s provision.


PYCL #5: BRING IN [& MAKE] A ROAD MAP.

[Because of GPS availability,] we don’t use physical maps as much anymore, but if you have one, bring it in. Tell the children that we are going to make maps today. You can draw a map of an island with roads and places to go, a volcano, or beach with palm trees, and so on. If we are to drive, or ride our bike or scooter, we would need roads. Can we go anywhere that we haven’t drawn on the map? No!

Now read together, or restate, citation S21/176:24. What does Mary Baker Eddy mean that “…disease can carry its ill-effects no farther than mortal mind maps out the way.”?
Are we “mapping” our own sadness, sickness, anger, frustration, impatience, criticism? Yes, yes we are!

Sometimes it would seem that society maps it out for us and then we follow that road, but that’s a subject for slightly older children. With the youngers, focus on your roadmap and discuss where we want to go, where certain roads tend to “take” us, and so on. You could map a road to a cliff where it just drops off, or to a “dead end”, and discuss the symbolism of these ideas. Have some fun with this!!!

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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