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PYCLs — Snake stories… And how to defend ourselves against them…  Act out the snake story…  If Adam & Eve are the “myth” man, what is the real man?  Is man spiritual and good, or not?
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

Click  for downloads & more on the title of this week’s GEMs to help us “Stop fal-tering with & falling for the “myth” man misery of Genesis 2! Enjoy all your stress-free D.I.A.L.-man dominion of Genesis 1!” (It’s a Wee Hour work in progress.  w.h.)

for Sunday, May 7, 2023

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO • 314-406-0041

PYCL #1: Snake stories…

With the really young children it’s fun to bring in a toy snake or stuffed one. Talk about what they represent in the Bible, and how they move so sneakily and fast, and are sometimes venomous. You should, of course, make sure they know that actual snakes are lovely, often brightly colored, and useful animals–rarely venomous (in the United States).

How can thoughts come to us in “snake-like” ways and trick us?
What thoughts might those be?
Make a list together: I’m not happy/feeling well/so and so is mean/I’m no good at this/I don’t like so and so…etc. These are not God thoughts, but “serpent” thoughts. Why might we call them this? Because they are sneaky, and they pretend to be our own thoughts.
Where do these thoughts come from? Well, it seems like, humanly, we live in a universe where there is a kind of “mass thought” out there. If we are not alert, we adopt whatever is “out there” as our own!

As you demonstrate some of these tricky thoughts you can slither the snake around. You can also pretend to have the snake whisper these thoughts to each kid.

PYCL #2: How do we defend ourselves against snake stories?

Talk about how we can protect ourselves against snake talk.
Activity option: You can represent this physically with younger children by making hand gestures–a “stop” signal, or by putting your hands on their sides on the table like gates, finger tips to finger tips. You can hold up notes for them to either welcome or stop.
If you put the “snake” thoughts on pieces of paper, you can have them crumple them up and try to “shoot” them through a gate.
Each child gets to close the “gate” firmly to snake talk. These little balls of paper have to be kind of slid or blown across the table so they don’t jump over the “gate”.
How do we watch these kinds of “gates” or stop signs in our thinking?
You can certainly share Mary Baker Eddy’s statement in Science and Health about guarding thought: 392:24. Being a good “porter” makes us alert to those “serpents”.
Knowing they are “serpents” and not our own thinking helps us to reject them.

Funny analogies:  One way to make this clearer might be to use this analogy: what if someone handed you a pile of clothes that were ugly and not your size and said here, these are yours, put them in your drawers. Would you say, ok, sure?
No! You’d hand them right back and say they are mistaken.
You can come up with your own similar analogy that might be more funny. Maybe you can even bring some things in and use this analogy as part of a game where you hand them things that are clearly not theirs and that they don’t want, and make them laugh and return them to you.
Then draw the conclusion that this is the same as the snake thoughts that parade as our own to tell us we are mad at someone, dislike someone, don’t feel well, and so on. We can “hand those thoughts” right back to the non-existent serpent that sent them!

PYCL #3: Act out the snake story.

It seems to me that this story could be very funny to act out. Someone can be the snake (probably there will be people who want to take turns). Encourage them to think of different things to “tempt” someone with other than an apple that God said not to eat.
What would be tempting to them? Have them think about that.
See how tricky they can be as the snake. Eve/Adam are free to listen or not as the children wish.

Last week we talked about how God doesn’t tempt us to do things that we aren’t supposed to do. What do the children think of this story where God puts a tempting tree right in the middle of the garden where Adam and Eve live and then says “don’t eat the fruit from this tree!”? What do they think of a God who does this? Isn’t this like the bowl of M&M’s in the middle of the table that we talked about last week?
Why would Love put something desired out there in front of us and then say don’t take it? Does that seem loving? If you didn’t try the M&M experiment last week, you could try it this week. It just involves bringing something to Sunday School that you know they will like, and then setting it on the table. Just say “I brought this in for you to look at, but you can’t eat any of it”. Talk about whether this seems kind or loving? Would someone who loves them do this?

PYCL #4: What is the real man, if Adam and Eve are the “myth” man?

Talk about how Christ Jesus is our model for the man of God’s creating. He showed us through all his healing work, and through his preaching about loving our neighbor as ourselves that man is spiritual, whole, loving, good. He revealed that the error of knowing evil, the serpent’s pitch to Adam and Eve, was truly a lie.

We can live differently from constant sickness, anger, hatred, misery, and death. We have an identity that is conscious of Love alone.
Check out together Jesus’ healing of the bent over woman in Section 5. citation B17/Luke 13:11-13. In this healing this woman had been stuck looking only at the ground for 18 years.
Think of the limitations this represents and share these ideas with the children. What does it mean metaphorically to be stuck in a position where you can’t look up, you can’t see where you are going without pain, you can’t get a bigger sense of anything. There are no beautiful views.

What does this represent spiritually–to be stuck in a material position without relief? I’ve shared this idea before, but you can also have the children try walking around in this position. Would it be easy to mistakenly bump into things, hard to cross the road, and so on? Consider what it means to be “upright”, symbolically?

PYCL #5: Is man spiritual and good, or not?

Our Golden Text from 1Kings 18:21 How (to;) asks: “…How long will you falter between two opinions? if the Lord is God, follow Him;”

You might ask the children what would happen if they were on a trip and they came to a fork in the road and both ways looked ok to them and they just sat there and never chose which way to go?
Would they ever see anything new? Ever get to their destination? No.

In the same way we want to think about our “destination” as we go through life. Do we want real joy, freedom, possibility, understanding of truth?
Well then, we want to choose the Christ man ‘option’ of understanding ourselves and not the one that our senses tell us is real.
This may seem like a really hard choice because the one that seems so real, the one that we detect with our senses, can also feel pretty good!
But what if we choose the truth and apply that truth to wherever we are in our thinking? This is what brings healing, adjusts the human picture to something harmonious when we are experiencing inharmony. We don’t have to be some kind of “super spiritual” thinker.

This is why Jesus came to us. He showed us that the true man is right here, we just have to stop choosing matter as our “truth”. Choose the spiritual!

Have a great Sunday School.











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