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PYCLs: “God brings the best out of you, …changed from the inside out.” (#5)
Are there two kinds of man? Another way to illustrate the one true power.  Bring in some fun clothes to try on.  Tares and wheat.
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“MORTALS AND IMMORTALS”
for Sunday, May 14, 2023

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


PYCL #1: Are there two kinds of man?

You can explain to slightly older children that this idea of there being two “men”, a mortal one and an immortal one, is what we call “dualism”. Dualism is the belief that there is both good and evil and that evil has power. Dual just means two. What do we know for sure about God? There is only ONE!

If one God is all powerful, all good, all present, and all knowing, then there cannot be truth to error of any kind. So what do we do with the appearance of evil? We face it with the confidence that even though it seems troubling, we do not have to be troubled by it. If we practice this each day, a little at a time, we find that we can see through the lie that matter is a second “god” more and more easily.

This might be a good time to review the first two Commandments with the younger ones, and discuss why they are relevant with older students.
How does having one God and only worshiping one God help us deal with the suggestions of duality?
How do we check those thoughts that come to us that claim that there is more than one power controlling our own thought?


PYCL #2: Another way to illustrate the one true power.

With the younger children this is fun to do as a demonstration if you have a janitor’s closet or a bathroom with no windows in your church. Before taking a field trip there, discuss how things look different in the dark. If there is even a tiny bit of light we see shadowy things that can even look scary to us until we know what they are. When we turn on the light everything becomes clear.

Here are some questions you can ask the students: “where did the darkness go?”
“Did it hide somewhere in the closet?”
“Can it jump out, while the light is on, and take over the room?”
You get the idea here. Darkness is not a power. There are no “darklights” in the way we have flashlights right?

If you enjoy the fun, you can jokingly hand them a flashlight that has no batteries and say it’s a darklight…then joke about how really it’s a “nothing” light, nothing can create darkness or “shine” darkness.
This conversation can also be expanded to include the idea of how there are things like clouds in the sky that can obscure the sun. But do they keep the sun from shining?
Or is the sun always shining just as bright, while sometimes we cannot see it as well, either because of clouds, or because it’s on the other side of our globe (night time)?


PYCL #3: Bring in some fun clothes to try on.

Our Golden Text from 2 Cor. 5:4 we and CITATION B16/1 Cor. 15:53,54,57 thanks, 58 speak of being “clothed” with immortality, and having immortality “swallow up” mortality. With the older children you can ask them about these passages. Read them in modern translations perhaps.
What is Paul explaining? It is so relevant to the daily struggle we have where we want to understand how to see our spiritual nature even while we feel like very material beings.
Paul helps us to face the challenges of being human and wanting not to “stomp” on or “get rid of” mortal struggles, but rather to “clothe ourselves” with the spiritual.
This relates to that light shining exercise above, in that what he tells us is similar to shining a light of spiritual understanding that causes the material suggestion to disappear– to be “swallowed up” in light!

With the younger children you can talk about having problem attitudes or habits be “reclothed” by true attitudes of Love. With each quality we want to embody, we can put on a new article of clothing from the collection you bring in.
They simply have to name the immortal quality before putting on the clothing article.


PYCL #4: Tares and wheat.

Read this parable (or tell it) toget her. (cit. B12/Matt. 13:24-30, 34. This is such a fun parable to understand.  Bring pictures of the difference between these particular weeds and wheat in their early and mature states.

Ask a lot of questions.
Why doesn’t the farmer tell the men to pull up the weeds?
Why doesn’t the farmer conduct a search to find out who threw the bad seed in there? (Like the questions we ask like why is this person mean?, or why do I feel sick?, or why do I have to???…).

We have talked about the one God. Maybe this is an example of the need to focus on the power of Good, versus focusing on the opposite? In the Metaphysical application ideas this week on the CedarS’ website I mention that one thing this parable might teach us is that we aren’t just “waiting” error out.
We are maturing spiritually so that the error just naturally becomes obvious to us and easy to get rid of! You can talk about what it means that “The inharmonious and self-destructive never touch the harmonious and self-existent. These opposite qualities are the tares and wheat, which never really mingle, though (to mortal sight) they grow side by side until the harvest;…” (cit. S15/300:13)
What does this mean that these things “never really mingle..”? (cit. S15/300:13)
Good and evil cannot “mingle” because there is no substance in error…just as darkness can’t mix with light!


PYCL #5: “God brings the best out of you, …changed from the inside out.”
JB Phillips, Romans 12:2/cit. B15

This is such a great verse to contemplate! There are many translations that offer new insight. I especially enjoy the tonal translation from The Message. This particular version includes the idea of “maturing” spiritually into what we truly are — kind of like I mentioned in thinking about the tares and wheat story. “Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”  (Romans 12:2/cit. B15, The Message)

The J.B Phillips New Testament has a brilliant translation as well. “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves toward the goal of true maturity.” (Romans 12:2/cit. B15, J.B Phillips)

Have fun in Sunday School this week!

 

 

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