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5 PYCLs: 1) MAKE A PAPER-PLATE “PATH OF TRUTH”  2) USE A FLASHLIGHT  3) WHAT DO WE ACCEPT AS TRUE? 4) BRING IN A “LADY JUSTICE” SCALE 5) LEARN TO PRAY A HEALING PRAYER
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“TRUTH”
for Sunday, January 22, 2023

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


 PYCL A’s & Q’s (Activities & Questions) #1: MAKE A “PATH OF TRUTH” WITH PAPER PLATES.

Using plain white paper plates, write a word on each plate that represents either a “footstep of Truth ” or something that would be considered error, or a lie. Some of the words that might be on the path of Truth might include: honesty, obedience, humility, gentleness, listening, kindness, love, wisdom, insight, intelligence, grace, peacefulness, generosity…you get the idea, the list is limitless.

You can start out with some of the bigger words if you are working with little children and ask them for their suggestions when you get to class and write them onto the plates there. The ones that are “error thoughts”, might be sickness, fear, grumpiness, anger, sadness, envy/jealousy, disobedience…and so on.

Once you have a whole bunch of plates begin to spread them out in a path. The ones that are truth need to all be in a line, while the error ones should branch off to the sides in different places. Have the children follow the path. Read the words aloud as you follow the path, especially if the children don’t read yet.
What does our day look like when we follow this kind of path?
You can be dramatic about the “turn offs” if you are so inclined.


PYCL #2: USE A FLASHLIGHT.

Imagine that the path that you made in PYCL #1 was obscured in darkness. Consider the idea together that Christian Science and Christ Jesus are like lights that illuminate the path of Truth. Our material sense of things notices pain, sickness, anger, hurt feelings, sadness. But with the example of Jesus to follow we can “light up” our thought with the things that are true. For example, when we experience hurt feelings we can “turn on” the light of Christ that reminds us that there is always enough love to fill our heart up full.

Jesus taught us that we need to love even our enemies. The “darkness” of hurt feelings can disappear when we remember that we don’t have to “produce” that love that makes hurt disappear. The love comes from the truth about our friends, or even our “enemies”, that they also are children of God/Truth. This truth is like a light on our path as we walk through the day.

With the flashlight or “sunlight of Truth” (SH 162:4) we start to see the beauty of all the qualities we wrote on those “truth plates”. We notice that God, Truth, is all around us in the honesty we see expressed in our mom or dad, in the beauty of some song birds on our way to school or on the playground, in the kindness of another friend or our teachers or parents, maybe even in someone we pass on the street.

This kind of flashlight work can help us perceive the Truth around us, and also see that path of Truth even when we feel like we are in the “dark” of sadness, etc. I know it won’t be dark in your Sunday School, but you could have them pretend, and follow the path while shining the light on the path of Truth. Obviously, this exercise would be for the youngest classes.


PYCL #3: WHAT DO WE ACCEPT AS TRUE?

It can be dangerous to delve into any generalized talk about how sickness isn’t “real” and the like. But we can certainly ask the questions of ourselves and our students about whether we are using the right senses to determine what is real and what is not. We have the traditional examples of the water mirage on the road, or the railroad tracks appearing to meet in the distance.

Explain and discuss (use illustrations) how this really is the appearance, but with education and experience we have found that no matter what it looks like, the water (in a mirage on a hot dry day) is always an illusion, and that the tracks never meet.

Christian Science healing teaches us similarly that while sickness appears to be very real, and painful, it is a sense illusion that can be overcome when we turn our thought to Truth for the right evidence.  Share an example of healing here. In citation S19/287:9-13, 32-8 Mary Baker Eddy gives us helpful insight about how we cannot have Truth be real and at the same time have error be real. But her statement about using the right senses is helpful in this discussion: “The suppositional warfare between truth and error is only the mental conflict between the evidence of the spiritual senses and the testimony of the material senses…” (italics added). Discuss the difference between “testimony” and “evidence”. Which is a stronger source of truth, evidence or testimony?

You can bring the serpent story into play here if you want (cit. B8/Gen 3:1-5). And Mary Baker Eddy says some interesting things about the serpent/material sense in citation S7/530:17. In particular, what the serpent tells us: “I can open your eyes. I can do what God has not done for you…Only admit that I am real…”.
If we are willing to admit that the testimony of our material senses (what they tell us, or shout at us), might actually be the same testimony that tells us that the railroad tracks are going to meet in the distance, and so might be mistaken, well then, we have a chance to really change our circumstances for the better.

We can feel at peace when things are difficult and we can feel joy when we are facing a challenge. Through welcoming the truth into these difficult situations, we find that the light of Truth illuminates all that is true and good in our experience, right where it might seem there is a challenge. This light can reveal the Truth, the presence and power of God, and nothing but Truth survives in the light of Truth!


PYCL #4: BRING IN A SCALE (NOT A BATHROOM SCALE BUT THE KIND YOU SEE WITH “LADY JUSTICE”).

These kinds of scales are handy in a Sunday School classroom when we are discussing truth “outweighing” error (cit. S13/392:7. You can read this passage to your children. Ask them if “evil and fear” weigh a lot? She tells us that when we “cast them out” we are allowing truth to show its true “weight” or substance. It’s not that evil or error actually have that “weight”, it’s that when we are afraid, we tend to have trouble seeing the truth of God’s presence, or feel that presence with us.

You can bring in a nice big rock to represent Truth or truth. It can have the word truth painted on it even. (See cit. B14/Deut. 32:4 where it tells us “He is the Rock”). What qualities does a rock represent? How are they like truth? Use anything from your classroom to represent error or fear. It can be a container of playdough, or a stapler, it just needs to be heavier than the rock. If you want to be creative use a heavy can with “nothing” printed on the outside (and something with weight inside).

Now have the children “overcome” a fear (this can be a whole conversation of its own). For example, how do we overcome a fear of the dark? We learn what is in the darkness, and that the light reveals nothing there but what is there in the light. We lose our fear when we know what is true. Then, you can dramatically sweep the “fear” off of the scale and watch it sink to the side of the “truth” or the rock.


PYCL #5: HOW DO WE PRAY A HEALING PRAYER?

With the younger children we can still teach them how we might pray or give a Christian Science treatment in simple terms. Mary Baker Eddy does just this in Section 4 this week. All of the citations are helpful but in particular citation S20/417:10-18 gives us some specific ideas for turning away from the lie of inharmony and looking into truth. She gives us some “steps” we can share:

  1. Maintain the facts of Christian Science…” (Spirit is God and can’t be sick–matter cannot be sick).
  2. “…all causation is Mind, acting through spiritual law.”
  3. “…hold your ground with the unshaken understanding of Truth and Love, and you will win.”
  4. “…silence the witness against your plea…” which destroys the evidence, and disease disappears.

Share some ideas about how to maintain facts of Christian Science. What are these facts? Write a list. How do we maintain such things? With a car we maintain it with regular oil changes, keeping it clean, tires safe, and so on.
With a garden we weed, water, harvest, fertilize.
What do we do to maintain the facts of Christian Science?
Do they need maintenance?
Maybe this is a maintenance in our own thinking and practice.
If we are practicing the qualities of truth that we have discussed, we are maintaining these facts and seeing them in action around us.

How do we admit that the only true cause is Mind?
What would divine Mind cause? What would Mind not cause?
What is spiritual law?

What does it mean to “hold your ground”?
Have you ever had to be persistent to really gain a skill?
You could use sports, music, talents of any kind here as examples of a need for persistence.

Finally, the idea of silencing the witness is so cool because it points to the fact that the witness is not “us”. Even though our material senses might tell us that we are feeling unwell, or are sad or angry, this so-called witness is not actually our own selfhood. It is an impostor.

Just as Jesus saw the temptations that he faced in the wilderness as “the devil”, so we can see temptations to believe the lie, or the liar, as something other than “self”. This removes the “liar’s” strongest platform because we no longer associate the error with our “self”!

Have a truthful time in Sunday School. 

 

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