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PYCLs — Share the Easter story. Act out the resurrection & other events.  Start with “The true idea of God…”  Share ways that shepherd qualities can be expressed to friends & family daily.
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?”
for Sunday, April 9, 2023

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

PYCL #1: Share the Easter story.

Obviously, we need to tell the story of Easter, what its real meaning is as opposed to the hidden eggs and candy. We don’t have to “rain on anyone’s parade” as they say, just make a distinction between the pagan roots of egg dyeing and bunnies, vs. the risen Christ. While it’s important to share the story of Jesus being crucified, rising, and also ascending, we can also focus on the real importance to us today of this story.
Do the children have any thoughts on it? The youngest may not.

But the deepest importance of the Easter story is that “God’s ever presence is the sum total of being.” This is from the article that Susan Booth Mack Snipes wrote and I included a link to in my metaphysical notes this week here:

This idea that what is most important is this understanding of God as our very “being”, connects us most deeply to the constant call for “resurrection” from all the beliefs of life in matter each day.
We may not be able to share that directly with younger children but it can inform how we talk about Christian Science, and healing in particular.

Be sure to make it understood that healing is the byproduct of spiritual understanding and not the “main event”. It means that we don’t “settle” for even the amazing event of resurrection or healing, but look deeper. You may be able to explain this with the metaphor of the Marys looking into the tomb for Jesus’ body, rather than up and out.
When we are looking into matter for explanations, for our joy, for beginnings and endings, we will most often find ourselves disappointed.

PYCL #2: Set up a cave under the table & act out the resurrection story, or any events in the period.
If you aren’t uncomfortable with it, you can set up a “cave” with a sheet over your Sunday School table and have different children try playing the parts of angels, Jesus, Mary, etc. You can look at other accounts of the resurrection to add depth to the story. We did this last summer when I was doing a Bible lesson hour with preschool aged children. They had so much fun taking turns “rolling away the stone” (we used a beanbag chair, but I’m sure you can use something at hand). Each one got to take a turn at a different role.

Make sure you have reviewed the story first. Here are some questions to ponder before acting out the story: what was Jesus doing in the tomb after they put his body in there?
Mary Baker Eddy mentions that he was “alive” in the tomb.
Does that mean that his material body never died?
What does Easter teach us about eternal Life?
Acting out the story helps it become deeply embedded in their memory as a story of Life, of joy, of the power of God.

You could also read the story (In John 13:5-14, not in the lesson, but appropriate to this period) of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet.
Why did he do that? What did it mean?
Then you could bring in a washtub and towels and wash each others’ feet, or even offer to wash other Sunday School classes’ feet if it’s not too disruptive.

PYCL #3: To answer the question of the Bible lesson this week we must start with “The true idea of God…” cit. S4/323:24

This passage stood out to me this week because of how it says that getting this true idea of God is what “destroys mortality” with its suggestions of sin, sickness and death. What is the “true idea of God”? Ask them what their idea of God is. Have the youngest make a picture, or, if they can write, write down their ideas. Try to get beyond repeating what they already know are “Sunday School answers” if that is possible.

Do they think of God as a “guy” up in the sky?
Is God even a “being”?
Or is God the law of Love/Truth/Life?
Use the analogy of gravity. Gravity being a law of physics, it applies to everyone whether they believe in it or not. It is a universal law.
In the same way, the law of Mind or divine Intelligence surrounds us, is part of our being, is reflected in creativity, wisdom, understanding, insight, inspiration, and so on.

PYCL #4: How can All-Good/God make evil, and have Jesus destroy evil?

As we ponder how a better understanding of God reveals that sin, disease and death are not actually real, or part of creation, we are led to the next passage: (cit. S3/474:16) about how bad things, such as this “trio”, cannot possibly come from God.
If Jesus destroyed them throughout his career, then why would God make them?
How could there be a reality in something that is opposed to God/Good?
This is like the Bible question about how can a fig tree make olives, or a spring send out sweet water and salt water in the same place. So this is always a great question to pose.
Why would God’s son spend his career destroying what God made?
The answer is that he didn’t! What does this mean for us today?

PYCL #5: Share the story of Jesus asking Peter three times about whether he loved him. cit. B19/John 21:1 (to;),12(to 1st.),15-17.

This story is so special.
Why do the students think Jesus asked him three times? How many times did Peter deny knowing Jesus when Jesus was being crucified?
Was this somehow a way to help Peter understand his own “resurrection” from fear, shame, guilt, disappointment in himself, feeling unworthy?
Is this a question that can redeem each of us as we daily follow after Jesus?

Perhaps we can ask ourselves if we truly love Jesus and the Christ that he embodied, enough to daily “feed his sheep”?
What does that mean? How do we feed his sheep?
Come up with a list of ways that we can do this each day. These ideas should be practical ideas of how we can feed “sheep” around us every day!

Check in next week to see if we were successful in our endeavors to do this! Little ones can pretend to actually feed lambs.
Do they need loving?
Do they need guiding, feeding (literally), how about protecting.

You can have them pretend to be shepherds and then ask if they can think of ways that these qualities can be expressed to friends and family each day.
You can even have them dress as shepherds with a sheet, rope around their heads, a stick to hold as a staff, etc.

Happy Easter!!  

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