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PYCLs: Illustrate how persistence & growth happen most when we’re overcoming challenges. (4)
Possible Younger Class Lesson (PYCL) Ideas for Sunday School from the Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

“Probation after Death”
for October 25, 2020

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

Pycl #1: A circle or Hula hoop or even a ball, might be a good visual aid here.
For the younger students, I wonder if an approach to this lesson, if you wish to address the subject, would be to focus on immortality in the one true spiritual creation. Again, a circle or Hula hoop or even a ball, might be a good visual aid here. Looking, for example at citation S3, Science and Health p.291:23-25 (to 1st .), 28-31, we have the statement that Life is both the "origin" and the "ultimate" of man. Look at that hoop or the sphere. Where is the origin? Where the "ultimate" or finale, if you will? Life is continuous. You might have them travel their hands over the surface of the ball to show that there is no one place where we can "start" and "end". The question that is most helpfully answered about this fact in this week's lesson, is "how do we get to that point of understanding in daily life?"

Pycl #2: Glimpse what it means to be constantly "journeying" forward in our spiritual understanding.
If you wanted to use a globe for the spherical object you could then talk together about how this Bible lesson is full of the metaphor of walking on a path, traveling, progress, and so on. You could think about what a journey over the globe might look like if there were no particular spot that we labeled as "home". Where would this journey "begin" and "end"? Would there ever be a time when you were done journeying if your goal was to see as much of the globe as possible (understand as much about spiritual reality, or divine Life)? Technically, one person could never cover the entire globe in travel, just because of natural obstacles, but it is still a limited analogy.

If the children are young enough, you don't really need to point this out but you could share with older ones that this is merely a symbol of the infinite nature of Life. The whole point of the exercise is to get a glimpse of what it means that we are constantly "journeying" forward in our spiritual understanding of God and man. This is our "path" that this lesson points out. It is not a path of material conquest, but a path to discovering infinite Life which encompasses man!

Pycl #3: Share examples of feeling led on a "path" with God.
I would enjoy talking about this path of progress in a few different ways. One way is to find several citations included in the lesson and look for ways in which we are told that God is with us on this path. In other words, this is where we are one with God, where our way is lit up, where His "right hand" keeps us from being "moved" or from falling off that path. There are also references to the illumination we get on this path. (SH510:9, S1, Ps.16:8, B12 Isa 9:2).

Think of God as light. Everywhere God is, there is light and we can see our way. You can demonstrate this by likening it to walking on a dark forest path with a flashlight. When we step off the path in the dark and are out of reach of that light, we find ourselves tripping over roots and brush, falling down, getting lost. This is a good analogy for how things go when we are trying to do things "on our own". On the positive side there are many "pleasures" and "fullness of joy" on the path where God is leading us and walking with us!

Another path Pycl might be illustrated by working with "Feed My Sheep", or "Shepherd show me how to go". You can sing that together. Ask if they have any examples in their life where they felt they were being led on a "path" with God. Share one of your own.

Pycl #4: Made a simple-path board game with short verses and lesson stories like Enoch or Elijah…
If we are thinking of a path as representing moving forward, or making progress, this is most helpful. You could try this using a made-up board game with a simple path that one would proceed down as we roll a dice. Every so many paces there could be a short verse or sentence that is from this lesson about this kind of progress. Or feel free to cite a story such as Enoch or Elijah and take that moment to read or retell these stories from this week's lesson. (Genesis 5:22-24, 2Kings 2z;1, 6-8, 11).

Pycl #5: Consider how Stephen’s stoning began the dispersion of Christians escaping persecution and so spread Christianity far wider and faster than it otherwise would have!
What does it take to make progress in any endeavor? That's right, it takes persistence! (citation S9, SH p.11:22-27; S3, 487:3-6, S10 p.324:13; S11, p.139:4-8; S12, p.253:32-8; S13, p.254:10-23; S17, p.192:27-29 and more!) You could consider illustrating persistence further by explaining that our journey of progress that helps us grow the most, tends to be one where we are overcoming challenges (having healing!). These opportunities are just what fill our Bible lesson each week. There is one you can share in Section 4 where in Nain Jesus raises the woman's son from death.

The story of Stephen's stoning is a little more complicated. But reading it together you could ask some of the older students why it is included as an example of continuous progress that cannot be stopped by material death? The fact that he asked forgiveness for his killers and then fell asleep, indicates that he was perhaps not experiencing the violence of that event in the same way as others. Also, historically, this stoning began the dispersion throughout the region of Christians escaping persecution. In this way, the message of Jesus actually spread far wider, faster than it otherwise would have! There are some great insights in all the Science & Health citations for Section 5 about what Stephen appears to have understood in his work.

Of course, progress can also be expressed in terms of learning a musical instrument, playing a sport, developing any skill!!

Have a wonderful week in Sunday School!

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