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[PYCLs: Keep a gratitude journal; be aware of angels. Show how lies suggests; wave tissues]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

“Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”

Sunday, November 30, 2014

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

 [PYCL 1]
I think it would be fun to take some time, as usual, to investigate the title of this week’s lesson. After determining, at whatever level you teach, what these big words mean, have the kids try writing the title in other words.  Even the littlest kids might be able to do this on some level.  Even if it seems a bit boring and literal, it wouldn’t hurt for them to try this: “Really old time and current practice of trying to understand things by either attempting to ask the dead questions, or by looking to our own human sense of the past to make decisions about the future…” That might be one way to start, for example.  I’m pretty sure if they can come up with some of their own words to “translate” this mouthful, they will already be way ahead of the game in their understanding of this subjects’ relevance to our life today!

[PYCL 2]
What kinds of things attract our focus?  Are we easily impressed by other people’s behavior?  Do we find ourselves constantly correcting others and maybe not being as aware of the good in others or even ourselves?  When someone asks us how our day is going/went, is our first thought negative or positive?  If it is negative, does this mean we should “paste” our negative thoughts over with something “sunny”?  This goes to thinking about Thanksgiving, always a timely topic. Genuine gratitude often can follow in the wake of even a seemingly-forced gratitude list.  I know sometimes my best healings have come when I’ve just set myself to really working on this gratitude list.  It may start by feeling artificial, but I promise, persistence pays off and pretty soon we are really feeling all those qualities listed in the Golden Text and the final citation of the Bible (B15).  Why is this?  Well, that’s what this lesson explains!  We can become hypnotized or mesmerized by material sense.  It can seem so real and so substantial—unless we oppose it!  One little exercise to do that would illustrate how error captures our attention.  Try waving a tissue or something in front of, or just to the side of, their vision.  Did that movement grab their attention? What happens when we pay attention to whatever is “loudest”, “busiest”, “right in front of our eyes”?  This is how material sense works and we have to really be aware of that.  Goodness is not less noticeable, but, if we are not careful to practice being aware, our attention can become focused on the flashy things of matter, even pain.

[PYCL 3]
A friend of mine here in St. Louis has her kids (and herself) keep a gratitude journal.  This might be a great ongoing thing to have in your Sunday School class.  Maybe each class begins with a few minutes for each kid to write something they are grateful for during their past week.  If there is time set aside each week in class we really kill two birds with one stone, as they say.  First we are letting the kids know that we consider gratitude essential to Christian Science healing and to joy.  Second, we will have something at the end of the year that is a steady weekly record for them to look back on.  Hopefully it will include gratitude for healings that they have experienced!  They may need encouragement to deepen their ideas so that they don’t just repeat that they are "grateful to God"…. though that’s a good place to start.  If they are reticent writers try offering to write down their ideas for them.  This would happen anyway with the smaller children who can’t yet write.  But don’t forget to allow the little ones who are just beginning to write, the opportunity to try to make their own journal entries.  Many kindergarteners, for example, do this at school—it doesn’t have to be spelled correctly!!  

[PYCL 4]
This kind of journaling keeps our thought alert and aware of God’s goodness through Her angel thoughts.  These angels are included also in this week’s lesson.  They speak directly to Mary at Jesus’ tomb, and they communicate as God directly to Moses as well.  These communications are always coming to us and they specifically counteract the lies that material sense presents to us.  I love that in citation S9 Mrs. Eddy tells us that knowledge of error (of its falsity) is necessary before we can understand the Truth which destroys it!  How do the angels that God sends help us to make that distinction?  It might be helpful to talk briefly about ways that error suggests itself to us…  How does error tell us that we should be sad?  Angry?  etc.  There always seems to be a “good” reason.  Make no mistake about it; error always presents itself as “reasonable”.  Shouldn’t Moses have been afraid to pick up a serpent by the tail (explain why that’s not usually a good idea).  Shouldn’t he have been afraid of seeing leprosy on his body?  Wouldn’t these fears have been “logical”?  Why are they truly okay to “kick to the curb”?  If you need an active moment with your wiggly crew you could write down the lies on paper, crumple them up, drop them on the floor and give them a good kick, or throw them dramatically in the trash can (where they obviously need to go anyway)… for the purposes of this exercise there should be no “recycling”! 🙂

[PYCL 5]
Does God ever “curse” us?  Remember Adam and Eve?  This is part of how we can tell that this cannot be a true tale of man’s creation.  The loving maker of man would not curse Her own creation.  Check out the story of Balak.  I’d never quite seen it this way, but it seems to be saying that while God may not bless every activity, he does not curse His creation.  He blesses and supports ideas, good, right.  This is how we can pray to dispel so many of the news-related items that seem to grip our thought, from terrorist acts throughout the world, to local, racially-charged issues here in Ferguson, MO.  We can discern the blessed nature of man, the man that is richly bestowed with all that he/she needs including justice, satisfaction, joy.  This is true on an individual basis as well.  So you can work with these thoughts with some of the older kids who may be more attuned to current events in the world.

Have an awesome Sunday!

 

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