Thank you for your loving support this Giving Tuesday!

PYCLs: PASS FROM DEATH TO LIFE BY LOVING OTHERS! (2) LIST WAYS TO FEEL INSEPARABLE from God (3) COVER the first 2 of the “TOP 10 FREEDOMS” to ACCENTUATE! (4)
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“PROBATION AFTER DEATH”
for Sunday, October 23, 2022

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


PYCL #1: WHAT IS DEATH?

I think it might be helpful to answer this question…depending on the younger ones, they may be wanting that answer too, but you be the judge. I love that this lesson points out that death is a name we give for a change that we don’t understand well. See citation S5/254:16.

When we are living on a surface level of material existence we may see death as an ending, but Life as God has no beginning, no ending. And man, as the expression of that Life or Being, also can have no beginning or end. So, death is what we see happen to matter. It cannot actually happen to spiritual ideas (that we sometimes perceive as matter).

Share some ideas about what a spiritual idea is. For example, what is the spiritual idea behind a bird?
It might be soaring and inspired ideas, grace, beauty, industry, joy…
These are things that manifest in our lives without end. They don’t end if a bird flies into a window.


PYCL #2: WANT TO KNOW HOW WE “ABIDE IN DEATH”?

I found this fascinating in citation B10/1st John 3:14 “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
First of all, we have a situation where we are going from death to life…that’s an interesting reversal of how it seems to proceed! How does this work?
Then we have this simple definition of death being that of not loving your “brother”. That is death!

Try having a conversation about this idea. Why is not loving your brother akin to death itself?
Are we even really living in a vibrant, clear, joyful way if we are harboring something less than love for our brother/neighbor?


PYCL #3: WHAT IS PROBATION?

Explain the dictionary definition of this word, then look at how it is studied in this lesson from the Golden Text/Prov 12:28 “In the path of righteousness there is life, in walking its path there is no death.” Throughout we are shown that it is in daily, step-by-step progress that we find our way past this belief that we live and die in the human body.

When we begin to see that there is a “path” that involves expressing spiritual qualities, looking for them, demonstrating them, that leads us out of living in and of matter. The body then plays a secondary role in our experience as humans. I guess all of this is a little sophisticated for the smallest but here is a citation that shows a way to bring it into focus for all ages.

Citation S19/248:29 gives us a list of specific things that we can allow to “reign within us” that will bring true life into view with more regularity: “…unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love…”. These qualities equate with what Mary Baker Eddy terms here the “kingdom of heaven”.
They free us from death because they keep us feeling the presence of God without separation, the presence of Life. Work with the little ones on how we can each express these qualities.
Make a list together. Make sure to define terms like mercy. Also, I find it useful that health can be synonymous with harmony because that gives it breadth.


PYCL #4: WHO DO “WE ACKNOWLEDGE AND OBEY AS GOD…”?  [W. Is it up to the job of being God?]

We all “recognize the power of” (another definition of ‘acknowledge’), and obey, someone or something. This idea goes with a study of the first two Commandments [No other gods; No graven images (obsessions). Exodus 20:2-4], so this is a great way to include these fundamentals of Sunday School in this week’s class. [Warren: After Friday’s workday LOOK ONLINE FOR AN ATTACHMENT of two pages of three, side-by-side, front/back bookmarks of God’s guaranteed “Top 10 Freedoms” to ACCENTUATE.  The flip side is designed to be printed with the “Top 10 Limits” to ELIMINATE. Check out more in CedarS GEMs including: “The real Christian Scientist is constantly accentuating harmony in word and deed, mentally and orally, …” (Mis. 206:19) Also, there’s a YouTube link to the catchy tune “Accentuate the positive! Eliminate the negative!  (Don’t mess with Mr. In-between!” made popular by Christian Scientist, Kay Kyser, a well-known Band Director of his era before he served as a Christian Science Practitioner, Teacher and Lecturer.]

[Kerry again:] “All this sprang from and reinforces Section 4’s citation S16 which tells us that we can measure our progress spirit-ward by asking ourselves “…where our affections are placed and whom we acknowledge and obey as God.”  (SH 239:16-20)

“Who or what are we “obeying” [W. or thinking about most] when we gossip about others?
Who or what are we obeying or acknowledging [W. or thinking about most] when we complain about our body, or are afraid of something on or about our body?
When we are afraid, who are we acknowledging [W. or thinking about most]?
The second part of that passage might suggest we ask ourselves whether divine Love “is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us…”.
What would that look like? [W. The freedoms of: 1.  NO WORRIES! 2. NO OBSESSION WITH …THINGS!]
How does Love become “more real” to us [and so be thought about most]?


PYCL #5: CIRCLES ARE GOOD REPRESENTATIONS OF LIFE.

Going beyond the image for circular life given us in the Disney movie “The Lion King”— where it is represented by grass feeding zebras, which feed lions, which eventually die and decay and feed the grass— this circle represents spiritual infinity, without beginning or end, not cyclical matter. You can have the children trace circles; you can bring in a Hula-Hoop; you can do a circle search in the Sunday School. Ask where the circles “begin” and where they “end”.

Mary Baker Eddy voices this idea in citation S2/487:3-6, 27. Here she says that “Life is the origin and ultimate of man…”. I love that she doesn’t say “beginning” and “end”.

There is no beginning for an idea that is an expression of that which is, and always has been, present—Life. Life didn’t “pop into being”. So, Life’s reflection, man, didn’t pop into being either.
As “humans” we gain an understanding of this by “walking in the pathway of Truth” now and always.

Our final citation in the Lesson also bolsters this idea that it is about how we understand the “conception” of man. If we see man as conceived in matter, well, we get a limited view.
If we see it accurately as man eternally conceived in and of Spirit, then we are unlimited in our expression of eternal Life. (cit. S28/323:9)


PYCL #6: BRING IN SOME PICTURES OF MANSIONS AND THEIR INSIDES.

Check out what it says about how Jesus explains the “mansions” within his “Father’s house”. (Responsive Reading/John 14:2-3)  What are these “mansions”? How does the Christ “prepare” them for us?
What do we have to do to walk into the rooms of those mansions?

Show the children pictures of big fancy houses so they get a sense of what a mansion is.
Is this what Jesus is talking about? Do they think that maybe he was talking about the comfort, supply, safety, health and so on that come with following Christ? Do we have to earn a lot of money to move into those mansions? Can they draw one of these mansions?
Maybe it could be something that is made out of a string of words that say things like lovelovelovelove, or joyjoyjoy, etc. as outlines of walls and so on… You may have to help the smaller ones with this.
I think these mansions tie nicely into the last section B15/Isa. 40:1,4,5. In such mansions, the glory of the Lord is revealed to “all flesh”, that is to the human experience, here and now. One thing to consider is that when the Bible refers to the “house of the Lord” in the 23rd Psalm, Mary Baker Eddy interprets this as “the consciousness of Love”. Is that a “place”? Can you draw “the consciousness of Love”? If not, does that make it indistinct, or can it be tangible? Big thoughts for little people, but worth pondering!

Have a great week in Sunday School!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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