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Pycls: Feel most happy & at peace when you rid yourself of a material view of you! (#1)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Doctrine of Atonement”
for Sunday, April 18, 2021

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

Pycl #1: Describe how you feel when you’re deeply happy. Rid yourself of a material view of you!
It is a good idea to explain what atonement is if you are with children that are a bit older. But usually we tend to focus on how it is that Jesus' life brought us to a better understanding of how man is one with God, not a separate mortal being. Maybe we could think together about how we feel when we feel close to God/Love/Truth?

Can anyone describe what feeling close to God feels like? If no one has anything to offer, can they think about a time when they felt deeply happy or at peace? What made those times special? Can you share an example? Why does healing make us feel like we are more at one with God?

Why do we feel especially far from God when we are behaving disobediently, or being unkind, selfish, angry etc.? Sin is really believing we are separate from God, capable of doing things that God did not make us to do. So, atonement, which could be thought of as the process of removing sin from the man, might be seen as ridding ourselves of a material view of ourselves. Who did that better than Jesus?!

There is only one story of healing in this lesson, the man with the withered hand, but I love how Jesus points out that there is nothing that can separate this man from wholeness. There are no laws of society, church, no lack of compassion, no creeds that can separate us from our oneness, wholeness, harmony in God! Notice together that it is healing, or demonstration, that roots us in our oneness with God.

There is no other way to feel at one, other than demonstration. Demonstration and healing can come in a variety of ways, though! It can look like a walk where we notice everything lovely around us and give gratitude to God for the beauty, the flowers, leaves, bird song, whatever.

When we notice everything lovely around us, it is demonstrating our ability to appreciate God's/Soul's variety, beauty, color, grace, and so on. This kind of demonstration opens the door to other kinds, including physical healing. A good passage to work with in this kind of demonstration is in our Responsive Reading/Isa 52:7. How can we do this? How do we "bring good tidings, publish peace"? Can we come up with a list of ways that we can do these things?

Pycl #2: Citation S7/361:16-18 with a glass of water provides a great illustration of oneness with God. Have a glass of water and an eye dropper or straw with which to demonstrate how the drop of water is distinct but still one with the whole glass. Then talk about the sun and the ray of light that comes from it. Understanding that the ray is never separated from the sun, not even by clouds, which can only hide or filter the rays. Ultimately there is no possible way to separate them from their source. In the same way we are one with our Father-Mother God. You can illustrate the sun and rays with a flashlight and a piece of cardboard. If you put a piece of cardboard in front of the beam of light, it will stop the beam from reaching the table, but this cardboard cannot separate the beam from its source. I know we did this just a few weeks ago, but it is helpful, if you haven't already tried it!

Pycl #3: What are the "two cardinal points of Christian Science"? (cit. S10/52:19).
Maybe this is too silly, just skip it if it is! With the very littles, have some drawings of cardinal birds. They are very common here, but you can look them up if they are not indigenous to where you live.

Cut a bird out for each child and have these two points written on the birds.
1. material life and intelligence are nothing.
2. God is all, is mighty, includes all of us, is all-good.
You can write it differently, shorter, sweeter! You could work together to have a phrase like:
"matter is a zero".
"God is infinite all-good"–or something like that.

Have the children color their birds red, or cut them out of red paper. Of course you can explain that a "cardinal point" really has nothing to do with a bird!

Pycl #4: Share examples of Truth overcoming error in our actions and words. Citation S20/21:1-5,9 gives us a good explanation of how we can know that we are taking part in the atonement, or oneness with God. Talk about what our "daily walk and conversation" means. Can we have a time, maybe as we first go to bed, where we ask ourselves if we saw Truth overcome error in our own actions and words that day? Come up with some examples of this.

Examples of Truth overcoming error in our actions and words might take the shape of not engaging in an argument with a sibling or friend even when we wanted to. It might mean that we stopped one time in that day to notice something beautiful and acknowledge that that was God in our lives. You should come prepared with a list from each day, if you can!

Pycl #5: Share a paper cut-out of a little lamb with its innocent, pure qualities written on it…
What is the "Lamb of God"? What do lambs represent? How does Mary Baker Eddy define Lamb of God? (cit. S1/590:9) How does the "Lamb of God" take away the sin of the world? (cit. B4/John1:29) I've been thinking that this would be interesting to look into. Can we be innocent, pure, without a separate self from God, and still "sin" (feel separated from God/Good)? No!

Discuss what "self-immolation" means. The true selfhood is divine, there is nothing there that needs to be purified or "burned" away. So, what is immolated is only the counterfeit. I love that the innocence and purity of the real man destroy the belief that man can be separate from God, can sin.

Give each child a little lamb. It could be a paper one, or one of those small plastic animal ones. If it is a paper cutout you could write this definition, or write some of the qualities from this definition, on the picture and have them take it home. If you are not in person for Sunday School you could email their parents a line drawing to download that they could cut-out for themselves, or just have them draw one at home.

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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