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PYCLs: Stay aware of present good. Break the hypnotic pull of devices.
[Uncover your reflected light to freely share it — like Joseph, Stephen and Jesus did!]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”
for Sunday, November
26, 2023

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

PYCL #1: Study the title of this lesson together and what it means to us.  To magnify PRESENT good.
Break the hypnotic pull of devices [with the ever-attraction of the angel light of inspiration shared!]

Obviously, this would be for slightly older children. What is “necromancy”? So, in a literal sense it is not of much use to most of us today. But when we think about it metaphorically it is very useful. Do we sometimes wish things were like they were in the past?

Maybe we remember, even as kids, that we had certain traditions that we loved on Thanksgiving, or Christmas and we want them to stay the same. And maybe things in our family have changed in a way that makes it impossible for them to stay the same! Talk about how important it is to stay conscious of the present good. That is how we recognize Love’s activity here and now. When we live in the past, we are, first of all, imagining things, and second of all, we are blind to Love’s/Life’s presence and power right now. Necromancy for us today, is  looking to the past for happiness or feeling nostalgic for something in the past. But the past isn’t “real”! It’s only memory!

Hypnotism and mesmerism are kin to one another. They may have some understanding of these terms, but again, how are they metaphorically or even literally present in our experience today?
Are we hypnotized/mesmerized by our devices? (Probably…)
Can we have a good conversation with them suggesting ideas about how to break the mesmerism/hypnotism of devices? You can certainly bring statistics about what they can cause if you want. I just wouldn’t make it a big speech on the evils of phones, etc. or you will be scolding and scolding is not our role as teachers. We can ask questions and humbly ponder the same things that we may find ourselves struggling with, in all honesty!

PYCL #2: Experiments with light. [Uncover your light!]

This week’s lesson is full of stories and verses about light. What does light have to do with this long title?
If your class is a peaceful one, bring in a candle and a candlestick. Find a waste basket that has no air holes in it and have it handy. Discuss how light reveals good. How light makes the lie or evil vanish. You can do this with the young children by talking about a dark room, no light at all, and how hard it is to navigate in there. You would find yourself bumping into things etc. This doesn’t make the darkness “evil”, it just obscures what is there all along.

Light, or understanding reveals God’s presence and goodness. Now light the candle.
They can imagine how it would light things up if it were at all dark in the room. What happens when we put a trash can over it? Two things: we can’t see the light it makes, and it will probably go out if the trash can stays on there long enough to use up the oxygen.

Look at Mary Baker Eddy’s statement in citation S32/367:17 where she quotes Jesus’ statement from the Sermon on the Mount. Look at Jesus’ statement as well. You can find other translations too.
What does it mean to be a light in the world? Aren’t we all “light”?
It’s just when we “hide” it that we get mixed up about who we are.

We aren’t making ourselves into “lights”, we are keeping our light “uncovered”!
You can think about how it goes out without air as well in this analogy. While the light of Love/Life ,etc. never goes “out”, it can certainly seem that way when we give in to feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness.
If we keep the “cover” off our light, we leave room for the “oxygen”, the Spirit that is God, to feed our light, our love and joy in life. You get the picture. See how far the children want to go with this.

PYCL #3: Candle and a mirror.

If you are trying out the candle experiment you can do a second one with citation S6/503:28 “God, Spirit, dwelling in infinite light and harmony from which emanates the true idea, is never reflected by aught but good.” Talk about light and reflection. If God is reflected only by good, are we that “good”?

Bring out a hand held mirror and light your candle. When you light it and hold the mirror up to the candle, what is reflected there? If the candle is lit and in front of the mirror, it will only be reflected in the mirror as light. It can’t give off darkness. You could also do this with a flashlight. In this same way, God is only reflected as “light”, or as understanding, love, goodness, and so on. There is nothing evil that can be reflected from something that is all good! Each child can have a turn holding the mirror up to the candle or flashlight.

PYCL #4: Try a blindfold if anyone is willing.

Have they ever noticed that when they are doing something that they are really focused on, whether building with Legos, drawing, playing on a phone, or reading a book, that they sometimes don’t even hear what is going on around them? They might not even hear when mom asks them to do something, even if they answer her! This is a little like being blind to everything around them.

If anyone is comfortable you can try blindfolding someone and then compare how this feels to being blind to things going on around us when we are looking at our phones, wearing our earbuds, etc.
We aren’t at all “present” with things around us. This is okay sometimes, for sure.
But if it is all the time, that’s when it gets us unhappy because we are also blind to the presence of Love, Truth, Life, that is going on at all times, like the lit candle on its candlestick!

PYCL #5: Share examples of God’s light seen by Joseph (Gen. 37/39), by Stephen & by Jesus (John 9)

It is fun to tell the story of Joseph. It is usually one that the younger children know pretty well. If not, introduce it. You can share a more complete version if you want. (cits. B6 & B7/Gen. 37 & 39) The thing to notice in this week’s lesson is the way that it illustrates that evil doesn’t have true power if you keep your own consciousness “lit” by Love.

No matter what happened to Joseph throughout his life, he always, eventually, lit up enough space around him with love, that people had to notice his goodness, and his usefulness. You can talk about how sometimes it seems like evil (mesmerism, hypnotism) has power, like when Joseph’s older brothers were hypnotized by jealousy, or when the Sanhedrin and crowd were furious about Stephen bringing them to shame about their rejection and murder of Jesus, the Promised Messiah. (cits. B18 & B19/Acts 6:8-15, Acts 7:2, 52-60) [Warren is sending a likelike video portrayal of Stephen boldly speaking to the Sanhedrin in his verse by verse defence in Acts 7, that retells stories in this week’s Bible Lesson about Stephen and Joseph as well as about Moses at the burning bush in last week’s Lesson)  Click on a link below to see the rest of this story at

The Stoning of Stephen – Jesus Film Project

[This video may be beyond your class, but] what they should know is the truth that, in the end, Good/God, always appears and wins.  The light always shines through. [Like it did for the man born blind who Jesus refused to see as blind. (cit. B12/John 9:1-7)]  Note also how Stephen glimpsed the light of “heaven” before “falling asleep” [peacefully “changing his address,”] and how Joseph eventually saved many people by his seeing God’s light in a prophecy about the seven years of coming drought and how to store-up for it in the preceding seven years of plenty.

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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