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PYCLs:  WHAT IS FAITH?  (1)  FIND A NEW NAME FOR “MORTAL MAN.” (2) HOW DO WE MEASURE LIFE IF NOT BY CALENDARS? (3) SYNONYM CHECK (4) ACT OUT JOHN 10:7-10 (5)
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“MORTALS AND IMMORTALS”
for Sunday, November 13, 2022

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


PYCL #1: WHAT IS FAITH?

See if the children have some definitions. If they are older, then jot down their ideas and compile a list. Maybe some of the ideas will look something like this:
“Faith is not leaning on our own senses or what our eyes and ears tell us.”
Or maybe faith is “what God tells or shows us”.
(Then compile a list of things that show us God, or ways that we feel God around us). Then read together the wonderful “definition” from citation B4 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1,2)

Can you decide together what the substance is of something they might hope for?
You can pick something like a new bicycle…what is the substance of a bike?
List some ideas like: transportation, freedom, grace, energy, balance, speed, and so on.
These permanent qualities are the “substance” of something that is actually just a material thing.

Then discuss the idea of “evidence” of things that we can’t see. Evidence is usually something we feel we can produce to prove the reality of something. But here we are talking about the evidence of things that we can’t see. So, what does that mean?

What evidence do they have that their moms and dads love them?
Is it always visible? Is it something they can “hold” in their hands, put on a wall, or produce in court?

After this process, circle back to the first question: “what is faith” and see if there are any new ideas that come up. Then, ask how we might “practice” our faith.


PYCL #2: FIND A NEW NAME TO CALL “MORTAL MAN.”

Explain or ask what the difference is between mortal and immortal man – our subject this week.
Think deeply about immortal man. Do immortal men & women have legs, arms, hair, brown eyes, etc.?
So, what is this “man”? Look at the Genesis 1 definition together.
If immortal man is the original and real man, then “mortal man” isn’t “man” at all!
Just for fun, come up with a new name for this impostor.


PYCL #3: HOW DO WE MEASURE LIFE IF NOT BY CALENDARS?

In citation S12 Mary Baker Eddy tells us that “Life and its faculties are not measured by calendars.” (246:4-6, 20-31)  Talk about what that means.
By what should we measure life then?

Read or tell the stories of Enoch, Moses, and Caleb–their short versions—as told in this section. (Gen. 5:23,24, Heb 11:5, Heb 3:5, Deut. 34:7, and Josh. 14: 6-13)
What do these men have in common?
How does their approach to living stand to influence our own?
Can you think how their lives are still “measured” today?

Create some lists of ways that these men expressed immortality—meaning that their way of living is still influential today, and how this immortality was expressed through their own actions in their day.

At this point, we can bring back our discussion of faith from PYCL#1 and see how it is linked to immortality. Once we have some ideas we can also make a list of “measurements” of an immortal life, life that has nothing to do with the time it takes for our planet to circle the sun!


PYCL #4: SYNONYM CHECK.

The final citation (cit. S32/208:5-6) is a quotation from Scripture: “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Try subbing each synonym for “Him” and then think about what it means, for example, to live and move and have our being in Truth?
What would our day look like? Would it be any different than any other day?

I like the idea here, maybe a little sophisticated for our youngest crowd, that our only real being is truly in God, so of course we embody everything Truthful. But even as we take one step at a time (footsteps of truth), we can see how this has deep impact on our human experience.
We are naturally honest and desirous of clarity, perception, integrity, reliability, and so on.
As we go through each synonym we are compiling a pretty good profile of immortal man!


PYCL #5: ACT OUT JOHN 10:7,9,10/citation B13

First you can ask about Jesus being the “door”. Ask them “what kind of wood?”. Hopefully they will giggle…Explain for the littlest that Jesus was talking about how following him and doing what he did is like walking through a door into the kingdom of heaven. We find happiness there, joy, all that is good. Then, explain about the sheep folds in Jesus’ day, how they were shelters made in the wilderness out of rocks, wood, brambles and so on in a roughly circular shape. Then they would herd the sheep inside for the night and the shepherd would sleep across the opening. Why do they think he did that? Of course, it was to keep them safe, keep out the wild predators.

You can talk about how we keep our sheep-like thoughts, our innocence and goodness, our obedience and gentleness “safe” by guarding our thought. But, you can also have some of them be sheep, build a makeshift “fold” with Sunday School chairs, and then have one lie down in front of the opening. Take turns, if there are enough of you. If there are not, you could use stuffed animals to sub in as the sheep!

If the children are old enough, introduce the idea that Jesus is sharing here, that all are welcome through his door of Christ into the kingdom. Yes, he keeps out error, but not people, only bad thoughts!

You can explain that the story of blind Bartimaeus in citation B11/Luke 18:35-43 in this section, is an example of someone who would not have been allowed in the temple. People thought that if you were sick or had something wrong with you, you were “unclean” and couldn’t be allowed to “contaminate” the rest of the people who attended temple. By healing the blind man, he was not only helping him see, but also telling him, and the world, that no one is “unclean” or unworthy of the kingdom of heaven.

Have a wonderful Sunday School class!!

 

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