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Pycls: Work for WOW! Focus on God, not self. Work together on a Probation board game. (#5,3,2)
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Probation after Death”
for Sunday, April 25, 2021

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

Pycl#1: Ponder God as a consciousness actively knowing us as intelligence, care, order, safety…
If you are not teaching the very youngest I'd say it is always worth talking about the nature of this subject. What is probation? When you think about it as a "waiting" period, a time where we are being "reviewed" and tested for our "worthiness", this opens up a platform from which to discuss a number of things. On what is our worth based? Does God judge us?

Is God like a big "Santa" who knows everything we do & think & judges our worth based on that? There are certainly verses from the Bible that speak of God knowing us intimately, but who is that "person" that He knows? Is it a mortal capable of good and bad? Or is it His blessed idea of Love?

I love asking the students to describe their idea of God. Is God a "being"? If so, does he have a shape or form? We don't need to shoot down anyone's idea of God. But I love to suggest that we could ponder thinking about God as a consciousness that surrounds us with intelligence (Mind), with care (Love), with order and safety (Principle) and so on.

Maybe you could liken God’s presence to being buoyed up in an ocean of Love/Life/Truth, etc. You don't have to struggle to keep your head up, or get tired trying to climb up, but you are enveloped in all this harmony. I don't know if that resonates with you, but see if there is something that you and the students can think about to represent that kind of consciousness that really knows each of us, communicates, loves, heals, supportsbut doesn't need to judge us to be "good" or "bad", because this consciousness created us in Her likeness!

Pycl #2: Work together to design a board game that has a path with spaces to move forward on.

This subject is often focused on progress. Progress is key to moving past the notion of life and death in matter, into the understanding of eternal, divine, being. Work together with a large sheet of paper to design a board game that has a path with spaces to move forward on.

There are references in this lesson to: the "straight and narrow" cit. S12/324:13; “walk in footsteps of Truth and Love” cit. S14/27-29; "Every step towards goodness…" cit. S9/213:11; and more. Make the spaces foot-shaped to indicate that this is a path forward. Make cards that you can pick up, with things that you come up with together that will help us progress spiritually. Each student needs to write a certain number of cards. If you don't have many students, this may take a few classes, but the game will be all the more fun for them when it is done.

What are some things that we want to make progress with? Maybe we want to learn to think less critically of others and we can find one short quote that will help us in that endeavor. (It could be the Golden Rule, or something else from the Sermon on the Mount that you want them to memorize, or something from Science and Health!)

If we want to progress in our classes at school what might a good way to do that?
Or maybe we want to get better at being grateful…
In order to make the game last a bit longer you can make it a combination of rolling a die to move, and landing on spaces here and there that ask you to draw a card.

Maybe when you draw a card with one of our progressive thoughts on it you get to move forward a few extra spaces? This game could be decorated as you go, or, one option could be to do it life-sized and move around the room on these "spaces" if your class has younger children who need that movement.

Pycl #3: To make progress, we need to focus on God — not on self.
I love the translation of Romans 8:5-9/cit. B6 that we find in Eugene Peterson's The Message. He likens the "carnal mind" to thinking about "self". So, there's God-focus and self-focus. If we want to progress, we need to focus on God. Why is that? Why is a false focus on self a focus on "death"? When we focus on self we might be thinking of ourselves as separate from God, our true source of being.

Remember how we have talked recently about the sun and its rays? Can a ray be separated from the sun and go warm or light somebody? No! It "dies" when it is separated from its source. There is no ray without a source! In the same way any true 'self' we have is one that is rooted in the Divine.
Maybe come up with a few ideas that "separate" us along with a few that point out our unity with, God.

Pycl #4: Work to develop better qualities/habits similar to the progressive ideas in our board game.
What is one quality that we can name that is needed in order to progress? We have to have devotion and persistence, well, those are two qualities, but you get the idea!

Think together about any endeavor they might enjoy. Do they have to practice it to get good at it? If we want to be good at a sport, we have to practice it, play it. To get good at a musical instrument, we have to practice it. What are we "practicing" when we want to progress spiritually, in our understanding of God? Sure, we can study the books, but realistically, we are working to develop better habits of love, truth, living, and so on. Make a list (these would be similar to our progressive ideas in our board game).

Pycl #5: Focus on 3 different times when Jesus appeared to his followers & what he asked us to do
In this lesson we can enriched by focusing on three different times where Jesus appeared to disciples and to the women that followed him, after he was crucified. (cit. B13/Mark 16:1-7,9,10; cit. B15/Luke 24:13-21,25,27,30-32; and cit. B18/John 21:2-6,9,12,14)
[W: Below are links to short YouTube video reenactments of the Risen Jesus appearing to his followers if you feel they would help convey the Wow-factor potential meaning and applications for your students. Tech support may be needed to download them and have them open to be able to share on Zoom or in person.

*Jesus appears to Mary* *He shepherds 2 Emmaus lost sheep* *He serves a Morning Meal & appeal*]

These are all examples of times where the disciples could have moved forward in their ministry and realized that Jesus' mission didn't end with the crucifixion. But not until the third example in John, did they take up their tasks! It is interesting to ponder together why they might have felt like they should go back to fishing even after knowing that Jesus was risen? What do the students think Jesus was expecting from his disciples after he taught them?

Can you find any of his statements that tell us what he wanted us/his disciples, to do? What are some reasons why we would want to follow Jesus? What does following Jesus "do" for us/for the world?
Sort of like asking "Why should we want to be "good", or progress spiritually?

Have a great week in Sunday School!

BONUS for classes working on their Ten Commandments curriculum as called for in in the Manual 62:

DAILY COMMIT TO GLADLY OBEY EACH COMMANDMENT TO FEEL WHOLENESS WITHIN & express “the whole of man in His image & likeness.” SH 340:9; Deut. 7:9; Ex. 20:1; Mark 12:29

Jesus says the greatest of the two great Commandments is to “love God with all your heart… soul & … mind” (Matt. 22:37). [This week’s Bible Lesson has Jesus affirming the answer of “a certain lawyer” (Luke 10:25-28, cit. B7) of the two greatest commandments of the law that he says need to be LIVED!]

The first great commandment of loving God with all your heart is lived by whole-heartedly putting into practice the 1st 4 Commandments, summed up below:
#1. Celebrate examples of God’s unfailing, freeing love if ever tempted to be worried!** Click on each # below for elements of a Barry Huff podcast series on The 10 Commandments at ChristianScience.com. It starts with https://www.christianscience.com/youth/resources-lists/sunday-school-teachers-teaching-resources/the-first-commandment-animated-tr
#2. Quit thinking most about material things and bodies that will never be “up to the job” of being God.
#3. Don’t say O.M.G. (“Oh, My God!”) unless you are praying God’s name and expecting a quick answer!
#4. Remember—give loving attention to—God’s Genesis 1 Sabbath & work out from perfection, not up to it!

Jesus says the second great Commandments is to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). It’s lived by whole-heartedly putting into practice the rest of the Commandments, summed up below:
#5. Respect and obey all RIGHT authority figures and boundaries in your life.

#6. Refuse (re-fuse) to get angry, make fun of or put anyone down! (unchecked superiority leads to killing Matt.5:21+)

#7. Seek deep satisfaction in all God’s given and keep your promises (unchecked lust leads to adultery Matt.5:27+)

#8. Stop trying to GET happiness & instead try to GIVE it! (fulfill your “reason for existing… to impart…” My. 165)

#9. Stop saying what’s not REALLY true of others or of you (bear true witness— “tell …the whole truth… so help me God!”)

#10. Feel & say of others’ good “Thank You God! That’s Mine Too! (TYG! TMT! Is more powerful than TNT!)

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