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PYCL: Separate fables from the facts of reality!

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO

[PYCL: Stop being fooled & fight back! Separate fables from the facts of reality! (#6)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for

October 4, 2015 on

“Unreality”

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

Pycl #1: Look at the link between the Golden Text and the First Commandment. This is repeated in many versions throughout the Bible. Why do the kids think it might be so important? What does Mrs. Eddy say about the First Commandment? (S&H 340:16) Take any example that a kid gives of some kind of challenge that they have had (try not to be hypothetical) and look together at how the First Commandment addresses and makes that challenge disappear/show its unreality.

Pycl #2: On a related note: Verse 113 of Ps. 119 in the Responsive Reading contains the statement "I hate vain thoughts". In the New Living Translation of the Bible this is stated: "I hate those with divided loyalties". What does divided loyalties mean in the context of the First Commandment, in life in general? If we are loyal to two opposite things or sides of a debate what happens? Can we really be loyal in either case anyway? Think together of an example of how this would "play out" in life for us. One of the things that the word loyal implies, is that we stick with that person (or in this case, God), even when the going gets tough. So let's say we have a wonderful friend who has been generous and supportive and kind for many years (in kid's case maybe months!). Something bad about them comes to light, or they do something that seems unkind or unlike them—do we immediately assume the worst about them? Do we just leave them alone and forget about everything good that we know about them? No! We would argue that they are a good person, that maybe this thing that we've heard is false, or if they did something uncharacteristic, it was a mistake that they really need to have our support to turn around. (Don't we want our friends to do this for us?) So likewise, loyalty to God, to His only-ness and All-ness, means we stick with God even when material sense tells us that there is something other than God happening. Maybe we use hymns to stick to Him, or we pray in another way. By doing this, we find out just how powerful such loyalty can be because it will always show us God's power and presence in the end. It's cool to remember that the very thing that is telling us to be "disloyal" is material sense. In the example of our good friend, it would be the lies of material sense that would have us see them as anything less than they really are, with God it would be sickness or sin of some kind that is only recognized by the material senses. Material senses can't see what is real! Be loyal to reality.

Pycl #3: How do we come into God's presence? This lesson has a lot in it about praise and singing and songs to God. One place is citation B5 where it tells us to "sing unto Him a new song". Another is citation B4 where we are told to "come before his presence with singing". Other than singing hymns, a great way to pray and to express spiritual joy, what is an example of a new song we can sing each day to God? Can the class think of how newness in our praise and joy that we bring might be important in our progress in seeing reality—the kingdom of heaven— around us? It doesn't mean that we can't sing a familiar hymn, pray with a familiar verse... so what does it mean? When we read the story of, say, Noah, does it mean the exact same thing every time we look at it? Do we always find some small (or big) new insight into how it applies to our experience today? Why? Because our experience is not the same every day! We are always finding out new things about God, about Life. When we don't do that we are in trouble!! Now, why would we be more likely to feel that we are in God's presence if we "come before" Him with singing? What is happening when we sing? We are expressing Soul, joy, beauty, freedom, harmony. Make sure they understand that we are not only talking about literal singing. Gratitude and prayer that is sincere, is singing just as much! What song are they singing today? How is it new? You could certainly take a hymn from the hymnal! Also Mrs. Eddy's poem "Christ My Refuge" is a great one for this week's lesson if you want to use it as a Pycl all on its own!

Pycl #4: Citation B7 includes a famous passage about how all good things come from God "...with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." I was interested to see that one Bible translation speaks of this as: "He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." As long as the sun is out, do shadows ever stay still? No, they shift according to time. It made me think of that analogy more deeply. Is there anything that doesn't cast a shadow when light is shined on it? The answer might be: only the sun itself. So if you think of God as light itself, He would never change and shed "darkness". He is light, All light. Reality springs from that All-ness. There can't be something besides All, something that moves around—away, changes and disappears. You could illustrate this with a little shadow work if you have windows in your Sunday School. Just trace a shadow on some paper at the beginning of the class, leave that paper in place and check at the end of class. Is the shadow still in the same place? (Make sure the light that is operating here is from sunlight, not from overhead lighting!). Then you can draw the comparison that God, being the very light itself, is surrounding us in all ways at all times. It's like being under a noon time sun where He is just pouring down on us from all sides at once—no shadows allowed.

Pycl #5: There are some great words for young kids in this week's lesson. "Disposes", "extract", "exclude"—citations S6, S11, and S23. (Ooh, just found "exterminator"! S26) There are probably more. The power in these words is fun to notice. See if you can come up with some simple examples of how we can take these actions in a mental and in a physical way so as to embed them in our thought. For example: we are looking for ways to remove anything unreal from our view so that we can see reality—try thinking specifically of what tempts us to think things other than good. Then write them down or pretend to, wad them up and throw them out (dispose) in a waste basket. Extract is fun, think of a syringe that can suck something up from a small space. What might we want to extract from our thought so that reality is visible to us? "Exclude" comes from the passage about standing porter at the door of thought. This is always an accessible one for younger kids as it has such a strong visual image. They can act out the role of being a watchman standing by a door and not letting anyone through that is bringing something that is not part of reality. Then you can work together to understand that this is what their thought is about, watching what goes in—checking to make sure it passes the "reality test". Citation S32, the last one in the lesson is great to use as the test for whether something should be let into our thought or not. Does it reflect God?

Pycl #6: The wheat and tares are a virtually infinite source to work from. You could talk together about the perfect wheat field representing the kingdom of heaven. This field is beautiful, it is filled with good thought planted by God, and it is watered and tended by Mind. It produces food that enriches our lives with creativity, healing, joy, intelligence, etc. What do those tares represent? The kids probably know. What if we aren't standing guard/porter in our thought and we let in fear, doubt, sadness, hurt, anger, pain, etc. Do those thoughts change the goodness that God has planted? Does the wheat suddenly become "unplanted"? No, but these tares can make it hard for us sometimes, to see the wheat clearly, to feel it around us. But we can fight back. We can use those active words from the last Pycl to understand that the wheat is the only reality. As we see this clearly (gain spiritual maturity and understanding) then the harvest is ready and we can tell the difference between God's presence and power, and the lies of mortal existence. We aren't fooled anymore and the tares are easy to separate and destroy/extract/exclude/exterminate.

Have a great time in Sunday School this week!

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