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PYCL: Share how to avoid being fooled by error.

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

[PYCL: Share how to avoid being fooled by error.]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced”
f
or November 20-26, 2017

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

Pycl #1: It helps to break this lesson down into language that children relate to. This is not to imply that these terms are out of touch, rather that they are a bit unusual for young children. Yet they apply directly to every level of understanding, and merely need to be introduced through example. Lucky for us we have many such examples in our Bible lesson this week! In many ways these terms can be effectively boiled down here to the devil/evil. So look together at citation S4. If you have a Science and Health out, and open to that page (584), you can reference it each time you look at a section and whatever story is contained in that section. Many sections mention the devil explicitly, but in some stories it is implied. Try inserting some or all of the definition into those stories to get a more complete sense of what the error is. Then share an example of how the "devil" might have tripped you up in your own life. Then maybe they can think of how they, themselves might have been fooled by the devil!

Pycl #2: Talk together about how a lie is erased, completely removed, when the truth is understood. Have an example to share. In the same way, the suggestions that come to our thinking, to be afraid, angry, sad--m these can be eradicated by understanding exactly how Truth has provided us with wisdom (Golden Text), and understanding, insight, joy, love, and so on. These qualities stand not only in opposition to the devil or lie, but they erase that lie because they are real and substantial. Try using a simple math problem. Write out something like 5+3=7. Explain that while we might be falsely convinced of the validity of that statement, our belief in it does not give it reality or power. The only power is in the truth of the real answer which is 8. We might still be able to see that false equation on the blackboard or piece of paper...but that does not make it true. Even if that incorrect equation is sitting on the blackboard tomorrow, or the next day...it is still incorrect, a lie. In the same way, we can be unphased by a false suggestion even when it seems to stick around! In this way we always win because we start to realize that the true answer is the only answer and that there are not two different ones.
Pycl #3: In the first section we have that passage about arming ourselves with God's armor. With the very young it is always fun to get out your set of cardboard "armor" that you can label together with qualities that protect us from all the lies of the devil. We can write these qualities on each piece before donning them, or we can just state them aloud. What is righteousness? What does it mean to be "shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace"? And so on...Maybe they will want to make up some of their own protective thoughts and armor. It is important to point out and notice together that what we are "wrestling" against, or protecting ourselves from, is not people or "flesh and blood". But really it is against evil thought--the devil--who is not, in fact, a "being", but a lie! Sometimes this very "devil" will appear to us in a very convincing way as a "person", but this is still not the case. Pair this activity with S13 which tells us how to defend ourselves.
Pycl #4: Speaking of the devil appearing as a "person"... Look together at how the devil appeared to Jesus when he was tempted in the wilderness. Are these the same kinds of temptations that come to us? How are they different? How does the "devil" tempt us? (Answers will vary and you should maybe get the ball rolling) The point here is that the devil appears as our own thought and tempts us in just that way that seems inviting or acceptable to us. It is often said, and bears repeating, that if the devil really looked like a guy with a red suit and horns, we wouldn't be very tempted to listen. One way to tell "who" is talking to us is by checking to see if it is saying something good. Citation S9 tells us "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness." Doesn't this sound kind of like the opposite and the antidote to the devil?! We could think of angels as that Christ voice, another antidote to the devil.
Pycl #5: Citation B8 contains a story about a man who was probably manifesting some sort of insanity. Why did he tell Jesus to leave him alone? Do we sometimes resist changing our thought, especially when we are dealing with temper, sadness, selfishness, irritability, resentment, etc.? We are pretty ready to be healed when we feel sick, but sometimes it seems like getting ourselves to let go of issues of how we feel mentally can be challenging! In this case Jesus doesn't hesitate, but "rebukes" that "devil" and heals the man. Do you think the man was happier when he was healed? Of course! Share how that armor from pycl 3 can come in handy to help us stand up to these mental suggestions of what we might term "mood", for lack of anything better. I do realize that these types of mental suggestions are often, as in the case of this man, more than "mood", but for the children this helps us to take a step toward standing up to anything that would keep us from expressing our dominion over our thoughts and feelings. Demonstrating our control over our feelings is a tremendous skill and takes Scientific practice because it is based in a deeper understanding of man and God. We can begin that demonstration at once, at whatever age. Jesus showed us at least one part of the way to heal such beliefs in this story when it says that he "rebuked him"--which I take to mean that he rebuked the "devil". Can you come up together with some rebukes for any kinds of feelings that we'd like to destroy? Often a rebuke can be a simple "NO!" Sometimes they replace the feeling with strong declarations of gratitude. What ideas can you come up with together?
Have an awesome Sunday school class!

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