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PYCL: Clear the fog of feeling sad, angry, confused… Help them make a verse their own!

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

[PYCL: Clear the fog of feeling sad, angry, confusedHelp them make a verse their own! (3,2)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Everlasting Punishment”
for November 3, 2019

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

Pycl #1: Go through the story of Adam and Eve and explain what an allegory is. What does this story teach? Can anyone share something that they learned from reading and thinking about the story of Adam and Eve? How is this story like a "tale told" (from our Golden Text)? There are many widely held and accepted "tales" of life for us. Most of them are "set" in matter, as the basis of our life. But it is the first Genesis story that we Christian Scientists use as a basis for living! This is the "tale" that reveals that we are really blessed and enveloped in the "beauty of the Lord our God".

In citation B15 we have a "talebearer" mentioned. There are notes in the "My Bible Lesson" that tell us that "talebearer" is from the root of the word that means "to take something that's whole or complete and break it up into little pieces. It's used to indicate someone who speaks falsehoods or talks too much about trivial things." When we consider that perfection, the state in which God's man is made and maintained, also means wholeness or completeness, we can see why this allegory is so helpful in pointing out the false idea of a man that is easily influenced by the serpent lie that would take away our awareness or consciousness of our wholeness.

With the littler ones, try using a pretend snake to illustrate how the lies of error are twisty and "hiss" whispers in our ear that make us doubt our goodness, our obedience, or even how wonderful we are as reflections of God. Share some examples of how the "serpent" tells us things that we sometimes are tempted to believe, but are not true! ("I'm not good at...", "I'm not smart enough, pretty/handsome enough, athletic, talented, and so on.") How do we know that it is a "serpent" thought and not God's? You could have them pretend to have the serpent tell them some kind of lie, and then they can take turns stepping on the serpent (assuming it is sturdy and they understand that it's a lying suggestion, not an animal...?).

Pycl #2: If the children are of writing age, try having them rewrite a Bible passage. They could try "modernizing" a parable or analogy, such as the one in citation B8 that uses farming analogies. To do this we would need to really understand what the passage is about! One interesting verse that might be overlooked in a regular Sunday School class except for an exercise like this one, would be citation B7: "My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word." Define and translate the words in there.

Think about what Mary Baker Eddy says about spiritual vs. material sense and how the Bible uses the word "soul" (when it means "sense", and when it means "God" or Soul). We could write it something like this: "My material senses stick to, or hold onto, the kind of happiness that seems to come from matter, or stuff. Make me alive/awake/conscious of the way that your Word, Christ, speaks to my alert spiritual consciousness and makes me feel genuinely alive!" You don't have to make it perfect, just come up with some ideas that help them make a verse their own.

Pycl #3: Citation B6 mentions the mist and citation S8 talks about being "befogged in error...". Ask them if they know what fog looks like, clouds on the ground. What does it feel like? How does it go away, what makes it go away? If we are in the middle of a mist or fog what do we see? Can we discern things around us clearly? Can we see what is coming toward us? Can we see far away or get a good view of anything? How is this like our thinking when we are feeling sad, angry, confused? Are we able to feel the clear sense of Love with us?

At the same time, is the fog or mist "solid"? Is it like a "wall", do we "bump into it"? No! It has no substance and it is burned away in the sun. Also, if you get high up in the air, you can see that the sun is still shining up there!! If the sun is a symbol of God, we can think of this as getting "above" the lie of the mist, so that we can see that God is always "shining" Love on us, or Truth. The mist is the serpent suggestion that we can ever be separate from Love.

Pycl #4: In this section with the fog, we also have the "FAN" in citation S5. You could ask the students what would happen if you put up a big fan in the mist? Wouldn't the mist get blown away in a strong wind? Explain how a fan would have worked in the process of harvesting in Bible days. One can use it in the winnowing process to blow away the chaff, separate it from the wheat. How is that like separating "fable from fact"? Try having each child make a fan with paper.

Write some of those serpent lies you came up with earlier on small pieces of paper and have them use the fan to blow them off the table into a trash basket. Perhaps you can bring in some small stones that would represent solid, spiritual ideas and have them on the table mixed in with the paper, to illustrate how the fan blows away the insubstantial serpent lies easily, while the strong, substantial truths remain!

Pycl #5: There are several examples of sharp tools, "threshing instruments" in citation B8, swords in citations B14, S16, B18, B20, S22 and implied in S23. What are they there to symbolize? What do they "do"? (discern, guard, destroy—matter/material belief, and heal in the process of revealing truth/Truth). If you don't have rowdy boys, you can send each child home with a paper sword of Truth that you write ideas on, revealing how this Truth "cuts through" the lies of the serpent/error.

Pycl #6: The idea of being alert, awake, conscious is threaded through the lesson. Talk together about how listening to the lies of the serpent, or being lost in the "fog" of error, is like being asleep. Have the little children practice "waking" you up with a true fact about man, while you pretend to snore.

Have a great week in Sunday School!!

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