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PYCL: List what hinders your highest self & find counter truths that annul these lies!

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

[PYCL: List what hinders your highest self & find counter truths that annul these lies! (#4)]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Adam and Uplifted Man”
for May 6-12, 2019

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

Pycl #1: Our Bible lesson is full of good stories that help us learn more about God and man. Adam and Eve, the story theme of this week's lesson is an allegory that helps us to understand the suggestions of mortality and gives a certain mythological explanation for why things are the way they are. For example, you may find it interesting to see how man/woman is cursed. This curse is the explanation for why it is difficult to make a living (farming the land, in this case), why we must "sweat", slave, struggle with such things. This story attempts to explain why women have been considered less worthy, more to blame for things going wrong. In this case, "God" even tells Adam, in essence, that he shouldn't have listened to the woman!

And so, this reflects the millennia-old sense that woman's voice is less valuable, important, than man's. It is kind of interesting to see how the author took the basic structure and nature of life as he knew it, and used this as a basis for this tale of woe. Ask the students what they think of this story (without your pre-comments). Do they like the god in this story? Do they want to worship or pray to that god? Why or why not? What might be unreasonable about this god?

One little example of how this just isn't a god of Love, or of Truth—integrity, is to look at the way the story shows God making a paradise that includes a tempter. Not only does it include this element, but God tells his creation, "Don't eat from that one tree!" Have any of the children seen the Disney movie "Beauty and the Beast"? What does Belle do the minute the Beast tells her that the West wing of the castle is forbidden her as a place to wander? Of course, that's the first place she wants to go! Would God, the God Jesus showed us, tell us that we can have all good, but just not that one "good"? No.

Bring a bowl with some treats in it, such as M&M's. Put them out in the middle and tell the children that they cannot touch them. Continue on with the class. Eventually, ask them if having the bowl full of treats that they cannot eat is a nice thing for them? Isn't this a little like how God treats Adam and Eve in the allegory? Would they think that it was fair if mom or dad left a bowl of candy on the kitchen table and then punished them for sneaking some out during the day?

Pycl #2: Citation S8 speaks of the "key of Divine Science". Talk about what that "key" might be. How does it open Paradise to us? How have "human beliefs" closed the door on heaven? At the end of class, you could give each student a key of some kind, either a cutout of card stock, or purchase pretty blanks, though these are not really as inexpensive as I would hope.

The idea is to have a physical reminder of how Science is a key to opening the door in our consciousness to heaven—a door that God never shut!!! Notice that one of the things "God" tells his creation, is that eating of the tree of Life will bring death. In other words, he made man immortal, but if they disobey, they become mortal. How is "knowing good and evil" something akin to accepting mortality? If he made us only immortal, then we aren't in the job of trying to "become immortal”, or going through a process (death) to gain immortality. But we are existent always as the children of the first Genesis creation.

Pycl #3: What an interesting juxtaposition in this lesson, that we have the story of woman as the source of man's temptation, and also the story of Abigail saving David from the temptation to murder Nabal in citation B5. This is a more spiritual view of womanhood, for sure. Mary Baker Eddy even points out in citation S13 that we have better authority for considering God feminine than masculine! (Not that it is really that important, since God is not a gendered being but a law of divine Love/Life/Truth, etc.)

I also like the Science and Health in this section for its emphasis on the "countless ideas" in God's creation and the Oneness of their parentage. Unlike Adam and Eve, who are the son and daughter of "God", but who are the sole source for all the rest of man. In this way we can think more easily about the "never born" part of creation. If we are not of matter/dust/rib/egg... then we are not of matter, but of God, hence never "born", but eternally unfolding ideas.

Pycl #4: Have some fun with the Golden Text and the fifth section. The story of the woman that is bent over for years, is also metaphorically wonderful for the idea of the man in the Adam story, bowed with the weight of guilt, shame, mortality. Jesus corrects this misconception with his healing of this woman. Why did the men in the temple essentially want to keep this woman "bent over"? What are their views of church, of religion? Are they downward or limited, or are they expansive, broad, healing?

Think of what Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) says in citation S16 is the "basis" for Jesus' healing. (“perfect God and perfect man”) And check out what MBE says about the "boundless basis" for creation on p. 258:13-15: God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.” On what basis do we see man, or see ourselves?

Look to citation S18 for a suggestion on how to maintain a view that is boundless! "...cherish nothing which hinders our highest selfhood." (68:4) Consider thinking together what we sometimes cherish about ourselves that does this thing exactly? Can we make a list of what we hold in our thought that hinders our highest self and then find the counter truths that annul these lies?

Pycl #5: I know I have mentioned doing this before, but if you haven't tried it it's pretty fun. Try having the kids try walking bent over and looking at the floor. Pretend that they are unable to look up at all. What happens? Can they see where they are going? What do they get a view of? Think of the symbolism in this story of the bent over woman. There are so many elements here. We are looking at the "dirt", an Adam view of man as materially created! We have no ability to see "heavenward". We are likely to run into things! How is this like a material, limited view of ourselves and others? Do we find that we are running into material "roadblocks" when we are focused on a material sense of things? You get the idea!!

Have a fun day in Sunday School!!

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