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Metaphysical Application Ideas from Cedars Camps on
the Christian Science Bible Lesson: “Christian Science” for December 25, 2011
by Dan Carnesciali, CS of St. Louis, MO (314.374.5616/[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director and Editor of it Newsletters]

[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) that will follow, are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free — in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French thanks to Pascal, in German thanks to Helga and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at]
[Thanks for your gift of meeting a MATCHING challenge need — $4k to go!]

Happy Christmas to everyone!
 We are in the advent season, which the Christian Church recognizes as the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. Our anticipation of Christmas gives us time to value Christ's appearing and re-appearing. Christ Jesus came that we would have deliverance, salvation, healing and wholeness. [These gifts and the Christian Science that explains and helps brings them into light are the best gifts of any season!  By contrast,]  when I was little I was given a bike from communist Poland. It was not well-built and I had lots of crashes on it when the chain fell and I had no brakes. I enjoyed a lot of God's protection during those years.  One time I was riding on the back of another person's bike and my leg went through the spokes. The bike skidded to a stop. A mom ran out to comfort me, but she found I was entirely protected. [Thanks to the best gift,] there wasn't even a mark. Remember, we all matter to God. 
Golden Text:
Paul is quoting Isaiah 52:7. It just happens to be in the Section 6 of the lesson. Let's pay attention to what is in between these “bookends.” “How beautiful are the feet of those that bring good news!” (New International Version) An African proverb says, “When you pray, move your feet!” Feet symbolize strength, innocence, stability and movement.
Responsive Reading:
Jesus implies that you and I are walking in darkness.  Remember what it's like to explore a cave for a few hours and then come out the entrance. Do you remember how fantastic the light looks? That's what it feels like to come out of darkness.  Darkness is symbolic of oppression and light is considered relief from the oppression. Isaiah 9 is an “oracle for the coronation of a Judean king, perhaps Hezekiah.” (Harper Collins Study Bible) New Testament writers felt that the announcement of the birth of the young king was symbolic of Jesus Christ's birth. Skip forward to when Jesus is grown. “Now comes the glory of the Son of Man (another name for the Messiah), and the glory of God in him.” (JB Phillips) Jesus wanted everyone to believe in him so he could fulfill his purpose of bring people authentically to God, the Father. “If you really love me, you will keep the commandments I have given you and I shall ask the Father to give you Someone else to stand by you, to be with you always. I mean the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot accept, for it can neither see nor recognise that Spirit. But you recognize him, for he is with you in the world-I am coming to you.”  (Phillips) What does it mean to follow Jesus Christ? If we are authentic followers we share the living gospel (good news of Jesus Christ).
Section 1 – Don't Be Afraid, Be Happy (as Spirit's idea)
A theme that runs through this Bible lesson is that we do not have to be afraid, not afraid at all. As you read, watch what happens when people eliminate fear. “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit … ‘Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” (B-2) (New International Version)
“There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep.  Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, ‘Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide:  A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master.  This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.'  At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:  Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.” (B-3) (The Message) “And now the star, which (the wisemen) had seen in the east, went in front of them until at last it shone immediately above the place where the little child lay. The sight of the star filled them with indescribable joy.” (B-4) (Phillips
Section 2 – Spirit is upon me
“The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed (commissioned) me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor (meek, humble, modest).” (B-6) (The Message) Jesus quotes this passage from Isaiah to announce that he was the Messiah. Has God commissioned you (called you to do something)? How can you share the good news of Jesus Christ? One way that is not obvious is to love others like God loves. See what God is seeing in others. Then notice how people respond when you are really seeing them as God's idea. Another way is to help the poor.  Volunteer your time. Donate money. Pray.  Referring back to the verse from Luke, you see that it says that the grace of God was upon Jesus. Is there any reason that grace cannot be the driving force in your life?   You know what grace is. It is simply the God-given desire and power to do God's will. It is unconditional, unmerited love. Grace is the gentle, but profound love of God for you and everyone. Grace is a healing force. And everyone has it. They just need to get in touch with it. (B-7) 
[You can help yourself and those around you get in touch with the healing force of grace by frequently repeating to yourself and to your loved ones “a voice from heaven” about you and them: You are God's “beloved … in whom … (God and we are) well pleased.” (B-8, Matt. 3:17)  Share with them often how truly grateful you are that God sent them to your family, camp, cabin… A divinely-based sense of self-esteem is reinforced within each dear one as you continually “regard each individual (especially a Prodigal Son or Daughter)… as a child of God who reflects alertness, joy, peace, ability, love.” See Ruth E. Huff's 1st of The Five  Fundamental Concepts of The CedarS Camps-and take part in the next “Sentinel Chat” with a link in the P.S.]
Section 3 – My Father Really Loves Me
Jesus' parables are usually “over the top”, meaning they have elements that are fantastic to drive a particular message home. Just reading the passage we may think we understand it, but often we need to understand the customs that existed in Holy Land 2,100 years ago. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the younger son demanded his inheritance.  In the Middle East for a son to demand his inheritance is/was incredibly rude. Because the inheritance was typically given upon the father's death, it was as if the son had marched up to his father and said, “I wish you were dead.” (“What's So Amazing About Grace“, Phillip Yancey) Think of how you would feel if someone treated you like that. How would you feel if you gave someone your life savings and he/she wasted all of it by spending it in hosting parties? How would you feel if this were a family member? Perhaps an article in the St. Louis newspaper helps bring this into better perspective. An 88-year old woman's son stole her life savings of over $570,000 dollars. She asked him to return it, but he refused. “I kept thinking and hoping he'd give it back, but he never would,” said Gloria Smith.   Mrs. Smith sued her son in an attempt to recover the money. Are you getting an idea of the raw emotions that Jesus' parable? Now imagine if that same friend or family member coming home and asking for forgiveness. It is understandable if forgiveness seems out of the question. In the parable, the father ran towards the son and embraced him. In the Middle East, a rich man wears a long robe and to run, he would have to lift it up so he wouldn't trip. That would make a scene wouldn't it? Rich men in that culture would walk, but they never run. Never. It would be undignified. But the father in the parable did run and hug and kiss his son. He gave his son beautiful new clothes and a ring. Clearly the son did not deserve forgiveness. That is the point that Jesus is making. His response doesn't make sense. That rude, unforgiveable son who wastes his inheritance and is still loved extravagantly is you and me. The parable of the prodigal is a story of healing and redemption. It is the story of a radical, unconditional love. The early Christians practiced this same unconditional, irrational love.
Section 4 – Incurable Disease is Curable
How much peace is there for you if its Source is God?  (B-12)   In the gospel of Luke, we have the good news that chronic disease and incurable disease is entirely curable. A surgeon lives on my street. A few weeks ago I asked him a how healing occurs. He said that the body heals itself. He just helps. He believes healing is natural, that healing is natural to the body. In the parable, a woman was healed of a blood condition that had gone on twelve years was healed.  What brought her healing?  Her culture had told her she wasn't worthy.   What I mean is, because she had a blood problem, she was considered impure.   No one was supposed to touch her and she was not supposed to touch anyone.   The belief system at the time was that anyone she touched had to go through a period of cleansing to get rid of impurities. Imagine living this way for 12 years.    When she touched Jesus, he sought her out and held her up as an example of a valued woman, worthy of grace.  Yes, this story is another grace story. No one is an exception to God's grace. If you hear yourself thinking others can be healed but I guess I am an exception, realize that you have been deceived. Don't condemn yourself, just love yourself and tell yourself that there are no exceptions to grace! Your role is to celebrate who you are (as a child of God) and who God is. Jesus showed us the Father and how to find the Father. He said to the woman who needed healing, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed (happy)!” (B-14) (The Message)
Section 5 – Following Jesus
In this section, Jesus is preparing to leave. He prepares them for the struggles that are coming. He knows that it is going to be really tough for them to carry on the healing ministry and spread the gospel. Before he leaves, he commissions them (gives them the authority and the responsibility) to spread his understanding of outrageous love.  This is now what is called “The Great Commission.” “… when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness.” (B-15) (New Living Translation) We follow Jesus because he knew how to follow God better than anyone.  The Bible says that Jesus came so we would not remain in darkness. That implies that we are in darkness currently. In order to rise higher, we need to go lower. You have to humble first. Then God will raise you higher. There are areas in your life (everyone's life) where there is darkness (ignorance). Let that Christ light shine, shine, shine and discover the real you!
Section 6 – Life is Good
Be hilariously joy-full. Sing with joy even if it feels like you are without a reason. (If you want to make evil (impersonal of course) mad, smile while you pray.) You make a difference.  You are loved, loving, lovable, needed and wanted. (This is the five-finger treatment.) Celebrate Life! If you love Life, this makes every moment extraordinary. This love of Life comes from deep within. It's Christ. Christ is the divine impulsion of good, the urging from God to be like Him and love. (B-18) The Bible book Galatians is a letter from Paul to a young Christian church in Galatia. He says: “I do assure you, my brothers (and sisters) that the gospel I preached to you is no human invention. No man gave it to me, no man taught it to me; it came to me as a direct revelation from Jesus Christ.”  (B-19, Phillips) Paul believed that his Jesus spoke directly to him when he was on his way to Damascus. (The original Greek says it was Jesus himself who came to Paul.) Our time together has come to a close. “Finally, then my brothers (and sisters), cheer up! Aim at perfection and accept my encouragement, agree with one another and live at peace.” (B-19) (Phillips

[Warren's PS: Click here for great “Daily Lifts ” on Christmas!
And for more on being Love's Gift and giving it, check out the
Next Sentinel chat:
Time management at Christmas and beyond
“Join this chat with Melissa Hayden, C.S. to discover how prayer can help you feel God's presence in times of frustration and weariness.
-Tuesday, December 20, at 2pm EST”]

[MATCHING FUND OPPORTUNITY FOR MAINTENANCE MUSTS!  A precious donor has recently re-pledged a matching grant of $25,000 if we can raise that amount by year-end for “Maintenance Musts” work on buildings and vehicles before next summer.  After our Board meeting and recent email appeals we now have “only” $4,000 to raise by the end of this month; so, if you have been blessed by any of CedarS 3 weekly inspirational newsletters (our Mets or our PSSTs and PYCLs for Sunday School teachers), NOW would be a wonderful time to share your appreciation. We are profoundly grateful for your ongoing support!
 To send an actual check please mail to:
The CedarS Camps Office

1314 Parkview Valley Dr.
Ballwin, MO 63011
 [Your 50th Anniversary gift to CedarS–as generous as divine Love directs-will play a needed part in CedarS essential, year-round work to promote the spiritual growth of Sunday School students by encouraging them to apply Christian Science in all activities.]
 [Sharing the applicable principles of Christianity in CedarS Bible Lands Park: Our new Fall-season outreach is fostering a proper understanding of Christian Science by giving tours of our new Bible Lands Park. It clearly shows Bible-loving churches and youth groups of other denominations how Christian Scientists love and “take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.” (S&H 497:3)  As shown in video clips we are currently working in our Bible Lands Park to expand our ability to share applicable New Testament insights by building a trail with activity, learning stations that follow Paul's teachings and trips from Antioch to Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Rome … We welcome all gifts to enable such inspiring “Home Improvements” to be made NOW before it gets too cold and snowy to work outside.]
[CedarS recurring needs are listed at  Just click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make very helpful monthly donations to CedarS (or to give one-time gifts) in support of spiritual growth.  International supporters can give to CedarS via PayPal using built-in currency exchange rates by filling in an amount under International Donors and clicking on the “Donate Online” button.  
[Lastly you can help by telling “un-camped” children and families about CedarS being a wise and happy place for them to glimpse and demonstrate more of their spiritual natures!  We'll gladly send anyone a DVD and info on CedarS financial aid forms; programs for all ages; 2012 session dates & rates; 2012 online enrollment; transportation… to help get them or anyone in your extended church family to camp!]

 [Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 11-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson “Mets” (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for “Possible Sunday School Topics “and “Possible Younger Class Lessons” in subsequent emails.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets “and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at or The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the “Met” (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-30). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]

 Enjoy!    And, please contact us for more info on any and all things CedarS!

[PSST-“Hoof it” happily “homeward”! “Make radiant room” for the Christ. Hymn 298:2]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson
on “Christian Science” for 12-25-11
By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri 
[Steve's been a CedarS Program Director & teaches English at The Principia School.]
[Bracketed title & citations by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & PSST Editor]
PSST-Golden Text:
Why specify the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and why is it that they are beautiful?
PSST-Responsive Reading:
The responsive reading also begins with a form of feet with the idea of 'walking.' How does walking relate to Christian Science?
Were the writers using feet as a symbol of the foundation we are standing on?
Look throughout the responsive reading for qualities. How can we bring these qualities into our own experience? Are these qualities natural to what Christian Science preaches as a part of our experience?
What are God's responsibilities outlined in the responsive reading? What are we responsible for as men and women?
PSST–Section 1:
Discuss with your students Joseph's role in the birth of Jesus. [B-2] How did he respond to Mary when she approached him saying she was pregnant; how could he have responded; and what does his response say about him? Can we look to Joseph as a role model for our own behavior?
How does Joseph's response to his wife help to promote peace?
Consider the morality expressed by Joseph and Mary throughout the story of Jesus' birth. [B-3] How does that morality relate to Jesus' character?  What role does this sort of morality play in our experiences today?
What about the overall story promotes peace?  [B-5] How do we experience this peace today?
What leads to a peaceful consciousness? [S-1]
Are we alert enough in our own lives to recognize the Christ idea in our own lives? When is it “in cradled obscurity”? [S-2] When is it tough for us to see? Are we courageous enough to point it out and rejoice, even when our peers may not?
What is it that led to Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science? [S-4, S-5] What qualities did Mrs. Eddy express that correlate with those expressed by Joseph?
PSST–Section 2:
Is Jesus special, separate? Or is he an example of what is normal?
What about Jesus' example is truly representative of the real man? [S-8]
How do we see God? How do we increase our sense of purity? [S-9]
PSST–Section 3: [Hoof it happily “homeward”!]
Do your students know the definition of repent? [B-9] Look it up together and discuss how repenting relates to both the story of this section [B-10] and to our own lives.
In the story of the Prodigal Son, what role do we play? [B-10] Must we live riotously, in excessive immorality to arrive at the place where the Prodigal arrived? What does it take for us to turn again to God and return to His house and comfort?
Discuss with your students the role of peace in this lesson and in our own lives.
How does Jesus teach us to “escape” from mortality? [S-12] How do we find Christ? [S-12] How does the Prodigal teach us to do this?
What is Love's role in our move spiritward?
What is it that really attests “the divine origin and operation of Christian Science”? [S-13] What is it that leads us away from the dismal beliefs of sin, sickness and death?
What is the higher mission of Christ?  [S-14] How does this Happen?
PSST–Section 4:
How does God respond to our 'cries'? [B-13]
How do Peter and John respond to Jesus' question? [B-14] How might you have responded had you been there and heard Jesus ask, 'who touched me?' How did Jesus know someone had 'touched' him? What does he mean by 'touched'? [S-16]
What does Science reveal? What rules does it demonstrate?
Is it difficult to heal? Why not?
What was it that was reaching out to Jesus in the story of the woman with the issue of blood? How do we reach out to Christ?
What are acute and chronic diseases, and how did Mrs. Eddy heal them? [S-18]
How do we know we are gaining the true idea of God? Why does it matter that we acquaint ourselves with God, and what is the result of this acquaintance?
PSST–Section 5:
Do we believe on Jesus? What does it mean to believe on him? If we believe on Jesus, who do we really believe in? What is the impact of this belief? [B-15]
What does Jesus leave to us? How? [peace, B-16]
What is our role now? What devils do we have to cast out? How do we do this?
What did Jesus demonstrate? What did he prove? [S-20]
Is Christ limited to Jesus' time? [S-21]
How do we ensure that our days grow brighter? How do we guarantee progress in our experience? [S-22]
What is our progress based on? What is it that underlies, overlies, and encompasses all true being? [S-22]
Where does unspeakable peace come from? [S-23]
What does Mrs. Eddy wearily hope for? What promises will be fulfilled? [S-24]

PSST–Section 6:
Feet are back in the lesson in this section. [B-18] Why do they make an encore appearance? What is so significant about feet?
Why does the source of the gospel matter? What is the source of truth that we believe on a daily basis? What does it take for us to trust something as real?
How do we learn the science taught by Mrs. Eddy?  How did she learn it?  [S-26, 27] Are we connected to the Bible as well as we should be? How do we get closer to the Bible?
What does it mean to affirm that Christianity and Christian Science are one? [S-29] How does this impact our relationship to Christians around the world? How are we to think about and relate to all mankind?
How does this lesson relate to our celebration of the Christmas holiday? 
How will this discussion impact your behavior throughout the rest of this holiday?

[PYCL: Keep Christmas unpolluted; share the healing Christ with children on Christmas day!]
CedarS PYCL–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
Christian Science
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 25, 2011
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Bracketed titles & links by Warren Huff, PYCL Editor]
[PYCL: Discuss what the Christmas story means. Listen for and to your angel messages.]
This week we can have a great time just looking at the Christmas story with the kids and towards the end of our sharing of the specifics of this story, we can make the connection of the precious Comforter that we have at our disposal at all times in Christian Science. It is important to remember that we may feel steeped in the story of Jesus' conception, birth, etc., but the children are not necessarily aware of all the meaningful connections that we make in that story. For example citation B-1 relates Joseph's awareness that Mary is expecting before their marriage. What does it mean that Joseph wanted to “put her away privily”? What does it say about Joseph that he had such a dream and that he listened to that dream? 
[PYCL: Christmas story meanings continued:  amidst busyness, cherish simplicity & make room for Christ.]
Talk about the journey that they made by donkey with Mary nearly ready to give birth and what did it mean that there was “no room for them in the inn”? We know that this hints at our thought as well as a literal meaning. Are we making room in our busy thought for the healing Christ idea to enter in? Does the manger, in its simplicity perhaps represent the idea of purity? I know that almost seems the opposite when you think of dirt and animals, but actually if you know anything about the inns of the day, it may have actually been a more sanitary place to have the child! Really though, I'm thinking more of the simplicity and purity of the setting where uncomplicated barn animals reside.  
[PYCL: Christmas story meanings continued: copy the shepherds' alertness, purity, and receptivity.]
Why were the shepherds the first ones (other than the wise men) to see the star and its significance?   Notice that they were simply awake; they were watching their flocks to keep them safe.  How can we be “awake” to notice the light of the Christ in our daily lives? (See S1)  Were the shepherds somehow special?  Were they especially educated in the prophecy of Jesus' coming?  Or were they perhaps pure of heart and receptive to that Christ light, doing their daily work (nightly in this case) alertly watching their sheep?  So maybe bearing witness to healing doesn't come so much through education, societal position, or wealth, but through alertness, purity, and receptivity.  Of course, this is something we are all gifted with, just need to be aware of it!  
[PYCL: Christmas story meanings continued: Be a wiseman of today & go the extra mile through the night!]
Is it significant that the Christ light, angel came at night to the shepherds?  What does the night symbolize?  You can also delve into the wise men and their prophetic awareness, their deep faith that brought them all those miles to witness to Jesus' birth.  [Fun insights await you in today's “Daily Lift” on Wise Guys”]  Do we have the same opportunity today?  How many “miles” will we travel to see that Christ light and its fruition in the new birth of the Christ child in our own lives?  Can you think of an example in your life that you can share about some mental distance you covered to find that healing Christ in your lives?  Help them to think about examples from their own experiences or the experiences of their family if they can do this.  You can draw in citation S-2 about how that light “traverses the night” also.  I also love to point out from citation B-5 that the peace that we get from God that “passeth all understanding” (is either beyond words, or is more difficult to understand), is something that the coming of Jesus, and the Christ represented, brought to us in our human experiences.  This is underscored in citation S-1 where Mrs. Eddy talks about the way God, “through divine Science”, “unites understanding to eternal harmony” (peace!).  So here the Christ, the Comforter, divine Science is bringing that peace of God practically and effectively today.  I don't mean to explain so fully the self-explanatory, but I think we forget that at one time, these things that are obvious to us now were not so clear.  These little guys at a young age can easily start to grasp some of these deeper significances in this Christmas story!
[PYCL: Section 2-Jesus' beloved station and that of you and your pupils. Nurture purity to be perfect.]
We can also talk about how Jesus has such a special place.  The second section highlights this truth.  His baptism, including God's declaration of Jesus' beloved station speaks to how Jesus showed us our innate purity as God's children.  I love that Mrs. Eddy tells us that it is “In proportion to his purity is man perfect;” this is what “demonstrates Life in Christ”! (S-9)  How can we discern our purity and nurture it so that we can demonstrate “Life in Christ”?  What does purity mean?  Look up Mrs. Eddy's definition of baptism.  [S&H 581] How come we don't get baptized in the way Jesus was in this story?  Are they aware that many religions today consider some sort of ritual baptism to be essential to their faith?  What do we do to “baptize” ourselves?  Can they think of their own ways?  Obviously this line of questioning is not going to be interesting to littler kids, but third grade and up may be interested to know some of this.  
[PYCL: Section 2-Show pure water in a jar polluted by a just little dirt of complaining or not listening!]
You can talk about the role of water in symbolically purifying something/someone.  With the youngest classes you can talk about what is “pure” and what is “yucky”.  Someone at church shared an idea with me this week.  She uses baby food jars with water and shows the kids with pinches of dirt in one jar that represent the “yucky” (impure) actions and thoughts.  For instance you could add a pinch of dirt for complaining, or for not listening to mom or dad…they can come up with their own ideas  [on how to keep “Christ in your Christmas, heaven in your home”. These are lyrics by Jill Gooding CSB in a beautiful, just-released Christmas track by The Newsong Group from Great Britain.  They call it “Christ be in your Christmas” and generously say “feel free to share it with anyone you think may like it.”]  You can talk about how the clear water represents the purity that the baby Jesus expressed in his coming [and of the Christ in your Christmas and heaven in your home].  It also represents our own true selves!  Make sure you let them add the dirt themselves, as this is fun for them!
[PYCL: Section 3-Let Christ's Prodigal help pupils live a higher self & standard of goodness in all areas!]
We can also talk about how Jesus made the Christ accessible to us in a really clear way through stories like the one shared in the third section.  This story of the Prodigal illustrates the most important thing that Jesus and C.S came to teach us: our inherent innocence and perfection, our sinlessness.  Or you could say that he came to help us heal sin.  You may want to point out that Mrs. Eddy affirms that this is the “higher mission of the Christ-power…”.  We tend to think a lot about healing sickness, rather than challenging ourselves to live to a higher standard of goodness in all areas of our lives!  This is not beyond the kids to understand!  You can dig into the Prodigal story to explain the horrendously bad behavior displayed by the younger son in asking for his inheritance before the passing of the father.  Talk about the symbolic elements of the son turning back to the father, the father seeing him “a long way off” and “running to meet him” and so on.  Don't assume they know this stuff, but do ask them for explanations!  Revel in the final statement of that section: “Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.”  Isn't it lovely that we have this Biblical affirmation, that even when we feel “far off” from God, He is bringing us peace and healing when that is what we need?  Tie this story together with the subject by explaining how it illustrates the way that the Christ understanding was made so clear to us through these parables that Jesus shared.  How does C.S do this for us today?  How does it help us to see our “higher selves”?

[PYCL: Sections 4 & 5-Share examples of comfort in: everyday life; the Bible; Christian Science; hymns…]
Talk about the Comforter.  What comforts us?  The littlest ones will have some thoughts on this.  You can ask them what they do when they are hurt or sad.  What does mom or dad do for us when we need comforting?  How does God do this for us?  You can talk about how someone's lap and hug can give us comfort, what does God do to make us feel this way?  Are mom and dad a reflection of God's comforting Fatherhood and Motherhood?  Does God give us that same protection, safety, guidance etc.?  One great thing about God is that He/She is always there whenever we need Him/Her.  How can we feel Her presence?  Maybe sing together “Mother's Evening Prayer” [Hymn 207] or even “Feed My Sheep” [Hymn 304].  We often use hymns to comfort and heal; are there any they love especially?  How do the stories in the Bible comfort you?  Look at the comfort that Jesus brought to the woman in the Bible who risked breaking the law to receive the healing Christ by touching Jesus when that was forbidden by one who was “unclean”.
Have a lovely Christmas! What a privilege to share this healing Christ with children on Christmas day!
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