Join us for the best summer yet!

PYCL:  Look out from the “high & holy thoughts” of man’s perfection, never based in matter!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

“Matter”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for September 22, 2013

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
(314) 406-0041
[bracketed inserts by Warren Huff, who requests at this time that all appreciative Sunday School teachers
be an answer to our prayers by being as generous as possible in making an online, tax-deductible gift. 
Thank you in advance, and beyond words, for
making an online monthly or one-time gift at this time.]

[PYCL 1:  By degrees show that matter isn’t real and that faith in matter is idolatry that limits us.]
This is a standout lesson for talking about the metaphysics involved in Christian Science.  We do this by degrees with kids, well, really with anyone!  But introducing the idea in different ways, that matter is not real, is important to do, even with children.  Now telling them simply that matter isn't real probably will not yield the best results.  But approaching it through the citations in this lesson will be fruitful for sure!  The Golden Text is a great place to start with this!  Talk about what an idol is.  Talk about the Second Commandment and see where it fits in the 4th section.  Talk about what it means to have "other gods".  Can you have other gods that are not little or big sculptures that look like people or animals?  What would these "other gods" be?  Are they the same for everyone?  What happens to our experience when we have other gods than the one God?  Does God, Love, get mad at us and punish us?  NO!  That would be seeing God as a big "person" that watches what we do and makes human decisions about our actions.  That's not that different from worshiping the old-fashioned idols of the Bible years, big human looking (or animal) sculptures.  God is not a big, super-human.  Think of all we've learned about the synonyms. God is Spirit, Life, Mind, Love, and so on!  What happens when we worship other things beside God, when we think too much about material things, is that we lose sight of the infinite possibilities of man that reflects the divine, and we start to see lots of limitations creep into our lives.  It's worth being aware of our thought to see how much of matter we believe during any part of our day. Check out citation S2 where Mrs. Eddy tells us that "The first idolatry was faith in matter."  Has idolatry changed much since the "first"?

[PYCL 2:  Show melting of wax to be like the turning to goo of seemingly substantial matter.]
We tend to think that matter is pretty substantial most of the time.  So it might be fun to look at the Responsive Reading briefly.  Bring in a candle and light it and watch the wax melt.  (You can bring one in that is contained in a glass so that it doesn't drip on the table). Notice how quickly the wax melts and turns to liquid.  Before you lit it you couldn't pull it apart, sure you could scratch it or dent it, but it was pretty hard right?  Then touch it with a bit of heat and it turns to goo!  This is what it says that God can do to the most substantial of things, entire hills or small mountains.  "The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord…"  Just a little imagery to think about.  This is how substantial such things are to God.  Why is this? Is it because God is all-powerful and can melt earth?  Or is it because God is Spirit (and all powerful), and matter has no reality, no substance.  The metaphysics of C.S is not about manipulating matter successfully, it is about the nothingness of matter.

[PYCL 3: Understand the “Scientific Statement of Being” to see matter as nothing to fear.]
This brings us to the Scientific Statement of Being, which figures prominently in this lesson.  They will likely be familiar with this statement from listening to it or reciting it at the end of Sunday School.  Maybe you could think about this passage line by line. What do you think she means by a "statement of being"?  Why is it scientific?  Do they have it memorized?  Can they really say it by themselves or only if everyone else is saying it?  Have they thought about what it really means?  Can anyone share with you their thoughts on it?  Understanding this statement gives us a stronger sense of who we really are, more clarity on our individuality, more understanding of Love around us as substance, tangible to us. (S17 and S24)  It also makes the nothingness of matter more clear!  No wonder we say it every week in church.  Do you think maybe we should say it every day too?  How can it help us heal?  You can even talk with the older kids about how it is really a scientific treatment.  If we understand it better and better, we start to realize how matter is nothing to be afraid of because it has no power, no reality.  God is all there is.  Sickness is nowhere and nothing.

[PYCL 4:  Talk about our God of Love & of omnipotence (not a God of indifference would create matter & its ills.]
There are lots of things that you can dig into regarding how matter tries to keep us thinking that it is real and how we cannot really worship God only, if we accept matter on any level, as reality.  Mrs. Eddy gives us some examples of this in citations S5 and S11.  If your class is up to it and it doesn't turn into an intellectual exercise, you can talk about the logic behind matter as everything, or matter as God's creation and the flaws inherent in each set of beliefs.  You can discuss the lack of love involved in a theory where God is responsible for matter and all the sin, sickness, suffering and death involved in matter.  Why would Love create or support such a system?  Would He be a God of Love and omnipotence, or a God of indifference?

[PYCL 5:  Share the “all-show & no-blessings” of matter-based, tare-type thoughts versus the “all-blessings” of God-based, wheat-type thoughts.]
The tares and wheat story is great to talk about with the kids [and maybe even to narrate for them for even non-readers to act-out the roles they choose or are assigned.  See citation B-7 in Matthew 13 and a CedarS reenactment version of this parable listed in the upper right of our webpage version of this Met as a Download at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/articles/2013/9/allow-yourself-no-idle-or-idol-thoughts/  ].  Make sure you discuss symbolism with this parable.  What do these things stand for?  My fourth-grader gave me a really good run-down on what this story is telling us about man this morning as we drove to school. So don't assume that symbolism is past them.  Even the little ones can understand that, for example, light in the Bible, stands for understanding. And you can talk about how light makes it so we can see, we don't literally bump into things when there is light.  Just so, it stands for how when we understand things, we talk about "seeing" them.  Then, you can talk about this story and what the weeds and the wheat stand for.  Sometimes we talk about weeding our thought-gardens.  Does this story mean we don't ever separate our good and bad thoughts and pull up those "weed-like" thoughts?  No, of course not.  In this case you can explain how these weeds in the story look like the wheat and are hard to tell apart. Also they were growing very close together.  Sometimes we can only tell the real, true things about what we see from the lies, as we develop our spiritual senses more.  In that case, it can't hurt for us to gently wait for God to reveal the truth about things around us as we grow in understanding. Eventually man's perfect, immortal nature will be abundantly apparent and the tares or weeds will be easily separated, never having damaged or changed that "wheat" perfection.  Certainly you can bring in pictures of wheat and grass for example, to show them how they look.  Visuals are always good for some of the kids!  Talk about how that story relates to citation B8. Can we "try" or test the thoughts that come to us during the day, and make sure they are from God before we "act" on them or share them aloud?  Come up with examples of ideas from God vs. ideas from error.  One thing to consider about the wheat vs. the tares is that the wheat actually is helpful, it is productive and blesses. Whereas the tares ultimately are all-show and no-blessing!

[PYCL 6:  Talk of the man at the pool, when he looked to Christ, NOT to the pool (matter) for healing.
List
each pupil’s qualities that are not matter-based to help lose all sense of ourselves as matter. (S16)]
The story of the man by the pool can be looked at in a number of ways.  [You could maybe bring this healing home to your young ones by having them, non-readers, act it out as you narrate the roles they choose or are assigned from the "Man Healed at Pool of Bethesda" (CedarS reenactment script) listed in the upper right of our webpage version of this Met as a Download at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/articles/2013/9/allow-yourself-no-idle-or-idol-thoughts/ ]
Consider seeing [the health-hungry crowd] waiting at the pool as a tendency to look to matter (the pool) for healing.  Today do we have similar views of healing in society [no matter what insurance/age “pool” they are in]?  Did Jesus have a discussion about the pool's lack of power with the man who'd waited 38 years to be put in the pool?  What did he say to the man?  What did this act of healing prove?  Is man just a lump of matter waiting for something material to influence it one way or another?  Try this little exercise: Looking at the last part of citation S16, think about how we can lose all sense of ourselves as "matter"/physique.  Make a list of everything that defines us as a person.  This can be done at any level.  Once we have a list (we can do this on our own if they can write, or a teacher can write ideas that define each pupil on a large sheet of paper, if they aren't old enough to write down their thoughts).  Now figure out which ones are matter-based and therefore not really true or lasting.  If they are kind of matter-based, but not "bad" can they be transformed into a spiritual quality?  Now stand back and look at the qualities. Would you be able to "recognize" that person by this description?  Is physique really a necessary component of our identity?  Is it a substantial component?  Do we judge others by how they look?  (Maybe not as much with pre-school and more as we get older? what does that say about us?)  Why might really understanding ourselves spiritually open up "wider sphere[s]" of thought and action, etc.?

[PYCL 7: Looking “out from” (not “up to”) “high & holy thoughts” of man’s perfection, never in matter.]
I really love the statement that Mrs. Eddy makes in citation S29.  It opens up the real metaphysics of Divine Science.  Is there something here to talk about with the slightly older kids?  Can they read it and think deeply about what she is saying?  Maybe they just get to the point where they might be a little confused about what "looking out from the stars" means?  It's okay if they don't understand it totally. Aren't we all working toward this real level of acceptance that there really is no matter? It's an exciting view of reality and everyone can start thinking about it!  [A figurative way to translate “no longer look up to the stars” is shared in this uplifting link to a Christian Science Sentinel article about citation S-29 where the author says we need to no longer just “look up” to “high and holy thoughts” of perfection – but rather “look out from them”. (S&H 125:28)  http://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/2cqkn8npd44?s=f ]

Have a great Sunday School!

 

American Camp Association

MAIN OFFICE
(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

CAMP OFFICE
(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

Back
to top