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[PYCL— Live childlike simplicity—accept nothing un-Godlike as reality, power, substance!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

“Reality”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for March 30, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com   (314) 406-0041
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director]

[PYCL 1] 
The Golden Text offers us a chance to discuss this version of the First Commandment. Read it to the kids and see if they think it sounds familiar, like something else in the Bible. I know this is probably a little artificial since you're kind of leading them along, but it might be interesting for them to see how things show up in the Bible in other ways.  Why is this the keynote to this week's subject? I love the childlike simplicity in this statement. If something presents itself to you in your experience that is not Godlike, then it's not reality, not powerful, not substantial. What about keeping things simple in this way and checking with our thought regularly to see what we are accepting.  See if the kids have any ideas about this.

[PYCL 2] 
I like that God states in citation B2 that He isn't hiding or secretive. I spoke with my boys this morning about all the ways that we see God around us, in the beauty of nature, the smile of a friend or stranger, the helpfulness of a teacher or affection of a parent. These are the evidence that God is present, “visible” and not hiding in any way from us! Can they come up with some examples from their week where they can now see that God was present and visible in their experience? You may be able to start them off with some examples from your own life and a few suggestions to them for theirs. (Even simple things like, did your mom and dad feed you this week?)

[PYCL 3] 
If all reality is “comprised in a knowledge or understanding of God…” (S5), then we need to be good detectives and know when something doesn't fit with our understanding of God. This might be a good time to talk about disguises. It's mentioned in citation S4, that unrealities can seem pretty real “…until God strips off their disguise.” What do the kids know about disguises?  Can bad things look like they are good?  You could use popular children's movies to help with this.  A current one is the movie “Frozen”. There's a prince in “Frozen” who seems perfect, really good…but is only pretending so he can have a kingdom to rule.  Bring in a wig and hat and sunglasses, or other types of disguises and show how we can look different from what is real.  Also remember that it is the Truth or God that reveals what is really there. We don't have to personally try to see through error's mask, we just turn to God all the time and the error becomes obvious as nothing. There are several references to how vapor, mist, shadow and dreams disappear in the light of Truth, especially in the 2nd section so you can bring this into play as well.  Also, there's a great folk tale about the sun and the north wind arguing over who is most powerful. They agree that they will prove how powerful they are through a contest. They find a man (or a boy/girl in your case), with a jacket on and they say that the first one who is able to get that man to lose his coat is the most powerful. So the North wind blows and blows his fiercest. The man keeps hugging the coat to himself tighter and tighter. Eventually the wind gives up and lets the sun have a turn. Well the sun does his thing and shines more and more warmly and eventually, the man takes that coat right off as he becomes too warm. I like the symbolic nature of this story and I imagine the kids will as well. This is how God reveals reality, not through brute force, but through the power of light, Truth, and the warmth and healing that Truth reveals.

[PYCL 4] 
I also like the theme throughout, of how reality is revealed by its positive nature.  It is not adversarial. The second section speaks in terms of “yea, yea” as opposed to “nay, nay” (little guys might get a kick out of those terms). This is a little like the sun removing the man's coat through the positive action of warmth, rather than the negative action of trying to tear it off through force. In section three the Pharisees represent that “negative” force of opposing the woman's healing. They were burdened by a material, weighty view of the law, rather than the uplifted view that laws are in place to support us in positive ways. The woman too was bent by the weight of false material law. Jesus removed the burden of thinking that these laws are in charge of her life. And so she was no longer forced to look down at the ground, but could rise up straight and rejoice in the reality of her uprightness. Then, of course, there is the definition of Adversary in section 5. I like how this dove tails with the passage from Philippians about keeping our hearts and minds filled with God qualities. If we see ourselves, in reality, as possessing only these qualities, and nurturing these qualities every day, then we are not so easily fooled when something comes to our thought to oppose these ideas.

[PYCL 5] 
You could certainly pull out the full cup of water and try to add to it. Noting once again, that you cannot add to something already full. Then you can talk about how that's like our thought about ourselves. If we think of ourselves truthfully, then we have no room for that “adversarial” thought!  And you can show how this works as well in section 6 with the story of the seeds by the wayside.  If we are tending to the qualities mentioned in section 5, then our “soil” is ready and “turned” and receptive to the word of God.  We are that good soil.  We are like a magnet for all the ideas that can come from reality, from God.  You may have fun with a pair of magnets here to illustrate these ideas. When I was a kid we often had those little “Scottie” dog magnets that would come together at the noses, like they were kissing, but the back ends would repel each other. You can do this with regular magnets of course. Show how the magnets attract at one side and push away at the other. The lousy ground, the rock, the thorn… these are thought that is repelling the truth, reality—the ground that might even temporarily welcome good thought but is drawn to trying to find satisfaction and reality in matter.  You can take this to any depth that is appropriate for your age group.  We sure don't want to be hugging matter to us, as that makes us push away from truth/Truth and reality.  Let's cultivate that good ground.  It's spring in this hemisphere, so maybe some planting is in order!!

Have fun with Sunday School this week!

 

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