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[PYCL: Apply to family/friend/cabin harmony the Bible stories in this lesson on Love… ]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

“Love”

Sunday, February 1, 2015

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

[PYCL 1]
There are so many great stories in this week’s lesson that can be used as a springboard for different ideas about Love.  Maybe we can take some of them in turns as we look at Sunday School ideas!

[PYCL 2]
I see many links in this lesson that apply these stories to family/friend harmony.   I can imagine this working well in a camp cabin setting or a setting at home where we have to work out harmonious interactions with our siblings.  The story of Abraham and Lot is literally about family harmony.   Abraham represents the thought that is completely trusting of Love to supply him with everything he needs.   He feels peace about allowing Lot to choose the best lands for himself and his herds, leaving Abraham with “left-overs”.   And yet God tells Abraham after Lot heads off: “…Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.”   Sounds like, after all, Abraham is blessed with it “all”?  Lot, while clearly a good man (after all God sends him angels to lead him away from Sodom), chose the material “good”.  This material sense of wealth and good, might be seen as having yielded a temporary satisfaction, without true divine goodness and power and immortality (Lot only had girls, which in Bible days meant no heirs—meaning no “immortality”).  These qualities of goodness, might and immortality are mentioned in citation S4 as “gifts of Love”.  How can we take these lessons home with us to work out challenges of sharing toys/choosing activities/generally treating others with unselfed love (S7)?  If we truly trust God/Love to bring us all good, we are less afraid that we might “lose out” or end up with the “short end of the stick”, as they say.  Are the results instant?   Is it a “deal” we make with God?   Abraham was childless until “old age”, and yet he continued to live with trust and love and it kept him and Sarah safe and successful throughout their extensive travels. 

[PYCL 3]
How about the story in Section 3 about Elisha and the Syrian army?  How does this guide us today?   Did Elisha use his perception to “take down” his enemies?   No, he merely provided the king of Israel with information needed to keep his country safe.   In the final analysis, Elisha’s loving view of the universe allowed him to take the blind hatred and aggression of his enemies and turn it to his advantage by delivering them, helpless, to his own king.   When we get ahead of someone who has done us wrong, how do we treat them?   Are we compassionate?  Kind?  Generous in our treatment?  If so, the “enemy” disappears altogether, as it did in this case.  Could you say that those “gifts of Love” came in handy here?   How were they used?  Can you use them in some difficult circumstance in your own life?

[PYCL 4]
The two blind men in citation B13 and all the multitudes that Jesus healed (B12), present another kind of love that is “of God”.  This is one that “sees” the needy, recognizes the “less tasteful” elements of society and rather than avoiding them, embraces them so much in love that they are healed!  It’s cool to point out that then, (as now, just differently) the societal outcasts were marginalized.  They couldn’t live with other “healthy” people, they couldn’t go into the temples.  If you touched someone like that there was a sometimes rigorous “purification process” that a priest had to perform before you could rejoin society.  Think what that might feel like.  Is there anyone that we really struggle with loving?  A classmate, cabin-mate, sibling?  Can you really “see” them, recognize their need for love and understanding and offer it to them, or do you just pass them by.  Let’s not forget that the people that Jesus preached to were mostly societal “rejects”.  They were probably often not pleasant to look at.  Think about what that represents today if you are not surrounded by societal outcasts… there are bound to be people you choose to avoid.  What can we do today that would bring healing to our thought and make compassion and love the most important elements of our thinking rather than thoughts that center on ourselves.

[PYCL 5]
Then we have the famous parable of the Good Samaritan.  If the kids don’t know all the elements, go over them.  (The fact that two religiously-important Jews walked right by the injured man, while the Samaritan was the one who stopped to help… check the significance if you don’t know).  Notice that the lawyer gave the “right” answer to Jesus’ question… but did he know what that answer really meant?  What does it really mean to love our neighbor?  Jesus illustrates this.  Citations S21 and S22 drive home the idea that knowing that there is only one Mind is what frees us to feel and express this love that is of God.  As long as we think we have “my” interests that are different from “his” interests, we are subject to fear?  Why?  What are we afraid of?  We think that another mind has the power to take from us—land (as with Abraham and Lot and Elisha), or health and happiness (contagion, toys/belongings).  This might seem farfetched, but you have to see how it applies at every age, because it most certainly does!  So fear really is the opposite of love, isn’t it?  Fear that Love is not actually in control for good at all times!

[PYCL 6]
Peace happens on many levels in this lesson.  Some stories are about traditional peace and war or bickering.  Others are about the peace that comes with a recognition of the Christ in others (Jesus healing and the Samaritan).  But Love brings each of us our own sense of peace that comes with trusting God.  And isn’t this what we are looking for when we strive with our siblings or friends, a sense of fairness and peace?  Understanding that this comes from our relationship with God/Love rather than an equal distribution of_____ is a hard lesson, but surely valuable!

[PYCL 7]
One little project: try making three boxes representing “gifts of Love”.  One box labeled “might”, one labeled “goodness”, one labeled “immortality”.  The kids could decorate them to look like presents while you talk about the stories.  Look at each story and have them write-down or dictate where they see those qualities exhibited and how they are exhibited in the various stories (they can use other Bible stories too!).  Put their observations in each box and continue this over coming weeks.  Or, you could have them think of ways in which their own actions gave them insight into or demonstration of these qualities through Love in their lives.  For example, was there a time in their experience last week where they chose to give up a specific plan so that they could play something a friend or brother/sister wanted to play instead?  Did they get a “gift” or express a “gift” from that action?  Put that in the appropriate box or boxes.  Did they have a happier/more peaceful time when they showed their gift of goodness, did they find that they were “mightier” by expressing unselfed love?  What kind of might came from it?  Interesting thought!

Have fun this week!

 

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