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[PYCL: Discover your life purpose: “to impart truth, health, and happiness” (Misc. 165)]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lesson for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

Truth

Sunday, July 27, 2014

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

[Click in the upper right of CedarS Met webpage this week on a link to the words of a new CedarS song written today to reinforce our “Live to Give” theme in Bible Lands Park.  PYCL 4] 
 

[PYCL 1]
Kids have an inherent understanding of what is truth and what is a lie.  Even if they lie in order to save themselves from getting in trouble, they are aware of truth and the way it makes them feel free when they are honest.  Discuss this link between freedom and truth, the power truth gives us, and the imprisonment we feel when we are being less than honest.  Then you can talk about why God is Truth.  One of the many terms used in this lesson to shed light on Truth, is 'word'.  When Jesus said: “…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:31, 32 (B21).  What did Jesus mean about 'continuing in his word'?  I like to think that the 'indeed' part, also could mean 'in deed', not just in 'belief' or in 'talk'.  I think his 'word' meant action, active love; love that shows the truth of God and brings about freedom from all sorts of lies.  This kind of real disciple is the kind of 'true' disciple that we are talking about in this lesson.  Can the kids come up with some kind of a 'handbook' for being a disciple today?  (I know it's already written in both the Bible and in MBE's writings, but, knowing that, it could be instructive to come up with some ideas of their own, then point out where their ideas occur in these writings, as they will certainly overlap!).  In this way, we are making these writings “our own”.

[PYCL 2]
God leads us with light!  How does “light” lead?  Why are light and truth linked together?  Get out your flashlights and imagine that you are in the middle of a dark forest.  Who would you want to lead the way through the woods? The one with the flashlight?  Or the one without?  Why?  Take turns on a pretend walk through such a dark forest, you start, pointing out the pitfalls, the trees and dark shadows that you should avoid.  Make a deal of how, when you shine your flashlight on those shadows, they disappear!!  You can talk about a pit in the trail, being a place where you might fall into the trap of being angry or sad, but when you shine your “truth-light” on that pit, you see the way around it!  Can you sing hymns of gratitude as you “hike”?  Is the path, lit by Truth, one that is paved in gratitude and praise?  Obviously this may not be a project for the older kids, I'm sure you can modify it so that it might be less “corny” but still fun.  You could even elaborate this with a cardboard “bridge” that is covered in praise statements and gratitude; you can place that over the “pit” and enjoy walking right over the top of that “pit”. You get the idea….

[PYCL 3]
Along the same lines—where does Truth lead us, and how can we tell when Truth is leading us?  The answers to this can be obvious and pat, try to get them to tell you an example of how Truth leads, rather than offering thoughts like: “when you are angry at someone, is that Truth leading you?”  You can bring in the story of Gideon, from section 2.  Read or tell the complete story, including the part about how he “pares down” the original army that he collects, until it cannot be disputed that the victory came from God.  How did Gideon know what he was supposed to do?  Was it logical?  Doesn't this story clearly illustrate the power of Truth to destroy error?  Citation S27, in section 5, points out the fact that the material senses (human reason) do not support the Truth.  This seems to be the case in this story!  Make sure they note the way that the “light of Truth” is used to route the error—the torches hidden in the pitchers.  Just like the flashlight chasing away the shadows, the enemy ran, error was “a coward before Truth.” (S10)

[PYCL 4]
I think that working more with the story of Gideon with the little guys would be helpful and fun. Talk about what the torches would look like hidden inside their “pitchers”.  There would have to be some air inside or the torch would go out; but, when the pitchers were broken the flame would jump up brightly when exposed to all that air. (You can explain how flame burns more brightly when there is more oxygen).  Think about that analogy maybe with the slightly older kids.  If light is a representation of Truth, then how might we, as Truth's expressions “shine” more brightly?  Do we need to make sure that we are being visible reflections of Truth to everyone around us?  You can bring some paper grocery bags and put one over your head.  When you smile inside can any of the kids tell?  But when you take the bag off they can see your loving smile!  Isn't that a little like letting your light of Truth shine, like breaking the pitcher?  And when you do this you bring joy to those around you and you “scare away” error (remember the Midianites and Amalekites…).  You probably can't re-enact the pitcher breaking in Sunday School, but you could give the idea with something like small cardboard boxes and flashlights. You 'd have to have a dark room though, for the effect to be noticeable.  Something to think about…  [Warren’s note: This afternoon “Gideon” was one of 7 time travelling Bible characters to join 60 boys for a 3-hour Bible Adventure in CedarS Bible Lands Park before Free Swim.  We used milk jugs decorated like clay pitchers, with flashlights inside and a variety of inexpensive noise makers for the boys to blow upon “Gideon’s” command.  Everyone started (like with the Golden Text, Ps. 43:3) in “thy tabernacle” (in the wilderness) and as one of 3 rotations hiked up “thy holy hill” on CedarS Time Travelers Trail (TTT).  “Moses” drove CedarS Time Machine Bus with the boys and their counselors back to Bible days and taught them on TTT how to keep “the mind of Christ” to take back to their futures so as to “live to give.”  To activate the flux capacitor in the Time Machine Bus for our return trip to a 4th Session Free Swim in 2014, the boys chanted “live to give!” all the way up the hill.  This followed a wrap-up “Guess the Bible Character on the Park Bench Game” and a rousing call-and-response “Live to Give” Bible History song.  Click the link to a pdf file in the upper right corner of our webpage to download my rough-draft of words of this song set to the “tune” of “Tarzan”.]

[PYCL 5]
The parable of the woman who “hid” leaven in meal is also a fun one to talk about.  There are many aspects of the parable that you can discuss with the kids depending on their level of sophistication.  The fact that leaven raises “meal” can be shown if you feel like taking the trouble to mix up a small batch of bread at the very beginning of Sunday School.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, bread is very simple to start up.  Bring a bowl, put just a cup or less of very warm water in it just before Sunday School starts, put in a couple tablespoons of sugar to speed up the yeast process, stir in enough flour so that it is getting a little stiff, but still somewhat gooey.  We aren't going to kneed it or anything, just get it solid enough so that you can see it bubble up and rise during Sunday School.  It needs to be undisturbed once the kids have stirred in the sugar and flour.  It can't be bumped around much or it won't rise as well, and it also can't have direct cool air blown on it, so don't set it under an air vent.  Explain how yeast not only raises up the dough, but changes it chemically and turns it into something that will be bread when it bakes.  (If you think you want to bring it home and bake it, you will want to put a little bit of salt in the dough too!)  While the dough is doing its thing, you can talk about the analogy in this parable.  Ask why Jesus used this analogy to explain the kingdom of heaven?  Talk about how Truth lifts up material existence until it disappears and reveals something altogether different, spiritual reality!  You can look at the placement of this parable in Mrs. Eddy's writings and get more complicated if the kids are older and look at the way she uses the leaven as Science elevating science (small 's'), theology and medicine.  Or you can just talk about how the Christ, truth elevates thought and experience.

Have fun with Sunday School!

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