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[PYCL: Discuss God’s kingdom, under the control of supreme wisdom”, here & now!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

“God”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for January 5, 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: List together what we know about God! Don’t just run to the rescue… ]
What do we know about God?  Make a list together.  See how far you can go with the kids on this list before they completely run out of ideas.  See if they can define God, with no hints from you.  Do they go “past” the seven synonyms?  You may want to write your own exhaustive list to glance at if there is a really long dead space.  But don't just run to the rescue if they are thinking for a bit!  Allow them to put things in their own words; don't try to “clean up” what they say.  If something doesn't seem correct to you, you can wait and bring up some way to clarify without specifically contradicting a child's suggestion.  When you have a great list, try looking at it to see which words are implying action, which are qualities.

[PYCL 2: Is God happy with you & others? What if you aren’t happy with yourself & others?]
Do you think God likes Her creation?  What makes you think yes or no?  Check out verse 43 (Ps. 105) from the Responsive Reading.  If he “brought forth” (define), His people with joy and with gladness, doesn't that imply that He is happy with what He created?  What happens when we are confronted with things about ourselves or others that doesn't make us happy?  What can we do with those thoughts or views?  This lesson teaches us a lot about how to understand/see/know God and hence His spiritual creation, man.  So we can look within it to get some answers to this.

[PYCL 3: Discuss talking with God like Moses did & about getting & obeying directions.]
With the littlest ones we can take some time to discuss the idea of talking to God.  What did Moses do in this lesson?  Did he talk to God just like you are talking in class?  We don't really know, of course, but it is clear that he at least felt certain that he was hearing God's direction with clarity and understanding.  He was “conversational”, asking questions and receiving answers directly.  Maybe they will be interested in thinking about this.  The Golden Text introduces this idea of God speaking directly to us when it states that God is “Great in counsel”,  He is giving us direction, right now!!  (It also mentions His being “mighty in work”?  What do they think that means?).

[PYCL 4: Look at God’s allness in the Lord's Prayer, 1st Commandment, a full glass… ]
This lesson has a portion of the Lord's Prayer in it.  Why would that be?  How does the Lord's Prayer help us understand who God is?  Does it help us also see how we relate to God?  Why would knowing God include knowing man?  Mrs. Eddy describes man as “the expression of God's being” (S&H 470), so that might give you a place to start.  With the littler ones you can use this as an opportunity to look at Mrs. Eddy's spiritual interpretation of the Lord's Prayer. Why does she give us this?  Can we “spiritually interpret” other things from the Bible?  Don't we do this all the time?  What about when we look at a Commandment and think about how it translates into something applicable to our lives today?  While you are looking at the Lord's Prayer you can also look at where the First Commandment fits into our lesson.  Having no other Gods, implies that we really have some idea of what God is.  If God is all, can there be “other” gods?  Maybe you could draw a circle and use it as a symbol of how, if that circle is a circle of Love, and it's full of Love, can there be a space within that fullness for anything else?  The Lord's Prayer also talks about this allness of God, so that's why I linked them here.  I've mentioned in the past that you can also explain this allness analogy with a full glass of water in a bowl on your table.  Once it is full, can you add more?  This is how man is created too!  We are complete, “full”, creations.  Nothing can be added to us.  Our lives are filled with discovering this fullness, allness of our being.  There is no limit, unlike the full glass or the circle, our fullness is infinite, but without any room for anything but God.  These are really helpful concepts as we think about ourselves and about God.

[PYCL 5: Talk of: what the kingdom of heaven is; how Job’s view of God got more spiritual ]
The kingdom of heaven is featured in this lesson.  Maybe you could also make a list of what the kingdom of heaven is.  Do they think it is something that can be described as a picture?  Is it like trying to draw a picture of God?  Why would that be hard?  Think about what “spiritual” means and why things of Spirit are hard to draw in human pictures and often hard to describe in human words.  Does that mean they are less helpful to us?  Why or why not?  Job is a fun place to look for how someone's view of God becomes more spiritual.  You may want to give a little backup information to the citations included from Job.  In citation B10 he says “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.”  What does he mean by this?  We've talked a lot in these PCYLs about what the symbolism of light and “seeing” means in the Bible (and really everywhere), but it doesn't hurt to ask again.  I love that Job draws a distinction between all the things he's heard/been taught, but now he really “gets” it.  When he finally does “see” God, he also hears God's voice quite tangibly.  There is another link to the story of Moses.  What is another way that the kingdom of heaven can be “visible” to us?  John the Baptist asks his disciples to ask Jesus whether he's the Messiah or not.  What does Jesus answer?  Doesn't he point out that it is the healing works that answer their question?  That means the Kingdom is visible to us through healing, right?

[PYCL 6: Dedicate our lives to freedom from ups & downs in the kingdom of heaven in man!]
Citation S14 seems like such an important passage to me. So much of our lives are dedicated, from childhood, to being happy. We want to be happy, satisfied, probably more than anything. And Mrs. Eddy points us here to what the “grand necessity of existence” is.  It is to understand what the kingdom of heaven in man is made of!  So isn't this the source of our joy, our stability, our freedom from the ups and downs of matter and mortal mind?  What other thing should we dedicate our lives to?

[PYCL 7: Discuss “New Jerusalem”… under the control of supreme wisdom”, here & now!]
You can also take the fifth section apart to discuss the “New Jerusalem” from John's revelation. Usually we think of this as too “far out there” to talk to kids about. But really it is a “picture”, if you will, of the kingdom of heaven. He uses language and verbal pictures to represent spiritual ideas.  The entire kingdom is filled with “light”, and that light is God.  So in that kingdom, we all understand God.  Mrs. Eddy emphasizes this in citation S23 when she asks the question: “Have you ever pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom?”  You can talk about how this description is based so heavily on understanding. John's revelation was an expression in words of what God “revealed” to him about Himself and His creation!  Can this be revealed to us now?  Yes, because everything in this lesson points to the fact that the kingdom is here and now.  Even when God reveals his “name” to Moses as “I am”, it is in the present tense.

Hope this gives you all a place to start this week! Happy new year to all!                                                  

 

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