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[PYCL: Discuss substantial 'things' that make up true wealth! Feel God's love & presence!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lesson for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

Substance

Sunday, September 14, 2014

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

[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS 1st camper, current director & PYCL editor]

[PYCL 1]
It never hurts to talk with the younger people about what 'substance' means, even in non-metaphysical terms. This way they can grasp the metaphysical idea of substance better. If they answer “things” or “stuff” it could lead directly into the Golden Text that states that our lives do not consist of the “abundance of the things which we possess”. I've been on a long-time path with my boys to help them think about purchases in terms of how long they last and how long they derive enjoyment from them. For example: is it worth it to purchase several little cheap plastic toys now, because it will make you happy on the way home in the car (and then get broken and stepped on within days or less in the house), or to save for a really good quality item, such as a new bicycle which you will likely ride for years and pass down to a younger brother? (See “durable riches” in Prov. 8:18 from the Responsive Reading). The bicycle gives you the opportunity to see new country, enjoy time with your whole family, get fresh air and exercise, think, and so on. After the ride you contemplate the snake you saw crossing your path, the indigo bunting perching on the side of the path, or the Clydesdale foal you got to pet through the fence where she was kept. These might be thought of as the “substance” of your ride. The things that last and are impressed on your thought after something has taken place. In the meantime you may have gained a greater sense of persistence, or patience in waiting for a slower rider, or perseverance after feeling tired before the end, or great joy at the energy and power of riding in the wind. These too are qualities of substance. You cannot 'hold' them, or see them, at least in ways other than the smile on your face, yet they are surely lasting and spiritually substantial. These are the substantial 'things' that make up true wealth. So I think you could have fun talking in this way, breaking down activities that each child enjoys and figuring out what is substantial in each activity.

[PYCL 2]
The story of the exodus from Egypt in the Bible is a great one to elaborate on with children. In the first section, citation B2 tells us not to “cast away” our “confidence”. What does that mean? Then you can look into the entire story of the children of Israel as it's contained in sections 2 and 3. How did the children of Israel throw out their “confidence” in God, and what did they find themselves relying on that made them so unsure? Will our material senses ever tell us things that are substantial? Can they relate this story to life today? How do we go around sometimes “crying” about something lacking in our lives? How do we get to actually see that God is always providing everything that we need? Talk about what it might be like to walk for years in a desert. Would you be hot, tired, dusty or sandy, thirsty all the time? What happens when we are feeling lonely, hurt, uncomfortable, unhappy? Is that a little like our own “desert”, a place where we aren't feeling the love and refreshment of God's presence? How can we bring our views into line with the substance that is being showered on each of God's children? See citation S11 about what Christian Scientists believe vs. what opponents believe. Is matter the only thing? How do we know? Is the fact that God led all those people through the desert so long ago, something that has impact on us today? I think with the really little guys, you could explain this story and then go for a walk and pretend that it is very hot and dry. Talk about how long you've been waiting for food, water, a sign from God that this is what you are supposed to be doing, that you haven't goofed up and made a mistake. Drag your feet dramatically. Then have them suggest that there's a pitcher of water back at the Sunday School table. What does that water symbolize? You could, of course, bring this water, and some cups with labels on each with what that “cup of cold water from Christ” symbolizes—healing, inspiration, revelation, understanding, spiritual comfort and so on.

[PYCL 3]
I was interested last weekend by a radio show that I was listening to. They were discussing myths that seem to be impossible for people to stop believing in, no matter what evidence they see that would show them to be false. One myth was the idea that you cannot build basements in the state of Oklahoma. This state, being in the Great Plains of the U.S. appears to be prone to tornados, so basements would be very valuable as safety zones in such an event. But apparently, even after a very devastating one last year, and with Federal subsidies offered for basement construction, of the 8,000 homes destroyed, the basement contractor on the radio, was only able to convince one home builder to rebuild with a basement. He mentioned that even while attending sports events held in underground space and parking their cars in underground garages at these events, people, when asked right there underground, would declare that it was impossible to build basements in Oklahoma. Really this shouldn't surprise us as Christian Scientists. We know that there are many examples concerning mortality that have us all convinced at one time or another that certain things are impossible. But this story reminded me of citation S23 that we need to “divest” our thought of “false trusts and material evidences”. We want to know what is true, not what everyone believes! We want to live in confidence, satisfied with the substance of reality—not fooled by false limits.

These are some loooong paragraphs this week. But hopefully there is something of 'substance' (haha) to help in Sunday School this week!

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