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[PYCL: Discuss what it means to be a person of integrity. Show adherence with Velcro…]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

“Truth”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for January 26, 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— Discuss what it means to be a person of integrity. Show adherence with Velcro.]
What is truth? Why is it a synonym for God? If you can get away from “pat” answers for this, these two questions have a lot of potential for discussion. Can you come up with other qualities that express truth? Think of things that they might not know, like 'integrity': (dictionary.reference.com)

  1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
  2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
  3. sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.

Wow! Look at all three of those definitions!  Usually we might think, in the context of this lesson, that the first definition is the most applicable, but actually all three definitions are quite interesting to ponder. In the case of this Bible lesson you could look at the first definition and think of how adhering to God's commandments, as it tells us to do in order to succeed, might be what integrity means for us here.  You could say adhering to divine Principle, right?  How can we 'adhere' to Principle?  What does adhere mean?  With the littler kids you could demonstrate adhere with sticking a piece of felt fabric to their clothing (this will likely work in the winter if the drier air permits more static electricity).  You could bring something with a Velcro closure.  Talk about how the tiny hooks on one side grab the little loops on the opposite side.  Bring a magnifying glass so they can see these little things.  Of course, there are other ways to demonstrate this thought, but the important thing is to link it to how we can 'adhere' to Principle or Truth through our actions.  So make sure to have the little ones help you think of ways that they show this 'stickiness' in their lives.  With the very young they could even act out some of these ways that they are showing how they stick to Truth.  I don't actually know what that would look like so you'd have to give it some advance thought!  Yesterday I knocked a Lego truck off the table and it vaporized into its original separate parts.  My six-year-old, James, had made it and he was at school and I was a bit surprised when my 5-year-old suggested that we could just tell James that the cat had knocked it off the table.  Here was an opportunity to demonstrate that honesty is powerful and loving. Of course, I told James that I had accidentally broken his creation, and he, of course, though a little disappointed, immediately said it was okay.  No need to make up a “cat tale”.  Why does it matter?  This might be a good question… sometimes it doesn't seem like a little lie matters much.  What does being a person of integrity do for us?  Think here in terms of what the lesson claims over and over again about the good that we get from understanding the truth about God.  Lies never advance us in the realm of reality; they only seem to advance us in the so-called material realm.  Where do we want to dwell?  In reality?  Or in matter?  (Kind of a trick question since there's really not a choice here except in our own understanding of things…)

[PYCL 2— Show a boat’s integrity & what happens if a hole is poked in it or it’s overloaded.]
Here might even be a good way to move to definition number two and three of integrity. You could look at these two together here as representing our status as a divine idea. We are whole, complete beings. There is no room for cracks or weaknesses in our character. We are expressions of Truth's wholeness and power. Think about how a crack in the hull of a ship represents weakness.  Or how if we are incomplete 'developing' ideas, then there is room to develop “badly”, or to accrue habits that are destructive, etc.  You could even make a small boat or have the kids make one out of aluminum foil.  It could be something very thin and simple.  You could use a paper cup, cutting off the top so it's shorter, use your imagination.  Set their creations afloat on a small dish tub of water.  What happens to the boat if you make a hole or crack in the bottom?  What happens when we tell a little lie and see ourselves that way, even if we never ever get caught?  It makes it so we don't have those waters lifting us above the lie, instead the waters come into our consciousness and drown us in their lies.  It's kind of an interesting thought.  It's sort of like letting in just a bit of 'matter' and hoping that you can stay mostly 'spiritually-minded'.  But these are really difficult/impossible balancing acts.  Eventually your 'boat' will sink!  Another analogy that you can use is that of 'loading' the boat up with 'heavy' material thought.  When you keep citation S14 in your thought, then the 'boat' will bob along on the water.  What happens when you start to set heavy material thoughts about sickness, sadness, anger into the 'boat'.  Here you would give them pebbles to add to the boat until each 'heavy idea' eventually leads to the sinking of the 'boat'.  Please take the time to experiment with your materials so that you have 'boats' that are reasonably secure in the water and don't sink within a minute or so.  You want the analogy to work!  The sides would need to be low enough so that the boats are sinkable, and the boat resilient enough that it won't just tip over immediately.

[PYCL 3— Share why to tell the truth right away… how Jacob came to stand on this “Rock”]
In the Responsive Reading God is referred to as the “Rock”.  Have a conversation about this.  What does the writer mean by this?  Why does he use a 'rock' as a reference to God/Truth?  Here you would talk about the qualities of a rock.  It is solid, impermeable (what's that?); it doesn't wash away—permanent; it gives you something to stand on and a place to work and demonstrate from or build on.  There are lots of things here that can be expounded on.  Why do they think a Rock would be a good analogy for Truth?  Think about how things get so complicated when we don't stay completely honest?  [“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Walter Scott] Can they think of circumstances when that was the case, or maybe even movies or shows or books where the character would have been much better off if they'd told the truth right away?  There are more movies than I can count where either truth was withheld or outright lies were told out of fear. Think of a list of twelve or so kid’s movies or stories where this is the case and have them choose one they all know where they can agree on this being the case. Alternatively, you could choose a short children's story to read aloud that demonstrates this fact and have them talk it over.  Maybe you could use a Bible story such as the story of Jacob when he deceived his brother and father, and uncle… Maybe all that deception led him to a point where he couldn't stand the slippery sinking sands of his life and decided he's rather stand on the rock of Truth [and not let it go until it blessed him].  What happened then?  [See Jacob’s renaming to Israel and his reconciliation with his brother Esau after prevailing in Genesis 32:26]  This story even has an angel to go with the section where Truth is speaking in angel form to Daniel (Section 2, B8 & B9, Daniel 9 & 10).

[PYCL 4— Discuss what it means to practice Truth’s healing power—to be a practitioner.]
There is so much in this lesson about making our understanding of Truth active, demonstrating the power of Truth through healing.  You could talk about why we have Christian Science practitioners.  Why did Mrs. Eddy call them that? Why is this healing work called the “practice”?  Maybe they don't know that term, but here's a chance to make it familiar to them.  Can they be in 'the practice' or do they have to wait until they are grown up?  What makes them practitioners?  What do they have to do?

[PYCL 5— Show what it’s like to have, but hide a light, and to have, but not use salt.]
You could also talk about the light of the world and the salt not losing its flavor in citation S27. This, of course, has to do with making our understanding of Truth practical. Talk about the obvious analogy being used, especially with the little ones. Bring a flashlight and drop a box over it. Can they see the light it gives out? What if you bring a salt shaker to the table but you don't put salt on your food, would your food taste salty at all? We have to put our 'light' and 'salt' to work. This may be obvious to you, but the littler ones may not have it so firmly entrenched in their thought as you!

Have a great Sunday!

 

 

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