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[PYCL: Don’t merely make matter better, but realize we’re not made of matter at all! (see #5)] 
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Matter"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for March 24, 2013
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

[PYCL #1: Possibilities of adapting ideas for inspired SS teaching abound all around!] 
There are a couple of sweet options to use in teaching the littler ones this week.  I can't say these ideas are original, one is drawn from the CedarS metaphysical, and the other from the cartoon in the myBibleLesson (for the second week in a row).  But since all ideas or intelligence are drawn from Mind, as we see in section five this week, I guess it's okay to draw these ideas together here for those looking for things to inspire their Sunday School (SS) teaching!

 

[PYCL #2: Illustrate defending thought vs. aggressive mental suggestions written on paper.] 
Each portion of the lesson, including the Golden Text (G.T.) and Responsive Reading (R.R.), gives us a unique claim that matter makes, thereby giving us the opportunity to discovery how to defend ourselves against those sometimes very convincing claims.  MyBibleLesson this week uses the analogy of a soccer goalie defending his/her goal against these suggestions of mortal mind (represented by the snake).  Check out Mrs. Eddy's definition of serpent in the glossary of S&H to see matter's claims!  You could easily set up a little goal on the table with some books and a paper “football” that you flick at the goal with a thumb and finger.  Or you could get more bold and make a standing goal if you have room and have the kids try throwing (probably kicking might get too aggressive but you can take a read on your class) a ball of wadded up paper into the goal.  On the paper would be any number of “snake like”, sneaky suggestions about where our identity resides, where our life is contained, where our intelligence is found, how we heal (with matter or Spirit), how we figure out what is true/right and what is not.  These ideas can be from the lesson or based on their own ideas of what suggestions come to them.  Set up one person to be a goalie for either the table goal or the floor version.  Talk about what suggestion is coming their way and how we really defend our thought from these ideas.  What do we use to counteract these thoughts that we are limited by, made of, subjected to matter?  Maybe you can use the “Scientific Statement of Being” [S&H 468] as the basis for all this discussion if that seems helpful, since the lesson builds toward this statement at the end [(S30), and reinforced by repetition at the end of every Sunday School session].  Set up the “kickers/throwers” at a distance that the goal can be covered fairly easily. If a suggestion from the snake gets into the goal, you can use that as an opportunity to discuss how we root it out!  In the cartoon series from MyBibleLesson there are a number of suggestions and different techniques that the snake uses to try to get by the goalie.  One is a “disguise”.  This might be a useful one to discuss as well.  

[PYCL #3: Act out defending thought vs. aggressive mental suggestions in disguise.] 
If you tend toward the dramatic and humorous, you could certainly dramatize defending your goal and thoughts against intrusive suggestions!  How do matter thoughts disguise themselves so that we let them in?  You can also look at Mrs. Eddy's directive in Miscellany p. 210 “Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.”  This sounds like a good goalie “pep talk”!  Another, less physical option for this exercise is simply to have them hold their index fingertips together and tell you whether they will open the “gate” to a suggested thought, or not.  You can come up together, as previously suggested, with ideas to let in or exclude.

 

[PYCL #4: With props or without, act out being consecrated as chosen and favored royalty!] 
The other idea really comes from this week’s CedarS “Met” (metaphysical application ideas).  It helps to answer that age-old question about whether there are really “two of us”, a material and a spiritual being, or person.  Rick shares the story about the kidnapped prince which you can read on the website.  You can also share that story and talk about how really we are all anointed by our Father-Mother God to be princes and princesses.  We are truly chosen by God to do His/Her anointed work.  We are each appointed to carry out God's will throughout our lives.  Each of us was created spiritually to express some unique aspect of God's nature and being, essential expressions of Love.  You can talk about how in the old days, a king or queen would have been “anointed”, which means a bit of oil would have been poured on their heads to symbolize their chosen, special status.  (You can see this in the Bible when Samuel chooses David to be the next king after Saul).  Look up Mrs. Eddy's Glossary definition of “oil” (on p. 592) and see what it means to be anointed in a spiritual way.  You can all dress, either imaginary, or with some sort of simple symbols (crowns, capes and the like), and pour imaginary oil on one another to move the discussion along with the kids.  Obviously all of this can be done with or without props, whatever method suits you as a teacher.

 

[PYCL #5: Don’t merely make matter better, but realize we’re not made of matter at all!] 
In the sixth section something new stood out to me.  Talk about the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers.  It may not be only a story about giving gratitude for God's goodness.  Maybe it would help to also see this as a story of those who are looking for a cure in matter vs. those who are looking for spiritual healing and a deeper understanding of God and man.  Often it can be tempting to just wish for a cessation of discomfort (whatever kind we are experiencing), but we can learn to really take a huge step forward in quality of life and understanding, in joy and health, if we choose instead to really take each challenge as an opportunity to understand God and our own nature as His/Her expression.  Matter will make its resistance known: “just take a pill”, “just mull it over with a friend”, “just brood about it”.  Notice that each sentence begins with “just”?  Maybe that is a warning signal when we are tempted to look for some “quick material cure”.  The tenth man, the “stranger”, reviled by the Jews at that time, turned back to the Christ.  Symbolically, and in fact, he was seeking the root of this great gift of healing and acknowledging the source as the healing Christ.  This is our opportunity at every challenge, to acknowledge that Christ presence and rejoice in it, be grateful for it.  This process then leaves our thought open to experience more of Christ's healing presence.  None of this means that God has designed suffering for His beloved creation.  Taking medication does not represent a failure or a lapse of your nature as God's beloved.  I wouldn't want anyone to feel that and don't think that that is an accurate description of such a choice.  [In our textbook Mrs. Eddy allows for turning to temporary means when help is needed: “If Christian Scientists ever fail to receive aid from other Scientists, — their brethren upon whom they may call, — God will still guide them into the right use of temporary and eternal means.” (444:7)]  I do think that it is worth discussing the difference between “cure” and “healing” and what it is that we really hold up as a worthy goal [for each of us as the masterpiece, the very image and likeness, of our omnipotent Creator].  The definitions of cure and heal are similar, but the implications of being made whole under the definition of “heal” are different than the more superficial implications of curing or giving a temporary relief or remedy.  Also, there are a myriad of issues that material medics have found no cure for, whereas spiritual healing knows no such limitations.  It may be helpful to look at it in terms of making matter better vs. realizing we are not made of matter at all.  What sort of freedom does that knowledge bring?!

 

[PYCL #6: Cherish the Commandments, especially the 1st.  ] 
This lesson also gives us the opportunity to cherish the commandments, especially the first, by really acknowledging the One God.  Matter cannot be the creation of this one, good God.  A good, omnipotent God would not create fallible, vulnerable, painful matter and then cut His creation loose to figure out how to cure that matter.

 

[PYCL #7: Share how ALL good comes from God’s grace, not from hair, genes, behavior…] 
Enjoy the story of Samson of course! Kids love to laugh at the idea that he thought his hair gave him his strength. But we need to ask where we think our ____ comes from?  [Maybe read Hymn 263: “Only God can bring us gladness…”)]  Do we think we get our skills from our parents, our education, our natural talent?  What could take that away?  Injury, accident, illness?  Anything derived from matter comes to a sticky end.  Better to acknowledge that all good comes from God (first commandment) and see and show our freedom in each endeavor!  It can even be tempting to think that our goodness or holiness stems from how kind we are, how much we study or how well we behave, when really these behaviors come from infinite Love and are part of our being because we derive from Love itself.

 

Have fun this week; there sure are many ideas to share!

 

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