Thank you for another best summer yet!

[PYCL—Find heaven (your omnipresent camp spirit) already within—& take it everywhere!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

Probation after Death
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for April 27, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO   (314) 406-0041

[PYCL 1] 
This subject might take a little explaining to the children.  Most of the younger ones won't be particularly interested in this taken at face value.  But there are many ways to access different branches of this subject and help them to be ready to think about other angles at a later date.  Starting right away with the Golden Text (G.T) and Responsive Reading (R.R.) we see that we are really thinking here about heaven.  What is heaven, how can we “get there”, do we have to die, is it a place?  And so on.  This gets at the fundamental challenge about life in Spirit, the only life there is, vs. the belief that we live in and die out of matter.

[PYCL 2] 
I think, looking at the R.R. in particular, we can take that list of qualities (virtue, faith, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity) and think about how we can embrace them (can you translate this list into more contemporary terms?), how do we already embrace them?  What if we do all those things?  Are we then “allowed into heaven”?  Or are we already there?  Can they think of some time when they were particularly happy?  Was it a time when their family did something really cool together, or a special time with a friend?  Maybe going to camp!  Can they look at those qualities and identify if any of these qualities were operating in those circumstances?

[PYCL 3] 
The G.T. tells us to “believe the gospel”.  Do the kids know what the Gospel is?  What does it mean in the fullest sense to believe in the Gospel?  This can actually lead to some interesting thinking if you consider the depths of that request!  In this lesson they are referring specifically to Jesus' resurrection.  How do we demonstrate in our lives today that we “believe” in his resurrection?  What does that mean for our actions?  Can you think of a healing, or several that demonstrate your “belief” in the Gospel or in this aspect of the Gospel?  Kind of an interesting idea!  Can the kids, or can you help them think of ways that this is done in our day to day views of the world?  Are we denying the Gospel by certain things we think or ways we act?  If so, how can we change that?

[PYCL 4] 
In section 1 we again have lists of qualities (citations B4 and S4).  Why these lists in this subject?  (Here you can continue to work with the theme of heaven).  There are some ideas here about holding perfect models before our thought.  Bring in a couple of contrasting pictures of items.  For example, a picture of a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and a picture of a bouquet of dead flowers.  Talk about how if you wanted to paint a lovely picture of living flowers, if you want accurate colors and shades, clear water, etc. which picture would you choose to look at?  The answer is obvious, but sometimes it helps to have the props.  If we want to have a lively, healthy, happy, harmonious, creative, intelligent experience, what sorts of things do we “entertain” in our thinking?  How about if you throw a party at your house—who would you invite and why?  You'd invite people whose company you enjoy right?  They would be nice, friendly, loving, funny, helpful, intelligent, creative, and so on.  These are the people you want in your home and want in your life!  Would you invite those who seem unkind, scary, and so on?  (I know, this is just an analogy so it has its limitations).  This is a very literal use of the word “entertain”, but I think the kids might relate to it.  We only bring into our “home”/thought, those who bring true qualities of God.

[PYCL 5] 
My thought is arrested by the simple statement in citation S6.  This could be investigated by some of the classes maybe 3rd grade on?  Thinking in terms of “sin” as “missing the mark”, rather than delving into more distinctly adult thoughts on sin.  There are so many ways we can drop our mortal baggage and these children can do this readily, without the sense of heaviness we sometimes attach to wrong actions.  Why does sin bring death?  Sin is the belief that there is pleasure or pain in matter.  That's a pretty simple way to look at it.  That boils down to life in matter.  As long as we live in matter, we pretty much die out of it.  Hence sin leads to the belief in death.  We don't want this to result in the idea that human perfectionism is what we are after.  “Being good” is not, or at least, shouldn't be, a human endeavor.  It is the recognition of our divinely-bestowed and inherent goodness as God's sons and daughters!  And then this knowledge results in acting on that knowledge and resisting acting on the suggestions of a separateness from God.

[PYCL 6] 
You can't “fake it”.  That's how I see citation B10 and the story that follows in citation B11.  You can't find the kingdom of heaven by just saying “Lord, Lord”, or our modern equivalent, whatever way you “beg” God for a “favor”.  The kingdom of heaven is discovered through doing the will of God!  I feel like that's why the story of the lawyer follows the verse from Matthew.  That lawyer wasn't really curious, he just wanted to catch Jesus off guard, get him to trip up somehow.  I guess it wasn't easy to trip him up!

[PYCL 1] 
You can also talk about constant progress.  Progress is a joyful and fulfilling occupation.  What does progress mean for a three-year-old?  Four-, five-, six-, seven-, eight-year-old?  Talk about how the requirement of Love is not human perfection, but our endeavor to walk closer and closer to God's path of goodness and love.  Is this hard?  You could certainly talk about that!  Would the seemingly easier path really, in the end be easier though?  Can you talk about something that we can make progress with this week?  Can you have a healing without some kind of progress?  Describe a healing you've had and how progress was present.

Have a wonderful Sunday!


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