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[PYCL: Find steady Truth that holds your interest, enthusiasm and excitement! (#2)]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for


on July 24, 2016

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

Pycl #1: There are many opportunities in this lesson to focus on the CedarS' theme of this year: "Find wholeness in "the way of holiness". This is because Truth, as a synonym for God, lends itself well to the idea of "walking in a path", a path that is lit-up, clear, honest, (truthful), real, Christly. And because Truth is the synonym most often associated with the Christ, and Jesus tells us to follow in his path many times. Why does Truth "light up" a path? (Responsive Reading). Have the children ever found themselves in a situation where they were mistaken about something and acting in a certain way because of that mistaken thought? Then found that the truth about this made them change what they were doing? Share an example to make this clear. Obviously, gossip and chatter about friends and family that is uninformed is a classic example. This can reach more deeply though. Think of even simple misunderstandings that cause us to act incorrectly. You could think together about what it's like to walk on a dark path in the woods at night. There are roots and rocks on this path that you can't see in the dark. What if you bring a flashlight? Does that help? Believing something that is untrue is a lot like walking in the dark or wearing a blindfold. If your class isn't too prone to silly-ness you could try having them be blindfolded, one at a time and ask them to walk around a bit. Talk together about what that is like and how Truth can lead you no matter what the "light" appears to be, no matter where you are. Do you have a testimony that will illustrate this? Can you find one in the periodicals?

Pycl #2: I also think this is a good moment to bring up the passage that so often is seen on our church walls "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32). How is Truth related to freedom? Obedience to Truth/God brings freedom because we are freed from slavery to matter, to our bodies, to mortal thoughts such as anger, frustration, resentment and so on. What does it mean to be obedient to Truth? Does it just mean "being a good kid?" If so, what does that mean? We become unhappy, unsatisfied, ungrateful, and so on, when we look to matter for our joy, satisfaction, etc. This is because matter is limited; it cannot fulfill, and it dies or ends. Truth is infinite, enduring and dependable. We might find, for a time, some satisfaction in matter, I'll admit. But it's kind of like getting a new toy. We are overjoyed for a while, play with it a lot, and then start scheming on what the next toy will be. My boys like Legos. They scheme about a new set, look online for which one they want, save money or wait for a gift and so on. They get the set and build it, maybe play some games with it….and then it's done. Once in awhile they may pull it out. Maybe they will put it away and rebuild it once. But generally it doesn't hold their interest much, certainly not their glowing enthusiasm and excitement. Truth may not seem all that exciting as a concept, but the steady joy and gratitude we feel as we look for Truth on our path and look into the light that Truth shines, is an internal beacon of deep, consistent joy that we carry with us in each activity. So even when we are stuck doing something that we don't look forward to, if we are being obedient to Truth, we generally find ourselves happy at the end of a day. This might be a challenging concept to bring out, but some good examples from your own life, some thoughts of theirs on the subject, and maybe some backup from the periodicals can really make it clearer.

Pycl #3: The first section and a few other places are full of references to "the rock". Why is the rock a good symbol for Truth and Christ? There are many obvious reasons and see if they can come up with them rather than having you fill in the blank for them. Have them look at citation B4. Why is the height/safety/permanence of a rock important? Have them try standing on a chair. Can they see more of the room that way? Why might having a good view of things keep us safer? (We can see the "enemy" coming!) You can talk about this as a battle strategy, as the reason why cities often were built on a hill, and you can discuss the views you get when you are high in the air. Truth gives you a clearer perspective on things. You are not only standing on something immovable (rock/truth), but you are also getting a view of anything evil coming your way. Now we don't need to literally stand up high to see evil coming. But we do need to be able to recognize the Truth when we see it and tell that evil is being thrown at us. For example: are we "testing" our thoughts as they come? When we feel ill, are we questioning that thought and asking if it comes from Truth? When we are filled with anger at our brother/sister over something they did, do we stop to check and see where that thought is really coming from? How does really knowing accepting and understanding what is true, help with making anger disappear? If our sister/brother/friend/cabin-mate, said something hurtful, did something inconsiderate or unkind…can we see that God was not behind it, therefore it has no impact or permanence or truth. It's a bit like a big rock, in fact—such a rock is permanent (more or less)—it is solid, immovable. How about a fight or altercation with our sibling? Are we always at war with them? Or do we have times where we play happily, enjoy companionship and so on. In that case, the nastier things are like soil that washes away, has no impact, no permanence. If they did, we could never rid ourselves of the anger or hurt. But anger and hurt are not from Truth, they are not permanent! Share a healing of such anger or hurt!!

Pycl #4: In Section 2 we have the arrival of Jesus. With this comes the light of Truth with is the announcement of the Christ presence. Who saw this light? Was it a lot of people? What were those who saw it doing? (The wise men were prophets that were looking for Truth; the shepherds were awake doing their job!) Seeing these examples, what do we need to be doing in order to experience the light of Truth? Shouldn't we be "awake", looking? Shouldn't we be expecting that the Christ is right with us, lighting up our "sky" and announcing its presence to our thought? Do the kids feel like they missed this birth? Help them see that it is always taking place and if we are like those shepherds, awake to Truth, we will see the Christ in our lives, we will have abundant healing and joy, just like Jesus brought all those years ago! What happens if we close our eyes, do we see the sunrise then? (I know, most of us are asleep at that time, but it's a good analogy!) If we want to see Truth, we have to be looking for it, alert, awake to anything that would be evil (the animals that might be trying to eat the sheep, right?). You can practice being shepherds in Sunday School, either dress-up or not. What are we watching for if it's not lions, bears, wolves? What would be those "lions", etc. that would steal our innocence, purity, joy, kindness and so on? Have them come up with these ideas!

Pycl #5: Go over what a parable is and why Jesus used them. It becomes obvious then, why a parable would be included in a lesson on Truth. The tares and wheat are a wonderful example of discernment. This time I also noticed that, like the rock, the wheat is "unchanging". It always looks like wheat, it only matures. But the tares look like the wheat at first, and then become more obviously impostors! Truth is always Truth! The farmer in this story is unafraid of the tares because confident that the Truth is established, clear, discernible. He isn't sweating that there seems to be some "mistake", some scary enemy. He is confident in the dominion of the Truth. We can be that way too! Is the wheat aware of the tares? Does it grow differently, adapt to them, become less productive or wheat-like, because of the tares? Should we focus on the tares (on material sense suggestions), pay close attention to them, wonder how they will ever be destroyed or discerned, what their source was, who planted them, why?????? This is so like how we can be tempted to approach human difficulties! Ask the kids whether they ever wonder where the sickness or whatever challenge came from. Check out the absolutely radical nature of citations S12 and S16. If we have any sense of hatred, dislike, criticism etc., then it's not a whole sense of Love (for example). Quite a standard, yet it's a natural part of our being as reflection.

Pycl #6: The subject of childlikeness is addressed in Section 4, and, I think also in Section 5. Ask the kids about childlikeness. What is it? Why does it make you good at being healed and at healing? That man in citation B18 was so weighed down by the lie of limitation that he didn't even say "yes" when Jesus asked him if he wanted to be whole! He was completely taken in by the picture of man as sick, mortal, bereft, and utterly dependent on a solution from within matter. Jesus draws out his innate childlikeness by healing him, showing him that he was being duped by this picture that he'd accepted. The man responded, it would seem humanly, absurdly, by being obedient, and picking up his bed and walking. This after thirty-eight years of immobility. His muscles would have been completely atrophied, humanly it was impossible. This is why I say that Jesus recognized the man's innate childlikeness and called on that to respond to this seemingly ludicrous demand. Yes, the man at first went through that explanation of why it was impossible, but immediately afterward, he yielded—after thirty eight years.

Have a great Sunday!

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