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[PYCL: Get a higher view!  Lift thought constantly higher!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

Mortals and Immortals”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for November 17, 2013

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO   (314) 406-0041
[bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

[PYCL – Have fun contemplating childlike purity with little children.]
So much of understanding our immortal nature hinges on our childlike purity of heart, that it should be a lot of fun to contemplate this idea with these little children this week in Sunday School.

[PYCL – Golden Text: Try to catch a light beam in your hands!]
Can you “capture” light?  Try this with a flashlight.  See if they can catch a light beam in their hands and then peek at the light “hidden” inside their hands. Why can't you “hold” light that way?  What is the quality of light that makes it impossible to “grab”?  Isn't it because it doesn't seem to be as solidly “material” as, say, a table, chair or body?  (Please note, light is a great symbol here, as with all analogies that deal in human terms, there are limits to its total accuracy, scientifically.  But for the purposes of teaching, I think it is a great illustration!)  If we are “children of light”, and “of the day”, then what does that say about our makeup?  Is it really this “solid matter” that we seem to carry around? Talk then about how we can find out a little more about what we really are made up of this week and get just a bit closer to seeing ourselves the way God sees us!

[PYCL – Responsive Reading: Get a higher view!]
Speaking of seeing…what happens when you stand up on a high platform? Can everyone around you see you? Do you get up where nothing can block the view of you from all around? Have any of the kids been to the top of a mountain or maybe a really tall building? We live near the St. Louis arch, I took my son Huck up there last year. Phew! You can really see a distance from there. Even the tallest buildings look small from up there! And we've noticed that you can often see the arch first when you are driving home from a trip. This is what Jesus was talking about when he said: “…if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Yes he's talking about the ascension, and you should mention this. But I think it is also valid to discuss how the Christ light, those qualities of love and purity and truth, when we “lift” those qualities up for all to see, in our actions and words, then they are very visible and people are attracted to them! You may want to mention Jesus' admonition in the Sermon on the Mount about the city on the hill and the candle that isn't hidden.

[PCYL – Section 1: Go on a blindfolded walk.  Don’t let Play Dough talk back to you!]
With the kids that are a little bit older try looking at the creation story in the first chapter of Genesis (look at some other translations too!) and set it next to citation B1 for comparison.  I've found it interesting this week to think about the similarities and differences.  They will notice right away that the Genesis account starts with God creating heaven and earth.  But then it talks about darkness and formlessness, shapelessness.  There is no definition to creation.  Doesn't this exactly describe wandering about in the dark.  Things don't have a defined form.  We can't always see what is in front of us or tell what something is.  Shadows can take on unusual shapes sometimes tricking us.  But light—understanding — brings clarity to the scene.  Suddenly things become clear. We don't trip so easily and we aren't as afraid or hesitant to move around quickly. Well what does citation B1 tell us about creation?  What is the “Word”?  What does it have to do with “light”, “Truth”….?  When understanding comes first, we can immediately proceed forward.  We progress, right?  We know what to do and we feel connected to God.  You can certainly take your class for a blindfolded walk to demonstrate this concept.

Bring in some Play Dough.  Citation B2 has some ideas about the “…clay say[ing] to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?”  Have them make something small (only give them each a small piece and ask them to form something specific and simple, maybe even just a simple shape, like a snake or ball.)  Then have them pretend that the “creation” is talking back to them, telling them about themselves, giving them advice…  You can pretend this so they understand.  Does that seem ridiculous?  Well, that's what it’s like when we see ourselves or other people trying to do things that don't reflect God's goodness.  It's just like the Play Dough talking back to you!  In that same passage you can read where it tells us to ask God about those around us. Don't ask the “Play Dough” and don't listen to what the PlayDough has to “say”. Something we “create”, an idea that we have, is always part of our consciousness and can't go off and do something separate from our thought. In the same way, our true, immortal self, can't go off separately from our Father-Mother and do things that God doesn't know or cause us to do.

[PCYL – Section 2: Point those around you to God…. Find brotherhood in spiritual qualities.]
Section 2 gives us the opportunity to look at a portion of the Sermon on the Mount.  That's always a good thing in Sunday School.  Citation B8 tells us some things about brotherhood that are based in understanding that man is not a mortal being, born of matter and human relationships.  You could ask the older kids about why they think we have this idea of brotherhood included in this lesson about mortals and immortals.  If you look specifically at citation B8 it is interesting to ponder the idea that only a mortal idea of man can include an “enemy”.  When we are holding up the “light”, and shining it “before men”, then we are really showing mankind God's goodness.  This is not a personal, corruptible, mortal man we are “shining”, this is God's reflection we are “shining”.  So, we are pointing those around us to God, not to self.  No one can “hate”, not get along with, God, only a mortal sense of God or man.

Check citation S8 for another take on the thought about being able to “hold” light in your hands. If brotherhood is based in matter, then it is easily corrupted and destroyed.  If we base it in the more spiritual qualities (such as light), then it is eternal, safe and powerful.

[PCYL – Section 3: Wash some windows to illustrate the idea of the purity Beatitude.]
My boys love to wash windows. They do a terrible job, but every so often they grab a roll of paper towels and glass cleaner and spray away.  It helps that our kitchen has four, low windows and a glass door.  I've been wracking my brain to try to think of a way for you to use this “skill” in Sunday School, but most of us don't have an extra portable window lying around.  So maybe you can find a convenient window in your Sunday School or church where you won't bother anyone??  (You could use a mirror, though that is a little different angle).  At any rate, the idea of purity from the Beatitude in this section can be illustrated through this activity.  One idea is to bring in “window crayons”.  These are available in most craft isles at places like Wal-Mart and Target.  They come in different forms.  These are washable “markers” or crayon like things that draw on windows and then can be washed off.  If you decide to try this you will need at least one of these markers/crayons (black would be good), a bottle of glass cleaner, a roll of paper towels and an old towel for the floor below.  You should stand close so you can wipe up the drips before they hit the wall or floor.  Kids tend to spray from a close range and this can be a bit messy.  Before you start you talk about what it means to have a pure heart.  What are qualities that show purity?  Why do those qualities make it so you can see God?  How do you “see” God?  This is such a cool concept when you think about it.  All true “sight” is seeing God!  What does that have to do with our eyes?  How can we keep our “sight” “healthy” then, if true sight, the only real sight, is seeing God?  What sort of things should we look for?  Maybe they have to think of a “pure” idea before they can spray and wipe?  Once you've addressed these ideas you can talk about how purity of heart is like keeping your windows clean.  A clean window lets in lots of light, a dirty one, not so much.  If you cover a window with crayon it won't let in as much bright light.  It might let in some red or green or blue light, but it wouldn't be easy to read in a house full of dark blue windows, for example.  We need to keep our thought windows sparkling clean so that God's truth can shine through and we can see what the real man looks like, whether it is ourselves or those around us.

[PCYL – Section 4: Lift thought constantly higher!]
In section four there is one more idea I wanted to share before leaving the rest in your capable hands!  I like the idea of talking about the “corruptible” and “incorruptible”.  It's a little like purity isn't it? But here in citation B16 it makes it clear that we don't “get rid” of the human body.  We are more in the business of lifting our thought constantly higher… like we've talked about earlier.  We are “outgrowing” not “destroying” the body.  We outgrow it through progress in our thought, spirit-ward.  You can't make matter into something spiritual.  Just like you can't wash off a pile of mud, you can only wash it away.  So we can just keep on shining that Christ-light in our consciousness to all around us, and we will start to see that our immortal nature, as God's child, is much more clear to us than the mortal counterfeit.

Have a great Sunday!


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