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[PYCL 1, 2, 4: Give “wallets” & spiritual I.D. cards and a symbolic Tabernacle tour! (PS 1)]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lesson for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

Christ Jesus

Sunday, August 31, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com   (314) 406-0041

[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS 1st camper, current director & PYCL editor]

 [PYCL 1]
Translate the Golden Text (GT) into your own words with the kids, or, if they are old enough, have them translate it themselves.  Something like: “Everything God told me, I've made clear to you”.  Jesus came to show us that we aren't separate from God, and he made it so we all could understand God so much better.  Because of Jesus, we can have an easier time feeling, right this minute that God is with us, loving us, guiding us, protecting us.  And when we don't feel like it's easy, and that happens to all of us, it helps to remember that the Christ, that divine idea of Love that Jesus demonstrated for us, is still here today, making God/Love clear to us, in just the way that we need!  Let's help kids to understand that there will always be times when we need to really be stern with ourselves and claim the gift that the Christ is giving us each moment.  To claim a gift you have to show up, maybe you have to present your i.d. to prove that you are who you say you are.  (So what does that entail?  Get into this.  Normally an i.d might consist of a driver's license or a student identification card, library card, etc.  But if someone were to argue that you don't “look like your card”, how would you convince them. Wouldn't you vigorously claim your identity? What would you do to prove that it was you? When error argues that you are sick, unhappy, angry, feeling unfairly treated…can you argue that your true self, that divine, Christly identity, can only ever be what Christ declares: whole, harmonious, joyful, justly loved and cherished?… Shouldn't we argue this truthful identity with as much confidence and certainty as we might our “personal identity”?  Would we give in and say: “Gee, I guess I'm not really that person on the driver's license/student identification… I must be someone else”?  Of course not!  We would persist until the mistake was revealed and the person questioning was convinced!  In the case of our own thought, we must persist with our own proper Christly identification until we are convinced!

[PYCL 2]
In light of the above, you could present each kid with a “wallet”. This could be an envelope or something you've created from paper/cardboard/duct tape, whatever.  Thrift shops are an amazing place to get things like wallets really cheap too, if you want something more realistic.  Make some identification cards that are blank, you can get old gift cards from the waste baskets underneath checkout counters (avoid the counters with checkers working at them if you don't have a 5-year-old along who can rudely squeeze in and dig through their trash).  Don't ask… but my boys get them all the time, especially at Target stores… Then you could cover the store logo with masking tape or something blank, otherwise, cereal box cardboard would be a great thing to use.   Have fun designing your true identities together.  What does Christ, the idea of Love, say about man?  What do the stories of healing in this week's lesson tell us about man's identity?  Hopefully, they can each bring home a wallet full of cards that tell them Christly qualities of truth about their identities.  Or leave them in the class for more work later.

[PYCL 3]
How do we see the Christ around us?  Section 1 gives us some clues about where to look.  Right away, we find that Jesus, the best representative of Christ ever, was to come/did come from the littlest tribe of Israel, and was born to a woman in a stable/likely a small cave, among humble animals and visiting shepherds.  So we learn that Christ comes and brings us light, ideas, healing, when our thought is humble. (In Section 4, citation B11 (Matt. 5:3) has the Beatitude about the “poor in spirit”.)  Can you think together about what that means?  Maybe we don't argue as much, when someone (mom or dad or teacher or friend) points out something that we need to do better?  You can think together about what it means to have a “humble”/receptive thought.  Is it a thought that isn't too filled up with what we want, or who we think we are?

[PYCL 4]
You may want to talk about the difference between 'Jesus' and 'Christ'.  Why do we call him 'Christ Jesus'?  Mrs. Eddy tells us that he was “inseparable from Christ” (S1), so we know that even though it is useful to understand the difference between these terms, Jesus lived Christ so fully that he is identified as “Christ Jesus”. Since we learn that the Christ is the healing spirit of Truth that exists throughout time, with us always, can they think of how they see/feel/demonstrate Christ day to day?  Can you give examples?  Christ is associated with healing.  Citation S11 tells us that this promise of healing is here today if we lay our “earthly all on the altar of divine Science…”  What does that mean?  What is an altar and what is the altar of “divine Science”?  Discuss what the history is behind sacrificing something on an altar, what was the point/what did that represent?  Is the idea behind this valid today?  If so, what is our “earthly all”?  Do we have to give away everything we own?  What is the most important thing we can sacrifice? (There may be a variety of answers to this one!)  With the youngest classes you could write down the material thoughts/things you all want to sacrifice/give up, make a pretend “fire”, and pretend to “light” it and think about how all those material habits and thoughts can be burned away, leaving you with the pure, Christ-like image that is the only one that ever really existed! [See W’s PS #1 to show what it means to lay one’s “earthly all on the altar of divine Science” (S11, 55:21) as part of your own symbolic tour of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.]

[PYCL 5]
Think about perfection.  What is spiritual perfection vs. perfectionism?  Is there any benefit to perfectionism?  (By the way—NO!)  Human perfectionism does much to cause us trouble.  It leads to a lot of anxiety, a lot of thought devoted to self, and a lot of erroneous judgment of ourselves and others… among other lousy qualities.  So what is the difference? When we “form perfect models in thought, and look at them continually…” (S14) – these models are not a perfect human body, athlete, artist, student, etc.  These models are completely spiritual.  Can you conceive of such a thing?  It can be difficult to picture this, what do we have to compare it to?  I like to think of it in terms of music, since I am a musician.  When my kids are learning a violin piece, they listen (at the early stages of learning) to a really fine recording of someone playing that piece.  This gets the piece in their ear, the notes, how the tune goes.  It also gives them an understanding of the beauty, expressivity, artistry that is possible within that piece.  They can then listen to their own thoughts and bring to the piece, their own, well-informed sense of how they want to play it.  Their interpretation is informed by an excellent model.  If I gave them a recording of their piece where the musician played it out of tune, or with an interpretation that was totally out of sync with the era in which the piece was composed, they would either play it out of tune, not notice when they play out of tune themselves, or they would play it in a style that wasn't accurate.  I know this is looking at a “mortal” model, but it's a way to explain what it means to choose right spiritual models to look at in our thought, so that we practice and shape our lives after those models.  Also, it would seem that, if we don't have a spiritual model, matter models will step right in and take the place of the spiritual ones.  Unfortunately, mortal mind never really takes a vacation…

[PYCL 6]
I think it might be helpful with the littler guys, to talk about models, show them how a sculptor or painter might use a model to look at, or as the example above, a musician.  What model did Jesus use to heal so effectively? (Citation S20 gives you some thoughts on this and goes back to this idea of spiritual perfection vs. perfectionism.)

[PYCL 7]
One thing that Jesus did was to help mankind get a better understanding of divine law.  Section 4 talks about how Jesus came to “fulfill” and not destroy the law (B11).  In those days a lot of the laws were misunderstood.  They were interpreted not from the point of view of a God who is Love, but of a God of “detail” and one that was very “mortal” in character.  Jesus revealed that the law of God was a law that applied to all equally, brought the healing power of Love to bear on all mankind.  Citation B13 seems to say that this law blesses and embraces everyone that understands and believes the love of Christ.

Guess this will have to do for Sunday!! Have a great class.

[W’s P.S. 1]  To show what it means to lay one’s “earthly all on the altar of divine Science” (S11, 55:21) you could set up a symbolic tour of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, like we do at CedarS Bible Lands Park.  Entering the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, one’s always invited to start with God, not with oneself.  The first station could be a small grill where one symbolically sacrifices the merely good, material things that one might tend to think about most, and so to worship.  This sacrifice of focusing on merely good, earthly things (possessions, desired toys… ) is to help us to think most about the best—about spiritual substance, about God who alone is up to the job of bringing us a spiritual sense of gladness and fulfillment. (Hymn 263)  The next symbolic station in a Tabernacle tour is for washing our hands from feeling sorry for ourselves to see that our offering to live in the highest way, as “His own likeness”, can bring only blessings (S&H 516:9).  (You could offer a bowl for wet or dry cleaning using a bar of D.I.A.L.—Divine Image And Likeness—soap which always seems to get the point across.)  Only when we stop feeling sorry for ourselves can we see the 3rd symbolic station of the Tabernacle— the divine light (the 7-branch candlestick or 7 flashlights) and the 4th symbolic station—God’s provision (the 12 loaves of showbread, or hot dog buns maybe).  They are always there for us but unseen till wash away a sense of self pity for our sacrifices.  At the 5th station we should feel overwhelmed with the incense (or air freshener)—the strong fragrance—of gratitude, with “Love, redolent with unselfishness”.  This love strongly reminds us of all the characters in the Bible and in our lives who unselfishly lived to give good to us and to others. (S&H 516:12)  The final symbolic stage of a Tabernacle tour ends at the Holy of Holies and its Ark of the Covenant containing the two tablets of Commandments.  (These could be made of cardboard with the first four Commandments that relate to loving God on the 1st tablet and the next 6 commandments relating to loving our neighbor as ourselves written on the 2nd tablet.  When giving this love with all our hearts, we will be led into our Promised Land… to our “rock of salvation and reason for existing.” (My. 165)]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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