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[PYCL—Go for the Gold(en) Text, Rule… Make a Board Game for un-bored Bible listeners]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for February 23, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO   (314) 406-0041
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director]

[PYCL 1]  I think this week it would be cool to center the class around the Golden Text (G.T.). You can think about this at a variety of “levels”, from very young to the older children. Talk about who teaches us what is good in life before you really look together at the Golden Text. They will have read it during the opening exercises, and some may just repeat this from the G.T, but it would be good to ask them how God does this. Can they come up with examples? Can you? If they answer, “our parents”, then that gives you the opportunity to talk about where their parents came up with their ideas for what is good. What does God's “voice” sound like?  Now you can look for examples in this week's lesson.  You have Abraham's story in the first section. You may want to point out, as Rick did in the Met this week that Abraham was called to leave his father's country when he was somewhere around 75 years old!  Then he felt such trust that even as he was thriving elsewhere, he didn't sweat it when he needed to part ways with his nephew, Lot. He was so certain of his own provision from God that he fearlessly and peacefully let Lot choose the most promising lands for himself. You have Elijah in the second section listening for God's answer when he was really at the end of his “rope”.  What kind of “voice” did God use with Elijah?  Don't forget the angels that spoke to him and even “cooked” for him!  How did God communicate with Jesus in section 3?  Jesus was led to take certain actions and to respond to arguments with the Pharisees, etc. by God/Mind.  And in section 4, when he was presented with the storm on the sea, he was completely unimpressed.  Like Elijah discovered before him, he knew that God's power was not in the storm and that the storm therefore had no power of its own.

[PYCL 2]  You could work with the Golden Rule this week.  Even the youngest kids are often familiar with that.  Can they say it in their own words?  Can they tell you what it means to them? Why would that Rule be a good one to focus on in a lesson about Mind?  If you are doing to others what you would want them to do to you then aren't you listening to something higher and better than your “own” separate “mind”?  To think of others first you have to think with the mind of Christ, as it talks about in citation B21. This whole section #5 has a multitude of citations that really delve into the idea of there being only one Mind governing and guiding. That as we endeavor to use the same mind that Christ Jesus relied on, i.e. Mind, we will understand God, and be able to avail ourselves of His goodness. This also leads us to think in terms of having no other gods, which, in turn leads to contemplation of the First Commandment. How do these ideas relate? (S27)  If we have only one Mind, then we have only one God right? If we all share that one Mind then it is natural to want to act in accord with the Golden Rule because we see that the good we do for others is also the good we do for ourselves.

[PYCL 3]  You could do some sort of board game again this week. Take the opportunity to build it with the kids on a large piece of paper/cardboard, etc. Have them draw a path and mark little detours that lead to dead ends.  You can choose together what the goal is, probably understanding better the idea that there is one, all-powerful and all good Mind! What are the stepping stones to that goal?  Mark them in and make separate steps that you can count with dice throws on the way.  What “detours” might you be tempted to make?  Would they represent opportunities to think that we can “do it on our own”?  Maybe we think we want to be noticed, or to be famous in some way?  For the littler kids you may have to think in terms of obstacles that represent the desire to have something for their own, not to share (think Abraham's story here).  You will definitely have to have some ideas for this ahead whatever your age group, but try to let them invent it themselves.  Then play with whatever playing pieces you have, coins are fine or pebbles or whatever.  You could make cards to draw instead of dice to roll.  Each card could have a suggestion from Mind for a course of action… get as elaborate or as simple as you find successful in your group.  Sometimes these games evolve over a set of classes as new ideas arise so don't worry if it starts out kind of slowly.  Try pulling it out later and see if they have new ideas.  Also you could include stories from the lesson or other Bible stories that have examples of people listening to God and being guided.  David, Samuel, Saul, Elisha, Esther, Ruth and so many more.  The game can become a Bible story game about listening to God/Mind!

[PYCL 4]  I would love to have a discussion of citation B21 and its translation from the New Living Bible (and included in the My Bible Lesson from the Mother Church). This is such a precious translation that I think is very accessible to the kids of any age. Thinking of this passage in conjunction with the First Tenet, included in S26 really gets us on that path of goodness. Take it apart sentence by sentence. What does it mean to agree “wholeheartedly” with each other. Does this mean that we have to agree on absolutely everything? Or is there something larger here than that? Can we agree through working together with one “heart and mind and purpose.” Our purpose etc. can be higher than just general opinions about things. What does it mean to think of others “better than yourself”. Does this mean that we don't think we are “as good” as someone? What does it mean?? Think about the word humble when you are delving into this. How can you be more interested in others and what they are doing? Why is this indicative of having the mind that was in Christ? There is much here to ponder and maybe they will lead you to what interests them the most as you move through the passage.

[PYCL 5]  With my own boys I notice that they are often very concerned about fairness. Who gets the most, or the best opportunity etc. Of course, like every parent we try to be even handed about things, but they still will notice if you pour one of them a slightly bigger serving of juice or whatever.  That might be a good reason to work with the kids in more detail with the story of Abraham and Lot from the first section.  It may just read like a story, but if you ask them to pause and consider what Abraham did by offering Lot the choice of land.  You can look in the Bible to see that there was one choice that clearly seemed better watered etc. Did Abraham prosper any less than Lot? Can we use this story to move us forward to understand that all our good comes from the completely fair and loving Mind and not from matter at all (S17)? That this good is lovingly and intelligently bestowed on all, even if it looks different from someone else's good sometimes. Maybe you have an example. Think too about the Commandment that deals in covetousness. Can we learn to trust that Mind has just the exact right path designed for us? Maybe it won't look exactly like your friend's, or your brother's.

Have a great Sunday! 


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