Thank you for another best summer yet!

 

 [PYCL: God Builds you a Strong Identity, but It’s No Disguise, It’s the Real You!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:
“Soul and Body”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for May 26, 2013
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 
[Bracketed inserts by Mark Evans]
 
[PYCL 1: Think about this lesson’s themes and how they’ve developed over the past weeks—we are spiritually built.]  God has “built” us. We have spiritual expression, form, outline and color. (S 29) Science and Health p.247:23-24. We reflect Him/Her. What is our role in this? What does matter have to do with anything? How should we regard our bodies? This lesson gives us some ideas about what we must do to see ourselves as God really made us. It builds, (as always), on the subjects that precede it: Adam and Fallen Man, Mortals and Immortals…It really is fun to see how the lessons flow from one to the next and as Sunday school teachers we have an extra long term vantage point to connect these ideas from one week to the next if we want to.
 
[PYCL 2: Our sense of body is false whenever built by mortal mind.  Share some healings of how you overcame false beliefs in the body.] How does thought shape our body? Mrs. Eddy tells us in S7: “Matter, or body, is but a false concept of mortal mind. This so-called mind builds its own superstructure, of which the material body is the grosser portion; but from first to last, the body is a sensuous, human concept.” [S&H 177:10] Talk to the slightly older grades about what “superstructure,” “grosser,” and “sensuous” mean. How can mortal mind make a body? Isn't it the same way mortal mind creates sickness? Can you share a healing in which some sort of sickness disappeared when you “talked back” to mortal mind and argued against its suggestions? I have had a bunch of those kinds of healings that happened very precipitously and without regard to mortal laws of “recovery”. One time when I was out on a trip in a canoe I was horribly sick to my stomach all through the night. When I finally got really firm and argued back against this terrible suggestion that I could feel something other than the harmony that Love was bestowing on me, I suddenly felt completely well. I was so well that I was quite hungry. All the breakfast food was put away, and I could only access a chocolate bar and a piece of fruit to eat—both of which I ate happily with no ill effects (much to the surprise of a friend that was along on the trip). I paddled all day, hiked when we stopped and camped, and had a great trip. Another time I had to get up off the couch where I had been unable to move from for about 17 hours. I was at this point struggling to keep my thought clear. So I walked in small circles declaring out loud as many true statements from the Bible and Science and Health as I could remember. It took about 20 minutes of such declaration. But then the pain and everything associated with it vanished suddenly and I was completely well, no exhaustion, no weakness, just the presence of health. These kinds of healings prove sickness to be not a condition of the body, but of thought. It gives us the courage to stand up to sickness and declare that our thought about ourselves and about our Father Mother have power to affect our concept of our body.
 
[PYCL 3: Be a King, queen with a crown or a porter to banish unwanted thoughts.] There are many ways that we can illustrate this in this week's lesson. We can talk about banishing thoughts of disease etc. (S19) [S&H 208:31] What does it mean to “banish” something? Talk about how a king or queen used to be able to banish someone from their kingdom because they were the absolute ruler of their lands. They could decide who stayed and who had to live outside their kingdom. Can we banish error, sickness, sin etc. in this same way? Maybe make or have a crown (paper is fine) and pass it around to give each one turn to wear it (or they can each make one). While they are wearing it they need to think of some error that they want to banish from their thinking. Encourage them to be specific and talk about how they might uproot that error and really get it to “leave” their kingdom of thought. Try not to let them just give a pat, silly answer. Again, healings that you share can be a great way to illustrate this idea. We also have the example of standing “porter” at the door of our thinking from section 5 [S&H 392:24]. Talk about what that means. Explain how in bigger cities they often will have someone whose job it is to stand in the door of a big apartment building to make sure that the right people are allowed into the building. That would be a porter. How can we do this with our thoughts? What thoughts might we want to keep out? This is a little like banishing, but how is it different? Maybe because when we do a good job standing porter, we don't have to banish thoughts, we don't even let them into our “kingdom!”
 
[PYCL 4: Consider a healing from Peter and John.  How does thought control the body?] In section 5 [B18, Acts 3:1-9] Peter and John are presented with an opportunity to prove that thought is in charge of our body. They heal the lame man in front of the temple so thoroughly that he is leaping and praising God! Look at the passage before that one, (B17) Hebrews 12:12,13. Think about how it relates to this story. What do they think it means that the “hands hang down” or that someone has “feeble knees?” What are we being called upon to do? What do they mean by “straight paths?” And why, if you don't make straight paths, would the lame be turned “out of the way?” How would they be healed if you make “straight paths” for your feet? I think this is fascinating to dissect. You may have to work with the kids in 3rd or 4th grade and up with this. Gauge your own class. But if you translate it for the younger ones, they too can see that when we set our own feet on a path of righteousness, when we guard our thoughts, we can be ready to heal like Peter and John here, seeing the body for what it is. We cannot submit to the suggestions to our own thought that we should be discouraged or that we don't know how to heal. We will have the tools to heal, and not just walk by!
 
[PYCL 5: Think about your identity.] We also have the opportunity to talk this week about “who” we are. How do we identify ourselves? Are we tall, short, fat, thin, athletic, pretty, and so on? The first section gives us that marvelous question and answer S1: “What are body and Soul?” [S&H 477:19] And she answers it so surprisingly with the words: “Identity is the reflection of Spirit…”. Talk about what identity means and ask why she answers this question in this way. You can also look into the way that this lesson is “book-ended” with the first and last sections dealing with identity, reflection and beauty, form etc. Already mentioned, but worth noting is the part of S29 where she lists the “…charms of His goodness…” as “…expression, form, outline, and color…” [S&H 247:23-24] Those are very substantial and solid ways to describe things. How can they be thought of outside of matter, since this lesson makes it clear that Spirit or Soul does not inhabit matter or body? Can they come up with any answers here? Can you share any thoughts? Have they ever noticed that when someone is truly happy they are more beautiful? Why would that be, isn't their body the same body?
 
[PYCL 6: How is the solar system like God and Her/His ideas?] One other idea to look into is extracted from section 1 as well. S4 [S&H 209:5-8] uses the analogy of the solar system to describe how man is tributary to God or Mind. This is a worthy analogy and many younger kids find space interesting. You can discuss the gravitational pull that the sun exerts on its planets; how it is that the planets stay each in their own orbit, never conflicting; that the sun lights all the planets. Then, draw the necessary correlation between that analogy and how God keeps us in His “gravitational pull,” so that we are not little matter beings separated and on our own. We are governed and held within the law of Love, Soul. Our identities are set, they are eternal and unique and never in conflict one with another. There is much you can extract from this comparison. I'm sure new ideas will arise as you share with one another.
 
 Have a great Sunday together!
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