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[PYCL: Let C.S. open your eyes to be fearless & overcome all conspirators vs. health… S:405]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

Christian Science”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for June 30, 2013

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

[PYCL 1: Help pupils see what makes Christian Science scientific.  Cherish God's laws …]
Ask the kids if they know what “science” is.  What makes something scientific?  If they have had science classes in school, ask what made those classes “science”, as opposed to social studies or language arts?  Once you've established some ideas about what makes up “science” and possibly kept a list of these ideas, you can talk a little about Christian Science and what makes this religion scientific.  Don't let the discussion end with a pat answer.  There are ways to dive into this idea more deeply.  All these ways involve discussing healing and the laws of God.  Talk about what laws are involved when we study science.  What are the laws involved in Science with a capital “S”?  When we discuss a law of science such as gravity (an old favorite), we can see that it applies to all, whether we believe it is in operation or not, whether we understand it or not, whether we are smart, inspired, wealthy, poor, etc.  Gravity is applicable to all, it is bestowed on all and we all “deserve” it.  But… gravity is not a divine law, it may reflect the divine, but we can find Biblical examples that defy this law such as Jesus walking on top of the water, or the axe head “swimming” when someone dropped it in the water and really needed it back.  This indicates that God's laws supersede the so-called laws of matter.  Divine law is the true law.  Make sure you explain, and have examples of, gravity to the littler kids.  You can do this in humorous ways if your class isn't already prone to silliness.  (For example: What law is in operation when I slip and fall off my chair?).

 [PYCL 2: Do a law “hunt” in the lesson… See CedarS skit, opening eyes with spiritual sense.]
You can establish the above ideas about law, and then do a law “hunt” through the lesson.  [God’s laws are the best, most-lasting treasures to be found!]  What does the lesson tell us directly about law as in the R.R (Responsive Reading)?  [i.e. “I shall keep thy law; yea I shall observe it with my whole heart.” (mirroring CedarS 2013 theme to “put your whole self in”)]  
In what ways are different stories or verses illustrative of the divine laws of God?  What mortal laws are being broken?  (For example: in the story of Elisha in the first section you can talk about how human law might dictate that generally if you can't see something it probably isn't there… the chariots of fire don't fit under human law, nor do people suddenly go blind as a group and then suddenly see some time later. You might say that these things “violate” human or small “s” science laws.  [To explore opening eyes to spiritual sense, check out a skit of the peacemaking laws demonstrated by Elisha as reenacted by CedarS staff and campers this summer.  Just click on http://www.cedarscamps.org/videos/ and again on “Elisha and the Peaceful End to War”.]

[Continuing your law “hunt” in the lesson,] of course, you have laws of healing amply shown in the sections that talk about Jesus' works.  How are these acts explained humanly?  Aren't these healing most often considered “miracles”, or happenings that occur outside of scientifically understood human law?

[PYCL 3: Consider the link between spiritual causation and progress in skills…]
Discuss the idea in citation S10 that “Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress.”  What is human progress? What do you think Mrs. Eddy was getting at here?  This is an exciting idea to contemplate because don't we all want to experience progress?  All of us want to get better at things and be more knowledgeable, skilled, creative, and so on.  All of us want to grow in our spiritual understanding and insight and healing ability too!  So what do they think “spiritual causation” is?  They may be able to draw on recent lessons such as God the Only Cause and Creator, or God the Preserver of Man, or even last week's lesson to answer this question.  Why is spiritual causation related to the lesson subject at hand?  How about considering the fact that Scientific laws of God are the only causal laws truly in operation?  Think together of examples of this.  You may find it helpful to look at this passage in relationship to the story in the Bible about Elisha and the Syrian army [and how it could help warring parties in Syria make progress and bring peace in our time.]

[PYCL 4: Show pupils how yeast works to visibly explain Jesus’ leaven parable…]
In the third section you have Jesus' parable about the leaven in meal.  I've shared this idea before, so it may not be new, but you may want to bring in some flour (with a little sugar mixed in, it hastens the leavening power of the yeast), some yeast and mix this with warm water in front of, or with, the kids.  Talk about how the yeast is a tiny, tiny organism that comes to life in the warm water, and with great power, for its size, lifts the heavy flour and water up and ultimately forms a light and delicious bread when all is said and done.  You obviously cannot bake bread in Sunday School, although you could have this be a project to invite students to your house to do!  But if you start your little experiment at the beginning of Sunday School, the dough should have risen enough before the end, for them to have a visual image of what Jesus is talking about. This parable would have been understood by everyone in his day since they didn't go to the local store to buy their bread.  Have each of the kids give it a stir.  You don't have to actually knead the bread in order to make it rise; that just makes it look nicer and have a nice texture when the bread is baked.  But you must leave the bowl alone after you have all stirred, if it is disturbed it won't rise.  Make sure you test this yeast out at home first in case you have a bad batch, (this does not happen often, but spoils the results if it does).  Also you may want to sprinkle the yeast onto the warm water first to watch it bubble a little before mixing in the flour.  Depending on the kind of yeast you buy, this can also be cool.

[PYCL 5: Apply ideas from the yeast experiment and analogy to Christian Science… ]
When you do such an experiment you can talk about the parable and how it applies to Mrs. Eddy's discovery of the laws of divine Science or Christian Science, as we know it.  Why did Jesus use this analogy?  Can the older kids write their own “parable” that illustrates the same point of the leaven story?  Look together at citation S11 and see what Mrs. Eddy says about this parable.  You may need to explain some of the language in this passage. Talk about the powerful yeast being “hidden” in the flour, doing its work. How is this like the Science of Christ that Jesus demonstrated bringing healing?

[PYCL 6: What does it mean to have the Comforter?  Is it exclusive? or for all mankind?]
Address the idea presented in several places in this lesson, that Christian Science is the Comforter that Jesus spoke of.  What does that mean to us?  Is that exclusive?  What does that mean for people who have never heard of Christian Science?  Obviously we have examples in this lesson of people (Jesus and Elisha) who had never heard of Christian Science and were clearly demonstrating its laws.  There are several passages that speak to the universal inclusiveness of the laws of Science and we talked about them earlier, but one standout passage is citation S24 which combines Biblical verse with that of Mrs. Eddy's writing.  Also she refers in citation S26 to “citizens of the world”, a pretty inclusive phrase.

[PYCL 7: Defend vs. “an army of conspirators against health, happiness, success”? S:405]
There is much that you can do with just the story of Elisha in that first section.  I'm sure you have thought of the implications of blindness and the idea of “opening” our eyes to see God's laws in operation as Elisha did with his servant.  Also you can think about the Syrian army representing poor motives and desires blinding us to God's will of good for us.  What does that mean on a daily basis?  What do we need to argue against as we are “assaulted” with seeming material laws every day?   This really can be shared with the littlest people as well.  You can have them try covering their eyes and then uncovering them, or try a blindfold. Talk about how that would limit our ability to do certain things.  But that knowing that God's Love is always operating for us is like taking off a blindfold and freeing us from feelings of sickness, etc.

[PYCL 8: Have target practice!  Hit the “bull’s eye”! Not “missing the mark” is our mission. ]
Finally, you can talk about the mission of Christian Science, or “main purpose” in the marginal heading of citation S21, to take away the sins of the world. Talk about the historic (rather than m theological) definition of sin as “missing the mark”— as in archery.  Show them a target (pictured or drawn). And maybe a picture of bows, arrows, and target practice. What might it mean to “miss the mark” metaphorically?  How would we get so that we are closer to our target?  What would that “target” be?  You could draw targets on a paper and write in the rings different things that are closer and closer to the center of reaching an absolute understanding of God's perfect being and man as His reflection.  You could talk about ways to hit those marks in our daily experience.  Even the littlest can probably have fun with a paper target and ideas in these rings.  Maybe each kid would have a “bull’s-eye” idea of his/her own, don't prescribe it!  Help them think about what they might want to “hit”.

Have a great Sunday!

 

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