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[PYCL: Let problems train you to never budge in knowing Love as the only cause/creator! (6)]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

God the Only Cause and Creator”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 8, 2013

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

[PYCL 1: Ask pupils where things they love come from. Avoid mixtures breaking 1st Com.!]
It is a delight to spend some time with each kid asking where things they love come from. My 4-year-old asked recently “Mommy, did you 'lay' all of us in the family?” While he may not understand exactly, the process of creating a family, it does open the door for some gentle thoughts on where all good comes from. “…the overwhelming weight of opinions on the wrong side…” (S20) surround us and will make their entry into thought at some point. We have the opportunity to introduce correct spiritual truth into thought right now! It may seem a “big” topic, but as our thought and understanding deepens, we can share the fruit (the active manifestation) of our growth, with our kids, Sunday School or otherwise. Our Leader has a rather sharp message about teaching creation to our children on p.69:17-26 of Science and Health. It deals with the idea of whether we really believe in the 1st Commandment, which, after all, if we do, would mean that we could accept no other creator but God. How is this understanding manifest in our experience? Is matter really “out of the question” as she tells us in this passage? These are questions we can ask ourselves this week as we think about sharing this subject with our Sunday School students. It is easy to accept some sort of mixture of matter and Spirit, even inadvertently, in the name of pragmatism. Let's give this some careful thought this week. I know I will!

[PYCL 2: Ask what “Physical causation was put aside” means. Do gifts, people… cause joy?]
The disciples ask Jesus in citation B18 what they can do to do the works of God. Read this passage with the kids and ask them if they know what the answer is. If you answer it with Jesus' response about believing in “him whom He hath sent”, then what does this “belief” entail? How is it a “work”? What does the story in citation B17 tell us about this kind of work? I like the pairing of this passage, with citation S14. “Physical causation was put aside” in this healing. What does that mean to the children? Can you give examples of physical causation without getting into explanations of disease? Maybe you can use disease if it's something someone brings up, I just would be careful about putting ideas into their thought if they don't already exist! Maybe you could talk about how it feels like if we get a bump or scrape when we fall, that's something even the littlest probably accept and can be addressed. One thought that might be helpful is to address the idea that they may have a friend or acquaintance that causes them trouble at school or somewhere else. Would that be looking for a “cause” other than God to influence us? What about if something we look forward to is cancelled, or we don't have the Christmas that we hoped for? Aren't these all examples of looking for a different cause than our loving Father-Mother to bring us joy, satisfaction, etc.? Once you start to brainstorm these ideas, they may have their own thoughts on how they might be looking away from God as the only cause.

[PYCL 3: Put evil “causes” on paper & have the kids stomp on them. End irritation, anger.]
Make a game of the last part of citation B15 where it says: “thou hast put all things under his feet”. What does that mean? Don't forget, children can be very literal and might enjoy understanding this better. Then you can turn it into a “literal” game. What do we have “under our feet”? Can you put evil suggestions about creation and cause on pieces of paper and then have the kids jump, or stomp on them? What does it mean to have “dominion” over something? Does it mean that you have control or power over the things that come to your thought? What about if they are things that make you angry and seem perfectly justifiable? If you have dominion over “the earth” like it says in Genesis, does that mean we can do whatever we want? God has dominion over man, yet She is Love, and tenderly shepherds and cares for Her creation at every turn! How do we show this kind of dominion?

[PYCL 4: Pretend to pour milk from orange juice… anger or sadness from joy… ]
The fountain sending forth “sweet” and “bitter” water is a great metaphor for this subject of cause and creation. [James 3:11, B8] First you can talk about what sweet and bitter water means. Then try an experiment. Bring a small container of orange juice or something you have around. Have the kids look at it and tell you what it is. Then tell them you are going to pour some for each of them, but tell them you are going to pour them each a drink of milk from the orange juice container. See what they say. Pretend you are trying to convince them that this is what they are going to get. Pour it so they can see that it really is orange juice. Talk about how this is like God's goodness. God can only give us what is like Him. God can't “pour out evil” from an all good place. So anything that seems evil must not be true, since it's not from God. So when we feel sick, sad, angry, we know that that is like accepting that we can get milk out of an orange juice container. If they start talking about how you could put milk in an orange juice carton you can then go straight to the “cow” and ask if the cow can give you anything but milk?

[PYCL 5: Let problems stir up the sand/inharmony in your experiment/thought & filter it out!]
We can also talk about how sometimes these thoughts that man is both mortal and immortal kind of creep into our consciousness without us really being aware. Then we can see that if we have an opportunity to have a healing—either of sickness or temper… whatever is bothering us—it is like stirring up these beliefs that have crept in and bringing them “front and center” so that we can address them and shine God's light on them, understand that God is the only source. (S12) This doesn't mean God gives us problems so that we love and understand Her more, it means that problems afford us the chance to deepen our understanding of God as the only cause/creator! We've done “muddy riverbed” experiments before. You can bring in a glass of water and heavy sand. You could just stir up the sand and then let it settle and you'd have some pretty clear water. But you could stir it all up and pour it through a strainer and then you wouldn't have to drink any sand at all. You could actually do this with anything that would definitely get caught in a strainer. Of course this too has significance as an analogy. We can “strain” or filter our thoughts for error and remove it by only retaining the purity of God. Ultimately we hope never to even let those thoughts in!

[PYCL 6: Let problems train you to never budge in knowing Love as the only cause/creator!]
Finally, I like the idea of working with citation S21 to talk about the idea of holding “your ground”. What does that mean? You can talk about it in terms of the game “tug of war”. When one side pulls the other forward and then “holds their ground”, that means the other side cannot get them to budge. Unlike this game, matter and matter thoughts only have strength if our thought ascribes it to them. But sometimes it can feel like a struggle. If we discover a truth, though, we aren't tempted to give that truth “back” and side with error. If we know, for example, that we own a red bicycle, no one in your class is going to get you to change your mind and make you believe you own a blue one. Silly example, maybe you can come up with something better! But this is what happens when we have a healing. We suddenly find that the wrong thought just yields to the Love that is God and we are no longer sick/sad/mad, etc. Suddenly there is no one on the other side of the “rope”. We can really “hold our ground” mentally, and stand up to the idea that there is some other God than Love making unkind/bad rules about man!

Have a great Sunday!

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