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[PYCL: Live the 3 elements of answered prayer; see which “omni” applies to which section…]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

“God”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for July 7, 2013

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

[PYCL 1: Delve into what God is, how He acts, and how His/Her laws govern all for good…]
While all our Bible lessons are designed to deepen our understanding of God, this one in particular, delves into what God is, how He acts, and how His/Her laws govern all for good. The theme is clearly revealed in the Golden Text and then there are several underlying themes that help us understand God better. You may want to talk to your kids about why knowing God better helps us out, what it does for us, why we should even bother. The “what's in it for me” approach has some pull, and ultimately we grow to see that there is universal good and joy in understanding God better that blesses more than just “us”. Also here, you can bring up the idea that is emphasized in several Bible lesson commentaries this week that Paul points out that rather than God being “in” man, he emphasized that we dwell in God. Thus, anything that benefits us, benefits all, right?

[PYCL 2: Give Bible & current examples of the 3 elements of the prayer that works.]
So how do we tap into that power of God's that makes “…all things possible”?  There are several stories you can look into to illustrate the different qualities of God and Her reflection, that make God's power available to man.  Citation S1 immediately introduces the idea that the prayer that works (heals sin and sickness) is comprised of three things: an “absolute faith that all things are possible to God”; “a spiritual understanding of Him”; and “unselfed love”.  Talk about what “absolute faith” means; come up with some examples from experience of your/their own or from the Bible lesson itself.  And talk about unselfed love, what does that mean?  Can you find illustrations in the lesson of these three things?  Try looking at the stories with these three things in mind.  You could even bring in some testimonies of healing from the periodicals that you've picked ahead of time and would be of special interest to your class.  Read them together and see how these three things were involved in bringing forward the realization of the presence and power of God/Good.  This way we are seeing the continuation or continuity of Christ's presence from Bible times to present day.

[PYCL 3: Discuss God as defined by the four “omnis” as shown in sections 2-5 of the Lesson.]
In citation S5 there are four “omnis” revealed.  These are yet more ways in which God is defined in this lesson.  It's fun to see how they correspond to the sections of the lesson. Obviously they all apply, just as all the synonyms apply, but each omni, like each synonym gives us a different, unique view of God. In this lesson you can read or discuss the content of sections 2-5, and see which omni applies to which section. They may figure out pretty quickly that they are in the order here presented. (Omnipotence applies most to the three Hebrew boys, omniscience to section three, and so on). Many will already know that “omni” means “all”, but don't forget to mention that as well.

[PYCL 4: Do the synonym exercise together! Tell stories in the Lesson while holding a Bible!]
Of course, you may be able to spend most of the time talking with the littler ones (or bigger, really!), about the synonyms. Why did Mrs. Eddy give us these?  Where do they come from? Why these particular ones?  Do they give us a full picture of God?  Can you think of any more that you want to use to describe God? (When I try to do this, it's fun to see how any ideas I have are already covered by the synonyms that she revealed. It's a great exercise though!). How do they apply to each story?  You can then read or tell the stories (I find my kids listen better if I tell the stories rather than read them straight from the Bible.  I'm holding the Bible when I tell the story, so they know that it is coming from the Bible.  You can also take this as an opportunity to mention class instruction, what it is, and how you learn more about the synonyms and how they help us heal.  This is not because these little kids are going to take class just yet, but because it makes them aware that Christian Scientists that are really wanting to be better healers, take this class at some point and actually learn more about things they are already learning in Sunday School.  Most of these kids know about college, so why not be aware of Class?

[PYCL 5: Don't “bow down” to the latest form of “intelligence and power in matter theory”]
Most younger kids enjoy the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (if for no other reason than the funny names).  [See Warren's Endnote.]  Let's look together at this story in light of the themes in this week's lesson. It is obvious, and you can discuss this, that we are not tempted, even a little bit to worship a big huge statue. We aren't fooled into thinking that a statue or any object contains something that has thoughts or power or influence. (Littler kids will get a giggle out of this if you present it correctly). You can discuss this story and ask about why would anyone do that? Then explain that while it seems silly to us today to bow down to a statue, it did not seem silly in that time. Many, many people in those days had worshiped idols for centuries. Talk about what might be something that we might be tempted to give power and intelligence to today, that is a little like a statue, but doesn't seem so silly? What about the idea that there are medical solutions for everything that are simple, and quick, and logical, everyone uses them? (This wouldn't be a preschool idea, by the way). Why do we always rely on God, instead of medicine? Is it because medicine is bad, or immoral? (Many raised in C.S. are tempted to think that it is some kind of moral failure to rely on medicine and we can squelch this). No, it is because we are invested in the understanding of spiritual reality. When we take medicine, we are essentially agreeing that matter is real and needs to be treated, while God is separate and not all that useful in our experience, except as a comforting idea.  God has made man spiritual, not out of matter.  Our understanding of God's nature, as it is described in this lesson, helps to free us from the fear that matter is unalterable substance.   If man is spiritual, what possible good can it do to treat matter as real?  This may be a bit heavy, but many kids are presented with these contradictions and challenges and we can really help shine a light on why we don't “bow down” as the Hebrew boys refused to do, to the latest form of “intelligence and power in matter theory”.  It is important to emphasize that this is a view that we understand to be the true and revealed reality.  That doesn't make those who choose other paths bad or lacking. As last week's lesson revealed, Christian Science is universal, so all mankind is included and guided by Mind to the understanding of God's goodness and power.

[PYCL 6: Show how Biblical examples of the healing power of God are being proved today.]
The best way to drive this metaphysical point home is to return to the lesson and see where Christ Jesus walked on the water (proving the lack of substance in laws of physics), healed the man's son of what appeared to be some kind of epilepsy, or where Paul healed the lame man in Lystra.  If we have these Biblical examples of the healing power of God and man together, then what is the point of reading about them if it's just some bygone power belonging to a few chosen people?  Then they would merely be inspiring tales of great people from the past.  But we know (especially if you've just shared some current testimonies of healing), that these works are still going on today!

[PYCL 7: Break down the 3 step recipe for healing & give examples; act out standing porter.]
One more interesting passage to discuss might be citation S25. This is something of a recipe for healing.  Mrs. Eddy tells us straight up how to cure a “bodily ailment”. 1: take into account every broken moral law. 2: Rebuke the error. 3: Cast out the fear.  She then tells us: “The only course is to take antagonistic grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God's image.” This is followed by the “stand porter” passage that is always fun to enact with the littler ones. As always, you must break all this down, or ask the kids to do this. What is a “bodily ailment”, what is a moral law, and what moral law might we, as kids, be breaking? What does rebuke mean? How do we “cast out fear”? What are “antagonistic grounds”? Each person can have 1, 2 and 3 on a paper for themselves and then their own words for these, if needed. Can they share something that they want to heal and talk through how to approach healing it with these “steps”? If no one wants to share, you could have something in mind to share from your own experience that you'd like to make healing progress with. There are, of course, more “directions” offered in citation S26, and elsewhere. There are no “set” steps really, but all of these directions lead to healing, because they are based in understanding God's goodness, power and love!

 Have a great Sunday!

[Warren's endnote:  You can download a PDF-formatted script of teh “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego”.story with follow-up questions by clicking on the link in the upper right corner of CedarS current metaphysical webpage.  This summer, as cabin groups of all ages tour CedarS Camps Bible Lands Park, they will have the opportunity to re-enact stories like this one from the current Christian Science Bible Lesson.   Normally videos of selected skits will be posted on the CedarS website as well as on a community webpage for TMCYouth.com.  These scripts and follow-up questions may be downloaded free of charge by those seeking Bible-centered activities and contemporary application ideas for Sunday School classes and/or Bible study groups. These Bible skits were written by Sara Romo, a current CedarS counselor, as part of her Girl Scout Gold project. Sara raised over $1,000 to set up the initial costumes, props, and scriptural sets, and with your ongoing support, we hope to keep up this exciting new resource and improve it.]

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