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[PYCL: Practice making life’s upsets vanish by reacting to them w/calm assurance... (2)]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

“Life”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for January 19, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com   (314) 406-0041
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director]

[PYCL 1— Share how God (not age, body, situations…) governs our well-being every hour.]
Explain the statement from the Golden Text: “My times are in thy hand:” The NLT states it as: “hour by hour I place my days in Your hand.” Other translations use the word “future” in place of “times”. In any case, it is encouraging us to understand that God is governing our existence. We are not at the mercy of any circumstance, no matter what it looks like. We are not too young, too old, too short or tall, we don't have a difficult class in school, or tough teacher, or up-&-down friendship that determines our well-being.  Our joy and well-being are only and always under the control of God.

[PYCL 2—Make upsets disappear by responding to them with calm assurance & politeness.]
Why doesn't it always look like it is true that God is in control?  Good question… This lesson on Life is helping us to take a step forward into understanding the nature of life as only spiritual.   There is no reality to “human existence”; we never live in matter.  Where does that leave us, since it really does seem like we do?  Well, it leaves us with a sense of peace.  We don't have to be “blown out of the water” when thought suggests that we don't feel well or are angry or hurt.  We can go back to what we know is real and ask God to help us understand the fact [of His happy control] in a way that really matters to us!  If we don't react to every suggestion of matter with fear, anxiety, frustration, etc.—that's a huge step towards destroying such suggestions.  Really, just not reacting in these ways will help the evil disappear!  Have you ever reacted peacefully and politely when your brother took some Lego pieces that you had put in a Lego creation that you were making?  This might be a question I'd ask my boys.  They'd probably have to answer “no”.  What do they think might happen if they were completely peaceful when they talked this situation over?  What would happen to the other brother?  When we start to see that good, Life, is spiritual—that Legos represent creativity, intelligence, design, Soul… well then, can these things be taken away?  Can you not have enough of these qualities?  Phew, this is big stuff, but why not discuss it, even with the little ones?

[PYCL 3—Discuss how allowing God to control our thoughts will keep us strong, like Caleb!
I don't think that is a full answer to the question of “why doesn't it look to us like everything is in God's control?”—but it is a place to start and you can certainly move on from there.  You can use the other analogies about the solar system that are included in the lesson to explain that things are not always what they seem to our eyes.  Sometimes that's a really good thing.  For example, what about the 85 year old Caleb who was still just as strong and young as he was at 40?  What about the insane woman who was over 70 and looked in her 20's.  Being insane certainly isn't a model that we aspire to, but it is something that illustrates the fact that our thought is the biggest controlling factor in our harmony.  If we allow God to govern our thought, then we get to experience harmony.

[PYCL 4—Have a party! Celebrate goals & virtues achieved vs. # of trips around the sun.]
Have a party, not a birthday celebration… Kids aren't concerned about aging the way adults are.  They see birthdays as a great time and a source of feeling special and getting gifts.  Ask them why they like birthdays.  Get a list going.  Then see if there might be another way we can find to feel truly special, ways that celebrate actual accomplishments instead of the number of trips around the sun.  You could even bring in the accoutrements of a birthday party if you don't think the kids will get too excited.  Put up a streamer for every quality that someone thinks they are developing in their character.  Or even a quality that they'd like to see nurtured more in their thought.  Have some cake at the end and think up new words for the birthday song that reflect what you are really happy about.  It turns out that spiritual understanding, and specifically understanding God better, are what make us really live.  Can you come up with things you already know about God/Life that show us eternity?  Citation S10 talks about virtue and truth as qualities that express Life.  How are these qualities evident in our own lives?  (with the littler ones, what is 'virtue'?)  You could even share cupcakes at the end.  Candles could represent the “light” or understanding of God/Life that we have gained during class.  How many of these “parties” can we have?  Are they restricted to once a year?  Ask them if they want to collect more thoughts about how they express eternal Life and have another party soon!

[PYCL 5—Use mirrors again to get across the idea of (stress-free) reflection& inseparability.]
We can use mirrors again this week.  Citations S12 and S20 talk about reflection and might lead to some interesting discussion.  In citation S12 we can see that a reflection cannot do something different than its source.  If God does not “age”, or go through stages in life, then man can't either!  You can talk about how you can only see what is in front of the mirror.  God is always the source, so we must reflect that goodness and newness all the time.  You can look into citation S20 and talk about how a reflection can't walk away from its source either.  Hold up a mirror and have them try to make their reflection leave without them moving their own body!  I did this yesterday except with shadows, while my 5-year-old and I were out for a walk.  If something is dependent on a source for existence, then it cannot be parted from that source. We are always being God's reflection!

[PYCL 6—Talk about perfect models & how to keep them closer in thought and acted out!]
You can talk about models.  What is a perfect model?  How can we keep that in our thought? Can you come up with some thoughts about what a perfect model for each of us is? Maybe you can think together of strategies for keeping this model more closely in our thought for the week. How does this help us understand God better and so understand Life? You could bring in a model of something as an example. Perhaps it is just a small plastic model of a car or animal. You could then talk about how it represents something.  What is the difference between this and a model in our thought?  The model in our thought is something that is constructed of qualities that have to be acted out.  Thought models are put into action, not set on a shelf!

[PYCL 7—Build familiarity w/ ea. week’s Bible stories & characters (Caleb, Lazarus, woman]
Take a look at the stories in this week's lesson.  I always love to share all the stories in each week's lesson with my kids.  This way they build a familiarity with them gradually as they reappear throughout the year.  What do the stories of Caleb, the woman with the issue of blood, and Lazarus have in common with the subject of Life?  (This may seem obvious to you but hear them out!)  Do they have Bible stories of their own that they would choose to include?  If so, which ones and why?  (There is no absolute right answer here; it would be cool if they were willing to offer some of their own ideas and reasons without feeling like they were “wrong”).

[PYCL 8—Teach that fullness of joy, satisfaction & fun are only found in God's presence.]
In citation B18 I really liked the statement that: “in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  I added: “And nowhere else!”  So fullness of joy and satisfaction and fun are only found in God's presence.  Kind of cool.  Maybe they would have some thoughts on that! [Maybe tie it in with Hymn 263: “Only God can bring us gladness,
Only God can give us peace;  Joys are vain that end in sadness, Joy divine shall never cease.”]

Hope we all have fun this Sunday with some of these ideas!

 

 

 

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