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[PYCL: On your Mark, Get Set…Always! Start with the right premise of your
eternal goodness and spirituality!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:
Adam and Fallen Man
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for May 12, 2013
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Mark Evans]
 
[PYCL #1: When did you begin? Did you begin?] Most of us think of ourselves as being born on a particular day, and in a particular year. The kids will likely be very aware of how many years old they are! We don't make much of birthdays in our house, but every one of my boys is very quick to tell strangers how old they are. This may be partly because that is a question often asked, but it might be interesting to talk this week about how we each “began”. Did we “start” on a date? Read the story of Adam and Eve in the lesson and the story of creation from the first chapter. If God made man in His image etc., as it says in Chapter one, then where were each of us then? What is “then?” Is time something set that begins and ends? If we look at life as being in matter, then yes, life began at a birthday, we go a certain number of trips around the sun, and then life ends. But if we are the creation that is spoken of in Chapter one, completely good, spiritual (since we are in the image of Spirit), well then, we don't start on a birthday and go through a limited number of more or less complicated and challenging experiences until we are done.
 
[PYCL #2: Does Genesis 2 fit with what you know about God? Use a toy snake to call out and reject slippery unwanted thoughts.] Looking at the idea of “beginning”, see if you can stir up a conversation about where though silly, it covers all the questions that matter poses. Why is it hard to sustain ourselves? Why do women have a hard time with bearing children and related issues? Why do people fight/kill each other? And so on… Notice that Adam “begins” from dust, Eve “begins” from a rib. Notice too, that the serpent was made by God, it says: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” So God is given credit for creating the beast that tricked his creation, man, and ultimately caused them to be kicked out of paradise! Talk about the idea of divine Love being this kind of creator. Does that make sense? Would a just God whose name is Principle make trickery and failure and disobedience a part of His creation? Would a God whose name is Truth make something that lies? Or a God who is Mind make something that can't discern what is true and right and good? Talk about these ideas. Where does that put us when we misbehave or tell a lie? Can we see these suggestions for what they are, talking snakes? Talk about the idea of a snake whispering to you. This might bring a few giggles. That's good! Talk about the symbolism of a serpent, it is twisty and sneaky and “slippery”. These are terms we use for liars and lies aren't they? (This is not to say anything to denigrate actual snakes which can be quite beautiful and useful). Things that creep into our thought in sneaky ways are those serpent lies. Sometimes they tell us things we like to hear but are maybe not really good. Sometimes they tell us we are not smart, not good at sports, sick, sad and so on. If you have small children you can bring in a stuffed or rubber snake and have it pretend to whisper things to them. Let them tell you that the snake is wrong. Let them tell you what is actually true, what is the opposite of what the snake tells them?
 
[PYCL #3: Filled up Full—what thoughts are you filled up with and what fruit does it bear?] In Matthew [7:18–20] (B8) we see that “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, …” This is another form of “beginning”. If we begin with an apple tree, we won't get plums from it (unless you do some really weird grafting, but let's not go there!). Talk about how this applies to us. Don't assume they get the analogy. If we are a creation of God, then what are we truly capable of? Look at S11 [Science and Health 299:18] for further help here. She says that when we start or begin with material sense, we get sin, sickness and death! If we turn to spiritual sense what do we get? There's a sweet simple book for little kids about this train of thought called “Filled up Full” by Joy Dueland. It's probably not published by the C.S.P.S anymore, but many Sunday schools will still have it around. It kind of simply talks about how each animal only thinks the thoughts that are natural to itself, and only does what is natural to itself. It moves on to children, what thoughts are they filled up full with? This is a pre-school level book, but the ideas can be expanded upon to suit an older class, just don't pull it out to read to them.
 
[PYCL #4:How does our sense of ourselves shape our experience?”]  Check out the story of the woman bent over for 18 years that Jesus healed in section 5. It is implied that not only does she have some physical disability, but she might be bent over with a heavy sense of material self. How does our sense of ourselves shape our experience? Are we trying to live a “good” life in matter until we move spirit ward? S24 [Science and Health 356:7–11] says: “Matter is not the vestibule of Spirit.” What's a “vestibule”? Again here with “beginning.” Are we trying to begin in matter and move into Spirit? The last couple of weeks’ lessons have made it clear that this is not the true progression! We aren't in a “waiting room” or “entryway”–on our way to some other experience. We begin and continue eternally in Spirit as part of Mind, manifesting Mind's intelligence, humor, identity, activity and so on.
 
[PYCL #5: See the opposite of Adam “clear as crystal.”] Some of the older classes might like to look at the Bible passages from Genesis and then take a close look at B19 from Revelation [22:1–3 (to 1st :), 13, 14]. They may find it exciting to see the antidote here for everything that the Adam story puts forward. The tree here is for the “healing of the nations”, not a tree for the knowledge of good and evil (Spirit and matter). There is no more God that curses His own creation to a life of suffering and toil. And this God is the “beginning and the ending”, the first and last! What does it say we must do to enter through the gates to experience reality? “…do His commandments…”  There they are again, those pesky Commandments. You can always talk about how those can begin each of our activities!
 
Have a great Sunday together!

 

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