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[PYCL 7: Peacefully shake off the dust of an insult or unkindness knowing it isn't from God.]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:


Sunday, January 25, 2015

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO   (314) 406-0041

 [PYCL 1]
My kids talk a lot.  Well, we all do in our family actually… but sometimes one will ask a question and just a couple seconds into my answer they will be on to another topic.  I've learned to let it go, if they were really interested in what the answer was, they would listen, and I certainly don't need to insist that they pay attention to something they aren't interested in.  It reminds me a little of the Responsive Reading in this week's lesson.  I don't think anyone involved in these citations had a genuine interest in what was true, what was real, and in who God/Truth really was.  They were mostly thinking about their own grasp on the “order” of their material existence.  How to get our children to actually care about reality, about Truth, is at the heart of inspiring them in our Sunday School classes… So hopefully, with that in mind, we'll find something this week to spark an interest in Truth!

 [PYCL 2]
Nothing sparks interest in a subject like “hands on learning”.  And what is that but what we call “demonstration”?  This is why summer camp at CedarS is such a great Christian Science “classroom”!  So come armed with a lot of examples of how a knowledge of God as Truth has brought healing into your experience, or even the experience of others that you have either known or read about.  Truth is really all about being able to discern the presence of God right where error appears to be holding court.  And there are many Biblical examples of this in the stories in this week's lesson.  Have fun sharing them from that point of view.  For example, it sure looked like that widow's son had died.  Was that the truth of the situation?  Would it have been “better” if the boy had never gotten ill and died?  Mortal sense presents us with false evidence, always does.  This is no indication, in and of itself, that God's power and presence—the Truth—is not real or present.  Discern the difference (illustrated in the parable about the tares and wheat) between the suggestions of matter, and the power of spiritual discernment.

 [PYCL 3]
Talk about counterfeits—what they are…  With money, they may have seen clerks at stores look carefully at larger bills to see if they are real.  They are looking for certain “markers” or signs that they are the real thing.  Sometimes they use a special marker to make something show up that will tell them about the validity of the bill.  What kinds of markers can we discern to tell if something that comes to our experience is real?  How do we have to look at it to tell?  Do we sometimes need patience to tell the difference?  Maybe that's part of the tares and wheat story?  Does that mean that the lie has to cause us problems?  Did the tares keep the wheat from growing in that story?  Can you come up with a list of truthful “markers” that help us know what is true?  Citation B1 tells us that God is: a “Rock”, a God of “judgement”, sinless (without iniquity), “just”, and “right”.  Can we use these qualities to figure out whether something is true or not?  Try bringing a nice rock in for them to look at it.  What does a rock represent that makes it symbolize an aspect of Truth? (some ideas: it is unchanging (relatively), it is reliable or permanent, strong and dependable… you can even look at it like the stones that David threw at Goliath and go in that direction, as those might be seen as specific truths that he discerned that would take down a false sense of power and control).  Maybe bring a number of rocks and turn them into a little painting project, can they paint a quality of truth on each stone? (acrylic paint works best and the stones should be “smoothish”… )

 [PYCL 4]
I like the quality of meekness that is introduced in the first section and continues in various forms through the lesson.  What does meekness mean and why is it important for understanding the messages, guidance and character of Truth?  What happens if you think that you are “smart”, responsible, principled etc.?  Don't you end up forgetting that God is the source of infinite good, and you reflect that good in a variety of ways.  If you think you are the source, (the opposite of meekness), then you run the chance of being found very wrong, strongly-opinionated, etc.  Something we are always working to contain with our boys is “bossiness”.  Part of that is rooted, of course, in wanting things to go a certain way, but there is an element here of feeling that they “know” that their way is best, and they are then not so open to other ideas, maybe ideas of God that might make things go more smoothly…  Nobody likes a “bossy pants”!  But more than that, God, Truth has infinite ideas to share, and to express in infinite harmony, providing fun for all, not just some.  Look at the story of the Centurion in Section 4.  Wasn't he an example of tremendous humility?  He governed a bunch of soldiers, and yet he didn't think that he was personally the source of that authority, rather, authority rested in the truth that he was attempting to establish as a good leader.  This made it so he could recognize not only that Jesus was a healing prophet, but also that Jesus had authority from Truth to heal.

 [PYCL 5]
While talking about this story there are a couple other interesting factors that may be fun to visit.  The section begins with citation B10 in which Jesus encourages his followers that believing in him is believing in Truth itself.  Believing in God (understanding God), means we are understanding the power and authority that come from God.  (Also cool that here is an example of someone who was not a Jew, rather an occupier of their territory showing that faith is not the property of any sect or segment of society—not just those that read their lessons, or play sports, or get good grades… you name it).  Mrs. Eddy addresses the subject of having authority in citations S19 and S20 here.  The same thing that would keep us from feeling the authority to heal or hear the Truth for ourselves, is the same thing that makes us think that we are the source of our intelligence, talent, etc.  So it's a good thing to get a hold of this challenge.

 [PYCL 6]
We mentioned talking about discerning the difference between truth and error in the tares and wheat story.  One thing I have enjoyed thinking about this week is the statement that Mrs. Eddy makes in citation S13: “Disbelief in error destroys error, and leads to the discernment of Truth.

 [PYCL 6]
“We treat error through the understanding of Truth, because Truth is error's antidote.” (S13, 346:19)  So we don't treat error by arguing with it, but by seeing Truth so clearly that it no longer poses an obstacle to our progress!  Talk about this in terms of getting along with one another… should we try to get our viewpoint across, argue things out relentlessly?  Or can we step back and listen for Truth's voice in heated situations.  Maybe the kids have some circumstances in mind to which they can apply this thought.  That story from long ago about the “house with the colored windows”—a children's story that was for sale in the Reading Room at one time, illustrates this thought nicely.  The children in the story are looking at a white horse through different-colored windows.  Is the horse then blue or red or yellow?  Think of how material sense will try to tell us that something is really, really true!  It might look just as true as the yellow horse, but that does not make it so.  Don't be fooled by the fact that you can tell you are looking through colored glass!  Material senses can be tricky!  You could illustrate this with your own test with colored-cellophane pieces.

[PYCL 7: Peacefully shake off the dust of an insult or unkindness knowing it isn't from God]
Finally, “shaking off the dust” seems like a great quality to develop.  This is a little piece from the Section 5 and a skill that every child (and adult!) needs to develop, some more than others!!  Why does Truth help us to be able to let go of insults and injuries that others “throw” at us?  How can we learn to “shake off that dust” that would dim our joy?  When we discern the Truth around us, we are peaceful and joyous.  No lies can creep in and shake that joy because we know where that joy came from!  We get our peace from God, not from human circumstances.  Human circumstances change all the time, we are around people that challenge or don't challenge our sense of peace and right all the time.  If our sense of peace comes from God, we aren't afraid of someone else's opinion.  But we can peacefully shake off an insult or unkindness knowing that those aren't from God either, so they “fall off”—just like dust!  The old example: If someone tells you your hair is purple, do you get upset and yell at them and run to check in a mirror?  Or do you just stay peaceful, knowing they are wrong, that your hair isn't purple (unless you made it that way :-).

Have fun in Sunday School!

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