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[PYCL: “Plant” the preserving power of lovingkindness, purity, discretion… (1, 2)]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

“God the Preserver of Man”

Sunday, December 14, 2014

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com   (314) 406-0041

 [PYCL 1]
An overview of the lesson’s main story and the examples it gives of God’s love and preservation could be a great way to dig into this week’s Sunday School work/play.  The story of Joseph is condensed here as an example of preservation and it could be interesting to talk about the three types of preserving qualities that the Bible uses in this lesson.  In the first section citation B1 tells us that God’s lovingkindness and truth preserve us (and by reflection, we might add, our expressions of love and truth also preserve us because that is God demonstrated or expressed). In Section 2 we are told in citation B5 that “integrity” and “uprightness” preserve us and citation S7 tells us that “Chastity is the cement of civilization and progress.”  We might translate chastity as great purity of thought and action.  This translation synchs well with integrity, because we think of something with integrity as having structural wholeness and reliability, a sense of not being weakened by anything.  And then in Section 3 we have citation B7 telling us that “discretion” and “understanding” preserving us!  So, in summation, we have the preserving power of lovingkindness and truth, chastity or purity, and discretion and understanding.  How did these qualities preserve Joseph?  Did they only preserve Joseph?  Did it always look like they were preserving him?  What kind of attitude of trust and faith and understanding of God’s reality, power and government does it sometimes take in the presence of “trials” to maintain our vision that God really is preserving us?  (I sat down once to try to figure out how many years Joseph was a slave or prisoner before he landed himself a place in Pharaoh’s court, while it’s not entirely clear, my guess is that it could not have been fewer than 15 years and was probably more like 18).  So with that in mind, check out citations S3, S19, and S29.  Have some fun thinking about what those statements mean to us.  Assuming that God does not send us trials, what do these statements mean?  We are being constantly called upon to see God’s reality, in which each of us is equally and lovingly sustained, protected, preserved.  Material sense will most often not bear true witness to reality; it is unreliable at best.  So when we are not feeling well, do we instantly take the fearful view and wonder where God is in the picture and why we didn’t get spared the ordeal of feeling lousy, etc.  Or, do we rather turn our thought to God to see what truth is revealing to us about God, about man, about reality?

 [PYCL 2]
Talk about gardening.  Looking at citation S6, take a somewhat literal view of this passage and talk about the “seed sown in the sol of material hopes…”  What is an example of these “material hopes”?  Could it be something as simple as our expectations for Christmas—what kinds of gifts we might receive?  When we find ourselves disappointed, we can be assured that our expectations were “planted” in the soil of material hopes.  When we are looking forward to something spiritual, we can never be disappointed; Spirit never disappoints, never leaves us without help or safety.  You could come in “armed” with some of your favorite Bible passages that illustrate God’s unfailing presence and care for man and share them on cards with the kids. What does “propagate” mean and what things or thoughts does Love propagate in us?  You could certainly come up with some kind of a garden project.  It could be as simple as bringing a small pot of bulbs that you could watch from week to week as it comes up and blossoms during the middle of winter—paper whites or amaryllis are often available this time of year and could probably make it week to week with a watering on Wed. and Sunday.  This would just give you a visual reminder of all the things that such gardening in thought encourages.  We are always leaning towards God’s sunlight, allowing Love to propagate pure thinking, loving thinking and wise thinking, growing up and out of a “soil” or matter-based thought, transforming from a “bulb” to a beautiful blossom—you name it—you can probably think of a gardening analogy to spin off of it.  Or, you could just do a little garden on paper with black construction paper and colored shapes of flowers to glue to the surface while you think about these ideas…you will surely think of something that suits your age group and situation.

[PYCL 3]
I like thinking about the “trials” as merely the clash of a material view with spiritual reality. These two do not cooperate; they don’t coexist or get along at all.  We shouldn’t be trying to reconcile them, rather we can progress spirit-ward and leave the material things behind!

[PYCL 4]
When Mrs. Eddy tells us that chastity is the “cement” of civilization and progress we might want to pay attention.  That’s a pretty big claim!  Talk about chastity from the standpoint of purity with younger kids.  Why might that be like “cement”?  Find some cement in or around your building, even brick and mortar, if that’s available.  Have them touch it, bang on it. Pretty solid stuff, no?  Why would purity be like that for our very civilization?  Why for our “progress”? What kind of progress is she talking about?  This is based in a Commandment, so thinking of solid foundations and what these Commandments do to keep us safe and feeling God’s love for us would be a great direction to head.  Talk about how rules and guidance, whether laws of our state, or rules that our parents set down, are usually designed to keep us safe.  How does purity keep us that way?  I can think of a number of healings that have happened in my family where we were protected by our purity of thought.  This purity allowed our thought to be uncluttered by fear and doubt and be able to hear God’s direction in cases of emergency or deep need.  You can bring examples of your own.

[PYCL 5]
The wisdom spoken of in the Section 3 is not merely human wisdom that would keep us from doing something risky or stupid.  This wisdom is of God, based in the understanding of God’s all-power that is ever operating in our lives.  Bring some examples of this to share.  We don’t have to be “smart” or good at school, a good reader, get good grades, etc. to manifest and feel the understanding of Love and Love’s protection.

[PYCL 6]
It’s important to know who we are in order to avail ourselves of God’s power and protection. That was certainly true for Joseph.  He knew he was the beloved of God.  Think of Jesus; he knew his Christly nature to be a part of him.  We too possess that Christly nature and can rely on it.  This is what made it so Jesus could readily heal Peter’s wife’s mother.  This recognition of the Christ in our presence makes fear disappear and helps us genuinely feel Love’s preserving power.  Most of all, it eliminates fear so that we can hear the “voice” of God comforting and guiding us!  It is hard to recognize God’s presence and care when we are afraid!

Hope this gives you something to start with this week.  Have a great Sunday!!

 

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