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[PYCL: Put Bible stories in your own words, showing how they illustrate God’s tenderness…]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

God the Preserver of Man”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for June 16, 2013

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

[PYCL 1: Give a visual of summer fruit preserved in an air-free (& error-free) container.]
Consider bringing in a jar of jam (and maybe some bread to put it on :-), and maybe some fresh fruit like a peach or melon (it can even be on the overripe side…a banana would work too). Talk about fruit and ask if they've noticed that fruit, especially summer types like cherries, peaches, even grapes, tend to go bad rather quickly when you leave them out in a bowl. How do they last if you make them into “preserves”? When you preserve something in a jar for eating later, you kill off all the little bacteria/creatures that eat the fruit or vegetable and you seal it into an air free environment. If it remains in an unopened, sealed state, it can last pretty indefinitely. (You can bring in a can of something instead if you wish, same idea applies). This gives them a visual image of what it means to preserve something. Obviously God doesn't put us in jars to keep us safe or preserved (they might get a giggle from this analogy). But even better, we are out doing the active reflecting and He keeps us safe as His active expressions of Life!

[PYCL 2: Encourage memorizing gems to give them tools to really pray with when struggling.]
There are a host of wonderful passages that you could work together to commit to memory over the summer.  Maybe part of the 91st Psalm or some of Psalm 40 in the R.R. (Responsive Reading) , or, of course, the 23rd Psalm with its spiritual interpretation as included in the sixth section.  These are all helpful passages to commit to memory for when we are away from home at camp, or anywhere really.  It gives us something to really pray with when we are struggling to hear God's voice.

[PYCL 3: Compare and contrast walking on “miry clay” and on a rock.]
In the R.R. you might want to notice the citation about “miry clay”.  Ask them what they think the Psalmist is talking about here. What's the difference between walking in deep sticky mud or clay and walking on firm rock surface?  Have they ever walked in something deep and gooey? Maybe they've even lost a shoe or boot in the goo!  How much faster, easier, freer is it to walk on a solid, hard surface?  When our “feet” are on a “rock”, what does that really mean about our thought?  You could bring the First Commandment in here as the lesson certainly focuses on the idea of one Mind and citation S10 (Science and Health p.280:17-21) makes this especially clear. How does having no other gods put us on “solid ground”?  That's a worthy question to consider. Think about some healing examples you may have or you have heard that illustrate this point. See if they can find something in their own experience that would also illustrate this.

[PYCL 4: Put Bible stories in your own words, emphasizing God’s tenderness they illustrate.]
There are so many wonderful stories in this lesson to share with these younger kids. With the littlest, retelling them in your own words, having them tell the story to you, or back to you and emphasizing the tenderness of our Father-Mother that each story illustrates, might be sufficient. Notice that tenderness is mentioned particularly in citations S3 and S15.  There is such Love being expressed as each story illustrates some aspect of God's tender care.  With Noah He gathers Noah's whole family and all the animals together.  The Children of Israel are shepherded through the desert with shade and fire guiding them by day and night, water and food being supplied and strength, endurance and all needs supplied.  Daniel was obviously watched over while staying the night with hungry lions and Jairus' young daughter was tenderly lifted out of apparent death!  All of these things illustrate how a loving and omnipotent Father or Mother would care for their child.

[PYCL 5: Try sifting through the metaphysical ideas contained in the definition of ARK…]
With older children you can expand on these stories. They may have questions about why it would appear that God killed off so much of creation and saved only Noah and a handful of animals.  Consider looking at the story from a more spiritual or metaphysical standpoint. The spiritual reality is that God creates and preserves His creation. The only thing that is ever destroyed is an incorrect material view of things. All of creation is truly cherished and cared for. Notice that citation B3 (Ps. 50:1, 5) says: “The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.”  It is clear He “calls” the whole earth, not just one family or a few animals.  Noah's family and the animals can be thought of as representing the variety, completeness and the best qualities of man and creation, being preserved by the one Mind.  You can look too at the idea of the wind passing over the earth, bringing the water down. That wind can represent Spirit bringing down mortal thought, revealing that solid “rock” we talked about earlier. Certainly the definition of Ark from citation S2 can be sifted through. There are so many metaphysical ideas contained in that definition. I love that the ark represents Truth.  Isn't that Truth bringing out the reality of being, showing that all that He creates lasts forever?

[PYCL 6: Show them pictures of a desert and take them on an appreciation walk.]
Take a walk together through the desert.  Lead your kids on an outdoor or indoor walk. First tell them something about the story of the Children of Israel, how far they walked, how long, what the land was like, how they were cared for. Ask them what a desert is like.  Show them some pictures.  If they are small ask them about whether it looks like a place where you'd find streams or lakes or drinking water. How do they think that the Israeli people found water? Talk about what the desert symbolizes/represents. Could it be when we feel like all our good thoughts are “dried up”? Where can we look to find fresh thoughts or inspiration (water in the desert) of health and joy and peace?  What about those Psalms?  Can you find a place in Psalm 23 that talks about the “valley”?  In what way might that be like the desert that the Israelis walked through or maybe the “pit” from the R.R.?  Likewise you can look in the 23rd Ps. at the passage about still waters… Anyway, take them for a walk.  If they are a small and compliant group you may be able to hold hands and just pretend you are walking in the desert and talk about these ideas and what it must have been like to walk and walk in the heat and have God make water come from rock or make a path in the sea for you to walk through.  How would you feel about God if you saw those things first hand?  Can we see things like that today first hand?  Alternatively, if you feel creative you can set up ahead of time different stations on the walk you are taking to represent the parting of the sea (what does that mean to us today?)  Are there times when we could really use some help moving material sense out of the way when things seem really desperate?  Are there times when we are hungering or thirsting for ideas or all the water/ideas that come are “bitter” like the waters at Marah? (Ex.15: 22-25). Will our Father-Mother ever leave us “high and dry”?  You get the idea.  Different points on the walk can represent different experiences in their 40 year wandering, and different ways that these places relate to our experience.

[PYCL 7: Try rewriting Bible stories from your personal perspective…]
With the slightly older grades have you thought about re-writing these stories from a modern/personal perspective? Maybe you could do one yourself and bring it in to share and then see what they can do. This could be a many week project and might be something to share with the Sunday school if you are so inclined. Daniel is another great story to do this with. Think about the “carnivorous” nature of the lions in terms of how our conversation about one another might be rather “carnivorous”. How can we make it more truthful, peaceful…  How can we “close the lion's mouth”, rather than rile things up and make things more full of ugly drama?

[PYCL 8: Look at all the Bible stories in terms of law… put out all arguments against Life…]
You may want to look at all these stories in terms of law. Whose law is governing? Was it human law or divine that enslaved the Children of Israel? Whose law put Daniel in the lion's den? Check out how it says that the law of the Medes, etc. was not allowed to be changed. Is human law unchangeable? How do we prove that it is and that actually it's divine law that is just and unchanging? Jesus raised Jairus' daughter by going against mortal law didn't he? He “put out” all the arguments against Life and Life's presence.

I best leave the rest to you! Have a great Sunday!

[Warren P.S.: For all Sunday School pupils who learn better by seeing and by doing, CedarS is providing a summer series of skits that go along with each week's Christian Science Bible Lesson. This week some CedarS high-school-aged campers in Jr. Leadership (JL) acted out a skit about this week's 4th section Daniel story on the deck of their JL Palace overlooking CedarS Bible Lands Park.  This summer series of Bible reenactment plays written to bring Bible Lesson.stories to life and to modern day application is a key component of a Girl Scout Gold project by Girl Scout Gold candidate Sara Romo. Look later this week for a Vimeo.com video of this skit to be posted on CedarS website as well as for a YouTube video of it to be posted by TMCYouth.com.  Tune in each week for a video version of a Bible Lesson skit and its application ideas.  Each week at the upper right corner of CedarS latest Metaphysical webpage you can also download free of charge a script to reenact a current Bible Lesson story with possible discussion questions at the end designed to bring new scriptural understanding and applications.  CedarS can continue to provide such scripts and videos online free-of-charge as long as those blessed by them contribute to "Sara’s G.S. Gold Project" on top of the initial $1,000 that she raised by cookie sales and other such fund-raising projects.]

 

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