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[PYCL: Root out ideas that make God “manlike”& hold onto angels till they bless you!]

CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lesson for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

God

Sunday, July 6, 2014

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

[PYCL 1]
What is God to each of the kids?  Can they tell you in their own words?  If they use synonyms ask them to talk about why that synonym means “God” to them.  Encourage them to use their original thought that comes from their own experience.  If a lot of them use Love that's perfectly natural.  Why do they choose that synonym?  Is it because they have most often “felt” Love through the love of parents or friends? (etc.)  Check out citation B9, these are questions: what can we think of that is “like” God.  This is an example of the Bible asking exactly the question we are asking the kids today.  There are many ideas in this second section that help us to define God.  Can we root out any ideas that make God “human” in our thinking?  Why does this lesson focus on freedom (one obvious reason in the United States this week), what is the link between God and freedom? There are also many references to angels in this lesson.  Why would a lesson about God focus on angels?

[PYCL 2]
Speaking of angels, there are two great stories that involve angels in this week's lesson.  Retelling them in your own words and talking about their content would be a really great way to spend some time.  I enjoyed Warren's P.S. addendum on the metaphysical from his notes on Cobbey Crisler's talk from the 80's about the story of Jacob's ladder.  It would be great to bring greater depth to that account by bringing in the thoughts about the stone and what it symbolizes, and the visual images that are included with the “drawing” you might make of Jacob and his “ladder”.  Maybe you could think together about the ideas that a ladder to heaven represents—that two-way street between God and man (but notice that the arrow up includes gratitude, prayer and healing… not something we are “informing” God of, but rather giving God the glory and acknowledgement due).  That upward arrow and the ladder itself also express the idea of ascending thought—progressive thought and action.  Can we work to keep our thoughts and statements filled only with truth?  Can we early detect and arrest the false, negative, fearful and otherwise untrue thoughts that tempt us (weigh or chain us down)?  How can we measure progress with this?

[PYCL 3]
The other angel story is actually quite an adventure. Tell it in your words, describing the detail of how Peter was held in this prison.  How do we find ourselves imprisoned today?  Is it in fear of a challenging sickness, an inharmonious relationship, some other kind of fear?  What angels have we “entertained” when we've found healing?  Do they come with light/inspiration/love/joy?  If the kids are old enough to make this connection, check out citation S25 in relation to this story from citation B20.  Here Mrs. Eddy talks about “self government”. With this citation we are seeing that we cannot be victims of an unjust government—whether this is an unfair call in a sporting activity, by a teacher, another kid, or even the suggestion of sickness, rather, we can trust God's angels to communicate the wisdom, fearlessness, love, understanding and whatever else we need, to navigate any challenge and lead us all the way to freedom.  Make sure that you emphasize the amazing nature of Peter's release from prison.  What does this seemingly improbable escape tell us about our daily need for experiencing freedom?  “What cannot God do?”  What does this story say about the effectiveness of our prayers for others (notice that the church never ceased to pray for Peter's safety)?

[PYCL 4]
Since we've been talking about angels, you could connect this discussion to one about communication.  We know that angels are “God's thoughts passing to man”, so how do we position ourselves to best hear these thoughts?  Check out section 4; what does the “closet” represent?  Can you take littler ones to a small room in your church and have them shut the door?  Can you talk about what that door is shutting out?  Talk about the quiet (hopefully it's a quiet place).  Why do we do this in “secret” and what does that mean exactly?  You can review with them the way that church officials in Jesus' day used to pray publicly so that people would see them and think of them as holy.  But how might this apply in today's world?  What are “vain repetitions”?  How can we pray with more understanding?  How does understanding help prayer be more effective?  Think in terms of a math problem where you might memorize a process versus understanding what is happening in the problem.  Talk about how the understanding will help you infinitely more as you progress in higher levels of math, whereas memorizing a process will inevitably limit your progress to solve such advanced problems.  This point can be made even with pretty young kids as the laws of mathematics apply to all levels of math.

[PYCL 5]
Talk about the “omni(s)” [or the all characteristics of “GOD… the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving…”and “GOOD… omnipotence; omniscience; omnipresence; omni-action.”  S&H 587] Omnipotence and omnipresence figure strongly in this lesson.  Some of the littler ones may not yet know about these terms.  Feel free to have the kids work on a memorization project with some of the really powerful Psalms that have excerpts included in this lesson (indicating God's omnipotence and omnipresence).  They could learn parts of Psalm 139 and the 91st Psalm.  These are great ones for taking with you on summer adventures!  Even a few verses of these could bring great healing thought to bear on our activities this summer!  For the younger kids there is Susan Mack's sweet song about “omni” if you have access to her CD “Three Steps and a Bounce”.   See if they can learn it with you!

Have a great Sunday as always!!

 

 

 

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