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[PYCL: Seek out thermals or uplifting thoughts, pure thoughts, joyful, healing thoughts!]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

God the Preserver of Man
for Sunday, June 14, 2015

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

Pycl #1: Memorize 91st psalm. This is such a great one to have in your head, ready for every challenge that you get! Even if you just choose some of it to memorize. I wrote it out in two different translations and laminated it and put it in my purse. I could pull it out for walks and just think it through like a daily prayer. Mrs. Eddy refers to this psalm as one that she worked with daily, so it couldn’t hurt for us to do the same! I always like to turn it, where possible, into “me” instead of “thee”. “Surely he shall deliver [me] from the snare of the fowler…”. This can be a helpful way to bring it to bear more directly on our thought and action as we pray.

You can always dissect each verse with young kids: What would a “secret place” look like, why secret? Why a “shadow” and what does it mean to live in the shadow of the Almighty? What kinds of things cast large shadows? Do these things maybe provide some other kind of refuge? Maybe from strong winds or rain….? Shadows indicate that we are in close proximity to something large or impressive right? And these shadows can protect us from harsh sun—maybe an important thing especially to have in a more desert environment such as the Bible lands! You can go through this kind of thing with each verse. Bring in a feather-a big one- and have them “flap” it. Even one large feather provides resistance as you lift it and lower it. Imagine that feather in unison with a whole wing of them! Bring in a down comforter and cover the class. Does it instantly provide warmth and coziness? What does darkness represent? Fear? A lack of understanding? Anyhow you get the idea!

Pycl #2: Discuss Eagle’s wings.
I think the littler kids would love to see some video of eagles soaring. Down at Cedars you can almost always watch the turkey vultures as they just soar and circle around camp and it is a similar look. There are several things that provide good analogies here. They seek out thermals or rising warm air currents to lift them. Can we do that in our daily lives with uplifting thoughts, pure thoughts, joyful, healing thoughts? (list them) An eagle (or vulture) can change their height or direction by barely lifting a feather or two on their wing tips! God can help us to be flexible, and ready for anything. We can be ready in any weather, any circumstance to thrive and grow and lift others around us! A perfect idea for a camper! We can keep a steady joy by having that “view from above” that keeps a real sense of perspective and doesn’t get too wrapped up in things that are calling for the wrong kind of attention on the “ground level”. You can put this into “kid language”. For example, some kind of social issue in a cabin can keep us from seeing the beauty of the entire experience at camp. This is mortal mind’s way to keep us from truly witnessing God’s power to preserve us from a “small time” view of life. We have the opportunity to gain that height and leave such clamoring behind until it becomes so “tiny” or distant that it no longer impresses us! That’s how that height brings you to God—like the Golden text tells us: “I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself”. Show them some pictures taken from different heights, you can even end with ones taken from outer space…what do they see?

Pycl #3: Newcomers are welcome to God’s care!
You have two stories about “foreigners” or newcomers in this lesson. Ruth, and the woman who asked Jesus for help for her daughter. Each were ultimately cared for. Ruth was helped in the most tender of ways, through marriage, and the woman’s daughter was healed. The stories are different but it could be fun to discuss how these two were not steeped in some deep understanding of God as Jesus was or as the Jews in Naomi’s homeland might have been. But they both recognized and grabbed hold of that Truth and were persistent no matter what. We always get these stories in a kind of telescoped way, but it’s helpful to put them in perspective. Ruth lost her husband, her brother in law, father in law, and essentially her sister in law. She left her homeland. Presumably she worked hard for some time in the fields, bringing home bits of grain for her and Naomi to share. It doesn’t tell us for how many weeks or days or months she labored picking up grain that was left behind. But we can assume she probably did not arrive in Naomi’s homeland and get married within a month. Help the kids think in terms of how long—maybe a term at school, does that pass quickly or seem long sometimes? Do you think Ruth had to be persistent in her faith that things would work out for her and Naomi? Remember that women in those days, unmarried ones, really couldn’t have wage earning jobs. Do you think it was tempting to be afraid? I’m sure Ruth’s deep faith and love for Naomi helped her to feel less fearful, this is something that we can “glean” from the story too! Having that faith and love in our own thought helps us experience the care that God is always giving us. The woman from Canaan had to endure some pretty humiliating words, from Jesus, no less. Yet she, too, recognized the Truth when she saw Jesus and his works. Nothing could keep her from finding that healing for her beloved daughter. We can remember this when we feel like a stranger to Truth and we can persist in approaching that Christ with power and stubborn strength of Mind. (Did you ever think being stubborn could be a good quality? Here, it can be!!)

Pycl #4: Take a look at the Revelation passage in terms of height.
There is so much in this lesson about flying, wings, rising and so on. It’s cool that the final section has this story of the woman who is in heaven…her son “caught up unto God”…Talk about what it means that no “place [was] found any more in heaven” for those dragon thoughts? When we keep our thought at that high level, full of God’s power and presence and joy and love, we find the opposite thoughts dropping “to earth”, to a scene far below. These things become more and more inconsequential. What did the woman get as a gift to escape the persecuting dragon? Two wings of a “great eagle”! What are our “eagle wings” that rescue us from mortal mind’s flood? Can we come up with some ideas to list? Maybe these “wing” thoughts can go with us on our summer adventures to combat any thoughts that we are separate, or beyond God’s love and care. You could put these ideas in a small book or on note cards to bring with on any travels or visits to camp. Or you can create them at camp to bring home with you!

Have a great Sunday!

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