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[PYCL: Shed new light on God’s man w/ a mirror, flashlight, rubber snake, games…]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

Adam and Fallen Man
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for November 10, 2013

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com   (314) 406-0041
[bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

[PYCL 1: Tell the two accounts of creation:]
A discussion of this subject necessitates a look at the first and second accounts of creation in Genesis [Gen. 1 & Gen. 2].  In most cases you can look at the Bible and tell the stories a bit in your own words, especially for the littlest ones.  You can talk about why it might be kind of funny that the second story describes man made of dust and woman made of a rib, and then after that everyone comes out of a woman.  Why does the story change that way?  Why did the writers of the Bible come up with two, very different accounts?  Sometimes I think people need to come up with an explanation for why things seem the way they seem and the second account, while a bit weird, does give us an explanation of matter and its amazing failures.  So I wouldn't say that we should necessarily make fun of the second account.  Many people hold that account as true and I don't want our children to be disrespectful of other's beliefs, but I do want them to get an understanding of why we have that account and what it symbolizes.  Today, for example, we accept as normal and natural, many things that in previous eras would have been regarded as crazy or far-fetched, and we look today on many of the medical "cures" of the past as equally ridiculous.  Likewise, the idea of God creating man of dust, ribs, or eggs are all simply attempts to materialize creation, no need to emphasize too much the silly nature of one or another theory.

[PYCL 2: Get out the mirrors and a flashlight:]
Once again mirrors might be in order.  As Kathy points out in her CedarS Met this week, you must have light to have reflection.  There are many examples in the first creation of light, even of light that emanates from God and not from the sun.  There are also many examples of obscurity that come with the second account.  Think here of the mist (B7), and of the darkness of sleep (eyes closed).  I also can't help thinking of the dust, which when stirred up, makes things difficult to see as well.  There is the symbolic obscurity of the serpent's twisted talk that makes the clarity of God's creation seem lacking.  And the permanent darkness expressed in the young man's death in section 5.  What did the Pharisees want to do to the woman in section 4?  They wanted to make things permanently dark for her as well.  So there is a lot of mortality in this lesson and the mirror is a way to bring light to the subject.  Try taking a flashlight and shining it straight at the mirror and see what it does.  Does it magnify and spread the light around the room?  In ancient days, long before electricity, people used reflective surfaces either to direct and expand sunlight or to do the same for candle or lantern light.  Man as the reflection of God can be seen as God's way to spread the light of Truth, the Christ light, so that it shines on all creation.  Make sure you draw the connection here with the first account in the lesson, of man in God's image (B2).  You can talk about how the more we let God's light shine out from us (B3) and be visible to all around us, the more we can experience immortality, a lack of matter in our experience.  This makes us deathless, in all the meanings of that word.  We can feel freedom from the death of joy, the death of health, the death of peace, and so on.

[PYCL 3: Bring a rubber snake:]
A rubber snake is just a silly prop, not terribly important.  It gives them something to ask about, maybe it piques their curiosity.  You can show them that it is flexible and twisty, just like snake talk tries to convince us that we can be flexible about being nice to people or about being honest, etc.  Talk about what serpent talk is… is it confusing or straight-forward?  Is a snake usually straight or does it wind along in a twisty way.  (This is not to say that snakes, per se, are evil, they are just symbols here).  What does the serpent try to convince Eve of?  What is he really trying to talk her into beyond taking a bite of apple?  [With its forked tongue,] it’s trying to convince her that God is not really all there is, that actually there is good and bad and that it's really more fun, more interesting, cooler etc. that way.  Can you think of a time where this kind of snake reasoning talked you into doing something that was not true to God's nature?  Have an example or two ready to share.  These can just simply be small instances where maybe you were not so nice to someone because you didn't feel it would add to your status.  Or maybe you didn't help someone out or share with someone when you had an opportunity because the "snake" said, in your thought, "it's no big deal, they can find help or something else to play with"… etc.  Doesn't that sound like the snake in the story when it tells Eve, "Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil."  The thing is, it is this very claim that we are better off knowing there is matter that is both good and bad which makes us subject to death in matter.  

{PCYL 4: Play a game of “Gate keeper”:]
The little ones might enjoy a game of "gate keeper".  You can make this up any way you want.  You just have some ideas that represent either angel thoughts or snake thoughts and ask if they want to open the gate to each thought or keep it closed.  You can come up together with the different thoughts and write them on cards; or you can have them ready ahead and just introduce the thoughts to them as you play.  They can use their hands to symbolize opening and shutting a gate.

[PCYL 5: Defuse stone throwing and judging:]
Discuss why not to throw stones at anyone!  Look together at this story in section 4 and think about what those stones symbolize for us today.  They were planning on killing her with these hard, unloving judgments.  Their desire to enforce church law, in the name of religious purity and superiority, was the opposite of the warmth, tenderness, and comfort of Love.  Did the woman do something wrong?  Yes.  Was it then right to judge her in such a way as to eliminate her ability to grow and improve (a condition of living)?  How do we judge those around us and why?  Do we do it so that we can be superior to others?  Do we "tattle tale" so that we can try to bring "fairness" to a situation?  What might we do instead that is more like what Jesus did in this story?   What was he doing when he was writing in the dirt?  Can we work to see the real man, the reflection of God that needs no improvement?  When we feel critical of others can we take Jesus' advice and look within to see what might need to be lifted to a higher level?  Maybe we can get rid of some dirt that is obscuring our bright reflecting powers!

[PYCL 6: Try a little drawing activity as an uncovering exercise:]
If you feel led to, you could try this little drawing activity to illustrate the revealing of our bright reflectivity.  Give them each a small index card (an index card is a little sturdier, and gives them a limited space to color so you don't spend too long on that part) and have them cover it with all sorts of colors, in crayon. The brighter the better.  I've found it best to actually do the project with the kids rather than just watch them so that they feel more excited about it.  Then cover all of of the card in black crayon and make sure no colors are showing.  You may have to help them.  Explain that sometimes we see people around us, acting like that black crayon, covering up all the bright color and goodness that they express.  Then have them take a blunt small object to scrape through the black so that the colors are revealed. You can use the edge of a dime or a small stick that isn't too sharp (you don't want to tear holes in the paper).  You can experiment at home and come with the right objects for scratching through the black crayon.  They can also draw pictures by scraping away the black.  The point is that God's man, the Christ man, is like those bright colors, full of life, joy, creativity, intelligence, etc. – and the black crayon is like the "Adam" man that would try to obscure that color, etc.

Have a great Sunday!  

 

 

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