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[PYCL: Show how courage to obey plays w/ Caleb, Joshua* & us in trusting Truth’s promises!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for July 28, 2013

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

[PYCL 1: Continue the long term project of study of each week’s Bible-based synonym.]
Most kids will have an opinion about what “truth” means.  Can you inspire a discussion of why Truth is a synonym for God?  Like we did last week, can you find Biblically-based evidence for this synonym?  You can certainly explore Concord online together and see which citations really give evidence of Truth as a name for God.  It is not as literal as John's statement “God is Love” for the synonym Love, which is next week's subject.  But this does not make it any less Biblically-based!  He is referred to as “…a God of truth”, The Psalmist writes that he wants God to lead him in “Thy truth”, “I have walked in Thy truth”, He is a “God of Truth”. And many, many more statements of that nature.  (Deut. 32:4, Ps. 25:5, 26:3 and 31:5). These are just a few of the more than 200 references that use the word truth, and that doesn't count all the other forms of that word or synonyms of truth.

[PYCL 2: Discuss how Truth reveals what’s real & unreal, what to obey & to disregard…]
Truth is so important to understand, because with Truth, we can discern the difference between what is real and what is not! Truth gives us spiritual power, because it reveals the nothingness of any other seeming opposition. Once something appears to us as nothing, how can we be affected by it? Truth reveals what kinds of thoughts or suggestions we must obey and what we must disregard. If we check our thought when we are asked to do something by parent, teacher, friend, camp counselor, and listen for where the suggestion is coming from, we can discern whether we are hearing the voice of God, and should be obedient, or the “voice” of mortal sense, and should turn away… maybe even run in the opposite direction!

[PYCL 3: Share healing that’s come from listening, obeying & praying w/ “Feed My Sheep”.]
You really can't avoid talking about the link between Truth and obedience this week.  Why is this link emphasized in this lesson? Is it because we want to hasten to obey whatever is true in our experience? Obedience implies listening doesn't it? You can talk together about Mrs. Eddy's poem-turned-hymn, Feed My Sheep, which has so many references to spiritual listening and the good that comes of that practice. Can you share any healings that have come to you from praying with this poem? If not, can you find some online? Talk to your students about the healing power contained in this poem, which is a prayer that Mrs. Eddy wrote, and all such prayers have the ability to heal, to lead our thought straight to God! This is a fun line of reasoning because even the littlest ones often have this hymn memorized, so you can talk about how it is available to them to use as a prayer in any circumstance!

[PYCL 4: Show how we can only obey God & whatever what we truly understand & love.]
Sometimes it is hard to be obedient, either because we have a really strong desire to do something other than what we are asked, or because we may not have the proper respect or love for the person or situation that is calling on us to listen and obey. Mrs. Eddy points out that personality “…is the basis of all sin, sorrow, sickness, and death. Neither love nor hate it.” LO1953 or P. 230 Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer Amplified edition. This might be a sophisticated subject for really young children, but for camp age it is perfect!  Personality needs to be explained.  How do we separate it from our treatment through prayer of any issue that comes up.  It is something that can permeate not only our relationships, but our thought about ourselves.  If we are looking at a parent or other authority figure, as a personality, separate from God and weighing in the balance of our thought all the little influences concerning whether we “like” or “dislike” that person, we are dealing in personality and not the purity of God's man, devoid of such definition as human personality.  In citation S6 Mrs. Eddy says: “We shall obey and adore in proportion as we apprehend the divine nature and love Him understandingly, warring no more over corporeality, but rejoicing in the affluence of our God.”  We can only obey what we love and truly understand.  If we find ourselves not feeling love towards God or towards God's manifestation, we are not seeing the truth about that person or about God Herself.  (This includes our own self!)

[PYCL 5: Show how obedience plays out with Jonah & with us in listening how to share.]
How does this theme of obedience play out in the various stories from the Bible in this week's lesson?  Jonah is an obvious example and always a fun one for the littler ones especially.  I like that in this story we can look at what Jonah was being asked to do: share the truth with a people that didn't seem like they'd be receptive to such truth.  Can you think together of an instance where we might have been in a similar situation?  It doesn't even have to be a situation where we are with people that are of a different religion, though that is an obvious example.  One time I was involved in an accident that left my face looking like something out of a horror show.  It was pretty embarrassing looking and my job was as a waitress in a busy and popular restaurant at the time.  I really had to pray about how I was going to handle the comments.  I took those comments individually, listening each time for the right response, rather than coming up with one answer.  It was hard for me, at the time, to speak of how I was handling the situation.  I felt that I might offend someone or make people uncomfortable.  But several times during those days, I was obedient to the suggestion that I be open about how I was treating my injuries whenever someone openly asked.  This led to some really fine acknowledgment when my face was completely clear of all injury in 3 days, something that seemed truly impossible under the circumstances.  I even had one daily customer really grill me about what I “did” to bring about such a change.  I had to repeat to him many times that I treated it through prayer as I had learned in Christian Science, that I had not applied a single medication or received any medical attention whatsoever.  I'm sure you all can come up with some ideas together that amplify the idea of listening to God's urging to share truth when called upon.  Sometimes it may be that we are called to stand up for something that we know is right, even among our friends.  This can be the hardest kind of obedience because we might be especially tempted to not listen!

[PYCL 6: Show how obedience plays out w/ the man at the pool & w/ us in Truth’s nowness.]
The man by the pool of Bethesda illustrates another kind of obedience.  He had to be willing to abandon his 38 year “obedience” to another form of “truth” than the healing power of God. He had regarded the pool as a source of healing for so long that his thought was “stuck” with that being the only possible solution to his problem. Here Jesus gives him the opportunity to listen to a completely new idea, the idea that he was free because God made him that way— that he could walk away from this false sense of himself that he'd held on to for 38 years.  Another person might have just not seen in Jesus' command to rise up and walk and the God-derived authority that it contained.  They might have disobeyed because they would have assumed that this was just impossible after all that time!  We have to give this man credit.  Jesus chose him, among all the others, we are to assume, because his thought was ready to be obedient, to receive the gift of freedom that Truth bestowed on him.  He could see that “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:” (B23)  It comes “now”, not when the wind blows over the pool, or when the disease has run its course, or when camp is over or begun… but now!

[PYCL 7: Show how obedience plays w/ Elijah & us as fear, anger, personality is silenced.]
Elijah needed to hear the true voice of God.  He needed to be unimpressed by the raging physical senses that told him that personality was out to get him and might capture and kill him for his faithfulness to God.  He found that the true voice of God was not in all that “raging”, earthquake, wind, fire, maybe powerful personality… but rather in the “still small voice” of Truth.  You can talk about how God speaks to us each day, each moment.  Is it with fear, anger, frustration?  Don't we need to make those thoughts be silent so we can hear that still, small voice?  Can you talk about instances where that held true in your experience or theirs?

[PYCL 8: Show how courage to obey plays w/ Caleb, Josh & us in trusting Truth’s promises.*]
In what way was Caleb's obedience to the truth of the situation rewarded by God?  How did his obedience to Truth give him spiritual (and physical) power?  God had provided that land for the Children of Israel, and Caleb and Joshua were the only ones courageous enough to trust the truth of that promise!  Can we have that same courage?  Put this in today's terms.

Have fun with this lesson! 

*[Note an onlne correction to a wrong first draft of CedarS Met (that was mistakenly emailed earlier this week) in which Caleb was cited as the only courageous scout of the 12, when clearly Joshua also had the courage to trust Truth’s “Promised Land” promises despite appearances that would attempt to bring on fear and doubt.
[Final Draft of CedarS Met for Section 2: Got God?  Nothing to fear.  The example of Caleb (and Joshua).

You know some people see a spider and they freak out.  Or other people look at a problem in front of them and they scream, “Oh no, what are we going to do!”  And then there are individuals like the CedarS family I spoke with yesterday. This family is in the midst of finding a permanent home for the whole family.  The mom simply told me, “I never think of problems,  I always use the word, challenge, and I know that every challenge has a solution.”  She reminded me a lot of Caleb and Joshua in this section.  No matter how big the challenge appeared, Caleb and Joshua knew God could handle it.

In citiation B-6 (Joshua 14) we read Caleb’s words about the scouting party he had taken part in 45 years earlier.   Moses had dispatched 12 scouts to check out the Promised Land, one representative from each of the 12 tribes.  The Children of Israel had a goal.  They wanted to enter the Promised Land.  They yearned for a safe, secure home.  The assignment of the scouts was to see if the Promised Land was fertile, what the cities were like, and how it was defended.  After a 40-day reconnaissance trip they reported to Moses that the “land flowed with milk and honey.”  But, although it was a beautiful land, 10 of the scouts said it was too dangerous, and that some of the inhabitants were like "giants: [and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (Numbers 13:33)]

Only two scouts, Caleb and Joshua, from the tribes of Judah and Ephraim, returned a positive report. “30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”   (Numbers 13, 14)

The members of the community murmured against Moses and Aaron and rejected Caleb’s plea [and the encouraging "minority report" that he and Joshua gave]. The people were so intimidated by the scary report of the 10 scouts that not only did they say they should have stayed in Egypt, but they also threatened to stone Moses and Aaron (God’s appointed leaders.)  So the children of Israel did not enter into the Promised Land at that time.  Instead they wandered for 40 years without a home.  They ran away from their promise and from God’s provision for them.  (Doesn’t that sound like each of us sometime?  We have glimpsed a promise from God, but we are too scared to seize it and claim it as our own?)

In this citation B-6 we learn that Caleb and Joshua’s reward for this courageously obedient stand was a long, full life.  At the age of 85 Caleb said he was just as strong as when he was 40.  [Joshua 6: 7-11) Caleb and Joshua who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land were the only adults who left Egypt who had not only the courage but also the staying power to make it into The Promised Land. (Numbers 14:30)  The 10 scouts who brought an "evil report. upon the land died by the plague…" (Num. 14:37)]

Citations S-7 to S-11 outline how you and I take our own Promised Land stand.  We learn how like Caleb we can enter into a full, productive, healthy life.   The Science and Health citations show what a courageous stand for Truth can bring to each of us.  As we enter our Promised Land of divine Science, live with Truth instead of running from error, we too are rewarded.]

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