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[PYCL: Show how each section reveals part of spiritual creation here & now…]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

Is the Universe Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for June 23, 2013

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

[PYCL 1: Help pupils see that how the universe was formed still fascinates mankind today.]
This is another of those “big subject” lessons. With the younger ones you will want, as always, to make sure they understand what the subject is about. What is Mrs. Eddy asking here? It may be interesting to talk to them about how this big question was fairly new in her day. But that today we are still talking about how the universe was formed. Pretty cool that she saw the importance of this subject in her day and made it a regular topic for Bible lessons!

[PYCL 2: Help pupils see each section as revealing part of spiritual creation here & now.]
One of the things I love most about this week's lesson might make an interesting focus for your class. If you look at the last verse of the R.R (Responsive Reading), in which Job is declaring: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You”, you see that spiritual creation has been revealed to him. The source and spiritual nature of divine evolution is visible, tangible and substantive to him, right where he is in his human experience. You may be able to discover together how this revelation to man unfolds in each section. Some sections are more obvious. Whenever Jesus is involved, the Christ presence that communicates so clearly to man makes spiritual reality more obvious!  So section 4 in which he heals the man blind from birth, makes spiritual “evolution” clear to material sense.  The man is made to see!  And section 5, in which Jesus feeds the multitude from a small basket of fish and bread is, again, another clear revealing of spiritual “evolution”.  Everyone saw and felt the truth of God's provision through divine means rather than material production.  But each section has some aspect of “…all flesh shall see it together;” (B19), meaning that we can see this spiritual universe created by God right now.  We can find evidence of spiritual evolution by looking past the material senses, and by recognizing how material sense presents an inverted picture of the divine.  I especially love how the sixth section emphasizes this idea of being able to understand and perceive this divine universe right here and now.  “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,…” (B21); the earth, here, being a material sense of creation.  And Mrs. Eddy telling us how Science is unfolding (another word for evolving), “to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle,…” (S29 italics mine). This section really brings the whole subject full circle from that passage from Job in the R.R.

[PYCL 3: Help pupils see each section as revealing spiritual creation here & now. Make lists.]
As Christian Scientists we really are in the revelation business.  We are busy working to see what is God-made, and by extension, to un-see what material sense is foisting on us.  This lesson is revealing to us the facts that the universe was established by God through “wisdom” and “understanding” (Mind!). (Golden Text). You may want to talk about illusions of material sense, in order to give the kids a feeling for what we are talking about when we speak of discerning divine creation. MyBibleLesson for this week sports a photo on the front of railroad tracks disappearing into the distance. This is a common visual illusion and we've used it here before. But you may be able to find some additional ideas on the internet to print up, or get a book from the library with such eye tricks. “Mortal mind sees what it believes, as certainly as it believes what it sees.” (S6)  It helps our thought to move forward the more we can see that metaphysics is beyond physics and that matter is not what it appears to be.  Citation S5 says: “Divine Science, rising above physical theories, excludes matter, resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of material sense with spiritual ideas.”  Can you think together about what that means practically.  What “things” can you resolve into “thoughts”?  Or what objects of material sense can you replace with a spiritual idea?  Where does this happen in this lesson?  Can you come up with some lists?

[PYCL 4: Use goldfish crackers to talk about no food for a crowd. Show a crowd pic.]
The idea of matter not revealing the truth to us about God, man or the universe is a constant theme in our lives as Christian Scientists. With little ones you can still use the optical illusion idea but to bring the loftier ideas of resolving material objects into spiritual ideas, it is helpful to turn to stories!  Bring out your goldfish crackers in a basket and talk about why the multitudes were there in the wilderness with no food.  What did they want to hear?  Why did Jesus and his disciples worry about feeding everyone? (Such little, practical details are helpful in fleshing out the story and understanding it; we take them for granted as adults). You may want to lay out on the table a loaf of bread and three representative goldfish crackers.  [You may also want to try a simple version of acting out the story from a downloadable script of this event — in the upper right corner — as written by Sara Romo.]  Explain the numbers of people to them.  You could bring a photo of a very large crowd of people; visuals here are indispensable, little kids do not understand numbers at all.  Then, ask them how they could possibly feed that many people with just five loaves of bread and two fish?  If they gave each person a tiny, tiny piece of bread and a flake of fish, it still wouldn't come close to feeding that big a group of people, much less filling them up (which the story says they did)!  So talk about how Jesus did this.  Was he magical?  What did he know that made this possible?  What were the people there to get “filled up” on? (They certainly didn't come, in this case, for the food).  What does this mean for us today?  Can we expect such abundance in our lives?  Sometimes, I think, we get hung up on the way a story is presented in the Bible and wonder why we don't see people today literally “feeding the multitudes”.  We are always called on to dig deeper and understand more of God's universe.  This means we see this abundance in new and beautifully revealed ways.  (“Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source.”  S23)  Always, though, the need is supplied.  Don't expect things to come in the same way twice!

[PYCL 5:  Handle (spit on) believing problems are handed down from parents, grandparents.]
One of the more insidious beliefs that plague us is the belief of heredity.  Kids figure this out early on, even if in more subtle ways.  They learn quickly to attach themselves to their parents, even if it's just in “looks”.  We can confront this idea of “evolution” through the story in section 4.  Talk about the passage about “sour grapes”.  What does that mean (you can explain teeth “setting on edge”).  You could even bring in a few wedges of lemon to illustrate what the comparison means.  It may seem silly, but these things stick in a kid's mind and can be helpful in establishing them in connection with the more important elements of the story.  You don't really need to get into the details of hereditary beliefs about disease in order to establish the facts of this story.  Explaining that people believed then, and still believe that we can have problems that are handed down from our parents and grandparents is sufficient. Then you can show that even back in Isaiah's day God was telling us that our inheritance was from him, then in Jesus' day people were still ignoring this (where this story picks up), and today we still need to be reminded of the truth about our creation!  Jesus “spat” on this material belief about creation and evolution.  His disdain for it was visually seen and his understanding of the truth healed the blind man.  You may find it helpful to discuss the fact that we don't want to accept the idea that we get “good” traits from our parents any more than “bad”.  All good is from God and only good!

Have fun with this lesson!

 

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