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[PYCL: Show how the Christ link of love from Spirit lifts us above waves of material sense!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for August 11, 2013

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

[PYCL 1: Ask pupils to come up with 3 ideas about what the name Spirit tells us about God.]
Well, we are on our 4th week of synonyms.  Are you finding some ways to string these together with your class?  Look for ways that Spirit is an essential definition of God.  Why is this name necessary?  There are almost uncountable references to this synonym in the Bible, so there's no disputing its Biblical basis, but it doesn't hurt to point this out.  What makes Spirit different from the three synonyms we have already studied recently?  We know that Spirit would have to be truthful or honest and full of integrity; we know that Spirit is loving, and we know that Spirit is full of life as well.  But what exactly is Spirit and how does it tell us more about God?  Can you ask that question and see if they can come up with maybe three ideas about what Spirit tells us about God, or even about ourselves?  Give them a few minutes to think this over and write down a few ideas (if they are writing age).  Obviously, you should have some ideas of your own, especially if they need some suggestions to get things flowing.  But I would try to give them a chance before offering your own ideas.

[PYCL 2: Spend some time talking about spiritual sense and how it lights up us & our path.]
This lesson really gives us the overall sense of Spirit's power to heal through spiritual law. And it illustrates the need for us to develop and use spiritual sense to see the great reality of God's/Spirit's creation. Maybe you could spend some time talking about spiritual sense.  What is it?  How can you tell when you are “using” it?  How does it differ from “material sense”?  Why is it like the light described so poetically in the Responsive Reading?  In this Golden Text there is a verse from 2 Cor:6, listen to how it is translated in the Message: “It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.”  This reference to the creation story in Genesis, (and in section 1), is a testament to how we are created to recognize the goodness, beauty, power of God; Spirit's reality and presence are “in our hearts”.  It also makes it clear that Spirit sent Christ Jesus to make Herself and the power and goodness of Spirit clear, to “shine” that light on just who Spirit is!  We still have the example of Jesus available to us today through the Bible.  His life illustrates and lights up our path for us.

[PYCL 3: Discuss and show how spiritual sense like light reveals things, make them clear.]
This discussion of spiritual sense might naturally expand into a discussion of light.  How does light reveal things, make things clear?  You can bring out flashlights and make use of them in a dark space: (a box with a small opening, under a table with a heavy cloth over the top, or a dark room somewhere in the church).  These analogies are usually welcome, even when you've used them before.  Think about how many times you have read passages of the Bible and Science and Health and yet you see something new in a familiar verse?  Alternatively, you can just discuss what light does and how this is symbolic spiritually.  Have any of them seen a scary movie?  Do the scary things happen in broad daylight or at night?  Do thieves and criminals do most of their work in the dark or the day?  Why the dark?  Well, because they can stay hidden!  In the same way, mortal sense darkens our vision of goodness and makes us “blind” to what Spirit is doing in our lives.  If we want to see the reality of God's creating, if we want to see the good in our lives, we have to shine that light of Spirit into our thought.

[PYCL 4:  Let spiritual sense “reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise…”]
Check out citation B2: “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”  This is one way for us to shine the light of Spirit into our thought and experience.  Discuss this verse from the perspective of a command: you can only enter into His court if you are grateful, full of praise to Spirit, blessing His name and seeing His creation and your own identity and individuality as His creation.  Discuss what His “court” would be like.  What is a “court”?  What “gates” are they referring to?  Is it the “gates of paradise”?  Mrs. Eddy has an enlightening statement about those “gates”.  She says on page 171 of Science and Health: “Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed, and will find himself unfallen, upright, pure, and free,…”  This refers to Spirit's creation and just how we must discern it through spiritual sense.  Spiritual sense is the “spiritual opposite of materiality”.  Find examples of this in the lesson.

[PYCL 5: Create & play the “Grateful Game” to get into the consciousness of spiritual sense.]
With the little ones you could create a game of sorts.  Maybe you could have “tickets” with grateful thoughts and praising thoughts written or illustrated on them.  You could let them pass your gate (maybe just your outstretched arm) if they give you a ticket first.  If they can't think of something grateful, or praise-like then they don't get to pass.  If they are reluctant, a good hug at the “gate” and whispering something about them you are grateful for might bring them into the game.  Talk about what they might “find” in Spirit's court.  Do they have any ideas?  What would they want to find?  Is that “court” available to them anywhere, at any time?  How do we “enter” it when we are fighting with our brother or sister or friend, when we are sad, etc.?  Maybe we have to “put off” that “old man” and put on the new like it says in citation S7.  We really have to use our spiritual sense when we feel angry or sad because those feelings seem really strong to us, even though they are not from God, they are not even real!  They do feel real though, so we have to practice bringing in real thoughts of gratitude and praise all the time!!

[PYCL 6: Use a radio or smart phone to show tuning in God’s angel thoughts all around us.]
We talked a little last week about angels.  But this lesson also affords some good opportunities to discuss them.  The third section has the story of Mary and Joseph in it.  They both had visits from angels.  What were those angels?  I love how Mrs. Eddy refers to them as “…externalized, yet subjective, states of faith and spiritual understanding.” (S9)  Can you break that thought down for the kids?  She also links spiritual understanding to spiritual sense:  “Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God.” (S&H, 209)  We can only entertain angels when we are thinking spiritually, acknowledging Spirit as the only power and rejecting matter as legitimate.  Does this mean that we can't have an angel thought or presence when we are in pain, afraid, lonely or sad?  NO!  These are great opportunities to receive these angel presences.  We just have to turn away from those ugly suggestions, make an effort to reject them, strive for higher views and persist!  Be willing to reject the lies of material sense and just this willingness opens our thought to receive these angels.  Spirit is always sending us these angels, no matter what we are doing; we hear them better when we are striving to understand God.  It's a lot like tuning to a radio station.  The radio waves are out there, you can only hear them when the station is tuned properly.  You could even illustrate this with a radio, or with a smart phone.  All around us are these waves, and even more so, all around us are God's angels.

[PYCL 7: Show how the Christ link of love from Spirit lifts us above waves of material sense.]
I like to think about the story of Jesus walking on the waves as an illustration of what it means for us, rather than just an amazing thing that Jesus did.  He showed us that if we reach out to the Christ, the Christ can lift us above the troubling “waves” of material sense.  We can't sink into darkness if we are reaching out with genuine desire to know God.  The Christ is that link of love that Spirit sends to our consciousness, wherever we are in our understanding of God.  The Christ is Spirit's light shining right into our thought (“in our hearts”).  It's there when we are trying something new or scary.  It's there when we are working out a hard math problem or trying to improve our performance in some challenging endeavor.  It is there, every day, in every place in our human experience.  And we can see it, reach out to it, and receive its blessing.

Have a great Sunday!


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