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[PYCL & SKIT*: Sing your prayers of praise and find healing and release! (2, 4, *5)]
CedarS PYCL—Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for August 19, 2018

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

Pycl #1: I don't see how you can avoid singing this week in your class. If you play an instrument that is workable in your classroom take advantage! You might even be able to recruit an older Sunday School student with musical skills to help you. Of course you don't have to have an accompaniment, you can just sing! Before you start singing let's think about what singing has to do with Soul, our subject this week. Why is this a name for God? Why do we need this name specifically for God and how is it in evidence in the Bible as God? We often associate Soul with qualities of creativity, and I would say that Soul is often how we express God's beauty, grace, color, and so on.

If God is our "song", as it says in the Golden Text, how are we "singing" Her in our daily activities? Through unselfishness, grace, kindness, generosity, intelligence, beauty, order, energy, joy??? Can you make a list of these qualities under the heading "Songs to Soul"? Each of us is the way God or Soul is singing!! I would recommend a search ahead of special hymns or songs that you want to learn or sing, ones that you think they would especially be able to sing readily. Mary Baker Eddy's poems set to hymn melodies are a great place to start as they may have some of the words near the front of their memory. Have them choose some of their favorites as well and be sure to end with something they really know, like Shepherd Show Me…

Pycl #2: Read/tell the story in Section 2. What was wrong with Saul? How did singing/music help to heal him? Can that work for us also? This is why we were doing all that singing! Hymns are prayers that heal. Something to think about: It's pretty much impossible to be ungrateful, sad, angry, if you are in the middle of singing. It might take a little bit to get there, but if you are persistently singing you cannot maintain bad thoughts at the same time!! Why would that be?

(Notice though, that when we are angry or sad, mortal mind or error will argue strongly against singing, so be ready to step on that thought!) Check out the Psalms and explain that these are prayerful songs would have been sung in Jewish services (still are today). There are many Christian services where these Psalms are sung! We have some in our 1932 and 2017 hymnals (like last week's "Whither shall I go…" (Hymn 599) based on Ps. 139) Many of the Psalms are attributed to David, the man who came and played the harp for Saul in this section of the lesson.

Pycl #3: Show the pupils a picture of a harp, modern or otherwise. Look together at citation S11 where Mary Baker Eddy talks about mortal mind being the "harp of many strings". What does she say generally will bring harmony to our mortal thought? Who has to be the musician? Think about the qualities that the "divine harpist" might express… Accuracy, skill, knowledge, experience, understanding, inspiration… Can the Divine play anything out of tune, or with a ton of mistakes? What about checking out Mary Baker Eddy's poem set to tune in the Hymnal (#256): "O'er Waiting harp strings of the mind". How does this relate? How can our mind or consciousness be attuned and waiting for the angel messages from Soul to play, rather than just "play whatever comes by"—frustration, anger, impatience, sadness, and so on. What does Mrs. Eddy say that the right music or hand can bring to us ("…whose measure bind the power of pain…and wake…." (#256)

Pycl #4: I really like the idea that one of the important things we are teaching children as they grow is self-government. That was highlighted in the the lesson on Love which used the powerful quote from 2 Tim 1:7 about how God has given us power, and love, and a sound mind. As I mentioned then, "sound mind" is translated often as "self-government". In Section 2 we can learn so much about how we can develop that innate sense of self-government over our human emotions. This doesn't mean we don't "feel" things deeply, or enjoy things deeply. It means we are not tossed around by moodiness, sadness, etc. It means we learn to be watchful and not to let the wrong "hand" sweep over our "mind harp"! We can learn to either stop those thoughts in their tracks with songs of gratitude and rejoicing, or we can learn to root out those thoughts in much the same way!

*Pycl #5: Don't miss a reading or retelling of the story of Paul and Silas in the prison (or Jesus' healing of the deaf/dumb man!). How did song work to free them from prison? [*W: See one possibility in Scene 6 of the Play scripted for older students as a Download in the upper right of CedarS online Met offering.] What do you think they were praying about with song? It might seem like they were praying for freedom. But I have a sneaky feeling that actually they were praying with gratitude. It says they sang praises to God!

Why would they praise God when they'd been unjustly captured, whipped and imprisoned? Why might we do the same? I'm thinking that the error that they were praying about might be the error that evil has power—that evil can imprison, that Good can possibly be a victim or held in chains to matter… Can you share an example where you were freed by this kind of prayer and rejoicing?

You may want to bring into the discussion that one of the ideas that brought freedom might be that revenge has power. The men who had them punished were angry that Paul had healed the soothsayer who was following them around. This woman had been a great income stream for them. True good is available to all. No one is dependent on a lie for their goodness and supply… (Besides, didn't this woman deserve freedom from this imprisoning mental disorder, and from those profiting falsely from it?) It's interesting to remember that a good prayer takes into account the error behind the obvious "cause" for the trouble! That error once dealt with, the chains fall!

With very young pupils you can make paper chains and act out singing and breaking the chains of error with the hymn. Also, if they are enjoying this, you could tell them what happens in the rest of the story that is not included in the lesson but brings freedom to even the jailer!!
[*W: See Scene 8 of the Play scripted for older students as a Download in the upper right of CedarS online Met offering.]

Have a great Sunday!

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