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[PYCL: Start in a storeroom/closet with your class.]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

“God”

Sunday, January 4, 2015

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com   (314) 406-0041

 [PYCL 1]
Start with closets this week!  Talk about what a closet represents and why Jesus tells us to go there to pray.  I really enjoyed the Cobbey Crisler reference to the closet being more of a storehouse that would be fully stocked with all that we need as Warren included in Craig’s Met [click here and on upper right Downloads].  Why do we have a door?  Why close the door?  Can you talk about tidy or messy closets, what would that represent?  What do we do to keep our “closet” clean and orderly so that we can quickly find that closeness with God that we feel from the Lord ’s Prayer?  It could be fun to find a closet in the church to do this exercise in. You can even talk about whether it is a storage closet stocked with useful things, does it have a light?  If it doesn’t, can a dark closet be a useful idea, a place where there are no distractions, only the peace and focus of prayerful thought.  

 [PYCL 2]
Along with “closet” prayer you can try a little exercise.  Close your eyes and try to keep your thought focused on God for a bit.  (Adjust according to age). Talk honestly about how our thought might wander.  Did they find themselves thinking about what they were going to do after Sunday School?  What were they going to eat for lunch?  If your own thought wandered a bit, tell them.  Then talk about the practice of listening in our closet.  It really takes practice!  Try starting at night before bed.  Give yourself maybe 15 seconds and think only of Good.  You could try gratitude, or anything that helps, but do listen and don’t just “talk”.  Then try to lengthen the amount of time as the days go by!  How does this kind of praying help us to understand God better?  How is listening praying?

[PYCL 3]
How does God know what you need before you ask?  What kind of needs is Jesus talking about here? (Responsive Reading)  This can connect with citation S-21 in Section 4 where Mrs. Eddy talks of our hopes and affections being spiritual.  How do we elevate our desires?  Obviously (or maybe not so obviously to little kids), God isn’t knowing that you “need” a pony (or supplying that “need”)… What are we talking about here?  I think doing a beautiful job of copying out the passage in citation B13: “…he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” and putting that up on a mirror or wall in your bedroom would be a lovely thing to do/have.  What are we really “wanting” when we feel like we need something? You can talk about the role that prayer plays in elevating our thought so that we find true happiness.  For example: look in the Lord ’s Prayer and find what it is that we are asking for, what are we declaring as true?  Is there anything in there about “ponies”?

[PYCL 4]
You can clearly go through each section and address line by line different parts of the Lord ’s Prayer, but I wouldn’t recommend an overview with children, rather a line or two in depth. Overviews may feel like they cover more “information” but they end up sounding like a lecture and lead often to boredom.  So you might choose to talk about the allness of God.  How those first couple of lines and their translation from S&H point to this allness.  How is it that allness must be “oneness” (S2).  Get out the glass of water and eye dropper or straw.  Extract a drop of water (have them do it), and drip it one drop at a time back into the water.  Can you separate that exact drop from the glass again?  Is that drop, nonetheless, inside that glass of water?  That is a great visual aid for this concept of being one with God. We are truly a part of God, yet we are individual.

[PYCL 5]
Talk about kingdoms.  With the littler ones you can go with old fashioned and talk about kings and queens.  Then talk about God’s kingdom.  How is it different?  Who gets to live there?  Where is it?  When we feel ourselves living there, how do we see those around us?  Is this how Jesus saw those around him? Can they describe what the Kingdom looks and feels like? Is matter there? (S8) Is this all-presence of God and Her kingdom a little like being part of that glass of water?

[PYCL 6]
What does omnipotence mean to us?  If we were omnipotent but we let bad things happen, what would that say about us?  Is that Love in action?  We must constantly be demonstrating our understanding of God as omnipotent by healing (S16).  What is God’s will?  What does he want? Is this only applicable in some heavenly “place”?  When we do Her will, we find that we experience Her omnipotence.

 [PYCL 7]
What is a “safety valve” (S23)?   What does this passage mean? Bring in a picture of a safety valve or something on a tablet or phone if you want.  She may be referring to the traditional Christian idea that forgiveness comes through confessing our sins to a priest—but there is more to this that applies to our daily lives.  Sometimes we use promises and prayer and words to help us feel better, but unless these prayers are followed by action, we are not “destroying” the sin or wrong action.  Mrs. Eddy helps us see that true prayer results in improved actions, not just words.  This kind of prayer naturally leads to a clearer understanding of the God that we know is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.  Forgiveness can never be based on some “act”, some physical “sacrifice”.  It has to be a heartfelt change!

 [PYCL 8]
To find ourselves delivered from evil is a true gift.  This means not that we are forgiven our wrongdoing, but that we are lifted out of the situation where we would find ourselves stumbling. The struggle to experience such peace and harmony is a spiritual one indeed and not a physical struggle.  The closet prayer, stocked full of God’s love and wisdom, is the place to go when we need such deliverance!  

Have a happy new year in Sunday School!

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