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[PYCL: Treasure (& Record) Your Journey thru the Synonyms, Starting with Life!]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

“Life”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for July 21, 2013

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

[PYCL 1: Make a long term project out of study of the Bible-based synonyms.]
We are on our journey through the synonyms, starting with this week's lesson on Life.  Consider taking some time to look at the synonyms and thinking about what you can do as a long term project as we go through them week by week. Maybe you have room for a poster to put on a wall, and you can add thoughts each week as we go. Then think about saving them for comparing to what you come up with the next time you go through them, if you have the same set of students. How do you think your ideas will expand or change about each synonym? Talk about why they think Mrs. Eddy chose Life as a synonym for God. Can you find places in the Bible that point to this as a synonym? (Do your research in advance so you can point out such references).There are many, many implied statements about God being synonymous with Life throughout the Bible. Try to find some in or out of the lesson that illustrate this thought in a clear way. You may want to talk to these little guys about just how much time Mrs. Eddy spent reading the Bible. She based everything she wrote on her Bible reading and study. All her ideas are Biblically based. She didn't make up some “new philosophy”, she discovered the rules behind what Jesus and other Bible figures demonstrated and wrote it down for us. So we know that the synonyms are there in the Bible! Most of the ideas about Life as God are contained in statements about how Life is expressed through man, or through Christ Jesus especially. Also you can discover together the ways in which God as Life is demonstrated: through Abraham's trust in how Life was leading him, through being wise and discerning with spiritual sense that Life is not in matter, though the divinely perfect expression of creation/life, through Jesus giving the insane man a truer sense of life/Life, and giving the Centurion's servant life.

[PYCL 2: Promote trust— taking “no thought for the morrow” in God’s Promised Land.]
One thing that might be fun to focus on in this week's lesson is the idea of trust and faith. What do those have to do with Life? Abraham is, of course, defined by Mrs. Eddy, in part as “Fidelity; faith in the divine Life…” Why do you think this is so?  If you think about how, even as little people, we worry about what we will do today, or tomorrow (never mind how we do this as adults), we can see that Abraham is an amazing example of laying all in the hands of Love to unfold our lives, our living, before us.  Part of that definition of Abraham includes spiritual understanding, so we know that she wasn't talking about a blind trust or faith. You can talk to the students about how they generally expect that their parents might look out for them. Doesn't someone feed them each day? Doesn't someone generally provide them with clothes, housing, the things that they need? Do they worry that they won't have enough tomorrow? (You will need to tailor this depending upon your audience, certainly most children going to Sunday School would expect these things, but if you are working with children that seem to be under served, you can work together to understand the deeper ways in which provision is being made, starting simply with the fact that they are loved and cherished right there in Sunday School!). Why should this faith in our day to day provision turn into fear and concern about the future at some point?  Why shouldn't we “take no thought for the morrow”, as our Master suggested?  Are we not all promised a land filled with the metaphoric milk and honey?  As long as we view life as matter-based, there will be fear and faithlessness because our spiritual senses will not recognize that “Promised Land” around us.  We must base our views of life on spiritual Life and spiritual sense to see that Life!  That is true faith, based on the demonstration of Life's presence.  Can they find another example in this week's lesson of this kind of faith in divine Life's provision for man?  How about the Centurion that asked Jesus to heal his beloved servant?  How did he show this kind of faith?  [See a video of a skit about this story shot recently at CedarS and/or act it out with your class by downloading the script posted at the upper right corner of CedarS webpage of this week’s Met.]  You also may want to take the story of Abraham and Lot apart a bit to think carefully about just what Abraham did when he allowed Lot to choose first what land he wanted.   Lot took the obviously “better” land.  That didn't concern Abraham; he knew his provision was from God, he never suffered anxiety over giving up what seemed the “better” portion!  How does this kind of faith apply to our day to day?  Does it seem like we need to grab good for ourselves or we'll be left out?  Can we learn to accept and see our divine provision and be generous and unafraid to share in many, many ways, with our fellow man?  Is our provision based in a limited understanding of limited matter?  Well then, can we start to see that our good is infinite, from infinite Life?

[PYCL 3: Encourage pupils not to believe in or buy into lies about themselves or anyone!]
The insane man that Jesus healed (section 4) was clinging to a certain view of his life. Jesus “stole” that matter based, limited view from the so-called lunatic, to replace it with a diviner sense of Life and spiritual living.  [See a video of a skit about this story shot recently at CedarS and/or act it out with your class by downloading the script posted at the upper right corner of CedarS webpage of this week’s Met.]  
Do we sometimes think of ourselves a certain way, good or bad, that is limited, and then kind of hang on to that view?  Do you think that the Christ view might be truer?  Do we think of ourselves as limited in doing math, athletics, reading, etc.?  Maybe that is a view that we can be ready to let go rather than saying as the insane man did: “Let us alone; what have we to do with [you]….?”  Perhaps instead we can entertain the Christ thought that actually, our intelligence and activity spring from that perfect creation mentioned in the 3rd section, and that this isn't just a “nice thought”, but the certain truth about us!  This is one way to demonstrate a more spiritual sense of life.  What kind of faith does this require?  Maybe it's a faith that isn't based in a mortal sense of ourselves, a sense that is familiar and “comfortable”.  There are several passages in this week's lesson that tell us exactly how to combat these “comfortable” or insidiously limiting thoughts about ourselves: citations S18 and S27 are two such powerful statements.  Maybe we need to be reminded that this might seem like a bit of a battle and that we have to make a powerful stand against these claims on a limited life in matter.  Material sense lies!  If we think we are “bad at math/sports/reading”, we are believing a lie!  Life resides in a Christ view of man (see the Golden Text)!

[PYCL 4: Build a temple/body using blocks of key spiritual laws in simple terms.]
Maybe you want to construct a “temple” out of the stones in citation S4. Write each postulate on a cardboard block. You can use empty boxes from home, even cracker or cereal boxes would work. Cover one side with white or plain paper and write the postulates on each block. Then have them talk about each postulate and what it means. What is a postulate?  What is she referring to when she talks about the “temple of Christian Science”?  Do they know that another word for temple in the Bible is “body”.  You will need to think of ways to simplify these postulates for the younger kids.  They are perfectly understandable, but, “materialized” and some of the other concepts here can be put into simpler terms for the very young.  If these are the “chief stones” in the temple, what do they have to do with Life?  Isn't Mrs. Eddy pointing to the understanding that Life is Spirit, not material life?  If we are constructing our “body” in this way, what can we expect?  Health, harmony, strength, agility, joy, and so on, right?

[PYCL 5: Start a theme of getting a spiritual understanding of God in the synonym lessons.]
Finally, there is much said in this lesson about how a spiritual understanding of God as Life helps us demonstrate this Life eternal for ourselves.  This is why we have the second section that emphasizes that kind of wisdom.  What can we do to promote a more spiritual understanding of God?  How can we let go of our more material ideas of God as a really big, powerful, person that listens or doesn't listen to our prayers for healing?  This material sense of God really isn't any different than worshiping matter.  This is why Mrs. Eddy has the synonyms; they give us a spiritual understanding of God!  I think you will find this theme of spiritual understanding of God repeated throughout the synonym lessons.

 Have a great Sunday!

 

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