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[PYCL: Use hands-on examples to build trust in God as the only Cause and Creator…]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

God the Only Cause and Creator”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for June 9, 2013

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

[PYCL 1: Start with a baking soda experiment to show what it means to cause something.]  
Try a little experiment to open class.  Have a dish with some baking soda in it and have a small cup or pitcher with vinegar in it. (You really only need a teaspoon or so of soda and a few drops of vinegar, it doesn't have to be messy.  But if you aren't worried about mess, and you want a more spectacular reaction, take it outside, or bring a plastic dish tub to set your small dishes in and that will take care of any overflow.)  It would be ideal if you have an eye dropper.  Have one of the students (even the little ones!) pour a bit of the vinegar on the baking soda and see what happens. You can add coloring ahead of time to the vinegar if you want, just for fun. And it may be prudent to bring supplies so that everyone gets a turn. Once this little experiment has died down talk about what caused the baking soda (or “pile of white stuff”) to foam up? What was the baking soda doing when there was no liquid in the dish? What does it mean to “cause” something?  Now, what does this week's lesson title mean by “cause”?

[PYCL 2: Come up with examples of creating things to process the Bible stories in PYCL 3.]  
Creator might be more obvious to little ones, but don't assume anything.  Make sure you talk about creating things.  Do they feel like they have ever “created” or made anything? What have they created? Can you all come up with examples?  You can talk about making a picture or sculpture, making a special play area for their toy animals/cars/dolls.

[PYCL 3: Use the Bible & mirrors as doorways into the concept of reflection, cause…]
 
Once you feel like these two concepts are introduced, you can take out your mirrors or mirror. I'm sure most of you who look on this site have seen the mirror brought into play before, and it does have its limitations, but it's so helpful to have an analogy that a little person can use as a doorway into these kinds of metaphysical concepts.  There are several really amazing passages directly related to reflection in the lesson, and of course there are stories from the Bible to shed light on this idea as well.  Alongside the story of Sarah and Abraham being given Isaac in their “advancing years”, there is citation S9: “…reproduction by Spirit's individual ideas is but the reflection of the creative power of the divine Principle of those ideas. The reflection through mental manifestation…” (italics added). And we have citation S18: “The verity that God's image is not a creator, though he reflects the creation of Mind, God, constitutes the underlying reality of reflection.”  Give these passages some thought and try to put them in words that little kids can grasp better.  You can always read them first the way they are in the books of course, and then break them down a bit.  For example: What we see as something that we create, is really a reflection of what God, Mind is doing.  (I'm sure you can come up with something better, but that gives you a jumping off spot!)  Then look at the mirrors, do our reflections really “do” anything of their own accord?  Don't they just reflect back to us the actions we take?  Can a reflection in the mirror, for example, have its own child?  Can it run really fast, think great thoughts, play beautiful music?  What is the cause or creator behind your mirrored reflection?  In a similar way, you can draw the connection that Love, or Mind is the source for each one of the children.

[PYCL 4: Share how understanding one divine creation makes “man deathless and perfect and eternal.”]   Why is it important to understand that God is the source of all good, all real being?  Think about the limitations placed on us by thinking that man is the source!  Can the older ones maybe come up with some thoughts about this?  Citation S19 has a good explanation!  Make sure you define 'realms', and what broader and higher realms might mean, and 'perspicacity', and 'insight' too.  Check together the stories included in this lesson and see how they illustrate the advantage of understanding the “Science of being” (phrase used in both citation S19 and S26), the divine understanding of creation.  Obviously Sarah's and Abraham's story, but also the palsied man healed by Jesus and the clarity Jesus brings to the onlookers about who is the source for his good works.  What does the story about Balak and Balaam say about cause and creator?  And how about the Bible passages in section 4 about who “…performeth all things for me.”? (B17).  Notice how important it is for us to understand the fact, really dig deep and constantly work to feel and know and glimpse the truth, that God is the only creator.  Mrs. Eddy tells us in citation S8 that “Mortals can never understand God's creation while believing that man is a creator. God's children, already created, will be cognized only as man finds the truth of being.”  We can ONLY “cognize”, see and understand man as God's child, when we grasp that God is the only creator.  And then she says: “Spiritually to understand that there is but one creator, God, unfolds all creation, confirms the Scriptures, brings the sweet assurance of no parting, no pain, and of man deathless and perfect and eternal.”  Wow, what a promise!  That may be a bit much for a kid to digest, but see what you can do with that passage.  It's truly astonishing when you think about what that means for us!

[PYCL 5: Bolster an understanding that evil is unreal. Teach “the Gentle Art of Blessing”…]
 
Finally, section 3 particularly seems to bolster last week's theme of the non-reality of evil.  This is a natural progression as we are discussing who has caused all and created all this week.   Where does evil or error fit in?   You can certainly draw on last week's metaphysical discussion if that went well and expand on it using this focus on the story of Balak and Balaam. Translate the passage (S14), “Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned…” What is a mandate?  Look at the theme she uses here with mandate, kingdom, and enthroned all in a row.  What does that bring to mind?  Can they think of times when it just seems like people they are around are not nice, not kind, or difficult in some way? How does what Mrs. Eddy says here in the complete passage, inform our actions with our brothers, sisters, friends, cabin-mates, school mates, etc.?  If we see error in someone, what is going on? What is our obligation?  Who needs alteration and how?  This is a big challenge and a lifelong one at that, but no time like the present to start!  We must only see what God is seeing.  We must “bless” when God is telling us that that is the truth!  If you wish, you can go to the Bible and see the more complete version of this story and see that Balaam really did struggle with God's command to bless. It seemed like a hard thing for him to do! Isn't this how it often appears to us?

Have a great Sunday!

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