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[PYCL 7: Voice truths to blow a weather vane in the other direction to counteract grumpy…]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lesson for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

MATTER

Sunday, September 21, 2014

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

[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS 1st camper, current director & PYCL editor]

 [PYCL 1]
What is a “stumbling block”?  Look it up together and talk about what it symbolizes.  You can briefly give an overview, (with the kids who are old enough), of the way that these stumbling blocks present themselves to our thought.  For example, Section 1: the wall represents the stumbling block to overcoming Jericho (what is 'Jericho' in our thought?). The definition of ARK provides the metaphysical truth to overcome this wall of matter.  This might also be the stumbling block of the “laws” of physics.  Section 2: stumbling blocks are the dreams of power in matter.  Section 3: the body, represented by the bent-over woman.  Section 4 could be seen as the stumbling block of health “laws” vs. the laws of Spirit; Section 5: looking to matter or medicine might be the stumbling block here and finally, in Section 6 all the stumbling blocks disappear in the light of divine Love.  You may interpret these differently and maybe the kids, too, will see them differently.  Maybe you could assign each kid a section to peruse and find what they think the stumbling block might be in that section.  That might be a bit challenging, so you'll have to gauge your class.  Make sure you spend more time thinking and talking about the power that God gives us to overcome these “blocks” than you do the “blocks” themselves!

 [PYCL 2]
In looking at the battle of Jericho you can compare it to citation B1.  This passage ends with “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  What kind of weapons do we need to fight this kind of battle?  You could look at what the Bible and Mrs. Eddy have to say about the weapons of our warfare—how we can arm our thought.  And then ask the question in citation S1!  [“On which side are we fighting?”]  She also talks about the weight we put in the right scale when she talks about counterbalancing error.  That could be a good way to think about how to overcome stumbling blocks of false beliefs.  You could then bring in a set of scales, they could just be homemade.  The weapons we use are a little like Joshua's aren't they?  He “knocked” the walls down with trumpets and shouts—or did he? (“the understanding of Spirit, destroying belief in error”, S6)  Did the men touch the walls?  How do the kids think this took place?  You could use bubble-blowing outside and destroying the bubbles to illustrate the nothingness of matter.  Where do the bubbles go after they get popped?

 [PYCL 3]
I thought that it would be powerful for the kids to maybe try memorizing just verse 10 of citation B4.  [“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed…” Isa. 41:10] I think this translation from the Holman Christian Standard Bible might make it easier with its more modern word usage, but you can decide. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.”

 [PYCL 4]
For the readers in your classes you could look into Section 2 for words.  Find: 'nothing', 'night vision', 'vanities', 'awake out of sleep', 'subjective state', 'dream', 'fading forms', 'fading, finite forms'.  Talk about what vanities are and what subjective means.  What is the point of this kind of terminology in a lesson about matter?

 [PYCL 5]
When you initially bring up 'stumbling blocks', you could bring in some cardboard boxes and have the kids try stepping quickly over a bunch of them.  Do they have to pay a lot of attention compared with just freely walking across the floor?  Why or why not?  Generally, would we have a better life if there were no substantive 'stumbling blocks' in our way?  How is this kind of life possible to realize?

 [PYCL 6]
In Section 3 we have the story of the bent-over woman.  Have the younger ones stand up and bend over part way at the waist.  How easy do they think it would be to walk everywhere in that position?  Would their necks get really tired of trying to see ahead?  What would it be like to talk to friends?  Is this a stumbling block for this woman?  When they bend over, what are they looking at?  What does it symbolize to be always looking down?  Isn't it like being stuck on a material view of the world vs. looking up at the spiritual and true view?  How can we move in the direction of not having our body be a stumbling block for us in any way?  Can we keep our thoughts pure, that is, free from matter as much as possible?  Free from fear?  Free from anger?… you get the idea.

 [PYCL 7]
Section 4 has the story of the woman who had a hard time breathing freely when the wind blew from the East.  As a lifelong Christian Scientist, I thought that idea was pretty silly when I read it as a kid.  But what do we have today that might be similar?  What about allergies?  Not that I want to put ideas in anyone's head, but if that seems appropriate or something similar, it could be addressed in light of the truth of this section.  How do the laws of Spirit “blow away” those other suggestions?  I also like that in this section you could think of it as an analogy for looking at how our day seems to be headed.  You could put this in terms a child can digest.  For example, what happens when we wake up grumpy?  What way is the 'grumpy wind' blowing you and do you want to believe that that is the only way the day can head?  Is there a law about that?  You could bring in a homemade version of a weather vane and have the kids blow it the other direction with a truth that counteracts “grumpy”.  You could do this with any number of thoughts that present each day: sick, spazzy (a favorite of my 7-year-old), sleepy and so on.

Have a great Sunday as always!

 

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