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Rejoice in at-one-ment from Gods perspective!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, April 11th, 2011

[Rejoice in at-one-ment from God's perspective.]
CedarS Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Doctrine of Atonement" fro study during the week of April 11-17, 2011
by Dan Carnesciali, CS, of St. Louis, MO (314.374.5616 dancarne@gmail.com)
 [with bracketed italics by Warren Huff]
 
[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics that will follow, are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French thanks to Pascal, in German thanks to Helga or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

In this Bible lesson, we learn more about our oneness with God. The word "doctrine" means teaching. And, "atonement" means in harmony, in agreement with. So this lesson is about unity as a concept, but also as a natural way of life. We will learn more about our true selves, which are always at one with God. It's that true self Jesus was talking about when he declared, "I and my Father are one." As we are taught in Science and Health, "There is but one I, or Us" (p.588), and "Principle and its idea is one" (p.465). To God, the relationship with His/Her children is everything that God experiences. God's relationship with you is glowing with health, nurturing, thriving with adventure, whole with painlessness and just full of constant rejoicing. To God, you are not getting closer and closer.  To God, You are one. As you can tell, we are going to be talking about at-one-ment from God's perspective.
 
Golden Text:
"We know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him.  And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life" (I Cor 8:6 New Living Translation, NLT). Either God made us, or we made ourselves. If God made us, then we are like God. "Like God" is not a weak statement.   We are not kind of like the Infinite. It means we are always what God is expressing.
 
Responsive Reading (RR):
The Responsive Reading is Jesus' final prayer before the crucifixion. In the Gospel of John, there is no prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Harper Collins Study Bible). This prayer illustrates Jesus' great love for you individually and for us collectively. "When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. I have told these men about you. They were in the world, but then you gave them to me. Actually, they were always yours, and you gave them to me; and they have kept your word. And I give myself entirely to you so they also might be entirely yours.   I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one. Father---that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are--- I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me. And I have revealed you to them and will keep on revealing you. I will do this so that your love for me may be in them and I in them' " (RR--NLT).
 
Section 1 - Unity is Natural
"Anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son" (B-1 NLT). So far we have been talking about how to acknowledge the state of our relationship with our divine Parent. Now we are going to talk about how to make this teaching practical. When Jesus taught in the temple, people were amazed at his teaching. They wanted to know where he had learned teaching like this. Jesus said that the teaching was not his own, but from the one (God) that had sent him.  So the people have to digest two things. His teaching (doctrine) is not his own and someone sent him. Can you imagine the questions that caused? This week, how about we practice that what we have to share with others is not of our own invention and we know that we have been sent (B-2). Our hope should be that when people see us, that they see God instead of us. Understand that the word "perfect" doesn't mean just flawless, it also means "completely made."  "Therefore, just as your heavenly Father is complete in showing love to everyone, so also you must be complete" (B-3 Common English Bible, CEB). Here's another translation of the same passage. "In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you" (B-3 The Message).
 
[Think about the huge ripple effects for God's glory that would be set in motion if each of us in our own generous ways "prayed-forward and paid-forward" our gratitude for our oneness with God by doing little acts of kindness to others that empower them with a priceless  sense of their oneness with God.  For practical ways to do this with great "bang for your buck" check out a recent report in The Christian Science Monitor.]

God made us close to him, and this was demonstrated practically by Jesus Christ. God has given us a ministry of closeness to Him. What are we going to do what that ministry? Will we develop it? (B-4) God includes all that is real. God is self-inclusive. To God, everyone is already in a perfect relationship with their Father-Mother. By reflection you already include all that you need to be successful.
 
Section 2 - Healing is Natural
John's disciples came to Jesus asking whether he was the Messiah. Jesus responded by telling them to relay to John how many people were being healed of serious problems. (Jesus and John were cousins, but it sounds like they didn't keep in touch.) The healing was the answer as to whether Jesus had been commissioned by God to be the Messiah. It also made the statement that healing is natural to spiritual consciousness. Mary Baker Eddy explained that Christ is the true idea, which comes to the human condition and casts out whatever is unlike God. When this happens, we witness progress. That's why, even though God doesn't know a progression from sickness to wellness, progress is the law of God. Progress is the law, which Christ brings about. Mary Baker Eddy once referred to Christ as the divine embracing humanity. "John saw the human and divine coincidence, shown in the man Jesus, as divinity embracing humanity in Life and its demonstration, - reducing to human perception and understanding the Life which is God" (S&H 561:16-20).  God-good is everpresent, so God's full expression, Christ, is everpresent. From God's vantage point, healing is natural. If there is only one Mind, then there is really no other vantage point (B-7). Who were those pesky scribes who kept challenging Jesus? Scribes were a profession, not a sect. "The scribes were the copyists of Scripture and teachers of the Law. The Scribes date as a distinct body from the period of Ezra. The name is derived from 'sepher,' or ‘book' and means 'scripturalists' - those who explained and copied the law. Their functions were to copy, read, amend, explain, and protect the law... the Scribes (Hakamin, learned) were not a sect but a profession; they were scholars learned in the law, who lectured on it in synagogues, taught it in schools, debated it in public and private, and applied it in judgment on specific cases." (http://latter-rain.com/Israel/scribes.htm) Jesus said that all things are possible to those that believe.   With God all things are possible. This is a call for us to move to the vantage point of God (and stay there). Working up to being close to God invites defeat. At God's vantage point, all cases are (already) healed (B-8).
 
Section 3 - Separation
Christians call the Sunday before Easter "Palm Sunday." It's called that because when Jesus returned to Jerusalem for the last time, the people laid down palm fronds in front of him as he entered through the city gates. As he entered, the people sang "Hosanna, Hosanna" as a way of recognizing that Jesus was the Messiah. A week later the people who had witnessed his healings, who had treated him like a king, abandoned him.  They did not stand up for Jesus when the priests and elders put Jesus on trial, or when the elders took him to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. Instead they demanded that he be crucified (B-10). Jesus was executed as a criminal and laid to rest. Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" came to keep vigil at his tomb when all of a sudden the ground reeled under their feet as God's angel came down and rolled back the really large stone which had sealed the tomb.  (According to MyBibleLesson, the other Mary gave financial support to Jesus' ministry, accompanied him to Jesus to Jerusalem and witnessed his crucifixion.)  The angel told the Marys not to be afraid and that Jesus had risen from the dead just as he had said he would. The angel told them to quickly tell the disciples the good news. Take a moment and imagine if you were one of those two women who met that angel. What would that have felt like? I think you would have felt very special to have received that message. Now, imagine what it would be like to witness the execution of the Master, and then to run and tell the disciples that he was risen (B-11). "We also rejoice and exultingly [jubilantly] glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation (B-12 Amplified Bible). Let us be more and more grateful to Jesus for his sacrifice and for revealing our sonship and daughtership with God. Mary Baker Eddy asks who of us is ready to follow him given his "intense human sacrifice" (S&H 54:8-13).
 
Section 4 - United Theology
This section instructs us that Jews and Christians can unite in their theology. After Jesus was resurrected, the disciples spread the gospel.   These early followers of Jesus were not "Christians," because there was no such thing as a Christian yet. Peter and those in his circle believe that salvation was of and for the Jews led by the twelve apostles that Jesus had selected (John 4:22; Mat 19:28; 1 Pet 1:10; Rev 21:14). They believed that to be a follower of Jesus you had to be a Jew or convert to Judaism first. 
 
Paul, however, believed that salvation was sent to Gentiles through himself (Rom 11:13; Col 1:25; 2 Tim 1:11; 1 Cor 3:10). As you can see in citation B-15, he took off the limitations of who could follow Jesus. This was huge. Paul believed that Jesus himself had given Paul a commission to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. I often wonder what the world would be like if Paul had not accepted the commission to spread Christianity.
 
The authentic Pauline letters were written between 50-58 CE [-AD]. Acts of the Apostles was written about 60-64 "common era" [or Christian Era] (CE), and they were written before the gospels and Acts. None of the New Testament was written until about one generation after Jesus ascended. The gospels were written from 70-110 CE [-AD]
 
To our modern ear, when the author of Acts refers to "the Jews" it sounds like he is talking badly about Jews. Let us be careful we don't read it that way. Remember that Jesus was a Jew.  Paul was a Jew (he described himself as "a Pharisee of Pharisees"); the 12 apostles were Jews. "The Jews" is a reference to the people who stirred up trouble for Paul in places where he had started a church because they opposed his preaching that non-Jews could follow Jesus. They would say things like, "Paul is a fine preacher and almost everything he says is right. Remember, he wasn't there when our Lord was crucified, so he doesn't have it quite right." Many Jews who opposed Paul's preaching were followers of the apostle Peter. Peter and Paul had an honest difference of opinion of what Jesus' message was and who it was for. In Citation 14 in Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy talks about how "Jew and Christian can unite in doctrine and denomination on the very basis of Jesus' words and works" (360:30-32). Orthodox rabbi Rabbi David Louis who is a class-taught Christian Scientist was introduced to Christian Science when his dad was restored to health from his deathbed by Christian Science. He calls it his dad's resurrection.   He fully embraces Christian Science and is a class-taught student of the Science of Christ. Here is a link to an interview with him that was posted on TMCYouth.com: (http://tmcyouth.com/media/library/a-jewish-rabbi) (B-14, B-15).
 
Section 5 - Unity - Stick to It!
Sometimes you think you are in agreement with someone, but later you find out it was only the appearance of unity, or perhaps the other person was telling you what you wanted to hear. The thrust of this Bible Lesson is that we need scientific unity with God.  Our real identity is the Christ identity. Christ has never separated from its Source, God-good. We are never separated from our natural identity. When we really feel this unity, we have oneness with God and other people (B-16, S-16). Ezekiel's prophecy was "a prophecy of the reunion of Israel and Judah, the incorporation of Israel under one Ruler, the kingdom of Messiah upon earth and in heaven." Joseph is the general name here for the ten tribes.  Ephraim is the chief tribe of Israel. "The gathering together of the children of Israel was to take effect in the first place in the return from Babylon, when the distinction of Israel and Judah should cease.  The full completion concerns times still future, when all Israel shall come in to acknowledge the rule of Christ" (Ezek 37:21 Barnes' Notes On The Bible).
 
Here is a brief background on Ezekiel. His writings are notoriously challenging to understand. They involve a lot of imagery and metaphors that scholars have a difficult time with. Chronological formulas, which occur throughout the book of Ezekiel, indicate that Ezekiel prophesied from 593 to 571 before the common [or Christian] era (BCE) [-BC]. In 587 [BC-] BCE Jerusalem was sieged and fell to Nebuchadnezzar. Many of the elite Israelites, including Ezekiel, were taken into exile in Babylon. "Before 587 BCE words of judgment predominated; after 587 words of consolation and restoration were prominent" (Harper Collins Study Bible, pg. 1097). The year 587 [BC-] BCE marks a turning point in the history of the region.  The Jews would not be a superpower in the region again until about 25 centuries later (in the 1970s).
 
[After the Exodus and the United Monarchy, the Babylonian Exile represents the 3rd of three 8ft by 16ft. switchback platforms already in place along CedarS new Bible Time Travelers Trail (TTT) that climbs 100ft vertically from one of Abraham's springs in Bible Lands Park (BLP) to the Christian era, its Artifact Cave, Ascension Stairway to Heaven,  and awesome "Back to the Future" (secure, round-trip) ziplines. Our TT Trail-building team welcomes volunteer helpers (physical and financial) before its Memorial Weekend Grand Opening to help set in place chain railings, bench seats, and donated granite risers with the names of Bible characters and books pre-carved in their proper chronological order along this educational trail of Biblical literacy and spiritual insights.  Chain railings on TTT remind us that: "Christ's Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God." S&H 271:1-5.]

After the Exile, Israel was ruled or controlled by a succession of superpower empires of the time in the following order: Babylonian, Persian, Greek Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Empires, Islamic and Christian crusaders, Ottoman Empire, and the British Empire (Brief History of the Jewish People - http://www.science.co.il/Israel-history.php) (B-17). [This chronology is naturally shown on CedarS TTT.]
 
The next citation is held by some scholars to be prophecy by Isaiah about the Christian church (B-18). The Church shall be established and spread worldwide. It will include the Gentiles, who were forbidden to worship in the temple at Jerusalem. That all seems quite obvious to us now, doesn't it? The God of Jacob calls us into unity. 
 
A true understanding of God calls us to follow Jesus' example and bring about peace on earth. And this peace has to be more than a break from war. One way you can demonstrate this practical sense of Love is to forgive. Is there someone you may have struggled to have a good relationship with lately?  Be still for a while. Don't think.  Be the presence of Love. Feel Love's embrace. The word "forgive" is the "gift of yielding." If we want to be pardoned, we have to pardon others. ("Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."~~Lord's Prayer) That does not mean we have to agree with the behavior. 
 
You might be interested that the word "forgive" is declining in use. Its use has fallen off steeply in the last 20 years. 
     Here's a chart. http://tinyurl.com/3lhfprm  
     Here is a page that explains the chart. http://blog.wordnik.com/word-frequency-charts  (B18) 
 
Jesus did not come for one race or people. He brought Truth to everyone. Key to Jesus' teaching is that we all are one. Regardless of whether we are Jew or Gentile, Muslim or Christian, conservative or liberal, we are all one in Christ (B-19).
 
We have learned more about how unity with God is natural and how it results in healing. Explore what things look like from God's vantage point. See what at-one-ment looks like from God's perspective. Mother-Love is not willing to let Her idea suffer pain, lack, to feel alone, or to be separated in any way from Life. (Love would not be infinitely expressed if it did.) This week feel free to express your perfect relationship with God. It's going to be liberating.

[CEDARS weekly "Mets" or Metaphysical Newsletters are provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families, Sunday School teachers and friends who request it, or find it weekly on our website or through CS Directory. You can learn about CedarS financial needs by clicking belowJust click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make monthly and one-time donations to CedarS' many funds that support spiritual growth.  International supporters can give to CedarS via PayPal using built-in currency exchange rates by filling in an amount under International Donors and clicking on the "Donate Online" button. You can also help us reach out to the "un-camped" students enrolled in Christian Science Sunday Schools across the world.  They outnumber Sunday School students who attend 1 of the 6 camps for Christian Scientists in North America by more than 2 to 1. Experience shows that "CS-camped" children who are given the laboratory experience of putting their training from home and Sunday School into joyous practice in a "24-7" Christian-Science-laboratory experience at camp want to continue to make Christian Science their own. Therefore, please tell all the "un-camped" families you know about camp! We will gladly send them--and you--a DVD and everything needed to help get "un-camped" students to camp -- from info on our programs for all ages; to session dates and rates; to online enrollment info; to transportation;  to financial aid forms; and more.]

 [Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 11-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner's ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing "Possible Sunday School Topics" come in a subsequent email.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-30). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]
 
 Enjoy!    Warren Huff, Executive Director   director@cedarscamps.org


*[P.S.S.T. Plan for an Easter celebration...daily! "He is Risen!"]
Possible Sunday School Topics
for theChristian Science Bible Lesson: "Doctrine of Atonement" 4-17-11 by Merrill Boudreaux *[bracket by Warren Huff]
 
P.S.S.T. Golden Text: What is the relationship of God to Jesus Christ and of Jesus Christ to God? What is the relationship of Jesus Christ to us and us to Jesus Christ? What is the distinction between Jesus and the Christ?
 
P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading: What did Jesus identify as part of his mission in these passages? Who are "the men which thou gavest me," "thine," "their," and "them" mentioned in the Responsive Reading? One may answer narrowly as the disciples, or expand it more broadly to be us.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 1: Why did Jesus emphasize paying attention to or focusing on his works? Please define the word "reconcile." How does reconcile fit in with Jesus' works and his mission? What does the word "atonement" mean? Answer: "the reconciliation of humanity to God through the example of Christ Jesus."
Now do you see how important it is to pay attention to Jesus' works? Ask the students to make a list of Jesus' works with which they are familiar? How many included healing? Use S-4 as a memorizing opportunity as another statement explaining reconciliation.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 2: What was the relationship of John the Baptist to Jesus? They were cousins. How did Jesus' response to John's disciples reinforce the need to pay attention to Jesus' works? What actions are called upon from Jesus' followers in B-9? What are these works? How can we be assured that we can act this way also? (S-6, 9)
 
P.S.S.T. Section 3: In the Christian community what season are we in right now? The Lenten Season. Citation B-10 has a brief synopsis of some events/actions leading to the resurrection. Consider looking to the gospels to help students create a timeline of events from Jesus' journey to Jerusalem (known as Palm Sunday) through the last supper, his betrayal, trial, and crucifixion. How did Jesus' atonement or at-one-ment aid his resurrection? See also citation S-13. *[Consider doing a 7-minute play for 3 12-20 year olds that is based on the raising of Lazarus and Jesus' resurrection, both in our 4-24 Easter lesson. Keep clicking for a preview from Lillenas Drama before buying a $10 downloadable script & rights to perform.]
 
P.S.S.T. Section 4: How was Paul, who was not one of Jesus' disciples, in relationship with Jesus? Look to citation B-14 for the good tidings promised to the fathers and their children. Where do we today fit in to that equation? What reconciliation did Paul provide to us as today's Christians, especially because we are not Jews? (B-15) What is it that unites Jews and Christians? See Mal. 2:10: "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?"
 
P.S.S.T. Section 5: What is the promise in citation B-18 that can aid in reconciling current conflicts in the world, especially the Middle East? What is the further promise in citation B-19? Is this wishful thinking or a promise that is fulfilled? Read aloud citations S-17, 18, and 19, then ask students to write out a Christian Science prayer/treatment about a current war or conflict or a current disaster or tragedy by applying the truths found in this lesson. Why can we afford to do this? Because we are all at-one with God and with each other as that which God has made/created.
[PYCLs: One-ness Treasure Hunt! Water! Play-Doh! Belonging! Fun!]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Doctrine of Atonement" for April 17, 2011
By Kerry Jenkins, CS of House Springs, MO: kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041
[with brackets by Warren Huff, Editor and CedarS Camps Director]
 
[PCYL Concept #1: Treasure Hunt for CS doctrines]
Start with the obvious with all but the youngest of classes and ask whether anyone knows what a doctrine is and what atonement means.  Have a dictionary on hand too.  If you are going to talk about the lesson and its subject matter you will want to consider these definitions and if they need to be brought to a level that makes sense to a younger group.  Maybe you could go on a "treasure hunt" for where you can find such a "doctrine" in the lesson.  Is it in citation B3? S1? These are just thoughts of mine. You may not see things this way, and that's fine; but look for what you see of such a Christian Science "doctrine" in the lesson.
 
[PCYL Concept #2: Use flashlights (again) and an eyedropper to show one-ness.]
This lesson provides yet another opportunity for those flashlights; maybe they just need to have a stockpile of them in your Sunday School!  Usually we use the sun for this analogy, but it's cool to have a local visual option for the kids to use in class. This lesson includes Mrs. Eddy's statement about how Jesus was one with God in the same way that a drop of water is one with the ocean or a ray of light one with the sun. This is such a great explanation for how we are part of God.  You can do the drop of water idea with an eye dropper or anything that can isolate a drop and let it drip into a cup of water to show that the cup is actually made up of many drops of water, in the same way you can use the flashlight beam.  Shine it on a dark place, a dark carpet or colored paper so the beam is visible.  Then show them how you can keep the beam from hitting the paper (or whatever you've chosen) by stopping the beam with your hand (or a book or whatever).  Ask them if the beam can be separated from its source, the flashlight.  Even though there is something blocking the beam from hitting the paper, is the beam actually destroyed or gone?  Then, ask someone if they can try to separate the beam from the flashlight.  Give them a little time to try if they want to.  Now you can talk about how this is like the way that we are connected to God.  That he is the source, kind of like the flashlight, and that no matter what gets in the way, the beam can never actually be stopped or separated from the source.  We are always connected to God.  He is the flashlight, and we are the light.  Now you can talk about the sun and point out that on cloudy days the sun is still shining; there are just clouds that are hiding it.  If you fly up in an airplane it will be bright sunshine if you get high enough to be above the clouds.   You can also talk about how clouds are not substance, they are just vapor, and eventually they are burned up by the sun.  Of course if you stay in the realm of analogy at this age they may never make the jump to what you are really talking about, our one-ness with God, so don't forget to draw that line for them, or they'll just think that was an interesting activity with no sense of why they did it! Think of examples of healing where you felt that connection to God and it helped you in some way. How can they feel that one-ness?  How can they help others feel that one-ness?  
 
[PCYL Concept #3: Use "Play Doh"; share examples of one-ness; Love!]
If you are tired of the water and flashlight props you could use "Play-Doh"-- allowing them each a piece to play with while you talk for a while about the one-ness ideas.  Then they can try joining the "Play-Doh" together into one ball.  (It has to be one color of "Play-Doh"). (This works well with the ideas at the end of the lesson where Ezekiel gets going about the "one stick" and all the references in S&H about our unity with each other and God).  You get the idea. What does it mean to be "one" with something?  Is it different than just being indistinguishable from the source?  I see many examples in the lesson of how our actions show our one-ness with the Father-Mother (B5).  In citation S1 Mrs. Eddy states that atonement is the "exemplification" of our unity with God.  Exemplification indicates example, meaning something active.  Ask if they can think of any ways in which their one-ness can be shown (demonstrated).  Do they have anything to share from their experiences?  Just a side note, sometimes kids are good at sharing and sometimes they have a harder time.  The littlest ones will get off track, but that's okay, they relish the opportunity to be listened to and sometimes you can turn it in a productive direction.  My feeling is that the point of Sunday School is for the child to go away feeling a strong sense that they are loved.  That will last a life-time.  Think of the number of testimonies you've read where people come back to church later in life because they felt loved when they attended Sunday School.  So don't let it bother you too much if things stray a bit from the subject.
 
[PCYL Concept #4: Highlight belonging to God!]
Feeling "included", "belonging", is a huge part of human existence, so this lesson has some wonderful ideas to help us out in this area.  [Let them know: how grateful you are that they belong to your class! And how much God loves and delights in them as His-Her children!] 
Find in advance the many words that are used to indicate our belonging to God.  Help the older ones search for these words such as: include, related, inseparable, link, blending and more!  Is there a Science and Health that they can highlight?  Or do you have a full text or My Bible Lesson that they can highlight with a marker?  If you subscribe to the E-Bible Lesson, and you don't have too many students, you could give them each a printout to use for this exercise.  Or you could give them each a page or two of the S&H parts to look for these kinds of words.  Then have them talk about what they have found and if it means anything to them.  Does it have anything to do with their experience?  You may have to help with that, encourage with good questions.  You can also search for opposites such as "separate "or "separated", these are used often in positive ways such as citation S11 where it says about Jesus that "...he could no more be separated from his spiritual Life than God could be extinguished".
 
[PCYL Concept #5: Bring to life Bible stories with details that apply to them!]
As always you can use the multitude of wonderful stories and how we can interpret them in some detail.  I always find new ideas that make me wonder how I didn't see them before.  Think about how the angel descended from heaven and rolled back the stone from the door of the tomb.  What does that symbolize?  Check out Mrs. Eddy's definition of "Angels" in the Glossary (581) and of "Rock" (593) and talk together about what these things represent in this story.  Have you ever felt like there was a "rock" in the way of some healing that you were working toward?  Maybe they haven't thought about that sort of thing yet but the symbolism is lovely and they will understand that!  There are many other examples in the lesson but you get the picture of how to bring to life nearly any Bible story with practical application to yourself and your students.
So, as always, have fun!
 

Metaphysical

Walk in the Pathway of Life! - As many worthies in the Bible have, you might feel far from God...
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