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Awake... Be Whole, Upright, Satisfied!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Awake to the Light of God's Likeness -- Be Whole, Upright and Satisfied!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Adam and Fallen Man" for May 2-8, 2011
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. of St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT

[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]
 
The Golden Text took on new meaning when I read this from the New Living Translation: "I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. ...When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied." The Message paraphrases the second part as ... "I'll see your full stature and live heaven on earth." To me, our prayer is to awaken from the dream of life in matter -- the Adam dream - to see the ever-presence of God here and now, and to realize the completeness of man (and that includes male and female, of course.) We must take every opportunity to see ourselves, our fellow man, and our universe as God made them (in His likeness) unfallen, upright, whole, and free. No kind of storm or upheaval can change this upright status of man. Thus we demand the harmony of heaven right here/right now -- not for our own comfort, but for the glory of God -- to live in accord with His likeness.
 
Responsive Reading:   We have the opportunity -- every moment -- to choose whom we will serve and where we will place our confidence. Horses and chariot trusting, to me, means trusting in human ways and means, rather than the divine.  Things like weapons, drugs, wealth, material structures, or even insurance may seem like stable and dependable ways out of trouble, but all are subject to failure, fraud, and delay under the huffing and puffing of the "big bad serpent." But, trusting in God alone, we realize that we are the anointed children of God, embodying the fullness of Christ, and we find ourselves standing "upright" regardless of how badly battered we are by the storm. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, tells us to walk in love -- to respond to the love of Christ -- as the children of light. Christ is the light of God (fully expressed by Christ Jesus) that shines brightly ALWAYS -- and leads us out of the darkness of the Adam dream. Jesus loved in the face of hate and adversity.  He wasn't afraid to sacrifice his human sense of life in order to demonstrate the divine. No matter how dark "the world" says things are, we don't have to companion (have fellowship) with those "unfruitful works of darkness."  Stay in the light of Spirit (goodness, right thinking, and truth); follow Jesus' example; and the saving ways of God will be seen and experienced.   
 
Section 1: Walk in the light of Truth's creating vs. in the darkness of mist and subterfuge
God first created light.  Subsequently, all was created in God's likeness and according to God's specifications. In the light of Truth, all is seen to be very good -- like God. (B-1)  When the supposition of another power enters the picture, mist arises to cloud the situation and a mythical creature (talking serpent) presents the story of darkness based on subtlety and trickery. (B-2 & B-3)  I found it ironic that the serpent suggested that Eve's (and Adam's) eyes would be opened if they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Even if eyes are opened in the dark, the darkness itself precludes the possibility of things being seen clearly. So, whatever is reported by the mortal senses is an inherently distorted view. Darkness encourages sleep. Light causes us to wake up. Remember, the first and second versions of creation were not written by the same author or at the same time. In fact, the chapter 2 version was written first, before the light had dawned on human consciousness. (S-1&2) Mrs. Eddy's extensive definition of Adam (S-4, 5&6) points out the error AND illustrates that Truth is the light that dispels the whole illusion, illustrating that it is not man -- but Adam -- that is cursed.  Disobedience is what got Adam and Eve in trouble. They were groping in the dark, while believing they would be enlightened (and saved) as they responded to the serpent's voice -- in direct disobedience to God's command. They were cast out of the garden. But, God's man (spiritual, eternal man) -- the only real you and me and all -- dwell forever one with God -- in the consciousness of perfect Mind. An image (a mental representation or idea; likeness) cannot be separated from the original!  God doesn't change, and could never create matter or stop being light!  So man is never material and never in the dark!
[Warren: Imparting this truth in a fun, participatory way will be CedarS new "Time Travelers Trail" (TTT) where healing lessons gained by going back to the Bible will be taken forward for future use on TTT's grand finale, a  "Back to the Future Zipline". At the start of our new TTT--carved in granite--will be a record of the spiritual origin of God's dominion-man as found in Genesis 1:1, 26: "In the beginning God...said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion". A side detour near the start of our new TTT will be "Rib-Fib-Crib", a fenced and mist-watered garden that tries to sell "the foundation of mortal discord...a false sense of man's origin" in dust and woman's origin in a spare rib. (S&H 262:27)  At the end of Section 4 you can read a Cobbey Crisler theory on how Jesus' contempt for the concept of man's dust origin underpinned his healing of the man who had been born blind. (B-11)]
 
Section 2: Willing to walk in the light?  Or will we be temporarily swallowed up in darkness?
God asked Jonah to take the light of Christ to the people of Nineveh (the capital city of Assyria), and he ran the other way. In his disobedience, he found himself thrust into the darkness of the fish's belly. The light of Truth, however, did save his shipmates. Jonah was sleeping (like Adam) when he was called upon to wake up and call upon his God to save his shipmates. Jonah's unselfishness in volunteering to be thrown into the sea not only saved the others ... but also ultimately saved himself. Jonah was running from his responsibility to share what he knew of God with others -- and save them from their own misconceptions. (B-6)  Reluctance to follow God's commands (regardless of how uncomfortable or unprepared we may feel in responding to them) aligns us with the disobedience of Adam, and the ensuing consequences. Willingness to "rid ourselves of the belief that man is separated from God" and to follow God's directing aligns us with the saving obedience -- and eternal life -- of Jesus Christ. (B-4 & S-12 & 13) Opportunities come every day to be a blessing to our family, our friends, our church, our neighborhood, our world. Running to meet the challenge, rather than running from it, we will find that we have the understanding, the talent, the courage, the strength and whatever seems to be required, to accomplish what God is giving us to do. Walk in the light, and the light will reveal the "capability to do" what Love has already bestowed on each of us!
 
Section 3: God hears our prayers and leads us to the light of Love that frees us
So, what if, like Jonah, we find we've made a bad choice -- and have been swallowed up by darkness? Love doesn't give up on us. There is always an opportunity for redemption if we are willing to look for it, and respond to it. Jonah prayed to God from the depths of the fish's belly, and God heard him and answered. (B-7)  No matter how deep the pit looks, all we have to do is shift our attention to God -- to the light of Christ, Truth. God -- Love -- is never absent. Once we're back in the light (once we open our eyes to see the light that's always there,) we can again see what direction to go. Then it just takes willingness to follow where God is leading. After being in such complete darkness, Jonah was most willing to obey God's request for him to go to Nineveh. (B-8) Reading the entire account of Jonah's story, we find that he was able to do considerable good, be blessed as he rid himself of the burden (yoke) of self-righteousness, and stay in the light. Paul encouraged the Galatians to resist the pressure the Jews were putting on them to accept the practice of circumcision (thus becoming converted to Judaism first) as the only way to follow Christ. (B-9) Obedience to TRUTH (God) is the requirement ... not obedience to human traditions and customs -- or even being concerned about what other people think about us -- or how they perceive we are practicing our faith. "Progress takes off human shackles" (S-19), enabling us to stay in the light of obedience.  And Mrs. Eddy tells us how to "ascertain our progress." It has nothing to do with what anyone else thinks -- but honestly judging for ourselves what it is we most love and obey.  The objective is for the darkness of matter to submit to the light of Spirit. That happens as we look for and follow Love in everything we do! (S-18)  It's not about what we want to do, but what Love is directing us to do! Love always leads to light! Light is all we're all really seeking anyway. Call on the Lord!  Expect an answer -- even when you feel you're experiencing your darkest hour!  It's never too late!
 
Section 4: The light of Christ liberates mankind from the darkness and bondage of the Adam dream and opens eyes to see God's creation
The prophet Isaiah urged the nation of Israel to arise -- wake up -- and see the light that God has sent/will send to liberate Zion from the darkness that they have been trapped in. It is a promise both of present salvation and the coming of a Messiah that would liberate God's children forever from the curse put on Adam. (B-12) Jesus identified himself as this promised "light of the world."   And, to demonstrate the power of light to overcome darkness he healed a man who had been born blind. (B-11)  How often do we fall into a similar trap (to the disciples) of asking the wrong questions .... such as: where did this problem come from? and whose fault is it? Jesus shut down the questions and refused to start with the "Adam man" supposedly created by human parents, and thus controlled by heredity and DNA. One way to think of DNA is "Does Not Apply." Material conditions do not apply to the status of man.  Sight requires light. Christ -- the ideal man -- is FULL of light.  By shedding that light (the knowledge that "Soul and its attributes [are] forever manifested through man") on the blind man, Jesus restored his sight. (S-23) 
Man is governed by Mind, and by Mind alone. When taking a road trip, it's important to follow the map.  To find your way through a dense forest, it helps to follow the trail.  In order to not get lost in life, or wander into the shadows of mortal belief, we HAVE to follow the "straight and narrow way." Stick with the fact that in Mind, ALL being is harmonious and eternal. (S-20)  Jesus lifted thought above the picture presented by the physical senses. He shed light on the disturbed and confused thought -- pointing instead to the standard of perfect God/perfect man. Healing followed. (S-22) Christ, Truth, is still here.... awakening and enlightening human consciousness to see Mind's perfect creation.
[Warren: Have you ever wondered why Jesus used spit in the John 9 (B-11) healing of the blind man?  Bible scholar, B. Cobbey Crisler, shared this insight: "in the Mideast yet today when one wants to show his utter disgust for something (or someone) he spits on it. By spitting on the dust, Jesus could have been showing his utter contempt for the dust origin-heredity of man as described in Genesis 2:7." Jesus may have been trying to show the man--and us--a cause-effect connection for the man's blindness.  Putting the clay mix on his eyes and then instructing him to wash it off was in effect a baptismal-healing act that amounted to wiping out "the foundation of mortal discord ... a false sense of man's origin." (S&H 262:27) Mrs. Eddy spells out the necessity of this revising and cleansing process. "The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged." (Retrospection & Introspection 22:1)  What human history or material record of dust origin are you ready to "spit on" with contempt - and to revise and expunge today with good, retroactive treatments?]
 
Section 5: The light of Christ resurrects thought and reveals eternal, perfect life
Paul implored the Ephesians to wake up -- open your eyes -- stop being dead to the ever-present Life right here right now! (B-15)  As we wake up, we discover God's Christ-light that is WITH us -- eternally!  There is no darkness in that light. And this light is life! Darkness doesn't stand a chance in the presence of light. But, even in a bright room, when our eyes are closed (in sleep or when we think we're awake,) everything seems dark. Jesus opened the blind eyes to see the light of day. And, then he proved the powerlessness -- the actual nothingness -- of that which we call death by raising others, and then himself, out of that darkness.   Resurrection is an awakening of thought -- seen as the arousal of the body.  We need to practice resurrecting thought every day -- our own thought and that of others. The more alert we are to not accept -- in fact, to adamantly reject -- the darkness of the Adam dream -- the myth of life originating in matter -- the more moments of resurrected thought we'll have and the less we will be frightened or impressed with the lie of death. (B-13)  Paul didn't just talk the talk, either.  When Eutychus fell out of the balcony window, Paul was totally unimpressed with the scene. He so completely BELIEVED (see definition of believing in S&H, p. 582) what he was saying ... and so completely disbelieved that there could be any power opposed to the eternal Life (of which we are all the full expression,) that he shed that enlightened understanding on Eutychus, awakening him. Eutychus got up -- alive!!! (B-14)  In order to understand and be benefitted by spiritual teachings of those who have gone before us, "the idea of the supremacy of Spirit, which is the true conception of being" must come to our thought. (S-24)  All discord has its source in "the Adam-dream, the deep sleep" that starts from the false premise that "life and intelligence proceeded from and passed into matter." (S-25) To destroy that dark (eyes closed) belief, stay with the facts presented in the first chapter of Genesis.... "God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history." (S-26)  Jesus' resurrection proved that death does not have the final word!  It has no sting to sap our strength, and the grave doesn't have the power to overtake and bury us in darkness. Life can't be lost and we have to stop being impressed by the threats and clamoring of death! "God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis." (S-27) So soar in the light -- and lose all sight of the Adam darkness!!! This is the natural state of man -- the natural, satisfied, state of us all!!

 
[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. We just discovered that a need for more good contributions to complete our new Bible Time Travelers Trail and other wonderful and fun additions to Bible Lands Park described at the end of Section 1. Other CedarS needs are spelled out at http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/ Just 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.  Also, please help by telling every "un-camped" families you know about camp! We'll gladly send them--and you--a DVD and everything needed to help get them to camp -- info on our programs for all ages; session dates & rates; online enrollment info; transportation;   financial aid forms; & 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. Refuse to think or act like a "dirt creature"!]
Possible Sunday School Topics by Tom Evans for the
Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Adam and Fallen Man" May 8, 2011
 
P.S.S.T. Golden Text (GT)
How does this verse from Psalms relate to the subject, Adam and Fallen Man? Think about the writer. What sort of perspective did s/he have about God and humanity's relationship to God in order to write these verses? Do you share this same sense of trust? How does God see Her own creation? Can humanity fall? From what (See section 1)?
P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading (RR)
If the Lord saves his anointed, what happens to everybody else? Talk about "falling" victim to sin, or away from God's grace (Ps 20:8). Do Christian Scientists believe that humanity can be removed from God's grace, damned? Psalm 20 speaks of God answering those who trust in Him (20:1,9). How does that help you relate to the verses from Paul in Ephesians? (No separation from God).  
How does the Responsive Reading serve as a guide for reading the rest of the lesson?
Psalms 20:7 is about where you are placing your trust, in the world or in God. Section 1 is God vs dirt.
Ephesians 5:8 alludes to all of the references of light in section 4. In this week's Metaphysical Application Ideas, Kathy Fitzer emphasizes all of the uses of light and darkness in the lesson. What other thematic parallels or connections between the RR and sections of the lesson can you make?
 
P.S.S.T. Section 1: All power given to God, or to dirt?
"Adam" is not a name in the Hebrew text. הָאָדָ֖ם or hā·'ā·ḏām is similar to "the man." Phylis Trible believes this should be translated "earth creature" as in dirt, not planet Earth1. Adamah means "soil" or "ground" in Hebrew. What is the theological standpoint of the author of the Adam and Eve story in Genesis 2 and 3? Does the reader believe that God is omnipotent? (No! God doesn't even know where Adam is later on or what exactly is going on under the mist of the garden.) Does the writer of Gen 2 and 3 think people are spiritual? (No! The name "dirt person" or "dirt creature" isn't exactly an inspiring perspective.)
Mrs. Eddy sums up the viewpoint of later interpreters who believe in "the fall" of humanity from grace in Science and Health on 580:21 (S5). She says according to this author, God entered matter "and then [God] disappeared in the atheism of matter" (580:27). It sounds almost like Mrs. Eddy is saying if we believe the second telling of creation, there can be no room for God. Is that the case? What does the class think? Can God enter matter? Does "earth" or "dirt" creature reflect God?
 
1Phylis Trible: God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality. Phyllis believes that Adam isn't really given a gender until Eve shows up. Adam, "earth creature," is just a person.
P.S.S.T. Sections 2: No separation from God
B4: What is Paul doing? (He is reversing the faulty reasoning of Genesis 3.) B5: What is Job doing? He didn't hide anything. He was innocent. What is the theological perspective of the first part of Jonah? That is, how does the writer think that God works? (That man, Jonah, can be separated from God, like Adam, and will have to pay the price of wrong doings) Compare this with the citations from Science and Health in section 2. The only way for this kind of a god to exist is in dreams (S11). The truth of mankind's identity is "He can never sin, suffer, be subject to matter, nor disobey the law of God" (S9). What is the key to spiritual growth then? (see S13). 
 
P.S.S.T.  Section 3: Obedience
Do you think Jonah deserved a second chance? What did it take for Jonah to turn around? Could he have decided to turn around and head in the right direction sooner? (Yes, he "fled from God" and went in the opposite direction in Jonah 1:3) What sort of bondage was Jonah in (B9)? He was afraid. He thought he could outrun God's kingdom. What kind of bondage are you in? Are you running away from a decision or tough job? Look at S14, "obedience to Truth gives man power and strength."
 
P.S.S.T.  Section 4: Light!
Compare the analogy of light with spiritual perception. How did Jesus "see" the blind man? (All of the citations from Science and Health in section 4 can help with that answer.) Did Jesus' perception of him change? What happens to the belief of sin when this kind of "light" is shined on it? What is Isaiah asking readers to see (B12)? Isaiah is asking us to see "all that really exists" (S20).
 
P.S.S.T. Section 5: Wake up from the dream of death!
Can your students make the link between B13 and S24? How about, "Jesus said substantially, ‘He that believeth on me shall not see death.' That is, he who perceives the true idea of Life loses his belief in death" (S&H 324:32-2). How does this compare with the statement from Section 1, "God disappeared in the atheism of matter" (S&H 580:27)? What does the dream look like that Paul is asking his readers to wake up from in Ephesians 5:14? How do we wake up from the crazy things all around us which would try to tell us we are limited or part of a material view of God's creation?  Part of the theme from last summer at CedarS is in citation S25. "Undisturbed among the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle..." Even though the senses would try to disturb us or catch us off-guard, God, divine Principle is still in action. When we wake up and see God's creation clearly all around us, what exactly are we looking for? In S26 we read "Science knows no lapse from, nor return to harmony..." (S&H 471:1). Have the kids reason through why we can never "return to harmony." Compare this with the Adam Dream of falling from grace.
My wife and I recently saw the movie "127 Hours." The film depicts a climber's inner struggle when he (James Franco) falls into a crevice with a large boulder on his arm. He must decide how to get out. It is certainly not a kid's movie. The man believes there is no higher power to turn to. Finally, his method of escaping from the desperate situation is a great personal sacrifice. If we believe God is not playing an active part in our lives, it seems like we have to do all of the work ourselves. BUT, we have not fallen away from God's grace! As the school year gets closer to final exam time, some students may feel like they are trapped between a rock and a hard place with so much studying to do and so little time.  Citation S27 (S&H 258:13) is the perfect counter argument to the lie that we are limited mortals like "dirt creature" Adam. How can we claim that "God expresses in man the infinite idea? (Gen 1. What other passages from the Bible help substantiate this claim?) If God expresses God's self through people, "broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis," what does that mean for us when facing any task? Is it possible for us to grow and express God in this way if we think of ourselves as limited, fallen, descendants of Adam or mortals?

[PYCLs: Play Knock-knock; illustrate orbits; puppetize Jonah; stop the Blame Game!]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson
"Adam and Fallen Man" for 5/8/11
By Kerry Jenkins, CS of House Springs, MO: kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041
[with brackets by Warren Huff, CedarS Director, who's offering camperships to fill a few bunks]
 
[PCYL option: Play the Knock-knock game to help students stand up for "angel thoughts" rather than fall for "serpent suggestions".] 
Try first to address the subject title of the lesson.  What does it mean to be "fallen"?  This can be approached on several levels.  Even the youngest ones can talk about what it is like to "fall" and whether "falling" is better than "standing upright".  What is our view from down there?  Can we see far?  Can we perceive what is going on around us?  What does that view symbolize?  Talk a bit with the kids that are maybe first grade and up, about what an allegory is.  What does the Adam and Eve story tell us about, what does it describe?  What does the serpent represent?  I think it's interesting to note that the serpent tempts Adam and Eve in several ways.  He hints that their eyes will be "opened", that is they will understand what is "really" going on.  He suggests that the knowledge of good and evil is a more complete a view.  And, this is the part that I find amusing, he says, ""Ye shall not surely die...".  The phrase we use today is something like "oh, that won't really hurt..." when we are talking about a small infraction.  For instance, " it's not a big deal if we aren't kind to everyone.  It doesn't really matter if I take this little thing that belongs to someone else, it's just a..."  Error will always try to convince us that our joy, our peace our health etc. will not suffer over some small infraction.  But that is how our peace is eroded.  I'm sure that you can find ways to convey that trickiness of error's voice in our ear to whatever age you are teaching since the temptations are different for different age groups!  The littler children could play a game involving "serpent suggestions" and "angel thoughts".  Which ones will you let in?  Maybe invent some suggestions and have them come up with some if they can, and pretend to "knock" on their door.  They get to decide if it's a suggestion from the tricky serpent, or a thought from God and they can be firm in not opening the door for the wrong thoughts.  What if the wrong idea "gets in"? They can chase it out and slam the door shut!
 
[PCYL option: Illustrate orderly orbits.] 
Another interesting side note is the passage S2 that talks of man as revolving in an orbit of his own.  First grade students and up have at some point probably talked about space and planets.  So you can discuss this idea of orbits and why planets move in a path around a larger sun.  You can look into this analogy of how man is drawn to God by a spiritual force and can't really depart from this "orbit".
 
[PCYL option: Tell a modernized Jonah story with props and puppets!] 
The story of Jonah is always a favorite. This one is a great opportunity for the story teller in us! Rehearse it ahead of time. Try a "modern" take on it if you wish. Use props or puppets. Kids like a good story and they will tell their family all about it on the way home from Sunday School. Think about the most important elements of this story and what you want to emphasize maybe in light of this lesson, or in light of your particular class.  You can make puppets even with paper plates on Popsicle sticks, it doesn't need to be elaborate.  You can have one with the whale, and a separate one with Jonah inside it and be sure to dramatize the "swallowing"!  If you don't have kids of your own, I can assure you that the children will remember the story and appreciate it always, even if it seems like you are being a little silly at times, and don't we really want them to have this familiarity with the Bible?
 
[PCYL option: Discuss how to answer your calling ...to your paradise.] 
For older children, make sure to talk about why Jonah fled from God's request.  Can we really "hide" from what we are meant to do?  Are we all being called or was Jonah different from you?  What does it mean to pray "from the belly of the whale"?  Who keeps us from doing the right thing ("who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth?").  In relating this to the first story, how do we "re-open" paradise? (see S16)  Think about what she says here, is she talking about the Adam and Eve paradise or the paradise of spiritual creation? Did Jonah try to "hide" from God the way Adam and Eve tried to "hide"?  In citation B12 there is mention of darkness, harkening back to the darkness of the whale's belly. And right there is the light of Christ.
 
[PCYL option: Tell about fallen Eutychus and Paul refusing to play the Blame Game.] 
There is also the story of Eutychus, another chance to be a story teller.  Ask them if they have sympathy for the poor guy who must have been tired from a long day's work.  Did Paul condemn him for falling asleep during his sermon?  Ask if they think the subject of "fallen" man has anything to do with this choice of stories.  It's cool that Paul didn't analyze why Eutychus fell asleep or spend any time fixing that "error"; he just demonstrated the Christ love that he was preaching.  What better proof can we give of the spiritual view of man than to raise someone from death when we're preaching the Christ?
 
[PCYL option: Bust the mist myth.] Speaking of mythology, citation S26 mentions that if man has become imperfect after being created perfect in the first chapter of Genesis, then he has lost his perfect source-Principle and then our very own existence becomes the myth.  This is why the Adam story is such a great way to explain the nonsense of error.
Enjoy some good story telling this week! Cheers and happy Sunday School.
 

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