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Become a new person continually renewed in knowledge!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, May 9th, 2011

[Become a new person ... continually renewed in knowledge!]
CedarS Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:
"Mortals and Immortals" for May 15, 2011
Dan Carnesciali
, CS ,Ballwin, MO(314.374.5616/ dancarne@gmail.com) [brackets 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]

What do you think of when you hear mortals and immortals? The Twilight book and movies? There's more to it than mortals can die and immortals can't.  In Christian Science, mortals are the counterfeit of God's spiritual children.  A counterfeit cannot be made into the authentic.  No, that's impossible. You have to identify the counterfeit and drop it. If you hold onto the counterfeit, it hides the genuine and impedes your progress.
 
Golden Text:
"Don't lie to each other. You've gotten rid of the person you used to be and the life you used to live and you've become a new person.  This new person is continually renewed in knowledge to be like its Creator." (GOD'S WORD Translation - (GWT)   The Golden Text is repeated in the last section of the lesson. Not only are you a new self (when you have let go of the old self), but you are continually renewed. Isn't that cool? You are continually renewed by God. You are continually made new--not through your own effort, but by what God thinks about you. The mortal picture (flesh, sickness, lack) is an imposition which you do not have to accept. Do not give your consent to any mortal picture. Be renewed in God's knowledge of what is correct, precise, and spiritual.
 
Responsive Reading:
"The people on earth are like the man who was made from the dust of the earth. The people in heaven are like the man who came from heaven ... Brothers and sisters, this is what I mean: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. What decays cannot inherit what doesn't decay." (GWT) "What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.  These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret.  We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown.  For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed." (NLT)  "God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into [fellowship] with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (NLT) Perhaps you noticed that the Responsive Reading in the last two Bible lessons have finished with the concept of fellowship. Last week we were advised to take not part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness. But, this week we are called into fellowship with God's Son, Christ Jesus. 
 
Section 1 - Born of the Flesh
Psalms 100 affirms that God made us. Spiritual man (and woman) of God's creating is made of the substance of good. That substance cannot deteriorate or be lacking. The true-you cannot suffer or fear any decline. You are satisfied, naturally. (B1) This complete idea of God includes God's comfort. It's natural for us to radiate this completeness and comfort and to declare it. This happens because God is declaring God's being through us.  The law of Truth and Love (Christian Science), the Word of God (Christ) is already established. The naturalness of the truth that you are spiritual is unfolding (being revealed) to you. (B2) Your spiritual sense joins with Spirit (Our Parent) and rejoices that you are the child of God. (B3) Mortal man is a case of mistaken identity. You are too smart to fall for that (fallen man). The consciousness that accepts fleshly origins is subject to fleshly patterns of lack, inharmony and limitation. That is why the Founder of Christian Science urges you to claim your identity as the offspring of good so you understand your present co-existence with God. "Man in the likeness of God, cannot help being immortal." So, expressing the qualities of God is natural to your true being. You don't have to struggle for it. It's already within you.  Take time every day to just be rather than struggling to be something. (S2) Accept your real identity and enjoy dominion and freedom.
 
Section 2 - It's Time to Wake Up
"Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you; they are deluding you. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord." (New Revised Standard Version) Jeremiah prophesied (in the name of the Lord) that the yoke of Babylon had been broken and that God would bring the exiles home to Jerusalem in two years. If you want an example of a false prophet, read Jeremiah 28. In that chapter God tells Jeremiah to tell Hananiah that the "Lord has not sent you, and you made this people trust a lie." (NRSV) The dreams of false prophets are like chaff. Chaff is the casing or husk on grain. The grain is the hard good stuff that you eat; the chaff is the fluffy bad stuff that you want to get rid of.  To make flour manually, you first beat the wheat berries from the plant by beating the grain with a flail, which is a stick. It turns out that flailing wheat is really hard work. Separating the chaff from the wheat requires breaking the chaff which takes more hard work. Then you shovel the wheat and the chaff and lift it into the wind [using a fork-like implement called a fan.*] And voila, the wheat falls to the ground and the chaff blows away [ideally downwind into a fire so that it never need be dealt with again]. And then, just think, you still have to pound it or mill it to make grain. Let us remember that humanly each of us has in us wheat and chaff.  There is a needed separation between the good and the bad [--the facts and the fables]. Let's be willing to do what it takes to separate the chaff and let it go. (B1) We must wake up from the dream, the dreamy state of thought of Adam. "Mortal existence is a dream; mortal existence has no real entity, but saith ‘It is I.' Spirit is the Ego which never dreams, but understand all things; which never errs, and is ever conscious; which never believes, but knows; which is never born and never dies. Spiritual man is the likeness of this Ego." (S5) Trying to make a counterfeit into the genuine would be like trying to make chaff into wheat. It's impossible. Let's recognize that the separation of the chaff (bad qualities, false beliefs) from the wheat (Truth, genuine Christianity and identity) is just the removing or revealing what is true and has always been true about you. For a great truth about you, see S&H 200:16.
["Chaff and Wheat" -- 2009 CedarS Bible Lesson reenactment of Matthew 3:11-12 --was filmed and posted by TMCYouth to show a new view of Christ's baptism "with the Holy Ghost (Pneuma or Wind) and with fire ...fan...in...hand."  Mrs. Eddy's Glossary definition of FAN as "Separator of fable from fact" (S&H 586) gives us a great tool to actively lift up to God the mixed-up mess and dualism of fables and facts to allow Christ's baptism to separate out the fables or counterfeits and destroy them.]
 
Section 3- Stephen's Death
The book Acts of the Apostles tells us what was important to the early followers of Jesus and what was important to them. Reading Acts, I am impressed with these early Christian pioneers. The leadership of the early church started to include Greek-speaking Jews. We don't know when Stephen converted to being a follower of Jesus, but we know that his new, freer views, especially that the true worship of God was not limited to the temple in Jerusalem, stirred up a lot of trouble. "Stephen, who stood out among the believers for the way God's grace was at work in his life and for is exceptional endowment with divine power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose from some who belonged to the so-called Synagogue of Former Salves. Members from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia, and Asia entered into debate with Stephen. However, they couldn't resist the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. Then they secretly enticed some people to claim, ‘We heard him insult Moses and God.' They stirred up the people, the elders, and the legal experts. They caught Stephen, dragged him away, and brought him before the Jerusalem Council." (Acts 6:8-12) (Common English Bible--CEB) The false witnesses stirred the people up and got Stephen on trial for healing and preaching God's word. While on trial, he tells the Council that Moses was righteous and they failed to obey him. He asked, "Is there a single prophet your ancestors didn't harass?" (Acts 7:52) (CEB) When the council members heard Stephen blame them for Jesus' murder and for refusing the Law, "They were enraged and began to grind their teeth at Stephen. But Stephen, enabled by the Holy Spirit, stared into heaven and saw God's majesty and Jesus standing at God's right side. At this, they shrieked and covered their eras. Together, they charged at him, threw him out of the city and stoned him.  To stone someone means to throw rocks at them to kill them.  (Acts 7:54,55,57) (CEB)  Like with Jesus, false witnesses accused Stephen of something he didn't do. He was also put on trial by the Sanhedrin for those false claims. Like Jesus he was murdered for his beliefs about God. Patterning Jesus, before his death he asked God to forgive those who were responsible. "The witnesses placed their coats in the care of a young man named Saul." (Acts 7:58) (CEB)  (B10, B11) Jesus told his followers that there would be persecutions for following his directions and healing in his name. Jesus' followers' great faith, radical love and practice caused unrest and aroused great hatred. This hatred resulted in many Christians being killed, Stephen being the first. Look how Acts shows us how Stephen followed in Jesus' footsteps. Acts gave strength to the early Christians. They saw how their battles were echoes of Jesus' battles. [In today's "Daily Lift" Monica Passaglia from Buenos Aires, Argentina tells how we can give our battles and duties to God so that we can have a productive and unburdened day reflecting God's brilliance.]
 
Section 4 - Paul's Encounter with Jesus
The same Saul who watched Stephen be killed obtained permission the high priest in Jerusalem to hunt down Jesus' followers in Damascus, which is about sixty miles away. Suddenly Paul is blinded by a great light. He hears a voice asking why Saul is persecuting him.   Others hear it too. Paul asks, "Who are you, Sir." The voice responds, "I am Jesus, whom you are harassing". "Now get up and enter the city. You will be told what you must do." Whether we understand it or not, the original Greek said that it was literally Jesus who came to Paul on the road to Damascus. In his own words, Paul describes the event like this. "[Jesus] appeared to Cephas [Peter], then to the Twelve, and then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at once - most of them are still alive to this day, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me ..." (I Cor. 15:4-8) (CEB)  Why appear to Paul? Why not to someone else? There are so many Bible characters that don't seem like they have the "right stuff", but God uses them anyway. Paul's authentic encounter with Jesus shows us how we can encounter God even when we are in a wrong frame of mind. These encounters are transformative. They show us how God has great plans for us even if we think we are not ready. God has plans for you and is guiding you where you are needed. How will you prepare to be transformed?
 
Section 5 - Healing Transformation: From Hater to Healer
These verses from Psalms indicate a willingness to be lead in new ways by God and transformed according to God's plan. If we follow, God will use all of us to heal the world. (B14) Paul relates in his letter to the church at Galatia that God revealed his Son (Christ Jesus) to him. As Christ is revealed to us then we are being led to ask God about our problems and trust the answer. (Trusting the answer is not always as easy as it sounds, is it?) (B16) Paul's dramatic healing of a man in Lystra is related like this. ‘In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, "Stand up on your feet!"  At that, the man jumped up and began to walk."' (B17) (The Message) Healing is God's demand (requirement). Paul the hater became Paul the healer. As you read the citations from Science and Health, change the statements to imperatives. Let's try it: "Look beyond the fading, finite forms. Gain the true sense of things." (S17) Citation 21 is full of imperatives. Let's see what we need to do. Look away from the body. Look into Truth and Love. (Can you do both at once?) Hold thought to that which is good. If you feel like you are being pounded, remind yourself of what is God hearing, saying, doing--saying, seeing because that and only that is truly happening. What God is not saying, doing, saying, seeing, or hearing is falsity.  God's Christ, His divine manifestation, delivers us. No one is left out [or left behind].
 
Section 6 - Uplift World Thought
 "Is anyone among you in trouble?  Let them pray.  Is anyone happy?  Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick?  Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (B18) (NIV)   An athlete warms up before competing. Take a few minutes to praise God before praying. Like in the Bible, praise God for His goodness, for Her present, tender care, for His rejoicing over His creation, for Her love and laughter. When I do this, I find that I experience God and it changes my perspective. Let's be alert and challenge the persistent belief that prayer cannot heal a physical problem. Is God falling short? Is God's idea falling short? Of course, the answer is no. That's impossible. Let's radically change our perspective to God's. Let us stop putting off spiritual growth. Let's seize every challenge as an opportunity to grow now. There are thousands of opportunities to love more and live Christian Science every day. The next time a thought comes that the laws of Truth and Love (Christian Science) are not adequate to an emergency or a long-term problem, don't argue. You can tell it, "Hush!", "You've got the wrong fool," or "Nobody's home." (B18) Paul was killed and left for dead. His companions could have mourned and buried him. Instead, they gathered around him and prayed. Imagine that you were one of them courageously, tenderly, quietly praying, lifting your heart in faith to God, knowing that God will lift Paul up. Several translations say that Paul went back into the city with the people who had stoned him. Paul's faith was amazing. "If Spirit or the power of divine Love bear witness to the truth, this is the ultimatum, the scientific way, and the healing is instantaneous." [S24, 411:10] An ultimatum is a final, uncompromising demand.
 
Section 7 - Cherish Each Other
"I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master.  I'll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common." (The Message) I cherish that at CedarS the kids express such diversity; and they and their diversity are all valued. In church, we can value different voices in the same way. (B20) Are we done with the mortal view, the "old man"? Science and Health tells us: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy."   (476:32)  Where we see mortals, Jesus saw immortals. He cherished people who were quite different than he was. He wasn't looking for human perfection. Jesus accepted people as they were. Remember that Jesus was criticized for enjoying the company of sinners. "By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, "He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends."   (Luke 15:1-3, The Message)   Jesus practiced the Greek koinōnia (κοινωνια), which means community, and communion. In the Bible it is almost always translated as fellowship. Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest defined koinōnia as, "joint participation in a common interest or activity."  Instead of simply a friendly time of visiting together or a coming together for relaxation, koinōnia, then, is a partnership, a sharing of something in common. We have a partnership with Jesus to carry on healing work. And, we have a partnership with others in church to build a church that is bringing the Word of God to our community. In the April 25th Christian Science Monitor, the last article is about Rick Iannucci who "invites combat veterans to his ranch, where working with horses helps heal their wounds." His ranch brings hurt men and women together for healing. That is the fellowship mentioned in the Responsive Reading. Let's put on the new man and practice fellowship.
 

 [CEDARS weekly "Mets" or Metaphysical Newsletters and Possibel Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) and Possible Younger Class Lessons (PYCLs) are all 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 find these "Mets", PSSTs and PYCLs weekly on our website or through CS Directory. We need more contributions to complete our new Bible Time Travelers Trail and other fun additions to Bible Lands Park. 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.  
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 [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.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons"  in subsequent emails.) 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"and Sunday School ideas  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.]

[P.S.S.T.-Put on spiritually-mindedness to be a "new man" or woman! See P.S.]
Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux for the
Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Mortals and Immortals" May 15, 2011
 
P.S.S.T. Golden Text: "Lie not one to another" is an interesting phrase to begin this Lesson. Ask students to write a truth they know for certain about every student in the class, including themselves and the teacher. If any of these truths are about the old man, or the mortal man, ask them to write again and this time state the truth for the new man, or the spiritual man. You may also ask the students to do this for a favorite pet or a friend who might not be in the class.
 
P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading: What is the result when we identify ourselves and others as heavenly, incorruptible, changed, immortal? "Death is swallowed up in victory." Is that an aspirational goal? Is that a goal worthy of striving for? Is that an attainable goal? Your work toward that end is not in vain.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 1: As the offspring of God answer the following:
     Who made you? God, Good
     Why did God make you? God needs me as part of the full expression of Good
     Who is leading you in everything you think and do? See Psalm 23 as a hint
     How long have you existed? How long will you exist?
     Are you material or spiritual? You cannot be both.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 2: What is the difference between a day dream and a night dream? Do they both seem real to you? Is life as a mortal a reality or a dream? If a dream, how does one wake up from the dream? See citation S-5. Speak the truth about one's real being which counteracts the dream version.
     The teacher might blindfold the students and ask them to identify objects without using the sense of sight - choose an object not naturally familiar to the student. Feel free to use as few of the material senses as possible. The point is to demonstrate what we can know, even without the aid of the physical or material senses.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 3: What does the word "gospel" mean? Literally it means "good news." What is the gospel of the kingdom of God? Make three statements about this kingdom.
     Where is this kingdom?
     What do you have to do to get into it?
     What do your students know about Stephen in the Bible story in citation B-10, B-11, B-12? Stephen is reputed to be the first Christian martyr. Paul was the ranking individual present who consented to his murder. Stephen stirred up the people by speaking the truth. Why did the truth stir up the people? See citations B-10, verse 13, and S-8.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 4: Paul moved on after Stephen's death to do more dastardly things. See B-13. What influenced Paul to change his game plan? See S-13 and S-14. What is your standpoint? If you stand for violence, bullying, lazy habits, judging with the material senses, what will you experience? If you change your standpoint to a spiritual view, what will you experience? See S-15. What are your capabilities? Tell the truth now.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 5: Please review the Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind on pages 115 and 116 in Science and Health. In what degree was Paul when he consented to the stoning of Stephen? In what degree was Paul when he preached to the Gentiles and established churches? Ask students where they think they are. How can one move from one degree to another? See S-20 and S-21. Which degree is man - your natural state? How about the rest of the world? On what does your thought dwell when you are considering the state of your world? Would you like to change the state of your world? How can you do it? See S-21.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 6: Here now is the reason to have a church and to be a part of a church. See B-18.
     Read aloud the definition of Church in S-26. Look up the definition of "institution" in a dictionary. (But before you do, ask students for their definition, then ask how their view of an institution changed after reading the definition.) Is the church a place you go to, or is it an idea from which you come? Remember that what someone knows about your church is what they know about you.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 7: What are the actions in this section of which you are called to perform?
·         all speak the same thing
·         no divisions among you
·         be perfectly joined together
·         in the same mind
·         lie not
·         put on "the new man"
     What happens when we put on or remember that we are the new man, spiritual being, created by and needed by God, Good? We pass from death unto life. See citation B-22. How do we experience this passage in our human experience, whether daily or minute-by-minute? S-29. Can you see immortality coming into light in your daily walk and conversation? Are you living [with many "a spark of love" in your heart (S-28) in what Mrs. Eddy calls] the"Third Degree"? [versus in the "First Degree: Depravity. PHYSICAL" or even at just the "Second Degree: Evil beliefs disappearing. MORAL" (S&H 115:20)  Aspire to think and live at the level of your "new man" heritage of the "Third Degree: Understanding. SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness." (S&H 116:1)

P.S. You may find it helpful to carry with you (especially to every class as I do) a true-blue, new-you, identity card. To make and share such spiritual i.d. cards for your students to carry--at least to class, you can start with a pack of light-blue 3" by 5" index cards found in many office stores. Individualize them by writing each one's name and: A New Man (or Woman): and have each one write in the "Third Degree" qualities from the top of S&H 116. For illustration purposes you may also want to carry with you at least one 3x5 piece of a yellow-cellophane report cover (or yellow-tinted jell) with a plastic, report-cover binder representing the old-man, 1st-degree depravity of bodily mindedness.  When attached by the binder (or folder cover) to the true-blue, new-you, the resultant tint makes it look like a green card. (A green card at least allows one to work in the U.S.--and in day to day life, "to abandon so fast as practical the material (yellow), and to work out the spiritual (true blue) which determines the outward and actual." S&H 254:22)  By far the best way for us to follow Christ into living out our native newness of spiritual- mindedness is to put off the old-man overlay entirely, to take off all that tints our views with bodily-minded binders and blinders. That doesn't mean that when praying about a headache, we say "I have no head" and so throw away the whole (2nd degree) green card, rooting up the (blue) wheat with the (yellow) tares. (Matt. 13:25-30) Rather it's best to take up to the highest threshing floor the mixed-up mess and throw it up to into the Wind, to Spirit to allow God to do the separating of the chaff from the wheat. (See this Christly baptism of Wind, "the Holy Ghost and fire" as described in Matt. 3:11-2 and at the end of CedarS Section 2 Met notes.)  This allows God to remove all inharmony (yellow, 1st degree overlay), as you translate your body and others (2nd degree) into the spiritual qualities (of the 3rd degree) shown by an all-harmonious head and body.  Other "correlative passages" among many include: S-6 (409); S&H 323:32, 468:9; 1 John 3:1-3; Romans 8:6; II Cor. 5:17, '02 5:6...)  The bracketed, italicized additions by me (Warren Huff) were inspired by remarks made by some speaker at my first (1963) Annual Meeting of the Mother Church.]
 Enjoy!    Warren Huff, Executive Director   director@cedarscamps.org

[PYCLs: List "old self & new self  qualities; use them to dress paper dolls & to discuss name-nature changes; act out healings]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson
"Mortals and Immortals" for 5/15/11
By Kerry Jenkins, CS of House Springs, MO: kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041
[with brackets by Warren Huff, CedarS Director, who reminds you that We have space in our FUN Bible Classes: for our May 27-30 Memorial Family Weekend; Aug. 14-18 Family Camp; & Sep. 15-18 Bible Conference]

[PCYL options: Give Intro; highlight "old self" & "new self" qualities; list them side by side.]
First grade and up should at least look at the subject of this week's lesson and consider what it means to be a "mortal" vs. "immortal".  Does being immortal mean that we live forever? If yes, then who lives forever? (Did Jesus?  How about the Christ?)  Maybe that part is a little tricky for the younger ones, but it might be fine to introduce the thought.  I see this lesson as a great opportunity to discuss at different depths and different angles, the concepts of "putting on the new man" and, of course "putting off the old man" too!  After discussing and reading the several ways that this concept is referenced in this lesson (maybe use a highlighter, or go on a search together, it doesn't have to be just the places where it uses those words directly, think Saul, etc.), try dividing a paper into two columns and list "old self" qualities on one side and "new self" on the other.  Are there "inversions" as Mrs. Eddy points out in citation S 27, or "counterfeits" (S6)? If they are confident and interested, they could be making their own lists; if you feel better doing it with them, pick someone to be the "secretary" and have them come up with ideas.  It's great if they will do this individually because they should come up with ideas that draw on their own experience and aren't just arbitrary "Sunday School" ideas.  But do whatever works, always!!
 
[PCYL option: Discuss waking up happy and "do-overs"; Add a bit of humor with pretend role plays; Trash old boy/old girl slips of paper while dressing paper dolls with a wardrobe of new boy/new girl qualities. ] 
With the very young kids you might ask whether they've ever had a bad dream.  Ask them if they have woken up grumpy.  Has their mom or dad ever said "why don't you go back to bed and then try waking up again happy?"  We sometimes have "do-overs" in our family, not just with waking up, but when things go awry.  Little kids are great at throwing off the bad with a bit of humor.  Maybe you could do some pretend "waking up" and being a "new man".  What is that new man?  What do you think God made you to be?  Have a basket with new man and old man ideas on slips of paper and try putting the old man ideas in the garbage while putting the new man ideas on a big cutout of a child.  Or you could try a paper-doll type thing, dressing the doll in "new man" (boy/girl) qualities on their shorts, socks, shirts, sweaters, hats, sunglasses, shoes...whatever. They could each have their own doll, or you could have a class doll that stays there for future reference.  They could take off whatever qualities don't fit with the new boy/girl and put on the new.  You get the idea.
 
[PCYL option: Bring back a hands-on flashlight demo of us rays always staying connected to our Source.]
Once again you could repeat with some variation the sun and ray analogy that we talked about some weeks ago. With a flashlight you can demonstrate that the source of light can never be separated from the ray that comes out of it. You can try (have them attempt) to block the light from the flashlight with a book, but it will always be connected to the source.  Just so are we connected to God, our source of "new man" identity.
 
[PCYL option: Discuss Stephen being divinely "Rocked asleep" to the old & "Rocked awake" to the new.]
The story of Stephen is an excellent one and I think can be talked about with kids from first grade up.  (As always, you gauge your class).  It is a little more rarely shared, but you can talk about how Stephen didn't appear to experience death, even though he was stoned.  What did he see?  What happened to him?  How does the falling asleep thing in Stephen's story relate to the ideas of the waking and sleeping dream of mortality?  Was he maybe "asleep" to the mortal dream [old self] and waking to the reality of [new self] immortality before the rocks had a chance to have any effect?

[PCYL option: Discuss: Saul's "riled-up" sense of right yielding to an always-right spiritual sense; his name (nature) change from old to new; other name (nature) changes in the Bible; the courage of Ananias to obey God's message to help Saul; ]
The story of Saul is great for all ages and can be approached on many different levels. You might think about what Mrs. Eddy means in citation S14 when she talks about "...his uncertain sense of right [yielding] to a spiritual sense, which is always right."  Didn't he seem really firm and certain when he was "breathing out threatenings and slaughter..." ?  Have we seen people get really firm and sure about things and be wrong?  It helps to remember that spiritual sense is usually a more quiet sense of right, rather than a riled-up sense of right. You can also talk about a multitude of other aspects of Saul-Paul's transformation [from old to new]. What about his name change?  What is the significance of a name in the Bible?  (Is it just a title that you make up?) Who else had a [nature and] name change in the Bible?  [Two Genesis name changes came with God's promises to Abram and  Sarai (Gen. 15:5 and 17:15 ) to make them no longer childless, but the parents "of nations".   A 3rd Genesis name-change came when Jacob-Israel wrestled with a "new man" angel, refusing to let it go until it blessed him. (Gen. 32:26-28)  You might remind students how they may need to wrestle with "old self" habits to put them off to be blessed with the putting on of their true, new self qualities.]  
 
[PCYL option: See P.S. for possible scripts to act out healings: of Paul's blindness and his death by stoning, and of a man born lame by Paul.] You can talk about citation B13 and how everything changed for Paul [after the Christ-light on the road to Damascus] and about how public he was about his change [from being the biggest bully of Christians to becoming their most earnest fan and advocate].  You can talk about how scary it might have been for Ananias to go to Paul to heal him (B13, Acts 9:10-18).  You can also share or act out with them how Paul later healed the man who was lame from birth (B17, Acts 14:8-10).  And, of course you'd have to talk about the different ending of the public stoning of Paul in this lesson (B19, Acts 14:19, 20).  What happened to Paul [that was different from what happened to Stephen whose stoning Paul had witnessed (B9-B11)]?  [It will be fun to share-or even to act out...without stones--how the disciple gathered around Paul when he was supposed to be dead [and with their "effectual, fervent prayer" (B18) allowed him to walk away from the cruel execution of stoning.]  What does this say about the power of Church [and of the "putting legs on our prayers" by collectively looking out for--and standing up for--one another]?  How can Church be powerful today, this minute, right here in this class?
 
[PCYL option: Build Church or a wall with qualities written on Legos or taped onto wood blocks-with hugs all around as a wrap up.]
Last year in Sunday School (SS) during Memorial Weekend Family Camp, with Nehemiah's wall building in the lesson, CedarS SS teachers gave out Lego chunks with spiritual qualities found in the lesson written on them as an analogy to represent building firmly with God-given ideas and qualities.  Think about building a model church out of Lego blocks with ideas written on them, or use wooden blocks with the ideas for its structure taped on. You can have the kids come up with the ideas; or you can have them pre-made.  Don't just use the definition of Church; have them come up with their own ideas about what Church should do. What is their role in it?  Can a 6-10 year old have a role in church other than standing there and behaving?  Do their prayers mean anything?  Also, the definition of Church is a great one to work at memorizing, and even the first graders can memorize this.  Building on this (pardon the pun), you can talk about and perhaps show with the littler ones that Love is the real building block in Christian Science.  Our progress in growing in Love, and in love, will bring us into immortality, into the "new boy/girl".  If we don't know what it means to be loving, we don't know God!  They'll get that and some hugs can be passed around with the littlest classes that aren't embarrassed by such things!
Have a great Sunday School class [-filled with love, laughter and the building of spiritual values]!
 
[P.S. Here is modern English text to possibly use as scripts (from New International Version --NIV) for a narrator and/or actors to read or for the interpretive acting out of healings in Sections 4 through 6:

Section 4 (B13) Saul's Conversion
Acts 9:1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
 "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"
            "Yes, Lord," he answered.
The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."
"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem."
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord - Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here - has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.
 
 Section 5 (B17)
Acts 14:8 At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet, lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked. This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well, said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he leaped up and began to walk.
 
 Section 6 (B19)                                   
Acts 14:19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city.]

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