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Find your Freedom in 7 Power-packed Synonyms!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Sunday, June 26th, 2011

[Find your Freedom in 7 Power-packed Synonyms!]
CedarS Metaphysical Application ideas on the Christian Science Lesson on:
"God"
for June 27-July 3, 2011
by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. of Glen Ellyn, Illinois
[with bracketed italics by Editor Warren Huff, Director of CedarS Camps that just finished a wonderful 1st session of our 50th season as you can see for yourself in a slideshow. Most camper programs for our 5 remaining sessions still have a few places, as do our adult and family programs with their FUN Bible Classes: Aug. 14-18 Family Camp; & Sep. 15-18 Bible Conference. Please help us fulfill our mission by telling every "un-camped" family you know about CedarS!  We'll gladly send them--and you--a DVD and more to help get them to camp - including info on: CedarS programs for all ages; session dates & rates; online enrollment info; transportation;   financial aid forms; & more.]

[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]
 
"O, magnify the Lord with me..." It is believed that David wrote these words after realizing the folly of trusting in his own plan rather than in God's. At the time, he was on the run, yet he calls for all his compatriots to meet together in one affection to exalt the name of God. Albert Barnes writes, "The word "magnify" means literally "to make great ... to make great in the view of the mind, or to regard and treat as great." That's what this Lesson does. We will use the lens of Christian Science to magnify the name of the Lord through examining the seven synonyms for God used by Mary Baker Eddy. As David called for a coming together, we, throughout the world, can come together to find our freedom by magnifying the Lord.
 
Interestingly, Moses was in a similar situation to David when he came upon the burning bush in the desert.  Moses too, thought he could correct injustice by taking matters into his own hands.  But, that having failed, he spent forty years in a personal wilderness, learning humility in the desert as a shepherd.  He was actively doing his duty when he came upon the burning bush.  Matthew Henry points out that "Satan loves to find us idle; God is pleased when he finds us employed."  So here is Moses looking at a bush that was not being consumed by the fire.  Scholars point out that fire is a recognizable symbol for the divine presence in a variety of cultures.  The fact that the bush was not consumed was indicative of the Children of Israel's resilience under Egyptian oppression.  Again, Henry writes that the burning bush, "fitly reminds us of the church in every age, under its severest persecutions kept by the presence of God from being destroyed."
 
Both of these Hebrew leaders played key roles in advancing their nation to freedom from oppression.  Their progress was linked to their deeper understanding of God.  They learned to rely wholly on God for their salvation knowing that a deeper understanding of God leads to freedom from bondage. In modern times, society has come to place its reliance largely on human invention and ingenuity more than on God.  But, this reliance on human ways and means only leads to deeper bondage.  God promises freedom, and the way to find that freedom is a clearer understanding of Him.  Let's dive in and see what we find.
 
Section 1: God Promises to Make Himself Known
The inclination of human endeavor to look more and more to what might be called "hard science" has proportionately led people away from God.  This eventually led to the philosophical notion that if man stopped believing in God, in effect, God was dead-implying that the existence of God is dependent upon human belief in Him.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In Isaiah we read that God is there even when we don't know Him (B1). God does not need believers to exist.  God is, whether He is believed or not.  Ezekiel chides those who claimed God was unwilling, or unable to deliver His people (B2).   Even in the midst of unbelievers, prophesy-or spiritual perception-is possible.  While in exile, John found freedom through the power of God.  He was "in the spirit" when he beheld a higher vision of God (B3).  The seven lamps burning could be said to symbolize the seven Spirits, or synonyms, of God (B4).  They continue to shine uninterrupted regardless of the human condition.  Albert Barnes puts it nicely: "In all the scenes of majesty and commotion that occur on the earth, the Spirit of God is present, shedding a constant light, and undisturbed in his influence by all the agitations that are abroad."
 
Mary Baker Eddy answers the question, "What is God?" with a reminder that "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (S1). Unlike the physical sciences, the starting point for Christian Science is that God is All-in-all (S2). Remember, that All-in-all, "is a phrase which signifies, all things to a person, or everything desired" (Student's Reference Dictionary). Is God your All-in-all? The premise of God as All-in-all leads to the conclusions that everything God made is good, that man in His image is perfect, and that everything is governed by the law of Spirit, not matter (S3, S4). This is obviously far from the atheistic views being thrust upon us every day, sometimes in unexpected ways. During the introduction to the telecast of the final round of the US Open golf tournament, the words, "under God...indivisible" were edited out of a taped montage of the "Pledge of Allegiance." This made many people angry, but even though NBC apologized for the omission, it shows that belief in God is no longer the "given" it once was. Religious freedom played an integral part in the founding of "the new world."  But now, we need a different kind of freedom found only in an understanding of God.  It's up to us to be "in the spirit" to catch the vision-to see the deeper meaning and reality of God-and to follow through by proving what we learn in our lives.
 
Section 2: God Is Mind
Human beings have a tendency to think of themselves as pretty smart. Even so, those in leadership positions often look to advisors and counselors for help in decision making.  The wisest leader will turn to God.  Both David and Moses learned that they needed God's help.  God however, doesn't need help from anyone or anything (B5).  He alone is Mind.  In fact, the so-called human mind can't really comprehend God or His plan.  God's plan is fixed-unchangeable.  We really can't have a mind of our own separate from God.  What gets us into trouble is believing we can do things without God.  Knowing that God performs all things relieves us from burden (B6).
 
Christian Science teaches that God is the only Mind and that the entire universe is spiritual, being expressed by Mind, and governed in perfect harmony (S5).  All is not matter.  All is Mind.  God isn't the biggest power; He is "all power."  Not just the most imposing presence, but "all presence"-presence itself.  Not the greatest intelligence among many, but "all Science" (S6).  How does that change our outlook?  If Mind is all, it has no opposite.  Matter, sin, disease, death do not enter the picture.  Mind is all and everything is a manifestation of Mind.
 
Section 3: God Is Spirit
In his attempt to mediate between God and Job, the character Elihu states that "the Spirit of God" gave him authority to speak (B7).  In doing so, he recognizes that in fact, the Spirit of God is the animating force of all men.  Paul recognized that "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty," i.e. freedom from bondage of materialistic, sinful thinking; as well as the freedom to speak plainly about the unbroken relationship between God and man.  This freedom extended to the Christian's unrestricted ability to commune with God (B8).  Moses had to put a veil over his face, thus preventing his listeners from beholding the brightness of His glory which is made plain to the followers of Christ.  They behold the glory of the Lord as if looking into a mirror to behold their own image.  The doctrine of Christ transforms Christians by degrees, continually advancing them in purity and holiness, until they awake in His image.
 
Our textbook reminds us that we are tributary only to God (S7).  Our submission to God is liberating not confining.  It is important to note that God is the only Spirit.  Men are not Spirit, or little spirits, but are spiritual.  To say that man is Spirit, would imply that infinite Spirit can be sub-divided and contained in matter (S8).  Such an implication is false.  Believing that Spirit can be contained or confined in matter obscures our ability to behold the true idea of God, just as a dirty mirror would inhibit our ability to see a clear image.  In order to see things in their true light, we need to understand that Spirit is never contained in matter.
 
Section 4: God Is Soul
Human belief has traditionally supported the concept that God dwells in man.  Even Christian theologian Adam Clarke appears to support this claim, when he relates the Levitical phrases, "I will set my tabernacle among you..." and " I will dwell among you..." (B9) as indicative of St. John's declaration "the WORD was made flesh."  While Orthodox Christians may not all agree with the pagan concept of God as dwelling in each of us, they certainly feel that God became flesh in the person of Jesus.  But, Ezekiel has it the other way around. Rather than God dwelling in all souls, all souls are His (B10).
 
Mary Baker Eddy takes this a step further: "Soul is synonymous with Spirit, God, the creative, governing Principle outside of finite form, which forms only reflect" (S9).  She goes on to say that it is the false belief of soul as dwelling in sense that causes us to lose touch with the truth (S10).  In fact, she says if we believe Soul, God, is in a mortal body, we will never understand the Science of being.  While imagining God as "in" each of us, may create a sense of empowerment, and make us feel good, it is totally false.  The fact is, we dwell in God.  Understanding this, matter is out of the picture, and Soul is in complete control, governing everything harmoniously.
 
Section 5: God Is Principle
The sun is often used as a symbol for God.  Even though it can be obscured by clouds and is not visible at night, it continues to shine on everyone.  But due to the spherical shape of planets and variations in orbits, even the sun can't really shine on everyone at once.  Unlike the sun, God is limitless, omnipresent-filling all space-without variation (B11).  Eventually, even the sun is expected to die out.  But, God is unchangeable-constant (B12).
 
Not only is God constant, but so are His laws, and His relationship to His creation (S11, S12).  Do you sometimes feel that in our modern, high-tech, medical, scientific age, that evidence of God's healing power isn't what it used to be?  Don't believe it.  God is Principle.  A Principle never varies, wears out, or becomes obsolete.  Truly understanding that God is divine Principle eliminates doubts and fears.  We generally have complete confidence that if we throw a ball into the air, it will come down.  We accept gravity as a law.  God is much more than that.  God is Principle, the origin, the law itself.  God never changes, and your relationship to Him/Her remains perfect and intact forever.
 
Section 6: God Is Life
God wasn't given life, He is Life and has all life in Himself.  He is the only source of life, and gives life to all that lives (B13).  Since we just learned that God is unchangeable, this implies that since God is Life, life is also unchangeable.  Jairus was hopeful that Jesus could help his daughter (B14).  When his servant came to say it was too late, Jairus must have felt his heart sink, believing all hope was lost.  But Jesus got on top of that immediately saying, "Fear not: believe only..."  We know that when they arrived at the house, the hired mourners laughed at Jesus.  But Jesus put them all out.  ["He couldn't put them out while they were weeping. That was acceptable at a funeral. Jesus would have occupied the villain's role.  So, he simply tells them something that was an absolute fact to him, "that maid, right there that you see horizontal, no movement, no breath, no pulse, no anything, that little girl, she's really not dead. That appearance that you see there is like sleep."  All the paid mourners who were earning their salary for conducting a funeral service ... laughed. ... It showed how deeply their grief had run. Forgetting every reason they were there they laughed him to scorn. He put them all out." Cobbey Crisler on Luke 8:51-53 in "As Researched by Luke" available from The Daycroft School Foundation] Jesus rebuked any influence that opposed the omnipotence of Life, and Jairus' daughter was healed.
 
Jesus proved what the understanding of God as Life can do (S13).  Jesus didn't raise the dead by thinking God had given life to matter and that if lost, God could replace it.  Jesus understood being as infinite-as God alone.  He knew that Spirit never entered nor was raised from matter (S14).  This is an ongoing theme of the Lesson.  Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life are never in matter.  God is self-existent, eternal Life (S15).  "Self-existent" means "independent of any other Cause."  By definition, God is the only self-existent being.  "Eternal" means "without beginning or end."  Nothing can affect it and nothing can erase it.  It just is.  "I AM" can be translated as "He who Is."  There is only one I AM, one Life, and it is permanent.
 
Section 7: God Is Truth
The Hebrew word translated as "Rock" (B15) is "tsur." According to Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, it signifies, "origin, fountain, first cause" (Clarke).  The Rock also implies power, protection, stability, and a firm foundation.  In other words, the rock is something we can count on-something true.  The healing of the woman with "a spirit of infirmity" has some interesting lessons.  One of which, is that no amount of animosity can stop Truth from being expressed.  Consider this woman.  She had been struggling for freedom for eighteen years and she was presumably looking for healing.  The ruler of the synagogue was filled with indignation.  Why?  Perhaps he'd seen her often, or knew her.  Perhaps he felt she deserved her condition.  But yet Jesus, having no prior knowledge of her background, healed her.  Perhaps the ruler was jealous or envious.  Yet, Jesus' ability to see the Truth pierced all the opposition in an instant.  Adherence to the truth sets us free (B17).
 
Mrs. Eddy writes, "Mortals try to believe without understanding Truth..." (S16).  Sometimes we unwittingly contend for the truth of an illness.  We either blindly accept medical diagnoses, or rationalize the illness as some form of punishment.  Science and Health reveals that there is no truth in sickness (S17).  Truth frees us from sickness.  The truth is disease is unreal; and every symptom is a lie.  The truth is we are perfect and inseparable from God who is our health.  Speaking the truth to the lies of sickness dissolves them (S18).  They flee like shadows from the light.
 
Section 8: God Is Love
Of all the synonyms, Love is the most comprehensive.  God isn't just loving, He is Love.  Unless we understand love and express it, we cannot say we understand God (B18).  Jesus fully embraced the mandate to love, and acknowledged his scriptural authority to do so (B19).  He didn't merely give lip-service to love.  He lived it [unconditionally].  Most of us would say we love to some degree, but how far would we really go?  Do we have any limits [or conditions]?  Is loving certain individuals just too much to ask?
 
Leprosy was the one of the worst afflictions of Jesus' time.  It is said that the strain of the disease in the mid-east was so virulent that it infected clothing and households.  Its victims were outcasts.  There was no known medicinal cure; therefore appealing to God was one's only hope.  Only the priests had the authority to declare someone cured and clean, thereby allowing them back into society.  One such leper appealed to Jesus.  In doing so, he acknowledged Jesus' spiritual authority.  Nothing but love could move Jesus to reach out and actually touch this individual.  Jesus disregarded the ecclesiastical taboo and restored him to perfect cleanliness (B20).
 
It is doubtful that many of us would respond with such love.  Jesus lived at a time when rules and regulations dominated religious practice. He moved light-years beyond the establishment.  If we are to be his followers, we must do the same.  Much is often made of God as Principle, therefore, emphasizing only the rules of metaphysics.  The rules are necessary, but an understanding that Principle is Love is required (S19).  The textbook tells us "Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching" (S20).  In today's world, marketers regularly offer incentives to buy their products.  In that way we might think of incentives as a sort of reward.  But "incentive" means "that which moves the mind, or incites to action."  A truly loving act is totally unselfish.  To be effective healers, we need to go way beyond the words and the "gushing theories."  We need to love (S21).  We're all familiar with the promise of "one visit" healing if we reach patients through divine Love (S22).  It's clear we have a long way to go.  Maybe we doubt our ability to achieve such love because we consider Love independently from the other synonyms.  This week's Lesson, and the order of the synonyms given in the textbook, indicate that Love is the culmination of all the rest.  If we operated from the standpoint of the allness of Mind, Spirit, Soul, and so on, it would prepare the way for the understanding of Love as a natural outcome, rather than a demand that seems too hard to reach.
 
Section 9: The Door Is Open
Understanding the "seven Spirits," or synonyms of God, opens the door to freedom from material bondage (B21).  God brought the children of Israel out of bondage, and will do the same for you and me (B22).  The open door gives us a pathway out of danger and persecution and provides access to the kingdom of heaven.  Isaiah promises (B23) that our light and health won't just gradually appear, but break forth like the sun piercing a cloud.  Righteousness will lead us, and the glory of the Lord-the light of God-will stand between us and evil, as the pillar of fire stood between the Israelites and the Egyptians.  We "have been called unto liberty"-unto complete freedom from oppressive laws of sin and disease, as well as the confinements of religious rites and rituals (B24).
 
In many areas of the world there have been recent movements supporting freedom and individual rights.  Mary Baker Eddy based the greatest movement for freedom from all oppression-physical and moral, as well as religious and political-on a deeper understanding of God.  Not weapons, or materially-based procedures, but God "brings deliverance to the captive" (S23).  The highest platform of human rights is freedom from sin, sickness, and death, and is found in Christian Science.  David and Moses learned to look to God for the path to freedom as did Mary Baker Eddy.  Her discovery leads us out of materialism (S25).  We may think we live in a free country or society, or we may not; but, our Leader calls upon all citizens of the world to claim their rights of spiritual freedom (S26).  That freedom is found in our understanding of God as the only power and presence (S27).   [This spiritual freedom is what CedarS celebrates daily; you can click on this link to CedarS Blog for more on our Freedom Day Carnival, BBQ dinner, Freedom Talk, Hymn Sing, and Fireworks Show all coming to CedarS, and virtually to you, on this Saturday, July 2, 2011.]

[CEDARS weekly "Mets" or Metaphysical Newsletters, Possible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) and Possible Younger Class Lessons (PYCLs) 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 find these "Mets", PSSTs and PYCLs weekly on our website or through CS Directory.  We are in need of generous contributions to complete our new Bible Time Travelers Trail and other fun additions to Bible Lands Park.  Many of CedarS ongoing needs and ways to meet them are spelled out at http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/  (Donations by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover cards and by virtual checks are can be set up on an automated monthly basis or on a one-time basis.  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.  

 [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.]

 Enjoy!   
 
Warren Huff, Executive Director   director@cedarscamps.org


Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible lesson: "God" - June 27-July 3, 2011
 
P.S.S.T. - Golden Text - Find your freedom by knowing God. Ask your students,
·         With what name do you most identify God? 
·         When you are praising God, with what name or nature of God do you find most peace?
 
P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading - Read aloud the story of Moses from the Responsive Reading. What do the students know about Moses: his birth, his rise to power in Egypt, his demise, why did he run away, his years in the wilderness, his observation of the burning bush, his willingness to question and seek answers, his being called by God to return to Egypt and confront Pharoah, his leading the children of Israel? 
     Ask students: Have you ever had a Moses experience?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 1 - What are the seven prominent synonyms for God found in Science & Health? (S-1)    What was the basis for Mary Baker Eddy's selection of these seven prominent synonyms? She found them in the Bible. See also B-4. These prominent names express God's nature. 
     Are there other synonyms for God? How about Good, Universal Cause, Lawgiver, One, All-in-all, Presence, Giver of Freedom?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 2 - What does the word "omni" mean? All.
     Here are three more words for God in S-6. What are some qualities expressed through the nature of God, Mind? Intelligence, alertness, remembering, foresight.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 3 - What does the word "tributary" mean? Subject or subordinate. How about in the flow with God?
     By defining God's nature we also define our nature, because of the relationship we have with God. What are some qualities expressed through the nature of God, Spirit? Enthusiasm, freedom, vibrancy, inspiration.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 4 - What does the word "sanctuary" mean? Can it be a haven, a hiding place, a connecting place, a quiet place to learn more about the nature of God, Soul? Ask students how they have experienced God, Soul. Perhaps as joy, rhythm, courage, freedom of motion, big smiles or grins, skipping with friends.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 5 - What is a gift? What right does one have when a gift is given to one? Keep it forever? Share it with others?  Give it to someone else? What is the greatest gift God, Principle has given you? What is the relationship between God as Principle and man as idea? S-12. 
     What does "indestructible" mean? There is nothing that can ever sever or break or separate.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 6 - What is the nature of God, Life? Eternal, whole, healthy, permanent.
     Read aloud the story of the healing of Jairus' daughter in B-14. How did Jesus prove the nature of God, Life, in this story? His basis was an understanding of the nature of his being. What is your being? See the scientific statement of your being in S&H 468:8. Can this statement of your being ever be snuffed out? So let your life-light shine.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 7 - Ask students to write a short paragraph, perhaps for publication, that speaks to the nature of God, Truth. Write it with a focus on the freedoms found in truth. Never a prisoner, victim, or out of control. Argue for each one's rights that break any long-held lie that would attempt to silence, squelch, or deny one's independence or freedom from sickness, sin, and yes, even death.
    Here is a simple statement:  The opposite of error is truth and the nature of truth destroys error, so only truth reigns and IS.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 8 - Please ask students to memorize S-20. What is the nature of God, Love? Look to B-19 and S-21 to find descriptors.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 9 - What are the promises in this section that speak to your freedom as one who embodies the synonyms for God?
·         No man can shut the door on your freedom
·         You are not in bondage
·         Bands of wickedness are loosed
·         Thy health springs forth speedily
·         You are called unto liberty
·         The power of God brings deliverance
·         No power can withstand divine Love
·         You are guided into the land of Christian Science
·         You know your rights
·         Your divine right is freedom
·         Forever
[PYCLS: Sing; map a river; try a yoke and a mirror for more freedom!]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"God" for July 3, 2011
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041
[with bracketed additions by Warren Huff, Director of CedarS Camps where you always belong.]
 
[PCYL: Listen for creative ways to approach this lesson so that everyone is engaged!]
As teachers, we look at this lesson with its careful structure, and delight in its use of the seven synonyms and how these synonyms tie in with the idea of freedom and liberty.  If you try to go section by section and point this out to younger children you will almost certainly be met with glazed stares or vigorous fidgeting depending on the child!  So let's see if we can come up with some creative ways to approach this lesson so that everyone is engaged!
 
[PCYL: Sing! (once again)]
For the littlest ones, singing is always a good option. Susan Mack has a CD available in the Reading Room with a seven synonyms song on it-a great way for them to learn all the names for God and have fun doing it.
 
[PCYL: Map a river.]
Look for a map of a large river in your area.  Here in the Midwest of the U.S we would likely choose the Mississippi River or the Missouri River, but you have many options worldwide.  Show the kids how the river has a source and from this source the river proceeds.  Along the way the river has other rivers that pour into it but the main source is the same.  A visual here is really helpful.  You can find something on line to print up or check a book in the library, or if all else fails draw a picture.  Technically, a river or smaller body of water that feeds into the main body is called a tributary.  But when Mrs. Eddy refers in citation S7 to man as "tributary" to God, Spirit, I think she is referring to the fact that there is only one source of good and creation and that man has his/her source in God.  But the idea of tribute to God also is effective in that we can "magnify the Lord"...more about that later.  Once we have established the idea of source and flowing and how the river is fed, then we can move on to how we can gain a better understanding of God through the seven names that Mrs. Eddy --and the Bible-- have given to God.  For example, in the first section of the lesson (S2) there is a passage that begins: "The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all..." and then names three of the synonyms right there.  That starting point can be compared to the "source" of a river, in the case of the Mississippi it is Lake Itasca in Minnesota.  And then the next sentence tells us how we must "...begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is."  More about the source idea.  And remember that Principle is defined in part in the dictionary as "source".  The point of the synonyms is that they reveal to us a clearer picture, a better understanding of God and His/Her nature.  The river analogy helps us see that all these synonyms flow together from one source and are essentially one.  Maybe with slightly older kids you could choose a couple of synonyms at a time and see how they are related one to another.  For example, Principle is often tied to Love.  Why might that be?  You can talk here about the banks of the river bringing order to the flow of water.  This is similar to how the laws of divine Principle bring us freedom in our lives to express Love most beautifully and so on.  Rules or laws such as the Ten Commandments give us "banks" if you will, within which our lives flow in greater harmony and joy.  When the river is inside its banks, it can carry boats, deliver supplies, house fish, feed birds and so on. There are many nuggets of truth to mine from these ideas, so feel free to see what you are led to share with your particular class.  It might be fruitful to discuss the fact that the river is only an analogy and that God, Spirit or Principle is an infinite source, without lack.  Like the "good" and "perfect gift from above", God's goodness never is out of control, never floods with too much or dries up and gives too little.  These excesses and lacks are a poor human conception of the divine laws of perfection.  
 
[PCYL: Try a yoke, no joke, for more independence and freedom!]
The lesson begins with the story of Moses being asked to free the children of Israel from Egypt.  For those of us in the U.S celebrating Independence Day on Monday, it may be fun to look into the ideas in this lesson about true freedom.  (Of course freedom is of interest to everyone, I didn't mean that you wouldn't enjoy this idea without "Independence Day" on Monday! [At CedarS our schedule make it better to celebrate Independence Day today, Saturday, July 2nd --so we are exercising our freedom to do so by watching a donated fireworks display tonight after our Freedom Talk/Skits and Hymn Sing. Tomorrow we are having a Luau with an International theme. Watch for pictures and more online.]  The passage in Isaiah from the Responsive Reading is repeated in the ninth section, why?  Can you talk about what a "fast" is and what it might represent today?  Talk about "heavy burdens", what do those represent to kids?  Are those burdens perceptions about themselves that are limiting?  What is a yoke?  Maybe do a little "demo" of what a yoke does to cattle, how does it fit and what does it make it possible for the cattle to do?  [Here's a link to a quick picture of a yoke I will post on our Blog about using it as a teaching tool. Later this morning in CedarS Bible Lands Park our 7th-9th grade campers in the "Compound Idea Program" will learn about the yoke connection idea before they hike up "Time Travelers Trail" with its Bible character markers in chronological order. My yoke is shown in its normal resting place on a shelf in my office at CedarS amidst my Ten Commandment hats or mindsets. It was carved in our Laclede County, Missouri over a hundred years ago and has been used well over a hundred time to help explain how taking Christ's yoke upon you when feeling burdened actually makes your work easier because in Christ you gain an omnipotent pulling partner. "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart : and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matt. 11:29, 30]
You may want to build on the yoke idea by talking about the woman in the seventh section.  Would you be bent over if you had a yoke attached to you and you were pulling something heavy?  What was she "burdened" with?  How does Christian Science free us from all sorts of things?  What things are people freed from in this lesson? Even death right?  Share an example of freedom from something in your life.  It can easily be something simple, like maybe a freedom from thinking badly about someone.  The kids need to see these ideas as applicable in obvious simple ways to their experience, so there really is no such thing as an insignificant way that you have been freed from something!  You can discuss how different synonyms free us in different ways.  Love frees from hate, Life frees from death...these are the obvious ones, do you have some more in-depth ideas?  How does Principle free us from lawlessness?  That's a great one too because you can talk about how Truth factors into that equation, how Love does, how Soul does and so on.  In the end we are aiming for a clearer understanding of the nature of God and man here.
 
[PCYL: Bring a mirror to show that there's nothing more humble than a reflection!]
In section three citation B8 there is mention of how "we all, with open face beholding as in a glass..."  You can bring a mirror in for the littler [and bigger] ones and talk about reflection.  How does our nature as God's reflection give us freedom?  [There is nothing more humble or stress-free than a reflection. That's why "meek and lowly" Jesus was so unburdened. He knew that "I can of mine own self do nothing." John 5:30] 
See if your students can "make" their reflection in the mirror do something different from what they are doing.  Then talk about how that's how we "reflect" God.  Is God ever angry, unhappy, sick etc?  Then how can we be? It is a lie about us!
 
[PCYL: Bring magnifying glasses to help your soul (spiritual sense) "magnify the Lord!" Luke 1:46]
These are inexpensive at a box store and quite fun to use.  Bring something that is interesting to look at through the lens.  Talk about what the magnifying glass does to the bug, flower, whatever you've brought.  Then talk about the Golden Text and what it means to "magnify the Lord" in your life.  Bring out the good in your character, make it "bigger" in your day and so on.
 
[PCYL: Bring One idea per synonym!]
Maybe you want a more focused approach to this week's lesson.  I would then suggest that with older kids you come "armed" with a single idea about each synonym and talk about how it expands our understanding of God.  I'll let you come up with your own reductions of the synonyms!
As always have a great time on Sunday!!    
 

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