Cedar Camps

Metaphysical Ideas

Search Metaphysicals
 

Metaphysical Newsletters

The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided to campers, staff, alumni, friends and the CedarS family at no charge however contributions help defray the costs of running this service.

Click here for more about how you can provide support!
 

Delivered to You FREE!

Available in five languages, get it delivered to your inbox weekly!

Subscribe Now!

Be Followers of Christ Jesus

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Be Followers of Christ Jesus
CedarS Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson Sermon on "Christ Jesus" for August 22, 2011
by Rick Stewart, CS, Dresden, Germany (0351 312 4736/rickstewartcs@aol.com)

[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]
 
Golden Text (GT):  "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
 
What a  wonderful promise from our Golden Text this week, „Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness."
No human situation, no illness, no addiction, no physical location can ever keep us in the dark. A simple fact, the "the light of the world," the Christ, give us the light of Life, right now, today, and always. This is the eternal fact for all that follow the light of Christ.
Darkness is no fun at all. Am I afraid of the dark? No, because in the presence of the Christ, there is no darkness. Mental darkness is lightened by the presence of the Christ. But also physical darkness can yield to this light of Christ's presence, the graciousness of God's love made manifest.
Some years ago I was climbing the slopes of the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica with a group of friends. We had made a mistake, a miscalculation. We did not realize how fast night fell in the tropics. It seemed one moment we were climbing down in a dusky twilight and the next minute was almost total darkness. We first thought to race over the rugged lava rock landscape and try to beat the darkness down, but we could see that made no sense. Some of us might make it, others not. Racing the darkness was not the answer, turning to the Light, was. So even though we had no matches, candles, or flashlights, we had a source of Light at hand. We turned in prayer to the Christ. We were not hopeless or helpless.
In a matter of minutes two young men appeared who had also been climbing the volcano. With more foresight they had brought along flashlights. So with their two flashlights between all nine of us, we made our descent without injury.
Regardless of how "dark" our situation might seem at the moment, this week's Bible Lesson, "Christ Jesus" shows us how to walk in the light. Human existence presents many situations where we might find ourselves stranded in the dark. Regardless of any mistakes we may have made, regardless of human failing, regardless of whatever accident, injury, or illness might cross our path, if we choose to "follow the Christ" we will not walk in darkness.   What a glorious promise, follow the Christ and never walk in darkness. This week's lesson shows us how.
 
Responsive Reading: Isaiah 40:1, and 42: 1-9
Chapter 42 of Isaiah is often thought of as a beautiful prophecy of the Christ or Messiah's nature. It is a wonderful introduction to the fulfillment of prophecy that is seen in the life of our Master. In Isaiah 42:3 is a special image, whether from the King James, the smoking flax he will not quench, or NLV version, "he will not put out a flickering candle. One commentary actually pictures the Christ as not only not putting out a smoking flax, but in gentle encouragement renewing the flame, igniting the fire of a dying faith. [At CedarS this passage is often cited as scriptural authority not only for helping outcast individuals, but also for rescuing items destined for some dump. We were able to reuse some bleachers for Musical Theater seating and also a greenhouse, now known as "The T (or Transparency) Room", as a great place for Worker Power-Half Hours, for Sunday School classes, staff planning and dining, and much more.]
These verses also affirm the message or good news of the Messiah or Christ as having a mission to all people and lands, not just to the Jews. "He will bring justice to the nations." ...."throughout the earth"....."He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth."..."a light to guide the nations."
So we are introduced to the Christ we will learn of in the Lesson , the Christ available to bring the Light of Life to all.
 
Section 1: Jesus birth: The "great light's" humble beginnings
In these Biblical accounts of Jesus birth from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke we are not only introduced to Jesus, but to those who were instrumental in his birth.  Of course Mary, his mother, but also her husband Joseph. Those who attended or witnessed his birth: Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, the angels, and those who came to worship or acknowledge the young child, the Wisemen from the East.
And here is the recognition that Jesus' birth was clearly the result of the Holy Ghost, or divine Presence.  The citations from Science and Health, S-1 to S-4, reveal the divine nature of Jesus origin and birth, the divine nature of all true birth.
As we are told in citation S-1, "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite today is big with blessings."  [This is the title of an original song for CedarS written by Carey and Sue Loomis and performed by them on CedarS 50th Jubilee Benefit CD, "CedarS Around the Clock." Click for details.] Today, we too can entertain this divine Presence, this Holy Ghost in all of our birthing experiences.  Perhaps we are welcoming a new little one in our family, to our farm, or even our local zoo.  Maybe in our work we are cherishing a new concept, a new idea. Do we have to cry out like Prissy in the movie, "Gone With The Wind," "I don't know nothin' ‘bout birthin' no babies !"? Or do we apply the spiritual truths in the Bible and Science and Health to support a harmonious birthing process?
My brother, Scott, was born at home.  A doctor was in attendance and also Emily Daniel, a Christian Science Association friend of my mom's.  At one point my oldest brother, Gary, recalled there was some really, really loud crying coming from his new little brother.  Was that something to be concerned about?  Well, actually just the contrary.   As the birth progressed it became evident to the doctor that the umbilical cord had been around Scott's neck. The doctor was very concerned, my mom and her friend prayed. The birth progressed and Scott came out screaming, as Gary said, "really loud."  The doctor commented that he had never seen a baby in that situation born alive.  And to this day as Scott continues to study his Christian Science Bible Lesson every day, he is evidence of the best attendant to have at a birth, the divine Presence of the Christ.
 
 Section 2:  Let's go fishing.
In citation B-6 Jesus begins his public ministry with the statement, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." This gospel comes from the Anglo-Saxon, "good news" or "good message." It evidently got the attention of two brothers, Simon and Andrew. At Jesus call, they left their fishing nets and "followed" him. His promise, "I will make you fishers of men."
A popular saying back home in Florida was, "A day spent fishing does not subtract from a man's life, only adds to it!" That is how much fishing is loved in the Big Bass Capital of the world. You learn a lot of lessons through fishing. Depending on which fish you want to catch, you choose your bait properly.  A  good fisherman  knows the fish's habits, their movements, their environment, their reaction to weather.  He learns to be patient, still, attentive, and he even learns to "hold his mouth right."   All of these skills and talents lead to a good catch. 
Obviously like Simon and Andrew I decided to spend more of my time fishing for men than for fish.   But what I learned through hours of fishing as a child have proved very helpful as a Christian healer and a follower of Jesus. 
Oh, and what about bait? Well take a look at citation B-6: "And at even, when the sun did set (really good time for fishing), they brought unto him all that were diseased and that were possessed with devils. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils." Healing, exchanging the darkness of hopelessness, for the light of the Christ, is the best bait around!
Citations S-5 to S-9 outline the possibilities for ongoing Christian healing. It is based on recognition of the "Christ. The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error."   Citations S-8 and S-9 make it clear, "it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, -- to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness." "By the truthful arguments you employ, and especially by the spirit of Truth and Love which you entertain, you will heal the sick."
 
Section 3: Darkness of evil, giving way to the light of Christ
Citation B-7 tells the story of a woman that had done something so bad that the law said she should be killed by stoning. Pretty tough sentence. Jesus handled the situation by shining a light on her true nature and lifting the dark situation to the light of life. "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
When I was around eight years old I had done some pretty bad things. Not everything I did was bad, but some of them were. I loved to play with fire and I was lying so much that nobody believed me anymore when I said something. It did not matter if I was telling the truth; too much lying was going on.  A little like the "Boy Who Cried Wolf," http://www.storyarts.org/library/aesops/stories/boy.html
 Obviously my mom was praying about the situation. I can still here her voice, "That is not the real Ricky." With the help of the Christ, she was making a separation between the evil action, the problem, and the patient. She was not ready to give up on me and throw me out. Evidently my mom and dad saw something worth saving, glad about that! The fact is I was punished for my actions, but I got lots of powerful prayerful support for my progress. And you know I did learn the lesson Jesus taught, "Go and sin no more" (S-12) and I developed a desire to "go up higher."
As citation, S-10, explains, "Christianity as Jesus taught it...was the demonstration of divine Love casting out error and healing the sick."
As my son Johann and I rode our bikes this morning to the first day of the new school year, I realized how important it was that I pray for all the kids we saw along the way. Any of them that had concerns from last year about bad report cards, or behavior problems could just see the problems yield to the light of the Christ. Every child had the right to see themselves as their Father-Mother God, divine Love saw them right then.  
 
Section 4: Man's existence as a child of God comes to light.
John chapter 9 finds Jesus' disciples looking for a cause for blindness, "who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" (B-8) Nowadays ancestral errors are bad genes, or heredity that is "blamed" or seen as a cause for an illness.  Or sometimes situations that occur in the birth process. Mortal thought always looks for a cause in matter.
Paul writes in I Thessalonians, "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day." (B-9) All are the children of light, and it is the Christ that awakens us to this fact. 
I love the power expressed in citation S-14, "The divine nature was best expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow, -- thoughts which presented man as fallen sick, sinning, and dying."
This is such a beautiful explanation of the healing process of the Christ bringing the Truth to light. The Truth of man's innocence, health, and perfection outshines error's false reports of disease.
Here is an example. Immediately following the birth of her son my aunt received a dire prediction from the doctors. A routine test was required at birth; and the doctors' observation of physical conditions led them to make a prediction regarding the baby's intelligence. Upon receiving their reports my aunt contacted the Christian Science practitioner that had been praying with her during the pregnancy and during the birth. Within a very short time adjustments took place regarding the physical concerns of the doctors. And also their concerns regarding the future intelligence prospects of this child faded also. In direct defiance of mortal limitations, the Christ shone forth in full light. Rather than limited intelligence, this baby went on to exhibit great intelligence, often receiving the honor of top in the class.   All his life he was an active athlete and a top scholar where material reports would have tried to limit his prospects.
 
Section 5: Death disappears in the light of Life.
Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Jesus said (John viii. 51), "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death."  That statement is not confined to spiritual life, but includes all the phenomena of existence. Jesus demonstrated this, healing the dying and raising the dead." (S-21)
Isn't there great honesty and courage to be found in that statement? An honesty to accept Jesus at his word; and the courage to stand before all the reports of death's seeming power and be a true follower of Jesus.
What about you and me as followers of Jesus and students of Christian Science? Are we equally willing to accept the facts that Jesus demonstrated through his healing of the sick and raising of the dead?
We know Jesus raised Lazarus (Jn 11:1-44), the widow of Nain's son (Lk 7:11-16) and Jairus'daughter (Mk 5:35-43).  But Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath (I Ki 17:17-24), and Elisha raised the Shunamite's son (II Ki 4:20-37). Peter raised Tabitha (Acts 9:36-41), also known as Dorcas. And Paul raised Eutychus (Acts 20:7-12). There are also reports of those who were raised from the grave (Mt 27:51-53) and after Jesus' resurrection many of them were seen in Jerusalem.
 
Section 6: "Jesus demonstrated the power of Christian Science" (S-24)
I sometimes hear of individuals questioning the healing efficacy of Christian Science. I have even heard arguments that Christian healing is for an era gone by, and is not fundamental to being a follower of Christ today. And then I remind myself of a simple fact. In my family there have been healings since around 1919, you would have to say countless healings. These healings continue. There have been healings of cold and many other contagions, broken bones, blindness, effects from accident and protection from accident. There has been protection in war zones and active combat duty. The list could go on forever. 
But when the question comes about healing in today's world, I realize we must look to the source of healing. The healings of Christ Jesus are timeless lessons of God's love manifested toward all creation. The healing Christ remains active. An active witness to this healing Christ can be found in our own lives. The possibilities are unlimited.  After all, we are followers of the greatest metaphysician, the greatest healer, our Lord and Master, Christ Jesus. When we are discouraged, don't we have a marvelous example before us?
And I am reminded of a fact. Every single member of my family has through their Christian practice healed someone else. The light of the Christ has not dimmed with time.  The light of the Christ continues to heal.  It remains the light of Truth and remains as a possibility for those who will bear witness as faithful followers to that "Light of the world," the Christ, the Messiah.  Certainly there is room for improvement.  
My son Noah plays the violin beautifully, but he has not gotten there without practice. He has had about 6 years of practice and lessons behind him. Our family and our Sunday School enjoy the fruit of his practice continually. We share the fruitage from his efforts through great music.
 Isn't it worth a little practice, a little more following of the Master, a little more walking in the light of Christ in order to see this Light made manifest in healing?
I love what our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy hopes for us as followers of Christ Jesus, "The infinite Truth of the Christ-cure has come to this age through a "still, small voice," through silent utterances and divine anointing which quicken and increase the beneficial effects of Christianity. I long to see the consummation of my hope, namely the student's higher attainments in this line of light." (S-26)

 [Thanks to several of you for helping fund an expensive, replacement component of our dishwashing system to serve CedarS for its next 50 years.  We still need funding to finish underwriting this Maintenance Must which will be matched. (We are also hoping to expand our cable watersports system and are accepting contributions for that to happen in our "off-season" of conferences and retreats. We would love to tell you more about it.  SO, if you have been grateful for any of CedarS weekly inspirational emails, you can see that this would be a wonderful time to share your appreciation in the form of a gift--as generous as divine Love directs-in support of our workRemember that CEDARS weekly "Mets" or Metaphysical Newsletters, Possible 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 weekly find these "Mets", PSSTs and PYCLs on our website or through CS Directory.  CedarS most significant recurring needs are spelled out at http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/unrestricted-gifts.htm .   Just click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make monthly or one-time donations to CedarS' in support of 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.  

Please also help us fulfill our mission by telling every "un-camped" family you know about CedarS! We have a couple of cabins and air-conditioned bedrooms with attached baths left for the Midwest Bible Conference, Sept 15-18.  We'll gladly send anyone a DVD and info to help get them to camp - including more on: CedarS financial aid forms; programs for all ages; session dates & rates; online enrollment; transportation....]
 
  
 [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 idea  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]

[PSST-Brake for Angels Heralding the Christ! Revise and Expunge today!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Christ Jesus" for August 28, 2011
By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri steven.henn@gmail.com 
[Steve is a Class-taught Co-Program Director of CedarS Family Camp & 50th Jubilee. 
He teaches Upper School English at The Principia School, St. Louis, MO.]
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director]
 
Here are some of the main points your students can get from this lesson:
1) Jesus as an example for all of us
2) Learning more about the Christ and its timeless nature (not stuck in the age or body of Jesus)
3) Angels and being receptive to them
4) The value of radical reliance/faith
5) The importance of morality
 
PSST Golden Text:
What does it take to follow Jesus? Look at his other sayings for some insight - look particularly at the "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew chapters 5-7). 
Jesus is said to be the way-shower; if we are supposed to follow in his path, are we not also the light of the world? What, then, does it mean to be the light of the world? How can you best express this light to others? Who should you express it to? What qualities make it up?
 
PSST Responsive Reading:
Notice the book this responsive reading is from - when was it written; before or after Jesus' three-year ministry? Why is it used for the Responsive Reading of a lesson on Christ Jesus? What does this order of things tell us about the Christ? Discuss the timelessness of Christ.
 
PSST Section 1:
What do your students think about Joseph? Slow down here and explain just exactly what is going on here and point out to them how heroic Joseph is in his part of the story. Are your students as receptive to angels as he was? How radical is your faith? Why did Joseph trust the angels? What can you do to increase your trust in God's messengers? Look at the receptivity of the three wise men as well to inform this discussion. In hind-sight it is fairly easy to overlook just how radical their receptivity was/is. Remember to check out what Mrs. Eddy has to say on these topics as well in the S&H citations.
 
PSST Section 2:
What do your students think of Simon and Andrew? How does their example teach us about faith and trust? Help them see the magnitude of these seemingly obvious choices. To us it seems obvious that you would give up everything to follow the greatest man who ever trod the globe...but to his contemporaries there was no such guarantee that he was the true Messiah... why did they follow him?   How do we know which ideas that come to us are of Christ and which are imposters? Again, Mrs. Eddy has plenty to say about these ideas in this section.
 
PSST Section 3
Unpack this story - how does Jesus' response to the Pharisees still speak to us today? What does Mrs. Eddy have to say about rituals and traditions? Have we as Christian Scientists mistakenly adopted rituals and traditions that are not helpful to our practice of the Science of the Christ? Why does Mrs. Eddy focus on the "moral law"? What is so important about morality?
 
PSST Section 4
Don't get stuck on eyes [and spit*] in this section. What other aspects of sight can be healed through a reading of this section? [Remember:"Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good."] What do light and reflection have to do with this?
[*Warren: Have you ever wondered why Jesus used spit in the John 9 (B-8) 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?]
 
PSST Section 5
It may be worthwhile to read the entire section of the Bible before talking too much about this section. There are a lot of additional aspects to the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead that many young people do not know about. What do those extra items teach us about Jesus and the ministry of Christ? Why did certain things happen throughout this story? Mrs. Eddy talks a lot about Life in the Science and Health portion of this section - what does she want us to know about Life - how does this connect to the Lazarus story?
[Jesus said that he spoke aloud so that we could hear and follow his modus operandi (m.o.) for raising the dead. What was it? How can you practice his gratitude in advance method with what is troubling you?] Jesus did not just "arrive too late" - he had a reason for waiting until Lazarus was "dead". [4 days was considered definitely dead,--at the stinking stage.]   What does Jesus show to your students? What can they do as a result of Jesus' proof?[Martha Bolton's Sermon on the Stage (p. 9-14) refers to Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in a 5-minute sketch written from the standpoint of a disappointed undertaker. For $10 you can download the copyrighted script for "Death Doesn't Become Them" from the lillenas.com website by clicking here.]
 
PSST Section 6
How important is gratitude?!

[PYCLs-Try a blindfold walk! Play pin the star on ...; Bind & loose a Lazarus!]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Christ Jesus" for August 28, 2011
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com
(314) 406-0041
[bracketed italics by Warren Huff, Director of
CedarS Camps]

This lesson has abundant stories and themes to discuss with almost any age.  But it is usually most engaging to stick to one or two ideas rather than sharing all the inspiration you got from your personal study of the lesson.  Most of the students won't have read the lesson and few will have studied it, so your enthusiasm is better channeled into a few specific themes.
 
[PCYL point of Light:]
Light is probably this most overarching theme in this week's lesson and that provides a really great "jumping off" theme for any story or discussion.  I'll share below some of the many ideas that came to me regarding light, but of necessity, they do not include every reference to "light" in the lesson!
Look at the Golden Text. What is that light? What is the light of life (Life)? Try listing what it might mean to follow Jesus.  How does following him bring "light"?  Discuss light as understanding, revealing, discerning and so on.  Citation B5 states that the Word was made flesh...what does that mean in terms of light?  If it's "made flesh" it's visible, understandable, revealed to us, present with us and so on.  Everything Jesus did brought light, showed how "darkness gives place to light" (S7) and how "dark images...flee before the light..." (S9)  What does light have to do with the story of the woman brought before Jesus by the Pharisees?  His prayer brought the light of Truth to the consciences of the men that were accusing her.  He helped them see (requires light in thought to understand) that they needed to remove the sin in their own lives before condemning others; and then through his love and prayer he did as Mrs. Eddy points out in citation S11 and shined a light for the woman in order to destroy sin.  As a side note, look here at the Responsive Reading (RR) and ask if he "[raised] his voice", or "[crushed]" the woman (weakest reed), "put out the flickering candle", or did he bring justice to this situation?  If you take some time to discuss the RR ahead and talk about what the writer is referring to in this passage-maybe put it in language that means something to the kids-they will be able to place the story in that context and it should help them to see it that way in the future when they come across that story again!
 
[PCYL points: Give example of letting your light shine! Show opacity and transparency.]
Citation B9 talks about children of light. How do we show ourselves to be "children of light"? What is "our" "light"? Describe how we might let our "light" shine. Do you have concrete examples? For some kids around third grade (maybe younger) and up...look at citation S15 and talk about "opacity", what a great word. Showthem the difference between opaque and clear and talk about what opaque thought might be. Discuss this passage in this light (no pun intended).
[PCYL point: Spell out the links to the Light.]
What do the healings in sections four and five (of the blind man and of Lazarus) have to do with "light"?  Remember these connections may be obvious to us, but not necessarily to kids. In the Lazarus story notice they included citation B10 about walking in the day vs. night. Look at citation S19 ["resolving] dark visions of material sense..."
 
[PCYL point: Apply Paul's "recipe" to walk in the light today. Make it useful.]
Section 6:  All the things Paul prays for the Church people in Colossians (B11) are for us today! This looks like a recipe for walking in the light-letting light shine. Can you put it in modern language?  How can each pupil make this passage useful for themselves?
[PCYL point: Here are a few ideas for littler kids.]
Many activities with light have been discussed in past PYCLs [see **PS] and I don't want to be repetitive so feel free to look at past ones with an eye toward light activities with flashlights, blankets, boxes and so on. A couple of new suggestions are:
Try a blindfold walk-what does it feel like?  Can you run without being afraid?  Do you feel like you are going to walk into things?  Does it feel frustrating?  Talk about these ideas.  The same walk is simple without blindfold.  How is this like daily life when we aren't thinking about how God or the Christ is bringing light to our activities?  In this context can you tell better what it means to let our "light shine"?
Talk about Lazarus (and the whole story). Explain grave clothes. Bring some rags and try "binding" a volunteer. Talk about what Jesus said: "loose him and let him go". This was meant literally and figuratively.  How do we loose ourselves from bad thoughts?  How are thoughts of anger, sickness, sadness like the "bindings" that held Lazarus prisoner?  Were those bindings representative also of the thoughts and beliefs of others?  These grave clothes of fear, etc. keep us away from light (we can't see much in a cave or with cloth around our face!).
Finally, invent a Sunday school version of "pin the tail on the donkey".  Maybe it's "put the star of Bethlehem over the manger"--I'm sure you can invent something appropriate. Is it simple to find where to put the star when we can't see? You can ask the same sort of questions as the blind fold walk. Talk about what it's like to do things when we have light, and when it is dark. Ask the age old questions about where the dark "goes" when the light comes out. You can work the shepherds into this activity and ask questions about why they saw the star and why the wise men followed it and so on.
 
[PCYL points: A few odds and ends: stones; RR prophesy]
Citation B10 if you are talking about Lazarus ask them what the stone symbolizes-when Jesus says "take ye away the stone" it has a figurative as well as literal meaning (again). They can come up with their own thoughts about stones and what they are like. What does it mean to be "hard, unyielding, heavy, blocking the way and the light, stubborn" and so on.
In the RR there is a famous prophecy. Talk about the things it states: "he won't "shout or raise his voice..." What happened to Jesus when he read this prophecy in the temple in his home town and announced that he was the subject?  How does this prophecy fit with the Bible stories in this week's lesson? We already mentioned the adulterous woman and her connection with this passage. How about the other stories. It's fun to see how this prophecy was so accurate.
 
[PCYL points: Are you: awake and watching? Ready to leave your mortal busy-ness?]
Why did the shepherds see the light/star and the angels? For one thing, they were awake! (S1)  Are we awake to see the "first faint morning beams"? What does she mean by this? They were watching to keep the flocks safe, are we watching for the Christ in our experience to keep ourselves safe from whatever would steal our happiness, health, harmony? It looks like Jesus came to the innocent, the working class, often...what would you do if you saw something like the shepherd's saw? Is your thought prepared to see light? What about the wise men who saw that star and followed from foreign countries to find what it meant! Can you imagine this strong sense of faith and certainty? Do we still have an opportunity today to experience this coming of Christ? When Christ comes to your consciousness do you leave your mortal busy-ness to listen, like the disciple fishermen who left their nets?
In citation S13 it is interesting to see that Mrs. Eddy tells us what the "higher mission of the Christ..." is. This may surprise some students as we are often focused on physical healing.  A working definition of "sin" [as "work badly done of left undone" S&H 6:7] might help here so that it doesn't just seem like stealing, or murder etc.
Have a great time with our Christmas in August!
 
**[PS from Kerry'sPCYL, April 17, 2011, Concept #2: Use flashlights and an eyedropper to show one-ness. This lesson provides yet another opportunity for those flashlights; maybe they just need to have a stockpile of them in your Sunday School!  Usually we use the sun for this analogy, but it's cool to have a local visual option for the kids to use in class. This lesson includes Mrs. Eddy's statement about how Jesus was one with God in the same way that a drop of water is one with the ocean or a ray of light one with the sun. This is such a great explanation for how we are part of God.  You can do the drop of water idea with an eye dropper or anything that can isolate a drop and let it drip into a cup of water to show that the cup is actually made up of many drops of water, in the same way you can use the flashlight beam.  Shine it on a dark place, a dark carpet or colored paper so the beam is visible.  Then show them how you can keep the beam from hitting the paper (or whatever you've chosen) by stopping the beam with your hand (or a book or whatever).  Ask them if the beam can be separated from its source, the flashlight.  Even though there is something blocking the beam from hitting the paper, is the beam actually destroyed or gone?  Then, ask someone if they can try to separate the beam from the flashlight.  Give them a little time to try if they want to.  Now you can talk about how this is like the way that we are connected to God.  That he is the source, kind of like the flashlight, and that no matter what gets in the way, the beam can never actually be stopped or separated from the source.  We are always connected to God.  He is the flashlight, and we are the light.  Now you can talk about the sun and point out that on cloudy days the sun is still shining; there are just clouds that are hiding it.  If you fly up in an airplane it will be bright sunshine if you get high enough to be above the clouds.   You can also talk about how clouds are not substance, they are just vapor, and eventually they are burned up by the sun.  Of course if you stay in the realm of analogy at this age they may never make the jump to what you are really talking about, our one-ness with God, so don't forget to draw that line for them, or they'll just think that was an interesting activity with no sense of why they did it! Think of examples of healing where you felt that connection to God and it helped you in some way. How can they feel that one-ness?  How can they help others feel that one-ness?]

Metaphysical

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

Newsletters

Get free weekly uplifting newsletters (available in English, Spanish, French, German and now in Portuguese!)
Subscribe or Update Subscription

Facebook

Find CedarS on Facebook for the latest news, heart-warming fruitage, facility upgrades and more!
Go to the CedarS' Facebook Page