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Soul Satisfies Persistently! Keep Gods Law in Your Heart & Claim Your Blessings!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, August 8th, 2011

Soul Satisfies Persistently! Keep God's Law in Your Heart & Claim Your Blessings!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on:
"Soul" for the week of August 8-14, 2011
by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. of St. Louis, MO and Park City, UT
[bracketed italic additions by Warren Huff, CedarS Camps Director and Met Editor.]

[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]
 
This week's lesson illustrates the inclusive nature of Soul. We are ALL God's children. There are no foreigners or step-children. God's law may be known by all, and blesses each one. We just have to be willing to seek with all our heart.
 
Golden Text: The message of the Golden Text has been echoing frequently in recent lessons ... "I am God, and there is none else." Nothing but God ... no individual little souls, no outside influences to interrupt the harmony of Life! One ever-present, all good identity of Soul which includes all in perfect expression. ["Innocent one,  sinless and pure, Nothing can ever divide thee. Governed by Love, you're safe and secure; I am forever beside thee. So rest and know wher-e'er you go,  Home and heav'n cannot be denied thee, For I am the Lord, there is none else; There is no God beside Me. Hymn 444:3 inspired by the Golden Text, Isa. 45, was written by Desiree Goyette who: led CedarS Hymn Sing Sunday night; is currently co-teaching Inspirational Songs (iSongs) Camp with her husband Ed Bogas; then co-leading songwriting for Family Camp; and then headlining our 50th Jubilee Celebration Concert with George Clements on Saturday night, Aug. 20. Join us if you can!]
 
Responsive Reading: The Responsive Reading promises satisfaction -- no lack, no want, nothing missing. "I have satiated (satisfied to the full) the weary soul." The word satiated comes from the Latin meaning "enough." Do we ever need more than enough? Materialistic, hedonistic beliefs can trick us into thinking there's always something more that we need in order to be truly satisfied. But, have you ever noticed that as things are measured according to mortal mind, the "finish line" keeps moving and there always seems to be something missing? Maybe that's why it seems so hard to "keep" the covenant that the children of Israel were given when they left Egypt. The carnal mind never seems to be satisfied, so the thought of not coveting, not being tempted to look elsewhere but at God to provide for what we need, not bearing false witness against those who don't see things the same way we do seems nigh on to impossible to keep. It's also hard when a law is imposed from the outside. So, the prophet Jeremiah tells the people (including us) that there is another way.... a new covenant -- a built-in covenant. It is a mutual love ... God's love for His expression felt by man and reflected back with a complete trust and love that never doubts that every need will be met -- a love that is expressed towards others as well. Love promises that there can be no separation between God and man because God's law will be written in the heart of man! Mrs. Eddy writes in No and Yes, 30:11, "God's law is in three words, ‘I am All.'" God's law of allness includes all of creation. There is nothing "out there." All mankind is planted in God's Kingdom -- unmoved and unmovable, fully satisfied, and whole! God's doing His part. As we turn to dependable, ever-present Love and away from the fickle attractions, doubts, and fears of the carnal mind (the ever-suggesting serpent), we will feel the ever-present love of Love and have all we need! As will everyone. [What a blessing to affirm regularly: "In divine Love I have everything I need and I know it!"]
 
Section 1: Relationship and Requirements
"Man is the expression of Soul." (S-6) So what does it mean to be the expression of Soul, and what do we have to do to realize this awesome relationship? Soul has been defined as the "essence or embodiment" of something. Mrs. Eddy explains that Soul is synonymous with Spirit. (S-2) Thus, Soul is the essence or embodiment of Spirit. This Soul is individualized in expression -- so it's not vague or "out there" someplace. But, this embodiment isn't divided into "souls" (S-4) nor is it "both an evil and a good intelligence, resident in matter." (S-2) Soul isn't IN man ... our immortal nature waiting to escape from, or at the mercy, of matter. Because man is the expression of Soul, man is how God's being is known.  The origin of the word, express, is a Latin word meaning    
to "press out." Squeezing an orange, orange juice is expressed. That juice contains every quality of the orange itself. You won't get grape (or any other kind of) juice. Being the expression of Soul -- Spirit -- man cannot be anything but the embodiment of immortal Spirit ... no mortality (limitation) whatsoever! Problems start when we try to "divide Soul into souls" -- thinking that each of us has our own soul (subject to ups and downs -- and inferior or superior to each other), that matter makes conditions for us (is a lawmaker) and that our immortal soul develops in, and is contained within, a mortal matrix (surrounding.) (S-4)  The Bible tells us that God has made His tabernacle (His dwelling place) in the company, in the middle of (among) us. (B-1) There is no separation. All we need to do to experience God's care is reverence (appreciate) His presence, be contrite (recognize a need for help), and trust (place all reliance) on Him. (B-1 & B-3) A musician expresses himself through his music -- all kinds of music; God expresses Himself through man -- a wide variety of individual ideas. There can be no separation.
 
Section 2: The Beginning of the Story -- GOD sustains
Sections 2 through 5 focus on the story of Ruth. The story begins with Naomi, Elimelech, and their two sons fleeing Bethlehem because of a famine, and going to Moab. After Elimelech (Naomi's husband) died, the sons married two Moabite women. Ten years later, the sons died, too. The New Interpreter's Bible reflects on the irony of the story: "Even audiences who were not already predisposed to seeing Moab as a symbol of evil would be able to infer that Moab in this story is a place of death and destruction, swallowing up those who turn to it for sustenance." It was a new approach for me -- to think about the story in terms of what direction we are turning to find satisfaction and solutions to challenges. Mrs. Eddy writes, "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind."  [S&H 60:29] She assures us that happiness would be more secure if sought in Soul (in God, ever-present Spirit.)  How often are we tempted to look to something other than God, or think we have to go someplace to find the good that God is supplying right where we are! (S-9)  The other element of the story is Ruth returning to Israel with her mother-in-law.  It was important for the audience first receiving this story to see that this woman from Moab was eager to go with her mother-in-law, to take care of her -- even though it meant leaving all that was familiar to her.  The audience of that time had a very narrow view of non-Israelite women -- in fact a fear of outsiders. Christian Science teaches that happiness, being spiritual, must be shared by all mankind -- not just those who hold common views. (S-8) [S&H 57:18-19]  [This law that "Happiness is (=) ... unselfish(ness)" is the basis for the happy ending to a sad story that results from the great unselfishness expressed by both Ruth and Naomi. Citation S-8 also has inspired our attempts to make CedarS the happiest place on earth by trying to make it the most unselfish place on earth.] 
The physical senses claim that people are born and die like weeds that spring up without being planted or flowers that die from circumstances beyond their control.  But, we can challenge the report of the physical senses. As we relocate our affections from the physical to the divine ... from sense to Soul ... we find God's care always abundantly good and ever-present. (S-7) And we lift thought about the apparent tragedies of "life" to find the Life that is Love, abiding in Soul, and forever at peace. (S-8)
 
Section 3: Sustained by God ... every need met by the harmony of Soul ... GIVE!
We see evidence here of God's covenant later revealed by Jeremiah (from the Responsive Reading) .... "I will not turn away from them, to do them good;" The harmony of Soul is illustrated by how completely Ruth and Naomi were taken care of, even though outward evidence would suggest they were returning with nothing. (S-12)  We read that Ruth "happened" upon the field of Boaz -- where he warmly welcomed her and provided for her to safely pick up what was left behind by the reapers. Jewish law required that the grain at the edge of a field, and that which was dropped, be left for "widows and foreigners" to pick up -- since they weren't eligible to own land themselves.  But, this provision would not have necessarily been extended to Ruth, a Moabitess. Moabites were considered "undesirable" in the Jewish community, because of the sins of their ancestors.  Boaz, however, took a special interest in Ruth and invited her to keep coming back to his field -- and instructed his men to be good to her.  The "crumbs" were more than enough to feed her and Naomi.  Is there some foreshadowing going on here relating to the story of the Canaanite woman whose daughter was healed by Jesus when the mother received the "crumbs" that fell from the master's table? (See Section 6, B-19)  God's love and provision are sufficient to bless all. (B-9, B-10) 
 
Did this good fortune just happen? Was Ruth just lucky enough to stumble into this particular field? We hear a lot these days about luck -- good and bad. Be careful to reject that whole concept. GOD provides for His people ... a complete provision of everything each one needs. (S-11)  Believing in "luck" -- or in something just "happening" -- is a restricted view that hides the expansive reality of a complete unfoldment of good. (S-13) Boaz is believed to have been not only rich, but an important man in the community.  Although he may have been "obligated" to help Ruth because he was related to her father-in-law, his example of looking out for those in need is one we can all learn from.  We all truly have one Father. We're all related!  Mrs. Eddy says "the rich in spirit help the poor ..... and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it." (S-10) Ruth had already demonstrated her richness in spirit by going home with Naomi. Now it was her time to be blessed. Check out Hymn 360, "True, the heart grows rich in giving;" Because God gives, it's natural for His reflection to give, as well as receive, God's blessings.
 
Section 4: ALL things work together for good
God doesn't expect his children to just "get by." Although gleaning in the field provided "temporary relief", a more permanent solution was needed. Ruth and Naomi were FULLY cared for and all obstacles removed for Ruth and Boaz to be married. Before the marriage could take place, an offer had to be made to a younger relative to "redeem" the land previously owned by Elimelech. In order for the property to remain in Elimelech's family, a male heir needed to be born to inherit it. The younger relative was unwilling to take on this commitment. But, Boaz saw the opportunity to become Ruth's husband as a sacred privilege -- pleased to be chosen by such a virtuous woman. (B-13)  The third chapter of Ruth goes into details of the part Naomi and Ruth played in arranging for this marriage. Throughout the story of Ruth we see the character traits of "self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection" and the practical steps taken to "call down infinite blessings." (S-16)  The promise is that all things work together for good "to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (B-12 & S-14) Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz all loved God and worked to obediently respond to His commands. Their motives were right -- to faithfully care for the living and "the dead." (S-15) Humanly, it's hard to see the big picture and know how things will work out. But, as we strive to love -- God and our fellow man -- and trust Soul (the essence of all being) to provide harmony for all, we will be cared for and taken all the way!
 
Section 5: Permanent Companionship and Eternal Redemption
This section tells of God's provision for setting "the solitary in families." [Ps. 68:6] Whether you are married or not, it's important to value the qualities that promote a happy marriage, recognizing them as those which form the basis of any good relationship. Virtue is synonymous with goodness, integrity, respectability. (See B-14)  Mrs. Eddy mentions specific qualities that are necessary to cultivate happy and permanent relationships. (S-19 & S-20) It isn't necessary to be married to exercise these qualities and cultivate relationships with those with whom you share common values and interests. [This is spelled out thoroughly in the 6 citations from the chapter on Marriage in this lesson. In any relationship,] we can't fake it! We can't act a certain way to impress someone.   Our motives must be pure, genuine and God-derived if deep and lasting relationships are to be developed -- and lasting blessings result. In the case of Ruth, Boaz was seen as her "redeemer." But, that happened only because of the type of woman Ruth was.  The result of the union was a son born, followed by a line of descendants that included King David, and eventually Jesus -- who would redeem all of Israel and embrace mankind as the sons (family) of God. (B-15 & B-17)  We are all one harmonious family and must expect to experience together the "freedom of Soul." (S-20)
 
Section 6: Recognizing a need for Christ opens the way to receive healing
Just as the persistence expressed by Ruth and Naomi enabled them to receive the blessings they needed, the Canaanite woman persisted and received healing for her daughter. Both women, as foreigners -- boldly sought help from someone they wouldn't normally have dealings with. Although Jesus was primarily sent to minister to the children of Israel, his love was too broad to refuse healing. There are lots of explanations of why Jesus didn't heal the daughter immediately -- and this story can be disturbing -- if you let it be! But, the point is that the woman was undeterred and had total faith in the healing Word. And, Jesus DID heal the girl. (B-19) We need to remember that when faced with the false suggestion that maybe we don't "deserve" healing or "others" may be healed, but for some reason we can't be. Persist!!! There's only ONE Soul -- one identity -- and that identity is impartial Mind, Love.  This Love is a fountain available to ALL. We can learn from the women in this week's lesson to have the courage and persistence to go to the waters of that fountain and find redemption and healing. (S-22 & 24) The Syro-Phoenician woman (as Mark calls the Canaanite mother) is a wonderful example of recognizing what is needed and not giving up until it is received. What we always need is a clearer understanding of Life and Love ... as the Soul of man -- immune from disease and death. (S-26) Immortal Soul (the ONE and ONLY identity that is perfect Life) is substantial ... not some vague mysterious something out there somewhere, or a limited identity trapped in a body. Soul controls the body ... the body has no intelligence or power of its own. NOW is the time to realize that and seek (with our whole heart) salvation from all limitation. (S-26 & S-27) Because Soul is immortal, the expression of Soul (man) must be immortal (without limits and incapable of death.)  We can experience the blessings of Soul now -- God's law is in your heart and fully accessible!
[If you have been grateful for any of CedarS weekly inspirational emails, 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 Family Campers, 50th Jubilee celebrants and Bible conferees. 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-Let all inharmony go to know the reign of Soul!]  
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Soul" for August 8-14, 2011
by Amy Robbins Evan and Tom Evans, St. Louis, MO -- amy.evans821@gmail.com and trej85@gmail.com
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director]
 
 
PSST for Golden Text and Responsive Reading (RR)
What stands out to you about the Golden Text?  Why is it important that there is no one else but God?  [Why a 1st Commandment of "have no other Gods before me." Ex. 20] What does this have to do with Soul?  Ruth is heavily featured in this week's lesson.  How does she embody this statement?
What is a covenant?  What was the old covenant?  (It was for the Israelites who wandered in the desert.)  What is the new covenant?  Why do we care about these promises?  What does it mean to have the law in our "inward parts", written in our hearts?  Verse 33 of the RR refers to the covenant made with the "house of Israel".  Jeremiah is referring to Jews alone.  How does Ruth, a Gentile, (and we, for that matter!) fit into this new covenant with God?
 
PSST for Section 1
"Keep my Sabbaths" (B1) meant doing no work (including walking anywhere besides the synagogue and carrying money) and many other Hebrew laws that we break today.  How do we keep the Sabbath?  [Aren't we breaking the Sabbath and the 4th Commandment  every time we see as incomplete or inharmonious any part in God's creation?] How do we honor God?  As the people of God (B1), what do we need to do?  What do we have?  How do you "lift up your soul" (B4)?  Give an example.
What is Soul?  Do you agree with citation S2, that "human thought has adulterated the meaning of the word soul"?  Try following the steps that Mrs. Eddy lays out with your class.  The marginal heading for citation S4 is "philosophical blunders".  Do you agree?  Can you follow Mrs. Eddy's reasoning?  With this understood, apply citation S5.  What does the expression of Soul look like (think citation S6)?
 
PSST for Section 2
Do we only call on God in trouble (B5)?  When we are desperate, our prayers can be very direct.  How can we be this direct in our prayers all the time?  What does your class get from the story of Ruth (B7)?  Think about how Naomi might have prayed.  How was Naomi cared for?  Imagine what it must have been like.  She lost her husband and both of her sons.  Women not only did not, but also could not have money and power at this time.  What was she heading back to Israel for?  Did she have anything substantial waiting upon her return? (No)  Had Ruth not come back with her, what kind of a future might Naomi have had?  What kind of courage must it have taken for Ruth to be willing to give everything up and go to a foreign country (Israel) with her mother-in-law? [Email me if you want to have me send you an mp3 audio recording of a song inspired by the Ruth 2 exchange between Naomi and her daughters-in-law. The song was written this week by CedarS' iSongs Campers and performed for the camp.]
How do this section's S&H passages deal with grief, especially in regards to Naomi and Ruth?  Do you agree that "the pains of sense are salutary" (S7)?  Define salutary. ["beneficial, good for one; ...useful advantageous, profitable, gainful, valuable, helpful..." The Synonym Finder, by J.I. Rodale] Is this surprising to you?  What do citations S8 and S9 have to do with moving on from grief?  [Kirsten Agnew, CS made a point about the story of "Joseph (and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat", our 2011 Production) by asking Desiree Goyette to shared the title song from her new "Let It Go" CD at the end of our 8-10-11 "Prac(titioner) Talk"Email if you want Desiree's studio copy in mp3 format of this song.]   What do [this idea of releasing our hold on inharmony and] citations S8 and S9 have to do with finding true joy, happiness, and purpose?
 
PSST for Section 3
Ruth goes to glean corn from a nearby field (B9).  What is happening during the gleaning process?  How much corn can be gathered by someone?  Do the reapers usually leave a lot of corn behind (No)?  What caused Boaz to welcome Ruth to his field, and make sure she was provided for?  What did he see in her?  Boaz describes Ruth as a "virtuous woman" (B10).  How might Ruth have felt hearing that?  She had to glean corn from a field with other poor people, and now a kind (and wealthy) man is recognizing the good in her.  Have you ever had an experience like Ruth's?
Think about citation S10 in terms of Ruth.  How was Ruth blessed because she supplied Naomi's need?  Think about it in terms of you.  Are you seeking your own in another's good?  What do you think about Mrs. Eddy's statement that "our ignorance of God" is what "produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony" (S12)?  Do you agree?  Notice that Mrs. Eddy says it's "apparent discord".  This means that the discord is an illusion.  What do you think about that?  Look at citation S13.  While this clearly applies to Ruth's story, how can and does this apply to you?
 
PSST for Section 4
What does it mean to "wait for the Lord"?  Refer back to Section 1 with keeping the Sabbath and serving God in a meaningful way.  Think about purpose in life.  Paul was writing to a divided church in Rome (B12).  He had never met the congregation, but they were squabbling amongst each other.  The Gentile Christians were not treating the Jewish Christians fairly and yet Paul writes, "all things work together for good to them that love God..."  Paul has an expansive view of who exactly is included in God's covenant.  How does this line up with Jeremiah's comments on the covenant with Israel in the Responsive Reading?  What happened in citation B13? Why is this important to Ruth's story?
Do you agree with citation S14? Why?  Citation S15 describes the process by which Love guides.  What does it mean to have Love inspire, illumine, designate, and lead the way?  What are we supposed to do?  What do you think about citation S17?  How do we make sure that we are consistently governed by Soul?  What's the result (hint: harmony)?  Think about citation S18.  How are you departing from materiality as you step towards goodness?  How can you do this at school?  On the sports field?  At home?  Give an example.
 
PSST for Section 5
Think about citation B14 in the context of Ruth's story.  Remember that Boaz refers to Ruth as "a virtuous woman" in citation B10 in Section 3 (Ruth 3:11).  At the end of Ruth's story, who was blessed?  Just Ruth?  Naomi?  Boaz?  Who was the great-grandchild of Ruth and Boaz (hint: he fought Goliath)?  What did he do?  Who did he bless?  Would all of this have happened if Ruth had stayed in Moab?  Note: good would have happened regardless, but this was the unfolding that occurred as a result of Ruth's goodness, compassion, courage, and willingness to follow God as described in citation B14.
All the citations in S&H for this section are from the chapter on Marriage.  What does that have to do with Ruth's story?  "There is moral freedom in Soul" (S20).  Why?  Do you agree?  Why should home be the "centre, though not the boundary, of the affections"?  How is this helpful when you are traveling, or just away from home?  Do you agree with citation S21?  Why is it important for attraction to be pure and true?  How does that continue to bless?
 
PSST for Section 6
Jesus was unwilling to help the woman of Canaan at first (B19).  Why?  What changed his thought?  What was the result?  How was the woman of Canaan like Ruth? (hint: Where were they from?)  Think back to the covenant referred to in the RR.  Is this covenant really only between God and Israelites, or between God and all people?
The first word in citation S23 is "whatever".  Is there any limit on what can inspire and bless?  Give an example of something that blessed (or blesses) many.  Does it have to be obvious? What does it mean for Love to be "impartial and universal" (S24)?  How have you witnessed this?  Is anyone (or anything) left out?  How can citation S25 and Jesus' healings, like in citation B19, help to explain citation S28?  What does citation S28 mean to you?  How can you apply it?
[PYCLs-Unmask unlovable limits; act out current context; glean Soul's gems!]
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Soul" for August 14, 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]
 
PYCL points: How does Soul speak to children? [In ways they identify with! Unmask unlovable traits and limitation!]
It's easy to read this lesson and be moved by all that it has to say to us as adults.  But the challenges of life, such as grief and hardship may be less common to some of the Sunday School students that you teach.  Of course, if this is not the case with the students you are teaching then by all means head in whatever direction is most profitable!  As always we tailor our teaching to the needs of the pupils that we have.  How do you define Soul?  You can read Mrs. Eddy's article on Soul on p. 28 of Unity of Good for some thoughts.  One of the defining elements of Soul is identity.  This is in contrast to "personality" which has its root in "persona" meaning "mask".  You may be able to have some fun with this idea of personality being a mask.  I imagine that the kids have not thought of it that way.  We often think that how we are is how we are perceived or how we perceive ourselves.  What is the basis for our evaluation of these things?  There can be nothing unlovable about our individuality, nothing ungracious, selfish, shy, stubborn, insensitive or oversensitive, lacking in intelligence or creativity...you get the picture.  Once we've established a good basic understanding of Soul then we can look at the Bible stories in the context of this understanding.  We can ask the questions of why the story of Ruth?  What is the link with the story of Ruth and the Canaanite woman in the sixth section?  Don't forget to first ask the kids what their thoughts are on Soul, how is it different from, say, Spirit?  Always give them time to think and come up with more than "pat" answers.
 
PYCL points: [Talk about, put into context and act out the details of] Ruth and Soul:
Make sure you talk about the details of Ruth's story.  Try to help them see what her position was and how would that look for them today.  For example: can they imagine themselves being raised in Missouri (or your home town/state/country), marrying someone there, having that person pass away and then following their husband's/wife's mother to another country...say Mexico (you can choose), even if they spoke Spanish it would be so challenging not to feel isolated, to feel like a total stranger.  Imagine that you couldn't get a "job" because you were not only a foreigner, but a woman in a time where women didn't have those kinds of "jobs" unless they were part of a family already.  It may be more or less successful to help them to see things this way depending on their age, but I think it's important to contemplate.  Of course for the little guys that are under six or so, this would probably need to take the form of acting out the story. They will learn from it whatever is helpful for them to learn.  Once they have a sense of the history and the situation that Ruth was in you can talk about the qualities that Ruth expressed in following Naomi to Israel.  How do these qualities relate to our discussion of Soul?  Think of the things we mentioned about identity vs. personality.  Did Ruth hang on to what could be called her "personality" as a Moabite?  Or did she, rather, identify herself with her true nature as a child of the one God?  She gave up all that was mortal and comfortable, and possibly what looked like it might make her happy... (her childhood family, familiar homeland etc.) for a seemingly uncertain future in a foreign land.  What did she gain?
 
PYCL points: The continuity of good/Good:
It would be easy to see Ruth's life as two chapters, before and after her life with Boaz.  But perhaps we should consider that she had a loving and valuable relationship with her first husband.  (Remember her husband's mother was Naomi, who was clearly an impressive person, enough so that Ruth gave everything up to follow her and adopt her God, so probably her husband was a decent fellow).  Think perhaps that Ruth's life is more of an example of the continuous nature of Soul's goodness.  Sometimes we lose sight of that goodness temporarily, but if we continue to follow good and right paths and devote ourselves to the one true God, we will bring those "new views of goodness" into sight (S13).  So in point of fact, we never lose actual Good, Soul, even though it can look that way to material sense.
 
PYCL points: Gleaning-[act it out, gather up what is important, the gems]:
I was fascinated to notice in this week's lesson that there is a wonderful parallel between Ruth's story and the story in the sixth section of the Canaanite woman who asks Jesus to heal her daughter.  They both were "gleaning".  Ruth literally was following behind the reapers and gleaning whatever fell to the ground.  The Canaanite woman was "gleaning" the "crumbs" of truth that "fell" from "Christ's table" (S23).  And it is interesting to note that they were both foreigners.  What is the significance of this?  Do we need to come to Soul with that same sense of utterly unmovable devotion that these women demonstrated in order to really "glean" the healing truth that they did?  Were they pursuing their own happiness?  What does this fact of unselfishness teach us about finding and "keeping" happiness (S9)?  With the littlest classes you could try acting out the "gleaning".  Think about what Ruth was gathering figuratively.  You might think of qualities of faith, devotion, trust, love, diligence, courage, and so on.  Have the kids pretend to glean.  You could sprinkle items with these qualities written on them on the ground and have the kids find them amongst other items.  Maybe these items appear to "hide" amongst the useless waste that is left behind.  Make sure you explain what it might have been like to follow the reapers and pick up the small grains left behind.  What patience and hard work this must have required.  Do you think they were working in the hot sun?  What is the climate in that part of the world?  I'm sure it must have seemed like forever to get a meaningful amount of grain this way.  Yet this is how she made her living, taking care of herself and her mother in law!  Practice recognizing the "grain" and putting only the "grain" in your basket (or bucket or whatever).  Gleaning also has that wonderful sense of gaining the truth from something for oneself, really extracting what is important.  I don't know if this is something to share with the little guys but I enjoy thinking of it that way!
 
PYCL points: Back to the Golden Text:
It is interesting to look back at the Golden Text (GT) after looking carefully at the rest of the lesson. Can you see now why that was chosen as the GT?  Does Ruth's life prove that in fact, after all that happened to her, there really is only Good, Soul?  This goes back to the continuity idea.
 
PYCL points: A few interesting ideas collected: [desires; a beatitude; plenty, not envy!]
There are a few other ideas that I just wanted to mention here.  What does it mean to be "fed" in citation B8?  Remember that kids don't always get symbolism, not that this isn't meant literally as well.  In the same passage, what are "the desires of thine heart"?  Talk about the desires that we have.  What were Ruth's desires?  Did she want something for herself?  What are your desires?  If they seem at all silly or bad to you, look at page 1:11 of S&H to the full sentence about desire being prayer and trusting God to mold and exalt our desires!
 
Can you think of a beatitude that relates to the story of Ruth?  Her good awaits everyone who mourns as they fill themselves with trust, faith, fearlessness and love of God.
 
I also love the passage from S&H in citation S24 and the way it puts to rest any sense of envy, that someone else possesses certain qualities that seem to be in short supply for you!  In any discussion of the qualities of Soul, it's important to realize that these wonderful qualities are never in short supply, but each of us possesses uniquely and individually a beautiful range of expression of good.
 
Have a wonderful Sunday!
 

Metaphysical

Let Peace Prevail! Denounce the re-living of dead history... - This lesson is a good roadmap...
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