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Find the Power through the Spirit! [that IS in you!]

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, January 30th, 2012

Find the Power through the Spirit! [that IS in you!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Spirit" for
January 30-February 5, 2012
by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn, Illinois
 
 [The bracketed italics are offered by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & the editor of the following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) that will follow. They are primarily provided 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 & Marie-Helene, in German thanks to Helga and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
 "Is it in you?"  This popular sports drink slogan caps off ads in which sports figures literally "glow" with the product as they perform strenuous feats of athleticism, inferring that the drink supplies the energy and endurance for peak performance.  To say nothing of the hours of actual practice that produce "super-star" skills, advertisers want us to think that consuming their product will do the same for us.  What really fuels our energy?  Where does real power come from?  The Golden Text this week cautions us not to depend on any other power but Spirit.  Do we "glow" with the power of Spirit?  Does it emanate from every pore?  In the biblical context of the Golden Text, the point is made that "No secular arm, no human prudence, no earthly policy, no suits at laws, shall ever be used for the founding, extension, and preservation" of the church (Clarke). It is equally true that no human power-physical, mental, or moral-is equal to the power of Spirit.
 
When facing daily challenges, it is helpful to know that we are not alone in our work.  All the prophets and Christ Jesus himself were emboldened by the power of divine commission.  He was filled with the Spirit.  In the Responsive Reading we find Isaiah's description of the Messiah's mission.  The spirit of God provides the authority to carry out such a mission.  The power of the spirit is effective in binding up every wound and providing redemption and deliverance from every form of evil.  Spiritual power replaces the ashes of disappointment and sorrow, with the oil of joy. Everything good, worthy, and useful is due to God's great majesty.  All might, strength, and power comes from God.
 
Section 1: No One Is Excluded
While Spirit is properly a synonym for God, this Lesson reflects on the spirit of God as a palpable, divine influence in human experience.  Divine Spirit really can't be "in" anything since it is infinite, but when we feel the influence of power from that Spirit, we often say we are filled with the spirit, or the spirit is in us.  It's an expression that means we are completely motivated and empowered not by our own strength, but by God.  This sense of Spirit is always good and completely reliable (B1).  But, to human sense, not all of us feel the presence of God's power; and even those who do, have times when it seems like they don't.  We may feel left out, or unworthy.  The psalmist takes special care to remind us that not one of us is excluded from God's "tender mercies" either by design or choice (B2). [As Susan Mack puts it in "Tender Mercies": "So no matter the need and no matter the threat, I'm secure in Your love, no fear, no regret.  Can there be a sweeter comfort, a grace more divine, Than the thought that Your love is here and is mine?" (Hymn 445:2)]  Those who are aware of their unbroken relationship to God yearn to have everyone else feel the power of Spirit too.  It may seem hard to fathom at times, but even if we wanted to, we could not get away from the presence of God.  Even if we were able to "take the wings of the morning"-go the speed of light-we could not outrun or escape God's presence, for He fills all space (B3).  Wherever we are, God is right there too, leading us, and holding us in His hand. [Citation B3 is beautifully put to music on CedarS Around the Clock CD set in a popular song called "Whither Shall I Go?' (Ps 139)]
 
Mary Baker Eddy declares the recognition of God, Spirit, as All-in-all to be the starting point of divine Science (S1).  There is "no other might nor Mind."  That means that we don't have a mind apart from God to either do wrong intentionally, or to feel separated from good.  If God is omnipresent, He fills all space and there is nothing unlike Him (S2).  The omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of Spirit extinguishes any possibility of matter, or a belief in a life separated from God, as real (S3).  It just isn't possible to exist outside of Allness, or feel left out of all the goodness that the Allness of God includes.
 
When our daughter was little and first went off to school, I found myself feeling a bit helpless regarding her safety.  The thought of God as Spirit-filling all space-was the only idea that brought me peace.  So it is for every single idea of God.  We are all safe, secure, sustained, maintained, and prospered by the spirit of God. 
 
Section 2: The True Image Manifests True Power
Sometimes, the way we use this verse (citation B4) from Job in many of our weekly Lessons seems totally out of biblical context.  Within context, Job had been disappointed by the "learned views" of his friends, and the youthful Elihu bases his standing and authority to speak on the fact that what he has to say is a result of the spirit of God within him.  Elihu discourses with confidence on God's omnipotence, and reminds Job that men cannot judge God by their limited views, but urges him to remember that God's works are for everyone's benefit.  Whatever part we play is for the greater good; and the source of it all is God (B5).  In modern terms, he reminded Job that "it wasn't all about him." Paul takes things a step further and clearly states that we "are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit" (B6).  Everything the Spirit does bears witness to our true spiritual nature.  Such an idea must have originated in Spirit itself.  As Albert Barnes puts it, "the Holy Spirit furnishes evidence to our minds that we are adopted into the family of God."  In his message to the Corinthians, Paul explains that whereas Moses' face was veiled, Christians behold the image of God free of obstruction-with clarity, brilliancy and distinctness-which reveals in us the image we behold (B7).  Barnes expounds on this passage from a very practical standpoint:
 
"It is a law of our nature that we are moulded, in our moral feelings, by the persons with whom we associate, and by the objects which we contemplate.  We become insensibly assimilated to those with whom we have social contact, and to the objects with which we are familiar.  We imbibe the opinions, we copy the habits, we imitate the manners, we fall into rite customs of those with whom we have daily conversation, and whom we make our companions and friends. Their sentiments insensibly become our sentiments, and their ways our ways. ... We are insensibly, but certainly moulded into conformity to the opinions, maxims, and feelings which are there expressed.  Our own sentiments undergo a gradual change, and we are likened to those with which in this manner we are conversant."
 
It stands to reason that the more we focus on the true image of God, the more we conform as that likeness.  Mrs. Eddy's premise is that man is God's image and likeness (S4).  She reasons that matter, or physique, cannot be that likeness (S5).  When you look in the mirror your reflection can't be different from the original.  Likewise, when God beholds His image, it must be just like Him.  All analogies eventually break down, but as we've discussed in previous articles, it is helpful to remember that when one looks into a mirror, the image is not in the mirror, but in the eye of the beholder.  True, the image must match the original (S6), but the image is not outside of God. The image is beheld by God. There is no separation. This is true for everyone. "All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power" (S7). When you look into the mirror, what are you seeing? Physique? You are image. Look into the mirror of Science and become familiar with the true image. You will then manifest the attributes of Spirit and true power.
 
Section 3: There Can Be Only One Power
In citation B8, the enemy isn't just tiptoeing in, it's flooding in!  Even a slowly rising river can seem formidable, but a rushing torrent of water is more so. Sometimes in life, we run into something we just can't seem to avoid.  Like the giant Goliath, our challenge often spends a good deal of energy boasting itself above our ability to deal with it, and trying to scare us into thinking God can't help either.  But God "shall lift up a standard against him." Historically, the standard-bearer began the battle by striking the first blow and smiting at the enemy. It's interesting to me, that according to the story, David didn't originally aspire to his place on the battlefield. He was out with the flocks doing his own thing, when Samuel came looking for him (B9). But once Samuel anointed him, he accepted the role, and was ready and willing to take on the challenge put forth against his God and nation [--even running to meet it and Goliath!] It is often pointed out that David couldn't make use of Saul's armor. He utilized the tool he was familiar with-his sling. Over the years, there have been those who have assigned particular symbolic significance to the "five smooth stones," but he actually only needed one of them. His power wasn't in weapons, but in God.
 
As Goliath claimed to be an unstoppable power, so does every evil challenge boast itself against God. The way Mrs. Eddy poses the question makes evil's claims seem ridiculous: "Can matter drive Life, Spirit, hence, and so defeat omnipotence?" (S8). As our textbook points out, "The central fact of the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power" (S9). To make use of that power, it is said that we "must love God supremely" (S10). In fact, it is impossible to succeed in any attempt to mix spiritual with material methods. This presents a challenge in itself for some. It's not always easy to let go of all material aids and trust in God alone, but we're not Christian Scientists until we do (S11). That there is no power aside from God is the central fact of Christian Science. It is, in fact, the standard of practice. "The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable" (S12)-the only power. Is it in you?
 
Section 4: No Power in Evil Influence
Today's popular culture is obviously fascinated by the thought of the occult.  Witchcraft, vampires, and wizardry are common themes in literature, film, and video games. Most of us realize that this is purely fiction, but some tend to believe what they are shown. This is especially true when it comes to beliefs of demonic possession and astrology. It is remarkable that the same people who imagine the dark side of mysticism to be potentially viable, flatly reject the possibility of an omnipotent, benevolent God.
 
For teenagers, it seems nearly impossible to avoid these grotesque images, but we can rest assured, that they are completely false and powerless.  Paul tells us, "the carnal mind is enmity against God" (B12). Why would we want to fill our thoughts with that which is hateful to God?  Moreover, why would we resist God? Such warnings run throughout the Scriptures. Paul tells the Romans, "there is no power but of God" (B13). Hundreds of years before that, Jeremiah cautions the Israelites not to learn "the way of the heathen" (B14). And several centuries before that the book of Deuteronomy warns the children of Israel to avoid "diviners" and "observers of times" (B15). Circling back to the New Testament Paul again, urges us to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness" (B16).
 
All of these superstitious practices and occult fantasies directly contradict the understanding that God, Spirit is the only power. Science and Health summarily dismisses any notion of a power aside from God able to control man. Our textbook implies that the apparent influx of supernatural stories and practices are no more than "the repetition of evil" (S12). But the fact remains that "Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless..." (S13). Evil is powerless, and in Christian Science, the belief that evil has power is called animal magnetism. It is vitally important to understand that animal magnetism-so-called-is only a belief and has no foundation in Truth (S14, 15). Mrs. Eddy specifically refutes the belief of horoscopes or astrology. Many think it's harmless fun, but it has no power, and we should avoid it.  Several years ago a lecturer made a specific point of urging his audience to declare each day, "I am not a sign." If we don't actively refute the mesmeric influences that attempt to hold humanity in its grasp, we are liable to drift into them and unknowingly allow ourselves to be governed by them. Make no mistake about it-all superstition and occult practices are powerless and unreal.  You have divine authority to take that stand (S16).
 
Section 5: Spirit Is the Healing Power
Luke tells us that "Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit" after his temptations in the wilderness (B17). Theologian Adam Clarke make a special point of the fact that "He who, through the grace of God, resists and overcomes temptation, is always bettered by it...those very things which are designed for our utter ruin he makes the instruments of our greatest good."  Jesus' confrontation in the wilderness didn't wear him out, but made him stronger.  This spiritual power was "explosive" as noted in this interesting fact brought out in Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament: the word rendered "power" comes from the Greek dunamis, from which is derived our English word "dynamite."  Do we approach healing with that kind of power?  Jesus' healing of the woman "bowed down" for eighteen years (B18) is significant because it was accomplished in the face of strong dogmatic opposition.  We meet similar arguments to our healing work today.  For instance, spiritual healing is contrary to prescribed methods of the day; detractors are more apt to consider healing a violation of God's law rather than a fulfillment of it; animosity is not only aimed at the healer, but also at the patient; and this animosity is often the product of envy.
 
Our textbook points out that Jesus' healing was proof of the "power of Spirit over the flesh" (S17).  In the story the woman had "a spirit of infirmity."  Often, people believe that God sends sickness, but there are no evil spirits and no evil in Spirit (S18). Our Leader expected us to offer healing proof as Jesus did (S19). The woman in the story felt powerless to help herself.  By contrast, our textbook tells us we do have the power to help ourselves, and nothing can take that power away.  It is helpful to know that as false beliefs are corrected, Spirit is forming us anew (S20).  Our part is to utilize that power-to take possession of our bodies and rise in the strength of Spirit (S21).
 
Section 6 Nothing Is Too Hard
It seems these days nearly everyone seems over-extended in one way or another. Even those retired from the work force are often over-booked with clubs and outings. Sometimes it seems that there is just no way to get everything done, nor that we will have the energy to see it all through. The carnal mind offers seminars on organization and time management; and as boosters there are products like five-hour energy supplements and energy drinks-all of which are one step shy of dangerous medication.  And of course there are the sports drinks asking, "Is it in you?"  As benign as these over-the-counter performance enhancers may appear, they are often dangerous, addicting, and always a poor substitute for the power of Spirit.
 
The Scriptures promise, we can do all things through the strength of Christ (B19). Regardless of how difficult the trial, the temptation, or the illness, we need not despair, or fold under the pressure.  Every human aid eventually wears off, leaving us worse than before, but the spirit of power that comes from God, is "without measure" (B20).  It's available whenever, and wherever we need it in unlimited supply.  It might be good enough for some to utilize this power for their own benefit, but for the practicing Christian, there's more to it.  The power really kicks in when we are engaged in Christian labor.  As followers of Christ, we must be willing to set our personal pursuits aside, and move forward with Christ each day.  To take up the cross (B21) alludes to pulling up your tent stakes, and move on. We don't want to become stagnant.  We need to progress.  Jesus expected us to be actively engaged in healing.  Someone might think, "With all there is to do each day, how can I possibly find time for church, or prayer?"  Again, Christ promises that his "yoke is easy" (B23).  You'll remember that the yoke is a device designed to allow two animals to work together as one.  When we're engaged in Christly labor, we are never on our own.
 
Mary Baker Eddy knew a thing or two about hard work.  She labored steadily throughout her lifetime to bring healing to an ailing world.  She never retired.  She lived her statement, "The highest and sweetest rest...is in holy work" (S22).  She assured her students that anyone who followed the Christ consistently would also be able to heal (S23). To human sense it may seem that those who work hardest, are punished for it, but Mrs. Eddy knew that spiritual energies never wear out (S24), and gives Florence Nightingale as an example of someone who accomplished more than the ordinary person due to her selfless desire to serve (S25).  This desire was fueled by the divine impetus.  Anyone who has engaged in helping others knows that selfless service invigorates rather than depletes.  Our Leader encourages us to feel that divine energy thus, being subject not to laws of weariness, but to divine power (S26).
 
Section 7: Power of the Word
As Elihu did, so Paul claimed his standing to speak came from God alone (B24). Rather than relying on rhetoric or eloquent philosophical arguments, he based his message on the power of spiritual demonstration to the end that his listeners would not trust in men, but in God.
 
The power of God is manifested in healing. Mrs. Eddy had full faith in the power of the WORD to heal today just as it did in Paul's time (S27). The healing effect of Christian Science is evidence that its teachings are legitimate, and infused with the power of Spirit.  You might remember another commercial slogan from a few years ago: "It's the real thing."  Mrs. Eddy wanted her followers to recognize her discovery as the real thing. Christian Science wasn't her idea or invention, it came directly from the power of Spirit (S28), and Mrs. Eddy fully expected that power to reign supremely in our present experience (S29).  Section 3 warns that the enemy comes in "like a flood."  As we face the aggressive challenges of evil each day, it may seem like we don't have enough power resist them on our own.  The enemy may come in "like a flood" but the "calm, strong currents of true spirituality" are more powerful than any seeming flood of evil. These currents "deepen" our experience (S30).  Modern definitions of "deepen" are "to strengthen, amplify, or augment."  The strength of Spirit gives us the power to see through the lies of sin, disease, and death, and overcome every obstacle to our spiritual growth.  So the question remains: Is it in you?

 [If you have been blessed by any of CedarS 3 weekly inspirational newsletters (our Mets or our PSSTs and PYCLs for Sunday School teachers), NOW would be a wonderful time to share your appreciation.  CedarS recurring needs are listed 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 very helpful monthly donationsto CedarS (or to give one-time gifts) 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.  

[You can call us anytime at 636-394-6162  (or email to office@cedarscamps.org
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[To send an actual check, please make it out to CedarS Camps and mail it to:
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[Here's more on helping us share the applicable principles of Christianity in CedarS Bible Lands Park: Our new Fall-season outreach (that is fostering a proper understanding of Christian Science) has led us to give tours of our new Bible Lands Park that clearly demonstrate to Bible-loving churches and youth groups of other denominations as well as our own how Christian Scientists love and "take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (S&H497:3)  As shown in video clips We are currently working in our Bible Lands Park to expand our ability to share applicable New Testament insights by building a trail with activity, learning stations that follow Paul's teachings and trips from Antioch to Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Rome ... We welcome all gifts to enable such inspiring "Home Improvements" to be made as weather allows.]

[Lastly you can help by telling "un-camped" children and families about CedarS being a wise and happy place for them to glimpse and demonstrate more of their spiritual natures!  We'll gladly send anyone a DVD and info on CedarS financial aid formsprograms for all ages; 2012 session dates & rates; 2012 online enrollmenttransportation... to help get them or anyone in your extended church family to camp!]

 [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!    And, please contact us for more info about all things about CedarS!]

Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Spirit"     February 5, 2012
 
 
P.S.S.T. Golden Text   
Read aloud the first verse from Hymn 10 in the Christian Science Hymnal. Relying on God as All-Powerful what does this hymn assure us we can expect and experience?
 
P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading
What are the reasons to praise the All-Powerful God stated in the Responsive Reading? Where else does this specific passage occur in the Bible? See Luke 4:16. Was Jesus speaking for himself only or for all of us? What has the All-Powerful God appointed for us?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 1
Ask students to complete this phrase: God's power and mighty acts were shown to me when _________________. 
Citation B3 is good for memorization by the students. What is the answer to the two questions that open citation B3? If we start with God, citation S1, what is the result? See the last word in citation S3.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 2
Who made you? B4. Of what did God make you? S4. Look to citation S5 to state who you are: the likeness of spirit, spiritual and perfect, idea, the image of Love, the compound idea of God, the consciousness identity of being, the reflection of God...
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 3 
No matter how big or powerful evil or the enemy appears to be, one smooth stone, or one nugget of truth is adequate to defeat it. Please read and discuss the story of David and Goliath in citation B10. What was David offered to use in battle? Why did he not accept them? What did he find more powerful? Why? What do the five smooth stones represent? Qualities of God. List the five qualities you think David used to arm himself. What is the central fact in this story? See citation S9. That is an assurance.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 4 
How many powers are there? B13. Who is in control of you and all mankind?  S12. Who is in control of the universe? S15. Where do you get your authority for believing "...in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance"? S16. Ask students to write a short paragraph of how their reliance on God as All-Power helped to overcome a challenge.
 
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 5
One evidence of God as All-Power is in physical healing. Read aloud the Bible story in citation B18. What was the basis for this healing? Was it in Jesus' words or in Jesus' thought? The ruler of the synagogue heard the words but did not understand what was in Jesus' thought. How would the ruler of the synagogue have acted if he had understood Jesus thought? What has God made man, you, capable of doing? S21. Why? Power is divinely bestowed on you. Accept it, do not resist what God, All-Power, does in, as, and through you.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 6  
If you feel labored or heavy-burdened, what can you do about it? B23. Imagine you and God yoked together. What would that look like? How great it is to have God by your, our, side. Read what Mrs. Eddy says about Florence Nightingale. Perhaps students can do a little research about Ms. Nightingale before coming to class. Ask the students how they can be philanthropists? Perhaps they can share how they have served others.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 7
What does Christian Science teach? S30. On what can you rely for your power? What does omnipotence mean? All power. God, All-Power also means Good, All-Power. What can we learn about All-Power, Good, in our lives? S29. Heaven, harmony, is here and now, is yours, and everyone's. Finish with reading aloud verses 2 and 3 from Hymn 10 from the Christian Science Hymnal.
[PYCL: Have a Spirit-filled class that "leaves nothing (& nobody) out!"]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
 
"Spirit"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for February 5, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Bracketed titles & links by Warren Huff, PYCL Editor]
 
[PYCL: Discuss how to depend on Spirit's power instead of all else that's not up to the job.]
The Golden Text is wonderful for sharing with the younger kids this week. In this translation it is very clear in its statement.  Talk about how we can depend on Spirit's power instead of whatever we seem to rely on.  How do we tell the difference between relying on our own sense of things and relying on God?  
 
[PYCL: Tell the story of David & Goliath. Discuss & act in it. Bring a bag of ideas in stone.]
The story of David and Goliath is such a great one for kids (of all ages!), and this is a great way to talk about relying on Spirit for our strength!  Look at the story together carefully.  How does David talk about God?  In verse 37 (B10) he talks about all the ways that he has relied on God/Spirit in the past.  Spirit provided him with the strength and courage to deal with the lion and the bear that were after his flocks...he knew from experience that God would be there for him with Goliath too.  Discuss with the kids any examples they might have of times when they have experienced the power of God, God's presence in their lives.  Share any examples of your own.  Talk about the way that Spirit was manifested in this battle. Was it by being bigger and more impressive?  Better trained, better armed?  Look at Science and Health in this same section for some ideas on what the key to having power is.  Citation S10 says it is to "...love God supremely."  And citation S11 speaks of "...the good you do and embody..." "the weight you throw in the right scale..." and finally keeping thought in line with "unselfed love...".  How did David express these qualities of unselfed love and goodness and loving God supremely?  Perhaps his fearlessness in the face of Goliath and his previous encounters with the wild beasts show his supreme love for God...can they explain why?  This discussion can be had with even the youngest classes by telling the story and discussing and acting in it.  You can ask the little ones questions as they act the story of David protecting his sheep and keeping the bear and lion away and of David standing up to Goliath.  Ask them where Spirit is when they are facing a scary situation.  Give them a bag to hold the stones and talk about the ideas that the stones represent the power that they gave David.  What power do they have in them for the child?  Each stone could have an idea on it to "combat" things that are hard to deal with for the children.
 
[PYCL: Make a colorful, paper-bag vest as a "garment of praise".]
Another thought for the littlest ones is to make a "garment of praise".  Talk about what a garment is and what they are talking about in this Bible passage. (B3).  How do we praise God and what might it be like to exchange a "spirit of heaviness for a garment of praise"?  Can you put that in terms that the children might relate to?  You could bring colorful and beautiful things to staple tape or glue to a paper bag vest.  Take a paper grocery bag and cut a "vest" out of it.  You can bring colored construction paper and write qualities that each child embodies or expresses to glorify God.  The kids can cut out the qualities in whatever shape they want and attach them to the vest.  If you feel moved you can bring colored feathers or plastic jewels etc. and use them as examples of God's beauty, protection (wings that shelter), value (the jewels) both the child to God and God/Spirit Himself.  You can come up with things for whatever supplies you have on hand.  They can pretend to "take off" their heavy spirit, the one weighed down with unhappy, scary, angry, upset thoughts and happily put on their "garment of praise".  How do they praise God each day?  Can they tell you?  How are they praising God in Sunday School?
 
[PYCL: Make a pretend yoke and put two pupils in it for a short walk.]
Related to the above idea, we can make a pretend yoke and talk about the power that the yoke that Jesus refers to in section 6 can give.  Explain how a yoke works with oxen to keep them working together and give them more power to accomplish a task.  What is Jesus referring to here?  What does it mean to "take [his] yoke upon you..."?  Try "yoking" two children together (if they are cooperative types and volunteer) and have them take a short walk together.  What would it feel like to put on Jesus' yoke?  Can you make a list of what his yoke would "contain"?  Why would this yoke feel "light"?  Does it include doing the things that Jesus did, like healing?  How can even a little person do the things that Jesus did?  I don't have a really clear idea of how to create a yoke-like thing.  But one idea is to get a four-foot section of sturdy dowel [or pipe], or a sturdy stick.  Wrap two sections of it with a bit of padding (a t-shirt or towel maybe) then attach with a rope, something heavy at each end like a gallon jug part full with water or something.  I realize that this isn't exactly like a yoke, but put a child under each padding with the dowel or stick across their shoulders and they can hold it with their hands beside their shoulders to keep it up.  Make sure you show them what a real yoke looks like and how it works.  There is a picture in this week's my bible lesson if you need it.  Let them walk around a bit to see what it feels like.  What happens if they try to walk two different directions?  This digresses slightly from the idea of "taking [Jesus'] yoke upon you, but it gives the idea of what a yoke is and how we might think of ourselves as yoked together with God or with the Christ.
 
[PYCL:  Demonstrate spiritual ideas with a mirror, magnifying glass, binoculars.]
In section 2 we have some ideas for using mirrors (again!) and magnifying glasses and even binoculars.  Talk about what it means to "magnify his (Spirit's) work..." (B5)  What does a magnifying glass do?  How can we make God's goodness "bigger", more apparent to those around us?  How can we make it seen from "afar off".  Look through binoculars; can they see that things that are far away look closer, or "bigger"?  That's what we want the good we do each day to look to others, so that we are blessing people and helping people feel Spirit's power and goodness.  Should we need binoculars?  Or should God's goodness in us be so "big" that everyone can see this goodness without any help from binoculars!  In citation B7 there is a "mirror" passage, another way to truly "see" Spirit and man as Spirit's reflection!  Feel free to work with and reinforce the mirror ideas from the last two week's of PYCLs.   Citation S6 talks of revealing Spirit (God) "...only in that which reflects Life..."
 
[PYCL: Discuss the 3 "omnis" that "leave nothing out!"]
Finally, feel free to take some time to discuss the idea of "omni" with the kids.  Citation S3 contains all three "omnis" and the kids may or may not be familiar with these "...three great verities of Spirit..."  How do these form the "starting-point of divine Science"? (S1) Susan Mack has a nice song for kids about "omni" if you want to check out her album "G is for God".  [I love the line: "Omni means all and that leaves nothing out!"] There is a wealth of things to talk about with these qualities because they really encompass Spirit's power and presence and wisdom and make healing and comfort so practical and present.  Talk about how these words apply to our life.  Do these descriptions of Spirit leave any room for anything other than goodness, safety, intelligence and so on?  With this in mind you can look at citation B3 and the 139th Psalm.  Where can we go to get away from God?  What situation can we be in where omnipresent Good is "absent"?  When can we find ourselves without omnipotent Love to help us?  And so on.
 
Have a great Sunday School class!
 
 
 
 
 

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