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!

Choose Wisely to Dwell in the Kingdom!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, October 29th, 2012

Choose Wisely to Dwell in the Kingdom!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:
"Adam and Fallen Man"
October 29-November 4, 2012
By Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. Glen Ellyn, Illinois
craig.ghislincs@icloud.com
 
"Where art thou?" For most of us, this question, found in the Golden Text, conjures a sense of self-examination.  Many theologians find in this question evidence of God's great love for His creation.  John Wesley calls it God's "gracious pursuit"-the call to begin the process of bringing man back into obedience.  It leads to a series of related questions everyone would do well to consider: Where am I?  What do I believe in?  Am I living my faith?  How close am I to God?  Am I dwelling in flesh or Spirit?  Am I hiding from God?  No matter where we think we are-near or far from God-we can be sure that the Christ is calling to each of us, guiding us to find our true path.
 
There are differing interpretations of the opening verse in the Responsive Reading, "Awake up my glory..."  Here "glory" is thought of as meaning either harp, tongue, skill, or ideas.  But a more spiritual reading is to see it as an appeal to stir one's highest nature and qualities to rise from the dormant inactivity of sleep to the full productivity of the day.
 
Traditional theological thinking about Psalm 139 implies that since God knows everything, no matter where we go, or what we're doing, trying to escape Him is futile. Christian Science has a different take on these verses.  We might paraphrase, "Where ever I think I may be, and whatever I may try to do-even though it seems far from you-nothing, O God, can separate me from you because you fill all space; and I can never really be, or go anywhere outside of your omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient Love."  Rather than making God aware of all human activity, good and bad, we take the spiritual view that we can never travel outside of His watchful, protective care.
 
In a sense, that is one of the most amazing things about God's Love for us.  Even if we think we've fallen from grace-purposefully, accidentally, or otherwise-the voice of God is always able to reach us.  Erroneous, dark suggestions that would separate us from God, are dissipated in the light of Truth.  We are infinitely precious in God's eyes, and when we waken to this fact, we see that we've never left Him and never could, and are with Him forever.
 
Section 1: Spiritual Creation? or Material Fable?
It's always a bit challenging when working with this subject of Genesis and the Adam and Eve story. Commentators and theologians have written volumes about it, but the only ideas really worth noting are those that coincide with the spiritual interpretation of the story given to us by Mary Baker Eddy.  It seems a bit odd, to search out commentaries, parallel to our Leaders' in that it may appear that we are looking to traditional theology to validate her writings.  But the fact is, just as the Hebrew word "bara" (or create) signifies a creation that comes out of nothing that went before it, so Mrs. Eddy's understanding of these passages are utterly original.  If anything, the traditional views of the creation and Adam stories are useful because they point out the entrenched mistakes that have been held to over centuries, and still taint our views today.  Indeed, many of these old views do little more than attempt to validate and legitimize the Adam dream; whereas, the truths of Christian Science serve to wake us up to what God has really done, and continues to do.
 
The beginning verses of the Bible (B1) set forth several spiritual facts: First-God exists, has always been, and is self-created, everything else proceeds from Him.  Second-God is Spirit. His character is omniscient in which is concentrated all causative antecedents of the universe.  He has the will to perform what He pleases, the wisdom to plan, and the power to execute His plan.  Third-when God speaks, His word is done.  Fourth-He is aware that everything made must be like Him-good in every respect.  As noted above, "bara" is a creative ability reserved only for God.  Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary On the Whole Bible defines the Hebrew "bara" as "created - not formed from any pre-existing materials, but made out of nothing."  While the plants and animals proceed out of what comes before them, man is unique.  He does not proceed from anything. He is made in God's image.  Theologian Adam Clarke sees that, in the first chapter of Genesis, God is producing a spiritual thing-not a body.  Clarke also has a nice description of what is meant by the phrase "God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."  He writes: "for every thing was formed to the utmost perfection of its nature, so that nothing could be added or diminished without encumbering the operations of... Spirit...or rendering them inefficient..."  
 
After laying the foundation of spiritual reality, the Lesson turns to the problem of the human condition.  The psalmist refers to parables and "dark sayings" (B2), meaning: "very deep subjects, not easily understood, which need familiar illustrations to help explain them."  To human sense, the two contradictory views of creation found in Genesis most certainly do need explanation.
 
In discussing the creation of Adam and Eve, many commentators, while recognizing the difference between man made in God's image, and "man of the dust of the ground" (B3), end up looking for ways to meld the stories together by saying the first creation was of the soul, and the second of the body.  This attempt at literal translation stretches the boundaries of credulity.  The discoverer of Christian Science points out two distinct documents of creation and sees them as allegorical.  The book of Isaiah reminds us to walk in "the light of the Lord" (B4); and to trust neither the mortal man, nor anything that he has invented.
 
Our textbook establishes the fact that God is only reflected by that which is good (S1).  All ideas come from God and are like Him.  God and man are inseparable (S3).  Based on the first chapter of Genesis, man is God's spiritual offspring, not the man of the dust (S4).  As noted above, Mrs. Eddy finds that there are two distinct documents in Genesis, and she points out the obvious discrepancies between them (S5, S6).  But unlike traditional theologians, she discerns that only one of the two stories can be true.  The first story is consistent, in that God is all powerful, and perfection is the order of being.  The second story is the history of error (S6).
 
Then she poses the question we began with, "Where art thou?" (S7).  In effect, she is not only asking that we assess our condition of thought, but that we make a choice as to which premise we are going to believe.  Many people blame their condition on circumstances beyond their control, but our Leader is posing a question that requires accountability.  We have the choice, and she urges us to make the right one.
 
Section 2: Asleep? or Awake?
Traditional theology goes through all sorts of tedious ramblings aiming to make Adam's story (B5) coincide with God's plan.  They even go so far as to consider God putting Adam to sleep as an act of benevolence-as if it were an anesthetic for the pending operation to remove a rib!  Fortunately, we have a better way of looking at it.  Sleep symbolizes inactivity and ignorance of what's really going on.  The psalmist warns us not to be found sleeping (B6).  Paul too, demands that we wake up from the sleep of carelessness, indifference, and the ignorance of sin to the reality of spiritual light (B7).
 
It was pointed out to me years ago, that [in this allegory] Adam falls asleep, but he never actually wakes up.  The whole of his experience is a dream.  Mrs. Eddy refers to human discord as "the Adam-dream" (S8).  This leads us to the question, "Are we asleep or awake?"  Mrs. Eddy asks, "Which institutes Life,-matter or Mind?" (S9)  The answer she expects is obvious, but how often do we conduct ourselves as if that material picture were real?  It is patently absurd to try to meld the two creation stories-man in God's image, and Adam and Eve-and end up with a coherent theory.  They are completely contradictory.  Every piece of information gained through the five corporeal senses is false because the "corporeal senses cannot take cognizance of Spirit" (S10).  Living in material sense, is living in a dreamland.  Only the spiritual facts of being can wake us up (S11).  In direct opposition to the theological attempt to meld matter and spirit, Christian Science shows us that the dream of life in matter, and the spiritual reality of things are entirely separate from each other-they cannot be joined or reconciled in any way (S12).  So the question remains, "Are we asleep in material sense, or awake to the reality of Spirit?"
 
Section 3: Is Disobedience worth the Fear and Shame it brings?
While many of the Lessons about "Adam and Fallen Man" are focused on the serpent, this Lesson seems to be more about our choices, and their consequences.  In the garden, Adam and Eve had all they could ever want, but the serpent got Eve to wonder if God had withheld something from them.  When she sees that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil did not appear threatening, and in fact, offered knowledge she didn't have, she chose to disobey God and eat of the fruit (B8).  While she didn't immediately die, after she shared this fruit with Adam, their "eyes were opened" and they suddenly felt shame.  When they heard God calling, they ran and hid themselves because they were both ashamed of their disobedience, and afraid of punishment.  So the bottom line here is, that sin brings shame and fear.  Is that where we want to live?  In fear and shame?  In Isaiah, the voice of God isn't calling out to discover and punish us, but to strengthen and help us (B10).
 
Mrs. Eddy's exegesis of this story reveals that Adam symbolizes the belief that man is separated from God (S13).  This separation is the result of sin. When their "eyes were opened," it meant that they were no longer looking to God for their needs, but viewing the world and each other through the material senses.  Now Mrs. Eddy writes that Adam was material from the outset, and never had spiritual dominion to lose (S14).  The entire picture of a man of dust is erroneous.  The antidote for the fear and shame that come with belief in sin, is to cast it out, and oppose everything the senses claim (S15).  Mrs. Eddy saw the incongruity of the theory that God could create man perfect, and then that this perfect man could become a sinner, and fall from perfection (S16).  Even the philosopher Spinoza saw that if God did not wish Adam to eat of the tree, "it would entail a contradiction for Adam to be able to eat of it, and therefore it was impossible that Adam should eat of it" (Spinoza Theological-Political Treatise Edited by John Israel). The spiritual fact is that man [in God's image] can never lapse out of harmony with God, and could never have fallen.
 
Section 4: Dwell in Sin? or Go Home to God?
How can the spiritual fact, that the real man has never fallen, help us today? As Jesus taught, recognition of our spiritual nature can help waken us from sin, and encourage us to find our way back home to God.  It is widely accepted that man's natural inclination is toward animal behavior and away from spiritual things. However, Paul says "sin shall not have dominion"-the propensity to sin, shall not reign in our hearts (B11).  What if you have made choices you're not proud of?  What can you do if you know you've "bitten the forbidden fruit" and are ashamed?  Jesus suggests, you repent (B12).  Or, as The Amplified Bible phrases it, "change your mind for the better, heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins"
 
We're all familiar with the story of the prodigal son (B13).  Similar to Adam and Eve, he has all he could ever ask for, but decides he wants to leave the safety of home and make his own way.  He is living in utter contradiction to the law as he knew it, and suffering as a result.  When he comes to himself (or suddenly wakes up) he realizes his folly.  He does something though, that many people are often afraid, or unwilling to do.  He recognizes his mistake, acknowledges it, swallows his pride, and heads back home.  His father is eagerly looking for him, embraces him, and restores his place in the household.
 
Nothing separated that poor boy from his place at home, but his own foolishness.  Paul declares that as Adam (error, the belief in being separated from God) brings death, so Christ brings life (B14).
 
Our Leader is not hesitant in pointing out that sin causes us to believe that we are separated from God (S17).  Do we really want to live in sin?  Traditional theology posits that we are mortals; and that mortals are fallen children of God.  Our textbook contradicts this notion (S18).  It points out that mortals were never children of God, and that God's children are incapable of falling.  Now, the prodigal's awakening could have gone like this: "Hey wait a minute. I am not a mortal living in filth and sin.  I'm a child of God, and I don't have to take this anymore.  I'm going home!"  The realization that we are not mortals is the first step.  But then we have to do something about it.  We have to strive to prove it (S19).  This means we have to make a conscious effort to abandon all error, and follow Christ (S20).  This path will lead us right out of the Adam dream to eternal life.
 
Section 5: Carnal? or Spiritual?
This section elucidates the process of choosing to dwell in Spirit rather than in flesh.  The psalmist acknowledges that he is over his head in sin (B15)-something we rarely do.  Most of us do everything we can to hide our sin, but that doesn't get us out of it.  The psalmist turns entirely to God, and acknowledges that only God can save him, and what's more, God is willing to save him (B16).  No longer in sin, he is unashamed to hope in God (B17).  So often we think we can't go "back home" or back to church, because we will be shamed.  But turning to God has the opposite effect. Our burden of shame in sin melts away in the light of truth.  Paul too, underscores that living according to the carnal mind, gets us more than trouble-it leads to [dead-ends of all kinds, including] death (B18). As Adam and Eve were warned, "The day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die."  But there's hope.  If the Spirit of God dwells in us, we live in the Spirit.
 
Mrs. Eddy tells us that eventually, we learn that all of our problems [that seem to handcuff us] are rooted in the belief that we live in flesh (S22).  She recalls the "awful demand...where art thou?" (S23, GT). Are we looking for happiness in the flesh?  It seems to most people that they have no choice about it, and that whether due to Adam's sin or not, they are stuck being mortals and are destined to sin.  What's more, they think this is who they are, and nothing can change it.  They fear that letting go of the mortal is letting go of themselves.  Our Leader kindly meets this fear with the assurance that letting go of evil allows us to actually find our true identity (S24).  The healing cited in citation S25 mirrors that of countless thousands who have had similar experiences.
 
The bottom line is, we do have a choice.  Rather than sitting back and believing we have no way out of sickness or sin, we are counseled to rise in rebellion against anything that would say we are separated from God (S26).  We never have to take sickness "lying down."  We can fight it.  And if we've sinned, we can fight that too.  If you seem to be overwhelmed by sickness or sin, remember-you don't have to live there.  You have the freedom to contradict it, and to live in the kingdom right now.
 
Section 6: Keep Yourselves in the Kingdom
The benediction in Jude (B19) enjoins us to keep ourselves in the love of God.  In other words, dwell in the heavenly kingdom.  Recognize that doing so has the power to keep us from falling into the lie that we dwell anyplace apart from our loving Father-Mother God.
 
Science and Health promises that when we fully understand our relation to the Divine, we can't live anywhere else.  We have no other Mind, Love, wisdom, Truth, or Life than God.  And perhaps best of all, we lose all consciousness of matter or error (S27).  It is only human belief that has appeared to shut us out of heaven.  When we spiritually understand Christ, Truth, we won't even be tempted to eat the fruit of human knowledge (S28).  Everything that tree tells us is a lie.  We don't live anywhere but in Spirit.  We base our understanding of being on the first chapter of Genesis that says we are God's image and likeness.  Rather than trying to rationalize how man ended up apart from God, we find man's perfection in the Science of being to be "incontrovertible" (S29).  So where do you choose to dwell?  Where art thou?  The only place we ever were, or can be-in the kingdom of our Father!

[These application ideas from a CedarS Camps' Resident Christian Science Practitioner are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons daily throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters   Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & bracketed, italic additions.]
 

 [YOUR QUICK SUPPORT IS DOUBLY NEEDED!!
1st "Emerge ‘n See": A severe shortage of rainfall throughout the Midwest this summer dried up grazing pastures so that CedarS' June 1st cutting of hay needed to be fed out to our herd throughout the summer. Fall rains gratefully restored pastures for fall grazing, but were not enough to give us a second cutting of hay. So, CedarS needs to buy quite a bit of hay for our horses to make it through the winter. While we have trimmed back our herd and are rationing their hay consumption, we need donations ASAP to properly feed CedarS' well-loved horses this winter. Some good neighbors have enough hay to sell us at a below-market rate, if we have can raise enough donations to buy it. The good news is that our past MATCHING FUNDS DONORS FOR "ADOPT THE HERD" have committed to again match gifts up to $50,000 to buy hay and to underwrite the excellence of CedarS' popular and effective Riding Program. Here's a sample of fruitage: "I am getting to know about horses and how to ride them. ... I am very grateful to know that God is at my side all the time." Camper
 
2nd "Emerge ‘n See": We recently discovered that several of CedarS' original cabins and structures whose electrical wiring was not in metal conduits, have lately become major fire hazards due to critters gnawing through the wire insulation. Running new wire inside conduit (plus fixing our backhoe and doing other needed -- but more routine -- maintenance throughout camp will cost $50,000. The good news is that our past MATCHING FUNDS DONORS FOR "MAINTENANCE MUSTS" have assured us that "Nothing has changed", and that they will again match your gifts up to $25,000 till 12-31-12!  "What a wonderful experience it was to be at CedarS over Labor Day weekend. I will keep it in my heart forever: the beautiful surroundings, the embracing architecture, the loving and selfless staff. CedarS and all who love it and serve it is... a very special and holy place." College Summit Participant
 
Thanks for sending to our winter office address (below) your greatly appreciated & needed gifts to help support CedarS summer & fall programs that nurture the spiritual growth of Christian Science youth: 
"I will carry with me always the lessons learned, friendships made, and spiritual understanding gained." Counselor
 
CedarS Camps Office, 1314 Parkview Valley Dr., Manchester, MO 63011
or to make a credit card gift or monthly pledge over the phone call us at 636-394-6162.]
 
[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free -- by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio.  A voluntary French translation by Pascal or Denise cannot be guaranteed due to their busy schedules. An "official" version of the weekly Portuguese translation should be coming soon on a new webpage for CedarS Mets, but in the meantime you can email Orlando Trentini to be added to the list. 
 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.]

[PSST: Your choice: Oneness with God? or bothness with good & evil?]
Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Adam and Fallen Man"
for November 4, 2012
 
PSST: Golden Text: If the same question was put to you, how would you answer? Student, where are you? Consciousness, where are you? Thinking about your life from a material or physical sense view or from a spiritual view? Is there a dam or an obstruction preventing you from clarity as to where you are? (See also citation S-7.)
 
PSST: Responsive Reading: From what do you need to awake? From what does our world need to awake? What does God, Good, know about you or our world? Can you ever be separated from Good or what Good knows about you? Can you ever be outside of God, Good? Can you ever hide from Good or be hidden out of God's sight? Who is thinking you every moment of every day, eternally?
 
PSST: Section 1: Who declared you to be the image of God? Was God just fooling around or just kidding? Was God intentional in creating you? Why? Did God need you? Does God need you? Why? How did/does God behold you? As very good. [Genesis 1:31]
 
PSST: Section 2: Begin with reading citation S-5 from Section 1. Since there are two stories in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, please make a distinction between God and the Lord God. God's work was finished and very good in Genesis 1. Where therefore was the Lord God operating? In consciousness, through sleep. What is our responsibility in citation B-7? To awake out of sleep. How do you define sleep? Repose at night. Have you ever been walking around during the day yet asleep, oblivious to what is going on around you? If you are choosing to view life through the five physical senses are you asleep, unconscious of present good? Citation S-10. What is real? What is illusive? What is the result when viewing life through the physical senses? What is the result when awaking to life as spiritual? Citations S-11 and S-12.
 
PSST: Section 3: Read the account in citation B-8. What knowledge had God granted to man in Genesis 1? To know good and good only. What is offered to man in Genesis 3? Citation B-8. To know both good and evil. Why would you ever choose to know both good and evil? Review: Who created you? Why? What is the result in your life? Can you ever be outside of God, outside of Good? Is it really possible for you to know or have good and evil in your life? Citation S-16. Can you ever lapse from good in your life? Who is it that has directed good to be in your life? For how long? (See citation B-11 in Section 4.)
 
PSST: Section 4: This is a great acting-out opportunity for the Bible story in citation B-13. Even when you think you can be outside of God or Good, you cannot. When it is stated that the Prodigal Son "came to himself" what does that mean? Where did he come or go in order to "come to himself"? No matter where we go, there we are. So the question arises from the Golden Text - Where are you? Oneness with God, or bothness with good and evil? The struggle is always in thought, in individual consciousness. The struggle for good over evil continues as long as we measure either one of them with the five physical senses
.
PSST: Section 5: Who upholds you? Who protects you? Who is your Mind, your Consciousness? Who wakes you up?

PSST: Section 6: What are we charged to do in citation B-19? Is that a oneness demand or a bothness demand? Who has the majesty, dominion, and power both now and forever? Select the words in citation S-28 that describe who you are. Can you ever be a fallen man? (Citation S-28) Could Adam be a fallen man? (Citation S-29) Which is true, Genesis 1 or Genesis 2? With whom do you choose to align your consciousness? Read or sing together Hymn 278.


[PYCL:  Trick? or Treat? Listen to Inspiring guidance for Halloween visitors and everyday tricks and then choose to see and be "unfallen, upright, pure, and free"! (S-28) 171:8]
CedarS PYCLs--P
ossible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"
Adam and Fallen Man"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for November 4, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

Click here for a special "Trick? or Treat?" audio sharing by Christie Hanzlik, CS, a Resident CedarS Practitioner from Boulder, COFeel free to share it for a Happy Halloween Treat! (and a hallowed Thanksgiving season!)

[PYCL:  Lessons from "face plant" falls & a belief that man can be separate from God's love.]
You will probably talk about the story of Adam and Eve with this lesson.  Ask them about what it means to be "fallen".  We can talk about the idea theologically with the slightly older kids and literally with the youngest.  Do we like the sensation of falling?  I went for a mountain bike ride last week with my 8 year old and it turned out to be a rather rugged trail.  I "bit it" (fell) 5 times and was pretty banged up by the end.  I have to admit to feeling pretty frustrated, uncoordinated and inept, might I say "mortal", by the end of the trail.  I have a lot of sympathy for my 3 year old who gets very angry when he trips on a root on one of our many hikes and does a face plant!  Aside from the occasional discomfort of falling, it doesn't feel good to be "out of control" in that instant where you know you can't quite save yourself.  Maybe after sharing this thought in whatever age-appropriate way, you can talk about the way that falling represents a feeling of being "apart" from God.  That's what this lesson is about.  The belief that God's creation is on a separate course from his Maker.  It illustrates a man separate from God's love and goodness, cast out of "heaven" because he chose to do something that God put in front of him and told him he couldn't have.
 
[PYCL:  Try bringing a bowl of M&M's they can't eat. Examine the Prodigal's birthright.]
Ask your class: "Would your mom or dad put a bowl of M&M's on the table and then say you could never eat any?"  I imagine most would say "no way".  (You can try this from the beginning of the class yourself with a bowl of unwrapped candy, don't say anything, just tell them it's not for them to eat).  Assuming they all like M&M's, that would be just plain mean right?  Well that's what this story tells us.  There was a lovely tree with tempting fruit right in the middle of this wonderful place and God tells His creation that they can't have any of the fruit from that tree.  Is that what a loving parent does?  No!  This is meant to illustrate how we are tempted to believe that we have desires that are separate from God.  While this seems like a fair point (that we do often have desires that are not what God has), can you find examples in this lesson of how God saves us from these false suggestions that we are not happy or satisfied with His abundance?  Look at the story of the Prodigal, another parable.  Did the son have everything he needed before he left?  Did he have everything he needed after he spent his inheritance?  Was his father (God) always there supplying him with everything he needed?  What did he have to do to realize this?  He didn't really have to do anything but "turn" back toward his father right?  The father didn't even recognize him as a "sinner" but rather as his continuously honored son!  Nothing can actually take away our birthright, isn't that amazing?  We can't always see this if we are acting in a separate way from our Father-Mother, but it is nonetheless true!
 
[PYCL:  Illustrate your point about divine attraction with a compass.]
Try talking about how God or Good is always drawing us to Her.  That if we take a moment to listen, we naturally hear what we should be doing.  Bring a compass and show how it points to magnetic North.  Talk about why it works.  Give them each a chance to hold it and understand the way that anywhere you take it (other than way up North or way down South), it will always show you North, that needle will just swing that way no matter what.  That is what man does in relation to God.  We are always facing God when we are keeping our thought in line with Her.  Keeping our thought in line with God could be thought of as listening to how the Ten Commandments are working for us, or the Beatitudes.  How do these laws of God keep our "compass" pointing North, or towards God?  What is "in" God that draws all of us to Her?  Talk about how the magnetic pull of the poles [and hopefully of polling places next week] can be similar to the qualities that draw us naturally to Spirit.  We naturally know that we will never be truly satisfied by matter.  Matter can be fun... the apple from the tree might taste good, but what happens when it's gone?  Contrariwise, what happens when we do something truly generous and kind for someone in need?  Where does the feeling of love, warmth, joy, generosity and so on "go" when we are done giving?  We continue to feel it long after we are done with that one act!  This kind of satisfaction leaves a lasting impression and calls for more in a good way.  And this kind of attraction lifts us up rather than leaving us feeling down or "fallen" or depressed.
 
[PYCL:  Take turns "waking" you or each other up from "bad" dreams.]
I have shared this idea before, but the littler ones might enjoy talking about the idea of sleeping and dreaming that the Adam story illustrates.  You can talk about those aspects of the allegory; and they can take turns "waking" you or each other up from "bad" dreams.  You can just lay your head on the table and pretend to snore and they will be ready to go.  If you've prepared the discussion about what dreaming and sleep and so on represent you should be able to take turns and talk about what helps us wake up.  Can they share a good thought to wake up someone from a "bad dream"?  What sort of truth can help us see that something bad is really like a dream, not a reality?
 
[PYCL:  Time to get rid of those "dust bunnies" just wanting to remain hidden & left alone!]
Finally, you can play with the idea of being created of dust.  What does the dust represent to you?  [For Sunday "Grand Inspection" campers know to sweep up "dust bunnies" of dusty lint that tend to gather in corners under beds.] 
Where does clay/earth/dust generally "reside"?  We walk on it right?  You might even say we fall on it.  [But we can choose to remain "unfallen, upright, pure, and free"! (S-28) 171:8] 
Why would God need to make man out of dust if he made him first in His image?  For little children you can keep this simple and talk about how we can brush the dust off of ourselves, we can take a bath and wash it off; it can't be what we are made of!  We can vacuum up the dust and sweep it up and wipe it off!  It can't change who we are for real!  These simple thoughts are sometimes helpful for the smaller folk.
 
Have a grand Sunday!
 

Metaphysical

Win without a fight as the unreality of evil is prayerfully exposed to defeat itself - Whether...
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