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Face down every "Enemy" with the Power of Good!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, October 1st, 2012

[Face down every "Enemy" with the Power of Good!]
Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for October 1-7, 2012
"Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?"
By Craig L. Ghislin, C.S.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
 
[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 sign up to have them 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. YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of fun approaches & possible ways to teach lesson ideas to older and to younger Sunday School classes at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters  Enjoy! Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes with bracketed, italic additions.]
 
Would you say you have enemies? Most of us would assume that this question is asking whether there are any people who are actively working against you.  But what other enemies are there?  Three may be coming to your thought right now...That's right: sin, disease, and death.  While the world is, for the most part, engaged in a war of resistance with disease, and does its best to defer death, it tends to be more lenient towards sin.  But resisted or not, any strides mankind makes to oppose sin, disease, or death, are only efforts to postpone what they believe to be the inevitable; and that this trio of travesty is, in the end, unavoidable.  Here, Christian Science takes a radically different view.  We operate from the premise stated in the Golden Text: that God is good, and able to rescue us from all our enemies including sin, disease, and death.
 
The words from Deuteronomy in the Responsive Reading are a warning to the Israelites not to forget that they are a holy people, and that they should avoid being absorbed by heathen practices.  They were reminded that they were "God's chosen" not due to their numbers or any particular virtues, but because God had made a covenant with their forefathers.  That promise was evident in their exodus from Egypt; and it was incumbent upon the Israelites to keep up their end of the agreement, by serving God and keeping His Commandments.
 
A parallel can be drawn between the Israelites and we who are studying and practicing Christian Science.  As the Israelites, we too, are comparatively few in number; and we should be cautious not to allow ourselves to become absorbed by our environment.  Though the majority of those around us accept sin, disease, and death as part of life, we oppose them irrespective of surrounding pressures and influences.  Like the psalmist, we put our trust in God, and pray, "let me never be ashamed."  We, as Christian Scientists, wholeheartedly expect our God to deliver us from all evil-sin, disease, and death included.
 
Section 1: Exposing Sin
What do you notice about the points of view in the verses from Psalms (B1), and the beginning of the story of the woman taken in adultery (B2)?  There is a vast difference between the psalmist's humility and willingness to have even unintentional sins revealed, and the arrogance of those who brought the woman to Jesus.  The citations from our textbook also support the need to look at one's self honestly and own up to sinful thinking and behavior.  Admittedly, most people don't like thinking or hearing about sin, especially their own. It's even more difficult for Christian Scientists to face the issue-rejecting as they do, the traditional theological premise of original sin.  But, clearly it's an issue that must be faced.  The psalmist is keenly aware that there are times when he is "missing the mark" [the meaning of the word "sin" in Greek].  He asks, "Who can understand his errors?"-his wandering from the law that leads him astray and causes him to transgress?  He looks to God to cleanse him from all the deviations from God's law in both private and public-those he isn't even aware of, as well as the blatant, bolder sins of arrogance and pride.  Unfortunately, many aren't very eager to take this approach.  It's a whole lot easier to point out someone else's sin, as evidenced in those who brought the adulteress woman to Jesus.  Though their ulterior motive was to entrap Jesus, their presumptuous arrogance toward the woman blinded them to their own sins.
 
Jesus' brilliant response thrust upon them the spirit of the psalmist as each of the accusers was condemned by his own conscience.  Some traditions suppose that Jesus was writing a list of their sins in the dirt, but there was no need to.  He was not in the condemning business.  He lived the psalmist's prayer, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer."
 
So what does our textbook say about all this?  True, everything God makes is good, and only the good is real.  It's also true that all inharmony is illusive and unreal.  However, the unrealities of evil, seem real "until God strips off their disguise" (S1).  Yes, this science disposes of evil, but we can't just blithely say "sin doesn't exist" and then behave sinfully.  We need to understand what we mean by that.  What do you think is the biggest threat to Christian Science?  According to our Leader, "Nothing is more antagonistic to Christian Science than a blind belief without understanding" (S2).  She says such a belief builds on error and actually hides the Truth!  If we're going to say "there is no sin," we'd better prove it by living consistently with our statement.  She tells us it's a "moral offense" to say there is no sin, and then to indulge in sin (S3).  Concealing sin is also dishonest (S4).  Jesus rebuked sin not just with words, but by his life (S5).  We don't need to be afraid of admitting our need to do better.  The quicker sin is exposed, the quicker we can abandon it, and become better healers.  And we can abandon sin, because it's not who we really are-it's not what we really want to be, or do.  Our sincerity is shown as we live up to our prayer and adapt our behavior to express our Godlike, sinless nature.
 
Section 2: Forgiveness without Condemnation
As we have seen, sin has to be uncovered and acknowledged in order to be destroyed.  But does this mean we should be condemned by others, or condemn ourselves?  It can be hard to face one's errors, but God is there to help us, not condemn us (B3).  It's bad enough when one realizes his own sin privately, but to be called out publicly can be humiliating.  As mentioned earlier, Jesus handled the immediate threat to the woman with grace and wisdom.  Each of the accusers left the scene convicted by his own conscience.  The woman must have been both relieved and amazed as she realized her life was no longer in danger (B4).  Jesus asks, "Where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?"  She answers, "No man, Lord."  He says, "Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more."  Some have said these words of Jesus have begged the question as to whether or not Jesus himself felt some element of sin within himself, or if he felt the law was simply too harsh in the area of adultery.  But it is noted that while he avoided falling into the legal trap laid by the accusers of assuming the role of judge, he did not avoid the moral issue.  He made the point that she had definitely sinned, and that when she stopped sinning she would be forgiven.  He goes on to declare his message to be the light of the world and the only way out of all darkness.  It's a very simple solution isn't it?  If you want to be forgiven, stop sinning!
 
Note that Jesus didn't condemn her, or tell her to go on and suffer years of regret, wallowing in grief and guilt.  Once sin is uncovered, and we see it for the lie that it is, we can cast it off immediately and change our lives.  Isaiah echoes this sentiment urging us to quit mourning our mistakes and get up from the dust, shake it off, and sit in a higher place (B5).  In the ancient Near East, the use of chairs were reserved for royalty, so Isaiah is telling us to rise up from the dirt and assume our spiritual heritage in the kingdom of God.
 
Mrs. Eddy clearly explains the necessity of forsaking sin if we expect to be forgiven (S7).  Sin is only pardoned when it is destroyed (S8).  Sometimes we may be tempted to view sin with a lack of urgency.  We think, "Well, I know it's wrong, but as long as I'm not suffering too badly from it I'll just continue, since once I eventually stop, all will be forgiven."  Beware of this!  Indulgence in sin interferes with our ability to see the truth.  Our Leader states, "ONLY those who repent of sin and forsake the unreal, can fully understand the unreality of evil" [emphasis added] (S8).  If we expect to be fully free from error we can never admit any facet of it.  This means we have to acknowledge that there is no pleasure in sin (S9).  Once we're no longer mesmerized by it, we can see through its false allure and cast it out.  Now once we do, we have to be alert not to fall into a sense of superiority over others, (which is sin in itself).  We need to follow Jesus' lead and "judge righteous judgement" (S10).
 
Section 3: Confronting Disease
While the world doesn't generally clamor to free themselves from sin, they are totally preoccupied with avoiding sickness.  They allow sin (which amounts to pleasure in matter); but they have waged a strong campaign against disease (which amounts to pain in matter.)  Unfortunately, there are many who wish to be free of the pain of disease, so they can go back to the (seeming) pleasures of sin.  Is there a connection? The psalmist vows to go through life with every act and thought, being devoted to and supported by God (B6).  He plans to lean only on God and is confident that there is no trial he might face that God cannot help him to overcome.  That's the ideal, but the majority of people often seem to be floundering.  As commercial ads, billboard, magazines, and pop-up windows attest, the world is overflowing with concern about disease.  When Jesus beheld the masses, he yearned with compassion for them, and healed them (B7).
 
The multitudes flocked to him, and in one instance, it is recorded that some men found a way to get to Jesus with a sick friend even though the house they were in was jammed with people.  Think what faith and expectancy they had-to not give up when they saw the crowds.  They found a way through the roof to see Jesus.  Jesus was apparently impressed by their faith too.  We don't know what the man was thinking, but Jesus did something unexpected.  He said, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee" (B8).
 
It is said that it wasn't uncommon for the Jews to believe that disease was the result of sin-in effect a punishment from God.  This implies that God allows disease to exist.  Anything God allows must be real.  Even though many modern people don't make that connection, they still assume disease to be a fixed fact.  Mrs. Eddy reasoned differently.  She saw it to be impossible for God to be the source of disease in any fashion (S12).  On the contrary, because God has nothing to do with sickness or sin, they both must be unreal.  Reasoning from the standpoint of perfect God and perfect man, it is impossible for God's idea, man, to be vulnerable to either sickness or sin (S13).  In short, both sin and sickness are unreal.  But there is a crucial difference in how we prove this.  Sin needs to be seen as sin, and once uncovered, it can be destroyed.  Sickness on the other hand, needs to be unseen in order to be destroyed (S14).  To put it another way, trying to "un-see" and deny sin does not destroy it, but allows it to go on unchecked.  Similarly, one cannot destroy sickness by becoming fascinated or terrified of it, examining it, and making it real.  We have to take the opposite approach, and deprive it of any attention while we focus entirely on God, Truth.
 
Section 4: Defending Our Spiritual Authority
It shouldn't be surprising that there were those, who objected to what Jesus had done.  They firmly believed that he had no authority to forgive sins (B9).  Just so today, the medical community insists that prayer has no authority to heal.  Jesus faced their challenge and made the bold statement, "Arise, and take up thy bed and go into thine house."  It's true that it's a whole lot easier to say, "your sins are forgiven," than to say "arise and walk."  The Pharisees couldn't make either claim.  But, Jesus could do both.  He made his declaration based on his understanding of God and the real man.  The psalmist knew that God healed both iniquity and disease (B10).  The Pharisees might not have argued with the psalmist, but they were filled with jealousy and contempt for Jesus who demonstrated God's power.
 
Today, worldly belief continues to oppose spiritual healing.  Medical beliefs are as arrogant as the Pharisees, unwilling as they are, to concede authority to anything that opposes their systems.  Yet we need not accept sickness any more than we do sin (S16).  Mrs. Eddy shows how to specifically refute the claims of disease through the understanding that Mind, God, is the only power (S15).  Take note that our Leader sites "the hosts of Æsculapius" the god of medicine, referred to by Homer as "the blameless physician," as not the solution, but the source of disease (S17).  That means disease doesn't come from germs, viruses, DNA, mosquitoes, toxins, or pollution.  Disease comes from constant repetition of fears and concerns based on the ignorance of the mythical nature of the human mind and body.  They (the proponents of medical beliefs) only view things from a material perspective; and they insist that only they have the authority to heal.  But the whole system is wrong.  The only healing authority is God, and the human mind is helpless on its own.
 
Some might wonder how the statement that "Jesus healed sickness and sin by one and the same metaphysical process" (S19) squares with the earlier statement that sin and sickness are destroyed by using different approaches. The basis for both-denying (covering sickness), and uncovering sin-is the understanding that man and God are inseparable, and that man is spiritual.  As such, God's man has no affinity with sin, and suffers no infirmity from sickness (see Unity of Good 57:14).
 
Section 5: The Last Enemy
The final "inevitable" phase of human belief is death.  Aside from the expectancy that everything has an end, there's also the theological mistake that God uses death as an instrument to save from suffering, or to "call people home."  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The story of Lazarus (B11) shows the supreme confidence Jesus had that life is eternal.  When told that his friend was sick, Jesus was untroubled and unhurried, not because he accepted disease or death as part of God's plan, but because he knew that God's plan includes only eternal life.  When he felt moved to go to Lazarus two days after learning of the need, the disciples were concerned for his safety.  But, again, Jesus wasn't influenced by the threat of his own death either.  He calmly moved forward assured of his higher purpose.  Jesus represents the light of life that protects men from the darkness of death.
 
The prophet Hosea was calling the children of Israel back to God with the promise of redemption from death (B12, B13).  Hosea's call typified the true meaning of being "called home to God," and this calling home had nothing at all to do with death.
 
Our textbook assures us that God destroys death as well as sin and sickness; and that He never causes man "to sin, to be sick, or to die" (S20).  When we know the truth about something we're not taken by falsehoods. The more understanding we gain about the true idea of Life, the less we believe in the falsehood called death (S21).  Nothing but the understanding of God in Christian Science dares confront the belief of death.  All other points of view accept the whole lot of sin, disease, and death in one way or another; whereas, the utilization of the laws of God directly contradict all three of them (S23).
 
Section 6: Life Is Real, Death Is the Illusion
When Jesus arrives at the scene, Lazarus had been already dead for four days (B14).  Both of his sisters, Martha and Mary, lament that Jesus is too late, and feel had he been there, he would have been able to heal Lazarus.  Jesus maintains his calm demeanor and refers to himself as "the resurrection, and the life."  In spite of all the mourning going on around him, Jesus asks to be taken to the tomb, and directs the stone be removed from the entrance.  The ancients believed that it took three days for a soul to completely leave a body, so the fact that Lazarus had died four days earlier meant that he was beyond any hope of resuscitation.  Jesus does a remarkable thing.  He thanks God for hearing his prayer in advance of the healing.  Then he calls Lazarus, who responds by walking out of the tomb alive.  For most of us, there are times when we just accept that our prayers are too late.  But Jesus proved that it is never too late to see the truth.  He paid no heed to what the senses were telling him, or to those around him who accepted defeat as inevitable.  In fact, he utterly rejected the claim of death.  One commentator writes that Jesus' "groaning in the spirit" meant to snort with anger like a horse (Robertson's Word Pictures).  He totally discounted anything opposed to God, and maintained the reality of life in God, demonstrating his dominion with healing proof.
 
Isaiah acknowledges that humanity is generally feeble and helpless.  Humans need God to redeem them, to take their hand, and lead them out of the quagmire of sin, disease, and death.  And God does help them (B15).  Isaiah envisions a time when the "redeemed of the Lord" will realize the truth, and sing with rejoicing in victory (B16).
 
Mrs. Eddy addresses the issue of death with spiritual logic.  If man lives, he can never die.  Life is the law and man, Soul's representative, can never die or disappear (S25, S26).  She reasons that Jesus could never have raised Lazarus if he'd ever believed that Lazarus had died, therefore, he never accepted it for a moment.  The fact that Jesus raised Lazarus proved that the power of Truth is able to reach even those that seem to be unable to pray for themselves.  It wasn't up to Lazarus to accept, or to see the truth.  Jesus saw the truth and that was enough.  That indicates the unstoppable power of Truth in any situation.  Mrs. Eddy raised the dead as well, and I have personally seen the power of Truth, reverse the belief of dying.  Mrs. Eddy tells us all these experiences prove death to be an illusion (S28). [See Warren's P.S.]
 
Our Lesson concludes with the reiteration that the unholy trio of sin, disease, and death are one and all-unreal (S30).  While the world accepts all three as unavoidable, Christian Science opposes them with the understanding of God as eternal Life, Truth, and Love, and man as inseparable from his Maker.  As Christian Scientists, we should never give in to these lies.  We have divine proof that Truth destroys them, on the basis of man's spiritual being.  These are grand claims, and we may not understand it all right now.  But, it has been proven, and documented that there have been, and still are, those who do understand it.  The important thing is to start putting into practice what we already know right now.  The more we practice, the more we'll understand.  So is the enemy unavoidable?  No way.  Our God will deliver us, and we have nothing to lose, but all to gain, by putting our whole trust in Him.

[Warren's P.S. for Section 1:  Mrs. Eddy wrote a wonderful article in Miscellaneous Writings called "Love Your Enemies" in which she says: "A false sense of what constitutes happiness is more disastrous to human progress than all that an enemy or enmity can obtrude upon the mind or engraft upon its purposes and achievements wherewith to obstruct life's joys and enhance its sorrows." (Misc. 9:30)] 

[Warren's P.S. for Section 6: A friend just shared this link to a wonderful video lecture by Jon Benson in which he expounds upon the one-liner in our textbook: "Impossibilities never occur." (S&H, 245:27)  The Biblical examples of Jesus raising Lazarus, Jairus' daughter, the widow's son, as well as himself were all deemed impossible and yet occurred in front of many witnesses. As I have mentioned before I have witnessed the power of trusting, childlike prayer to resurrect a horse and a pet rabbit that both were not breathing, stiff and cold. They both gave years of added service with transformed character traits.]

 
[If you couldn't come to CedarS for either the College Summit weekend or the Midwest Bible Conference, you can STILL come to CedarS this fall (Oct. 16-20), if you are a C.E.O. wishing to lead your company in more democratic ways based upon principles successfully practiced by WorldBlu Founder and Principia College graduate Traci Fenton.  Click here to communicate with Traci about BluCamp or here to find out more and to enroll today to become one of 50 potential participants. (URL: http://www.worldblu.com/blucamp/ )]
 
[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.]
 
[Thanks for sending to the address below your appreciated & still needed gift to help support summer & fall programs that nurture the spiritual growth of Christian Science youth:
CedarS Camps, 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536
or call us at 417-532-6699]

[P.S.S.T.: Find out what you owe to yourself & the world.]
Possible Sunday School Topics
by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for October 7, 2012:
"Are Sin, Disease, & Death Real?"
 
P.S.S.T. Golden Text -
Ask students to write a letter of gratitude listing that for which they are most grateful. It could be a letter to Mom or Dad, to a sibling or relative, or it could be to God/Good. The important part is gratitude.
 
P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading -
Does God love you? Why? What do you think the passage "My times are in thy hand" means? [Warren: "My times are in thy hand" may mean accepting our opportunities in divine unfoldments of two or more stages (like the stories in this week's lesson) and allowing the details of far-flung events to develop and be coordinated with divine precision while we pray like "Big children": "Patient, meek, in the way Thou hast, be it slow or fast, up to Thee". Misc. 400:22] What does "from everlasting to everlasting" mean? [See Ps. 103:17, after "forget not all his benefits", Ps. 103:2, B-10] Can you ever be without God? Can God ever be without you?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 1 - You are part of God's handiwork. Can that which God made ever contain an element of sin, disease, death? How did Jesus show this truth in the story in citation B-2? What is a disguise or masquerade? Christian Science strips away the disguise and reveals what? (S-1) Please help students define Scribes and Pharisees. What were their roles in this story? Ask students to write out 3 things that stood out to them -- Perhaps, only the woman was brought forth, where was the man? Or, the self-righteousness and indignity of those literally following the law. What did Jesus write on the ground?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 2 - Please note the juxtaposition of "Jesus was left alone" and "the woman standing in the midst" and "Jesus... saw none but the woman". Were there other people there? Who were they? (Certainly not the scribes and Pharisees, who had fled.) The woman was in the midst [of the courtyard or] of some group, but Jesus saw only her. Perhaps "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals" (Science & Health 476:32). Unlike the Scribes and Pharisees pointing a finger at the woman, accusing her, what do we owe to others, ourselves and our Leader that she charged us to do? (S-10)
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 3 - Read the story in citation B-8. Describe the qualities the friends had for the one sick of the palsy. Ask students to share a story where they were befriended.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 4 - Here are the Scribes again, being indignant. Maybe they have forgotten the benefits of being a child of God. List some of these benefits. [B-10] Do these benefits also apply to the Scribes and Pharisees? Can anyone be left out of the love of God? Look to citation S-19 for assistance in answering the above questions. 
 
Forgetting your benefits from God is one way of being duped. See Mrs. Eddy's charge to each of us in the Manual of The Mother Church, page 42:
"Article VIII, Section 6: It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to defend himself daily against aggressive mental suggestion, and not be made to forget nor to neglect his duty to God, to his Leader, and to mankind. By his works he shall be judged, -- and justified or condemned."
 
What is your duty? Count your blessings or benefits, then use or apply them to the problems of the world. [Warren: In advance of closing Sunday School by repeating and "forgetting not" the scientific statement of being on S&H, p. 468, you may want to review with your pupils the duty of what Mrs. Eddy says "we owe to ourselves and to the world": "we, as Christian Scientists, should give to the world convincing proof of the validity of this scientific statement of being. Having perceived, in advance of others, this scientific fact, we owe to ourselves and to the world a struggle for its demonstration.Retro. 93:23]
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 5 - Read citation B-11. How was Jesus being a friend to Mary, Martha, and Lazarus? Of what was Jesus certain? (S-20 & S-22) Why did Jesus say Lazarus was sleeping when others said he was dead? Why did Jesus delay rather than going immediately to Bethany and healing Lazarus before he died? Is that friendship? Perhaps Jesus' love for Lazarus was so strong he could afford to use him to make a point: Time has nothing to do with healing.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 6 - Again, of what was Jesus certain in this story in citation B-14? What does the word "redeemed" mean? What is the result of being redeemed in citation B-16? What are the facts in the S&H portion of this section? The final fact in citation S-30 is that you are spiritual, an indestructible man.
 
[Warren's P.S.: I highly recommend discovering and sharing "Go Verse" with your SS pupils, family and friends. It'sa great, new resource developed by a TMCYouth team to help us find and share on-the-go inspirational quotes and photos in the palm of your hand. At the request of the President of The Mother Church, I will send you a separate email about it with pictures and all. You can downloaded it free now onto your iPad, iPhone or android device from the App Store or at www.goverse.org ]

[PYCLs:  Shake off the dust of lies & upsets like bad sticky-notes; then, roar like a lion! See Section 2]
CedarS PYCLs--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"
Are Sin Disease and Death Real?"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for Oct. 7, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]
 
[PYCL: Why have this lesson right after reality and unreality? This concept must be key to mental healing!]
It is interesting to link this subject with preceding ones.   We've had unreality and reality, now we are talking about specifically what is unreal.  It's always good to ask ourselves and maybe the kids why we have a particular subject.  What does it teach us?  Last week we talked about why we have unreality as a subject as well as reality.  Why this one too?  
 
[PYCL GT & RR: Show the difficulties of being in bondage & connect that with s,d,d, & disobedience.]
The Golden Text (GT) here affirms the goodness of God.  Then the Responsive Reading (RR) addresses the specifics of how we are "redeemed", preserved, saved, and delivered from persecution, bondage, and enemies.  The lesson goes on to name these enemies and imprisoning persecutors as sin, disease, and death (s,d,d)  Talk about the way these things would seem to hold us in a "prison" or in bondage as the Bible uses that word.  With the younger kids ask them if they want to try having their hands tied behind their backs, or demonstrate this yourself by holding your hands behind you.  Talk together about what things you can accomplish this way.  Is it hard to do normal things this way?  Think about talking on the phone, writing, turning pages in a book, driving a car, playing at a playground... Now talk about how doing things that are wrong does the same thing to us.  When we are disobedient to good rules that our teachers or moms and dads give us how does this limit us?  Come up with ideas together.  (For example, when we can be responsible and consistently obedient we are more likely to be able to go to an interesting place together, a cool museum, a dinner out, or even the playground or children's museum more often.  Why are these things less likely to happen when we aren't listening to the rules?)  Then of course you can talk about the rules God has given us and how obedience to them brings us freedom.  Ultimately our lives are more fun and richer when we follow these rules because more good things are available to us.  Can you come up with examples together?  One that might seem silly but is certainly relevant to a kid: if you honor your father and mother you usually have a happier time together, you might be able to go to a movie together!  There won't be scolding, or restrictions on things; and you can play and laugh and have fun at whatever activity you are doing because everyone feels respected, including the child.  You can come up with better examples and especially a specific one from your experience that is relevant to a child's life or that just illustrates the freedom we gain from obeying God's laws.  For an adult it could be how we become free from fear and worry when we learn to worship only God and not any form of matter such as money.  So this would be our discussion of how sin limits us. 
 
[PYCL Section 1 & beyond:  Discuss how to live as free as God made us and as Jesus showed us.]
You can continue with how sickness/disease would limit us, this will probably be more obvious.  Would God limit us, His creation in this way?  How about through making His creation to be mortal, with a limited life span that is subject to sin or sickness that leads to death?  You can discuss how God has made us free from these things and how the life of Jesus illustrated this freedom through his healing work.  There are so many examples in this week's lesson!  In section 1 you have the adulterous woman. (With the youngest it is probably sufficient to say that she broke a commandment.)  Talk about the story in detail.  Why did the scribes bring the woman to Jesus?  Why didn't they just carry out the law?  Why did Jesus bend down and draw in the dirt when they asked him about what they should do?  What do you think he was doing really?  What does Jesus' action in this situation tell us about what we can do in a "sticky" situation?  Do we have to respond right away, or can we turn away from the aggressive situation and pray? Is this the same for sickness and injury as it is for sin?  Citation S2 tells us we have to look for safety in Truth to escape evil.  What is this Truth? (Besides another name for God).
 
[PYCL Section 2:  Practice shaking off the dust of sticky note lies and upsets. Then roar like a lion!]
I love the passage in section 2 about shaking ourselves from the dust.  It reminds me of the Genesis chapter 2 creation when man is made of clay and later condemned to basically toil in the dust for the rest of his days.  The dust can really be symbolic of many things.  Talk about shaking off dust and what that means to us.  What about "shaking" off the things that bother us: a nasty [lie or] comment someone says, a shove on the playground, a fall from something or other accident, a suggestion of sickness of some sort.  We can mentally "shake" ourselves.  With the littlest [and bigger] ones you can have fun [role-playing "sticky" or sticky note situations by]  practicing the putting on of some of these bad ideas [or lies]  using pieces of sticky notes and barely sticking them to their clothes.  Have them get up and shake them off, or have them brush them off of each other.  How can we help others shake off these lies? {Point out that the older the sticky notes or lies are the easier they should be to shake off!] Talk about how these lies like sickness or bad actions are just like the dust.  They aren't how we are made and like dust they can be shaken or washed off, leaving us perfect as God made us. [Warren: Ann Bruland gave a testimony on Wednesday at our church service in Creve Coeur, MO about how her practitioner shared how lions roar after they get up and shake off the dust and how important it is to put the roar of authority as a seal to every treatment after we vigorously shake off the dust! She did that and was quickly healed.]
 
[PYCL Sections 3 & 4 and 5 & 6: Continue the 2-part treatment pattern as laid out in this lesson.]
Each of these sections starts a story and then finishes it in the next section. The adulterous woman is brought to Jesus in the first section and the scribes leave "convicted by their own conscience...". Then in the second Jesus tells the woman that he doesn't condemn her either and she can go (and sin no more).  Then you have the palsied man that is let down through the roof in section three.  He's healed and the thoughts of the scribes are addressed in section 4.  Lazarus is introduced as ill in section 5 and healed in section 6.  Why this division?  It's as if they introduce the "sin, disease or death" in the first half of the story and then the healing is introduced in the following section.  Unreality displayed first, then the reality.  Something to think about. 
 
[PYCL for older pupils: Discuss why sin and sickness are treated differently.]
You can address with the older children the different ways to treat sin and sickness.   Citation S14 states it clearly.  Ask them why they are treated differently.  Make sure you talk about what sin is.  Why it needs to be "uncovered".  Does "uncovered" sound a little like something that is in the dark?  Check out citation B11 when the disciples ask Jesus about going back to Judaea.  When he talks about the hours of the day perhaps he's talking about the enemies walking in darkness, and "stumbling" because there is no light.  Have fun thinking about this, I have!

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