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Cherish the Perfect Model of the Real Man [--the new You!]

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, February 27th, 2012

Cherish the Perfect Model of the Real Man [--the new You!]
Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on:
"Man"
For the week of February 27-March 4, 2012
by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn, Illinois
 
[These application ideas from a past 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 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 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.]
 
How do you view yourself?  Do you ever find yourself complaining about your situation? Do you ever feel that your assets are inadequate?  You're not good enough?  Pretty or handsome enough?  Strong enough?  Healthy enough?  Are you tempted to be a "glass half-empty" kind of a person? If we look at it honestly there are times when even the best of us, feel somewhat inadequate to the task at hand, and we're tempted to wonder why we've been dealt the hand we have.  Discontent is caused by viewing things from a material perspective-by comparing ourselves to the matter model instead of the spiritual model.  The matter model is based on illusive ideals which can rarely be attained.  Oddly, the arguments for the matter model would say that the spiritual model is unattainable, when in fact, the opposite is true.  Viewing things from the spiritual model is the only true path to fulfillment.
 
The psalmist in the Golden Text is definitely focusing on the spiritual model.  He's a "glass half full" type of person.  He is so delighted by what God has done for him that he's ready to sing about it. In the King James Version of this verse, it concludes, "I will triumph in the works of thy hands."  To triumph means to exult or rejoice, but it also means to come out the victor.  Theologian Adam Clarke paraphrases this verse: "For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work - I am delighted with thy conduct towards me; with the work of thy providence, the works of thy grace, and thy works of creation." No complaining there.  Hopefully by the end of studying this week's Lesson-Sermon, we will all be focusing on the perfect, spiritual model, and therefore, see it evidenced more each day.
 
Countless individuals throughout time have pleaded to God, "What have I done to deserve this?"  Many end up going a step further by asking God, "Why have you done this to me?"  Several translators and biblical commentators pose the first verse in the Responsive Reading as a question, with God asking man, "How dare you question me?"  As you know, the King James Version poses these words as a statement. Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible sides with the King James' approach.  He writes, "instead of complaining of his designs, or of finding fault with his sovereignty, it was their privilege to inquire respecting his dealings, and even to 'command' him.  He was willing to be inquired of, and to instruct them in regard to the events which were occurring."  God, being the Maker of all, is the best place to inquire about man's lot and prospects.  Rather than being impressed with all the evidence that tells us we're in trouble, and asking why things are the way they are, we seek to see things from God's perspective.  What did He really make?  What is God really doing?
 
God created the heavens and earth as spiritual ideas; and there is none beside Him.  God's work is good and everything was created for His glory.  The Bible tells us that eventually, "every knee shall bow" before Him.  Seeing things from God's perspective is really the only way to go.  It gives us confidence that His work is not in vain, and is always able to accomplish its purpose.  We've been provided with everything we need, and we have every reason to celebrate it.  And God's work isn't just "good enough" to get by.  His work is excellent! [RR, Isa. 12:5]
 
Section 1:  Begin with the Perfect Model! [for a perfect, "new" You!]
To view man from the standpoint of Christian Science is to begin with the perfect model-man created in God's image and likeness (B1).  Do we view ourselves and others like that?  Or do we see ourselves as minor players in the grand scheme of things?  While still acknowledging God's excellence, many deeply spiritual people focus on man as unworthy and comparatively small in the universe (B2).  As Barnes puts it, "What claim has one so weak, and frail, and short-lived, to be remembered by time? What is there in man that entitles him to so much notice?"  The psalmist doesn't just leave it there.  He refers back to God's excellence with the reminder that as insignificant as man may appear, he reflects God's magnificence, and has dominion-God putting "all things under his feet."  Further definitions of the Hebrew word translated here as "excellent" are "famous, gallant, glorious, goodly, noble, or worthy." Those are the qualities of God reflected by the real man, and with this in mind, the psalmist recognizes that it's good to give thanks unto the Lord.  God's work is "multitudinous, stupendous, and splendid" (Clarke).  And here again, we see that through the work of God, man triumphs and "shouts for joy" (B3).  We were planted "a noble vine" (B4) meaning God gave us "the fullest instruction, the purest ordinances, the highest privileges" (Ibid.). We're not "bad seeds," we're "wholly a right seed" -"literally, a seed of truth...a true, genuine seed, not mixed with weeds, nor with seed of an inferior quality" (Barnes).  With such a heritage, there's no reason for us to strive with our Maker (B5).  There's no legitimate cause for complaint, when we're considering the facts of our spiritual origin.  Others, focusing on mortal models, may seek wealth, honor, pleasure, or fame, and be disappointed if they don't achieve them.  But the psalmist, who embraces the spiritual model, is perfectly satisfied knowing God is All-in-all and needing no more.
 
So which model are we using?  Our textbook reiterates that man is God's image and likeness, and that far from being insignificant, we possess and reflect God's dominion (S1).  God's creation is infinite, and everything from the seemingly smallest to the largest is embraced in God and "forever reflected" (S2).  We have to be willing to give up the notion that there are millions of finite minds competing for a finite amount of good.  Each individual has full rights as God's expression to all the good there is.  God's likeness includes "no material element" (S3).  The limited viewpoint of a man who is always complaining and fretting about what he doesn't have can never recognize the glories of reality.  It's natural to crave more than what the senses can provide because the senses can't really provide anything.  God's man is infinite, unbounded, and forever unfolding (S4).  Our real, God-given capacities are realized proportionately to our improved concept of God, and man as His likeness.  Mary Baker Eddy tells us that in order to live noble lives, we have to keep the perfect model of man in our thought (S5).  What is our model?  A poor, weak, sickly, insignificant mortal?  Or God's likeness?
 
Section 2: Find a True Model of Beauty-[and a Beautiful, new You!]
Do you think of yourself as beautiful?  Or handsome?  Plain?  Or homely?  How do you define beauty in yourself?  In others?  Beauty and fashion are huge industries.  People go to great lengths to look and feel attractive.  Think about the phrase "the perfection of beauty" (B7).  It comes out of Zion-out of the traditional dwelling-place of God.  True beauty radiates from knowledge of God's law.  The Scriptures tell us the Lord is clothed in majesty (B8).  What do we clothe ourselves with?  Do we clothe ourselves with holy thoughts?  Or are we shrouded with unholy images based on models of sensuality?  We often hear "house" or "temple" used as a metaphor for one's consciousness.  The "house" of the Lord, or temple, should be free from all evil and impurity, as should our consciousness.  Evil images obscure and overshadow the true view of man in spiritual splendor.  There are beautiful images of the ideal male and female in this section, and both of them are represented as being glorious from within, and clothed in gold and the finest jewelry (B 9, B10).  This is symbolic of being clothed in virtue, purity, dignity.  The bridegroom is adorned as a priest, ready to perform the sacrifice of prayer and praise to the end of letting the beauty of the Lord be reflected in us (B11).  As Matthew Henry put it, "Let the grace of God in us produce the light of good works.  And let Divine consolations put gladness in our hearts, and a lustre upon our countenances."
 
Can manipulating the outward form give that spiritual "lustre" to our countenance?  While people work tirelessly to tone and refine their outward appearance, man, as God's reflection is already, and always, beautiful and complete (S6).  We find our true, individual beauty, through the one Ego, which "supplies all form and comeliness" (S7).  Note well that Mrs. Eddy doesn't advocate ugliness or neglect of one's appearance, but that she recognizes the source of beauty as not found in make-up, plastic surgery, exercise, or attire; but in a deeper understanding of God.  She speaks of beauty as dwelling forever in Mind, and of "the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color."  As she says, "the embellishments of the person" can't even come close to approximating true beauty.  While untold thousands are spent on superficial and artificial methods of achieving beauty, our Leader gives us the simple recipe for beauty: "to have less illusion and more Soul" (S8).  Such beauty will never fade or disappear (S9).  We don't need a fountain of youth to keep us attractive.  When we're governed by Mind, we are "always beautiful and grand" (S10).
 
Section 3: Demonstrate True Power [Dynamite for a dynamic, new You!]
Do you ever feel helpless, or powerless?  Fortunately we don't need to rely on our own power.  God is able to protect us, give us strength, defend, and sustain us.  Given the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda, it's interesting that Adam Clarke embellishes Psalm 68:35 (B12) this way: "Blessed be God - He alone is worthy to be worshipped. Without him nothing is wise, nothing holy, nothing strong; and from him, as the inexhaustible Fountain, all good must be derived" [emphasis added].  We often think of ourselves as stuck in a bad condition.  On the contrary, the psalmist calls us "blessed"-in a happy condition (B13).  We rejoice and glory in God's great goodness.  Isaiah encourages us to "be not dismayed" because God is always able to help us and lift us up (B14).  As noted in a previous Lesson, the Greek word used for "power" in Luke 4:14 (B15) is the root word for dynamite.  Jesus didn't accept weakness in any form.  The man at the pool of Bethesda (B16) is an object-lesson for overcoming weak thinking.
 
Truth be told, the man at the pool is characterized as a nay-sayer.  He feels sorry for himself, and is jealous of those whom he views as better off than himself.**  He is filled with excuses for why he's been in his condition so long.  Do we ever fall into that sort of thinking?  Jesus wouldn't have any of it.  He basically tells him to quit complaining and claim his healing.  However feeble we might think we are, the Christ gives us the power to be free.  We don't have to accept weakness.  We can heed the promise in Daniel: "be strong, yea, be strong" (B17).
 
Science and Health reminds us that "Obedience to Truth gives man power and strength" (S12).  We are under no obligation to submit to error.  On the contrary, we should contradict every bodily complaint, and rise to the true consciousness (S13).  The biblical account implies that there was some sin that was causing the man at the pool to suffer.  Jesus warns him not to sin any more.  Remembering that sin originally meant "missing the mark," we don't have to go on a search for some huge sin that's holding us down.  Even complaining about our situation is a form of sin.  Mrs. Eddy tells us that when we cast out fear and sin, we are able to overcome error.  So let's not submit to either fear or sin.  Let's take "antagonistic grounds" against everything opposed to perfection.  As Jesus told the man to pick up his bed and walk, we are urged to exercise our God-given authority (S14).  We can "rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good."  There's no room for complaining when we utilize our God-given power. [See **]
 
Section 4: The Healing Power of Grace! [Banish anger in a grace-filled, new You!]
As mentioned many times before, the WORD or Logos meansboth the "thought expressed" and the "thought itself."  The true idea of man cannot remain a mere theory.  It has to be expressed in practice.  Jesus lived the true idea of man completely, "full of grace and truth" (B18).  There is no better definition for the word "grace" than the one found in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.  "Grace: the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life."  This grace is ever-present to heal and save.  In the account of the man with the withered hand (B19), we're told that Jesus, knowing that his detractors were looking for an excuse to accuse him, preempted their purpose with a question of his own.  It was a maxim with the Jews, that neglecting to save a life when one had the ability to do so was, in itself, considered murder.  The unwillingness to answer this query betrayed a callousness that was the exact opposite of grace.  Clarke writes, "By a long resistance to the grace and Spirit of God...they were past feeling...blinded by the deceitfulness of sin...cut off from God, the fountain of spiritual life."  This didn't stop the healing from taking place.  Each one of us has the gift of grace to allow us to exercise our healing power in the face of any opposition (B20).
 
Whether we're facing deformities of body or character, the power of grace is present to heal.  The man with the withered hand likely felt no support or love from his comrades but grace was able to heal him.  The real man is image, not physique (S16).  Jesus not only lived gracefully, but saw it expressed in everyone.  Here again, Jesus refused to submit to the material model. In Unity of Good, Mrs. Eddy writes, "He heeded not the taunt, ‘That withered hand looks very real and feels very real;' but he cut off this vain boasting and destroyed human pride by taking away the material evidence."  He knew that God never produced "moral or physical deformity" (S18).  The story says Jesus was angry, but he responded with grace.  When confronted with ugly models of deformity, or of resistance to healing, do we react with anger?  Or do we respond with Love?  Our textbook tells us a spiritual consciousness is needed. "Grace and Truth are potent beyond all other means and methods" (S19). It's common when testing for character traits, to have respondents answer as quickly as possible-without thinking-to get a clearer sense of their true character. When faced with opposition, let's work to have our initial response be filled with healing grace and thus allow our true graceful character to appear.
 
Section 5: A Model of Good Works-A Model of Life [Be a giving and immortal, new You!]
Tabitha or Dorcas (B21), means "the creature with the beautiful look."  In the second section we discussed beauty, and here Tabitha is not only beautiful on the outside, but full of good works, not just good words.  She was active, and embodied the true meaning of service.  Theologian Matthew Henry contrasts the substantial contribution of Dorcas, with the frivolity of those who "waste their lives in trifling pursuits of dress and vanity."  There is debate over whether or not Peter was expected to revive her, but we know that he didn't let sentimentality get in the way of spiritual perception.  [Like he'd seen Jesus do in Mark 5:37-43, at the bedside of Jairus' dead daughter, Peter] put everyone out, and knelt in prayer.  She soon opened her eyes and he presented her alive.  In this account, it is implied that all her motives were pure, doing her work for the love of God.  Such is the psalmist's motivation for not submitting to death.  He's too busy doing the works of the Lord (B22).
 
The spiritually Scientific model of man includes immortality.  Man must be immortal because God is immortal (S20).  Traditional theology believes that death is the steppingstone to eternal life and bliss, especially if one is full of good works.  But it is the embodiment of sinless joy, and living in consonance with God that leads to eternal life (S21).  This spiritually active lifestyle is not steeped in complaint, or being a "Debbie Downer."  It is active-looking away from the body, and holding thought "steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true" (S22).  Given the fact that we experience "the enduring, the good and the true...proportionably to their occupancy" of our thoughts, it's crucial for us to pay closer attention to the quality and content of our thinking.  Remember, the real man is already perfect and immortal.  As we give up materially based thinking, and admit the facts of being, we'll see man's immortality more and more (S23).
 
Section 6: Finish with the Perfect Model. [Expect a Perfect, new You!]
When viewing man from a material perspective, man is an enigma.  Paul says that even prophesies are imperfect, but eventually our imperfect models and views will fall away.  Now we see man as though looking into a dingy mirror-the image is there, but it's obscure (B23). The more we grow spiritually, the more distinct will our view become.  We are expected to be perfect (B24).  Perfection means complete, without defect, and mature like a fully grown tree.  It may seem impossible from a limited human standpoint, but all things are possible with God.
 
In Christian Science, we must start and finish with the perfect model of man.  Man is already, and has always been perfect (S24).  Our Leader urges us to give up all the false, flawed models and "illusive ideals."  Material models are fantasies, and turn us away from spirituality.  God forms man, and his model is excellent (S25).  Man must be perfect, because his creator is perfect (S26).  It makes no sense to try to aspire to attain an image formed in mortal mind.  Man is the perfect image of infinite Mind.  Our consciousness and individuality are formed in God and emanate from Him (S27).  And remember God isn't in us, we're in Him.  Don't waste time with mortal models.  As we strive to emulate the perfection of God, we're told our thoughts will be "turned into new and healthy channels" (S28).  Doesn't that sound refreshing?  Instead of floating along with material thinking, being disappointed by false promises that cannot be kept, and falling into a whirlpool of complaint about it, let's get into the "calm, strong currents of true spirituality" (S29).  Focusing on the perfect model, we will finally see that the mortal model is no more than a "bald imposition."  So let's focus on that perfect model and let it bring us to the full awareness and demonstration of the perfect man.
 
**[A Dynamite-Section 3 note from Warren: Not coveting when we witness the good of others not only keeps the 10th Commandment, it also brings all good to us as part of our image and likeness heritage. Instead of being jealous when viewing another's good, try saying:"Thank You, God! By reflection That's Mine Too! (T.M.T.)" Doing so will prove that this type of T.M.T. is more powerful than T.N.T. (dynamite)]

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[Help CedarS share the applicable principles of Christianity: Our Fall-season outreach led us to give tours of our new Bible Lands Park to show 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 gifts to help us make these inspiring "Home Improvements" as weather allows.]
 
[Lastly please help us 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 CedarS"!]

[PSST--With Hymn 51 "glue", have a joyous, section-by-section Hymn Sing!]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:
"MAN" March 4, 2012, by Merrill Boudreaux
 
[Editor Warren's brackets: It looks like this lesson was fashioned after the first verse of Hymn 51  (Eternal Mind the Potter Is). Section 1 speaks of man as sculpture (B5 & S5).  Then sections 2 thru 6 are about:  beauty; power; grace; immortal; perfect reflected.]"
 
P.S.S.T. Golden Text
Ask students to list their main reasons to sing for joy. Sing Hymn 425.
 
P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading
What does God know about you? What does God know about your neighbors, city, country, world? Sing Hymn 164, 165, or 417.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 1["Eternal Mind the Potter is" (Hymn 51:1 & B5)]
What is man that God is mindful of him? In other words, who are you and every other male and female that God pays attention for you? Look to this section of the lesson to answer these questions: Are you a noble vine, are you a right seed, are you made without human hands or human intervention? Sing ["Man is the noblest work of God"] from Hymn 51 or 52.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 2: ["His beauty," Hymn 51:1]
Are you beautiful? How has God bedecked you? (B7-B11) From where does your beauty come? (S8) Ask students to write out a recipe for their beautiful selves. 
          Ex. One kind and noble heart
                  Eyes open for beholding wonder
                  Fingers to hold on to God's hands
                  etc.
 
Sing Hymn 444.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 3["His ... power," Hymn 51:1]
How does God bless you and all his people? (B13, S14) Use the Bible story in citation B16 as a role play. Was this man blessed of the Lord? When was he blessed? Be careful this could be a trick question - for he was always blessed, he just didn't remember until Jesus called it to his attention. What authority do you have to take control of your body? (S14) Sing Hymn 460.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 4 ["His ... grace," Hymn 51:1]
Are you full of Grace? (B18, S15) Grace comes with an understanding or embracing of the Christ. What is Christ? See S & H 583:10. What is it that God manifests in you? (S18) Sing Hymn 275.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 5["Immortal," Hymn 51:1]
There's another good role play opportunity with the story in citation B21. Are you perfect? [Immortal?] Now? (S23) What is the difference between "will be" and "now is"? (S23)   Which are you? Who was Dorcas? That's not a name we hear so much today. Use a Bible dictionary or a "Who's who in the Bible" to learn more about this woman. Sing Hymn 249 or 250.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 6["perfect, reflected face to face" Hymn 51:1]
You are reflection. There is no partial reflection. The more you know of God the more you know of you and all mankind. Memorize citations S24 and S25. What do you know of yourself in Christian Science? Read aloud together the Scientific Statement of Being in S & H 468: 8-15. Sing Hymn 65. Ye are blessed of the Lord.
[PYCL: Stop list-less living & singing! Add in "beauty, power, grace" (Hymn 51)]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
 
"MAN"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for March 4, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[with Warren's brackets & apologies for a cyber-security screening delay.]
 
[PYCL - GT & RR: Sing your joy to God today!]
How will you sing your joy to God today?  This may be too "corny" a question for some kids, but looking at the G.T. and R.R, it might be a worthwhile question to ask.  How often is singing for joy or other kinds of singing springing from gratitude or the devotion to God mentioned in the Bible?  What does that mean practically for us today?  Can you list some ways that you "sing" each day in this way?
 
[PYCL - Section 1: Make a list of the embraced-by-God qualities of the spiritual you!]
The one creator and creation mentioned in citation S2 gave rise to a long list of spiritual ideas and a rather short one of material ideas.  On my list, and you and the students can make your own: graceful, creative, joyful, intelligent, innovative, discerning, capable, disciplined, orderly, studious, curious, hardworking, balanced, beautiful, strong, loving, compassionate, empathetic, healing, wise, funny, cheerful, lively, interesting, unique, honest, courageous...These ideas continuously "unfold" don't they?  They are whole, entire and complete, so they can just continuously open to reveal more of their infinite nature [and yours!]  The material ideas on the other hand are definitely not eternal, nor can they really unfold for more than a limited time.  Here are the few I came up with: good at sports, slim, youthful, good at school, popular, rich.   None of these are inherently bad of course, nor are they inherently good.  But what are they subject to?  All are subject to matter-age, time, decay, disease or accident, luck and so on.  I also loved the thought that the spiritual ideas that MBE speaks of are "embraced in infinite Mind".  Think about the word "embraced".  Not just held, or collected, but embraced, which implies love, affection, enthusiasm!
 
[PYCL - Section 1: Design a divine vine with leaves from your list. Dissect the bud of a flower.]
Notice here too, in citation B4, that God had "...planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed;"  The seed is "wholly" right, no wrong in there and no fragments of bad with the good.  Design a "vine" starting from a "seed".  What does the "seed" say on it?  "Good through and through?"  You guys decide.  Then draw the vine and attach the leaves as spiritual ideas which you have already listed.  Or instead of leaves each idea could be an "unfolding" blossom.  Bring in a flower that is in bud and gently pull it apart, talk about unfoldment.  Is everything for the complete flower right there in that bud?  With proper care and thought will the bud open to a full flower?  Talk about the analogy as it applies to us and how the "wholly" right seed comes into the picture.  Look at how citation B4 [about a noble vine and right seed] connects with citation S5 [about the necessity to form perfect models in thought]. How do they relate, or do they?
 
[PYCL - Section 2:  Use a mixing bowl & tools to symbolically whip up your recipe for beauty!]
Think about Mrs. Eddy's recipe for beauty in the next section.  Bring a mixing bowl and whisk and measuring spoons/cups.  Talk about what goes into this recipe and have them pretend to measure and pour and mix.  The activity is just a way for them to engage physically and remember in a fun way what we are thinking about.  Talk about ways that God's beauty appears to each of us.  Can anyone name some ways that they see God's beauty around them?  Give examples to get the conversation going.  What does the "mixing" do?  Is that kind of like putting those qualities of beauty into action?  Is beauty a passive thing?  Talk about what passive means, vs. active.
 
[PYCL - Section 3: For more power, strengthen your daily obedience! For more independence, strengthen your daily dependence on God!]
Who doesn't want to be powerful?  Look together at section 3 and talk about what makes someone strong and powerful.  Make sure you discuss what power and strength mean, more than just muscle power right?  Look at the story of the man by the pool.  Notice they use the word "impotent" to describe the masses gathered by the pool waiting for healing.  This maybe is illustrative of the passive, "impotent" act of waiting.  There is a difference between active, expectant, waiting, and passive -- just waiting to see what will happen.  Talk about this.  Look for the "power" words in the S&H part of this section (words like: mentally contradict, rebuke, cast out, exercise, govern, rise, and so on).  These are powerful actions.  What does Mrs. Eddy tell us gives us power and strength?  (see S12, and S19).  What does it mean to be "obedient to Truth" and why does this give us power and strength?  This should be able to give us a good conversation!  Think carefully about why obedience leads us to such power; it is very cool to contemplate!  Looking back at the story of the man by the pool, can they see where he displayed his sense of impotence when he explained why he couldn't get up and walk?  Was he dependent on God or on other people?  Do we lose our God-given power when we think we are dependent on other people?
 
[PYCL - Section 4:  Open your new gift each day from Christ -- GRACE-FULNESS!]
Grace may not be a word we think of as much as we should in Christian Science; but it is a moving and inspiring word.  How do the students define it?  More than likely they will give you the definition that involves movement or line or expression.  Look at the other definition.  How is grace a gift to us from Christ?  [B20, Eph. 4:7] If you just talked about power and strength, look at citation S19 and ask why "Grace and Truth are potent beyond all other means and methods."?  What makes grace potent?  What has been given you, bestowed on you, just because you are God's child, not because you are talented, nice, pretty, well behaved, etc?
 
[PYCL - Section 5-6: Deep thoughts: Go beyond pat answers to spiritually-based ideals!]
It is also worthwhile to have a discussion with slightly older kids about what a good-not "illusive"--ideal might be?  For example: being a great athlete, might be a cool ideal, but is it subject to matter?  How do we make our ideals solely spiritually based?  If we pursue righteousness first, then if we want to be a musician, an athlete, etc. won't those things be based on a more spiritual foundation?  But how do we honestly know what we are basing our ideals on?  These may need to be considered with care and honesty to really sort things out.  We have to "relinquish theories based on sense- testimony...". How can we "deepen human experience", move into these ideals in a natural way that is sincere and honest, true to ourselves?  These questions may take some pondering; it isn't helpful to have pat answers.  So if they aren't ready to think about them either move on or think about sharing some examples of how your own ideals have become more spiritually based and therefore more eternal and substantive. 
Have fun as always!  

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