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Don't be Fooled by the Darkness

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, March 26th, 2012

Don't be Fooled in Darkness

Metaphysical Application Ideas from Cedars Camps 
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Unreality"

March 26-April 1, 2012

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 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 with bracketed additions.]

Golden Text: The Lord will lighten my darkness.
When campers at CedarS go on caving trips, it's customary to spend some time in total darkness.  Even the glow of a watch face is enough to disturb that darkness.  A single light can illuminate an entire area.  In caves, it's an adventure to be in the dark and explore different methods of communication, or use abilities other than sight to navigate.  But in life, darkness usually symbolizes difficult experience and a want for clearer direction.  If a single light enables one to navigate more easily through a cave, a single idea from God is more than enough to illuminate our perception to see through the unreality of darkness to the reality of what God is doing.  We can call darkness unreal, because darkness is a void-an absence of light.  It's not a presence-something that can overtake the light.  Have you ever opened a door to a dark room and have the darkness overtake the adjacent room that is lit?  Of course not.  Even if the adjacent room is only lit by a candle, the light of the candle fills the dark room too, without losing any light in the first room.

Coincidentally, this Lesson will be read in churches on what is known to the Western World as "April Fool's day."  While its origins are uncertain, according to it is a day which "includes sending someone on a ‘fool's errand,' looking for things that don't exist...and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things."  The carnal mind always has us "looking for things that don't exist," and tries to fool us into believing that sin, disease, death, lack, fear, and so forth are present and, therefore, real and able to overtake the light.  But that's impossible.  When exposed to the light of Truth, their unreality becomes apparent, and we can never be fooled again.

The Responsive Reading is taken from II Samuel in which we have the Song of David recounting the times in which he had found himself in "darkness."  In every situation the Lord was his lamp.  David knew he could call on God irrespective of his circumstance. Even when it looked like he was engulfed in a flood of trouble, God was there to deliver him.  Early in his song, David says the Lord is his rock.  CedarS campers will recognize these verses (and some in Section 3) as part of "The Rock Song" [included in CedarS 50th Jubilee CD set.]  A rock is a place of safety and protection.  One can take refuge behind it, get a higher point of observation, or gain the advantage in battle of having higher ground.  The rock also symbolizes the firm foundation of trust in God and allegiance to God's law which sustains the confidence that such allegiance ensures God's protection and justice.  The "upright man," according to Albert Barnes, "is consistent...whose character is complete in all its parts" [ -- like Mrs. Eddy's "man of integrity... upright man". (Mis. 147:14-148:30]  Adhering to the law of God has the same effect as turning on a light in the darkness. When doing so we can see clearly enough to navigate safely, and recognize the difference between the real and unreal.

Section 1: Worship in Spirit
The word translated as "idol" literally means "good for nothing...no value, a thing of nought" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible). In this Lesson, we're dealing with things that "are not" vs. things that "are"; i.e. the real vs. the unreal.  God's law stipulates that we do not bow down to, or make a god of things that are not real (B1).  The Israelites however, did not heed this edict.  Rather than maintaining their devotion to God, they ended up being assimilated by the cultures around them and began to worship other gods (B2).  This led to a loss of their identity as a nation.  As we look back on the Israelites, we may wonder how a nation chosen by God, could be so foolish and disobedient as to turn to other gods.  But, even though we today have the Science of Being in our hands, do we not find ourselves allowing the culture to assimilate us?  The Israelites had the truth at their disposal yet they didn't utilize it.  Jesus asked, "Having eyes see ye not?  And having ears, hear ye not?" (B3).  If we have the tools to understand reality, why don't we use them?

It's important to note the context of citation B4.  Jesus utters these words [of the Hebrew Scripture, to serve God alone] in response to the temptation to water down his message by succumbing to the popular cultural methods of the time.  The Romans won over conquered peoples by feeding them.  Jesus refused that method.  He also rejected the temptation to win over the people through spectacular miracles.  Finally, he rejected use of worldly ways and means altogether.

How do we respond to the worldly pull of modern culture?  Mary Baker Eddy offers a clear distinction between spiritual and materially-based worship (S1).  We can't have it both ways.  Simply put, the material senses have no idea what's going on spiritually.  Material sense testimony is unreal (S2).  Christian Science contradicts and corrects the material senses.  Spiritual sense operates on an entirely different basis than material sense.  ["The purpose of CedarS is to give each camper an appreciation of spiritual sense and an abundance of wholesome, joyous activity.']  The Israelites lost their identity by allowing themselves to be assimilated by the cultures surrounding them.  They tried to worship the spiritual through the material (S3).  To the degree that we allow materially-based thinking to influence us-to that same degree-we are allowing ourselves to be influenced by unreality.  Mrs. Eddy expected that eventually, mortals would realize their mistake, drop their beliefs about matter, and "recognize harmony as the spiritual reality, and discord as the material unreality" (S4).  The negative images and pictures of decay, decline, disease, sin, and death, are not real, because they're not from God (S5).  Do not let them influence or fool you.  Only good things come from God, and only the good things are real.

Section 2: Infinite Blessings Supersede Limitation
One of the most ominous, dark pictures we face is the belief of limited supply.  The psalmist is clearly looking beyond the veil of matter to God's infinite abundance (B5).  He acknowledges God as the creator and source of all that is good.  Theologian Matthew Henry points out the significance of the phrase about God feeding the "young ravens."  He says that to the Jews, ravens were considered to be unclean.  They are not only neglected by man, but forsaken by their parents as soon as they can fly.  Who is left to care for them but God?  Sometimes we might feel forsaken and neglected too, but if God cares for the ravens, He will surely care for us.  Notice too, that we are filled not with leftovers or waste, but with "the finest of the wheat."  [In opening the Bible at random about a seeming lack of top-notch staff, CedarS Founder, Ruth Huff, got this promise, of being filled "with the finest of the wheat". from God that He has kept ever since.]  If you "read beyond the markers", you'll notice that the prophet Malachi tells us not to withhold anything, but bring "all the tithes into the storehouse."  This gratitude and acknowledgement of God's abundance is the pre-condition to receiving more than we have room for (B6).

The story of the loaves and fishes (B7) illustrates the difference between the disciples' attitude and outlook-presuming short supply and lack-as opposed to the Master's spiritual vision-giving gratitude for all, and looking to God to meet every need.  We so easily believe the pictures of limitation before our eyes.  Jesus didn't fall for it [on April Fool's Day or any day.]  The light of his understanding shone right through it.

Our textbook demands that the finite yield to the infinite (S6).  The finite has no appreciation or ability to recognize the infinite (S7).  We're given a choice between two theories: one of lack, or, one of fruitful abundance (S8).  Are we fooled by the theory of apparent lack?  With a great deal of patience Mrs. Eddy points out time and again, that the spiritual reality is the only fact (S9).  This fact can never be reversed, yet we so often seem to fall for the lie of limitation.  These lies seem to be bolstered by reports; and news stories would have us either start a frantic search for what to do, or just give up and accept inevitable disaster.  The world needs you and me to see through the lie of limitation.  When we see the truth, it blesses everyone (S10).

Section 3: Perfection vs. Imperfection-No Contest
How was it that Jesus was able to see so clearly through the unreal picture of lack?  He could see through it because he knew the truth.  He knew that God always supplied all good.  We too, can see through the falsehood when we know the truth.  Have you ever seen a magician perform?  Nowadays, they are more often called "illusionists" rather than magicians.  The tricks they perform look very real don't they?  But if you know how a trick is done-if you know the truth about it-the illusion loses its fascination and you can see right through it.

How can we see through the illusion of disease when the pictures that the senses show us seem very convincing?  By seeing the truth.  In Christian Science, we know that man is perfect.  Zion symbolizes the dwelling-place of God. From that holy place shines the "perfection of beauty" (B8).  When someone is in trouble or danger, he intuitively heads for safety.  When we see ominous pictures of disease, it is natural for us to "call upon the Lord"-to turn to our rock, fortress, and deliverer-God (B9).  We know that whatever the senses may be threatening, our God gives us strength and makes our way perfect.  As Jesus never fell for limitation, he never fell for disease.  He could see through it because he was filled with the power of the Spirit (B10).  We never need be taken in by pictures of imperfection because perfection is the only reality.

There's an old saying-"believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see."  As far as the evidence of the human senses goes, we can amend that saying to "believe nothing of what you see."  Just because the traditional systems are filled with prognostications of disease, decline, and death, do we have to believe it?  NO!  Jesus proved all material laws to be false (S12).  Perfection is real and imperfection is unreal.  Reasoning from the basis of imperfection, we'll end up being fooled, and fall for it.  We have to keep focused on the "perfect model" and these false conceptions of disease must "give way" (S13).  We have no problem recognizing the difference between real music, and chaotic banging on a piano or the random plucking strings.  Mrs. Eddy tells us that the law of harmony in man can be distinguished from the discordant pictures of disease as well (S14).

In citations 15 and 16 from Science and Health, we find portions of a case study in which the sufferer is healed by seeing through the false predictions of material law to the reality of perfection.  To be effective healers, we, like Jesus, need to be able to see through the dream to the spiritual reality (S17).  In a dream, the images seem very real, but they never are.  The healer is outside the dream, not in it.  The healer knows that the dream isn't happening to the patient either.  It's all an illusion.  By not being fooled, and knowing the truth, we can break the illusion of disease and prove its unreality.

Section 4: The Light of Life Eliminates Death
Paul's encouragement that affliction is "but for a moment" and is far exceeded by the eternal glory to come (B12) is considered by commentators to indicate that no matter how intense our current sufferings appear, they are but short in comparison with the eternality of the unseen, eternal life to come.  General opinion interprets the "seen" and "not seen" as the "here on earth" and "then in heaven" respectively.  But this viewpoint virtually accepts the current sufferings to be real-albeit brief.  Not so in the light of Christian Science.  The temporal sufferings of the "seen" are the unreal; and the things "not seen" to the senses, are the real and eternal.

For just this reason, Christ Jesus could see through the temporal dream of death to the eternal understanding and demonstration of Life.  The citations chosen relating to Lazarus' healing (B13) are situated around the events which took place after Lazarus had been raised on the day known and celebrated by Christians as Palm Sunday, the week before Easter.  April Fool's Day notwithstanding, this Lesson is also being read in church on Palm Sunday.  While somewhat tangential to our discussion, the symbolism of Jesus riding the "ass's colt" is interesting.  To ride on a horse was seen as an emblem of war, whereas to ride on a mule, was seen as emblematic of peace.  This ride symbolized the serene authority Jesus had over all unreal beliefs.  Jesus saw through the unreality of death and unfolded to us the "gift of eternal life" (B14).

Our textbook elaborates the difference between the temporal unreality (death), and the eternal reality (life) (S18).  What seems to be a temporal life is false (S19).   Life is apprehended "only as we live above corporeal sense and correct it" (S20).  We find a familiar pattern here.  There is a direct proportion between our acceptance of good and our ability to experience it.  If we are fooled into believing the lies of the senses, we won't be able to see through them.  Jesus proved for all time that it is possible to see through the illusion of unreality. (S21)  This proof provides our "rock" of safety, to which we flee when faced with illusions of error.  These illusions may seem real, just like in a dream, but the reality can break the illusion (S22).  All the troubles that seem real to the senses are unreal in Spirit.  The last two citations from the textbook in this section draw the battle lines.  On one side you have the unreal and temporal: sin, disease, death, error, life and sensation in the body.  On the other side you have the real and eternal: Truth, Life, Spirit, and man in the image of God (S23, 24).

Section 5: Light vs. Darkness
In the first creation account in Genesis (B15) the earth was without form, and void-full of "emptiness, and confusion."  God's Word was enough to instantly displace the darkness with light.  Nobody can argue with or miss the point of that analogy.  Darkness is absence-confusion, emptiness, nothingness; and light is presence-order, power, allness.  This Lesson began with the same idea. In the New Testament John goes so far as to say that "God is light" (B16).  On this passage Barnes writes, God is "not the light, or a light, but light itself; that is, he is himself all light, and is the source and fountain of light in all worlds.  He is perfectly pure, without any admixture of sin.  He has all knowledge, with no admixture of ignorance on any subject.  He is infinitely happy, with nothing to make him miserable.  He is infinitely true, never stating or countenancing error; he is blessed in all his ways, never knowing the darkness of disappointment and adversity."  Paul reassures the Thessalonians that they are "children of the day... not of the night, nor of darkness" (B17).  When we're in the dark we're vulnerable to being fooled.  When we see the light we can't be easy marks.  Do we want to be in a "dark place" without our lights?  All the commentators define the "dark place" as "parched, squalid, dirty, dark, murky, and so on."  Even if we think we're in the darkest of dark places, mentally, morally, or physically, we need to keep our light going until the dawn breaks (B18).

The dawn is inevitable.  It may seem that we are alone in the dark trying to hold our little candle up in the face of overwhelming darkness of world belief, but the dawn is going to come.  The truths of Christian Science, like the dawn, are overtaking the darkness even though the world may deny it (S26).  Christian Science shows inharmony to be unreal and that in the spiritual light we can see things the way they really are.

In Act IV of Shakespeare's Henry V the battle-scene at Agincourt begins with the "Poor condemned English" facing what they believed to be certain defeat against the "confident, and over-lusty French."  The Chorus begins, "Now, entertain conjecture of a time, When creeping murmur and the poring dark, Fills the wide vessel of the universe..."  As they ponder their doom, their leader goes among the troops to encourage them.   "A largess universal, like the sun, His liberal eye doth give to everyone, Thawing cold fear..." The English end up winning that battle against unbelievable odds.  The imagery of Henry's "largess universal, like the sun", shows the power of hope to trigger a spark of courage in his men.  Mrs. Eddy says sometimes darkness seems as real as light, "but Science affirms darkness to be only a mortal sense of the absence of light, at the coming of which darkness loses the appearance of reality" (S28).  If the encouragement of Henry could rally his troops, how much more can we be emboldened by the infinite power of divine Science?  In every case, Truth and Light destroy falsity and darkness.  Darkness and light cannot co-exist (S29).  From the viewpoint of the light there is never any darkness.  That "Word which swelled creations lay"... Is still speaking to the darkness of error, "God is All-in-all" and the universe is filled with light (S30).  Adhering to the light of Truth we will see through every illusion of sin, disease, death, lack, fear-whatever falsehood the senses may present-and we'll never be fooled again.

[Helping Sunday School students not be fooled that good is outside themselves and rather to see that the Kingdom of God that is already within them is part of CedarS mission. It's stated this way as our 2012 theme: "Occupy God's Kingdom." This starts when they see really themselves as God sees them which is also a goal of the upcoming April 21st Texas Regional Youth Conference . Please encourage all youth you know to register ASAP for the Conference at makingadifference2012.com -- and to also enroll online for CedarS (or for another CS camp of their choice).  Thanks in advance for telling "un-camped" children and families about CedarS being a very nurturing, metaphysically-grounded and FUN place for them to glimpse and demonstrate more of their spiritual natures!  Thanks for sharing info about my upcoming shows and about video shows coming to your area as listed online!  If we aren't coming to your area, 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!]

[All who been blessed by any of CedarS 3 weekly inspirational newsletters (our Mets or our PSSTs & PYCLs for Sunday School teachers) CAN HELP US GET READY FOR A BEST SUMMER YET TO BLESS OVER 1000 YOUNG CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS!     International supporters can give to CedarS via PayPal using built-in currency exchange rates by filling in an amount under International Donors and clicking on the "Donate Online" button.  

[To send an actual check, please make it out to CedarS Camps and mail it to: 
The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Dr.
Ballwin, MO 63011]

[You can also help CedarS share applicable principles of Christianity with our neighbors: 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 and available manpower are now perfect for progress.]

 [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 to inquire about a custom CedarS experience  at 636-394-6162  (or email to office@cedarscamps.org]


Possible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) by Merrill Boudreaux
for Christian Science Bible Lesson "Unreality"
March 26-April 1, 2012
Thanksgiving in April!
 
PSST: Golden Text & Responsive Reading: The Golden Text and Responsive Reading are from the same chapter, II Samuel 22. It is a song of Thanksgiving. For what was David giving thanks? Read all of II Samuel 22. David was just about to take the place of Saul as King. What do you suppose a King needs in the way of light to serve as a good and just ruler? Pay attention to the word "will" in the Golden Text. How affirmative and assuring is that word! On which day of creation did God create light? See Genesis 1:14-18. Perhaps this was the light David was seeking to rule both day and night. Ask students to identify one issue in their community where their prayers for the light of God can/will come and cast out some darkness that may be impeding progress. See also S&H 504:23.
 
PSST: Section 1: What happened to the children of Israel when they chose to set up and worship idols or gods instead of the One God? Is it possible to worship Spirit by using the material senses? What elements of spiritual sense listed in citation S2 can aid one in keeping one's eyes open and focused on a corrected sense of things? What must we do and cease doing in citation S1? What is the result?
 
PSST: Section 2: In the Psalm of David in citation B5, what is the cause for thanksgiving? In citation B7 is another reason for thanksgiving. How many did Jesus feed? How did he do that? Instead of seeing limitation of any kind, what was Jesus seeing and demonstrating? (S6) How was the vision of abundance, limitless mind, expressed? What do you think having 12 baskets full left over represented? More than he physically started with, but an indication that God continues blessing the 12 tribes of Israel, and by extension, us who are the remnant of those tribes. All are blessed, none is left out. (S10)
 
PSST: Section 3: What are the reasons for thanksgiving in citation B9? What healing is stated in S15 & S16? Substitute any disease name for dyspepsia and the healing result is the same. See S&H 492:21. Is disease real? Is disease of any sort or kind real? What should be the focus? (B11) Either perfection is or isn't. It is time to choose what you will see.
 
PSST: Section 4: Where is the prophecy of citation B13 found in the Old Testament? See Zechariah 9:9. More thanksgiving. Jesus is provided transportation when the normal mode was walking. Jesus was aware of scripture and his place in it. In addition to Jesus receiving transportation, what other work of Jesus is referenced in this section? Where is the raising of Lazarus from the dead recorded in John? It is in John 11, which comes right before John 12 where the palm branches event occurred. What or whom did the people come to see? Both Lazarus and Jesus. Why?
 
PSST: Section 5: Which is real, darkness or light? They cannot exist simultaneously. One must reign supreme. What is the light mentioned in citation S30? What is the result of the light of ever-present Love? See again S&H 504:23. What is your cause for thanksgiving or rejoicing in citation B17? As children of light, there is no darkness in you, around you, or in or around anyone else. You are governed by God, S28, and are never deprived of light, the clear understanding of who you are. Cause for thanksgiving indeed, in April and in every month!
 [PYCL: "Let there be light" to banish unreality!]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Unreality"

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for April 1, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041

[Brackets by Newsletter Editor Warren Huff, who also directs CedarS Camps and asks you to remind every Sunday School student that one or more of our six camps for Christian Science Sunday School students has a program & session perfect for them & a way to afford it as well!]
 
 [PYCL - G.T.: Find meaning in analogies. Ask for more than a rote Sunday School answer.]
Light and darkness are always a wonderful way to approach the subject of reality because these analogies are very accessible to kids. Think of the number of kids you know, perhaps you were one of them, who struggle with being afraid of the dark!  Look together at the G.T and discuss what this means. What is the writer referring to when he says "my darkness"?  How does God "lighten" this darkness? Don't assume that they will know what these analogies mean. Ask the question about how this relates to the subject of unreality. If you discussed what is real last week, try talking about what is unreal, and try to stay away from platitudes. If they say quickly, "error is unreal", then ask them what they mean and why that is true. How do they know? Is it just something they have heard or have they had a healing or seen one that shows them that error is not true or real?
 
[PYCL - Hands-on learning about flashlights and darkness:]
There are so many ways to work with the light and darkness theme. I've discussed in past lessons the idea of using flashlights and blankets over everyone or over the table and going underneath. You can talk about how darkness obscures or hides what we see, but doesn't actually change it. If you are careful about introducing the subject you can have a lot of fun with the flashlights and even though they can be distracting, they will go away with some interesting thoughts about darkness and light.
 
[PYCL - Look thru a peephole to see darkness & illness flee in the presence of light & Love!]
I've also shared the idea of a smallish box with items inside and a lid that you can poke a small hole in to peek through.  Put a few items inside the box and see if they can see what is inside through the small peephole.  Then take off the lid, or shine a light through another hole that you have covered and have them peek again.  This is just another way to approach the same metaphysical principle about how darkness doesn't have any "reality", any substance. Darkness doesn't "go away" to somewhere else; it just disappears in the presence of light. And sickness, sadness, accidents and so on likewise disappear in the presence of Love.
 
[PYCL - Help students find beauty hidden right beneath the darkness of unreality!]
One new way to illustrate this light and dark theme would take a small amount of preparation for you.  Did you ever do "black magic" pictures when you were a kid?  You draw something very colorful in crayon and then color over it thickly with black crayon.  Then you scratch away a picture or design in the black and reveal colorful patterns underneath.  You probably wouldn't want to call it "black magic" for the purposes of this exercise, but I'm sure you can think of a more creative, spiritually-oriented name for this!  When you draw the underlying color or colors you want to make the colors bright and solidly cover the paper. When you hand out the black pieces of paper ask them what it looks like to them.  Could that solid black thing ever be a bright pretty picture?  Talk about how sometimes when we don't feel well or are having some trouble that we feel a little like that black paper.  But do they think that maybe there is really beauty, joy, health and goodness right where all that "blackness" appears?  Give them something to scratch away the black with so that they can see the pretty colors underneath.  You can experiment with Popsicle sticks, toothpicks might be too sharp and hard to hold, or small sticks from outside to scratch away a design.  You may want to have some extras for the littler ones in case they scratch a hole and get upset.  And you may need to help the littler guys try this out.  You should also experiment with it first to find what works best.  They don't have to "draw" something; it's perfectly fine to scribble through to see the color.  Also don't feel you have to give them a huge sheet of paper for this; it can take some time to prepare these so keep them smaller or make a big one and cut it into smaller squares.  When they have drawn a few of these pictures, ask them where the colors were before you started scratching away the black?  Where did the colors come from?  Were they always there underneath? Did the black crayon make them go away?  Obviously, as with all analogies, this has its limitations...we may not want to drive home the idea that you have to "scratch away" error...but on the whole I think they'll come away with a good sense of what we are illustrating!  Also don't assume that the slightly older kids wouldn't enjoy this activity.  They might get a kick out of it and find the analogy very helpful to have in their mental filing cabinet.
 
[PYCL - Section 1: End modern-day idolatry and the captivity it brings!]
In the first section you have an opportunity again to work with a commandment albeit in slightly different wording.  Citation B1 states the command, and citation B2 illustrates what happens when you disobey this command.  Have a discussion about why we might find ourselves "taken into captivity" when we set up idols instead of focusing our thought on God and how we express God?  What examples can they come up with of modern day "captivity" in their experience?  You may have to have some examples.  Strive to make the examples relevant to your group.  It would be silly to talk about something that they have not confronted in their experience, or something that isn't honestly a challenge for your group of pupils.  Also look at the relationship between citation B3 and citation S1 and see if that interests you.  I find it intriguing to ask myself what I "worship materially" and that seems to relate to "having eyes and seeing not", etc.  How are we tempted to "...worship Spirit from a material standpoint..."?  (S3)
 
[PYCL - Section 2: Your divine i.d. breaks an unreal cycle of "the good, the bad & the ugly!"]
One of the interesting things about matter is that while it may be tempting to accept the "good" material things, there are always bad things to take with it, or we might say limits that go with it. For example, the body gets us around in amazing ways, but it can die, decay, become diseased or be a victim of accident and suddenly become very limited or even useless.  In the second section we have an example of the way that reality is so unlimited that it blesses everyone and takes away from no one!  The feeding of the multitudes is a great story to talk about.  This includes MBE's statement about "...whatever blesses one blesses all...".  This is a statement of divine law, not of material "fact".  How often does it appear that for one person to have something good, another must be deprived of good?  That's the mortal view of the universe [and of politics].  It certainly leads to misery, warfare, and so on.  I'm not into the whole significance of numbers thing, but I think it's interesting that there are five loaves and two fishes left over and it occurs to me that this is the number of synonyms that we have for God.  That seems like a symbol for the complete way that God provides for us.  Think about how we view the economy, that might not be on a child's radar, but it is illustrative of this idea.  There are a limited number of jobs out there, only a certain number of people are needed for fulfilling careers, etc.  This is the matter view.  But God's gives us abundance, "leftovers" in the best sense!
 
[PYCL - Section 3: Don't try to sculpt a masterpiece through a periscope!]
How do we ascertain what is real?  What if we look at everything through a small scope?  Give them a paper towel tube to look through.  Is this what is out there?  Citation S13 tells us that when we deduce our conclusions about man from imperfection instead of perfection, we don't come to the right conclusion about anything, man included.  If they try to view everything through that paper towel tube, all the time, their experience will necessarily be a limited and inaccurate one!  MBE talks about a sculptor in this passage as well.  You could bring in a picture of someone that looks angry or sad and ask them what would happen if they were to use that as a model for a sculpture or painting?  Would the picture or sculpture come out looking cheerful or happy?  Not if we are trying to make it look like the picture, right?  Ask them what pictures we should hold in our thought if we want to see more God-like qualities in our lives, want to see more of reality!
 
[PYCL - Section 4: Are you also following Jesus for "the loaves... fishes" & Lazarus demos?]
The story for this Palm Sunday [of the 1st Palm Sunday in citation B13] seems to be a good illustration of the material vs. spiritual worship that was discussed earlier in this lesson (B1, S1, S3).  I'm sure many of the people that celebrated Jesus' entrance into the city were genuinely full of gratitude and joy for his presence.  But how many [-- curious mainly to see Lazarus--] turned around the following week to aid or stand by while Jesus was mocked and crucified?  This may be too much for the youngest, but I'm sure some of the older grade-schoolers would be interested in contemplating this.  Is the way that the crowds "worshiped" Jesus that Palm Sunday an example of material worship?  Were they just swept away by excitement [like that created by a "Sweet 16" ("March Madness" college basketball tournament) hero] and then all too easily turned aside [like April Fools] from his wonderful works just a week later?  Did they go into hiding?  Is that one way that we need to spiritualize our worship [in this traditional "New Year" starting at Easter], by being unashamed, unafraid to express our love for God?  How do we view Jesus and his message; would we stand by it no matter what?  Certainly Jesus' persecutors had a false sense of Life and how he expressed it, since they tried to kill him-take away life.  I'm not certain about my analysis of this section, just some thoughts that I have so if it's useful, great -- otherwise, have fun with other ideas!
 
[PYCL - Section 5: "the great spiritual facts of being" (S26) are the light we started with.]
Enjoy your Sunday!

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