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Hope and work for Life eternal through your daily demonstrations!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, April 16th, 2012

[Hope and work for eternal Life through your daily demonstrations!]
CedarS Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Probation After Death" for April 22, 2012
by Rick Stewart, CS of Dresden, Germany
(+49-351 312-4736 RickStewartCS@aol.com)

[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 Denise and Pascal; 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.]

Hope for Life eternal through demonstrations!!

If you were unfamiliar with winter and spring in northern climates you might really worry during the months of January, February, and March.  When snow blankets the ground the world is white, clean, and the air is crisp and invigorating.  (If you have the right clothes.)  But, when the snow is gone the world is gray, cold, and often very desolate looking.  The trees and plants are mostly without leaves, and look dead and lifeless.  Just judging from what you see, you might be sad, depressed, and even grief stricken as you remember the warm days of summer with beautiful green grass and trees, and flowers in full bloom. 

The gray, desolate time might seem a little like the days just before what we know as " Easter".  Just before Easter many Christian people are thinking about the terrible events surrounding the crucifixion of the young teacher, Jesus.   The darkness, the brutality, the hate seemed to take away all the hope they had placed in the teachings of the man who proclaimed, "The kingdom of God is at hand".  In the climax of those dark days, Jesus and the Light  and Life he had spoken of seemed to be gone forever.   And those who had begun to recognize Jesus life as the fulfillment of the promise of a Saviour or Messiah were sad and wondering.   Just like someone wondering if the dark and cold days of winter will ever end. 

 I was surprised and reminded of this dark time when I heard my  four year old daughter, Alma, singing a made up song about Jesus.  She was strumming her guitar and making up verses as she strummed.   It was not about happiness, joy, and inspiration, but it was about his death!  I knew she must have heard some of these things at kindergarten.  So we had a little talk.  We talked about those dark times, and then we talked about how that all changed when Jesus rose from the grave.  He actually rose from the grave and walked with his disciples and made them happy again.  This account of resurrection appears in five locations in the Bible.  Each of the four Gospels include an account of the resurrection of Jesus.  And in the book of the Bible, "The Acts of the Apostles," we are told in Acts 1: 3  "He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God."

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, knew that many Christian denominations  debated and argued over what happens after death.   In her day there was a lively discussion about the concept of "probation after death,"  just like the various schools of Judaism had debated if there was actually a resurrection after death.  And this time after death continues to be debated among Christians today.  Is there a period of "probation" or testing after man dies?  The citations from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures in this week's lesson are a wonderful guide giving us hope and assurance in the eternality of Life.  The ideas in this Bible Lesson guide us into a present and continual faith in the eternality of Life.  And we can begin to answer the question, is there indeed, "Probation After Death?" 

Golden Text: John 3:16

God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. (Contemporary English Version)

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that every one who believes in him shall not be lost, but should have eternal life." (J.B.Phillips New Testament)

Did you notice in Phillips translation the quotation marks?  I was surprised this week by a little realization regarding this verse from the Gospel of John.   These were Jesus' words spoken to Nicodemus, a prominent Jewish leader in the  synagogue.

I grew up in Florida, in the Southeastern United States.  Most of my friends were not Christian Scientists, but from other churches.  And I remember that their Bibles often had the words that Jesus spoke printed in red ink.  Since that was different than my Bible I always thought it was a little weird.  Of course it wasn't weird just different than what I knew.  But now I  find that quite helpful.  Especially regarding this verse.  I did not think of it as spoken by Jesus, but rather spoken about Jesus.  To see that it was actually Jesus talking about God's "only Son" is quite interesting to me.  It is also a great centering of this week's Bible Lesson on the theme that "faith" in the "only Son" of God is a gift of "eternal life" and freedom from death for  "everyone."  And that does include you and me!

I thought of this as my boys and I were on a plane flying home.  The pilot informed us that we  had to make an emergency landing to get first aid to a fellow passenger.  We landed and as we left the airport runway there right in front of our plane was a yellow and black striped truck flashing the sign, "Follow Me."  Even better than this truck leading the way is the Christ, going before us, and encouraging, "Follow Me."

Responsive Reading: John 13:31 and 14: 1-6, 19, 27 - 29

Christ Jesus' words here reassure us.  We are told not to be "troubled."  We are assured that Jesus will go before us.  He will "prepare" a place for us, and that he will show us, "the way, the truth, and the life."  Actually he is the Way.  And he also tells us not to be troubled and not to be afraid.

Isn't this one of the great values of our Bible Lesson.  Bringing the comfort of the Christ to our "way" right now, not just in the future?  When skies or life seem threatening or dark, don't be "troubled" or "afraid", walk on and know you are never alone.  I remember a   powerful interpretation of the Rogers and Hammerstein song,"You'll Never Walk Alone" I first heard as a child.   It was recorded by the "Righteous Brothers." If you have internet you can listen at this link or find the song,   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa4sDx-OXxU

Section 1 - "Jesus taught the way of Life by demonstration,..." (S-1)

The simple steps of following Jesus teachings and demonstrations that lead to the promise of eternal Life.   What are we believing?  What are we trusting?  God? Life? With  "all" our heart?  And "loving" our neighbor?  Isn't it interesting to think that the way out of the darkness of fear, doubt, false belief, grief is obedience?  (B-4) Discussion with the lawyer.  And (S-2) "Jesus urged the commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me..."

Some years ago I had been away from home almost an entire year lecturing in South America.  By mom and dad had been an incredible support back home.  We had a couple visits during the year and some phone conversations.  The day of my last lecture, Thursday, June 30, I called home and my dad answered.  We rejoiced together in the successful completion of the lecture tour and that I would be home in just three days.  Then on Sunday my mom reached me in the Dominican Republic and asked for my prayerful support.  My dad had just quietly passed away at home.  I was praying with my whole heart.  And I tried every way to get home immediately, scheduled airlines, chartering a plane, I even asked my host a former Air Force general what he could do and he tried to get his son a pilot to fly me home.  It was not possible.  Then he told me, "Rick, your prayers are just as effective "here" as "there."

 I was finally able to travel the next day.  When I returned home my mom and brothers and I supported each other with our prayers and "loving one another."  We were doing okay, not great, but okay.  My mom was really staying on top of the "facts" of divine Life.  But at one point I began to slip into gloom and grief.  I was not rising up to a sense of certainty in eternal Life.  One Sunday afternoon I was watching a movie on TV.  It was a Western with Lee Marvin, "Monty Walsh."  The main character, a real cowboy, was offered lots of money to portray a "fancy cowboy" in a Wild West Show.  He was just about to accept the offer because of all it would make possible, including marrying his long time girl friend, when he realized it was not for him.  He turned down the offer with a simple statement, "You are asking me to spit on my whole life!"  In other words by accepting the offer Monty would be denying what his entire life had been about.  Hehad been a real cowboy.  Every day he lived freedom, adventure, and a simple love of life.  He was not going to give that up for lots of money and the life of a "fancy Dan," a pretend cowboy in fancy clothes.

When I heard that statement it was as if my dad had said it to me, "Are you going to spit on my whole life?"  My dad had always lived with a great appreciation of life and its adventure.  He had loved being in nature, hunting, fishing.  He had loved and appreciated people.  He had lived with a great spirit of adventure in all things.  And I realized in that moment that my gloom and grief did not honor my dad.  In that moment, in that realization, I felt a sense of peace and also the obligation to obey both my dad, and my heavenly Father in honoring the true sense of Life, never limited by mortal gloom.

 Section 2 - No "dead end" journey

"The gift of God is eternal life..." (B-7)  "Jesus said substantially, ‘He that believeth in me shall not see death. ‘  That is, he who perceives the true idea of Life loses his belief in death." (S-10)

When I was a child I remember my mother receiving a telephone call from our local Christian Science Reading Room.  The attendant told my mom that a visitor had collapsed and seemed to be suffering a hemorrhage, massive bleeding of some kind.  My mom immediately began to pray.  In a few minutes the Reading Room attendant called back to say that the woman had awakened, the bleeding had stopped, and all was well.

How did my mother pray?  She told me she had just been praying because our vacuum cleaner had stopped working.  She knew she did not have the money to buy a new one.  She had simply prayed that it was Principle, (another name for God) that governed all action.  The vacuum cleaner began to work perfectly and then the call came from the Reading Room.  She had simply affirmed the divine fact of Principle governing every action and as the only source of Life.  (S-10) "Be watchful, sober, and vigilant.  The way is straight and narrow, which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life."

Section 3 - A tree cut down may sprout again

(B-9) This Bible citation relates Job's encouragement that "there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again."  I have seen portions of a tree that had been laid on the ground to dry and season to sprout again.  In Costa Rica a very common way of building a fence is to bury sections of Madero Negro trees and as they grow to string wire between them.  These living fences are also living examples of "hope of a tree" that is cut down. 

Near our house in Dresden is a rather large vacant lot.  For years now I have watched as a beautiful row of maple trees grows every year.  It is always cut back to the ground and in a few months the maples stand ten feet tall.  The fall brings a beautiful display of color.  Always renewing, always sprouting and growing again, it does inspire you to know there is hope of springing back in full leaf.

But only trees?  You can read an interesting account of Mary Baker Eddy restoring her secretary, Calvin Frye to life.  Shortly after Mrs. Eddy and her household moved to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts her secretary, Calvin Frye was found unconscious and "in a death stupor."  Three of the Christian Scientists working in the house tried to "restore him, but he seemed to have passed on."  Mrs. Eddy asked that Calvin be brought to her, he was carried in a small rocking chair.   Mrs. Eddy commanded Calvin to "rouse himself, to awaken from his false dream.  "At first she met with no response, but this did not discourage her.  She redoubled her efforts and fairly shouted to him her command that he awake.  In a few moments he gave evidence of life, partly opened his eyes, and slightly moved his head.  Seeking to rouse him, Mrs. Eddy said, "Calvin, don't commit self-murder."  He replied, "I don't want to live."  Mrs. Eddy commanded, "Dissapoint your enemies and live.  Say that you do want to stay and help me."  He replied, "Yes, I ll stay."  Soon he walkd back to his room.  You can read the entire account in "Twelve Years With Mary Baker Eddy" by Irving C. Tomlinson, Page 58, 59.

An interesting recent article and post on ChristianScience.com involved the restoration of a Second Reader who collapsed during the church service.   The article, "Church-resurrected and renewed" by Susan Hunt Deal is truly inspiring.  As substitute soloist Susan tells of her conviction as she helped in prayer and remembered how Mrs. Eddy had raised Calvin Frye.  You can access this article at this link:

http://members.christianscience.com/church-alive/church-resurrected-and-renewed/

Section 4 - The continuity of Life- Jesus speaks with Moses, and Elijah

How wonderful are God's tender mercies toward us, preserving and loving.  See (B-10) Psalms 40 !

Aren't we given clear proof that the "body" does not constitute man or the life of man in the account of the mount of transfiguration.  Here Jesus talks with Moses and Elijah  and Peter, James and John witness this event.  It is so concrete, so real that the three disciples recognize who Jesus is speaking with.  But isn't the fact that these two prophets spoke with Jesus clear indications that life is not about the body.  Moses lived sometime between 1200 and 1500 B.C, according to Rabbinical Judaism,  1391-1271 BCE.   Elijah lived sometime during the 9th Century B.C.

So hundreds and hundreds of years separate these three men, and yet they talked together and three of the disciples of Jesus witnessed this event.  Wow!   (S-17) "Man's individual being can no more die nor disappear in unconsciousness than can Soul, for both are immortal."  In (S-19) Mrs. Eddy encourages, "The true sense of being and its eternal perfection should appear now, even as it will hereafter."

A beautiful article found in the Christian Science Journal brings out a powerful, healing sense of the infinite individuality of man's life, "Individuality: Its Eternal Presence" by Barbara Cook, in the February, 2001 Christian Science Journal.  This article can now be found at the new website for the Christian Science Journal:  JSH Online.

Section 5 - Dreams of death destroyed, Lazarus awakened

(B-14) John 11 Tells us of Jesus receiving word that his friend, Lazarus, was sick.  The entire account in the Gospel of John, Chapter 11 is worth reading.  It includes the elements of Jesus fearlessness in returning where just a short while before there was an attempt to stone him.  And also we have the statement of awakening Lazarus, not from natural sleep, but the sleep of death.  And even though it took four days for them to get there, Jesus felt it was good that the disciples had not been there.  " 14 So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."

Believing in the experience of death does not help anyone.  And believing in the experience of death certainly does not equip us to heal.   As Mrs. Eddy points out in referring to this event: (S-20) "Jesus restored Lazarus by the understanding that Lazarus had never died, not by an admission that his body had died and then lived again.  Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived or died in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body, and he could not have rescustitated it."

Hymn 188 in the Christian Science Hymnal comes to thought: Hymn 188

Elizabeth C. Adams 

ROCKINGHAM 
Edward Miller 

No eye hath seen, nor tongue declared, 
Nor hath it entered heart of man, 
To know what God hath here prepared 
For them that love and trust His plan.

But He whose Spirit searcheth deep 
Hath sent His Word to all mankind, 
The Word that bids them find and keep 
The priceless treasures of His Mind.

O come and find, the Spirit saith, 
The Truth that maketh all men free. 
The world is sad with dreams of death
Lo, I am Life, come unto Me.

Concork Works

That link might bring you right to the hymn.  Or you can sign up for a free trial of the wonderful concordance offered from the Christian Science Publishing Society, "Concord Online."  A free trial lasts until May 15.  https://www.concordworks.com/

Section 6 - Without a doubt or doubter, Life is.

You know, I think the Bible Lesson committee was taking it easy on us by choosing the Gospel of  John instead of Mark for this Section.  Because both Mark and John have a very similar account of the Master's first appearance after the crucifixion.  The difference being that in Mark as it appears below, we are told what Jesus thought of the disciples not believing Mary's report!!

Mark  16  "9Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. 12After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.13And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

"Upbraided:  Reprove sharply, reproach, scold. "    I do not think I would have liked to be "upbraided" by a teacher that just rose from the grave for me, and I did not believe it.  But what a Love he lived.  Not only did he "upbraid" them,  the disciples that is, but he continued to love and lead them.  For forty days he stuck around, encouraging and loving.  And how long has Jesus loving spirit, his divine nature been shepherding us?  Two thousand years?  Do I deserve upbraiding, a definite yes.  How about you?

Indisputable proof given of Life rising above all mortal hatred.  Every mortal belief destroyed by the love of our Master, by the demonstration of the Christ.  And still I hesitate to trust, to believe, to be assured that Life is eternal?

(S-25) "Jesus unchanged physical condition after what seemed to be death was followed by his exaltation above all material conditions; and this exaltation explained his ascension, and revealed unmistakably a probationary and progressive state beyond the grave.  Jesus was "the way," that is, he marked the way for all men."

(S-28) "Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power. ...This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfill."

"Only what we can certainly fulfill...!"  No more doubting, let's do it !!

Section 7 - Your immortality, beginning the demonstration!

 Someone once asked Mary Baker Eddy if it was correct to declare our immortality.  It appears they had been reproved (or upbraided) by a "seasoned" Christian Scientist.  (Remember always important to watch out for a "seasoned" Christian Scientist, just might mean they are ready for the Bar B Q grill!  We want to be more like first time CedarS campers, eager, receptive, ready to be active workers in the Christian Science movement !!)  Anyway Mrs. Eddy received the following inquiry by mail and responded.

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany  Part II - Miscellany Pg. 241

["Last evening I was catechized by a Christian Science 
practitioner because I referred to myself as an immortal 
idea of the one divine Mind. The practitioner said that 
my statement was wrong, because I still lived in my 
flesh. I replied that I did not live in my flesh, that 
my flesh lived or died according to the beliefs I enter‐ 
tained about it; but that, after coming to the light of 
Truth, I had found that I lived and moved and had 
my being in God, and to obey Christ was not to know 
as real the beliefs of an earthly mortal. Please give the 
truth in the Sentinel, so that all may know it."

Mrs. Eddy's Reply

You are scientifically correct in your statement about 
yourself.  You can never demonstrate spirituality until you 
declare yourself to be immortal and understand that 
you are so.  Christian Science is absolute; it is neither 
behind the point of perfection nor advancing towards 
it; it is at this point and must be practised therefrom.

 Unless you fully perceive that you are the child 
of God, hence perfect, you have no Principle to demon‐ 
strate and no rule for its demonstration.   By this I 
do not mean that mortals are the children of God, - 
far from it.   In practising Christian Science you must 
state its Principle correctly, or you forfeit your ability 
to demonstrate it."

(S-29) "Man's privilege at this supreme moment is to prove the words of our Master: "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death."   (S-30) "Life is eternal.  We should find this out and begin the demonstration thereof.  Life and goodness are immortal."

It is our "privilege" to "begin the demonstration" that Life is eternal.  We do not have to prove Life is eternal or make Life eternal, that has already been done.

We only have to "demonstrate" what already is and has already been proven.  We trust our Father-Mother God, divine Life.  We follow our beloved Wayshower, Christ Jesus.  And we follow our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy only so far as she follows Christ! (Message to the Mother Church for 1902, Mary Baker Eddy.)  With all that help we are assured of success in our probation and guaranteed to discover that Life truly is eternal.   What a party it will be as we celebrate Life eternal - Let's get this party started.


[Calling all Christian Scientists 14 & up! ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT* TO REGISTER for the Texas Regional Youth Conference!  (*A late fee applies for those enrolling between Tuesday April 17th and the April 21st conference.)  Event Planners from Houston & Boston have asked us in all the ways we know to encourage everyone, not just youth to register and come.  If you're 14-35, you've got the whole conference day!  But if you're over 35, and a parent, friend, or mentor of youth, you're invited also to join the fun and inspiration of an evening session that includes dinner, live concert, and an inspirational talk on parenting and mentoring.  (I'm flying in for the evening and have registered!) Please join me and all youth supporters as well as young adults in registering so planners can reserve seating, dinner, etc. Three wonderful Christian Science youth speakers will share: how Christian Science can make a difference in our lives; how we can make a difference in the world; and how we can be happier, and have better relationships... (See more and register online at makingadifference2012.com ]


[Please help let news of a funding vehicle and the need be known:  
"The Campership Fund
 is celebrating their 20th Anniversary in the Southeast and is excited to announce a new branch in the Midwest serving the states of Illinois and Missouri.  The Campership Fund for Christian Scientists is dedicated to encouraging and financially aiding Christian Science Sunday school students to attend whichever camp for Christian Scientists they choose - CedarS, Adventure Unlimited, Bow-Isle, Crystal Lake Camp, Leelanau-Kohahna or Newfound/Owatonna."

The need as announced by The Campership Fund: "We are pleased to see the immediate response of Midwest families wanting to send their children to each of the various camps for Christian Science evident by the numerous applications received.   We welcome your support, both metaphysical and financial, so every child is able to enjoy the enriching atmosphere at the camp of their choice this summer.   Visit us atwww.campershipfund.org and "like us" on our facebook page."  Please donate today to "The Campership Fund" or for CedarS camperships to help us make sure that no Christian Science Sunday School student is "un-camped" this summer!]


[CedarS will send a DVD & info on our programs for all ages; session dates & rates; 2012 online enrollmenttransportation... to help get anyone in your 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.]


[PCYL: Rejoice in Easter gladness extended to right now!]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"
Probation After Death"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for April 22, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & Newsletter Editor]
 
[PYCL Intro:  Bless kids with an early and accurate view of what we call death.]
Sometimes these subjects seem awfully "big" to approach with younger folks.  But anyone who has had children of their own has probably noticed that at some point even their very young children start to ask a lot of questions about death.  What better context could there be than Sunday School to start to broach this subject?  Giving them an early, accurate view of what we call death will bless them as they are confronted with this belief at some other time. [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.]
 
[PYCL on links:  Extend the lessons of Easter.]
Certainly, though, you can find other ideas in the lesson if your class is not yet ready for the details of this subject.  For example, it is apparent that if you look at the arc of the last three lessons you start to see the focus on Jesus' role in overcoming sin, disease and death, his role in bringing us into the true understanding of our unity with God and now how we find eternal life through following his path in our lives today.  Really these subjects are very intertwined in an extended season of Easter, from the crucifixion through the ascension.  So you can take any number of paths to talk about how following Jesus brings us closer to God, Life, health and so on.
 
[PYCL on B1 & B3:  More flash-light fun with a purpose - "the light of the world".]
For example: consider looking at citations B1 and B3 with some of the little ones.  Bring out your handy flashlights.  Talk about what light symbolizes (I know we've done this before, but trust me, symbolism takes awhile to catch on!). Discuss why Jesus called himself the "light of the world."  That's really quite interesting if you've never thought about it right?  What does he mean that if we believe in him we will never "abide" in darkness?  This stuff, though obvious to us, is not so much to little children.  You can then use the flashlights to illustrate how they illuminate dark places, show us what is there for real.  Show how they don't "make darkness go away", rather they reveal to us what was always present, just as Jesus showed us with matters of life and health and joy and so on.  Talk about how Jesus healed this way, and give an example of how we heal this way today, not by "changing" matter, or making disease, etc. "go away", but by revealing to our understanding, what has always been true about us!  This is a subject that can be quite detailed, lots of healings and stories can illustrate this.  Look to some of the lesson stories too.  The story of the three disciples seeing Moses, Elijah and Jesus together (before the ascension) is a great one to discuss with "light".  What did their clothes look like?  Were they "ghosts"?  Why did they shine?  What might that represent?  Is shining a kind of light?  Why did Jesus show this to the disciples?  What does it say about death as we know it?
 
[PYCL on Lazarus:  Share today's ways to roll away stones & peal-off grave clothes.]
You can add to this search the story of Lazarus as well.  What link do they see between Jesus being the "light of the world" and the way he raised Lazarus from the tomb?  Was it dark or light in the tomb?  When Jesus asked them to "take away the stone", what did that do besides make it physically possible for Lazarus to get out?  What was let into the tomb?  What does this story tell us about death/life?  Was it just something Jesus could do because he was so special?  What does this mean for us today?  Notice that this lesson repeats over and over the ways in which we are to begin this demonstration of understanding eternal life now!  If we are to demonstrate the truth the way that Jesus did, we need to daily demonstrate the laws that he revealed so that we are prepared to progress each day and reach the heights of healing/understanding that he revealed.  How does the story of Lazarus give us something to practice daily, (since presumably we won't be faced today with raising someone from the dead), what are we doing that removes "stones" (heavy material belief), from our experiences or from other's?  This is something that our Leader has pointed out that every "child, man and woman" can do, and must do!  Look at the part of the story where Lazarus is "...bound hand and foot with grave clothes...".  What does this mean? What does Jesus tell the onlookers to do?  What does this symbolize for us right now?  Think about the illustration of "binding" someone.  Could you try wrapping up a kid (a happy volunteer, of course) in strips of cloth?  What does that feel like?  Can they see?  Can they move?  Can they think of healing like stripping away the "grave clothes of material belief" or moving away the stone of matter thinking?  What sort of freedom does that give us?
 
[PYCL to expose the lie:  Early and often confront the belief in a power apart from God.]
If God is Life itself (and we know He is!), then the belief in death is really a belief that there is something more powerful than God.  Our Leader puts it quite simply in citation S23.  So how do we "grapple" with this issue, and overcome it?!  These stories really help us to focus on what Life really is, what a lie death is.  The reason we confront "death" at every "age" in life, is because it is rooted in the belief that there is an ultimate power beside God, and this suggestion is relevant to every one of us, regardless of age or health.  So this may be why we can discuss this subject with children who are perhaps not really thinking about the suggestion of death in their own experience.
 
[PYCL on Christ appearing 1st: to Mary; and to you daily instead of after doubts and worries.]
I also like the idea of looking at section six and talking about Jesus reappearing after crucifixion and burial.  What does it symbolize that he first appeared to Mary (or in some accounts, more than one Mary).  What made it possible for them or for her to see him first?  What does this have to do with us today?  How is he "appearing" to you today?  Have you ever thought of Jesus this way?  Do you have what it takes for him to appear "first" to you?  What might this mean?  The Christ can always "appear" to your consciousness "first" instead of after a host of material doubts and fears.  [My favorite definition of worry is "ingratitude in advance" that is counteracted by the Christ light of gratitude in advance, that Jesus showed us all at Lazarus' tomb.]  But what must we do to insure that we are prepared for the Christ consciousness to come "first"?  I can think of a number of times, especially in situations that we might call "emergencies" [emerge ‘n see!] where the Christ really did appear "first" to me and this really brought the power of Christ's healing presence to bear in every case!  Can you share any situations like this with the kids?  Can they think of examples where they might try to solve problems by allowing the Christ to appear first, instead of all the other garbage?  What if they don't, is it then too late?  Of course not!  Discuss how they can sweep away the awful mess of matter and "unbind" themselves from those "grave clothes" thoughts to reveal the light of truth!
 
[PYCL on tree lessons:  a short "tree trip" with the purpose of strengthening root systems.]
One final idea:  My husband does quite a bit of forest management and I was surprised not long ago to find out that if a forest is clear cut (all trees cut down), that virtually the entire new forest will grow from the old stumps!  Rather than begin from seed, they all grow from the original root system, but also add new root growth of their own!  That's a great symbol of how we are permanently "rooted" in the Christ.  That we are eternally growing anew and rising from His truth!  I thought that the third section might provide some interesting ideas for discussion in this light.  If your Sunday School is near a wooded area and you have the littler kids, a short field [or tree] trip may be in order to illustrate this point.  You would, of course, need to go in search of examples of this beforehand so that you can successfully show them this!  What do the "roots" symbolize to them?  How deep do the roots go?  What do the roots do besides feed the tree?  Do they provide stability and strength?  What does this illustrate about our relationship to Christ?  What happens to a big tree when there is little or no rain?  (They are largely unaffected because the root system is so deep).  How does this illustrate the depths of our relationship with Christ?  I think you get the idea!
 
Have a great Sunday!

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