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Wake Up and Let the Serpent Bite the Dust!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, April 30th, 2012

Wake Up and Let the Serpent Bite the Dust!
Application Ideas for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:
"Adam and Fallen Man" for the week of April 30-May 6, 2012
by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn, Illinois
 
[Bracketed Notes from Warren Huff, CedarS Camps Director and Editor of its Weekly Newsletters: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) that will follow, are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French thanks to Pascal, in German thanks to Helga and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
This Lesson is so loaded with meaning, that it is impractical to think we can stuff it all into a few short pages. Even the amended research I've found on the citations in the Bible is double of what I usually start with.  In describing one of the citations from the Lesson, one of the commentators I find helpful, Adam Clarke, adds that he could write a book on the citations in question as opposed to short notes at the end of a long chapter.  So seems nearly every citation in this Lesson.  Hence, the notes this week are a bit longer than usual.  It's a deep one but very important.  So strap on your seatbelt, and let's get to it.
 
Golden Text: ["Another One (Serpent Lie) Bites the Dust" Song title by "Queen"]
In "The Make Up of the Sermon," from The Christian Science Sentinel, March 9 1899, we read, "The Golden Text may be said to contain the fundamental thought with which the sermon deals.  It is a general statement of Truth which the sermon elaborates."  In this week's Lesson there are two "fundamental thoughts" considered-the serpent, and the dust.  Often, we think of the serpent as a diabolical tempter, who presents an ongoing threat to man.  Most religions consider this threat to be an intelligent counterpart to God, and that man is prone to fall prey to it at any time.  While Christian Scientists are taught to be alert to the claims of this tempter, we also know that God's omnipotence does not include evil, and thus, we de-fang the serpent.  When Isaiah's prophesy declares dust to be "the serpent's meat," it indicates that-at God's command-the serpent is perpetually sentenced to have dust, or nothingness, as its prey.  The serpent cannot injure man in any way, either through temptation, or by its venom.  The coming of the Messiah makes all poisonous or deadly threats completely innocuous-including the evil passions of men, and commences a time when the wicked shall no more devour the people of God. 
 
Responsive Reading
From the outset, we're reminded that the story of the serpent is a parable or allegory.  Theologian Matthew Henry writes of the call to listen to a parable as a solemn introduction of which "no truth is of greater importance.  Let all hear this with application to ourselves..."  Of the psalmist's call, another pre-eminent theologian of the nineteenth century, Albert Barnes, says that the author felt that the views of the people were not right on the subject at hand, and he therefore, "proposed to examine the matter carefully, and to state the exact truth."  In a similar way, the theological interpretations of the story of the serpent and Adam's fall have been generally misunderstood.  This Lesson is going to "examine the matter carefully," and "state the exact truth."
 
Consider first the method of this subtle creature called the serpent.  The woman seemed an easy target: innocent, frail, alone, inexperienced.  The tempter insinuates that she has misunderstood the divine directive and offers to guide her to the correct interpretation.  Did she mistake the serpent for a legitimate messenger from God?  She clearly knows not to touch the tree, but was she unclear as to why?  Is the consequence "ye shall surely die" because the fruit itself is poisonous?  Or is the consequence simply due to disobedience?
 
What was her motive for eating the fruit?  Did her desire for knowledge override her fidelity to God?  Was she jealous that there was someone who knew something she did not?  Her capitulation to temptation established a pattern still faced today: desire or attraction to an object; inward turmoil over it; uncontrolled desire for the object; ending in remorse and slavery to evil.
 
Adam Clarke notes three aspects of the fruit indicative of all moral evils: the desires of the flesh-the tree was good for food; the desire of the eye-the tree was pleasant to the sight; and the pride of life-the tree desired to make one wise.
 
The Responsive Reading closes with the serpent being cursed, and being remanded to perpetual antagonism toward mankind.  Lower than all other animals, the serpent without limbs, must crawl on his belly.  Its only defense is in its sting, and quick stealthy response to attack.  Yet, as noted above, it will ultimately do him no good for he shall eat only "dust" and have no more ability to harm man.
 
Section 1: Don't Be Deceived
One would think that man, as a whole, has already been deceived by virtue of Eve's transgression.  But Paul warns us as if we had a fresh slate through the understanding of Christ, and that he doesn't want our comparative inexperience in Christ to make us susceptible to the cunning methods of evil (B1).  Subtlety is the foe of simplicity.  Paul compares the church (and its members) to an innocent maiden who may be led astray by temptation.  He is largely concerned with the church being "seduced" by "the persuasive arts of the false teachers, the power of philosophy; and the attractive and corrupting influences of the world" (Barnes).  Often, evil assumes attractive forms and charms that catch us off guard. Single-hearted devotion is the ideal state of mind for the Christian.  Again, Barnes writes, "Paul was afraid that they [the young church] would lose this beautiful simplicity and artlessness of character and manner; and that they would insensibly be led to adopt the maxims of mere cunning, of policy, of expediency, of seductive arts which prevailed so much in the world - a danger which was imminent among the shrewd and cunning people of Greece; but which is confined to no time and no place."  The bottom line was that Paul promoted simplicity in every way including, everyday life, preaching, and methods of worship.  Do we sometimes feel the need to adopt worldly methods to achieve recognition or worldly status for our religion?
 
Paul also warns the Corinthians not to deceive themselves by turning to any teacher but Christ (B2).  Just as Eve seemed to be impressed by the appearance of the tree, we should not let ourselves be attracted by the "package" more than the "message."  Adam Clarke makes this poignant observation: "he who lends only the ear of his body to the word of God, will follow that man who most pleases his ear; and these are the persons who generally profit the soul least."  If we have a heartfelt yearning for truth, we will be less likely to fall for insubstantial eloquence.  Another dimension of this warning is not to take on assignments that we're not qualified for.  Everyone should have the humility to play their own part well, no matter how small.
 
Paul's overall concern was that we not forget where we came from.  Humans tend to be fairly egotistical, but we are nothing without God, and everything with Him.  Genesis 1 (B3) addresses this.  You will recall that the creation of man was a singular event.  In previous phases of creation the new idea came from its predecessor, i.e. "let the earth bring forth grass;" but here, man is totally new, and springs directly from God.  Most importantly, we see that everything God made is "very good."  Not just "kind of" good; but completely, superlatively, as good as can be, to the "nth degree." John gauges our position as Christians, by our willingness to acknowledge and accept our spiritual origin as taught by the Word of God (B4).
 
Mary Baker Eddy teaches us to look only to God for our "genuine selfhood" (S1).  Anything else is but a product of what she calls "the Adam-dream" (S2). Our Leader's definition of "serpent" (S3) also helps to de-fang this lie.  It helps us to understand that the serpent is not a personal devil that seeks us out, and tries to outsmart us.  It is simply a claim of a power opposed to God-a claim which many theologies accept, but one which we can reject based on our understanding of God's allness.  Our textbook confirms the serpent story as allegory, and teaches us "never to believe a lie" (S4).  Mrs. Eddy's understanding of Genesis takes a different approach than traditional theology.  While most are looking for ways to confirm that God intended evil to be part of the equation, Christian Science finds evil to be no part of it, because evil is no part of God (S5).  The solution to evil, according to Science, is to simply turn from sin, to lose sight of mortality to find reality (S6).  That sounds simple enough doesn't it?
 
Section 2: We Need a Wake-up Call
As simple as the words sound, we find that in practice, we often need some help. How much time do we spend dwelling in dust-living in dejection, want, oppression, poverty, mortality? Isaiah calls for those who dwell in dust to awake (B5). If we need to wake up, it must mean those who are dwelling in dust are asleep. The Christ wakes us up. In contrast to the serpent who seduced Eve with lies and false propaganda, the Christ, is a "truth-teller" and advocates for our true nature (B6). The Christ is able to sift out the lies and inform us of the real man God has made. Rather than having to look to a tree of good and evil for information, we find that God answers our call before we even finish speaking (B7). He gives us all we need, all the time. The Christ, Truth disarms the serpent's threat. The lies of the serpent are the lies of a dream, and they have neither authority nor standing (B8).  Jesus brought the good news-the Gospel of the kingdom; and not only that, but he proved his words by works of healing.  He healed every type of illness or disease-physical or mental, acute or chronic, organic or functional (B9).
 
Mrs. Eddy found Jesus' teachings and demonstrations of healing to be the perfect remedy for the serpent. They teach us the difference between the real and unreal (S7).  Jesus proved that man "is deathless, spiritual...above sin or frailty" (S8).  All our ills are born from the false assumption that man lives in matter, but this is all part of the Adam-dream and is a lie (S9).  We often think of the serpent's lies as the ones that say we're sick, or hurt, or whatever, but we should remember to reject the basic lie that there is life and intelligence in matter in the first place!  Waking up from this lie will destroy the dream forever (S10).
 
Section 3: Adam Is Nothingness-Jesus Is the True Ideal
The serpent promised to open Eve's eyes, but the psalmist knows what can really open his eyes (B10).  Curiously, the Hebrew word translated as "open" means to uncover, reveal or to strip naked (Strong).  When Adam and Eve's eyes were open they discovered their "nakedness."  But the picture they saw wasn't the reality.  What really needs to be stripped away is the mortal veil.  We want to remove the mortal picture that's preventing our clear vision and see what God has really made.  The psalmist laments that his soul cleaves to the dust.  Here the word "cleave" means "to cling, or adhere to."  He feels "glued" to the dust-so fastened to it-that he can't be detached. In the effort to be free from the dust of materiality, the psalmist longs for the day when he will see himself again as the pure likeness of God (B11).  As theologian Adam Clarke puts, "He longs for the time when he shall completely arise out of the sleep and death of sin and be created anew after the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness."
 
Barnes points out that Adam becoming a "living soul" means nothing more than becoming a creature which is animated and breathes.  It does not denote a higher view of an immortal nature.  Thus, we have the contrast between Adam and Christ Jesus, who represented spiritual vitality, not merely "alive," but an elevated spiritual presence capable of imparting eternal life (B12).  Adam came from dust, but Jesus came from heaven.  Which model are we going to identify with?  Paul calls for Christians not to be stuck to the dust, but to be "steadfast, unmovable" and firmly fixed in the truth.  An interesting side-note: The name "Eve" comes from a root word meaning "life-giver" (Strong). Adam gave this name to the woman, but the true life-giver is God.
 
Take a moment to consider how remarkable it is to recognize Christ as the antidote for the earthly Adam.  This is what Albert Barnes says about it: "No other system of religion has any such hopes as this; no other system does anything to dispel the gloom, or drive away the horrors of the grave.  How foolish is the man who rejects the gospel - the only system which brings life and immortality to light!  How foolish to reject the doctrine of the resurrection, and to lie down in the grave without peace, without hope, without any belief that there will be a world of glory; living without God, and dying like the brute."  The biblical promise on its own merit is far beyond any other philosophy or religious view known to man.  Now-even more remarkable is Mrs. Eddy's revelation on this issue.
 
She saw Christ Jesus not as some supernatural visitation from the divine, but as the actual expression of who, and what, we really are (S11).  She points out that the etymology of the name Adam supports the fact that a so-called material man is only a belief in separation from God (S12).  Replacing the false Adam-model with the Christ-model we will see that the ills of the flesh are nothingness, born of the dust (S14).
 
Section 4: It's Our Job to Help the World Wake Up
Jesus brought the life-giving power of the Spirit into everything he did (B13).  He showed that it's not enough to know this for one's self.  We have an obligation to share it with the world.  Jesus gave his disciples power and authority to cast out the serpent's lies (B14).  Eve's attraction to the tree was that it promised wisdom that would make men "as gods."  The power Jesus imparted was truly the wisdom that comes from God.  Jesus' instruction gave power to tread on serpents and prove Satan's lies to be powerless.  They fall to earth as quickly as a lightning bolt (B15).  Jesus' followers had the great fortune of being wakened from the dark sleep of the serpent's lies.  Sleep sometimes seems to bring a sense of comfort, avoidance, and false security-an escape if you will, from the responsibilities facing us.  But Christ calls us to wake up and be aware of the needs around us, and see what's really going on.
 
Man needs to be wakened (B16).  Again, Barnes gives us some insight as to the need:  "The man that is sleeping on the verge of a dangerous precipice we would approach, and say, "Awake, you are in danger."  The child that is sleeping quietly in its bed, while the flames are bursting into the room, we would rouse, and say, "Awake, or you will perish."  Why not use the same language to the sinner slumbering on the verge of ruin, in a deep sleep, while the flames of wrath are kindling around him?"  Do we not wish to be children of the light?  The purpose of the "twelve" and the "seventy" was to go out and rouse everyone from the stupor of materiality.
 
The early Christians took that directive seriously.  In fact, they were willing to die for it if necessary.  How responsive are we to the call to "awake," and to wake others?  The call to wake up comes from God (S15).  True enlightenment comes directly from Truth, and this Truth enables us to heal the sick (S16-18).  We have a duty to the world to share that truth.  We are "the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid" (S19).  Since that's the case, we have no choice but to let our light shine.
 
Section 5: The Tempter Cannot Put You to Sleep
The story of Eutychus (B18) brings several elements of our Lesson together: sleeping, falling, and waking.  There's much made of the specific details of Eutychus' story giving us insights into early Christian customs, but the symbolic lessons are pertinent as well.  Theologian Matthew Henry, while most often very steeped in traditional old-theology, still brings up important points for present-day Christians.  He writes, "Sleeping when hearing the word is an evil thing, a sign of low esteem of the word of God.  We must do what we can to prevent being sleepy; not put ourselves to sleep, but get our hearts affected with the word we hear, so as to drive sleep far away.  Infirmity requires tenderness; but contempt requires severity.  It [Eutychus falling] interrupted the apostle's preaching; but was made to confirm his preaching.  Eutychus was brought to life again.  And as they knew not when they should have Paul's company again, they made the best use of it they could, and reckoned a night's sleep well lost for that purpose.  How seldom are hours of repose broken for the purposes of devotion! But how often for mere amusement or sinful revelry!"  When you think about it, there is some irony in the temptation to fall asleep when praying, when studying the Lesson, or when in church.  The whole idea is to wake up from the dream of life in matter, but there we are-nodding off into further slumber, unable to gain advantage from the good thoughts being imparted to us.  First, the liar promises to open our eyes to the truth, then it puts us to sleep so we can't receive it, and eventually, it intends to kill us.
 
Paul tells us that all associated with Adam are destined to die, but all are made alive through Christ (B19).  While traditional theology associates man's connection with Adam as the root of all men's sin, it is quite remarkable that Albert Barnes noted specifically that, in this passage, Paul gives no indication at all that Adam's fall resulted in all men becoming "sinners," but the passage only signifies that Adam's transgression brought death, and Christ brings life.  Barnes' radical view no doubt contributed to his being charged with heresy by the Presbyterian Church.
 
Mary Baker Eddy likewise, took a strong stand against the orthodoxy of the time.  Her teachings still strike at the very center of false theology.  Dust (matter) isn't the natural state of man, it is nothingness, and unto nothingness it shall return (S20).  The real man is never born into matter, and never dies out of it (S21).  Spirit is our primitive and ultimate source-our origin and our destination (S22).  As such, nothing can put us to sleep even temporarily.
 
Section 6: Know Who the Enemy Is...and Crush It
The law alone, focusing on punishment, could not subdue sin.  But, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus-focused on redemption-not only subdues sin, but frees man from it (B20).  By virtue of that fact, the carnal mind is perpetually at enmity against the Spirit.  In every place wherein [God] is found supreme in regards to the flesh and fleshly desires, there will be direct hostility against God (Barnes).  Such carnal-mindedness not merely leads to death, but is death itself.  By contrast, "to be spiritually minded is life and peace."  Mankind is no longer helpless against the enemy.  The power of God bruises Satan (B21).  To "bruise" means "to crush completely, to shatter". (Strong) According to the Jamieson-Fausset- Brown Commentary (JFB), it means to put your foot upon the neck of the enemy symbolizing "complete defeat, and abject humiliation of the conquered foe."
 
Flashback now to Genesis, where the serpent receives his sentence of perpetual enmity toward mankind. (B22)  As noted before, the tempter is not given a chance to defend himself.  He is stripped of all ability to interact with mankind and is remanded to the dust to become an object of loathing. Imagining that Adam and Eve were actually present at this trial, such a sentence would make them realize how hollow the serpent's pretensions were.  Whatever knowledge or power the serpent boasted of before was taken away, and what once seemed to be a friend with something to offer, became an enemy.  This scene symbolizes the onset of the perpetual enmity between the tempter and humanity.
 
To consider Eve for a moment, JFB points out that the beguiling of Eve, did not simply consist of her eating an apple, but signified, "a love of self, dishonor to God, ingratitude to a benefactor, disobedience to the best of Masters-a preference of the creature to the Creator."  Thinking about the story in those terms, makes one question our devotion to God today.  Do we realize the level of disrespect and dishonor we are showing God when we look for truth anywhere but to Him?
 
Of course, we want to honor God by following truth out of matter and into Spirit.  Jesus shows us that way.  Genesis prophesied that the woman's seed shall bruise the head of evil, and that the serpent would bite back.  Mrs. Eddy acknowledges that there will be great opposition to her teaching of the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures.  However, she assures us that the truth will prevail (S23).  "In Science man is the offspring of Spirit" (S24).  Man is not a descendent of Adam, nor is he a perpetual sinner.  Christian Science places man back in the kingdom, in his pure, sinless, healthy state, no longer needing to look to forbidden knowledge to find out who and what he is (S25).
 
Section 7: Ripe For Destruction
Throughout the Lesson we've had images of the serpent down in the dust, but here we have the final showdown.  The serpent is now the "great red dragon" (B23). In Genesis, the serpent attempted to individually mislead Eve, and here in Revelation, we have the dragon, who had deceived the whole world, now attempting to stop the voice of truth to all mankind.  The dragon is waiting to devour the child, but no matter how awful the serpent/dragon seems to be, and even if we temporarily seem to be at a disadvantage, God is always fighting for us.  The kingdom of God will triumph.  Every attempt of evil to misdirect man in his quest for truth, to obstruct, or destroy the Christ from reaching man is doomed to failure.  The dragon is now utterly humiliated.  The call to shake off the dust of matter comes to us every day (B24).  God's "holy arm" is bared, ready to fight for us at all times.
 
There are volumes written about The Revelation, and much of it contentious.  Mrs. Eddy distilled her comments into a comparatively short chapter, with characteristic directness.  The "woman" is no more than a symbol for "generic man" illustrating the "coincidence of God and man" (S26).  "Coincidence" means "concurrence; consistency; agreement."  God and man are one and cannot be separated.  This directly contradicts the belief of Adam or separation of God and man.  All evil is symbolized by the serpent.  The dragon swells up in a last ditch effort, but it is powerless.  Just as Paul rose to the occasion to revive Eutychus and deprive the serpent of a victory, the divine idea rises to the occasion to destroy all evil (S28).  The liar is powerless, dust, nothingness, a liar from the beginning (S29).  The result of this warfare is a great victory song to God (S30).
 
So there we have it.  Whatever form evil takes, subtle or bold, it's all a lie.  All it can do is bite the dust.  God's law condemns it to dust-nothingness.  The serpent can't hurt you. This is a powerful truth.  Let's use it, prove it, and live it every day.
[By TOMORROW, the May 1st application deadline for "The Campership Fund for Christian Scientists", please consider giving to that fund (recently expanded to cover Missouri & Illinois) to financial help Christian Science Sunday school students from the Southeast and Midwest attend whichever camp for Christian Scientists they choose (CedarS, Adventure Unlimited, Bow-Isle, Crystal Lake Camp, Leelanau-Kohahna or Newfound/Owatonna)
To learn more and to support,
visit www.campershipfund.org  and "like" their  facebook page."   ]
 
[ANNOUNCING A NEW MATCHING CAMPERSHIP GIFT FOR CEDARS!  
Each NEW campership donation to CedarS
will be matched (up to $50,000!) so that no Christian Science Sunday School student is "un-camped" this summer!  (Even transportation costs can be covered as needed!)  Daily applications for this aid are being met by daily supply from friends of Christian Science Sunday School pupils like you! Click on http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/campership-fund.htm for links to all ways to give.]

[CedarS will gladly 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! Note that due to Outdoor Cooking & Building being full for 1st session, we have added that program for 3rd session as well.]
 
 [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!

Possible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) by Merrill Boudreaux for
Christian Science Bible Lesson "Adam and Fallen Man"
April 30-May 6, 2012
 
PSST: Responsive Reading: Let's look to the Responsive Reading before the Golden Text for our opening discussion.
     Read this opening story aloud. Ask students what they think is going on in this parable. Where does the parable occur in Genesis? Help students define the word "subtil" (more commonly seen as "subtle"). Normally one goes to "sly, artful, cunning, deceitful." But there are other definitions, "thin, not dense or gross, fine, delicate, refined."    See what MBE says in Science & Health 515:5. Help students define "duplicity" - "deceitfulness in speech or conduct; speaking or acting in two different ways concerning the same matter with intent to deceive... a two-fold or double state or quality." 
     Now we come to the heart of this Parable. Isn't it about a choice that Adam and Eve made between one or both, stated differently, between oneness or bothness? What did Adam, Eve and all mankind have in Genesis I? Review that chapter, especially Gen.1:31. What are Adam and Eve tempted to choose in Gen.3:5, knowing both good and evil? Why would anyone choose both when they already have one, and that one is good? Ask students to relate that parable to our world today.
     Can we still choose oneness, goodness, and not be deceived into thinking that if we choose both it somehow makes us more powerful? What was the result on the deceiver? What did the Lord God in this parable declare would be the result for the deception? Gen.3:13. Whose job is it to challenge the bothness offer when it is presented? On what basis can you choose oneness? Gen.1:31.
 
PSST: Golden Text: Now look at the result as stated in the Golden Text. Ask students, what will you choose to eat or take in to your thought - dust, represented by matter - or the words of truth, represented as oneness between God and you, between God and every idea God created? See S&H 340:23 for proof of the powerful result when choosing oneness.
 
PSST: Section 1: Who made you? God. What was and is the result? B3. Image of God, likeness to God, very good.
 
PSST: Section 2: In citation B6, who was Isaiah talking about or about whom was this a prophecy? Of course it was Christ Jesus, B9, but was it also about you (S10)? Can you fulfill this prophecy? Share with students a recent Christian Science Journal or Christian Science Sentinel. Where is this prophecy being fulfilled today? Read the testimonies or statements of healing. Help students see that Christian Science is anchored in biblical prophecy. The Christ is ever active and ever present.
 
PSST: Section 3: Which image do you bear? Bothness - good and evil, of the earth, a mouth filled with dust or untruth? Or, Oneness - good only? S11 & S14. Even the word "Adam" when separated into two parts shows "a dam" or "obstruction" (S12). But you are not separate from God, not divided. This statement fulfills prophecy of one Creator and one creation. Ask students to read aloud one of their favorite hymns, #264 -- especially look to verse 2, "We are not divided, All one body we." A happy throng indeed.
 
PSST: Section 4: Are you a disciple called by Jesus? What power has been given you? Where do you get your authority? Gen.1:31. If students think they are not among the 12 or the 70, assure them they can be like Paul, who was not one of Jesus' direct disciples but had the same power they had. Why? See John 14:12. See also S19.
 
PSST: Section 5: Remember Paul who we just mentioned - What was the result of his long preaching in citation B18? No, it was not that the young man fell asleep and fell down, but what? What does "they... were not a little comforted" mean? What is the opposite of "little"? There must have been great rejoicing. Ask students to share when they had an experience of healing and "were not a little comforted."
 
PSST: Section 6: What is the law that Christ Jesus used to heal? The law of life in Spirit, the law of oneness with God. See again John 14:13. Why can you also do greater works than Jesus did? Go to his Father and your Father, one God, the same God, one Good, the same Good (S24). This is the fulfilling of the biblical prophecy, citations S23, S25.
 
PSST: Section 7: What is the result if you don't handle the serpent or deception in Genesis 3? It becomes the great red dragon in Revelation (B23). But it is not more powerful or real than when it was a serpent. Read aloud the remedy for error of every sort in Rev.12:10. See also S&H 534:12 and 142:31. What is the serpent or the red dragon returned to (S29)? Look for the words "cast unto the earth" and "dust to dust." What sweet song can you sing when your mouth is unstopped with dust?
     Conclude with asking students to read or sing a favorite hymn that defeats the subtle, serpent, red dragon, imposition on man - to declare oneness, not bothness.

[PCYL: Look for ways error presents itself as a real power & how it's proven wrong.]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"
Adam and Fallen Man"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for May 6, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & Newsletter Editor]
 
[PYCL Intro: Look for ways error presents itself as a real power & how it's proven wrong.]
How interesting to see that short statement about the serpent eating dust in several spots in the lesson.  We probably all have heard it, but to see it isolated shines a new light on it!  Try talking about what that means.  What does that have to do with our subject this week?  Think about eating dust, what does dust represent?  Is it nutritious?  What does this say about how matter satisfies or heals or helps us get smarter?  Think about the role that the serpent plays in the allegory of the second creation, what does he do to Adam and Eve?  (Obvious to us, but maybe not so to a six or seven or even eight year old).  Why did the story teller pick a serpent?  What is an allegory?  What does Mrs. Eddy say the purpose of this allegory is? (S4).  And in citation S9 she talks about how the serpent tries to convince us that error is as real as Truth, that there is, in fact, good and evil and both are legitimate and real.  So maybe we can look for all the ways in this lesson that the serpent or error presents itself as a real power opposed to God, and all the ways that that is proven wrong. [B9, Jesus healing the multitudes, B14 and 15, disciples and others healing the multitudes, B18 Paul raises Eutychus from death, and you could include the story from Revelation too if you wished]. It might be helpful to point out that the allegory was written in an attempt to explain the appearance to us of evil. How does this account differ from the first account in the Bible? And finally, why do Christian Scientists accept the first account in Genesis as the true account of creation when evil appears to be real all around us?
 
[PYCL: Answer with healings the question about why Christian Scientists accept Gen. 1 vs. 2]
This last question is answered in citation S7. It is only through demonstrating God's truth in daily life that we begin to understand the nothingness of the serpent lie.  It does not come through prayer, study, discussion, or even revelation, though every one of those things brings demonstration or healing to our doorstep.  It comes through healing!  Ask your pupils why?  Every time we have a healing we are proving that error is not the reality, is not a power, we are proving that matter laws, are not laws after all!  This is why healing is so important to Christianity.  It is not because it is particularly important at any given point whether we have a painful problem, are sad or sick--rather it is because healing proves that matter/the serpent/error-is nothing.  Of course we are grateful beyond words for the resolution of these problems in our lives and in the lives of all mankind, but what we are really out there to see is reality and these healings prove that reality is harmony, is Good, is God.  How can we make Sunday School an opportunity for healing demonstration this week?  Let's cherish that together this week.  This is why the C.S. camps are so profoundly influential as healing grounds for young Christian Scientists.  The kids learn through activity, the opportunities we have for healing in a very concrete way.  We all know that daily life presents these opportunities all the time, but at camp there is a concentration of activities that challenge kids in different ways to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zones and so we have more healing opportunities.  [See P.P.S. for more about making camp possible.] Give the kids opportunity to share some healings they have had that help to prove that error isn't real.  Share something of your own.
 
[PYCL: Conduct little experiments to inspire your budding disciples.]
There are a couple of opportunities this week for little experiments.  Jesus' statement about the city set on a hill and the salt not losing its savor are in this week's lesson.  These analogies point again to the need to be demonstrating this Science as he instructed.  Look at the third section where he appoints "another 70" beyond the disciples to go out and to heal, to prove to mankind that God is all good.  Are we appointed by Jesus to do this?  Why do you think that he went through the crucifixion if he didn't expect us to be riveted by his rising from the tomb and eventual ascension-driven to follow in his footsteps?  How can we do this, as kids?  Is it too much to ask?  Why not?  I talk to my eight year old, for example about what his "job", or responsibility to his class at school is.  (He enjoys chatting with friends a bit too much).  He is quick to point out that to be the most help to others when they are listening or working, he should be quiet and be listening himself.  This is just a small example of how we can express the love of Christ, express self-control that God gives us, or responsibility and unselfishness, and so on.  These seem like small examples, but we must start somewhere and it's helpful to know that we don't have to be experiencing sickness or disaster of some kind to be out there with the "70" doing our work.
 
[PYCL: Conduct an experiment with a real candle and a safe "bushel" to hide it under.]
So as to the experiments:  Bring in a real candle and something big to cover it with (that won't catch on fire!).  Light the candle and ask them what the best way to light up a room would be?  Should we put it up high?  Or cover it up with a (whatever you bring).  Talk about Jesus and his statement.  Talk about the city on the hill and what that means.  Can you see a tall hill or a city on a tall hill from far away?  What if it is also lit up?!  How can we be like these lights or tall hills?  Share some thoughts about how we can behave or heal and show what Jesus is asking us to show.  There are certainly other ways to illustrate this light idea with non-flammables, but sometimes it can capture their attention when you do something out of the ordinary, but you use your judgment as always : ) [Kids love singing a cute song that's on one of our 50th Jubilee CDs of CedarS songs that is sold solely to benefit camperships: "This little CedarS' light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. (Repeat twice) Let it shine all the time, let it shine. Hide it under a bushel? NO! I'm gonna let it shine. (repeat twice) Let it shine all the time, let it shine.]
 
[PYCL: Conduct an experiment with wheat and "lightweight and worthless" chaff.]
Talk about the chaff and wheat analogy. (Section 2)  A Mybiblelesson.com note mentions that the chaff is "lightweight and worthless".  I love that phrase.  Talk about what chaff is and what wheat is.  One produces flour and feeds us; the other is a useless waste product.  Try finding a way to let them practice separating the "wheat and chaff".  You could use grains of rice for the "wheat" and something lightweight mixed in and toss it up in the air having them catch the rice and let the wind carry away the "chaff".  This would have to be done outside and you could have someone hold a hand fan while the grain is tossed in the air so that it blows away the "chaff".  You could also just show a picture of this process from a Bible commentary or something from the internet.  By the way you could catch the rice or grain on a tray, a basket or something broad and light enough for the children to hold.  A good conversation could ensue about how the lie is lightweight and worthless, nothingness, and blows away by the "winds of Truth".  You could illustrate this with a healing of your own, or something from a periodical.
 
[PYCL: A feet-on experiment: stepping on the head of a rubber snake vs. listening to its lies.]
Another little experiment could be with a conversation about the serpent or snake.  Talk about what it represents.  Talk about the "spiritual idea of Love" (S23) that steps on the head of the serpent, or error.  Talk about how error tries to whisper its lies to us to take away our joy, or keep us from doing the right thing, or tell us we aren't feeling well, but we can stomp on error's "head", and make it disappear.  This sounds a bit silly, but they will have great fun stepping on the snake's head (make sure it's a sturdy rubber one I guess!).  You could also pretend to stomp on the sneaky ideas that error whispers to us and every time you stomp you can use a truth that you know that wipes out the lie that the snake is whispering to us.  For example: "I'm angry at my friend", might represent the snake talk, and we might stomp this out by knowing that Love, God, gives me only loving thoughts and can wipe out any angry thoughts by filling me with true thoughts about my friend.  You can certainly simplify this for whatever age.
 
[PYCL: Talk about doing away with little lying snakes before they become big red drag-ons.]
Another interesting thing to talk about is the snake and how it appears in the Bible at the beginning and the end.  Talk about how it truly is nothing: there is no such thing as a talking snake, or one that stands up (until God condemned it to slide on its belly), there is no such thing as a man made of dust, and then look at how the serpent becomes "swollen" into the great red dragon (another non-entity). What does it symbolize when it turns into this big scary dragon in the end of the Bible?  Is this the way error sometimes looks to us?  Share an example of a healing that made that "dragon" powerless, disappear.
 
[PYCL: Talk about the powerful light vs. the powerless dark aspects of the lesson.]
Finally, you may have fun talking more: about the light and dark aspects of this lesson; about how light is the opposite of the darkness that we sleep in;, and about how the Adam dream is a kind of sleep.  Talk about how creation in Genesis 1, begins with light, with illumination, understanding!  How is this different from the "understanding" that the snake promises Eve when he tells her that she will be like a God, "knowing good and evil"?  What kind of knowledge is this?  Does God give us all the understanding that is real, and understanding of reality itself?  Would He withhold anything good from us?  If creation begins with light/understanding, then we can never be "ignorant" as the serpent would like to claim.  Even when it might be tempting to think that we need to understand what is wrong when we don't feel well.  We have an understanding of Truth, and that is the most powerful understanding there is!
 
Have a fun Sunday!
 
[P.S. The delayed posting of this PCYL was caused by a needed trip to camp to coordinate with contractors the completion of a recently-funded addition to the laundry room to house high-efficiency, commercial washers and dryers. By helping to donate the last few thousand dollars due upon delivery of these "green machines", you can help CedarS make this desperately-needed upgrade that will save lots of electricity, water, and man-power!]
 
[P.P.S. An even more important delivery you can help us make is the delivery to precious Christian Science Sunday School students of the most precious gift in the world that awaits them at camp, the joy of really making Christian Science their own. You can help CedarS not-for-profit Board deliver this gift and so achieve our number one funding goal: to provide tuition and travel assistance as needed to get every Sunday School pupil out of the darkness of summer environments and associations that are beneath their full potential, and into "the marvelous light" of demonstrating their true, spiritual natures. To reach this goal we still need: several thousand dollars in matched campership donations; scores of campers to fill bunks with "their names on them"; and your help to tell them and us about your willingness to make sure they get to camp. Donating your frequent-flyer miles or even offering car rides or gas money can make the critical difference to otherwise "uncamped" children and families!]
 
[Sample testimonial, thousands available upon request: "It is certainly church in action when the camp activities are all preceded by mets and the long-lasting effects from this preparatory metaphysical work continue here in our home all year!  It is so comforting to us parents to know your child is in a place that completely supports the demonstration of Christian Science healing.  It was a priceless opportunity ...to grow in independence and in reliance on God." Parent]

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