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7 Tips for a Beautiful, Strong, and Healthy Body!

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, May 14th, 2012

"7 Tips for a Beautiful, Strong, and Healthy Body!"
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Soul and Body"
for May 14-20, 2012
by Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO ccern@mac.com 720-331-9356
 
[Bracketed italics by CedarS Director & editor of these notes, Warren Huff: 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 Joseph, Pascal or Marie-Helene; in German, thanks to Helga or Manfred; in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia or Patricio; and soon officially in Portuguese thanks to . 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  ]
 
"7 Tips for a Beautiful, Strong and Healthy Body!" may sound like the cover article for Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, or Sports Illustrated Magazine. But, no, this is a theme of this week's lesson on Soul and Body. Soul is the quality that brings color to the universe. It brightens, beautifies, and individualizes. In a world in which we seem to spend so much time trying to make ourselves leaner, stronger, and more attractive, this lesson is a practical guide that guarantees permanent beauty, strength, and health.
Have you ever wondered how, as a spiritual thinker, you're supposed to think about your body? You feed it, dress it, care for it, exercise it, and everyone knows who you are because of it. You're probably not ready to do without it even if you could, and yet you're trying to learn more about your spirituality. Fortunately, this week's lesson on Soul and Body helps us find answers to these questions. 
 
GOLDEN TEXT: Where do beauty, strength and health come from?
"...hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."
The Golden Text and Responsive Reading make it clear that celebrating and praising God's beauty, strength, and health is a great way to acknowledge our own beauty, strength, and health. As we recognize that God is the "health of my countenance [appearance]" and see Him as wondrous, then we can begin to see ourselves expressing that same extraordinary-ness. As we sing his song-"sing to the Lord a new song"-we naturally begin expressing Soul's unlimited beauty.
Now that we're starting correctly, expressing gratitude by singing and praising God, and acknowledging where beauty, strength, and health originate, we can take a closer look at the 7 helpful tips this week's lesson promises us.
 
Health and Beauty Tip (Section) 1: How can I make my skin glow?
Have you ever seen anyone who was truly happy and seemed to shine and glow with joy as they moved around a room? Perhaps someone who just graduated from school, or a bride at a wedding? In this section, we see that Moses shined even more than this after he spoke with God on Mount Sinai. Without his even knowing it, "the skin of his face shone." [B2]
Perhaps we don't want to walk around this summer with a light bulb for a head, but our continual spiritual insights do make us radiant. I've often noticed that the counselors and campers at CedarS seem to glow with happiness each session as they're expressing the joy and strength that they're learning about through their spiritual search. 
"Man is the expression of Soul," Mary Baker Eddy writes.  This means that we express the wonder, colorfulness, and beauty of God. Our identity has nothing to do with our personality, and everything to do with the unique way in which we each express Spirit, Principle and Love, among other qualities we cannot help but to reflect. We cannot stop reflecting these qualities any more than the moon could choose to stop reflecting the Sun's light. [S2]
What's more, without man, Spirit and all things beautiful would be a "nonentity" and go unexpressed. Soul needs you to express beauty and strength in the way that only you can do. Without you, there would be a part of Soul that would go unexpressed, and that is impossible. An inseparable relationship exists between you and Soul, making you (and your uniqueness) a crucial part of God's very existence. [S3]
 
Health and Beauty Tip (Section) 2: How can I let my beauty, strength, and health extend beyond my body?
Your identity is not limited, confined, or restrained by your body any more than God, or Soul, is stuck inside that stereotypical bearded-man-in-the-sky image some of us have seen in paintings. We wouldn't put limits on Love's goodness by limiting Him to a mortal body; and we can't limit ourselves to a mortal body either.   Neither God nor man is defined by matter. It would be impossible to confine into a material body our true identity as the full and radiant expressions of Soul-the quality that brings color to the universe. 
As we understand this, we glow and grow beyond our seeming material bodies. We find ourselves effortlessly expressing Soul's infinite wonder, and we, like Moses in the first section, radiate way beyond what we may have thought possible. Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as not in the body, and God as not in man but as reflected by man." [S7]
Would you think of yourself differently if you didn't know what you look like? One year, I was a counselor in the Robin cabin at CedarS with a group of middle school girls in CIP.   The first week was going OK, but our interactions were a little less harmonious than usual and I noticed that a majority of the girls were constantly looking at themselves in the mirror, fixing their hair, putting on makeup between activities, and changing outfits often.   Our cabin's focus-our starting point-seemed unstable. We had a quick counselor meeting and decided that we should cover all of the mirrors for the remainder of the week, and then ask the girls to vote on whether or not to keep them covered for the last couple of days. We decorated the covered mirrors with quotes such as, "The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony." (S&H 247)  
In addition to the campers getting a lot of extra attention from other campers for our cabin's radical stance (it seemed like the boys liked the girls turning away from a focus on looks), the whole cabin gained a greater sense calm and harmony...just like the recipe for beauty asserts. I learned a lot myself, and still enjoy challenging myself to avoid mirrors for days at a time, even when away from camp. I find I love myself more and feel more beautiful when I'm not "checking in" to see how I look. At the end of the session, the cabin was not in a rush to take down the mirror covers; the girls voted to keep them up for the last couple days. What a terrific exercise in discovering more about our true beauty and strength!
 
Health and Beauty Tip (Section) 3: How can I stop seeing myself (or other people) as ugly or weak?
As we become more and more spiritually minded, we are filled up full of "light-like" thoughts; and these can't help but to be expressed. In this section, we read, "If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light..." [B7, Luke 11:34 with a Warren's PS from a Cobbey Crisler insight] So, seeing beauty and strength wherever we go and thinking beautiful and strong thoughts, fills us up with these qualities and we naturally express them to those around us.
Does this mean that if we have an ugly thought we become ugly? No. This question is off base. It starts from a premise that Soul allows ugliness. If Soul is infinite, there is no room for even a tiny bit of ugly. Mary Baker Eddy states, "Whoever is incompetent to explain Soul would be wise not to undertake the explanation of body." [S10] From this statement, we can see that until we fully understand the allness and omnipresence of Soul, we are not fit to judge beauty or strength. In utmost humility, we can know that if we are seeing something in ourselves or in others that seems to be ugly, then it's an indication that we need to pray for a deeper understanding of Soul's wondrous infinitude. So-called ugliness has nothing to do with matter, but everything to do with our need for [a more single-minded] understanding of Love's embrace of every single idea.
We must strive to turn toward a higher and higher understanding of Soul if we expect to see more and more beauty, strength, and health in ourselves and those around us. Mary Baker Eddy states, "Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably [italics added] to their occupancy of your thoughts."  [S13]  [In proportion is another mathematical term that rewards the single-minded discipline of disciples in any era. See Warren's P.S.]
 
Health and Beauty Tip (Section) 4: What should I eat to have a perfect body?
It would be "foolish [for us] to stop eating until we gain perfection," and we don't need to obsess about either eating less or eating more. It is better to have a balanced relationship with food, and to spiritualize it as evidence of Love's nurturing care for us. Love doesn't provide junk and Mind doesn't create cravings for junk. Likewise, Truth doesn't allow for food to harm us. We can be grateful that Soul creates food that is wonderful to enjoy, Spirit enables us to enjoy it, while Principle makes us attracted to a balanced diet, without excess or deficiency. Meanwhile, we know that Life and our joy are not dependent on food. In Science and Health, we read, "food does not affect the absolute Life of man, and this becomes self-evident, when we learn that God is our Life." [S16, 388:22]
We can all be grateful that we know that even with the most natural and routine events-eating-we can gain spiritual insight. Instead of going through our days eating and drinking without a thought about what it means, we can bless each meal and spiritualize the process so that during our meals we feel more and more beautiful, strong, and healthy.
We can plug in some words in the last citation of this section to summarize these ideas. "Soul has infinite [food and nutrition] with which to bless mankind, and happiness [and satisfaction] would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul. Higher enjoyments alone [and not junk] can satisfy the cravings of immortal man." [S17, 60:29]
 
Health and Beauty Tip (Section) 5: How often should I work out?
We've probably all seen advertisements from fitness coaches promising quick and easy ways to get the "perfect body." Every year there are new fitness crazes from boot camp to Tai Bo and from Zumba to Yoga.   Trainers give athletes and dancers strict training schedules, and often encourage them with a sense of fear that they may fall behind if they don't keep up with it.
The fifth section of the lesson breaks the mesmerism that working out is what makes us strong and fit. Does it suggest that we stop exercising? No. This makes no more sense than to stop eating. But we can improve our workouts by starting out correctly.
Before a workout, we can stretch our thinking and purify our motives for exercise. Instead of working toward a material "prize," Paul the Apostle reminds us, we can strive to obtain an "incorruptible" crown. What is an incorruptible crown? [B14, I Cor. 9:25] It is the honor, privilege, and reward of witnessing our spiritual potential and expressing God's power, grace, and precision. Does this mean that we won't win the trophy? No. But the trophy will seem inconsequential compared to the wondrous sense of awe we feel as Spirit impels and propels us to new heights.
In Science and Health, we read two simple statements that remind us to purify our motives before taking action.   First, "A wrong motive involves defeat." (S20) And, from the opposite direction, "Right motives give pinions [wings] to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action." (S23) Wow! This is better than the ads that say Red Bull Energy Drinks give you wings. Spiritual motives that give us pinions are free and eternal and only get stronger and stronger, while Red Bull is expensive, short-lived, and has less and less of an effect over time.   I know I've experienced athletic tournaments in which I was especially "prayed up" and it seemed like I was flying through competitions.  
This lightness and freedom of movement [and of thought in exams and of speech in presentations, interviews...] is the opposite of the heaviness we may feel when we're weighed down by an oppressive sense that we need to "win" or "get noticed" or "outperform" someone else. These false motives act like heavy barbells tied to our ankles. We can get rid of those heavy weights by purifying our motives. "St. Paul wrote, ‘Let us lay aside every weight [burden, false sense of accomplishment], and the sin [separation from Spirit/inspiration/breath] which doth so easily beset [trouble] us;" that is, let us put aside material self and sense, and seek the divine Principle and Science of all healing." [S22, 20:27]  
Instead of checking in with our body as Yoga or other so-called "mind-body" practices tell us to do, we can check in with Soul to find our starting place.   When we begin by checking in with Soul, we "assert [our] freedom in the name of Almighty God" and "control [our bodies] through the understanding of divine Science." [S24, 228:14]
 
Health and Beauty Tip (Section) 6: How can we be healthier?
A renewed understanding of Soul and body frees us to enjoy not only our innate beauty and strength, but also the health and longevity granted us by our Creator. The sixth section describes this through the story in which Christ Jesus asks, "how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil [or steal] his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house [or body]." [B18, Matt. 12:29] Mary Baker Eddy rephrases this, "How can I heal the body, without beginning with so-called mortal mind, which directly controls the body? When disease is once destroyed in this so-called mind, the fear of disease is gone, and therefore the disease is thoroughly cured. Mortal mind is "the strong man," which must be held in subjection before its influence upon health morals can be removed. This error conquered, we can despoil [rob] "the strong man" of his goods,-namely, of sin and disease." [S25]
Another way to think of this is described in an article, "What am I Supposed to Think about My Body?" by David Sleeper.    In answer to his title question, he writes, "Think about an electronic calculator [body]. It serves us usefully in making mathematical calculations. When using it, we expect the answer displayed on the calculator's screen to be consistent with mathematical laws. And it will be if our input into the calculator is correct.
"But if we feed in the wrong information, the displayed answer won't be correct. For example, if you want to know the product of 9 x 17, but by mistake you insert 9 x 178, you'll get a wrong answer. Presumably you would know enough to tell at a glance that it's not correct. However, if you believed the displayed answer was accurate, and acted upon it as though it were true, you'd suffer the consequences. Not because the calculator had power to impose its mistake on you, but because you were deceived into believing a misconception.
"You can draw similar conclusions about the body. The body isn't man; but it displays what we believe is true of man. Like the calculator, it's capable of displaying either correct or wrong ‘answers.' If you hold your thought firmly to what you know are the scientific facts of man in God's likeness, the body will display conditions that are consistent with these facts.[*] Thus the displayed ‘answer' will be in accord with the divine Principle that governs man's real being. But if, instead, you entertain erroneous beliefs about man, you shouldn't be surprised when the body displays conditions that couldn't be true of God's reflection." (Read the rest of David E. Sleeper's article in the June, 1996 issue of the Christian Science Journal) [*See Warren's PS]
As you eliminate the incorrect inputs into our calculator ("eradicate the image of disease from the perturbed thought"), you always get the right answer ("prevent the development of disease.") [S26] 
We should remember here that there never was or is or will be anything wrong about the calculator (or body). It always gives the right answer. And, there is never anything wrong with the principles of mathematics (Soul) that govern the calculator (body). And a calculator never gets tired of calculating (expressing). Think carefully about how this relates to your understanding of Soul and body. Is there ever a "body" to fix, beautify, or strengthen? How can we purify the inputs we give our "calculator"?   Calculators always express mathematical principle and "Man is the expression of Soul." [S2, 477:29]
 
Health and Beauty Tip (Section) 7: The secret to eternal beauty, strength, and health
What is the secret to eternal beauty, strength, and health? This is a trick question. It is not a secret. Instead of looking to material science, which is full of endless questions, we can turn to the Science of the Christ, which guides and guards us along the path to eternal beauty, strength, and health. As we walk long this path and follow the Wayshower, "Every valley [low point] shall be exalted [a triumph], and every mountain and hill [challenge] shall be low [easy]: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." (B20) These statements remind me of someone who is concerned about having the wrong body, which they may see as full of blemishes, finding a purer sense of Soul, and discovering their body to be exalted, flawless, and full of vitality. Ultimately, it is inevitable that we relinquish the "pleasures and pains of sense" [in the body] and find "the joys of Soul," and we will not "sorrow any more at all." [B21, Jer. 31:12 and S30, 390:9, as aptly illustrated by the myBibleLesson.com cartoon for this section that shows a Race car "THOUGHT PIT STOP" in which after the tires of "pleasures and pains" are changed for "joys of Soul" the driver is give a thumbs up message that "These new tires will really help you go the distance."]
Mary Baker Eddy describes this process succinctly: "As human thought changes from one stage to another of conscious pain and painlessness, sorrow, and joy,-from fear to hope and from faith to understanding,-the visible manifestation will at last be man governed by Soul, not by material sense." [S29, 125:12]

[Warren's P.S. from Cobbey Crisler's insights on citation B7, Luke 11:34 in As Researched by Luke: "The greatest discipline that can be brought to thought is to force it into a commitment to the one God. At least, that's what is hinted at Biblically. We find that the devil itself by definition in Greek implies double-mindedness. Jesus gives one of his greatest equations: SE = LB ("Single Eye") = ("Light Body") The way we look, our outlook, has something to do with our body and how our body feels. What we get out of it. What it does for us.  Whether it's a servant or a master. Whether we have dominion or not. If the secret of the equation for dominion is SE = LB, at least we might give it a whirl.   Jesus gives us the opposite equation. He says, EE = DB ("Evil Eye") = ("Dark Body") [B7, Luke 11:34] Demonstrating his mathematical thinking shows us what his definition of evil is.... You have EYES the same (in both equations). You have BODIES the same. You have SINGLE EYE resulting in LIGHT but an EVIL EYE resulting in DARKNESS. If it's antithetical, what is evil according to Jesus? It's anything other than single. We have a great gift there. A fact of Jesus' definition of diabolism. It is our own inability to decide which way to go in a crisis, resulting normally in stagnation. In a mental state that Jesus said is "like a kingdom divided against itself. It can't stand. (Matthew 12:25). We have no kingdom. We have chaos. We have anarchy. What is disease if it isn't anarchy?... It's rebellion. Yet Jesus said "the kingdom of God is within you...  The idea that we don't have to budge, that we don't have to go anywhere for the solution to our problems, would be the greatest bit of information to hit humanity. But we've ignored it." We will NOT ignore it at CedarS this summer where we will feature the Biblical method of solving and healing problems from the inside out as we fulfill our metaphysical goal to "Occupying God's Kingdom" (within). For ways you can help, see my yesterday's tribute to CedarS Founder and ways to pay forward her legacy.]

 [P.S.:  ANNOUNCING A RECENT CEDARS MATCHING-GIFT CAMPERSHIP FUND!  Each NEW campership donation to CedarS will be matched (up to $50,000!) so that no Christian Science Sunday School student need be "un-camped" this summer!  (Even transportation costs can be covered as needed!  Donating your frequent-flyer miles or even offering car rides or gas money can make the critical difference to otherwise "uncamped" children and families!)  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.]

[P.P.S.  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.]
 
[P.P.P.S.  Thanks to a recent gift an addition to the laundry room has been built 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.P.P.S: Sample testimonial, thousands available upon request:  "I wanted to sing a song of gratitude for my daughters experience at CEDARS. It was an extraordinary experience for her to grow as an individual. She proved to herself she could overcome fears and be a valued member of a group of wonderful people. She is already talking about coming back. Her FAVORITE part of the day was the metaphysical prep before activities and at meals. So thank you for helping to instill that thoughtfulness throughout the day. The counselors were all amazing and the facilities are quite a delightful surprise. The CEDARS of my past is still therebut super sized with the facilities for even more fun."  (Former Camper and present Parent)" Click here for all recent Fruitage from campers, staff and parents.]
 
 [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!

[P.S.S.T: Let your face & whole body glow with the joys of a Soul-filled life.]
Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Soul and Body"     May 20, 2012
 
P.S.S.T. Golden Text: Ask students to define hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for "certain things to happen, a feeling of trust." Ask students to make a short list of what is it they can expect from God. Add to that list a few more items of what they can trust God to deliver into their lives, their experiences.
 
P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading (RR): What is another word for good news? (Gospel) What is the good news stated in the RR? Ask students: How do we give glory to God? How do we worship the Lord? Where do we look to behold the beauty of the Lord? Where do we see God's face? Are you a marvelous work of God?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 1 - Ask students to memorize the Aaronic blessing in citation B1. Who was Aaron? Who told him to bless the children of Israel this way? See Numbers 6:22 & 23. See the rest of the blessing in Numbers 6:26 & 27. How was Moses' face changed because he conversed with God? B2. What do you think it means, "...the skin of his face shone..."? What good news does Moses have to share? B2, B3, B4. What kind of stone do you think Moses used for the commandments? What do your students know of the rock that was in the desert place, Mount Sinai, where Moses had gone? Limestone?  Basalt? Lapis lazuli?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 2 -  How is my soul, spiritual sense, like a tabernacle? Define tabernacle, for what was it used? Often fixed or movable, used to house the Ark of the Covenant, the 10 Commandments. If my soul, spiritual sense of things is aligned with the Commandments what truths about man and the universe might I discern or embody?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 3 -  What does it mean to present our bodies as a living sacrifice? B8.  Define sacrifice as giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy. Does it mean to give up a material view of self for a God-view of yourself? S12 and S13. Why would one ever side with a material view of selfhood?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 4 - What is the difference between a tradition and a law? Define tradition: the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation. What traditions are highlighted in the Bible portion of this section? What is a law or command seen in citation B12? What are hypothetical statements in citation S16? Now what are the counterfacts? Define hypothesis: a supposed explanation or philosophical statement made on the basis of reasoning without any assumption of truth. Do you wish to argue from a bodily or mortal view or from a spiritual sense of things?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 5 -  Over what should you strive for mastery? Physical body or muscles or strength? If you are to run, or walk, or play a game, what should be your motive? B15. How do you glorify God in your body - not a material body, but in the body of evidence of your real self, God's view of your self? What did St. Paul say about this in citation S22? See also S24.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 6 -  What were the cities of Jesus' disciples where he journeyed to preach? Capernaum, Galilee, Canaan. Do a little research. Who were Jesus' disciples and from what cities or towns did they come? See Matthew 10:2. If you have a map, show how close they lived to each other. Where did Jesus spend most of his time and perform the most healings? Capernaum. See Matthew 8 especially verses 5 and 14, among others.
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 7 - Such a body of healings in Matt. 8. These are causes of joy. What are other reasons for joy found in this section? What is the result of a watered garden? Imagine that image shared with a desert people? Cause for joy? Why should your soul rejoice? Because God knows you and you know God. What is the expected end given you by God? See Jeremiah 29:11-14. How do we manage this biblical prophecy? See S29. This visible manifestation is not only a shining face like Moses, but a whole body that is full of light, glowing with the joys of Soul, a Soul-filled life.
[PCYL: Be a "shining example" of single-mindedness -- all aglow with Love!]
CedarS PYCLs--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"
Soul and Body"
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for May 20, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Brackets & apologies for a delay in posting by Warren Huff, CedarS Director/PCYL Editor.]
 
[PYCL Intro: Redefine strength and beauty and find them renewed in God's sanctuary...]
Look this week at the references to "tabernacle", "dwell", "sanctuary", "house", "courts" and talk with the kids about what these words mean.  In the R.R it states that "...Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary."  Where do we usually think of seeing strength and beauty?  Can you describe what the strength and beauty that are in God's house might be like?  What would those qualities be-can they be described in terms of looks?  If not, then how?  Some ideas: strength might be described as moral courage; the ability to stand for what is true and right when the tide of thought and action around you is pushing the other way.  Beauty might be described similarly. See if anyone can come up with their own ideas.  I like the idea of dwelling in God's sanctuary and smaller kids may enjoy that comforting thought as well.  Think together about what His house might contain.  What rooms would it have?  If you were to brainstorm together what His house/sanctuary, etc. might be designed like, what would you think would be included?  Maybe you could construct something together with ideas.  Would it have infinite rooms?  Would it have an exercise room?  What would you exercise in there?  What food would the kitchen have in it?  Where would the stairs lead?  What would make it the perfect house for you and why?  You just might have fun thinking about the spiritual qualities represented through these ideas, if anyone is confused, of course, don't let them go home thinking that this is a literal "house" we are talking about.
 
[PYCL -Section 2: Learn again from mirrors and light!]
This lesson affords us the opportunity to scratch the surface of how we reflect God and what the body has to do with this, or doesn't!  When we talk about man reflecting God, we are likening ourselves to the mirror itself.  (S3) So bring a mirror or a number of smaller ones with you and discuss what a mirror can do.  First of all it can only reflect if there is light. Discuss the significance of this and what light represents: (understanding, illumination, revelation and so on). So God must be all light, no darkness: (fear, ignorance, disease, ugliness, anger, etc.).  If He weren't all light, then there would be times where there was no reflection; and we know that God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.  That eliminates the possibility that there could be a time with no reflection happening.  As a mirror, how can we not reflect God?  Can we "face away" from God?  Can we somehow reflect back an opposite picture from the original?  Obviously, with a little piece of mirror in a plastic frame we can see the limitations of the analogy, but kids will get the idea I think.  What happens if you hold the mirror in front of your face and close your eyes?  Will your reflection disappear?  Of course not!  You can have the littlest kids check for each other just for fun.  We may have times when we don't see ourselves as reflection, but that's like a moment when we are just closing our eyes to what is true.  God is always, always shining Himself/Herself out and we are always reflecting His/Her glory back.
 
[PYCL -Section 2: Be a "shining example" -- all aglow with Love!]
Speaking of shining, talk about the story of Moses in the second section and how his face "shown".  What do you think that meant?  Do you think he was expressing the way that man is not really "contained" in matter?  It's sort of like his spiritual nature was "leaking" out!  How can we be better "shining" examples like Moses?  Do you think that his innocence and child likeness made him a better "reflector"?  Why might innocence and child likeness help?  Why did it help him to hear and see the Ten Commandments being written "by the finger of God"?  Why did it scare people to see his skin shine?  What did the veil represent?  Why did he wear it when he talked to the people and not when he talked to God?  What does Mrs. Eddy say about the veil in citation S1?  [that "the veil of mystery" surrounding Soul and body is lifted by Christian Science]  Was God in Moses when his face "shown"?  (If you haven't already, talk here about reflection and light).  Check out citation S2 at the end of the citation to see how our identity is intertwined with God, and talk about the word "coexistent" and what that means.  Talk about how our reflecting of God is not in a mortal body.  So what is it?
 
[PYCL -Section 3: Be single-minded! Focus the laser light of Love on every problem.]
Look at section three to discuss the single eye and "evil" eye.  Talk about what it means to be "double minded" (see Warren's notes in this week's CedarS' met.).  To be "full of light" we must be seeing Soul.  If we feel that we are not filled with light, we are entertaining the idea that we can close our eyes to God's ever present light and experience something other than God and goodness.  We are going back to the Adam and Eve tale of a choice of good and evil as both powerful and real.  Another interesting way to look at this is through additional translations.  I'm including verse 35 in here because it adds a different element to the discussion with kids that might be helpful, but feel free to remove it if you wish!  From the New Living Translation (NLT):  "Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body.  When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.  But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness.  Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.  If you are filled with light, with no dark corners then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light."  And a somewhat freer translation from The Message: "Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body.  If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.  If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar.  Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don't get musty and murky.  Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room."  This last translation is so helpful for sharing ideas of how this passage can be directly applied to our lives which is why I've included it.  This is what our "bodies" are about, radiating the light of Christ for all to see! [It's fun to read about and think about the power of making light waves of a single wavelength as in laser light which was once called "a solution in search of a problem". It is now used in simple, (take-to-class?) laser pointers, bar-code scanners, DVD players and burners, laser surgery...]
 
[PYCL -Section 4: Wash your mind and "your mouth out with soap", as well as your hands.]
Another great story in this week's lesson is in section 4 where Jesus admonishes people not to worry about what they put into their mouths, but what comes out of their mouth.  The humor in his very strong description will be appreciated (though hopefully not dwelled upon), by this younger crowd.  You can talk briefly about the rules that governed the Jews about hand-washing, what kinds of food they are allowed to eat and so on.  Then talk about how these things appear in our culture today.  What forms do they take?  Obviously we need to wash our hands before eating, but do we spend at least as much time thinking about what we are going to say when we are talking casually, as we do washing our hands?  I'll bet in many cases the answer is no!  It may seem obvious, but make sure they all understand what Jesus was pointing out here.
 
[PYCL -Section 5: How having better motives automatically make you better at sports...]
Many a kid is interested in being better at sports of some kind.  Have some fun looking at section five.  Talk about motives for what we do in athletics of any kind, or exercise.  Citation S20 tells us that a wrong motive involves defeat!  And citation S23 points out what a right motive does!  Make sure they understand what a "motive" is.  Also check out in a previous section if it seems interesting, where citation S14 tells us how we can become "...masters of the body...forming and controlling it with Truth."  That's pretty compelling stuff if you think about it.  But again, motives play into this don't they!
 
[PYCL -Section 6: Live with undivided thought, in an undivided house, camp, country, Kingdom!]
A couple other interesting points for discussion involve the house "divided".  Discuss what that means and how that applies to our body and our experience with health.  The CedarS theme for the summer of discovering that Kingdom within, is a worthwhile endeavor at all times.  It keeps us from having any sort of division, it eliminates fear!  And you may be able to relate it to the discussion about God's house/tabernacle, etc.  
 
[PYCL -Section 7: "Connect the dots" of 10 Commandments morality to health & harmony!]
I also think it is worthwhile to note that in section 7 Mrs. Eddy mentions that "Moral conditions will be found always harmonious and health giving" S29  What does that mean and why is it true?  That's actually a springboard for a potentially lengthy discussion!  You can bring in the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes here to help explain why morality brings us health and harmony.  And they can draw the connection with Soul and body here as well.
 
Have a wonderful Sunday!
 

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