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Learn ALL about yourself!

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Monday, August 27th, 2012

[Learn ALL about yourself!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"MAN"
for September 2, 2012
by Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO ccern@mac.com 720-331-9356
 
 [These application ideas from a CedarS Camps' Resident Christian Science Practitioner are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons daily throughout the year, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in French, thanks to Pascal & Marie-Helene; in German, thanks to Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of fun approaches & possible ways to teach lesson ideas to older and to younger Sunday School classes at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters  Enjoy! Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes with bracketed additions.]

In this week's lesson on "Man," you can learn a lot about yourself.  This is true because anytime you see the word "man" in Science and Health you can substitute in your name. The sentence, "Man is the expression of God's being," for example, can read, "[You are] the expression of God's being." [S3, see Warren's P.S.] This idea makes the Bible lesson on Man all about you! While you will find your own inspiration from the lesson, you may want to experiment with me and read it through once while inserting your name every time you see the word "man" just to see what new ideas come to you. (You can also put in other people's names for "man" because these truths are true for everyone, not just true for some of us.) This concept of replacing the word "man" with your name even works for the Golden Text this week:
 
Golden Text             "...God created [you] in his own image, in the image of God created he [you]...[with the perfect balance of male and female qualities] created he [you]."
 
The "golden text" is the main idea-a pure gold nugget-that summarizes the whole Bible lesson, so we can be fairly certain that this week we're going to learn more and more about God creating us in His image, and how to apply this idea to our daily lives. And, since there are seven sections, we can plan on learning at least seven facts about ourselves.
 
Responsive Reading          The responsive reading sets the tone of the lesson by reminding us to rejoice because God created us in the "light of His countenance" (another word for appearance or image). The gift of creation that God gave us is truly amazing. And, as we are reminded, "Every good gift and perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." This means that the "gift" of being created in the image of God has "no variableness"-no mistakes and no blemishes!-and no "shadow of turning"-no dark moments when we are not made in His image or unable to "walk in the light of [His] countenance."
 
SECTION 1:  You are Spiritual
The first fact that we learn about ourselves in the lesson is that we are only spiritual. When we look at ourselves, we should only trust evidence that tells us we are made in the image and likeness of God.   In other words, we cannot trust any evidence that suggests we are unlike God. If the material senses try to tell us we are weak and stupid, for example, we reject this because we know that God created us in His image, and He is not weak or stupid. 
 
The last Bible verse instructs us how to turn away from the material picture: "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of." [B4]  This is another way of saying, "Don't trust the picture of [yourself] that gets inspiration and breath from [your] body because that is a false and limited version."
 
But how can we be certain that we're not fooled into looking at the matter picture? Well, we can start by having a clear sense of what "man" is. This section offers a clear definition of man, which, of course, we can use to define ourselves...
           
"[You are] not matter; [you are] not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that [you are] made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. [You are] spiritual and perfect; and because [you are] spiritual and perfect, [you] must be so understood in Christian Science. [You are] idea, the image, of Love; [you are] not physique. [You are] the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; [a unique expression] that reflects God's image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which [you are] the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore [are] eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of [your] own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to [your] maker." [S1, S&H p475]
 
Anytime you're getting information-feelings, emotions, or thoughts-that doesn't match this pure picture of yourself, you can say, "Nope, that's not me," ["I'm NOT going to go there!"] and return to the spiritual fact that all you can know, experience and express is "infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss." [S2] [See Warren's P.S.]
 
 
SECTION 2    You are Infinite
The second major fact the lesson tells us about ourselves is that we are infinite. How can we begin to understand what "infinite" means? Let's start by thinking about the infinitude of God/Love/Truth. We know that God is bigger than the earth. God is also bigger than the sky, bigger than the universe, and bigger than all possible galaxies. In fact, even "heaven and the heaven of heavens" cannot begin to measure God, who is infinite and the Creator who made you perfect.  (B5)  Picturing the "bigness" of God is one way we start to understand the concept of infinitude.
 
As part of Love's infinitude, you are constantly growing and progressing: "God expresses in [you] the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis." (S5)
 
Infinity may be an abstract concept to us, with our seemingly limited way of perceiving reality. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, "Mortals have a very imperfect sense of the spiritual man and of the infinite range of [our] thought." [S5]
 
But to God infinity is all that there is.   We should constantly strive to catch glimpses of Love's infinite reach, and our connection to this infinitude. As we catch longer and longer glimpses of Love's all-ness and our un-severable link to this power, we achieve true spiritual vision. In Mary Baker Eddy's words, "Through spiritual sense you can discern the heart of divinity, and thus begin to comprehend in Science the generic term man." [S5]
 
As we gain this spiritual sense, we can see and know ourselves properly. In contrast, if we trust the material senses more than we do our spiritual understanding, we get a distorted view of ourselves. "Because of human ignorance of the divine Principle," Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Love, the Father of all is represented as a corporeal [material] creator; hence [we] recognize [ourselves] as merely physical, and are ignorant of [ourselves] as God's image or reflection and of [our] eternal incorporeal existence." We are so fortunate to know that we should always turn away from a limited picture of ourselves and strive to see more and more of our infinitude.
 
We can rejoice as we gain spiritual vision, and discover through prayer that "[You reflect] infinity, and this reflection is the true idea of God." [S7]
 
 
SECTION 3     You are Perfect
"Perfection," like infinity, is abstract and impossible to grasp fully without spiritual understanding.  In Psalms, we are told, "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me..." and in Matthew, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." [B9, B12] It may be difficult to see ourselves as perfect every moment of the day, but, as we work toward the goal of seeing our perfection, we will find it easier and easier.
 
We may be able to catch glimpses of our perfection, just like we can sometimes see our infinitude, but most of us probably struggle with maintaining that vision of ourselves permanently. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to see and know yourself as absolutely perfect all of the time? Seeing yourself as perfect would be 100% satisfying; and this satisfaction is possible as we gain spiritual vision. The Psalmist writes, "I shall be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness." [B11] 
 
The satisfaction that comes from awaking in the likeness of God is like waking up out of the dream that matter is reality. This is what happens every time we experience healing-the realization of our perfection!
 
Five of the six citations from Science and Health in this section contain the words perfect or perfection, and all of them include instructions to us as to how to discover that we are perfect. Some of the ideas include,
 
            • "The Science of being furnishes the rule of perfection..." [S8]
• "When we learn in Science how to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect, thought is turned into new and healthy channels...." [S9]
• "The divine demand, ‘Be ye therefore perfect,' is scientific..." [S10]
• "Imperfect mortals grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly, but..." [S11]
• "Christian Science takes naught from the perfection of God, but it ascribes to Him the entire glory." [S13]
 
The idea that we're supposed to be absolutely perfect may seem overwhelming, especially as we're still gaining a spiritual vision of what this means. But Mary Baker Eddy teaches us how to discover our perfection. She writes, "Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but the longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness." [S12] Notice that the phrase she uses, "awake in His likeness," is very similar to the phrase the Psalmist used to describe our awakening out of the mortal dream to see spiritual reality. For the Psalmist, Mary Baker Eddy, and for us, discovering our innate perfection happens as we look away from matter to Spirit.
 
 
SECTION 4    You have unlimited potential
As we learn more about God as our Creator, and understand that we are infinite and perfect, we gain a clear sense of our unlimited potential. Having unlimited potential means that we can see, hear, know and accomplish all things good.   Sounds pretty great, huh? It is completely possible.   Achieving our unlimited potential occurs as we learn more about the source of our wisdom, talent, and strength.
 
Mary Baker Eddy explains how to see our unlimited potential. "Science reveals the glorious possibilities of immortal [you]," she writes, "forever unlimited by the mortal senses." [S14] What great news! As we give up the chains of materialistic thinking that are holding us back, we're able to reach higher and higher to our unlimited potential.
 
Being aware of our unlimited potential gives us extra strength to accomplish all that we need to. Whether we are beginning a new school year, competing on a soccer team, learning to play the piano, cooking dinner for ten friends, writing poetry or trying to manage our time better, we can achieve much more than we think we can as we draw upon divine Spirit as the source of our power. As Mary Baker Eddy states,
 
"...business men and cultured scholars have found that Christian Science enhances their endurance and mental powers, enlarges their perception of character, gives them acuteness [mental sharpness] and comprehensiveness [the ability to understand a lot of things on a lot of topics] and an ability to exceed their ordinary capacity. The human mind, imbued with this spiritual understanding, becomes more elastic [flexible], is capable of greater endurance, escapes somewhat from itself, and requires less repose [rest]...." [S16, p128]
 
This is the kind of spiritual boost we can all use. We can each say to ourselves, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." [Philippians 4:13, New King James Version]
 
 
SECTION 5    You are free
Most of us are bombarded everyday with all kinds of material images and fear-based ideas on why we aren't perfect. Discouragement and other negative thoughts tempt us into feeling more mortal than spiritual. The tendency to allow in this matter-based thinking is "sin." Put simply, sin is anything that distracts us from getting to know God better. The fifth section of this lesson on Man [you!], reminds us that we can turn away from sin and cling to ideas that make us feel God's love for us. In other words, we can "repent" because the "kingdom of heaven" (atmosphere of Spirit) is "at hand." [B16]
 
In the story about Jesus and the paralyzed man here in the fifth section, Jesus doesn't begin healing by saying to the man, "You are healed of your palsy." Instead, he begins by asserting, "Your sins are forgiven." Essentially, Jesus affirmed for the man that his relationship to God is intact, and that he can feel God's love for him now even if had strayed from God's guidance in the past. Of course, the man was healed of the palsy, but, more importantly, he was able to turn away from sin-the lie that he was ever separate from God.
 
Each of the citations from Science and Health support this idea that man is not made to sin. "The real [you]," Mary Baker Eddy writes, "cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom [you are] evolved, engender [create] the capacity or freedom to sin. A mortal sinner is not God's [you]." [S18]
 
We are naturally drawn to Love, not to sin. This is a perfect truth that destroys the lie that we can be pulled away or distracted from God's comfort. Some matter-based lies argue that it is normal for teenagers to be destructive and rebellious and argumentative, and for senior citizens to be impatient and critical and tired. Not so! It is normal for all people to be drawn to good, drawn to Love's care, drawn to Spirit's energy, and drawn to Truth's integrity.   Whatever matter tries to say about us, we can know that we are created sinless and the only ideas that are truly attractive are from God. 
 
Jesus healed effectively and instantaneously because he saw only sinless man, and we can learn to look at others (and ourselves) like he did. Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals." (S20) He instructed his disciples (and us) how to gain this spiritual sense and see our innate sinlessness. In fact, "Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that [you are] pure and holy." (S20, p476) 
 
The best summary of this concept of your sinlessness is in the last citation of Science and Health:"God made [you] free." (S21)
 
SECTION 6     You are making progress
We may sometimes feel like we are climbing uphill toward spirituality but keep slipping into material thinking. The ideas in the sixth section challenge this discouragement, and reassure us that we are making progress. In fact, we cannot help making progress because Spirit is lifting us up.   In other words, we are not climbing uphill; we are being pulled gently up the hill by Love, which has omnipotent power. As we reach out to God to lift us up, He does not turn away. He feels us reaching toward Him and pulls us to Him, giving us exactly what we need even before we ask.
 
The truth that God responds and blesses us when we reach out to Him is well illustrated by the story of the woman, who is bleeding and who reaches out to touch the hem of Jesus's garment. I imagine that the woman was forlorn and feeling like she wasn't making any progress in being healed, and then she saw Jesus in the multitude and recognized the Christ light shining from him. Despite all of the laws of the times that prevented her, a bleeding woman, from touching a man in public, she knew she must touch at least the hem of his garment. She saw promise in that touch.
 
Jesus, being a pure expression of Christ, felt the woman reaching out to him and asked her to come forward. I believe he expressed so much tender compassion when his eyes met with the woman's eyes, that she was instantly "lifted." The discouragement of the past faded away, and she was healed as she heard him say, "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made the whole; go in peace." [B20]
 
We too can reach out toward the hem of Christ's garment. Our "reaching out" is always answered, and our progress is inevitable. And, as we reach toward God for answers, we must also be willing to let go of material thinking.   As Mary Baker Eddy explains, "Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,- this disposition [way of thinking] helps to precipitate [speed forward] the ultimate harmony." [S23]
 
We must, therefore, become conscious of our desire to reach out to God for answers and be willing to let go of matter. This instruction is clearly stated in Science and Health, "Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual,-neither in nor of matter,-and the body will then utter no complaints." [S26]
 
The willingness to reach out to touch the "'hem of Christ's garment," frees us from bad feelings that we are not making enough spiritual progress.   And we can touch this "hem" anytime. Here's a poem that is based upon the healing in this section, and that reminds us that we can touch "the hem of his garment":
 
            The Hem of His Garment
 
Could we but touch with true humility
His garment's hem, that simple touch would bring
A glad renewal of life, renewal of joy:
Earth-trammeled thoughts would soar on bolder wing.
 
            God's infinite compassion always waits
To bless us without mete.
Is hope so small, Is faith so dulled, that even while we pray
We fear lest Love heed not our prayer at all?
 
And yet we know that but a little truth
Hath power to bless; the truth that God is here
And God is Love alone is quite enough
To banish servitude to doubt and fear.
 
- Helen Mar Brown, from the October 14, 1933 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
 
 
SECTION 7     You can praise the Lord and all His glory
This week's lesson gave us a lot of good news that we can celebrate. Each section taught us more about ourselves. We are spiritual, infinite, perfect. Plus, we have infinite potential, are free to be sinless, and are making inevitable progress in our spiritual journey. The last section, echoes the rejoicing that we started with in the Responsive Reading, and protects our new view of ourselves. After someone makes dinner for us, we know to say "Thank you!" And, in this case, after God has so carefully made us perfect, infinite and free, it is only right to say, "Thank you!"
 
The seventh section offers many different ways we can express our gratitude for our Creator:
 
Make a joyful noise unto God...[B21]
Sing unto the Lord, bless his name....[B22]
I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live...[B23]
 
The joy and happiness shown through our gratitude for God's abundance guarantees that we continue receiving more and more of His goodness. In fact, our purpose is to rejoice in the Lord's power and enjoy it with others. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Happiness is [=] spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is [=] unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it." [S27, p57] [See Warren's P.S.]
 
As we learn more and more about our spiritual identity and how we are created-spiritual, perfect, infinite-we will discover more and more about our unlimited potential and sinlessness. We will find ourselves making steady spiritual progress, and we will not be able to help ourselves from rejoicing in "all the glories of earth and heaven and [you]." [S29]

[Warren's P.S. Section 1: Two of my favorite one-liners from Science & Health are placed back-to-back in citations S2 and S3. They illustrate the transitive law, in mathematics and logic that states that if a=b and b=c then a=c. I have found it to be a powerful healing treatment to translate the word "is" as = so that "God's being = infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss." (S2, p481)  And "Man [you] = the expression of God's being."  (S3, p470) Therefore, [you} are the expression of infinity [inexhaustibility, like the Energizer Bunny], freedom [free from pride and all restrictions], harmony [with all parts moving in full agreement or concord] and boundless bliss [with limitless, supreme happiness where "pressure yields to Presence"].
 
[Warren's P.S. Section 7: Another favorite CedarS one-liner is in citation S27: "Happiness is (=) spiritual... (=) unselfish..." (p57:18) Therefore, whenever CedarS demonstrates being the most unselfish place in the world, it has to be one of the happiest places in the world; and, because unselfishness and happiness are spiritual, everyone can take them home with them to bless wherever they are!]

[The College Summit taking place at The CedarS Camps this coming Labor Day weekend is an event not to be missed by any student or young adult near college age!  To make sure that no rising high school junior thru recent college grad misses this life-changing event because of finances, this College Summit is being heavily subsidized by The CedarS Camps, The Mother Church, the Asher Student Foundation, the Albert Baker Foundation, the Principle Foundation, and the Texas Sunnyside Foundation, as well as by many local churches and Sunday Schools attended by eligible students. To unite with us in sponsoring the attendance at this event for all interested Christian Science youth, PLEASE, PLEASE help us not only by encouraging all the eligible youth you know to come, but also by picking and clicking on one or on all of the above organizations and backing us with love gifts of however much divine Love impels you to give. Your gift in any amount will be well spent to encourage and "respect each individual young person as a future active worker in the Christian Science Movement." (The 2nd of the Founders 5 Fundamental Concepts of The CedarS Camps written by my mom, Ruth Huff.) Lecturers at the College Summit include Chet Manchester (the new Mother Church president), Ginny Luedeman, Christine Driessen, Tom McElroy and Shirley Paulson.  There will be a Weekly Musicians Concert with Alex Cook, Jay & Tessa Frost, and Grant Taylor. Check out the Summit webpage:   http://time4thinkers.com/summit-events/collegesummit12/ ]
 
 

[If you don't qualify to come to CedarS for the College Summit over this coming Labor Day weekend, but are a student of the Bible, do come to CedarS and its rising Conference Center on the following "weekend" (Sep. 6-9) to experience CedarS Bible Lands Park and attend the Midwest Bible Conference sponsored by Bible Studies Seminars.  Be inspired by talks and workshops given by Christian Science class-taught, Bible scholars.  You can stay in a single (for $340 per person), shared, or triple/quad room with a private bathroom or choose a cabin with a bathroom for $200 per person.  All housing prices include meals, snacks, meeting rooms, and activities.  Linens are included for ALL housing options chosen for this Conference. Enjoy camp activities during free time and great meals catered by restaurateur Vicki Wolfe and her talented friends. The theme for the 2012 Midwest Bible Conference is:  "Healing and the Kingdom of God."  Tentative Conference Schedule for Thursday, September 6 through Sunday, September 9 includes: a Thursday evening, Multi-Media Theme Presentation - "Healing and the Kingdom of God"; Bonfire, S'mores, Hot Chocolate, and Singalong; Four Friday TED Talks - (focused presentations that do not exceed twenty minutes in length) followed by brief question and answer sessions; concurrent breakout sessions after Friday lunch that will be interactive and allow individuals to choose the sessions that most speak to their own interests; a Friday evening Screening and Discussion of Fambul Tok:  a film about the power of forgiveness in the wake of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war; a Saturday morning Bible talk by Madelon Maupin on "Taking a Deep Dive into the Book of Ephesians:  How to Study and Unpack Its Lessons, with a Focus on the Difficult Passages"; Saturday's extended World Cafe Lunch and Discussions with three-course world cafe discussion of the ideas presented and our response to them in a mix of people at each table that changes with each courses and set of new questions to discuss; Saturday afternoon free time for Fellowship, Recreational Offerings, or Personal Time; Saturday evening Panel Discussions followed by Groups Sharing; Sunday Christian Science Service ; Sunday early departure or lingering until 4:00 pm to enjoy the facilities, Bible Lands Park and its fun and educational Time Traveler ziplines and trails, lake and waterfront activities... If you have any questions about the program please contact Dick@BibleStudySeminars.com or 636.207.7392. Enroll today online for the Bible Conference at www.biblestudyseminars.com ;  for housing at http://www.cedarscamps.org/information/programs.htm?id=40 ]
 
 [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.]

[Check out the BIG ideas!]
Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "MAN" September 2, 2012
 
Let us examine this lesson seeking the Big Ideas about what man is and what man is not. Perhaps: Man, what's the big idea?
 
P.S.S.T. Golden Text: What are the Big Ideas? God is, God acts as creator, man or manifestation is the result, all are included - male and female - no one is left out.
 
P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading: What are the Big Ideas? The people, including you, are blessed. Ask students what names would they assign to God. What names does God assign to them? Ask students to list the good or blessings in their lives. Big idea, you cannot forget the blessings you have.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 1: What are the Big Ideas? God, Spirit, gave you life. Can, will God ever take that away from you? Will God ever withhold that which God promised and gave to you? Like what? God gave you life; God made you in God's image; God called you by name - knows who you are; you exist to glorify God, to witness God as Presence and present in your life; all of the nations are also called, named by God and blessed of God forever. Is the definition of man in citation S-1 limited to you only or to Christian Scientists only, or does it apply universally? Can God ever cease to be expressed?
 
P.S.S.T. Section 2: What are the Big Ideas? How big is God? Is God mindful of man, of you? Does God continue to visit mankind? What evidence do you have of God's visits? What does God encourage in citation B-7? "Ask me..." If you want to know or remember who you are, or who other ideas are, ask God. How does man act as a witness for God? Citation S-5 - expresses, manifests, reflection, use your spiritual sense.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 3: What are the Big Ideas? What has God prepared for you? Perfection. How can you discern that? Through patience, prayer, persistence. Never give up in your pursuit of understanding yourself and all others as perfect, immortal, spiritual offspring (S-8). What can you do because of your perfect nature? Citation S-10, what we most need God supplies. Great memory opportunity statement in citation S-12.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 4: What are the Big Ideas? Who can, do you trust? Citation B-15. How has God dealt with you? What does God teach you? Citation B-14. What are precepts? Commandments, rules, laws, writs, directives. How can you see the precepts that reward your life daily? S-16. Ask students to list those qualities that belong to them from this section. Ask, is your self complete? That's a Big Idea, that you contain all right ideas about your self and by extension so do all other selves.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 5: What are the Big Ideas? God made you free and unburdened, upright and clear of thought. Can you ever be less than holy, less than whole? Citation S-18. Here is another memory opportunity in citation S-20. What does incontrovertible mean in citation S-21? Certain, undeniable. Repeat the Big Idea, God made man free (S-22).
 
P.S.S.T. Section 6: What are the Big Ideas? Have you gladly received the Christ message? What is it? God is with you. What is the result? Harmony in your life, healing in your life. What does it mean to touch the Christ? Citation S-24. What did the woman's touching the border of his garment in citation B-20 mean? Perhaps, that even one inkling of truth is sufficient and powerful enough to heal. Big Idea, you need not understand the all of truth, but a grain of sand or a mustard seed of truth is adequate to unclasp the hold. The woman in citation B-20 knew that. Do you? See citation S-26 to understand a single moment as adequate.
 
P.S.S.T. Section 7: What are the Big Ideas? Happiness is yours; holiness is yours; feel the love and shout for joy. What song shall you sing to the Lord? Ask students to choose a hymn that lets them express that joy, perhaps Hymn 438 in the Christian Science Hymnal Supplement. Joy and happiness are rooted in what? Citation S-27. Here is another memory opportunity in citation S-28 "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul."
     Final Big Idea: You can behold and understand God's creation and see all the glories of and in earth and heaven and man (S-29).

[PYCL: Help students feel right with God, no matter what!]
CedarS PYCLs--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"MAN"

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for Sept. 2, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]
 
[PYCL:  Help students specifically embrace the completeness of their manhood, womanhood:]
The Golden Text in this week's lesson is a fun opportunity to discuss what the word "man" means here.  If it includes male and female, what does that mean?  Can you make a list of masculine and feminine qualities (good and true ones!)?  How do we embody the completeness of male and female?  With the slightly older more "gender aware" kids it could be interesting to have a frank discussion about what makes a good man or woman.  What do they admire in their mom or their dad for example?  Should those qualities of perhaps tenderness and patience be only ones that we associate with moms?  Are strength, wisdom and so on mostly the province of dads?  We have so many examples today of really involved, tender and compassionate dads, and moms that are wisely and competently holding households together for whatever reason, but these gender roles are still often persistently anchored to limited views of man and woman as embodying specific qualities rather than embracing completeness.  It is never too early to share the idea that we all are expressions of God's completeness.  As such how are we showing this to others?  From your list of qualities try coming up with sentences such as: "I am patient, and I show patience by waiting for my little brother to finish his story and showing him loving interest. before I go play."  I'm sure you can come up with better examples... By coming up with specific examples in their lives that are not "made up" irrelevantly, they can take home perhaps specific thoughts about how the feminine and masculine qualities that they embrace are active in their lives.
 
[PYCL 1st-2nd -3rd -4th:  Reflect together about reflection, infinitude, perfection...:]
This is always a great lesson to bring out a mirror and talk about reflection.  I love the different ways that this is pointed out in the lesson.  We have the simple revelation of reflection in section one.  I love citation S2 and read it this way: "God's being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss.  So man's (my) being must also be infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss"!  In the second section the reflection revolves around the infinite nature of God's being.  How many ways do we reflect infinity?  That's kind of a funny question if you think about it...how many?  What does that mean for us practically?  Make sure you discuss what infinite really means.  Section three speaks of perfection.  That's certainly a quality pertaining to reflection since clearly mortal man is decidedly imperfect! Our struggle toward perfection is actually not a road to self "improvement" if we see it in terms of reflection, rather it is a road of constantly lifting our thought higher until we "awake" and see our likeness to (reflection) of God.  (See citations B11 and S12. ).  [Note that Camp Owatonna's original name was: R.O.P.I.O.A. standing for Reflection Of Perfection Is Our Aim.] It might be helpful to point out or help them see for themselves that being a good Christian is more about studying and practicing the laws of God so that our perfection is revealed to us, not so that we become perfect.  [Do we say together the Scientific Statement of Becoming?] Likely that thought will not be clear to them in a world where we "practice" to get better at so many things.  Maybe we can take a lesson from this to our sports practice, our music practice, every practice.  We practice, not to get better, but to express more clearly our perfection and unlimited freedom!  The 4th section is perfect to talk about this idea of reflection when you think about the idea of unlimited capacities.  Talk about what that means for us.  What do we just accept about ourselves that we can't do?  For them it will be different than for you.  How are they unlimited like God?  Can they go all day busy with school and doing their chores and so on and still be rested and peaceful and happy, without complaint at the end of the day?  You can finish the other sections with this exercise I'm sure!
 
[PYCL 3rd:  Play with enthusiasm like you are awaking in God's likeness:]
With the littler ones talk about the idea of "awaking" in His likeness. [B11, Ps. 17:15] It is such a beautiful image. What does it mean to them? Can they pretend to "wake up" and say what they would do and see themselves as if they were to do that each day? You could do this together, have them "wake" you up first and you can say with great enthusiasm, in simple terms how you are His likeness today.
 
[PYCL 5th:  Help students feel right with God, no matter what the wrong or the criticism:]
In the 5th section you have the story of the man on the bed or mat that was brought to Jesus for healing.  This is an example of "limited man" you might say.  Jesus tells him that he should be happy because his sins are forgiven him.  What does this mean?  If sin is whatever comes between us and a clear reflection of God, or makes us feel separate from God, then Jesus was telling him that no matter what he has felt all these years, no matter what people have told him, (maybe he was told that this illness came to him because he wasn't doing the right thing), he really is "right" with God now and this healed him (gave him a right view of himself as reflecting God)! Maybe this is an opportunity to talk about what sinlessness is and how it relates to healing.  You may want to ask them how Jesus knew what the scribes were saying between themselves.  Sometimes we can tell by the atmosphere and body language for sure, but sometimes Jesus knew people's thoughts and was able to heal because of it.  Certainly here he was able to address a criticism clearly so that everyone could share in rejoicing over this man's healing.
 
[PYCL 6th:  Help students imagine an outcast's longing & gratitude for contact & healing:]
In the sixth section it would be interesting to discuss the story of the woman with the issue of blood from the standpoint of her need to be "seen". I may have brought this up before, but one of the most moving aspects of this story to me is Jesus' acknowledgment of her as a person worthy of notice.  As a woman who had a problem with bleeding, she would have been an outcast, unclean and no one would be able to even touch her without purifying themselves with the priests in the temple. Have them try to imagine spending twelve years living outside society with no human touch at all.  How many times a day do they get or give hugs?  What would it be like to cross the very stern laws of the day and reach out to touch even the hem of someone's clothes?  What courage and conviction would it take?  Do we reach out with the same courage and conviction that the Christ is still here today to give us healing and comfort?  Do we understand that the Christ always recognizes and cherishes us for who we are, God's man?  That was the mission of Jesus, to help us see that we are each God's idea.
 
[PYCL: Substitute individual's names wherever man is used, as Christie suggested:]
If you are looking for further Sunday School ideas you can read this week's CedarS lesson application ideas.  Christie gives some excellent suggestions that would work as well with Sunday School as they do with daily Bible lesson study.  Her suggestion of inserting your self wherever "man" is used in the lesson will be very helpful for those in the classes that can read!
 
Have a great Sunday!

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