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Let your light shine on UNREALITY to reveal reality!

Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO
Posted Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

[Let Your Light Shine on UNREALITY to Reveal Reality!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"UNREALITY"
for September 30, 2012
by Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, CO 
web address: www.christiecs.com
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, italic additions.]
 
Jesus told us to let our light shine. In the context of this week's Bible Lesson on "Unreality," this can mean that our purpose is to let our light shine on things that are unreal to reveal true reality and goodness.
 
One of my favorite ways to understand the concept of discovering reality and letting our light shine to expose unreality is through "Plato's Allegory of the Cave."  Click here to watch a three-minute video on the allegory that my buddy in Boulder directed: http://vimeo.com/1070177  In the case that you have trouble watching this video, you can also see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69F7GhASOdM  (The transcript of the video is at the end of this met, in case you choose to read it instead of watching it.)
 
Plato, a Greek philosopher, created his "Allegory of the Cave" roughly 400 years before Jesus's ministry, but, in many ways, we can see it as an early glimpse of Christ's promise to all mankind that we can be free from material bondage.   In fact, we can use the allegory to understand Jesus's necessary role in revealing and demonstrating reality to mankind.
 
Whereas Plato may have left the story with the prisoners unable to understand the true nature of reality, Jesus proved that people could understand it.  Without Christ Jesus's amazing demonstration of spiritual vision and communication, the "world outside the cave" would remain a garbled confusion to those feeling imprisoned by matter.   Christ Jesus was necessary to bring the Divine revelation to humanity.
 
Jesus understood God's love for us so well that he could, unlike the freed prisoner in Plato's allegory, communicate and demonstrate the truth about the "world outside the cave."  His role was to show us the way out of the cave so we could see and prove for ourselves that we are not prisoners. He was the way shower.  And true Christianity, as Jesus taught it, is the movement and spread of the absolute truth that we are not prisoners chained in a cave of matter.
 
Jesus saw clearly that the "shadow wall"-matter-is not the true picture of reality even if it may seem to present mesmerizing sights and sounds and smells. He understood the "world outside the cave"-spiritual reality-and his purpose was to reveal this truth to all mankind.  Jesus asked us to let our light shine and to continue sharing his message of salvation-freedom from the chains of matter. Once we know about the "world outside the cave," we cannot go back to not knowing it; and it's natural for us to want to share it with others. 
 
The Golden Textdefines spiritual reality in a way that relates to the idea of the "world outside the cave." It reads, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." 
 
And the Responsive Reading praises God as the originating source of light, which shines upon us and through us even when we feel as if we're in darkness. It is poetically phrased in Isaiah (and I added in some extra words to make it relevant to the cave allegory): "For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth [we may feel like prisoners to matter], and gross darkness the people [and everyone may be feel chained to look at shadow walls]: but the Lord shall arise upon thee [and Christ will show us the "world outside the cave"], and his glory shall be seen upon thee [and we will see, experience, and share this truth]."
 
 
Section 1: No darkness can touch infinite light
The first section makes it clear that even during the night, when it seems that we are surrounded by shadows, we have light, or Truth, all about us. [B1] This is because God is our "sun and shield." [B2] Divine Love created us to see His light and witness His goodness, so He doesn't keep secrets from us or allow scary shadows. [B4]
 
Sometimes it may seem like we're prisoners in darkness, which makes us feel that sadness or suffering is as real as light; however, when we understand that God is infinite light, darkness disappears as it's swallowed up by the light [S1, S2].   This fact-that light is all-powerful and darkness cannot touch it-is a basic point of Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Christian Science brings to light Truth and its supremacy, universal harmony, the entireness of God, good, and the nothingness of evil [darkness]." [S5]
 
Using Plato's Allegory of the Cave, we could say that Christian Science gives us the language and the means to communicate to the prisoners still feeling stuck in a material cave about the "outside world," or spiritual reality.
 
In fact, we could say that Science and Health is Mary Baker Eddy's explanation of her discovery of spiritual reality-the "world outside the cave." And even though some people may not seem to understand it and the world may seem to be embracing matter, this doesn't make her discovery "any less real."
 
 
Section 2:   "Lord, light my candle!"
When we feel like we are not strong enough or smart enough to do something, we can know that Spirit gives us the strength to do all that we need to do. We can say to ourselves, "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness." [B5]
 
What a simple prayer! Let's try it. Next time we feel like we need a boost, or need to understand reality, let's picture God as infinite light, and say, "Lord, light my candle!"
 
The story about Moses in the second section explains that God lights our candle even when we don't ask-this makes sense since God knows what we need even before we ask Him. In the story, God asks Moses to lead the children of Israel out of slavery. [See Warren's P.S. for more on Moses at CedarS Time Travelers Trail.] But Moses, who had some personal issues that made him think he deserved to live in darkness, didn't think he could do it. God gave him examples of His strength-turning a rod into a serpent and making Moses' hand leprous and then clean again-to show Moses that He could "light his candle." Ultimately, Moses learned to let God's light shine through him and was able to lead the Children of Israel from the darkness of slavery into the light of freedom. [B6, B7]
 
Moses was, of course, like that man freed from Plato's cave. As Moses was freed from his slavery to matter by witnessing the rod-to-snake and leprous-to-non-leprous-hand miracles, he gained the courage to free others from their bondage. Ultimately, God helped Moses to lead the Children of Israel (defined as "The representatives of Soul, not corporeal sense; who, having wrestled with error, sin, and sense, are governed by divine Science." SH p583) out of bondage, which is like leading them outside the cave of matter to better understand spiritual reality. 
 
 
Section 3: Light and Darkness Cannot Mix
Jesus taught through parables. In the third section, we read about the parable of the man who planted good seeds, but his enemies came while he slept and added weeds. When I was praying about this story's relationship to the lesson's theme on letting light expose unreality, I experimented with translating it into a tale of light and dark in the allegory of the cave. Let me know if you think it works...
The kingdom of heaven is like a man who had only light and inspiration (and knew about the world "outside the cave").  But while no one was paying attention, his enemy introduced dark thoughts (tried to put chains on him and make him doubt his freedom). But when the man went about his life many good things happened, but some bad things seemed to happen too (sometimes he thought he saw only shadows), so it seemed like darkness touched his life. So his friends, who also knew about spiritual reality, came to him and said him, "Hey, Buddy, you are full of great inspiration and light. You know about reality. You're not supposed to struggle. Did someone introduce dark ideas to you?"
He replied, "A sneaky enemy has done this and I may have let in dark thoughts while I wasn't paying attention. Now I can see that these are just shadows."  The friends said, "Should we go through all of your past thoughts and try to figure out where you went wrong?"  But he said, "No, let's not do that because while you're searching out dark thoughts, we may also dismiss some of the light ones because you're looking at mortal mind instead of letting me reflect Divine Mind.  We don't need to worry about the shadows having any lasting effect on me because ‘the temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real.'" [S12]  In other words, the man knew that dark and light cannot mix or mingle, that he couldn't live both inside and outside of "Plato's cave" because, in Truth, there is only the "world outside the cave."  He couldn't be both a prisoner and free at the same time. When the harvest comes in-he prays-he can let floodtides-or floodlights-of Truth come and expose darkness/unreality so that all that remains is his pure understanding of goodness. The man clearly understood this idea from Science and Health: "You command the situation if you understand that mortal existence is a state of self-deception and not the truth of being." (S11)
It was fun for me to try translating the parable, and perhaps my version makes sense to you...or perhaps you would like to translate into your words so it relates to your experience more directly. Try it.
 
 
Section 4    Christ's light shows us what is true about us
The fourth section includes a story in which Jesus heals a leper and tells him to "say nothing to any man" about his healing. [B12] But the man was so happy about what had happened that he couldn't help but to shout about it to every one that he saw. Soon, more and more people surrounded Jesus, and he couldn't even move about freely in the city because everyone was crowding around him to hear more about reality.   Basically, the man who was healed "saw Christ's light," and was so transformed that he couldn't help but let that light shine through him...in the form of shouting about it. 
 
To me, this sounds a lot like the prisoner in the cave who was set free. He couldn't help but to return to tell the other prisoners.
 
This is also like what Mary Baker Eddy experienced when she discovered Christian Science. Her discovery freed her from feeling imprisoned by matter, and she dedicated the remainder of her life to sharing this Divine insight with others. Previous to her discovery, darkness and doubt seemed to overshadow modern-day Christianity and a lot of what Jesus taught had been lost, such as the ability to heal, to prophesy, and to forgive freely. Matter seemed to be consuming more and more of humanity's thought. Now, as we read in Science and Health, "Christian Science is dawning upon a material age."  [S14]
 
Imagine what dawn means to people who feel like "prisoners in a cave."  When dawn comes, we first see a glow of light coming from the horizon. We know that the sun is coming even though we may not see it yet. Dawn's warm glow is the promise of a new day in which the sun-"the symbol of Soul governing man"-fills the sky. How many of us have the same level of conviction that Christian Science-the truth about reality-is dawning upon a material age as we have in the fact that the sun will rise? Imagine all that we could accomplish with that level of faith! We would have a full sense that everyone can become free from material thinking. We would become more and more willing to go around shouting-like the healed leper and the freed prisoner-about spiritual reality! It makes me so happy when I witness people seeing that they are not chained to matter, when they experience healing or learn about reality for the first time.
 
As we acknowledge our freedom, we can become more and more certain that, "The great spiritual facts of being, like rays of light, shine in the darkness," even when people who only see darkness don't seem to understand. [S14] As we let our faith grow, sharing Christian Science becomes as easy as comforting a person who is afraid that the sun won't rise. We are so certain that the sun is going to rise and that reality is the "world outside the cave."
 
It is inevitable, that, we will be able to say, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light." [B13]
 
In fact, we can begin experiencing and proving that the sunlight of Truth shines on us right now: "Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies. Christian Science acts as an alterative, neutralizing error with Truth. It changes the secretions, expels humors, dissolves tumors, relaxes rigid muscles, restores carious bones to soundness. The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base [show them the "world outside the cave], on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind." (S18, Science and Health, page 162) [Several years ago I, Warren, thanks to a thorough understanding and application to my body of this wonderful, "sunlight of Truth" citation S18, witnessed a prayer-based dissolving and removal of a large growth. I am eternally grateful to be living and moving in "the sunlight of Truth", outside the dark-cave consciousness and convictions of material illusions!]
 
 
Section 5: "This day is salvation come to this house..."
In the fifth section, we see the story of Zacchæus, the rich tax collector, meeting Jesus, who led him away from material unreality to understand spiritual truth. This process of turning from matter to Spirit, from material bondage to spiritual freedom, is "salvation." Jesus said to Zacchæus when they met, "This day is salvation come to this house...For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." [B14] in other words, Jesus showed Zacchæus that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and that they both live in the "world outside the cave."
 
Jesus said, "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me, seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." [B15] Jesus's mission was to show us the way by uncovering unreality.
 
We must see that there are not two realities, one inside and one outside the cave. Jesus saw this so clearly that he could bring others into his vision, and help them to see the one and true spiritual reality.
 
Mary Baker Eddy addresses this point-that there is only one reality-throughout Science and Health. She also describes the process of awakening a sinner-someone who feels separate from and unloved by God-to the reality of his or her oneness with Divine Love. She writes,  "A sinner [prisoner] is not reformed [set free from the cave] merely by assuring him that he cannot be a sinner because there is no sin [that he cannot be a prisoner because there is no prison]. To put down the claim of sin [imprisonment], you must detect it [see why someone feels imprisoned], remove the mask [show them that they are not imprisoned], point out the illusion [show them the "world outside the cave"], and thus get the victory over sin and so prove its unreality." (S22)
 
Following this line of thought, "sin" is anything that makes us feel like we're imprisoned inside the cave, and the path to "salvation" is what leads out of the cave. Jesus led Zacchæus out of the cave by "being a light into the world." And he told us to let our light shine also. It makes me feel amazing when I see someone understand that they're not a prisoner-that they too can experience the wonderful give of freedom and salvation here and now. There seem to be a lot of Zacchæus-es out there who want to know about the one and true reality; and we know that by letting our light shine as Jesus told us to do, we can continue his good work and expose the unreality of material bondage.
 
 
Section 6: "Let your light so shine before men..."
The sixth section encourages us to let our light shine. As we understand Jesus's teachings, we can follow his way to reveal to others that they are not imprisoned, and not be drawn into a "cave" of matter.  The author of Ephesians seems to be writing directly to with these encouraging words: "For ye were sometimes in darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light..." [B18]
 
In the allegory of the cave, the freed prisoner tries to communicate about the outside world, but his communication makes no sense. Jesus, through the power of Christ, that Jesus so completely embodied, was able to demonstrate to all mankind the nature of true reality. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Jesus marked out the way." She continues, "Citizens of the world accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right." [S26] We are not prisoners.
 
Mary Baker Eddy truly understood Jesus's revelation. She followed him in the way-awakening people and freeing them from the cave of matter-and by writing Science and Health she has brought Christ's word to the modern age. She taught that, "The realization that all inharmony is unreal brings objects and thoughts into human view in their true light, and presents them as beautiful and immortal." [S28] 
 
By sharing her discovery of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy inspired a new surge of spiritual seekers to obey Jesus's command, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." [B19] Amen!


P.S. "Plato's Allegory of the Cave" Summary and Script:
Imagine that three prisoners have been chained deep inside a cave for their whole life. They are chained so tightly that all they ever see or experience are the grotesque shadows cast on a wall from a fire that is burning behind them. This is the only reality they have ever known.
Then one day, a prisoner is released. He is blinded by the light outside the cave and astonished to see a completely new reality of people, animals, and objects casting these shadows into the cave.
He scurries back to tell the prisoners the news, but to his dismay, the prisoners do not believe his fantastic stories of the world outside of the cave. For the shadows on the wall are the only reality the prisoners have ever known, and therefore, to them, that is all that will ever exist.
 
Even if his fellow prisoners don't understand or believe what he tries to explain, however, it doesn't make the world outside any less real.

[Warren's P.S. for Section 2 about Moses: Mt. Horeb( or Mt. Sinai) is the first stop on "Ruth's Rapid Transit System" (R.T.S.) at CedarS where time travelers zip back 30 centuries (in 30 seconds) to this pivotal point in history where God's reveals a divine plan for Moses to help free the Hebrews from their slavery in Egypt. Email warren@cedarscamps.org for an email (later in the week) of an inspirational itinerary for Ruth's R.T.S.]
 
[If you couldn't come to CedarS for either the College Summit weekend or the Midwest Bible Conference, you can STILL come to CedarS this fall (Oct. 16-20), if you are an C.E.O. wishing to lead your company in more democratic ways based upon principles successfully practiced by WorldBlu Founder and Principia College graduate Traci Fenton.  Click here to communicate with Traci about BluCamp or here to find out more and to enroll today to become one of 50 potential participants. (URL: http://www.worldblu.com/blucamp/ )]
 
  [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.]
 
Thanks for sending to the address below your appreciated & still needed gift to help support summer & fall programs that nurture the spiritual growth of Christian Science youth:
CedarS Camps, 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536
or call us at 417-532-6699

Possible Sunday School Topics (P.S.S.T. #1) for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Unreality" for September 30, 2012
Written by Tom and Amy Evans, former CedarS counselors
 
Unreality can be associated with darkness, doubt, and fear. This week's lesson has many references to light in every section. Watch as light reveals divine Truth and the reality of being.
 
P.S.S.T for the Golden Text and Responsive Reading (RR)
Light - What is it? Where does it come from? Which has more power, light or darkness? Which one actually has any power at all? Look for light in this week's lesson. Redefine it spiritually. In light (ha, ha) of Isaiah 60:19 in the RR we can see that Biblical authors are not talking about physical light.  This lesson actually brings out over and over that God IS light, and our true being as God's ideas is also pure light, with no darkness or dark side.
 
P.S.S.T for Section 1 Light = shield, safety, purifying agent, understanding, comprehension
The light in citation B1 that the Psalmist is singing about is not physical.  "Even the night shall be light about me." What does this mean?  Have you even combined the idea of light or direction with a shield or safety (B2)?  How do we ensure that we are thinking sensibly and we are knowledgeable about what we do (B4)? This includes praying to the one true God.
 
In citation S1 look at darkness and sin and their lack of influence over light and Truth.  How is light a purifying agent (S1)?  What is the "seal of Deity" (S2)?  Talk about authenticity.  Explain what a rubber stamp is, an architect's seal, or a water mark on a dollar bill or an important document.  What other seals of authenticity can you recognize in your life?  Friendships, spiritual ideas, progress, etc., are a few examples.  Do you recognize how scientific arguments can be made based on biblical concepts (S3)? In citation S4 light means understanding and comprehension.
 
P.S.S.T for Section 2 light = ignite, kindle understanding, faith and trust, divine provision
What takes place in citation B7?  What is the intended message for readers today?  How about witnesses in Moses' time: Pharaoh vs. Jewish witnesses or hearers of the story? See citation S6. Have your healings ever been a "staff upon which to lean" (S6) later in times of doubt or need? In citation S7, how do we attain the real? (practice, faith, radical reliance on prayer...) In citation S8 define the two uses of the word "light."  "In whose light shall we see light."  Are they different? Try Truth or divine provision and understanding or comprehension.  What will your class come up with?
 
P.S.S.T for Section 3 light = a plan, a blueprint, how to handle a situation
I have heard it said that the servants were complaining in Jesus' parable (B9).  They knew what happened, but they were not thinking for themselves.  Are there ever instances in your life when a material problem seems to persist and instead of applying divine Truth, which you know to be the solution, you wallow in material issues?  Give an example of tares and wheat in your own experience.  What prevents you from being afraid of tares?  In citation B10 how do we come to know right from wrong?
Don't you want to "command the situation" (S11)?  Practice applying this concept to any situation: academic, social, athletic, business, etc.  In citation S12 man is seen as reflecting the divine likeness.  That means light (reflection) is like a blueprint or a representation of perfection, Truth.  Citation S13 says "Understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and the unreal."  Try drawing this or making a list with your class.  What is real in your experience? What is unreal?  Draw the line between the two that represents understanding. Description: https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
 
P.S.S.T for Section 4 light = teaching, example, hope, direction, the great spiritual facts of being, a purifying and invigorating agent
Answer citation B11 for yourself.  (Hint: NO!)  What is significant about Jesus touching the leper (B12)?  Explain and discuss the word light in citation B13.
 
In citation S14 light (dawning) represents the great spiritual facts of being.  Making disease unreal to the patient sounds simple enough in citation S15.  What steps can we take to reach this level of understanding?  How do we escape a limited state of thought in citation S16?  Keep reading citation S16 for the answer.  In citation S18 light is a purifying and invigorating agent. What are the cycles of divine light in citation S19?
 
P.S.S.T for Section 5 light = hope, opposite of darkness, honesty
What kind of guy was Zacchaeus (B14)?  Why would Jesus want to eat at his house?  What is so important about Zacchaeus repaying everyone?  In citation B15 Jesus is talking about a type of sight that is not physical. What does it take to "see" what Jesus explains?
 
In citation S20 Mrs. Eddy says "To Truth there is to error." There is a story about a damp and dark cave asking certain elements of nature to come in and eradicate the darkness and humidity.  First the wind comes in and tries unsuccessfully to blow away the darkness.  The clouds can't wash it away and animals cannot scare it away either.  Finally the sun pokes his head into the cave, but he cannot see any darkness or feel any moisture at all.  Similarly, as children of God we experience Truth so fully that sin, disease, and death cannot even be visible to us.  It takes work, but how can a student of Christian Science get to this spiritual viewpoint?  Take citation S22 as a "to do" list for handling material problems.  Apply it to something in your life.
 
P.S.S.T for Section 6 Light = the knowledge of the glory of God, defines you, something you express
In citation B18 light actually defines us.  What an unexpected change!  Discuss how we grow as faithful Christians through practice and application of divine ideas.  This is how we follow Paul's command to "walk as Children of light" (B18).  Use your assembled definitions from this week's lesson and define yourself. Citation B19 talks about light shining from you.  This is something you express as God's reflection.
 
In citation S27, light forms a set of uplifting wings for Truth. Wow, this lesson ends with two rock-solid passages from the "Key to the Scriptures" part of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  Use these two passages to banish the unreality of darkness, doubt, and fear by shining the light of Truth and revealing reality.

[PSST: Unite with the worldwide outreach of TMC!]
Possible Sunday School Topics (PSSTs) for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Unreality" for September 30, 2012
by John Biggs, CS (johnbiggscs@gmail.com, 541.316.0809) 
 
Light and darkness.  Do they always go together?  Do they ever go together?  You might enjoy heading to http://members.christianscience.com/sunday-school/bible-lesson-threads/ to see a video from the Sunday School media library of TMCYouth, as well as a related my Bible Lesson back page article and a link to a discussion forum, including a thread about this week's lesson. There are so many resources out there!  While you're checking out resources to share with your Sunday School class, consider exploring time4thinkers.com as well.  Radical Acts is still in full swing, as are all the other resources there (weekly musician, videos, topical blogs...)  Join in with your Sunday School class in uniting with this worldwide outreach of The Mother Church!
 
P.S.S.T Golden Text (GT): This is a very straightforward passage to start off the Lesson with.  As simple as it is, are we really clear on its significance?  I've heard questions asked before, about 'Don't we sort of need evil, to highlight the good even more?  Doesn't the bad make the good more clear?"  While that may be a deep-sounding question, let's think a little more about that.  Is evil really a part of good?  Do we accept for our days that evil (or even a little bit of bad) are just a natural part of life, and it might even help us appreciate the good?  Why should we accept less than all good?
 
P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading (RR): How can we arise and shine?  Is that something which is relegated only to the morning?  If you have a bad morning, is it too late and the rest of the day is shot?  Or can we arise, right in the middle of the day?  What do you and your class think of the inclusive nature of the third verse in the RR?  Is there room in there for God only knowing or loving Christian Scientists?  Is there excuse in that statement for disgust or even disdain for those of differing political or social views?  How can arising in the light of God break down any barriers in the lives of your Sunday School class?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 1: Do our predictions of how the day is going to go really matter?  How does citation S1 answer any questions posed in the GT and RR?  Put that citation in your own words and see how it relates to your days.  Is citation B4 a relatable and comforting passage for your class?  Why or why not?
 
P.S.S.T - Section 2: Has anyone in your class ever had trouble knowing how to talk with others about Christian Science?  Does the Bible story about Moses help at all?  Does the effectiveness and power of God depend on our personal eloquence or popularity or social achievements?  When, in the Sermon on the Mount, we are asked to shine as the city on a hill, is it our own prowess that we are glorifying?  How can we give glory to God moment by moment?  Why would you even want to?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 3: What about when bad stuff does show up in our day?  What is our response?  Do we get angry, flustered, tunnel-visioned on it?  Or do we persist in keeping our thought on good, to inform us what is really going on?  This link has some inspiring stories from folks who have dealt with some tough situations, and found out how to keep their thoughts and actions steadily with good: http://time4thinkers.com/5-do-good-to-people-who-hate-you/

 
How can your class support each other in responding in a Christ-like manner, instead of reacting?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 4: Does citation B11 resonate with your class?  Can you use your class time to practice sharing a safe space, and perhaps share some questions or stories about how you'd like to do a better job of not judging by appearances.  If someone came to you for healing, how would you respond?  Have you ever checked out this Radical Act, specifically focused on healing?   http://time4thinkers.com/8-heal-the-sick-cast-out-evil-raise-the-dead/

 
Has anyone in your class ever felt like they did in citation B13 - seeing a great light after walking in darkness?  Can you share the context and what it felt like?
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 5:  How can we support each other in being more inclusive?  Are there certain qualities you might look for in people, to see if they are folks you are comfortable getting to know?  Are there any instant turn-offs?  No matter how good or well-reasoned your arguments might be (on either side!), have you ever considered praying about who you could hang out with?  Are there any inconsequential moments?  You might enjoy sharing http://time4thinkers.com/6-feed-the-hungry-clothe-the-naked-shelter-strangers-visit-prisoners/ with your students, to show how others around the world have been taking to heart Jesus' very clear teaching and example of cherishing all God's children.  Perhaps you and your class could join in with really focusing on this (or any) of the Radical Acts and share your stories!
 
P.S.S.T. - Section 6: Is there truly a battle between light and darkness?  Or does it have more to do with citation S25, and being clear on what we are walking toward?  I love Hymn 204 when clearing my thought about the nature of the 'battle' between light and dark, good and evil.  What helps you shine more confidently?  Are there are passages from the Bible, Mary Baker Eddy's writings, or the hymnal that particularly help you?  Has this Lesson made us more afraid of unreality - or more confident in the truth of reality?  Pick out some passages from this section and put them in your own words, to see their relevance to your day.  Perhaps some of these stories might click with your class as we strive to see how we can keep our thought on God in our daily walk.  http://time4thinkers.com/blog/radical-acts/radical-stories/

 
Thanks so much for caring about your church and community enough to be so supportive of Sunday School!  What a garden of precious thought - how wonderful to get to enjoy the complete nature of God's work all together.  Thanks so much for your time in reading this, and enjoy your classes!

CedarS PYCLs--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"UNREALITY"

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for Sept. 30, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]
 
[PYCL: Why have both lessons? The history of the chapter on "Animal Magnetism":]
There is often a lot of overlap in the two lessons on reality and unreality.   It may be interesting to talk about why the kids think we have both these subjects.  Wouldn't one be enough?  If you had an interesting class last week, you may want to start from where you left off and see how these lessons differ.   If you focused on things outside the lesson last week you can look at this lesson in isolation.   Both of these lessons use light as a theme.  It is no wonder with the role that light plays in revealing truth to us in so many ways.   You can ask them about this theme and what they think about light and how it is used.   You can also look at the chapter in S&H about animal magnetism and discuss why she included this short chapter instead of only focusing on the opposite.   Perhaps you are aware of the story behind her publishing challenges with S&H?   At one point she was having a terrible time getting her book printed.   They kept saying it would be done, but it just wasn't getting done.   She began listening intently for God's word to her about the holdup and finally concluded that God was pushing her to write that small chapter though she really resisted including it.   When she had it written she headed to the printer's place of work and on her way she met him heading to see her.   He admitted that he was coming to tell her that he was truly getting ready to publish and she was able to hand him that little chapter.  Her feeling about this was that in overcoming her resistance to including that subject in her book in a chapter, she opened the way for Science and Health to be printed and shared.   It would seem that sometimes revealing good is only one part of healing, uncovering evil and seeing it for its nothingness is also an important part of healing.   You may wish to look into this story for further detail for accuracy as I am pulling it from memory, but the essentials are correct.  I think this points to the current subject and why we study it as well as its partner "reality".
 
[PYCL: Don't be "listless"! Search for light in each section & story & discuss this theme.]
I was taken with the sentence in the Responsive Reading (R.R.) about how gentiles and even kings will be attracted to "thy light".   What does this mean for us?   What light is Isaiah telling us of?   What kind of light are we "shining" so that others are brought to that light?   Does this mean we are "popular"?   Or is there something specific here that is our "light"?   Have pupils come up with a list of things that they "shine" out in their day that would qualify as "light".   Make sure you have your own list as well!   [Don't be "listless".] Why is this light attractive?  Do we have to "make" it attractive?   There are other references in this lesson to light and even within this R.R. there are some wonderful statements about where the light springs from.  Citation B16 points out that the light shines "in our hearts", re-emphasizing the point that is also made in citation S24 where Mrs. Eddy quotes from the Bible Jesus' saying that "The kingdom of God is within you".   We don't have to originate this light.   It is within us as God's creation.   Every single section brings forward different treatments of light and darkness.   You might have them go on a search for this or ask them to specifically discuss how this theme is represented in any one of the Bible stories included.  It could be interesting because sometimes it is not specifically stated and then the citations from S&H bring it out.  Also sometimes it is an example of how the subject of a given story is or has been living in apparent darkness, the opposite of light or understanding.
 
[PYCL: Build on flashlight lessons- bring items in a box & discover what's already there.]
You could certainly expand on any work you did last week with littler ones with the flashlights.   You could talk a bit about the analogy of how light works in a dark room to reveal what is already there, not to "create" the items in the room.  You can use language that they would understand.   It would be useful to bring a box with some things inside that are arranged in certain places in the box.   Have them look through a tiny hole that is blocked by their eye so they can't see inside.  They will tell you that they can't see anything inside.  You can then either take off a lid, or allow them to uncover a larger hole and shine a light in and look again to reveal the objects inside.   Ask some questions about what you are discovering about the things in the box.   Did they already exist before we made it light in the box?   Did they suddenly appear when we put light in the box?   Did they change when we added light to the box?   Then talk about how this is like when we have healings in C.S.   We aren't changing something about ourselves into something better or healthier or happier, we are shining the light of Christ or Truth on our thought to show us our true state of health or happiness or whatever you are talking about.   You could even have them each create their own box with a lid if you have some shoe boxes.   You can have them put some things inside and tell you what they are doing with dark and light.   It can just be some stones and sticks or leaves you pick up in the church grounds; or you can bring little items from home.  Have them try to explain to one another what they are creating by making these boxes.   Maybe some of them will even be able to share this with their parents!   With the slightly older kids, they may not need the box for a focus.   But the same discussion really never gets old.   It is a very vivid way to share how we discern what is real and how we come to have Christian Science healings.
 
[PYCL: Look for spiritual sense in examples of intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition.]
Some of the things that the lesson shows us this week about unreality have to do with discerning the difference between what is real and what is not.   Ask pupils if they feel like they know the difference.   Give them some things to think about with this.   Maybe you could use an example of something from your experience.   Have you ever heard something bad about someone and believed it because you'd seen things in this person's behavior that made the rumor plausible?   You have then, an example of accepting unreality instead of reality.   Same goes for when we feel sick, etc.  In citation S7 we see that spiritual sense uses these qualities: intuition, hope, faith, understanding, and fruition. ( I'm not sure fruition is a quality, but perhaps the result of those qualities cherished and acted upon).   At any rate we see these qualities in action in this week's lesson, first through Moses, but then in the parable of the wheat and tares (think about it!), in the leper's healing, and then again with Zacchaeus' story.   What is it about these qualities in particular that "contradict" the material sense of things and reveal reality?   Think about how hope, for example, is hope for the very reason that it occurs often in what seems like the absence or the unlikely appearance of good.   Sometimes it takes intuition to discern the presence of God or good in a situation.   Be sure you define intuition!   Also, it is important to emphasize that we all have spiritual understanding or discernment.   None of us is lacking in the ability to tell what is real/right/good, and what is not!  Sometimes we do get fooled, but we can quickly turn that around with our spiritual sense and our hope, faith and intuition.   Also along the lines of "fruition", in citation S10 I love that she talks about how as we progress we can tell the difference between the real and unreal.   As we have more and more healing in our lives, we get better and better at telling the truth from the lie, the wheat from the tares.   Here it is articulated how it is that as we have more healing in our lives, we become more and more separate from matter living, we aren't as easily fooled by matter's petty attractions.
 
[PYCL:  Look past outward appearances - see people without a focus on their physical traits.]
It might also be useful to look at the theme in section 4 about not just looking at the outward appearance.  It sure can be easy to do this and it doesn't bring any Christ light to our experience.   Talk about what "the outward appearance" means.  How can we use our spiritual senses to look past things that seem very obvious?   What qualities of thought does it take to truly see people for who they are?   Remember our description a few weeks back that didn't include any physical traits?
 
I hope everyone has a fruitful and happy Sunday!

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