First Lessons in Christian Science Volume I: The Ten Commandments (Download)


by Vicki Jones Cole

66 pages




The first book of Vicki Jones Cole’s trilogy on the “first lessons” taught to Christian Science Sunday School students focuses on the foundational teachings of the Ten Commandments. There are over 100 daily lessons suitable for a wide range of ages, with two very simple lessons on each Commandment aimed at very young children.

Here’s an example of a two-part lesson for very young children (this does not reflect the format or font used in the actual book):

The Third Commandment:
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”

means that we should not use God’s name as if it had magical powers, for good or bad, just by being spoken. For instance, it is wrong to call out the name of God if you are angry at something or someone. That is called “swearing” or “cursing,” and it not only dishonors God, it is also unloving and impolite to others. We do not use God’s name lightly or jokingly. We do not speak certain favorite words about Him over and over again, thinking that just saying the words will help us or heal us. Our goal is to have what we think, what we feel, what we say, and what we do, all flow from the same truth.

The Third Commandment:
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”

helps us to grow in our usefulness to God and to mankind. Why? Because we would only speak of God when we are ready to speak from our heart. Our words would come from the truth we really know and use, and would bring joy and healing to all who hear us. Our lives would be like trees that give good fruit, providing nourishment to all who welcome what we have to offer.

Here is an example of a Third Commandment question-and-answer for older children:

Question: What does taking God’s name “in vain” mean?

Answer: Vain describes something that is worthless, empty, hollow, unsuccessful. If we do something “in vain,” our actions would be a waste of effort.

If we find ourselves speaking God’s name in a way that is disrespectful to God, such as when someone curses or swears, we are using His name “in vain.” If we try to use God’s name, or words about Him, to cover up evil or impure thoughts in our heart, we are taking His name “in vain.” If we promise to do something in “God’s name,” and then we break that promise, we are taking His name “in vain.” In order to be obedient to this commandment, we should habitually express God-like qualities, such as honesty and trustworthiness, before we speak or preach to others about God.

“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. We reach the Science of Christianity through demonstration of the divine nature; but in this wicked world goodness will ‘be evil spoken of,’ and patience must bring experience.” (S&H 4)

Practice: “Demonstration of the divine nature” means to use in your daily life the spiritual qualities and ideas that God gives you. We don’t just sit around and think about them — we do them! Today, practice expressing the quality of joy. See if you can get others to smile!

Each commandment has similar introductory material, and follows with a variety of other questions suitable for various ages. For example, here are the rest of the Questions relating to the Third Commandment:

What can we do to make God’s name special?
What is wrong with just saying prayers? After all, we say the Lord’s Prayer out loud at church services.
How did Jesus teach the Third Commandment?
How can we get rid of hypocrisy in our prayers, so that they will be worthwhile and not in vain?

How can we improve our obedience to the Third Commandment?
Is it wrong to take an oath, or swear something, in God’s name?
Would obeying the Third Commandment help you to heal?