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Live the Always-Victorious Life of Love!

John Biggs, C.S., St. Louis, Missouri
Posted Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Live the Always-Victorious Life of Love!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for July 29, 2012
Subject: "Love"
John Biggs, C.S. of Bend, Oregon
(johnbiggscs@gmail.com, 541.316.0809, Twitter : @johnbiggscs)
 
[Bracketed Notes from Warren Huff, CedarS Camps Director and Editor of its Weekly Newsletters: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) that will follow, are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French thanks to Joseph and Pascal, in German thanks to Helga and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]
 
Hello! I'm so glad to unite with you today and this week as we dive into Love, together. I remember how happy I was when I first realized that being in love wasn't an exclusionary thing, or something to be searching for which I might never find. No, being in love is the same idea as being in a college cafeteria (which is where I first realized this!). I was making some waffles, and all of a sudden the thought hit me - "you are IN LOVE the same way you are IN THIS CAFETERIA. You reside in Love." I was so, so happy to realize this - I almost burned my waffle, I was so focused on this angel message! This assurance of Love as present, as opposed to a future goal, has been a rock-solid foundation for my life. This Lesson uses I Corinthians 13 as a recipe for exploring Love - and what a tasty recipe it is!  [Listed by Paul as ingredients of love -- in the Responsive Reading from the New International Version, and then summarized as the elements of charity in the King James Version, citation B22.]
 
Scattered throughout this met you'll see links to various media. Many of these offerings are from TMCYouth's ecumenical project, Radical Acts. Based on exploring and really, really living some of Christ Jesus' most radical teachings, this online gathering point offers a space to share stories of our living, our struggles and triumphs, as we dive in. It also offers weekly original music which goes along with one or more Radical Acts, weekly podcasts from folks living in outrageously loving ways, and weekly book and movie reviews that illustrate just how broad the tent of Love is. Go ahead and give it a look - and share with your friends. You're already living these, I bet - this is just an opportunity to really consciously dive a little deeper.
 
The beautiful pictures and quotes now available from the TMCYouth's new free app, GoVerse, are like individualized angel messages that you can carry in your pocket all day long.
 
On to this Radical Lesson!
 
Golden Text: Divine Love is the present fact! Look at the tense of the verbs here - only in the present. Love IS of God...God IS love... How often are we waiting around for, or praying for, more love? The fact is, divine Love IS, right now, and therefore it is expressed, right now. You might enjoy checking out Mary Baker Eddy's short work, No and Yes, page 39, lines 17-24. It starts with these provocative, yet deeply comforting lines: "True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection."
 
Responsive Reading: Probably a pretty familiar passage for you. It is so great to have so many ways of looking at this passage - from hymn 458, to Henry Drummond's "The Greatest Thing in the World," to the different Bible translations (as we're provided with here and in B22). Let's look throughout the Lesson to see how each set of verses relates to each section.
 
Section 1: Eloquent speaking, or simple love?
Citation B1 reminds me of a lovely saying: God loves you because of who He is, not because of what you do or don't do. Consider the phrasing: Hear me, because YOUR lovingkindess is good. Prayer is not a hoop to jump through, or an item to be checked off as we have a healing. Give in to the presence of Love, and live it. Jacob thought he had to go through this huge struggle - he wasn't sure if there would be a battle between him and his estranged brother, or what issues he might need to deal with - but as he persisted in seeking God, he saw the blessing at hand and he claimed it. He wrestled through the claim of separation from good, and he saw the allness of God.  [W.: Although very successful in terms of acquisitions, Jacob's unresolved issues with his brother did "not have love" and therefore his life was as "a clanging cymbal" and as "nothing" as analyzed by Paul's letter to the Corinthians (RR, B22). In terms of the Sermon on the Mount, he remembered that his "brother hath aught against him... and was first reconciled to thy brother" (Matt. 5:23, 24) before being able to be right with God. When he finally mentally wrestled through this reconciliation and felt the love of divine Love, everything changed (even his name); and he did speak and live with the tongue and blessing of an angel (message from God)]
 
Citation S1, [S2 and S3] elaborates on this. You can't do better than love. I know that in discussions about love it is easy to get sidetracked onto some supposed rift between Principle and Love, or to ponder on when to love and when to constructively criticize, but I think those hypothetical meanderings miss the point. If you are living your life aware of your status as the outcome of Love (S&H 250:12) then that is enough. You are living your oneness with God.
 
 
Section 2: If I know everything there is to be known on this earth, and even have faith in more than this earth, is that good enough?
I am in love with this tidbit of a section! It is so graceful and elegant.
 
The answer to the question above, is no. Love shows us how we are FREE from any ‘knowledge' that would tear us down, and how we are free from predictions of how good (or bad) our lives may be based on DNA, income, employment, or even personal history. In a word, forgiveness illustrates this freedom for us. Forgiveness means you are setting yourself and others free from being owed anything. Your physical body does not owe you health; your health is the result of being the loved of Love. Your employer, or the welfare department, or your parents, or your children, do not owe you supply; your supply is the result of being the idea of all good, God. Set yourself and others free from the limiting claims of matter-based knowledge, and see the harmonious reflection of God. Jacob could have hidden from Esau, but he "lifted up his eyes." Esau RAN to meet him! Be willing to see yourself and others as God sees.
 
 
Section 3: Love is like this...
Love is so inclusive! I am always so grateful for the inspiration of the Glossary, in Science & Health. We see that the ‘children of Israel' are defined as "the representatives of Soul, not corporeal sense; the offspring of Spirit, who, having wrestled with error, sin, and sense, are governed by divine Science..." (583:5) This is not limited to a certain genealogy or belief system! The children of Israel are those who boldly live Love! So, that's you and me too. The reason I mention this is because these Bible verses in this section talk a lot about the children of Israel - but citation B8 also talks about bringing sons from far, and daughters from the ends of the earth. So, clearly, "OUR Father, which art in Heaven," really includes us all. And, it includes us at all times. Take a close look at your days - are you putting conditions on your worthiness to be loved by God? If so, why? The beautiful list of what love is like, started in the third passage selection from the Responsive Reading - patience, kindness, free of envy, humble - are not hoops to jump through before you feel God's love. No, this comforting list is a description of some ways you can actively engage in living Love, yourself. And if we are always the loved of Love, then nothing can truly prevent you from being patient, kind, and humble! Actively recognize and follow through on opportunities to be patient. Don't worry about fitting kindness into some mold (see S6) but just be wholly kind, no matter what. Be willing to live (and accept!) the impartiality of divine Love (S8).
 
Section 4: Love isn't selfish
Now, that's pretty obvious, right? It should be! But how often do we base our love for God on what the circumstances are like in our days? Do you ever say, "I must not be loved right now, because I'm sick, or poor, or single, or in a bad relationship..." Isn't that actually a subtle kind of selfishness - looking to oneself first to see what's going on? What if we start with God, instead? Can we turn those sentences around: "I am loved, so I can't actually be sick. I am loved, so I am valued and valuable." As citation S12 elaborates, Love has met every need - and it was Jesus' absolute assurance of this fact that allowed him to show John these healings. Starting with Love, where else could we go, but Love expressed? This starting and staying with Love takes honesty and allowing oneself to be defined by God, and not trying to fit some matter model.
 
Section 5: Love only knows itself
Citation B15 gives us a story where, in this of all places, one might doubt the presence of divine Love. I feel like sometimes we are pretty harsh on the disciples - they had seen so many proofs of the spiritual nature of man's sonship with God, and of the healing presence of Christ, yet after all this went down, most of them ran away. But haven't most of us had that same sort of experience, at least thematically? We've seen the presence of Love in many aspects of our lives, yet perhaps we believe that THIS problem is more permanent. Never fear!  Citation B16 expresses the joy of those disciples at seeing the real truth of Love; and citation S17 gives us an anthem to live right along with them. You see, Love only knows love. "To infinite, ever-present Love, all is Love, and there is no error, no sin, sickness, nor death." (S&H 567:7-8) The natural continuance of starting with Love (as we discussed in the previous section) is that we would stay with Love, and Love alone! God, Love, truly is unconditional. Every day, discard even one less-than-loving concept you have of yourself and ask God what to replace it with. This isn't a feel-good exercise - really turn to divine Love in consecrated prayer to see how you can "rise as to avail [yourself] in every direction of the supremacy of Truth over error..." (S19)
 
Section 6: Love is consistent
What would it take for us to be persuaded along with Paul? (See B18, Rom. 8:38) I know that I sometimes get stuck in a rut of hypothesizing about God, or ‘thinking about' Love; and when I do that, it is easy to let thought wander unproductively. But if I am really, sincerely starting with Love and staying with Love - letting go of the possibility of being other than the effect of Love - that is when I see the truth of my oneness with God. Citation B19 assures us that we can keep rejoicing with God, no matter what. Nothing can keep you from living in Love, from being in Love.
 
Citation S21 may seem like a sobering intro, after reading about our oneness with God, but in fact it is an assurance and a reminder to keep thought and sight with God. Instead of letting our prayer be, "If God really loves me, I'll get this particular job," allow that prayer to be exalted to see "the grand necessity of existence..." (S22) We can live this prayer by following citation S23 - it is such a clear list! ["unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice..." ] But, this is not some checklist to be checked off. You never need to stop living these!
 
Section 7: The victory is assured
"They go in Thy strength, and they speak in Thy name, with power of Thy promise forth faring, and during the battle the victory claim, their trust in Thy truth is their daring..." (Hymn 204) Love never fails. How could it? Love doesn't make divisions which could have battles in the first place, and any conflict (inner, outer, societal, global...) is simply a misapprehension of the nature of love. But Love is God, and could never leave us. It is so wonderful to have inspiration and love that never leaves us! And since our eternal Cause, Love, never leaves, it is only natural that we would also love. It's the very fabric of our being, actually. You never have to let yourself believe that you can't love. Isn't that often what sickness is? When you're not feeling well, you want to stay in and not interact with others - you essentially don't want to get out and give and love. It can even be hard to let your thoughts rest on others. But we can joyfully and confidently say "No!" to that claim, and we can instead claim our victory right there, as the loved of Love. See how sincerely this week you can live citation B21 [about seeing and meeting our brothers' needs]. This isn't a checklist or anything you have to report (although it would be wonderful if you did want to share your stories) but is just an invitation to dive deeper into the fact of Love. Let's go beyond the superficial, the lovey-dovey, and see how we can express our devotion to God - perhaps inspired by citation S28 [about Jesus' life involving "such a sacrifice as makes us admit its Principle to be Love."]. Knowing that you are girded with the divine power [of "meekness and charity"] spoken of in citation S26, go and give and live freely.
 
Nothing can stop you - you are the expression of Love's victory!
Enjoy this wonderful week!
 
[The College Summit taking place at CedarS Camps this Labor Day weekend is one you will not want to miss out on. Our lecturers at the summit will be Chet Manchester (the new 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. Hope to see you all there.]  URL: http://time4thinkers.com/summit-events/collegesummit12/
 
 
[Last week the transmission went out on our 18-year-old, Shopper's minivan.  It will cost more to repair it than the van is worth.  So, if any of you have a late-model minivan or SUV that you don't need, we could put it to good use (and give you a tax receipt)!  Please call for Bill or Warren at  417-532-6699 if you have a vehicle to offer.  A truck is also needed.]
 
[CedarS upcoming 4th session is wonderfully full.  We have plenty of room and campership assistance available though for all programs in the one-week, 5th session, August 5-11.  Thanks for spreading the word at your Sunday Schools and with all you think might be prospects.   Family Camp is pretty full, but we have a couple of places open... even a campership for a young family! Ask about financial aid too for the Midwest Bible Conference (MBC) on the weekend, Sept. 6-9.   We don't want finances to ever be a reason to miss out on spiritual growth at CedarS. Just call us today at 417-532-6699 or email us at office@cedarscamps.org]
 
[Also, each NEW campership donation to CedarS will be matched (up to $50,000!) so that no Christian Science Sunday School student or family need be "un-camped" this summer!  (Even transportation costs can be covered as needed!)   Click on http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/campership-fund.htm for links to all ways to give.]
 
 [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.]

Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Love" for the week of July 23rd-29th 2012
Written By Tom & Amy Evans, Sunday School Teachers and former CEDARS Counselors
 
PSST for Golden Text & Responsive Reading (RR)
The Responsive Reading from 1 Cor. 13 gives examples of what love is.  How do you describe it in your own experiences?  (For example: love is forgiving; love does not hold grudges; love is a friend to everyone...)
1 Corinthians 13 can be a summary for this entire lesson.  It is even repeated in section 7 as the final citation from the Bible (B22). 1 Corinthians is a letter Paul writes to the members of the church in the busy shipping port of Corinth.  If you look closely at the verses in 1 Cor. 13 Paul is referencing specific statements of Jesus' in the Gospels and the Jewish Torah.  The Gospels were not yet written when Paul wrote his letters, however these teachings would have been familiar to the early Christian congregation of Corinth.  For example, in 1 Cor. 13:2 Paul references Jesus' statement in Matt 17:20 about faith adequate to "move mountains."  You might have fun searching the Responsive Reading for Paul's Old and other New Testament references.
Also, each of the seven verses chosen from 1 Cor. 13 can correlate with the seven sections of the lesson.  Wow!  That's a lot of depth for the RR.
 
PSST for Section 1
The writer of Psalms 69 (B1) believes that God and humans can be separated, "draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it".  This carries on with citation B2 when Jacob wrestles with an angel believing that he might actually die if he comes face to face with God.  In Section 2 the resolution to the family strife shows God is not separated from mankind. 
How does divine Love correct and govern man (S4)? Give an example in your experience of Love correcting and governing you or a situation.  What does it feel like?  Think about when a child reaches for a hot surface and is quickly corrected with a firm voice.  A mom might raise her voice, but this is because she is protecting the child.  This is Love in action.  Now think about Jacob wrestling with the angel in this context (B2 and S3).
 
PSST for Section 2
This section is really short.  It's like a direct, to the point Christian Science treatment and an instantaneous healing.  After talking about the situation at hand for Jacob in Genesis 32 (why he was "greatly distressed"), put your students in Jacob's shoes and then seek a resolution through citations B5 (Proverbs 27:19) and S5 (S&H 17:6-7).  Do they have any social situations in mind which they can pray about?
The meeting between Jacob and Esau is a moment of compassion.  It is an expression of Love. What resolves family, community, international problems today? (Love)
The New International Version of the Bible translates citation B5 this way: "As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart."  In this context, what does Proverbs 27:19 mean to you? How is forgiving an example of Love "reflected in love" (S5)?
 
PSST for Section 3
The first two sections focus on Jacob witnessing God as Love.  Now, consider Moses' relationship with God as Love.  How is God bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt an example of His love? (B6)  Christian Science churches say "God is Love" on the walls of their sanctuaries.  Do you know where to find this Bible verse?  While you're at it, look at the context surrounding 1st John 4:16.
 
If divine Love gives gifts and makes adaptations to help everyone universally, what does that mean?  Why does it seem like some people have more favor with God than others?  Is that what's really going on?  Think about citation S9. When looking at the original Hebrew, as the children of Israel were crossing the Red Sea, the words describing the situation represented chaos, mystery, and certain death.  Notice that Mrs. Eddy refers to the "dark ebbing and flowing tides of human fear" as she writes about the Red Sea.  What does this mean to you?
 
PSST for Section 4
Citation B11 can be the definitive answer to any doubt about man's union with God.  There is no separation from God who loves His creation enough to send Jesus.
Citation B11, John 3:16, is often quoted by our fellow Christians.  This is the same passage that NFL Quarterback Tim Tebow often has painted under his eyes.  What does this passage have to do with God's Love?  This also addresses the idea of being separate that comes out in Section 1 with Jacob and the angel.
 
Mind mapping is a way to diagram information visually.  It will focus on one central word or topic and use other words or pictures to make connections.  See a few examples on the Wikipedia page on mind mapping. Make a mind map in your Sunday School class on Love.  In citation S11, Mrs. Eddy writes that "Jesus mapped out the path for others".  You can do the same thing.  "The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love" (S12). How have you witnessed the miracle of grace?
 
PSST for Section 5
The Psalmist in citation B13 is fully confident that God is always with him.  Compare this to citation B1 and its the writer.  When traveling in the Atlanta area, we heard the following beautiful idea about citation B15 shared in a Wednesday evening service.  In the entire passage, Jesus refers to his material body in the third person as "the Son of man".  He knows that his life is eternal and cannot be destroyed.  He is prepared for the challenges that he will face, but even before they come, he separates himself from what his body will suffer, already moving forward with his healing.  This can correspond with the sixth line in the RR, that "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth".
What does it take to really be dressed in the armor or "panoply of Love" (S20)?  How can your pupils use this passage from Science and Health when praying about an ailment or circumstance? Why should they memorize passages like this?  Be convincing here.  Share a healing experience of your own. 
 
PSST for Section 6
Thursday's Daily Lift with Mary Alice Rose speaks to Matthew 5:10 (B19) "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
 
Discuss the three Bible citations from Section 6 in the context of citation S21.  Is it really fair to have all of the problems Paul mentions in his letter to the Romans 8:35 and then be "blessed" because we are persecuted for righteousness' sake" as Jesus says in Matthew 5:10?  How is all of this "Spiritual recompense" as Mrs. Eddy writes on S&H p97 or God's "lovingkindness" in Psalms 17:7?
What is the difference between science and Science?  Why must all material knowledge "yield to Science, to the immortal truth of all things" (B24)?  This might be a good opportunity to discuss why Christian Science is actually a "science" and why Mrs. Eddy changed the denomination from "Moral Science" to "Christian Science". What is a "Christian"?
 
Look at citations B18 and S23. What do they have in common?  How are they different?  How does citation S23 correspond with citation B18? They are both lists, but what else do you notice about the two?
 
PSST for Section 7
MyBibleLesson tells readers to look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in many different Bible translations and come up with their own definition of the word that the King James Version translates as "charity".  This is a beautiful idea.  Try out BibleGateway.com and Biblos.com for easy access to many Bible translations.
 
Why is it that "meekness and charity have divine authority" (S26)?  Give an example.  Remember that meekness is strength, not weakness. Think about the amplitude of Jesus' pure affection (S29).  Add this to your list of resources for defining charity or love. The lesson concludes with the statement that "all that really exists is in and of God, and manifests His love" (S30). How have you seen this? What does this mean when considering the upcoming Olympics, or the shooting in Aurora, CO? How does Love meet all needs?
[PYCL: Discuss what can harmonize sibling encounters and more!]
CedarS PYCLs--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"Love"

The Christian Science Bible Lesson for July 29, 2012
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041 [Bracketed titles by Warren Huff]
 
 [PYCL Make what it means to "live Love" less of a puzzle by building a big, floor puzzle...]
I noticed in the My Bible Lesson for this week that in the last section they have a cartoon of some construction workers building a standing puzzle of the word LOVE.  Each piece has a quality associated with love/Love.  It might be fun with many of the younger classes to come up with some qualities that we most associate with this subject and build a big puzzle of your own.  You could, of course, make it any size, but especially for the youngest ones it would be fun to have it be a floor puzzle.  [If you don't have access like we do to a colorful, pre-cut, foam pad for toddlers to play on and with,] you can use cardboard and sharp scissors, or possibly foam board and a box cutter.  I would suggest bringing the pieces in pre-cut, but maybe placing the qualities on the pieces as you work together to think them up.  You might be able to send each kid home with a puzzle of her own or keep it around for future discussions in your class.  Just to get you started, some of the qualities listed in the cartoon are: courtesy, peace, forgiveness, affection, joy, generosity, goodness...you get the idea.  See if even the littlest ones can come up with their own ideas.  Maybe they will suggest things that are more manifestations of Love, like a hug, but you can just go with it.
 
[PYCL: Discuss love piece by piece; take nothing for granted!]
This week's lesson includes the famous passage from 1st Cor. about love.  I would take it apart piece by piece, particularly as it is stated in newer English from the Responsive Reading (RR).  Keep in mind that many of the things we are so used to reading after many years in this familiar passage will be new to kids.  What do they mean when they say "speak in the tongues of men or of angels..."?  What is a "resounding gong" or "clanging cymbal"?  Look at each thing to make sure that they understand what something like "self-seeking" means, or dishonoring.  Take nothing for granted!  If you have a class that is older and is going to be bored by this kind of careful look you will know, but a third grader or so may still not know about many of these things!  You can talk about what it might mean to "rejoice in the truth".  What about the statement included about not "easily angered", I'll bet many can think of times when they struggle with that!  What does "persevere" mean?  
[PYCL: Encourage pupils to come up with their own version of how to love and ways to live it!]
Once you've covered the details, talk about what the whole R.R. is really saying.  What is the point, as they say?  Can they come up with their own version of this where they understand that you can be really great at something, have some really amazing qualities or wisdom, but if you aren't loving there really is no value to your great skills?  It's very easy in this day (actually considering when this was written we can safely assume that it has probably always been this way!), to think that there are so many important "skills" to have.  That we should be really smart, good at school, great at soccer or some other sport, pretty or handsome, popular and so on.  Our real goal actually should be along the lines of knowing God as Love and seeing how we express that Love to our fellow man!  So finally, come up together with how we can act upon this statement from 1st Cor.  What form would it take for each of us to live up to the unfailing nature of Love?  Might it be fun to have each come up with something they can do for someone in the coming week that expresses this kind of love?  It could be something at home or in the neighborhood or wider community service.
 
[PYCL: Angel- Wrestling 101! Develop the back story, break down what citations mean... ]
Another interesting theme to pursue in this lesson would be the one of wrestling. It starts right away in the 1st section.  Talk about the Jacob story.  If your class doesn't know the back story you can certainly fill it in.  Some points to notice: Why was Jacob headed home?  Why did he choose to "wrestle" rather than turn tail and run?  Think about what he was facing, especially after he was informed (not included in the lesson) that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men!  What happens when we honestly face down unloving character traits in ourselves, or things that we have done that we are not proud of?  Look at citation S3 and break that down as you did the R.R.  Untangle some of the more tricky language.  What does it mean "smote the sinew" for example?  What is Mrs. Eddy helping us see about this story?  How does it apply to our own struggles to be better at expressing the love of Love?  When we truly strive to see our identity as God sees us, how does Love help?  Notice in citation S4 it is Love that corrects and governs us!
 
[PYCL: Discuss what can change, uplift, and harmonize our encounters with siblings.]
Notice in the next section that Esau and Jacob hug and rejoice when they finally meet.  Ask the kids if they think that was Esau's original intent.  What happened to change the meeting between brothers?  Do you think that it was just the presents that Jacob sent ahead of him to meet Esau before Esau could reach Jacob and his family?  Maybe you could say that this story helps us see that when we make mistakes, we are given the wisdom and perseverance to wrestle them down, come back and face up to them, and then get that blessing!
 
[PYCL: Consider Love announcing Herself, correcting, governing...]
Love is announcing Herself in the next section.  Telling us that She is known to all and especially to her sons and daughters that are from the "ends of the earth", seemingly far away.  Love here is seen to correct and govern as it did in Jacob's case.  Thinking of last week's lesson where Truth and freedom were equated, you can see here that Love is also freeing us from all sorts of slavery.  We can "know" God, not as a physical form (S6), but as the saving, freeing, guiding force in the universe.  You can certainly ask the perennial question when it comes to some of these synonyms about whether you could draw a picture of Love.  See what they say.  The littler ones may well go ahead and draw something.  You can take it from there or discuss the idea that perhaps the drawing is a picture of qualities that Love makes them think of, but maybe not Love Herself.  Though, sometimes with the littlest ones there is no need to get pushy about this!
 
[Try reading aloud the 4th section maybe...]
Read the 4th section together and decide what this says about Love.  Why is the Christ so vital as an expression of Love toward man?  Think about the element of healing and the "touch" that we feel, the compassion and tenderness that come with Christliness.  Can you think of examples, either Biblical or otherwise of this real tenderness of Love's Christ meeting our need?
 
[PYCL: Compare Jacob's struggles in section 1 & the life-death struggles of Jesus in section 5.]
I see a parallel between the 1st section with Jacob and the 5th with Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.  There is Love "mastering", triumphing and generally overcoming hate in this section.  There is the mention of the "struggling hearts", and the sense of knowing ourselves being a path to overcoming evil. (S20).  Certainly the "wrestling match" in the tomb was the ultimate one!  If you see these parallels as germane, you might enjoy presenting this section alongside the Jacob story and seeing if the kids have anything to say about it.
 
[PYCL: Dissect and modernize all that would try to separate us from "the love of God"(B18)... ]
Finally, the wonderful passage in section 6, citation B18 from the 8th chapter in Paul's letter to the Romans is great to dissect.  Fill in your own ideas about what might seem to separate us from "...the love of God which is in Christ Jesus...".  We should walk away from this lesson with a sense of Love's closeness and ready aid in times of struggle or challenge.  We should know how we can pursue this closeness.  What can we do when we are afraid/don't feel safe and loved in Love?  Maybe ask them at the end of class if they can think of anything that this lesson has said about how we can feel that presence of Love?
 
As always, have a great Sunday!
 

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