Into the Lesson
Display the following word-find puzzle as class begins (it also appears in the student book).
Say, “Four sets of John’s contrasts can be found in this word puzzle. Check today’s text and then find and mark the eight words.” Allow time to find these words: DARK, FALSE, HATE, LIGHT, LOVE, NEW, OLD, TRUE. Say, “John uses simple terms to reveal profound truths.” You may want to relate this truth to the lesson writer’s discussion of the gnostic heresy of the first century.
Option. Perhaps you would like to introduce the entirety of the first unit (Lessons 1-4) of the series by displaying the following as class begins:
John 2:7-17Theof Love GHILT
1 John 3:1, 2, 11-24 Theof Love ESTT
1 John 4:7-21Theof Love CEORSU
1 John 5:1-12Theof Love AWY
Ask the class to unscramble the letters at the end of each line to fill in the blank with the correct word: LIGHT, TEST, SOURCE, WAY.
Into the Word
Note to students that John is emphatically repetitious in his writing—he uses the same keywords over and over. Then give them this list of words in a column: Because, Beginning, Brothers, Children, Command(ment), Dark(ness), Fathers, Hate, Light, Love, True/Truth, World, Write. Direct them to go through the text, 1 John
2:7-17, and make a tally of how many times each word (or form of a word) is used. Allow about five minutes, then ask for tallies. Don’t get bogged down in disagreements; the point is to see how prevalent certain ideas are in the text. Establish groups that you call “The Light Group” and “The Love Group.” Duplicate the groups as many limes as you need to keep each to no more than six people. Give each group a list from a concordance of 10 to 12 biblical references to light or love. (An exhaustive concordance will have hundreds of references, so you will need to be selective.) If you desire, you can choose from the following two lists.
Light: Genesis 1:3, 4; Exodus 10:21-23; Job12:24, 25; 29:2, 3; Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 2:5; 5:20;60:1-3; Daniel 2:22; Matthew 5:16; Luke 11:34-36; John 1:9; 3:19-21; 12:35, 36; Acts 26:17, 18;Ephesians 5:8; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 21:23.Love: Exodus 20:6; Leviticus 19:18; Judges5:31; Psalms 69:36: 97:10: Proverbs 10:12; 17:17;Jeremiah 31:3; Zephaniah 3:17; Luke 6:32; John3:16, 19-21; Romans 12:10; 13:10; 1 Corinthians8:3; Ephesians 4:1, 2; 1 Peter 1:22.
Say, “Cooperate on finding and reading the verses assigned. Note particularly how the keywords are used, and then look at today’s text in1 John 2:7-17. Your task is to relate the verses you find to truths John expresses in today’s text.”If necessary, give this example: “Job 12:24 speaks of a contrast: that of spiritual darkness with light.”
Allow the groups time to deliberate. Then ask volunteers to explain the connections they have made. Discuss.
Either buy a package of lighthouse stickers or have an artistic class member sketch a simple lighthouse image onto peel-and-stick labels. Distribute one to each student.
Suggest that each student stick the image in a place where it will serve as a reminder to live and act in the light of God’s love in the week ahead. Possible places are the bathroom mirror and the refrigerator door. Say, “When you are tempted by various sinful cravings or to boast of what you have or do, let the light of love show you a different way.” Close with prayer.