Step One of this lesson also on video!
Real Life Downloaded | High School Lesson 11 | Family Reunion from levi schofield on Vimeo.
Technological advances such as DNA science and social media make possible things that would have otherwise seemed impossible, or at least, improbable. For example, long-lost family members, such as in cases of adoption, can find each other after a lifetime apart. Case in point: this pair of siblings who were separated as babies and reunited as adults.
Play this following video [3:31].
DNA test reunites Korean adoptees 34 years later
- Why do you think it was important to these siblings to find each other? How would you describe their experience of reconnecting? (Accept all reasonable answers. These siblings felt a gap in their life knowing they had, or might have, family out there somewhere. It was an emotional and joyful experience.)
- What would it be like to meet a sibling you never knew you had? What worries or expectations would you have? (Accept all reasonable answers. You might worry or hope that you would get along, that they would be a good person, etc. You might wonder whether they will feel like a stranger or if there will be an instant connection, if they’ll look like you or like the same things.)
- How would the situation change if you had once been close with the sibling and then had a falling out before you parted? What worries or expectations would you have about reuniting then? (Accept all reasonable answers. In this scenario there may be more tension, or uncertainty on whether there will be anger, forgiveness, etc.)
In today’s story, Joseph and his brothers reunite, but more than that, they reconcile. Whereas there had been jealously and violence before, now there was repentance and forgiveness, and thankfulness to God for where they found themselves. Many things in this world are broken—relationships included—but God specializes in reconciliation, mending what has been torn, restoring what has been shattered.
Looking for Steps 2 & 3?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide; your Step 4 appears below. To purchase a teacher's guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes
- Are you surprised by the outcome of Joseph’s story? Why or why not? (Accept all reasonable answers. The 180 in attitudes may seem unbelievable or run counter to a student’s personal experience. Others may see how time and circumstances—as well as God’s hand—would have impacted this outcome.)
- Have you experienced or witnessed a similar story of reconciliation? Or something very different—maybe even the opposite? (Answers will vary. Allow students to share positive or negative experiences related to reconciliation or lack thereof.)
Think about your own relationships. You have family, friends, neighbors, teachers, classmates, teammates, etc. Perhaps you’ve never considered how many relationships you are tending to! Each requires some level of care. Some may break more easily than others. Some may mend more easily than others.
There are larger-scale relationships we are part of as well, based on the various identities and communities to which we belong. You may or may not think about these relationships so much in your everyday life. For example, how men relate to women, how people of different colors relate to each other, how rich people relate to poor people, etc. Sometimes these are the relationships that get broken, and these can sometimes be harder to fix, as it takes many more people to move in the same direction.
As we move into the next bit of the discussion, think of a relationship (personal or larger-scale) in need of reconciliation.
- What words would describe the relationship at present? What words would describe this relationship reconciled? (Answers will vary.)
- What steps might there be for getting from where you are now to reconciliation? What might be the next step for you? (Answers will vary.)
Encourage students to reflect on these questions by journaling. They might draw a picture of what reconciliation might look like or map the steps to get there. They might write a letter to God, or themselves, or the other party as an exercise in expressing their experiences, feelings, and hopes for the past, present, and future of this relationship. Challenge students to identify a next step they can take this week toward reconciliation.
Make clear that in situations of abuse, one should not endanger themselves in their quest for reconciliation. In these cases, the next step toward reconciliation might be seeking counseling, extending and accepting grace toward themselves, etc.
Close in prayer.
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