Week 1 objectives: to discover that this verse can be found in the book of Isaiah, and that over and over again the prophet Isaiah talked about the future.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game that involves the children trying to guess what’s going to happen next.
You will need: three or four two-pence coins.
Explain to the children that you are going to roll a coin along the floor. While the coin is rolling each child needs to try and guess which way up the coin is going to land. If a child thinks the coin is going to land ‘heads up’ they should put their hands on their head; if they think it’s going to land ‘tails up’ they should put their hands on their lower back. If you would like to make the game Christmassy, play ‘reindeer heads or tails’: if the children think the coin is going to land ‘heads up’ they should make antler shapes with their hands and rest them on their heads. If they think the coin is going to land ‘tails up’ they should make reindeer tails and waggle their hands behind their backs. If a child guesses correctly they stay in the game. If they are incorrect they must sit to one side while the game continues. Children who are ‘out’ could take it in turns to roll the coin. Keep playing the game until only a few players remain. Declare the last few players ‘the winners’.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, and a Bible.
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper.
Underline the word ‘Isaiah’. Point out that this verse comes from the book of Isaiah. Encourage one of the children to find the book of Isaiah in the Bible. If appropriate, briefly remind the children that last month’s verse also came from this book. Draw a smiley face next to the verse.
Talk about the game the children have just played. Talk about the children trying to guess which way up the coin would land. Explain that they were trying to guess what was about to happen – of course nobody could know for sure. Remind the children that last month we learnt that over and over again the prophet Isaiah spoke about the future; he spoke about what was going to happen. Remind the children that Isaiah knew about things that were going to happen because God told him. God told Isaiah, and Isaiah passed God’s message on to the people.
Many times Isaiah spoke about the Messiah coming to the earth. Write the word ‘Messiah’ or draw a big ‘M’ next to the verse.
The Messiah was the special person God had promised to send to his people. Nobody knew exactly when the Messiah was going to come. However over and over again God sent messages to his people through the prophets. The prophets told the people what the Messiah would be like. The prophet’s messages would one day help people recognise the Messiah and help them know what he had come to do.
Quickly draw three simple pictures next to the verse of a group of people, a crown and a cross. Point to the drawings as you briefly talk about Isaiah’s Messianic prophecies. Explain that Isaiah told the people that the Messiah would... ‘serve people in Galilee’ (chapter 9); ‘come from the family of David’ (chapter 11); ‘die on the cross for peoples’ sins, then God would raise him back to life’ (chapters 50, 52 and 53). Today Christians believe that Isaiah was talking about Jesus; Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Write the name ‘Jesus’ next to the verse in large letters.
Explain that in this verse Isaiah is speaking about the birth of the Messiah; he is talking about Jesus’ birth. Next week we will learn more about Jesus’ birth as we take a look at this verse.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’, traditional version
The Lord will show this sign to you,
A woman will have a Son,
She’ll name the Son Immanuel,
For God is with us now.