Week 2 objectives: to discover that the young woman Isaiah spoke about was Mary, Jesus’ mother, and that Mary played a part in a plan that began long before she was born.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game that involves the tasks Mary probably carried out as a young woman in her home.
Play a traditional game of ‘Simon says’. At the start of the session, make up simple actions for the following tasks: wash the clothes, grind the corn, bake the bread, cook the stew, spin the wool, weave the cloth, sweep the floor and light the lamps. If you want to make the game more active you could allocate positions around the room where each task should be carried out i.e. when they pretend to light the lamps they should perform their mime next to the light switch, when they pretend to spin the wool they should sit on chairs and when pretending to wash the clothes they should do it next to a pile of coats etc.
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 reference. Remind the children that last week we learnt that many times Isaiah spoke about the Messiah . Draw the letter ‘M’ next to the verse. The Messiah was the special person God had promised to send to his people. Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah; they believe Isaiah was talking about Jesus’ birth. Write the name ‘Jesus’next to the verse.
Underline the sentence ‘The young woman is pregnant and will give birth to a son’. Ask the children who Jesus’ mother was. Explain that Mary was the young woman Isaiah spoke about all those years before. Draw a smiley face with long hair next to the verse.
Talk about the game the children have just played. Remind the children that people who study the Bible think that Mary was a young woman working hard in her family home. Draw a simple angel next to the smiley face; a stick person with wings would be sufficient. When the angel told Mary that she was going to have God’s special baby, she was frightened, but the angel reassured her: ‘Nothing is impossible with God’. ‘Then may it happen in the way you have told me’, Mary replied.
Mary was part of the most important plan in history; she was part of God’s plan to send his Son to be with people. For hundreds and hundreds of years, God had planned to send Jesus and that Mary would be his mother. Remind the children that Christians believe Isaiah was speaking about the birth of Jesus over 700 years before it actually happened.
If appropriate, talk to the children about God knowing all about our lives too; he knew everything about us before we were born. In fact we are all part of God’s plan. God planned to send Jesus to live with people so that through him everybody everywhere could say ‘Yes’ to his love and forgiveness. More than anything God wants people to say ‘Yes’ to his love and forgiveness so that everyone can become close friends with him.
Explain that next week we will look at the second part of the verse: ‘She will name him Immanuel’.
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.