Jesus' Birth through the Eyes of Isaiah and the Prophets
Summary of Lesson and Activity Objective:
The children will make jumbo fortune cookies out of tortillas to learn about Jesus' coming being foretold and also about the promise of Jesus' return.
Isaiah 9:6 and Acts 1:3-11
- Strips of Paper
- See recipe below for ingredients!
Advanced Preparation Requirements:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Cut strips of paper for the fortunes
Use the introduction material from this cookie workshop as the start of the discussion. It is a perfect fit (thanks Carol).
Have everyone wash their hands before entering Loaves & Fishes Cooking Company and then hand out aprons and gather everyone around the tables. Introduce yourself and any other adults.
Dig: Main content and Reflection
Say: We are going to be baking cookies today. We will save our prayer time for while the cookies are baking. Before we do any baking, let’s talk about what we’re learning.
Ask: Who can tell me what season of the year it is? (answer looking for: Advent)
What is Advent? (allow a few responses)
Say: Advent is also a time of preparing our hearts and our minds for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Advent is the time where we wait to celebrate the coming of Christ and we prepare ourselves for Christmas day.
Ask: I know that there are preparations to do for Christmas like shopping and wrapping gifts, but why do you suppose we need to prepare our hearts for Christmas? (allow a few responses)
Say: Christmas is something we plan for way in advance isn’t it? We get our decorations up, shop for Christmas presents, hang lights and we light Advent candles for four Sundays before Christmas.
Today we will learn how Jesus’ birth was actually something God planned for a very long time. God told the world about the coming birth – way before it happened! Seven hundred years before Jesus was born God told prophets to tell the people about the coming Savior.
Ask: What is a prophet? (allow any answers)
A prophet is God’s special messenger. A prophet brings God’s message to the people.
Ask: If we were to read about something that a prophet reported, something that happened way before Jesus was born, where in the Bible would we read about it? (in OT)
Point out how the “Prophecy collection” starts with Isaiah and includes a whole list of prophets.
Say: The message that a prophet brings is called a “prophecy.” All these Bible books listed here are names of prophets - messengers of God.
Have students grade three and above find Isaiah in their Bibles.
Say: Let’s look up one of the prophecies of Isaiah that told about Jesus coming. Remember these words were said 700 years before Jesus was born.
Have students find Isaiah 9:6. Read it aloud.
Ask: Whom is the child referred to in this verse: “For to us a child is born”? (Jesus)
Say: Isaiah was saying that Jesus would come as a baby, which years later, did happen!
Say: God fulfilled the promise of this prophecy by sending Jesus to earth. The Bible tells us that God has another promise for us - another important event that we are to wait for. Let’s look up Acts 1:3-11
Ask: What event are we told to wait for? Who told us Jesus will come back? When will Jesus come back?
Say: The people during Isaiah’s time didn’t know when baby Jesus would be born, just like we don’t know when Jesus will return. We do know, however, that God always keeps His promises and we can trust that Jesus will most certainly return!
While we are preparing for Christmas, we can also think about preparing for Jesus to return again. How can we prepare our hearts for Jesus’ return? How can we be ready to meet Jesus?
Has anyone ever eaten a fortune cookie before? Fortune cookies are a fun snack and inside of them you can find a little message that tells about your future. These little messages are fun to read but they definitely aren’t true! Only God knows our future!
Today we are going to make Jumbo fortune cookies with a message in it that reminds us of God’s promises/prophecies for our future!
Supplies and Instructions:
- Each child will have a chance to create 2 fortune cookies - one to keep and one to give away
- Follow the instructions included to make the fortune cookies
- Students will write their own special message on a slip of paper to insert into the cookie. The message should include 2 statements on either side - something about Isaiah’s prophecy/Jesus’ birth or something about Jesus’ birth/Jesus’ return or a statement about Jesus’ return/how to prepare our heart
- Students can enjoy one at the end of class and then bring a second one to share with someone. Encourage them to teach that person what they learned during the lesson today.
- Young children will need lots of help to fold their tortillas.
- Have pre-readers/writers draw pictures on their “fortune slips” instead of writing words. They could draw pictures about Jesus being born, Jesus going back up to heaven in the clouds, Jesus coming back, etc.
Jumbo "Tortilla" Fortune Cookies:
(Recipe was from littlefiggy.com, although recipe now appears to behave been removed from that site.)
If you have time, you can also have your kids MAKE a 'real' jumbo fortune cookie using one of a number of recipes easily found online and quickly assembled. Google "Jumbo Fortune Cookie Recipe."
An important idea you can add to this lesson is making MORE cookies (with Bible verses in them) to share.
- 8 (6 inch) Flour Tortillas
- 2 - 3 Tbls Butter, melted
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- ½ cup Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Fold tortilla shells as follows:
Step 1: Fold soft flour tortilla shell in half.
Step 2: Fold over again in half (open edge end).
Step 3: Place your thumb inside left fold and carefully fold left half back to center
Step 4: Repeat above fold with right side.
Step 5: Pinch to hold together
Step 6: Using wooden toothpicks or cocktail sticks, lift up top edge and insert stick through
Step 7: Continue to insert all the way through to fasten to other side. Be careful not to poke through the top of shell. Pinch if needed to close any gap.
Tip: Make sure tortillas are as fresh and soft as possible, because if your shells are older they will tear or crack easily. You can try to soften them by warming them up in the microwave for 20 seconds or less, just until they are more pliable.
- After folding, mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
- Using a pastry brush, brush all over fortune cookie with melted butter.
- Dust over buttered fortune cookie with Cinnamon Sugar and gently tap excess off.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8 - 10 minutes.
- Cool and remove toothpicks/cocktail sticks.
Paper strips can be inserted only AFTER baking.
Use the time while the cookies are baking to have the children join you in prayer.
Allow the children to eat their cookies while discussing the great plans that God had for their futures. What does he want us to do? Who does he want us to be? If they want to, they can share what they wrote for their fortune.
What do we need to do to prepare ourselves for Jesus' coming? How do we make ready our hearts and minds?
Ask the children to help clean up if there is time before they are dismissed.
A lesson written by member ZBCC
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada