Jesus’ Birth through the Eyes of Isaiah
Summary of Lesson Activity:
Learn some of the names of Jesus and what those names tell us about Jesus. Make sugar cookies in the shape of the letters of their names or a name for Jesus. [4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.
Read the scripture for this lesson.
Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
- An easel; appropriate marker
- Items in kitchen: cookie sheets, spatulas, hot pads, and clean-up supplies
- Items in refrigerator: Cookie dough
- The cooking “cart” with:
• Aprons, attendance
• Purple Adventure Bibles; one with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
• Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
• Colored sprinkles for decorating cookies
• Parchment paper
• White Flour
• A pencil
• Kitchen timer
Advance Preparation Requirements:
- Wash a metal table.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Turn on vent fan.
- Cover two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Have a pencil near by.
- Dust work areas on the metal table with flour. Place cookie decorating supplies close at hand.
- Write the key Bible verse on the easel in the Social Hall.
- Distribute purple Adventure Bibles around the tables in the Social Hall.
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction
Gather everyone around the tables in the Social Hall. Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Cooking Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.
[Note: Ask the Shepherd to take care of attendance/nametags while you start the lesson.]
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.
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
Dig- Main Content and Reflection
Say: Christmas is something we plan for way in advance isn’t it? We get our decorations up 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)
Say: 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)
Make sure that everyone has access to an Adventure Bible. Have everyone open to the page “About the Old Testament Books” (first page after the title page). 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. If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive the tab for the prophecy section of your Bible. [Show the purple
Adventure Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do a prophecy tab for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]
Have everyone flip forward three pages to the Table of Contents and find Isaiah.
Have them go to page 752, to the introductory page about the book of Isaiah.
Say: In these Bibles, every book starts with an introduction page. Let’s look at the fourth question: “What is special about this book?”
Ask someone to read the answer. (“Isaiah gives many wonderful prophecies about Jesus, the coming Savior.").
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!
Ask: Did you hear some of the names that Isaiah gave for Jesus?
Refer to the easel.
Say: With these names, Isaiah gave clues as to who Jesus would be: a Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God, an Everlasting Father, a Prince of Peace.
Ask: What is a counselor? (someone who listens to you and helps you)
What does mighty mean to you?
What other names do you know of for Jesus? (there are many: Messiah, Christ, Emmanuel, Shepherd, Holy One, Lamb of God, Son of Man, Light of the World, King of kings).
Say: These names all tell us something about who Jesus is. Today we have sugar cookie dough that we can shape into letters. Let’s bake some cookies that are in the shape of names. You may choose to create cookies in the shape of your name or a name for Jesus. Be thinking about which you’d like to create
In the Kitchen:
Wash your hands first and then have everyone wash their hands. Offer aprons. Gather everyone around the metal table.
Say: We have sugar cookie dough that we can shape into letters. Decide whether you’d like to make letters for your name or a name for Jesus. We can also decorate our letters with sprinkles. Let’s decide how large our letters should be. It will be important that all of the letters we create are roughly the same size so that they don’t burn when cooking. It is important that these creations be somewhat FLAT, no more than 1 /4” thick.
Supply lumps of pre-made dough. Use flour to keep things from being too sticky. Students may add decorative sprinkles to their creations prior to baking.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. Place the Shepherd in charge of taking them out when done and allowing them to cool for a few minutes before bringing them into the Social Hall.
Wash hands and return to the Social Hall
Back to the Social Hall – Discussion:
Say: Isaiah gave us some names for Jesus. In the Bible we can find more than 100 different names for Jesus. Most people have only one or two names, and perhaps a nickname.
Ask: Why do you suppose there are so many different names for Jesus? (perhaps because he would have many jobs to do or would be many different things to many different people)
Which name for Jesus best describes how you feel about him at the moment?
Say: I would like to read you a portion of this book, which is about names for God. See if any of these names resonate with you.
Begin reading In God’s Name. When the cookies are served read as far as page 13 then stop and continue with prayer.
When the cookies are served:
Say: Let’s have our prayer time. Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.]. A suggestion: “Wonderful Counselor, you are so many things to each of us –Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…[add other names that have been mentioned.] We praise you as our God. We love you. Bring peace to our world and our hearts. Please bless our cookies as we share them. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen”
Enjoy eating cookies. (If time allows read more of the book. You may wish to paraphrase portions.)
Say: This week, remember to think of Christmas as preparing to welcome a coming Savior, a Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God, a Prince of Peace.
If you have extra time:
Say: Let’s practice the verse we read from Isaiah. It is good to have Bible verses stored in our hearts for when we are feeling the need to remember God and how much he loves us.
Teach the students the verse with movements so that their bodies will help their minds remember the words; accompanying movements are in italics.
Say: Isaiah 9:6 (hold up 9 fingers, then 6)
For to us a child is born, (rock a baby)
to us a son is given, (hold out both hands palms up as if giving something)
and the government will be on his shoulders. (pat both of your shoulders)
And he will be called (sign your ‘John Hancock’ on your hands)
Wonderful Counselor, (put both hands at your ears, as if to hear better)
Mighty God, (hold both arms up to show muscles)
Everlasting Father, (both hands start at heart, reach and point out to sides showing eternity)
Prince of Peace. (hold two fingers up in a peace sign)
- McIntyre, Judy. “River Community Church…Advent/Christmas through the eyes of Isaiah.” Rotation.org. 2003. link
- The NIV Adventure Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz, 2000.
- Sasso, Sandy Eisenberg. In God’s Name. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 1994.
- Trimboli, Kim. “Rotation.org Writing Team Lessons On The Birth Of Jesus Through The Eyes Of Isaiah: Cooking Lesson.” Rotation.org. 2002.
- For the recipe used for the cookie dough see the Rotation.org Writing Team lesson on JESUS' BIRTH THROUGH THE EYES OF ISAIAH: cooking workshop at: http://rotation.infopop.cc/6/u...6059161&m=7346059161
A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from: First UMC
Ann Arbor, MI
Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
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