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Has anyone done a unit on ISAIAH 58:1-12?  It's all about doing God's work as the call to religious life.

Vs. 6-10...

Is not this the fast that I choose:
   to loose the bonds of injustice,
   to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
   and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
   and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
   and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing shall spring up quickly;

If you remove the yoke from among you,
   the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
10 if you offer your food to the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
   and your gloom be like the noonday.

I'm really drawn to it, but am wondering if there is anyone who has done a unit on this or a similar text.  We did Micah 6:6-8 last year, and this one kind of expands on that same vision of doing justice I'd love to get the kids hands into.  Thanks if you have any hints or ideas!

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Hey Beth.

I've never done that particular passage in a Sunday School lesson or in rotation, but you're right... it's very similar to Micah 6:8 (one of my favorites), and it's a cool passage especially for kids because it is so concrete.

What I like about your Isaiah verses more than Micah's, is Isaiah's very visual language. i.e. Every line is something a student (or teams of students) could figure out how to dramatize or demonstrate, or act out.  Come to think of it, that's pretty unusual in scripture --every line having "props" and being translatable into an action. 

So many props also means that I could turn the passage into a memory game --where each prop represents (is a memory trigger for) one of the lines of scripture. Kids could arrange the props (arrange the verses) and/or describe the verse that uses that prop which you pulled out of a bag.  All these props/visuals then can also become an art project --something that the kids create to pull all the visuals into one art project. (We just wrote an art workshop using "tin foil embossing" that would be good for this number of prop-images.)

Some of the images can start some really interesting discussions, like "what is a yoke?" And "what kinds of yokes (restraints and burdens) keep people from God, living a full life now?"  

I'm sure the kids will think very literally about some of them, so I would ask them for both a literal and metaphorical meaning. "Naked...cover" for example.

The most interesting one to me is how we "hide" from our "kin."  What do we hide? Our faith? Our care? Our serious thoughts? What conversations don't you want to have with your parents or a sibling?  Hiding is a kind of yoke too.

When you flesh out your lesson ideas..... reply back here and we can eventually move this discussion into the Isaiah forum.


Some ideas that first occur to me:

in Bible skills and games: explore the idea of yoke. Define it, look at NT references. Let the children try a yoke alone and with help (maybe a broomhandle across the shoulders with a bucket of water at each end. Have a relay race where the children have to carry water to fill a larger container; then try the race again with helpers at each end of the yoke?  May be an outdoor, warm summer day sort of game?)

Video - look at Leo Tolstoy's story Martin the Cobbler (looks like there may be a few video versions as well as picture books). Short story based on Jesus' saying "whatever you do for the least of these you do for me."

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