Luke 1:68-70; Isaiah 9:6-7
To discover that the message that Jesus was coming from God was sent to people long before His birth.
You will need:
- ‘Text words’ on acetate or card
- a mobile phone with the text message ‘A child is born! He will rule forever from the throne of His ancestor David.’ Set the phone to send the message to its own number when you press the ‘send’ button. Alternatively, write the words out as a letter in an envelope.
- A sign saying ‘Isaiah’ to put around a pupil’s neck.
Show the pupils the following ‘texts’. Are they able to translate them?
CuL8r see you later
Pcm please call me
LOL lots of love or laugh out loud
Bfn bye for now
Today we are used to receiving messages from people almost immediately, thanks to e-mail, text messages, telephones etc. God has been sending people messages for thousands of years, but sometimes we have to wait a long time to see exactly what God means by his messages.
Imagine we are now in the year 700 BC; that’s about 2700 years ago! Let’s meet a man who lived then, called Isaiah.
Choose a volunteer and put a sign saying ‘Isaiah’ around their neck. Choose about ten other children to come to the front at this point too; you will explain their role a little later.
About 2700 years ago, the Bible says that God sent a message to Isaiah – you can still read the message in the Bible. Today we’re going to imagine the message coming through in a form we are familiar with.
Press the ‘send’ button on your mobile phone, or ask the first person in the line to open the envelope.
Give the phone to ‘Isaiah’ to read out the message to the assembly. Encourage the pupil to pretend to be excited.
Isaiah was very excited about this news. But then he got older and older and still this promised ruler had not appeared. Imagine that this line of pupils is a long line of different generations of one family. Before Isaiah died, he passed the news on to his son, so that when God’s promise happened on earth he would see and understand.
Ask ‘Isaiah’ to tell the message to the next pupil in a loud voice and pass them the phone.
Isaiah’s son was very excited too, but then, many years later, when he too was an old man and the promised ruler had still not appeared, he told his daughter/son so that the mssage would not be forgotton.
The next pupils should pass the message along the line.
Continue to explain about the message being passed on through all the ‘generations’, asking the pupils to pass it on as you do so, until the last person has received the message and the mobile phone. Check that the message is still correct.
The people had to wait a very long time to see God’s message come true. In fact, the people who first heard the message had been dead for hundreds of years before anything happened. Christians believe that God had sent messages to other people years before too, which gave other details about what this baby would be like; for example, which family he would be part of and where he would be born.
So when, eventually, a baby was born in the right place from the right family and when some amazing things happened around the time of His birth, people remembered the things that Isaiah and the others had passed down to them. They believed that this was going to be a very special baby indeed!
Optional prayer time:
Say thank you to God for people like Isaiah who faithfully wrote down what they heard from God, to prepare people for the arrival of His Son. Thank Him that we can still read these messages for ourselves in the Bible.