This week begins a new Lectionary year and the beginning of the Advent season. We now enter Year B in the Revised Common Lectionary. We begin Year B in the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 64:1-9 as it reads in the NRSV may be difficult for children to understand. This lesson will be based off Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible – Year B
(as will many of my lessons throughout this year).
Ask the children if they know what holiday is coming up. It won’t take long for them to answer “Christmas!” probably loudly and in unison. Ask if they know why people call this the busiest time of the year. Help the children realize that this time of year is filled with lots of holiday programs, gatherings with friends and family, cooking, baking, and lots of shopping! Tell the children that you are going to read them a story about a man named Isaiah. Read Isaiah 64:1-9 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible – Year B.
Ask the children what Isaiah was sad about. Help them remember that Isaiah was frustrated because people in the market were so busy buying and selling things and making plans that they forgot about God. They forgot to say thank you to God for all the blessings in their lives. Do you think that ever happens now? During the busiest time of the year? Have you ever gotten so excited about the programs, and gatherings, and food, and presents that you forgot about God? Tell the children that we ALL have times like that. But Isaiah’s story reminds us how important it is to say thank you to God for our blessings.
Isaiah was so upset that people were forgetting God that he wanted God to get angry with the people and punish them. But Rebekah helped him remember that God is kind and gentle. Isaiah thought about that until he calmed down and then he said that God is like a potter who makes pots out of clay. God holds us and shapes us with strong kind hands. Tell the children that clay is kind of like play-dough. Ask the children if they have ever made something out of play-dough? Pull out some play-dough to demonstrate with and begin to make a bowl. What if my hands are rough with this play-dough? Begin mashing the bowl you created. What happens? Allow children to answer. But Isaiah taught us that God holds us and shapes us with strong gentle hands. Use gentle hands to remake the bowl. God is always holding you and shaping you into a better person.
Every Wednesday I share with you a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home. But for this lectionary year I wanted to offer you something more.
I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions. In addition to the 3 page PDF download I have created a worship background image that could be projected on the screen during the children’s moment of your worship service.
Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!