The King is Coming
November 28, 2009
Rita, Annemarie, and Paul taught this on Sat Dec. 5, 2009 to ten kids. May God receive all glory, for He is worthy.—Story of the birth of Jesus for children; lesson 1 of 3.—
[text in square brackets provides references or other useful information; it is not intended to be shared with the children.]
- name cards
- prayer — recite our Lord’s sample prayer together
- sing psalms and recite verse from previous lesson
- teach the story/lesson
- break for snacks, etc. (shoes off)
- review questions
- teach and distribute the memory verse for homework
- close in prayer
Part 1 – Introduction
- Remember Mephibosheth was a hiding orphan until king David was kind to him.
- Remember king David. When he was young, he would play the harp for king Saul. David wrote a lot of the psalms in the Bible, and they were set to music. David wrote about Jesus Christ in many of his psalms, even though he wrote them hundreds of years before Jesus came.
- Mrs. Rita will prepare review questions.
Part 2 – Prophets Spoke of the Coming Savior
What does it mean when someone is called a “prophet”?
(A prophet is one who speaks for God, makes predictions, and/or has revelations.)
Remember Bethlehem, the town where king David came from? [1 Samuel 16.] David was a shepherd boy in Bethlehem, looking after his father’s sheep. About 300 years after this time, a prophet named Micah who lived near Gath (remember, this was the town where Goliath came from [show on map]), wrote about something very important that was going to happen in the town of Bethlehem. He wrote, “You, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.” [Micah 5:2 as quoted in Matthew 2:6]
Which ruler do you think Micah was talking about?
Around the same time, another prophet named Isaiah in Jerusalem wrote these words: “Behold, a virgin will have a son and will name him Immanuel.” [Isaiah 7:14; from the Westminster Leningrad Codex, Hebrew interlinear text]
Immanuel means “God is with us.” Who do you think Immanuel was?
Isaiah also wrote [Isaiah 9:6-7] “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
It was hundreds of years before the predictions of Micah and Isaiah came true. The prophets wrote a lot of other things about Jesus’ life and death, and we have them in our Bibles.
[Two of our references can be found here.]
Part 3 – Angels Introduce the Savior
We will follow the C.E.F. lesson from “Angels Announce the Birth,” skipping the gray sections, and noting the following:
Page 11: It is not appropriate or helpful to launch into a side-discussion about the massive theological topic of trinity. When Matthew and Luke told this story, they did not include a sidebar about trinity doctrine. It’s a story about angels, Zechariah, Nazareth, and a Savior being born in Bethlehem. While “trinity” is a very important subject, let’s save it until our kids have a clue who baby Jesus is. We haven’t even taught the fall of man, the wrath of God, baptism, the transfiguration, the cross, the resurrection, the ascension, nor even what sort of kingdom is His. Babies don’t become theologians in a day; furthermore, this tiny paragraph is an insult to the very doctrine it confesses, and will do nothing more than confuse the kids.
Page 12: “The child would have a human mother but not a human father.” This statement will be removed. Conception involves a mother and a father. The Holy Spirit conceived our Lord’s human body; this nullifies sperms and eggs. He formed the zygote and planted it in the womb of a virgin. The virgin’s egg wasn’t fertilized by a “Holy Sperm.” This makes me ill. The very significance of the virgin birth is that there was no DNA inheritance — if the sperm is excluded, then so must the egg be excluded, or the virgin birth is no longer a relevant matter in the story of Jesus Christ. Baby Jesus grew in the womb of Mary, so indeed we can see a greater role here– this is the privilege (and suffering) of all mothers. The whole thing is nonsense anyway, because Jesus did have a human mother and father, with lineage [expressly through both Joseph and Mary]. If we are “merely” adopted children, do we then not have parents? Human parents are those who love and raise a child, in acknowledgment of their God-given role as stewards over this child, however he came to be under their care.
Page 12: If the angel Gabriel, as faithfully recorded by Luke, called Him “the Son of God,” then who are we to call Him “God the Son.” Am I being picky? Maybe, but I cannot see any justification to deliberately malign an oft-repeated scriptural phrase by reading it backwards. Is the Bible not quite sufficient as God’s word, that we need to make tiny modifications to underline certain things? God had it written the way He wanted it written. There are exactly zero places in scripture where the Son of God is referred to as God the Son. Neither do we speak of Baptist the John. Confessing with Thomas that Jesus is our Lord and our God is not a reason to mutilate scriptural phrases. If the argument is that it’s “no big deal,” then it is equally “no big deal” to play safe and simply say it the way the apostles were divinely inspired to say it.
Conclusion: This is an appropriate time to mention that Joseph/Mary were ancestors of king David, since our kids know about king David, and the prophets spoke of Jesus Christ on the throne of David. (And so did Gabriel to Zechariah.)
The C.E.F. Flashcard Book
We cannot use pictures 1-1, 1-2, 1-4, or 1-6.
1-1: It is an insult to God’s supernatural angels to even dream of representing them as an image on paper. We know the fear of Mary when she saw Gabriel. Let’s not presume that an angel is made of fleshy tissues. I can’t claim to know what I would see (or feel), but neither can this artist.
1-2: Cute Baby, but if one of the kids asks what that cut up triangle thingy is beside Him, we’ll snowball into a conversation about the trinity, so cropped that our kids will have nothing but “???” in their heads. Remember the video that showed a Christian randomly babbling about things like “resurrection” and “depravity” to someone who hadn’t even read the Bible? Paul didn’t go to Athens and start reading Zephaniah!
1-4: This angel is drawn as the same “person” as Gabriel who talked to Mary and Zechariah. The scriptures do not say that the angel who talked with Joseph in his dream was Gabriel (though that is quite possible).
1-6: It looks like Islamic or yin-yang symbolism. I cannot see it helping tell the story about prophets, angels, and babies. I could be wrong here, because I haven’t investigated enough.
In the next two weeks, we are going to learn even more about how God prepared the world for this ruler and shepherd named Immanuel, and how He came into this world as a human baby boy in the town of Bethlehem.
Annemarie and Rita will each coordinate one team. The teams will brainstorm answers together, and the adult will write the answer. Each child will have a turn to run with the answer to Paul. The first correct answer will receive 10 points. However, the other team can still get 5 points for submitting a correct answer later. Also, extra marks can be given for more complete answers.
- Can you think of some prophets? (There are many right answers here; from the people we have been studying, it is scripturally-correct to call David, Moses, Zechariah, John, and Jesus prophets. Samuel was an overt prophet that our kids remember, and even king Saul did “prophecy” at least twice in his life. But if the kids don’t think of it, we want to specifically remember Micah and Isaiah in this lesson. A child may joke about himself being a prophet. This is no joke, to be sure, but it’s healthy to point out that some (if not all) Christians are prophets, [which is, at the very least, backed in scripture by Paul's discourses on spiritual gifts].
- What did Micah say about the coming baby Jesus? (that He would come from Bethlehem; that He would be a ruler; and that He would be the shepherd of God’s people.) [extra marks for more than one answer; same for Isaiah below.]
- What did Isaiah say about the coming baby Jesus? (that His mother would be a virgin; that He would be called ‘Immanuel'; that He would be given ‘to us'; the many names He would be called; that He would reign on David’s throne; and that the zeal of the LORD would accomplish it.)
- When Jesus came into this world, was He a human baby boy just like other boys?
- More from p.14 C.E.F. Life of Christ 1.
We will gather in a dark room. [Possibly the little lambs room with paper over the window in the door.] One student, who has been appointed the role of “prophet” will use his voice to inform us that the Light is coming. Another student will eventually enter the room holding a lamp/flashlight. We can read NT scripture about Christ as the Light (John 1), and we can discuss the differences between when we were in the darkness, and when the light had come, depending on our time.
Materials (photos, coloring pages, activity pages)
- [Time-line chart of prophecy, John the Baptist's work of preparation, and the announcements of angels leading up to the birth of Jesus; copy for each student -- next week]
- Map(s) showing the geography of the prophets and the birthplace of our Lord in the town of David
- 4×6 print of Hymn 17:1: [Photo of shepherds in Judean wilderness shared here with permission from: LifeInTheHolyLand.com]
- 4×6 text of the sample prayer taught by our Lord. Photo credit: HERE.
- printouts of the map (above) showing Gath, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Judah, Nazareth, and the Dead Sea
- Genevan Psalms
- hopefully a large Israel map from W.O. school, and a general globe
- 2 coloring pages with color examples