Title: The Prophecy of the City
Subject: Messianic Prophets
Age: 6 to 10 years
Liturgical Time: Advent
Prerequisites: Prophecy of Light and Names; Prophecy of the Mother
Doctrinal Content: God spoke to the prophets and they chose to listen and tell others what they had heard. The prophets were chosen by God. God has a plan and He keeps His promises. The prophecy tells us "the ruler of Israel" will be born in Bethlehem.
Direct Aim: This lesson intends for children to ponder the identity of Jesus through this prophecy of Micah 5:1.
Indirect Aims: Indirectly this lesson aims for the children to realize that God has a plan for His people and keeps His promises; to nurture a love of God knowing He came into this world from a small city; to foster an interest in learning more about the geography of Israel and the Jewish people; to have fuller participation in the preparations for Jesus' birth; to introduce the Messianic aspect and expectation of the Jewish and Christian faiths; to further develop the understanding of the nature of Jesus, to address his incarnation, and to further wonder, "Who is this Jesus?"
Sources: Micah 5:1-2
Materials for the Lesson:
Card containing the Prophecy of City (Micah 5.1), which is to be written out on red. It is important to remind the children when they might see red.
Card stand for the prayer table
Votive candle, matches, snuffer
Optional : prophet statue or icon
Optional: Advent wreath instead of votive candle
The Lesson Plan:
Gather and settle the class. Introduce the topic of prophecy and invite the children to listen. Say, "We're in the season of advent. What is special about advent? (Preparing for feast, liturgical colors, etc) Review previous prophecies they have learned (Prophecy of Light and Names). "We know about Jesus through some of the prophecies we have heard. What prophecies do you remember?" Review the Prophecy of Light and Names and the Prophecy of the Mother, which is about a young woman who will have a baby named Emmanuel; we know him as Jesus.
Ask, "What did the prophets do? The job of the Prophets is to listen to God and share with others what they heard." Introduce the children to another prophecy from the Prophet Micah by saying, "Let's listen to another prophet named Micah, and let's hear what other sign or clue we will hear about Jesus."
Light the candle and read the prophecy card. Read it once more and reflect with the following questions and observations, keeping in mind the age of the children:
- There are a lot of words and names. We've heard Bethlehem, Israel, Land of Jesus, Jewish people, People of Israel.
- This prophecy says that Jesus will be a ruler. What's a ruler? A king, person in charge. The baby will be ruler in Israel, a King.
- What does it say about the city? Is it big and important? No, it says it's small, too small.
- Why would such an important ruler choose to be born in a city too small? I wonder about that. God, who is so big, we can't imagine, came as a baby, to a city too small, and He came to be ruler. He didn't come to a grand city, but a little one. How does that make you feel?
Close with a prayer and introduce time for activity and/or reflection. Say, "There is a card on the table for you to either trace or you can take time to think about this God, who came to this small city."
Sing "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and/or "He is the King of Kings."
look at pictures of Bethlehem.
Prepared by Sophia Winter, February 2008
Notice: This lesson plan utilizes training and the general philosophy/method of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. Materials found in this document, however, have been created specifically to incorporate the theology and dogmatic teaching of the Orthodox Church. The author of this lesson offers special recognition to Mrs. JoAnne Padget, CGS Instructor, who provided instruction and guidance in the CGS method. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program requires intensive study and strongly recommends that teachers using their program enroll in and complete coursework through an authorized CGS instructor. More information about CGS is available at http://www.cgsusa.org.
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