This lesson preview is pulled from the 5-lesson Christmas Series from Wonder Ink. It is flexible and can be used in large group/small group and in classrooms. Download and view the full 75-minute lesson + the family event preview here.
LESSON AT A GLANCE
IN GOD’S BIG STORY
God chooses Jesse’s son David as Israel’s king and reminds Israel that the Promised One—a branch from Jesse’s family tree—will one day arrive and change everything.
God Sees Beyond What We See
WORD OF WONDER
The Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel. —Isaiah 7:14 (NIrV)
CURIOSITY (15 MINS) | Large Group or Small Group
An object lesson, experiment, or activity that sparks curiosity, encourages exploration, and gets kids thinking about the wonder of God.
- Welcome Question: Have you ever wished you could see into the future? What do you wish you could see and know?
- Curiosity Questions
- STEM Experiment: Make a Prediction
- Declaring God’s Wonder
BELIEF (25-35 MINS) | Large Group
A deep and interactive dive into Scripture that guides kids into knowing God more deeply, exploring His big story, and marveling at His wonder.
- Prayer of Invitation
- God’s Big Story: Hear It, Watch It, Experience It!
- Connecting the Wonder Truth
- In Awe of God’s Wonder
- Word of Wonder: Isaiah 7:14
FAITH (15 MINS) | Small Group
An intentional conversation that helps kids see the wonder of God’s story and how it connects to their own, emboldening their faith and fostering a deeper understanding of their place in God’s kingdom.
- Word of Wonder Activity
- Discussion Questions for Younger and Older Kids
- Small Group Prayer Time
IDENTITY (10 MINS) | Large Group or Small Group
An interactive worship response activity that creates space for God to remind kids of these core truths: I am known, I am loved, I am led, and my life can tell of God’s wonder.
- Responding in Worship: The Branch Grows
- Blessing Your Kids
INVITATION FOR LEADERS
What if we could see the image of God in people in the same way we can see freckles, dimples, or other family traits? Would it be easier for us to say, “That’s a child of God”? Would it help us treat people the way God wants us to treat them?
Well, God doesn’t give us the ability to physically see His image in others. Instead, He asks us to trust His sight. Read 1 Samuel 16:7. God reminds us that while we are attracted to outward characteristics, God looks for traits of the heart. And God is constantly looking for hearts with traits like His.
When God looked at David, Jesse’s youngest son, He saw the future king. Read Isaiah 11:1–2. Years later, when their enemies closed in and the future of David’s line appeared dire, God looked at Jesse’s family and saw the Branch sprouting from it—Jesus, the One who would change everything.
God sees beyond what we see. So, next time we encounter a new person or a challenging situation, let’s ask Him to help us see beyond outward characteristics and circumstances. May God give us spiritual eyes to see people’s hearts and increase our faith to trust His will.
With ready-to-go lessons, Wonder Ink is a customizable digital curriculum and toolkit for creatively engaging kids and families in God’s Word—connecting the classroom on Sunday to their homes during the week.
DID YOU KNOW? FOUNDATION BUILDING BLOCKS
The author of the Book of 1 Samuel is anonymous. It is part of the same work as 2 Samuel, and together these books tell the story of how God worked in the life of King David to raise him from the position of a lowly shepherd to the ruler of Israel.
1 Samuel 16 tells of how God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint one of Jesse of Bethlehem’s sons to be Israel’s next king. Jesse and Samuel both thought God would pick one of the older sons, but God had His eyes set on David.
The setting of the story is Bethlehem, a town fewer than 10 miles from Jerusalem. This is the city of King David’s birth, and in fulfillment of prophecy, this is also the city of Jesus’ birth (Micah 5:2).
This story takes place after Saul had acted out of pride, disobeying God and failing his final test. God was displeased with Saul’s actions and promised that Saul would lose his kingdom. God then sent Samuel to find a new king to rule over Israel.
WHY? CONNECTING TO GOD’S BIG STORY
Jesse’s son David was known as Israel’s greatest king and was the ruler to emulate. Yet even David failed, sinned, and disappointed. But the offspring of Jesse and David—King Jesus—eventually came to show us what the reign of God looks like in person!
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