Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Scripture Reference: Genesis 21-25:11 -- not quite so long this time. Have the students read the lesson silently. Then give each a slip of paper with a scene from the reading described on it. Have the student draw the scene (as in Pictionary) and the others guess what event it is. Some scenes to try might be:

Abraham throwing out Hagar and Ishmael

An angel showing Hagar and Ishmael the well

Abraham taking Isaac to be sacrificed

Abraham finding the ram for the sacrifice

Abraham’s servant meeting Rebekah at the well

Abraham buying the cave to bury Sarah

Isaac meeting Rebekah

Isaac and Ishmael burying Abraham

Try doing each scene on a separate piece of paper. If the students want to, they can then color the scenes and present a storybook for the younger children at next week’s opening exercises. What does Isaac’s name mean (“one laughs”) and what event gave rise to the name?


  1. Service references: St. Ann is compared with Sarah in the matins of the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos: “O Lord, Thou hast opened the womb of Sarah, giving her Isaac as fruit in her old age. Today, O Savior, Thou hast likewise given to godly Ann a fruit born from her womb, even Thine own Mother without spot.” Ann was barren, as was Sarah. Other parallels? The story of the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham is read on Holy Saturday. What parallels are there between the sacrifice of Isaac and the sacrifice of the Son of God? Contrasts? The marriage of Isaac and Rebecca is also referenced in the sacrament of marriage. What aspects of their union are admirable? Not so admirable?


  1. Discussion: There is first historical importance to the family of Abraham. Begin a family tree with Abraham and Sarah. Add Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac. Getting complicated? Now add Abraham’s brother Nahor, his wife Milcah, their children, and their son Bethuel’s daughter Rebekah and son Laban. Now Rebekah needs to marry her first cousin once removed Isaac. Now don’t forget Keturah, Abraham’s new wife after the death of Sarah, and all of her sons. What a mess! What peoples descended from this complicated family? Who are the sons of Ishmael today? (the Arabs) Who are the sons of Isaac? (the Jews) Any doubt that history from thousands of years ago can still affect world politics? What is the present status of the nation of Israel? The Palestinians? Who said history was dead!

Briefly talk about faith again. Abraham’s taking of Isaac to be sacrificed is often considered one of the greatest examples of faith in the Bible. What would it cost to kill your own child? How could he have even considered such a thing? Any doubts that it was really God speaking to him? What about dating and marriage customs? How was a bride found for Isaac? How is a bride (or groom) sought today? Pros and cons of each method? Brainstorm. Would you leave your home and family on a camel with a servant to travel to a husband you’ve never seen? Example of faith?


  1. Close with prayer: Say a special prayer for peace between the children of Abraham and their descendants.