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Who, me? The call of Isaiah

To think about self-value and to explore the Christian belief that God calls people to work with him, even if they don't feel good enough

by The Revd Kathy Ferguson

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To think about self-value and to explore the Christian belief that God calls people to work with him, even if they don’t feel good enough.

Preparation and materials

  • Find a modern version of Isaiah 6.1–8 or prepare to retell it in your own words


  1. Hands up who has dreams when they are asleep? Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning? Are all your dreams nice ones, or do you sometimes have bad dreams?
  2. Now, hands up who has daydreams? You know what I mean – your mum or dad or teacher speaks to you and you don’t hear because you are busy thinking or dreaming about something else.
  3. Some people believe in another type of dream, called a vision. Visions are very different, because they seem to come from outside a person, not from inside their head like day or night dreams. It’s as though they are looking at a picture of something that has happened or is going to happen. Quite a few people in the Bible had visions.

    Today we are going to hear about somebody in the Bible who had a vision that changed his life. This man was called Isaiah and there is a book in the Bible which was written about the things Isaiah said and did.
  4. But let’s begin at the beginning. Isaiah was a Jew and we think he lived in Jerusalem about 2,700 years ago – long before Jesus was born. We don’t know a lot about his life, but we do know that he was married, with at least two children, and that he was a man with influence, who sometimes gave advice to the king of Israel about what he should do.
  5. Isaiah was religious and he used to go regularly to the huge and beautiful Temple in Jerusalem to worship God. One day, Isaiah went as usual to the Temple and something extraordinary happened to him. Let’s hear it in his own words, as described in the book named after him. Read Isaiah 6.1–8 from a modern translation or retell it in your own words.

    Isaiah had a vision that showed him how great and powerful God is and he became very frightened. He also realized how many wrong things he had done in his life, but knew that God had forgiven him. That would have been special enough, but there was something else. Can anyone remember what God said at the end and what Isaiah answered?

    God asked who would be his messenger and Isaiah said that he would go. God wanted someone who would listen to him and tell his people what they were doing wrong and what they should do about it. He wanted someone who would give people God’s message. We call a person like that a prophet.
  6. In his vision, Isaiah heard God calling him to be a prophet – God’s messenger – and even though he didn’t think he was good enough, he said ‘yes’ to God. For many years, Isaiah went on telling the people how God wanted them to live and warning them what would happen if they didn’t change their wrong behaviour. His sayings were collected in a book named after him and that book is now part of the Bible.
  7. That was all a very long time ago. What can we learn from the story of Isaiah that will help us in our own lives? I think we can learn at least two things.

    The first is that Christians, Jewish people and others believe that God can use all sorts of people to do his work, even people who don’t think they are good enough. Isaiah didn’t think he was good enough, but nearly 3,000 years later, people are still reading what Isaiah said about God.

    The second thing we can learn is that when we are asked to do something hard, like Isaiah was, if we say ‘yes’ and really do our best we can often do much more than we thought we could.

Time for reflection


Think about the things people ask you to do –
your parents, your teacher, your friends.
Do you say ‘yes’ like Isaiah and do your best to help them?


Thank you that you love us
and listen to us,
even though we sometimes
do wrong things.
Help us to listen to you
and to other people
and to say ‘yes’
when we are asked to help.


‘I listen’ (Come and Praise, 60)

Publication date: September 2005   (Vol.7 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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