Party time – Wedding in Cana

Aim:

To show that Jesus enjoyed parties too!

Bible base:

John 2:1-11. The wedding party at Cana.

You will need:

  • Things to set up as if for a party – plates, cups, serviettes, party hats, candles etc – anything you have to make it look different from an ordinary meal.
  • You might want to find some suitable clothes or hats for the children who take part to wear.
  • A modern translation of the bible (Good News Bible or Contemporary English Version)

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Tell the children that you are getting ready for something special.  Can they guess what?  What kind of a party might it be?  Has anyone been to a wedding?  Has anyone been a bridesmaid or page boy?  What happens at the party after the wedding?
  2. Read the story from a modern translation of the bible.
  3. Choose helpers to act out the wedding: Jesus, Mary, bride, groom, three servants, head servant.  Re-tell the story, helping the characters to act it out – the action is fairly obvious.

Story

Jesus went to a wedding with his mother and his friends.  It was a lovely party – everyone enjoyed themselves, and everyone was very happy.  But then, oh dear!  Before the party was over, the wine ran out and there was no more to drink.

Jesus’ mother went to talk to him. ‘There is no more wine,’ she said. Then to the servants she said, ‘Do whatever Jesus tells you.’

‘Fill the water jars,’ said Jesus.  So they did. ‘Now, take some to the man in charge of the party.’

The man tasted the drink and looked so pleased. ‘Why, this is the very best wine!’ he said.

Jesus gave the people a very special present and helped them to have a very special party that day!

Application

People sometimes think Jesus must have been a very serious man, but like many of us, he obviously went to and enjoyed parties.

Prayer

End with a prayer thanking God for parties and other special times.

Song suggestion

Jesus’ love is very wonderful, 139, Junior Praise

Two Builders

Aim:

As well as reading it, we need to do what the Bible tells us.

Bible base:

Matthew 7:24-27. The two house-builders.

You will need:

  • Some signs giving orders, eg ‘Don’t touch – hot’ or ‘Wait for the green man before crossing the road’ etc
  • Two hard hats, such as builders wear
  • Two cheap, identical umbrellas
  • A mist spray bottle, as used for spraying plants
  • You may also want some kitchen roll to mop up the floor or even a paddling pool for the children to stand in!  (But this would be more for effect: they shouldn’t get that wet!)

Preparation

  • Make the signs as above or write them on acetates.
  • Make a number of holes in one of the umbrellas in such a way that they are not visible until it is opened.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Show the signs.  What would happen if someone read them but then ignored them?
  2. Jesus said that people should not just read the Bible but also should do what it says.

Story

Read the story of the two house-builders from the Bible.  Re-tell the story simply, with two children acting out the parts.

Here are two people, building houses.  (Children choose a hat and umbrella each, and put on hats, leaving their umbrellas to one side.)

They begin by choosing where they will build.  One chooses sandy ground and the other rocky ground. (Children stand slightly in front of the leader.)

They dig and dig and dig. (Mime.)

They build up their houses with bricks. (Mime.)

And finally they have finished their houses.  (Children stand with arms folded.)

But then, the rains begin. (Spray a gentle mist over both builders.)

What will happen? Will the houses keep them dry? (Children put up umbrellas as the ‘rain’ continues.)

Look!  One builder is snug and dry, but the other is still getting wet – the house just isn’t keeping him dry!

The house build on sand was as useless in a storm as the umbrella with holes in it.

Jesus said that it was when the storms came that the difference between the houses was seen – one stood firm and the other fell down.

Application

  1. Draw the parallel between the story Jesus told and the idea of reading the signs and then ignoring them.
  2. God has given us rules to live by and we are like the wise builder if we keep them.
  3. We should read the Bible AND do what it says.

Prayer

God, you know that it is sometimes hard for us to do what is right.  Please help us to read the Bible and to do what it says.

 

I can do it – Feeding of 5000

Aim:

To show the children that we can all do something for God.  He takes what we offer and makes it something special for him.

Bible base:

John 6:1-14

You will need:

  • A piece of artwork, a football, a piece of maths work, a sweeping brush, a smiling face drawn on a paper plate, some dancing shoes (anything that shows achievements of the children, including cleaning up well or cheering someone up)
  • Some volunteers to mime
  • A few simple props – five rolls and two fish (cut from card) packed in a small basket/box etc

Preparation

Study the script and the Bible passage to familiarise yourself with the story.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Talk to the children about the things they enjoy doing or things that they are particularly good at.
  2. Use your items to illustrate different skills, pointing out that some of us are particularly good at helping others, being kind or friendly, cleaning up, cheering people etc.  All these things are important.
  3. Ask for six volunteers to come out and help you tell the story by miming the parts: Peter, Thomas, Jesus, Philip, Andrew, boy.  The rest of the children are the crowd.

Story

FAST FOOD FOR FIVE THOUSAND

It had been a hot day.

Everyone was warm and sweaty and hungry.

The crowds had been with Jesus all day, listening to him.

They were sitting on grass, on stones, under trees, up trees and in some cases on thistles (ouch!) and they didn’t mind.

They felt as though they could listen to what Jesus was saying and never have enough.

When it was almost sunset, the disciples thought the people would go back home…but they didn’t.

‘Those children ought to be in bed,’ said Peter. (Peter wags his finger at the crowd as this is said.)

‘Those women should be cooking their husbands’ suppers,’ said Thomas. (Thomas also wags his finger at the crowd.)

A lady who was standing nearby knocked him on the head with her basket. ‘My husband is quite capable of cooking his own supper’, she said.

There was a distant rumbling sound.  Was it thunder?  Peter patted his tummy.

‘Sorry,’ he said, ‘I always rumble when I’m hungry.’ (Peter rubs his tummy.)

The other disciples laughed, but the thought of supper was making them all ravenous.

As Jesus paused in speaking Philip tugged at his sleeve. (Jesus and Philip to mime.)

‘It’s sunset,’ he said. ‘Isn’t it time you finished off, so the people can go?’

Jesus smiled. ‘We’re miles away from anywhere.  What do you expect the people to do?’

‘It’s time for our tea,’ said Philip.  ‘Peter’s tummy sounds like a volcano.  We need food and so do you and what about the people?

They might be able to find food in the villages and farms.  There might be a fast food place…’ his voice trailed off hesistantly.

‘Fast food for all this lot?’ said Jesus, waving his arms over the crowd.

‘Good idea.  Can you find some?’

Philip and the others gulped.

For the first time they looked at how huge the crowd was.

Rows of people, groups of children and women and men, stretched away as far as they could see.

‘What about it?’ said Jesus.

Philip went pale. ‘Have you any idea how much it would cost?’ he said, his voice wobbling.

‘A sandwich for everyone here would be hundreds of pounds, there must be over 5,000 people here!’

Andrew felt someone tugging at his sleeve.  There was a very small boy.  (Andrew and boy to mime.)

‘Not now son,’ said Andrew. ‘We’re having a crisis.’

He turned back to Jesus and Philip.

‘What’s that?’ said the little boy. ‘It’s a grown-up word for a big problem.’

‘Oh, sorry,’ said the boy. ‘I thought you might be hungry.’

Andrew bent down to him.  He had a clean face but otherwise he was very dirty.  He’d been sitting on the ground all day in the dusty heat.

‘What have you got?’ said Andrew.

‘Two big fish – well, medium – and five rolls.  I can’t eat them all myself and Mum said to share.’

Andrew took him by the grubby hand and led him to Jesus.

‘Hello,’ said Jesus. ‘Who are you?’

‘He’s a boy who wants to share,’ said Andrew.

‘Get everyone sitting down,’ said Jesus.

While the disciples organised everyone, Jesus looked into the little boy’s basket and saw the fish and the loaves.

‘Father God,’ prayed Jesus holding up the basket. ‘Thank you for this food and for all you give us. Amen.’

‘Amen,’ said the boy.

‘Would you like to help?’ said Jesus. The boy nodded.

‘I’ll need some more baskets,’ he called to the disciples.

They gathered some from the people, and Jesus started dividing out the bread and fish while the disciples and the boy took it to the different groups.  Every time they went back for more they were sure there would not be any left.  Every time there was more.  How could it be happening?

Eventually everyone was fed and they began to clear up.

‘How could there be any leftovers?’ thought Philip.

But there were leftovers – twelve basketfuls!

‘Wow,’ said the boy, ‘you’re amazing, Jesus!’

Application

  1. Make the point to the children that the boy did what he could – he offered his lunch to Jesus – and Jesus did something very special with it.
  2. In the same way today, if we offer to Jesus the things we can do, he will use them.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you for all the things we can do….painting pictures, writing stories, dancing, making music, helping others.  Please help us to do all these things for you.  Amen.

 

The Fiery Furnace – Daniel

Aim:

To show the children that God is more powerful than anyone or anything.

Bible base:

Daniel 3

You will need:

  • Pictures of powerful people eg prime minister, president, queen/king, etc
  • Some flame-coloured clothing to wear – reds, oranges, yellows and/or a cardboard headband with brightly coloured flame shapes attached to it to make a hat.

Preparation

  • Familiarise yourself with script of story, if possible learn it.
  • Dress in the coloured clothing.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Ask the children who they think is the most powerful person in the world.
  2. Let the children look at the different pictures you have brought in and talk about how there was a king in the Bible who thought that he was more powerful than anyone else in the world, but discovered he wasn’t.
  3. Tell the children that you will pretend to be something in the story and tell them all about it (put on your hat!).

Story

Use the following script to tell the story:

Hello!  I don’t suppose you’ve ever met a talking fiery furnace before.  I’m a bit special, because something amazing once happened in me.  Let me tell you all about it.

I work in Babylon, a country far away from here, whose king was called Nebuchadnezzar.  What a name, eh?!  I don’t suppose anyone here is called Nebuchadnezzar!

Well, I have a very important job to do.  I burn all the rubbish that people no longer want – old vegetable peelings, clothes that are too scruffy and torn even for cleaning rags, never mind for people to wear again, bits of broken things from people’s homes – you know the sort of stuff, anything that can never be used again and is now just rubbish.

One day, as my door was open whilst people were putting in rubbish for me to burn up, I heard three men talking.

‘Have you seen that statue that the king has had put up?  Nearly twenty-seven metres high and three metres wide! And it’s all gold! Imagine that! Said one of the men.

‘Yes, Shadrach, and do you know what the king has demanded?’ asked another.  ‘That whenever we hear the special music play we must all bow down and worship it.’

‘Worship it?’ cried the third man. ‘Never! We should worship only God.’

‘OK, Abednego,’ said the second man. ‘What do you suggest we do?’

‘Well, Meshach, we must refuse to bow down to the statue, and if the king doesn’t like it, tough! If we are punished for it, God will save us.  And even if he doesn’t, we are still not going to bow down to the king’s statue.’

And off they went, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

Some days later, I heard a lot of noise nearby and my doors were pulled wide open.  I recognised the voice that was shouting the loudest:  it was King Nebuchadnezzar!

‘Put more coals on the fire!’  he commanded.  And the men did.

‘More!’ shouted the king. ‘Much more!’ I grew hotter and hotter until I was seven times hotter than usual.

Well, by now I was so hot that I was dangerous.  You know how careful you have to be with fire.  The doors opened again and I expected the rubbish to be thrown in. But imagine my horror when not rubbish, but the three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were thrown in me instead!  They were all tied up and they couldn’t possibly escape.  If I could have cooled down quickly I would have done, but I was so hot that the soldiers who pushed the men inside were killed by my heat.  And there was nothing that I could do to help them.

And then something amazing happened.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not hurt by my incredible heat.  They started to walk around, completely unhurt.  And, even more amazing, there was a fourth man walking there with them.  Who could it be?  Was this their great God who I had heard them talking about?

The king came close to me and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the most high God, come out!’ And they did, with not a hair on their heads touched by my fire.  It was incredible!  The king called to everyone to listen to him. ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  These men trusted him and he has saved them.’

And that was the end of that.  I’m back to burning up people’s rubbish now, and everything is alright again.  I thought I was powerful when they heated me up so hot.  But I’ll never be anything like as powerful as God.

(Take your hat off!)

Application

  1. Comment that King Nebuchadnezzar realised that God was far more powerful than himself.  Ask the children why.  What did God do to show his power in the story?
  2. Tell the children that Christians believe God is still as powerful as that today.

Prayer

Invite the children to say ‘Amen’ to this prayer if they would like to:

Father God, thank you that you have the power to do things that no ordinary person can do.  Amen.

 

For God and for Gideon

Aim:

To show the children that God is so great, he can do anything.

Bible base:

Judges 7

You will need:

  • A Superman logo
  • A large sheet of paper
  • Three flash cards
  • An earthenware jar or jug
  • A torch
  • A trumpet (real, toy or cardboard cut-out)

Preparation

  • Draw an outline of the Superman logo in the centre of the large sheet of paper (if possible display on a flip chart or board).
  • Prepare flash cards with the numbers 32,000, 10,000 and 300.

Presentation

Introduction

Show the children the Superman logo and ask them if they recognise it.  Discuss with them the special things that super-heroes can do, eg fly, x-ray vision, etc.  Write these up as you go along.

Story

Gideon was no super-hero, but he was the man God had chosen to free his people from their enemies and God had promised to be with him.

Gideon had gathered a huge army of 32,000 men (ask a child out to hold up the flash card) but god told him the army was too big.  God said that they might think they had won by themselves without his help if they had all those men!

God told Gideon to tell anyone who was frightened to go home.  22,000 men went home leaving Gideon with only 10,000 (next flash card held up).  But God still said that there were too many, so he told Gideon what to do.  All the men had to go down to the river and have a drink.  All those who got down and cupped the water in their hands were to stay but those who knelt down and put their face in the water to drink were to be sent home.  This left Gideon with only 300 men (next flash card held up)!

So Gideon divided the 300 men into groups of 100, each man carrying a torch, a jar and a trumpet (show the props explaining the differences between these and the ones Gideon’s army would have used).  At midnight they surrounded the enemy camp.

When Gideon gave the signal they all blew their trumpets, smashed their jars and saved their torches shouting, ‘For God and for Gideon!’ Their enemies were so afraid they all ran away yelling!

Time to reflect

  1. Ask the children to be still and close their eyes.
  2. Remind them again that Gideon was just someone very ordinary who trusted God.
  3. Also emphasise God’s greatness, his amazing power in helping Gideon and his men to win.

Prayer

Invite the children to say ‘Amen’ at the end if they wish to.

Dear God, thank you that you are mighty and powerful. Thank you that you can do absolutely anything.  Amen.

 

Red Sea Rescue – Moses

Aim:

To show the children that God has power over his creation.

Bible base:

Exodus 14

You will need:

  • Simple picture clues drawn either on acetates or on large sheets of paper
  • A stick to represent the one Moses had (You could use a walking stick.)
  • Two large flash cards: ‘Egyptians’ and ‘Israelites’
  • A cassette player and tape of God’s words to Moses

Preparation

  • Prepare simple picture clues on paper, similar to the game ‘Dingbats’.  Examples: Bluebell (draw a bell and colour it blue), Happy Birthday (draw a smiley face followed by a birthday cake), Baa baa black sheep (draw Babar the elephant followed by a sheep coloured in black), Red Sea (draw the letter ‘C’ and colour it red).
  • Prepare the two flash cards, ‘Egyptians’ and ‘Israelites’
  • Record on a cassette tape God’s words to Moses in Exodus 14:16. ‘Moses, lift up your stick and hold it out over the sea.  The water will divide, and the Israelites will be able to walk through the sea on dry ground.’
  • If possible, before the assembly begins conceal the tape recorder and have a teacher lined up to operate this on cue.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Have fun playing the picture clue game, where the children must say what they see.  Do one or two for them until they grasp how to play.  End with the red ‘C’.
  2. Use this last clue to lead into the story.  Ask the children if they know where the Red Sea is.

Story

  1. Begin with the background:  The Israelites, God’s special people, had been slaves in Egypt.  The Pharaoh, who was like the king, had decided to let them go free, so they had set out into the desert and reached the Red Sea. The Pharaoh changed his mind and chased them with his great army.  The Israelites were trapped.  They turned to Moses their leader in panic.
  2. Choose a group of children to be Israelites and a group to be Egyptians, one child from each group holding up the appropriate flash card.  Choose a child to be Moses.
  3. Tell the story from Exodus 14 very simply, using the children to act it out as you go and using the tape recording at the appropriate point.

Application

  1. Ask the children how Moses and the Israelites must have felt when they realised they were trapped.
  2. Point out to the children that they prayed to God for help and he rescued them.  What did he do?

Time to reflect

  1. Ask the children to be very still and close their eyes for a few moments and to think how powerful God must be to have done this.
  2. Remind them that God made the world and everything in it. He can tell seas what to do!

Song suggestion

How did Moses cross the Red Sea? 83, Junior Praise

Respect! – The Good Samaritan

Bible base

Luke 10:25–37

Aim

To encourage students to value and care for one another, whatever their differences.

Preparation

Spend some time rehearsing your reading of the ‘newspaper article’, which is made-up and based on the story of the good Samaritan. Decide whether you can adjust the story or add current/local interest details to make it more appropriate for the particular assembly you will be leading.

Presentation

1 Tell everyone that you are going to make three statements. Ask them to put their hands up if they agree with the statements. Hands down between each statement.

a) I am the most important person here.

b) I like it when people listen to me.

c) There has been a time in my life where I have been treated unfairly.

Respond as appropriate to your audience’s reaction to the three statements.

2 Talk about the three ideas:

a) Tell them that they are looking at the most important person here – YOU! Make sure they know that you are joking. Go on to qualify the statement, saying that before they think you are a complete big-head, each of them is also the most important person here. Each of them is also sitting next to the most important person here. Give any other examples appropriate to the situation. Comment that we all have great value because God made us. And to appreciate others, we need to value ourselves.

b) Say that if we like it when people listen to us, we should listen to others. Ask: ‘How much time do you spend actually listening to others and putting others first?’

c) Ask everyone to think about whether they always treat others fairly. Be honest. Ask: ‘How do you treat others, especially people you don’t get on with?’

3 Tell the students you are going to read them the following extract from a newspaper article. Add current / local details to add interest. Read the ‘article’.

Police overwhelmed as thugs go on rampage!

Police were outnumbered yesterday as thugs went on the rampage. Officer Peter Smith was patrolling near to the riot when a gang of youths attacked and mugged him, ‘leaving him for dead’, as a colleague later put it.

Though no one appears to have witnessed the attack, it is reported that several passers-by walked straight past the injured officer and some even turned and walked the other way to avoid getting involved.

The surprising twist in this story is that Ian Thomson, the notorious football hooligan wanted by the police, stopped and helped the man. Not only did he administer first aid, but he then took the injured man to a private hospital where he paid for all the bills. He was indeed a ‘good Samaritan’.

4 Tell the students that, in fact, this ‘article’ was made up. Explain that it is an updated version of the story in the Bible about the Good Samaritan. Jesus was talking to his fellow Jews who hated the Samaritans.

5 If appropriate and if there’s time, you could also read the story from a contemporary version of the Bible: Luke 10:25–37.

Reflection

1 Comment that the story in the Bible makes it clear that people (including those who are different from us) are equally valuable and that we should treat others with care and respect. Jesus told this story to illustrate what it means to keep one of God’s commandments in the Bible:

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind … Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ Luke 10:27(NCV).

2 Challenge the students to think about how they treat others – including those who aren’t their friends or whom they don’t like.

Response

1 Ask the students to think about one or two others in school whom they consider ‘different’ from themselves, or whom they don’t value. Now ask them to think how they could show they value them or times when they could be ‘a good Samaritan’ to those people.

2 Encourage everyone to be quiet for a few moments to think about this, and decide to do something about it today. If appropriate, you could suggest that people might like to ask God’s help to do this.

 

Embarrassing – the story of Naaman

Aim

To show pupils that being embarrassed may be a price worth paying for doing what’s right.

Bible base

2 Kings 5:1-15 – the story of Naaman

You will need:

  • Find out in advance if there is a teacher who would be willing to tell the pupils about their most embarrassing experience (optional).
  • Prepare and rehearse your telling of the story of Naaman (see 2 Kings 5:1-15). Aim to make it as entertaining as possible, emphasising any ‘embarrassing’ aspects.

Content

Introduction

Talk about how embarrassing it could be for you taking an assembly in front of all of them! You might make a mistake, or say the wrong thing, or forget what to say completely. So, you are relying on everyone to help you.

A survey

1. Announce that you are going to conduct a survey on the subject of embarrassment. Tell the pupils sitting on the front row of the assembly that you would like them to help you. (You need a group of about fifteen to twenty people.)

2. Say that you are going to give them a series of two alternatives. Each of the options will be represented by opposite sides of the hall. They must each decide which of the two alternatives is the most embarrassing situation and move to the appropriate side of the hall. Insist that they must make their own decisions.

3. The choices are

  • Being singled out by name in assembly or to go forward as a group to receive an award;
  • Falling flat on your face in some mud or being drenched by a passing car going through a puddle;
  • Making the alarm go off in Marks & Spencer’s doorway or not having enough money to pay at the supermarket (you could use the name of the local supermarket) checkout;
  • Getting bottom marks in a test or getting top marks in a test;
  • Being seen by your friends with a member of the opposite sex or being seen by your friends out shopping with your parents.
  • Photos of you from four or five years ago being shown to relatives at a family party or everyone at the party being told how well you are doing at school.

4. When the survey is complete, thank those who took part and ask them to return to their seats.

How embarrassing

1. Make the point that whilst some of them might have found it embarrassing to come to the front, at least they had other people with them! The most embarrassing times are when you feel as if everyone knows that you alone have done something stupid! For example:

  • An American – Tony Randall – who had been asked to be a spokesman for the National Sleep Disorder Month, overslept and missed a guest spot on the TV show Wake Up America.
  • Police were called to a flat in Bournemouth after a passerby heard screams of ‘Help!’ They found twenty-one year old Toni Hoare in the shower, singing along to the Beatles’ song of the same title at the top of her voice!
  • Tell the audience about one of the most embarrassing moments you have experienced and/or ask a teacher to do this.

2. These are all situations where the embarrassment has been due to a simple mistake. But there is another kind of embarrassment – the sort of embarrassment you know you are going to feel because you have chosen to do or say something unusual because you believe it is right or necessary.

3. As an illustration, tell the story of Naaman dramatically, drawing out all the embarrassing aspects. Explain that Naaman was a very important man with lots of servants. Unfortunately, he had a serious skin disease – leprosy. He reluctantly agreed to God’s way of curing him. Emphasise how embarrassing it must have been going to bathe not once, but seven times, one after the other, in a not-very-beautiful river, especially in front of all his servants.

Conclude your telling of the story by saying that he obviously thought the embarrassment of doing something so apparently stupid was worth it for the sake of being cured.

Application

1. People sometimes find it difficult to admit they are a Christian, or even to show that they are interested in the Christian faith. They are afraid they will be teased or ridiculed – and, as a result, embarrassed.

2. Continue by saying that many people throughout history have taken risks and been ridiculed for something they believed in (eg believing that the earth was round; that penicillin was an effective medicine; that the sun was the centre of the solar system). And sometimes the cost of doing what you believe in can be far worse than embarrassment – it can be persecution or even death. That is still happening to some people today, just for admitting that they are Christians.

3. Conclude by saying that sometimes it’s difficult to do what’s right, especially when most people act as if they think you are wrong. It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in, but the temporary embarrassment may be a price worth paying for doing what is right.

 

You don’t have to be a star – God’s special messengers – Moses

Topic:

Moses

Aim

To help pupils understand that you don’t have to be ‘a star’ to be a leader.

Things you’ll need

A flipchart

Bible base

  • Exodus 2, 3; 4:10-16
  • 1 Samuel 16:7

Content

1 Tell the pupils that you are going to play ‘fantasy football’. Ask them the following questions, writing their suggestions up on the OHP as you go.

  • Choose four or five players who you would pick to play in the first eleven for England. Why did you pick those players?
  • What qualities would you look for in your team members?
  • Who would you choose for captain? Why?

Now ask the children to imagine that their team has a big match coming up. Is it important to know who the opposition are? How would it help to know what the opposition is like?

2 Talk about Moses. Explain that he was adopted. (Be sensitive. Remember that some of the children listening might not be living with their natural parents. Moses was given up out of love – his parents believed this would be best for him.)

Explain that he was brought up as a prince – Pharaoh’s son. He would have had the best in education and lived in comfort. Then it was discovered that really he was a Jew (the Jews were slaves to the Egyptians). From having everything and being highly respected as a member of Pharaoh’s family – a very important person – he went to being ‘a nobody’.

Tell the children about these aspects of Moses:

  • he was the son of a slave;
  • he was a murderer;
  • he couldn’t speak very well.

Now refer back to the qualities the children said they would look for in a team captain. Tell the children that this is the man God chose to be his team captain.

3 Talk about Moses as the captain of God’s team. He knew the opposition very well. After all, he had been brought up in Pharaoh’s home. He knew all about the powerful Egyptians. Point out that Moses must have had a lot of courage. He had to ask the man whose home he had lived in to let all the Jews go. He knew the power of the Egyptians and how important the Jewish slaves were to them.

4 Ask the children which ‘team’ they think was most likely to win: the disgraced, stuttering, son of a slave, Moses, and his team of slave labourers? Or, the powerful ruler, Pharaoh, and his strong team, the mighty Egyptians?

5 Say that the children might think that Pharaoh and the Egyptians would win easily. But Moses and his team had something special. Their team manager was God. And Moses had something else – a friend who worked alongside him. Talk about how Aaron, Moses’ brother, spoke for him, because Moses didn’t feel he could speak to Pharaoh himself.

Application

A Christian viewpoint

1 Talk about how you don’t have to be ‘a star’ to speak up for what is right, or to be brave enough to do what is right.

2 Talk about how sometimes it takes courage to believe in God and have faith in him, when others don’t.

For everyone

Encourage the children, like Moses, to stand up for what is right – even when it’s very hard or frightening to do so. Sometimes it helps to find a friend who will support you. Can they think of some times when they might need to stand up for what is right?

Response

1 Ask the children to think about leaders of the nation or local leaders. Ask them for suggestions (eg the prime minister, the police, their headteacher). Write their suggestions up on the flipchart. Lead the children in a prayer for those who are struggling to stand up for right, even though it might be hard.

2 Pray for people in leadership (like those listed on the flipchart).

3 Ask God for his help to be brave enough to stand up for what is right, even when others don’t.

 

Trust and obey – God’s special messengers – Abraham

Aim

To help the children think about who they trust and obey.

Things you’ll need

A chocolate bar (hidden before the assembly begins).

Bible Base

Genesis 12:1-9

Content

1 Ask for a volunteer. Give him/her instructions which will lead them to the hidden chocolate bar.

2 When the chocolate has been found, ask the children questions which will help them understand that the volunteer had to trust you and obey you in order to find the prize.

3 Tell the story of Abraham from Genesis 12:1-9. Explain that you are going to tell the story with various sound effects or actions, as follows:

  • Abraham (bow)
  • Sarah (curtsey)
  • sheep (‘baa’)
  • goats (‘maa’)
  • donkeys (‘eeyore’)
  • servants (‘yes sir, no sir’, bowing, hands together)

You could use the sound effects and actions to help you tell the story in either of the following ways:

  • Invite the children to the front to take the parts of Abraham, Sarah, the sheep, the goats, the donkeys and the servants. They must make/do their sound effects/actions at the appropriate point in the story.
  • Invite all the children to join in with the sound effects/actions.

The story:

Abraham and his wife Sarah were living in Haran (in Syria). Abraham was a very rich man. He had sheep, goats, donkeys and servants. Abraham liked living in Haran. He had good neighbours who had become good friends.

One day God told Abraham to leave his country, his relatives and his father’s family and go to a different land. God said he would show Abraham where to go. He said he would bless Abraham and make him famous. Abraham looked around Haran where he lived. He looked at his sheep, his goats, his donkeys and his servants. He thought about his neighbours (who had become good friends) Did he want to leave his home? No. Did he know where was he going? No. Would he ever come back to his neighbours (who had become good friends)? Maybe not.

God had told him to leave. He had promised to show him where to go. He had promised to bless Abraham and make him famous. Did Abraham trust God to show him this new land? Did he trust God enough to take his wife Sarah, his sheep, his goats, his donkeys and his servants and leave his neighbours who had become good friends? Did he trust God enough to set out on this long journey to an unknown land, with only a tent for his home?

Ask the children to put their hands up if they think he should stay or think he should go.

Abraham decided to trust God and obey him. He said goodbye to his neighbours, got together his sheep, his goats, his donkeys and his servants, not forgetting his wife Sarah (and his nephew, Lot) and left Haran. He trusted God to show him where to go. He trusted God to bless him and make him famous.

Abraham travelled until he came to Canaan (walk around). And Abraham settled in Canaan with his wife Sarah (and his nephew, Lot), his sheep, his goats, his donkeys and his servants. He put up his tent and before long he had new neighbours (who became good friends).

And God did make Abraham famous. He is still remembered today by Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Thank the children who have taken part.

Application

A Christian viewpoint

When Christians read this story in the Bible, it encourages them to trust God and obey him like Abraham did. Christians find out from the Bible what God wants them to do and how he wants them to live. They ask God to help them to obey him and do what’s right. Abraham had to trust God, although it wasn’t easy, and God did what he had promised.

Ask the children to think of something they know they should do to obey God – even though it might not be easy.

For everyone

Ask the children to think of a person they know they should obey (eg a parent, a teacher). Sometimes they might not understand the reason for or agree with what that person asks them to do. Remind the children how Abraham had to trust God– who he knew wanted what was best for him. It couldn’t have been easy, but he did what God asked.

Response

1 Ask the children to think of something they must do today, even though they will find it difficult.

2 You could use this prayer:

Lord God, when we know what the right thing to do is, please help us to do it. When it is hard to do what is right, please help us to trust you. Amen.