To encourage pupils to be ready to share with those in need
Luke 16:19-31 – the rich man and Lazarus
You will need:
- 7 pieces of card, each one showing a letter of the word ‘harvest’
- Some unusual fruit (eg a star fruit, a fig, a kiwi fruit, a mango, an avocado; a toffee apple – for fun!)
- A diagram of ‘the global’ village (see illustration) either on large card or via a digital projector.
- 6 jam-filled, sugar-coated doughnuts
- A roll of kitchen towel
- Prepare cards showing the letters to make the word ‘harvest’.
- Prepare the diagram of ‘the global village’ – The Global Village.
1. Begin by saying that you are going to be thinking about the meaning of harvest time in this assembly.
2. Ask for seven volunteers. Give each of them one of the cards showing a letter from the word ‘harvest’. Ask them to order themselves, so that the letters spell the word ‘harvest’.
Harvest time is about…
1. Ask the volunteers to order themselves so the letters spell ‘earth’.
2. Say that harvest time is about celebrating all the good things the earth provides. Remind pupils that there is produce in our shops from all over the world. Some of it is familiar, some less so.
3. Show pupils the pieces of ‘unusual’ fruit, one at a time. Ask them if anyone can tell you what each is called. If the person you ask gets the answer correct, give them the piece of fruit. (Show them a toffee apple for fun!)
4. Comment that the variety of food in the world is staggering. And there is so much of it – enough to feed twice the world’s population. And all this is what is remembered at harvest time – as a gift from God.
1. Ask the volunteers to rearrange themselves, so that the letters spell the word ‘starve’.
2. Say that in spite of the vast supplies of food on our planet, people are starving – not just a few people tucked away in the corner of the world, but millions of people!
3. Say that if this world of 5.7 billion people were described as if it were a global village of 5000 people, we would discover some interesting facts (Display the diagram of ‘the global village’). Talk about the contrasts which exist between the lives of the rich and the poor.
4. Comment that the world’s resources are not evenly spread. Ask: How can this be put right?
1. Ask the volunteers to order themselves so that the letters spell the word ‘share’.
2. Announce that you could all ‘share’ now! Ask who would like a doughnut. Ask for three more volunteers.
3. Give each volunteer a doughnut and give them this instruction: This doughnut must be eaten, but you must not lick your lips!
4. Tell the audience you would like them to help with this challenge by shouting, ‘Licking your lips!’ if they spot anyone doing just that. Have the kitchen towel handy!
5. Allow about thirty seconds for the challenge. At the end of the ensuing mayhem, see who has eaten the most without licking their lips.
6. Then remind them that the instruction was that the doughnut must be eaten, but that they must not lick their lips! Ask how else they could have achieved the task. Eventually someone will realise that it could be done by feeding someone else!
7. Then give each of the three volunteers another doughnut and ask them to go and feed as many people as possible!
8. After a few moments ask them to return to their seats and give them a round of applause.
1. Ask the audience what they think will have to happen for people to be willing to share on a global – or even local – scale.
2. Say that the final word you want your volunteers to spell is ‘heart’. Ask the volunteers to order themselves so that the letters spell the word ‘heart’.
3. Say that for people to be willing to share so that everyone in the world has all they need, there needs to be a change of heart – starting with you and me. It has been said that we need to live more simply, so that others may simply live!
1. Tell the story which Jesus told about the rich man and the poor man called Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Lazarus sat each day at the gate of the rich man, begging. In the story, they both died. The poor man went to heaven and the rich man went to hell. The point of the story wasn’t that the rich man was to blame for the poor man’s state, but that he ignored him and did nothing to help.
2. Comment that it’s easy to think that we can’t do anything. After all, the poor and the starving are too far away for us to be able to make any difference, aren’t they? But we can do something: we can give our money to those working to relieve hunger: and we can ask God to change our hearts – now, today, so that we are more willing to share with those around us here.