Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:8
To help students reflect on the opportunity the new year brings for a fresh start.
Things you’ll need:
- Think of a personal – and if possible, amusing and/or entertaining – New Year’s resolution anecdote.
- Set up flip chart before assembly begins.
1 Begin by talking about a New Year’s resolution you once made – choose one that’s not very serious.
2 Ask the students if they have made any New Year’s resolutions? If so, what are they? Encourage them to say their serious and not-so-serious ones. As they do, write some up on the flip chart (eg stop biting finger nails, be nice to their little sister).
3 After you have gathered a few, ask:
- Why do people make resolutions?
- What would help you keep your resolutions?
- What makes it difficult?
Talk about the reasons why people find it hard to keep their resolutions.
4 Ask students to think back to last term. What was good about it? What didn’t go so well? Now ask them to think about this term. What are they looking forward to? What are they determined to do better?
5 Now ask them to think about the world. If they could make some New Year resolutions for the world what would they be? From all their suggestions, what would be their top three for the world. Write these up on the flip chart. Then ask if they think these ‘resolutions’ are likely to be kept.
1 In a time of quiet, ask students to think about the coming year:
- How they would like their own lives to be this year?
- What would they wish for the world?
2 Comment that, whether or not they keep their resolutions, and whatever happens in the world, there are probably going to be some problems and times when they will find things difficult.
3 Say that you are going to read some words from the Bible. Read Hebrews 13:8:
‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever.’ Hebrews 13:8 (CEV)
Then read the second half of Matthew 28:20, explaining that these are words Jesus said to his followers when he was on earth:
‘… I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.’ Matthew 28:20 (CEV)
4 Remind the students that God is with them always. In the coming year, he will be with them through all the bad times, and the good ones too.
Encourage the students to reflect on the following (the Millennium Resolution written by Churches Together in England) and to make it their own prayer if they wish:
Let there be
respect for the earth,
peace for its people,
love in our lives,
delight in the good,
forgiveness for past wrongs
and from now on, a new start.