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