Sharing – Harvest

Aim:

To explain the children that God has given us good things which are to be shared.

Bible base:

1 Kings 17:7-24.  Elijah and the widow.

You will need:

  •  Sultanas
  •  Suitable props for the characters, eg a scarf for the woman, a stick for Elijah

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Ask for two volunteers who like sultanas and share them out unfairly between them and you – make sure you get most and that they have just one or two each.  Ask them to share theirs with others.  Are they keen to do so?  Why?  Comment on the unfairness of the distribution and even it out.
  2. It is easier to share something if you have lots, and much harder if you have just a small amount.  Ask the children which things are easy to share and which are hard.  Talk about how sharing means that everyone gets something.

Story

Tell the story of Elijah and the widow, using the different props.

Elijah was a man who knew God, talked to God and did what God told him to do.  One day God told Elijah to go to a town called Zarephath, and to stay with a lady and her son there.

When Elijah got to Zarephath he saw the woman coming towards him.  She was collecting sticks to burn on her fire.

‘Please give me a drink of water,’ said Elijah, ‘and some bread to eat.’

‘I have no bread,’ said the lady. ‘There is just enough flour in my bowl and oil in my jar to make one last meal for me and my son, and then we will die because we have no more food.’

There had been no rain there for a very long time and now there was very little food for everyone.

‘Don’t worry,’ said Elijah.  ‘Just make your meal, but first make a small loaf for me.  God says that until it rains again, there will always be enough flour in the bowl and oil in the jar.’

The lady did as Elijah said.  She shared her meal by making some bread for him and then some for herself and her son.  Every time she made the bread, there was always enough flour and always enough oil.  From the day until it rained again, they had just enough food to eat.

Application

Remind the children of how hard it is to share something when you have very little of it.  The lady had almost nothing left, but she shared it with Elijah, and God was pleased with her.

You might want to leave a small bag of sultanas for each class, to make the point more clearly!

Prayer

End with a prayer asking god to help us to share, even when it is hard to do so.

Song suggestion

• Someone’s brought a loaf of bread, 220, Junior Praise

How do you spell harvest? – Harvest

Aim

To encourage pupils to be ready to share with those in need

Bible base

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

Preparation

  • Prepare cards showing the letters to make the word ‘harvest’.
  • Prepare the diagram of ‘the global village’ – The Global Village.

Content

Introduction

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…

• EARTH

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.

• STARVE

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?

• SHARE

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.

• HEART

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!

Application

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.

 

Great timing – Harvest

Topic:

Harvest

Aim

  • To teach children that Christians believe God created the world.
  • To encourage a sense of wonder at the amazing precision and balance which sustains the plant kingdom.

Things you’ll need

  •  An alarm clock. Check that no wall clock is visible in the assembly.
  • Some apples
  • A large card with the word ‘photoperiodism’ written on it
  • A knife and suitable surface on which to cut apple in half
  • Segments of apple, enough for a piece each for the children (optional)
  • A flip chart and pen

Bible Base

  1. Genesis 1:11
  2. Genesis 8:22
  3. Ecclesiastes 3:1,2

Content

1 Show pupils the alarm clock. Make the alarm go off. Talk about time and how a few minutes can seem like a long time when we’re doing something we don’t like doing (like sitting still waiting for something), whereas time seems to fly by when we’re enjoying ourselves!

2 Ask all the children to stand up in silence. Say that you want them to try to judge when a minute has passed. You are going to tell them when the minute starts. They must sit down when they think the minute has passed. Praise (or give a prize to) the pupil who was closest to guessing the time correctly. Make the point that it’s hard to guess time without a clock.

3 Show the apples and ask if any of the children has an apple tree in his or her garden. Do they know when apple trees blossom? Talk about how important it is for the trees to blossom in spring so that insects can pollinate it and the fruit can grow in the warm summer months.

4 Ask the pupils how the trees know it’s spring? They never make a mistake. Explain that it’s as if each tree has a clock inside it! Hold up the clock again and explain that it’s not a clock like this. It’s more like a microscopic computer programme. Explain how in the winter it gets light quite late in the morning, and gets dark early in the evening. Then as winter turns into spring, the days start to get longer. It only changes very slowly, but the trees can tell how much daylight there is each day. When the days are exactly the right length, it’s like an alarm clock going off inside the tree and the tree starts to produce the blossom. From the blossom the fruit grows until the apples are ripe at harvest time.

5 Tell pupils that there is a long word which describes this ability trees have to tell the time. Hold up the card with the word ‘photoperiodism’ written on it. Ask if anyone can read it? Practise saying the word together.

6 Ask pupils what they think would happen if the trees didn’t have this special clock? They wouldn’t know when to produce the blossom. If the blossom came on the trees at the wrong time, the fruit wouldn’t grow and there would be no harvest.

Application

A Christian viewpoint

1 Read some of the Bible verses from the Bible base (eg Genesis 8:22, Ecclesiastes 3: 1,2)

2 The Bible teaches that it was God who made all the plants and trees. He decided the seasons and he made sure that the trees obeyed the rules. He put his clock inside them!

For everyone

Talk about how amazing the precise timing in the plant world is. Encourage a sense of wonder in the children.

Response

1 Cut one of the apples in half. Talk about the pleasure of biting into a ripe apple. If the assembly is not too large, you could pass round segments of apple for the children to eat at this moment. As they do so remind them of the precise timing that was needed for apples to exist so that we can eat and enjoy them.

2 Ask the children to help you write a prayer of thanks for a fruit of their choosing. Write their ideas up on a flipchart. You could use the pattern given in the Key Stage 1 option below. Finish the assembly by saying the prayer and inviting those who would like to do so to join in with the ‘Amen’.

Key Stage 1 option

Instead of asking the children to write their own prayer, you could finish with this one:

Thank you, Lord God…

for apple trees,

for the clock inside them so they know when it’s time to make blossom,

for the sun that makes the apples grow,

for the juicy flavour of ripe apples at harvest time. Amen.