To show that God has done the impossible – made it possible for us to be his friends!
You will need:
- Plenty of sheets of A4 paper
- A flip chart
- Chocolate bars as prizes
- Practise ‘the impossible tear’ (see illustration) and ‘the impossible paper folding’ exercises. Memorise and practice making ‘the impossible cross’ (see illustration) until you can do it without looking at the instructions or making a mistake.
- The impossible task’ (see illustration): you could copy this onto flipchart in advance. Or, if you prefer you could draw on a flipchart as you are speaking, adding the different elements of the illustration as you talk. If you choose to do this, practice in advance.
Explain that during this assembly you are going to ask for several volunteers, who need to be prepared to attempt an ‘impossible’ task.
The impossible tear!
- Tell the volunteer that their task is to tear a piece of A4 paper into three pieces. Give the volunteer the sheet of paper, which you have prepared in advance with two tears already in place (see illustration)
- The volunteer must hold the two ends of the paper, and in one action, tear it into three pieces. It’s impossible! Allow two or three volunteers to attempt this.
- Eventually, demonstrate it yourself by holding the middle section of the paper between your teeth or lips, and pulling the ends away from you with your hands. You’ll find it is possible after all! Give the volunteers a round of applause and a prize each.
The impossible paper folding task
Ask the next volunteer to fold a piece of A4 paper in half, eight times. It’s impossible! Even you won’t be able to do it! Give your volunteer a round of applause and a prize.
The impossible cross
Tell the volunteer that they have to make a cross out of a sheet of A4 paper with only one straight tear. Let them have several attempts. Eventually, show how it’s done, using the method illustrated.
The impossible intelligence test
Ask for a volunteer who doesn’t mind taking an intelligence test. He or she must answer all the following questions correctly:
- How many animals of each species did Moses take on board the Ark? (Answer: None. It wasn’t Moses, it was Noah!)
- Which country has a 4th July – the UK or the USA? (Answer: They both do!)
- What is the next letter in this sequence: O T T F F S S? (Answer: ‘E’. They are the first letters of numbers, starting at ‘one’.)
- If you take two apples from three apples, how many have you got? (Answer: Two – because you have taken two!)
The volunteer will have done very well if he/she gets them all correct. Give them a round of applause and a prize.
The impossible task
- Refer back to ‘the impossible tear’, ‘the impossible paper-folding’, ‘the impossible cross’ and ‘the impossible intelligence test’. Comment how some things really are impossible, some things just seem to be impossible and some things are just about possible.
- Explain that in one way the Bible is all about how God accomplished an impossible task: how he – a holy, pure God – found a way to make friends with humans, who had turned their backs on him and gone their own way, doing what was evil. In fact, man had turned away from God to such an extent that there was a huge gulf separating humans from God (display or draw diagram 1).
- God seemed a million miles away and despite the fact that humans tried to reach God (display or draw diagram 2), the gulf remained. How could they bridge the gulf?
- What was impossible for human beings, was possible for God – but only by becoming himself, in human form, the bridge. By dying on the cross, Jesus was able to do the impossible, by becoming the bridge between man and God. (Display or draw diagram 3)
- Talk briefly about the Indiana Jones film, The Last Crusade. Mention the part where Indiana Jones is standing with his back up against the wall, with a huge chasm in front of him which he must get across. To help him, all he has in hand is his father’s guide book. ‘There’s no way I can jump this,’ he says, ‘It’s impossible!’ Then, looking in the book, he sees that it describes an invisible bridge and he realises, ‘It’s a step of faith!’ So, hesitatingly he steps out (you could demonstrate his actions). To his surprise, his foot lands on solid rock – the bridge! He wasn’t absolutely sure that there was a bridge, but it said there was in the book that he trusted – and there was!
- Say that Christians all around the world – and throughout the centuries since Jesus – have taken a similar step of faith. They have discovered that God can do the impossible; instead of seeming a million miles away, God has become the closest friend they have. But for this to happen, we’ve got to use the ‘bridge’ God provided (point to diagram 3). Jesus’ death on the cross is what made it possible for us to be friends with God.