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An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools

Aims

To consider God's promise of friendship.

Preparation and materials

  • Be prepared to briefly retell a few stories from the Gospels in which Jesus helps people and shows friendship to them. For example, you could tell the story of the healing of the blind man (Mark 10.46-52); Jesus calming the storm (Mark 4.35-41); Jesus healing the paralysed man (Mark 2.1-12); and Jesus showing kindness to the tax collector, Zacchaeus (Luke 19.1-10). Alternatively, you may wish to pre-arrange children to act out the stories above.

  • You will need a flip chart or means of recording the children’s suggestions in Point 7.

  • You may wish to light a candle on which the children can focus as they reflect upon the stories.

Assembly

  1. Either recap the stories about Jesus or ask the pre-arranged children to act out these stories.

  2. Considering each story in turn, ask the children the following questions.

    - What does the story teach us about Jesus?
    - What does the story teach us about friendship?

  3. Ask the children to vote for their favourite story.

  4. Explore the idea that God sent Jesus to show the world how important it is to love each other and to be true friends to those around us.

  5. Point out that God made a promise many years before the birth of Jesus. The promise was that one day, he would send Jesus, who would be a true and loving friend.

  6. Ask if anyone knows what the word ‘unconditional’ means. Explain that Christians believe that God’s love for people is unconditional. This means that he will ‘stick by’ his friends in every situation.

  7. Ask what qualities Jesus showed that made him a true friend. Invite children to record these on the flip chart.

  8. Ask the children to think about themselves. Ask the following questions.

    - Are you a good friend?
    - Are you always ready to help others?

Time for reflection

Read out the qualities of Jesus that were recorded on the chart. After each word or phrase is read, pause to allow the children to consider if they have that quality and what they can do to improve that quality in themselves.
You may wish to light a candle for each quality and ask the children to focus on the candle as they reflect.

Prayer
Dear God,
You made a promise to all mankind:
A promise that you kept,
A promise that shows your love for all,
promise that will never be broken.
We thank you for the promise of Jesus, the truest friend of all.
Amen.

Song/music

'God has promised' (Come and Praise, 31)

Follow-up ideas

  • Write prayers about Jesus being a friend.

  • Find out more about God's 'promise' to send Jesus in the prophecies of the Old Testament.

  • Instead of 'class rules', try writing a set of ‘class promises’ that will help promote harmony, friendship and an ideal environment for all.

Publication date: June 2016   (Vol.18 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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