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Never judge a book by its cover

To show that what we are like on the outside is not as important as what we are like on the inside.

by Guy Donegan-Cross

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To show that what we are like on the outside is not as important as what we are like on the inside.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need some fancy dress clothes. 

  • Two pictures (from the internet): one of a handsome criminal, and one of a normal-looking charity worker.

Assembly

  1. Choose four children. Give two of them one minute to dress up the other two in fancy dress clothes. Have a vote on which is the best outfit.
  2. Ask the two children in fancy dress if they feel different because of the clothes they are wearing. Ask the audience if what you wear or look like affects how important you are as a person.
  3. Ask the children what they think this saying means: ‘Human beings look on the outside, but God looks at the heart.’ Then tell this short version of the Good Samaritan.

    One day a student was walking down a street, as he did every day. All of a sudden some criminals jumped out, beat him up, stole his money, left him lying by the side of the road, and ran off.

    Soon one of his university teachers walked past – a very clever man. But instead of stopping, he decided he didn’t have the time to help the student and walked on. 

    A couple of minutes later, another one of his ‘friends’ walked past – a vicar. He noticed him but again decided he was too embarrassed and walked by.

    Just when the student was thinking that no one would help him up, he saw someone else walking on the other side of the road. He tried to see who it was, and his heart sank when he saw that it was Vicious Sid, fresh out of prison.

    Then, to his surprise, Sid walked over to him and helped him to his feet. ‘Well, you’re in a bit of a mess, aren’t you!’ said Sid. ‘Come to my house and I’ll get you sorted out.’

Time for reflection

Show the two pictures. Tell the children that one is a criminal, and the other is a charity worker. Can they tell from appearance which one is which?

Prayer

Dear God,

Please help me to see people like you see them. 

Not for what they look like or what they wear,

but for who they are inside.

Amen.

Song/music

‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: September 2009   (Vol.11 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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