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Not missed out: A beginning of the school year assembly

To encourage the children to welcome and include one another.

by Paul Sandford

Suitable for Key Stage 1

Aims

To encourage the children to welcome and include one another.

Preparation and materials

  • None required.

Assembly

  1. Ask the children to close their eyes, perhaps to cover them with their hands. Ask: Can they hear things that they did not hear a moment ago? Are they aware of the person beside them because they cannot see them?
  2. Now ask them to open their eyes and listen to this story:

    I am going to tell you in my own words a story about Jesus.

    Story (based on Mark 10.46–52)

    Many years ago, in the city of Jericho there lived a man called Bartimaeus. He could not see. He was blind.

    He could not do any work. Every day he just sat and begged. ‘I am hungry,’ he said. ‘Give me some money to buy food.’

    Many people just walked past. They did not really see him. Then, one day, someone told him, ‘Jesus is coming here today.’

    Bartimaeus was so excited. ‘Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!’ He hopped up and down.

    ‘Will you calm down!’ people said to him. ‘You’re getting on our nerves.’

    But Bartimaeus would not. ‘Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!’ he said.

    All morning he listened expectantly for a crowd. Then he began to hear the sound of many feet and lots of people talking excitedly. ‘Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming,’ he said.

    The people beside him said, ‘Be quiet! He is not interested in you!’

    The crowd came closer. Bartimaeus started shouting really loudly, ‘Jesus, Jesus help me!’

    Jesus stopped. ‘Bring that man to me,’ he said.

    The people who had been saying ‘Shut up!’, now said ‘Come with us. Jesus is calling you.’

    Bartimaeus jumped up, leaving his cloak behind. He was so excited. He held someone’s hand and they went to Jesus.

    Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’

    Bartimaeus did not hesitate for a moment. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘I want to be able to see!’

    Jesus said ‘Go! Your faith has made you well.’

    Bartimaeus turned to go. All of a sudden his eyes felt different. He saw the people near him. He could see his own hands. He saw the colour of the road and the shape of the houses. He looked up into the sky and recognized the birds he so loved to hear.

    Bartimaeus was so excited. ‘I can see!’ he said. ‘I can see!’

    He looked along the road to where Jesus was going. Straight away he dashed back and picked up his cloak. Then he ran to join the crowd who were following Jesus.

  3. Ask the school: How do you think Bartimaeus felt when people wanted to leave him out? Is there anybody in your class who might get left out? Maybe they are not blind, but they find things difficult, or they feel awkward. What could you do to include them and make them feel happy?

Time for reflection

Ask the children to close their eyes again. Can they think of someone who might need their help?

Now ask them to open their eyes. Tell them to remember to use them to look out for other people.

Prayer
Heavenly Father,
you see everything
and you love us so much.
Help us to notice people around us,
specially the ones who feel lonely or left out.
Help us to be real friends to them.
Amen.

Song/music

‘The best gift’ (Come and Praise, 59)

Publication date: September 2010   (Vol.12 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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