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To show that although some things can be spoiled, there are others that can never be destroyed.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To show that although some things can be spoiled, there are others that can never be destroyed.

Preparation and materials

  • It would be useful to have a garment or something that has been affected by moths. 
  • Take five pieces of A4 card. In large print put M on the first, then O on the second, and so on, spelling the word MOTHS.
  • The Bible passage is Matthew 6.19–21 (section 4).


  1. Ask five children to come out. Give each child one of the A4 cards.

    Ask the first child to hold up the letter M. Say the line for the letter M. Ask the other children to hold up their cards in turn. Say each line, building up to the whole word.

    M is for munching day by day.
    On woollen things they eat away.
    Tiny creatures that can’t be seen.
    Holes appearing where they’ve been.
    Spoiling things is what they do,
    MOTHS destroy the things they chew.
  2. Yes, our letters spell the word ‘moths’. Hold up the item you have brought. Put your fingers in the holes to show where they are. Tell the children that often people are not aware that moths have damaged their clothes and they get a shock when they come to put them on. It is such a disappointment to find that they have been spoiled.

    Optional development

    Things can so easily be spoiled or destroyed. Severe weather conditions can do this. Invite the children to suggest examples. (Earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, etc.)
  3. Our world can be spoiled by contamination, litter and pollution.

    People’s hopes and dreams can be spoiled by unkind deeds or actions or vicious words – you might ask for examples from the children.

    If our lives are centred round something that can easily be destroyed, then we may end up with nothing.
  4. Jesus told his followers. ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’

    Jesus means that the things we do throughout our lives and the way we behave to others are more important than the material things we have.
  5. Moths have ‘consumed’ this item. (Hold up your garment again.) They have spoiled and destroyed it.

    In life as we get older our appearance changes; some people say we ‘lose our looks’. Something that is new and shiny ages to become dull and worn. Things wear out, colours fade, some things decay. Possessions get spoiled.
  6. Fortunately, there are some things that can never be destroyed or spoiled, things like a happy nature, a friendly spirit, a kind heart. These can be constant and are more valuable than worldly possessions.

    The way we treat other people is very important. A friendly smile can be so welcoming. Consideration, patience and tolerance for others are treasures that we can all share here on earth.
  7. Look again at the cards and ask the children to repeat each line after you.

    Ask your helpers to sit down.

Time for reflection

Lord of the loving heart, may mine be loving too.
Lord of the gentle hands, may mine be gentle too.
Lord of the willing feet, may mine be willing too.
So may I grow more like to you in all I say and do.


‘The wise may bring their learning’ (Come and Praise, 64)

Publication date: June 2012   (Vol.14 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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