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Changes

To reflect on the fact that everyone's life changes, but God remains constant.

by The Revd Guy Donegan-Cross

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To reflect on the fact that everyone's life changes, but God remains constant.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a put together a resume of your life, with some options inserted (see 1. below). You may wish to use an OHP and acetates with the various life options written on. (Note: For ministers this is best done with a school you are familiar with.)

Assembly

  1. Tell the story of your life so far, incorporating some major life changes. With each change, give three options as to what these changes were, one of which is true (see example below). Make the options humorous, but subtle enough not be too obvious. At each set of options, you could have two teams at the front guessing, while you award points for correct answers; or ask all the children to raise their hands and guess before you enlighten them. You may like to show each set of options on an OHP so the children can read them.

    Example:

    When I was a baby I
    a) started eating mice.
    b) moved to Swindon.
    c) learnt to change my own nappy.

    Unfortunately my father died but a few years later my mother met my stepfather. The first time I met him I
    a) offered him a cake.
    b) put his sock on my head.
    c) threw water all over him.

    He was in the army, so we moved about a lot. When I was ten my parents decided to send me to
    a) the zoo to see some elephants.
    b) boarding school.
    c) a great aunt in Scotland.

    After school I worked in a church for a year, after which I went to college. Here I
    a) met my wife.
    b) became a professor.
    c) built my own house.

    My wife and I trained to be teachers before deciding to
    a) travel round the world.
    b) teach in China.
    c) paint each other's fingernails.

    When we returned from China I became
    a) a teacher.
    b) an ice cream salesman.
    c) a dentist before training to work in the church.

    I went to college where I
    a) studied about God.
    b) slept for 20 hours a day.
    c) climbed on the roof and sang every morning.

    Then I came here!

  2. Having told the story of your life, say that everyone has great changes in their lives. Some are changes that happen to us, and some are changes that we make happen. Ask the children which of these two categories these changes fall into:

    Moving house
    Getting a job
    Becoming ill
    Losing a job
    Doing well at school
    Making new friends
    Having a baby brother or sister

    Point out that at different stages in our lives we will answer these questions differently. For example, moving house is a decision of choice for adults, but usually not for children.

  3. Explain that some changes are good for us, and some are not so good. Some changes, that seem bad at one time, may bring good in the end. Tell this story:

    The story is told of a man from China who, though only a poor peasant farmer, was considered very well off, because he owned a horse that he could use for ploughing and for transport.

    One day his horse ran away. His neighbours commiserated with him and exclaimed how terrible this was, but the farmer simply replied, 'Perhaps'.

    A few days later the horse returned and brought two wild horses with it. The neighbours all rejoiced at this great good fortune, but the farmer just said 'Perhaps'.

    The next day the farmer's son tried to ride one of the wild horses. The horse threw him and he broke his leg as he hit the ground. The neighbours all offered their sympathy and said what a misfortune this was, but the farmer again said, 'Perhaps'.

    A few days later government soldiers came to the village to take away young men for the army. They rejected the farmer's son because of his broken leg. When the neighbours told him how lucky he was, the farmer replied, 'Perhaps'.

  4. If you can, give an example of something that seemed at the time to be a bad change in your life, but that worked for the good, e.g. I failed to get into one college, but met my wife at the college I did get into.

  5. Explain that we don't need to be afraid of changes. Christians believe that Jesus is always the same - yesterday, today and forever. He promises never to change and to always be there. So whatever happens to us, we can always turn to him.

Time for reflection

Lord Jesus,
help me to trust you in good changes and bad changes,
and to always see the good in what I think is bad.
Amen.

Song/music

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

Publication date: September 2002   (Vol.4 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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