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The story of Joshua and Jericho

Nothing is impossible with God

by Manon Ceridwen James

Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools

Aims

To help children feel that, although they may be struggling with schoolwork, they will get there in the end.

Preparation and materials

  • Familiarize yourself with the story of Joshua and the Walls of Jericho (see Joshua 6).  
  • You will need a few big books or some other object to symbolize something you struggled to learn, a skill or knowledge.
  • Find the worship song ‘Be bold, be strong for the Lord your God is with you’ at: www.worshipworkshop.org.uk/songs-and-hymns/hymns/be-bold,-be-strong (© Archbishops’ Council 2011–2013) and have the means to play it at the end of the assembly.

Assembly

  1. Ask the children if any of them are finding their schoolwork difficult at the moment. Say that this is natural – they will be learning new things this year and it might seem hard at first, but they will soon get the hang of it. It’s also difficult having been on holiday and having to get back into learning things again.

    Explain that if they are really worried about schoolwork they can always get help from the teachers. Sometimes all they need to do is keep at it. What might seem impossible becomes possible in the end.

  2. Tell them about a time in your life when you had to learn a new skill or when you went to college or university to learn about a subject. For example, ‘I have here some pretty big theology books. In the beginning, the books seemed too difficult to read and I thought I would never understand them. But, as time went on, I understood it and here I am standing in front of you as a vicar!’

  3. Tell the children the story of Joshua and Jericho. God promised to be with Joshua and always help him after Moses died and told him not to be afraid.

    On their journey to the Promised Land, they had to go through Jericho, which was a city with big walls surrounding it. Two spies from the Israelites sneaked into Jericho and stayed with a woman called Rahab, who kept them safe from the king’s soldiers and helped them escape.

    In order to take over Jericho, God made Joshua do something that seemed very strange. He told Joshua to get the soldiers to march around the city every day for six days, silently. The priests were to follow them, carrying the Ark of the Covenant (which was where the tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments were kept) and blow trumpets, but the soldiers and the people who followed the Ark had to be quiet. 

    On the seventh day, they were to march around the walls of Jericho seven times in the same way as the previous six days. On the eighth march around the walls, however, they were all to make as much noise as possible – and the walls fell down. That was very strange. How on Earth would just a big noise bring down such big strong walls?

  4. Tell the children that, if they promise to be quiet, as soon as you put your hand up, they can have a go at making a big noise – just like they did in the battle of Jericho. Tell them to make a big trumpet noise, to see if they can bring the walls of the school down! 

    Then put your hand up to signal that the children need to be quiet again. If their first attempt is not that loud, get them to do it several times, until the noise is loud enough.

  5. Clearly (hopefully!) the walls here didn’t fall down, but this story tells us about trusting in God, even when things seem difficult or impossible. 

    Sometimes, with things that are hard, we just have to do our best and keep going. Eventually, what we manage to learn or achieve is more than we can ever imagine to begin with. What seems to be impossible at first turns out to be possible if we stick at it.

Time for reflection

Encourage the children to think about something they find hard or difficult and ask God to help them, silently. 

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for the story of Joshua, which taught us how much you helped him.
Help us when we find things are difficult.
Help us to trust that we will get there in the end.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Be bold, be strong for the Lord your God is with you’ (© Archbishops’ Council 2011–2013)

Publication date: January 2014   (Vol.16 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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