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Seeing is believing

Suitable for No Key Stage Specified

Aims

To use magic to help children understand that we don’t have to see God to believe in him.

Preparation and materials

  • If possible, find someone to perform a magic trick. Alternatively, find a clip from a magic show and have the means to show it during the assembly (check copyright).

Assembly

  1. Watching a magician can be an exciting and amazing thing. We watch something happen, but we aren't sure how it happens.

    Invite your magician to demonstrate a magic trick or show the clip.

  2. We can't see what happens in the middle of a trick, but we know something did happen because by the end something has obviously changed. This is an example of how sometimes we believe things that we cannot see.

    We cannot see God, but we believe he is there. Look around at the world and there are lots of signs of his presence – the plants that appear each spring and grow through the summer, the birds that fly in the sky, the birth of a new baby – each more amazing than any magic trick. He has given us the most precious present of all – our  lives. We may not see God, but these things help us to believe and know he is there.

  3. End by reading the words of the song 'It happens each spring'.

Time for reflection

When we are in bed at night and wake up, we are alone, but usually we feel safe. Why? Because, even though we can't see anyone, we know that our parents or whoever cares for us are nearby. Think about how this can be related to our relationship with God.  

Songs

'It happens each spring' (Harlequin (A. & C. Black), 15)
'I'm very glad of God' (Someone's Singing, Lord (A. & C. Black, 2002), 22)

Ideas to develop through the week

  1. It can be hard to believe things we cannot see. The Bible tells us how one of Jesus' friends found this out. Read about Jesus and Thomas in John 20.24–29. You will need to explain the context – that Thomas did not believe Jesus had risen from the dead after he had been crucified. Jesus proved to him that he had really died and risen again by showing and letting him touch the wounds he had received when he was crucified – it was not just some kind of magic trick.

  2. Use the words from the song 'I'm very glad of God' to think about how, although we can't see God as a physical presence, we can see evidence of him all around us. Similarly, we can hear him through all the sounds in our lives.

Related activities

  • Ask the children to think of things we know are there or happen even though we cannot see them – such as our mums thinking about us while we are at school. How do we know?
  • Using the words from the song 'I'm very glad of God', ask the children to either write or draw examples to illustrate the phrases 'In every lovely thing I see, God smiles at me!' and 'In every lovely sound I hear, God speaks to me!'
Publication date: April 2014   (Vol.16 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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