'Hello, Scruff!' - a surprise feast
Sharing – the boy who gave his picnic to Jesus
by the Revd Sylvia Burgoyne
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1
To encourage children to be generous to those in need.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
- As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.
- Find some images of hungry children (check copyright) and have the means to display them during the assembly.
- Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, ‘Hello, Scruff!’
If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.
Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!
- ‘Guess what happened today, Scruff!’, shouted Lucy Jane as she ran into the stable after school. ‘When Mum took me to school this morning, I left my lunch box in the car. When the bell rang for lunch, I went to the shelf in the classroom where we always put our boxes and mine wasn’t there! So there I was, sitting at the table in the hall, with my tummy rumbling and nothing to eat. Bryony saw that I had started to cry and she told the teacher, who came to ask me what was wrong. “Please, Miss, I’ve forgotten my lunch box”, I said. “Never mind”, Miss said, then she asked everyone to stop eating and listen. “Lucy Jane has nothing to eat. Do you think you can share some of your food with her?” What do you think happened then Scruff?’
Do you know?
- ‘I’ve never had such a feast, Scruff. My friends all gave me some of their lunch, but so did lots of other children from other classes. I didn’t even know them. I had such a pile of food – sandwiches, apples, oranges and juice – that the teacher had to give some of it back! When Mum picked me up at home time, she looked very worried. She’d only just seen my lunch box on the floor behind her car seat. She thought I’d be very hungry, but laughed when I told her how much food I’d been given. “You have some very kind friends,” she said. “It’s good when people share.”’
Take Scruff off.
- One morning, carrying his packed lunch, Jacob followed the people in his village as they went out into the countryside, looking for Jesus. Jacob was so excited when they found him, already surrounded by lots of people.
Everyone sat down on the ground and Jesus began to tell them stories about God. The time flew by, until Jacob heard one of Jesus’ friends telling him to send everyone away – so that they could buy food for themselves in the villages – but Jesus knew how hungry everyone was, so told his friend to see how much bread he could find.
When Jacob heard this, he jumped to his feet and ran to Jesus. With eyes shining, he said, ‘Please, sir, you can have my food.’ Jesus smiled at him, took his picnic of five loaves and two fishes and began to break them up. He passed the food to his 12 friends to share out among the crowd. There were 5,000 people, yet everyone had enough to eat – including Jacob! There were even 12 baskets of food left over. Jacob was amazed that Jesus had fed so many people with his packed lunch.
Time for reflection
What have you had to eat today?
Can you think of children who have had nothing and are very hungry? Do you know why they are hungry?
Thank you for the world so sweet.
Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you God for everything.
‘Two little fishes, five loaves of bread’ (Sing to God, Scripture Union, 1971)
‘Would you walk by on the other side’ (Come and Praise, 70)