by the Revd Sylvia Burgoyne
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1
To reflect on the belief that God knows everything we do.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
- You will also need a long wide roll of paper and lots of coloured chalks.
- You may wish to familiarize yourself with the Bible story told in the ‘Assembly’, Step 3, which is from Daniel 5.
- As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.
- 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.
- Lucy Jane had lots to tell Scruff when she came running into the stable after school. ‘Guess what, Scruff, Mr Nobody has been chalking naughty words and pictures all over the playground walls! We had a special assembly and Mr Thomas asked us who had been making this mess. He sounded very cross. When we were all quiet, he said he supposed the naughty person must have been Mr Nobody. I’ve just asked Mum who Mr Nobody is. I thought he might be a ghost, but, you won’t believe this, Scruff, Mum just laughed! She told me that there’s no such person as Mr Nobody and people only say that when nobody is brave enough to say that they have been naughty. Anyway, Mr Thomas said that, while it’s wrong to chalk naughty words everywhere, he’s decided, for the rest of the week, we can chalk on the wall at the back of the playground. He wants us to draw pictures or write a sentence about what we like about our school. I like . . .?’
Ask the children, ‘What do you think Lucy Jane likes? What do you like about school?’
‘So you see, Scruff, we’re all going to be Mr Nobody!’ said Lucy Jane, laughing loudly. Scruff joined in the joke – ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’
On the long roll of paper and using the chalks, all make a graffiti pavement.
Take Scruff off.
- Did you know that there is a ghost story in the Bible (Daniel 5)?
The writing on the wall
Many, many years ago, King Belshazzar was having a party. He wanted to show all his guests, how rich and important he was, so he ordered the servants to pour the wine into the gold and silver goblets that had been stolen from the temple in Jerusalem and give them to his guests. As they drank more and more, they praised their gods made of gold, silver, metal, wood and stone.
Suddenly, the fingers of a human hand appeared and began writing on the wall. As the king watched, his face turned white and he was so frightened that his knees began to knock together. None of the clever men in the palace could tell him what the writing meant. Then the queen told him about a man called Daniel. He could solve difficult problems.
So King Belshazzar sent for Daniel and asked him what the writing meant. He told the king that God was angry with him for drinking out of the stolen goblets. How stupid they were for thinking that the gods they made themselves were greater than him. The writing was a warning that another king would take his place.
Daniel was right. That very night, King Belshazzar was killed in battle.
Time for reflection
Do you think we can we hide our mistakes from God?
Are we brave enough to own up when we do something wrong? Are we big enough to say sorry?
You are great and good; we are small and often make mistakes.
Thank you that we can say sorry and know that you still love us.
‘Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah; we’ll praise the Lord!’ (Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew), 283, 2008 edition)