Let It Go!
Why should we forgive those who hurt us?
by Becky May
Suitable for Key Stage 2
Highlights why we need to resolve arguments quickly and not let them grow.
Preparation and materials
- You will need images of the Sydney Opera House and a world map and the means to display them during the assembly. Mark Denmark and Australia on the map so that they can be seen by the children.
- The hymn suggested is ‘Let there be peace on earth’ (by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson, 1971). If you do not have the words, these can be found at: www.metrolyrics.com/let-there-be-peace-on-earth-lyrics-christmas-song.html
- Hello. I wonder if any of you recognize this building?
Show the image of the Sydney Opera House and invite the children to help to identify it.
- So, this is the Sydney Opera House. Does anybody know where in the world it is?
Show the children the map of the world and help them to locate Australia and then Sydney.
- I’m going to tell you some interesting facts about this beautiful building.
The Opera House is a huge concert venue on the banks of Sydney Harbour, close to the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.
It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II, who is also the Queen in Australia, in 1973.
Every year, there are more than 3,000 events held at the Opera House, including operas, concerts and festivals.
There are 1,000 rooms in the Opera House in total – including offices, restaurants and the concert venues – and more than a million tiles cover the roof!
The Opera House was designed by a man called Jørn Utzon, who beat 232 other entrants in the competition to design it.
- Actually, I want to talk to you a bit more about Jørn Utzon today. He was an ‘architect’, which means someone who designs buildings, and he lived in Denmark.
Show the children where Denmark is on the world map and how far Denmark is from Australia.
- Jørn Utzon designed the Opera House even though he had never seen where it was going to be built! The competition judges liked his design so much that they gave Mr Utzon the job of organizing for the Opera house to be built, so he set off for Australia.
While the building work was being carried out, problems started emerging and Mr Utzon disagreed with other people who were involved in the project about the way that they should finish the design. In the end, Mr Utzon was so cross about the changes that they wanted to make, he left Australia and moved back to Denmark.
Other people carried on with the building work until it was completed, which meant that people can enjoy his design for the Opera House today, but Mr Utzon never went back to see the finished job!
- A long, long time later, when Mr Utzon was quite old, the owners of the Opera House made amends with him and everyone apologized for the problems they had caused. Mr Utzon was even involved in helping to make new developments and changes to the Opera House, but, because he was so old, he was unable to travel back to Australia to see his finished design.
Can you imagine designing something as famous as the Sydney Opera House, but never actually seeing it for yourself? All because of an argument!
Fortunately, forgiveness was eventually the outcome and the relationship was made better, but wouldn’t it have been better if they had solved their problems sooner?
- When we argue and fall out with our friends or brothers and sisters, it can be really hard to be the first person to say sorry, especially if we think they have done something to hurt us, but, actually, saying sorry quickly can really help to solve a problem and stop it growing out of control.
In the Bible, one of God’s followers, Paul, wrote (Ephesians 4.26) that we shouldn’t let the sun go down on our anger. In other words, we should resolve our arguments before the end of the day – not let them last for many, many years, as in the case of Mr Utzon and the building of the Sydney Opera House.
Time for reflection
Let us be really quiet now so that we can think about the way we handle arguments we might have with our friends or family.
Can you think of a time when you could have said sorry straight away so that an argument would have ended much more quickly than it did? Try to remember today’s story so that next time you have a problem to solve, you do it quickly.
Thank you that the Bible tells us you will forgive us when we do something wrong.
Help us to remember to solve problems quickly by saying sorry and forgiving other people when they upset or hurt us.
‘Let there be peace on earth’ by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson