A Treasure Chest of Precious Gems
Godís kingdom is like...
by Becky May
Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools
To reflect on the treasures in God’s kingdom and how we can change the world for the better.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a treasure chest, a few pieces of brightly coloured card and a black marker pen.
- Copy out the passage below from Matthew 13.44 (NRSV) for you or one of the children to read in the ‘Assembly’, Step 3:
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
- Hello, look at what we have here – a treasure chest! I wonder what we might find inside.
Invite the children to share a few of their ideas as to what they might expect to find in the treasure chest.
- Who do you think of when you see a treasure chest?
Whenever I see one, it reminds me of stories of pirates who buried their treasure to keep it safe from other pirates. Whenever you see a treasure chest, you imagine there must be something really precious or valuable inside it, don’t you?
- Did you know that Jesus once told a story about buried treasure when he was teaching his followers an important lesson about what is really precious?
Either read the passage from Matthew 13.44 or invite the child you asked to come up and read it.
- Imagine that, finding buried treasure and wanting it so much that you go and sell everything you have to get your hands on it. That shows just how valuable or precious it must have been.
- When Jesus was on Earth, he told lots of stories to help people understand more about God and the way the world should be. In this story, he talked about God’s kingdom. The people Jesus met expected him to overthrow the rulers in their country, who were always putting them down and stopping them from following God’s rules, with force and become king, but Jesus explained that God’s kingdom isn’t like that. He told lots of stories to help people understand that whenever people lived life the way that God wanted, they were bringing God’s kingdom to Earth.
- When Jesus talked about the treasure that the man found in this story – perhaps in a treasure chest like this one – he wanted his followers to understand that some things are even more precious than gold or silver, jewellery or money. They are the treasure that brings God’s kingdom to Earth. These treasures are things we can’t see, things that make people feel loved and valued. Can you help me to think about what some of these treasures might be?
Help the children to identify ‘treasures’, perhaps linked to the values of your school, such as love, peace, friendship, generosity and so on. Write each treasure on a separate piece of the brightly coloured paper, pulling them out of the treasure chest and holding them up for the children to see.
- Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a world surrounded by all these wonderful treasures? Actually, this message wasn’t just for the people in Jesus’ time; this is a story with a message for us, too. Can you think of some things that we can do to share these precious treasures with the people in our school or our families?
Invite the children to share their own suggestions as to practical ways that we can all demonstrate these values, by showing love or kindness and so on, and briefly discuss how these things would all help to change the world for the better.
Time for reflection
Let us now make ourselves really quiet as we look at all of these treasures in our treasure chest and think about some of the things that we can do to bring them into our school and our families.
When Jesus taught his followers how to pray, he told them to say, ‘Your kingdom come, on Earth as it is in heaven.’ We can all do practical things to change our world to make it a better place, but we can also pray that God will change the world to become the place that he wants it to be.
Today, we have been thinking about the things that we really treasure and how we can help to share them in our community to change the world for the better.
Help us to notice the treasures that you see, such as peace, love and generosity, so that we can enjoy these precious jewels and share them with others.
‘King of love’ by Doug Horley on his album Whoopah Wahey! (Integrity Music, 2000)
‘Love is something if you give it away’ or ‘Magic penny’ by Malvina Reynolds