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Good Samaritans

by Alison Thurlow

Suitable for Key Stage 1/2

Aims

To encourage us to think about how we treat our friends (SEAL theme: Say no to bullying).

Preparation and materials

  • Find an image that you can use as a background picture while you tell the story of the Good Samaritan (for example: http://tinyurl.com/ptnhjmn) and the means to display it during the assembly (optional).
  • You might also like to find an image of Van Gogh’s painting The Good Samaritan after Delacroix (for example: http://tinyurl.com/qxynxft) to show during the 'Time for reflection' part of the assembly (optional).
  • Familiarize yourself with the song ‘If you know God’s love’ by Chris Medway from 250 Songs for Children’s Praise & Worship (Children’s Ministry, 2006). This song works well if you devise an easy hand jive for everyone to do as they sing.

Assembly

In the assembly today we’re going to be thinking about how we treat people and reminding ourselves that we should never bully other people.

Turn to the person next to you and talk quietly about your thoughts in response to the following two actions you could take or not take.

First, think of some kind things that you could do in this school today.

Second, think of some things that you should not do in this school today because they would upset other people.

Listen to some of the children’s answers.

Thank you for your good answers. I hope that many more of the kind things than the unkind things will happen today. I know that your teachers do everything they can to stop unkind things happening, but sometimes they do still happen and people do get hurt. 

Next, I am going to tell you a Bible story about someone who got hurt and I would like you to listen carefully to see who did and who did not help him.

Display the background picture for the story, if using.

The Good Samaritan

Jesus was outside one day, teaching people about God, when someone in the crowd called out a question for him to answer.

‘What must I do to live forever?’

‘That’s easy,’ replied Jesus, ‘love your neighbour as much as you love yourself!’

The man in the crowd thought he might try to trick Jesus, so he called out again:

'Who is my neighbour, then?'

'I’m going to tell you a story so that you can answer that question for yourself', replied Jesus with a smile. This is the story that he told.

A man was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was all alone, he was on foot and it was a very dangerous route. All of a sudden, some robbers leapt out from their hiding place, stole the man’s money, beat him up and left him by the side of the road to die.

A while later, another man walked down the same road. He was a priest at the temple – a very important man – but he just took one look at the poor man, crossed to the other side of the road and walked on by.

Not long afterwards, another figure appeared on the horizon. He was a Levite – someone who also worked at the temple – the kind of person you might expect to help someone in need. So what do you think he did? Rush to help the poor man? No, he did exactly the same thing as the priest – he crossed to the other side of the road and walked on by!

Later again, a third man came down the road and he was riding on his donkey. This man was a Samaritan. The Samaritans did not get on at all well with the other people around them – in fact, they hated them! So, did the Samaritan walk on by and ignore the man who had been hurt by the robbers because he was not a Samaritan? No, he felt so sorry for the man that he rushed over to him, bandaged his wounds, helped him on to his donkey and took him to an inn in the next village. He gave the innkeeper some money to look after him until he was well again and even promised to give the innkeeper more money if he needed it.

Jesus looked straight at the man who had asked him the tricky question and said, ‘Which of the men do you think was a neighbour to the man who had been robbed – the priest, the Levite or the Samaritan?’

‘I suppose it was the Samaritan’, replied the man.

‘You have answered correctly,’ said Jesus. ‘A neighbour is anyone who needs your help, so now you need to go and help you neighbour, too!’

Time for reflection

Display the image of Van Gogh's painting of the Good Samaritan, if using.

In the story, someone had been badly hurt, or bullied, but only one of the three people who came by helped him. I wonder what we could learn from that story about how we treat other people, especially those who are feeling hurt or upset.

I have two suggestions for you to think about.

The first is that, if you see someone who is hurt or upset, don’t just ignore them – either go and help them yourself or  fetch an adult who can help.

The second is to be prepared to help anyone, not just someone you like.

If appropriate, add that this is the example Jesus set and you think it is a good example!

Prayer
Dear God,
There are times when we need help from others and times when others need help from us.
Help us always to be ready to help each other, even people we don't like, just as Jesus taught us.
Amen.

Song/music

‘If you know God’s love’ by Chris Medway (250 Songs for Children’s Praise & Worship)
‘When I needed a neighbour’ by Chris Medway (250 Songs for Children’s Praise & Worship)

Publication date: August 2015   (Vol.17 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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