Sharing our gifts and using them wisely to the benefit of others and in praise of God
by An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To help us to use our gifts to show others how special they are.
Preparation and materials
As a focus, show the pupils a box, container or item where the 'parts' are held together by hinges or screws which can barely be seen or are not seen at all.
The story of Solomon's wealth can be found in the Old Testament, 1 Kings 5:
Preparations and Materials for the Temple
Now King Hiram of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father; for Hiram had always been a friend to David. Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying, ‘You know that my father David could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. So I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to my father David, “Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.” Therefore command that cedars from the Lebanon be cut for me. My servants will join your servants, and I will give you whatever wages you set for your servants; for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.’
When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly, and said, ‘Blessed be the Lord today, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people.’ Hiram sent word to Solomon, ‘I have heard the message that you have sent to me; I will fulfil all your needs in the matter of cedar and cypress timber. My servants shall bring it down to the sea from the Lebanon; I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you indicate. I will have them broken up there for you to take away. And you shall meet my needs by providing food for my household.’ So Hiram supplied Solomon’s every need for timber of cedar and cypress. Solomon in turn gave Hiram twenty thousand cors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty cors of fine oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and the two of them made a treaty.
King Solomon conscripted forced labour out of all Israel; the levy numbered thirty thousand men. He sent them to the Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts; they would be a month in the Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the forced labour. Solomon also had seventy thousand labourers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hill country, besides Solomon’s three thousand three hundred supervisors who were over the work, having charge of the people who did the work. At the king’s command, they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones. So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites did the stonecutting and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house.
- Imagine wanting to make a gift for someone very special.
What would you do to show how much you cared about this person?
What sort of gift would you make and what would you do to show the person that you had taken a lot of care?
It is easy to tell when someone has taken a lot of time and trouble when making a gift for someone else. What do you think the clues are? (Make a list of the pupils' suggestions. These might include: especially chosen materials; lots of fine details; care with cutting, joining together, decorating, etc.)
- King Solomon wanted to make a very special gift for God because he loved and respected him so much. He wanted to make the best Temple on earth. It was so special that it was made of all the finest materials at the time: beautiful wood, bronze carvings, magnificent stone and nearly everything covered with gold. In fact it was so beautifully made that even the screws and door hinges were made of gold!
Here you could read part of the story of Solomon's Temple.
Look at the item on display. Can you see the screws, hinges or joins (inside or outside)? Usually parts of an object that can't be seen are not given special attention, but Solomon so loved and respected God that every detail was perfect and glorious, even those parts which would not be seen once finished.
Time for reflection
In the story, King Solomon wanted the very best for God to show how special God was to him. He built a magnificent Temple for people to worship God so that everyone could show their love and respect for him.
It wasn't just the gift that pleased God, but that King Solomon cared so much that he took the time and trouble to build it. This showed love and care for God, not just when the Temple was finished but in the care taken of it by the king and the people all the time.
Think of a way in which you can make someone feel loved and special. It might be by making something or it might be by taking time and care to show them your feelings.
Try making a special gift for someone where you take care in EVERY detail.
Show us how to love one another by caring and helping,
Show us how to make everyone feel special.
We are all special to you,
You love and care for each one of us
By the gifts you give for us every day: every one special.
'I want to worship the Lord' (No. 304 in Mission Praise, Collins, ISBN 978-0-007-28602-7)