Store up Your Treasure in Heaven
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Key Stage 1/2
To consider the 'treasure' of good deeds done in secret.
Preparation and materials
- Familiarize yourself with the Bible story in the passsage Matthew 6.1-4, which contrasts the right and wrong ways in which God wants us to do good deeds.
- Collect various money boxes together and create a display of them.
- Find an image of a large treasure chest and have the means to display it at the beginning of the assembly. You will also need a range of images of people doing 'good deeds'.
- Have a few collection baskets to hand, plus a small piece of paper and pencil for each child.
- Show the image of the treasure chest.
Imagine having so much money that you needed a chest this huge to keep it all in! King John did. He reigned in medieval times and he was so wealthy and so scared of somebody stealing his money that he carried it around with him in a big chest everywhere he went. Well, not him on his own, but an army of strong men whose job it was to protect the King's wealth.
I wonder what he did with all that money. Build castles? Recruit armies to fight in wars? Live a luxurious life? Whatever it was, from what we know about him, it is not likely that he used it for the good of his people.
- What would you do with lots of money?
Go to the display of money boxes and pick some of them up and look at them as you talk.
Imagine if all these money boxes were full . . . what would you spend the money on? Yourself? Your friends? Other people?
How would you decide what to do with it?
- In Mathew's Gospel, in the New Testament part of the Bible, Jesus tells his disciples how important it is to please God, no matter what other people think. Caring for other people makes God happy and he knows that we want to please him.
Jesus says that to do good deeds on Earth is like storing up treasure in heaven because it will bring us a great reward - God's love forever.
- There is one big but, though. Jesus also tells his disciples that God does not want us to be boastful or too proud of our actions, showing off and making sure everyone knows we are doing good. Instead, God is most pleased when we do our good deeds in secret. We know that God sees everything and we want to please him more than anything, so it doesn't matter if nobody else knows.
- It is nice to be praised for our efforts to help others, but we should see this as an 'extra', not an essential or the reason for doing it. Many people around the world, 'volunteers', give their time free to help those in need and, very often, no one knows who they are or what wonderful help they have given . . . but God knows!
Time for reflection
Give each child one of the pieces of paper and a pencil.
Ask them to, in secret, write down on the piece of paper a 'good deed' that they will do today for their friends, family or someone else.
Then, ask the children to fold their pieces of paper up and put them in the collection baskets. Pass the baskets around.
We ask you to teach us how to please you and God by:
- listening to your stories in the Bible
- talking to you in our prayers
- seeing your love in action around us.
Bless these 'good deeds' of ours today so that we may share in the treasure of God's love forever.
- Create a huge 'treasure chest' wall display, making it double-layered so that the 'good deeds' can be placed in the chest secretly, between the layers. See Volunteering Matters (formerly the CSV) and Cross-Cultural Solutions' websites (at: http://volunteeringmatters.org.uk and www.crossculturalsolutions.org) for information about volunteering.
- Find out what Jesus said in the Gospels about storing up your treasure in heaven and ask the children to choose passages they like and write them out to attach around the treasure chest in the display.
- Think of ways in which you can care for others, both in your community and further afield.
- What do you think heaven might be like? What would 'heaven' be For you?