The Power of the Wind
An assembly in the ‘Hello, Scruff!’ series
by by Revd Sylvia Burgoyne
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1 - Church Schools
To examine the meaning of Pentecost.
Preparation and materials
You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.
You will also need a selection of objects affected by the wind or by air being blown, such as windmills, streamers, whistles, recorders and candles.
Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, 'Hello Scruff!'
If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.
Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!
It was after 9 o’clock on Saturday morning and Scruff was hungry. He couldn’t understand where Lucy Jane had got to. He wanted his breakfast! Scruff began to call out loudly, ‘Hee haw, hee haw!’
Ask the children if they can guess where Lucy Jane was.
Lucy Jane was still in bed! She didn’t feel like getting up. It looked grey and miserable outside, and her bed was warm, cosy and safe.
Ask the children if they sometimes like to stay tucked up in bed.
Suddenly, Lucy Jane heard Scruff calling. She climbed out of bed and opened the window.
‘Scruff!’ she shouted. ‘You’ll have to wait. I’m not ready yet!’
It was nearly 10 o’clock when Lucy Jane wandered across the yard and gave Scruff his breakfast. Scruff felt sad. He always looked forward to Saturdays, when Lucy Jane didn’t have to go to school and could play with him. But today, she was in a strange mood. She didn’t really want to do anything.
‘Hee haw, hee haw!’ Scruff neighed quietly.
‘OK, Scruff,’ said Lucy Jane. ‘I suppose we can go for a quick trot.’
Lucy Jane climbed up onto Scruff’s back, and they headed slowly down the lane towards the large meadow beside the riverbank. It was strangely quiet and still. Lucy Jane didn’t feel like talking, and even the birds were silent.
Then, the weather began to change. At first, there was a gentle breeze, but it grew quickly into a strong wind. Lucy Jane turned Scruff around to head for home. She could feel the force of the wind on her back as they crossed the meadow. Scruff felt it, too, and began to trot faster and faster. It was as if the wind was playing with them. It was pushing them forwards. It was impossible not to move. In a flash, Lucy Jane’s mood changed. This was exciting!
‘Wheee . . . we’re flying . . . come on, Scruff!’ she shouted at the top of her voice, her hair blowing wildly in the wind. ‘We’re going faster and faster!’
‘Hee haw, hee haw!’ Scruff neighed in excitement.
In no time at all, they were back in the farmyard. Lucy Jane’s cheeks were rosy and her eyes were sparkling. The wind had blown the clouds away, the sky was blue and the sun was beginning to shine.
‘Wasn’t that great, Scruff?’ Lucy asked, patting Scruff’s back gently. ‘I feel so happy! It’s going to be a lovely day!’
‘Hee haw, hee haw!’ neighed Scruff noisily. He felt very happy, too!
Take off Scruff.
Now let’s listen to a story from the Bible that Peter, one of Jesus’ special friends, would like to tell us.
We had been very sad when Jesus died on the cross. However, three days later, he came back to life again and came and talked with us. We even shared a meal together! That made us very happy. After 40 days, he went back to heaven, but, before he went, he promised that he wouldn’t leave us all alone. He promised that he would send the Helper, his Holy Spirit, to be with us forever.
We didn’t really understand what Jesus meant, but we believed what he said, so we waited for him to keep his promise. We were waiting in an upper room in Jerusalem, wondering what was going to happen next. We had locked the doors. We were scared to go out into the city in case the soldiers arrested us, just as they had arrested Jesus.
It’s hard to describe what happened next. It was as if a strong wind burst into the room. It blew over all of us, but we didn’t feel cold. Instead, each of us had a lovely warm feeling, as if we were being fanned by small flames of fire. Suddenly, we felt like different people. We couldn’t stay locked away. The power of the wind pushed us out into the street, and we wanted to shout to everyone, ‘Jesus isn’t dead! He’s alive! He has filled me with power, and I’m not afraid any more!'
That was a wonderful day, and just the beginning of a great adventure that lasted for the rest of our lives. We had to tell everyone, everywhere about Jesus.
It wasn’t easy, but the Helper was always with us, keeping us strong.
Time for reflection
Invite children to show the effect of the wind on the objects available. Encourage them to feel the warmth of the air if they breathe gently on the backs of their hands.
Dear Father God,
Thank you for the wind.
Thank you that, although we cannot see the wind, we can see the effect that it has.
Thank you that it makes the branches of the trees sway and the clouds move across the sky.
Ask the children to add their suggestions.
Although we cannot see you, please help us to be brave when we feel afraid.
'Spirit of God' (Come and Praise, 63)