To demonstrate the principle of building on firm foundations
by The Revd Catherine Williams
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To demonstrate the principle of building on firm foundations (Matthew 7.24-27).
Preparation and materials
- You will need: A large seed tray filled with damp sand (or a sand tray from one of the classrooms).
- A sandcastle bucket, small spade, shells and small flag.
- A large Lego board.
- A box of large building blocks - e.g. Duplo, or Mega Blocks.
- Ask the children to raise their hands if they consider themselves to be good at building houses from Lego. Choose a couple of volunteers. Next ask who went to the beach in the summer holidays and built a sandcastle. Again choose a couple of volunteers from those who put up their hands.
Ask the two sand volunteers to build a sandcastle in the sand tray, and the other two to build a house with the building blocks.
- While the building work is progressing, tell Jesus's story of the wise builder and the foolish builder from Matthew 7.24-27. Tell the story (the GNB version is below) in your own words, updating it if appropriate.
'So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain poured down, the rivers overflowed, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock. But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers overflowed, and the wind blew hard against that house, and it fell. And what a terrible fall that was!'
- When the buildings are completed, ask the children to tell you which building would survive if they were left overnight in the garden and there was a storm.
- Draw out from the children the meaning of the story for their lives - discuss with them the importance of building their own lives like the wise man, using good materials and taking time to learn how to do things properly and well. You might develop this by talking about building good relationships, or about having God as the rock on which we all build. For the youngest children, ensure that your message is simple and clear - if we don't think about things properly we're a bit like the builder who didn't think that a house made on sand would fall down.
- Finally, give the sand tray containing the sandcastle a good shake so that the castle collapses, to demonstrate that lives built on sand have a habit of falling apart.
Time for reflection
Help us to build our lives on you,
so that when the storms of life come
we will have a rock solid foundation.
'The wise man built his house upon the rock'
'It's a new day' (Come and Praise, 106)