The Voice of God - Mother Teresa
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools
To develop our understanding of the way in which God speaks to people.
Preparation and materials
Have available an image of Mother Teresa and the means to display it during the assembly. An example is available at: https://tinyurl.com/gs9xedb
You will need a screen behind which three children can be hidden from sight, and a simple sentence for each of them to read out.
Ask for three volunteers and ask them to stand at the front of the room. Make sure that the remaining children are familiar with the volunteers’ names and ask them a few questions so that everyone has heard their voices. Explain that the volunteers are going to stand behind the screen and take it in turns to say a simple sentence. The remaining children are going to guess which volunteer spoke each time.
After the children have guessed the name of the last volunteer, ask the volunteers to return to their places.
Point out that many people have distinctive voices. Ask the children to think of any famous people who could be easily identified by their voices.
Read the words, ‘Go and serve me among the poorest of the poor.’ Ask if any of the children can guess who these words were said to. Ask if anyone knows who said them. Explain that these words were said to a woman who became known as Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Show the image of Mother Teresa.
Explain that the words were spoken by God!
Ask the children what they think God would sound like. Point out that, although we may expect God to have a big, booming voice, the Bible often describes God’s voice as being gentle and quiet. That is how the voice of God sounded to Mother Teresa when God said to her, ‘Go and serve me among the poorest of the poor.’
Explain that God had spoken to Mother Teresa before she heard these words. He had told her to leave her home in Macedonia and go and tell other people in the world about Jesus. Mother Teresa worked as a teacher and later as a headteacher of a Catholic school in India. It was when she was travelling on a train in India that God said to her, ‘Go and serve me among the poorest of the poor.’ That was on 10 September 1946. Mother Teresa knew immediately what God meant. In India, she taught the children of the rich, but now she knew that God wanted her to teach the children of the poorest of the poor. The very next year, Mother Teresa left her school and set up a new school in the poorest slum in the poorest city in India: Calcutta. Other people from India and around the world came to help Mother Teresa with her work. In the years that followed, Mother Teresa began helping the poor of Calcutta in different ways. She opened an orphanage, a soup kitchen, a hospital, a youth centre and a hospice where dying people were cared for.
Mother Teresa won many prizes and awards for her work, but she gave every penny of her prize money to help the world’s poor. When she died on September 5 1997, her only personal possessions were a metal bucket for washing herself and two cotton saris.
Because God had spoken to her in a kind and gentle voice, Mother Teresa believed in speaking to everyone she met in the same way and she encouraged the people who worked with her to do the same.
Here are some of her words: ‘Speak tenderly to people. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t just give them your care, give them your heart as well.’
Time for reflection
Throughout history, many people have believed that they have heard the voice of God. However, in reality, only very few like Mother Teresa have heard it and acted on it. If more of us spoke to each other in the way she suggested, perhaps more people really would hear the voice of God.
Help us to be more like Mother Teresa and to be more concerned about the poorest of the poor.
Help us to remember to speak tenderly to other people with a kindness in our faces and a cheerful smile on our lips.
‘I listen and I listen’ (Come and Praise, 60)
Find out about other people who have heard God’s voice.
Find out more about Mother Teresa’s work.