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Bread of Life

The first in a series considering the I am statements of Jesus

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 2 - Church Schools

Aims

To consider Jesus’ claim that he is the bread of life.

Preparation and materials

  • Have available the following images and the means to display them during the assembly:

    - Muhammad Ali, available at: https://tinyurl.com/zgfyz4f
    - loaves of b
    read, available at: https://tinyurl.com/zxdrula

  • Optional: you may wish to display the following metaphors during the assembly, in which case you will also need the means to do so:

    - ‘I am a rose of sweet scent and painful thorn’
    - ‘I am a rainbow, vibrant with promise’
    - ‘I am the winter, frozen and chilling’

  • Optional: you may wish to show the YouTube video, ‘I am the bread of life (John 6.35) - NIV’, in which case you will also need the means to do so. It is 2.38 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdRDgaOgJlA

Assembly

  1. Show the image of Muhammad Ali.

    Ask the children if they know the name of the man in the picture. Explain that Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer and activist who died in 2016. He is celebrated as one of the most significant sports figures of the twentieth century. Muhammad Ali is well known for saying of himself, ‘I’m not the greatest. I’m the double greatest.’

    This description leaves us in no doubt as to what Muhammad Ali thought about himself.

  2. We may not have a Muhammad Ali in assembly today, but we do have many ‘shining stars’, ‘superstars’, ‘walking calculators’ and ‘supersonic runners’. This way of describing people uses metaphors. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object (in this case, to people), even though it is not literally applicable. It differs from a simile, which compares two different things and includes words such as ‘like’ or ‘as’.

  3. We know that there are no real stars that have fallen from the sky present in the room. However, a person could be referred to as a star because they light up a room with their lovely smile.

  4. Read out the following three metaphors and ask the children what each of them means:

    - ‘I am a rose of sweet scent and painful thorn’
    - ‘I am a rainbow, vibrant with promise’
    - ‘I am the winter, frozen and chilling’

  5. The Bible often uses metaphors when it describes Jesus. Some of the metaphors that are used may sound a bit strange. In John 6.35, Jesus says, ‘I am the bread of life.’

    Show the image of the loaves of bread.

    Ask the children how many kinds of bread they can think of. You may wish to make a list. Examples include wholemeal, granary, pitta, naan and seeded.

  6. Ask the following questions.

    - What is bread made of? (Answer: bread is made with the grains available in each country and is the staple food in many countries of the world.)
    - What does bread give our bodies? (Answer: bread is something that we tend to eat every day because it doesn’t satisfy us forever.)

Time for reflection

Christians believe that when Jesus described himself as the ‘bread of life’, he meant that he can satisfy people’s needs. If we eat bread for our lunch, we will be hungry a few hours later. However, Christians believe that Jesus is enough to satisfy them forever. They believe that he brings peace, contentment, forgiveness, joy and a purpose to their lives.

You may wish to show the YouTube video, ‘I am the bread of life (John 6.35) - NIV’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdRDgaOgJlA

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for the food that we enjoy every day.
Please help us to remember those who have little to eat.
Thank you that you can satisfy our innermost needs.
Thank you that you can fill us with joy.
Amen.

Publication date: May 2017   (Vol.19 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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