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Recognizing Our Faults

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To consider the need to recognize our own faults, rather than pointing out the faults of others.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a double-glazed window (a window in the room can be used) or a large image of a window, two cloths and window-cleaning spray.

  • You will also need two volunteers with acting abilities, who will need time to rehearse prior to the assembly.

  • The Bible reading is from Matthew 7.1-5.

Assembly

  1. In the news a while ago, there was a story about a school’s fundraising event where parents, past pupils and friends auctioned either articles or their services. Two people offered their services as window cleaners. They offered to clean all the windows – inside and out - in the highest bidder’s house. The bidding was keen and eventually, a person bidding by phone won the window cleaning. The only problem was that the person owned a massive mansion that had many, many windows!

  2. Show the children the window or the image of a window.

    Ask for two volunteers to help you to clean it.

    Ask the children what the volunteers will need to help them. Suggestions should include cloths and window-cleaning spray.

    Draw an imaginary line down the centre of the window, explain that each child has a side to clean and ask them to begin.

  3. Give the volunteers a minute or two to act out the cleaning, spraying and polishing. Encourage them in their work, with some audience participation if appropriate.

  4. Ask the volunteers to stop cleaning and look at each other’s side of the window.

    As the volunteers look at each other’s side of the window, they should act out something along the lines of the following dialogue.

    Child 1: There’s still a mark on your side.

    Child 2: There’s a bigger one on your side.

    Child 1: My side’s perfect.

    Child 2: No, it’s not. You’re letting us down.

    Child 1: No, I’m not!

    Child 2: Yes, you are!

    Child 1: No, I’m not!

    Child 2: Yes, you are!

    Child 1: I’m better at cleaning than you.

    Child 2: No, you’re not.

  5. Ask the children if they have heard or seen situations like this in real life, where people are quick to blame someone else or find faults in them. Sometimes, it can seem as if were all experts at finding fault with others. Its far easier and more comfortable to find fault in others if it makes us feel better about our own lives.

  6. Ask if the children have heard of the proverb ‘people who live in glass houses shouldnt throw stones and the phrase ‘pointing the finger.

    Explain that these phrases mean that we are quick to blame others, even when we have faults ourselves.

  7. Ask the children to point their index finger forward. Now, ask them to lift their thumb so that its pointing upwards. Ask the children where the other three fingers are pointing. Explain that the three fingers are pointing back at them. In the same way, when we criticize other people or point out their faults, we must be careful that we don’t ignore the faults in our own lives.

Time for reflection

Jesus once said, ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank [of wood] in your own eye?’

Ask the children what they think this means.

Optional: read Matthew 7.1-5.

Jesus saw how easy it was to judge people and criticize their actions. He encouraged people to look at themselves first and to see if there were things that needed changing in their own lives.

Prayer
Dear God,
Help us not to find faults in others.
The next time we are tempted to point a finger at someone else,
Remind us that if we point our finger, three fingers are pointing back at us.
Amen.

Song/music

A sung version of the Lords Prayer.

Publication date: September 2017   (Vol.19 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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