An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools
To develop an understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit.
Preparation and materials
You will need a bag containing a pair of gloves.
The Bible readings are found in John 14.16-17, Galatians 5.22-23 and Acts 2.1-8 and 2.12-13.
Tell the children that you have something in your bag and you would like them to guess what it is. After a few guesses, give them a clue such as, ‘I use them when it’s cold outside.’
Take the gloves from the bag and show them to the children.
Ask the children if they have gloves of their own and why they are useful. Ask a few children to describe their gloves to you.
Ask the following questions about the pair of gloves that you have shown the children.
- What colour are they?
- What material are they made from?
- Is the material thick or thin?
- Do the gloves move on their own?
Point out that a glove looks completely lifeless on its own. It can’t pick anything up, give a wave or keep your hands warm. To make a glove useful, you must put it on!
Put on one of the gloves. Explain that your hand is nice and warm now, and it’s filling the glove. Show how your hand can make the fingers move by waving, pointing, showing the way and beckoning.
Explain that Christians believe that just like a hand inside a glove takes control of the glove and gives it movement and life, the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit wants to fill their lives by helping them to do things and giving them a joyful life.
Point out that when the glove is on your hand, you can no longer see the hand itself – it becomes invisible. We can’t see the hand, but we can see the effect that it has.
Likewise, Christians believe that although we can’t see the Holy Spirit, we can see the effect that the Holy Spirit has. In the Bible, in the second chapter of the book of Acts, we learn a lot about the work of the Holy Spirit. There, the Holy Spirit is described as a wind.
Ask the children, ‘Why do you think the author of Acts chose that comparison?’
Explain that it could be because the wind is also invisible. We can’t see the wind, but we know that it’s there because we can see its effects.
Use your glove-covered hand to pick up a small object. Explain that on its own, the glove can’t pick up anything - it needs a hand in it to help it. The Holy Spirit is also described by Jesus as a helper that can help us to face things and do things that would be impossible otherwise (see John 14.16-17).
Use your glove-covered hand to point in a particular direction. Explain that Christians believe that the Holy Spirit gives them direction in life.
Ask all of the children to stretch out one arm and tip it to the side. Next, ask them to stick out their index finger so that it’s pointing at you and stick up their thumb so that it’s pointing upwards. Then, ask them to ‘freeze’. Now, ask them to look at the position of their fingers and go on to ask the following questions.
- How many of your fingers are pointing towards me? (Answer: Yes, one finger only.)
- Where is your thumb pointing? (Answer: Yes, upwards.)
- Where are the other three fingers pointing? (Answer: Yes, back towards you! There are more fingers pointing back towards you than there are towards me!)
Explain that Christians believe that part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to show that although we often find faults in others (the one finger pointing at me), when we start to look at our own lives, we realize that we have a lot of faults of our own (the three fingers pointing back at ourselves). The thumb pointing upwards towards God reminds us that the Holy Spirit is always there to help us in any situation.
Time for reflection
You may wish to use the readings about the Holy Spirit found in John 14.16-17, Galatians 5.22-23 and Acts 2.1-8 and 2.12-13.
Thank you that you have not left us alone and that your Holy Spirit is always with us.
Help us to admit our faults and to live in a way that helps and encourages others.
‘Spirit of the living God’ (Mission Praise, 612)