An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the importance of understanding the rules we are given.
Preparation and materials
You will need two identical card houses, a tray of sand and a rock.
You may wish to choose a reader for the Bible passage, Matthew 7.24-27.
Explain that you are going to tell the children a story. You want them to listen carefully so that they can answer some questions at the end.
Jamie gets into trouble.
‘You just don’t think!’ said Mrs Baker crossly. ‘It goes straight in one ear and out the other! It’s no use knowing the school rules if you don’t FOLLOW them!’
Mrs Baker was Jamie’s headteacher. Jamie was standing red-faced in her office with his head down.
‘“Always walk in school” is a rule to keep people safe, Jamie. And now look what’s happened! Thomas is in hospital, all because you ran through the hall doors and crashed into him. You sent him flying down the steps, hitting his head.’
Jamie felt awful. He knew he shouldn’t have run, but he just hadn’t thought. Worse still, Thomas was his friend.
Mrs Baker made Jamie stay in at playtime and look at the school rules on the corridor wall. Underneath the printed list, it said in large letters, ‘READ, THINK AND DO’.
Jamie’s mind wandered to God’s ten rules, which Dad had read about the other night from Jamie’s Bible storybook. He remembered that all the people had said to Moses, ‘We will do everything the Lord has said.’ (Exodus 19.8)
‘But I just forgot,’ said Jamie to himself, ‘and it happened so quickly . . .’
Mrs Baker came and called Jamie into her room. ‘I’ve had some news from the hospital, Jamie. Thomas is much better now, and your mum says you can go and see him with me if you like.’
‘Oh, yes, please!’ answered Jamie.
‘Well, go and get your coat and we’ll go now. Tell your teacher, too, please.’
Jamie ran out of the room - and then stopped. He walked the rest of the way!
Show the children the two card houses, the tray of sand and the rock.
Explain that Jesus told a story about houses, sand and rock.
Ask the volunteer to read the Bible passage, Matthew 7.24-27.
Emphasize the parts of the reading that refer to performing actions rather than just hearing words.
Time for reflection
Explain that Jesus wanted people not just to keep rules, but to understand the reasons for the rules. Rules would help people to love God and others. That’s why the rules were written down: to remind people to love God and to love others, too.
It can be easy to do good things when other people are looking. However, if we really understand why rules are needed and why they are important, we will keep them even if no one is looking!
Ask the children why there are rules for games, traffic and school.
Listen to a range of responses.
Point out that when God gave his rules (the Ten Commandments) to Moses, he did it to help people live good and happy lives. When Jesus was on earth, he suggested that we should be even more careful in the way we behave.
Jesus said, ‘Not killing someone isn’t enough. You mustn’t even let yourself hate them.’
Jesus said, ‘Not stealing something isn’t enough. You mustn’t even let yourself want what other people have got.’
Jesus said, ‘Do good things not just when people are watching, but when no one is watching. God sees and knows, and you will get a reward in heaven.’
Finish by asking whether Mrs Baker showed that she really cared about Jamie’s feelings as well as about Thomas.
Listen to a range of responses.
Please help us to remember your words about doing good at all times, not just when we are being watched.
Help us to be pleased when other people do well, and not to be glad when they get into trouble.
Alternatively, use the Lord’s Prayer.
‘The wise man built his house upon the rock’ (Kidsource, 1999 edition)