To explore trust and the idea of trust in God
by Kirk Hayles
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To explore trust and the idea of trust in God.
Preparation and materials
- This assembly could follow on from any assemblies/work done on the story of Moses securing the release of the Israelites from Egypt (plagues of locusts, etc.), or it can stand alone.
- Display the word 'Trust' on an OHP or on a large piece of paper, or you could also put up smaller signs that the children will see on their way to assembly.
- You will need paper or OHP and pens, and a sturdy branch or broomstick as a prop (i.e. a staff for Moses to use).
- Ask the children if they have seen any new signs on the way to assembly (or refer to OHP). Ask them what 'trust' means. Ask who they trust, and who trusts them. (If you are a visitor to the school, check in advance the policy on how the children are educated about talking to strangers, and refer to this if appropriate.) Ask the children what they are trusted to do and what they trust others to do.
- At this point, for the younger children, ask a volunteer to carry a very large beaker full of water to a teacher (who has been warned in advance) who has a bit of a cough (expect an outbreak of coughing!). Emphasize that you have chosen someone that you can trust to walk slowly and sensibly. A further example could be to trust a child to tell the truth, to be honest about something. There are opportunities here to talk briefly about losing trust in someone - perhaps related to telling the truth, although you may prefer to keep the message more positive.
- Tell (or recap on) the story of Moses. He has eventually persuaded the reluctant Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and is leading them on their journey across the desert. Ask several children to come to the front. One can hold the staff (to take the part of Moses) and guide the others out of Egypt into the desert (children wander back and forth at the front of the hall).
But Pharaoh suddenly has a change of heart, and decides to send soldiers in chariots with his fastest horses racing after the Israelites (build up some anxiety here and ask the children to picture the panic of the Israelites, who fear they will either be returned to slavery or, worse, be killed). Choose a few more children to (in slow motion) pursue the Israelites.
The Israelites see the clouds of dust coming up behind them and realize, to their horror, that their way ahead is blocked by the Red Sea. There seems to be no way out, as the chariots approach.
The Israelites turn to Moses in panic. They swarm around him, wailing that he has brought them out into the desert only to be killed. Moses says, 'Don't be frightened. God will save us from the Egyptians.' But the chariots race ever closer.
Then God speaks to Moses and tells him to order the people to keep moving forward. God says that all Moses has to do is lift up his staff over the water (i.e. the children in assembly) and see what happens. Moses trusts in God and does as he is told ('Moses' lifts the staff).
Suddenly a strong wind begins to blow, which whips up the waves and separates them into two lots of water, one on either side, leaving a clear pathway through the sea (indicate the children to part, with a minimum of fuss, to allow the Israelites to pass through). And so the Israelites escaped.
Finish by mentioning, but not acting out, the waters closing back in on the soldiers and the Israelites praising God for saving them.
- Thank the volunteers. Ask the children who Moses trusted - God - and who the Israelites must have trusted - Moses, to follow him through the parted sea.
Time for reflection
While the children might not have to trust anyone to the same extent, explain that it is a wonderful thing to be able to trust one another, and more importantly, for other people to be able to trust us. But we have to work to deserve, and gain, other people's trust.
Many people believe that we can always trust in God. We can trust him to listen to us when we talk to him in our prayers.
Help us to be trustworthy people
who are honest, kind and thoughtful.
'What about being old Moses' (Come and Praise, 81)