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Various Gifts

All part of one body

by Ronni Lamont (revised, originally published in 2006)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To encourage us to appreciate different people’s contribution to the community.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need to be familiar with the Bible passage in 1 Corinthians 12.12-26, which speaks about the body. It is available at: https://tinyurl.com/y5jz77k5

Assembly

  1. Explain that in the early days of the Church, about 2,000 years ago, there were many problems. One particular church in a place called Corinth (which is now in Greece) had a problem with getting the people to work together. Different people had different ideas and they wouldn’t listen and learn from one another.

  2. Corinth was a port, and like all ports, it was a mixed town. There were lots of sailors and a wide variety of people visiting the town, bringing with them lots of new ideas. The Christians in Corinth were a mixture of people who had come from many different backgrounds and had various ideas as to how things should be done. There were rich people, poor people, slaves and free people, as well as different languages and cultures – it was a huge mixture!

    So, when all of these people met at church and were told that God regarded them as equally valuable, they had problems! Paul, one of the leaders of the early Church, wrote to them, using the idea that the Church is like one body.

  3. Explain that you are going to read a passage from the Bible. It is taken from a letter that Paul wrote to the Corinthians to help them sort out their problems.

    Ask the children to point to the correct parts of their body when they hear the different parts named. Likewise, if they hear mention of any of the senses, they should point to the part of the body that uses that sense. For example, for hearing, they should point to their ears, for smell, they should point to their nose and so on.

  4. Settle the children so that they are relaxed and listening, and then read slowly this adaptation of 1 Corinthians 12.

    Just as the human body is one and has many parts – they are different, but all part of the same body – so it is with us.

    For in God, we are all one body – no matter who we are or what we look like.

    A body does not have just one part, but many.

    If the foot said, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.

    And if the ear said, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.

    If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be?

    If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?

    If all were a single part, where would the body be?

    So, there are many parts, yet one body.

    The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you,’ nor can the head say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you.’

    God has so arranged the body that there may be no arguments, but the parts all care for one another.

    If one part suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is praised, all are happy together.

    God has given us each all kinds of gifts, so use your gifts to help each other, and so grow closer together.

    Pause to allow time for thought.

Time for reflection

Ask the children the following questions.

- Which part of the body are you like?

- Are you a foot, carrying people along with you?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Or maybe a hand, helping people and pointing the way?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Perhaps you are more like the ears, listening carefully to friends when they need to talk about their lives?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Or are you like a mouth, smiling and happy?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you that together, we make up the heart of the school,
beating and living within us all.
Amen.

Song/music

‘It’s a new day’ (Come and Praise, 106)

Publication date: July 2019   (Vol.21 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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