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Pause for Thought: Look at That Fence!

Where is our protection?

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider God as our protector.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Pause for Thought: Look at that Fence!) and the means to display them.
  • You will also need a child to take the part of the narrator in the ‘Assembly’, Steps 1 to 3.


  1. Explain to the children that Jesus was a great storyteller. His disciples loved walking with him through the countryside in Galilee and beside the lake. He seemed to have a story for everything that he saw, and it was a story that always seemed to stick in their minds. One day, he spoke as he was walking through a field.

    Narrator: Look at the lilies in this field. They are so beautiful, and yet they don’t work hard all day trying to look this way. My Father gives them beauty. You are beautiful too.

    I’m sure that whenever the disciples saw lilies after that day, they would remember what Jesus had taught them through those beautiful flowers.

  2. On another occasion, Jesus looked up and spoke.

    Narrator: Look at the birds of the air. There are so many all over the world. They don’t worry about storing up food for tomorrow, or next month. They don’t worry about next year. My Father sees to it that they have food to eat. He will take care of you too.

    Leader: I’m sure that whenever the disciples saw birds after that, they would remember what Jesus had taught them.

  3. Another time, when Jesus was out walking with his disciples, he pointed at a flock of sparrows.
    Narrator: Look at the sparrows. Not one of them falls to the ground without my Father knowing about it.

  4. Point out that there are many sparrows around. In fact, in the 2021 Big Garden Birdwatch, the house sparrow was the most common bird spotted in Britain for the eighteenth year running.

    Ask the children whether they know what a sparrow looks like.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  5. Show Slide 1.

    Ask the children the following questions.

    - What did Jesus want his disciples to remember whenever they saw a sparrow?
    - What might Jesus want us to remember when we see a sparrow?

    Listen to a range of responses.

  6. Explain that Jesus also had something to say about ants, fig trees and even fish to his disciples. I wonder what Jesus might have said if they had passed a fence.

    Show Slide 2.

  7. Explain that you are going to show the children some pictures of fences. You want them to think about where these fences might be seen and what their purpose is.

  8. Show Slides 3 to 8.

    For each slide, ask the following questions.

    - Where is this fence?
    - What is it made of?
    - What is its purpose?

  9. Identify that there are two main reasons to put up a fence. One is to keep things in and the other is to keep things out. The purpose of a fence is to keep things secure and protected.

Time for reflection

Show Slide 9.

Explain that the picture shows a sheepfold. In Jesus’ time, sheep would take shelter in a sheepfold like this, huddled together from the cold and protected from animals that might attack them. The wall surrounded them and protected them. Jesus told the disciples that they were to think of him like a good shepherd who would sit at the gate of the sheepfold, watching over his flock.

Show Slide 9 again.

The Bible tells us that God wants to be like a hedge of protection around us, or like this stone wall. We are very important to him and, just like the birds and the lilies and the sparrows, he wants to care for us.

Let’s take a few minutes to think about how safe that might make us feel.

Dear God,
Thank you that you want to be like a fence around us, shielding us from harm.
Thank you that we can trust you.


‘The Lord’s my shepherd’ by Stuart Townend, available at: (4.03 minutes long)

Extension activities

The children may like to draw a picture of themselves inside a fence with the words ‘God protects me when I am . . .’ underneath.

Publication date: September 2021   (Vol.23 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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