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Firm foundations

To reflect upon the story of the wise and foolish builders.

by Rachel Bird

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To reflect upon the story of the wise and foolish builders.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the game ‘Jenga’ or a similar building blocks game. Set this up at the front on a table where all can see and where there is access from all sides for when the game is played.

Assembly

  1. Ask for volunteers to come to the front and play a game of Jenga (two games if the first one is very short). In the end the game will undoubtedly collapse!

  2. Ask the children why the tower collapsed. Look for answers such as ‘it was unstable’, ‘the base (foundations) was wobbly’, ‘the builders weren’t the best’.
  3. Introduce the word ‘foundations’ and say why they are important: foundations are what underpins a building. They are the solid base and even though they can’t be seen they are the most important part in some ways. If the foundations are not strong the building is not going to stay standing for long.
  4. Say that Jesus told a story about two people who wanted to build themselves new houses. If the children are likely to know the story you can elicit it from them in questions. If not, simply tell it as below (from Matthew 7.24-27).

    Two men both wanted a new house and each decided they would build it themselves. The first man decided to build his house with firm foundations, and dug deep into the rock. He chose strong ground to build his house on. The second man, however, decided to build his house on the sand instead.

    There was a massive storm, and the rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against the houses. The house with firm foundations stood firm; it did not fall down because it was built on solid rock. When the rain poured down and the winds blew and beat against the house built on sand, it fell down with a crash.

  5. Jesus said that when we’re listening to his words on how to live our lives, then we’re being like the wise builder – building our lives on the rock. Like a house needs firm foundations, so do our lives, and God helps us to have that.
  6. Have you ever fallen over? Lost your footing because the ground is not firm? That’s what it can be like when our lives don’t have firm foundations. Christians, and believers of other religions, believe that faith in God and friends and family together give us really strong firm foundations for our lives. They are important.

Time for reflection

Reflection:

Think about the story of the wise man building his house upon the rock.
What are the firm foundations of your life – family, friends, your beliefs?

Prayer:

Dear God,
Thank you that you offer us Firm Foundations to build our lives on.
Help us to trust you, especially when times are hard.
We pray for our friends and families too –
help us all to support one another.
Amen.

Song/music

‘The wise man built his house upon the rock’
‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: October 2005   (Vol.7 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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