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There must be more than this

To recognize and examine the sense of something more within each of us.

by Helen Redfern

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To recognize and examine the sense of something more within each of us.

Preparation and materials

  • Two readers.
  • A table, two chairs, two packed lunches.
  • The meditation could be enhanced by some background music and appropriate images on the screen (see ‘Time for reflection’).
  • Bible verse: ‘(God) has put a sense of past and future into their minds’ (Ecclesiastes 3.11).

Assembly

  1. Two boys enter and sit at a table with their packed lunches in front of them.

    Leader
      One of these boys has returned to school after being at his grandma’s funeral the day before. Let’s listen in to their conversation over lunch as he tells his friend how he got on.

    Reader 1  So how did it go? It must have been really hard. I’ve never been to a funeral.

    Reader 2  Nor had I before yesterday. It was odd, really. I’ve never believed in life after death. I’ve always thought we just get one life, experience one death and then that’s it. Full stop. Finish. But now that someone close to me has died, I can’t help feeling that there must be more than this.

    Reader 1  I know what you mean. I’m not religious or anything, but however hard I try, I can’t stop believing that there is more to life than just a physical dimension.

    Reader 2  Well, I’ll probably move on from feeling that way soon enough. I guess I’m a bit upset about Gran, that’s all. I’m into science and I reckon science will prove there’s no God, no divine being out there controlling everything. That’s the stuff of stories and make believe, not reason and rational argument.

    Reader 1  I’m not so sure. There is something that makes us humans different from animals, I think. And why are we all so fascinated by the unknown if we don’t believe there’s anything out there?

    The two boys continue their discussion silently.
  2. Leader  Let’s leave the discussion for a moment and pick up on that point. Isn’t it true that as humans, we’ve been obsessed over the years with the unknown?

    Some people devote their lives to discovering aliens, UFOs and life on other planets. Films have been made about life in other dimensions. Many of you will have seen The Matrix, Inception and The Adjustment Bureau, to name but a few of the recent ones.

    Numerous books have been written about immortality and the supernatural. Many of you will have read Twilight, for example, and the other Twilight books.

    We’re intrigued by the idea of travelling through time and space. How many of us love the adventures of Dr Who on the television? We read stories in magazines of people who’ve been to heaven and back, or had ‘near death experiences’, not knowing whether to believe them but fascinated all the same.

    People of faith all over the world and throughout history have believed in an afterlife, whether it be heaven, reincarnation or some other teaching.
  3. The two boys start talking to each other more loudly and animatedly.

    Reader 2
     But that’s just ridiculous. You’ll be getting at me to go to church soon and there’s no way I’m doing that!

    Reader 1  That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just wondering out loud whether this feeling of there being something more is because that’s how we were made.

    Reader 2  We weren’t made. It was random, remember? The big bang and all that.

    Reader 1  Maybe, but it does seem that within all of us there is something spiritual. Perhaps we shouldn’t fight it, that’s all I’m saying.

    The two boys fade into the background again.
  4. Leader  Perhaps Reader 1 (insert name) is on to something. In the Old Testament of the Bible, the writer of Ecclesiastes says that God has put a sense of past and future into the minds of men and women.

    And a more modern writer, the American Rob Bell, says this in his new book Love Wins (Collins, 2011):

    ‘Religions should not surprise us. We crave meaning and order and explanation. We’re desperate for connection with something or somebody greater than ourselves. This is not new’ (page 153).
  5. Leader  Back to the boys!

    Reader 2
     So is that where you’re going to leave it?

    Reader 1  Well, no, not really. You’re the one with all the definitive answers. You’re the one with the full stop. I prefer a question mark.

    Reader 2  Well, if we only get one life like I suspect, I’d better get on with living it, not just talking about it. I’m off.

    Reader 1  Mmm. And I’m going to give this some more thought. I like where I’m going with this whole thing.

    Both leave the stage.

Time for reflection

That discussion was certainly thought provoking. Thank you, boys.

Maybe you believe that this life is all we have. Or maybe you believe that there must be more than this. Whatever you believe, please listen to the words of this meditation and if you wish, make them your own.

Time seems to stand still as waves crash on a beach.

How easy it is to get drawn into the glowing colours of a sunset.

The detail of a peacock’s tail feather takes my breath away.

My spirits soar with the flute’s melody rising above the orchestra.

I lose track of time standing before an artist’s masterpiece.

I’m entranced by the dance and wish it would never end.

Man builds skyscrapers to reach to the heavens.

Man constructs bridges to span the greatest expanse.

Man yearns for bigger, better, faster, greater.


Young people fall in love for the first time and wish it could last for ever.

A child wins a competition and wants to bottle the elation.

A woman loses herself in a great book and never wants to reach the final page.

God has set eternity in the hearts of men and women.

And young people. And children.

All people. All over the world. For all time.

Music

‘Father God, I wonder’ (Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew), 119)

Publication date: October 2011   (Vol.13 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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