Relating to God
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To explore prayer and how to relate to God.
Preparation and materials
- There are various ways in which you could perform this assembly, so you can change it to suit your needs. You could simply have students read the script out loud or organize some rehearsal time so that they could perform it having learned their lines, perhaps with some costumes or appropriate hats. The script describes the Person as ‘this guy’, but either gender could play the part.
- There are six parts in the play in the ‘Assembly’, five others are needed to be the crowd and are then the Readers in the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly. Whoever plays the Person is also needed for the latter.
- All the characters need to act out the actions described by the Narrator.
- Have available some meditative music of your choice and the means to play it at the end of the assembly.
Reader 1 solemnly moves to the centre of the front area or stage and begins the assembly.
Reader 1 For today’s assembly, we are going to think about our relationship with God and what that should mean to us.
Suddenly, there is a rude interruption as the Narrator dashes on stage and yells to Reader 1. The Narrator is closely followed by the other actors and crowd of customers, all making a hullabaloo.
Narrator Oi!! I've got a joke for you!
Reader 1 Hey! Excuse me, but I'm in the middle of telling everybody about . . .
Narrator Well, it's more of a shaggy dog story really.
Reader 1 I don't care what it is, I'm supposed to be doing an assembly about how we can relate to God . . . and important things like that . . .
Reader 1 doesn't get the chance to object any further as he or she is swept off the stage by the crowd of customers and the Newsagents.
Narrator (Speaking directly to the audience.) You'll love this joke! There's this man and he goes into a newsagent's shop and he stands in front of all the magazines with his eyes closed tight shut.
The actors and crowd act out the story as it unfolds.
Narrator The Newsagent notices this weirdo and starts watching him like a hawk because this guy is just standing there, muttering to himself . . .
Person (Muttering loudly.) Oh God, merciful God, almighty excellent most wonderful God, please, please, PLEASE let me win the lottery this week. I promise I'll be really good from now on and be kind to animals as well.
Narrator All the time the Newsagent is watching him . . . and then his colleague comes in.
Newsagent 1 Look – another weird customer. What on Earth is he up to?
Newsagent 2 Don't worry about him – he's not doing anybody any harm.
Narrator The bloke is still saying his prayer . . .
Person Oh your mightifulness, majestic, most holy, lovely God, please, please, PLEASE let me win the big prize this week. I don't want to share it with six other people either or a syndicate from a jam jar factory in Leeds – I want all the money for myself!
Narrator The Newsagent is getting a bit annoyed.
Newsagent 1 If he doesn't buy something soon, I'm going to ask him to leave.
Just then, the Person suddenly sings out loud . . .
Narrator Then he opened his eyes, smiled at the Newsagents and rushed out without buying anything.
The actors and crowd of customers scurry around in a circle to indicate the passage of time. (You might want to play a sound effect or some music that helps give the illusion of time passing.)
Narrator Now . . . the following Friday, the same thing happened. The Person went into the Newsagent's shop, stood beside the magazines, closed his eyes tight shut and started muttering to himself.
Person (Muttering loudly.) Oh God, merciful and almighty excellent one, most wonderful God, I was really disappointed that I didn't win the lottery last week, but I understand you probably had somebody else lined up to win it, so I'm not really annoyed with you, but please, please, PLEASE, let me win the lottery this week, OK?
Narrator The Newsagents, once again, are not happy.
Newsagent 1 That bloke is back again!
Newsagent 2 Don't worry, he probably won't stay long.
Narrator Sure enough, the man suddenly yelled out . . .
Person Oh, most gracious, high and mighty, I will worship you forever and ever if I win the lottery this week. Amen!
Narrator He then opened his eyes and winked at the Newsagent, then rushed out.
The actors and crowd of customers scurry around in a circle again to indicate the passage of time. (As before, you can play a sound effect or some music to help give the illusion of more time passing.)
Narrator Well . . . this continued to happen week after week, for about ten weeks. Every week, the Person got angrier and angrier that he hadn’t won the lottery yet.
Person Now, listen here, you up there!! God almighty and creator of everything, why have you let me down? I don't ask you for much help and I have always been a good person, I promise. Please let me win the lottery this one time so I can get my life back in order!!
Narrator The Newsagents had just about run out of patience with this man.
Newsagent 1 Right, that's it! I've had enough of this – I'm going to kick him out!
Newsagent 2 He might be dangerous . . .
Narrator The Person was looking more and more desperate all the time . . .
Person I've been waiting and waiting! It must be my turn this week! If I don't win the lottery this week I'm going to . . . grrrrr . . . well, I don't know what I'll do!! So please, please, PLEASE let me win this week, OK?
Narrator Now, the Newsagent had had enough of this weirdo coming into the shop every Friday and causing these ructions and he decided that he was going to do something about it.
Newsagent 1 He's frightening the other customers! I'm going to put a stop to this.
Narrator The other Newsagent has had a better idea and has scribbled a note on a piece of paper.
Newsagent 2 Wait, wait, wait – I've got a better idea.
Narrator She took the note over to the nutter and handed it to him.
Newsagent 2 Excuse me, a very old man with a long flowing white beard came in yesterday and left this note for you.
Narrator The Person was very surprised, but was interested in what this note might contain.
Person Unfortunately I've left my glasses at home. Could you please read it out to me?
Newsagent 2 Certainly. It says, ‘Dear Believer, I would like to help you out, but can't you meet me halfway on this? This week please, please, PLEASE change your approach. I can't let you win the lottery unless you buy a ticket!’
PersonBuy a ticket? I never thought of doing that. What a brilliant idea!! Let me buy a ticket right now!!
Newsagent 2 leads the Person away to buy a ticket and the actors and crowd of customers scurry around in a circle and take off their costumes/hats to indicate the end of the play.
The student playing the Person stays in costume and in character while everyone else faces the audience as Reader 1 returns to the stage. The crowd can now become the other Readers below.
Narrator Did he win the lottery or not? We'll never know how it worked out, but we're sure you can see the point.
Time for reflection
Reader 1 The Person was trying to find a way to relate to God. He probably hasn't found the best way yet. How do you relate to God?
Reader 2 Are you waiting until you win the lottery before you thank God for all the good things in your life?
Person Oh mightifulness, majestic, most holy, lovely God.
Reader 3 Does God need flattery?
Person Oh, high and mighty God, I will worship you forever and ever if I win this week.
Reader 2 Can you bargain with God? Is that what the game is?
Person Now, listen here, you up there!! God almighty and creator of everything, why have you forsaken me? I don't ask for your help much!
Reader 4 Does emotional blackmail work with God?
Person If I don't win the lottery this week, I'm going to . . . grrrrr . . . well, I don't know what I'll do.
Reader 5 Is there any point in threatening God? Is that going to get you anywhere?
Person I prayed and prayed and prayed, but I still haven't got what I want.
Reader 1 Maybe that's not the way it works. Prayer is a great way of communicating with God – you probably realize that already.
Reader 2 So are we saying you also have to buy a lottery ticket?
Reader 3 Not literally. The chances are you're just going to lose your money, so don't even think about it.
Reader 4 God does need your assistance, though, when helping you get your life on to a winning streak – God needs your help with that.
Reader 5 Let's spend a few moments thinking about the ways in which you could help God make life better for you and everyone on Earth.
After a few moments . . .
Please help us to find the ways to make our lives and the lives of everyone around us more fulfilling.
Help us try to do whatever we can to help you give us a better life.
We ask for your advice and your guidance.
Thank you, God.
Meditative music of your choice