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The Answer Lies with Us

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider our responsibility regarding the problems of the world.

Preparation and materials

  • Pick a local, national or international situation that is currently in the news. Collect relevant details, perhaps including quotations from newspapers and some images.
  • Prepare a PowerPoint presentation that outlines the situation, either as bullet points or headlines, and have the means to display it during the assembly (optional).
  • Familiarize yourself with the Bible story in the passage Luke 10.25-37, which is the parable of the good Samaritan, so you can retell it in the assembly.
  • Choose a reader to read out the parable of the good Samaritan (optional).


  1. If you prepared a PowerPoint presentation to outline a recent news event, display it and describe the situation. Alternatively, do so showing the newspaper clippings and so on you have gathered, reading out some short extracts.
  2. What needs to be done?

    Listen to a range of answers.
  3. Very often, when people come face to face with a shocking situation, the response is ‘they’ ought to do something, but who does the word ‘they refer to?

    Listen to a range of answers.
  4. We often say ‘they’ as if they were the problemsolvers of the world, as if 'they' ought to do something to sort out the situation, whatever it is. If this is the case then 'they' are not doing a good job as the world's problems seem to multiply. 

    Instead of saying 'they', maybe we should substitute it with ‘I’ or ‘we’. Maybe we should be asking, 'What can we do to help?’
  5. Often the problems in the world can seem so overwhelming that we feel there is nothing we can do to make a difference. If everybody just did a little bit, however, we could achieve something amazing.
  6. Either retell the parable of the good Samaritan or ask the reader to do so. 
  7. The Samaritan was going about his daily business. He came across a problem, he stopped and he did what he could. Then he involved others, such as the innkeeper. He didn't solve the problem, but he did do something.

Time for reflection

The Samaritan did what he could and then he carried on with his daily routine. It is possible for all of us to do the same.

God does not require us to stop everything we are doing and become professional problemsolvers. We are just asked to take notice of what is happening around us and become involved where appropriate. As it says in Matthew's Gospel (25.45), what we do to others we are doing to God.

We can’t solve every problem, but we can play a small part in making the world a better place.

Dear Lord,
Sometimes the problems in the world seem so big we can't imagine that they can be solved.
Please help us to never give up hope.
Please help us to never stop doing little things that might bring peace to those around us each day.


Follow-up ideas

  1. Look for five situations in the news locally or nationally where help is needed. Ask the students to write down anything they can think of that could help solve or relieve each situation.

    Each day, look at the list together and consider who you could help the most. Discuss if the group could meet the need or you should involve others. Actions don't have to be elaborate or large as ‘every little helps’.
Publication date: February 2016   (Vol.18 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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