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Change Takes Courage

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To explore the fact that things are always changing and developing.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a leader, eight speakers and one other to play the part of the cheerful person. The students will need time to rehearse prior to the assembly.

  • You will also need eight blindfolds for the eight speakers to wear.

  • Familiarize yourself with the Bible story in Luke 6.6-10, which is about Jesus healing the man with a withered hand on the Sabbath.


Leader: Before the assembly begins, position the eight speakers in a line, wearing their blindfolds. Ask them each to speak in turn, slowly and deliberately.

Speaker 1: Today, I shall lie in bed and wallow in self-pity.

Speaker 2: Today, I will only do things that get me lots of praise and approval.

Speaker 3: I have a right to seek revenge on people who’ve hurt me, so today, I’ll start some intricate plots against them.

Speaker 4: My choices are limited, so I must stick rigidly to the plan I have outlined for myself.

Speaker 5: I have a right to change people into who I want them to be.

Speaker 6: Today, I will tease someone about their worst fears.

Speaker 7: While in conversation, I will count all of the various ways in which other people are stupid.

Speaker 8: Today, I’m just going to act how I want, whatever the consequences.


Speaker 1: Phew, I feel better already. See you again, same time tomorrow, folks.

The speakers now turn, each placing a hand on the shoulder of the one in front, and slowly start to move off in a line, walking wearily as if wearing balls and chains. They must not go far because they are still blindfolded. (Remember health and safety guidelines.)

Meanwhile, a cheerful person enters from the other side of the room and catches up with the last of the speakers, stopping him/her.

Cheerful person: Hey, you were here yesterday, werent you?

Speaker 8: Were here every day . . . every day the same . . . its the only fun we get . . . Now, if youll excuse me . . .

Cheerful person: No, wait a minute. You sound so unhappy and gloomy, but the sun is shining - its a lovely day. Even if you cant see it, you could come and talk to me!

Speaker 8: No, sorry, you wont trick me like that. Anyway, I might hurt my eyes - its not as if Im blind, you know.

Cheerful person: Whats the blindfold for then?

Speaker 7: Come on, hurry up, we mustnt be late!

Speaker 8: Its obvious, isnt it? You cant trust what you see. Youre a fool not to wear one if you ask me. Everybody says so. Now, if youll just excuse me . . .

Speaker 8 moves off with the rest in the line.


Cheerful person: Oh, well. Time to be off. (To the audience.) Be sure to have a good day, whatever youre going to do!

Leader: Often, we follow the crowd. Sometimes, this can make us sad and miserable. Sometimes, we need to uncover our eyes and step out to try new things and enjoy new experiences. This may mean making new friends or taking a slightly scary step towards something weve never experienced before.

One of the reasons that so many people followed Jesus when he was on Earth is that he showed them how life could be changed for the better. He did this by saying the things he said and doing the things he did, healing bodies, minds and attitudes. Many stories from the life of Jesus illustrate this point, but the story of the healing of the man with a withered hand on the Sabbath (Luke 6.6-10) shows Jesus also standing up against unhelpful, man-made laws in order to achieve a greater good.

Tell the story in your own words or read it from Luke 6.6-10. Emphasize that we need to have the courage to be our own person and to stand up for what is right.

Time for reflection

Let’s think about the way in which we approach our lives.

Let us pray for the insight to be ready to change,
For the courage to change what can be changed,
For the grace to accept what cannot be changed,
And for the wisdom to know the difference.

Adapted from the Serenity Prayer by the American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr

Follow-up ideas

  1. Identify prejudices that the students can see around them - in the wider world, in school, in the classroom and even in themselves. Encourage the students to debate whether each can be justified. Then, hold a balloon debate, throwing out each prejudice as a solution is identified, and see which prejudices are the most difficult to get rid of.
  2. With older or more able students, read and discuss George Herberts poem ‘Love (III), which begins, ‘Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back . . . It describes how the author, who feels unworthy and outcast, responds to Jesus invitation to forgiveness.
Publication date: September 2020   (Vol.22 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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